Earth Day Honors Creation

What energizes you? What brings out the best in you? Makes you feel like a whole person? That would involve being outdoors for me. I need to be outdoors (preferably at the beach or digging in the dirt) whenever possible to feel like my whole self.  A day or even a quick walk outside can lower my stress immediately. I feel more energized and happy. What about you??

Okay. Now we’ll talk about Earth Day.  I know that many in some Christian circles believe that celebrating Earth Day is a waste of time, that it’s a liberal “holiday”, that being “green” is not a calling for us. That we should worry about people and we have dominion over the earth, so global warming isn’t real or shouldn’t be worried about.  You know what I’m talking about.  I heard the BEST sermon Sunday about Earth Day. Seriously.  Here are a few of my favorite parts.

1. The earth was created first.  Then us.

2. Yes, we are given dominion over the earth, but what does that mean? Does it mean we can do what we want without any accountability or responsibility? Maybe not. We are supposed to care for God’s creation, not wreck it and abuse it without concern.  I’m sad that this is a new concept for me and a lot of us.  Why does recycling and being responsible citizens, not polluting, being conscientious of our impact on the environment seem foreign to us? Why is it something to be ridiculed and claimed to be a waste of time and even more, against true Christianity?

3. God will redeem his creation.  People and the earth.

If He created it, He must love it, right?

If He loves it, we should, too.  Right? I believe so.

How does your family, school, community, church recognize Earth Day?

Want to listen to the sermon (from 2013)? FBC Memphis, podcasts on the right side.

Be Happy!

I read today that “whatever you love to do, do a mini version of it every day” or something close to that.  Doesn’t your day get better when you take a few minutes to do something you love? Something that makes you happy? Even for a few minutes? Do it tomorrow.  What do you love to do? Read?? Make time to read a chapter of a book or a few magazine articles.  Talking to friends? Call your bff! Being outdoors? Running? Gardening? Do it–even if you don’t really have time.  Take 15 minutes to enjoy what you enjoy.  It will make your day that much better. By the way, time outdoors keeps me off antidepressants.  I’m not even kidding. Seriously. Sometimes, I just sit there on my porch…..I may read, or I may just sit. Soaking up the sun.

Tomorrow, I will spend a few minutes outside and enjoy my cup of coffee. And probably run by Starbucks.  (because while I like coffee, I LOVE their coffee!)  What about you…what will you do? What brings you joy??

Embrace Today

Quit running, quit rushing, slow down, enjoy these moments.  Enjoy life right now. Today.

This is what I have to do to stop and listen. This is also what I hear when I stop and listen.

Chasing dreams, chasing success, chasing anything other than what He has for you is exhausting.  And you miss your life.  You miss today. And before you know it, you’re not chasing anymore, you’re wishing.  Wishing things were like they used to be. Wishing you had not chased your days away.  Days that turned into years.

Love your life. Find today’s dream and pursue that.  I’ll bet it’s easier to find than you think.

Linked with my other GSDers at Holley’s blog…

God-Sized-Button

The Art of Being Broken

You already know that life never works out just like you thought it would.  People fail you, you fail people, we change, death comes, families fall apart, life can be painful.

But what you do with that speaks louder than the actual pain. You don’t live in that brokenness forever.  You don’t let “it” define you. You don’t quit living. Or loving.

Much like the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery (Kintsugi) where the maker repairs the broken pieces using gold. It highlights the broken parts and the artist finds the piece more beautiful.  You see that, right? Allow yourself to be repaired if you’re broken.  It’s a choice. You don’t have to stay broken.

{Linked with Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Fridays.}

Hey, blogger friends, find link ups! Click the link above to read others’ posts and see how to link up yourself!

Happy Late Easter

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I snapped a quick pic of the boys in their new shirts that they didn’t wear last week. The flu hit us last week, so, hey, this is as good as it gets. But next year…. you know! A little dark haired cutie will be in the middle of them!! We cannnot wait.
I may be on the verge of a meltdown these days. Waiting is waayy overrated. I’m going to take a social media break for a week or so. In the words of Fergie… “It’s personal, myself and I…we got some straighten’ out to do…” Since I can’t go to a deserted island for a few days, I’m having to make do! I’ll just sip a fruity drink on my back porch and pretend. Hope you had a great weekend! Caleb’s baseball games start tomorrow-can’t wait! Now bring on the warmer weather!

Autism Awareness Again!

Well, hello there!  I wrote a guest post  {<<–click to read} at Love Without Boundaries, which is really a blog about adoption and orphan advocacy BUT they asked if I would write about special needs.  Yes, please!  I would love for you to take a look and while you’re there,  see how you can get involved with orphan advocacy.

