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One of my 2-year-olds grabbed my hand tonight as we were snuggling on the couch together with his twin.

“Dear God, thank you. Amen.”

It was so quick, so brief, spoken in his broken speech pattern that I almost missed it. But as my brain processed what he said, my heart paused.

In the last two weeks, there’s been a lot of big feelings in our home. Big feelings for the 8-year-old who is faced with a lot of upcoming changes, perhaps for the first time really in his little life. As he stares into the face of changing schools and changing church homes all at the same time, he told me yesterday, “I’m just mad, Mom, and I don’t know what to do.”

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And I didn’t know what to say other than, “I know. It’s okay to be mad. And sometimes, when I feel mad, I realize I’m actually a little sad too.” Because honestly? I’m a little angry that things can’t stay the same. My heart breaks realizing that in order to push forward in making decisions that will ultimately be best for our kids, we have to leave behind so much familiarity and comfort.

There have been extra big feelings for our 5-year-old on the spectrum, who doesn’t know what to do or how to feel so much of the time, but specifically when faced with differences in routine. After a particularly rough day at school last week, we sat debriefing together, talking about ways we could have coped a little differently. As we walked through what we could do the next time we feel so much, we needed to end on a happy note. I told him, “You can do hard things.” He denied it, “It’s too hard, mama!” But I repeated myself, “You can do hard things!” Before I knew it, with a big smile on his face, he was repeating me too. 

RELATED: Praying For Your Kids is Holy Work of Motherhood

Big feelings, big changes. So many nights, listening to my husband read and pray with the kids before bed, my heart quiets. With so many thoughts swirling, I don’t always know what to pray. Until my 2-year-old grabbed my hand tonight and said, “Dear God, thank you. Amen.”

And for right now, that is enough.

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Christa Barnet

I am married to my person and am a mom to five boys! I love teaching and am passionate about all things foster care, trauma-informed care, sensory awareness, and positive discipline. Coffee is my love language and reading is my hobby.

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