Sunday, October 7, 2012

What's on my mind?

There has been so much on my mind lately.  Much of it, I choose not to blog about.
I was asked recently how I decide what to write about and share with everyone, and how I decide when I shouldn't.  I guess it's not really an easy question to answer.   My impulsive and natural instinct and brain would have me spout off and have diarrhea of the mouth.  I've done it before and the outcome is not a good one.  But recently, I've tried to be more intentional about what I choose to share.  So for now, I make my decisions on what I share based on this criteria: #1- Does it encourage people to choose Christ?  That is my first and most important deciding point. If it doesn't, then I don't post it. #2- Does it embarrass someone?  If it does, I try not to.  If I do, it honestly is unintentional and let me know if I have embarrassed you.  In the case of my kids, slight embarrassment is part of the territory of being my child.  I gave birth to you, thus rendering ALL instances of embarrassment a right of mine. (this is said with a smile on my face)
and lastly, #3- is what I'm saying out of anger? Or have I worked through the ick and yuck and am just making a point or talking about the left-over feelings?  If it's an angry rant, I try, sometimes unsuccessfully, to not post.  However, even if I am angry, I will not use names.
Does any of that blabber make sense?  I hope so.  So here goes.........
What's on my mind lately?
My kids.  All 6 of them.  I really am proud of them.  From the oldest, right down to the youngest.  Each are unique and I love each and every quality that makes them, well, them.  I am in awe of how well they are doing and who they have become, in spite of my failures and inadequacies as a mother.  But even though they are doing well, it doesn't mean they don't struggle at times.  Life is still hard at times for them.  The older ones have bills to pay and that is not always easy.  Learning how to navigate married life, college and friends, boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.  It's all a learning experience for them.  As a parent, I want to make everything "ok" in their lives.  I want to make a million dollars to pay all their bills, pay off college loans, and give them all they could want to make them "happy".   But I can't, and hopefully even if I could, I wouldn't.  Sometimes the hard things are what makes us stronger in the long run.  Sure, I'd probably pay of college debt if I could, but just "fixing" everything wouldn't really fix anything. 
What else is on my mind?
He is on my mind all the time, but lately i've been needing to work hard to not "worry" about him.   His new diagnosis is a good thing.  It is.   But at the same time, it leaves a few more unanswered questions and more "wait and see".  I don't do well with "wait and see".  I'm so thankful that we have connected with the doctors at Boston Children's. They have been a wealth of knowledge and a great help in learning more.  Many of our thoughts about how Danny acts and how he learns, or doesn't learn, have been confirmed that what we see is an accurate definition of this syndrome.  It has also been a help so we can give this information to the school so they can help understand him as well.  Yet, there are other things that I never expected that  have come to light regarding this diagnosis.  The likely possibility that Daniel will have problems down the road with his feet or hands going numb is a bummer to think about.  Thinking about future nerve conduction testing to check the progression of this is a sad thought.  It's painful and not a fun thing for Dan to go through.  Then the fact that he will need hormones to make his body go into puberty kind of freaks me out.  Don't ask me why.  It just does.  Who would have thought that because he can't smell, he more than likely won't go into puberty on his own?  Weird.  Neat, and cool, and completely amazing. 
And even though I have fully expected Dan to need to live at home with us forever, when I'm reminded by doctors of this fact, it somehow hits me in the face like a new realization.  It's not depressing really, it's just, I don't know, it's just..... ugh, I guess I feel sad for HIM.  Not me, but Dan.  But then, on the other hand, why feel sad for him? He is perfectly perfect just how he was created.  His life has had more of an impact on others in his 10 years on earth than mine has had in the last 41.  So I guess it's just that I can't really describe how I'm feeling. 
And lastly...... I've got my book on my mind.
This new journey I've been on has been very cool for me.  It has been completely daunting, and scarey and really really neat.   I love what I'm doing.  I love writing, I love speaking to women, and I guess that is a great thing.  If I hated it, that would be a bummer.  Who knows if I am any good at it, but I feel that God has called me to this, and I'm grateful for the opportunity He has given me.  It's when I start worrying about getting speaking engagements or selling books that I get frustrated.  And even then, I have to remind myself that this is NOT about me.   This whole journey is about doing what I've been called to do right now.  How long will it last?  As long as God is in it.  The minute it becomes about me, then I'm done.  And you can hold me to that. 
So, i guess that is what is on my mind in a nut shell.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Being early is over-rated and other lies......

