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Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Magic came early this spring! 

My kiddo, who was supposedly doomed to a vegetative state until his predicted death by age 4, went to the Tim Tebow prom last month with a classy “typical” classmate in a hott pink dress, who donned him with a crown and made him king for the evening.

He turns 17 this April.

Security on the main floor was tight as a drum. We peacock-proud parents, along with well-wishers and assorted spectators, were relinquished to the balcony Atop the main floor of a local Episcopal reception hall balcony. 

Parents reconnected. Teens connected. Souls and dreams flourished…


Dear God, thank you that there is a place in Heaven and here on earth for everyone. 

Help us remember that regardless of health or illness, strength or infirmity, life or death, earth or Heaven, sane or insane, righteous or sinners, we belong to You. 

During this Lenten season, Lord, let us wrap our brains around Your concepts of letting go of convention and embracing what is different, foreign and changed.

Transform us, God, into what You would have us be for You, not for men or earth or the lives we know here on earth.

Shine Your mercy on us, Father, that we might slow Down and cherish every moment, with the faith of Your promises beyond.

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The path to Christmas at our house seemed a lot like the one for which the day itself celebrates.

This year has been a long, hard journey…only to get to the end to find no room at the inn, in many ways.

The year has been a story of disabilities, disasters and way too many losses….but also one of perseverance, sharpening and victories, often disguised as hardships. I am highly confident that 2017 will be a year of rebuilding and grace.

So, there weren’t as many gifts under the tree this year, and many of them would have blended in with the latest Fruit of the Loom commercial….which may sound bleak for American children in this day and age – at least at first glance.

But in our culture of entitlement, I think it was just what the children needed to learn some valuable character lessons. 

Less yields more appreciation and a deeper sense of valuing “Stuff.” Less is just what was needed to drive home some salient points we parents otherwise try to teach our children with varying degrees of success. 

I can safely say it is much harder to teach some of these lessons unless a child experiences the sting of disappointment, of going without. A little humility yields great things!

There were lessons this morning in climbing out of a pit, of garnering one’s creativity and ingenuity to generate solutions to get where you want to be, to realizing your dreams. To being the one to make your own dreams come true instead of relying upon others and the world to make it happen FOR you. 

Actually, kind of like the very premises our country was founded upon!

Instead of a spirit of downtrodden weakness, a prevailing spirit of hope, faith and love.

And it didn’t come in the form of an expensive gift, it was not proud, it did not boast. There were no clanging cymbals.

My friends, God was right when He said the greatest of these is LOVE. This gift sat in at the back of the tree in a little silver, unmarked box, having gone mostly unnoticed until this morning.

The very youngest child patiently waited until all the gifts had been opened and he quietly padded over to his mother, the one in the room whose name was not on any of the gifts (because it’s all about the kids, right?) and he handed her the plain  tin box and eagerly waited for her to open it. 

His light blue eyes danced with anticipation as she carefully opened it and joyously received the greatest gift of all:


And Merry Christmas with love to you all! 

May God bless you richly with His love…but don’t look for it at the 5 star resort in the top-floor suite. It can be found in a quiet valley of solitude, where things are simple and lowly, sweet and holy.

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It’s been awhile, friends. I’ve missed y’all!
I did not abandon the blog, but have been pleasantly distracted by this, that and the other in life, like…
 

Monitoring my teenagers’ phones and finding stuff like this

 
 

Selling the farm

 
 

Easter Egging

  

Teaching young men to be gentlemen

  

Coming home to a fountaining water heater and getting a new one

  

Noticing odd photo ops

  

Finding out my kid discovered Photo Shop on my iPad

  

PMSing

 
 

Trying a lighter hair shade, going Garth-Blonde

 
 

Getting to see what my town looks like from the air

  

Getting one of two hip replacements

  

Doing a homemade color-by-numbers during recovery

 

Bloodletting

  

Barely getting out of the hospital alive (note listed allergies & plate)

  

Watching Mr. Lizard go a-courtin’

 
 

Mardi Gras parades & assorted residual loot

  

Being visited by a cardinal

  

Septic fun!

