Tuesday, November 26, 2013

the days I am weak

Life as a "special needs mom" can be lonely. Every child's journey is different, but some of us have extra obstacles to overcome. Even those vary from child to child and family to family.  Yet when I read Nish's words yesterday, I found myself saying, "Yes, she understands." Even though my needs/fears/complaints might not be the exact replica of hers, much of what she said were the things I have experienced and thought. For awhile I didn't feel so alone.

The last couple of weeks have been long as we met with the IEP team. I won't write out the details other than to say I didn't feel that some of the people cared about the best interest of my son as much as their program or their dollars. Plus I knew my child's rights and my parental rights better than they expected. On top of that we were given another packet of paper with another evaluation of Bugaboo's strengths and weaknesses. The weaknesses were emphasized. Those conversations are hard and lonely. And the internal conversations I have with myself on what really is best for my son add to the stress.
(sidenote: This photo was not from today.
Today I would have welcomed a simple tantrum.)

Then today Bug's routine got changed because a schedule change for a Wednesday activity moved it to Tuesday. Therefore he thought all Wednesday activities should be happening this afternoon. This was followed up by being told, "Not right now" at home. Then he was given a lunch he did not want (though it is normally one of his favorites).

The meltdown occurred for quite some time. He sat in his crib crying. I stood at the counter, crying, although much more quietly than my son. On his own initiative, my four year old brought his younger brother a tissue and lovingly wiped his face through the bars of the crib. I was humbled and thankful.

It was during this chaos that I put out a call for help on Facebook: Please pray. Bug is having a rough day.  I try not to do that. I hate asking for help. I hate admitting I am tired, weak and worn some days.I try to stay positive about his progress. I worry about what people will think about my son and about me.

But I am learning (slowly) that sometimes I just need to ask for help. It will be better for everyone if I can just admit my weakness and struggles and say, "Please pray. Help please." Right away a friend from church told me we could come to her house if we needed. I knew she meant it. A friend from college told me she just prayed for me, and I knew that she did. Just those two simple things made me not feel so alone any more. It reminded me that help was here and help was on His way.

"For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish." Jer. 31:25

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Cor. 12:9

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Be God

"Be God! Be God! Be God!"

Bugaboo's request came from the backseat today. Thankfully, in recent months I have been given the gift of interpretation, so I put in the Chris Tomlin cd. My not-quite-three year old's new favorite song is, How Great is our God also known as "Be God."  The rain was pouring down as we drove to pick up Bubby from preschool. "Turn up! Turn up!" he added, and so I did.

I sang along, as I often do, but today I ended up singing loudly. Somewhere in the midst of it the Holy Spirit took over. I prayed for things I did not understand. It was not dynamic or earth shattering, but it was beautiful and powerful and  perhaps profound. I prayed for requests I remembered from the day before. I prayed for babies just born and a baby on his way. I prayed for Bugaboo and the journey we are on. 

The Lord dealt with me on a few things on my heart. He asked me, "If your son isn't healed the way you want him to be, will you still trust and glorify Me?"  In that moment all I could picture in my mind was the scene of Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac, and yet I said in my heart, "I will. Help me."

Most days my prayer life mostly involves meals and bedtime devotionals, saying thank you for a list of things and tacking on a few requests at the end. I sit at the piano to try to sing and worship, but is distracting when four little hands are pounding away at different keys. I show up for church each week in a place where I am comfortable but also a bit uncomfortable as I wonder if I raise my hands too much if I will make others uncomfortable. And there are songs and styles and prayer meetings I miss from other seasons in my life.

But today my ride to preschool became a sanctuary. While my little boy enthusiastically yelled, "Be God!" from the backseat, God was exactly that. He was God. Right there with me in my ordinary moment. God with us. God with me. The Holy Spirit pouring out on Thursday morning, not limited by where I go to church, my lack of "quiet time," or my exhaustion. He met me in my minivan today. And He is beautiful.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

how I've proved Him o'er and o'er

We rushed into BSF this morning with a minute to spare. On my way to drop the boys off to their classes I learned that the preschoolers were joining us for opening worship. Bubby walked with me into the sanctuary, to a pew near the front. The piano started.We opened up our hymnals to sing all the verses for both songs.

