Sunday, March 28, 2010

Being Real

Being Real is very important to me! When I see people who are not real it just turns my stomach whether it's Hollywood or Washington or Church! The hardest for me to deal with is people who are not real in the "church world". As a Pastor's wife I meet all kinds of ministers/missionaries/church leaders and it is so obvious when they are people who are not real. Nowadays it's all about doing ministry in certain ways, are you traditional, seeker sensitive, servant evangelism, "the Way of the Master"? Have you read this one's new book or tried this strategy...? Did you go to this seminar or that one? I know people who use some of these different approaches who are REAL people, and then others who just want to be somebody, the next big mega church leader.

Celebrity ministry is just not something I'm comfortable with. You know what I mean, the big names, the STARS of the Christian world. It makes me uncomfortable. I've gone many different types of meetings and have always tried to be open but I'm to the point in my life that I'm just not interested in being open or going to anything like that anymore.

I may be wrong but in the coming days in America, I do think the Church World is gonna be shaken. I feel that somethings are about to happen in this government, economy that is going to shake this country and the whole world. And I believe when that happens, all the slick talking ministries are going to crumble and what will be left is the local churches.

I'm not saying that every well known preacher/ministry is from the devil and not saved but I do feel that there is a tendency to run these big ministries like they are corporations and the ministry leader is the CEO. And many times a very prideful, showy attitude comes through. People who are NOT saved often see it before Christians and are so turned off by it! That said, we did go to a mega church for many years and it may have been run in some ways as a corporation but the people were real. There are things large churches and ministries can do for the Kingdom that a smaller ministry/church just can't do. So I'm not saying that they are all evil. I'm mostly talking about ministries who are not connected nor under any type of boards/other ministers.

I really hate the attitude of the celebrity ministry. I'm not really that keen on the sparkle, the big "manifestations", who can preach the loudest or have the most spine chilling stories... I really hate emotionalism, being worked up! I go in the opposite direction every time!!! It gets old when you deal with real life everyday!

I've had crazy things happen to me but I don't go around yelling and telling folks about it unless I feel I should. When I was in China, I was escorted back by an angel! It's the wildest thing that has ever happened to me and I still second guess myself to see if it really happened the way I think it did!!! When I hear some folks share, they give the impression they have all kinds of things happen to them daily. Even the disciples in the NT only had only a few encounters with angels, miracles etc...most of what they encountered was persecution, travel and lots of work! But in this day and age, persecution and work does rate high on the sermon titles!!!

So it really annoys me when I see that celebrity mindset! I've determined that as much as possible, I'm not going to be a part of anything like that. There's a balance in everything and I truly believe "All extremes are dysfunctional". I learned that at SEC and that's the one thing I've never forgot! Four years of college and I remember that the most! So anyhow I want to be balanced, but I am not going to be a part of something when I feel the balance is off. I'm not going to contribute by watching something on tv or going to a meeting or reading a book (well I might read it but it would NOT be the reason for what it was written- I would read it only to see what it said, NOT to apply it to my life!)

My life is real and raw. It's not a bad life at all but I just don't have time for silliness or "foolishness or mayhem"! Our church is very grace orientated but not as a gimmick, but just because that is who we are. We can't be anyone else. My husband is not gonna dress like he's a teenager and spike his hair a certain way to look more hip (that always cracks me up when I see ministers trying to look like the youth pastor) but he is not gonna just wear a suit & tie all the time either (in fact he really doesn't wear a suit and tie anymore at all except for funerals & weddings!) We don't force our kids in anyway to be different than anyone else except in their hearts & morality issues. Like any responsible parent we monitor what our kids watch on tv or go and see at the movies but we also try to teach them to monitor themselves!

So be REAL folks! Don't try to HYPE things up! It SHOWS when you do!!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sam said STEVE!!!!

Tonight we were getting ready to leave my father in law's house and Sam was all excited, he'd been playing on the floor with Steve. We were saying how much Sam loves Steve and I said, "Does Sam want Steve and Sam said STEVE!!!!!!! There was no doubt in our minds that he said it. Then just a couple of minutes later, Jon picked him up and he tried to slide down Jon's front and clearly said Steve again as if he was wanting Steve to pick him up instead of Jon. Since we've been home he has said STEVE a few more times!!!!

