"I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to give you a hope and a future."

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Friday, December 31, 2010

Into Thy Arms

Into Thy Arms

Into Thy arms, O sweet Savior!
On Thy strength I rest assured!
Peace, sweet peace is mine to savor,
Rest, sweet rest the aroma allures.

“Come, weak one,” He bids to me,
“I’ll be your strength and stay,
I’ll open your eyes so you may see,
“I’ll open to you the righteous way.”

Rest assured, O child of God,
Rest in peace and salvation sweet.
For wherever your foot wonder or trod,
You, He’ll always love and keep.

Rebekah P. Tidball

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rough Waters

Apparently Nathan had a hard day at school today. They said they could tell he was getting more and more agitated and he finally broke down in absolute tears. Poor guy. Apparently the sound of the jingle bells they were playing with was hurting his ears and then some other things happened and it overwhelmed him.

I also had a chance to talk with Nathan's social worker for over half an hour today. It was very informative. I also received the notes from Nathan PT and OT evals. They now want him to get OT and PT once a week.

His social worker, I will refer to as SW, said Nathan needed a lot of visual prompts to complete tasks. They have picture cards that tell them what to do when they arrive at class such as hang up coat, open homework folder, put away backpack, and that sort of thing and apparently he became agitated when there was no picture card for what to do with his gloves! They told him to put them in his backpack but he was upset there was no card to prompt him.

They said when they ask him to do 2-3 tasks that he looses focus after the first tasks but if they give him visual cues he can follow through. Interesting. The SW said we could make cards for him to use at home and that way he can refer to his cards and we don't have to "nag" him to do things. If we tell him it's time to get ready to go he could refer to a set of cards that would show the steps he needs to take to get ready such as: socks, shoes, coat, etc. They said as smart as he is he has a hard time with common sense things.

The SW also said that Nathan would prefer to speak with her and the other teacher instead of the kids and he dominates the conversation, which is nothing new to us. We already knew that. They are getting him to interact more with his peers and are trying to get him to ask them questions and have a 2 sided conversation instead of just him talking.

Once again they killed about 10,000 trees and gave us another HUGE stack of paperwork!

Nathan definitely appreciates his alone time in his room after his school. I think he needs downtime to just do his thing. They said they push him pretty hard at school and try to get him out of his comfort zone of routines.

Again they are pushing us toward the "school" route and she even said she wasn't so sure we should start him on the 1st grade curriculum in January because he will just be so far ahead...not so sure I agree.

Lots to think about and pray about! Trusting the Lord to see us through as we know He is faithful and that it says in Jeremiah He has plans for us, to give us a hope and a future and plans to prosper and not harm us.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Emotion VRS Lack of Emotion

I know I said before that one of the hardest parts of Aspergers is how emotional Nathan can get over "silly" things or "small" things. But as upset as he can get over the fact I make him move over a little in the tub to wash his hair; he could care less if if he upsets you!

Nathan is floppy and clumsy and he runs into Emma, bumps her, steps on her, all the time! But even when she cries he barely looks at her much less says he is sorry or even feels bad.

Today during nap time Nathan destroyed an entire roll of wrapping paper he found in his closet. I wasn't that mad at first but I got more and more upset when I realized how much he just didn't care! He looked at me like I had lost my mind and with a "so what?" look on his face that is enough to drive you mad!

I asked him, "Don't you care you have done something that made mommy upset?"

He says, "Well, dad talked to me and I guess I do now."

He just doesn't get it and he doesn't really care. What a strange thing this Aspergers does to him! It makes him abnormal. While most people don't have to be taught to feel bad or feel a little sympathy for someone you have hurt or upset people with Aspergers really have to "learn" this. He just doesn't recognize other's feelings such as sadness or annoyance or impatience. I guess I should understand that and not let it upset me but it does!

So I pull him into a hug and he is all stiff and awkward and nearly headbutts me instead of hugging me. Then as if nothing happened he says, "Now can I watch tv?"


Monday, December 13, 2010

"She's talking..."

I find it amusing how many people are commenting on how much Emma is talking lately. I never really noticed that Emma wasn't a big talker in public. In my opinion the poor little thing doesn't get much of a chance. When we go places Nathan tends to talk so much she barely can get in a word! Neither can I!

Several people have commented though about her talking more. She talks to me. She says a ton of funny things and she is very crude! We are trying to teach her manners and what is o.k. to talk should hear the things that come out of those cute little lips!

