Sunday, February 24, 2013

In all things give God thanks

Today started out pretty bad. I was truly looking forward to going to church and seeing my church family. It wasn't long, however, until I learned that Xander hasn't gotten any better from being sick this weekend. That would mean I would have to keep him home and away from other kids. You see, we've been sick (someone has) for going on six weeks now. Mostly me, but I'm actually starting to feel like areal person again. I'm noticing a pattern. Usually Sunday someone starts to feel bad. That carries on till the end of the week and then the next person starts the new cycle. Very frustrating!

Suffering- a word that describes me and my family right now. Suffering physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The bible says in 2 Cor 4:17, "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." That's why I am going to take a deep breath, get down on my knees and pray like I've never prayed before. There is a real enemy here. He wants to destroy me and my family. He isn't going to win because I know the truth.

"Lord, I pray that you will give me the strength to endure this trouble and any suffering that is to come. I know I am vulnerable here, but my spirit is strong. I know that you overcame the world when you sent your son. Thank you for training me through trials so that I may become strong in the spirit."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Invisible Woman

Today I am struggling. I've had many many days of constant conflict with Haden. This morning it came to a breaking point. I cannot go over all of the details right now, but I'm hoping to add these days and the darkness in them to my blog one day when I know there are more positive things to be said as well. I found this during my search for people who have strong willed children and I love it. It helps me focus. 

The Invisible Woman
By Nichole Johnson

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please."I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.She's going, she's going . She's gone!One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."And the workman replied, "Because God sees."I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.Great Job, MOM


My step son is a lucky duck! He is about halfway through his time at the alternative school. He's doing well. It's amazing to see him actually TRY to do well. We received a call from the county juvenile court a couple of days ago. They have asked that he go to a drug rehab counseling a couple days a week for 8 weeks. After completion, all charged will be dropped and nothing will go on his record. God has been watching over this kid that's all I know. We are all learning new things through these struggles. This time so is my step son.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The good with the bad

I finally got the chance to see Ada! I spent a few days in Arizona at my sister and brother-in-law's house. Unfortunately my sweet niece has had a rough beginning. Just before our visit she was hospitalized with RSV. In a way it was nice to be able to help out with "big-brother Brady", but we didn't get much quality time with the rest of them. Ada is going home today. She has been out of the womb a little over a month now and only been home for like 11 days. My poor sister and her little family.

The same day that Ada was hospitalized, my father in law was admitted to the hospital. His dementia has progressed until there is no way that he can be cared for at home. He spent his first three days under 24 hour surveillance. A member of the family stayed with him all of the time until he calmed to his surroundings and didn't try to escape. The night before I returned from Arizona, he was transferred to the nursing home where he got into a physical fight with his room mate and threw a table at someone else. We are fighting an uphill battle. I quickly called to find out the details and discovered that he was transported in the evening (bad for dementia patients) and none of the family was notified that he was being transported. He had no clothes and was wearing a hospital gown. I am sure he was completely freaked out!

Last week was a tough one. My oldest step son was caught with marihuana and started an alternative school the very same day. Completely frustrating that this kid was given a second chance when he moved in with us and has decided to throw it away. Plus his timing is very poor.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My favorite niece

Ada Josette arrived 37 weeks gestation. Weighing in at 5# 17"! She is absolutely beautiful with big lips and cheeks, strawberry blond hair, and a cute little nose that reminds me of her mama. She is in NICU because she is so small and they don't want her to lose anymore weight. She also has a slight cleft palate causing feeding issues. She is a good girl already from what my sister says. I'm aching to see her.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Tonight my heart feels torn in two directions. The biggest part of me is overwhelmingly excited that my niece Ada is making her entrance into this world. Part of me feels scared for my sister. I wish so much that I was there. It's been bittersweet expecting a baby with Down Syndrome. I know this will be a little more challenging and also a little more rewarding. I admire the strength that my sister has shown. She is the strongest woman that I know. I want to be there so badly to hold her and tell her that she has the best parents that any little girl could ever have, and love that extends the entire width of America (literally)! Can't wait to see you baby girl.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Xander and the things he says

This is the way he thinks this song actually goes:
"Oooh Eee Oooh Ahh Ah Ching Chang I Want A Big Man!" {Sung repeatedly.}

Xander to me: Mom, all the Steve's died at the same time!
Me to Xander: hmm? Steve's?
Xander: Yes, the Brain Steve, the regular Steve, and the king Steve.
The king Steve is the king of all of the Steve's!