Category Archives: Children

Just have fun

image

Sometimes I struggle.

My kids understand, even though it annoys them.

It annoys me too.

Sometimes it annoys my hubby.

Yet, sometimes I struggle just having fun.

I want to defend myself.

If others realize how busy I am.

If those around me could just see the tasks calling my name.

If they only knew.

Of course none of this cares any weight.

God never told me I was to work unceasingly.

Infact the Bible specifically mentions a day of rest.

It talks about joy and gladness.

And deep in my heart I know my time isn’t to be filled with stuff.

Actually God makes it clear that people are more important.

So I’m trying.

I’m looking for opportunities to just have fun, even when I have other things calling to me.

In this case it was ten minutes before the basketball game.

Our son asked if he could play on the playground.

I wanted to say no.

To explain that there was no one outside to watch.

That it was almost time for the game.

That…

However, I walked him outside.

I sat on a bench in the shade.

I was able to just enjoy watching him have fun.

These days are numbered.

I won’t always have children at home who beg to be allowed to “just have fun”.

I praise God for these days.

I’m so thankful I didn’t worry about the list.

What a blessing,

to just have fun.

Blessing beyond measure

image

Well,
I’m finished.

Thursday was my last day to teach at the Academy.

I wanted to hug all the kids about a dozen times.

I had to work at not crying.

I was so blessed to receive a beautiful rose bush and a gift card to our favorite restaurant.

The best gift however was this quilt and pillows

I was presented it at the 8th grade promotion.

It is made up of Bible verses and notes from my various students.

Not just this year, but from every year I’ve taught.

Wow…

My oldest daughter even got in touch with one of my students who lives in another state.

The sweet lady who was my aid this year pieced it and another of the teachers was the one who had the kids work on it, and a third lady quilted it.

To add a special touch my life chapter is the center: Psalm 23.

I asked her how she knew.

She laughed. “I was there the morning Travis asked you what your life verse was and you said, ‘It’s a life chapter, Psalm 23, because I just can’t break it up, it all fits together. ‘”

I had forgotten about that moment, but she hadn’t.

My Anne looked at me when I laid the quilt and pillows on the bed.

“Mom, you need to take a picture. You need to write a blog about how blessed you are.”

I agreed.

The beautiful quilt is only a tiny representation of the blessings I’ve had working these last 8 years.

I have been so blessed to spend many days with the most terrific people.

Each and every one of my students I have had the privilege to know and love.

The lesson were more than just reading and writing, but character and wisdom.

They have taught me so much.

I have a beautiful long list of the memories of each student.

Some I only taught a year, but each has left a blessing on my heart, even those who were a challenge.

I have been so honored  to work with so many talented gifted people.

People who ignite the imagination of the students.

I have been thrilled to watch the young adults graduate and move on, some even beginning new families.

The truth is I haven’t been working these past 8 years.

I’ve been living with the joy of doing something I love.

I’ve been drawn ever closer to Jesus.

I’ve been taught, stretched, encouraged, and loved.

It has been an absolute pleasure.

Dear Lord,
   Please hold each of the children in Your hand. Please guide each family. Continue the work You began in each heart that these young men and women will be able to fully develop into the men and women of Christ You created them to be. Watch over them and protect them. Please let them know how much they are loved. Thank You for allowing me to have a tiny part in their lives. Thank You for letting me love them!
Amen.

At a loss for words

image

Not unlike this flower which hasn’t really gotten a chance to bloom is a tiny baby named Levi.

He was an emergency C-section because in an ultrasound they discovered his intestinal track wasn’t working.

After birth he was in surgery.

It’s been a tough battle since that day.

As I dropped off a boy from track practice I heard the latest news.

He’s going in for surgery again Thursday morning.

His intestinal track is still not working and he may not even have a gallbladder.

My friend’s eyes welled up with tears as she shared the news of this beloved baby.

I had nothing to say.

At school we took time to write letters to the family which will be given to the parents as our Assistant Pastor and Pastor pray for Levi in his hospital home.

One of our teachers cried softly as she related the struggles the family is going through.

I had nothing to say.

I picked up a pen trying to write.

Trying to find words of comfort.

Yet words seem so meaningless when I know the depth of pain.

I can only imagine the ache in the hearts of the parents, grandparents, extended family…

I’m still at a loss for words.

But I found something to write :

“We are praying for you.”

And it’s true.

We pray everyday for baby Levi.

I have friends whose entire family pray together every day for baby Levi.

And now I’m asking–

Will you take a moment and pray for baby Levi?

Understood

image

These are our beautiful kids.

Our oldest is in college now.

Our middle girl is in high school.

Life seems to move on whether I like it or not.

As I’ve been walking with the Lord this school year I’ve had many surprises.

There have been some sorrows as well.

Yet the thing which caused the biggest impact was the turn our kids’ education has taken.

We’ve been aware that our three younger children all have learning disabilities.

Yet God had a change, He was guiding me to teach my kids, myself.

No, I’m not a prefessional in learning disabilities, but I have been being trained by others and the Lord on how to teach my children.

It has been an exciting time.

I continue to look forward to all that the Lord is going to do.

And He’s given me so much help.

I have my wonderful husband who supports me 100%.

I have a tutor in a nearby town.

I have our public school Special Education teacher and his aids.

I have our public school’s speech teachers.

I have our Christian school teachers.

It is truly amazing how God has provided so much for our children.

What a wonderful God!

He’s love and provision astounds me.

I can’t say I’ve always looked at the circumstances this way.

I have had moments of selfish motives when I wished God would just change my kids so they could learn like everyone else.

