Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Into the Word Wednesdays - v. 18 - The Spirit of Giving

Yesterday held a rather emotional moment for me.  We have been trying to get our new place organized since we moved in this past September.  There have been some items which we have needed to give away and hadn't gotten to it yet.  The items in question have been sitting out on our back enclosed porch since we moved in.  There was just no room inside for them.  We've held on to these items for quite some time now.  Ron has been anxious to get rid of them because they take up so much space.  I, on the other hand, have not been so anxious.  I have built up strong emotional ties to these items and I haven't been ready to let go.

That changed.

Our church began a new series called 100,000 Gifts.  In a nutshell, imagine how our cities could be changed if each of us did random acts of kindness.  We have quite a large church, so our pastor took the low number of 10,000 people times 10 acts of kindness - could we, as a church, hit 100,000 acts of kindness {gifts} by Christmas.  Based on the series start date, that would give us 23 days to reach that goal.  They set up the website {click on "100,000 Gifts" at the start of this paragraph} so people could record either what they've done or what they've received.

I'm in a funk lately.  I just couldn't help wondering how I could possibly help - I felt like I had nothing to offer.  I could go on about that, but I won't.  Yesterday, though, my husband brought up those items we'd been hanging on to.  Somehow, perhaps after hearing the message at church, I was ready to let go.  

There were three items taking up space.  The first was an adaptive special needs push stroller - like a jogging stroller style.  It was suggested to us by a case manager, who later claimed that wasn't the right one.  Fought for.  Paid for by insurance.  It was so large.  So cumbersome.  So heavy.  So inappropriate for Peyton it was ridiculous.  So not used.  Ever.  Not even once.  It was also not returnable.  It was after we received this that we began another fight - to get Peyton the proper wheelchair that she currently has.  This push stroller was item number one.  I had no ties to that item, so it was easy.

The other two were not so easy.  When we moved to Charleston in August 2008, we wound up getting Peyton into the Early Intervention program that would last until she turned three and was put into the regular school system.  Her physical therapist at the time ordered a stander and a gait trainer for her.  These were items which she'd not ever had at home, nor had she ever used.  These items were used frequently for a time.  The stander, as you can see in the picture below, is something that she could be strapped into and allowed to stand for periods of time.  It would help to develop muscles and strengthen her.  It would help keep her upright and in a different position {sitting in her chair and laying down were her only positions before}.  She could be upright or tilted back.  It had an activity tray for her to handle objects in front of her.

The gait trainer was a whole other thing.  This contraption - like an overgrown baby "walker" - was something that she could be strapped into securely.  There was a little seat so she didn't have to be constantly weight-bearing.  In this gait trainer, Peyton had mobility.  She learned to move her feet to cause the whole thing to move with her.  It was painstakingly slow and painful to watch at times, but for those months where it was in use, Peyton had a new type of mobility.  She appears to be standing on her own in the picture below, but trust me, she's got more things securing her in place and that seat between her legs holding her up.  Her tiny little legs have never been strong enough to hold up her body weight on their own.  She has never stood on her own.  Never walked on her own.  Never even crawled...or made an attempt to.  But in this gait trainer, way back in late 2008/early 2009, Peyton could do things we never thought possible.  Maybe it was only a few "steps", but they were her steps.  The only ones she's ever going to take.

Yes, these were the three items to go.  We donated them to a local charter school for special needs children.  They were quite happy to take all the equipment off our hands.  As you can imagine {or maybe you can't}, equipment like this is exceptionally costly.  For those of you who have no idea what the cost of adaptive equipment is - this little gait trainer was probably over $2k.  The push stroller I mentioned - over $1k.  All because it's for "special needs".

Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

The emotional attachments I'd placed on these two objects was profound.  When we left them in the therapy room at the school, I felt like I needed a moment to say goodbye, but we were walked out of the room.  When we got in the car, I began to cry.  To part with these things was so exceptionally hard.  Yes, Peyton has a different type of stander now, but because of her poor health, she hasn't used it in a very long time.  She doesn't have the strength.  Peyton outgrew the gait trainer eventually, but it was unable to be used for the same reason.

I cried for what is {Peyton's current situation}, what was {the gains she had made at the age of 2 and 3 that were so brief and so long ago that I can't even believe it was her in that gait trainer}, for what never was and for what never will be.  I felt like I was giving away pieces of her.  As we walked through the halls of the school, I saw all the children and equipment and took a mental inventory of the things we have at home that may well eventually wind up there.  At another point in time.  When a different phase of our life has come.  And that was a horrible realization to have.  It was like acknowledging a certain reality that will one day come.

Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

When I consider what scripture says about giving, it makes little sense to hang on to physical objects that are doing nothing but taking up space, not being used.  Yes, my emotions are running a little high over this "loss", but the reality is that these items are now at a school where they can be used to serve several children for probably years to come.  The items occupying space in my home now have a chance to be useful once again.  There are children out there right now who will benefit from those pieces of equipment - more than Peyton has in the past few years, and probably more than she ever did when she was using them.  Other children will see gains in their abilities like Peyton once did.  Other families will have the chance to rejoice at the little things that are really huge things.

The emotions will less in time.  Especially if I take the time to find scripture verses like the ones from Hebrews and Acts that I've included here.  There are so many verses on what it means to give - and give cheerfully.

The school we donated to is called PACE {Pattison's Academy for Comprehensive Education}.  You can find out more about them here.  If you felt led to make a donation to this school yourself, you can contribute monetary donations here.  I have not been asked by them to request this or to mention them in any way.  I doubt they know I blog.  In a different time and set of circumstances {i.e. Peyton's health, etc.}, this could be a school that Peyton could attend.  I am quite sure they would not decline the offer of any monetary support you might be so generous to offer!


I would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about what God is showing you in the Word, or in your life. Please also stop by and see what God has been teaching my beautiful co-hosts this week: 

Becky at Tales of Beauty for Ashes
Kelly at The Houtz House Party
Falen at Upward Not Inward 
Kelly at Exceptionalistic

Into the Word Wednesday Blog Hop Rules:
1. Write a post about what God is teaching you this week.
2.  Follow the host and hostess. 
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs and be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!

Into The Word Wednesdays


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