Beads of Courage Horse Jan 2015 SNAG-0005Hippo- Therapy & Therapeutic Riding Bead

Rhema got this bead for Christmas to put on her Beads of Courage strand.  We were very excited to get this bead as it signifies Rhema’s bravery when she began riding her first therapy horse, Butterfly Kisses, when she was just two years old!  We had the hardest time finding an official riding helmet that would fit such a tiny human being!  LOL!  We had to add additional padding to the helmet’s interior she it did not flop around on her head.  Now, at age four, she rides like such a big girl; she sits up so big and tall!  Rhema develops such amazing core/strength from riding!

Beginning Beads of Courage Jan 2015 SNAG-0006As Momma Was Building….

Wow!  It was quite an emotional experience stringing these beads.  Each color signifies an event in my child’s life…. For example, looking above, each of the yellow beads signifies the days Rhema has been in the hospital.  At the beginning of the strand, you see a lone red colored bead, this bead signifies Rhema’s ambulance ride from the hospital where she was born to the UT NICU only an hour after she was delivered with her surprise diagnosis.  They allowed me to see on for a few minutes her through the glass of the little Ambulance cart and she was whisked away from me all the way across town.  We had no idea what Spina Bifida was and how serious the trauma was to her brain; she was there all covered in wires and I rubbed her little arm through the port hole on the cart and then she was gone.

Rhema's Finished Beads of Courage jan 2015 SNAG-0004All Beads on her strand!

I think it’s the first time I’ve seen her full name in front of me:  Rhema ElizaBeth Victoria….. I was very special to me stringing her name.  Rhema was the name we KNEW the Lord gave us for her, the ElizaBeth we knew we wanted as a middle as it’s my first name, but the VICTORIA is extra special to me… you see this was the name of a wonderful family friend, whom I loved very much– whom I LOVE very much– she’s gone to be with Jesus but she has not ceased to exist.  I look forward to the day when I get to introduce my child to my dear “Grandam Vickey” who is alive in Heaven.  Grandma will absolutely LOVE her little namesake.   I smile each time I think of Rhema’s middle name –Victoria.

We will do one other post soon with Rhema wearing her Beads of Courage and we will delineate each significance of the colored Beads.  It was really amazing to see all Rhema has experienced medically in the short time she’s been alive;  I’m thankful for EACH and EVERY second with my girl.  And I pray, as wonderful as these Beads are, that Rhema’s strand will be less and less yellow (hospital), magenta (ER visits), black (needle sticks),  Glow In Dark Beads (CT/MRI/Ultrasounds) etc… and more and more Specialty/Accomplishment Beads (for recognizing therapy milestones) and Act of Courage Beads (for HUGE accomplishments)– like her precious Penguin Bead when she learned to walk for the first time!   I’d love to see her strand LOADED with those kinds of  Beads!  Yeah, Take That Spina Bifida, YOU DON’T OWN OUR RHEMA! Amen & Amen!