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Advocate: Using Examples in Scripture to Advocate

Our God is a God of justice and He will defend us. We must allow God to advocate for us and use His example to advocate for ourselves and others.



Throughout my life, I have not seen the need to advocate for myself. I was content to allow people to walk all over me for the sake of pleasing. I have always put the comfort of others ahead of speaking the truth in love…

Our God is a God of justice and He will defend us. We must allow God to advocate for us and use His example to advocate for ourselves and others. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Fear

This also caused me to not stand up for others because of fear of rebuke or hurt feelings. While I wanted to advocate, I let fear stop me. I met needs and, in certain situations, I stood up for myself and others but it was always in a place and time where I felt comfortable and safe. Following the example of scripture was not my concern. I had a hard time leaving my comfort zone for the good of myself and others.

With that, I also did not allow God to go before me and fight for me. I was prideful. I allowed anger to reside and I suffered in silence. God has taught me that he will go before me and fight for me. Jesus taught me that He advocates for me so I don’t get what I deserve because of my sin. He also gave the example for what it looks like to help and defend others even when it is hard and uncomfortable.

God as Our Advocate

Our God is a God of justice. All throughout scripture, there is proof of Him going before His people and advocating for them. It also regularly discusses the fact that God will intercede on our behalf and defend us. When we decide to follow God we decide to trust Him. We decide to allow Him to direct our lives and to provide justice.

But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.

Deuteronomy 9:3, NIV

In this passage, the Israelites are about to cross the Jordan and face the Anakites. Moses is reassuring them that God will go before them and that He will advocate for them. He will do this by fighting on behalf of the Israelites and defeating their enemies.

God will do this for us too. When we face foes and feel like we can not win we can trust in our God to go before us and fight on our behalf.

Advocating for Ourselves

While God fights for us and Jesus advocates for us, there are still times where we have to stand up and advocate for ourselves. There is a fine line between rebuking out of anger and rebuking out of what’s right. When the time comes that we have to stand up for ourselves we need to make sure that we do it in love and in truth.

Watch Yourselves! If your brother or sister sins, warn them to stop. If they change their hearts and their lives, forgive them. Even if someone sins against you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times and says ‘I am changing my ways’, you must forgive that person.

Luke 17:3-4, CEB

When someone sins against us we have the right to tell them. With that, we also have to be open to forgiving them if they express repentance. Our God is just and does not want us to sit idly by while others sin against us. While sometimes the sin may be malicious and purposeful, other times they may not know that they in the wrong. When we call them out in their sin we are showing them the love of God and giving them an opportunity to gain forgiveness. We are also advocating for ourselves and making sure we are taken care of.

Jesus as Our Advocate

It’s no secret that we are sinners. Because we are sinners we are not able to atone for them on our own. It is clear from the start that we were and still are in need of someone to intercede on our behalf and advocate for us with God. That is where Jesus comes into the picture. Jesus walked in and paid our debt that we could be absolved of our sins and have the gift of eternal life… We are forgiven.

My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins– not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

1 John 2:1-2, NLT

Jesus’ Example

Throughout the New Testament Jesus shows us what it looks like to advocate for others. He is constantly standing up to the Pharisees and Sadducees on behalf of God and those who could not stand up for themselves. He gives us the ultimate example…

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has appointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

Luke 4:18-19, NIV

Jesus clearly said that his mission was to stand up for those who could not stand up for themselves and to set people free. We are to model our lives after Jesus’ example. We need to honor Him by encouraging and supporting those whose voices are silent.

Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’.

Matthew 22:37-39, NIV

Our Neighbors

The second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. How can we do this if we do not stand up for them and advocate for them as we do for ourselves?

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.’ For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

Romans 15:1-4, NIV

We are called to bear with each other. To take others insults as our own and to stand up for those who are weak. That can play out in many ways: social justice, helping the poor, mourning with those who mourn. Scripture constantly implores us to take on the burdens of others and to stand with those in trial. Jesus did that better than anyone and we must use the examples He gives us to love one another.

Scripture constantly implores us to take on the burdens of others; to stand with those in trial. Jesus did that better than anyone. We must use the examples He gives us to love one another. Click To Tweet

Our God is a God of justice and He will defend us. We must allow God to advocate for us and use His example to advocate for ourselves and others. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional

Empowering the Fathers

The role of a father is a powerful thing. As a mom, we can encourage the father of our children to embrace his role and in turn raise a generation of healthy and confident children.

