Don’t Lose Hope: A Letter to Special Needs Parents

It’s a rare thing when I choose to reblog a post, but this post really nailed my feelings when it comes to parenting! I’m so grateful because it highlighted something I needed to accept: This is my life, even if I don’t want it to be… Please visit the blog and have a read, especially if you are a special needs parent, but even if you’re not, this post can enlighten you. Have a good read ❤ and don’t give up! 

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Dear Special Needs Parent, This unexpected life is weird, wonderful, wild and ugly, isn’t it? I think we, of all people, are the ones who can rightly say, “It’s complicated.”…

Source: Don’t Lose Hope: A Letter to Special Needs Parents

Fruit Bowl

Over the holidays, the – ahem – “more” trips to McDonalds or KFC than I care to admit, has kinda left my family and I in a food grip; “Carbs want more carbs”

So to bust some “back-to-the-routine” stress and get some real nutrient back in the bloodstreams, we are now having sweet stuff for dinner!

Doesn’t make much sense I know, but hear me out.
You know those beautiful desserts with ice cream and sweet fruit (often in syrup)? Well, how about an upside down version?
A “fruit bowl”!

It takes 10 – 15 minutes to prepare and it’s so yummy!

Pick 3-4 types of fresh fruit (I use apple, pear, banana, pineapple, strawberry and tangerines f.ex. depending on season). Wash and cut into bite size pieces. Pour into a big bowl and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can add a handful of granola or nuts if you like – or not – and voila: Fruit bowl!

As the ice cream melts, the fruit gets a creamy “dressing” and if you stick to the one scoop it doesn’t become overwhelmingly sweet.

It’s chokfull of vitamins and let’s face it – during this virus season, we really need those extra shots of freshness.

Now, what I’d love to try when I have more time, is to replace the ice cream with this Coconut sherbet “cream” because that would really add to the overall “health” of this stress busting recipe. But even with bought ice cream, this fruit bowl is still a really good alternative to (another) trip to a burger place.

Enjoy

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Lord, I messed up your child!

All a mom want is the best for her child and absolutely NO mom sees her child for the first time and thinks “oh sweet baby, in 9 years you’ll be on prozac!“..01_09234317_504a2d_2733336a.jpg.

There is possibly nothing more painful for a mom, than to watch her child struggle and being in pain. My kid has anxiety and depression issues and it’s like walking through a maze trying desperately to find a way out! You have to keep moving and yet you feel stuck. Just when you think you found a way that leads toward the exit, you find yourself at a dead end. Again.

Before you get the idea that this is a whiny pity-party post, allow me just a paragraph of mercy before I reveal what the Lord did…

I burdened myself with a “good mom/bad mom” thinking routine. Ahem… Okay, mainly “bad mom” and let’s face it: The world out there can be pretty d* mean telling moms when they are bad moms!…
I can’t count the times I have prayed to the Lord using the words “I’m so sorry Lord – I completely messed up your child!” Why can’t I get it right? Why do I mess her up like this? Why does she have to struggle like this? Why are “everyone else’s” kids perfect?… (they are not, but it often looks that way from the outside).good_mom_bad_mom-253x300.png

Then I read a few pages in a relatively known author’s book, giving an account of her experiences with motherhood – and it hit me: She makes just about the exact same mistakes as me (only this one actually opens up and talks about it – freely!). Her kids are fine. Mine isn’t.
Just maybe my child’s struggles aren’t my fault – I thought and continued reading more pages in this book and gleaned from her daily prayer of receiving Gods portion for the day.in-the-morning-when-i-rise-give-me-jesus-kitchen-coffee-espresso-jeremy-camp-song-lyrics-religious-god-spiritual-church_6944136.jpeg

 

Next morning I gathered my warm blanket, got my coffee, my devotional and focused all my thoughts on Yahweh… asking Him for my portion for this day.
We had a cozy coffee morning together – Jesus and I.
It’s a really good thing He isn’t picky when it comes to coffee! 
I got on with my day… and everything went pretty smooth… And then He once again overwhelmed me!

