Anticipate Grace

My three sons 2004

Through a crisis pregnancy that was given a death sentence,

to a diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorder,

through much laughter, joy and peace,

panic and tears,

I have learned to Anticipate Grace.

I don’t believe God has promised me a life without trouble,

but He does promise to give me strength in my weakness.

He promises to give me wisdom when I ask for it without doubting,

and He promises there is no fear in His perfect love,

because perfect love casts out fear!

To “Anticipate Grace” is to anticipate pleasure, a favorable decision, with the grace to perform a duty!

I Anticipate Grace-because God always gives us all we really  need- when we need it.

I Anticipate Grace-because my child is of value to God, He will help provide what he needs.

I Anticipate Grace-because there is always pleasure and great joy in a full heart of  love for my child.

I Anticipate Grace- because I trust in the goodness and love of God for our lives.

As I attempt to share our special needs family, I hope you will be able to Anticipate Grace in your own special need.

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Little Old Lady Tree

We pity our little old lady tree.

Bending and swaying, her weak back arches over from the winds.

Branches stretch downward to brush the ground.  It seems as though she will snap.

She is resilient, almost rubbery.  She keeps surviving.

She isn’t thriving as the others. Her roots are shallow and unable to bring nourishment.

A few years pass, she just doesn’t fit in with the other thriving trees and plants in the yard.

I ask my husband to pull her out of the ground.

Put her out of her misery-my misery.  She has become an eye sore.

Other things take precedence.

His honey-do list is long and he works tirelessly at his career.

Each of our kids receive his adoring time and attention.

The oldest, with special needs, demands his extra attention these days.

We giggle and mock that struggling tree whenever we glance at her.

Our youngest boy makes an innocent observation,

“I think our little old lady tree has Down’s Syndrome”.

Suddenly the honey-do list is not so long,

My husband is pulling that little old lady tree out of the ground.


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On My Nightstand: March 2011

lady with books

  1. Forgotten God, Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit, by Francis Chan, David  Cook Publishing.   Hooray for Francis Chan!  His heart is sold out to Jesus.  Says Chan, “The truth is that the Spirit of the living God is guaranteed to ask you to go somewhere or do something you wouldn’t normally want or choose to do.  The Spirit will lead you to the way of the cross, as He led Jesus to the cross, and this is definitely not a safe or pretty or comfortable place to be.  The Holy Spirit of God will mold you into the person you were made to be”.  I am using touch points of this book for discussion in our Woman Gone Wise Bible Study.
  2. Embracing Your Second Calling, by Dale Hanson Bourke, Thomas Nelson Publishing.  I recently picked up this book because I want to live passionately the second half of my life.  I’m gathering different insights to ponder.
  3. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School,  by John Medina, Pear Press.  My family is intrigued with the brain.  I’ll let you know about this later.
  4. Boys:  Shaping Ordinary Boys into Extraordinary Men, by William Beausay II, Nelson Publishers.  I love this book!  I carry it everywhere and read snippets at a time.  I pass along a paragraph or a great idea to my hubby.  He has his own long reading list, and this way I’m not asking him to add to his pile.  It’s a good way to encourage Team Parenting!
  5. 1,000 Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, by Ellen Notbolm and Veronica Zysk, Future Horizons Publishing.  Our oldest son has Down Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder.  What parent of a special needs child couldn’t use more ideas for daily success?!
  6. My Bible.  There’s one of these on the fireplace mantle, in the van, in my purse and on my nightstand.
  7. Cooking Magazines.  Because I can never get enough.

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Don’t Ever Grow Up….Really?

“Don’t ever grow up!”  How often I said those loaded words while hugging my kids tightly.  Don’t we moms adore our children’s humor, innocence and sweet loving hearts? There is a part of me that wants them to stay children forever.  But as I work in my kitchen, I hear that same cartoon and its monotonous music in the background.  I’ve been listening to it year upon year as my oldest son loudly sings and dances to the melody.  Unlike the rest of us, he rarely tires of the recurring theme and remains just as delighted as he was in his childhood.   With his moderate developmental delays, he is “growing up” so very slowly.

On my final nerve,  I finally comprehend; I want my children to grow up, to reach maturity in their mind,and in their social and emotional abilities.  This is love.  No longer gripping them with a longing for their forever childhood, my Mama’s heart now whispers, “Keep Growing Up, my love”.

Cade and Dane

Often times family birth order is "swapped" when there is a sibling with special needs. Although Cade is 18 months younger than AJ, he acts like the first born.

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