Thursday, April 30, 2009

Busy Time of Year!

This time of year is so busy for our family! After the boring (if you could call our life boring?) months of Winter, Spring brings about craziness! I go from being stuck in the house most of the time, to running everywhere! It is a good change, but it's a dramatic one too. It takes sheer concentration to go from doing nothing, to doing so much. My brain is working overtime trying to keep everyone's schedules running smoothly!

Springtime brings about school programs, last of the year school projects and exams, more doctors appointments for some reason(?) and SPORTS! Sports rule our life from April until June around here! And, I don't even care for sports very much! We have 4 of our 6 person family doing sports right now. There is something sports related at least 4 nights/mornings a week. With Joel working late hours some days and children needing to be in 2 different places at one time, it gets to be way to much for me! And, did I mention that I'm not really a sports person?

Saturday mornings are absolutely nuts! There is almost no way for me to get in Gavin's nebulizer treatments and meds before we need to head out the door. Plus, we have 3 boys playing in 2 different sports and needing to be at 3 places at once! And, since there are only 2 parents.....what can we do? I call this stress! Joel calls this bliss! Oh, and did I mention that I'm not really into sports? Plus, we have a Gavin, don't forget that!

I am so thankful that this only lasts a short time, because I don't think that my mind could tolerate this long term! I just don't have it in me! There I said it, I'm just not capable, being only 1 person! Come Summer, Come quickly, Please!

Having said all of this, I DO love watching my boys play sports and I think that it's good for them to play sports. I just wish that it wasn't all at once! I especially like watching Caleb play, because he gets SO excited about the game and is kind of a show off...He's so cute! So, it's not all bad and it really is better than staying couped up like I am all Winter long. Here are some pictures of my boys in action!

Two of my handsome boys before heading out to a school program:

Jacob playing soccer:

Caleb playing soccer:

Nolan playing baseball:

Gavin watching his brothers play sports:

He doesn't look too impressed, does he?

Gavin worn out from all the excitement:

Momma's with you too Gavin. I'm tired right along with you!

I HAVE gained 30 more minutes in my day though! I'm really excited about this! Yesterday we went to the pulmonologist for Gavin and we were told that we could cut down to doing 2 nebulizer treatment per day instead of 3! Yay for progress and more time!

We also learned that Gavin has lost weight though. This is not good. He had been stable at 26 - 26 1/2 pounds for the last year. But, yesterday he was down to 23 1/2 pounds! He hasn't had any changes made lately, so I don't know what is up with this? I will be calling his developmental doctor today and hopefully get to talk with his nutritionist. Maybe he just needs more food? Hopefully it's an easy fix. I'm O.K. with him not growing too much, since we have to carry him everywhere. It's easier on our backs! But, to lose weight is not good, when he has stayed the same weight for so long! Gavin must just want to add to the excitement going on with our family.....He must be feeling neglected since all of his brothers are getting so much attention lately! :)

"This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Unexpected Encouragement!

Often times I find myself looking for support and comfort from those who just aren't willing or able to give it to me. I don't know why I continue to look for this need to be met from some people. I suppose it's because I expect that since they love me, they should be willing to comfort me in my times of need. Time after time I allow myself to get hurt when they don't give me what I need.

I know that I should be looking for my comfort to come from God alone. And yet, I find myself looking for this longing to be filled here on earth. These needs just aren't going to be fully met when I look for encouragment in the wrong places. I know this in my mind, but my heart wants something more.

Thankfully, I am offered comfort from many, even if it's not who I am really wanting this comfort to come from. I do have a wonderful support system, when I decide to benefit from their support, by sharing the hurt that I may be feeling at the time. I struggle daily with the emotions of caring for a child with special needs, but some days my emotions become so strong. Lately I've been having many days like this and I haven't felt comforted because I am trying to get this comfort from sources that just aren't reliable for me. I struggle with asking for help and encouragment because I feel that I should be able to handle these feelings on my own, plus I hate to be a burden on others. And yet, when I do go to reliable resources, such as the Bible or my mom, I feel so much better!

God has also offered me encouragement from people that I would never have thought would be there for me. Throughout the last 2 1/2 years, since sweet Gavin came along, God has provided me with great comfort by using His people to help brighten my day! As I said, lately I have really needed some encouragement!

