Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Diagnosed. A Chapter in a Book.

We are on a journey, one where we find answers, some answers we don't want, and another where no answers seem to be found and puzzle pieces seem to be from different puzzles.

We had our suspicions ...but there it was, in black in white we a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Seeing it burned my eyes with tears. It didn't change my child, it didn't make him any different, it didn't change my love for him or our hearts desire for him...but there it was and I couldn't escape it.

See, we didn't get testing so we could label our kids or put them in a box of description that would hold and freeze them there forever. No. Never. We didn't get a diagnosis so we could medicate and move on. No. Never. We didn't get a diagnosis because we wanted one or so we could understand our child more...No. Never. 

I understand my child, because I am chosen to be his mother. 

WE sought out answers so we could equip him better, so we could fight for him harder, so we could prepare him for this world that can be hard and hateful. We only sought answers so that we could do the absolute BEST thing for our child. But nonetheless, you seek diagnosis and answers to things that perplex you and sometimes when you walk through that door you wish you could shut it, pad lock it, and run from it forever. It just seems so overwhelming.

The diagnosis...A diagnosis...Hell...ANY diagnosis does NOT define who we are...I know this, we all know this...we say this on repeat it seems after any diagnosis.  However, it does not change that a diagnosis is hard. This broken world of sickness...is hard.

I breathed. Deep breath in and out, I paused.

Kevin and I shared the hardness and brokenness in it.  

You can say all the positive you want to a person who receives a diagnosis, you can cheer the greatest cheer, but sometimes the greatest cheerleaders...are silent right before a big moment. This was that big moment. We just needed a moment.

We knew the truths,

God is faithful,
There is hope in Him
This is not a definition of your child
This is a perspective and opinion of man's view.
God does not see autism....

We stand on those truths, we believe those truths, WE have always BELIEVED those truths.

But grieving something for your child does not mean I do NOT believe those things. Wishing something different for my child does not mean I do NOT believe those things. Having moments where you wish your child didn't have to face hardships that you know will come...does not mean I do NOT believe those things.

I DO. 

Grief and sorrow...they are good, because they push you to be real, to be sensitive, to know how to truly cry out before Jesus, and to long more for Jesus to come. Grief and sorrow, they are special glasses that make you see things in this world with compassion and love easier. To realize that not all is perfect or shaded by the best filter.

A diagnosis is not easy, but, it is not a defining, its not the end...it's a chapter in the book. A reason to talk, to research, to try. It's a part of the journey that maybe rocky and hard and we might fall on our knees as we climb this Mount Everest...but that view.

Worth every step, every fall, every valley, every peak, every rock, and twist and turn. 

Worth it ALL.

We are going to walk this journey. And we will most likely walk it as publicly as we can. I don't share my children's names but that is only because one day it will be their story to tell...I can only tell it from my point of view right now. But I can promise you if you email me, or call me, or text me...I will write you back. Because I am not ashamed of our journey...I am proud.  I will share any part of my journey as you walk yours, and I can promise you...When you need it, I will be that silent cheerleader for you. Because you know what, we all need that sometimes.

A journey publicly, is a journey not alone.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

A Broken Christmas

This Christmas was unlike any other I have ever had in my entire life.  Two weeks prior we started coming down with some kind of virus that took a hold of our family like an octopus, meaning it sucked us in and held us captive.  Every time we thought we were coming on the other side we would get hit again. We embraced the sickness, we hung lights all around the living room, pulled in mattresses and blankets and pillows and watched endless Christmas movies by the fire and puke buckets. We paused and although I had other plans we just let it be. There was nothing else we could do but let it be.

