When You Feel Like You’re in a Pig Pen

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I was paid to shovel manure when I was in high school.  My sisters and I got off the school bus, changed our clothes, and went out to feed the pigs. Occasionally we shoveled manure.  It was not fun. Actually, it was disgusting.  But we worked for this man named Dad who paid really well.  We needed what every teenage girl needs.  We needed clothes.  Smelling like a pig was a small price to pay to be able to go to the mall.

My Dad has always said “I get to go to work”.  He never says “I have to go to work”.   There’s a lot of difference between get to and have to.  When I get to do something I look forward to it.  When I have to do something  I’m dreading the thought of doing it.  My dad looks at work as something to enjoy not something to dread.  Being able to work is a privilege.  We’ll be sitting in my mom and dad’s living room on a Sunday afternoon and my dad will look over at Brett and say “Did you get to work yesterday?” Working on Saturday is a have to situation for most people. But my dad thinks working on a Saturday is something that you get to do.

I’ll have to admit that my dad’s perspective on work didn’t make sense to me when I was a teenager. Shoveling manure was a have to situation.  I never once got off the school bus and said “Oh, boy!  I get to shovel manure and smell like a pig!  Can’t wait!”  I probably had a cloud over my head and looked a lot like Eeyore while I was walking across the farm to spend the afternoon with the pigs.  There was only one reason that I spent my time with pigs. Payday. Once that check was in my hand, I was almost glad that I smelled like a pig.

Some days I feel like everything I do is a “have to” and nothing is a “get to”.  I have to get up.  I have to wash the dishes.  The pig pen that we live in is a real mess and I have to get it cleaned up.  I have to referee another wrestling match. We have to take the girls to their therapies.  Some days are about as much fun as shoveling manure.  I collapse in bed at the end of the day and then I get up and I do it all over again. I need to change my have to’s into get to’s.

I need to open my eyes in the morning and thank the Lord that I can get out of bed.  Last week  I was having spasms in my back and I spent 2 days in the recliner.  I realized that getting up and walking is a privilege.  It’s something that I get to do.  I’m thankful for dirty dishes.  Dirty dishes are a simple reminder that we have food to eat.  I’m thankful that we aren’t homeless and that we have this beautiful pig pen that we call home. Sometimes driving 2 1/2 hours back and forth to Easter Seals feels like a have to.  But then I begin to think about all of the progress that the girls have made in the last year and I realize that Easter Seals is one of the best gifts that our family has ever been given.  And we get to go there every week.  I need to stop thinking “Why do I have to do this?” when I’m breaking up the wrestling match between our girls. The truth is that in those moments of frustration and irritation, my mind should flashback to the moment when the doctor didn’t give us much hope that our girls would be born.  I don’t have to be their mom.  I get to be their mom. It’s a privilege.

We all have days when we feel like we’ve been shoveling manure all day long.  We get up and we do it another day because we know that payday is coming.  It’s payday when our girls remember to put the “s” on the beginning of a word.  It’s payday every time they put their towel in the hamper without being reminded.  It’s payday every time they get their shoes on the right feet.  It’s payday every time we go out in public and they don’t have a a meltdown.  It’s payday every time they realize that they did something wrong and they say “I’m sorry”.   And it’s payday every single time our girls say “I love you, Mommy!”.

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Just Let Them Have The Cotton Candy

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Last weekend we took Mikayla & Hope out  to celebrate their birthday.  We started the day with merry-go-round rides at the mall.  The girls mounted their horses and the merry-go-round started to spin.  And I saw it once again.  A daddy was riding the merry-go-round with his little girl and he was on his phone throughout the entire ride.  I was thinking about my Put Down Your Phone and Just Ride that Merry-Go-Round post.  I was wishing that this dad would read it.  It seems everywhere you look nowadays people are obsessed with their phones and they are missing precious time with their children.

Our next stop was Chuck E. Cheese.  It’s a place “where a kid can be a kid” and where parents can get a headache.   The place was packed.  And it was loud.  Our girls have sensory processing disorder, but the atmosphere wasn’t bothering them a bit.  I was in sensory overload which caused my head to start pounding.

The girls were excited.  They were smiling and happy.  Hope was in the middle of all the fun and she stopped, hugged me, and said “I love you, Mommy!”  My heart melted and I didn’t care about my headache.  Three hours passed and they finally used their last token.  We went to the counter to trade their tickets in for a prize. They had known what they wanted from the moment they walked in the front door.  They wanted cotton candy.  Great.  This is not going to be good. And so began the battle in my head.