Over the last week I have been blessed with several gifts of encouragement. These little things that were done for me have been SUCH a blessing during my difficult days! My cousin sent me a card letting me know that she was thinking of me and that she loved me. This truly brightened my day! A friend from church printed out some words to a song for me. She said that they reminded her of me and the struggles that I have been going through. This gesture really touched my heart! And, yesterday Caleb got into the van and was really excited about having "A really nice surprise" for me. He is easily excited about things, so I didn't think too much about it, but when we got home he took something out of his backpack that had me feeling SO TOUCHED!

His teacher had his kindergarten class make a book of Psalms for me, just to encourage me through this dark time. I don't know how she knew that I was struggling, unless she reads my blog, but I am SO GLAD that she did know and that she was so thoughtful to do this for me! Check out the book:

Here are some of the verses that are in the book:

"The Lord is my rock." Psalm 18:2

"The Lord is my strength." Psalm 18:2

"The Lord is my light and salvation." Psalm 27:1

"The Lord is my shepherd." Psalm 23:1

"The Lord is my exceeding joy." Psalm 43:4

"The Lord is my sun." Psalm 84:11

These words from the Bible and the pictures drawn by the children were just what I needed this week! I couldn't believe that his teacher took the time to have her class make this for me! I was so touched and so thankful for this thoughtful gesture! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Life may be very difficult some days and I may feel like I am sinking some days, but God always finds a way to use others to brighten my day and lighten my load! I am so very thankful for this!

"I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35

Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Not What My Hands Have Done"

Can I just say, again, how refreshing it is for me when I go to church? The more emotional and complex that my life becomes, the more meaningful it is to me! I truly feel that I would be drowning right now, if not for hearing the word of God each Sunday morning! This morning we sang my all time favorite Psalter hymnal. I always go away feeling so uplifted when we sing this song! It is such a touching reminder for me that I NEED God and the grace that He has given to me. Here are the words to the song, written by Horatius Bonar in 1864. I wonder if this author knew that he would be touching someone so deeply 145 years later from when he wrote this song?! I guess this just proves that our life can have a great purpose, even when we may no longer be there to 'touch' others. I am very thankful for these words put to music! Enjoy!

1. Not what my hands have done
can save my guilty soul;
not what my toiling flesh has borne
can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do
can give me peace with God;
not all my prayers and sighs and tears
can bear my awful load.

2. Your voice alone, O Lord,
can speak to me of grace;
your power alone, O Son of God,
can all my sin erase.
No other work but yours,
no other blood will do;
no strength but that which is divine
can bear me safely through.

3. I praise the Christ of God;
I rest on love divine;
and with unfaltering lip and heart
I call this Savior mine.
My Lord has saved my life
and freely pardon gives;
I love because he first loved me,
I live because he lives.

On the subject of touching others, I want to share with you a friend that I have met through blogging. Her name is Lacey and she has a son named Jaxson. Jaxson's life has traveled a similiar road as Gavin's. He was born with Down syndrome and heart defects. He has suffered a brain injury and seizures and he has had to spend many months of his life in the hospital. He is a very handsome little guy that has stolen my heart, well what is left of it anyway, that my boys don't already have! :) He has truly touched my life, along with his mother.

Despite the obstacles, or maybe because of these obstacles, Lacey has started an outreach for others. She makes blankets for children who are going through life with special needs. She is a very busy lady, caring for Jaxson and her 3 other boys, and yet she makes time to do this for others! She has asked that we "spread the word" about what she is doing, so that she can be made aware of more children and their families who might benefit from one of her comforting blankets. She has such a heart and wants to share some of it with children in need! If you know of a child who might want one, go to the following blog site to get more information:

Jaxson's Blankies for Babes

Here is a picture of Gavin with the Blankie that she made for him.

Thanks Lacey and Jaxson for touching my life with yours, and for giving back to others in such a comforting way!

"For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Working So Hard!

During Physical Therapy on Tuesday, Gavin was trying so hard! His therapist put him on his tummy, on this dino pillow, and he was lifting his head higher than I have ever seen him!

