Thursday, January 31, 2013

time crunch!

I’m still here.  There’s a lot on my plate these days, and it seems that I never have enough time to take what’s in my head and get it down here.  We’ve been doing some teaching at church—I taught at Moms N Tots on time management (SUCH fun!!), and Jim and I have been involved in some teaching on Sunday mornings.  We’re involved in a ministry called Young Families, aimed at families with children under 6th grade.  Since we’ve already been there and done that once, we’re sort of the ‘old people mentor types’ in the class.  Young Families has been looking at kids with challenges and life with them.  We shared our experiences on navigating education with a child whose list of challenges/differences reads like a who’s who in the disability world.  Sad smile  BUT…it has helped us refine our thoughts, redefine the WHY of our decisions, and clarify  where we go from here.  God keeps teaching us, and hopefully we keep learning!  Some days I’m WAY too slow to get where He’s leading, but I can see pieces of the bigger picture…more than I could even just 4 months ago.  It’s encouraging.  And when I have (a little more) time, I’ll give the run-down.  In the meantime…

…here’s where some of my time has gone.  My Life in God’s Garden—Musings of a Mom of Many.   Diane is an amazing writer, and her family has been walking an incredible journey.  He faith is SO evident in her blog, and she shares so transparently.  Not just the good stuff…the hard stuff too.  The “I can’t do this any more, except for God” kind of days.  My heart echoes her cry in this post, but she’s so much more eloquent than I.   I have had the briefest glimpse of how she feels here as we have worked to come to terms with Logan’s challenges.    I check her blog almost daily and pray for her family often, even though we’ve never met.  Diane inspires me!  Smile

With that, I need to get moving today.  Since we’ve been in Everett for speech, there’s still lots to accomplish before dinner.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I have 2 challenges for everyone today.  One is fun, and one will be hard.  We’ll start with the fun.  Smile

valentines marriage challenge

Go here and take the 2013 “Be My Valentine” Marriage Challenge.  There are activities for every week between now and Valentine’s Day to make this season extra special for someone you love.  The weekly challenges are fun and will bring some extra spice to your marriage.

And then, when you’re done looking that over, c’mon back.  The second challenge is a bit tougher.  Okay…a LOT tougher.

I want you to go read an incredibly fascinating series of articles about adoption.  Yes, it’s primarily about adoption in and from China, but much of the information is true regardless of where in the world you are talking about orphans.  I know my heart is in turmoil, knowing that we have the resources and the ability to change the world for another child or two, but not necessarily feeling the pull at the moment.  It’s that impossible question:  when you know the RIGHT thing to do but you don’t feel like doing it, is it okay to say ‘no’?  I’m thinking God would have some thoughts on that!  I’m definitely praying here about what we do next.  (No, it’s not likely that we’ll ever be adopting again.  Stranger things have happened, I know, but I would fall over in a dead faint if we moved forward.  We’ll see.  This is when I’m grateful God is in charge, not me.   Smile  )

The articles:

All these articles were written by Amy Eldridge, whose organization (Love without Boundaries) has been involved in orphan care in China for over 10 years.  LWB does incredible work there!! 

Happy reading!  Can’t wait to hear what you think of the challenges. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

well, if you think it will help someone…

This boy:



Jim and I are teaching in our adult Sunday School class a week from Sunday.  The class is going through a series on living with those who are differently abled and uniquely challenged, and we will be teaching the session on navigating education for your uniquely challenged child.  As we’ve talked through some ideas, I have struggled with how much of what makes Logan uniquely challenged is appropriate to share.  After all, my desire is for him to see himself as ‘normal’ rather than ‘different’ or ‘disabled.’  I don’t want him to use his unique challenges as an excuse or even a crutch.  Yes, he has more challenges in his daily life than most of us, but he’s also got some incredible gifts that most of us don’t possess! 

Anyway, as I was struggling with how much to share, I decided to ask Logan for his input.  It is, after all, HIS story and HIS situation.  So I did.  And man was I blown away by this child’s answer.  He thought for a few minutes, then said, “If you think it will help someone, Momma, then sure.  Tell them whatever you want to about me.  I just want other people to be helped by it.”  My eyes filled with tears at the compassion of this little one.

