Friday, December 27, 2013

Thinking Ahead to 2014...

I want to live more simply this year.  I want to buy less stuff.  It is soooo easy to get drawn into all of the internet deals, especially when my email inbox is inundated with sales and coupons.  I have been deleting them immediately and moving on.  Because we don't NEED anything!  We are so blessed, and God has blessed us with all of our needs as well as wants this year.  I'm striving to make use of all of the things we already have and make use of free resources, like the public library!  My goal is by next Christmas it won't be such a habit to want to buy everything that seems like a good deal.  I want to be "content in every circumstance." 

My word for this year is Contentment.  Not only do I want to be content with my material possessions, but I want to be content in my relationships.  I have so much to be thankful for, even in the "not so cheery" moments of life.  I read "One Thousand Gifts" this year by Ann Voskamp, with my Bible study group, and it was a game changer.  I am learning to give thanks no matter what, for that is when the miracle happens...

I don't want to make a whole list of New Year's resolutions this year.  I know I need to eat better and exercise more, who doesn't?  But I've been learning that working on the heart and trying to make it match up with the heart of Jesus is what leads to true health, and the rest can follow.

How about you, have any New Year's resolutions or words for the year that you want to share?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's Christmastime!!

This is such a fun time of year!  The kids are at just the right age to appreciate the little things I do to help make this holiday season a fun and meaningful one for them.
It was so fun decorating the house this year; since we moved in on December 23rd last year, we skipped the decorating.  We really have a house, OUR house, to decorate this year, and it feels really nice.  My favorite thing to do is still to sit in the living room with the Christmas tree lights on (all 1000 of them) and watch Christmas movies on TV or play on my phone or snuggle with the kiddos or just sit.
We have been going on walks after dinner around the block to see the Christmas kids say, "It's a Winter Wonderland out here!"  It's truly magical.  There is one house that has a Santa Claus in the upstairs window that sometimes is lit up, sometimes not, and our game is to see if it's lit and we can see Santa tonight.
Opening Christmas cards and seeing the friendly and missed faces of our friends and family from afar has been a highlight. 
Each morning we have been opening a drawer on our Advent tree, in which are two tiny presents and a word of encouragement and truth for the day, thanks to my mother in law.  It usually goes well, unless like today, the kids fight over whose turn it is to open the drawer and before I know it the entire contents of the tree are strewn on the floor.  Sigh.
Each night I let them unwrap a Christmas book, some new, some old, and we read it before bed.
I have been hiding "Keebler," the Elf on the Shelf, when I can remember, which is pretty fun.
And I have let them watch an "extra" show while I get dinner ready if I need a break, one of the Christmas shows that I used to watch when I was little.
This is also a time to really think about what things I want to teach them about Christmas.
I want them to know that it's JESUS that we celebrate, that He was the best gift of all, so we celebrate His birth by giving presents to one another. 
I want them to experience the MAGIC and WONDER of believing in Santa Claus, but I've been teaching them that it's not about being bad and good, because we are all sinners in need of Jesus, and we are all "bad" or "naughty" sometimes, but that getting presents isn't contingent on their "good" behavior no more than our salvation is contingent on our "good" deeds.  I think the message is getting through.
I'm looking for the PEACE of Christ this holiday season, and I'm finding that I'm yelling a lot less, smiling a lot more, and sharing knowing looks with my hubby as often as I can.
This year is so much fun, like every year, and I am so thankful for the time I get to spend with my little family, anticipating the coming of our saviour. 
As one of my favorite characters once said, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Together

linking up from

The hubby and I were just talking last night about the state of affairs of our family.
This Thanksgiving and Christmas, for a variety of different reasons, we are unable to be with our extended families.  It's "just us."  There is an element of sadness to that, but we were reflecting on how far we have come this past year as a family, just the four of us, together.

We have together figured out what it's like to be a family with an Exceptional Child.
We have together forged our way in a new neighborhood and made plentiful good friends.
We have together established a church home where we all feel loved and able to love others well.
We have together relied on Christ alone to get us through various financial and emotional hardships.
And of course He has come through every time.
Together we walk to school on Friday mornings.
Together we snuggle in bed in the mornings (who knew a king sized bed could feel so small!  There were 4 in the bed and the mommy said...get off my pillow!!)