This may not look like much for a 2 1/2 year old, but this is great progress for Gavin! After his stroke we were told that he may never progress any further, so any progress is huge for him! One tiny step at a time. I am so proud!

"The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed. A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You." Psalm 9:9-10

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm Moving to Australia!!!

Lastnight Caleb asked me to read to him one of my favorite childhood books. He brought it to me and at first I thought, "Perfect! This book just about sums up how I've felt the last several weeks!" The book is called Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Written by Judith Viorst. Have you read it? If not, you should! It is very cute and always makes me and the boys laugh!

Here is a summary of the book:

Have you ever had a really rotten day? Alexander has... He wakes up with gum in his hair, he trips on a skateboard, and then he accidentally drops his sweater in the sink - all before breakfast! Alexander can already tell - it's going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!

Alexander's day continues to go downhill as he gets smushed in the car on the way to school, his teacher doesn't like his drawing of an invisible castle, and Paul doesn't want to be his friend anymore. There's no dessert for lunch, there's lima beans for dinner, and even worse: there's kissing on television! It's enough to make you want to move to Australia! It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!

At the end of the book Alexander's mom tells him that some days are like that.....even in Australia!

Australia was sounding very good to me too, until Alexander's mom reminds us that we can have bad days(or weeks!), wherever we may be. Oh well!

Although I have had a tough time emotionally over the last few weeks, I see the sun coming up over the horizon. I know that warmer weather is just around the corner and I know that bad moods can't last forever! Plus, my mom just retired this week.....Congrats Mom!!!, and she has promised me that she will come over and help with Gavin so that I can get out and do some fun things with the boys this summer. And, she said that she would come over so that we could take walks together, so that I wouldn't feel so lonely. And, Joel's mom just called and said that between her and my mom they could learn to care for Gavin and all of his equipment that he comes with, so that Joel and I can get away for our anniversary next month! Not to mention, I have already started feeling better after Sunday's sermon at church and knowing that this life is short and the best is yet to come! Until then, I will just look at this sweet face, because he always makes me smile! (Unless he is having a seizure, which makes me sad to see. But, so far he hasn't had anymore seizures that I've seen since the 3 that he had on Saturday!) Praise the Lord!

And, If these things don't work, THEN I'll consider moving to Australia! :)

"I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth — Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD." Psalm 40:1-3

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fragile, Worried, and yet Uplifted!

There are so many days lately that I just don't feel up to the task for just about everything. I am feeling 'sucked dry' and like I don't have anything left to give. I feel quite fragile and unsure of my abilities as a mother and as a christian. I just feel so overwhelmed by my responsibilities in both of these areas!

I pride myself on being the best mom that I can be, but still I fall short more often than I'd like to admit. I just feel like there are so many ways for me to fail, especially in the situation that I have been dealt with as a mother. I usually feel very confident as a mom, but lately I feel so burdened by the job. I want our boys to feel safe, loved, and happy. For the most part, I believe that they do feel these things. But, I have to put so much energy into Gavin and I wonder if they feel neglected sometimes? I also need to spend a lot of time reprimanding them throughout the day because they are wild, goofy and, lets face it, sinners, like us all! So, some nights I put them to bed feeling like they heard more "Don'ts" than "I love you's." I feel badly about this! But, such is life at our house! Our boys are very high-spirited individuals and although I want them to feel happy, I also want them to learn to have manners and to respect others as well! It's such a fine line parenting!

On top of our 3 older boys, there is Gavin. He is very well behaved, but he brings about so many worries and duties! I feel like I neglect him as well quite often. He can't sit up or play or enjoy things like most 2 year olds can, so I feel like I'm his only resource for comfort and stimulation. I feel so pulled all day long! I should be cleaning the house or paying bills, or etc, but I feel badly if I don't give him lots of time with me. So, the house is not as clean as I'd like it and other things are put off, but I feel that my children are more important, so I make concessions and everyone just has to deal with it! The house is neglected. I am neglected. My relationships are neglected. And, I don't like these feelings that I have because of it! I just feel so pulled in so many directions! My guilty feelings are enormous and I hate them! I seriously feel like I have no life outside my house and children and it hurts, but this is the choice that I have made and I feel it's the most important choice for right now. But, it's hard feeling lonely and like the world is going on without me.

