I was thinking about the words
“well rounded”
Over the years I’ve often heard people say,
“We want our children to be ‘well-rounded’.” 
But what in the world does that even really mean?


So glad you asked…
The definition of
  someone who is skilled, capable or knowledgeable 
in a lot of different things, or something that 
covers a lot of different areas or subjects.
But lately I’m kind of wondering if there ought to be
another ‘expanded’ definition of


Don’t get me wrong, the definition as it sits now sounds okay…
but what if we ramped it up a bit…
ya’ know kind of the
“revised and updated definition”?
Maybe one that includes:


in things like:
~spending ridiculous amounts time meeting the needs 
of medically challenged treasures
~selflessly serving those who can’t feed or clothe themselves
~caring for the least of these
~crazily loving medically fragile treasures
~helping little sibs color when they can’t even hold a crayon
~going over and over the smell of different spices to stimulate a miracle-girl


of things that truly matter:
~feeding special needs treasures who can’t hold their own spoon
~denying your ‘playtime’ to play with someone who can’t move about freely
~making up zillions of silly songs to make a precious little sister giggle
~whispering the same tender things to little people over and over and over
~coloring big pictures on a board to let your visually impaired sister see them
We kinda’ want to propose a new definition that goes something like this:
 someone who is skilled in tender-heartedly serving others, 
patient and selfless with special needs treasures, 
willingly capable of always loving and understanding the needs 
of all those created in the image of Almighty God, 
while beautifully and passionately grace-filled toward medically fragile treasures…
No doubt, 
 many of you have adopted a new definition of
“well-rounded” as well. 
By the grace of God, may the world see all of us living
it out in one way or another
decide that the old definition just won’t do anymore
and it’s just gotta’, gotta’, gotta’ be updated…
cause there’s nothing sweeter than
“well-rounded” treasures growing into
“well-rounded” big people.

28 thoughts on ““Well-Rounded”??

  1. YES!!!! May we all be and raise our children to be, well rounded! The thing is Linny. Many of our children are being raised this way and don't even know it. Praise God, To our children this is normal and every day life. And their memories, when they grow up and share them, will be of this wonderful "Normal" That was our well rounded every day lives. So grateful for the honor of living this way. Something I never knew I wanted till God blessed me with it! blessings! BTW, tell Jubilee that I loved her name so much (and seeing her sweetness when I read your blog) I named one of our baby goats after her!

    1. You are so right!! Our children have no clue…it is "normal"…and I truly feel grieved for people who don't have a Ruby in their home. She is more than a treasure to God…but a precious gem to us. And I will tell Jubilee…she probably won't understand, but I will try…she gets just the 'basics" and that only after much work…

  2. This is a photo story of God's love in action..and for sure it is a great definition of well rounded. Your children are so blessed and are such a blessing! A testimony here for all. Sigh…I am loving this post!!

  3. LOVE all the photos, but that last one especially. RubyGirl is just THRILLED with all that loving from her siblings. Yaknow, we don't have someone just like Ruby, but we do have some pretty "abnormal" (by the world's standards) folks. And, God grows and blesses us all by being a part of this family.

    1. Awwww, friend, you don't have to *have* a Ruby to love a Ruby. There are plenty of Ruby's all around us….in our neighborhoods, churches, foster care, friend's homes, stores we frequent….it's the loving of others, no matter what that counts…and serving those who can't serve us back…I betcha your kids are amazingly loving toward others!

  4. My definition of well rounded has changed over the years. I always wanted my kids to be well rounded…experience everything from music lessons, to being involved in sports, to travelling the world, to all the artsy things…and the list goes on. Now…my main focus is that my kids are "well rounded" in loving on others.

  5. I'm one of those "medically special" kids, and my sister is one of the most compassionate people I know. God blesses us even in our weaknesses.

    I am feeling really kind of robbed that y'all got your beautiful Ruby AFTER your visit here… because I need to hug on ALL your kids and meet her too!

    I am super thankful for what God has done mightily IN and THROUGH your Ruby. Can you imagine… if God is already using all of your kids like this… what kind of harvest is going to continue?!?

    1. He is using Ruby in ways we never would have dreamed…I want to shout it to everyone – consider a special needs treasure – your life will be blessed beyond anything you could/would ever imagine. Okay, here's the deal…we came there last time – your turn *this* time to come warm up in Phoenix.

