It was later in the evening when my husband looked at me and said,
“Let’s go buy the babies a kiddy pool.”
The day had been warm and their little faces had been rosey when he arrived home from work.
He wasn’t wanting them to have another warm afternoon without the opportunity to cool off.
I agreed and we drove to where we thought we might find a kiddy pool.
It was after 7pm so some stores were already closed.
Home Depot was open and although they didn’t have kiddy pools there were some other items we needed.
I’ve been planning to paint furniture and needed paint.
As the paint was finished, my husband was concerned if I’d like the color and showed it to me.
I signed that I had a good feeling about it, I liked it. (My voice had disappeared during our walk around the store.)
He placed it in the cart and began to move toward the check out.
I had noticed another employee looking in my direction previously and had nodded a “hello”.
As I looked up from the cart she was looking at me again.
So, I didn’t look away, nor walk on.
She carefully signed to me a nice greeting and wished me a good day.
I smiled behind my mask and signed back: “Thank you, same to you”.
As I walked after my husband I thought about how this lady’s kindness blessed my heart.
She didn’t have to sign to me, but she did.
She was reaching out to speak to me and it blessed my heart.
I’m not deaf, but when I can’t speak ASL is the easiest way for me to communicate.
When others see this, it’s understandable they assume I’m deaf.
I’ve been truly blessed at different times when people who saw my signing responded with an effort to communicate.
Sometimes it’s by a simple “thank you” in ASL.
Sometimes it’s looking me in the eye or trying to point to things to help me understand.
I praise God for these moments of kindness in others.
I’m so thankful for their efforts.
I often pray for them afterwards.
Because it’s difficult to deal with someone who doesn’t communicate the way you do.
Unfortunately, some people become so uncomfortable, they react in ways which make it more difficult to communicate.
There’s been a few moments in stores when we left feeling very stressed.
But these are rare and God has taught us something each time.
It was a stressful moment several months ago when shopping with my husband that he said, “I have to get better at ASL” and he has been practicing ever since.
Another time Jase and I were shopping together and several unfortunate circumstances caused us a great deal of stress.
Days later we talked about it and both of us were able to see things we should do differently in the future.
Something a young man said to me recently has been the point of truth in this part of our journey.
“Everyone learns at their own speed.”
He was referring to learning ASL, but of course the truth is far more applicable.
For me, I’m not just learning ASL, I’m learning a new way of thinking, along with a new way of communicating.
I’m learning to keep my eyes upon the face of the person I’m dealing with.
Because people often think I’m deaf if I look away they think I no longer care or that I’m not paying them attention.
To look away means “not listening”.
I’m learning to plan ahead.
I’ve been stranded on my own with no one to speak for me and no one who reads ASL, so I carry paper and pencil now.
I’m learning that many people want to communicate and try hard to do so.’m learning to read sign better, which wasn’t something I’d worked on as I was the one signing, my family just speaks back to me.
I’m learning to read sign better, which wasn’t something I’d worked on as I was the one signing, my family just speaks back to me.
A couple of times I couldn’t always understand someone who stopped speaking and only signed.
I’m learning to be patient.
My voice disappearing is a response my body is having to triggers, often fragrance or chemicals in the air.
Sometimes my chest begins to hurt and I find it difficult to think clearly as my body is struggling.
To combat this I have to focus on breathing calmly, walking at a normal pace, and thinking about opening my airways.
Trying to communicate while all this is going on can make me want to rush, to just “be done” and not even try, but that never works and it’s not what Jesus would want me to do.
And if I were to simply “give up” I would miss all these moments of blessing.
For God has something good in all these things and I don’t want to miss a single one.
James 4:6 NKJV — But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your faithfulness! Lord, thank You for Your help, love, and lessons. You have taught me so much and Your blessings have been incredible. Lord Jesus, thank You for walking with me through this. Thank You for walking with our family through this. Thank You for all the people who have tried so hard to reach out to me. Thank You for the kindness of strangers. Lord, please continue to teach me how to live daily unto You. Thank You for all Your wonderous works. I love You. Amen.
P.S. We went to another store and bought the kids a pool. I had to laugh when I woke up to it raining!