Whatever is true – and truly wonderful about your kids – think about such things

Whatever is true – and truly wonderful about your kids – think about such things

Welcome to the ongoing series, “You are not a victim, you’re a mom.” Perhaps it’s time to wrap these messages up, and tie it all together with a sweeping conclusion, that feels more like the wave of a magic wand making all things lovely. But it’s tough to do that because climbing out of sin is an ongoing journey this side of glory – even where motherhood is concerned. And that’s okay. There’s really no arriving until we see Jesus face to face and are suddenly like Him. That’s where we find our hope! Jesus is the victim that ultimately set the rest of us free.  And so I am pressing on to be more like Him each parenting moment. Feel free to join me in the journey as we continue with part 9 – or start from the beginning – You are not a victim, you’re a mom. I’m typing these words out at the dinning room table as my homeschooled kid finishes his outline for a research report in the kitchen. Natural light is streaming through the picture windows, the halls are quiet (since brothers go to a traditional school), I have an infuser blasting a steady stream of essential oils, which promise to clear a cloudy brain and stimulate alertness, and he has a handful of raw nuts by his side – brain food. I’m doing my best. He’s doing his best. But ADHD is hard stuff. Two years ago, right around this time in the school year, I pulled my child out of his class with a sense of urgency. His teacher spoke of grace but didn’t know how...
Because sometimes that one child, with all their special needs, takes everything you have

Because sometimes that one child, with all their special needs, takes everything you have

Do you have a child with impulse control issues, ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Aspergers, Autism, Dyslexia, APD, Depression, Anxiety, or a unique concoction of those listed above? And is it hard? I bet it is. I know it is. Having a child (or children) with special needs, behavioral disorders and learning difficulties can be one of the most difficult weights to bear. And under the pressure, moms can explode and marriages implode and love erode. It’s all so very complicated.     One sweet mom recently asked for prayer concerning her anger, and was so insightful to recognize the connection between the constant energy her child with unique needs requires and her own twitchy trigger finger.  She confessed the way she tends to explode at the rest of the family when she is simply worn out by her one special child. Yes. I can relate. I remember going to the psychiatrist for the first time with my son with ADHD. After he was assessed and diagnosed I immediately started talking about all the other issues in our family and the possible disorders my other kids might have. The doctor smiled, nodded, and said, “It’s very possible nobody has any diagnosable issues. They have issues, but the sort of issues that come from proximity. Don’t worry. Let’s see if we can help this one kid first. Usually what happens is that once we help one child with impulse control and oppositional tendencies everyone else’s behavior in the home begins to change.   Kids with behavioral, developmental, or learning issues often cause the whole family to have issues as well. And to some extent I’ve seen...
taste and see

taste and see

  Taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. (Psalm 34:8)   Today is the Sabbath, a day for rest, a day for taking refuge in the sanctuaries of our homes, our churches, our family, and our faith.  Resisting the striving to simply know that He is God, as we taste and see His goodness round about us. Walking through the garden the other day I was aware of how sweet the air smelled, the breeze carried honeysuckle, jasmine, and orange blossoms through eucalyptus and lemon trees. Imagine that.  Intoxicating.  The scent of earth and the whinny of horses, all of it home. Later in the day, as I homeschooled my fifth grader, I encouraged him to use all five of his senses to layer descriptive words into his writing assignment.  Inspired, I put a pad of unlined-paper in his hand and wrote see, smell, hear, taste & touch at the top of the page.  Sending him outside I asked my son to find a location on our property and write me a poem using those powerful tools.  The eleven year old swooshed the bangs from his forehead and rolled his eyes, slipped on his mother’s flip-flops then sauntered out into her rose garden.  When he returned he gave me this: In the Garden I see the magnificent roses on my mom’s bushes; I smell the wonderful scent of blooming jasmine; I reach over to touch the soft peddles of the rose; I taste the fresh squeezed lemonade from our lemon trees, cool in my hand. I feel that I am at home in the garden. –Caleb   That...
My Favorite Preschool Learning Games

