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Sweet and Sour Lady

Life is like a bright, beautiful, round lemon… Sometimes sweet. Sometimes sour.

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special needs

From Puddles to School Buses

…a post from my previous blog, Paper Plate Prayers…(1/14/14)

It was just a few short months ago that David and I decided after much prayer and consideration that God was telling us it was time to stop homeschooling Grant and send him back into the school system.

Without a doubt we knew that public school was not in God’s plan.  He and I had worked too many hours to build Grant’s self-esteem, character and confidence up to the man God desired of him. 

I will never regret the four years we spent together daily doing each and every part of our routine as a team.  My little gentleman buddy and I used each step of our day as an educational experience and a social experience.  He has always been and always will be the most love seeking and love giving little man I have ever known.

I began praying and researching educational options outside of the home for Grant.  God led me straight to Lubbock Christian School; A part time home school program.  The exact thing I was looking for.  I could slowly integrate Grant back into the school system; plus it would be a Christian environment.  An answered prayer!

After only nine short weeks, Grant was not only adapting to his new school, but he was well loved, accepted and attending full time not part time!

The change was a gift to me as well.  The reason for the change had been for medical reasons as well.  I was struggling with health issues and simply felt I wasn’t giving Grant all I could give him through homeschooling.  Now, knowing he is absolutely thriving I have a huge amount of stress relief that I didn’t realize I had.  God doesn’t want us to worry and stress over things.  He wants us to be at peace and trust him.  Stress can literally cause sickness.  

Before I “Let Go and Let God” I worried about each step (literally) that Grant took.  I didn’t want him to fall.  (literally or emotionally)  I was the epitome of the over protective parent.  Now I realize that God’s protective arms are far more protective than mine.  

In the above picture, I noticed the puddle of water one morning as Grant was getting out of the car and I thought, Oh no! He will need help stepping over that and I’m in my pajamas.  Oh no! What if he falls? Oh no! If he gets his feet wet he will scream and cry.  But none of that happened.  Nope! He jumped over that puddle and up on to the curb like a champ fully loaded down with a full day’s worth of school gear.  Brooke, his sister and I were completely impressed and full of pride.

The next big step was a school band performance which he also blew through without any help from his Mommy. Which led us into the end of the semester field trip.  His first bus ride.  

I can do this…I can do this… I can do this…

Grant had never gone on a field trip before without me much less on a bus before.  I’m one of those mothers that still wants him to hold my hand.  What if he gets lost, kidnapped, misplaced, hurt….. Wait!  “God’s protective arms are way bigger than mine.”

So I simply talked to Grant, talked to his teacher, talked to David and talked to God.  I talked to God alot!  

I sent Grant to school that day with a very peaceful heart and before I knew it the day was over and I didn’t even follow the school bus around town!

My big boy got in the car that day with a proud face, a happy smile, a high five and said, 

“I did it Mom! I rode the bus and IT WAS EPIC!”

~Paper Plate Prayer~

Dear Lord,

I pray for all the parents out in this earthly world that are too afraid to let go of our special babies to let you take control.  Let us all be filled with peace knowing that you created them long before they ever took their first breath. You have a divine purpose for each and every one of them to bless one or to bless thousands Lord.  May we let go of our own desires, worries and passions and let you do your will for these children according to your plan.  May we be a tool according to your will Lord.

     ~Amen

 

Your Tool,

Jennifer

 

Romans 9:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

And with all glory to God, I did it too!photo (13) photo (14)r

Eternal Brain

…a post from my previous blog, Paper Plate Prayers…(1/8/14)

For those of us whose daily lives revolve around raising a family with special needs, you will understand what it means to be the “external brain” for your child.  We use the term external brain because for some of us, we literally make every thought for our child from movements to decisions externally of their own body for them.  It becomes second nature to us.

 

As we are subconsciously doing the things that our brain knows we need to do in order to take care of ourselves, our brain also tells our mouth to tell our children to do the same things in order to take care of themselves. To some, it may seem bossy or ridiculous but in reality, there are days where our children literally would not know which direction to turn without verbal step by step cues.

 

Thankfully, there are times when our children are able to do things on their own with much success which is the ultimate goal.  Meanwhile, they need to know they can fully trust us to get them through times when they need us the most as well as celebrate their successes with them.

 

Isn’t that just like our lives as Christians?  God is our “eternal brain” for our body and our soul.  His word and His spirit guide us how to use our gifts and live our lives to serve others all for the glory of Him so that we may live with Him eternally in Heaven.

 

He wants us to fully trust him and rely on him.  He doesn’t want us to evaluate ourselves according to worldly standards but according to eternal standards.  

