Tag Archives: Blogging

The Blessing of Blogging

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Isn’t it a beautiful thing to watch God work…

Taking our vision and transforming it into something so much greater than anything we could have planned ourselves.

How grateful I am for the journey God has taken me on these last 5 years. When we opened the door to the world of adoption we had no idea the wild ride we were boarding. We didn’t anticipate the twists, turns, sharp drops, and stomach flips. We also didn’t anticipate the magnificent peaks, thrilling climbs and heavenly views.

Perhaps that is why God opens doors an inch at a time. Had he swung the door wide open revealing the entire ride I don’t know that I would have been brave enough to climb on. Rather He has revealed it a turn, a hill, a twist at a time, allowing us to grow in our ability to trust that as the ride conductor He won’t push us past our limit. Through the journey He taught us that if we simply lean into the wind and trust the creator of the ride we find ourselves buckled into then there is no need to fear the tracks ahead, regardless of what the next turn brings.

Often in the midst of a journey we struggle to see past the climb we find ourselves on. We can easily lose sight of where we began and how far we have come. I think this is revealing of the shortsightedness we as human beings struggle with.

In the scriptures the word “Remember” appears in various forms over 300 times. The significance of this word is revealed in the frequency God commands us to “remember.” Our Father in Heaven knows us. He created us. He is aware of our shortcomings and our shortsightedness. History has revealed men’s propensity for forgetfulness especially when it comes to remembering lessons revealed to us during the strain of an upward climb when we then find ourselves coasting on a straightaway.

One month after Tyler moved in with us I was prompted to embark on a different journey, one well outside my comfort zone. I felt called to record the journey we were just beginning by way of a blog. I knew nothing about blogging, was pretty much absent on social media, preferred my privacy, and was downright frightened of putting our journey out there for everyone to observe and perhaps judge, but for every reason I found to not move forward with this prompting three more reasons why I needed to take this leap were revealed.

This blog began as an act of obedience. I didn’t know what, if anything, would come of my efforts. When I began it was painfully laborious as each blog entry took hours to complete. As time passed I became more comfortable with the medium, more adept at typing, and more at peace with the transparency that comes with recording my life in this way. What was initiated by a prompting became a source of joy. This blog became my gift to my kids as I recorded the story of our journey for them to have when they are older. It became a way to connect with, offer support, and glean support from others who are walking their own hard road. It became my therapy, my safe place to work through my own emotions and find a resolution and peace that I could only seem to find through words. By sharing with others, I found a piece of myself that I didn’t know existed, a voice that up until then had been silent. As we rode this ride of adoption the purpose and blessings of this blog evolved as we evolved, and in this journey I found my own calling.

 

This week I typed my 1000th blog and I have reflected on all that we have experienced together. While the purpose that drives me to sit before the keyboard has evolved over the last five years, the joy I have found in sharing our story continues to be one of the greatest blessings in my life.

How grateful I am for this journey.

In trauma therapy with Tyler we continue to lay the groundwork for EMDR, a needed next step in healing from PTSD. Unfortunately, we can’t get anywhere near the past before Tyler shuts down. It is far too big and scary for Tyler to face. Knowing we need to get him comfortable with looking backwards in time we decided to start small and safe, moving from his early years with us, prior to his adoption, backwards through time.

The goal is to help him feel safe remembering good times so that he will eventually feel safe looking at the scary stuff, so he then can begin to heal from the scary stuff.

This is where the blog comes in. Originally intended to be a scrapbook of Tyler’s life, something for him to hold onto and treasure as an adult, it has now become a powerful therapy tool. I have had past years of blog entries printed up into “digital scrapbooks.” We have been using these blog books in therapy to look back and REMEMBER, so that Tyler might become less afraid of looking to the past.

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Every night Toby reads a few blog entries to Tyler as his bedtime story. Tyler now looks forward to this special time of getting to hear stories in which he is the lead character.

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We also bring these book to therapy with Miss Tina and read some entries with her, helping Tyler to become more comfortable with remembering, working on identifying emotions felt in those moments from his past, and utilizing those entries to start building a life book for Tyler, something he currently does not have.

When I began blogging 1000 entries ago I had no idea the magnificent journey we were embarking on. I had no idea what God’s purpose was behind the prompting. I had no idea what a lifeline this virtual conversation with all of you would be for me. I especially had no idea that these words, penned for another purpose…

To encourage others and be encouraged, to serve as a form of therapy for myself, to record our story of hope and healing for future reflection…

Would end up being the very tool needed to help Tyler heal.

