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Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That!

Lots of things are going on around here. Some I'm THRILLED about and some are just day to day things. Either way... here's the short and long of it:

1) We took Caroline to the Developmental Pediatrician where he confirmed that she has a cognitive developmental delay. We were given this diagnosis about a year ago through her psychological testing so it didn't have quite the disappointing affect as it did when they first told us. THANK THE LORD! It basically means that (if we lived this scenario with her 20 years ago) she has the label of mild mental retardation. (It makes my heart squeeeeeze really tight to say that.)

The coolest thing the doctor said was, "Even though the testing shows this diagnosis, the last chapter of her life has not be written! She reads on a 2nd grade level. Many people with this diagnosis make it to, maybe, the 5th grade level so she's half way there. She is very social and outgoing and that will work in her favor. Let her strengths compensate for her weaknesses and let's just see what happens! Keep working and trying as hard as you can. You are doing a good job with her!"

We are going to start speech therapy this fall to help her with some social skills and written and expressive language. While she is social she sometimes can be inappropriate in her socialization so we are going to hit that area hard this year.

It was really an answer to prayer to be able to see this doctor before school started. God is STILL in control and He's going to work in and through this situation. We are just hanging on!

We also have a new special needs teacher this school year who seems to love her. I am excited because she is very talkative and is already keeping me up to date on things really well. Hopefully, this will be the BEST YEAR YET!!

2) I got a JOB! Can you believe it?!?! Me either!!

The pre-school at our church needed a music person and they called me. ME! I have to admit that when I taught school I loved working with the big kids (high school) and working with the little ones were my toughest years. (I know.. it's a little warped to some people) The great thing is that it's part time and it's MUSIC! We are going to march and dance and play drums and be loud and sing, sing, sing! I'm sure I will have my days... stay tuned.... there will be plenty of opportunities to blawg I'm sure!

3) A few weeks ago, while talking to Caroline's OT, we started talking about things that are needed in the special needs community and how we could possibly meet some of those needs. She told me about a family that had a son with severe disabilities who is around 8-9 years old and he has limited muscle control in his mouth so he drools. She said that the boy has an older brother who wears sports stuff all the time and she wanted to find someone who could make some sort of bib that would be more fitting for an older kid... maybe something with sports teams on it. She said that so often people just use dish towels or bandanas to help with this issue, but she wanted him to look nice and more like his brother.

Well, I have limited sewing ability but I can sew... a little. I set out to find some fabrics that would best suit older kids... cute florals, polka dots and checks for girls and sports fabrics for boys.  I am in the process of making a few bibs just to see if families might be interested and... well, who knows?? It might be a little side business for me and it might help some families that want to have more dignity for their handicapped children. I'll have to share my findings as we go!!

4) A while back I wrote a post about receiving a desk ("DEST") from a friend and I had plans to paint it and make it all shabby-like! Remember? Well, tonight we were putting the new cute drawer pulls on it so it's ALMOST DONE!! I can't wait to show it to you!! SUCH CUTENESS awaits! That REDECORATING thing is slowly but surely coming along! So much to show you!!

4)God is just really working in me in some different and wonderful ways. He's making my heart more tender towards things. He's making me more aware of decisions that I make and prayers that I pray. He's just so amazingly tangible to me right now and I am so thankful to have Him so close. I am seeing Him at work around me in different people and situations and it's just exciting! Praise the LORD!

Well, I guess that's it for now. I suppose I have some updates coming soon considering all that I have awaiting me... a new therapy for my girl, a new job and some new decorating ideas! Can't wait to share... so stick around! :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"BUT! I Can't!!!"

It seems that almost every time I ask my girl to do something new, before she even tries it she says, " BUT! I CAN'T!!!"

HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU CAN'T!?!? You've never tried!!!! Oh, it makes me so mad to hear her say that! YOU GOTTA TRY for PETE'S SAKE!

Before I go on any further I am just going to warn you... this is going to be a rant. Yes, I am going to admit that I am just about sick of something and I might step on some toes... even my own.

You know what I am REALLY sick of? I mean SICK TO DEATH!??! I am so sick of Christians (myself included) hearing God tell us to do something and before we even take a step in the direction of obedience we say (in our best whiney baby voice)" BUT GOD! I can't!!!!!!!!!!!" and we stomp our feet.

Oh. My. Word. What a bunch of spoiled rotten brats.

