Cracking the windows open a little wider {in which I fill y’all in a bit more on what’s up with our fam}

photo-4 I sit outside tonight at the Starbucks down the street from our apartment complex, and at 6:45 PM I’ve already rolled the sleeves of my cozy flannel shirt all the way down.

The Colorado air is nothing short of perfection tonight. Maybe 67-ish degrees out here, and I may not have felt the need to roll my sleeves down quite yet had I not just consumed an iced chai latte “with maybe kind of a lot of whip.” I’m chilly now, but I couldn’t be happier about it.

Summer’s felt on the long side to me this year, and while I could wait an even LONGER time for winter to show its snowy Colorado face this year, I do adore me some fall.

Which, if you’ve read my writing for any length of time, you already know. Autumn’s approach is cool, fresh air to my soul, inspiration to my inner artist, new life to my weary places.

And y’all? If I’m honest? I’m weary more than not these days.

We are in an unprecedentedly tough season as a family, and I’ve hinted at the difficulty of it here and there in my few-and-far-between blog posts over the last couple of months. But mostly I’ve not felt ready yet to share what’s up.

There’s a process and an order to things, it feels like, and I’ve needed to take it slow — this public cracking open of windows into our very uncharted, very vulnerable season — though y’all who so faithfully walk beside me here have never shown yourselves to be anything other than kind and dear and so very trustworthy in your receiving of my story.

Over the last week or so, though, the desire has risen in my heart to share just a little bit more with you all here, though some details will still need to wait a little longer.

So I’m rolling with my gut here tonight, trusting what I hope is the Spirit’s nudging inside me, and opening these windows just a little wider.

And there isn’t an easy way to say what I want to say tonight, so I’m gonna come straight on out with it, I think.

We are in the process of having our sweet, brilliant boy, Isaac, evaluated for some specific developmental challenges, and a series of struggles that amount to what many would call “special needs.”

The details that I want to wait on sharing with you here are exactly what those needs and challenges are, partially because we don’t have a complete understanding yet of everything that’s going on with our boy, and partially because saying my concerns and predictions of likely diagnoses “out loud” here feels way more vulnerable than my heart can handle just yet.

And given the nature of what I’m sharing with you tonight, I’m hoping I can interject briefly to make a gentle, quiet request of you here, my friends. Could I ask you to wait on giving any advice for the time being?

We are working with a great team of therapists, and we have the sweetest gift of a support system here locally in Littleton, including our church family, Isaac’s pre-K teachers (he’s there 3 mornings per week), a couple of our more frequent babysitters, our local extended family, and other friends, too, who’re dear beyond words.

We are leaning into all of these incredible peeps in this season, pressing into each other, and falling upon the grace of God as we research, seek counsel from therapists and friends who’re experienced with special needs kiddos, and try and put (but not force) all these puzzle pieces together to form a more complete picture of our son’s unique strengths and needs.


The hopeful facet of all of this is that once there are diagnoses, there will be resources, therapies for Isaac, and more education for Stan and me as we commit all the more wholeheartedly to learn to shepherd our gift of a boy into the fullness of all his God-given aptitude.

The flip side of the same coin, though, is that to be honest, y’all — I am so tired. Weary more often than not, like I said above, at every level. Physically, mentally, emotionally. And Stan would say the same, bless his heart. On many days, I think if we were both to keep it real, we would say this season is kicking our you-know-whats.

Stan and I are trying to practice good self-care. We get as much sleep as our littles will allow. We give each other frequent-ish blocks of time away to decompress. We are trying to intentionally carve out times to connect with one another. We take turns managing Isaac as often as possible when his challenges and behaviors bring one or the other of us to what feels like the end of our internal resources… which honestly, lately, is pretty much a daily occurrence.

And the sweetest thing, you guys, in alllllll of this hard, is that we find ourselves somehow sustained by Him. In all the exhaustion and the unanswered questions and the fear. In all the frustration and the utter wrung-out-ness.


He is fiercely committed to intimately, intentionally forming Himself inside us in the midst of these circumstances, and that reality, y’all? It’s enough for my soul.

Even when I can’t pinpoint or remotely begin to wrap words around exactly what He’s carving or shaping or purifying on my insides because I’m too wiped out and stretched thin to think straight. Even when I break down and I cry and I question how we’re going to keep putting one foot in front of another through the pain and exhaustion of this season.