This is a huge breakthrough for Sam. We are in AWE of this!!!!

Having said that, there are times when Sam learns something, a new skill and he forgets it for awhile, but he does come back to it so even if this is a one day thing, he has it in his mind now! He has learned then forgotten several things like clapping his hands on cue, somersaulting, but the skills always come back some months later....

So we are a happy bunch tonight! Sam knew I needed some encouragement!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Day in the life of a Special Needs Mom!

I haven't been writing much on my blog. Between Facebook and Sam's caringbridge page, I write a bit so I kinda get the bug out of my system but I'd like to be more regular in my writings....

So alot is going on in my life right now, the regular stuff with the family, I'm starting a garden and learning how to be more self sufficient(aka GREEN) and now our church has started the renovations it so badly needs. Everything is good and exciting but it can get a bit overwhelming!

I thought being a stay at home mom would be easy and I guess it would with a regular child but Sam....We have teachers who come every day so my house has to be straighten up. Sam can't be "left to his own devices" at all so I'm always closely supervision and interacting with him. My other boys were very easy in this aspect as they could play for hours on their own. Sam can play on his own some but think about a 1 yr old...that's about where he is so there has to be much more supervision than with a regular 6 yr old. He walks some but outside the home, I have to carry him alot and work with him as he gets easily upset/distracted/bothered. Just going to pick up the other boys from school is an ordeal. First I have to change him out of his zip up pj's . He wears them cause that is the only way I can keep him from having poop parties! Then I have to fight him to get him in shoes, make him walk to the van then put him in cause he can't climb up. As soon as he is in he is fighting to get his shoes off. The ride is fine but he gets upset waiting in the pick up area. If the car is not moving Sam is upset, same way in traffic, at red lights....I'm overwhelmed by the time I get the boys! I'm so thankful for Steve. He gets Sam out at home and usually swings him on his swing which calms him so I can get some things done!

It's hard in a way I could never imagine or really explain properly, it's like living GROUNDHOG DAY over and over...Sam has not progressed in years and probably won't progress beyond this point. Which is fine with us we adore him but it is alot of work! I have no one besides Steve and Jon to help me with Sam. I've looked into respite care but I'm not sure I could leave him with a stranger. Plus I wouldn't trust them with his eye meds...I love being with Sam and most of the time, really ENJOY it but I wish he could show a little progress! When I think of the future it is so scary to me, Will he always be a toddler? When he's 20 and I'm 60 ??? Thank God he's a midget!!!!!! Sometimes I get mad when I get the impression from people that I do nothing but stay home all day! Listen, I used to be a probation officer supervisor and not have the responsibility I do now!! It's a different type of responsibility but it's more heavy than anything I've ever dealt with before!

Everything is an ordeal because we have to think about how Sam might react. There are some restaurants we don't go to because he cant handle the noise/echo factor. He flips out in Cracker Barrels, Sonny's, any place that echos...and he can't deal with waiting in line for anything. We don't like him to be in any crowed place because of germs. When we go out to eat, I take my trusty Lysol or Clorox wipes and wipe down the highchair and table because of the germs. And we always set him between us because it takes both of us to feed him and keep him occupied.

On Fridays we try and schedule appointments and do errands so Sam doesn't have to go because it's such an ordeal. Next week I have a doctor's appointment and Jon can't get off, so I have to take Sam. I'm sure that's gonna be a pretty picture! Poor doc will probably go crazy. Sam doens' do good in doctor's offices, high ceilings,'s rough! He's so little people just think I have a cranky baby but sometimes he gets so wound up it is embarrassing! We have a relative who is going through some health issues and others don't understand why we can't be there more....well it frustrates me because I feel no one understands our life! No one has any idea of what we have to do in order to make it through, just day to day life! One time somebody told em that I make it look so easy to deal with a special needs child...I just looked at the person and thought "you have no idea of what it takes "

Since Sam is 6 years old, I have learned do's and don'ts and I live by HIS way because it just makes life easier not to try and fit him in a mold. We don't make him perform, we flex with him so it's easier for all of us. We do most of the things we used to do, we just do them differently...When we go out to eat, we go somewheres he can handle and if there is a wait, one of us walks him in his stroller until his food is on the table. And it doesn't matter who we have with us, Sam comes first. Often we have guest speakers that we take out to eat, but we do it on Sam's rules:) We still go on vacation, we just gear it around Sam's needs. He can't get his head wet so we don't do water parks as a family anymore, nor do we do anything that requires waiting in line. Thankfully the theme parks have handicapped lines and that's what we are planning to try next month when we go to Disney. If we go to the beach, after a while one of us has to bring Sam back into the room so we stay right on the beach and keep everything close.

