Category Archives: Faith

When you want your life to make more of a difference.

Stepping out to write on faith this year more, is going to challenge me. I’m not sure if I’m even ready to do it but here we go…

I’ve had this thought running through my head lately. My husband and I have always felt called to greater things. We have always wanted to do big things and have done quite a few of them. But, we’ve always had visions of more. A friend of ours actually travels the globe and reaches large groups of people to tell them about Jesus. It’s amazing to see. I am so thankful that I have not been called to do that because I don’t travel well.

We’ve always dreamed of leading worship for large groups of people or speaking for large conferences and that hasn’t happened. It’s easy to wonder why and compare to where other people are at. Even with my blog sometimes, I wonder about why aren’t my numbers more.

I chase more in so many areas of life.

I crave that my life would make more of a difference.

Do you crave that too but are frustrated with where you are…

We built our house with 6 bedrooms, I wanted to fill it with babies.

We have our one daughter and possibly only.

And the thought that’s been running through my head lately is that:

Maybe we are called just for this one, maybe we aren’t called for the multitudes.

When I shared this all with my husband he of course thought about how Jesus taught in Luke 15:1-7 about the Shepard who went out of his way for the one lost sheep. When the Shepard finds his one sheep it says he “joyfully” picks it up. If it were me, I’d probably be angry that I had to find this one sheep.  The parable is actually speaking about that there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.   But, it reminds me of the season of life that I am in.

Maybe it’s only about my one.

Maybe we are all exactly where we are supposed to be in life, doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing.

It might not be touching millions of lives or having a huge impact. It might be just for the one or the few in our circle of influence.

I may not lead the multitudes in worship or speak at a conference, but I am hoping that I can joyfully do well with the one I’ve been entrusted with.

It is definitely the biggest challenge I’ve had in my life.

You know that I always tell it like it is here on my blog and a big part of my life is parenting a special needs child.  That reality is quite different from the life that I thought I would have as a parent.  My circle of influence has continued to get smaller and smaller and with our little family it’s easy to feel like what I do doesn’t make much of a difference.  I continually need to remind myself that I am making more of a difference than I will ever know, even when it doesn’t feel like it. And, when it’s different than I ever expected.  It might be just for this one.

Faith at Home: Growing Your Special Needs Child’s Faith

My faith is a topic that I’ve tried to keep separate on my blog, so if this isn’t of interest for you come back tomorrow for something else. Almost a year ago, I shared some of our story of how we left the church. It wasn’t an easy choice. For 2017 I am going to write a little more about faith, special needs and God.  Before I get too deep in where my faith is at, I thought I’d share with you all what we’ve done in our family since we left the church.

We (mostly me on this one because I am more administrative, Sensory Dad was a little burnt out from church leadership at this point) thought it was important to incorporate some type of learning about the bible and God into our life with our daughter. It is funny how being active in a church you don’t really have to think about this because it’s usually just such a part of your life.   Think about it, you get up, you attend church often your child attends Sunday school or listens to the services and you as a parent don’t have to do anything.

So, here we were two exhausted parents, who left the church trying to figure out how to incorporate teaching our daughter about faith.   We were burnt out on so many levels and we were also really hurting people with everything we had gone through. So, I searched Google and Pinterest for the best options and landed on a few great options that were low stress and easy to do! We weren’t the best at always making the time to do it, but being home together as a family was way less stressful!

Faith at Home: Growing Your Special Needs Child's Faith

book_4year_lessonplansABC Jesus Loves Me Curriculum  This was great for super simple projects and easy age appropriate learning.  I loved how it was easy to use and age appropriate I could skip parts that may be challenging and focus on the one’s that she might enjoy the most.
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The Children’s Bible App  We all loved this app and it’s FREE!  This was a great way for Miss S to access the bible on her own time when she got time on the kindle or the ipad.  She could listen to bible stories and they come to life on the page as well.  You are able to click different parts of the story and learn more. 
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The Beginners Children’s Bible from Zondervan  One thing I love is that both the bible app above and the bible use the same pictures.  Remember being a child and those old children’s bible images sticking in your head so well!  This is a great beginners bible with lots of images and simple language.

Lessons on video:  We used this series from lifekids.tv this was our most common activity because we could sit down as a family for 20 minutes and Sensory Dad and I didn’t have to put much thought or energy into it!  (They also have a bible app as well.)  They do a great job making it similar to todays popular TV shows, it reminded me a lot of the Sprout channel.

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Seasonal books: The books above are our favorite easy to read and simple to understand stories to read during the holidays.

We also found a really good vacation bible school that Miss S knew lots of friends at and was able to attend.  This was something that had a smaller crowd, less noise, a lot of hands on activities and was able to accommodate some of her needs.