His work inside us is deeply tender and wholly trustworthy. And the intimacy with Him that comes when I know that I know that not only is He extravagantly committed to Isaac and to our family, but He is also somehow conforming my heart to His in all of this — it is the place I fix my eyes and the One Thing that holds me me up, that keeps me wholly devoted to walking lockstep beside Him, one day, one hour, one breath at a time.


Oh, and hey, my friends? One last thought tonight:

I know I said I’m not at a place where I want advice right now, but can I tell you what would bless me and Stan and our fam more than words? Your prayers, particularly for peace to reign in each of our hearts. Your dropping an occasional line or vox or text or whatever to let us know we’re on your heart and you’re holding us before Jesus.

Your support means the world to me. To all of us.

I love y’all more than I can say. Thanks for reading, for being present. Thanks for waiting for details and for loving us well. You are a gift, each of you. Peace to you tonight, my friends.

This entry was posted in Attending to His Presence, Community, Encountering God in the Messy, Family Moments, Grief and Loss, Learning Authenticity, misc. walking with Jesus, Parenting, special needs parenting, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Cracking the windows open a little wider {in which I fill y’all in a bit more on what’s up with our fam}

  1. Tara says:

    Dana, thank you for cracking the window open a little wider. I so know what this kind of weary can look like. I’ve felt it often with my family’s journey with a mental illness. I am glad to read that you and Stan are taking time together and also for yourselves. Self care is so important. No advice here but please know you have indeed been on my heart and mind especially the last day or so. Prayers indeed ascending from me! I’m adding you to my Echo prayer list now. And done be surprised if you get a Vox from me in the next day or so. Love you dear friend!!
    Tara recently posted…Sunday Blessings: Birthday Week Edition (or #96)My Profile

  2. Barbie says:

    Dana, thank you for allowing me a peek into your open window. I am standing with you in prayer for Isaac, asking God for His wisdom and revelation. I am thankful both you and Stan are taking good care of yourselves. God will not leave you in this valley. He will go before you and walk beside you and promises to bring you through it. Love you!
    Barbie recently posted…Nicole Nordeman’s “The UnMaking” – Review & GiveawayMy Profile

  3. Mary Geisen says:

    Your heart and how it feels deeply always touches me. You have prayers from me and will always. May God continue to reveal how you can best help and receive help for Isaac and may your family know that God is who He says He is in everything. Love you girl!
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Yeah, I Went ThereMy Profile

  4. ~Karrilee~ says:

    Love you so and am praying for you and Stan and your whole family of course! So very thankful for this internet thing and how it can bring us all together!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…It’s Just That Sometimes I Forget…My Profile

  5. Kari Carlson says:

    Praying lady. God bless your precious family!

  6. Joanne Viola says:

    Dana, I will be praying. I love seeing pictures of your little ones. I will be praying for Isaac and for you & for Stan. And I know that our God will sustain you, giving you ALL that you need in the days ahead. “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
    Joanne Viola recently posted…The Promise, Fight & VictoryMy Profile

  7. Deb Weaver says:

    I so appreciate and applaud this line: “He is fiercely committed to intimately, intentionally forming Himself inside us in the midst of these circumstances, and that reality, y’all? It’s enough for my soul.”

    Oh, Dana, may God immerse your family in His care, strength, peace, and grace. May your rest be supernaturally sufficient. May you have the answers you need to take the next step. (((HUGS)))
    Deb Weaver recently posted…Led By LoveMy Profile

  8. Amber C. says:

    This post showed up in my inbox late this afternoon, and oh, how happy it made my heart that you were able to write last night. That you were able to write THIS last night. Your cracking open the window and letting your blog community in at your own pace, in your own measure, is a beautiful, holy offering. I have such deep respect for you and Stan as you find your way through these uncharted paths.

    I love you, lady.

    p.s. I called it on the iced chai with copious amounts of whip, eh? ;-D
    Amber C. recently posted…Meditations on yesMy Profile

  9. Jolene says:

    Thank you for opening the window, and sharing with us all a little bit about what is going on with you and your family. I will be praying for you friend that God gives you and Stan wisdom, peace, and rest during this time.

    Isaiah 40;31
    But those who wait on the Lord
    Shall renew their strength;
    They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
    They shall run and not be weary,
    They shall walk and not faint.

  10. Thanks for sharing your heart….

  11. Susan Leigh says:

    Im praying for you all. I know what it’s like to go through things like this. One of my boys was diagnosed with mild autism when they were two and a half. I remember how had it is to have a special needs kid and how to find out the best ways to help them. Jesus was there with us and I know he’s there with you too. He’ll see you through and we stand with you guys. If you need to talk I’m always available. Blessings to you. Sue.

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