Encouraging Words

Treasuring Memories in Your Heart and not on Social Media

For the past several Mother’s Days, I have pondered what it means to be present. How will I be present in life? Do I do things that seemingly gives the appearance of being present?

At what point do we, as Christians, cross the humility and bragging line with all our social media posts?  At what point are we just lying to ourselves and to our friends and family about the true state of our own family?  I don’t have the answer to that.  I do offer a challenge for moms.  Keep reading.

But I have been pondering what the moms of the Bible did. Specifically Mary and Elizabeth.  Elizabeth secluded herself for 5 months.  There are many theories as to why but I think it was to enjoy the time she so longed for.  Was this for real?  She was feeling morning sickness and major mood swings along with extreme joy.  I wonder what moms craved during those days?  After the 5 months, Mary had come to visit her because the angel told her Elizabeth was with child. And that child leaped inside her.  How amazing! How precious.  And she shared that moment with one other woman.

After Jesus was born the Holy Family were visited by shepherds.  They probably told them how they knew the baby was born and where to find them.  The news spread with those men and what did Mary do? She treasured these moments.  What would that be like?  To not have all the distractions of the modern world and just meditate, ponder, and treasured memories.

Are we truly present in the moment when we are behind the camera?  Are we truly living the moment when we are just thinking about the amazing FB post that is taking place?  What if we took a 1-week challenge. Putting down the camera, no posting on social media, just telling your husband, family, or close friends about the wonderful things happening with your kids.  What if we truly lived the moment and treasured these moments in our heart.  This may mean not posting your Birthday gifts from the kids on FB. This may mean not posting that generous action your child did for someone else or for you on Instagram.  What would your reaction to not posting be?  What could God show us in these moments about ourselves?  Will you accept the challenge?

P.S. You can’t post that you are doing the challenge either.  Yes, I know you too well. We are too much alike. 😂

We are all in this mom tribe together!

Encouraging Words

Autism Awareness Month

We have quite a few kids in our lives who live with Autism. They live it because they were diagnosed with Autism or they are a sibling of the child with the diagnosis. As I look around at our society today, that is supposed to welcome all those with a disability, Autism seems to be the only disability that needs to be cured according the general consensus. Look it up. There are hundreds of ways to cure your child of Autism. From diets to heavy metal cleanses and other wacky theories (actually as a science major I should say hypothesis because many of these “cures” have NEVER been studied) WHAT THE @#$%$#@#!?!

What is that saying to these kids as they grow up? A logical conclusion is “You have a disease and we need to fix you.” It makes me sad that this is one of the last groups of people with disabilities that still struggle with this perception in 2016. Many people will deny their perceptions about Autism until you put them in a corner with their own “logic”.

So for all those precious kids I know and love with Autism here is what I want to say to you. You are all precious just the way you are. You are precious to God, your family, your friends, and to me. You have struggles navigating this world but you are little super heroes, every single one of you. You give so much to your own little world. You give joy, you give beauty, and you give a different perspective on the world around you.

To the parents I understand the struggle. I understand the trying times with your kids. Those difficult times that seem to come up every single day and never have an ending. The anxious feeling when you go out or the heartbroken feeling of declining yet another invitation because you don’t want to have to navigate another social situation. I understand the guilty feeling coming from all those voices telling you it is your fault. To you I say the following: You have done NOTHING wrong. You did not cause your child to have Autism. Contrary to what society is telling you, it is NOT your FAULT. Society does not tell a parent of a child with down syndrome or triple X syndrome that is was their fault their child has a disability.  Just chew on that reality for a while. Parents, you are my super heroes as well. You may not hear it all the time but you are rocking this parent thing. Thank you for your love, your time, and your effort in caring for your child. This is not an easy gig. You are precious to your child with Autism.

So for this month I challenge you to challenge the status quo. To fight for these kids and adults to be respected as they are. To be understood as they are. To be able to come into society and be welcomed as they are.



PS I because I understand society likes to hotly debate Autism (unlike other disabilities) I will not be taking comments on this post. I don’t have the time. I have my own children to raise. But please like the post, share the post, pin the post, tweet the post ect. Hopefully a good dialogue can commence in your own small spheres.

Reading, Uncategorized

I Hate Teaching Reading!!!

This is a rant by the mom trying to teach reading and she has had enough of it today. This is written in the moment. This is also for all those moms trying to do what I am trying to do. You are not alone. I know the tears you have shed. I know the feeling when you have had to apologize for your attitude. I know and, more importantly, God knows. On to my rant.

Trying to learn to read English is tough enough without being a kid who is completely wired differently trying to navigate all the rules. We have been cruising along nicely until we had to jump up a level. Every time we need to do this it is as if all the work we JUST learned goes out the door. The font is different, the pages are longer, and the eyes keep trying to scan for familiar words at the expense of focusing on the word that is supposed to be read. Even sight words are now sounded out. Right now I have quit for the day and am waiting for Dad to come home from work to finish the small, ten page, with pictures chapter. (By the way Mary Pope Osborne I really do love your books and they have been a lifesaver in our reading adventures.)