You know, as her mom, I really try NOT to ask Caroline to do things where I know she will ultimately fail . I try to encourage her to do things that I think she can handle and that she might find some sort of confidence in. I do not ask her to do things that are unreasonable, but I try to help her find new things in which she might succeed.

So, in my finite little pea brain I do this with my own child.

WHAT DO WE THINK GOD IS TRYING TO DO!?!? SET US UP TO BE HUGE FAILURES?!?!

You know, when I ask her to do something new I usually stand right there just to make sure she's got it. I hold out a hand or I offer direction.

Do we think He was  kidding when He said "I will never leave you or forsake you!? Hebrews 13:5b

OR what about when He said, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid, What can man do to me?" in the very next verse?!?!

I am really not sure why we are scared. He calls us to do things like love others. Is that really so hard? I mean, I realize that not everyone is easy to love, but we can't be responsible for what THEY do. We are responsible for what WE do.

Right now there are people hurting out there. There are people who need to be discipled and encouraged. There are people who are hungry (both physically and spiritually) and here we sit! (Ok, I don't really sit. I am busy... but am I busy being obedient, or am I busy being... well... busy!?)

Anymore, I don't think "I can't" is an acceptable response from me. I also think that I have been involved in things that have kept me busy but they are not things that God has truly called me to. Some tough decisions may need to be made about how I spend my time. 

I do not believe that God is calling me to be some huge success story in His kingdom. As a matter of fact He calls us to be servants. He came as a servant and He calls to nothing more and nothing less.

He does not want me to be so involved with my own growth that I miss the opportunity to help someone else come along in their walk too.

Ok, time to come down from the soap box. I just know that a change is coming. No more excuses. No more insecurities. God is God and I am not and it's not up to me to decide whether or not "I CAN!" If He says to do it... well, He's the Daddy. I think my response should be, "Yes, sir." and my butt should get in gear.

It's what I expect in my own house. How much more does God expect it of me?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Your Mama Heart

A few months ago I had a lady approach me about a concern that she had for her youngest child. "I know you are a special educator," she said, "and I know your child has some special needs. I just need to ask you a question. If you think things are going on with your child and you ask your doctor and the teacher if they agree, and they say 'Well, kind of' don't you think you should pursue finding out more? My mom thinks I am over reacting, but I see things here! I am concerned."

My response: "Honey, YOUR MAMA heart knows. Your heart knows your child and the Lord is going to use you to take care of that child. Do not listen to anyone else. Your mama heart sees a red flag and you need to follow it! The Lord is working in you to show you what needs to be done. Listen!"

As moms each one of us have a God given sixth sense about our children. In our heart of hearts we know when something isn't right. We also know when a decision is good for our children and we roll things over in our minds a million times as we face new obstacles and  make new choices that affect them.

Soon I will take Caroline to a Developmental Pediatrician. It is going to take a while to get in with him, but I understand it's worth the wait. In all that we have done with her (academic testing, psychological testing, occupational therapy, vision therapy, sought out more support in school, etc.) I have handled her caseload. Up until now, my mama heart has prayed and  has seemed to sense that the decisions that we've made were good. Now that she's older... well, let's just say it's getting harder.

Last year we received a "diagnosis" that claimed Caroline to be moderately developmentally delayed. Her IQ score was very low and she has some scores that show her functioning at a high 4 year old to 5 year old range. While my mama heart knows that she is not as mature as a typical 9 year old and while I realize that she can not do the work that a typical 9 year old should be able to do, I will not settle with the idea that she may NEVER be able to learn certain things. My mama heart will just not allow me to accept things as they are and never expect her to try or develop into all that she can be.

Being realistic while having expectations that cause our children to strive to be more is what a mama does. We can not allow others, with their opinions and concerns, to stifle us as moms or our kids.

Perhaps your mama heart is telling you that you need to help your child take a new step forward. Maybe all odds are against that child, but you believe that he or she CAN do it regardless of what others believe.

Or maybe you realize that something is not quite right and you believe that other opinions might help your child move out of a hard spot and into a better place. Perhaps professional help in some way is what is needed and you KNOW that it could make a difference.

Please let me encourage you... follow your mama heart. God put that sixth sense in you for a reason and He can use it to spur growth and change in your child like no other.