Here’s an Autism tidbit for you…..after all, it is Autism Awareness Month, remember? Yesterday, I wrote about our experience with Jacob.  However, not every parent of a child with Autism has the same experience.  Autism is hard. It’s a lot of work. It’s frustrating. It’s scary. It’s draining. Some children have major issues with communication, eating, socialization, etc. To the point that their families feel isolated.  I want to be respectful of my fellow mamas and daddies out there. No 2 children with Autism are the same. Remember that Autism is a spectrum disorder? You can have varying extremes of sooooo many issues.  So, while our experiences aren’t necessarily the same, the love for our children is. We all want the best for our children, right? Parenting is never quite what anyone expects.  For me, it’s far greater than I could have imagined.

If you know of a family who is struggling, reach out to them.  Send them a note. Drop off a meal. Offer to babysit for an hour or 2 so they can get out of the house. Without their kids! (but don’t be offended if they say no–sometimes, the offer is good enough)  Let that family know that you care.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:33-36

Autism Awareness Month, Y’all!

Hey, you know someone with Autism, so it’s time to learn a little more about it! We heard “yes, it’s Autism” when our child was 5. It’s scary to hear. There are many variances within the Autism spectrum. If on the milder end of the spectrum, it’s called PDD-NOS or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. Yep. Now you know why we use acronyms. (update: by the way, PDD-NOS is no longer a diagnosis.  just Autism.  whatev.)

Many with any degree of Autism have sensory and social issues. Like,  being super sensitive to sound, light, crowds, foods, people, etc. And not ever being overly social. (or being way too social) BUT, we’ve all worked REALLLLY hard –and are seeing great improvements, like being a lot more social now. Also, the ability to tolerate way more foods and situations than in the past is possible. It is possible to see improvements and it is possible to cope better.  Not possible to “cure.”

What has worked for us?  Lots of gentle exposure.  Key word, gentle. Do not throw your child out there with the attitude of “well, they have to learn how to function in this world!” It is OUR job as parents to help our children and guide them, lovingly. Food issues were dealt with in the same way. With age, this has gotten better and we can have more than green beans as a vegetable. Also, we have documented food allergies/intolerances.  Gut issues are common with people who have Autism, so please take it seriously.  I promise we’re not trying to be difficult by asking for a specific type of milk. Some kids cannot have corn products. We have wheat problems. It varies, just like our kids. Speech and language therapy helped, Occupational Therapy helped and a social skills class helped.  Yep. Social skills.  Reading social cues and situations is very difficult for many. Help them know how to respond.  Role play. Give them words.

My biggest wish for you? Learn about Autism. Learn how it affects those with the diagnosis. Don’t be scared to ask questions. (ask me if you want an answer!  you know I love to talk, so ask away!) Believe me, people with Autism know they are different.  And no 2 people with Autism are alike. It affects everyone differently, hence the “spectrum”.  They can’t help that certain things are very overwhelming to them, even though you think it shouldn’t be.  You know what? When you hug me and I don’t know you, it makes my skin crawl.  Smelling meat frying makes me nauseated.  We are all so similar in our uniqueness. Just take my word for it……it’s not a discipline issue.  Of course, above all else, kids are kids, so they act like kids. A little girl or a little boy with Autism. A little girl or little boy who is funny, smart, a little brother or sister.

One more thing…..when people say, “I don’t think I could handle having a child with a disability. Or Autism. Or special needs. Or _____ -you fill in the blank. God knew you could handle this.” Or, my least favorite, “God gives special children to special moms.” It’s really not a compliment.  For one, of course you could handle it. You can handle anything you want to handle. You were created that way. Don’t underestimate yourself. Secondly, it’s kinda like you’re saying you’re glad it’s my child and not yours. But I get it….I’m glad God gave me my child, too! I’m no more special than any other Mama.  I’ve just chosen to embrace my life that I’ve been given. You can, too.

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Spend a few minutes reading about Autism Spectrum Disorders today…..do it for me! Really, do it for yourself.  After all, it is World Autism Awareness Day! Blue is the official color!

Autism Speaks has info about adult services, community connections and health and wellness tips.

TACA has lots of good info about treatments, including diet suggestions and signs/symptoms of Autism.

Your state should have information, too.  Check the department of education if your child is age 3 or older.

FYI, many people with Autism do not want to be FIXED. They embrace their uniqueness and want to be accepted, just like you and I want to be accepted for who we are.

Show a little grace to those mamas and daddies  just hearing the words “your child has Autism.” It’s a blow.  Learn with them and show them some love. They’ll need it! We all do.

 

{linked with Holley’s blog today because advocating for all children IS my dream!}