September 20, 2018

Yes, my soul, find rest in God. My hope comes from Him. Psalm 62:5 NIV Sometimes the path we find ourselves on isn’t one we would have chosen. A serious illness, a diagnosis … it can change everything. We look around sometimes and feel incredibly alone. There is no option to just take the day off. The fatigue that follows us around can feel so heavy.  When your days are full of phone calls to providers, driving to appointments and… Read more

September 18, 2018

One in five children and young people have an additional need or disability of some kind, and for many their additional/special needs or disabilities are lifelong and so continue into their adult life. It is easy for children, youth, and families workers, as well as church leaders, to be uncertain about how to appropriately support people with special needs and disabilities, with it being common to see churches either totally ignoring this part of our community or overwhelming them. It is helpful to see… Read more

September 11, 2018

We were sitting down in a small diner with some friends. They were sharing with us about their journey in special needs and how they were doing. As they were sharing, the husband began talking about the future and how he dreaded how quickly their daughter was approaching legal driving age. His wife just stopped and looked at him and replied that their daughter would never be able to drive due to the how her special needs impacted her. Her… Read more

September 6, 2018

Not long ago, I wrapped up an unexpected stint of 24/7 grandma duty with a 3-year-old. Our 10 days together were a grand success, though I felt like I was spinning plates. One plate for the 3-year-old. Another plate for meeting my mother’s caregiving needs. A plate each for my husband, my work obligations, housekeeping, and meals. As a sanity-saving measure, I tucked away the plates for myself, friends, and hobbies until my grandson’s parents returned. Once he was home… Read more

September 4, 2018

It happens to all parents occasionally—feeling like your world is falling apart. But more often to those of us who parent children with disabilities. You know what I’m talking about. Behavioral challenges that just won’t end. Hospitalizations, one right after another. A seeming desert of friendship for our children. IEP meetings that, no matter how hard we try, emphasize our children’s weaknesses instead of strengths. My family is in one of those world-falling-apart scenarios right now: our son, Joel’s, beloved… Read more

August 30, 2018

In 2007, I walked across the stage at my seminary graduation. I was pregnant at the time and whispered to my sweet baby James, “This chapel is filled with professors, authors, preachers, teachers, and missionaries. These are the world changers, baby, and you’re going to be one too.” When we got his autism diagnosis, my dreams for him changed. Could he still be a world changer? Years later my husband stood at a booth for our church at our community’s… Read more

August 28, 2018

Last week, as I toured friends around Cloudland, our contemplative retreat center set in the midst of fields of corn and soy, they asked me about the large painting of Jesus hanging in our prayer room. In the painting, Jesus kneels in the middle of a group of children with disabilities. Front and center, sitting at Jesus’ feet, is a blonde-headed boy, who very carefully places a Band-Aid over the wound on Jesus’ hand. Here is what I told them… Read more

August 23, 2018

As special-needs parents, we find our life purpose within the boundaries and limitations God has set for us and we glorify Him best when we find joy there. As Christians, our life purpose is set by our Creator. You glorify God by doing what He calls you to do: loving Him and loving others. What this looks like in your life will be different from how it looks in my life because although we have the same purpose, we have… Read more

August 21, 2018

Death. It was too hard to process the truth of the loss of a loved ones fully developed baby. Upon the revelation of this horrible news there were no tears. Eyes were dry. No emotion was present on her face. She just replied, “Ok.” As an emotional person, I was doing everything I could to hold it together. Tears continually flowed as I shouldered some of the burden of this loss. But my girl seemed unaffected. And that scared me… Read more

August 16, 2018

We aren’t who we used to be. I’m not sure when it happened. But now, we aren’t who we once were. Some wouldn’t have ever wanted to be who we were before. It wasn’t easy then either. But it was us. We knew our pits an downfalls. We knew when a storm was brewing, when to pull the car over, and when to not even leave the house. Back then we left the house. We were brave. Traversed new territory… Read more

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