Friday, May 20, 2011

Why Sign Language Makes Me Cry

Last Sunday at church the children sang and did sign language to the song. As usual, the sign language made me cry.

Sign language has always evoked emotion from me, and I even felt strongly that I should learn it. I remember about 18 years ago telling a coworker, "I feel like God wants me to learn sign language." I even added, "I feel like if I don't learn it, I'll have a deaf child." She said, "Well you better learn it!" And I think I said something like, "I know!" Yet I dismissed it.

I was not at a place in my faith to know what to do what such a feeling, with an impression on my heart from God. And so I ignored it. I got married, and had child #1, and then child #2, "Cici." When Cici was 12 months old she wasn't talking yet. The average 12 month old should have 3 words, with one of them being "mama." She had none.

At 16 months, the peditrician suggested intervention. We had a hearing test. As I sat there in the chair, I worried. Would she be deaf? I remembered that "feeling." Thanksfully, she was not but still no words by 18 months, and so she entered the early intervention system. To help with the frustration level of not being able to communication, we began...sign language.

By the time Cici was talking, she knew 80 signs. We communicated smoothly and effectively with sign language. And when she was tested at 3 years old, while she still scored low in the expressive speech (the ability to talk) she scored very high in receptive speech (the ability to understand). They credited her off the charts receptive speech to the signing.

As the years have gone by, we don't sign anymore. There is no need. But every time I see sign language, it makes my cry. Because it reminds me of the grace and mercy of a loving God who forgave me, when I ignored the feeling to learn sign language. And while he still made me learn it through a speech delayed child, his forgiveness, his love is what overwhelms my heart.

And every day when Cici leaves for school, there is one sign we still do. It's the sign for "I love you."

Chatty Kelly

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm Not Athletic

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. Galatians 6:4

"I'm not athletic."

"Wait a minute," my new neighbor stopped me, "You're not athletic, you're not domestic, you're not...." She trailed off, and suddenly I felt very embarrassed. I'd only spoken with her 3 or 4 times since she moved into the neighborhood, and her comment made me realize I'd said something I "was not" every time I'd spoken to her.

The truth is, I'm not athletic. She was sharing about her hobby of running, and doing a high powered exercise program similar to what the Navy Seals do. I realized in that moment that subconsciously I must have been feeling inferior to her. And in my normal "chatty" way, I verbalized it, without even meaning too. "I'm not athletic."

To find out what I did next, meet me over at Titus 2 in Action, to read the rest of the story.

Titus 2 in Action

Chatty Kelly

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fame, Part 2

Remember my name, (Fame).
I'm gonna live forever,
I'm gonna learn how to fly, (High).
Fame, Irene Cara, 1980

Early this year I wrote a blog post about "Fame." I wanted people to remember my name, so to speak. I want to take my writing to the next level. I wanted "fame."

Recently in one of my devotionals, I read these words of God from Jeremiah 45:5, "Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them." The devotional went on to say that Baruch (the person who the Lord addressed in the verse) was worried about his own safety, and he was also looking for FAME somehow. Wow. The fact that the devotional used that word hit me hard.

While we all want to be noticed, it is enough to be noticed by God! My name is written in the book of life (Rev 20:15), and inscribed in God's very hands! (Isaiah 49:16).

I don't need fame. I don't need people to know my name.
I need Jesus! He knows my name.

Chatty Kelly