However, I started around Thanksgiving having a pain in my back and stomach that I couldn't seem to escape. After many attempts of healing and dealing with it myself I found myself in the ER a week before Christmas looking for answers but finding none. We made an appointment with a GI doctor who was wonderful and set me on a new course of treatment trying to narrow down some reasons this could be happening.  It seemed his treatments were working and I was finally feeling a bit more relief, until I came down with whatever virus the kids had brought into our home. On Christmas Eve I was sick beyond words. Between my unknown illness and the virus my body began shutting down and refusing to fight. I couldn't sip water or move from the bed or floor in front of the toilet.  The pain was the worst thing I have ever experienced in my whole life.  Our Christmas Eve traditions ceased. We didn't go to a service, we didn't play games, we didn't watch a Christmas movie or make Christmas pizza.  What few gifts we let the boys open on Christmas Eve were open in my bed surrounding a mom who was trying hard to not alarm the boys and failing miserably.  Everything was broken.

At 7:30pm when I knew I couldn't make it any longer and I was saying goodbye to my babes and headed to the hospital...again. Broken. So so Broken.

My spirit was broken, my flesh was sick and my soul was angry. I had said the name of Jesus on repeat every time I was viciously heaving into the bowl of the toilet. I would moan prayers of pleading to heal me so I could be present on His coming, and yet...my flesh was broken. There was absolutely nothing I could do but surrender to the pain and brokenness and surrender to whatever His plans were, even if I didn't understand them.

I knew that my unknown illness and the virus had combined and made a terrible storm within my body. There wouldn't be answers in the ER, not that night, but maybe relief so I could make it to Christmas morning. That was the hope. After 6 hours of treatment and finally some relief I was able to be home.  We arrived home at 3:30am and let my sweet friend (become sister) go be with her family...the love we have from this community deserves its own blog post that I plan on writing. My babes were up at 6:00am knowing mommy was sick but so overcome with excitement for the morning. Kevin my calm never falter, never broke, and remained so peaceful and gift giving for our family. Christmas morning this year was simple, there was no big breakfast, no big setups, no big anything...we just couldn't. There was a brokenness in our flesh we couldn't control and we just had to let grace upon grace be what drove the day. Which was lots of nothing. We opened gifts slowly and had no expectation for the day. There were no friends over, no big Christmas meal...there was a stillness and a respect for what had overtaken our family...exhaustion.

We had to remind our boys that we have to be ok when things don't go as planned. This was a hard Christmas, it really was, but it made it stop and realize that life itself was the greatest gift. I was out of the hospital and able to be semi present with my boys. That was a gift.

As I have been able to step out of that night and process it I have come to realize that despite our biggest efforts for Christmas...or honestly anything in our daily lives...we constantly are living in brokenness and no matter how much we try to mask the brokeness with ribbons and bows beneath it all lies the reality of it all...imperfect flesh.

But Jesus, oh my sweet sweet Jesus. It is the very reason He came, the very reason we celebrate His birth year after year, why our souls long for the ultimate healing and peace...because despite any of our greatest efforts we are at the very core, broken and weary people thankful for the Savior. I am so very thankful. And although we still don't know what's wrong with me, and we have been on this journey for what seems like an eternity, I cannot for one second put my trust in the ribbons and bows of this earth, they will eventually break and teather...but I can tie myself to the hope of my Lord and Savior, Emmanuel, God with us.

We may never find the answers to my broken body, we may never fully understand why Jesus has me to walk this journey, but I can't complain, and I can't be angry, because all of our bodies are broken, my peace- oh my peace, yes it comes in the hope what will be, the hope of what's to come, the hope that I can close my eyes and know that this broken body will one day be healed in the presence of the Almighty One.  That, makes this time on earth much more doable, the pain will last but a day...it is only but seconds compared to eternity. I have to keep my eyes lifted up, knowing that He is my only hope, my only healing, my only peace. And somehow that makes all of this ok....it sucks....don't get me wrong, but it is okay.

But sweet, precious, almighty, JESUS.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

"Little" Mount Everest.

I can't sleep. And its all because of a little form that I filled out tonight. Well, "little" in the fact of information...but monumental in what it meant. Tonight I filed my two oldest and well me...as an independent school. What?!?! I know right. 4 Wild Oaks School will be a real deal in January 2018. Remember how the atmosphere changes when I do something big? Yeah, you probably already felt the tremendous atmosphere change. Sorry about that.