I love my sweet family.  I wouldn't trade them for the world.  And I'm so happy God put us together to do this life. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


It's been a very eventful few weeks and I wanted to share so I don't forget.

Jackson said a self-initiated "Thank you for playing cards with me," yesterday.  Progress!

Speaking of cards, he learned how to play "War" in kindergarten and we've been playing; I never thought the day would come when I could play cards with my kids, I'm so excited!  And he's doing such a good job taking turns, stopping the game to eat dinner, sleep, etc (that game drags on and on, people), and handling when I "win" his cards.  Way to go, buddy!

The kids have been sleeping in their own beds until 5 a.m., which is a blessing, but between 5-6 a.m. Savannah whines and cries over random things...
--"Put your hand on me!"
--"Snuggle me harder!"
--"My covers are messed up!"
--"Where's my blankie?"
--"Where's my babie?"
--"I want breakfast!"

Finally, at 6a.m. when my alarm goes off, she sits straight up in bed and is completely happy, saying, "Breakfast time!"  And then I laugh at her.  But not before then; before 6 a.m. I'm pretty annoyed, ha!

This morning, JW asked her to rub his back as a way to distract her from her crying, and she said, "I can't because there are tears on them!"  Haha. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Whole New World...

One year ago today I started my new job here in North Carolina.  And our family began the three month journey towards a new diagnosis for my first born son.  The move was so tumultuous for him that his behavior spun out of control, and certain things that I had blamed on poor parenting or him just "being a boy," could not be explained away anymore.  It became very clear to our new community that there was something not right about Jackson.  I had no idea what it might be...I thought there might be some Sensory Processing Disorder traits, so I bought three books and started reading.  We started OT which definitely helped a little.  We took him to a doctor who suggested ADHD.  We tried meds, which made him go CRAZY, so we turned off that road.  Someone mentioned Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and I just had thoughts of kids torturing animals (thanks to my psychology training in med school), and I didn't think that quite fit.  JW and I prayed and prayed that we would figure this out.  That someone would point us in the right direction.  Because of his behavior problems in Sunday School, our Sunday School director suggested a play group called "Let's Be Friends," a meeting of typically and atypically developing kids to get together in a safe space to work on social skills.  That sounded like a good idea, especially since he was kicked out/nicely asked to take a break from preschool until we could figure out what was going on.  It was there that the leader of the play group started asking me questions about Jackson.  I was hoping she would be able to help lead me in the right direction.  She got me an appointment for an IEP (Individualized Education Program) evaluation through the public school, and we waited a month for the appointment.  In the meantime, as I was at home processing one night, the list of questions that the nice lady had asked me clicked.  She was asking me the screening criteria for autism!!  I freaked.  I had never considered that diagnosis.  Jackson had never had any problems with speech, so I didn't even think about it.  I went to my favorite place...Google!  I typed in "diagnosis of" and wouldn't you know, it auto-filled "aspergers syndrome."  Weird.  So I read through the criteria and thought it kind of fit.  I got used to the words of autism, autism spectrum, asperger's.  We had the IEP eval.  We had to come back the next day for a longer eval specifically for autism.  Of course.  One month later, we sat in the same room to hear the results.  They first said "developmental delay."  That sounds so benign.  I can live with that.  Get him some therapies, he'll be good to go.  Then they moved on to, "And he tested positive for autism as well."  Like it was no big deal.  It wasn't a surprise, but I was still hoping it wasn't true.  I didn't FEEL like being a mom to a special needs kid.  I just wanted to be REGULAR.  I cried.  The people handed me Kleenex.  I decided to move on.  At least I had a NAME for what was going on.  I had a TOPIC to search for and books to read about.  I WASN'T a bad mom, and Jackson WASN'T a bad kid.  So it was actually great news!