It's been fun in the last four or five months to watch Emma and Nathan play together more and more. He often drags her into playing something he has seen on TV. She on the other hands has a great imagination and often comes up with new and crazy scenarios whereas Nathan just repeats and reinacts the things he has already seen.

They play well but they fight well too! Emma knows how to annoy Nathan and Nathan....well he annoyes Emma by talking at her too much or trying to tell her about the Presidents for the 90th time!

I just hope that they will always stay friends. I hope Emma doesn't surpass Nathan too far socially and want nothing to do with him. I hope they both are happy and have fun memories and they love the Lord. I hope a lot of things for my kids.....I guess all parents do!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Think about the Lord, dad!"

On Sunday mornings we don't let our kids watch television. We tell them that as they get older they can use any free time to pray or read their Bible or think about the Lord before heading off to church.

As you know, Nathan does not like jokes. Chris was joking with him this morning and Nathan was getting annoyed. I think he takes life so seriously that jokes make no sense and hold no merit to him.

So Nathan very seriously said to his dad, "Dad! You should be thinking about the Lord!"

Gotta love the little guy!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Little Boy Lost

It's hard to ever look at Nathan and think he is missing something. I mean the little guy scored a few points below a genius level! He taught himself to read, he writes, he does math, he asks complicated questions, is super observant, and probably smarter than I am! So how can I ever look at him and think something is missing. He looks "normal". He is a handsome and he smiles and he talks with EVERYONE! He is super friendly.

But with Aspergers I think you get what people would view as "small" losses.
Sometimes I feel like my husband has lost more than I have...if that makes sense. Both Chris and I believe firmly that Nathan was born with Aspergers and did not develope this from vaccines. Why? Because he has always been like this. As a baby he hardly ever slept. While others moms talked about these 2-3 hours naps their babies took I looked at them like they had two heads! Nathan would sleep for 15 minutes even as a small baby and if I got a thirty minute nap out of him I thought that was awesome! He was always so alert and I remember to this day how after he was born the nurses commented constantly over my two days in the hospital how alert he was.

Anyways, that being said...

There are certain things we feel like are lost to us or to Nathan. Nathan doesn't seem to notice or care so maybe it is no loss to him! Chris used to talk when Nathan was small about doing those "dad" things with Nathan. He talked about playing ball with Nathan, teaching him to ride a bike, and working on cars with Nathan the way he used to do with his grandfather. Except with Nathan he has narrow interest and he is not interested in cars and he is not physically coordinated enough to even kick a ball. Nathan tends to stiffen when Chris hugs him. If you say I love you, Nathan he often answers, "Yeah I know." Occasionally he will reply with "I love you" and we love it when he does that.

Nathan does not get jokes. Trying to get a laugh out of him by tricking him or joking with him will only get him really mad! Chris wants to joke with his son and it's hard to understand that he can't do that with Nathan.

Nathan can't do things that other kids his age can. He still can't button his pants and do zippers very well. He can't kick a ball if you roll it to him. During his PT (Physical Therapy) eval the Physical Therapist labeled him as "floppy" His muscle tone is too weak and his motor skills are lacking and his hamstrings are too tight and his arches pronate....also why riding a bike is really hard and he doesn't want to do that with Chris either.

If you talk or play with Nathan for even two seconds he assumes you are his best friend...for life. The other day at the YMCA Super Stars Program a little girl named Katy played with Nathan on the trampoline for a few minutes. He assumed they were best friends of course and tried to follow her around and play other things with her and was oblivious that Katy didn't want to play with him anymore and was getting annoyed by him. Katy even said "I want to do it by myself" but that goes over Nathan's head. "But we are friends so we do it together" he says. This even carries over to the fact he has such a good memory he won't forget her and will try and "be her friend" when he sees her there next time. Nathan even asked the next day if Katy was coming to a play date with us!

We are not complaining though! We have a brilliant little boy who CAN do all sorts of things, who thinks an Atlas, the planets, and the Presidents are the coolest topics ever. He ask hard and constant questions that makes us think. He is healthy and we know other kids who suffer physically and I can't imagine how hard that is for the parents and the child! He is super friendly and will talk with anyone.

I feel bad for him because part of having Aspergers means he is super emotional and some days are hard on all of us to see him get so upset or cry his little eyes out over such "small" things.