My Favorite Preschool Learning Games

Criss cross applesauce on the shag carpet in my best friend’s childhood room.  It was the end of the 70s and we were just out of Kindergarten with our ABCs and 123s.  We spent our summer days riding big wheels around my block, then swimming in his backyard pool.  Often times his mom would usher us in with hair still dripping wet and set up a homemade board-game  between his two knees and mine.  We called it, “The M&M game,” because a little glass bowl in the middle of the board was piled high with those colorful candy prizes.   Taking turns we’d roll the die and make our way around the cardboard trail, stopping at each space to answer a math question.   9+1= 2+3= 4-0=   For every correct answer we’d grab a treat, never noticing we were learning.   This game, those memories, and the idea that play should be the basis for early childhood learning, became the foundation of how I’d teach my own preschoolers 30 years later.   Starting with a blank canvas, white and clean without a bit of knowledge on it, so like your two and a half year old.  Take a marker and draw a spiral pattern around your board,  make it into a double line and mark off individual spaces in the long learning snake.  Finally, inside each empty box write a letter, uppercase & lower case, or a number from 0 – 10.  But the first box says START, and that final spot holds the letters E-N-D.   Sometimes it was the roll of a die, other times the flick of our shoots and ladders spinner that propelled little minds around...
Empty Bibles – #endbiblepoverty

Empty Bibles – #endbiblepoverty

My home schooled kid is wrapping up math in the other room then it’s lunchtime, after that he’ll handwrite One Verse in his empty Bible.   Of all our Bibles, this one is my favorite.       “Over one billion people are still Bibleless around the globe. The Good News is…  God became man. Jesus was the first translation. Through God’s Word, all people can intimately know Him and His gracious gifts of freedom, mercy and hope. God is at work today. With an urgency no one could manufacture, He is recovering, restoring and redeeming His people. We are grateful He’s invited us to join Him.” The Seed Company     I love the picture of Jesus being the first translation of the Good News; The hands and feet of God’s redeeming plan. Translation:  Emmanuel. But the transcripted, transcribed, transcendent love continues today, beyond 1st world boarders, into regions where written logos have never been scripted on parchment.  And God invites us to join Him in the rescuing adventure.   The Seed Company is the fundraising arm of Wycliff Bible Translation, and they’ve made a way for laypeople just like you and me, to respond to this Great Commission charge.  And my children love being part of it too!   In fact, my kids heard about the Bibleless people groups at church, from their Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Bell, before I knew much at all.  Each week she read a chapter out of the book, From Akebu to Zapotec: A Book of Bibleless Peoples.  Before I knew what was happening, my middle boy started praying, “God please give the Akebu people your Bible so they can...
Pass the baton

Pass the baton

He was at least 90 years old, running up the hill by our home, holding a bag of grapefruit in one hand and a baton in the other.  Lean and long and determined, with a highly decorated Veterans cap on his head.  I’m guessing this ancient warrior had run down to the farmers stand this morning, down to the corner to grab his breakfast, and was now on his way home to cut it open and sprinkle sugar over each segmented slice.   But it was the baton that caught my attention.  12 inches of PVC piping.  Maybe he was anticipating a mountain lion or a pack of coyotes still up after a fruitless night of hunting.  And he was ready.  This man who probably fought in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam, now running at a snail’s pace, all sinewy and alert, still ready for an attack.  Back and forth the baton traveled, as he pumped his arms, cased in thin flesh.  Back and forth.   And I traveled past him in my Dodge Durango, up the hill to my home.  Pumping my own baton, back and forth.  Having dropped two kids off at school and returning now to teach the third at our dinning room table.  The laundry piled high, the refrigerator in need of cleaning, the sound of conference calls slipping out from under the door to my husband’s home office.  Swinging my club like I’m entering a war zone, ready for battle.   But I’m not. I’m not. Not.   Not in a battle.  Though challenges await.  No one’s heart is bent on attacking me.  And I think on the man...