Thursday, November 28, 2013

Facebook Break

On Tuesday, I made the conscious decision the take a break from Facebook. At first, I wasn't going to say anything but then I thought, if I actually said something, I would be more accountable to myself as well as the people on FB.

To me, Facebook had become a place where I always was and it was consuming a lot of my time. Now, I'll admit that yesterday I went on only to find someone's mailing address and once in my messages, I found someone who might be able to be a respite worker for Sarah in January. I didn't look at anything else though. Yesterday was tough. I realize now how often I would just pop in to check it out. I've decided to make sure that the times that I feel like I should do a quick check that my time will be spent praying or reading my Bible. I was encouraged and inspired by some friends last night and although I won't be off FB forever, at this time, I don't know when I'll be back.

**Disclaimer: I can post this on FB through Blogger without being on Facebook itself.  If you need to get a hold of me, feel free to send me an email or text!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Two Years Today

It was this day in 2011 that we received the news that Sarah had a form of Cerebral Palsy.


I can remember leaving the pediatrician's office in a state of shock and disbelief. His informing me that is was probably an oxygen deficiency in the early months of pregnancy assuring words of "you didn't do anything wrong" or "this wasn't preventable" weren't exactly comforting at the time. The past two years have been nothing short of wonderful with Sarah. Her progress in speech has probably been the biggest change and little by little, her development is growing. At her own pace. This does mean though, that the gap between her and her peers is getting larger. It wasn't so big a few years ago but I notice it more now.

For the most part, I've come to a point of acceptance of the diagnosis but I still have moments of grief and sadness. I'm sad for what she is missing, although she lives just in her moment. I'm sad for what could be or could have been. But when the day is over, she is the best therapy in the world.


I came back from a movie with Andrea this afternoon and when Sarah noticed me, I saw the delight in her eyes, felt her tiny arms around my neck and melted when I heard her say "Mommy! You came back!" It is good to be missed and I am so blessed.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Snowy Days

Well, it would appear that winter has made it's appearance here in some parts of Alberta. It's been recorded that 55 centimetres or 21 inches has fallen in the past week or so. That's a lot of snow. I don't particularly love winter since it just seems to last for so long. I like sunshine and being warm but such is not the case when I live in this place. But I do agree that the covering of snow is beautiful in it's own way as it covers everything in a thick white blanket. It also provides a whole new play level for the kids and they can (and do) spend hours outside sledding, building snow forts and whatever else their creative minds can create. These long wintery days are also spent watching our traditional Little House on the Prairie movies, eating popcorn and snuggling down under the many quilts that we have. The snow also opens up the sport of winter driving. Momentum is your friend in the thick drifts, you simply get used to the ABS kicking in, and there's nothing quite like sitting at an intersection with a green light as you inch through because the road is glazed with sheer ice. Welcome to Alberta in November!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Question #8

Which of God’s promises in the Bible means the most to you right now? 

I would have to say that my go-to verse these days is Isaiah 41:10.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I've had a lot of really good days lately with just the occasional frustrating moment here and there. We have found a lovely church to attend, Doug's depression seems to have less lows than it has in the past and I think I'm doing alright. I'm thankful for the word of God, full of promises to me. 

I Did It!

In 2011, I had 131 blog posts. I began this blogging year with the hope and determination to beat that number. And I have! I've written over 140 posts to date! My initial goal was to do 182 posts which would average about one every other day. There's still five and a half weeks in 2013 and so maybe I can do it!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Two Meltdowns, One Evening

Once again Sarah was fixated on going outside at 7:30 this evening. In addition to the time, the temperatures had dropped to about -25° (which is about -13F°) and it was getting colder. Joshua and Arianna had gone out to play and once Sarah got word of that, she was bound and determined to join them. I really didn't feel comfortable letting her go outside because there's no way she would keep her face covered and I knew she'd get too cold. This caused a half hour long spell of crying, screaming and jumping up and down. It looked like a classic tantrum that one might see in a two year old. I was really sad and frustrated at the same time. Disappointments are very tough as is not being able to reason or justify with her. She doesn't understand "it's too cold" or "it's too late" so she just has to tough it out.