Cotton candy makes them crazy.  I’m not really in the mood for crazy.

But it’s their birthday.  We should really let them have the cotton candy.

But it will make them crazy and we have to ride in the van with them for an entire hour to get back home.

Oh, but look at them.  They’re so cute.  And they’ve been so good.

My head was screaming “NO! Don’t let them have the cotton candy!”

But my heart was saying “Just let them have the cotton candy.”

My heart won and the girls left with 2 bags of cotton candy.

The next stop was Cold Stone Creamery because it’s always a good idea to mix cotton candy with a bowl of ice cream.  Mikayla inhaled her chocolate ice cream.  Hope inhaled her cotton candy ice cream. And then we started the venture home.

The ride home was bad.  I mean really, really bad.  The girls were loud.  They were arguing. They were obnoxious.  They were totally out of control.  My head was pounding so hard I felt like throwing up. Aspirin and caffeine couldn’t even touch this headache.  We stopped at Walmart to get a few things. Mikayla asked if she could go in.  Um….no.  We are way past the point of being in public.   So Brett ran in and grabbed the things that we needed.  I sat in the car and listened to the sounds of screaming and arguing while my head continued to pound.  I was not happy.  I even ended up crying. Why does life have to be like this?  Why can’t we have a nice family day out without all the drama?

When we got home we started getting cleaned up because we had church the next morning.  I had just put Hope in the bathtub and the phone rang.  As I was rinsing her hair, Brett came into the bathroom and he told me what had happened.  A wonderful man who lives just up the road from us had been killed.  He was only 36 years old.  I felt like I was going to be sick.  I ran out of the bathroom and went into my bedroom and shut the door.

A moment ago, I thought I was having a horrible day.  Now I felt so foolish.  A beautiful woman in her 30’s was now a widow.  Two handsome young boys and two adorable little girls no longer had a daddy. A mom and a dad had just lost their son.  Two men had lost their brother.  A grandma had lost a grandson.  My heart ached for them.

I immediately thought of James 4:14 You do not know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? It is just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

Life is only here for a moment and then it’s gone. Last week this family would have never dreamed they would be facing life without him this week.  Why did this have to happen? There is no answer.  It’s heartbreaking for those that he leaves behind.

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going        John 14:1-4  

This man loved the Lord and he served Him well.  A place was prepared for him in Heaven.  There is peace in knowing that he is in Heaven but there is still a process here on earth of grieving.  This family must pick up the broken pieces of their world and trust God to help them go on.  Before you go to sleep tonight, would you say a prayer for my friend Erin and her children? and for the entire family? They need comfort and strength that only God can give.

I can’t help but think about the daddy on the merry-go-round.  What if it had been his last day on this earth?  Would he want his daughter’s last memory of him to be “Daddy was on his phone when he rode the merry-go-round with me”?

What kind of memories do we want our family to have of us?

Is it time to put down our phones and read a book to our kids?  or play a board game with them? or take them to the zoo?

Is it time to stop texting and start calling people and telling them how much they mean to us?

Is it time to forgive that person who hurt us so deeply that we didn’t feel like we could go on?

Is it time to stop scrolling through facebook to find out what is going on in our friends lives and start spending time with them?

Is it time to stop arguing with our husband/wife and be thankful that we have him/her?

Life is short.  We should just let our kids have cotton candy and enjoy their smiles.  We should ride the merry-go-round with them and leave our phones in the car.  We should make as many memories as we can.  We should be thankful for the memories made even when the making of the memory gave us a bad headache.  We should place our head on our pillow each night and thank God that we have a family.   Phones and facebook will pass away.  But memories will last forever.

And please remember to pray for Erin and her family.

 

 

 

photo credit: http://www.clowns4kids.com

What’s Wrong With My Brain?

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Mikayla & Hope have speech therapy every Monday at 2:00.  Hope and her therapist had already started their session.  Mikayla was quietly waiting for her therapist to come and get her.  It was 2:05 and she still hadn’t come. She must be running behind schedule. 2:10 and she still hadn’t come.  That’s strange. She’s never been this late before.  At 2:15 the light bulb inside of my brain went off.  I remembered that the therapist told me last week that she would be away for training and wouldn’t be able to see Mikayla this week.  She even gave me a paper to remind me that she would be out.  The paper disappeared inside of my purse and I completely forgot we had even had the conversation.  What is wrong with me?