Before I continue, let me make it known that I was raised by a good man, and then I married a good man. I completely understand that the father of your children may, in fact, not be a good man. Or maybe he is a good man, but you had a bad marriage. These are situations that I cannot empathize with, nor will I try to pretend that I can. In these situations, I listen. I will always listen.

Since my husband and I are pretty much perfect…hahahahaha! Um, no. Not even close. Here is the truth: My default is to yell. Or as my mother use to say (as she was yelling), “I’m not yelling, I’m talking passionately!” I often have to put myself in “time-out.” Last week I hid in my room and had “happy hour” with a beer at 4:30 in the afternoon. My husband never yells, but he has the ability to make others feel like an idiot when he talks. He can be harsh with his words if he is stressed. But we are constantly working and encouraging each other to be more loving, more patient, more consistent.

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? The fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children! Psalm 127:3, ESV



Here are five ways that we can empower the fathers…

Respect. By respecting my husband (and him respecting me in turn), we are modeling to our children a couple things. First, how to treat others. Second, that they must respect their father and mother. It’s what is expected. Is it always achieved? No, but when it’s not it gets corrected, both within our relationship and our relationship with our children.

What this looks like for us

  • If I disagree with my husband on a topic, I don’t talk to him with a condescending tone.
  • I am not demanding in my tone. I ask for things to be done, I say please a lot, and thank you a ton.
  • If I disagree on a parenting action, I talk with him about it in private, not in front of the children.

Communication. This is crucial in any relationship, but especially marriage. And with honest communication, there must be trust. Because we are not perfect parents, there are times that we have to point out faults to one another. This is done in a calm, sincere manner.

What this looks like for us

  • Pointing out that his tone was too harsh.
  • Informing him that he did not follow through on what he said he was going to do.
  • Mentioning things that he needs to be more attentive to.

Listen. Being the financial provider for our family, he can feel stressed from pressure with work related events. By listening to him vent about his day, he is then able to relax and enjoy family time when he is home.

What this looks like for us

  • I don’t fully grasp what my husband does for a living. I kind of hate it when people ask what his does. Because of this, I often get glassy-eyed when he starts talking too technical, and he knows this. The point is that I still sit there and listen. And sometimes I can even think of good questions to ask!
  • I do not typically give advice, unless it’s an issue with a female co-worker, in which case I may play devil’s advocate and try to help him understand what is going through her mind.

Support. My husband and I do not have the same strengths, and for this I am thankful. If we had the same strengths, we would probably have the same weaknesses, and then we would be in a real mess. We are able to acknowledge these areas of weakness, which allows the other to fill-in the gaps. We are not perfect, but together we are strong.

What this looks like for us

  • At times I have trouble keeping boundaries with my boys. They just end up wearing me down. In these times, my husband is able to step in and be the enforcer. This allows me to be a better mom in the long run because I’m not so worn out. And I appreciate not having to be the “bad guy” all the time.
  • My husband is super detailed with his career. With the children, not so much. I, however, am quite structured with home-life, and this allows everyone to be fed and clothed everyday.
  • When one of us is having a bad attitude day, the other one goes into nice-guy mode. We have even been known to tell the other, “I’m in a crappy mood today, I need you to take over.” Rarely have we both been nasty at the same time. Thankfully.

Encouragement. All of us need a pat on the back from time to time. In the trenches of parenting, we need this often.

What this looks like for us

  • Simply saying, “You are such a good dad” goes a long way. And when there are specific attributes that he shows, I point those out as well.
  • I can never say “thank you” enough to my husband. Knowing that his sacrifices are appreciated is an encouragement and motivator to continue all the work he does for our family.


Your turn…

In what ways do you support your husband to be a strong, loving father? I would love to hear your thoughts!

xoxo

father

In Her Corner, episode 6

In this episode we meet a mom who is living overseas, and whose son has severe food allergies. This is the first part of the interview, focusing on being a mom who deals with her son’s special diet. Next month we will learn what her life is like living in the Middle East.