9 months later, we've done OT, speech therapy, special education, TEACCH services (the local autism center in Chapel Hill), and even a parenting class.  Jackson is attending regular kindergarten this year and thriving.  I wouldn't say that his success is due to all of the therapies or picture schedules.  I think it's mostly because JW and I have adjusted to the "new normal."  We are more relaxed.  We know how to reach Jackson in a way that he will understand.  We know how to manage his environment to  make it a safe and calm place to live instead of a place filled with sensory overload.  I have to yell less.  And love more. 

I am so proud to be the mom of a special needs kid.  It has strengthened my faith and my marriage.  And I am so proud of my little boy.  God has big plans for him, and though they may not be my plans, they are AWESOME.

If you are visiting from Kelly's Korner, thank you!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mommy in the Trenches

When my kids were babies, I expected to get pooped on, peed on, spit up on, leaked on by my own milk-producing organs, etc.  Now that my kids are older, that all happens with a lot let frequency.  I still have no privacy when dressing or showering or toileting.  But overall, I can maintain my outfit for a few hours at a time. 
This past weekend, Savannah was sick with her first vomiting illness.  I feel blessed that I have had this long vomit-free (5 yrs both kids).  But when Savannah walked to the side of my bed in the middle of the night, I picked her up, concerned, and she proceeded to vomit on my face/hair/clothes/bed/rug...and I just held her and let the vomit keep coming.  I was so stunned I didn't really know what to do.  Thankfully, that got better and I only had to deal with one more huge vomiting episode over the entire bathroom, but then it was followed by, "Mommy, I tried to make it to the potty but I didn't and that's okay."  I'm glad you think that's okay, darling.  But what are we talking about, exactly?  Diarrhea.  Good times.  So pull-ups all weekend. 
Finally, she is better. 
I was all dressed for work yesterday, ready to go, when I spilled her applesauce all over me as I was putting it back into the fridge, since every day both kids INSIST on me putting out the applesauce but neither one will eat it.  I had peach applesauce on every item of clothing I had on, including undergarments and shoes, and it even got into my hair.  I got really angry, complaining about how unfair this is, I just wanted to go to work on time, yadda yadda...  I did change my outfit but left my hair.  I explained to my colleagues if they smell peach it's my awesome new conditioner.  J.W. insisted that I relax, that I was overreacting.  Of course I was, because it's not about the applesauce, dear husband.  I just didn't want to be gross anymore due to my kids' bodily fluids or food items.  I know other moms will sympathize.  It's mommyhood in the trenches, we do it daily, but some days it's harder than others. 
And I actually liked that peach smell, I'll have to look for some actual peach conditioner next time I'm out... 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First Day of Kindergarten!

Yesterday was Jackson's first half day of kindergarten, and today was his first full day.  He did great!  We got a good report both days.  I got the privilege to walk him to school today, and I was kind of in awe of the fact that my firstborn is in...elementary school!  He will have music class and gym!  He will eat in a cafeteria.  I had to buy him #2 pencils!  Craziness.  I miss pre-K.  At least Savannah's still there.  My little boy is growing up!  I am so proud of him.  He has come so far this past year.  His teacher, Miss Kilgo, is amazing, and I think this is going to be a HUGE year.  I can't wait to see all that he will do.  This may surpass the first year of his life in terms of milestones, we will soon see!  Congrats, little buddy, you rock in my book. 
Love, Mom/Mommy/Hey you  :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Last

Linking up from

Last night I slept alone, without my babes, and heard the cries of my niece when she woke up hungry in the middle of the night.
Last week I delivered lots of babies and dealt with pregnant and postpartum mommies while my own sister was struggling to breathe as her heart was failing her (praise the Lord, she is fine now!!)
Last month we were in Michigan for vacation, visiting family and friends, missing and longing for what was, but very thankful for the friends and blessings we have in the present in North Carolina.
Last year we still lived in Michigan, finishing up our time there, thinking of good-byes and watching a lot of HGTV as we planned on buying our first house ever.

