6 Lessons from St Thomas

Jut, the kids and I had a great opportunity to spend 13 days in St. Thomas with my mom and Steve (step-dad). We went two years ago and it is sort of a tradition every other year. I learned some lessons down there and thought I would share.

Again-thank you mom and Steve, for your generous gift of a vacation!

Lesson 1-marko….polo

I was in the pool and decided to play marko polo with Jayden. It reminded me a lot about my journey with Jesus. I kept calling “marko” to Jayden. Although my eyes were closed I could feel the water around me moving—knowing he was there but not seeing him. Jayden can’t say “polo”. I didn’t hear what I thought I needed to hear to find him….but I heard him laughing. I kept calling….searching….knowing he was in the pool with me….just waiting for him to respond….seeking and arms extended. Senses more tuned into his sound…his movements…..blindly trusting I would find him. Although he never said “polo”, I found him….if I just paided attention.

Lesson 2-keep left….say right

In St, Thomas, people drive on the left. Sometimes, it is easier to just say, “you’re right”. I am stubborn by nature…so, a large learning curve for me is sometimes….just keep left…..but say right.

Lesson 3-paradise is where your heart is

There is no place on earth more magnificent than near the ocean in warm weather, in my opinion. However, there is no place I would have rather been than at the funeral of my dear friend, Bonnie. Paradise, is being with the body of Christ.

Lesson 4-there’s no place like home

Jayden got a bit homesick. Know what he missed? Home. “my ouse, my ouse” he wanted to be in an environment that he knew with his truck, shovel, neon, and roo-roo. Comfortable. Content. We always tend to want more, wishing the future to come….if only I had _____________ I would be happy. Jayden taught me that what we have is sometimes exactly what we want. What we have is enough to make us happy if we let it.

Lesson 5-sun is fun

Sun is therapeutic for me. I love feeling warm. I love having a tan. I know it may sound weird, but too much overcast makes Stef a crazy woman! It felt good to close my eyes, even for a moment, and feel the warm breeze and sun. Peaceful.

Lesson 6-kill them with kindness

There is a new hurdle that we are beginning to experience. Jayden is slowly creeping out of the normal 3 year old spectrum…and into the ???? Strangers start to stare. Diaper changing no longer happen on bathroom changing tables and now occur on dirty public floors. Strangers say “that boy is too big to be in a stroller” (twice from the same person….) How do you respond? Or, your daughter is so cute…she should model and save the money for her college fund….

So, whether people are ignorant or kind…it triggers something. Our children are not citizens of this world. So, we respond. We claim that we want to educate and give grace to people…but it is more common for us to be hurt, angry, or just try to ignore it.

It makes me refocus my eyes back to Jayden and Brooklyn…and drowned out the noise of the world. Is Jayden happy? Am I more concerned with what others think or what my children are experiencing? Every parent wants to protect their children from this, but honestly, I think I am more concerned with protecting myself. They handle it best. They continue to live in the moment…completely unaffected by the stares. And, maybe people are not even staring… maybe it’s just my perception. Either way, I default to ignoring. I want to change that to raise awareness in a humble, grace-filled way. Sounds like this…”thank you for noticing my beautiful child….he/she has a genetic disorder called sanfilippo. If you would like more information, go to buildwiththeboyces.com. Have a great day!”