But for real. First of all GA apparently is the leanest of lean states to homeschool in. The did not ask for proof of anything. Nothing. They did not ask if I was actually capable to teach my kids, this is still out for debate. They did not ask what medications I might (am..I am...) be taking. They did not bother to ask my age, 30....and just a few...plus a few more , or how well my marriage is (I mean crazy and her calm). They did not care if I was crazy, totally exhausted, mama of 4...I REPEAT 4 boys...nope. You know what they wanted? My address. Good job Georgia.

"Yeah, she...she can teach I mean look she has a house and everything...oh yes lets stamp that...next."

I kinda just sat there and stared at the screen when it said "approved" or whatever it is it said. Enough for me to realize it was done. I sat for 3 seconds and then moved onto the next 20 tabs I had               opened for curriculum (should probably learn how to spell that one...). I was so excited when I first bound down the stairs with the laptop to show Kevin what I was about to do, I was so excited and peaceful as I clicked submit... I was totally fine until I looked at my calm and said "Nervous?" and my "I'm not nervous, or worried, or distressed, or upset, or angry, or mad..." Calm man Said "Yeah. I am nervous." Well. If I had a sound maker on my blog you would hear a toilet being flushed...because one of my kids had just peed..and pooped..while standing...but that's another story for another time...

I felt deflated. But before you blame the amazing Calm Man...he had a right to feel that way. first of all I am clearly not a teacher by nature, I am a teacher now because of necessity. Second, I am always nervous. ALWAYS. About all the things that one could be nervous and worried about...like chicken being cooked enough..I worry about that, more then probably the average person. I have been known to take a piece of chicken onto the porch in the daylight to make sure I don't see a HINT of pink even though every other human says its done. I am a nervous human, and my husband he gets a card people. He gets one card once every year to use his nervous card and honestly I can't think of many times in the 13 years he has used it. So tonight. Tonight friends we give the calm his card. He said it, and then he moved on to encouraging me. How great he thinks I'll do and that he is excited and that he can't wait to see all the boys will learn...yeah me to buddy simmer down, give a me a moment.

Being nervous is not a sin, nor does it disappoint our all knowing God. Nervous does not produce fear (if you let it, like I do it can...) Nervous is our human nature acknowledging that something big is happening. We are standing before Mount Everest. And here is the thing. I am watching climbers prepping to go and I once again am feeling so inadequate to the calling before me.

Kevin is nervous for ALL the right reasons. And it is why I sit up when I should be exhausted because I was up all last night with puking kids. It is ok in life to be nervous. Somehow on the journey with Jesus we convinced ourselves that Jesus was greatly offened when we are nervous, that it means we don't trust Him.

I feel like schooling your kids truly is a picture of Everest that every parent MUST climb. No one is exempt from it.

Public school means you stand at the base of Everest and place your child in a group of trained guides who prepare and guide your kids up the mountain. You see children fall, not make it, stumble, or even get hurt and you know you wont be the first person there for them...That is SO hard. You also know each guide can be a bit of a gamble, just because they are "trained" does not mean they are qualified. You are entrusting them with your heart...not easy.

Then you have private school. And lets be honest, private school is elite. I am not saying that everyone who goes to private school is wealthy, I know families go to great (huge,monumental )sacrifice to put their child in this school. These are the trained of the trained guides. These are the people who are the best of the best in most situations. These guides are well equipped and ready to take your kids on the journey....but not everyone is able to afford these schools, or feel it is right for their family. I will admit though if money was no object I would probably be paying for one of these schools.

Then you have guides who have been teachers themselves. They have been up the mountain, watched others up the climb, they know some of the tricks, things to look for, how to guide children along the way. They know what to avoid and how to navigate some of the hardest parts of the journey. It is not easy, but at least having some background in climbing that can help along the way.

