Thursday, March 24, 2011

And Life Rolls On...

...and on. I spent 30 minutes in the bathroom this morning (I promise, this will NOT be TMI!) with a child on my lap who was losing it. Round and round he went with his circling arguments never getting anywhere, because we all know that going in circles never gets you any place you want to go.

"I tan't be twiet! I told you one million-one hundred tosuand times I don't know how to be twiet! I am TIRSTY!!! I am going to die of being tirsty! I will not be twiet betause I told you I tan't be twiet!!!"

On and on it goes. I was very calm as I sat with him in my arms. Praying for help. And he would not be quiet. I called Daddy, but he was in a meeting, so no help from that quarter.

I thought of all the people who look at my child and say (I have heard them) that all he needs is a good spanking. That we do not have control of our child. That he runs our house. That they would NEVER allow their child to act this way.

Guess what? Sometimes he is out of control....aren't YOU sometimes out of control too? Do you ever have emotions that you don't know what to do with, boiling up inside you and making you want to scream with frustration or anger? I know I do.

So how can we (me included here) expect a five year old that has been through what my five year old has been through in his short life to have it all together? To know how to act all the time and to do it well? I have not been through what he has been through and I don't act like I know I should!

So, back to this I sat there with him snuggled in my lap (for though his words were angry and his tone harsh, he was snuggled up to me for comfort) I just started to pray out loud for him. For God to use his strength to help people and not hurt them. I prayed for every part of him, his mind, his eyes, his ears, his heart, his feet - the whole of AJ - that God would use him for good things. That AJ would be willing to listen to God, to learn from Him and from Mommy and Daddy, so that he could be used by God for the purpose for which he was created. For while some may think that this child should never have been born, that he was an accident, I know the truth. God has a plan for this little man.

And after I finished praying, I helped him to pray. To ask God to help him. It was the sweetest moment...because as soon as I started praying for him, he stopped his arguing to listen. To listen to me speak words of love and affirmation over him. To hear me crying out to God on his behalf. It was not the way I had hoped to start my morning, and yet, if it happens this way every day, I will be honored to bring my child to the throne!

So, please don't judge him. He is a boy who needs your love and prayers. A boy who God knew before He created him in his mother's womb. A boy who will do mighty things for the Lord because he has the passion and determination to get it done.

I am honored to be this boy's Momma.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Dance!!!

I am so happy right now, I could DANCE!!!! And I am not really a dancer...

I have been really focusing on AJ the last few days, making him a calendar and then making him a book with his "Plans". I talked to my friend Carrie, who learned this technique of making plans from a sensory program she had her son enrolled in. Basically, a Plan is something visual that you make for your child, that has all the steps required to do something...anything that needs to get done. It helps kids who can't necessarily keep it all in their minds or who let their emotions get in the way of their thinking. It also helps kids who need to know what is coming.

So here are a few pics from AJ's book. He decided to call it "Austin's 'Making Good Choices' Book":

Page One is a weekly schedule that says what time we are going to eat, when he gets up, what days and times he showers....'nothing' things to me, but things that have consistently caused problems for our day to day life. The morning is on the front of the page, and the afternoon and evening are on the back.

Page Two is his plan for getting up in the morning. I am sending him to bed with a little timer that has a clock on it and by his book, he knows what time to get up. Then he refers to his plan, and follows it step by step, til he gets to the end of the plan. I can't tell you how much more smoothly our mornings have been going, as we get this more firmly set into place.

There is also a plan for bedtime, and one for showers. It seems crazy to me to have to list out each little step - but hey, if it works, I am good!

We also have a consequences page and a page that (I hope) is going to help me teach him not to interrupt. We will see how it goes!

The last thing in the book is a few blank pages that I can write on with Vis-a-vis...for days like today...and hence, my reason for dancing!

This afternoon we took Sweet Girl to art and then made a quick grocery store run. Every 5 minutes I kept changing my plan for the afternoon. As time passed, AJ got more and more agitated and combative. We finally got home, and I sent them outside to play and he kept stealing anything that Jalapeno tried to play with and was basically terrorizing the back yard. I brought him in to put him in his room and he lost it. He started hitting me and screaming...all the behaviors we were seeing before we started with The Plan.

I grabbed him up and snuggled him in my lap so he could not hit me any more, and told him that I understood that he was disappointed about the changing plans but that hitting and screaming was not the way to deal with it. I had him apologize to me, which he readily did, his anger already gone. Then he and I got his book and sat down and I wrote out for him what was going to be happening for the rest of the day. I gave him the timer/clock and he very happily and calmly went down to the playroom until it was time to go get SG. Now, you must understand that in the past (as recently as Monday) an explosion like this would have lasted for 1-1 1/2 hours, with lots of consequences, time out and yelling...none of which either of us wants.

All of these happenings have really made me pay attention to my child this week. Yelling "knock it off!" from my chair in front of the computer just does not work with him (or the other kids either, to be honest), and though I am wondering how all this will look when we are in a bit more "normal life mode", seeing such quick results makes me want to stick with this, even if it is hard. I have hope again, that I will be able to take this child out in public without a scene every time we leave the van...hope!! It is a beautiful thing!

I am so thankful that God heard my cries for help and has given me tools to use that really help me to be a better mom to my child. I have hated the way I have been feeling toward him, and so appreciate this chance for a do-over! God is good...ALL the time!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


....things were a little better with my little man. If you read the preceding post, you know that we have had some rough times lately and over the course of our almost five years together...but today was an example of how things could be if I am willing to be less selfish, to put aside my to-do list and focus on this darling child God has given me.