Bubby is in service with us each Sunday at our church, so it is nothing new to have him next to me in worship. But today I was filled with emotion having him next to me. The second hymn has been with me throughout motherhood. It is what I would sing through so many rough nights with Bugaboo not able to put himself to sleep. I sang this song to Bubby when he was just over three pounds hooked up to wires and monitors in the NICU.  

But I sang this song more than a year before Bubby was born. I sang it as my body miscarried baby number one. I sang it in between moments of screaming at God and questioning why. I sang it lying in bed with tears that would not stop. I sang it in the dark to give me a glimpse of light. I sang it to hold on to my faith when so much of me just wanted to let it go.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!

How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;

Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Today when I was  in the giant sanctuary, Bubby said, "We sing this at our church!"  I looked down at my precious four year old. I couldn't keep the tears from escaping. The tears for what was lost. The tears for what I have been given.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

They are definitely my children

Sometimes I don't want to write. Sometimes I just want to share some pictures of my boys. But don't let their sweet faces fool you.

The youngest had me climbing all around the big-kids' playground this weekend. He was eager, but he is very limited on what he can do. I was less eager and almost as limited in what I could help him do. Therefore, though I know it is good for his gross motor skills, it is worse for my fear of both of us falling. We moved over to the smaller kids' playground. (Okay, he still is pretty sweet these days.)

The oldest got mad at me during some semi-fun errands today. As I escorted him out without making our purchase he told me, "I want a new mom!" Part of this I realized later was the affliction I often suffer from. He was hangry. (That's anger caused by hunger for some of my older readers not familiar with the term.) Part of it was he is four years old and likes to test the boundaries.

The preschooler came home and drew a picture of his mad face. (His idea - apparently he writes out his emotions just like his mama), All was worked through and forgiven during lunch. (So he's still pretty sweet, too.)

Friday, November 8, 2013

a little rant before I kick myself off the Internet today

Sometimes I want to retract my I think I am a Jesus Feminist statement.(Even though I believe in all that I wrote in that post.)

With two sick kids, I've had a lot of time on the couch and on the Internet.  So today somehow I came across this gem - "The Mark Driscoll Scholarship for Women in Ministry."

As a person who believes in women in ministry (gasp!) AND as one who actually thinks Mark Driscoll has some good things to say sometimes (gasp!) I find the antics behind "the Mark Driscoll Scholarship Fund for Women in Ministry" disturbing. I do not find it "absolutely hilarious" or "priceless," I find it to lack class and the love of Christ.

I guess what frustrates me so much is many of these people spout off how open minded and compassionate they are, and then they go and do something like this.

I am all for having differences in opinion. (I mean, Hello! I go to a Reformed SBC church even though I believe in women in ministry and in the charismatic gifts of the spirit.) I am all for holding people accountable because I think Mark Driscoll has said some pretty ridiculous things, and I don't always agree with his approach or style.  I also get annoyed by feminists like Rachel Held Evans a lot of the time, and for the record I don't think I agree with much of anything of Shane Claiborne's theology. But I don't think we mock someone in our disagreements, especially if we call ourselves Christians. And even if we claim, "Well Mark Driscolll does such-and-such," I don't think that gives us the right to respond in an unChristlike way.

I guess I better just stay off the Internet today.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

sick days and the beauty of Christ

The cough came. Then the fevers. On Tuesday night Bubby awoke a little after midnight. We spent the night on the couch as I tried to have him sleep propped up to help with the cough.  Both boys were drenched in sweat.

The boys and I spent Wednesday on the couch watching DVDs featuring PBS characters and Mike Wazowski.  Bugaboo dozed a couple of times, and we went through a carton of orange juice, which of course I watered down. By bedtime the fevers were worse, and my nurse-in-training-husband was home and checking their temps regularly for me. 104. 104.5. Bubby was covered in blankets and wearing a hat and said, "My head is shaking." He was still cold.

I spent the night on the floor in their room, sitting up with Bubby when he had a coughing fit and covering him back up with a blanket. When I gave Bugaboo another round of meds for his fever, he couldn't get back to sleep. So he ended up on the floor with me.  I lie there listening to my babies breathe. Listening to them sleep little bits at a time and trying to help them when they were awake. I was not sick, but I felt like I was almost experiencing it. I just wanted to take it away from them and give it to me.

And isn't that the beauty of Christ?

That He came and He experience the pains of the earth, of humanity, of sin because He loves me and wants to be with me? Because He wants to make me whole.

Immanuel. God with us.