Looking back, it's so easy to see God's hand in every seemingly inconsequential detail of my life, and how He indeed worked everything for Good.  For His Good. 
And it makes me excited for the future, to see what adventures He has for me and my husband and my kiddos; what new places, which new friends, what new experiences. 
I'm happy today isn't my last.  I will enjoy every moment of this short-lived life on Earth.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Humbling Experience...and a New Niece!!

Yesterday was one of those days...a day that I realized that I absolutely CANNOT do it all.  It's really too crazy to even put into words.  A series of decisions that resulted in a lot of tears and disappointments, feelings of guilt and condemnation, and ultimately, the realization that I NEED HELP.  From my lovely and gracious colleagues at work, from my husband who took over when I needed him to, from lovely girlfriends who spoke truth when I needed to hear it, from God above all, especially when the tears were falling and I couldn't see through them into reality. 
Today, when I awoke with my babes in arms, snuggled close, it was all better.
And when I looked at my phone and saw the smiling chubby cheeks of my new niece, Lilly, all was right with the world.
And I remembered the most important thing about yesterday was that my brave sister birthed a beautiful baby girl, and her husband stood by brave as could be to support them both, and I am truly blessed.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Story

I like the idea that God is sitting up in heaven watching His story unfold in my life.  He already wrote it, a long time ago, before I was even born!  But sometimes, as He is watching, I imagine Him getting out His big eraser and erasing parts that may not fit, adding new parts that He likes better.  I am a work in progress.  The general plan is outlined, but as I make choices along the way, I'm helping Him make my story an incredible reflection of His glory.  Of course, that is the intention.  Some days, I'm sure He rips pages out of the book, crumples them, and weeps that I messed things up.  But the good news is, every day is new, a new chance to add new sentences and paragraphs and chapters to the story that is my life, mine and God's.  I like that thought.
Join us at FMF and tell YOUR story.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

On Just Being A Mommy...

Today I was really tired.  Tired of therapy sessions and parenting classes.  Tired of trying so hard.  Tired of being tired.  Tired of sticker charts, ignoring, time outs, positive attention. 
I just wanted to hug my little boy when he was throwing a tantrum.
I didn't care if it was giving attention to negative behavior.
I just knew he was upset, and I wanted to fix it. 
I don't know everything about parenting a kid on the spectrum, hence all of the classes and therapies, but I know how to love my son and give him a hug.
It wasn't the "right" thing to do, since I was rewarding a tantrum.  I was told so today, in fact. 
But in my head, I said, "Buzz off, lady!  My kid needs a hug." 
I'll work on the rest of my "skills" tomorrow. 
Today, I'm just going to love.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Morning Grumpies and Vertigo

I was sharing some of my life with a dear friend, and she laughed so hard about some of it I just had to post.

First, I took the kids to a really cool park this weekend.  It had a cup that you can sit in and it scoops you up and you start to spin.  Really fast.  Like I-couldn't-stop-and-my-2-year-old-couldn't-help-me fast.  After about 2 looooooong minutes of this, I fell out and immediately wanted to throw up.  Which I couldn't do.  Jackson basically said, "I told you that you wouldn't like it, Mom."  You're right, my dear, that's the understatement of the year!  It is day 3 and I still feel nauseated and not quite myself.  I am getting old.  :)

Second, as a lot of my friends know, I have been trying to get the kids to sleep in their own beds, ummmm, since birth.  It's going really well for me.  I even have parenting class teachers and peers, occupational therapists, and behavioral therapists trying to help me out, to no avail.  Some nights go really well, but I really think it's just random and has nothing to do with the social stories, sticker charts, or promises of goodies in the morning.  Sunday nights, however, are always particularly difficult.  Of course Monday is the morning I have to be up at 5:30 a.m., and the kids must inherently know this.  So as always, last night at 3:30 a.m. Savannah wakes up crying and wanting to be in my bed.  I realize that somehow Jackson is already in my bed.  I put Savannah back in bed, followed by Jackson, and go back into my bed.  It's 4:00 a.m. already, repeat of the same, except this time I accidentally fall asleep in Savannah's bed while I'm trying to get her to go back to sleep.  5:00 a.m., I try to get Jackson into his bed, but really I'm thinking, "What's the point?" as I have to wake up in 30 minutes.  5:30 a.m., they are both in my bed, the alarm goes off, I try to lay there for 10 more minutes, as Jackson asks, "Do I get a sticker for staying in my bed all night?"  Are you kidding me, son!!!???  As I calmly say no and try to explain why, he goes ballistic, starts crying and screaming, and incidentally head butts me in the nose.  I'm a bit of an exaggerator when it comes to being injured, so I scream, but it really did hurt.  So that makes it worse, it's 5:45 a.m., JW has the pillow over his head, both kids are crying and screaming, and I think I broke my nose.  Which I didn't.  Great morning.  And now I'm laughing, but I'm exhausted because I've stayed up too late.  We'll see what happens tonight...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Rhythm

