Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Timely Word

Yesterday was a hard day for me. I've been sick and now the kids are sick. In the early evening Nevaeh was laying in my lap and I was holding her and comforting her. She never does well with sickness. A thought shot through my head right then. It's something I heard watching a movie a year ago. Temple Gradin. It's the scene when the doctor is explaining to the mother that her daughter has Autism. He explains to her that it is sometimes considered "cold mother syndrome."

When I heard that in the movie it took me two days to recover. There is always this fear in the back on my mind that I wasn't a good enough mother to her when she was little. I didn't hold her enough or love her enough. So last night sitting on my couch with my beautiful and broken daughter I began to weep. I couldn't shake that guilt and I strained my brain thinking about my interactions with her the first few years of her life and I came to the realization that there was no way I did this. You would think that lifted my spirit but it didn't. I cried harder because then I had to accept (once again) that she IS AUTISTIC. You would think by now I would have worked that out in my heart but I haven't.

I got the kids down, cleaned up the house and waited for Jason to get home from a guys night out. When he got home we chit chatted about nothing much and then he told me that his boss came to him today and told him that he wanted to make sure we knew we were welcome at the center. He wanted to reassure us that having our kids there was no trouble at all. He understood that it was difficult but he saw that we were doing our best to handle the difficulties and to not worry about them being too loud or whatever. I began to cry and tell Jason what went on earlier.

There is a scripture somewhere (proverbs I think) that talks about how a good timely word is healing to the bones...or something like that. That was exactly what this was to me. It's not every day I allow myself to mourn like that. But it bubbled up unexpectedly and to have someone say such a thing on such a day really lifted my head. A balm to my wounded heart.

Thank you Jason's boss. Thank you very much!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Prey on the Weak

That term "Prey on the Weak" has been mulling around in my noggin for a few weeks now but haven't really felt like I had any way of articulating it. So I am just going to freestyle my thoughts and see what falls out ;)

It is something we have all done. If you act like you're above this, then you add being a liar to the mess. We ALL do it at some point in our lives. I remember in elementary being the "cool" kid in school. I was on my pedestal for quite some time. I was mean to the less fortunate. You know who they are, the nerds, weirdos, shy kids, name it. If they were not in the elite six (myself included of course) they were treated with minimal tolerance and with the usual antics.

My glory days came to a screeching halt. The details are less important than the actual outcome. I became a nobody instantly. One day cool, the next day a major loser. I found myself befriending the nerds, weirdos, shy and unfashionable kids and guess what I found out?  There was depth to their personalities and compassion. There's nothing like suffering to produce compassion. I was forgiven and brought into the group. They were lovely.

Middle school was a strange one. I was on the inside circle again but I had changed. I no longer looked down on other people as before and I never attached myself to any group wholeheartedly. My husband claims I was really popular in high school but I never saw it that way. I never rejected others for not being in the "cool crowd." Now, that doesn't mean I didn't fall short at times or that I didn't give into peer pressure every now and again, but I KNEW what it was like to be a nobody and there were many times I would risk becoming it again simply by not excluding someone. I wouldn't join in some pointless assassination of some poor kid simply for my own pleasure.

What is this ugly thing that can rise up and hurl itself on the innocent? Why don't we pray for the weak rather than prey upon them? And so what if we are weak?! Isn't it in our weakness that God can be strong? Why are we so afraid to open ourselves up and be vulnerable? Maybe the question I should be asking is why don't we allow others to be vulnerable before us?

Oh and some of it is so subtle. We say things like "pray for so and so." We secretly realize the weakness and insecurity in someone else and revel in it and think ourselves so much better because we don't struggle like that. We have our poop in a group... yahoo! Look at me!!!! Oh if they only knew. Someone knows. Always and we can't run from Him.

But how about the other end of this spectrum? If you are the weak one and fall prey to such an onlooker don't you feel it? You know when your being sized up, examined, judged and looked down upon. How do you handle it. Are you bold and call them out? Are you gracious and just pray for them and love them, realizing that they have exposed their own weakness by behaving in such a way? Or do you pout and get wounded, paralyzed by the accusation because you know it's true (or fear it is?)

