Everyday life, Faith

Honeysuckle and Fireflies

The first time I saw him was at dusk on the kind of summer day that makes Southerners whisper, “I’ll be,” while fanning their necks with whatever they can get their hands on.

Needless to say, I was on my way inside when his silhouette caught my eye. I turned just in time to see him motioning to someone else while his pitcher’s glove hung at his side. He looked to be a teenager from my vantage point, but I didn’t look long enough to know for sure. I had things melting in my grocery bags and air conditioning whispering my name while the crickets started their night songs.

I closed the door, pulled the curtains until they met in the middle of the back door, and figured I would introduce myself to the boy in the common area behind my house another day. Surely there would be a cooler day when I could be friendly, right?

A few days later I was on my way to a play date and I could see him from the back again. He had his mitt and was wearing a jersey that looked more like a winter choice than mid-July clothing. I could hear him yelling into the distance at what I presumed to be the same friend, and I made a quick waving motion in their direction and got into my car in an attempt to look friendly. As I reversed out of my driveway I paused, and as I watched his arms move wildly, I wondered how in the world someone could be vertical in this heat, let alone moving.

Three hours later we pulled back into the driveway, and I squinted through the trees to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me.

He hadn’t moved.

His jersey was soaked through with sweat, his hair sopping wet as he wiped his face with the back of his mitt-free arm.

“Is that…?” I stared straight ahead, convinced I must be imagining it.

“Those boys are always playing out there, mommy.” Ellie shook her head and unbuckled herself, eyeing the door and then in a swift, deliberate motion she burst it open and made a dash for the house.

I looked in the rearview mirror at Abby.

“Honey, have you met that boy yet? Does he play on the high school team?

Abby shook her head no and raised and lowered her shoulders, fingers on the door handle.

I carefully took Charlotte out of her car seat and watched him out of the corner of my eye. All of a sudden he shouted and I jerked her awake by accident. She was just a few months old at the time and had that newborn, panicked cry as I grabbed the rest of my bags and made my way inside.

He never turned around.

I walked into the house and told Todd that the boys were playing again and that I was going to go introduce myself to them. I handed the baby over, grabbed a couple bottled waters, and went outside.

Sometime in the span of those three minutes, he had completely disappeared from view. I sat on my back steps for a few more minutes and then gave up.

After all, it was hot.

By the time August rolled into our new neighborhood, we had gotten to know some of the other kids and one day while they were swinging outside I asked the little girl who lives across the street who the boy was.

“Oh that’s Andrew.” She replied nonchalantly. “But he’s not really a boy. I mean, he’s close to his twenties I think.” She sipped her drink and tucked her flyaway hair back under her hat.

“Really? Because every time I see him he’s playing baseball with someone else and he screams loud and points all around, and I can’t tell what…”

“Oh, Ms. Angie, he isn’t playing with anyone else” She interrupted. “He’s done that for years.”

She watched my eyes squint in confusion and offered up and answer before I could ask.

“He has Down’s syndrome. He just loves to pretend, I think.” She smiled.

I closed my eyes for a moment as I tried to retrace the outlines I had seen in the evenings, and I realized that I hadn’t actually ever seen another person playing. I had presumed there was because of his screaming, but there wasn’t ever another voice.

I looked at her and nodded. They ran off to play and I put Charlotte in a little bouncer in the shade while hoping he would come back out so I could meet him. He didn’t come out that day, nor the next. In fact, almost three weeks passed until one day I was upstairs cleaning and I heard the familiar sound of a player urging his players to round the bases.

I ran outside, bare-footed on the gravel, and started to walk towards him.

I took a few steps and stopped, sensing that it wasn’t time for me to speak. Without taking my eyes off of him I lowered myself onto the little brick half-wall around our porch as he raised his hands high in the air and shouted. It was clear that the game had gone his way, and as he waved to all the fans and made a victory lap, I was mesmerized.

My sundress was sticking to my back as the gnats made a mess of my legs. I tucked them up underneath me, scraping them along the ragged brick as I craned my neck to see what was going to happen next.

It was at this point that I noticed that although he always had a mitt, I had never seen either a ball or a bat. I smiled as I realized he didn’t need them.

He had everything he needed for the perfect game.

Something to receive the imaginary ball.

The voice to thank his adoring fans.