 

It’s as if Yahweh refuses to leave me to my own devices for even a day. I wouldn’t want Him to… but since I broke down and longingly wanting to TOUCH THE SCROLL, He hasn’t left my side! Continually pouring into me and showering me with His power.
– Yes, power – I didn’t write Blessing for though it is a Blessing, being in such closeness to Yahweh is extremely powerful stuff. (if you want to read the post:  “Touch the scroll”)

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It’s unusual for me to read the Bible mid-day, but I didn’t get yanked away for a to-do list: I took my Bible and opened at a “random” page (there’s nothing random about the Lord) and read onwards from Isaiah 43 and while reading through the first 10 verses, I simply cried…
Just humbly cried because He is so REAL, so POWERFUL and so WITH ME.

I know, I know: A stressed out mom cries easily… but that was just it: I wasn’t stressed out! – I had prayed for my portion and everything had gone smoothly all day!… I was relaxed and in a good place emotionally, physically and – I thought – spiritually!

Yahweh WILL tear down the hedges of the maze, when He deems the time has come.
I forget that. A lot. But Yahweh won’t allow me to. Again.

Isaiah 43:1 “Fear not for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine”.
Isaiah 44:3 “I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring and my blessing on your descendants”.

I read and re-read Isaiah 43 and 44 several times today and my Bible remains open on those pages. I can’t bring myself to close the book!

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All… Holy saint’s… night!

13d3f4f10e98973e.jpgOh boy, am I ever going to be unpopular after this…!!
Best to apologize in advance if I step on a pinky toe… Sorry!

Each year I have the internal struggle, whether or not to whip up a post about that festive night of the year where people, adults and kids alike, dress up to look horrible (?!!??)…
You know, that night when “scary is good and fear is fun”?

God gave us free will and I love that He did. We have choices…
My choice is to not celebrate Halloween.
Okay, so you do, but at least the costumes are cute and the pumpkin is smiling – yeah? Take a slice of moldy bread and smear on a nice thick layer of peanut butter and it looks really good – but the bread is still moldy.54eba640e0b89_-_halloween-mason-jars-luminaries-boo-xln.jpg
Sorry – couldn’t help squeezing that one out…

Yep, I can almost feel someone slapping my face now “How dare I – who do I think I am”… I’m a nobody. Pay no attention to me… after all, it’s still your choice.

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Why not join in the fun? So many Christians all over the world enjoys the party of All hallows eve and it’s Catholic too!?! I know many Christians who does celebrate it and often because “why take the fun away from the kids?”

 

Yeah – that’s where my internal struggle begins.

Honestly, it freaks me out. Just the look of the decorations gives me the creeps… which in turn is actually the main idea, right?
Or maybe I’m wrong… But if it creeps me out, does it come from Jesus?

I have no intentions of digging into the Celtic “Samhain” or the Catholic church’s “all saints day”. If you have the interest, there’s about a million websites out there all speaking for or against Christians celebrating Halloween.

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Since when are scared kids fun: Top FEAR pics of the WEEK? Seriously??

– But for me, simply gazing at the Halloween I see around me:
It’s creepy, crawly, monsters, zombies, ghosts, goblins, witches, sorcerers etc. Pumpkins with frown or smiley face and all that simply tells me:
This is something odd and scary. Then I see kids dressed up in anything between princesses, superhero’s and zombies and they learn that this scary stuff is fun.

It’s not fun. It’s scary. Fear is not fun and fear is not from the Lord!

Dwelling on the Lord… I can’t find any place in the Bible where the Lord says I should celebrate (or pray to) His dead saints nor dress up like something only the evil one would do anything, to make us wear.

What I do have are Bibles where it repeatedly states in various ways:

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A smiling devil?? Yeah, something’s wrong here!

“Do not have anything to do with sorcerers… evil… darkness…” etc. Want the verses? Try Ephesians 5:8 and 11, Galatians 5:19-20, Deuteronomy 18:9-13 and I’m sure there’s more.
Halloween, as far as I can see, does not celebrate anything that has to do with God. Because only good things comes from God. When we try to make scary costumes fun, we are teaching the kids exactly that. Is that really good? pure? holy? kind?