This is a series to learn about different moms and their different situations. Through interviewing these women and sharing their stories I hope that we can all have a better understanding and appreciation of each other. Hopefully we can support and encourage her “in her corner.”



Who she is…

A mom of two boys, living on mission in the Middle East. They are not there as missionaries, but rather living among the people there, building relationships, and being prepared to share the message of Christ with them. Her husband’s career provided an opportunity for them to move there which has been beneficial due to her younger son having extreme food allergies. 

Where she is at…

Literally, she is in the Middle East in a country that cannot be disclosed. The government there listens into phone calls, and uses phones to listen to conversations that you are having even if you are not using your phone. She has a secure VPN, so this interview took place via a video conferencing app, after she hid her phone in the other room.

Where she has been…

Things with her son started off difficult at birth. She had wanted a natural, unmedicated birth, and things were going as planned, up until she reached 10cm. He was coming down the birth canal throat first, which could have caused his neck to snap. Suddenly, everything changed. They were putting her under anesthesia in order to perform a c-section. The last thing she heard before going under was a nurse yelling that she couldn’t hear a heartbeat. When she awoke, she was in a room by herself feeling the fear that she had lost her son. Thankfully, he survived.

He was a slow grower, but initially they were not concerned. Both she and her husband are small people, so they naturally assumed he was just going to small. At eight months, however, they were really concerned with his lack of growth, and they started going in for monthly weight checks. She felt like nursing him was not enough, and he wasn’t interested in solids so they started giving him raw goat milk, which did help, but not a enough.

Around 10 months old he started to eat more solids. Then the rash started. By 12 months he was covered in what the doctors thought was eczema. Every doctor she went to prescribed him steroids, but she felt in her gut that is wasn’t truly eczema. It got to the point where he didn’t have any skin left. She would get him up in the morning and she would see blood in his crib.

“He looked like a burn victim.”

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It took 6 months of searching for an answer before she found another mom whose child dealt with the same thing. They went to see the specialist that this mom recommended. What they discovered was that his intestinal wall was basically mesh. Everything he ate was leaking into his blood stream. His body was making allergies in order to fight the food particles.

The doctor started him on a series of injections that were specifically formulated for his body. These injections, that he receives every 2 weeks, were to begin right as they were going to be moving to the Middle East. The doctor, who said that her son is the worst case he has ever seen, taught her how to administer the injections so she could do it while they were over seas. They have seen a huge improvement in the past 9 months, with just occasional breakouts on his skin. They will eventually start spreading out the frequency of injections until they are able to wean him off.

Because his body develops new allergies due to the food particles leaking into his blood stream, they have to cycle his food. This way his body doesn’t have a chance to develop an allergy. At one point there were only 5 foods that he could eat, now he can have 30 different items.

His body is still not able to fully digest his food. He is not able to absorb all the nutrients of the food he consumes and this results in eliminating solid pieces of food. He was 18 months old before having a normal poop.

All she wants is for her son to be healed. Right before this past Christmas she saw that all his toenails needed to be cut. This was a gift of hope that his body is healing because he had so infrequently needed his nails trimmed. Now that his body is absorbing nutrients, his fingernails and hair are actually growing. He has gained 3.5lbs. in the past 9 months.

What her days look like…

She spends a lot of time cooking and preparing food for her son in large quantities and freezes them in individual portions. Then she cycles through them to make it easier for her to plan and keep track of his limited meal options.

It has been helpful living in the Middle East due to the dry climate and being close to the water. But it has been difficult trying to explain to people in a culture that loves to share and give food why they can’t do this for her son when she does not speak their language. She has learned the word for infection, but still struggles with communication.

“I was trying to explain to someone that he has an allergy. In arabic it would have been translated literally, ‘the infection belongs to him.’ But how it came out was, ‘No thank you, you have an infection.’“

Food allergies are not common there. The diet consists mostly of rice and fresh fish. Grocery shopping is difficult because items come in on ship freighters, and there are not regular shipments of them. If there is an item she likes to buy for her son, but they run out, it may be another 6 months before it is back in stock.

“I have started hoarding!”

What her strengths are…

She is an organized person that likes schedules and lists. It has been fun for her to learn new recipes and be creative with the few foods he can have.

