Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Holland this week!

by Emily Perl Kingsley©
©1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley.
All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability
to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it,
to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby,
it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy.
You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans.
The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice.
You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives.
You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands.
The stewardess comes in and says,"Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy!
I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.
"But there's been a change in the flight plan.
They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting,
filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease.It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books.And you must learn
a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people
you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy,
less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while
and you catch your breath, you look around....
and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland
has tulips.Holland even has Rembrandt's.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...
and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time
they had there. And for the rest of your life,
you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go.
That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will
never, ever, ever, ever go away...
because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact
that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free
to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ...about Holland.

Yes.... I live in Holland.
I have for the last 9.5 years.
And I am having a hard time with it today!!!

Most days it's fine, most days I am happy to do the bidding that the Lord has given me. Most days I can say strongly and proudly, "I am the mom of a special child, and that is just who we are!"

But right now?

Right now I am so tired of struggling against people who don't understand my son.

Right now I am so tired of the blame, that somehow it is all my fault that he is how he is (and yes, I am getting a LOT of that recently from ignorant people).

Right now I want to scream "Welcome to MY world!!" to all of those who are having a difficult time with my son.

Right now I am tired and would love a trip to Italy, or England, or Australia, or Thailand, or New Zealand.... anywhere but Holland!

I know my peace will come back, that this is just a time of trail and transition, but seriously... so tired today!

And why you ask... why today are you tired?

It's been a rough few months, but it seems to be getting rougher and rougher. I am ready for this trial to be over and to start building health again, at least the kind of health that Holland has. But I don't get to control that timing, I just have to ride the current of people who have never read a single book on Holland! And that ignorance is more frustrating than ANYTHING. I am smart. I am educated. I know all about our Holland. But I am not being heard or respected and that hurts.

This morning Nathaniel had a HUGE rage over, of all things, brushing his teeth. Now part of my world with Nathaniel is STRICT ROUTINE. He has to have things in the same order day after day. But while he has been staying at my parent's that has not been happening. This morning I went to get him ready for the day (which had already started poorly with him and my mom) and I knew he has been sick. Now I am a little odd myself when it comes to brushing teeth, and especially when I am sick. I like to brush my teeth three times a day on a normal day, but when i am sick it's more like 5 or 6 times a day.... something about yucky germs in my mouth making me feel yuckier... weird, I know. So anyways, this morning I grabbed Nat's toothbrush and went to brush teeth with him. He went into a HUGE rage, so much so that I set the toothbrush down and said we would try again in 5 minutes when we were all in better moods. Nat STORMED off into the other room, and I just let him go to cool down. Just 2 or 3 minutes latter he was screaming that his teeth were falling out. Sure enough, when I went in there, he had tantrumed to the point that he knocked out one of his molars! Some days I just don't know what to do with this boy! So we are off to the dentist soon to see if it was a baby tooth or a permanent one.... praying for baby!

Things are a little better right now... but I am walking on egg shells in Holland today... wanna join me????

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

as promised.....

In my last post I told you that my computer ate my sunrise pictures :( It's true.... silly computer was hungry! SO this morning, in the midst of the chaos that was my morning, I attempted to take more for you. Unfortunately, with the time change and all, the sunrise wasn't as strong as usual during my devotional time, but it's still pretty :) And I love watching it through the dark trees and power lines.
My devotional reading this morning also really spoke to my heart and drove home a point that I have been turning over and over in my mind. The devotional was discussing Communication Principles, and one of the points was the The Principle of physical touch. This is what the devotional had to say: This is hard to apply once an argument has started. So when you know you're about to embark on a touchy subject you may find it beneficial to hold hands or sit close so you naturally touch. Ever notice it's hard to fight with someone when you're making physical contact?

Interestingly, I have just experienced an extended time of close confidence and sharing with a dear friend. This friend and I could talk about so many hard subjects in my life, and he didn't hold much back, but I always felt safe during these talks. Reflecting on why I came to the realization that even if I was feeling overwhelmed or depressed about what we were talking about I knew and could feel his friendship, and that was usually because he was touching me somehow! A hug, a squeeze of the hand, a hand resting on my shoulder as he delivered a blow. So me, especially since one of my very strong love languages is physical touch. Now compare that with my husband who never touched me at all.... hmmm.... no wonder I felt safe with one and not the other!

