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Monday, December 19, 2011

7 Days of Heaven, Day 5

It's been a little over a week since my family and I traveled to a small town east of Shreveport, Louisiana.

In the tiny town of Minden lives a precious six year old girl. Her name is Kadence. She is my cousin.

She was born with spina bifida. As a young child, Kadence thrived despite her disease. She could move around on her own. She was a happy, thriving child. A few years ago, Kadence was in a car accident. She completely lost the use of her legs. She had to relearn how to use her arms. Now, she is confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home/rehabilitaion center hours away from her family.

I had never met Kadence before last week. But as a family, we were determined to change that. And what I have found is that Kadence is a girl worth knowing.

As we walked into her room, we introduced ourselves. "Hello, Kadence. We are your cousins. We came to visit you."
 But I don't have any cousins, she replied.  

Yes, you do honey. We are here.

We had a wonderful visit. We painted her nails, had a tea party, laughed. Kadence brushed Olivia's hair. Kadence talked about Rapunzel and said that she wanted Rapunzel hair. She brushed her hair and asked us if we could see it growing.
We brought her some wonderful Christmas gifts, but the nursing home director said that there would'n't be much room for them. She said Kadence already had too many gifts from volunteers.

As I walked around the nursing home, I became humbled. So many rooms were filled with children.
Yes, you heard me correctly.
Little children.

They were severely disabled and many were mentally handicapped.  There was a young blonde girl who was in the room next to Kadence. I went in to tell her hello. I held her hand for a moment and just told her how sweet she was.

I asked the nursing home director about her. She was standing next to the door. She told me that she had been in the facility since she was a little baby.  She was eight. There was another girl in the room, as well. She appeared to be severely handicapped. She had just turned 15.

Cade and I began walking around visiting with each of these forgotten children. My heart broke as I saw them living out their days without a mother or father around.According to the nursing home director, volunteers are the only source of love that these children have.

After we left the nursing home, we drove thru the town of Nachitoches to see the Christmas lights. We didn't know what to expect.
AS it turned out, we ended up in traffic for over an hour. The lights were beautiful, however.
After we saw the lights, we were hungry so we stopped at Little Ceasars. They got our pizzas wrong and they didn't have any drinks, so we went to McDonalds.
As were waiting in a very long line at McDonalds, I began to complain.
 Immediately, I realized what I had done.

There are children that cannot use their legs. Children that mete out their days in nursing homes. And I am complaining that my ice cream is taking too long. Immediately, I became humbled as I realized that there are children out there that may have never even tried ice cream.

What a humbling day. Take time today to count your blessings. Things could always be worse.
Take time today to pray for a child in a nursing home. Or an orphanage.
Take time to spend with Jesus. Cease to complain.

AS I saw each of those children, I imagined what they would look like in heaven.
They were all running. They were laughing and playing. They were free from their restraints. I know that God loves those children. They are His. They are not forgotten.

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