What she struggles with…

Even though she likes planning, she is not always good at implementing. She tends to procrastinate which results in running out of stuff which results in him not eating as healthy as he should on some days.

She struggles that they can’t all sit down and eat the same meal. She hates that she has to always carry food around with her.

This aspect of their lives has been a burden that she has been carrying for a while now, and because of this she has adjusted to the weight of the load. She looks forward to when she no longer has to be consumed with food rotations being a part of her everyday life.

What her fears are…

She is nervous about putting him in school if things are not yet cleared up. She worries that he will eat things that he is not suppose to because she won’t be there to monitor.

She is afraid that he won’t ever get better. And she wants to make sure that he doesn’t feel limited in life by this.

What her joys are…

It has been sweet for her to see how her older son is super protective.

She believes that their family is becoming more like Christ, having to serve her son by sacrificing at times what the rest of them want to do. It has made them more unified as a family.

How she stays sane…

Starbucks.

“I used to go running, but I can’t go running here. I can’t dress modestly enough to run in the heat.”

The Starbucks there is exactly the same as a Starbucks in America, so it is a piece of home.

She also takes an arabic class twice a week that has given her something to focus on.

What she wants others to understand…

“Before we had a diagnosis, everybody under the sun had an article for us to read, and an essential oil to put on him.”

Don’t be so quick to offer information, instead offer a listening ear.

“I’m already overwhelmed, in the doctor’s office trying to figure it out, spending so much money on yet another treatment.”

She feels grateful when people validate what she deals with.

“Someone saying ‘Man, that takes a lot of energy.’ has meant more to me than anything else.”



 Oh mommas! We never really know what others are dealing with. Let’s encourage one another, support one another, and love one another. Hang in there momma, you got this!

Are you a momma that needs encouragement? Do you know someone that needs someone in her corner? I would love to meet her! Please feel free to contact me and we can chat.

xoxo

InHerCorner-food_allergies

 

In Her Corner, episode 4

This is a series to learn about different moms and their different situations. Through interviewing these women and sharing their stories I hope that we can all have a better understanding and appreciation of each other. Hopefully we can support and encourage her “in her corner.”



 

Who She Is…

 

She is a working mom of one child who has been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. Her work schedule as a pilot is consistent in the fact that it is never consistent. Some weeks she is only gone one night, other weeks she is away for multiple days. She loves to cook, and to be on the go, but has had to sacrifice these parts of herself in order to care for her son, who is in kindergarten.

She explains her son’s condition as not being able to process information the way other people do. His body takes in and receives all information all the time. He isn’t able to filter out information that is not necessary. He sees everything, feels everything, hears everything, and his body sometimes can’t handle all that it is processing. He is constantly bouncing between being over-stimulated and under-stimulated. 

He takes everything she says very literally, so she has to be very careful how she talks to him, and to be very specific. She has learned to avoid certain situations so that he does not become over-stimulated and experience a complete meltdown.

“Target is the worst place ever. All the lights would send him on overdrive. It was too much, he couldn’t handle it.”

The first clue that there was a problem was shortly after birth. He was born at a normal weight, but was having difficulty nursing and lost a considerable amount of weight that took him a month to regain. She began to supplement with formula, but he was still not growing at the rate the doctors hoped to see. It took several tries to find a formula that he would accept, and she found that it had to be at a certain temperature. By nine months he had begun some solid foods but it wasn’t enough to gain weight. From 9-12 month he did not gain any weight at all. They then began to investigate if he was failure to thrive, or if his body was just not able to process calories. She was becoming desperate, even resorting to feeding him ice cream just so he would eat something.

“It was hard, that whole first year. I was a new mom, everybody is telling me that babies will cry when they want to eat, but my baby didn’t cry for food, so we put him on a schedule, and even still he wasn’t into food.”

Their doctor was able to get them in with an Occupational Therapist and that was when they got the diagnosis. They were finally able to put together all the pieces. Looking back they were able to see that he had this from birth. Currently, eating is still a struggle. They only have a few foods that he will accept. They may gain an item, but then lose another.

Physically, he struggles to know where his body is in space. This means he needs a lot of physical pressure and heavy work. He is often bumping or pushing into other people, which usually ends up being her.