My husband and I are completely opposite on most things most of the time..... He is a math genius, and anything other than the basic one plus one and simple division (with aid of a calculator) are utterly lost on me.  I, on the other hand, love to write which boggles my husbands brain.  Yet, one thing we can agree on, is being on time OR early to events, church, parties, etc....   I had always been taught, as well as my husband, that being late to something tells people that your time is not as important as mine.  SO, how did we end up with a daughter that is perpetually late, always looking around for things the last minute and is the ultimate in oblivious to the clock. 
This morning was no exception.  As usual, we woke up at 6:30 to begin our before school regime.  I have decided that all the kids take showers, baths or whatnot the night before because it just added to our delay in the morning.  Ok, back to the story, anyway, we get up.  I wake Ally up first and tell her to get up and get breakfast.   Ten minutes later she finally gets up.  Walks around in a daze for another ten minutes and then begins the process of finding her clothes ( which she already got out the night before).  This brings us to 7am at least.  The bus comes at 7:40.  Again, I remind her to get her breakfast.  Five minutes later she is in the bathroom washing her hair AGAIN.  Again, I remind her we are leaving in 20 minutes for the bus.  Is she dressed?  No.  Is her hair done?  No, washed yes, combed no.  I tell her that she needs to put her lunch in her bookbag.   "ok" she says.  Five minutes later I look, and the lunch is still sitting on the counter.  UGH.  So by this time we are at what, like ten minutes before we need to leave.  Again, with agitation in my voice, I say to miss Ally, "Ally, we are leaving in ten minutes, you NEED to get dressed, put your lunch in your bag and get your shoes on." 
All the while, my blood pressure is rising, my eyes are starting to twitch and Ally looks at me like I'm completely over-reacting. 
Time to leave. I am walking out the door.... actually, I lie.  I've learned that if I walk out the door before the kids, that is usually a clear sign we will miss the bus, so I have learned to be the last one herding the chicks out the door.  But I digress.....  I tell them I'm walking out the door.  The boys grab their things and head out the door.  I call, no scream, for Ally.  She come out of the bedroom, buttoning her pants, shirt half on, hair still wet, no shoes on, lunch on the counter, book-bag no where to be found, and the look of sheer disbelief that I, yes, I could have made her late! 
Somehow, we manage to grab everything she needs, get in the car, head to the bus and STILL have a couple minutes to spare.......  to which Ally says "but I didn't have time to get breakfast". 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I miss having the kids home.....  Well most of the time I do.  I love the relaxing, do-what-we-wish feel of summer, but sometimes it is nice having the routine of September when the kids go back to school.
When summer is here and kids are home, it is time for me to put down the writing and blogging and focus on my most important job, which is being a mom.   By September, I am usually chomping at the bit to get out my computer to log or write or whatever......  And this year it's even more busy because of my book being published and all that goes into marketing, signings, speaking engagements, etc.  
This year I only had 3 kiddos heading off the school this year.  it was odd not to have my oldest daughter here to help offer suggestions about what to wear to siblings.   she is off on an adventure of her own, attending Word of Life Bible college in the Adirondaks.   It's so exciting for her, but this mom is missing her terribly!
So, here we are getting into the swing of things, with homework, soccer games, and the normal "stuff" that most household have.  I'm looking forward to all this school year holds!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

the complex human race..... and all that jazz

Some things just fascinate me.   People especially do, and just the complexity of the human race in general. 
I am always at amazed at how closely truth and untruth are related, and how easily twisted it can become in a matter of seconds. 
Satan wants to make us confused into believing the lies that he tells us, and skew them into half truths so that if we are not careful, or in tuned to the Holy Spirit, it gets us off the path.  The scary thing is, that to get us off path and our focus off the Lord, it doesn't take something huge or even important in the big scheme of things.   Little issues can become huge ones if allowed.  What are some of those "little" things that get us off track?
Politics.  People pick sides, Democrat, Republican, Independent, etc...... and we hold fast and hard to the "right" side.  Bi-partisanship gets thrown out the window, and we buy into everything our preferred candidate says, hook, line and sinker!   Republicans assume that ALL Dems are bad, Democrats assume ALL republicans are bad, and so on down the line.  But when we step back and look at the big, giant picture, we realize that 1.) most politicians are out for #1 and #1 is not the constituents that got them elected,  2.) the right thing to do is usually found somewhere in the middle of where the republicans and democrats meet. and 3.) sometimes its best to throw them all out and start fresh with new grunts....... 4.) realize that in the long run, it does not really matter.  Honestly.  Yes, vote your conscience for sure, but really, God does not need help writing the book of Revelation.  He already did that.  It's already figured out and who we vote for is not going to change the course of history. 
Yet, we still debate, get into huge disagreements, pick sides and throw our real purpose out the window, which is to point people to Christ, not a president.  We get to worried about making sure people vote for the one we want them to, instead of tell people about Christ and then letting them make the decision on their own.   I certainly care more about who people vote for to save their lives in eternity, more than someone who will promise them the world and deliver nothing. 