I can't help but believe that despite Nathan's "special needs" God has big plans for our little boy. Some might see him as a little boy lost.....we see him as a little boy God made and shaped and formed just for us in my womb. He is the little boy I got on my knees and begged God for. And of course there is that beautiful verse.... "His strength is made perfect in our weakness" whatever "weakness" Nathan might have...whatever "weakness" we might show in dealing with some of his quirks...God strength will carry us through and through God's strength Nathan's weakness will be strengthened. And on the days when we feel a little too tired to "deal" with this we remember we can rest because God will carry us through.


Info on Aspergers

The above is a great web site and I copied and pasted the following from the above web site. This article sums it up really well.

Asperger's Syndrome has probably always been around, however, the medical establishment has only recently begun to diagnose it.

Dr. Hans Asperger, a Viennese pediatrician, wrote the first paper on the condition in 1944. He had been working with four children, ages 6 to 11, who had similar peculiarities. They were each passionately interested in one narrow subject, and would talk on and on about it.

Dr. Asperger believed these "little professors" had problems understanding other people. For example, they were clueless when their audience was becoming bored as they lectured about obscure subjects like growing peas, deep fat fryers or Richard III. They did not notice that people were yawning, looking at clocks, or trying to switch the topic. In addition, although the children could memorize facts about their subjects, they often had little understanding of it. For example, a certain child knew every obscure fact about the lives of U.S. Presidents and had no grasp of American history. They tended to be overly logical and rigid, sometimes moralistic in their viewpoints. They had trouble understanding metaphors. If a mother said, "I'm going to hop down to the store," her son with Asperger Syndrome expected her to leap like a rabbit.

As Dr. Asperger and others after him continued to study the syndrome, they were able to pinpoint other traits "Aspies" have in common. Some are clumsy and uncoordinated. They have trouble with self-care and tasks like tying their shoes or buttoning. Others have problems controlling their voices. They speak too loudly or in whispers; they have unusual inflections or monotones.

Many Aspies have trouble with sensory integration. They may overreact to loud noises or bright lights. They may be overwhelmed by the inside of a Wal-Mart with all the people, displays, lights and stimulation. They may cope with the stress by repeating certain behaviors to soothe themselves. Self-soothing may include elaborate rituals or "rules," such as wearing a certain item of clothing all the time or always eating from the same menu.

However, the trait that causes Aspies the most difficulty in life is their inability to pick up other people's social cues and to respond appropriately. Unlike autistic people, Aspies often are interested in other people and want to make and keep friends. However, they have to learn social interactions on an intellectual level instead of just picking them up naturally the way others do. For example, when a friend is wearing an ugly new shirt but seems very happy about it, most people will lie and say how nice the shirt looks. An Aspie may believe that the friend wants an honest answer to: "How do you like my shirt?" One six-year-old Aspie got in trouble when she told her grandmother that she was too fat to ride a bicycle.

For this reason, Aspies may constantly want feedback from the people in their lives. They may ask, "Did I say something rude?" because they really do not know if they did or not. There is a very endearing character on the television series, "Boston Legal", who is a brilliant lawyer with Asperger Syndrome. He carries around a little notebook with reminders like "Shake hands with your client after the trial," or "Thank the jury if our side wins." He always keeps his hands clasped in front of his body so he does not flap them around.

In 1994 Asperger Syndrome became part of the official "Bible" of American medicine, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This is the big reference book doctors keep on their desks when they diagnose mental disease.

In order to be diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a person must show two of these problems:
"Marked impairment" regarding nonverbal social cues (doesn't make eye contact, doesn't understand others' body language, etc);
Failure to make friends;
Lack of appropriate social and emotional responses to others; or
Inability to spontaneously share enjoyment, interests and achievements with other people.
In addition, the person must show one of these behaviors:
An abnormal and intense interest in one subject;
Adherence to a strict set of rules, routines and rituals;
Repetition of certain mannerisms like hand flapping, hair twisting or even whole body movements
An obsession in the parts or mechanics of objects.
Asperger Syndrome is considered one of five "Pervasive Developmental Disorders" within the spectrum of autism. It is a lifelong condition and occurs in boys four times as often as girls. Because Aspie children are not mentally retarded, doctors usually do not diagnose them until they are in the early elementary school grades.


Sunday, June 6, 2010


I know I've said this before but eating is a basic human need. We all need to eat. I would say most everyone likes to eat. If we want to stay alive then we have to eat.
I enjoy having people in my home, feeding people, meeting that basic human need to eat. I like to prep food, cook food, bake, and present food. I really enjoy it and I like to plan and put a lot of thought into my food.