Then there is the guide who has never seen the mountain, has never stepped foot on a mountain, has ZERO climbing experience and doesn't even know where to start. Hmmm which one am I?  I feel like a towns person who comes to the base of the mountain and is watching people get ready to make the climb, looks are her boys and says "Well, kids, I think we might need some snow shoes...I think I saw Curious George make a pair in episode, lets go to town and see what we can find."  Before I go I ask the other guides what to do, the amount of information leaves me paralyzed with fear.  After 2 hours of informational information filled with more info...I turn and say "So....we should get more then just snow shoes?"

I know there are so many other school options I didn't even bother to touch. The reality is we are all on the same mountain, and it is scary. There are some really steep dangerous climbs ahead, but no one can stay at the bottom, its not an option. WE must climb this mountain with our precious hearts. It is hard for every single parent. You get through elementary and middle school is just as scary...have you seen those awkward emotional pimpled stinky kids? Glory. Then high school? They start having their own opinions, they start making decision you have ZERO control over, golly they will be making their own dinners and eating me out of house and home because my go to "if you are really hungry have a bowl of carrots..." will not work on a 16 year old.

We are all facing Mount Everest. Ever single one of us. Last night as I was falling asleep and I was thinking of Mount Everest I couldn't help but see one common factor in every single situation. Jesus. He was behind every guide holding each and every rope that was tethered to our precious hearts.  He had them, and when a guide would fall and our children would begin to slip, He was there. And last night when I felt the overwhelming since of despair,  He once again said His promising consistent words to me...

"But Me Beth, I am all the guide you need, I will take you each step as you navigate this climb. And I promise you this, when you fall, because you will, I have them."

I must rest at that. The climb ahead will be a scary one, sure of moments of failure...but the mountain view...might be the most unbelievable and Miraculous thing I could see this side of heaven.

Hang in there parents, we are each on the journey, you are not alone!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

In the Darkness of Medication Came Light

I am not sure how to talk/write about medication when it comes to my kids. It is not because I am embarrassed, ashamed, or not confidant in our decision. I really think its because you want to protect your child from an already cruel and judging world. I do not want you to see medication before seeing my child. Or even have thoughts "must be a day they need to up the meds..." Medication and mental illness do NOT define our children or our family. We are the Tanners, we stand firm in our solid foundation in Jesus, and this is our journey, not our identity.  Therefor, medication and the topic of diagnosis is a touchy one. One we desperately need to shine the light on, but also one you have to be so cautious with. Each word I ever write is prayed over, He gives me permission and releases things I didn't even know could exist. 

I do know I have yet to meet a parent that is excited and happy to put their child on any type of stimulant, anxiety pill, or antidepressants. There are not happy dances and praise hands the day your doctor says "its time." No. There are fears, and sadness...there is concern and the unknown of the future can leave you frozen unable to put one foot in front of the other.... 

There is also thankfulness, yes. Hopefulness, yes. Even relief, sweet relief...but happy, joyful, excitement? No, not terms I hear from parents that are walking this very hard and challenging road.  People ask when we knew it was time for medication, my response is always the same "You just know..." it is really that simple. Every other thing fails you and you are left so desperate and so low you are not sure which way is up...its in that moment you can't wait another day. Relief is desperate. You are screaming for anything to help you and your child. You see them drifting and somehow someway today is worst then yesterday which was worst then the day before.

You find yourself googling, looking for anything that could possibly help. You feel like the most contradicting inconsistent parent on the planet. What worked yesterday made things worse today. You try hard not to stir up any battles or wake the sleeping anger that lays beneath your sons sweet demeanor. So eggshells is your life, you walk lightly, talk sweetly, take so many deep breaths you feel light headed. You find yourself losing your cool on every other child and living creature that crosses you wrong. Your exhaustion is beyond anything you could type on a blog.  You look like a parent who doesn't discipline because you put up with attitude and sharp comments and big fat "NOs!" and its not because you agree with the behavior, its because you know where and what it could do. Desperation is probably not even the right word.