from the series on, come join in the writing fun!

Rhythm is a really hard word to spell, first of all.  It reminds me of dancing and music and band...  It's a beat, a steadiness that gets deep within you to drive you forward.  When you have rhythm, it doesn't matter what's going on around you, you are unwavering in the steady beat.  Even when the tempo is a "wierd" one, you stay constant and unwielding.

So how am I going to tie this into my life?  I don't do ballet much anymore or bust out my flute to play the "ice cream man song" with my bestie (hi, Linds!).  But I do have an internal rhythm that drives me forward and keeps me steady.

Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Right now, my life feels a bit out of control.  I have so many things pulling me in so many different directions.  It's so easy to feel lost in everyone else's notes...but this is a good reminder today to hold strong to my internal metronome, Jesus, and He will never fail me. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Advice and ASD

Yesterday I met a man whom I found out had a 13 yr old daughter with ASD.  I shared that I found myself in the same situation as a parent of a child on the spectrum.  He wanted to give me advice..."If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to grieve NOW...for the child that will NEVER be normal." 
In one ear, out the other, that is the WORST advice I've ever heard!  But I just feel sad for him.  Sad that he can't enjoy his child simply because she's not "neurotypical."  I feel sad that he can't appreciate all of the things she CAN do and WILL accomplish.  And, most likely, HAS ALREADY accomplished.
I shared his advice in my parenting class last night and was met with sympathy all around, as we all, as ASD parents, do our best every day to delight in the day's little victories. 
I don't know what my child will be when he grows up, but I know that yesterday he rode his bike sooo fast and after falling off, got right back on.  I celebrated his bravery and persistence.
I know that he gets dressed in the morning without (much of) a struggle.  I celebrate his self-care skills.
I know that in the mornings, instead of yelling, "No, Daddy!" when my husband starts to stir to wake up, he asks instead, "Daddy, can you stay in bed a little while so mommy and me can have some alone time?"  I celebrate his kind words.
Even parents of kids NOT on the spectrum often have to give up their dreams of what their child will be and do; for instance the athletic parent who has a very musically inclined but clumsy child, or the book-learned parent who has a very hands-on and practical child who might not love school that much to pursue a post-graduate degree. 
We need to remember:

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."--Jeremiah 29:11

God has a plan for our little ones, and we need to celebrate who they are, regardless of if that fits our preconceived ideas for them.
I will be praying for that dad and his daughter, that they can find things to celebrate in daily life.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Comfort

from the series at

Perfect topic for today, as I wake up by myself snuggled under plush sheets and blankets and surrounded by four of the most comfortable pillows ever.  Two littles and a big are missing from my bed, yet I am so comfortable.  My mother's day present from my dear husband, a night of rest in a hotel so I can sleep in.  I don't remember the last time I was able to sleep in.  And it was heaven.  Feels a bit wierd to ask for rest away from my children for Mother's Day, but seeing how refreshed and "normal" I feel today, I think it was worth it.  It makes me realize how sleep deprivation can alter one's basic personality.  I think I'm ready for five more years of devotion to the littles, and then I will ask for another Mother's Day present like this one.  :)  Thank you, honey.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Jump!