It is beautiful how God is using Tyler’s own journey, his own story, his own reflections, to heal him from the trauma of his past. It is so divinely perfect and beyond anything I could have planned or orchestrated myself. This daily practice has also blessed us in another way. It has helped us to “Remember.” Remember the struggles, the climb, the self doubt, the worries, the fear…all so distant now. By rereading the stories from that first year of our adoption journey I remember how hard it was and am humbled by how far God have taken us, and the miraculous work He has performed in all of us, refining us and making us better than we were before. 

When God cracks open a door and asks us to step inside without seeing exactly what we are walking into we can trust that is we simply obey and take a step of faith He will take us on an incredible journey, a journey that’s purpose is often unseen until years down the road.

Thank you for walking with us through these last 1000 blogs. We couldn’t ask for better traveling companions as we reflect on and “Remember” God’s goodness in our life.

Catching up on Journaling our Life

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When I began blogging I had no idea what this journey would look like. My original vision for this blog was to simply record our adoption journey with Tyler…the good, bad, and blessed pieces of this journey. My hope was that it would serve as a sort of love letter to him from his adoptive mother detailing the start of our life together. My plan was to print out the first year of blogs in the form of a book that could be given to him as an adult.

I had no idea how much more this blog would become. I had no idea the joy it would bring me to share and connect with others. I had no idea what a valuable form of therapy it would be for this frazzled mother. I have found a solace and joy in recording our life through this medium in a way I would have never expected. For me blogging has become my reward, my recreation, and a part of my day that I selfishly look forward to.

I have always enjoyed and valued the act of recording the story of life. Beginning as a girl I filled journals and diaries with recordings of the events of my life and my thoughts and observations. Once grown I was able to marry my two passions of journaling and photography when I began scrapbooking. Now that life is fuller and busier I find I don’t always have the time to scrapbook the stories of our life and thus blogging has filled a void.

I blog because it brings me joy, but I also blog for less selfish reasons,

primarily to record our family’s story.

I do this for my children.

It is a way I can leave a piece of myself behind when I am gone. My children and grandchildren will know what I believed and what I valued by the words I spoke and the things I photographed. Most importantly my hope is that they will feel my great love for them and understand the joy I received from being their mother.

Every so often  I print the previous 6 months of blogs into a hardbound book through the company, “Sharedbook.”

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These hardbound books sit on a shelf in our living room and I often see the kids lounging on the floor reading through past years of blog entries. It is better than reading a novel because it is their story. They are the heroes, heroines, jesters, and sometimes villains of these stories. 🙂 They enjoy reading their past stories and remembering.

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And for this reason some blogs I share are nothing more than a recording of the ordinary comings and goings of life. I apologize for these sort of entries that are nothing more than a time line of ordinary living…

for those blog posts that don’t make you laugh or cry,

just simply yawn 😉

But that is the reason why.

Here are some of those ordinary day to day happenings that I have been meaning to catch up on.

The last week has been one of “catching up” after a full holiday month of parties and fun. We are officially back to reality and I must admit it feels kind of nice. The last week has been filled with paperwork, appointments, working on Christmas thank you notes with the kids, and school testing.

Tyler’s report from his IEP evaluation came back and my suspicion’s were confirmed. In addition I received a lot of new insight that helps me better understand his struggles in school. While I won’t go into all that the testing revealed I will say that we have a long road ahead of us and I am grateful for answers so that we can begin that climb.

I have been through this process with three of my other children and I have become well educated about the world of special education services and IEPs. As someone that has never struggled with a learning disability  I struggled in the beginning to figure out how to teach a child with Dyslexia or other learning disabilities. I have had to relearn how to teach. I have spent hundreds of hours researching and studying in an effort to learn how my children best learn individually and teach them accordingly. It can be a daunting and overwhelming mantle of responsibility, which is why I am so grateful for school support, great teachers and therapists and a loving God that blesses me with energy, talents and patience that are not my own and come only from Him!

Molly also had an IEP evaluation this week. Her last evaluation was when she was in 4th grade. (Her first was in 1st grade.) It was in that first evaluation that she received the diagnoses of Dyslexia. For the first six years of school she had an IEP and received special education support. In 6th grade the cyber charter school she was with felt that she had met her IEP goals and no longer needed an IEP. That changed when she hit high school. Immediately her learning coach saw the struggles she has with reading, writing and math, and while she was able to maintain all A’s the amount of time and effort she was putting into getting those A’s indicated a learning disability. When I confirmed that she did indeed have a Specific Learning Disability (Dyslexia) he suggested we have her retested and evaluated for an IEP. Her test took place in our home on Tuesday. A school psychologist came out to our home where he administered an IQ and achievement tests to determine her strengths and weaknesses. We received a call on Friday that the results of the test came back and confirmed what we already knew. Molly has an IEP meeting scheduled for two weeks from now.