The persistence of a seasoned ballplayer on a hot summer day.

And last, but not least, the ability to see the whole thing in a way I never could.

Because on that night, and dozens more since then, I have seen the same thing happen.

A man-boy with a leather glove and a field of fireflies believes that he is victorious.

I have never spoken to him.

In fact, I don’t even know his last name.

As many times as I have watched him play, I have yet to even see his face. My house sits behind the catcher, I suppose. There isn’t much need to turn away from the field.

I asked one of the other neighbors and she told me he doesn’t really like to be bothered when he’s playing. As much as I would love to shake his hand and tell him the joy he has brought me, I have the sense that my back porch is close enough for his comfort.

I have prayed for him many times, and asked the Lord to grant me a version of what he has, because I realize I am woefully unable to dedicate myself to anything the way he has devoted himself to the game.

The game.

How do I play it?

Well, first off, I run away from the heat.

Also, I wouldn’t dare play without a proper bat and regulation-sized baseball.

I would have real bases, real fans, and also, real prize money.

And I wonder if I would bother to play at all if nobody was watching.

Yet day after day, season after season, the same boy in the same jersey with the same dedication takes his place on the field.


Well, I suppose it’s because the win isn’t in any of that other stuff, and more than that, I’ll tell you this:

In a solid year of living here, I have yet to see him lose a game.

He cheers, he runs, he takes grandiose bows in front of an empty field while we shuffle our groceries and our children and our dreams in and out of the car, in and out of the house, in and out of, well, life.

It was a mild October afternoon when I realized I didn’t ever need to see him to love him. I had started to learn some of his motions and what they meant, and one day before the sun fell down I heard him call out into the silence.

“Bring ‘em in! Bring ‘em in! Come on! Run! RUN! RUN!!!!.” He was waving wildly and I was sitting with a book on a blanket in the backyard. I tried to peek through the slats in the fence but he moved just out of sight. I jumped to my feet and while I have no idea what possessed me, I just got so excited that I lost track of monitoring my responses. His voice hit a fevered pitch and I felt my fingers tighten around the top of the fence, waiting in eager anticipation for what would happen next.

I would swear to you that just for a brief moment, I saw what he saw.

There were runners on the bases, coaches in a frenzy, and a crowd on the edge of their seats.

The ball dropped, the men ran, and the boy made me believe.

He threw his glove on the ground and started jumping up and down and clapping, and before I knew it, I let out a holler like I had just won the lottery. I knocked over my diet coke, and covered my mouth out of fear that I would scare him.

I didn’t.

In fact, he never knew I was there.

And you know what?

I made a promise to myself that I have been intentional about remembering when the days get long and the heat is oppressive.

It doesn’t matter who is watching.

It doesn’t matter what you think you can bring to the game.

What God needs from you is the sweat rolling down your neck and a heart that believes He can use you.

Every time the air starts to smell like honeysuckle and the fireflies dance through the trees, I peek out the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of the boy who taught me how to love the game.

I pray this is the summer that you see the glory of God through the lens of a boy who plays like he can’t lose.

Soak every bit of it up, even if it means your ice cream melts.

Because before you know it, the leaves will be falling and it will be too late. You have exactly what you need right now, and more than that, you have a God who stands perched while waiting to round you home.

Take your place, friends.

It’s time to play ball.


With love,




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  • Reply Raechel June 19, 2011 at 2:23 am

    Thanks, Angie. Loved this sweet story, and more, I loved the sweet reminder to play like I mean it – even when no one is watching. To God be the glory!

  • Reply Brittanie June 19, 2011 at 2:32 am

    This was unspeakably beautiful. It hit home (no pun intended…but it fits, so why not) Thank you Angie. I’ll never br able to thank you enough <3

  • Reply Brei Floyd June 19, 2011 at 2:34 am

    Goodness, I love what you write.  Thank you for sharing. 

  • Reply Chrystal@Chrystal's Corner June 19, 2011 at 2:35 am

    What a gift God has given you…I was there, watching that boy, sweat trickling down my back as I read your words. Excitement welled up inside of me as you shouted for joy that day. When the written word can transport you to a different place and a different time, you know you have encountered something special! Thank you for that gift and thank you for that beautiful reminder.