(from a series at
I think of Jackson jumping into the pillow pile at OT today.  He wanted to do it over and over again.  It helped him "cool his engine down."  He wasn't scared at all. 
I remember the feeling of standing on the diving board, ready to do a back dive, my feet tingling and clinging to the board, so scared to release and let go.  But I also remember that once I did it once, every subsequent time got easier and easier to let go.
I think of two nights ago when I spoke my feelings, how hard it was, how my body was shaking and my skin broke out in a rash like it does when I get nervous; but then how much easier it was to do it again yesterday.
God calls us to jump right in when He asks us to.  It's not always comfortable at first, but it gets easier, and it feels good to just let go.  Be bold.

Monday, April 15, 2013

From the Mouths of Babes

J.W. just shared with me that the other day, he was reading his Bible, and Savannah came up to him and looked him straight in his eyes, and said, "The Bible is directions for your heart."  Amen!  Thank you Jesus for her little ears and heart soaking in your truth.  And thank you to the Sunday School teachers!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


So I know my latest posts have been a bit glum, but sometimes that's how life is right?  I'm just being real.  Life is hard.  Sometimes harder than others.  But thanks to Christ Jesus, I won't give up, and I know I'm not alone, and I never give up  hope.  So that makes things less depressing.

A lot of my irritability has been due to lack of sleep.  Both of my kids have decided my bed is more cozy than theirs, specifically my pillow--so 3 heads on 1 pillow, not my most cozy night's sleep ever.  So sleep deprivation definitely makes things seem a lot worse than they are.  But last night, Savannah stayed in her crib all night, so I just had Jackson next to me, and it was a lot better.  I woke up refreshed, able to shower alone before he woke up (score!), able to read a devotional (even better), life is good.

Also, we've been blessed this week with having our dear friends stay with us, and it is just so refreshing to have kindred spirits to hang out with.  It's chaotic with 4 kids, but joyous and fun.  It feels so nice to have some adult conversations with friends (4 kids do a pretty good time entertaining themselves, and sometimes a movie helps too, ha!) and to feel understood by people who actually do know what you're going through. 

So I feel much better today, wanted to write a post when I'm feeling "up" since a lot of them have been "blah," and I don't want anyone to worry too much, ha!  I still smile a lot, and I still know in my heart that life is good.

Psalm 23: 1-4
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Broken

Part of a series at

After reading her post today, I was at a loss.  How can I write anything about my seemingly unimportant life when the King of Kings was BROKEN today.  The video about the Story of God hit me hard.  I have made no time for God these past 6 months.  I pray, yes.  But reading the Bible, nope.  Trying to grow my walk, nope.  Just trying to survive, to make sense of this new chapter in my life where I am the mom of a kid with autism.  Gotta love the twisted plot.  This week I felt so BROKEN by life; how hard marriage really is, unruly kids who get so out of control, lack of sleep, no "me" time, family problems, etc.  Lots of drama.  But today, just now, I remembered Who is in control.  And I need Him more than I need a perfect marriage, perfect kids, exercise, water, food, sleep--He is my air, the blood through my veins, the reason I'm alive, the reason I don't have to face Death.  Thank you Jesus, for being broken on that cross.  Please forgive me for my selfishness.  I pray that this weekend I can continue to reflect on Him and what a huge gift He is in my life.  I pray I can glorify Him through my trials and triumphs, and not get so bogged down by the daily grind.  He is more that all of that.  He is "it."  Thank you, Lord, for giving me a glimpse through your eyes tonight.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Home

From the series by

Perfect topic this week, as it's been a hard week emotionally.  Still missing the home we had in Michigan with our church family and our biological family, while trying daily to make this new house our home.  The kids feel the struggle as well, as they still will tell me how much they miss Saginaw, and then we will take turns saying what we miss.  But then I try to get them to think of what they would miss here in NC if we were not here, and that helps a lot.  Of course, then there's the whole "Is the house I grew up in my home?  Are where my parents live my home?"  As an adult with my own family, I'm learning every day that my home is where they are.  And thankfully, God is wherever we are, and that makes things "homey" as well.  Right now, our home is a place where my son can get the help that he needs, even though at times it feels very far away from friendly and familiar faces.  I think it will help me to remember Jesus' arms wrapped around me at night when I'm sad and missing things, that He is my Home, where I belong, where I can feel safe, and where I can always come back to.  That makes me feel a lot better.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Beloved