Gracie feels that Molly is going to find more success now that she has access to the same special education support services that Grace does (who is also Dyslexic.) But in the midst of all this good news Grace received some heartbreaking news. Her special education learning coach, Mr. Dolan, is leaving the school as a result of moving out of state for his wife’s job. He called Grace this week and there were many tears. Mr. Dolan has had a profound affect on Gracie’s educational experience and success. She credits him for encouraging her to step outside the boundaries of what she felt she was capable and comfortable with as a Dyslexic student and reach higher. At his encouragement she joined National Honor Society and even tackled the Goliath challenge of Honors English. Because of his profound affect on her life she wants to go to school to become a Special Education teacher so that she can help other kids like herself. Gracie is going to miss Mr. Dolan but is grateful to have had him for a teacher.

In addition to a lot of school meetings and testing we have been working on regulating Tyler’s medication. Getting his ADHD (which has been diagnosed as severe by his doctor) managed will help him be more successful with school…and will make life easier for the entire family. The problem we are having is that Tyler is in a small percentage of children that metabolizes medication too quickly. The result is that his 12 hour dose is wearing off in 6 hours. At our last appointment his doctor put him on a quick release afternoon dose to help control his symptoms until bedtime. It has worked but the downside of a stimulant given at 4:00pm is a child who is wired until midnight. So on Friday we met with the doctor again for medication adjustment. Before we consider introducing another medication we are going to try moving his afternoon medication up two hours and giving him Melatonin (5mg) at bed. Last night was our trial run and he was asleep by 10. We will see how tonight goes! 🙂

All in all it was a week of ordinary living without a whole lot of excitement, but it was a week of answers…much needed answers…and that is a blessing!

A call for prayers

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When I started this blog 1 1/2 years ago it was to serve a single purpose. I started recording the day-to-day happenings of my life so that I could share our life with family that lived far away. Its purpose was to keep our family connected with the people we love. At the time Tyler had just moved in with us and so by blogging I was able to introduce him to loved ones that wouldn’t be able to meet him for a while and help them to feel like they knew him before they met him. Since that time our life has continued to change and the purpose of the blog has evolved. It has grown from simply being a journal entry for loved ones to read into something more profound..

It has become a way to connect with old friends from my past and extended family members I had never met.

It has served as a form of therapy as I typed out my fears and discouragements with tears falling in the middle of the night after a long or particularly hard day.

It has been a way to encourage others. As we faced the challenges of adoption, parenting, loss of a pet, etc. we were able to reach out and encourage others facing the same challenges. At the same time this blog has been an incredible encouragement to me as others have reached out in love and reminded me that I am not alone in my struggles and challenges.

It has been a way to connect with faceless people around the world who have become virtual neighbors to our family as we have invited strangers from around the world into our home.

Today this blog serves another purpose, a more profound purpose, as I reach out to all of you and ask for prayers.

 On Friday I received a call from my parents, whom you have all met through our blog visits to the Homestead, and was told the devastating news that my dad had just been diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. It was unexpected. This Thursday he goes in for additional tests to determine whether the cancer has spread. The results of Thursday’s test will largely determine the prognosis and treatment plan. I am reaching out to you, the family that reads this blog, old friends, acquaintances, readers from across the ocean that we have never met, and ask for your prayers. We know the power of prayer and it is because of that testimony that we share this news with you and call on your prayers…

Prayers of wisdom for the doctors who will do the testing and the treating.

Prayers of peace for our family as we shoulder the burden of waiting for news.

Prayers of rest for my parents…rest for their racing minds and troubled hearts.

Prayers of healing.

Prayers for miracles.

Prayers for my Dad.

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 “The power of prayer has never been tried to its full capacity. If we want to see the mighty wonders of divine power and grace wrought in the place of weakness, failure and disappointment, let us answer God’s standing challenge, “Call unto me and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not!” – J. Hudson Taylor

Recording the journey

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Those that know me well will find great humor in the idea of me trying to blog. I’m considered technologically challenged in my circle of friends but I am a recorder of moments. I have always loved keeping a journal, capturing moments of time through photographs and recording life moments through scrapbooking so I thought the next step would be to try my hand at blogging. We are in a time of transition in our family as we welcome our newest child into our home through adoption. It has been a month since Tyler moved in and it has been a blessed adventure. I want to remember this journey we are on and share our journey with those who love and support us.. so here we are! I have found that the most beautiful, powerful, meaningful moments in our lives are rarely the “big” events but the everyday moments.

“Moments are the molecules that make up eternity” – Neal A Maxwell

So…Welcome to our everyday moments!