  • Reply Melissa June 19, 2011 at 2:59 am

    What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing and for being such an encouragement. You have such an ability to see the things around us with such beauty and to point it all to the Lord.

  • Reply Julesmpg June 19, 2011 at 3:00 am

    I love your beautiful gift with words. I can see what you saw and what he sees. God is a beautiful artist.

  • Reply Shannon Nelson June 19, 2011 at 3:31 am

    A beautiful message, beautifully written. I feel like I heard you speaking to me, even though I haven’t a clue what your voice sounds like. Thank you for this glorious reminder!

  • Reply Jen June 19, 2011 at 3:32 am

    This is extraordinary.

    What an amazing young man. What a beautiful lesson.

  • Reply Anonymous June 19, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Just tears.

    Thank you!

  • Reply Kristie June 19, 2011 at 3:36 am

    Needed to hear this message tonight.  And what an amazingly beautiful way God used to deliever it.

  • Reply Soni Henry June 19, 2011 at 4:02 am

    Thanks Angie!

  • Reply Brianandjenifer June 19, 2011 at 4:07 am

    That was great!!! Probably hit even more closer to home since my sweet girl has Down Syndrome. It is amazing the things she has taught me!!!! jenifer

  • Reply Amy von Oven June 19, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Amazing story….My cousin is Down Syndrome and I have always loved to watch her because she LIVES, I mean she really loves life. She has never let her disability stop her from living and loving God. We get so wrapped up in our problems they we forget God is in Control and we can simply LIVE…..

  • Reply Elaine June 19, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Loved this!

  • Reply Southern Gal June 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

    As the boy mesmerized you, you have me mesmerized with this story.  How many times have I put something off, made a dash for the door and sat in my air conditioned home while missing the blessing He has for me?  Thanks for the wake up call, Angie. 

  • Reply Anonymous June 19, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Soooooo very powerful, Angie! Thank you.

  • Reply Kaira June 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    This is really beautiful, Ang.  Thanks for sharing. 

  • Reply sherry June 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    I have read many things that have touched me since I started following your blog in 2008.  This story touched my very soul. I felt like I was right there with you watching him. You have such a wonderful gift and I thank you for sharing your life with us. One of these days my laptop will short circuit from the tears I have spilled visitiing you here ^..^

  • Reply Carrie K June 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Angie, I wish I could comment something wise and touching, but honestly, your writing needs no congratulations or pats on the back-it gets the Word across and gives God the glory. Thank you for the rich encouragement today!

  • Reply Kelli June 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I leave on a mission trip tomorrow that satan has had me second guessing about all week.  Your message has trumped anything he has tried to do!  This post was His most perfect timing in my life.  Thank you for your beautiful words.

  • Reply nika.michaels June 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Amazing story. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Carol June 19, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful and touching story.   I am sitting here crying.  Now I have to go get a tissue and think about how God would want me to be!

  • Reply Julie June 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    I know this isn’t what you’re looking for but….GOOD HEAVENS You’re a great writer!!!  That must be why you write books 🙂 I was completely there with you. 

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Tracey June 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Oh my gravy, the richness.  Thanks, Ang!

  • Reply Dara Hope Gates June 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Thank YOU for speaking to my heart today!

  • Reply Anna June 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I am in tears….. Thank you, Angie, for sharing this story that touched my soul!

  • Reply Karlynkay June 19, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    WOW I needed to visualize this!  Since Thursday, well actually all month, has been one of those times you ask God “can I just have a redo?”.  However, I broke on Friday.  And it’s one of those breaks where I’ve been very close to God and learning a lot through Kelly Minter’s book and I was able to put some of these “learnings” into practice.  It wasn’t very pretty though.  I don’t know how many times I screamed…”I trust you, I trust you God!”   

    So, visualizing this boys make believe game, his persistence, and joy really lifts my heart.  My frustrations are huge to me but so minor compared to some people.  I’m so thankful that we have a God we can trust and find joy in through all the frustrations!

    • Reply Chrystal@Chrystal's Corner June 21, 2011 at 2:58 am

      Don’t you just love Kelly Minter? I just got done leading my small group in Ruth: Loss, Love and Legacy and each and every day that I sat down I felt God speaking to me through her words. And boy do I know the book of Ruth now! I would really like to read No Other Gods: Confronting our Modern Day Idols. I imagine I will be convicted on more than one occasion when I do!