I've done them all and been it all. I really don't know the answer or think this rant will change the world but it has been enlightening. The question remains, am I the predator...or the prey.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


We have been checking out different churches over the last 11 weeks and we feel like we have finally found somewhere to park it for now. The place is called The Way. It's your basic non-denomination, spirit filled and casual church you would find anywhere really. It's the pastor that captured my attention. He seems to be more evangelistic in his preaching. He has a genuine heart for the lost and genuine distaste for religion. What is not to like? :)

Today he made a point that people look at the church and see all these don'ts and all these rules, wave their hand and say "why bother." They then see the world and it's freedom. Freedom to do what you like, think what you like, act the way you like and think, "That's for me." It's easy at first to argue, "But we have the power of God, the love of Christ." Well, yes, we do, or rather we should.  I doubt that we actually do. If we did we would have the doors busting at the seams. As it stands we can barely get anyone through the door.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Is there not? Why can't we just love the hell out of people and let Christ work out the details. Why can't we just be wonderful examples of walking in freedom and His love. Just allow the appeal of Christ to draw them. The pastor spoke about the parable of the lamp. To put it in the center of our lives so that the whole being radiates.

I am reminded of the first few years of my salvation. I never made it a moment with out sharing the love of God. I was relentless. I couldn't help it. I loved Him, was forgiven by Him and I HAD to tell others about it. I had to share it. It poured out of my every moment and every interaction. I stood on street corners. Watched demons flee. Saw drug induced or insane people become right in the mind and come to Christ. FREEDOM. I didn't think twice about what God could do. I knew He could do anything and I walked in that truth and saw AMAZING events unfold before me. I had bible studies, prayer meetings and with out permission *GASP* didn't think twice about it. I wanted to share... always.

Now I'm overwhelmed by dos and don'ts. I don't feel the need to stand on a corner now. I don't feel the need to tell my checker at the grocery store who Jesus is. I don't feel compelled to do much but flip off the jerk that just cut me off on the freeway. I should wave my fish symbol at him...doesn't he know who he is dealing with. I want to get back but I don't even know where to begin. All I know is that I sympathize with the pharisees now when I use to hate them.  After all... I am one of  them.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Feeling Lonely

We have been here in our new home for almost 3 months and the excitement and newness is wearing off and I am beginning to feel homesick. I miss my best friend Kim Williams and my God-Parents, Mike and Betsey. They were staples in my everyday and it really helped in keeping me sane.

So far I've met a few friends that I feel have potential but it takes time, and with kids it takes even longer then usual. When your single there is so much time you can dedicate to a friendship but now it takes planning and much effort. It's hard but not impossible. Being new I don't want to come across too strongly or desperately, though I feel somewhat desperate and I'm sure it shows :P

I am extremely extroverted. I regain my energy from spending time with others. If I'm in this house for too long without outside interaction I become drained and depressed. I need people in my life to relieve the pressure I feel from isolation. It's not like there are not events and things I could go to but with Nevaeh and the rules in place at Teen Challenge it's just too big of a risk. I can't keep her to stay in one place and set a "good" example and that goes for Selah too because she has followed her sisters lead and I can't bring myself to hold her to a standard that Nevaeh can't uphold. Someday she will get it and then it will be a little easier to elevate my expectations but for now we are all doing our best with what we have been dealt.

There is really nothing I can do but lean on the Lord and trust in Him to comfort me. I also have to trust in Him to help me develop my relationships. Patience is not my thing and having to wait and not push things is difficult for me. I just want to skip the introduction part and have an instant best friend that I share my darkest secrets and greatest fears with....what is wrong with that ;)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

All things Nevaeh

Lately Nevaeh has been especially hilarious. Her quirkiness knows no bounds and I simply love this about her.