I received an email last week from Taylor’s violin teacher.  She said that Taylor had missed her violin lesson. What?  You’ve got to be kidding me!  Taylor has a lesson every other week.  I was positive that she had went to a lesson the previous week.  A quick look at my checkbook proved that I was wrong.  It had been two weeks since we paid for a violin lesson.

I paid a bill online.  They said I hadn’t paid it. Yes I did!  I’ve got the paper to prove it! It’s right here in my extremely organized file system.  15 seconds later it was in my hands.  I couldn’t find a confirmation number anywhere on that paper.  But it clearly said “please press final authorization to complete your payment”.   What?  I didn’t hit the final button to make the payment? Really?  Someone must have been screaming for toilet paper and I just thought I hit the authorize button before I ran to save the day.  We had to pay a finance charge of $1. At least I made the mistake on a bill that was $12.

I get so frustrated when I do these things.  I’m a perfectionist.  I’m “a place for everything and everything in its place” type of gal.  I despise paying late fees.  I’m embarrassed because Taylor’s violin teacher was waiting and wondering where she was.  I used to work in a doctor’s office.  People who didn’t show up for their appointment and didn’t bother to call annoyed me.  And now I’m one of those people. Great.

I want to be that young 20-year-old girl that I used to be.  She could remember everything.  She wouldn’t have forgotten that the therapist wasn’t going to be there. She never forgot an appointment and she was always 15 minutes early.  She paid every bill on time.  Her house was clean and dust free.  What happened to that girl?

Our two turtles keep me up until 11:00 or even midnight some nights.  Last week Mikayla woke me up at 4 a.m. to say “I love you, Mommy!”  I sometimes don’t get enough sleep because the girls keep me up.  And sometimes I can’t sleep because my brain that doesn’t seem to work during the day goes into overtime at night.

What should we do about this?

What should we do about that?

Maybe we should take the girls somewhere for behavior therapy?  Wonder how much that will cost?

Which night this week will I have time to wrap the girls birthday presents?

I’ve got to get those homeschool books ordered.  The free shipping code expires in a few days.

I’ve got to remember to buy some white sandals for the girls to wear with their Easter dresses.

Did I pay the gas bill?  or is it still in my purse?

Is there anything that we can do to teach the girls to not talk so loudly?  I need to google that.

If there isn’t anything that we can do about them talking so loud, I need to remember to buy some ear plugs. 

I’ve got to remind Brett to pick up the prescriptions on his way to work.

I need to call and make an appointment for Taylor to get her bridesmaid dress altered.

Brynna’s tap shoes are too small.  I need to ask her teacher to order some for her.  The recital is coming up.  I’ve got to remember to do that.

What should we do for Taylor’s high school graduation?

Ok.  Now I know what happened to that young 20-year-old girl.  She turned into a 43-year-old exhausted mother of four.   That 20-year-old girl had a spotless house because she had all the time in the world to keep it clean.   She didn’t have little girls who liked to make messes. She never made mistakes paying the bills because no one ever screamed for toilet paper.  She never forgot an appointment because she rarely had an appointment.  She wasn’t thinking about therapies, violin lessons, tap shoes, prescriptions, graduation, or a bridesmaid dress.  Life was so simple.

But you know what?  When life was simple no one called me Mom.  I’m glad that I traded in my simple life for a new name.   Now that I’ve changed my name to Mom I get to go to violin and dance recitals.  I get to buy birthday presents and tap shoes and white sandals.  This spring I will get to see Taylor graduate from high school and be a bridesmaid for the first time.   And I get to wake up in the middle of the night and hear a little voice say “I love you Mommy”.

I sometimes still feel like I’m that 20-year-old girl.   Sometimes the checkbook balances on the first try and no one screams for toilet paper.  I love those days.  Last week I dusted and vacuumed the living room on the same day.  I was on cloud nine.  Taylor made it to her violin lesson this week.   I even remembered to add extra to the check for the new books that her teacher gave her.  The girls had appointments for shots and we showed up 20 minutes early. Yes we did.   My sister works at the health office and she is my witness.  It really did happen.  I forgot to tell Brett to pick up the prescriptions and I need to remember to pay the gas bill that I found in my purse.  What’s wrong with my brain?  I don’t think there’s really anything wrong with my brain.  I think it’s just full of thinking about four girls who call me mom.

Could You Turn a Light on, PLEASE?

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A few months ago, I bought a lantern.  I was dusting the other day and I realized that I had never bought a flameless candle to put in it.  A lantern without a light?  That’s interesting.  I sometimes feel like a lantern without a light.  I feel as if I’m stumbling around in the dark trying to find a light switch that isn’t within my reach.