And that drives home another fact that has been nagging the back of my mind.... I miss my friend!!!! I hope he is somewhere happy, because I miss him!!! :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

As the reality of moving becomes more and more clear to my heart I am noticing things that I am really going to miss about this home that I have poured my heart into for the last 10 years.
One things for sure is this glorious rose plant in my garden. I truly have a black thumb and kill almost everything I ever plant. But when we moved in here there was a rose garden started and I gave it a shot at keeping it alive. So far I have done rather well, but I think it has way more to do with the persistence of all of the roses that were already established than anything I have ever done! Any plants that I have tried to add have not survived, but the ones that were here when we moved in still thrive.
This is by and far my favorite one. The coloring on these roses is BEAUTIFUL and they are so hardy too. The plant blooms at least three times per year, and I am in heaven when it is blooming. I feel blessed that it is coming into bloom right now, just before we have to leave. I get one more chance to enjoy this splendor of God!

Another thing I am going to miss is the views sitting at my picnic table in the front yard. I was recently reintroduced to this and am so thankful for that blessing by a dear friend. I have come to spend A LOT of time at that table in recent months!

This is looking over the top of my house. I often sit and contemplate life here, gazing at this. Especially of late, when I have so much quiet time to think about things. I sit at the table, have a smoke and think about things. One thing that always strikes me about this view is the wide open sky all around, then there is that small path between the trees. I feel like it's such a good analogy of life. Life is so big and so full, like the sky, but the right path is narrow in all of that bigness. This is really obvious too in the storms of life, when things are all tossed around and those trees are almost touching from the storms, still the right path is narrow and often not the easiest one!

Another thing I took a picture of was the sun rising through the trees in the other direction. I love this view as I sit and read my Bible at that same table in the morning. And as much as I wanted to share it with you, my computer obviously didn't, because it ate the pictures :) Guess I will have to try to capture it again another day for you!

Don't get me wrong, there is plenty that I will be happy to leave here. Many devastating memories, much sadness and much broken heartiness, but there are good things too. And those good things are the memories I want to carry forward with me. The ones I want to document so my children can have them.

Blessings on your day!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

today's high points

Let's not discuss the lows, K?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Art Science Expo

SOME HOW I managed to get to go to the Art Science Expo at my children's school this morning with them. I say some how because the powers that be thought I shouldn't be able to take them, but God worked it out... and I am so glad that He did!! It was fun :) And the added bonus was that Bri came with us and I got to see her for a little while. Yes! I miss Bri and Jo so much...
There were tons of cool things for the kids to do there, and it all supported our PTA so it was (Gramie's) money well spent! Audrey did impression paintings with pieces of nature and stencils... the little artist that she is.

Bri really enjoyed the chicks and was a great helper to Nat & Audrey in holding them.

Although Nat was only interested in LOOKING at them up close... just like the turtles and star fish too! It's funny because he has been SO EXCITED about this event, talking about it all week, but when we got there he wasn't into touching anything. Silly boy.

Audrey, on the other hand, had no problem touching.... she wanted it all!


She was even into kissing it all too! I swear, this is the child who will VOLUNTEER to kiss a pig in the Kiss a Pig contest things!

But the biggest hit of the morning was the music room, provided by the local symphony group. Nathaniel looked like a natural with the violin, and he got some good sound out if it too!

So serious!

Of course monkey see, monkey do, so Audrey was totally into it too!

Nat really liked the percussion stuff... and made some BIG noises with the Cymbals!

Audrey is so musical. She blows my mind often with her musical abilities... she played the violin.. well!

She got clear sounds out of the flute, and the flute is not always the easiest instrument to play!

She remembered the trumpet from the jazz concert we took her to a few weeks ago.

Even demanded to know why they had not brought a mute for her to practice with like the trumpet player from Preservation Hall had!!!

She laughed at the bells and said that they were too "girly"...

But I think she astounded us all on the trombone!!!

Right after this the lady picked up the other trombone and would play a note, showing Audrey which position to hold the slide in. And the amazing thing was that Audrey hit EVERY ONE of the notes the lady showed her! If she was off Audrey would listen and move things around till she hit the note right, then she would beam up at the lady. I think we were all a bit amazed by it. The lady from the symphony asked me how long Audrey had been taking music lessons for...... Umm... she has NEVER had a music lesson!!!! A few demos here and there at school, but never any training. The lady looked a little shocked at that news. I laughed and said, "She has quiet an ear on her, and she writes her own songs too." I guess I should look into some music classes for her.... when life settles out some!