We are their strongest advocates and we know them like no one else does. Do not be afraid to confront a problem head on and deal with it for them. Certain behaviors and issues that they face may need more than you have to offer so don't be afraid to seek out help so that they might conquer those issues. Do not be afraid to push them just a little harder to help them attain goals that they never thought possible.

Children need their parents. They are growing every single day and it is up to us to take that growth and help it have purpose and live to it's fullest potential.It is a daunting task, but  don't worry... your mama heart, through the direction of the Holy Spirit, will show you how.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"If it is Possible...

... as far as it depends on YOU..."

Yes, Lord? You are talking to me?

"live at peace with..."

Oh! You are talking to me... what was that again? You want me to live at peace... as far as it depends on me live at peace with who?

My family!? Ok, that's pretty easy. I love them and I have to live with them so I guess I need to make that a big effort. My husband is my opposite, but I love him so much. I can definitely live at peace with him.I hate it when we are not on the same page so I want to work hard at that.  That's not too bad of a command there...

Oh, no! My friends!! That's what you are going to say, right? My friends! I love them too! They are so funny and fun to be with! Ok!! I can do that! Live at peace with my friends...

The people at church? Well, ok. I don't always see eye to eye with all of them, but I do spend a lot of time there. I have many friends there who are also my brothers and sisters in Christ. I can live at peace with them. It's a little harder to do... if I am being honest, but I can try a little harder... That's no problem Lord.

"If possible, as far as it depends on you live at peace with EVERYONE." John 12:18

EVERYONE!?!? COME ON! EVERYONE!

WELL! I don't know if I can do that. I mean, that evil woman that works at the bank is just RUDE every single time I set foot in there! GOSH! I can not stand her! I can not believe she has a job dealing with the public like that!! She is so rude so I am rude right back! She deserves it for being so mean!

AND THEN... that woman at work! Oh my goodness! She is just plain disrespectful towards the customers and those of us who work with her! I mean, I know she's going through a hard time at home! Her kids are brats and her husband is a jerk, but it's not MY fault! Why doesn't she work hard to live at peace with EVERYONE!? Including ME!?? Do you know how hard it is to be around her EVERY single cotton picking day!?!? All she does is complain.. blah, blah, blah.. and she's always so grumpy!

AND.. oh yes! My MOTHER sometimes just plain gets on my last nerve! She is forever henpecking me to do things differently with my house or my parenting. I get sick of hearing it so I just hang up on her!! I don't want to be badgered anymore about how I can or can not do things better! It's so old and I am never going to live up to her expectations!

I want to live for YOU Lord, but I just don't think I can do it! Live at peace with EVERYONE!?? Only YOU can do that!

"Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God's MERCY, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not repay evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone... Do not be overcome with evil but repay evil for good... " John12:1,17,21

Lord, you are right. I admit that I have not been striving to show those that I can be at odds with the love of Christ. Perhaps I have repaid evil for evil instead of good. Help me Lord.

Help me to be more of a light than ever before for You. Give me words. Show me how to hold my tongue instead of lashing out and help me to pray for those who are struggling. Help me to be the church, YOUR BRIDE, outside of the church walls.

"You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit IF the Spirit of God lives in you. " Romans 8:9

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

An Answer to Prayer!

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Just one day before this picture was taken this little girl made the biggest and best decision of her life!

After a terrible day of getting in trouble for bad choices and attitudes she became more aware than ever that she is, indeed, a sinner in need of a Savior!

After reading a story in her little girl's Bible she came to me and said, "Mom, this says 'Do you make bad choices?' and I do."

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We talked and cried and talked some more and she

ASKED JESUS INTO HER

HEART!!!!!!!!

What a glorious and exciting day for our family!

God is at work and we are praising Him daily for His grace and mercy! Rejoice with me and please say a prayer for her growth in the Lord. He is able to make her dreams come true!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Hole

Have you ever seen a sink hole? Have you ever thought about how serious of a situation that is where entire buildings can just disappear into this hole in the ground? The ground  just separates and perfectly sound buildings and cars are just  swallowed by this hole. It's really an amazing thing when you see the devastation that one hole can cause!

Lately, I've been looking around at, and listening to, people.

If we really listen to the needs of the people around us they are all really very similar in nature. Many of us  have health needs. We have very serious family concerns. We have financial needs that are overwhelming. We are tired and we are unsatisfied.  We are all really very similar... with this hole in our hearts that never seem to be filled.