Last year I had 3 anxiety attacks.  I couldn’t get out of bed and I couldn’t stop crying.  Walking across the house took every ounce of strength that I had. Anxiety came when I started focusing on the darkness.  All I could think about was our girls uncertain futures.  The “what if’s” and “what do we do’s” were tormenting me.  I was focusing on their disorders, deficits, behavior problems, and everything that they can’t do.  And life became dark.

Since Brett works nights, we have dark shades on our bedroom windows so that the room will be dark while he sleeps during the day.  One afternoon I found myself lying on the bed crying.  And the room was dark.  Really dark.  Our bedroom was dark even though there was sunshine in every other room in the house.  I chose to be in the dark.  As I was having a really good cry thinking about how everything in life seemed dark, I remembered the scripture Micah 7:8. ~ When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me ~  

This verse says “when” I sit in darkness.  It doesn’t say “if” I sit in darkness.  We will all go through dark times.  It’s just part of living in this world.  But the promise of Micah 7:8 gives us hope.  When we are sitting in our darkness, the Lord will send us light.

I realized that I had to make a choice.  I had to start focusing on the light (Jesus) so that the darkness would disappear.  I had to stop hiding in the dark bedroom and start living in the rooms that had light.  I had to start celebrating the things that the girls can do and stop fixating on the things that they can’t do.  I had to stop worrying about the future and begin to focus only on today.  I still have bad days when I cry and eat chocolate.  But anxiety no longer knocks me off my feet and makes me hide in the darkness.

Light shows up when the girls do something that they have never done before. The girls used to hate to color.  I would try to get them to color and they would refuse.  This is what our living room looks like right now.

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There are over 100 pictures on our wall that the girls have colored.  Last Wednesday night Hope didn’t want to stop coloring to go to church.  And that girl loves to go to church.  Every picture is special and must go on the wall.  We’ve got a couple of crazy coloring girls on our hands and it makes me smile.

My mom fell and broke her shoulder a few weeks ago.  The first time Mikayla saw her she very sweetly said “Grandma….you be better for my birthday party?”  Her heart is tender towards her Grandma and it makes my heart smile.  Every night she asks to pray for Grandma to get better.  We pray for Grandma  right before we pray for our cat and gerbil.

Light came last week when we went to a doctor appointment.  We were sitting in the waiting room and Hope burped really loud.  I said “What do you say, Hope?”  She very sweetly said “Excuse me!”  Then she said at full volume “Mommy, mommy that was a really big one!”  And suddenly light and laughter filled the waiting room.  Oh, how I love my Hopey.

Light comes during bedtime prayers.  One night I asked the girls what we needed to pray for.  Hope said “For Kitty…she has a cold.” Then Mikayla said “For Perry….he has a cold too.”   I pray for stuffed animals to get over their colds and I have trouble not giggling while I’m praying.  The girls used to not have imaginations, but now they are developing imaginations.  And it’s wonderful.

I’m so thankful that light makes darkness disappear.  I’m thankful that a lantern can light our path…..if we just remember to put a candle in it.

 

 

Waiting for Something Awesome to Happen

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Could my gift for high school graduation be a trip to see the ocean?

Why-oh-why did Taylor have to ask that question? My heart was saying “Yes…we’ll take you to the ocean!” but my mind was saying “There’s no way we can drive all the way to the ocean with Mikayla & Hope.”  The beach is 10 hours from our home. Mikayla & Hope sometimes can’t handle the 2 hour trip to church and back.  How in the world can we make a 10 hour trip and all of us live through it?

How can we tell Taylor no?  She’s never asked for much and this is her dream.  How can we tell her yes?  How can we take that kind of risk? What if we are 10 hours from home and Mikayla & Hope totally freak out because we’re not adhering to the usual routine?  What if they are miserable and they make the rest of us miserable?  What if we spend all that money and have a horrible time? The list of thoughts just went on and on and on.

On a Wednesday night, our pastor was talking about risk.  He said that the definition of risk is “the possibility that something bad or unpleasant will happen.”  Then he asked a question that I will never forget. If risk means that there is a chance that something bad is going to happen then can risk also mean that there is a chance that something good is going to happen? Then he shared his new definition of risk.  Risk is the possibility that something awesome is going to happen.