linking up as part of a series from

Valentine's Day.  I didn't know my kids would be so enamored with the holiday this year.  They never really were old enough to get it before this.  We spent weeks making Valentines cards for each other.  We decorated Valentines boxes.  We planned on making a Valentines day cake.  The day of, I hung a garland, and Jackson was so excited when he came downstairs.  He kept saying to me, "You can't get mad today, it's Valentine's Day!"  He was right!  So I laughed and moved on.  It's so fun to have a day to love each other well.  He cried when we crossed the day off the calendar last night.  But I told him we can celebrate Valentine's Day every day!  We can love each other, be nice to each other, and not get mad.  :)  He was okay with that idea.  And of course isn't that what Christ calls us to?  LOVE ONE ANOTHER.  Not just on Valentine's Day, but every day. 

"Beloved, let us love one another.  For love is of God, and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.  He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love!"--1 John 4:7-8

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fellowship of Moms

A few weeks ago, one of my patients brought her son to her appointment.  He was six, cute kid, and pretending to be a puppy dog during the whole visit.  I saw Jackson in that child.  I wondered if he was "on the spectrum."  I would never ask. 

Today, I had an opportunity to see that mom again, alone.  To ask her how everything was going.  Sure enough, she mentioned that her son was recently diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder.)  We talked about how difficult it was to get the diagnosis and get the resources needed to help our children.  We were NOT doctor/patient in that moment, we were just two moms who love our boys immensely and want to do everything possible to help them achieve their potential. 

I was thankful in that moment for that mom.  For someone else that knows exactly what I'm going through.  It's interesting, going through life now spotting children who might have an ASD or SPD (sensory processing disorder), not to condemn or judge, but to give a sympathetic glance to that mom, or to receive one, to see the child not as "bad" or wierd but as beautiful, a child of God. 

Moving here, I've been craving moms to connect with, but also feeling isolated by the "unique" ordeals I've felt my family has been going through.  But really, we're not unique.  We're one of many.   It's just that everyone else has been "hidden from view" for awhile, and now they are coming into focus, like one of those Magic Eye pictures.  Kids with disabilities of all sorts and their moms are all around.  I'm so thankful to see a little more clearly and find them now, to offer and receive support. 

As an aside, we had a pretty rough day with the little man yesterday.  It got so bad that I actually threw a tantrum on the floor to imitate how he was acting.  Real mature.  But in the midst of all that, I saw him hitting the whiffle ball over and over with his dad.  When did that become possible?  I was thankful.  And tonight, as I tucked him into bed, him pretending he was Tramp from "Lady and the Tramp" since we just watched that movie, I thanked God for the moments to feel joy and laugh and see his potential to do great things for the kingdom of God.

Monday, January 28, 2013

First Day of Preschool...Again!

So my son has an autism spectrum disorder.  Still learning about what that means, but what is still the same, thankfully, is that I know how to be his mommy.  And today he FINALLY started his new preschool after being MIA for almost 4 months.  And though we bit our nails and prayed fiercely, HE DID GREAT!  So great that husband and I decided to celebrate, and we went all toy at Target, haircut at SportClips, dinner at a pizza place, and a cake.  Heck, we wanted him to know that it was a BIG DEAL to "listen to his teacher" today.  And I think he got it.  But tomorrow he'll probably ask for cake again.  At least there's leftovers.  :)  I thank God for the little victories, like today.  Tomorrow is a new day, good or bad, but one thing's the same, I have an amazing little boy.  (and girl, of course, more on her later.)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Cherished

Dear daughter, do you know that you are cherished by me?  Do you know that you do not need to win the approval of anyone on this earth, because I simply adore you?  Do you know that when you awake in the morning, I can't wait to see your smiling face?  Do you know that I absolutely love to watch you sleep at night?  I love it when you call out to me for help; I love it when you thank me for the little things.  I love watching you love on your little ones.  That love that you feel for those two babes, multiply it by a thousand and you STILL would not come close to the amount of love that I feel for you.  Remember, dear one, I sent my one and only Son to DIE for YOU.