You find yourself crying to anyone who will give you a moment to speak, you find yourself sobbing into the phone leaving your dad a message of total brokenness. You are unsure how you will face tomorrow or if tomorrow can even be faced. You are lost. You have prayed the name of Jesus in every room of the house, anointed with oil, crawled to the foot of his bed while he sleeps and make your desperate pleads to the One who Knows all and is All. And yet....silence. The next day is worst then the day before and it feels as though your prayers just made everything worse.

You finally hit the roof after weeks of walking on eggshells and all your pent up anger comes rolling out of you like Niagara Falls and there is nothing to stop it.  And 5 min later when your voice is horse from all the yelling you are broken once again because you feel like you just lost everything you had maybe gained. You are done. And you see the brokenness on his face. How did it get to this place?

You know....You go to the doctors with your beloved son and you lay it all out. You are done, he is done, we are done, everyone is done. By golly, the dogs are done. You know... It is time. And although there is no happy dance there is hope.

One week later post "vitamins" which is what these medications are referred to in this home, you see glimpses of your son. You see a smile return, a skip to his walk, a sweet hug and a kind word...oh my heavens, then the happy dance starts. Your heart could leap...

Two weeks later and there are no broken pencils, no thrown objects, there is a calmness and peacefulness that returns to your home...Oh Jesus. Thank you.

One month later. I have no words. We are thankful for the reprieve and although we know in two months we might be back to the drawing board with a growing and changing boy we know that medication is needed in this family. We see the change. And when the doctor asks how it is going and he says "I feel better..." you want to squeal and hug every single person in that doctors office. All of the sudden the dark, scary, awful, medication becomes the light, answers, peace, joy, thankful medication...

Now it is just a part of the day. No one even blinks an eye. .3 seconds it takes to take and our world aligns and peace come.

See, desperation always brings us to solutions and cry for help. If I didn't experience the desperation I wouldn't of been willing to go this route, and Jesus knew we needed this medication...he needed this medication, but we had to walk the dark and scary road to see those things.

I don't know where you are on in your journey. But you are not alone. Coming to the decision to put your child on medication is one of the hardest and scariest path a parent has to walk...see its brokenness in this world and its not suppose to be this way. Neither is cancer, or disease...but we live in a broken fallen world desperate for Jesus. Desperation broke us, and in that brokenness we were able to find the healing we all needed.

If you are a parent who has never had to face this journey with your child, I am thankful, this community of parents who are facing it would never wish this for anyone. No one. Be thankful, but be sensitive, be quiet, we don't need words or answers we need prayers and grace. Don't be quick to judge that parent with a child who is out of control in the middle of Walmart...you don't know what their journey is or what they are facing that day.

I know now, but it took desperation and brokenness to know it.

But Jesus, getting glory. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Transparent Glass Door. Honetly..I don't even think I have a door.

Sitting in a Psychologist office with on of your kids is never easy.

I gripped the steering wheel pretty tightly that morning as we drove. I tried to seem as calm and as normal as possible even sipping on my coffee occasionally  although my stomach was in all kind of knots. His sweet profile catching my glimpse every once and awhile as I asked if he was nervous or had any questions. "No." It was a simple answer with no concern, no emotion, no anxiety. Hmmm I wish I could calm my heart to meet my sons. This is the second time I have had to drive to an appointment for one of my boys to see if we could get a glimpse of what was going on in that brain of theirs. I couldn't help but have to fight all the feelings of failure as I drove. I shoved them down deep...again.

People commend me often for being open and writing so freely- it is not a choice, I was born this way. To be silent slowly kills me. Ann Voskamp wrote a post today about transparency and I drank it in and it nourished my dry and weary soul. One of her quotes will be one I will butcher when I say it, but will cling to it for a life time.

"Transparency is the glass door that opens up a house of trust so you get to live in love."

There is zero artistic or poetic beauty in my writing, believe me I know this. But there is a rawness that just comes from my heart that I can't control.   That glass door. My glass house.

