Saturday, November 9, 2013


Today I'm finding myself in a different place than where I was yesterday. Yesterday, I was hurting and angry. I found myself in a place I hadn't been in a long time, depressed. Not in a depression, but depressed. I had put myself in a vulnerable position and felt hurt by the response. So, yesterday, I found myself obsessing over the decision I made, obsessing over the response I was given, and literally crying myself to sleep with a stomachache at 2:00 in the afternoon.

After hours of feeling angry and betrayed, pushing away everyone because I was wallowing in my own self pity and dreading at what the future may hold; it finally occurred to me that I couldn't handle this situation on my own. Even though talking to someone else about the situation was not a wise idea, I could talk to God because He already knew all the details and could give me the best guidance and wisdom.

It took me longer than I like, but eventually I started to put aside my pride and became more open to hearing the reasons for the response I was given. I still don't know what the future holds for this particular situation; but I do know that as long as I dwell on the feelings of disappointment and humiliation, the relationship I have with this person will be damaged. I have to forgive. Whether the responder intended to hurt me or not, I must forgive. And not just the other person, but myself too.

Forgiveness can be very difficult. For a deep hurt or repeated hurts, it may take a long time; but God knows that not forgiving others can cause a life time of pain, regret, and loneliness. He doesn't want that for His children.
When we can't find it in ourselves to forgive, God can guide us on how to do it. I may not have been ready yesterday, but I'm much more willing today to talk it through and find a path to forgiveness.


Monday, October 21, 2013

when I feel alone.

Feeling alone is inevitable. It happens to everyone no matter how popular you are or many friends you have, sometimes you feel completely alone. When I'm going through those times I desperately want someone to share my feelings with, but I don't want to burden anyone with my feelings or my negativity. My husband is a great "fixer", but sometimes there isn't a fix to be had (or the fix is overly complicated), and we both end up frustrated. It's during these difficulties that I am reminded that I'm not really alone. Even though I can't see Him or touch Him, God is with me. If I ask, I can feel His Spirit in my heart and hear his soft whisper in my mind reminding me that I'm not really alone.

If God knows every grain of sand and each hair on my head (and everyone else's head too), then I know He is with me. He know my heart, my loneliness, and sadness. 
"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father knoweth it.   
And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not, therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:26-27 
As with everything, these feelings come and go and sometimes they are with me longer than I would like, but there's the reminder that if I never go through the valleys; I can't truly appreciate the mountains. So my prayer for you today is the reminder that in our loneliest moments, our darkest nights, and deepest valleys; we are never truly alone.

Monday, August 19, 2013

how God helps me when I am weak

Growing up, I sang the song, "Jesus Loves Me" all the time until I got to an age where you just stop singing it because it's a "little kid song." Then I started singing it again to my children. Singing it as an adult, I've found that I should have never outgrown the song.

I figured a lot of people grew up singing it the way my sister and I did until I started singing it to my kids and my husband stumbled on the words. No, not everyone grew up singing it the same way. Here are words I learned,

Jesus love me, this I know
For the Scriptures tell me so.Little ones to Him belong
They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Scriptures tell me so.

Jesus loves me when I'm goodWhen I do the things I should.
Jesus loves me when I'm bad
Even though it makes Him sad.

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Scriptures tell me so.

When I was little, I remember imagining a stick figure of a person next to a full picture of Christ for the line, "They are weak, but He is strong." I was the stick figure, small and fragile compared to the strong, carpenter standing next to me. In weakness I would imagine the stick figure falling and scraping a knee, and Christ coming over to pick me up and carry me.

When I was teenager, my weaknesses weren't so much physical as emotional. I was broken and in desperate need of strength. God's strength. I definitely couldn't make it through the turmoil on my own. During that I time, I found amazing comfort in camp songs and hymns that I had grown up singing. Occasionally I would even allow myself the comfort  from "Jesus Loves Me."

The older I become, the more I see how God has worked in my life, in others' lives, and all the ways He is attempting to work in mine and others' lives now. 

Sometimes God is just there for us, like we are for our kids. We see them shivering and we hand them a blanket or we put our arm around them when they're crying. Other times, He waits for us to ask Him. Like when the kids are working on their school work; it's best to let them try and ask if they need assistance. God is the ultimate parent, and He will guide us and help make us strong where we are weak. He is also our strength when we feel like we cannot go any farther. 

There are times when God has sent His Spirit to give me assurance and strength, and there are also times when He has sent a person to help me. I haven't always understood that people could be "messengers" for God. A phone call, letter, or smile could be little messages of strength. In our world of social media, those messages can come as a picture on Facebook or a Scripture shared on Twitter. We don't always know how God will make us strong, or if He's waiting for us to call out to Him and ask. But the promise is there.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

God's will

I must admit that whenever I hear people talking about God's will I inwardly cringe. Not because I don't believe in God's will, but I do believe that God is blamed for many, many things under the guise of it being God's will. Have you ever noticed that when something good happens in our lives we toot our own horn about the choices we made, but when something bad happens it was God's will.