~85 degrees out and she is wearing a snow cap and mittens. All day.
~She has been having picnics all by her self. For most meals now she drags a blanket out to the front lawn.
~Her favorite pass time as of late is sitting on her blanket outside with a book and a jar of pickles.
~Her other daily events is dragging the hose to the backyard where the dirt is and making mud. She then gets naked and lays in it. Lathering herself with the mud.
~Finding frogs and playing with them, bathing with them and eventually killing which she flushes them down the toilet and looks for more.
~Collecting earthworms in her pockets (my least favorite of her obsessions)

This kid slays me. But as you can see, she is not always alone.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


So I have been anguishing over public school vs. home school. I see pros and cons to both but our issue is Autism. It's not like we can just make sure the teacher is nice and some what competent. It's not like we can just make sure it's a good area and decent students. We have to worry about how well do they know Autism and do they make adjustments for the individual.

These are things I was going to look into and quite frankly it would not have taken much to push me in that direction. The idea of a break during the day is really appealing. I feel like Selah could use more of my attention and I could work on home schooling her. But, luckily, I did not have to look into any of it. I was at a local park this afternoon and I ran into the preschool Spec Ed teacher and we had a lovely little chat and now I know what I'm going to do. NOT PUBLIC SCHOOL... that is for sure.

I found out that they will put Nevaeh in the general public of Kindergarten. The class size is roughly 20 kids. There is just no way that will work for her. One of the biggest struggles we have found with teachers and truthfully everyone, is that they see her talk and think she is fine, mild, barely Autistic. It's very deceving and it deceves me all the time. I will think I am reaching her and she is understanding but eventually it becomes painfully obvious that she has not comprehended anything I've said. Somehow the words get scrabbled in her head. Another thing is that she speaks in cartoons so if you say something that is simaliar to something she has seen she will say the appropriate (to her) response.

For example:
ME: Nevaeh are you ok.
Nevaeh: Yeah, I'm ok.

Seems like a normal conversation right. WRONG. She could be bleeding profusely or have a broken limb and she will say "yeah, I'm ok" and she has said that through tears when she is obviously NOT ok.

I know that because I'm her mom. So to make a short story long ;) I am meeting with a homeschooling mom tomorrow at a park to talk the basics and get me going.  I feel like this is the Lord helping me along to do what I know in my heart is the right thing to do for me but am scared to death to do. I'm really looking forward to the encouragement and wisdom this lady has to offer me and feel hopeful now that I can do this.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why is that?

Disclaimer: This is not directed at any one person. I'm generalizing.

Today as I was buzzing around the house doing my Flylady (a method used to keep up on housework) my mind began to wonder. I was thinking about how I view Christians vs. Non-Christians. A realization came to me that shocked me... I am more guarded with Christians than I am with the world. Now, it's important to tell you that I pride myself on being vulnerable, open and honest. You know, REAL!! And to most Christians that is what they see. People are always telling me that. A Christian that I ran into at a park recently told me that I was one of the most refreshing Christians she had encountered, so to come to an understanding about myself that contradicts that was a little unnerving to say the least.

Now my contemplative mind is analyzing this and trying to cut to the root cause of why this is. Why do I feel more comfortable with the unsaved and not just any of the unsaved...but the lowly. The broken. The ones where life has been really hard on them and they know it. It seems to me that most Christians come across as pretentious. They are always trying to "put on" an air of some sort. Trying to "be" something other than who they are. My guess is because the church isn't allowing us to be the mess that we really are. There is an expectation that we are supposed to be perfect. No dirty laundry. No mistakes. Up hold the image that represents the building we attend.

It troubles me that I feel this need to protect myself from a  Christian. It's contradictory to the word of God. And it's contradictory who Jesus was. He loved everyone...high and low. Another realization is that the reason they are coming across to me that way is that they are doing the same thing. Protecting themselves from the un-trusting Christian...ME. 

It leaves me with this thought....what good are we to the world if what we have is unattainable and if who we are is unapproachable. I wish I was more comfortable with my brothers and sisters who I will spend eternity with but in truth I find more comfort in the heathen.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Our new baby

Well, we've gone and done it... had another baby. In the form of a furry little rambunctious puppy. He gets into trouble, widdles on floor (rarely, I'm happy to say) and fights with his siblings. We are in love. He is a great little guy. His name has proven to be a struggle for us. We had two names that we were weighing...Jasper (for a more laid back dog) and Jiggs (hyper, playful.)