The second meltdown occurred as I was getting her ready for bed and she was insisting on a bath. It was already past her bedtime and I was wanting to put the day to an end for her. I finished putting on her jammies and held her close as she cried over and over "I need a baff!" and fought me. I laid her down in the bed and with all the love and tenderness I had, covered her up and snuggled her good night. I left her crying sadly in the bed, knowing there was nothing more I could do for her at that time. Thankfully it was also time for Arianna to go to bed and she snuggled in with Sarah which calmed her down fairly quickly.

Now she's sleeping peacefully and I'm grateful. Here's hoping for a good night.

Question #7

Are there times when God feels distant from you?

I would have to say yes to this. I think one of the harder times was when we were showered with diagnoses for Sarah in 2011. I was so desperately trying to sort out the "whys" and there just were never any answers. I think in retrospect, God was close but I just didn't let Him near. It took quite a while before I realized that I was putting up a guard and I needed to trust Him in it all. I still have moments when I wonder if my prayers are simply hitting the roof and then once more, I am reassured that He is ever present and listening to me. It's times like that when I think maybe I need to slow down, rest my heart and soul and spend time with Him. Almost as if He feels distant because I am putting the distance between us.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Question #6

When do you feel especially close to God?

I think I feel closest to God when it is quiet. When there are no other distractions to conflict with my mind. Some days in this busy life of homeschooling three kids and keeping an eye on Sarah, the quiet moments are few and far between from each other. I really try hard to take times during the day when God is the center of my focus. This has been a process that I've been working on for quite a long time and I'm really beginning to feel the benefits of knowing Him personally. I'm thankful for certain people who have become friends over the past few months and those relationships that keep on growing. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Question #5

What adjustment is God leading you to make in your life? 

I think there might be more than one answer to this question but I'll see where it takes me. The first adjustment that God is leading me to make would be to continually trust Him. No matter what. That He should be at the forefront of my mind, not just when I'm frustrated, sad or discouraged but also when I'm feeling blessed, excited or victorious. To give Him the glory for all things. That was the question our pastor asked us on Sunday... "what can we give God the glory for in our life?" I thought about this and I got to thinking: maybe sometimes we don't know that we are looking for something until we find it and then we realize we were searching for it. I won't go into details on that one right now but I feel such a peace about where my family and I are.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Question #4

What is your testimony?
I've been sort of avoiding this one because I'm not entirely sure how to go about it. The last time I wrote a testimony was when I was grade 9 or so and I was baptized in church. 

I was born and raised in a Christian home and was brought to church on a weekly basis for as long as I can remember. I don't know exactly when I asked Jesus into my life but I'm sure it was in the early school years, probably when I was in Sunday School or at the Christian school that I attended. In a nutshell, I really haven't known life without God in it despite the many ups and downs I've had. I was a pretty good teenager while I was growing up; I followed my parents' rules and obeyed the curfews. I have had a lot of times where I've drifted away but He was always in my mind, albeit farther away than I care to recall. Throughout my adult life, I have always been surrounded by wonderful Christian friends and that has been such an important part of my faith walk. Life groups, Bible studies and prayer partners are the things that provided me with the most support. I can clearly recall shortly after my mom died, our life group all met in my living room and prayed for me. I know who was there and who stood by me in one of the hardest times that I've endured. I have friends who have listened to every cry and frustration and heartbreak as we received news of Sarah's diagnosis. Never judging me, but always loving me. 

I have been so blessed to have Christ filled relationships throughout my life, including my family, in-laws and friends. I think my walk with God is getting stronger and I am so thankful for those who are walking beside me in this journey now.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Question #3

Has your enthusiasm for Christ increased or waned over time?

As much as I'd like to say that my faith has only increased over time, that wouldn't be the truth. Maybe it can be so for some people, but it hasn't been like that for me. I have had moments in my walk with God where I felt like He had all but deserted me. Of course that couldn't be further from the truth and I am grateful that He always takes me back. There have also been times when the busyness and stresses of life seemed to blanket me, leaving no time for God. I was determined to deal with all the problems on my own and conquer them by myself. How wrong I was and how gracious He was to accept all my "stuff" as i poured out my heart to Him after I realized my mistake. Life in general isn't easy and we were never told it would be. It's like that so that we have to trust God. He wants to be there for us and is pleased when we need Him.

