Monday, November 14, 2016


The day after the election (oh may it rest in peace and never come back to haunt us!) I heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio ranting about Diversity.

His points included:

  1. People who want Congress and the Military to be diverse absolutely mean that white people are inherently bad and racist and there need to be fewer of them represented.
  2. By claiming our military is diverse we are saying that any other quality doesn't matter but that diversity is the most important thing.
  3. Every voice can be represented by white men (his example was something along the lines of: Do you think that men can't adequately represent women? And I thought, well of course they can't! Women have their own voice and can be their own advocates! And then the one that irked me the most......
  4. In order to be diverse that means you are subtracting white in order to have other voices.
That is just logically not true. 

This got me thinking about diversity even more than I previous had been, which was a bit.

A few of the questions on Guide Star regarding JourneyFEST's Board of Directors are 'Do you have races other than white represented?' and 'Do you have disabilities represented?' We do have disabilities represented (my husband Tim has cerebral palsy) and let me tell you, it is necessary to have disabilities represented on the board of a disability support non profit! Parents have a big voice, yes, but the disabled voice is important and shouldn't be ignored.

It's the same with different races. As much as I have learned to appreciate and respect people of color and hispanics (don't shoot me for being an admitted work in progress), I *still* do not understand the issues enough to be a voice for them. I don't, and neither does Rush Limbaugh.  

All voices are important and all voices need to be listened to.

Over the weekend I went to a pre conference training on "Making the Gospel Accessible to All", which, you guessed it, was about how not only to include disabled people in church, but how to prepare and WANT them so that when they arrive, they will feel expected and not like we don't want them.

The speaker, Dr. Ken Campbell, referenced the following verses from Luke 14. Read vs. 16-23

But [Jesus] said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.

If our goal is for the Gospel to be accessible to all, then we need to compel people with disabilities to come to church. We need to invite them again and again until they give in and come. And we need to be prepared so that when they come, they realize that we were ready for them and had expected them. We want them to feel loved and learn to love Jesus and have a church home.

And 'THEM' is me! We want to be included and EXPECTED at church, with all our unique needs anticipated and taken care of. Ilse might be loud in the service and that needs to be ok. (I can't tell you how much I always appreciated our previous church home being so welcoming of her noises!) There are a thousand other things special needs families need. 

And again, the goal is *That God's House May Be Filled*.

I know I segued a bit into church issues when I was talking about diversity, but it's really the same thing. Churches need diversity! We don't all want to be the same race, the same background, the same personalities. God made diversity and we should embrace and welcome it.


The PCA Transformed Conference was this past weekend, and my dear sister Ivy paid for me to go and she paid for a hotel room so I could have an uninterrupted night of sleep for my birthday in a beautiful locale. Oh, she loves me!!  <3

At the conference, I learned so many wonderful things and my soul was encouraged to love Jesus ever deeply. One of the sessions I attended was Redemptive Rhythms of Life: An Invitation to Sabbath. How did I never know before what Sabbath was and WHY celebrating the Sabbath is so important?

There are 10 Commandments and mainstream Christianity tries to observe them all with the except of the 4th... Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. Why? Why have we neglected the blessings that come from Sabbath?

Yes, there are blessings that come from celebrating the Sabbath, and I'll get into that after I describe what I learned.

First, it doesn't matter what day you Sabbath, but it must be in this rhythm, six days of work, one day of Sabbath.

Sabbath is ceasing, enjoying, and feasting. We cease from the need to feel productive or be productive and we remember that God is our provider. God rested on the seventh day and saw that what he had made was very good; so we should rest on the seventh day and feel satisfaction in what we have accomplished and remember that God provided everything we have, even the ability to work.  We remember that work should not be our idol and that we should not measure people's worth based on their accomplishments, but rather on the fact that they are people made in the image of God.

We enjoy things that bring us joy and we enjoy Jesus and friends.

We feast on good food and fellowship, remembering that Jesus gave us our food and our friends.

We don't work, but instead keep a mindset of quiet and restful PEACE.

When I heard the command to Sabbath and the benefits, I thought to myself, MY WORD! I need rest. It is my never ending refrain these days! I'm exhausted! I'm tired! I am stressed. I need peace!

And when we keep the Sabbath, the rest from that day bleeds into the other days of the week, the days in which we must work.

Yesterday we went to church in the morning early. We got there 30 minutes before church started because we had prepared for our Sabbath by going to bed restfully early on Saturday. We got Starbucks on the way and praised God for food and each other. We visited with friends at church, got lunch, went to a park, read good Christian books, and prayed and talked.

