Thursday, February 26, 2009

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

We've had some tough times around here lately. We've sought extra therapy for Alex in hopes of convincing him to eat more than the dozen things he eats now. We need God to find Miranda a new speech therapist as her current therapist gave us our last session today because she has to have surgery tomorrow and take a break for a while. Marshall's father is ill and Marshall's blood sugar numbers are back up again.

But I have seen, in only the last week, God work amazing miracles in my life and in the lives of others that I love. He's healed broken hearts, broken relationships, and broken bodies. He's freed people from years of baggage and given them real, concrete hope for the future. I am in tears here, right now, remembering what I've seen only the last 2 weeks of my life.

I'm thinking I should spend this Lenten season praising God for all the good things in my life, because the more I think about it, the longer the list becomes. And the more I praise him, the more I am filled in joy and peace, which is what I need to face whatever may come.

My mother shared this scripture with me this morning, and it was exactly what I needed to hear.

1 Peter 4 (The Message)

Learn to Think Like Him
1-2Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want....

7-11Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

Glory Just Around the Corner
12-13Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.

14-16If you're abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It's the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they're on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that's a different matter. But if it's because you're a Christian, don't give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!

17-19It's judgment time for God's own family. We're first in line. If it starts with us, think what it's going to be like for those who refuse God's Message!

If good people barely make it,
What's in store for the bad?
So if you find life difficult because you're doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he's doing, and he'll keep on doing it.

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. Amen.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Ash Wednesday!

I should really be getting dressed and ready for Bible study, but wanted to share this post from the Episcopal Bishop Lawrence of South Carolina that I read on T19 this morning called "Ruben's Samson--with Lent Around the Corner." God has really been working overtime in my life to heal relationships so I am approaching this Lenten season with a spirit of joy, even though my parents went home last night after a wonderful visit.

Here's the best part:
Time for a spiritual checkup; that’s what Ash Wednesday is. Samson could’ve used it. And Lent, well among other things, it’s a spiritual shape-up for one’s Christian life; a godly housecleaning before a welcomed visitor; a spring spading and planting of the garden; even a long intimate walk with Christ. Repentance after all, once you commit yourself to it, usually ends in joy. I know the downside of the season as well as anyone. There are a lot of Lenten hymns I don’t care for. Some are dirge-like, others drab—(incidentally, Fr. Michael Wright has written a fine one and is willing to share it); the Kyrie can’t compare with the Gloria (surely there’s a good one out there, I’m just wanting to find it); and mea culpas just don’t yield themselves to full-throated praise from the heart as do Alleluias! Still, I have to admit when the pall of purple finally does give way on Easter morning, it’s like the end and the beginning of all things: the packed car starting out on vacation; the tied-fly cast lightly on the water; the closing of a good book: the opening of a better one.

May a rejuvenating Lent come your way!

Blessings in Christ our Savior and Lord,

--(The Rt. Rev.) Mark Lawrence is Bishop of South Carolina

I left Miranda painting by herself in the kitchen. Time to go find the mess she's made and change her clothes, again. :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Crazy busy!

My parents are visiting (they leave Tuesday, sigh) so we're working on all kinds of projects and pushing other ones forward while we have grandparents to babysit and add extra hands, so I haven't even thought about blogging. We took Miranda out of her crib yesterday (anyone want to buy a nice, used crib?) and she slept in the toddler bed for the first time last night. But in order to do this, we had to switch rooms between Alex and Miranda since he had the room that could be baby-proofed (a closet that locks, a door lock on the outside of the door, etc) so yesterday morning my father and Marshall disassembled and reassembled furniture and everything we'd been hiding in Miranda's room (she really only had half a room, poor thing; the rest was our storage but used to be our office) is now in the front room. Ugh. Hopefully, we'll be able to post some pictures soon.

We did enjoy watching the golf tournament with my father this afternoon and Alex and Miranda didn't fuss at not having the TV to themselves. Sunday afternoon growing up was always spent watching golf with Dad; that's just the way things were and still are. He already put in his order for me to pick up the final day of The Masters which falls on Easter Sunday this year and he'll be at church for the end as their church service starts at 4 pm, Central. So we'll record it for him in HD and burn it to a couple of DVD's, supposing everything with the Sage box is working by then. I told Marshall yesterday he has all of Lent to make it work. It has been a rather frustrating project, though. We wanted to go HD and we hate Comcast which meant we had to leave TiVo since they're now partnered with Comcast and we didn't like the options offered by DirecTV, so we decided to build our own. Rather, we decided Marshall would build us a system himself. All I do I speak encouragingly when he frustrated and try not to kick the box when it crashes. And it's not like the TiVo box never crashes; don't ever try to play Monsters, Inc. more than twice in a row without stopping the disc or it will kill the machine, trust me. Anyway, we reconsidered about a month ago after things had gone wrong yet again (3 bad motherboards in a row is seriously statistically unlikely) but still prefer to go with Sage, even though we've been through half a dozen remotes, none of which has been able to be programmed perfectly. TiVo spoiled us with the best designed remote available and it's hard to go back from there. But not even the TiVo remote would allow itself to be completely reprogrammed. So much fun being on the bleeding edge of technologly.

Please pray for a meeting I have Tuesday morning with Miranda's Early Intervention Case Worker and the Speech Pathologist that evaluated her last week. We have made progress but not enough to test out of the program, which means Miranda is still months behind in speech and comprehension from where a neurotypical child would be. And since our current speech therapist is going out on disability next week, we will need for Joan, our marvelous, wonderful never-makes-us-feel-like-we-one-of-90-families-she-works-with Case Worker to find us a new one, post haste.