Halloween is not a celebration given to us by the Lord God and that’s why I’m the “evil mom” who places the huge burden upon my daughter’s shoulders, to say NO when her friends in school want her to celebrate Halloween! – Praise Jesus, for He gives her the strength to speak up and say no.
Gosh, I’m so proud of her!

the-philippians-4-8-filterI know that my opinion about Halloween is strong, but I do respect those who chooses to celebrate it anyway. That’s not really any of my business. However, I will choose to ignore or delete any comments to this post which may indicate a longing to change my mind…
So, if I have stepped on your toes, I’m sorry. But I really really really do not like anything that has anything to do with Halloween or the celebration of it
That’s me…
But I still love you! May Jesus Bless you all and keep you safe from evil all the days of your lives. Amen.

God owns the tide!

“I’ll stare down the waves – ’cause You own the tide!”articles-42.jpg

That’s a line from a worship song from Hillsong young & free called “when the fight calls”. During the past few weeks, that song has lingered in my heart and helped my mind submit to the Lord’s will.

The feeling of being overwhelmed seems to be an ongoing theme among most of my friends; Some have serious circumstances to deal with, making the feeling far stronger than overwhelmed and for some it turns into fear.

overwhelmed.jpgAlong with my own set of challenges I have the privilege of walking alongside a few friends – some sick, some with a spouse in hospital, one is waiting for heart surgery and fearing for her 4 little kids, some struggle with being gossiped about, others with relationship trouble. I feel helpless as I listen to their words and read their mails.
Despite their continued decision to trust the Lord and seeing all the positive they can… feeling overwhelmed in the moment can grow into fear of the unknown future.

We must fight it.

Romans 5:3-4 (NLT) 
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

poster-celebrate-life-no-matter.jpgNo matter my sufferings, it always end in hope.
I can rejoice in the suffering… okay, not so much!…

– But looking at the suffering now, I can “stare down the waves” because Jesus “owns the tide”. God is still in control. Though we may have to fight being overwhelmed, we can keep our minds fixed on the Lord. He has the last word.

When the fight calls – Hillsong Young & Free

 
As for me and my circumstances, then my husband’s work place, job and time frame remains unknown. It’s stressful because we know something will happen and the last thing he wants is a desk job. I have been cleared of colon cancer, but there are no explanations for the stomach pains apart from stress… But we are considering an MRI or CT scan if for no other reason, then just to make sure.

6101bf6d0ea6ea409e1b6aab67996f34.jpgMy daughter is now on her new school schedule with half day of classroom school and private tutoring/teaching for afternoon classes. She loves it! A huge ordeal pulled together by God’s hand working through obedient people! – And it’s not merely the academics, it’s also socially and developmentally perfect for her. I’m stunned really. Speechless. In complete awe!

May the Lord be Praised always and forever

Manifesto

41D6VN7PMcL.jpgThe first time I had a sniff of the perfume scent “Manifesto”, I was hooked.
My mom gave it to me as a Christmas present many years ago and to this day, I love that scent! Every day when I add a whiff to my wrists, I remember my mom.

Manifesto is Italian for manifest. Which means something like transparent, undisguised, noticeable or demonstrate, reveal and declare.

The Italian-American former model, author, actress etc Isabella Rossellini is behind this perfume, though that is entirely unimportant to this post.
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This week has been one for the calendar if I ever had one!