  

Coming home to find the silverware gnomes organized my silverware drawer

  

S’mores…

  

…over a warm winter fire dancing

  

Savoring thoughtful sentiments from little ones

  

Hot morning coffee in the cool spring sun

 

A winter walk on the beach

  

Turning 50

  

A little getaway to my favorite Suites

 
Thanks, God, for a long season of joy, renewal, hope and resurrection. Thank You for the dead of winter yielding to the lifeSpring of growth and eternal life. May my readers be thusly blessed in their seasons, as well. 

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I love this week’s Photo Challenge which is all about taking something and running with it – about going many steps beyond your wildest dreams.

Never believe that the impossible isn’t possible or that a dark and gloomy prognosis means the end of the track.

From a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, 8 months old…told IF he lived, he would be in a vegetative state and die by age 4…

  
…to Special Olympics, 2015 – Kissing a pretty girl fifteen years later makes it well worth coming out of a coma and surviving!

 Believe in the extraordinary – faith, hope and love are the greatest of gifts.

Thanks, God, for second, third and fourth chances. And tenth and seventy-seventh chances. 

You know, God, sometimes I think that Your lessons about faith, hope and love are as much about our aspirations as they are a reminder of Your unwavering faith, hope and love for us. It IS a two-way street, isn’t it? 

That when our ordinary faith, hope and love stray, You – our Rock – never lose those three things for us, and it is Your extraordinary faith in us, Your hope in our return and Your eterrnal love for us draws us back and is what causes such rejoicing among the angels when we return.

Many happy and extraordinary returns!

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Humanity …http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/humanity/

Medical technology gives us more choices in creating and controlling our destiny and that of our offspring.

It is estimated that 92% of fetuses who test positive for signs of Down syndrome today are aborted.

When David was in utero, all the tests came out “false negative.” We had no reason to believe anything was abnormal. His birth was normal – he came skidding out in 45 minutes flat, weighing in at 10 lbs 6 oz.

But he wouldn’t nurse, and his blood coagulated quickly – he resisted life initially, so measures were taken to keep him alive. He got blood transfusions (GIVE BLOOD!) and was the biggest, giant baby in the NICU.

A couple weeks after his birth, he tested positive for Trisomy 21. Fragile, he contracted pneumonia and his lungs collapsed 75%. He was airlifted on a Mercy Flight and was not expected to live.

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I pumped milk for him to be fed through a tube down his nose and into his stomach for months, while we lived in a Ronald McDonald House.

In his coma, we sang to him and talked to him, trying to give him the best of his only days on this earth.

Some argue that this is a waste of human and social resources. Had the fetus (David) been tested with today’s technology, it (he) could have been caught and prevented, and the six-figure price tag for his hospital care (at the time) could have been saved.

This is not a new concept; history repeats itself over the generations, but usually only the newer generations have forgotten the atrocities of the older generations. And…one thing leads to another….

Technologically advanced eugenics is indeed alive and well in the world today, whether we prefer to notice or not.

The prognosis was, if he didn’t come home in a casket and came home in a car seat instead, he’d be in a vegetative state at best, and could possibly live to age four or five.

Once I relinquished him to God, whether it be on earth or in heaven, somehow his flat line began to take off and he lived…(the little dickens extubated himself when he came out of his coma…he had a will to live).

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“Mighty David” defied all odds and, just like you and I, went on to do great things.

Like walk and talk and tickle and play in the band and paddle board and know Santa and be featured in the National Down Syndrome Society and Little League….nosiree, no vegetative state for HIM!

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imageMeeting Santa Claus while marching with the high school band in the Christmas Parade last year (He’d really hoped to meet Philip Phillips):

(Can you say JOY?)

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Quality of Life: Priceless

(beating Mom at push-ups)

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Don’t judge: there were abortions and one live birth prior to David, and two live births and four miscarriages after David…it always works out just the way God intends, even if we think we’re in charge!

No judgment, only LOVE and FULFILLMENT!

We do what we believe we must do when we must do it. God does what is meant to be, regardless.

Thanks, God, for Your perfect will and guidance….for rainbows out of clouds, for strength in weakness, for thumbs up in the face of Downs, for David and children all around the world who beat the odds and magnify Your glory, and for always being in control no matter what.

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Thank You for being an Awesome God!

 

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This Photo Challenge began with a commotion Friday night in our back yard, with my eldest child mysteriously sawing and hammering and screw-gunning away.

