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Friday, May 31, 2013

Purity and Prayer - a Link

I don't normally post links on my blog, but sometimes I come across something worthwhile and think my readers would appreciate.  So here is a link of a beautiful wedding photo as well as the story behind it.  Maybe you'll be blessed by it as I was:

The Power of Prayer


Thursday, May 30, 2013

When Words Do Damage - 7 Tips for Communicating during Conflict

Today I'm linking you over to A Biblical Marriage Blog where I wrote very honestly about my struggles in communicating in marriage.  Maybe you will relate to my tendency to fury and passion - and the lack of self-control!

As always, I enjoy hearing from you in the comments!  Thanks!

Loving and Communicating Hand in Hand - Part 1

And here is the link for Part 2 where I give 7 tips for communicating in marriage:

Loving and Communicating Hand in Hand - Part 2

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Prayer of a Modern Pharisee

Oh Lord,

I thank You for the redemption I now have which, though a gift from You, came by my choosing.  I am so glad I was able to see the light and have chosen well.

Others aren't as blessed as I am.  I thank You that I can live at peace knowing I have crossed every 't' and dotted every 'i' in the realm of spiritual living.

Thank you for my freedom which I use so wisely and that I don't live as a slave to my job or to money or to my hobbies but that I give myself to much worthier pursuits...unlike SO many others.

Thank you for helping me to see the better way and please help me to instruct others accordingly, because I know they will be so blessed by my superior knowledge.


For these things I thank you,
Amen...


Do I need to comment on the above?  I hope not.  I hope it is apparent what I mean by putting this out there.  Don't our prayers smack of this sentiment sometimes?  Instead, let our prayers reflect the sentiment of the tax-collector who knew the sinful condition of his heart:

Oh Lord,

I am sorry.  I fail.  I have no hope in this life but You - You only can meet me in my need.

You only can satisfy me.

I have pursued other things.  I have wasted myself in ungodly endeavours.  I have not loved You with all that is in me.  Help me.  I am desperate for You.

Only by Your mercy can I dare to lift my head.  In Your holy presence I shudder.  I have no worthiness to seek You.  But Your Son has opened the door.  Though undeserving I have accepted His gift.  But without Your life-giving Spirit I could not know You.

I thank You for seeing me, in all my ugly filth, and coming to me anyway.  You stooped down to rescue a wretched sinner.

I am grateful.  I am needy.  I am dependent on You.  For all Your grace, I thank You.

Amen.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Cuando estás en el final de la cuerda Parenting


Ayer fue difícil para nosotros. Uno de nuestros hijos tenían percepciones por fusión bajadas continuas y el mal y nos hizo nuestra cena en tiempo casi insoportable. Otro niño enchufado orejas y dejó la mesa en un momento sólo para escapar del caos.   Sorprendentemente , no perdió los estribos. (Inserte aquí aplausos). 

Admitir esto al público es algo atrevido, y si yo era el tipo sensible que no podía hacerlo . Todo el mundo piensa que saben cómo manejar a un niño con necesidades especiales ... hasta que lo tiene. Yo confiaba en mi crianza hasta que la vida nos lanzó una curva.  podría haber aconsejado a todos los padres por ahí exactamente cómo manejar cada acción disciplinaria posible imaginable.Yo era creativa, valiente, inquebrantable, obstinado incluso.   era una mamá a tener en cuenta.

Y luego tuvimos un niño que no encaja en el molde. No rodar con los golpes.  Él no 'get' nuestro método.  Él no conforme, presentar, responde o parece incluso entender la causa y el efecto de la disciplina! Si alguno de nuestros hijos demostraron la rebelión en contra de nosotros nos diéramos cuenta y fue abordado inmediatamente.   Con un niño con necesidades especiales a menudo se da cuenta de que, aunque sus respuestas son inapropiadas, que a menudo su respuesta es el dolor o malestar en vez de un centro de rebelión.  

Cada niño es único y este es el punto exacto de la dificultad de ser padres. Un modelo singular - que apunta a resultados como galletas - no es 100% a prueba de tontos. Uno de los a-ha! momentos para mí fue cuando vi a un niño menor de nuestro supere una más antigua en la estabilidad emocional y la madurez.   De repente me di cuenta de que el nivel de desarrollo en uno de nuestros hijos fue año tras otro!   Y sin embargo, yo había esperado que él responde con la madurez adecuada.   

¿Me excuso su mal comportamiento?  De ninguna manera. ¿He entendido de manera diferente que antes?  .  ¿Cómo uno se ocupa de un niño de dos años de edad, será diferente a veces que un niño de seis años de edad. Pero si su hijo de seis años de edad, no está avanzando más allá de dos emocionalmente, volviendo al modelo de dos años de edad, puede ser una opción. 

Yo ni siquiera me gusta el término 'necesidades especiales', pero voy a tener que utilizarla para mayor comodidad. Dios diseñó cada uno completo con nuestras fortalezas y debilidades. Sé que tiene razones de esto. Independientemente de las razones, que sólo puede ser agotador a veces.