So, I'm feeling overwhelmed by my role as a mother, but I've also been feeling overwhelmed with my role as a christian. I feel that I have to put on my 'happy' face and share the love of God even when I am feeling so down. Some days this is difficult for me. I feel so lost and like I just want to complain instead of looking for the positives in my life. I don't share everything that is going on in my life on this blog, but let's just say that I struggle more than I let on here. Life is just so difficult sometimes! And, lately I am really feeling the strain and feel like I'm sinking because of it. I pray daily and I am filled up by this and by reading the Bible, but I still feel so rotten! And I feel like I can't share just how rotten I feel, because I should be a 'light to the world' to show how wonderful my AWESOME God is! Don't get me wrong, without God I COULD NOT get through my days and I am SO filled with thankfulness for His grace to me. But, I am also human and have feelings and problems and I don't feel like I can do God justice feeling the way that I do! Because of this, I feel like I'm failing God as well.

Again, I feel like I must come across as crazy to so many, but I write this stuff here because I have a feeling that others are struggling just like I am and hopefully they won't feel alone in their struggles if I share my feelings with the world. I'm human, we all are. Some of us have been given a more difficult road to walk, but we ALL struggle. So, I'm here to hopefully be of help to others and also to vent to just get it all out, because holding it all in makes me feel worse. So, I may feel 'naked' sharing all of this, but I know that I feel better because of it.

As for being a christain and feeling worthless in my role; I do know that I am not expected to do a "good job" at it. I can't, because I am a sinner! This is why I am so thankful for Jesus and His gift to me! I may fail miserably, but He has saved me from my sins! Even me! Because of this gift, I am forgiven all of my shortcomings and I can go through my days with confidence. Confidence not in myself, but confidence in Him! For someone who likes to act like she has it all under control, this can be difficult to accept, but so freeing at the same time! I falter, I ask for forgiveness, He forgives and I have so much to look forward to! Life may be very difficult now, but this life is so short in comparison to eternity! I can't wait!

This weekend I seriously was feeling the lowest that I have ever felt and I was overwhelmed by my emotions. To top it off, Gavin had a few seizures on Saturday. He had not had any for over a year and I was SO heartbroken to see this again in him! I just wanted this all to end! I hate watching him have seizures! He cries just before and after he has them and there is such a feeling of helplessness watching your child have them and not be able to do ANYTHING about it! Anyway, I was feeling horrible and overwhelmed! I did not feel like going to church on Sunday. I just wanted to wollow in my fears and saddness, but I made myself go. I can't tell you how uplifted I felt and how happy I was that I went! I had tears running down my face for half of the service because it felt like the message was spoken just for me that day! I left feeling so lightened and filled with peace! We heard how life as a christian is good and in death there will be GREAT gain! Although, life can be hard, as a christian it really is quite good. In death it will be better. And when Jesus returns it will be the best to come! Hearing this gave me the peace that I need to get through my tough days and emotions, knowing that I was not made for this world and that the BEST IS YET TO COME! I can do all of my roles knowing this! I may not feel like doing what I need to do and I may not feel like I'm doing a good enough job, but I know that I CAN do it with He Who strengthens me!

"For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again." Philippians 1:19-26

Friday, April 17, 2009

God's Creation

We were able to see some of God's great creation on our trip last week. Seeing the animals at the zoo made me wonder how people can state obsurdities such as, "There is no God." Just look at the proof that there IS a God, and an amazing one at that!

How on earth can you explain such beautiful creatures if there wasn't a God?! These amazing animals can only be here thanks to a powerful and all knowing God! He alone created them and allowed them to come into existance! Just look at their colors and shapes and amazing features! They are breathtaking!

And if these animals don't give you enough proof, then how do you explain my adorable, smart, amazing, and wild children???!!

There is proof of our AMAZING God all around us! Take time to breathe in His creation each day! "Yay God!"

"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:28-31

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"I can't even get away from myself!"