  • Reply Julie June 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Simply beautiful.  Thank you for sharing.  Do you write fiction books as well because I think you would do a beautiful job of telling an inspiring fictional story!

  • Reply Melinda June 19, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Wonderful, encouraging and challenging words.  Thank you for letting God share through you.

  • Reply Sandy June 20, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Beautifully written.  I was there with you, except I spilled my tea instead of diet coke:-)

  • Reply Dominique June 20, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Incredible. I felt as if I was there. You are such a blessing to me Angie, and I thank God for the way He uses you to challenge others such as myself.

  • Reply Rissa Mendes June 20, 2011 at 5:53 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS POST!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this… I have a big heart for people with Special Needs & this story just hit a spot in my heart… I Hope you all are doing well… Missed seeing your face at Collidescope this year but it sure was great to see the kids & get to hold Charlotte for a few mins!!  She is so precious!! Hope your enjoying your WOF tour!! & Hope we get to catch up soon! Love ya & praying for you!

  • Reply Brieanne Barton June 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

    wow. isn’t the imagination the most powerful tool? we can use it for so much good, or so much harm. i’m so grateful for the gift of imagination. 

  • Reply Melissa June 20, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I am so blessed by this and by your tender heart.  My sweet Shawnie (age 4 1/2) has Down syndrome.  He is a blessing every day and teaches us over and over again simple lessons we might miss if he were just like us.  I remember speaking with you on the phone when you were pregnant with Audrey about a possible Ds diagnosis…it is no wonder to me that you are glued to Andrew and his game.  He is a gift.

  • Reply Kristen Watson June 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    This is exactly what I needed today. The only thing more beautiful than this story is the way you tell it. Your words are such gifts. Thank you!!

  • Reply SaraBeth Vaughn June 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Wow!  I sure needed this today.  We are grieving the loss of our baby daughter, who left us just one month ago.  It seemed like while we were planning for her birth and death, God was using us daily.  But now that she is gone, I sometimes wonder how he will use us now.  Thank you for sharing this.  It’s time for me to grab my glove and get ready for the game.  Thank you, Angie, for sharing your words.  You are such an encouragement to me.

    • Reply Larry_Becca June 22, 2011 at 3:08 am

      God uses all things for the good of those who love Him. Even when you don’t see how He’s using you – His desire is to bring healing to you now. You never know who’s watching;)

      From one grieving mama to another.
      I pray God blesses you and your family.

  • Reply Kelly June 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    From one Mrs. Smith to another – you are an amazing writer.  What a gift!  

  • Reply Scott June 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Wow, thank you!  Your vision and enthusiasm for life and others is inspirational!

  • Reply Kiersten Johnson June 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    What a beautiful post. As humans I feel like we do things so others can see how great we are. When  in reality the only person that needs to see is God. We need to strive to do it for his glory and not worry if people are watching. Oh how you beautifully spoke to me through this boy. Thank you!

  • Reply Lynn June 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I LOVED this post! And as a softball mom who has sat on the fence cheering and urging those girls ’round the bases at the hot dusty fields for 11 years now, I could totally relate to this WONDERFUL story! God bless that boy!

  • Reply Aly J June 20, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Such a lovely, vivid description and what a wonderful imagination that young man has. It is especially awesome that you took the time to get to know him without him even knowing it. God sure knows how to work through others to knock us over the head sometimes doesn’t he?

  • Reply Becki R. June 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I love the visual of God standing at third base waiting to urge me to round to home plate.  I even teared up a little….because I forgot that God IS there urging me along and as of late, waiting for me to look to Him for my signals instead of pinch hitting.  Makes me sad.  BUT, this story gives me hope.  What a cool kid….and how cool for you to watch him from the bleachers.  THANK YOU for sharing AGAIN just what I needed to hear today.  God IS good….and the best third base coach there is.

  • Reply Stacey June 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    This story only adds to my great love for you and your words.

    Really, I can feel the sweat rolling down my neck it is so good!!!

  • Reply ChristyK June 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    I loved this post.  I could almost see that young man-boy, feel the heat and hear the sounds of  a hot, lazy Southern summer day.  The imagery and ideas of this boy playing his heart out even with no one watching.  Makes me think of how often we don’t play our heart out for Abba when no one’s watching….and sometimes….because someone IS watching and we don’t want to mess up in front of the crowd.  I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be that abandoned to life ALL the time.  I’ve had moments….but too often I get caught up in the day to day ‘grocery runs’ 🙂  Thanks for the reminder!

