Archive for October, 2013


Today, our sweet friend Paula Sonnenberg tells us of how God is showing himself to her through her beautiful daughter, Scout.  Here’s Miss Paula:

Little girls holding hands

When I was in 7th grade, I sat in my first Sunday School class in the youth group.

There was a new girl – Crystal. She sat in the back & did not say anything. She was deaf. I pulled a chair up next to her and wrote her a note: “If you will teach me some sign language I want to talk to you.”

So began my love for American Sign Language. Crystal left the beginning of our Freshman year to go to the Texas School for the Deaf. I never saw her again. But what a beautiful gift she had given me!

Signing became like a friend to me. It was & is my favorite way to worship. My ‘prayer language’ if you like. It is how I talk to babies- including my sweet Silas who never ever threw a fit for lack of me understanding him. It was the path of my second graduate degree to become certified as a Deaf Education teacher. It was how I fed my family when my chickens were babies- giving private lessons to students. It has even how I mentored Senior Projects for students at Cooper High School.

As Lee is in Arkansas right now, guess what non-morning person is delivering my treasures to school? This one! As I dropped off my middle-schoolers & watched my sweet Silas struggle across the cross walk- waving me on when I stepped out of the car to help him – I felt a quickening in my heart….“I cannot take away his struggles,” I whispered.

As I felt the tears shoot up from my soul, I had to shake it off. I had one more bundle of joy to deliver. I got back in the car to take Scout to school and, of course, was immediately mindful of her struggles as I warned her “The sun is about to pop up & smile at us! Get those cool sunglasses on that pretty face!” We rolled on over to the elementary school singing a little Toby Mac. My sadness fled.

As we pulled into the parking lot & got in the drop off line, I saw a cute little blondie start hopping up & down in front of our car. I opened my door to help Scout out & as soon as Scout heard the voice hollering “Scout! Scout!” she lit up. “Momma! Hurry! That’s Madison C.! She wants to walk me in!” We scurried her out & over to that sweet voice. Off they scrambled into the cafeteria.

As I continued to roll up through the drop-off line, watching them, through squinted, sun-drown eyes; they were skipping into the gym arm-in-arm. I jerked my head up to heaven with a sudden realization.

“OH, my God- Scout is Crystal!”

A wave of snap-shots flashed through my mind. Years & years of Scout maneuvering & navigating this world- so vulnerable, yet with such faith in people. Having no other choice but to trust her God, her momma, her Poppa, her friends- big & little.

She has opened hearts to a new way to see just as Crystal had opened mine to a new way to listen.

Now I was free to cry it out as that last snap-shot became a freeze-frame in my head. That snap-shot was of a cute little blondie eagerly leading my Scout by the arm bravely into the sun light that finishes off the job of blinding her completely; giggling & chatting & skipping all the way.

I quote our sweet Fran at least once a week & this morning I offered up that wisdom of hers as a prayer:

“God, You may not will it, but you won’t waste it.”

– Paula


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