Homeschool vs. Public school:  I've tried both, and honestly, unless God grants me a HUGE measure of patients, then for the sake of my children, I choose Public school for my kids.  That being said, I LOVE the idea of homeschooling, and I wish I could do it.   Honestly, I do.  I love having my kids home, most days, and I would love to keep them from hearing lies taught by secular teachers.  BUT, I have met people who pretty much think I am sending my kids to hell in a pretty little hand-basket because I don't homeschool.   
The only thing I can say to that is, if I can't do a good job of teaching my kids how to serve Christ and live for Him in a public school setting, or in the "world", then I'm doing a pretty horrible job as a parent anyway. 
Yes, it is SUPER hard to raise Christian kids in the public school setting.  Like, WHOA, hard!  But it IS possible.  I also know that there are many homeschool families who do a great job getting their kids active in the community and are a great witness.  It's just a balance. Neither is easy,  but both is possible.  Whichever one you choose. 

Skinny vs. Fat:  So which one will get to heaven first?  That seems to be a big question on the minds of many christians.  I honestly never had even dreamed it was something to be debated.  Yet, in the last 5 years, it has been brought up to me, or in other circles, that skinny will be the reigning queen in heaven.   Ok.  Well, then I guess I am going to be the poop scooper.    Really?  Does it really mean one person is more "spiritually" endowed than the other?  The funny thing is, that many and honestly MOST of the people that are proponents of the skinny heaven theory, are men.  Yes, I said it, men.  OR skinny women with no history of having issues with weight. 
Let me tell you something....... skinny people are grumpy.  Welll....... NOT alllllll skinny people...... but some.   Ok, here is my thought.   If I thought for one single second that the only way to pleasing God was to be skinny, then I would be the first one to sign up for Jenny Craig.  However, I was under the impression the pleasing God meant that I am to serve Him with my whole heart, love others as I love myself, tell others about Jesus Christ.  
Ok, so now I'm going to have those who disagree point out the verses about gluttony.    Yes.   I do think that gluttony is wrong.  Nothing should be as important as Christ in our lives.   If someone has a problem with over-eating and that is their god, then yes, they should work on that.  Does that mean I expect them to be a size 2 or even 8?  No.  I expect them to put God first in their lives.  That's it.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.
The same goes for people who make golf or friends, or tanning, or whatever other million things it could be, the center of their lives. 
My point is this.  Being skinny is not always a sign of righteousness.  It's not a sign of godliness.  It is only a sign that someone is ....... skinny.  And might possibly have a eating disorder or tapeworm. 
Being over-weight does NOT make a person nonspiritual or less of a christian.  It makes them.... wait for it.....  over-weight.  Or a thyroid disorder.  =)   
We should be more concerned with the heart.  Not the outward appearance. 
So, yeah..... people are complicated and odd at times..... but that goodness we are not all the same.  It would be a very boring place if everyone was just like ourselves.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Boston trip

So it has been a completely we awesome and exhausting three days.   Sunday we, as in Ron, Daniel and myself traveled from home, which is in Alfred, NY, to New Canaan, Ct for the first leg of our Boston trip.   That part of the trip nice and we got to see family, which is always a plus.   On Monday, we left for Boston and the first of two very long and strenuous Doctor appointments.    The whole process of coming out to Boston has been an answer to prayer, and if you don't believe in that sort of thing, then look out because this is nothing short of amazing! Ok, so I'll start at the beginning.......  Our youngest son Daniel was born with multiple disabilities, one of which was diagnosed as Moebius Syndrome.  This condition affects the craniotomy-facial nerves and many organs mid-line.  because of Moebius , Daniel can not blink or close his eyes, and the eyes themselves do not dilate or function normally.   He has had multiple corneal ulcers which have resulted in scarring on his cornea.    Because of the chronic dry eyes, his eyes constantly feel as if you are rubbing them with sand paper.    So........ Fast-forward a bit and that takes us to about two months ago.    I was doing an interview with a person from Harvard who was doing her thesis on caregivers of Moebius Syndrome.   In doing that interview, we talked about Daniels problems with his eyes and she got in touch with her Professor who happens to be the number two doctor in the country for Opthomology.   In short, he is nothing less than brilliant! Anyway, back to the story.    so it turned out Dr. Hunter emailed me and wanted to see Daniel in Boston and he suggested we see Dr. Engle as well.   So who is Dr. Engle, right?   she is another brilliant specimen of a doctor!  She is the head of Nuerology at Boston Children's and also is on the board of the NIH.   To make a long story shorterISH, she and Dr. Hunter run a specialized clinic for kids with specific craniotomy-facial disorders which Daniel qualified for.   So, after getting the approval from the insurance, which was the second miracle, the first was that we were even being  seen by Dr. Hunter, we headed to Boston.    Now fast forward to yesterday's appointment with Dr.'s Hunter and Engle.......  We got there at 12:30 and stayed for 5 hours.  Every bit of that time was with the doctors.  Another doctor from New Zealand was there as well.   It was discovered that Daniel doesn't smell, well, CAN'T smell.   His olfactory bulb is missing.  Everything else we learned was very interesting.  However the most important thing was that Dr. Hunter made a call and got us into the Boston Foundation for Sight, third miracle, so Daniel could be assessed for the possibility of wearing prosthetic lenses to keep his eyes moist so he won't lose his sight down the road.     so at 7:30this morning we were at BFS in Needham Mass waiting to see the doctor.  It turns out, Daniel is a great candidate for this prosthetic, and he was even able to get one in his eye.    so now we just need to figure out funding.  The first step is checking with insurance to see if we can get them to pay for it.  if not there are some grants that would help, but each eye will cost $5000.  Yes, per eye.  It's impossible to put a price tag on your child's health and vision so if I need to sell a kidney, then so be it.   Either way, I am thankful that we have had this opportunity and I know that the Lord answers prayers!!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's on its way!