  • Reply Kimberly June 20, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    You are one gifted writer…you took me there:)  Thank you!

  • Reply CarrieB June 20, 2011 at 10:12 pm


    I don’t usually comment, but I can’t help myself.  What a beautiful and powerful story.  I love how God speaks through you.  I will remember this, especially when the days get long.  Thank you for the blessing filled with Truth.

  • Reply Kendra Posey June 20, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Hi, it’s Kendra. I just stopped by to visit  your blog and read this latest entry, which I LOVE. I have to echo the sentiments of others who have remarked on your gift of writing. When I read this, it reminded me a little of To Kill a Mockingbird, my favorite novel. So I was thinking, one day you might write a fictional novel. You know, in your spare time :  ). (I am serious though!) Anyway, I hope to see you around.

  • Reply larae74 June 20, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    WOW!!! That took my breath away. Thank you !

  • Reply Susan June 21, 2011 at 1:54 am

    I love, love, love this.

  • Reply Asbryan June 21, 2011 at 2:30 am


    After my daughter passed away I thought a lot about the innocence of children and how that was a gateway to Heaven. I thought about how God wants us all to be childlike for the reasons you stated in this blog. While my daughter was in the hospital, there was a time when I thought she might come home being physically and perhaps mentally handicapped. For me it became a possiblity that I welcomed with open arms because even if that was her new normal, we would still be coming home with her and she could still have a fulfilling life and that’s what really mattered. It was then that I started to look at children with disabilities differently. Still to this day, I see my daughter, Ava, in each and every one of those children and I instantly love them. I see how absolutely beautiful and special they are. These children are gifts from God. They have a purity and innocence that God is looking for in all of us. We have a lot to learn from them. Thank you for this post.

    Much love,


  • Reply Anonymous June 21, 2011 at 2:34 am

    Angie-  this story touched me more deeply than anything I have read in awhile.  I don’t know why or what it means but God seems to be bringing children with special needs to my awareness a whole lot these days.  how beautiful to have a child-like spirit in experiencing life. 

  • Reply Joy June 21, 2011 at 4:03 am

    This is so beautiful…so profound…so powerful.  Thank you for the reminder to live fully, right where we’re at…and to believe fully in a beyond capable God!

  • Reply Mollyvoth June 21, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Hi Angie.  I have a son named Andrew.  He has Down Syndrome.  I’m not your neighbor (LOL), but am sure that your Andrew would love to meet you and your girls. My Andrew is an amazing about reminding us all to SLOW DOWN AND PLAY! 🙂
    Love your blog. Blessings, my friend.

  • Reply Lynn Worley June 21, 2011 at 5:36 am

    I have many friends who have kids with Downs. And some of them have adopted Downs kids. They are such amazing people. It seems that life is so much simpler and yet so much richer for them! yes, they can teach us so very much!
    Always a comfort being reminded that the Holy Spirit Himself is praying for you!
    Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  • Reply Lis June 21, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I’ve read your blog since the beginning and this post is my new favorite.  I was holding my breath in anticipation of the next line at some points.  Your finest writing, IMO.  Bless you.  Thank you for teaching me to see the bigger picture.

  • Reply 7inajeep June 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    I’ve dedicated my life to serve God full time and have been a foreign missionary for the last 18 years.  For different reasons, I have been extremely discouraged the last few months and seriously considering leaving the field.  I cannot tell you how much this post has encouraged me.  It was just a really fun read until I got to the phrase “What God needs from you is the sweat rolling down your neck and a heart that believes He can use you.”  Wow.  Suddenly it was very personal.  Thank you for believing God can use you.

  • Reply StacyH June 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    This is such a beautiful story and you are such a beautiful soul 🙂  A lot of people might not have the same perspective that you do on this fellow’s “game.” Some might find it quite annoying to have their own {selfish} evenings bothered by all this or would pity him for being afflicted with Down’s and simply tolerate it.  Thank you for embraching it, embracing him, and reveling in the joy he receives as the “batters round the bases” and thank you for reminding me what is truly importantly in life and that perspective makes all the difference. God bless you!