My husband was informed that the job project he has been pouring his heart into the past 8 years will close and employees will be transferred to other locations, though we are yet to hear of when and where.
My daughter’s new school-schedule finally fell into place: She’ll be a half day student of her school and then half time student of School support services which is a support to homeschoolers living in Japan. She’ll be dismissed daily at 12:30 and then do reading, math and units with a privately hired, educated teacher doing a tailor-made curriculum with her 3 days a week. 1 day she’ll be with a homeschooling mom close by and the last day I will be supervising her in the afternoons. I’m quite frankly not yet sure how we will be paying for this, but the Lord provides… Things have been heavy for her anxiety wise (due to some bullying issues at school), but now that she is happily aware of her schedule changes, we hope she can focus on progressing in math and regain control of her anxiety issues.
I have had some stomach pains and though not really bad they continue to roam, so I saw a doctor who couldn’t diagnose me, but wants to run a colon cancer test. Praying for a negative result on that one!! The mere thought of me getting cancer at this point is devastating so I’m praying… and praying…

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But what I have learned this past week is that when I give myself over to God and openly ask Him to take over everything, I find strength to keep walking. A strength I know exists as I have walked in it before, but possibly never tapped into to this extend.

I become transparent and undisguised in front of Him, crying tons of “I’m way too stressed out to cope Lord”-tears and I demonstrate that I have no control at all – but I still declare His Glory!

We are still waiting for news about my husband’s work place.

My daughter’s schedule begins next week.

I get the test results next week.

Manifesto: I can stand because I’m the receiver of God’s strength.

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Making way 

My last post addressed dyscalculia. This post is about anxiety. 

The other night my daughter had a nightmare. It’s not particularly unusual to have nightmares, but this one was rather intense. She dreamt that her Japanese teacher in school pulled her out of class when she didn’t get any of the hiragana (Japanese alphabet) right, took her to the cafeteria and told her she would get an ice cream. Then the teacher pulled a knife and stabbed my daughter in the heart and she fell down in a pool of blood. 😱

Nightmares tend to be made up from a vast variety of components but this girl of mine can’t watch violence without getting scared. She doesn’t even want to watch narnia. 

She was frazzled but I took her to school and dropped her off at the counsellors office. But 15 min later the counselor called and I had to pick my girl up. She couldn’t cope with school that day. It was fine of course – I had a feeling it would happen. She is still incredibly afraid of her Japanese teacher as well as the Japanese language. 

To get her to school the next day I told her she wouldn’t have Japanese. I would talk to the principal and I would pick her up early. She reluctantly agreed. As a parent I really don’t have the authority to do that… But by picking her up early I could remove the Japanese class from schedule and delete the anxiety for the day. 

Now – the principal of this school is one amazingly wonderful and clever woman of God! Since we can’t just pull any kid out of any class… Can you imagine the chaos?… My girl still needs to be in the classroom during Japanese class, but she will do something other than Japanese. 😮 I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty “wow”! 

Before you have the thought “overprotective moms!” Let me just assure you that my girl have had her fair share of bad experiences with Japanese language as well as teachers. Last year she was pulled out entirely of Japanese class because her anxiety spiked. 

I’m so grateful to this school. They truly do live out what Gods book tells us to do; love one another! 

I still want my daughter to learn Japanese so I took on a role I’m not actually allowed to according to the psychologist; to be her teacher. But we fooled around with a rainbow colored pencil learning the Japanese sound/hiragana “あ” (short sound a) and the “word of the week”: asa. Which means morning. 

It was fun and she ended up grading my あ… With an F!! Unbelievable. 

Way off topic

This post has a content I don’t usually write about…

This post isn’t about Jesus – though He certainly is a part of the healing process.

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This post is about awareness of a condition known as “DYSCALCULIA” and the effects it is likely to have on children in and outside of school. 

 

 

It’s not just about math and not understanding numbers though that is always the main focus. This is about how dyscalculia flows into all areas of a child’s life, how it can create anxiety issues and social issues and the feeling of never being good enough… to even simply “cope”.

numbers_game_numbers.jpgHow a child with dyscalculia will feel too “shy” to trust her/himself enough to go buy a small thing in a shop simply because the concepts of numbers/money are off.

 

This article is from a website called UNDERSTOOD.org and this particular article addresses most of the issues that my daughter struggles with in daily life – despite not yet having reached her tween years. 

I urge you to click the link and give yourself a chance to understand that dyscalculia is a big deal – and if not found and tested in the early stages it will likely affect a child throughout life and not just in school related situations.