We take his snacks and drinks. I just learned to take straws with me as Sam can't drink from a cup and not every wheres has straws anymore! I learned that at Hillsborough State Park at the snack area. I had to give him sips out of the round top of the juice bottle I bought for him.

So I don't mean to whine, so many others have it so much harder than we do and Sam's such a roly-poly joy but there are times when I feel the pressures around me and wonder HOW can I do everything that I need to do? I can't be as involved in the boys' school as I'd like. I JUST had a real conversation with Shad's teacher and half the year is over!!! I was much more involved in Steve's school when we just had Steve and I worked full time!!! I feel guilty about not being there for them as much as I'd like to. Steve was in 3rd grade before he went on a field trip alone! Now those two do all of their stuff without us. With Jon working two jobs and me with Sam....We did make it to most of Steve's basketball games although there were a few, that Sam just couldn't handle and me and him sat outside but at least we were there!!!

I'm not involved in the church as much as I'd like to be. Either Steve or I have to be out with Sam after the singing. He can't stay in service unless he falls asleep, plus there is his eyedrops which usually got out of whack on Sundays anyhow! Even doing simple things like Ladies Ministry is often more than I can handle. And also sometimes I feel so raw, that I don't feel like being all positive and uplifting!

Life is very complicated for us. It's worth it to have our little Sam but it's not easy. I've always had to have my ME time just to read or walk around the mall, or whatever and that's pretty much gone. When I do go out even if it's to get groceries, I feel guilty and anxious because I've left Sam. Now that Steve is 14 yrs old and so responsible, we do let him keep the little boys while I run to the store while Jon is at work but I'm calling every few minutes. It is easier than having to take them all with me or waiting until Jon is home from work.

Anyhow I've whined my limit...I try not to whine much as I see so many other familes going thorugh things and I realize in many ways we have it easy...but sometimes I need to vent!

Church Renovations

Here are some pics of the work that is going on here at Grace Church. Our old Sunday School rooms/church kitchen has been gutted to make a big new Fellowship Hall and new church kitchen! WooHOO!!!! It's gonna be green and cream to match the church (when it is redone) The tile is in and some of the cabinets. I've picked out some green carpet and can't wait until it's laid:) The big room will be used for children's church on Sunday mornings and the Teen's service on Sunday night. Of course when all the work is being done on the main building, we may have our services in there for a month or so. It's exciting to see things happen around here!!

When we came here four years ago it was so disheartening to see all the junk and decay. But people have pulled together and done alot although there is alot to do. I should have taken pictures from day one but I just couldn't bring myself to do so. But when all the junk was taken away it was better. We have done alot of cleaning out and throwing away.

Looking forward to getting the work done on the church!

Square Foot Gardens

I'm so excited this week we put in 2 Square Foot Gardens. They are raised beds that are 4 ft by 4 ft. So it's equal to 16 square feet. I put in dividers and have 16 little sections in each garden. We're gonna put in one more next week. It was alot of work but it looks neat and pretty. supposedly now all the work is done except for watering and harvesting:) Let us hope so as I was barely able to roll out of bed this morning. However 3 advils, 3 aspirins, a hot shower, heating pad and a Pepsi has got me back to normal!

I love having these done. It was a goal I had for this year so we'd eat healthier and learn about being self sufficient!

Well I've cleared out our house of anything we don't use or need and cleaned out all our storage stuff. This weekend I'm going to have a yardsale for us and for our church. I'm selling just a few of the kid's toys to make money to buy Sam some expensive therapy toys but everything else is going to the church's remodeling campaign!

I've also taken alot of my clothes/shoes/household stuff I no longer use or want to a consignment shop. I made $17 lst month and I only had stuff in for a few days:) So it's fun to get all this stuff done:) I feel so on top of things and organized.

Last weekend we built a grill with concert blocks. It was fun and the boys really liked doing it. Then we cooked out on it that night. They are so proud of their grill and it worked great!

So we are on our way to being a country family:)