We spent three hours in that testing. He did amazing. We will have the final write up of a diagnosis in three weeks but before we left the dr. said without hesitation that he has ADHD.  It was not a surprise, taking on the role of teacher has made it very clear that he struggles with this. Now my Two oldest sons have that diagnosis. How can you not wonder where you went wrong? There will be more diagnosis coming my way, the doctor was also sure of this but he wasn't ready to finalize it until he had gathered all his information from that morning. I wasn't emotional or sad when he told me it, I wasn't really anything honestly. Numb maybe? But really not even that...just okay. It is the reality and I can push up the sleeves on my arms and move forward.  

I had someone say to me "I don't know why my kids are so amazing and so good and don't have struggles..." literally. Said that. WOW. I am so happy for you. Please take this from my post, if you know someone who has a child or children struggling with anything outside the BOX of "normal" please don't go on and on about the struggles your children DON'T have..it is not soothing to an aching heart. Just not.

When I dealt with infertility I was trapped in a world of wanting...it was the most intense and horrific and life changing three years of my life. I would spend hours dreaming of what my children would be like, I would beg Jesus for them, I would grieve over the ones I lost and think about all I was missing because I didn't get to know them...but in those dreams I never imagined having boys that struggle with anxiety, ADHD, depression or disorders. Why would I dream that? Why would anyone dream that? But you know what, each and every day I wake up and I am living my dream. It wasn't what I thought it would look like but there is so much broken beauty in the imperfectness that is my life I couldn't for one second want anything any different.  

A couple of months ago I mentioned I went to a conference that kind of left me spiraling and in some ways more broken then I was before I went. It was suppose to be a "rest" ful retreat but all of the hurting broken adopted moms hearts, threw me into a tornado I wasn't even prepared for.  One of the activities the speaker had us do was write out all the things we had dreamt of that didn't come true and then we took that piece of paper and shredded it. It was a beautiful imagine but it didn't sit well with my heart. I usually love things like this, if I ever had a chance to be a speaker I could so see myself doing something so similar. I was known for things like this while teaching the youth years ago...but the thing is, it was hopeless. It made me focus on things I don't even consider. My kids are my kids, sure I didn't dream of this but they are still my dreams. If we live in a world always looking at ways we thought our life should of been or could of been or we deserved we miss the beauty that is our life RIGHT now.  The broken beauty. Its is not perfect and there is a lot of scary and dark days, but Jesus is writing a pretty epic story through each of the characters on my stage. 

I know that mom meant some kind of well when she spoke those words about how her kids didn't have struggles... I couldn't shake it from my soul- but then I thought, well- Lord my kids are exactly who you created them to be - perfectly and beautifully and wonderfully made- broken and all. And are we not all broken? Heavens. YES. Maybe her kids didn't have the struggles my kids have...but we all have struggles...its why I want to live a life of transparency. Transparency brings love, and healing...

Our life might consist of therapy's and doctor appointments and prescriptions needing to be filled. But it is beautiful, and complicated, and chaotic...and epic...and Transparent. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Utterly and Fearfully Exhausted.

Since deciding to homeschool I knew mornings would be cruicial for me. I needed to get up early before the boys to make sure I had a few moments of peace before my day started. Just 30min even to clear my thoughts or have a thought without interruption. Yall. Its as though my kids know this desire and ensuring that they don't miss one second of mom (because I still have a couple of little guys who find their way into my bed, onto my pillow, and into my back, I swear if they could crawl back into me they would...) they are up at the butt crack of dawn. I try to be so quiet, I try to sneak downstairs, but I swear the atmosphere must shift and their eyes pop open because mom is awake...don't. miss. one. second. Must. get. to....MOM.
Be near Jesus. It is real.

So here I am at 11:58pm trying to calm my thoughts so that I can actually just maybe get a few hours of sleep before they sense the atmosphere changing again.  And know what, I am utterly and fearfully exhausted.