Chris and I eat breakfast and shortly after I am thinking...what am I going to make for dinner tonight? Sometimes I even make a weekly menu, which Chris likes because then he knows what's coming.

My downfall is perfection. I want my food to be perfect. I want it to taste perfect and to look perfect. I actually remember the few times I messed up a meal because I found it so devastating that I failed in my cooking. One time when making a roasted chicken it just was not cooking!! I cooked it and cooked it and the thing was still raw around the bones! I was so frustrated and it was unbelievable and meanwhile Chris and I were starved. We gave up with the chicken that wouldn't cook and went out to eat. Another time I made terriyaki chicken and it burnt. It was awful! It smelled awful and was inedible. That is the only thing, besides toast, I ever burnt.

When we have people over for dinner I plan ahead. I plan what we will eat, when we will eat, the food I need to shop for, and the cleaning that needs to be done prior to them coming. I strive to make sure my table is set perfect, things have been febreezed so they smell nice, toys are picked up, and my food is tasty and timely.

So recently when a speaker and his wife showed up at church I had to make a decision. My flood had not been vacuumed. A meal had not been planned. The table wasn't set. And I didn't feel very good. I couldn't have a speaker when I was completely unprepared and my home was not spotless! No way. But the Lord said, yes way. We'll take them out to eat. But the Lord seemed to say, "Have them in your home." I didn't want to. I wasn't prepared. But even in thinking that it was like the Lord was saying, "I've taken care of it."

The day before I had taken out 4 pieces of fish. Not 2. Four. I don't know why. I just did. We didn't end up eating them so I had 4 pieces of fish. No more. No less. Exactly what was needed to serve us and our guest. I had one can of biscuits, rice, and some vegetables. I had bought a tote bag of apples and so I had plenty to make an apple crisp for dessert.

They didn't care that I had to set the table once they arrived. She was more than willing to help me peel and chop the apples for dessert. They loved the fish. In the end it was like the Lord was telling me, "I'm in control. I've set this in motion."

I remarked that I had enough fish for us and our guest. That I had bought just enough extra apples for a dessert. The Lord enabled me to be hospitable with no notice and I have to admit it was one of the most relaxed dinners I have ever done. There was no time to spend hours scouring my house, no time to plan and decide a menu, no time to worry how the meal might go wrong or if they would like it.

The Lord is still teaching me and molding me. I believe my gift is hospitality. And the Lord is showing me that even if I feel I am not ready He will make sure I am able to use my gift. He'll guide me even as I shop even if I am unaware of it.

Extra apples. Extra fish. Bread. Rice. Vegetables. God provides and meets our needs and enables us to serve others with what He's given us.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Can't Believe I wrote that

I have finished the edit of Book One- which is named Remembering Our Love. I have now started editing book 2. This is called Hope Has Crosses. Or Hope's Crosses...iffy on which one I want to use.

Anyways, I wrote Hope Has Crosses in 2007. I wanted to write this book but I was sort of afraid. I kept saying,"What would people think?" "Is it over the top?" Then I decided I would write this book without holding back. I would not ask myself what people might think. I was going to go for it.

Now re-reading the book again I caught myself taking a big breath after the first chapter and going, "Whoa. This is intense." I wrote it. I know. But it's been a while since I wrote it and read it and part of me wondered it too much for Christian fiction?

It's not a pretty picture painted of the main character Julia. She is down and out. She does everything in the book that any Christian would gasp at. Yet, I wrote this book with a heart that said, "Life is not a fairy tale. Yes, I grew up in a Christian home with a loving family and had a nice life. But so many others have not." Your heart will break for Julia as she reaches the edge. My own heart broke so many times writing the story. I believe this book and book three were the hardest stories I have ever written.

To some it may seem silly but if my heart is not in my books and invested in my characters how can I ask anyone else to invest their hearts into my books? I want to write life changing fiction. I want people to read my stories and say, "Whoa."

I make sure the gospel message is clear in every book so if someone who is unsaved ever picks one up then they have a clear presentation of the gospel.

And for believers I would hope my book would offer encouragement, stronger faith, and an adoration for a God who would save the most unlovable of us all.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Inhaler Nerd

Not too much in life annoys me. People smacking gum annoys me. The car beeping because your keys are in it and the door is open annoys me. But they are small things. I know. I don't tend to be one of these people who will get all up in arms over something. I am generally a very happy person and I like to make people laugh and I like to have a good time.