In the afternoon I took a leisurely nap, then Tim went to visit his brothers. I did one load of laundry (because a child had ZERO CLOTHES) and then took my shower and went to bed around 10pm. I read some of my book "Keeping the Sabbath Wholly" and then fell asleep feeling more peaceful than I ever have.

Today when I woke up, I was rejuvenated, had a good attitude, and I've been able to accomplish my work today without feeling like the world was collapsing around me. That is a huge blessing to me!

We don't want to be legalistic about keeping the Sabbath, but we want to put Jesus first and truly REST.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Rest in Jesus

The Lord spoke to me in church this morning and reminded me of something important. He reminded me that rest is in Him. Now I know that, but I have been thinking of it all wrong.

I've been so exhausted with my difficult life, and I've been completely burned out. I've been looking for rest, and I've known for a long time I needed to make rest a priority. I don't mean body rest, but mind rest.

If I possibly can, after I do my morning driving, I come home and go to sleep so that my mind can rest. Then I wake up and do my afternoon driving and spend the afternoon and evening with my family. I don't like doing that because I'm not sleepy, I'm just needing rest.

What other ways are there to find rest? I really don't know and I've been at a loss to do anything but sleep.

Then in church Jesus reminded me that rest is in him. I haven't been asking him for help and a peaceful mind like I should have. There's no denying my life is hard but I'm hoping that with asking Jesus for rest, that I will feel rejuvenated.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Updated Outlook

I slept in today.... till 11. When I woke up my outlook was so much better. It's amazing how changing the time you wake up in the morning can change so many things. I guess I'm just not made to wake up at 6am.

Unfortunately, though, I usually have to. Today, though, all the kids are home and we are doing a few things. Chris and I worked on laundry and we're in the middle of dishes, and then for lunch we're having the amazing chili I made last night, with fritos, of course.

Poor Joe is absolutely miserable. He doesn't have a fever but his whole body hurts. He said it hurts to walk and he just looks and sounds miserable. He's constipated all the time (part of being born with drugs in his system, maybe?) and sometimes it just boils over and we have to do the major miralax treatment. We're watching him, because this leg pain kind of coincided with starting his Seroquel again, as did this weird hand shaking tic. My poor son, he's had the deck stacked against him from the very beginning, and it hurts.

Ilse hasn't barfed again but her temp is right at 100. All she wants to do is have Violet thrown. I will be happy when this stage is over because my goodness, poor Violet! Lol!

Tonight we're turning leftover chili into sloppy Joes and then I'll have made dinner three days in a row.

I took my laundry out to wash it and discovered that some evil cat had peed in it, at least twice. Next time Gloria does that she's getting smacked on her butt. This is just too gross.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

no humor today

My humorous voice is missing today.

On my way home from my morning driving (take the boys to school, take Ilse to school, take Tim to work) I was deliberating whether or not to go to bible study at church or to sink into mindless oblivion for a few hours before it was time to do my afternoon driving. I'd just decided to nap when Ilse's school called. She threw up her water so they wanted me to come get her. Part of me wishes they'd kept her and just not fed her any more for a few hours, but the other part of me remembered Sunday with Chris, so of course I went and got her.

Forty minutes later I was back home gain with my baby. I bathed her and we laid down to nap. I could tell she wasn't at her best because she and I slept about 4 hours. Oblivion to life's troubles is a wonderful thing.

When we woke up it was time for afternoon driving; the boys came home and together we went to get  Tim. Joey clearly doesn't feel good though. He says his legs hurt. He's always said that since he was little; I wish I knew what makes them hurt. I'm having him sit and drink miralax because he's terribly constipated. Poor boy; his tummy just doesn't move food right.

I feel like my whole family is falling apart; my house is falling apart; my mind is being held together by a wish and a prayer. Yes, that sounds dramatic but if you are a special needs mom you can identify.

Life isn't a bed of roses for sure. It's hard and stressful and filled with moments that make you wonder how you are still living. And when enough of those moments pile onto your heart you long for eternal rest.

But you can't have it. I can't have it. We have to keep going. I have to make supper. I have to unload the dishwasher. I have to drive Tim to re:gen. I have to wash laundry. I'm out of underwear, so that one's a necessity, lol!

I have to love my children and take their temperatures and manage to get water and food down Ilse's tummy.  I have to throw Violet across the room so puppy Ilse can fetch her, again and again and again.

I have to rely on the Lord and on my friends and on my family. And I have to hold it together because  there is no time for a special needs mom to crumble. There literally isn't time.

