Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quiet Time: Contentment-Finding It In Holland

Today I am going to stray off the beaten path...For me contentment seems to be something I am constantly working on, being happy with what I have and not always wanting the next bigger and better thing. It is hard- some days I really find it, others I don't.

I received this forward from my Brother and Sister-In-Law who have an Autistic child and I couldn't get over how well the point of the story got across. A follow up reply from my Mom also reminded us that these words are true not only for special needs children but also for our lives in general-realize what you have is such a blessing. So here is the e-mail, I know this is a long post but it is worth reading!


Emily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

I know God wants us to be content with whatever comes our way, I hope the longer I try to achieve this the more steady it will become.


Fernando said...

It's a beautiful posting!!

MelMir said...

I love you! Thank you for posting this!

New England Girl said...

Wow- I am so glad you posted this. What a beautiful and touching reminder.

Kara said...

THIS was an amazing post. I can't tell you how happy I am that you have started your Sunday blogging. I missed church today because we slept in too late and this really spoke to my heart in that way.
Thank you so much for sharing that. And thank you so much for all of your emails, flowers, prayers etc. during this dark season in my life. You are a ray of sunshine for me.

lizziefitz said...

This was a beautiful post. It was a little hard to read because I am 5 days away from being induced with our daughter. I will be grateful for whatever God gives us, He has always povided for us in the past.

Miss Madras said...

Thank you for posting that! We could all use a gentle reminder that no matter what adventure we are on we can find ways to enjoy it, be it Holland or Italy

Lily G. said...

This looks so relaxing!!

Blueprint Bliss said...

M- great post. Loved it and needed the reminder. Had so much fun tonight. xx- Brooke

Beachbrights said...

I have read this before. Thanks for reminding me. Holland was a blessing for us ;)


JMW said...

What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing.

Cristin said...

wow, what a lovely post. i too have a nephew with autism. it is a terrible disease.


Susie (So Blessed) said...

What a beautiful reminder of God's sovereignty and that His plans for our lives are indeed the best. We just have to learn to trust that truth.