 

He has given us all special gifts and shown us that nothing is impossible with Him and through Him.  

 

He wants us to love one another unconditionally, wholeheartedly, genuinely and sincerely so that we can all seek ways to help others and serve others through Him so we may all KNOW Him.  

 

~Paper Plate Prayer~

Dear Lord,

I pray that all who need to be someone’s external brain may feel led to use their God given gifts to do so in order to help that special someone KNOW You: their eternal brain.  

     ~Amen

 

 

In Awe of Gifts,

Jennifer

 

Romans 12:6-8

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.  If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.  

Square Sequins

…a post from my previous blog, Paper Plate Prayers…(12/20/13)

All my life I’ve been in awe at how beautiful certain things appear to be.  I took great pride in keeping the shine to the first pair of patent leather Mary Janes I wore as a little girl. 

I’m still attracted to shiny things today.

Sequins happen to be one of those things that attract me. They sparkle when the light hits them just right; they can make a girl feel like the princess at a ball.  

Every sequin I had ever seen had been round or molded from an initially round form so I assumed all sequins must be round to shine like they were created to. 

I was wrong…and not just about the shape of sequins.

The emotion that ran through me the day David and I walked into the boutique to look at dresses for Ashley to wear to the cotillion could be described in one word: giddy

I was absolutely thrilled for her.  

As we walked in, one dress stood out among the rest.  It was silver and covered in sequins. That’s probably why it jumped out at me. It was stunning. 

I didn’t notice there was anything different about it until I got home.  The dress was indeed unique. The sequins were SQUARE. What! Square sequins?

Once Ashley saw it, she loved it.  She had no idea that the shiny “things” were even called sequins much less that they were supposed to be round or square.  She tried it on, it fit perfectly. She looked beautiful and most importantly, she felt beautiful. 

As I watched her have the time her life that evening I realized, her dress, in a way, was just like her. It was designed exactly like its creator planned. It may have gotten a snag or fray once it left the creator’s hands but it was still wonderfully and beautifully made. 

Fearfully and wonderfully made.
Fearfully and wonderfully made.

After all, who says sequins have to be a certain shape, size, color or style?

~Paper Plate Prayer~

Dear Lord,

Thank you for loving us for what is on the inside: for knowing our heart.  I pray that the world becomes more like you every day.  In the meantime, thank you for creating such special angels that are like you. Individuals that do see past the outside and love what’s on the inside because their heart is so full of love.

     ~Amen

 

Thankful for differences,

Jennifer

 

Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 

Celebrating Firsts and Lasts

…a post from my previous Paper Plate Prayers blog… (10/19/13)

The last couple of months, we have celebrated many milestones in our family.  Some may seem small to many but they are huge to us.  Some may also seem unobtainable to others but I promise you they are very achievable.

Just yesterday, we had a “Graduation from Therapy Party for my son, Grant.  Grant is 10 years old. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.  We began therapy right away, confident, that with the right services and God’s guidance he would thrive.

I never felt led to pray for a “cure” for Grant.  Why pray for something that did not need to be “cured?”

I am certain God did not make a mistake when he made Grant.  God doesn’t make mistakes and Grant’s story was planned for him long before He was even born.  I honored to be included in the journey.  It is up to me, however, to help bring out all of Grant’s gifts that God instilled in him and nurture those gifts to fruition.

I challenge every parent whether a parent to a special needs child or not to focus on their child’s strengths not their weaknesses.  Focus on the gifts that God has given them.  Remind them that the gift is from God.  Build their faith daily. (and yours)  Treat each day as if it were the first day of your salvation.  Be thankful, be bold, be kind, be giving, be tender, be loving, be Christ-centered, be an example to your child and to others.

Build your Paper Plate Prayer collection, put it under your pillow, under your bed, in your drawer or on your wall. Then be prayerful!

My Paper Plate Prayer collection started when I was 10 years old.  At that time, I kept it a secret. I would hide them under my dresser and not tell anyone I was doing it.  I watched God answer those tough prayers and knew he was watching over me in a tough situation.

Each one of my children have already started their own collection.  It is a journal to keep and cherish. We decorate them, share them, hide them….they are our pride and joy.  It is amazing to go through them at the dinner table and watch the children’s expression when they realize which ones God has specifically answered.

 

I pray they become sacred, fun, tradition in your home as well.

 

~Paper Plate Prayer~

Dear Lord,

Thank you.  Thank you for answered prayers.  I humbly cherish them both big and small.

     ~Amen


May God Be The Glory,

Jennifer

 

1 Thessalonians 1-3  To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:  Grace and peace to you.  We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.  We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

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