Cuando miro a nuestra situación y quiero quejarme me reprendí a mi espíritu. Es agotador. Es más creo que puedo manejar. Rezo por la sabiduría.  Rezo para el cambio . Rezo por el crecimiento - a veces más por mis hijos que para mí ("¿No estoy hecho cada vez más, Señor ¿no crees que ya he tenido suficiente de crecimiento por ahora?" Y casi puedo sentir su sonrisa amorosa que Él oye mi del corazón). 

frustraciones vienen porque la vida no es lo que esperamos.  Queremos diferente. Por lo menos, yo sólo quiero un descanso a veces . Esta es la disciplina de tener hijos - que a veces hay tramos largos sin interrupciones. Las familias aseado-little-ordenada-paquetes que hacen todo bien y la vida orquestar para ejecutarse en un horario totalmente predecible han recibido una gracia especial de Dios misericordioso que elude el resto de nosotros. (¿Existen esas familias? Tal vez, todavía estoy buscando!) Rutinas, la organización y los horarios son grandesy todo ... no me malinterpreten. Lo que quiero decir es que a veces la vida se complica aún, se cae a pedazos y los niños siguen haciendo las cosas mal el uno al otro y que, ya menos que usted vive en un cuento de hadas que se a veces dan ganas de gritar y tirar de los pelos - no, lo dicho: tire su  . pelo 

En esos momentos yo estoy orando por la paz y la calma y la presencia de ánimo . 'Stay encima de la refriega "me digo. 'No te arrastrado a esto. " "Que el drama permanecer donde está - con ellos. ' " Alguien  tiene que mantener la calma. Que sea usted como mamá. " 

Pero al final del día puedo no tener todas las respuestas.  Puede haber un tiempo para simplemente mételos en la cama, orar por ellos y rascarse la espalda, inclusocuando no lo hacen merecerlo.

Y me recuerda que sus misericordias son nuevas cada M orning. 

Grande es su fidelidad ...


Incluso cuando usted es una mamá que lucha.

When You're At the End of Your Parenting Rope

Yesterday was hard for us.  One of our children had continual melt-downs and wrong perceptions and made our dinner-time almost unbearable.  Another kid plugged his ears and left the table at one point just to get away from the mayhem.  Amazingly, I didn't lose my temper.  (Insert applause here).

Admitting this to the public is somewhat bold, and if I was the sensitive type I couldn't do it.  Everyone thinks they know how to handle a special-needs kid...until they have one.  I was confident in my parenting until life threw us a curveball.  I could have advised every parent out there exactly how to handle every possible disciplinary action imaginable.  I was creative, courageous, unyielding, stiff-necked even.  I was a Mom to be reckoned with.

And then we had a child who didn't fit the mold.  He didn't roll with the punches.  He didn't 'get' our method.  He didn't conform, submit, respond or seem to even understand the cause and effect of discipline!  If any of our kids demonstrated rebellion against us we knew it and it was addressed immediately.  With a special-needs child you often realize that though their responses are inappropriate, that often their response is from pain or distress rather than a heart of rebellion.  

Each child is unique and this is the exact point of the difficulty of parenting.  A singular model - that aims for cookie-cutter results - is not 100% foolproof.  One of the a-ha! moments for me was when I saw a younger child of ours exceed an older one in emotional stability and maturity.  Suddenly it dawned on me that the level of development in one of our kids was years behind another!  And yet I had expected him to respond with appropriate maturity.  

Did I excuse his misbehaviour?  Absolutely not.  Did I understand it differently than before?  Yes.  How one deals with a two-year-old will be different at times than a six-year-old.  But if your six-year-old isn't progressing beyond two emotionally, going back to the two-year-old model may be an option.

I don't even like the term 'special-needs' but I'll have to use it for convenience.  God designed each of us complete with our strengths and weaknesses.  I know He has reasons in this.  Regardless of the reasons, it can just be exhausting at times.

When I look at our situation and want to complain I am rebuked in my spirit.  It is tiring.  It is more than I think I can handle.  I pray for wisdom.  I pray for change.  I pray for growth - sometimes more for my kids than for me ('Am I not done growing, Lord?  Don't you think I've had enough growth for now?'  And I can almost feel His loving smile as He hears my heart).

Frustrations come because life isn't what we expect.  We want it different.  At the very least, I just want a break sometimes.  This is the discipline of having children - that sometimes there are long stretches with no breaks.  The neat-little-tidy-package families that do everything right and orchestrate life to run on a thoroughly predictable schedule have received a special merciful grace from God that eludes the rest of us.  (Do those families exist?  Maybe, I'm still looking!)  Routines, organization and schedules are great and all...don't get me wrong.  What I'm saying is that sometimes life still gets messy, falls apart and kids still do wrong things to each other and to you and unless you live in a fairy tale you will at times want to scream and pull your hair out - no, I take that back: pull their hair out.

In those moments I am praying for peace and calm and presence of mind.  'Stay above the fray' I tell myself.  'Don't get dragged into this.' 'Let the drama remain where it is - with them.'  'Someone has to keep calm.  Let it be you as the Mom.'

But at the end of the day I may just not have all the answers.  There may be a time to simply tuck them in bed, pray over them and scratch their backs even when they don't deserve it.

And I am reminded that His Mercies Are NEW EVERY Morning.

Great is His faithfulness...


Even when you're a struggling Mom.