Here’s what we learned:

We loved that we were ones who were teaching our daughter. I am pretty straight forward and I will be honest that I didn’t always love the things or the ways that our church would teach children.

We were really surprised by her realness and honesty. Maybe she gets this from me even though she doesn’t have my genetics (we adopted) but she is never afraid to be real. She’s never afraid to tell it like it is and we have to be prepared for tough questions. She challenges her daddy who has a theology degree especially at bedtime.

The important things to remember when growing your child’s faith from home: Church doesn’t have to look like church. You don’t have to have all the answers. Be real, teach by example and don’t be afraid to grow with your child.

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I’m starting a special e-mail list just for building faith in the middle of the messy journey of special needs parenting.  I’d love to have you join me!  You can subscribe here to receive encouragement and inspiration in your inbox!

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When my child told me Church HURT…

Today is Easter Sunday. And most families are at church.  But we aren’t one of those families…

I’ve always tried to keep my faith and my blog separate so if this isn’t for you that’s ok, you can just skip over it. But if you are a person who’s struggled in your faith as a parent of a child with Sensory Processing Disorder, stick around here today you are in good company. I find that on Christmas and Easter I wish that Sensory Processing Disorder and church worked together better. But they just don’t.

So here’s a little bit of our background, Sensory Dad so happens to have been in church leadership and has a degree in theology. I studied enough theology in college to know more than I should. We were extremely active in a church for over a decade. After Miss Sensory was born going to church became increasingly more challenging.

There was before church meltdowns and barely making it to the church.

There were two parents on extreme edge the entire time thinking she could explode at any second.

There were the Sundays that my husband would be up in front of the church and I would wonder if I would have to leave with Miss Sensory and he’d have to figure out a way home.

Then there was the post church meltdowns.

I won’t even get started with the looks. Or the time, I barely left the nursery room and overheard the staff talking about my parenting. There was a lot more than just Sensory Processing Disorder going on during a Sunday morning that made me want to leave the church, but that’s another story.

One Sunday morning as we were trying to get Miss Sensory ready, in the few words she had she told us that Church hurt her. The sound. All the people. The smell.

It was in that moment that my husband called someone to fill his place for that morning and he resigned that night. It’s been a year and half since that day and if this is anything like where you are I want to tell you that it’s ok. If you wish there was some level of normal so you could do something as simple as go to church on a Sunday morning here’s what I want to tell you…

God is bigger than a building, he’s bigger than four walls and a Sunday morning. Even though in our culture we get told that it’s a necessity to Christian faith, I want to tell you that you can worship God at the kitchen sink. He doesn’t care where you are, what he does care about is your heart. He has entrusted you with a dear precious child who’s wired a little differently and often the mainstream Church doesn’t fit well with our kids. Like so many other things in our life we need to adjust to our kids.

I know it’s a hard thing to let go of. But I will tell you that expanding your faith beyond a Church and a Sunday morning service is a challenge on its own and I can tell you that your faith can grow deeper and stronger.

In a perfect world there would be a church that would fit all of us but in our family we’ve always been more focused on what really matters. It’s not about what church we do or don’t go to. It’s about God’s grace and love for us and others. And it’s about our faith. I’ve learned to live out those two simple concepts more outside of the church than inside the church, even as leadership.

If you wish you were in church this morning celebrating the resurrection, remember that it doesn’t matter if you aren’t inside a Church building. Celebrate in your home and your heart, right where you are.
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Write 31 Days Giveaway!

I’m so excited to share this with you today.   If you don’t know already, I am participating in a writing challenge to write on one subject for 31 days. So this month I’ve been writing on loving sensory parenting. I didn’t prewrite these posts so writing daily has been a challenge and I’ve been very behind right now.  Sometimes, marriage and sleep and parenting take over and writing takes a backseat.

So on to the giveaway!  DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October!

I’ve put together a quick round up of some of my favorite things over on DaySpring,com We could all use more inspiration in our lives and who wouldn’t love a $500 shopping spree to fill your home with encouragement.

My favorite dayspring.com products and Day Spring giveaway!

  1. “Home is where you are welcome just the way you are” I absolutely adore this!
  2. “Brave” These letter press block sets are beautiful. They have stock and even an option to customize. You could create your own saying or family name.
  3. Chalkboard globe. I’m just a big fan of globes all around. This would be great to have your child color on and “display their art” or to write a message on.
  4. “You are Loved” I love this saying and it would be perfect in Miss Sensory’s room.
  5. “Be Strong” I love this shield art. Miss Sensory has a thing for shields right now and being strong is her thing!
  6. “Give Thanks” I love this for thanksgiving and all year a great reminder!
  7. “Shine your light” Pillow cover.  I am guilty of loving everything shine and sparkle related.

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DaySpring.com is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click on this link & follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

Good luck!
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