But here is the thing, I am utterly and fearfully exhausted both emotionally and physically and to be completely honest spiritually. I have to fight daily to find the calm, the peace, the soothing quietness of my soul. I have had so many "older" moms and when I say "older" I don't mean physical age, I mean stage of life. Older as in kids are in high school or graduated or married. Anyway I have heard from these older wiser moms in grocery stores, at sporting events, always at target, and of course FB and Insta. But these wonderfully older moms inform me many times as they watch me twitch and squirm and sometimes loose my cool at my child who is fussing about their sock or shoe or the fact that the sun is somehow chasing them down and tormenting them with brightness..... that the "days are long but the years are short," or "its hard physically now but just wait until they older...then its emotionally hard..." or "don't blink, its gone" or.. "fill in the blank you have heard it here.."  And believe me I DO GET IT. I do, STOP TELLING ME AND ENCOURAGE ME.... I see it going fast and I have written my rant about this...that is not my thing... no my thing is that it is not just physically hard right now...it is crucially emotionally and spiritually hard RIGHT now...and it if it is not hard right now then I think we might be missing something.

My boys ages range from 4 to 8, and in that I am juggling a whole lot...a WHOLE lot...and I can't even tell you how many sleepless nights and enduring days where I think I am failing them or missing it or screwing them up and it makes me paralyzed with fear. It is physically and emotionally and spiritually demanding right now. Throw in that what we moms are faced with daily now is comparison that comes full force with social media and every single flipping person has a BLOG and is writing out their "articles" on how we are screwing up our kids. I combat these fears by pouring my kid a bowl of fluorescent Cheetos and top it off with a big ol' cup of straight up red dye while making sure that EVERY single media outlet is BLARING in their faces and also making sure that every ALARM is set in every single corner of my house ready to alarm me when my kid breaths funny or sneezes snot that might be a color that is not normal....Glory. JESUS for the love would just hurry on  up and come...by the way, Jesus, incase you didn't know my kid loves Mindcraft and the last article I read said that he most likely will be a bomb maker in the future...so yeah...you better sound the trumpets NOW. Bless it to my bones Mamas, how are we even breathing?

And I can't even begin to start to tell you that when you have a child that is not like the other 20 in his class and starts showing some signs of things that might need "early intervention..." and you find yourself at midnight googling side affects of medicine your child has to take and you feel as though the red dye just has to be the reason your kid is like this or maybe its because all they want to eat is fruit snacks and graham crackers or maybe its because they spent 3 or 4 hours on media and not the recommend 1 that clearly this is all YOUR fault and you made your child this way...and because you google all these such things now every time you get on the stupid comparison Facebook page now all the adds are "dangers of red dye..." "10 unknown side affects of this medicine" "Going vegan and using this oil got my kid off his meds..."  and so you stuff all these fears down deep, you take a breath of muggy barely breathable GA "Fall" air and you hop in your car to take your crazy 4 to church and you ram into your husbands truck that has parked in the same spot the last 3.5 years of living here. Yeah that might of happened today. There are not enough bless its.

And you can barely breath. Jesus. Its all so much. And that lovely older mom says "just wait..." and I think, great...now all my fears are even greater, thanks.


Lets take a moment and think of this. BUT JESUS sweet friend. You are not alone. Solace, read my words and take hope, you are not alone.  We will survive, they will survive, and Jesus is our hope. I do know this. And when I handed my child his first dose of medicine and I had to fight demons from ever corner and I breathed shallow every day as I watched for side affects or changes...and my child looks at me one day and says "mom, I just feel happy..." I breath deeper. And Jesus says to my fearful and overwhelmed spirit..

"But me, Child...I am the start of every morning, the middle of every darkened afternoon, and the greatest finisher of each and everyday."

And I breath.

Every single day raising children is hard and exciting and scary and rewarding...each season might bring on new and different challenges I am sure, but my journey with my 8,7,5,4 year old boys is just as much demanding spiritually and emotionally as it will be when I have 17,16,14,13 year olds. Parenting requires you to sit constantly at the feet of Jesus as you open and close those hands every single second of each and every day for your children.