As I cried and prayed my way home last night, after the horrible day I had with the little one, I felt like I really needed to focus more on what he was asking for and what he was needing (despite the way he was asking). He is only five, though he seems much older because of his mouth. But I realized that most of what I hear out of his mouth in both tone and words are things I have said, verbatim. Seems like that puts it all on me.

So last night, I stayed up and created a weekly calendar for him. In orange it has all the things that he has to do by himself, in blue, things he needs to know are coming (like showers), in green FOOD!! On the reverse side, we have consequences for his behaviors, and I kept it very simple, only three things we are working on...arguing, being disrespectful and hitting.

I also talked to him about the 'angry bees' in his tummy, and how they make him do things that he does not want to do. We came up with three things that he can do to help the bees be calm 1) sit with Mommy 2) hug Mommy 3) lie down in his bed with his blanket for 5 minutes. I explained it all to him this morning and he has referred to that "tayendar" all day long. To me, it is silly, to him, as my friend Lisa commented, the "knowledge is power".

And here is the amazing timeouts today - not one! And this for a kid who is in timeout a lot! Every time he headed in a direction that was not going to end well, I would talk to him about what was going on in his tummy and we would follow get the bees to quiet down.

Was it a perfect day - absolutely NOT! Was it a better day for he and I than we have had in months? YES!!! Without a doubt. He even happily went to bed 30 minutes before the other kids, after he got ready for bed with no fussing and he and I read a story together. Bedtime has always been bad for us, but tonight, I got a glimpse of what it could be like.

I read an article today by Sally Clarkson. She is someone who I really look up to as the kind of mom I want to be. She admits she is not perfect, that she has made lots of mistakes too, but the fact is, she loves her kids and she keeps trying. You can read it for yourself here: I would love to know what you think!

Easy or Right?

Have you ever thought (you can be honest here, we're all friends) that it would have been so much easier if each child the Lord gives us came with an instruction manual and a built in screen on their forehead that flashed the page number for the issue at hand? I have. Truly.

Picture it: Child number Two is melting down because s/he has to fold a few pieces of laundry. Their head is spinning round and round, fists and words are flying and a bright red number 44 flashes on the forehead. You whip your handy-dandy Child Number Two Manual out of your back pocket, flip to page 44 and Oila! The answer for all your woes. You calmly apply the wisdom you read there and Child Number Two acquiesces (that's a cool word, eh?!) and all is calm and peaceful again. Ahhhhh!!

There are many days when I have wished fervently that I had manuals and flashing forehead screens for my three delightful children. Days when I question the years and years I prayed for kids of my own. Days (like yesterday, since we are being honest) when I wish we already lived near my family and I could take that kid and drop him/her off for some Grampa time.

This then, is what I have learned over the last five years. If these darlings of mine had come with manuals, then I would not be relying on the One who gave them to me to raise for Him. You see, in His instruction manual, it says that He knew each of them before they grew in their mother's wombs. He knew the days allotted to reads like this:

"For You formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!" Psalm 139:13-17

So if the God who created them knew them, and "saw their substance, being yet unformed", and all their days are "written, when as yet there were none of them", then I am guessing that it is not a mistake that they are in my home. Not a mistake that He chose me to be the one who would help them to know Him and to become all that he created them to be. Not a mistake. Not a mistake. Not a mistake.

What I am learning is that I need to be spending time with the One who created them. That I need to be asking Him what to do when I reach that melt down point, and if I am doing it right, maybe the melt downs will lessen. That no book (no matter how wise the author) is going to give me all that I need for each of my children. Yes, I can glean ideas and be comforted by those with whom I share my mom heart, but truly the answers for this child and this situation are only going to come from the Creator of this child.

I challenge you to seek His face for your kid troubles. He will never let you down. See, He knew YOU in the secret place and your days are also written, and He is using this time with your kids to shape you and mold you too!! Thank God for that!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Divine Interruption

Yes, I know I stole the name for this blog post from my dear friend's blog ( but those words just keep running through my mind in the early hours of this new day.

You see, I am in the middle of a divine interruption. It is more of a cataclysm, really. The earth under my feet is roaring and shaking. But somehow, I am as calm and quiet as a child in it's mothers arms. I feel that "peace that passes all understanding" running through my veins. It is an awesome if not sometimes confusing feeling.

About six weeks ago, we felt God calling us to move back across the country to be closer to our family. We have always wanted to be by them, especially since we became parents, but never before have we felt this compelling urge to make it happen. In fact, I have often said that I would never leave this world I now call home, unless my family needed me back in hot, humid Georgia. Yes, I did say never, but not in the "Uh-uh, no way, I ain't going back there no more, no more, no more!", but more in the "I am happy here. Content. I love where we are and what my life has become." kind of way.

There are competing emotions to be sure. On one hand, I am thrilled that I am going to be within minutes of my sister and her family. And my parents are talking about moving up that way too, which would be just awesome! I will also be near my Georgia family, many of whom have known me since we first moved there when I was seven years old! But as I lay in bed tonight, wakened by these thoughts swirling through my mind, I suddenly realized that yes, they have known me most of my life, but they don't know the woman I have become, especially in the last five years since I became a mom.

The woman I am now has been shaped by a core of friends who know me like no one back home has had the chance to know me. They have helped me become the woman I am today and I am a better person for knowing them.

I could right this moment, at 4 am, call any one of them and say "I need you" and they would jump in their cars and be here as fast as they could. Not many people are that blessed, to be sure, to have such dear, true friends of the heart.

I am not really sure why God is calling me away from my Colorado sisters, what plans He has for us, what things are headed our way. But I do know this. God is good, all the time. The plans He has for us can not be improved upon. So while my heart aches and breaks as the the time for leaving gets closer and closer, I still know that the best place to be is in the center of His will for my life, there in the arms of my Father.