After feeling like it was nothing more than a dream, I am beginning to feel as if my book is actually going to become a reality. 
The process has been a great learning experience for me and something that has challenged me and for that I am grateful.  
We are in the production stage of the book being published. It's gone through the outside editing, and the submissions  processing so far.   I talked with my Marketing coordinator yesterday and I think he is going to be a wealth of knowledge and help for getting the word out there.  He gave me a bunch of ideas and I've been working on some of them today.  Notice the new blog design?  Yeah, that is thanks to Mr. Guise. 

I have run from one end of my feelings to the other regarding this whole process.  It's humbling, it's scary and it's so very exciting.  In fact the word exciting doesn't even come close to explain how I am feeling right now. 

I will keep updating this blog and my facebook as the process evolves so keep checking back. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Holy Shmokes it's been a long time.........I guess I've been super busy or something.  Nothing like writing a book to make a person not feel like writing a blog, or anything for that matter.   So here is a snapshot at what's been happening in my world in the last few months since I last wrote:
-I finished my book..... finally.  After over a year of planning, writing, editing, crying, more writing and on and on, I am finished.  For the most part.  That is not to say that I don't have more things to do with the book, I do.  It's just that it's brainless stuff.  At least it's at the publisher and out of my hot little hands. 

-We've endured some life changing happenings in our family.   It's taught us a lot about forgiveness and patience and resisting the devil.  I've seen a new side of my husband which has been encouraging to me throughout this whole ordeal and I've learned to appreciate him much more so if nothing else, that is a positive.
-We got the approval for Daniel to see two specialists in Boston dealing with Moebius Syndrome.  We were not sure the insurance would pay for it but they agreed to do it so we were happy.  Very happy.   The whole thing was very much a "God thing" .    I truly believe in "God things" and you should too.  Wow, I'm bossy, aren't I?   Anyway, the whole ball started rolling when I participated in  an interview regarding a research paper being done by a student at Harvard on the effects of caregiving and Moebius Syndrome.   Anyway, I sooooo moved the interviewer (said VERY  tongue and cheek)   that she contacted her Professor and Harvard who happens to be the Chief of Opthomology at Boston Children's.   He and his colleague Dr. Engle who is a Neurologist, have a clinic which deals with Cranio-facial disorders and Moebius Syndrome.   Dr. Hunter contacted me, and wanted to see Daniel.  SO.  That is how the ball got started.  And we are very excited.  We head to Boston in May and we are hoping it will be very helpful. 

-I'm learning more and more every day about per-judging people.   As a mother especially, I'm not real good at being objective to boyfriends or girlfriends.    I'm just being honest.   
Recently, my daughter reconnected with a boy who from pictures, I thought he resembled Vanilla Ice.   You know, the white, wanna-be black rapper of the 80's?   Anyway, in my head I was thinking "there is no way in heckarooni that I want my daughter dating this guy.  Nope, not going to happen, no way."   I was adamant that I did not want to meet him, etc.    Well, guess what?   I met him, and he is NOTHING like I thought.  Let me say that again.   NOTHING.    First of all, he doesn't even like rap music.   That right there makes him a 100% better than anyone else.  Second of all, he is a born again Christian.  Committed Christian.   Third of all, he is a Southern Gentleman.   And that, my dear friends, is the end of the story.  
Had I refused to meet him, I would have missed out on all the good he has in him,  just because I per-judged.   And all of that got me thinking about this:  Does Ty have some baggage?  Yes, he sure does.  Do I have baggage?  Does Abby have baggage?  Does everyone around have baggage?  YES!!!!  And to think someone elses baggage and yuck is worse than our own is stupid.  The important thing is if that person has learned from it, and more importantly repented from it.   That's  what's important to God so that is good enough for me.  And if it's not good enough for others, then oh well.