I also like movies. I like action movies mostly. Don't ask me why. I just do. But even more than a poorly delivered line or a crocodinosaur or a man eating slug or something insane like that; the thing in movies that annoys me is the fact that if there is an asthmatic in a movie then they are a nerd or a wimp or weak or a loser.

I know. What does it matter? Well, in this world of Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and blogging there comes a freedom to express ourselves or tell our friends what we just ate or to make big announcements all for the public to see. So why can't I express my annoyance over this matter?

I challenge people to name ONE movie in which there was someone with asthma and they were strong or the main character or not a pitiful weakling sucking on an inhaler at the first sight of a bully.

First of all, I have asthma. I've had it pretty much since I was born. It's gotten better as I have gotten older. I used to be embarrassed about my asthma, thanks to a very unkind principle. I was the kid always puffing on an inhaler or taking breathing treatments just so I could get a breath of air. I spent time in the back of ambulances and in hospitals being given steroids when I couldn't breath. But in no way do I consider myself a wimp or a nerd.

I was able to participate in sports like softball, soccer, cheer leading, and golf. I rode my bike, I ran.

Will I get up in arms over the fact that people with asthma are often portrayed in movies as weaklings or nerds? No. It doesn't really bother me....just annoys me. :o)

Just once I would like to see a macho man with asthma or a tough guy or a tough girl for that matter. I know football players who have asthma...o.k. so not personally but I know there are least I am pretty sure.....

Anyways, if you can find ONE movie, ONE character, who has had asthma in a movie and NOT been the weakling, the wimp, the nerd...then let me know. I am very interested to see if there are any. I've never seen one.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I forgot

This week I started back at the gym. For the longest time going to the gym was a given. I went even when I did not feel like it. But for months now it has been an off and on kind of thing. I would still go for a walk or do a video at home but I was not really getting that intense workout like I would at the gym.
So Monday came and I told my husband I was going to go to the gym. That night after I put the kids in bed I did not want to go. I was tired. It had been a long day and sitting on the couch and watching t.v. or just talking with Chris sounded great to me. As a matter fact it had become a habit as of late to do these things.
I went anyways.
I loved it! I forgot how good it feels to get your heart pumping, to listen to my music and tune out the world and tune into my body.
I forgot how fun it is to get on the treadmill and run!
I was not planning on running Monday. Any runner knows that unless you keep running then it's like starting over. When I was running all the time last year I could run a 8 minute mile. That was fantastic for me! But when I got the on the treadmill a song came on my MP3 that I used to always run to. And before I knew it was I running.
I hit a mental block after like 3 minutes- no joke. My head said, "You can't run. It's been too long. This is hard. My shins hurt. You don't need to run. Just stop." Then I found that zone. You know? The zone where everything in your head that says, "You can't" gets turned off and your stride is perfect and your step is perfect and your breathing is perfect. Needless to say I only ran a mile on Monday but it was a good mile, if that makes sense.
I enjoyed it. I loved it! Even though my poor sneakers have way too many miles on them and the tread is actually coming away from the bottom of my shoe.....hmmm I need new sneakers.
I also remembered why I loved running in the first place. It just feels good! It's fun. And I missed it. Besides, in some ways it's like being a kid again. You get to go fast! ha ha
Anyways, I was able to go to the gym on Tuesday, I did not run though. I did a lot of weights and then cardio on the elliptical. I plan on going tonight and you know what? I am looking forward to going tonight. :o)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Saying No Again

I was reading some old notes on Facebook that I had posted after I had lost all that weight. I saw a before and after picture I posted. I realized that one thing I did all the time was say NO when I was changing my lifestyle and learning to eat healthy and exercise hard.

I had to say NO to food.

I had to say NO to buying things I knew I wouldn't resist.

I had to say NO to chocolates for my birthday or holidays.

I had to say NO to staying home to watch my favorite shows and opt instead for at least an hour at the gym.

I had to say NO to sitting around and had to make sure I was moving through out the day.

I had to say NO to people who offered me seconds.

I had to say NO to french fries and fried food in general.

I had to say NO to the words, "I give up," and "this is impossible."

I had to say NO to being "too tired" to workout or go for a walk.

I had to say NO to donuts and watch while others ate them.

I had to say NO to being overweight, unhealthy, uncomfortable.

I had to say NO to a cheat day or "just this once."

I had to say NO I am not happy like this even though I say I am.

