My daughter has Mosaic Down Syndrome (Click here for more info)and struggles with her speech. She has a hard time finding the right words to say in order to express herself.
We want the very best for her, so we put her in speech therapy. We hoped the extra support would help her develop quicker.
However, we discovered that speech therapy is not a quick fix. It’s not enough to send her to therapy one hour a week and expect a triumphant outcome.
That’s where my husband and me come in. Thea’s teachers and therapists have all said the same thing. If you work with her throughout the week, her development will exponentially grow. Her improvement strongly relies on us to practice with her and to teach and encourage her to use the right words everyday.
This burden completely overwhelms me. It feels like too much. Too much responsibility; what if I can’t teach her? Too much time; how do I sit down with her when I have two other kids vying for my attention?
As I think about Thea’s challenges, my anxiety immediately spikes. Where do I start? There are so many things we need to work on with her. It seems daunting. I get lost in my negative thoughts before I even step up to the starting line.
Ever been there? Maybe you’re overwhelmed with your finances, or a project at work, or dealing with your kid’s behavior. You look at the problem and don’t even know where to start, so in the end you don’t start at all. That’s where I was.
So how do you overcome this overwhelming feeling?
Here’s the secret. I’ve learned…..
It’s better to DO SOMETHING imperfectly then DO NOTHING at all.
Throw perfection right out the window.
Phew, that felt good. The pressure is off.
I don’t have to be a speech therapist or a professional teacher. I don’t have to know all the answers. I just need to try, make attempts, START.
Start small. Every action that YOU TAKE WILL make a difference. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to make a huge impact immediately.
BE PATIENT. Give yourself grace. It will take time. The most rewarding things always do!
A small step will guide you down the path of change. And change is good because one day you will wake up and realize you have made a huge impact on your life.
It’s hard not to feel the pressure though, the pressure to figure it all out right away.
And that’s where God comes in.
You don’t have to take on the problem alone. You don’t have to come up with a grand solution or create a detailed step-by-step plan because God’s already got one. And it’s a GOOD one. One that will leave you happier than you ever thought possible.
The only thing you have to do is START, do SOMETHING. Ask God to help you. Pray as much as you can about it and the rest will come.
It might not be organized, or well planned out. And that’s ok because God will use your “something small” to masterfully bring together resources you never thought possible. He will show you which steps to take, and which ones not to take.
So what was my something small?
I started off by sitting down with Thea and asking her to read me a story. At first she couldn’t say the word “kept”. Every time it came up in the story, she would get it wrong. I corrected her each time until about the fourth time she finally got it right.
The next day, I had her read me the same book again. Wouldn’t you know it? She remembered how to say the word.
My “something small” resulted in Thea being able to read a new word. Although this made little impact, I know that God will use my small step to encourage me, motivate me, and give me new ideas on how to help her as we head down this journey together.
God will open doors you never thought of, he will encourage and motivate you to keep going, he is always there working behind the scenes for you, organizing all of those details that overwhelmed you. He is there, even if you can’t see him.
Speaking of not being able to see him. There was a man in the bible named Elisha. God used him to communicate to others (also known as a prophet). One day a King, who was angry with him, called his army to march out and find him. As the army grew closer to his location, Elisha’s assistant saw them coming and panicked.
“ ‘ Oh, sir, what will we do now?’ the young man cried to Elisha. ‘Don’t be afraid!’ Elisha told him. ‘For there are more on our side than on theirs!’ Then Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!’ The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire (God’s Army).” 2 Kings 6:15-17
I mean can you imagine? What a massive problem. Here were two men, all alone, having to go up against this kings massive army. That to me seems overwhelmingly impossible.
Elisha knew he couldn’t solve the problem on his own. So, he turned to God. He new God had a plan and that they didn’t have to solve it by themselves. He was there helping them even though they couldn’t see it.
Now, you may not be fighting a war, but maybe you are drowning in debt and don’t know how to get out of it, or fighting with your spouse and don’t know how to work it out. Whatever it is, take a small step. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be all planned out. God will use it to do amazing things.
So, I will continue to take small steps towards helping Thea with her speech because I know that if I start, God can finish it.
What can you start today? Come on, you can do it! If you are reading this, it is not by mistake.
I challenge you, take one small step today!
This is how amazing God works. I wrote this blog post a few days ago. I was going to post it but then God did something amazing that needed to be a part of this story. It’s a great example of how when you take a small step, he will open doors and encourage you to keep going.
All year, Thea’s kindergarten teacher has been advocating on her behalf to get extra support in classroom for her next year. However, she prepared me that the school district probably wouldn’t give it to her because at first glance it doesn’t look like she needs it. But as her mom, I know she needs it and was worried she would loose her confidence and fall behind the other kids.
Through prayer and her wonderful teacher advocating on her behalf, the school district agreed to give her the support she needs. That was a huge win!
God opened that door and gave me the encouragement to keep going, to keep helping Thea, to keep taking those small steps.
I am not alone in this, YOU aren’t alone in this either….. and that feels really GOOD!