My sister said something this weekend that was funny at the time, but the more I think about it, I realize just how true the statement was. She was joking around about being a person that can annoy even her own self. She's a goofball, Who I love to death! She is is one of the few people who can get me in a good mood like no other, kind of like Gavin actually! Anyway, she was saying how she's tried to change herself, but she will probably always be crazy and goofy. And then she said, "And I can't even get away from myself!" We just laughed, like we often do around her, but I've been thinking about how true her words are! We can't get away from ourselves!

I am someone who is quite reserved and always try to "do the right thing." I put a lot of pressure on myself and am probably harder on myself than anyone has every been. I fail miserably quite often and this really brings me down. I worry about others and I worry about what they think of me. I like to give the impression that I have it "all together", when I SO DO NOT have it "all together." I am a very positive person about most situations, but I struggle to stay positive. I have to dig deep and pray about this a lot to stay positive. I like to think that I'm easy to get along with, and most of the time I believe that this is probably true. But, sometimes I just wish that I could GET AWAY FROM MYSELF! Seriously!

Why do I have to think so much? Why do I have to try to please others so much? Why am I so hard on myself? Why do I think that I have to pretend to be alright, when I am SO not alright? Why do I let myself feel so sensitive about the way some people act, when I can't even control them anyway? Why do I put so much effort into making others happy, when it seems like some people could care less about how I feel? I suppose the answer to these questions is that, I CARE! I care about how others are feeling. I care about whether or not everyone else is happy and taken care of. I CARE! And, when I can't please everyone it makes me frustruated and sad. Some days I just wish that I could get away from my thoughts and cares! I think that I need a vacation from MYSELF! I am probably my worst enemy and I have no way of getting away from me! Man, I sound like I'm crazy, but I guarantee that I am not. I may be close to crazy, but since I get all these feelings out I am able to stay sane thankfully! Just venting makes a world of difference for me! Not to mention all the positive people out there in blog land, Your messages of support always brighten my day and mood! THANK YOU!

Anyway, now that I'm done venting, I'll tell you that we are home from our short trip and that, for the most part, we had a great time! It is always difficult getting away with 5 boys. (Yes, I said 5 boys, because Joel can be just as much of a handful on vacation as our actual boys! Enough said.) There is SO much to pack taking Gavin away from home and by the time I get 'on vacation' I'm exhausted! But, all in all, I think it was a very worthwhile trip! Jacob, Nolan, Caleb and I did not want to come home at all because we were enjoying ourselves so much, but Joel and Gavin are definitely homebodies, so we came back for them. Gavin did seem to enjoy himself for the most part, but he is definitely happier at home! It was wonderful spending time with our family that we rarely get to see and we had a couple of fun adventures as well! (Children's Museum and the Zoo!) Jacob and Nolan have informed me that they are even planning to move to Indianapolis someday! So they must have had fun!

Now we are back to the same old, which is always hard to come home to, but I am trying to dig deep and pray about keeping my positive attitude! :) I hope everyone else enjoyed their Spring break! Breaks are wonderful! Now if I can only figure out how to take a break from myself....hhmm? Let me know if you have any good ideas!

"Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." Luke 21:36

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Everyone should have a Gavin!

In my last post I talked about some of the struggles involved in raising a child like Gavin. Today I'm going to talk about the absolute joy that he brings! While I may have lost my sense of innocence, he on the other hand, is full of innocence! I cannot look at him without feeling happy! When I'm in an ornery mood, all I have to do is think about him or pick him up, and I'm filled with joy! I mean, LOOK AT THIS FACE!

He has no way of feeling the stresses of this world. He is pure innocence! He only shows love and happiness! (Unless he is tired or sick, of course.) How could anyone not get filled with joy being around someone like him?! There is nobody else in this world that can bring a smile to my heart and face than Gavin can!

So, although he brings about much more responsibility and emotions for me, often times those emotions are those of pure bliss! Everyone should be blessed with a Gavin!!

"And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; It shall rejoice in His salvation." Psalm 35:9


Our family is taking off for a short getaway this weekend. We are going to Indianapolis, IN for some fun and to visit with some of our family who lives south of us. We are very much looking forward to our weekend of escape! I hope everyone enjoys their weekend as much as we are planning to!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Loss of Innocence

Maybe you can tell, from my most recent posts, that I am struggling a bit with our situation. I'm not really sad about things, just thinking about things a lot. Yesterday I was thinking about how having Gavin in our lives has changed many things for us. The difference that I was focusing on, primarily, was our loss of innocence.