Part of my frustration is that no one in my world really knows what it is like to teach a child with a disability to read. I get all sorts of well meaning comments on what program I should use or how I should go about it. Yet no one is willing to spend a day trying to get this kid to do his reading on a level that is actually challenging.

Can you tell I am at my breaking point? Coffee and chocolate is the thing that is going to fix this attitude at the moment. That and some instrumental music.

Mentalfloss.com has some fun videos about why English is so HARD. Go check them out. I basically blame all the academics for the atrocity that English is today. I would love a reboot of the language.





Not “If” but “When” Those Holiday Melt Downs will Come

Ah yes the holiday melt down or melt downs. To be truthful it should be in the plural form. You have to deal with one in each of the stores you visit. You get to deal with one as soon as your child is about to sit on Santa’s lap (even though it was their idea to stand in line and promised this year would be different). You smuggle in the mail and secretly dispose of the toy catalog just so it will not be a source of conversation for the next 6 months. You are so blessed with several melt downs on Thanksgiving and even more on Christmas. Social media is not helping with all those cute, cherub faces enjoying the season as it was meant to be (not to mention said cherubs are actually sitting still for a photograph). You don’t post pictures of what is happening in your house. Actually you think you probably shouldn’t post those pictures. You don’t know what government agency might be watching your profile. Another reason is that you may want to refuse the pity “likes” and the “so sorry” replies. Holidays feel more like going to WAR! Your family still doesn’t understand what you have to go through just to prep that little “angel” to behave at grandma’s house. The weeks of practice that you have to orchestrate leading up to the family holiday meal are exhausting. Honestly Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood songs are becoming more and more an awesome tool to use with your 11 year old. You still pack a bag of favorite things and extra clothes even though the baby stage is long gone but you keep it in the car. You never know this may be the year when things go as planned (here’s hoping). You have candy already unwrapped in your purse to dole out just so you can sit through one Candle Light service without people turning to look at that family making all the noise at such a hallowed event. Silence is golden and no one knows that more than you.

Yet between those melt downs are magical moments. That moment when your child who will not eat anything white does not throw a fit when served whipping cream on the pumpkin pie AND eats the whipping cream on the pumpkin pie!  That moment when your child who has an aversion to hugs climbs into your lap just to watch the Christmas tree lights. That moment when they actually did the Thanksgiving or Christmas craft at school AND it makes it home in one piece AND they give permission to have it hanging on the fridge or the tree. That moment when they stop and just watch the snow fall. The moment when your child, who covers their ears every Sunday because the singing is too loud, sings a Christmas carol with all the fervor of the season. Those moments are precious to any mom or dad but for you they truly are rainbows after storms.

I pray for all of you that you will experience rainbows. I hope you will look for those rainbows and just stop to enjoy.


Encouraging Words, In my Head

Whole Foods and Contentment

Awe yes, like we moms need one more thing to feel guilty over here comes the “eat whole foods or your kids will DIE” and the various other food movements. A bit harsh and overboard on my part but I have a reason. My reason is that we have to be on a wheat free diet. My kids are allergic, blood tested, and IgE certified.   We found out 10 years ago and have been gluten free ever since. (We are gluten free because it is just easier. And have you ever tried to make rye bread with just rye? It isn’t a tasty endeavor.)

Back on track now. 10 years ago the availability of gluten free stunk! Tapioca bread……I rest my case. I had to go whole food not by choice. Let me tell you it is tough! Making sure you have everything in stock and at all times. Quick meals are not a thing. I was fine with it and learned how to make things work and to make them taste good (see me over at madscienceofglutenfree.wordpress.com).

As a veteran in the whole foods movement I am giving you some advice. Don’t stress it. You have too much on your plate with a child or two or three with a disability. Yes cook healthy food and don’t reach for that box of instant dinner every night. Yet give yourself a break. Buying your loaf of bread isn’t going to kill your family. There are healthier options at the stores now. That hot dog or corn dog for lunch isn’t going to kill them either. Cereal for breakfast is okay.

Also moms don’t give yourself false guilt when your kid is a super picky eater that is likely a cause of the disability. I have worked with enough families to know that it just isn’t worth the fight every…….single……meal. I worked with a lovely girl with autism who would only eat tomato soup, eggs, and applesauce. For a treat I could take her to go get fries or pizza and after a few years even pizza was out. Texture was a huge deal to this child. So much so that it affect her eating behaviors.

Yes, the above example is an extreme case. I just want to let you know that you can let it go. In fact you can let go of all those food movements that have popped up in the last 10 years. Yep ALL of them.

Free yourself mom and dad. It is okay to eat at that fast food restaurant. It is okay to have boxed mac and cheese with dinner. I envy you moms with so much freedom. Don’t trade that freedom for chains. By giving into those chains you are on shaky ground of breeding discontent. These food movements will never feed the soul. They only feed frustration. Frustration that others are not following your food rules. Frustration that everything on the kids menu is off limits. Frustration can lead to a sort of food narcissism. The kind that talks about how your food choice is superior to everything else. Trust me I have had to endure my fair share. As a General in whole food eating I give you permission to not feel guilty. I give you permission to be free and to be you and to have fun with meals and to “cheat”. Go forth and eat in FRRREEEEDDDDOOOOMMMMM!