Going into kindergarten, he was not (and still not completely) potty trained. By the second week of school she noticed that he was wet when she went to pick him up. They have gone to see more specialists, and are thankfully getting close to resolution. His body cannot always process the sense of needing to go. Once he does feel the urge there is not always enough notice to get to the toilet in time. He wants to be able to control it but can’t.

“At one point things were going so well. We had been 3 weeks with no accidents! And then we had 5 accidents in a row. I had to pick that weight back up, and manage it again. I’ve been managing the potty every day for 4 years.”

He is gradually learning his body. He is beginning to be able to know and give his body what it needs. This could include quiet alone time, listening to music, or jumping on the trampoline.

What her days look like…

Because of her work schedule, it is difficult to have consistency in their family schedule, and they have to be flexible. It would be easier if they could be more consistent, but that is not an option, so they try to consistent in the areas that they can be. This means her husband puts their son to bed at night even if she is home since there are many nights that she is away.

She has to manage everything. Even though her schedule is the inconsistent one, she is the one that drives the consistency that he requires. She is constantly managing his nutritional intake, whether or not he needs to use the restroom, and making sure his schedule is not over-stimulating him.

It was difficult to find the school that was the right fit for him. First, they wanted to send him to a small school, but it had too many transitions throughout the day which  included having to walk outside between buildings. In this situation he would have had to process a change in temperature, a change in environment, and a change in smells. The school they settled on is actually a very sterile environment. Most people would think it was boring, but it works for him so that he is able to focus. They knew he needed an environment with as few distractions as possible.

His school has been wonderfully supportive and willing to work with him. Sometimes he needs to stand to do his work, or carry a heavy backpack to the office. The teacher has given him permission that he doesn’t need to raise his hand and ask for permission to go use the restroom. During rest time he is allowed to spend time in restroom.

“When you have a child with special needs, you can be overly hard on yourself. You think you should be doing more, or you are a bad parent because your child is not excelling in some of the basic things, like going to the potty!”

What her strengths are…

She is thankful that organization and structure come naturally to her, since this is vital to his success.

What she struggles with…

When he was younger she often felt judged by others because of her son’s behavior and has even lost friends because of it. Sometimes he comes across as rude, or will throw a tantrum in public. It’s difficult because you can’t actually see that there is anything wrong. If people really knew what he was having to do to function everyday, they would probably be amazed.

She wishes she was able to read his brain. It seems that his rules are constantly changing in his world, and he gets angry with her when she doesn’t do something the way he wants it to be done.

“He wanted his sandwich cut a certain direction, but I cut a different direction, and he had a meltdown. He can lose it over something so little.”

She struggles with all that she has had to sacrifice in order to keep him from becoming over-stimulated. She misses being able to just go and do and be social. She struggles with how little he eats and that it is not as healthy as it should be. She struggles with knowing how to discipline him, trying to distinguish between the condition and just plain old bad behavior.

What her fears are…

It’s difficult to watch your child be different. She wonders if he is going to be an outcast, or an outsider. She wants him to be accepted socially. She wants him to have good friends that accept him for who he is.

She also fears that her son is going to grow up with a mother that constantly says, “Stop touching me.” And wonders how that will affect him.

“He’s not coming up and giving me hugs. He is hitting me or running into me, or crashing into me. I’m in a state of fight all day long.”

What her joys are…

She loves watching his mind work and seeing how he processes things. He can get fixated on certain things, but then he ends up knowing a lot about a particular topic. When he is enjoying something, there is nothing brighter.

He can also be very adventurous. He loves going places. He just may not participate when they get there.

What she does to stay sane…

“I run!”

She makes sure that she takes time to recharge and makes time to spend with friends without her son being there. She leans on her husband to take over when she is at her max. And going to work helps her stay sane too.

What she wants you to know…

She wishes people understood that there is not an easy fix. She feels like people think that she has all of this made up in her head or that he will simply grow out of it. She wants people to see that he is an amazing kid that just thinks differently. She doesn’t want him to be judged because it’s not something he can control. She wants others to understand that we are all dealing with something and we are all unique.

She doesn’t want to be seen as a bad parent.

“I’m struggling just like everyone else to handle whatever life brings.”

She wishes people would be more accepting of people for who they are. Support other moms, who might be struggling, by telling them that they are doing a good job and are an awesome parent.

