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Living with SPD, “our hearts ache, but we always have joy.”

The girls were tucked in bed asleep, after another whirlwind of making sure all the check markers of routine were ticked for my Brooklyn. Like a volcano building, I sensed an overtired meltdown, so I quickly threw myself in a ball in her little bed, with my hand on her head, praying over her little body until the tension in her body released and she finally fell asleep. 

I crawled into my bed and began recounting the day’s events with Branden, trying to process it all …. I wasn’t too far into the story when the pain welled up deep within my chest and the tears fell like heavy rain from the sky onto my pillowcase.

A simple little family outing, where I like to pretend all is normal, was another stark reminder, life is harder for my Brooke and this mama heart was crushed. I fight so hard to keep life routine and structured for her. In the confines of our world I structure for her, we are able to operate at a functional level with minimal stress.  

Yesterday, her Occupational Therapy appointment was cancelled and so mixed up our routine and headed out for a fall adventure, something spontaneous and different. But as I sat in bed, recalling the day, it was that reality slapped me in the face… outside of our structure I feel the sting of wanting “normalcy” of her. Many tears, lots of falls, unable to keep up… and at one point I wanted to pack up and leave I was so overwhelmed by all her incidents. 

It has been 2 years since I shared a part of life with sensory processing and it wasn’t until this morning I went back and reread those words… the thick heaviness as I recounted that story, reminded me that how far we really have come. 

This morning little pitter patters of 4 feet came running into my room where we snuggled in bed. I rubbed Brooklyn’s back and walked through the previous day with her, then I talked with Ellie, not with condemnation or shame, but using love and compassion to stir her heart. We walked through ways she could have helped and not left her sister behind. 

There were days long ago, I wrestled with my twins being so different and the impacts of their relationship. I struggled feeling like I was holding Ellie back or that life is NEVER fair for my Ellie.  Over time, I am letting go of worry and into a place of freedom, that God has given them the gift of one another.  As they headed down for breakfast I tucked in my heart the beauty of who they are. 

Ellie is responsible and a leader, standing her ground with fierceness She knows what she wants and nothing holds her back. Once you have won favor with her, you have a loyal friend forever. All the times she has had to make sacrifices are shaping her into a compassionate friend.

Brooke is tender and joy-filled. There is never a stranger in her world, she will love you like you are the most important person… and she will always tell you 100% the truth, even if it isn’t tactful… haha!

In all the ways I feel like SPD crashes in and brings chaos or suffering, it can’t steal who God has made my twins to be and the JOY they bring. They are precious daughters of the King… and even on hard days I’ll declare that truth all the more louder, even with tears streaming down my face and a heart that feels crushed. This path of SPD is walking with joy in one hand and days of sorrow in the other hand. They aren’t mutually exclusive, it’s learning to live always rejoicing, even in tears. 


 “immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy;”

“Our hearts ache, but we always have joy.

we may suffer, yet in every season, we are always found rejoicing.

“although saddened, we are always glad;”

2 Corinthians 6:10 


Read more: Christmas and Sensory Processing

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  1. Carole says:

    You described those girls so perfectly, they are each so unique and beautiful in every way! The Lord only gives his special children to those who have the hearts to raise them up daily, minute by minute whatever is needed, you and Branden fit that bill to a tee! They are so fortunate that they have you two as parents! I love your heart a katie so very much!

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