  • Reply connielowe1 June 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I don’t have anything new to add, but this was an amazing story. I, like the others who commented, felt myself holding my breath as I read. It’s a precious story about a precious boy, but it also encourages us to live a better life. Wow.

  • Reply Moonstars11 June 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    As always beautifully written. Thank you dear friend for your words that come alive to us readers as if we are there with you. I felt like I could have gotten lost in this post and then you gave us such an awesome reminder. I have felt pretty spiritually drained lately and then to read your words just gave me so much encouragement. Love it! Never stop sharing yourself with us! =)

  • Reply Trishmarie Ewing June 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Thank you for allowing this little blessing in your life to become one in mine! Such a small thing, but oh so powerful.

  • Reply Casi_bowers June 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Amen, amen and AMEN!

  • Reply christi @ burlap and basil June 21, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    i needed that reminder today .. the last paragraph. beautiful. thank you.

  • Reply Kaylee Wagner June 21, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    that was so beautiful and perfect. just what i needed to hear as a swelter away (grumpily, mind you) in HOT Phoenix. thank you for writing that!

  • Reply Stacie June 22, 2011 at 3:26 am

    You write a beautiful story that paints a perfect picture… Thank you for sharing…

  • Reply Lynn Worley June 22, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Continuing to lift up prayers!
    Romans 8:33-34 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  • Reply Anonymous June 22, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Beautiful…I love this.

  • Reply Darcy @ Blessings of Nature June 22, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Angie, this was amazing.  I had tears in my eyes at the end.  I want to love the game as much as this boy does!  Thank you for sharing this!

  • Reply Harvestingjoy June 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Beautiful story…I cried. 

    Angie, have you ever heard of Reece’s Rainbow before?  It is a Down syndrome adoption ministry.  When my 3 yr old with DS died in December, we asked all donations to go to Reece’s Rainbow hoping that his death could help save another life.  You should check their website out -it is so easy to fall in love with the faces you see there and want to save them! And even if you can’t adopt, you can help someone else by donating to an adoption fund.   http://reecesrainbow.org/

  • Reply Normally Insane June 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Thank you for writing this!

  • Reply Jennifer June 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Now, that’s real livin’! Wonderful post

  • Reply Ima Nutcase June 24, 2011 at 1:14 am

    I told myself that I was going to bed early, turning off the laptop, because my eyes are tired; but, I thought I would do a quick check and now I sit, still with the laptop on, not being able to turn away from this story and the message it speaks. How beautiful a story this is. May I play ball. Thanks for this.

  • Reply Lynn Worley June 24, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Such special verses and what a promise. If these words aren’t true, Jesus would have told us! His promises are sure! Praying in Seattle!
    John 14:1-3  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  • Reply Loriepayne June 24, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Angie,
    I loved this post.  My son is a special needs child.  He has autism and fragile X, and this post reminded me so much of him and what God brings to my life through him.  I’m so glad you were able to experience some of the things Andrew has.  Having a child with special needs has blessed me in many ways, but it has taught me so much….one thing is to really appreciate the simple things in life and not to take anything for granted.  For years and years, my boy wouldn’t kiss me or hug me; and the day he told me “I love you” for the first and ONLY time without being prompted was a day I’ll never forget.  When you have typical children, which I do….4 girls, you can often take the kisses, hugs, and “I love you’s” for granted….just expecting them or maybe forgetting to give and say them.  My boy has continued to help me remember that a day should NEVER EVER go by when you don’t take their hand in yours, stare deeply into their eyes and tell them how much you adore them and how much God adores them.  Tell them how thankful you are that God put them in your arms to love and teach them about Him and His love and loving others.  And to give Him thanks and praise for teaching me so much through these remarkable typical and special needs children.  God has encouraged me daily, even when days are tough, to PLAY BALL!
    Thank you Angie!

