Intervening Circumstances can teach families

by Mary Ann on June 15, 2011

Norton family photo

The beautiful Norton family

What if your child was diagnosed with Chrohn’s disease? How would that impact your life and your children’s education? AnnMarie Norton (name used by permission) has studied with me and we have become friends. She emailed me to tell me about her son and the intervening circumstance which is teaching her family.

Here is what her days look like right now.

“I have been anticipating things settling down but with another surgery on it’s way we are far from “settled”. The doctor has put him on a VERY restrictive diet and so if I am not in the kitchen preparing all of his food from scratch I am in his room spoon feeding him to make sure it all goes down. He is very lethargic right now and has to be monitored very carefully. The doctors assure me that we are in the acute phase right now and that once we figure him out it will get better. I am holding on to that faith with all of my might right now!”

AnnMarie was feeling pressed about some commitments she had made and now cannot keep. She was concerned about how this new intervening circumstance is affecting her home and her children and their schooling.

“We have had to improvise in so many ways for our “school time” over the last few weeks. I have been beating myself up over not have our official meetings very consistently, but it is becoming clear to me that all of this is our school. We are learning many life lessons and the whole family is really learning to work together to make up for all of the extra work and Nathan not being able to help.

Also I’ve had to turn up the creativity as Nathan has less to look forward to with all of his hospital trips and no more sweet treats. When we are at the hospital I give him clues about what the next special thing will be in the Closet. He tries to guess and if he gets it right we bring that special thing to the next doc appt. Last time it was as simple as some beef jerky and the “Little House on the Prairie” book. I don’t have much time for prep and sometimes I just come up with the idea of what I can put in the Closet right before we start the game.  Of course, he thinks I’d had it planned the whole time. Anyway we are trying to make it work in the situation that we have. I do feel like I have not been able to give the other children the attention they need. I struggle with perfectionism and this is all teaching me that there are times and seasons for each of the children and that I should let go and follow the divine inspiration I receive for each child as it comes.”

  • I wanted to share this beautiful and heartfelt letter with you because it is a perfect example of intervening circumstances which might make a structured learning time less feasible for a time and which in itself becomes the learning.
  • It is also a great example of prioritizing correctly, taking care of the important and urgent before the important but not urgent, the not important but urgent or the not important not urgent! (From Steven Covey)
  • It shows clearly the power of thinking positively and about inspiration all the time. When our desire is to inspire then the ideas will come. It isn’t about time, materials or effort. It is about intent, focus and thinking.
  • It demonstrates that what is in the Closet isn’t what counts. It is all about making it special, keeping it simple and being present.
  • This letter shows that despite trials, difficulties or sorrows, that families can and will pull together, enjoy and learn if they find and follow divine inspiration, their own good sense, use the Five Rules, prioritize correctly and keep loving and serving one another.

My prayers and best wishes go to my friend AnnMarie and her wonderful family. This experience, in all is difficulty, will bless them all.

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