I had to say NO more!

Make NO a new part of your vocabulary.

Don't be afraid to say NO. No Thanks. Not Today. Maybe another day, another time.

I still have about 15-20 pounds to go before I hit my goal and then I wish to maintain for my life. I have slipped. I have ridden a yo-yo up and down with four pounds up and four pounds down. I need to learn to say NO again.

I need to learn to find my reason again. When you lose weight you need a good reason to do it and stick with it. I did it before and I know I can do it again but now I know that it is not an easy road to take. It's harder to face. Harder to commit. Hard not to say, I've had enough and this is good enough.

These past couple of years I have become more aware of my body and what food does for it and what exercise does for it. You are given one body, one life. You can not trade it in. You can not start over. You can not get another one. We will not be made perfect until God calls us to our real home.

Will I lose the last 15-20 pounds? I think so.

I enjoy a challenge. I enjoy accomplishing hard things. I need to find that enjoyment in feeling my body change and become healthier.

When? I don't know. I have to find that reason again. That motivation. The push. The drive. And I have to adopt the word, NO.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tired Arms, Endless Thanks

Last night, around midnight, came a very upset cry from Emma's room. I'd gone to bed early hoping to catch up on some sleep but Emma it seems, had other plans for me. I went to her room and she was thrashing in her bed, very upset.

I offered her the pacifier and her Lovey but she refused them and cried even louder. She cried harder and harder. I tried to pick her up but she pulled back and continued to wail. I asked her if she just wanted mommy to leave and as I turned to go her crying lessened and she reached out to me.

Picking her up, she rested her head against my shoulder, wrapped her little arms tight as she could around me, and let out a heavy sigh. Her crying ceased and she held onto me for dear life. I began to quietly sing Jesus Loves Me to her as I swayed back and forth. She only weighs around twenty eight pounds but at mid-night, already tired, my arms felt heavy and tired. My first instinct was to grumble. I needed sleep. Tomorrow was church and I was on snack which means I needed to be there early and absolutely could not sleep in.

I realized Emma's breathing was slowing and her tight grip on me was relaxing; she was drifting back to sleep. I also realized a part of me wasn't quite ready to put her down. It felt good to hold her, to comfort her, to sing to her in the dark hours. Like a flood memories came back to me. I thanked God for my little girl, prayed for her, and held her longer than I really needed to.

I remembered a time when having a baby seemed impossible. I was young. So was Chris. Why weren't we able to get pregnant? I remember the tears, the prayers, the long talks, the what if's and the endless doctor appointments and tests. I know it only took us a year when for others it takes so much longer than that but even so that year was a tough one, emotionally.

I remembered pouring my heart out to God. I knew with Him all things were possible but even so He might have had other plans that what I had planned. I prayed and litterly begged God for a baby and I even went so far as to ask Him for a boy. He gave me the desires of my heart. That month I got pregnant. It was no surprise to me when the ultrasound tech told me I was having a boy. I wanted to tell her, "I know."

That first pregnancy I did EVERYTHING by the book and maybe even beyond. I didn't drink a single drop of coffee or tea fearing what it would do to the miracle I'd prayed so hard for. I made them switch one little communion cup at church to white grape juice fearing what even one drop of wine would do to my baby. I refused any medication, even Tylenol, and took my vitamins every single day. After all, I knew fine well that what God gives He can also take. I hate that that I ever thought like that but I did!

When I was six months pregnant, we had just moved into our first home. On maybe the second or third morning of being in our new home I woke up with horrible pains in my stomach. I was terrified. "I'm losing my baby," I thought. Chris rushed me to the ER barely able to stand. He checked me in and as he parked the car the woman at the front desk came over and talked to me. I was in tears and in tremendous pain. I prayed. I am not really sure of what all the woman was talking about but it did help to distract me. She was kind and understanding and stayed with me until Chris returned.

They wanted to give me medicine for the pain. I refused. They said the baby would certainly get some of the medicine through me but not enough to do real harm. It was too risky for me to even chance it. It felt like an eternity before they brought over the little Doppler and put it on my stomach. I prayed to hear a heartbeat. "Please, don't take my baby. It's more than I could bare," I remember praying. Then I heard the most comforting sound. My baby's heart beating strong and sure. The more calm I become the more the pain lessened. They did an ultra sound and then sent me to maternity ward for observation. I remember listening to the steady and sure beat of my baby's heart. I prayed. I thanked. I cried.