And finally, ask questions, don’t give advice.

“People would tell me just put the food in front of him, and that he’ll eat it if he’s hungry enough. No, no he won’t. He’ll starve himself and go to the hospital, but thanks for the advice anyway.”



Oh mommas! We never really know what others are dealing with. Let’s encourage one another, support one another, and love one another. Hang in there momma, you got this!

I learned so much from listening to this momma’s story. Let’s spread the encouragement by sharing her story with others.

Are you a momma that needs encouragement? Do you know someone that needs someone in her corner? I would love to meet her! Please feel free to contact me and we can chat.

xoxo

 

In Her Corner, episode 2

This is a series to learn about different moms and their different situations. Through interviewing these women and sharing their stories I hope that we can all have a better understanding and appreciation of each other. Hopefully we can support and encourage her “in her corner.”

 



 

Who she is…

A mom of 4 in her mid 40’s. She homeschools her younger two. Shuttles her older two to and from school and work. Sings at her church. Mentors college students. Teaches English at her homeschool coop, as well as teaches a college English course online. And she juggles doctor appointments and treatments for her third child.

Her third child is thirteen. As a baby he had reflux, only they didn’t know it because he was aspirating it. This led to damage in his lungs causing asthma. He currently still has scar tissue in his throat. Later he was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis which, for him, is mostly in his knees. This arthritis has also led to uveitis, inflammation in his eye that, if not treated, can lead to blindness. His treatment for this is to have an infusion of drugs every 3 weeks, without an end date in sight. Mentally he is a normal 13 year old boy, physically he is the size of a 5 year old. And they don’t know why. They’ve seen a geneticist and an endocrinologist, and have come to accept that even if they had a name for it, he would still need his symptoms treated in the same way.

“We keep our dishes down low in the bottom cabinet so he can get them himself and help unload the dishwasher and be a contributing member of the family. But the reality is if I try to let him do too many things on his own, somebody is probably going to try to report me to DSS! They’re going to be like, what is this woman doing letting this little kid run around?!?”

On any given day she may need to take her son to either the Rheumatologist, Orthopedic, ENT, Pulmonologist, Sleep Doctor, Endocrinologist, Geneticist, Oral Surgeon,  or Gastrologist.

What her day looks like…

She rises early to read scripture, plan her day, and exercise with a friend. Then it’s breakfast, homeschool, doctor’s appointments, lunch, groceries, pick up children, and fix dinner.

There are parts of her homeschooling day that her children require her full attention, and other times they just need her present in case they have a question. During this time she checks in with her online class, answers emails, sends texts to stay in touch with friends.

“When my kids were younger, we had a much more structured schedule. But I have found it to be easier to think in terms of, this is what we need to finish in a week.”

What she struggles with…

She struggles with getting frustrated and overreacting. She forgets that her children are still young and still learning. She wants them to be more mature than they are, but she knows that what they need is for her to extend extra grace to them.

She also struggles with being easily offended. When her children don’t do the things that she wants them to, she takes it personal. She has a tendency to sit and fume and think that they have a personal vendetta against her.

“They didn’t leave their plate on the counter because they were doing it to me. They didn’t leave their pants in the bathroom because they were personally trying to get to me.”

What her strengths are…

Going to the Lord in prayer has always been natural for her.  Whenever there is a concern, or dispute, her first response is to pray. She is continually living out her faith in front of her kids so they can learn from her example.

What her fears are…

She fears her children’s faith is not going to matter to them when they grow up. She has sacrificed as a mother and put things in her own life on hold believing that this would encourage her children to live with the same faith. Now her oldest is struggling with what she believes and is struggling with making certain life decisions.

“Did the past 18 years really make a difference?”

And this is scary for her. She wants to parent with passion and doesn’t want to change the way she feels about parenting.

What are her joys…

“That’s kind of hard right now. I know there are things that bring me joy. I kind of need to remember what they are.”

She does find joy when she sees her children learning and are self motivated and take personal responsibility. And when someone else brags on her kids she is encouraged. It’s easy to feel discouraged. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs.

“Nobody is coming in saying, ‘Thank you for making me clean my room.'”

She clings to the Bible verse that says, “don’t grow weary of doing good.”