We talked more when we got home, and it’s clear he truly understands what I am asking.  He knows he doesn’t hear well…and he offered to let us bring his hearing aids to class in case someone needed to see them.  He knows that he isn’t as coordinated as others, but he reminded me that with practice and patience he will eventually learn to do things like ride a bicycle.  He pointed out that already he’s learned so much about his balance and his body placement in space just from being allowed to run and jump and play (and fall down!).  He said that our encouragement to get back up and try again makes it easier.  He knows that he struggles greatly with working memory and inhibitory control and almost all things academic (he’s severely dyslexic).  He is, however, seeing the rewards of patience and time…and he is reading!  He is doing basic math!  He loves that we have the freedom to customize his learning to make it accessible for him, to help him achieve success.  He wants everyone to see the kind of success he’s seeing right now, and if sharing his story and his ‘issues’ helps one family, then he’s all for it. 

I can’t wait to see this boy grow up.  His compassion and desire to make a difference will change his world forever.  Just like he’s changed ours.  And that’s a good thing.  A VERY good thing.  Smile

Sunday, January 6, 2013

prayer needed

Sweet Ivy was adopted from China early in 2012.   She has a complex heart defect and has recently been through a fairly traumatic surgery and recovery period.  After being home for a short period of time, Ivy has had some complications and is back in the hospital.  Things don’t look great from a human perspective at the moment.  Please take a minute and read about sweet Ivy and her family, and pray for them!  Ivy’s blog can be found here.

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”   ~Matthew 18:20

Friday, January 4, 2013

Shout it from the rooftops!!

We are SO excited here!  Today was our first day back at school after a very long break.  (We take time off from Thanksgiving to the New Year, instead focusing on practical applications of our skills.  We use math in budgeting and baking and gift wrapping.  We practice our penmanship in list-making.  We learn about music appreciation and composers when we listen to Handel’s Messiah.  We learn life skills when we learn how to keep our Christmas focus in the right places.  And we enjoy the season with less stress!)  Anyway, today was Logan’s first day ‘back in the saddle’ and to start, we pulled out some slightly more challenging work I’ve been saving for the right time.  Guess what?  He BLEW through it all!  Every single page.  Every single problem!  Every word in the short book I had for him?  HE read them.  By himself.  Alone!  No tears.  No frustration.  No whining.  Just the grins and smiles that come from success, and the spiraling excitement when he realized that he really truly could do this!  Now, he’s not going to win any reading or math awards any time soon.  The book was small—11 pages.  It has 16 different words in it, in 21 sentences.  But he DID it!  For him it’s a HUGE step.  The best part?  He’s so excited by his success that he can’t wait to try the next book.  And the next.  And he’s already talking about how he’s going to do more than I think he can before school’s out this year.  For the kid who has approached every lesson with tears and trepidation, it’s a RED LETTER day.

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, and I apologize.  God has a way of making sure that we truly understand our topic when we are asked to teach.  I am teaching the young moms at church next week, and the topic I was given is time management.  And I have been learning lessons this winter.  Plagued by a mild infection since mid-October, I’ve been under the weather enough to have to evaluate my priorities and understand what’s truly important.  The down time that comes from an ongoing low grade fever and just generally feeling crummy has put significant experience to understanding how those priorities should be ordered.  Fortunately, I am feeling better and am (almost) ready to speak next week.  Even more important, I am grateful for the lessons learned through this and pray that they will stick with me.  Smile

So rejoice with us!  2013 is starting off with a bang.  Great school work.  Mostly restored health for me.  A girl who is excited to head back to WSU tomorrow.  One who leaves Wednesday morning for a semester abroad—in Florence, Italy.  (Such a hard thing for a renaissance era History and Art History major.  We will miss her terribly, but I know when she returns in May she’ll have loads to share.)  One who is back in school, eagerly awaiting her first clinical assignment.  And one who is coming to visit for his little brother’s birthday!  Can’t wait for that…36 hours at Christmas wasn’t long enough to suit this mom.  

I’ll leave you with the words God has given me for this year:

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  ~Psalm 90:12