There are times that we feel this huge emptiness that seems nothing can fill. Family situations get harder. Friends feel distant. Work seems impossible. It just seems that nothing is working, and the hole is swallowing our very being.

Sometimes the hole gets smaller. We patch things up with our families. We get a new job. We begin to feel rested and friends are around more often. We laugh. But in the still of the night... or the quiet of the morning... we can still feel the hole.

The thing about this hole, no matter how big WE may feel it is, is that it's a GOD SIZED hole.

Most of the time we are so self consumed that we really don't stop and think just how BIG God really is.

He's the "Creator of the UNIVERSE" BIG.

He's "Able to move mountains" BIG.

He's "Greater than the number of stars in the SKY" BIG.

And He knows the number of hairs on my head... BIG!

We get so busy trying to fill our own emptiness that we don't really stop to realize that maybe we are going about this whole "being fulfilled" thing in the wrong way. I think that, just like the sink hole, if we continue to ignore them, these God sized holes can be extremely dangerous. We start to try to fill it with things that can cause irreparable damage.

Affairs.

Drugs.

Alcohol.

Idol worship.

Chat rooms.

Pornography.

Being so busy that I have no time for anything normal.

We try many self-destructive behaviors that never truly satisfy so we strive and strive for more... only to find the hole is still there, and now we have destroyed our minds, families and the lives of others. There HAS to be a solution.

One thing that engineers do when they begin to look at a sink hole is they begin to look at the areas of weakness around the hole. They have to get an idea of how the hole started so that they can begin to repair it and get things back in order.

Our holes started when we were created. God allowed this GOD SIZED HOLE in each of us so that we would recognize that we will never survive this world without Him. It's like our hearts are divided by this hole and He purposefully put that division there so that HE could fill it.

Read what Ezekiel 11:19-21 says," I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord."

God knows that our hearts are divided. It does not surprise Him that we follow after things that we want to fill these holes. Thing is our "fillers" are like filling a pot hole with sand. Life happens, we feel alone and are hurting and eventually the sand washes away and the hole is still there.

So when this hole is in my chest and I am not sure how I am going to fill it.. how unfair do you think it is to ask my husband to be big enough to fill it? He's not GOD big.

And then there are my friends... is it fair to ask them to fill a hole that only God can fill? They don't have enough time to fill my God-sized hole. They are too busy trying to be moms and daughters and wives and... fill their own God- sized holes. They can not fill mine!

Hosea 6: 3 says, "Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; "

We have to come to the realization that we are putting things in front of God and that we are not allowing Him to be sufficient for us. We are not pressing on to acknowledge Him through out the day and so that hole just grows and grows and grows.

As a believer in Christ that is a very hard statement for me to make. The fact that I am allowing myself to say, "YES! I love Jesus and He is my everything!" and yet not living my life COMPLETELY filled by Him is hypocrisy. I have allowed family, friends and being busy to come between me and God, at times, and I sometimes wake up feeling so empty that I can hardly stand it!

Micah 7:5-7 says," Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with her who lies in your embrace be careful of your words. For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law- a man's enemies are members of his own household. But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; My God will hear me."

I don't feel that I can't talk to my husband and my family isn't my enemy, but we are ALL human and we do let one another down.

Only God- The PERFECT LAMB Himself is the one who can truly hear our thoughts and lives without condemnation. He- THE OMNIPRESENT FATHER is the only one who knows our struggles and can give us true and lasting solutions. He-OUR JEHOVAH GOD is the only one who loves us enough to truly give Himself for us and COME to fill our hearts completely.

His covenants with us are true and sure. We can trust them fully. He has never left us alone and He has proven Himself faithful throughout the history of the ages.

He has restored me over and over again. He has healed my brokenness. He has calmed my fears. He has rescued me. 

He wants to give me an "undivided heart" and a "new spirit!"

It is my heart's desire to live what I truly believe. I do believe and know that Christ came for me. He has saved me from eternal damnation in hell, but he has also saved me from the holes of this life. All I have to do is be faithful in my relationship with Him to ALLOW Him to fill me (and my GOD SIZED HOLE) and live life to the fullest in His redemptive power!

In Christ alone... I place my trust... and find my glory in the power of the cross.. in every victory... let it be said of me... my source of strength... my source of hope... is Christ alone!