I feel blessed to have spent the morning playing with Nathaniel and Audrey at such a fun event. How lucky are we that our PTA puts on such fun and educational stuff?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

could it be???

Yesterday was REALLY hard on me. It was a lower than low day, but I worked through it with much reflection, much time in the Word and a LOT of writing. I journaedl over 30 pages in a Word document to process. But on the whole it ended well with some new revelations, some movement on areas I am working on healing in and a great deal of self revelation.

This morning I was very encouraged in my Bible reading, even so far as to post this Bible verse as my Facebook status:

"The Lord says, "Whoever loves me, I will save, I will protect those who know me. They will call to me, and I will answer them, I will be with them in trouble; I will rescue them and honor them. I will give them a long, full life and they will see how I can save." Psalm 91:14-16

And then an amazing thing happened today. There is a man at church that had been referred to me for some sewing work. He came in today to pick up one order and drop off another. We were chatting and I felt in my heart that I should mention to him my upcoming need for housing for the kids and I. I brought it up, almost feeling silly, but brought it up anyways. He asked a few questions, then informed me that one of his good friends has a rental and he just found out that it will be coming available soon!! It sounds PERFECT for the kids and I, meets our needs, is in the price range I was hoping for and even accepts dogs!!! I have been so fearful of trying to find a place that meets our needs in this area that is so expensive to rent and yet I am filled with hope tonight that this might work out ok. Won't you please pray with me that if this is the Lord's will He open doors and makes it possible?

Praise be to the Lord who works all things together for those who love him!!

Now I am going to TRY to get some much needed rest... I am so tired! I really hope sleep comes to my house tonight!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!

My Saint Patrick's Day cuties... Love them to pieces!

Funny thing about my kids recently... they will NOT look at the camera at the same time!! Goof balls....

Thanks to my DEAR friend Lorena I got to spend the afternoon with my precious children. What a blessing and JUST what I needed. We did homework first, of course. The we headed off to Carlock's for a birthday afternoon treat.

And then we did another birthday tradition in our household...

Silly string war!!!!

Sometimes you just need to goof off.... if you know what I mean!

And silly string is so cheap, that this is a standard birthday treat around here.

Check out my cool new hat that Lorena made me.... LOVE IT!! I am getting quiet the collection of awesome colorful hats, so I will never be lacking one that goes perfectly with my outfit :) I am so spoiled by her!

Love seeing those happy smiles and hearing all of the giggles. Made my heart happy.

The girls were pretty fierce in their competitiveness... but still giggling away :)

Goof balls.

In related news...

Audrey wrote an awesome story at school today that I thought I would share with you!

Translation for those of you who don't read first grade writing so well...

One time I saw a Leprechaun stuck in a hole. Audrey helped the Leprechaun and the Leprechaun helped Audrey. The Leprechaun gave the gold to Audrey.

So cute. I am so proud of her for learning to put her sentences together and making a story that is easy to follow. I LOVE to write, and it's so healing for my sole, I hope this is something that Audrey can master too, and that it will help her too!
And, of course, no first grade story is complete without illustrations. So Audrey in pink and the Leprechaun, Sam, is the one with a shamrock hat. Love it.

Other that this joy I have had a HARD day. I have spent the day in tears processing things that I would rather leave buried, digging through old journals and praying for healing in many areas of my life. I have been writing up a storm too. A story you don't want to read I am sure, but that is ok. I am writing it for healing for my heart, and maybe to share with a trusted friend or two, but mostly for my heart.

So I wished to spend some time with my 4 munchkins... so far I have got to GREAT JOY of spending time with 2 of them... but the night is not over yet, maybe my wish to see the other two will still happen.. we shall see.

Have a blessed and happy evening!

thought, thoughts, thoughts.... every where thoughts!

One of the benefits of sleepless night after sleepless night is LOTS of thinking time. I have so many thoughts running around my brain it's ridiculous! Seriously... I need to get them out so that MAYBE I can sleep, or at least think during the day! So beware... lots of thoughts about to explode forth! And don't be surprised to see a bit more writing from me in the next few days, I seriously need to get this all out!
I have been doing lots of thinking about the devotionals I have been reading, and drawing the lines in my life. No matter how low things get, I remind myself that God can use it all for His purpose and CLING to that thought. From my reading recently I think God is trying to drive that point home to me :) I want to share some of the things that have spoken to me this last week and see if they hit home with any of you too.

