Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blessed Easter, Everyone!

I wish you a wonderful Easter Sunday.
This Easter, I am especially thankful for the blood Jesus shed for us all, whether we decide to accept Him or not. If you have  not accepted Christ as your lord and savior, I urge you to read the Biblical accounts of Christ's life and death, and how our Lord and Savior most of all wants all of us to follow Him and live eternally. Then consider: Wouldn't a love like that at least deserve my belief and earthly love?

I am also, more than ever, thankful for the man God placed in my life as my husband and our home's Christian leader. I could never had dreamed of a better man and father to our children!

Looking back, my parents are the people who most strongly impacted my faith walk as they raised me in a Christian church, encouraged me to be involved with Christian friends and activities, and supported me in spending some of each summer at a YMCA camp where every day we worshipped and sang songs of praise and worked to live as followers of Jesus Christ. I also had grandparents who encouraged my Christian journey and were role models.

And this past several months, more than ever, I can clearly see the miracles God is working in our family through our attitudes, trials, challenges and now more and more, through the healing and hope we see through our children.

This Easter I wish most of all for every knee to bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. The price has been paid through Jesus' death and then the glory of His resurrection is a free gift meant for every man....should he choose it.

It really is that simple. Child-like faith is what is asked. Just believe. We can all do it!!!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blessings Abound with Garrett

This is a post I never imagined getting to write. When I look back at past posts, the S.O.S. type where I poured my soul across the keyboard hoping for some peace in getting it off my chest, I realize even more what a miraculous, prayer-answered this post is!! Well, not actually the post itself, but the events that allow me to post about this!!!!!

Garrett has rounded a corner in his emotional life!! A HUGE CORNER!!!!!! I cannot believe I have waited until tonight to finally share this great news, but we have had very dear friends visiting from back in the Southeast, and well, Garrett has been doing so well that I didn't want to break away from this new awesomeness to post!

So what's up? Why the big fuss? Well, it seems Garrett has gotten even more marbles rolling in an intentional, logical direction in the past month. It's like he has settled down and started thinking about how he SHOULD act and react and working REALLY hard to choose the right path. He is also noticing more about the world around him like trees, birds in the trees, animal sounds outside, etc. He has started interacting with life outside his little bubble. He has also begun asking if we need help with things sometimes.......WHAT!?!?!?!? No joke, it is almost like he just grew up another year in the past month! One of the most fun results of this change is that he almost always understands when someone is kidding versus being serious about something. You may laugh, but we have had to work hard to train him on what "kidding" is! And he finally seems to get it and almost always read people's "kidding faces" to learn how to react. I have to give Grouchy tons of credit here as he never gave up on helping our little man understand how to kid and have fun joking around.

Garrett was in bed tonight conning me into reading more than I wanted of yet another Dr. Seuss book. He tends to get one on his mind for a week or so, but he pushed the envelope tonight and read a new one. Reading, wow!! He is ASKING us to read books to him. He will work hard to get his favorites together, and he will sit and listen pretty well. His teacher and staff at school have worked so hard on this simple skill, and the dividends are arriving!

After we read the books tonight, he put his little head on his pillow and said. "Mom, will you snuggle with me?" And he let me put my arms around him while he fell asleep. Just last week, he allowed me to be "there" but not touching him much except on his very specific terms. He would place my hand on his back or belly and even show me how hard and exactly where he wanted me to "pet" his back or tummy. But tonight it was bliss. I wrapped arms around my boy, my smart, sweet, huge-hearted boy, and he, for the first time since he was a wee baby, fell asleep in my demands, no specifics, just simply blissful.

Grouchy and I spent some time on the porch in a couple of rocking chairs talking about how much we love Garrett and how much he is improving. We are in awe of the progress he continues to make, the smiles and happiness he brings us, and all of the lessons we have learned through our boy. It was just perfect to end the day talking the positives about this kiddo whose challenges and mental issues have been so huge. I cannot believe we got to end the day smiling and chatting all good stuff about Garrett. I will likely not sleep tonight, but lie in bed praising God for these miracles all night long.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Guest Post from Dad: Jesus & Garrett

Yesterday, our plans for having Garrett with his developmental therapist while I ran the girls to gymnastics and dance and Grouchy worked on a broken plow fell through due to the therapist's illness. Grouchy ended up with Garrett for a couple of hours until I came to get him and take him to the Y while the girls were in their classes. Grouchy had a neat experience in the truck with Garrett, and I asked him to share as a guest-blog-post. Priceless stuff!! And welcome back, Grouchy. I LOVE your writing, as always!!


One of my constant sources of stress is ensuring that Garrett knows Jesus as well as he can for his cognitive ability, knowing down deep that he has a much better chance of getting to Heaven than any of us so-called normal people with all of our obsessions and worries and worldly matters.  I was busy this afternoon trying to get a plow fixed and finish plowing the corn stubble.  I end up with Garrett for the evening which means no work on the plow, which means a totally lost afternoon for work and basically picking up in the morning where I left off at 2 this afternoon…

Conversation with Garrett in my truck this afternoon:

A Christian song starts playing on the radio and within the first few lines is a reference to Jesus on the Cross.

JG: ‘Daddy, Jesus died on the Cross.’

OE: (Surprised) ‘He sure did, buddy.  Do you know why?’ (expecting something JG-esque like ‘because he did.’)

JG: ‘He died for our sins.’

OE: (Really surprised) ‘That’s right.  It’s the only way we can wash away our sins.’

JG: ‘But, Daddy, how come we don’t have any more sense?”

OE: (sensing a rare moment to witness to my li’l man) ‘Li’l Buddy, we all have sins.  Everybody on earth has sins.  But as long as we have Jesus and love Him, He will wash them away for us.’

JG:  ‘How come we all have sense if Jesus didn’t want us to have sense?’

OE:  ‘Well, we try not to sin, but we all do.  Jesus was the only person on earth to ever live and not sin.’

JG: ‘Awe, I miss Jesus.’

OE: ‘It’s OK, He’s always with us in spirit, but we’ll get to meet Him when we die.’

JG: ‘When will we die?  I want to see Jesus.  Are we on the earth right now?’

OE: (fighting back tears as the range of emotions from the almost certainty of him preceding us to the totally random but appreciated moment with my little man)  ‘Yep, we’re on earth.’

JG:  ‘Why are we on earth if Jesus is in Heaven?’
OE:  ‘Because He wants us to help other people meet Him on earth before we go to see Him.’

JG: ‘When I see Jesus, I’m going to tell him thank you for taking my sense…. (Arriving at the grocery store...) Daddy, can I go in?  I want a doughnut.’

Simplicity can be so genius….