    • Reply Gloria Powell July 10, 2011 at 12:49 am

      Dear Lori, My sister is a special needs wonderful sister. I used to get discouraged that her life was what I thought of not much happiness, but one day the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, He said, “There is no one that would change places with your sister on this earth  and her time on earth will be maybe 65-70 years, but when God takes her home to be  eternally with Him.  Everyone that is not in heaven would gladly change places with her.  This world is not her home she is just marking time until that wonderful day that God takes her to live forever with Him, healed, whole, happy.” I almost shouted in the car praising the name of Jesus, yes she has nothing anyone would want here in this temporary life but her real life has not even started yet, when we get to heaven I am going to spend years and years just talking with her, I talk to her now but she is nonverbal.  I am so glad that this world is not what we put our eternal trust in but in the world Jesus is even now preparing for us, look up listen because I believe the trumpet will sound just any moment, see you on the way up to heaven. Love Gloria Powell Attached files

  • Reply Fawne Arsenault June 25, 2011 at 4:28 am

    Thank you for sharing this.  I can’t explain how it made me feel.  Happy. Proud.  Lonely.
    My little handicapped boy has been with Jesus for two years now and this post brings back so many memories that warm my heart.  I loved it.

    • Reply Gloria Powell July 10, 2011 at 12:43 am

      Dear Fawne, My sister is a special needs wonderful sister. I used to get discouraged that her life was what I thought of not much happiness, but one day the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, He said, “There is no one that would change places with your sister on this earth  and her time on earth will be maybe 65-70 years, but when God takes her home to be  eternally with Him.  Everyone that is not in heaven would gladly change places with her.  This world is not her home she is just marking time until that wonderful day that God takes her to live forever with Him, healed, whole, happy.” I almost shouted in the car praising the name of Jesus, yes she has nothing anyone would want here in this temporary life but her real life has not even started yet, when we get to heaven I am going to spend years and years just talking with her, I talk to her now but she is nonverbal.  I am so glad that this world is not what we put our eternal trust in but in the world Jesus is even now preparing for us, look up listen because I believe the trumpet will sound just any moment, see you on the way up to heaven. Love Gloria Powell

  • Reply taio octavian June 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

    excelente post

  • Reply Erin Long June 26, 2011 at 3:25 am

    Thank you! I really needed this today!

  • Reply Tonya Soldano June 27, 2011 at 3:14 am

    What a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing 

  • Reply Erin June 29, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Angie, I am in tears. I am a mom to a son much like your neighbor. The beauty in his world are there but so are the very sad heartbreaking times when as the mom I watch my son play- alone. After reading this, I guess he is not alone. Maybe not everyone goes by and stares and watches and avoids him. Maybe just maybe he has a crowd like you cheering him on. I am in tears, my stomach in knots. Thank you for sharing the beauty you see- and in turn- maybe, just maybe now I can watch him play the game and see what he sees. God Bless you Angie!
    Did I ever mention that you helped me pray many years ago when I miscarried a daughter and then helped us in prayer as we adopted our son, Samuel. He is now 2 1/2, is the light or our lives. He is my older sons “catcher”. You brought me to Christ through your journey with Audrey, I went to church and just this last weekend my husband came with me and asked for Jesus to take over his life. We are owe it all to you- and Audrey. Her weight in this world continues to mean so very much! 

  • Reply Angie June 30, 2011 at 3:22 am

    WOW!! Angie that’s all I am speechless!!

  • Reply Cory July 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Wow! I somehow missed this post before. I am sobbing my eyes out. That was so beautifully written. I am the mother of a 3 year old little boy who has Down Syndrome, and he is so joyful and radiant, and I want the world to see him just like that. Just the way you saw the man in your story. Thank You for sharing this. 🙂

  • Reply Michelle Harmon July 1, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Angie, not sure you remember me. we “met” just before you lost Audrey. Your blog touched me, taught me to love Selah (we met Todd one night at a show in bangor maine) and to treasure every moment. I remember when you hoped that all you were dealing with was Down syndrome. I remember telling you about Ciarra, and you telling me about your girls.
    A friend showed me your post today, and I couldnt wait to read it. You are like an old friend to me, comforting and true. and this…is beautiful. Thank you for loving him. I hope someday you will try to join him, because I have a feeling he might be lonely. he may resist intrusion because it hurts too much to be judged. OR, he might be perfectly content. Either way, just show him you care, that you are real. Your words make me want to hug you and thank you for your kindness. Thank you.

  • Reply debbie_mann July 6, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    so glad I have found your blog today.. beautfiul story.  We should all be so lucky to see the “game” as your neighbor sees it. 

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  • Reply Andrea Deckard July 9, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I love this!