When you are tired of caring for others, remember I care for you.
When you are tired of being up all night with little ones, remember I keep watch all night over you.
When you feel defeated, remember I defeated the grave.  I won the battle so that you don't have to fight it.

Keep pressing on, dear one; you are CHERISHED.  LOVED.  ADORED.  If by no one else, by ME.

(Just a reminder that God cherishes each and every one of us.  Remember that.)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Five Minute Friday returns...Opportunity!

from the Five Minute Friday series at

When I first think of the word "opportunity," I think of job opportunities, "the opportunity of a lifetime."  But today, when I saw this topic, I immediately (surprise, surprise) thought of the littles.  My kids.  And what an opportunity I have to be their mom, to raise them up in God's word.  I've been speaking more of God into their little ears these last few days of 2013.  For example, Jackson asked where God was; I told him "in heaven.  But also in our hearts."  He responded, "But I can't feel Him."  Ding, ding, ding, an idea came to me.  I beckoned him over and told him to close his eyes and I would help him to feel God.  I gave him a great big hug and loved him hard, and asked him if he felt it, to which he responded, "yes."  Yay!  I then asked him to help Daddy feel God, and sure enough, he repeated the process.  What a blessing.  He's also into princes and kings lately, and I told him that Mommy and Savannah were God's princesses, and he and Daddy were soldiers in God's mighty army.  He wanted to be a prince, so I allowed him that, but told him princes are soldiers too sometimes, ha.  It's really fun to think of filling their heads with wisdom for a lifetime instead of just the ABCs and such.  Hopefully, Jackson will be back at school next week, another change, but it comforts me to know that God is teaching my kids through me, and what an opportunity it is for me to use every moment with them to teach them God's love. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."--Philippians 4:4-7

Today is New Year's Day, a day of resolutions, of reflecting on 2012 and thinking of ways to make 2013 even better.  I recently read a blog post about choosing a word for the year.  I've decided to make my word "PEACE."  A search on Bible Gateway yielded 249 verses including this word, so I think I have a lot of reading and meditating to do!  The above verse from Phillipians came immediately to mind, as does the reference to the fruit of the spirit:

Galatians 5:22-23:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. "

We have now moved to such a serene environment, there is peace surrounding us, and I want there to be peace IN us.  The Prince of Peace, as He is called in Isaiah 9:6, wants soooo much to give me His peace:

John 14:27:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

My husband agrees with me that this would be a great "word" for 2013, although I think he is thinking more along the lines of, "A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict,  but the one who is patient calms a quarrel."--Proverbs 15:18.  I definitely need to work on that, too.  :)

So looking back on 2012, the highlights/lowlights were:
  • hearing God's guidance to move back to North Carolina and planning for that big move
  • my dad taking a job in China
  • my mother in law retiring from her teaching ministry
  • my dear cousins adopting sweet baby Reagan, a long-awaited blessing
  • fellowship with the BEST CHURCH EVER, New Life Christian Fellowship
  • moving to North Carolina
  • leaving behind a great job and service but starting a new job that brings me so much joy and peace
  • graduating from the National Health Service Corps, finally
  • our son being diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, developmental delay, and autism-spectrum disorder
  • buying our first house and moving in
  • my sister getting pregnant, yay!
God has really walked beside me and my family this year, and although I have not been as faithful as I would have hoped to be, I know He still loves me and will help me to do better this year.  I cannot doubt His provisions and loving-kindness after this year.

Looking ahead to 2013, I hope to:
  • get plugged into my new church, Chapel Hill Bible Church
  • make some new girlfriends and "couple" friends and reconnect with some friends I haven't seen in a few years
  • work out at least 3 times a week
  • read my Bible every day, even if just a page from my devotional, "Jesus Calling"
  • teach my children how to love the Word of God
  • learn how better to help Jackson succeed in life
  • date my husband more
  • be an aunt!!
  • learn how to keep up a home
Happy New Year!!