How My Special Needs Daughter Is Making The Rest Of Them Better


These last few days have given me heavy heart, but amongst the sadness, fear, and concern there has been an unexpected joy and hope.

One of my concerns when MaryGrace was first diagnosed was with how it would affect the other kids but this 6 pack (as I call it) has really stepped it up and shown me what it is to truly be the hands and feet of Jesus.

I believe with my whole heart that MaryGrace’s epilepsy is making them/us into better people.

Let me explain…

The night the recent seizures happened Brady was exhausted. It was his first full day of school and he was wiped out! He had a friend over so for the last 20 minutes of their playdate I let them watch TV.

[I am not super mom, but I don’t typically let the kids watch TV for a playdate.
(Hey! Want to come over and simultaneously rot our brains while sitting side by side on the couch in a vegetative state?)]

Payton was outside playing with his friends and James was being 3… busy.

By the time Payton came in he could sense the tone in the house.

I explained what had happened and asked him to help me make dinner.
(We quickly shifted gears from Taco Tuesday to Cereal Tuesday… there weren’t many complaints. Shocker… a bowl full of crunchy kid crack, yum!)

MaryGrace would not let me put her down at this point and Shane was not home yet so I really needed help.

Payton was upset and I thought it was because I had asked for help…
as I mentally prepared my “it’s not about you speech” he chimed in with… “Why didn’t you come get me? If this ever happens again, I want you to come get me.”

I saw the sincere concern in his eyes as they welled with tears.

There really wasn’t much anyone could do and he knows that… but he wanted to be there, to be available.

As I went to sleep that night I recapped the evening and what it meant to other little humans I am responsible for…

It meant even thought Brady was exhausted and wanted to snuggle with Mommy… he didn’t, my arms were already full.

It meant when it was time for bed all Brady wanted was to be with Payton… meanwhile, due to his chivalrous behavior, Payton was allowed to stay up a little later and listen to his book on tape in the basement.
(What a privilege, right? Don’t judge! He thought it was awesome!)
Instead, Payton went to bed early and was there for his little brother.

It meant the kids didn’t get a proper dinner.

It meant the house felt different, a little shadowed.

It meant rushed bedtime routines from fried parents…
fewer stories that night.

no songs while brushing their teeth that night.

Simply put… a lack of joy in our home.

Although these are all small things for the other humans… they will add up over the course of a childhood.

They will surely remember the nights that felt this way and they sacrifices that were made.

Hopefully they will learn from it too.

I hope they will learn it is not about them and most likely, life never will be.

I hope they learn some people have circumstances beyond their control and we need to sacrificially love them as best we can.

I hope they learn love, patience, and compassion.

I hope they learn to be there for one another when Mom and Dad can’t be. (We won’t always be here.)

Most of all, I hope they learn to turn to Jesus.
I hope they learn to pray, serve, and sacrifice with a love like Jesus.

I know my God works all things together for good.
I am still not sure how this will be good for MG, but I am thankful to see how it is used for good for the other munchkins.



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5 thoughts on “How My Special Needs Daughter Is Making The Rest Of Them Better

  1. Prayers for Mary Grace and all of you. Is Mary Grace beginning to walk. She is such a beautiful child. Love you all

    • Yes! She is kinda/sorta/mostly walking! The trouble with upping the dosage is that the side effects are back in full force again… and instability was a prominent one for her.

  2. I’ve always known there was something very special about you, Christen, and to hear how that is spreading to your kids is wonderful to see. Big hugs to you and your kids and prayers to help on the hard days like this one! You’re a great mom and your sons and daughter are a lucky bunch!

  3. Beautifully written Christen! Your whole family is impacted and will be impacted and will learn the things your heart desires for them because you purpose it to be and they have your heart! Blessings to you my friend! Prayers for your family as you continue to focus on Christ!