And then I look over and saw that Ilse put Violet in the dog food container. This is two victories: it's container play... Ilse is putting something IN something instead of just throwing things out. And secondly, Violet is a dog and clearly Ilse is feeding her.  Haha!


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Confessions

Sunday Confessions: Today is hard. Totally depressingly hard. I was sitting in church absolutely loving hearing Tim play with the ensemble (drums) when Chris upchucked on the chair in front of us. Great, now we're THOSE people who come to a new church and barf. In the annals of our previous church there were barf stories. There was the family whose little girl started barfing so the mom just passed her purse down the row for the girl to barf in. There was the boy who barfed on the girl in front of him. Yep. So now, we're right there too. Lovely. I ran out to look for a towel. The church kitchen doesn't have towels... every cabinet is labeled. Not a single one said towels. After searching I found one high on a shelf... one towel. I bet someone left it after a potluck or something. They won't want it back. 

We had chosen to sit in the third row this morning to be more involved in worship. Yeah, all we did was distract. I mouthed words to Tim as he was up there with the drums during the corporate confession of sin.... it was like I was confessing our disgustingness as a family... barf on a church chair. In worship. In the third row. "Tim, Chris barfed." (Complete with hand motions and the barf mouth.) "All on these three chairs." (Elaborate motions.) "Don't let ANYONE sit there!" He raised his eyebrows at me and mouthed back, "He barfed!?" I nodded my head.

I contemplated how I could give him the rest of the info I needed to give him. I thought, can I sneak up there during a prayer? Can I send Joey? No, so instead I searched my purse for a pen. Of course it was buried deeply and as I glanced up I saw someone staring at me: it was our friend-who's-getting-ordained-tonight-and-now-I-can't-go-see-what-a-Presbyterian-ordination-looks-like's father-in-law. He probably wonders what his daughter has gotten into marrying into a church where somebody's kid barfs in the chair and then the mom writes notes in church.

I wrote my note to Tim and then went through all the motions again to tell him it was for him and to please read it. I draped it over the offending chair in front of me.

We started walking out, heading to the nursery to get Ilse and go home before anybody caught whatever it was Chris had. (I think it might be flu, now.) A nursery worker walked into the sanctuary. Apparently Ilse was having a complete meltdown in the nursery. I comforted the nursery workers and we made our escape. 

Tim stayed to finish the service and attend the young families' meeting I'd really wanted to be part of. The church is asking how they can best serve us and man, I had ideas. Now I'll have to email them instead of sitting there in peace, being served pizza I didn't pay for, and visiting with new friends.

I stopped on the way home and got sprite for both boys. When one has something the other probably isn't far behind. Of course, at the time I thought it was stomach bug (which we've never had and DON'T WANT) but now with the fever and body aches I think it's flu, especially since there's been no more barfing.

Lovely. Flu is just what we need, especially when the kids haven't gotten flu shots yet.

Today is not my day. If you need me, I'll be at home, eating the pizza I ordered and paid for myself, watching Doctor Who while I chuck Ilse's Violet across the living room floor for her to go 'fetch'. My daughter wants to be a dog.

Monday, May 16, 2016


Yes, this post is about me. I've noticed something about myself.

I'm somber. I don't joke much and I'm not silly very often. Occasionally I joke with people when I'm trying to be friendly, but not often. (Now, I do love to give wry one liners in family situations. That is a passion.)

I've been reading Christian fiction books for many, many years, because they allow me to turn my brain off and have non-thinking relaxation. I've needed that.

But occasionally a book here or there didn't sit right with me, and I've finally hit on why. Some of these women are frivolous. All they do is run around the country, try to get others married, and giggle and laugh. They have no substance in their lives. They have no hard times and if they learn something, it's because God taught it to them while the handsome man they just fell for isn't quite on board with marrying them. More often than not, though, they teach him something, because, as everyone knows, men just need a little help.


Frivolous. My life isn't like that. My life is hard. Marriage is hard, parenting is hard, and it's extra hard when you have special needs kids. I'm juggling marriage, the house, a child who might decide to kill himself any minute and a daughter who is HEAVY, doesn't sleep, doesn't eat, and is immunodeficient.

Even when I get to go out and have 'fun', I'm more thinking about relaxing and turning my brain off, not frivolity. Giggling and laughing and too much happiness make me feel old and numb.

And I'm very aware I sound like a scrooge saying that.

I also know I sound like I hate my life, but I don't. I love my life and I love my family, but that doesn't make it easy.

Tim tells me I'm more frivolous than I used to be back when he met me, but I feel like I'm way less fun loving. Life sometimes just catches up to you.

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