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Count It All Joy?

Suffering...Struggling...Pain...Grief...Despair.  These are not very comforting words.  I would imagine, when you read these words, a smile did not appear on your face.  They are words that describe feelings and emotions that we would rather not feel or deal with.  Yet, they are a part of life.  It's a part of living in a fallen world.  All of us, regardless of our religious beliefs, cultures, and finances, will have a moment in our lives where we will be faced with these emotions.
A couple years ago, my middle son began having tics.  The tics started (or at least that's when we noticed) in February of 2017.  They started out as motor tics with his head and shoulder.  Almost always, the tics would manifest when he was sick or about to become sick. For the first year, we sought help from our pediatrician and two different neurologists in Nashville.  We had various tests ran on him to rule out seizures and another condition called Pandas.  We would always leave the appointments …
Recent posts

A Buffet of Craziness!

The other day as I was driving back from Mississippi, I began thinking about all of the many, many things I need and have to do. I was already exhausted before I started thinking and immediately became depleted after I was finished thinking. The word “overwhelmed” does not even come close to describing how I felt at that moment.

School is about to start next week and I know what’s coming down the pike. Needless to say, last year was rough and I am still not sure I have fully recovered. Third grade was a big challenge for us last year. Add autism, a mischievous two year old, a few hundred doses of anxiety, a dash of soccer practice, a seminary student trying to graduate, and a couple gallons of exhaustion. Mix, stir, and you end up with a buffet of craziness. There was so much to do, that I couldn’t decide what to handle first. I can’t tell you how many times I threatened to drop out of third grade.

But as I was driving, God spoke to me about giving my schedule and my to-do lists to Hi…

Making Time with God Priority

Yesterday, our pastor's wife, shared a wonderful testimony on how much of a blessing her time alone with God has been for her. Her encouragement to make that time priority was also conviction for me. I haven't been making that time a priority lately and it shows. It shows in how the fruits of the spirit are displayed in my life. It shows in my interactions with my family and others. It shows in how I handle circumstances in my life. So for me, to hear her talk about this particular subject, was God's way of giving me a kick in the pants.
That brings me to this morning. My chance to start afresh! By the way, I have started over many, many, times in my life. I can't count how many times I have tried to have a consistent study life, only for it to fall by the wayside after a few days. Honestly, I am not even sure how this fresh start will go. But I am going to go for it anyway. Even if I don't necessarily want to or feel like doing it. Time with God is a MUST! No mat…

The Life and Death of Elmo

Well, Elmo is dead. Gone to Toys R Us heaven. We have had Elmo since my firstborn was just a few months old. It was probably one of the most annoying toys, but its matted, dingy red fur brought joy to all three of our boys. Well last weekend, he met his maker at the hands of our baby boy Joshua (or as we like to call him, Baby Hulk). Elmo was drowned in either sink or toilet water. We have no idea which one. His once loud, vibrant voice has now been silenced for all of eternity.
Joshua is quickly approaching the "troublesome threes" and seems to want to exit his "terrible twos" in grand fashion. He has been into EVERYTHING! I have gone through this twice before and I didn’t think he could do anything to top his brothers. But (as he so often does) he proved me wrong.
Raising toddlers can sometimes feel like the equivalent of a scene from the movie Gremlins. They start off cute and cuddly like Gizmo and the next thing you know there is chaos and mayhem all around. …

Motive

Several months ago, I awoke to the sounds of two bickering boys. Jay and Trent were accusing each other of being mean to the other. Then, as expected, one of the boys approached our bedroom door ready to present his allegation of why the other one was being mean. Well, since I was still in a fog from having just woke up, I didn’t fully address it at that moment. Frankly, I am not a morning person and it was too early to be an adult. I managed somehow, to get them all (including the 2 year old) to calm down enough to go downstairs for breakfast. The bickering and side remarks were still going on. At some point, it became too much for me and I talked to them about how they were treating each other. I went on to explain how this is not how brothers should treat each other and asked them if they thought this pleased God. Of course, I get a resounding "No".
A few minutes pass by and I notice Jay is nowhere to be found. Lately, when he is upset about something he has been going …

My dearest Jason

My dearest Jason,
Today we are celebrating your 8th birthday as well as Mother's Day. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be your mother. Your arrival into this world changed the course of my life and I am forever grateful.
Jason, ever since you were born you have brought joy to the lives of the many people you have come into contact with. You light up the room with your smile. You are a very loving individual and it shows through your interactions with your peers and your family. You are full of surprises. Your dad and I are constantly amazed by the many gifts and talents that are working inside of you and we cannot wait to see them exhibited throughout your life.
I often reflect on the day you were born and how we were so nervous and excited. Our first child, the one we had been praying for, was finally ready to make his debut. I remember crying when I heard your first little cry.I was crying because God was fulfilling a promise he had made to us. You, my son, were an a…

My Dearest Trent

My dearest Trent,
Today is your 6th birthday and I am so grateful that we are able to share it with you. You are a very special little boy and I thank God for blessing us with you. I wanted to write a letter just to show you how much you are loved.
Trent, I am sure it can be hard being the middle child sometimes. But please understand that God's timing for your entrance into this world was just right. I remember when I found out you were on the way. It was quite a surprise even though we had prayed to have another child someday. The look on your dad's face was priceless. (I have video footage if you ever want to see it!) A few months later, you made your debut in dramatic fashion. That day was a day that your dad and I will never forget.  It was the day that we weren't sure if I was going to make it through your birth. You had decided to come early with no warning at all. I was in a LOT of pain! I can remember laying on that table screaming and crying because something wa…