Immeasurably More

More Hope, More Joy . . . Embracing Life with Down Syndrome

It’s A Book! My Guest Blog Post for Ellen Stumbo January 30, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Linda Aalderink @ 2:08 am

This past week, I had the privilege to write my first guest blog post.  Ellen Stumbo is a writer, editor, and blogger. Her published work includes articles in Focus on the Family, Thriving Family Magazine; and Lifeway, ParentLife Magazine. Thanks, Ellen, for this great opportunity to share about the Immeasurably More story.

Check it out here:

http://www.ellenstumbo.com/its-a-book-linda-aalderink/ 

 

 

 

It’s the little things . . . December 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Linda Aalderink @ 9:13 pm

Tis the season to get swept away in all the busyness and seemingly endless “to do” lists of shopping, baking and party planning.  It is too easy to get wrapped up in all the “doing” and forget the purpose or the meaning of what we’re doing. So a couple of days ago, I received a note from a friend saying this:

“Yes….it is the little things in life that truly matter…
I sent out 117 Christmas cards….like I do every year.  Today I received a text from Zach thanking me for the card….so sweet!
He is such a wonderful young man! He brought a smile to my face :)”

My friend is absolutely correct! I love the example Zach is to me and to others. I wrote about this in Immeasurably More, and it’s worth repeating. It’s not what I, as Zach’s mom, have taught him. It’s about what Zach teaches me and the example he lives out every day showing me what is truly important in life. Relationships. Thoughtfulness. Taking time for others.

Our family, friends and community have much to gain through friendships with a person with special needs. I hope you have a Zach in your life because if you do, I know your life will be richer indeed.

“A friend loves at all times” Proverbs 17:17a

Focusing on the little things in life,

Linda

 

 

Praise and Thanksgiving November 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Linda Aalderink @ 6:03 pm

“You’re my God, and I thank you.  Oh my God, I lift high your praise.

Thank God – he’s so good. His love never quits!”

Psalm 118:28-29 The Message

I love the changing seasons in Michigan. Each one has its own delight. Each one is beautiful in its own right. And each season has drawbacks  (ie slippery roads, blinding snowfall are tops on my list).  I am now looking forward to the freshness and sparkling beauty of freshly fallen snow. Yes, it is beautiful, just not when it covers the roads! Each season gives a multitude of reasons to praise and thank the Creator of it all.

Our lives move about in seasons as well. As a mom, we can look at Spring as the season we are giving birth to our children, training and teaching them to love others and Jesus. Teaching them the basics of life – I am personally thankful that potty training is behind me! Next is Summer, and the busyness and fullness of student-life, teenagers, friends, sports, driver’s ed and on and on. Oh, life is so busy and yet wonderful as we watch our children grow, physically and emotionally. We continue to teach, guide and pray for them to become responsible, loving and serving adults. And then Fall. Beautiful, beautiful Fall. First the full, HD color of the trees everywhere, then the leaves begin to gently float to the ground. For a Fall mom, the season I am currently in, our children have become adults, ready for new challenges and more independence. College, careers, marriages, grandbabies and eventually the nest empties. A season that when we are in Spring or Summer, we believe could never be good, and yet when Fall arrives, God prepares a mother’s heart, and we enjoy  new found freedoms and opportunities. It’s different, it takes some time to adjust and at times is a bit too quiet, yet there is something just right about this season too.

Winter is a season ahead of me, if the Lord blesses me so much. It has been a privilege to watch and enjoy my parents in this season of life. At every opportunity, delighting in conversations and visits with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Oh, and 61 years of marriage!

As Americans, we have the privilege of celebrating Thanksgiving this week. A season to be especially focused on all we have to be thankful for, and it’s a lot! We live in a great nation and so often take our freedoms and abundance for granted. May we today give thanks for the smallest things in our every day life. The things we just expect to have every day –  clean water, fresh air, food in the refrigerator, electricity, freedom to worship and dedicated individuals who serve in our armed forces to keep us all safe and free. And that is just the beginning of the list . . .

Whatever season you find yourself in today, give thanks. Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Whether a season of great blessing or a difficult hardship, give thanks today. God’s love endures forever.