I was sent home with a diagnosis of muscle spasms. Little did I know the next 3 months I would suffer with these spasms so bad that I would cry in pain. I would have to stop mid-grocery shop and find a chair when they hit. I got the point where Chris had to come with me to shop. I couldn't do it by myself anymore. And all I ever thought was, "This is so hard but it will be so worth it."

Only a day or two after that ER visit Nathan would decide to scare the living daylights out of me. He was so active in the womb that one day, mid-morning, I realized I hadn't felt him move all day. Off to the ER again. Even the doctors sounded concerned on the phone. This time though, right as we were about to pull into the parking lot for the hospital I told Chris to pull over. I'd felt something. Sure enough, a kick, a movement, then another and another.

So needless to say, when the time came, and I got to hold my baby in my arms I was overjoyed. We named him Nathan, which means gift of God and gave him the middle name of Ross, which is my dad's middle name.

Then there is little miss Emma. The one who according to the medical world wouldn't happen. I had mentioned to my doctor that maybe one day we would like to have another baby. He told me flat out that he didn't think it would happen for us, not without some help of some sort. Four months later, I was pregnant. :o) Our big surprise. Another gift from a loving Savior who saw fit to give us more than we even asked for or hoped for.

So back to the present. As I laid Emma back in her crib and tucked her beneath her purple Tinkerbell blanket; I stayed a moment longer watching her. I fought the tears at all the memories that had come flooding back. I stroked her cheek, smoothed her hair back, and took one more moment to appreciate the little girl that God has blessed us with. Yes, even at mid-night.

I thought of others I know who have lost their children or who have been through illness with their children like cancer. I thanked God once more for two healthy children. I thanked God that yes, even at mid-night I had a little one I could hold and comfort.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Basic Human Needs

There is something altogether satisfying about meeting the most basic of human needs. One of those needs happens to be eating.

I find it strangely satisfying to feed my family. I like to watch my children take bites of something I have made, knowing that I am filling their tummies and helping them to grow. I find it exciting to make something I know my husband loves and then watch as he enjoys it. It is satisfying to me to watch their hunger be satiated.

Saturday we had a man from Direct T.V. here installing new wires and doing who knows what. He ran into endless problems and ended up being here from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.! It was so cold that day and I felt terrible for him as he shivered out in the cold. I did make him a cup of hot coffee and he was quite pleased with that.

As the night wore on I knew I needed to feed my family. At the same time I knew this man, his name was Tony, had been toiling away and he too must have been hungry. We offered him a seat at our table but he was too busy to stop but did mention he might want something later.

By nine he was tired and exhausted and probably partially frozen. He sat down at our dinner table and enjoyed a heaping plate of lamb stew, carrots, mashed potatoes, fresh green salad, and three hot biscuits.

As Tony ate I couldn't help but feel satisfied knowing we as a family were meeting a very basic need of another human being. A need to eat. I also realized as he sat at our table he must have seen the verses hanging on our wall. He might have wondered why we bothered to serve him a hot meal and not just assume he could get something from a fast food chain.

When he left Chris handed him a couple tracts and he was on his way. I thought about the fact that perhaps this might be a new beginning for him. Maybe in wondering why a family he was doing a job for would feed him, and give him cups of hot coffee, and exhibit patience in a frustrating process; he might then wonder what was the difference? What did we as a family have that other families did not?

Not to say that none of his other costumers have never fed him. Maybe they have and maybe they haven't. All I know is that I couldn't stop thinking of Matthew 25:33-45. Jesus told them when he was hungry they had fed him and thirsty they had given Him a drink. And they asked, "When did we do this?" The basic thought I was thinking rest mostly with verse 40. "When you did it to the least of were doing it to me."

I told Chris later that night my thoughts and we both came to same conclusion. In these verses rested the very truth that in meeting this man's basic needs for nourishment, if we did as unto the Lord, then it was just the same as if the Lord was seated at our table that night and enjoying a hot meal.

Imagine then the other side. If we had NOT offered this man a meal, if we had not offered him something to drink, if we had not met his very basic needs, in turn it would have been just as bad as if we had not met the needs of own Lord Jesus Christ. In God's eyes all people are special and precious and not one is above another. It also talks about entertaining angels unaware.

Though I am quite sure that Tony the Direct T.V. guy was not an angel, at least both Chris and I could go to bed that night knowing that in some small way we had met his needs and maybe with time and prayer he will come to know the reason why.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I think my favorite explanation of the word hope here would be to desire with expectation of obtainment. In other words you want something and you fully expect to get it.