  • Reply Missy @ It's Almost Naptime July 9, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Oh. My. Beautiful. Post.

  • Reply Leigh July 9, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Just what my Father ordered.  I so needed this.  Thank you.

  • Reply amber hudler July 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    angie, this is beautiful!  thank you for allowing Him to speak through you.  wow!  I needed this at this moment on this day.

  • Reply Av_knight July 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Love this Angie. 

  • Reply Gloria Powell July 10, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Dear Angie this is the first time I have read your blog, I love it.  You are a blogger with the very heart of God liveing in you.  I am also a blogger My blog is “His Grace Is Always Amazing” at gloriabpowell.blogspot.com.  I just started this year, but slowly and as I pray and seek His face more and more I am becoming a better prayer warrior and prayer intercessor, Love Gloria

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  • Reply Barony of Selviergard Webminis July 26, 2011 at 5:08 am

    Amazing!  I love your writing style, and adding the message to it was amazing.  This is the first time I have read your blog and you hooked me.  Thanks Angie, you have an avid reader of your works now.  By the way, your opening line is awesome!

  • Reply twyla varnadore August 2, 2011 at 11:40 am

    *Tears* Oh my! …. it brings to mind the words of a song. “Give me your eyes for just one second. Give me your eyes so I can see. Everything that I keep Missing. Give me your love for humanity”  I just commented on the “Picture” post of him. I spoke about my brother David who has Downs. I didn’t mention how God Blessed me with two Very Special children of my own. I have a 21 year old daughter, Lauren with  Cerebral Palsy ~due to lack of amniotic fluid and lack of proper lung growth in the womb so lack of oxygen at birth. she came at 26 wks. 1lb 15ozs… A miracle she is! ~ Her father passed away when she was two. Six years later I married again,  got pregnant and Never would have imagined having another “special” child. I was followed by the same OB doctor because of my problems carrying Lauren. My uterus was {Heart} shaped rather than {pear} shaped 🙂 anyways that part was fine, the doc said I probably stretched it with Lauren, but still followed me closely. well Adam, my little boy who is now 11. He had his own little things going on, which was evident on the first sonogram….they didnt know this until after he was born but, his #16 chromosome had split into and went up and connected to his#1 chromosome 🙂 this {helped} him  have what is called Rubenstein Taybi Syndrome. which is alot like Downs. Adam is like my brother David ~ Non verbal. Oh, and what a Joy he is! He loves baseball also. Oh my! hes got some moves! he plays on the Miracle league of Jacksonville. and what a Joy those games are!Well,  Now I had my brother David with Downs Syndrome, my daughter Lauren with CP then Adam with RTS. I knew in my heart these had nothing to do with each other but wanted a Geneticist word on that ~ just in case any one ever asked and of course, who would ask that? thats something we only wonder about and are to scared to ask, right? 🙂 well, sure enough he told me all three instances had nothing to do with each other. Which  only made my belief in God so much stronger…He knows just what we need & I’m so very thankful for that! Love & Blessings to you…

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  • Reply kendra@miracleofthemomentblog October 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Angie. I have missed you SO VERY MUCH. When you converted your blog over, it quit updating when you posted on my blog roll. So I honestly thought you hadn’t posted since your May “Bloom Announcement” . I guessed you were busy being a Mom and Wife and Writer and all, and blogging just fell by the wayside. I was bummed, but I tried to understand =).

    Imagine my surprise (and joy!) the other night when I was laying in bed, unable to fall asleep, and the Lord brought you to my heart, and I told Him how much I missed your insight and inspiration…and He told me to look at your blog again. I reasoned that you hadn’t updated in months, and all of a sudden it occurred to me that perhaps that wasn’t the case, perhaps my blog just was no longer telling me that you were updating.

    Sure enough =).

    I am spending some quiet time catching up today! And in the days to come. I love the way you love Jesus, Angie. I’ve been here since before Audrey was born, and I am so pleased I get to “reconnect” =). You – or rather, Jesus THROUGH you =), inspire me to be a better wife, mother, and child of God. Truly. Thank you for keeping up your blog inspite of everything else you have going on.

    I’m gonna stop now (both this incredibly long comment and reading) because this post made me wanna go love on my kiddos before nap time. I’ll catch up more when there in bed tonight…=)

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