We've all heard it; when someone we know becomes ill, or someone dies, or loses their job or their house; it is often said that it must be God's will. But don't worry, where God closes a door, He opens a window. (An encouraging way to remind someone to look for the silver lining in their current storm.) I beg to differ. God is all powerful and can truly do anything He wants to do, but God is also righteous. His decisions are beyond our understanding, but we have to remember that He gave us agency. Sometimes our outcomes are because of our own choices, not because God wills for these things to happen. 

Maybe blaming things on God's will gives us some measure of comfort, because then it's not our fault that these bad things have happened. It was God's will and He will helps us through it. It is definitely true that God will help us if we ask and trust Him, but blaming everything on God's will can ultimately turn people away from God. It can appear that since God's in charge of everything and we have nothing to do with what happens, He must just be unfair or play favorites. Therefore some people would rather not believe in God than believe in an unfair God.

To me, saying everything is God's will is like blaming the car for running out of gas. The car gave all the signs that it was low on fuel. The odometer showed that it was time to refuel, the fuel gage was on empty, the low fuel light came on, and the bell dinged; yet the driver chose to ignore every sign and continue driving without refueling. Most of us would look at that driver and shake our heads as he/she blamed the car for running out of gas. Obviously, it wasn't the car's fault. Yet, when it comes to our own lives, we're quick to blame things on God's will and ignore our own part in the situation.

Now there are times when circumstances are beyond our control, but that still doesn't mean it was God's will. For instance, when Hostess closed and thousands of employees were left without jobs the conflict was between the board and the bakers' union. Unfortunately they weren't the only ones who lost their jobs. Many, many other employees suffered too. Sometimes our circumstances are due to someone else's choices. That still doesn't make it God's will.

Lastly, sometimes it is  God's will. (James it talks about this in the New Testament.) But I think far more often, our situations are due to people's choices. Be it our own choices or the choices of others. The greatest part in all this, is that no matter the "why", God is willing to be there for us; always! That's the kind of God's will I do like to talk about.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

taking responsibilty

Having four kids, you can imagine that teaching them to take responsibility can be quite a task. I'm not just talking about picking up after themselves or throwing trash away, but teaching the kids about taking care their fingernails and brushing their hair. Those little things that I know my parents' taught me (or someone did), but I don't really remember the lesson.

SB is heading toward his teen years, and the past few weeks I've been reminded by people that he is getting older and our lives are about to change. (Dom, dom, dom...) Even though I know it's true, and inevitable, I'm not sure that I am quite ready for puberty to hit my home. (Although, if the people talking to me are right, it already has. I just don't want to admit it.) Teaching a "tween" boy how to trim his own nails and how to fix his own hair is necessary, even though it's difficult to get him to see the need. He doesn't care how long his nails are or if there's a lot of dirt under them. (GROSS) It's not until I start explaining to him why he shouldn't want dirt under his nails and that keeping them short will help, that he decides I'm right. But that feeling that he should probably trim his nails doesn't usually last long enough for him to actually trim them. Therefore, it still comes down to Mommy telling him, get the nail kit and trim those claws. (Okay, so they really aren't that long, but... :-P)

It's not that I want my kids to become completely independent overnight, but I don't want them so dependent upon Hubby and me to tell them how and when to do everything that all I've done is set them up to fail. I do believe that kids need to learn age appropriate responsibility. BG can pick up her toys and help Mommy move the the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer, and wash the table. PG can do all the things BG can do, but she can wash windows and sinks, make sandwiches, fold and put away her clothes. SB has many things he can do, plus he's learning how to cook and manage a grocery budget and how to wash and dry laundry.

Chores and personal hygiene aren't all there is to being responsible. To me, living responsibly isn't just about being responsible to yourself, but to others too. It may be nice do whatever you want, whenever you want; but who honestly grows up to be able to do that. We all have some kind of responsibility to others. As kids, you have a responsibility to clean up your toys so that they don't end up broken if someone steps on them and so no one trips on a toy and falls. As a teenager, you take on more responsibility. Possibly babysitting or mowing lawns. As a baby sitter you may need to know how to safely cook a  meal, play with kids, and tuck them in at bedtime. Mowing lawns means more than just taking care of someone's yard, but also taking care of your tools: the lawn mower, weed wacker, rake, etc. As college students, it suddenly becomes your responsibility to make sure you make it to class daily and on time. You have to complete your assignments and ask for help when you need it.  You need to prepare your own meals and clean your dorm. As we get older, our responsibilities grow; and it is my firm belief that if we want our future to be filled with responsible adults, we need to teach our kids to be responsible. Even if one of the first lessons is how and when to trim your nails.