So here’s a challenge. Take 5 minutes and write down all you are thankful for, the big, the small, the often forgotten. I just did this and was amazed how quickly 5 minutes passed. Wow, God you are good! Now get a piece of paper or grab your laptop and GO!

With a grateful heart,

Linda

 

What people are saying about Immeasurably More. . . November 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Linda Aalderink @ 12:15 am

“I love your book.”

“One thing you need to know is that I am not a reader but your book was one of the best that I have ever read!

I just could not put it down!!”

“The book was so heart warming, and it was such a blessing to me to hear the stories from so many young people who have been affected in such positive ways from their relationships with Zach.”

“It also served as such a great reminder to me as a mother to remember to daily cover my own children in prayer, and to pray using the scriptures!”

“I read your book last night, I could not put it down.  I enjoyed it  so much.”

“Thank you for writing the book! It was very well done, and I enjoyed it much!”

“It was wonderful! Thanks for writing the book.”

 

Now for sale at:

Hamilton Food Center

Reader’s World

Hope College Bookstore

Country Body Shop, Inc.

Amazon.com – available in soft cover and Kindle:  http://amzn.to/RklO64

Or connect with me through the Immeasurably More Facebook page. I would love to personally connect with you and get you a copy of the book.

 

Upcoming BOOK SIGNING event: Tuesday, November 13, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, Culver’s Restaurant, Holland, MI

Thank you for all the great feedback so far on Immeasurably More.

Only God! And all for His glory!

 

And So It Begins October 15, 2012

Filed under: Down syndrome,Special Needs — Linda Aalderink @ 2:24 am

The real books are finished! No more edits, checking and re-checking. This work that tested my perseverance and caused me to doubt whether I could ever finish, is now a real book. God you are faithful!

In many ways it’s comparable to giving birth. For months and months, well actually years, this work has been in process. First the stirring God put in my heart to share our story with the hope of encouraging  other families similar to ours.  Through these years, I continued to read about “advances” in medical technology which is resulting in a blood test for pregnant women to give a definitive diagnosis of whether or not the baby she is carrying has an extra chromosome. Currently, 90% of these definitive diagnoses end tragically for the baby.

My motivation and direction was clear, yet I didn’t know anything about writing a book.  But I pressed on, attending writing and publishing conferences, reading books, and following other writers’ blogs. I learned everything I could, and all the while God continued to lead and fling open doors that I never dreamed would open. One step at a time.

So this weekend, the birth! I cried when I held the first real book. All our kids were home this weekend and that made every moment so much sweeter!

Now, comes caring for that newborn! More learning ahead! Selling books to family and friends, book signings, social media, and getting the book into the hands of all those families who face difficult choices, uncertain days, and futures that may not look like anything they had in mind. One step at a time.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me.  If you are the parent of a child with a special need,  I would love to hear your story.

Meanwhile, my prayer is that Immeasurably More will give encouragement, hope and a few smiles along the way.

So glad labor and delivery are over! More info coming soon on where to buy books.

Still taking one step at a time,

Linda

 

To the Printer Today! October 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Linda Aalderink @ 1:37 am

From the back cover of the book:

There are people in our world today
who, at “face value,” seem to have
little or no real value. The truth is,
though, that what the world sees as “disposable”
God sees as having incalculable
worth. God assures us of a definite purpose
and a plan for each of His children,
including those—and perhaps especially
those—whose life package includes “special
needs.”
Often in the Bible we find that God uses
the “least of these” to do His work, demonstrate
His love, and provide the rest of us
an avenue for expressing our own love. Immeasurably
More is the heartfelt story of
one family’s journey, a journey that showcases
the amazing impact one person with
Down syndrome can have.
Immeasurably More shares anecdotes
from the Aalderinks’ life together as a family,
interspersed with personal observations
and accounts from siblings, friends,
teachers, coaches, and others. This honest,
humorous, and poignant real-life
story will touch your heart, while illustrating
how an unassuming young man
transformed a family, a school, and even
a community.
9 781935 391883
ISBN

 

Welcome! August 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Linda Aalderink @ 1:33 am

It’s almost here! My book, a result of God stirring my heart to write and share our story for the purpose of giving encouragement and hope to other families like ours.  Here it is.  More details soon!

Immeasurably More

More Hope, More Joy

Embracing Life with Down Syndrome