And there I sat with my mouth hanging open.  Risk is the possibility that something awesome is going to happen?  Well, that totally changes my thinking about taking a trip to the ocean.  My mind began to think different questions.  What if we have a great trip to the ocean?  What if Mikayla and  Hope don’t have a single meltdown while we’re gone?  What if all 4 of the girls smile so much and are so happy that we just can’t stand it?  What if I actually get to relax and enjoy myself?  What if we have the time of our life?

I told Brett that I felt like we needed to take Taylor to the ocean.  She’s 18 years old.  How many more years will she live with us?  I don’t want to one day wish that we had taken her to the ocean.  I don’t want to ever look back and regret that we didn’t make our daughter’s dream come true.

Today was the day that Brett and I took a risk.  He called and made the reservation.  I wrote the check and he dropped it in the mail on his way to work.  And now we wait for something awesome to happen.

Why Not Me?

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The hopeless feeling started at the same place it always starts.  You would think that I would see it coming, but it always seems to blind side me.  Hopeless feelings always latch on to me like a parasite after the girls have had an evaluation.  After each evaluation we receive a letter in the mail that is really hard to open.  Sometimes the letter will sit on the table for a week before I even open it.   I have never read anything in one of the evaluation letters that has surprised me, but seeing it all on paper is just difficult.

As I entered the doctor’s office to hear the results of our very last evaluation, I thought I would handle it well.  I really liked the doctor and I knew that I would be given a lot of ideas on how to help our girls.   The doctor focused on our daughter’s abilities rather than on her disabilities.  Everything seemed really positive and I was feeling really good about things.  And then the doctor spoke one sentence over my child’s future that sent me into despair.  All I could think about was that one sentence.  I couldn’t sleep because of that one sentence.  My hope had vanished because of that one sentence.

The week that followed was horrible.  The only thought that kept running through my mind was that I can’t do this anymore.  It’s too hard.  Why my girls?  Why do they have to struggle so much?  Why me? Why was I chosen to be a mom to girls with special needs?  It’s just not fair.

On Sunday morning, I began preparing to go to church.  I didn’t feel like getting ready and I certainly didn’t feel like making the hour-long drive to church.  But I did it anyway.  As we entered the church I began to play the game that I play so well.  Someone would say “Hi…..how are you?”  I would smile and say “Fine….how are you?” And then the next person would come along and we’d do the same routine again.  But I was not fine.  I was a complete mess.

As I took my seat a friend came to give me a hug.  She’s one of those friends that you just don’t play the “Hi….how are you?….I’m fine…how are you?” game with.  She asked how I was and I told her it had been a difficult week and I was feeling sorry for myself and thinking “why me?”

She began to tell me a story that was exactly what I needed to hear.  A few years ago, her son was killed in an automobile accident.  As she was going through the grieving process, she questioned God and asked Him “Why me?” She said that she heard Him say “Why not you?”  This past August she was on the mission field in Kenya, Africa. God opened a door for her to share her story with a grieving family who had just lost their six-year-old son.  She spoke at the funeral and she shared how the love and faithfulness of God carried her through her own experience of losing her son.  God had placed her in Kenya on the very day that a grieving family needed to hear her story.  I’m sure that God was proud of His daughter because she had turned her “Why me?” into “Why not me?” and allowed Him to use her pain to reach another family who was in pain.

My friend’s words echo in my head.  Why not me?   “Why me?” focuses only on me.  When I start thinking “Why not me?” the focus is on something bigger than me. Why have I been given this life? What can I do at this moment in my life that will make a difference in someone else’s life?  Who can I encourage today?  I know that I will still have hard days.  But if I choose to turn my “Why me?” into “Why not me?” I believe that my life will suddenly have new meaning and purpose.  

I don’t know what the future holds for our girls, but I believe that it will be much better than that one sentence that tried to steal all of my hope.  Jeremiah 29:11 says  For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Yes, the Lord has a future and a hope for our girls.  I believe that He will do exceedingly, abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

It’s not fair! I want a free iPad too!

I never dreamed that a Google search would stir up so much emotion.   Several therapists have told us that Mikayla & Hope would benefit from an iPad.  So, I decided to start looking into getting one.  I clicked on a link that said iPad for special needs children.  A lady posted that her friend had a son with special needs.  He had just received a free iPad through their state government.  She said the iPad had unlimited free apps and was used for his therapy. His parents also used the iPad and were downloading apps for their own personal use.  Then she asked a question that sent me over the edge.  Do you think this is fair to other people who don’t have special needs kids?  