I watch people from 'afar' and wish that I could go back to the days when life wasn't so complicated. I realize that everyone's life is complicated in one way or another, but thinking back to our pre-Gavin life was definitely less complicated than it is now! If I could go back in time for one day, I would be able to realize just how uncomplicated our lives were! I know that I did not appreciate those days as being easy or carefree, but when I think about them now, I can see just how easy they actually were! I watch others and listen to them and sometimes wish for the struggles they are going through. I feel so lonely, in many ways, watching life go on all around me. People are making plans with each other, People are chasing their little ones around, People are laughing and acting as if they don't have a care in the world.....I am watching, and I am feeling very alone in this world.

I am not alone and I am blessed in so many ways, but still, I feel like I am so different than others. I have lost that innocent feeling that I used to have. I am not trying to sound pitiful, although I know that I do. I am not trying to complain, although I know that I am. I guess I am just venting as usual and sharing with others how it feels to have a child with special needs.

I wish that our family could do more together. I wish that we didn't have to plan so much, or think so much to be able to do what the average family is capable of just going and doing. Our boys feel this loss of innocence as well. They will say, "Mom, May we go here or do this?........Oh yeah, Gavin." They don't seem to feel badly about our situation, they are just matter of fact about it. There are just things that we can't do because of having Gavin.

I sometimes feel like I'm an alien in this world. I feel like others don't know what to say to me and that they are uncomfortable around me, because of the uncomfortableness of what to say to someone who has a child like Gavin. Our 'world' is very different than the average family, and I would probably struggle knowing how to act around someone like me as well. But, this doesn't feel good, although these feelings could just be in my head and not true at all. But, I AM a person with a lot of 'baggage.' I've been told that I am someone who others don't feel like they are able to complain to anymore. I guess because they realize that their problems are just not as big as mine. The truth is, they might not be, but it doesn't mean that I don't want to hear about another's frustrations. Life IS hard, for ALL of us! My struggles may never go away, but I know that everyone has struggles.

I am definitely more emotional than I used to be. Having Gavin has made me more compassionate and yet, more hardened in some ways. I am not the same person that I used to be. I just have to accept this and try to get used to 'the new me.' I have to learn to deal with the added emotions that I have. I have to learn to deal with the added responsibilities that I have. There are so many extremes in my life now. I feel so uncertain some days and then other days, I feel so great. I have never worried more than I have since having Gavin in my life, but I have also never been able to trust in God, more than after having Gavin here. I have never been more sad in my life, but I have never been so happy either! There are so many extremes! I think more. I pray more. I give more. I need more. I love more. I cry more. I take more. And, the list goes on.....

I would love to go back to those days of innocence.....or would I? If I did, I wouldn't know God like I do now. And, I wouldn't have the greatest blessing that has ever been given to me!

Life may be harder, but it sure is more full! Some days I'd like a day of respite from all of these emotions and responsibilities, but I REALLY wouldn't change a thing. Having Gavin has made me stronger, happier and sadder, but it has also made me who God hopefully wants me to be.

So.....I'll keep going, and praying, and hoping, that I can accept this life with open arms. Because life is hard for all of us, but with God, the best is yet to come!

"And, behold, I come quickly, and My reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. He which testifieth these things says, Surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" Revelation 22:12-14&20

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Am I really doing an O.K. job?

Being a mom is hard work! As a child, you probably heard things like, "You will understand one day." And, once you have children of your own, the clarity begins to set in real fast! It makes a lot of sense now that I'm a mother! It always makes me chuckle, and also get a little perturbed, when a person with no children tells me what I should do with mine! Joel always says, "The best parents are those who don't have any children!" Maybe some day these people who 'know it all' will be blessed enough to find out how true this statement is!