Okay, I really need to get Alex out of the bathtub.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Article to share

I know I haven't posted in 2 weeks. Had a few minor crises and my mother arrived for a visit. I have a half-finished post that's almost 2 weeks old that I haven't decided yet whether to finish or delete.

Marshall found this great article in the Irish Times called First Lady spurs new arms race. Here's my favorite paragraph:

Intelligent women know that legs shouldn’t be exposed if you want to be taken seriously because men never expose their legs (except on holiday); breasts speak of B-list bovinity and a lack of intelligence because men don’t have them; piercings lack purity (we’re heading into a pure and serious stage now), and tattoos – well, I’d like to see how good Angelina Jolie’s ones look when she’s past her prime.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Miranda the Snow Bunny!

We finally had a snowfall significant enough to play in so Miranda went out to play in the snow for the first time this season. Alex elected to stay inside, warm and dry, but I went out and followed her around with the camera. She was having such a good time, however, that she rarely held still and wouldn't even pose for the camera. So the pictures are rather hit or miss, but she still looks adorable in her pink boots, lavender-colored snow pants and mittens, and bright red coat.

Snowbound today

Alex is home from school today since we had a couple of inches of snow last night. Even though the school district has a 2 hour delayed opening, there is no school for preschoolers when the schedule is altered. Which means even though Friday is a scheduled early dismissal, he won't have school at all that day. I can't wait for next year when he'll be classified "kindergarten." And Miranda was up from 5:30-6:30 am coughing but is fast asleep now so I'm blogging in a bleary-eyed fashion. I still haven't completely kicked this cold, so I'm back on Sudafed. At least I went to bed earlier than usual last night, at 10.

I was really looking forward to going to Bible study today. We just started Beth Moore's Stepping Up on the Psalms of Ascent but we've been on Week One for 3 weeks now as it snowed last Wednesday as well. I'm sure it won't hurt me to read Psalms 120-122 again.

It is beautifully pristine outside right now, though. I'll try and get some pictures. I might even send the kids outside in the snow, despite Miranda's cold. She was begging to go out yesterday. Her favorite episode of Max & Ruby right now is "Max's Snow Bunny" which I've been letting her watch twice a day since she's been sick since Saturday and it cheers her up. Max and Ruby are outside playing in the snow for most of the episode and I think she'd like to try it for herself. I kept her inside last winter during the few snowstorms we had so she's never really had the full playing in the snow experience. Perhaps today is the day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Married to a Geek

As many of you know, Marshall has been building a Tivo-type system for us, now called
The Sage box because it uses Sage software, for a long time. Being on the bleeding edge of software development isn't always conducive to marital harmony, as we have learned, but we hate Comcast and we couldn't stay with Tivo and transition to HD without going through Comcast, something I wouldn't even contemplate, so we--Marshall--has built one from scratch. We don't recommend it, but when it works, which is often, it's beautiful.

Anyway, this morning, while trying to find a solution to our current problem, Marshall found a post from the Sage forum on the subject of the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor), which is more true than I want to admit.

Glossary to help determine WAF
1.) FINE: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2.) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five Minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3.) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

4.) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

5.) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of

6.) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7.) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome.

8.) Whatever: Is a women's way of saying *&%$#! You!

9.) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking "what's wrong", for the woman's response refer to # 3.

This may help improve WAF, as we strive for HT nirvana
Good Luck

My New Venture into Cyberspace

For the past few months, I have been frustrated in my blog reading to find someone whose life resembles mine. I have enjoyed reading blogs of other stay at home moms (I especially enjoy Anne Kennedy's Undercurrent of Hostility--see link in margin) but as precious as Anne's children are, her life in no way resembles mine because she has 4 beautiful, neurotypical children. I have many friends blessed to live in a world without the constant need to make every moment with their children a therapy moment and binders full of IEP's and other therapy notes and I want, more than anything, for their lives to continue that way. But my life is different.

My son, Alex, is a beautiful 5 year old boy who is, as my friend Amy Nelson says, overcoming diagnoses of high-functioning autism and ADHD, and we expect at least a few more years of living with the results of that diagnosis. My daughter, Miranda, who was 2 years old last October 30, was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Dysfunction (say that 3 times fast and then Google it) in May of 2008 and although her therapy is progressing well, we expect to continue to find ways to live with or work around SID for the foreseeable future. I believe in the words of Hebrews 11:1, that "faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
I have hope in the healing power of Christ Jesus who offers complete healing for my children but I am unsure of the when and how.

Recently, though, I have realized that like my children, I have spent my life passing for normal. Alex's compulsivity, like wanting the same thing for breakfast every day, is mirrored in my life. I have eaten the same thing for breakfast (turkey bacon, toasted English muffin with blackberry jam, hot chocolate) for at least six months. And Miranda's inability to sit still seems so familiar to me. When I sit and watch television, I don't just sit. I also cross stitch, surf or play games on my laptop, eat, or chew my fingernails. In fact, I took up cross stitching early in my marriage to keep myself from spending all my time in the evenings stuffing my face.

So, I am welcoming my friends, new and old, to join me in my daily struggle of finding a balance between managing the household of 4 people and finding those "therapy moments" to help my children continue towards a "normal" mode of development while I look at myself and how I have spent my life "passing for normal."