Within seconds I was upset.  I mean really, really upset.  Yes, the parents should buy their own iPad and pay for their own apps.  But that is not what upset me.  It was the question “Is this fair to people who don’t have special needs kids?” that upset me.  It cut through my heart like a knife and I was suddenly overwhelmed with all kinds of thoughts and emotions.

Is it fair that the boy who got the free iPad has special needs?

Is it fair that our twin girls have special needs? 

We watched two little girls have a wheelchair race at Easter Seals.  Is it fair that those girls can’t walk and our girls can?

We saw a man the other day who was mentally disabled and severely autistic.  Is that fair?  

Is it fair that I have 4 children while there are women who struggle with infertility?

Is it fair that people in other countries are starving and don’t have clean water and someone in our country is complaining because they can’t get a free iPad?

I want a free iPad too!!!

I want a free iPad too

Obviously, the woman who asked that question does not understand the daily task of caring for someone with special needs.  You have to be right in the middle of life with someone with special needs to understand.  I didn’t understand until it became our life.  And I still don’t fully understand because there are many disorders that our girls don’t have.  I would love to have the opportunity to sit down with the lady who asked that question.  I would open her eyes to a world that she doesn’t even know exists.  I would share the joys and the struggles of having special needs kids.  The one thing that I would want her to understand more than anything is that if my girls had an iPad, I would gladly give it up if their problems could just go away.  I have a lot of wishes for our life, but “I wish we could have a free iPad” is not one of them.

My wishes are:

I wish I could have a conversation with my husband without any interruptions

I wish I didn’t have to do the Wilbarger therapressure program on our girls every day to reduce their sensory problems

I wish it didn’t take 4 1/2 hours of our time every Monday for our girls to have speech and occupational therapy

I wish our girls wouldn’t have meltdowns in public

I wish I wasn’t exhausted by noon every day

I wish my house was spotless like it used to be

Wishing isn’t going to change my life.  Wishing focuses on what I don’t have instead of what I do have. When I am thankful, I am focusing on what I have instead of what I don’t have.  Being thankful will change my life.            

I am thankful that I have a wonderful husband, even if I can’t have an uninterrupted conversation with him 

I am thankful that the therapressure program is helping lessen the girls sensory problems

I am thankful that our girls have 4 amazing therapists who are helping them reach their full potential 

I am thankful that I have children who leave me exhausted by noon.  Some women are praying, hoping, and waiting for someone to call them mom.

I’m thankful that we have a house to live in, even if it is dirty.

There is one thing that I know without a doubt.  I know that life isn’t always fair.  It’s not fair when a parent loses a child.  It’s not fair when children grow up without their parents.  It’s not fair when a couple desperately wants children and struggles to have them.  It’s not fair that children are born and they never have the opportunity to walk or talk.  It’s not fair that some children have to struggle with special needs every day of their life.

I can’t help but think about Jesus.  The crowd chose to free the prisoner, Barabbas and crucify Jesus (Matthew 27:20-23)  Jesus had done nothing wrong.  Why would the crowd choose to crucify an innocent man and let a notorious prisoner go free? It doesn’t even make sense.  Jesus would have never stomped his foot and said “That’s not fair!”  He didn’t focus on the fact that what was happening to him wasn’t fair. He focused on what God had called Him to do.  He was spit on, mocked, scourged and ultimately died on a cross. His love for us overpowered the unfairness of the situation.  He loved us so much that He was willing to die for each and every one of us.  He wants us to have the opportunity to invite him into our life, live our life for Him here on earth, and spend eternity with Him in heaven.

We all need to be like Jesus.  We shouldn’t focus on the fact that what is happening to us isn’t fair.  We need to focus on what God has called us to do.  He has called me and my husband to be parents to two little girls with special needs and two girls who don’t have special needs.  I often feel like it’s not fair that we have to live this life.  But if I focus on our life being unfair, it just makes me miserable.  I have to focus on our four girls and being the best mom that I can be.  I have to choose to find joy in the journey even when the road is bumpy and I have no idea where the road is going.  I have days when I have trouble finding any joy.  It seems to be buried somewhere like a treasure and I don’t have a map to show me where to find it.  I believe God understands those days.  That’s why He gave us His Word. His Word guides us through those bumpy roads.  His Word gives us hope when we are feeling hopeless. His word brings us joy when our circumstances don’t.  A free iPad with free unlimited apps will not bring us joy or give us any hope.  Only God and His Word can give us the joy and the hope that we need when life isn’t fair.

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.  ~ Psalm 16:11 ~