Monday, May 13, 2013

why you don't like Mothers' Day

Wow! Mothers' Day causes such tumult in my heart and mind that it makes me shake my head just thinking about it. It causes so much turmoil that my kids and Hubby believe that I don't like Mothers' Day. In reality, I do like Mothers' Day. I even like the idea of having a day off and feeling special. I just don't like saying what I want or making decisions because that's selfish. Right? (Bring on the inner battle!)

I have never wanted to be selfish or appear selfish to others (which in my mind means wanting anything for myself, even if it's something I need). Being raised to believe the right order is Jesus Others Yourself, anything that seems remotely "out of order" causes me to turn into a not so nice person. (I even struggle with the Scripture that says to love others as yourself because that means I am supposed to love myself. How can I love myself without being selfish?)

So around Mothers' Day; I can go from happy, to crying, to angry and back again all in a matter of minutes. Matter of fact my inner battle with being "selfish"  is so bad that Hubby and the kids take cover from the possible "tornado" that could occur at any moment multiple times a day. 

Honestly, when I think of Mothers' Day, it brings a smile to my face. Celebrating my mom, my mother-in-law, my sister, all the moms in my life gives me a lot of joy. I think of ways to thank them or gifts I can give. So why don't I like Mothers' Day?! I can't fathom others celebrating me. Isn't it selfish to ask others to be happy I'm in their lives; that I'm their mom? Isn't it selfish to want to feel special and extremely selfish to act on that desire?

I know this probably seems silly and absurd, but I really do struggle with this, so much that I inadvertently sabotage and ruin Mothers' Day. Because of my inner battle, I make Hubby and kids miserable and the whole day turns into a nightmare. I always regret my actions and behaviors. I never want to make my kids feel horrible, especially on a holiday.

This Mothers' Day can probably go on the calendar as one of the worst ones for my family so far. Not because anyone was sick or injured, but because my kids'  mommy (me) turned her inner battle with wanting to feel special but not wanting to be selfish into an outward war. So after a tumultuous morning and early afternoon I finally decided to try doing something I wanted to do. I took the kids outside (which is always a bit risky with my health) and watched them play. I even joined in on the playing a little bit. I really enjoyed watching Hubby throwing the frisbee with Super Boy and giving the kids wagon rides and even helping Nugget "kick" the ball around. Even though I couldn't do much to play with them, it felt great to watch them play and make memories. As supper time neared, I took a big step. I decided what I wanted for supper and instead of following my usual behavior and wait for Hubby to read my mind or make a decision of what we should eat, I took Nugget with me and picked up dinner of my choosing. Then I even decided what we should do for the rest of the evening and stuck with my desires! I almost never do this.

The second half of our day was pretty cool and remarkably different from the first half. I ended up actually feeling good after I made a decision and did what I wanted to do. I didn't feel out of line or terribly selfish either. I hope I can keep this up. I really don't want my kids growing up to think they can't ever do anything  nice for themselves. 


Friday, April 26, 2013

our family.

We have a medium sized family. A mom, a dad, two boys and two girls. Our oldest (SuperBoy or SB for short) is twelve. Next is Pretty Girl (PG); she's five.  Our sweet yet sometimes tumultuous three year old is BG, our Baby Girl. Our most recent addition, Nugget, is not quite a year old.

SB is an amazing big brother! He loves his younger siblings, but doesn't always want to be reminded to be a good example for them. He enjoys gross jokes and playing video games. Although I think his most favorite activity is reading. Right now he's preparing for his first solo for our church talent show.

PG loves singing. She wants to be a pediatrician and art therapist who helps kids. She has a real desire to figure out what makes kids sick and help them get better and feel better. She's learning how to read and write, but wants to learn more about medicine soon.

BG also loves to sing and dance. She enjoys being silly and having special mommy/daddy time. She likes to help and doesn't like hearing that she's too young or too small for different activities.

Nugget is really starting to show his personality. He has a contagious laugh and loves to play peek-a-boo. He still tends to cling to Mommy (a.k.a. Milk Machine), but he's getting better about staying with other family members.

Hubby works hard at a children's hospital as a media coordinator. Even though he loves working there and supporting kids' health, his dream is to work for himself one day. He is a loving dad and husband who enjoys music, running/working out, and movies. He loves to go barefoot and encourages others to do so also. 

I am a homeschooling mom who used to teach special education. I still have a desire to teach/assist students with special needs, so I write articles about special education for The special needs of my own kids as well as a physical disability that I am learning to live with give me a unique perspective on educating kids with special needs and their families. Singing, crocheting, writing, and spending time with my family give me peace in the midst of the struggles triumphs of parenthood.

All-in-all, we're a pretty happy family. :-D

If you would like to read my articles about special education go to