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Dyscalculia isn’t as known as dyslexia. Perhaps because the school system places a lot of emphasis on the language arts – but more and more kids will experience dyscalculia in years to come, though I have no way of backing up that statement, I urge any parent – AND school system – to pay close attention.

Thank you.

Wine

It took me many years, but I finally get it. ashamed_face_4053.jpg

I’m ashamed. Sad.

“Hello, my name is Lene and my mom was an alcoholic”. I’m not. I can’t even stand the smell of beer – or blood – … for good reason.

I never before understood why she drank. Sure, have a nightcap or a glass now and then. But she drank daily and… now I understand.

The other day I took a glass of white wine. I don’t normally drink… The past week has been a really bad week. So I turned on the tv and had my glass of wine. I don’t know what I thought it would do, but Jesus opened up my eyes to something.

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It tasted fine. Actually very nice.

I found relief in the bottom of that glass. The pain of my heart – the overwhelming overtaking pain of helplessness went away and I actually laughed at something ridiculous on the tv.

Alcohol numbs the senses.

It made me “not care” so much. It was such a relief.

It wore off and I felt ashamed.

Not that I had taken a glass of wine. But that it had taken me so many years to figure out why my mom kept drinking. Daily. Too much. And paid the highest price possible: Her life.

When she drank she didn’t care so much. She didn’t feel the hurt and pain inside her or around her.

I finally understand.

intensive-care-unit-clip-art-1383980.jpgThe only reason why I’m sharing this with you, my fellow bloggers, is because I want to tell you – whisper in your ears – that I’m not an alcoholic and I won’t ever be. But now I understand why people, especially the sensitive types, feels such a need to “drown the sorrows in the bottle”.

But it leads… no place good. 10273974088957968_1357953156.jpg

I’m thankful I know Jesus and the tug in my heart will prevent me from drowning my sadness.

 

The story of my mom can be found here : How my mom passed away

 

 

 

The hidden part of grief

Okay, maybe it’s not so much hidden as it’s me just now realizing it… 

Sometimes a year seems like a very long time. Sometimes it just flies by. The past year has done both.
When I think of my daughter’s anxiety, depression, psychiatrist, psychologist, counseling, medication, fears and experiences, the year has passed by like a snail on the German autobahn!

But when I think of my dad and last summers long hard walk from hospital to hospice, watching him in agonizing pain despite extremely high dosages of morphine, to the phone call the morning of august 16th that it was over, to the funeral and the immediate grief that takes a hold of the heart when loosing a loved one – this past year has flown by faster than a Star Trek warp drive!

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It feels like it was just the other day that my brother and I went with the pine tree coffin, because dad loved nature so much and I simply couldn’t imagine him in the usual white one. We selected a natural stone and picked the duck, the fish and the stag for decorations on the stone for his burial site.IMG_3201.jpg

 

The grief has come in tidal waves. Some weeks were a lot harder than others. But after a year; grief is still here. I don’t believe we ever get over the loss of a loved on. But in time we learn to live with them being gone. I’m still learning. Every day it gets a teeny tiny bit easier.

There are different kinds of grief. We grieve when losing a loved one, but we also grieve when we learn that our child has anxieties/depression or some other debilitating issue.

That is a devastating grief too and anyone who has lived it, will know it.child-sad.png

I have help from above because I know Jesus is with me. But being a believer does not by any means except anyone from experiencing pain, sorrow, grief and sadness. Jesus experienced all of that too, so that we could have a high priest who understands our weaknesses.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Grief isn’t an illness. It’s a condition of the heart in which weakness is present for the time it takes to process the grief. 

A weakness I can’t handle without the Lord’s help and here’s why: This past year has taught me that grief leaves me vulnerable to temptations, fear, anger, irritability, indulging etc. In other words; It leaves me weak. In the natural process of grieving, I actually sin or do/feel things that can lead to sin.

No’b, I’m not proud of it… But I now understand that Jesus indeed knows every one of my weaknesses. So I can come boldly before His throne and find Grace to help me when I need it the most and that is the light in the middle of dark grief.

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