Before having children I was guilty of thinking that, "MY KIDS WILL NEVER BEHAVE LIKE THAT IN A STORE!" HA on me! Before having children I was guilty of saying, "My kids will always say please and thank you and look clean and nice when we go out in public." Another HA! Parenting is not as easy as it seems! Add a child with special needs and the hard job just increases! Oh, and add having FOUR wild boys.....well I think that you get the picture. I feel like I'm working hard all day, and yet nothing seems to get accomplished and there is constant chaos going on about me! Some days I feel like I'm in the middle of a tornado and there is nothing that I can do. Spend a day at our house, with our boys and you'll walk away feeling the same way! Constant chaos! I really wonder what would happen if I wern't here to try to control all this chaos?! This morning I seriously considered just letting them all fend for themselves to show them how my controlling ways are what gets us through each day! I told Joel, "You guys are on your one listens to me anyway!" Then my need for having them go to school looking decent, well fed and prepared got the best of me, and I took over again.

The point that I'm trying to get at with all of this is: That many days I feel like I'm invisible. I don't seem to have a visible purpose in life. I do so much and yet it looks like nothing is even being done! My house seems to always be a mess. My children always seem to act like they are untrained in the manner department and like they can't even remember a single thing that I tell them. I always look tired and unkept. And yet, I feel like I spend SO MUCH time working on these matters, with what seems to be, no progress being made! Does anyone else feel like this or do I live in the only crazy household in America??!!

So, needless to say, this morning I was feeling somewhat deflated and in need of some serious inflating! I hate to say this, but I even told Joel that "I was ready to strangle a certain child for his constant obnoxious, and misbehaving behavior and that at least in jail things would be easier for me than they are here at our house!" At least I'm trying to keep a sense of humor! Because I WAS TOTALLY JOKING! I mean, I LOVE my children and feel like I would die without them! I even have a desire to add to this crazy bunch, if you can believe that! I LOVE CHILDREN! But, even I need a pat on the back every once in awhile! And, you all probably know how great children and husbands are at thanking you or giving you a pat on th back!

God knew that I needed a little pick me up today.

Gavin and I had an appointment with a doctor at his school this morning. We are trying to determine if Gavin should go to school next year and if he does, then we needed this doctor to determine what needs he would have while he is there. I had to go through ALL of Gavin's history (AGAIN!) and tell this doctor all about Gavin. This is not something that I enjoy doing since I've had to do this with NUMEROUS doctors and also since Gavin's history has been a long and painful one, that I don't always like to revisit verbally! Anyway, this doctor seemed kind of hardened and aloff in the beginning of our talk, which made me even less thrilled about spending the next hour with him! He asked questions, I answered them and Gavin got to spend time with his (maybe) future teacher. (Who I LOVED, by the way! She was able to set aside some of my fears about sending him to school and she even had him smiling and laughing!) As the talk went on, the doctor began to have a better bedside manner and the talk didn't seem so bad after all! He even had some good suggestions for me and he was very kind and helpful in the end.

O.K., Back to the part where God knew that I needed a pick me up today. Being a mother can be a difficult job, a job that seems like I'm failing miserably at some days! Today I was really feeling worthless as a mom and this doctor gave me the pat on the back that I so desperately needed! He told me that he thought that I was doing wonderfully caring for Gavin and to keep up the great job! That's it, but it sure helped with my outlook! He said that he does not see this very often and that it's something very refreshing for him to see. (Which is probably why he began our interview with a less than happy outlook. He probably sees plenty of, not so great care, being given to children like Gavin and he probably IS hardened by all that he sees.) Anyway, I really needed to hear that I was doing a great job today! Everyone needs a "Great job!" said to them every once in awhile, EVEN MOMS!

So, to all you great Moms out there.....Keep up the great job that you are doing! It might not feel like you are making a difference, but you are! I hope that you have a great day and feel loved! Oh, and Thank you Mom and Joel's Mom, for being great mothers to Joel and I! WE LOVE YOU!

Hopefully this refreshed feeling sticks with me for awhile, especially since Spring break begins tomorrow and I'm going to need to feel refreshed with having ALL my boys home with me! I'm sure their teachers are breathing a huge sigh of relief! :) They deserve a big pat on the back as well! Thank you to all the teachers out there! Your job can't be much easier than a Mom's job!

"Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord." Philemon 1:20