There are times I’ve asked Him, “Why does it have to be so hard?!” “Why do my kids have to struggle? ”

And of course they have asked me the same questions.

I love the answer.

“Because you can’t see how all this is working together for their good.”

And in my heart I know it is working together for my good as well.

If everything came easy I would never learn try, perseverance, or even compassion.

If struggles in childhood didn’t come how would my children learn how to deal with the real world?

If God didn’t create us each individual where would creativity and expression come from?

God didn’t create only yellow.

He created a vast rainbow of colors.

God didn’t create one person with a set of blue prints to make the same model over and over.

He creates each person beautifully unique and gifted.

It’s all about understanding He has a plan, a purpose, even for the hard things.

I know I’m not completely able to grasp it all.

I know I’m unable to see exactly what He’s doing.

But I also know,
He has a plan and is working it out daily.

Even my kids can look at our lives and see it.

For us our comfort resides in God.

His love for us.

His provision for our needs.

His ultimately in control.

We can smile and say:
“Understood!”

Building

image

This is our boy.

He’s holding his Christmas gift from my sister and my brother-in-law.

I was so blessed by what my brotger-in-law said when Jase showed me the gift.

“I wanted to get him something he could put together but would be a bit of a challenge to him.”

Unless you understand our Jase this doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Our boy has a communication disorder which causes him a great deal of frustration and at times fear.

However we’ve learned he builds.

Legos are his very best friend.

So I’ve been trying to find things which help him to use his ability in ways which are broader.

Not too long ago I found a drawing of a catapult made with office supplies online.

I printed the picture and gave him a box with all the items and in less than 2 hours he had two catapults able to shoot a marble across the room.

His daddy came home and together they designed a better one which could shoot marbles across the house.

Now, thanks to his aunt and uncle he’s working on a car which moves.

All of this is special, because I know God made our son with gifts and abilities.

I know He has a plan and a purpose for his life.

And I can rest in the knowledge of His understanding.

God has been building me along with our son.

He helps me find new ways to encourage our boy in things which are very challenging.

He teaches me how to listen so I’m able to get an idea of life from our son’s perspective.

He’s showing me the value of flexibility and the patience to learn.

Unless I have a circumstance in my live which causes me to bend and flex, I can grow rigid with routine.

I can become callous to the needs of others unless my heart is made soft by the Lord.

As the Lord builds upon my knowledge of how to help our boy succeed, I can smile.

It warms my heart when someone near us sees something in Jase.

Like my family understanding his joy of building.

Or the elderly gentlemen I saw our boy hugging at the game last night.

( I asked Jase who it was. He said, “Oh. I don’t know, just seemed to be a nice man.”)

Or the sweet lady with a walker Jase helped with her groceries.

God is using all these things to build Jase into the man he’s going to be.

Ouch…

image

This hasn’t been very fun.

We are the visitors and although this is a photo of the clock at half time it gives an idea.

The second half wasn’t really fun either.

The other team coach rotated in his less experienced girls and we finally were able to put in some baskets.

The end score was 62 to 21.

Ouch…

Yet the evening peaked for me when one of the team came up and told me our daughter was in the locker room really doing badly.

Thankfully we had some pain medicine which got her to the place where she could walk, with help, to our car.

It was a somber drive home.

Why does God allow things like this?

What could possibly be gained by being creamed to the point of, well almost wanting to give up?

I know that there are times we learn more from the loss.

Try doesn’t come from things being easy.

There is so much we can gain through pain.

I took away the love of many.

As we drove away my phone began to blow up with texts from concerned parents, friends, and fellow team mates.

All of a sudden the game was just a distant memory.

My daughter’s well being was the priority.

(Which she has improved a bunch and I believe she’s going to be fine.)

So even in the pain of such a loss, the warmth of love from others has restored our joy.

God can teach, comfort, and guide even when we hurt.

A gentle heart

image

Every child is a special gift.

Every person has a unique calling.

Every human was created individually by God.

To each of us He gives a different blend of strengths and talents.

A gentle heart is one of the gifts He gave our Beth.

I was up very early this morning, because with the cold and snow our house is dependent on the wood heat.

When I awoke, I could tell our fire had died down.

Thankfully, I was able to get a new fire warming up the house before long.

For no reason in particular, I decided to go back to bed and the next thing I know, I’m blessed by breakfast.

(Beth would be unhappy with me if I let you think all she fed me was toast, fruit, and tea. I took the picture before she brought in the eggs and another plate of fruit.)

One of my favorite memories of our Beth is when she was on the door step of two years old.

Jase was a newborn and needed a change.

I laid him down and began to undress him.

Beth suddenly emerged from the bedroom with the wipes.

She had seen and understood my task and had rushed to help.

She’s still like that.

Her birthday is Christmas day.

(I was overdue ten days and scheduled to induce on the 26th.)

So as her gift to our family she cooked a huge breakfast of eggs, sausage, and pancakes. She decorated the table and made sure we had our choice of tea, hot chocolate,  or cider.

Her gentle loving personality is also a shy quiet one.

She doesn’t like crowds or large parties.

She feels uncomfortable meeting new people.

She’d rarely tell anyone when her feelings have been hurt, but would rather seclude herself to work through the emotions.

I’m certain God has a plan and a purpose for each of our children and created them with the gifts and abilities they will need.

As I watch each of them, and pray for them, I am encouraged.

Although they each have areas of growth, so do I.

When it comes to being a loving wife and Mom, I think of our Beth.

“Lord, please help me to have a gentle heart too.”