And for those of you that aren't like minded in your thoughts of the Lord, I gave you pretty pictures with this challenge: Look at the beauty, the splendor, the texture, the color, the detail and the depth of all that is around us. Study it, notice it, absorb it. Now reflect on it. Did all of this come from some huge explosion, or did someone or something put great thought into the creation of the things that surround us? We are blessed to live in a world FULL, full of color, full of texture, full of excitement, full of depth. Did all of this just happen? I choose to think not. I have seen the after effects of explosions and I don't think that is what we are surrounded with. I choose to believe that a loving father created this beautiful world for us to enjoy during our trials here. I choose to believe that He surrounded us with a little sample of the glories that await us. And, though this world looks is not flat or boring to me, I believe that when we enter the gates of heaven this will all be so dull in comparison! I for one am looking forward to that splendor! What about you?
"We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." Romans 12:6 So recognize and develop your gift. That can be intimidating, especially if you've spent your life looking for approval from people who've none to give you. Stop making your life an ongoing struggle to be something you weren't meant to be. God made you who you are, when you try to be somebody else the best you can ever be is number two. So be yourself; after all, who's more qualified?

This is something that I am really struggling with right now. For years I have tried to be a great wife to a very sick man. I now see that, though I thought this is what God wanted from me it really wasn't my call in life.

I am a deeply private person in so many ways, yet when I let God lay a person on my heart I love them so deeply, so passionately and in such an encompassing way. Sometimes this is good. It was great with my darling nieces that I adore as deeply as I do my own children. It is great with the many children that the Lord has brought into my heart and my life throughout the years. It is even good with many friends that I have. But at times it is not so good. Like with a sick husband who took that about me and drained me. Like with dear friends that I adore, but they use that about me to get what they need, then walk off into the sunset.

I am also a passionate person about much. Family, friends, art, creating, children, community, music and the Lord are just a few of the things that I am passionate about. But here recently I have heard that passion turned negative and it hurts. Passion about good things is not bad. Passion in it's self is not bad. But often those that are passionate are mislabeled, called names and hurt. One must be careful to be sure in what they are doing before opening their ears to the world, for often the world wants to judge and destroy, and passionate people are easily hurt by that!

"Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion" Ephesians 6:13-18) The most effective weapon the enemy has against you is... you! Your old sin nature must be taken to the cross and crucified daily. The place of prayer is where you do that. In God's presence you see yourself as He sees you. There, at the point of repentance, He reveals, He removes, He restores. When your prayer life goes, so does your protection. So get busy and reorder your priorities.

Here is another I am struggling with. The enemy is DEFINITELY using my fears and insecurities against me right now. And although I am in constant prayer, I need to dig deeper and give those fears and insecurities over FOR GOOD to the Lord, so that the enemy can no longer use them! It is so hard in my current broken state, yet I KNOW it's the only way to get whole again!

You're on a temporary visa- never forget that! Weigh your actions and your decisions in the light of your ultimate destiny, not your immediate comfort.

Oh yea... for sure! The life of this world is but a blink of the eye in the light of eternity, yet how hard that is to remember in the pain and suffering we have here!

This life is the short story, heaven is the unending one.

Enough said. Well put.

"Well done, good and faithful servant." (Mt 25:21) It's the only commendation that matters. One second after you've arrived in God's presence, what are you going to wish you had done? THAT should be the driving force of your life.

I truly believe this and look for ways to walk it out everyday. Who can I bless? What child of God's can I make a difference to today? What life can I touch in an eternal manner? Is that action going to REALLY matter in the scope of heaven? Questions I believe we should all ask ourselves multiple times per day, if not per hour!

Paul says, "Suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character and character, hope." (Romans 5:3-4) Trying to circumvent the principle of suffering producing character may bring temporary relief, but in the long run you lose out. Jesus walked out the process from beginning to end. Character building always involves a cross - but the end result is always a crown.

In light of all that is happening in my life this is a very real point to meditate on constantly. Having so many people pointing out things that they think I need to change is a bit overwhelming to me, but remembering to take it all back to the cross and beg for God's direction in that healing is what keeps me sain. (or sainish..)

God's power can not be stored; it only comes in the measure required, at the moment of need, and as your faith places a demand on it.

Interesting ....

I guess that is probably enough for now.. although the next one on perfectionism is good... but that will have to wait, it's time to go to work now :)

May your day be filled with blessings!