Romans 5:1-11 (New King James Version)
Faith Triumphs in Trouble
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

We often say we hope we get this or that. Or if we are pregnant we might say we hope we have a boy or a girl. We might even say we hope the Eagles win the game or we hope we get to watch it. We might hope someone brings a big chocolate cake like Ginny’s to the potluck or Pat’s hash brown casserole.

The word Hope is often overused and misused. It’s o.k. to hope for these things and desire these things. But I think the true meaning of hope is to sincerely desire something with all our hearts.

I saw a saying recently that said when the world tells you to give up, hope tells you to try one more time. How many of us have heard stories about people who were told they would never walk again, talk again, or maybe a loved one would not live and then that person did live, or did walk again? And you hear the newscaster or the friend of the family member talk about how that person that overcame never gave up hope.

The question is what are we hoping in?

Life is hard. It’s not always easy. And sometimes even when we hope for things and sincerely desire things they don’t happen. Things are constantly changing. You buy a computer and it’s brand new but within a year it’s considered outdated and old. Fashion changes. People change. Your friends will sometimes let you down and your family will sometimes let you down. The world is full of sin and nothing stays constant.

But there is one thing we can all hope in and be assured of.

Hebrews 13:8 says:
8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Romans 5:5 Hope does not disappoint.

Hope in Christ will not disappoint because He is unchanging. If you can trust Him today and hope in Him today you can trust in Him and hope in Him tomorrow. If He is faithful today then he will be faithful tomorrow. If He is sufficient today then He is sufficient tomorrow; even when tomorrow brings sorrow.

It’s easy to say you have faith and hope in Christ when things are going good. It’s a whole lot harder when things just aren’t working out or life becomes heartbreaking. But be assured that hope in Christ will not disappoint. When life seems hard, when your heart begins to break, when the days are dark and the nights are lonely then Hope in Christ.

We hope for things much more important than a football game or a chocolate cake or anything like that. We hope for a future with the One who lived and died for us. No matter how hard this life gets, and be assured there are Christian in other countries facing death and persecution and that could happen here in America and in many ways it already has, but no matter how hard life gets we Hope in Christ. We know that one day He will call us all home to be with Him. We have a salvation that we have been assured of and that will never be taken from us.

Here is something I found: The devil loves to attack and destroy our hope whenever he can. If our faith is weak, our hope will easily fall when the trials and tribulations come our way. The devil’s primary weapon to destroy our faith is doubt. Trials and tribulations are often secondary weapons used in conjunction with doubt. The combination of these weapons can be overwhelming for us if we are not firmly grounded in our faith in Christ.

Satan is the king of hopelessness, and he is a total liar. He has no hope of redemption and seeks to recruit others to adopt his hopelessness for their own lives. We need not believe the devil’s lies, since we have every hope of redemption and forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ!

1. Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

2. Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counsellor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

3. Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Book 4

I am really excited because not only have I finished book four, in my four book series, but this seems to be one of my "better books."

Normally I find it somewhat tedious to edit my own books but this time I am actually enjoying it! I know how my story goes and yet as I am re-reading my story I find myself engaged by it and wanting to just read more.

To develop my writing style I try to read when I am not writing. My favorite author as of now is Karen Kingsbury. She is an amazing writer, one of those "I can't put this book down!" type of writers.

With reading comes knowledge of different ways to express an emotion or an action of even different styles of writing.

I feel like I am still searching for my niche'. As of late I have enjoyed writing Christian Romance Fiction, with a little action thrown in. I have written more action based novels, a mystery one, and even a Science Fiction one.

I have plans to start working on a new book once I finish editing this one. I am torn though. I have a good idea of a western novel. It's not my particular style to write western novels but I might give it a try. Usually a chapter into writing a new story I know whether or not I want to keep writing it or go a different route.

Where do my ideas come from? Life. Life is all about ups and down and heartaches and joys and test of faith and strength.

I try in all my books to do two things, which I find to be important.
Number One: Include the gospel message whether incorporated into my story line or else with verses at the end of my book.
Number two: glorify God and in turn uplift other believers and maybe even help them be renewed in both their faith and walk with God.

Because life is not a fairy tale. It's not always easy. It's just plain hard sometimes. I try to write as true to real life as I can. That means that some books have love at first sight and other do not. The good guy does not always win in the end and sometimes he does. That's real. At least to me.