Missoula Invitational Swim Meet 2013 is my turn! I remember when it was Matthan’s turn: 2010. I remember taking a picture with Matthan, mom and Mathalia. It was fun! This year it was my turn to take a picture with mom and dad. Grandma and grandpa were there too. Grandma was taking pictures with friends: Mathalia and Jenny; Mathalia and Caelin. And then they called my name and Kathleen Ward took my picture with mom and dad and by myself and with my senior friends. It was so fun!
And then Dan at KPAX took my picture with a big camera and he clipped a little microphone on my sweatshirt and then he talked to me about swimming and about violin and then he talked to my mom about swimming and about violin and about everybody cheering for me. She cried a little. silly mom.
Jenny wrote my races on my arm so I was on-time: 50-free, 200 relay, 100 breast. I remembered swoosh—no poufs. My mom was happy about that–no D.Q.’s. silly mom–it doesn’t matter!
On Sunday I went to church and everybody was talking about the newspaper and I didn’t understand until we got home and my mom showed me my name in the newspaper about Hellgate Girls! I was so proud and excited! I read the newspaper with my mom and then I took it to grandma and grandpa’s house and they read the newspaper and grandma made a copy and then my dad read the newspaper. Everybody was talking about it at swim practice Monday morning. So this year it is my turn and it is fun!
On Monday I got up at 5:00 to swim then I practiced violin and made 10 pot holders. I worked on my Senior Project paper work with my mom. Then we went cross-country skiing. I fell down and I got back up all by myself. Then we went to Joseph’s Coat and my mom bought me a button for my new hat. It’s cute. Then I read The Hobbit with my mom. It was a crazy fast day! The one thing I wanted to do was to read The Hobbit and we did! The one thing my mom wanted to do was to go skiing and we did! And then I went to bed early: 6:30!
And this . . . from mom . . .
I knew the senior recognition was coming and I knew the KPAX interview was coming; I just didn’t want them to come—somehow block them out or cut me out of the picture. Saturday morning I read a very meaningful blog from Morielle in China wondering about her future and of course, I immediately transferred her thoughts to my worries about Mathalia’s future after high school: all the concerns packed into my little brain AND this being her last high school swim meet in Missoula, AND wishing they could do the T.V. interview without me. Hah! So the simple prayer from James, may we do the right thing and may you use Mathalia and her story as it goes to a wider audience.
Interestingly, the KPAX reporter asked me about her disability: what is her disability? Huh? I don’t know . . . yes, I have to fill in paperwork about her disability but I rarely talk about it: it is written on her face. So maybe I said something like: Down Syndrome, Cognitive Delay, low-muscle tone, speech issues, impairment? not sure what I said.
Then he asked me about her name! Wow! Okay, dear Lord, here you are working: `it took three months; we wanted something meaningful for her. Athalia means the LORD has shown His strength . . . through her weakness. This certainly has been the case and can be seen clearly with her presence on the team.’ So far, so good until he asked me about my thoughts regarding the cheers and response from the crowd irrespective of team loyalties. . . . well, you know, silly mom.
Anyway, I’m not done with the story: another example of how very very present I have been experiencing my Heavenly Father this year: Sunday morning reading the Old Testament Lectionary Reading for the second Sunday after The Epiphany, Isaiah 62
. . . and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD shall give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,/Disability
and your land no more be termed Desolate/cognitive delay
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her and your land Married;
for the LORD delights in you . . .
as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.
So present, so very very present. My mind was filled with unpleasant labels and misgivings about not being able to keep my composure in front of the camera. And thinking, wondering about Mathalia’s future. Yes, this is her Senior Year and it is a lot of fun and very exciting but after this, then what? She has a disability very much so. My heart is worried and troubled about many things. AND he knew this and he prepared a reading for me, just for ME because we did not read that passage in church. Mathalia shall be called `My Delight Is in Her’ and the Lord delights in her and her God shall rejoice over her. No need for me to be anxious and trouble. He has got Mathalia covered in his wings. So well primed my tears that you can imagine what happened in church when we sang the line: He lives to calm trouble hearts in I know that My Redeemer Lives and when my pastor read the newspaper article in the adult Sunday school class. I am a complete basket-case this year AND Mathalia takes it all in stride: `2013 is my turn.’ Surrounded by ten thousand gifts and I am worried and troubled about many things. silly mom.
May I be given the power to enjoy them; the power to see and enjoy is also a gift of God. Ecclesiastes chapter 5 🙂