  6. Linny,

    I think this is God's definition of well-rounded children also….and He says that we must become like those children. Those photos of your well-rounded treasures brought tears to my eyes. God bless you for all you do!

  7. I was actually thinking that you were going to mention how great Ruby was doing and how well "round"ed (healthy looking) she has become. So great to see everyone loving on her. Our special needs child is autistic and has provided many opportunities for the other kids to get outside themselves and care for someone else. I believe their lives are richer.

  8. Beautifully put! And oh-so-much richer lives for sure!!! I actually thought you may mention Miracle Ruby's "roundness" too! She looks amazingly healthy 🙂 I noticed the spices…we have our sweet girl (3 months home from China and almost 3 years old) in OT for feeding – still on a bottle that we add baby oatmeal and a touch of baby food to. We have tried everything to get her to eat! We "swipe" her with various foods to try and stimulate her to hopefully open her up to desire food. Any suggestions? It seems like Ruby is doing so well with eating (just by looking at how she is gaining weight) so I thought you may have some ideas 🙂 Thank you and may the Lord continue to richly bless you all!!!

    1. Ruby at first would only eat pureed food and even at that, she would vomit multiple times a day {and when I say "vomit" I mean vomit, not spitting up. Her entire meal would end up on me. After a year or so, I attempted to stir a bit of fiber in – ground flax seed is an excellent source of nutrition, not to mention that it is a great source of fiber for our colon. So with the tiniest amounts we forged on. Even a single piece of rice on the back of her gum line would cause her to gag.

      Anyway, NOW, 18 months after she is home, she is able to eat ground or pureed food with tiny ground things: tiny amounts of mashed rice {inside pureed food}, ground flax with everything she eats, ground oatmeal…

      Ruby's 'power' food {which she loves} is her feeding before bed – (1) baby oatmeal (2) ground flax seed (3) vanilla almond milk (4) a generous glob of almond butter…mixed to a pureed form with enough fluid that it's consistency is more toward liquid…yummmm- she gobbles it.

      Ruby had not put on any weight for (my mind seriously draws a blank)…like 6 months. She was stuck at 24 lbs….which is still much too tiny for her almost 3 {at the time} year old self. The doctor was mentioning a feeding tube, which, although not the worst thing, I just felt it would be a step backward. We prayed in earnest…what could we do to get her to put on weight? Our Emma suggested we add almond butter to several of her feedings and then I made that calorie packed concoction for her night feeding. Praise the mighty name of the Lord – she put on FOUR pounds in 2 months – her doctor was tickled! I can tell she's gained again, but we haven't had her to the doc in a few weeks – we are thrilled!!

      Yesterday I again tried a speck of ground watermelon at the back of her gum, but she really does NOT like textures, at least not yet. We continue to try more "solid" food {mashed well} but she's not interested {unless it's a dab in a spoon of basically pureed food} but without the pureed food she will firmly press her lips together and turn away. Actually, it makes me giggle every time she does it, because she clearly has an opinion and is expressing it well – and remember they said "she'd never do anything". Well this chica sure knows what she does and does not want in food {and many other things!}.

      I would keep trying the different textures, etc, and with the power of prayer on our side – it will happen. I have to say, I have found that Ruby's fragile situation has made me so much more aware of the things that are so easy to take for granted – like the ease of eating with children developing and then food for medically fragile treasures.

      I will pray as God brings you to mind that He gives you insight and heals your little treasure – keep me posted, okay?

    2. Yes, I will keep you posted for sure!!! Thank you for all the wonderful information…it is all so helpful! I will try the ground flaxseed right away…and eventually as the Lord leads the almond butter (she can detect even the tiniest change to her bottles, so we have to be careful ;). Our girl is 24 pounds now and 3 years old in 2 weeks ~ she was 18 pounds when we got her just 4 months ago, so I know she is getting way more nutrition than before. You guys have done such a beautiful job with your sweet children and I love how Jesus' joy and peace shine through you all! We have 3 bio kids (12, 11, 9) and our sweet girl from China…our big kids are already BEGGING us to adopt again – which will show you how tangibly they have seen Jesus through this all! He is so good!!! Thanks again 🙂

  9. Totally agree, adore the photos. ABSOLUTELY LOVE THE LAST PHOTO! Needs to be enlarged and adorn your wall!:) my two cents!:)


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