I have found over the past two months though, that my desire to follow Jesus, talk to Him and learn more has increased. I think the church we've been attending has played a large role in that and I am grateful!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Question #2

What Scripture has God used to speak to you about Himself, His purposes or His ways? 

I don't know if there is just one specific verse that I can nail down but I know of four that are my "go-to" spots in the Bible. 

  • Joshua 1:9 - Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
  • Isaiah 41:10 - So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
  • Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
  • Philippians 4:6 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
I think the continuing theme of these four verses is God's continued promise to be with me. His plan includes my safety, hopes and a future. They also remind me that if I ask, God will be there to love and care for me. I am not alone in this journey of homeschooling, special needs and being an adult. When we are children, we can't wait to grow up and yet once we are adults, we wish we could occasionally be  like kids again. I am so thankful that God is there for me and that He doesn't leave me even in the times when I think the world is crashing down on my shoulders. I am blessed that he repeatedly reaches His arms to me after I stray from my faith walk and that the door is always open for me to return. 

Photo taken by me at my in-law's acreage

First Snow

Due to her oversensitivity to bulky clothing and foot wear, Sarah has not ever played outside in the winter. In addition, her balance is questionable and I never wanted to hinder that by layering her up with thick boots, snow pants and a big coat. She never minded and was always happy just to stay inside and watch others. Until today. The snow began to fall and by late afternoon, there was a thin layer on top of our grass and everything in her begged me to let her outside. She put on the snow boots that I purchased as well as a winter coat, hat and mittens. She was so excited. I was proud to the point of tears that she had come to a point in desiring to be outside. She made a snow angel, tracks and a bitty " 'no-man". I am so excited with this HUGE step for her.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Question #1

1. What has God done in your life or through your life that has caused you to experience His presence? 

Well now, nothing like jumping into the deep end with a thought provoking question like that. Looking back over the years, one time that I felt God's presence the most was shortly after my mom passed away. I was searching for a comfort that was seemingly impossible to fulfill and I remember begging and pleading Him to take the pain away. I know that He was there in the room with us that day crying with us as my Mom entered his presence. My faith has ridden a roller coaster over the years but it was that day that I really felt God near us.

Over the past two and a half years as we've dealt with the highs and lows of a special needs diagnosis, I have called out to God asking for answers that may never be known. Although the times are farther apart than they used to be, I still go through periods of grief as I am frequently reminded of where Sarah isn't. Watching her with kids her age and thinking back of when my other three kids were this age is heart breaking at times. She had no idea of what occurred last night, being October 31. I lucked out and found a sleeper with a kitty hood on it but she figured she was just wearing a pajama which she loves. There was no hoopla about getting treats or dressing up for her. It was just another night. I've never been a fan of Halloween and this year was no exception. It was just a little sad though that she was completely naive about it.

The change in churches has been a huge blessing to me and I find that my faith is growing daily. I feel spiritually refreshed and God is making His presence known in my life in a clearer way. Maybe I'm at a (new) point that my heart is opened up to hear Him again.


I've been sort of at a stale point in my blogging lately and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I don't think people want to hear about me, my kids or our homeschooling adventures. I found the following questions online after I searched "Christian Blog Prompts". I'm going to challenge myself and try to blog each question in the month of November which means one post every other day. This will be an interesting experience because it will be exposing my heart in ways that I haven't before. I'll still throw in snippets of what's going on in my daily life, keeping up with my Wordless Wednesday and Thankful Thursday posts. Question number one will be posted later on this afternoon.

1. What has God done in your life or through you life that has caused you to experience His presence? 

2. What Scripture has God used to speak to you about Himself, His purposes or His ways? 

3. Has your enthusiasm for Christ increased or waned over time? 

4. What is your testimony?

5. What adjustment is God leading you to make in your life? 

6. When do you feel especially close to God? 

7. Are there times when God feels distant from you? 

8. Which of God’s promises in the Bible means the most to you right now? 


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