When I first picked up him, he seemed very passive and frightened so I decided right then and there that Jasper was the name for him. On our journey I stopped to visit with one of my sisters and he really perked up at the park and began to chase Nevaeh around, hmmmm, maybe a Jiggs after all.

The next day at home, while recovering from my 16 hour journey from the previous day we switched our minds again. He was being beat up and attacked at all sides from the kids, Selah in particular. All that spunk left him and he spent most of his day trying to hide from them....definitely a Jasper.

Over the last two days he has come into his own. He barks at certain things with fervor, drags toys to his hiding spot to chew on and wrestles with the kids... ok ok Jiggs. His name is Jiggs.

One thing is for sure. He is going to have an identity crisis and the kids are going to be forever confused if we don't stick to a name.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Making my own soap

So here is the update on making my own dishwashing detergent and my own laundry detergent.

Dish washing - I am making it with one cup of Borax, one cup of Washing Soda and 2 packets of Lemon aid Kool Aid.

It was working in terms of cleaning my dishes but we have extremely hard water and there was a horrible film on everything and it was making aime nuts. A friend told me about Lemon Shine which you can purchase in the same aisle as Jet Dry. I add a little to each load and viola, squeaky clean again. The total cost per load...pennies

Laundry - One cup of Borax, one cup of Washing Soda and a bar of soap. If you have hard water like me add 1/4 extra cup of the Borax as this is a water softener.

This one has been frustrating. Quite frankly I don't think it works as good as Tide. With Tide I could toss my clothes in, add the detergent and walk away. Everything came out spic & span. NOW - I have to spot treat everything and I found that to be annoying. However, I am using "Folex" and this stuff is amazing. I use it on my carpets, couches, clothes...basically any fabric. It will take pen marks out with one spray and a scratch or two from your nail. MIRACLE So even though it's more time consuming and I have to be sure to spot treat everything I'm saving hundreds of dollars every year. It use to cost me 20.00 every three weeks and now it costs me 1.25 per batch. Which translates to pennies.

You can find Folex at most hardware stores like Lowes, Home Depot and Fred Myer. It cost me $5 in Iowa and in Seattle it cost me $8. But it's worth it if you have children or pets.

Borax, Washing Soda and bar of soap can all be found in the laundry aisle of Target, Walmart or Amazon. There are probably other places but that is where I shop.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

For Danica

You are a year old now and I thought I would recap for you the first year of your life. You were so quiet and calm when you were born and you stayed that way for a long time. We could never get you to laugh but you smiled ALL the time. Everyone always commented on what a happy baby you were. From the very beginning you were sweet. SO SWEET! Somewhere around 6 months we would be able to get a chuckle out of you every now and again but you LOVED to make others laugh and if you noticed something you did made us laugh you would do it over and over again. You talked earlier than your sisters and pointed at things, trying to say what it was. It's been such a pleasure to listen to you and watch you interact.

You really love your daddy and like to goof around with him and say funny sounds to each other. Your madly in love with Nevaeh and she is so good with you. She has been taken by you since you were born. Selah is coming around and now you and her chase each other around and play peek-a-boo. You still crawl but have taken a few steps already and should be walking soon.

Your absolute favorite person is Mama though and I'm so happy about that. I love holding you and singing to you. In my arms is where you always want to be. Your such a pleasurable and good natured girl. One of the things you love is playing kisses with me. You give me a kiss and then I shout "ah hahaha I got a kiss." It kills you. You give a chuckle and do it again.

Grace is your middle name and gracious is what you are. You seem to be very patient and forgiving towards your sisters and us. When you get hurt or they are too rough with you, you do cry but then quickly give them a look of forgiveness after I've picked you up. I'm always taken back at your kindness towards others. It's something God put in you. I pray you will always remember to fear God and not man and so this gift will always give glory to where it belongs...JESUS.

Thank you, Danica Grace Webb, for entering my life and blessing me so. You are a treasure...a rare find.