Then yesterday the sun dawned on his creation. And all this mother on Mother’s Day Eve could whisper was, “Oh, snap…what IS THIS instrument of death?”

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He’d made his own bike ramp and tested it repeatedly throughout the weekend.

I’ve no idea how many test-runs he made before I got home, BEFORE I reminded him to wear his helmet.

Be still, my heart…

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The littlest brother tried to learn to jump off the ramp like the biggest brother’s double-backwards twist:

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Kids will be kids!

And moms will be moms. After I studied how he did it and had captured his motion enough times on camera, it kinda looked fun…so I thought, “Why not?”

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But I couldn’t master his speed, so I decided to stick with the motion that gives me the most positive e-motion:

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Hey, God…thanks for keeping us on the move, whether we like it or not, ready or not, willing or not.

You created the universe to be in perpetual motion – us included.

May we find comfort in change, the inevitable – for You have by design made all things to go forward towards Your plans, in Your time.

Let us change and be changed…and embrace the journey as we go!

P.S. – and God, please help us remember to wear our helmets… (Ephesians 6:17)

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Nobody prepared me for raising an adolescent. There simply was no handbook.

That is, unless, you count my mother, who shook her finger at me early one morning when I rolled in two hours well after curfew and she admonished, “Just wait until you have children of your own!”

And that same Nobody failed to prepare me for the digital age of eBay, when my teenaged fifteen year old who drove us all to the beach yesterday without incident, decided to do his Christmas shopping online after choosing the surfboard of his dreams.

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His mother loves a bargain but she didn’t fall for this one, other than the photo op…No, the piece de resistance was upstairs among a row of gently used surfboards, suitable for beginners.

Shopping for himself, that is. I had to gently remind him tonight about his budget and what he had (or had not) set aside to buy gifts for his siblings, father and…his mother. Um, hadn’t thought that far ahead. We had a lovely lesson this evening in the blessing of giving, of budgeting, of thinking beyond one’s own means. Of trusting God for the details and of thinking of others before self.

So as I’m preparing supper tonight, I overhear a conversation ensuing on the house phone, regarding fishing apparatus:

“Okay, so I  buy the reel off eBay (inferred: because I think I can convince my mom before you can convince yours). ”

Neighbor kid then says, “Then I’ll trade you the one I have that’s actually worth more. You get your mom to bid on the one on eBay tonight and you can have mine, and you can actually sell it for more.”

“Okay. Lemme ask.” “No, don’t ask…just see if she’ll do it…” “Okay…, but she might not do it until the morning.” “It’ll be gone by then…”

And so it went.

So he approached me in the kitchen in between that last load of laundry getting folded and supper to the table, and he did a very fine job buttering me up.

I smiled and told him no, not until I had a chance to ask Daddy (who was at work) and to contemplate the budget in light of all the flurry of Christmas purchases. This did not set well for anyone, apparently – my son dug in a little further and threatened that if I didn’t “act now,” all would be lost.

So I lectured him about trusting the Lord for all good things and not acting on impulse.

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Thank goodness nobody acted on impulse going in the water today – these Portuguese Man-o-Wars were all over the place, breeding season. Their royal purple hues match the royal purple colors at church celebrating the birth of our Christ Jesus, n’est-ce pas? Very timely….and seasonal!

I also reminded him that this same beloved neighbor kid still owed us a Tonka fire truck since 11 years ago he carelessly threw our son’s beloved truck  on to our play dirt pile and broke it. Son and I shared a hearty laugh as we recalled that dark day when both boys were four years old in our yard,  a couple years before Katrina when we all knew no hardships to speak of.

I believe I wrote a poem that day about them – I’ll have to dig that up. It was the one that didn’t get published in a mainstream children’s lit magazine – they chose the one that was glossy, not real.

But in the end my fire truck argument held no water, because que sera sera, and his “must order now” argument held no water, either, because the buck stops here.

I trust that the boys will work out their fishing reel dilemma with or without eBay, with or without the blessing of the mothers, and with or without the decade-old fire truck mishap.

I trust that the Lord will see to all our needs this Christmas and beyond, if we trust in Him and act on faith, not impulse.

May your Christmas be filled with faith, circumspection and hope for all things right and good.

Merry, merry Christmas, my dear readers!

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