What she wants you to know…

She is her own worst critic, and believes that most mom’s (including herself) feel like they are doing a horrible job. It seems that whatever decision a mom makes, she will second guess it. Moms are so hard on each other and themselves, comparing themselves to others. She wishes everyone would be a little kinder to each other. She is doing the best that she can, so please show her grace and don’t tell her how to parent her children.

“If I could [parent] any better or different, I already would have by now.”

How she stays sane…

Exercising helps her release extra energy. And she really enjoys walking with friends. If she is happier, then everyone else in the house is happier. Pouring into other people energizes her and makes her feel special and needed.

“All of that, and of course coffee!”

 


 

Oh mommas! We are all doing the best that we can. The Lord has given each of us our own particular children. No one can be a better mom to our children than us. No one. Let us encourage one another to be our own kind of mom.

 

xoxo

In Her Corner, episode 1

This is a series to learn about different moms and their different situations. Through interviewing these women and sharing their stories I hope that we can all have a better understanding and appreciation of each other. Hopefully we can support and encourage her “in her corner.”

 



 

Who she is…

She is a mom like many others. Maybe even a bit like you and me. She wants what is best for her son and is trying to figure out the best way to do it. Where her story may differ is with her son. It was recently confirmed what she had long suspected: Her four year old son was diagnosed with autism. Now, when she is deciding what school to send him to there is more weight as she considers all the variables. Now, when she is planning her days she needs to consider all the events that may increase his anxiety.

What her days look like…

Even though she has just the one son, she is on the go a lot. He is in school for half a day, 5 days a week. During the school day she is either working or volunteering or feeding her soul in a Bible study. She would like to find a moment to relax, but usually finds herself eating lunch in the car and trying to find time to use the restroom. After school she juggles a busy schedule including appointments for speech, early intervention, and occupational therapy.

With all of her busyness, and stress, and frustrations, as well as joy and excitement, she finds that she needs to rely on prayer, family support, and exercise to get through each day with her sanity.

What she struggles with…

She struggles with patience. She’s a no-nonsense kinda gal. She wants to instruct her son in a calm tone, knowing it is more effective. But sometimes she resorts to raising her voice which only temporarily addresses the issue, and leads to more difficulties later (as a child with autism he copies to excess, so when she yells, he yells). He is not yet able to identify the reason for his emotions, which tend to be explosive, and this is frustrating for her. She wants to know what the problem is so she can fix it. But he is just not able to tell her.

She struggles with being controlling. She wants him to do what she wants him to do when she wants it done. She aims to allow him to be his own person. To let him learn and grow to be the person he is meant to be.

What her strengths are…

Her past experience of being a teacher has taught her how to plan and schedule while being able to bend when something unexpected arises. Each week she has a plan so her household flows smoothly. In the mornings, over breakfast, she talks with her son about the day ahead and does role-playing so he will know what to do and say in certain situations. Or perhaps it includes looking at pictures online of new places they will be going. But even with all her preparations and planning, there is sure to be something that will come up. And that’s when she makes the most of the moment and teaches him how to be flexible and adventurous.

What her fears are…

When her and her husband received their son’s diagnosis, she felt alone. She was jealous of other “normal” families and felt that people couldn’t, and wouldn’t, understand. She was afraid that she would be stuck in this hardship forever and never experience the “sweet spot” of parenting where she could relax and enjoy the moment. But her biggest fear has been that her son would get to the point of where he feels uncomfortable in his own skin, and feels hurt because he is different.

What her joys are…

From these fears have come the joys of finding community and experiencing the goodness of people. By speaking up, she has found other families to journey with that are facing this same challenge. People that have and are walking the same road have been there to encourage her and support her with advice and recommendation

Her fear of watching her son struggle socially is balanced with the joy of seeing the progress he has made with how he interacts with his peers. It give her hope for the future. She is believing her son is going to be ok.  Some days are so easy and some days are so hard, but she knows that he is doing his best each day. And she is doing the best she can the skills she possesses. And she knows that tomorrow is a new day.

What she wants you to know…

She needs you to know and trust that every child and every family is doing the best they can and are trying to do what is best. Ideally we could accept that people in general are doing the best they can. Also, please know that children with special needs need a pat on the back. People don’t realize how much work went into accomplishing a simple task that many take for granted.