We are raising children in a very big and scary and failing world. We are raising children where we have to teach them how to be different, see different, love different. That doesn't change from 8 to 16- that prayer, that screaming to Jesus that they would have hearts that love Him so they can love others well doesn't change.  I think my sleepless nights are going to become more and more as my boys grow, and I am sure my prayers will change, but the core of them does not. Jesus.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Medication - Thing 3.

When I go to write it is as easy as filling up a glass of water. It flows. It pours out of my heart and onto the screen in a matter of moments. It is how I know its His timing and His words...Its like He releases the words to me. This "Thing" I have been in communication with Him for sometime. There are several topics..."Things..." I so long to discuss but I don't always know how, so I wait until I feel Him prompting me to lay my fingers across the key board. Like this morning. 

I was hoping to sleep in, I mean it is Saturday, but remember the oh so cute but oh so annoying puppy- yeah - he had me up at 5:15am. Its ok. If you have followed me at all the last 12 years of having this blog you know I went into a season where I was trying to be a morning person. I failed. Like big fat fall on my face fell. It was because it was what I wanted with all the greatest intentions but I forgot to see if it was what He wanted. My intentions were pure, but my heart was a bit muddy. This year moving into homeschool I prayed that the Lord would help me get up in the mornings before the kids get up so I could settle my heart and breath His name. I say this in complete honesty. I have yet to use an alarm clock. I loath (and if there were a deeper word for hate I would use it) alarm clocks. We are 30 some days into this school and I have gotten up just about every single one of them early. Its less about me and my wants of what I think a good Christian looks like, its because I am desperate for His presence- He beckons me each morning. And  for the record and just so you don't think I am spiritually perfect- I don't read the Bible every morning. Sometimes I stare at the wall while I drink my coffee, scroll through Insta, or look at Timehop....but I sit, I calm my heart and I breath His name.  (I say that discloser because we live in a world of comparison, and it can eat you up and make you feel less then who HE says you are. That is not the point of my writings, my writings are to encourage you to be exactly who you are right where you are...)

So this morning it is starting to flow, to be honest I am not sure which direction the Lord will take me on with this post. So buckle up and enjoy....  

This past week I sat in my doctors office for an hour and poured my heart out as to where I am right now. I was not there because my throat was hurting, or I had an ongoing headache, I was there because I was feeling as though I was barely keeping my head above the water, or I am in a storm and I just need a moment to gather my thoughts and I can't find cover...or I am a beach ball with holes and I can't figure out a way to plug them all before the air leaks out... pick the analogy you like best...I am once again reminded of how different I am to everyone else (which I know is true for all of us...) but I am an extroverted introvert, I enjoy people but I LOVE to be home. If I go days without leaving the house or seeing people I am the most content and happy.  I am a bouncer in most things in life, things happen I bounce. I can tend to see the positive in most things, I have a very child like faith when it comes to Jesus and His abundant love and grace for us.  I can fall a thousand times and keep getting back up....but I am overcome with fear most days, I have about 1,000 really crazy and obnoxious anxiety filled thoughts that if I am not careful can consume me and freeze me.  Most of the time I can contain and control them, Kevin as you all know I refer to on most days as my Calm talks me off the ledge of complete and utter dismay about a 100 times a week.

Growing up if you were to ask my siblings or parents to describe me they would be tempted to use the words "a bit dramatic about somethings..." I am sure they would have much more to say...but this would probably be one of their first thoughts, and I say tempted because I fought those words growing up to the point that I am pretty certain they would be a bit scared to say them now to describe me (sorry Y'all...). But I am, I am a bit dramatic but in my world and in my view it doesn't feel dramatic, it feels very real, very big, very scary....and so I fight and I fight and I fight to maintain a level of "this is not big..."

Until, well, it is big. And right now in our life, it is big. It would be big for anyone. Anyone sitting in my house dealing with some of the things we are dealing with would say...yeah...that's big.   My doctor was amazing, she was so compassionate and caring and understanding and validate all my fears about what I needed. You would look at me and think, why in the world would she need medication...but I do. I need it to be able to fully function and fully live and fully enjoy the sweetness that is my life even with circumstances  that are scary and out of my control. I am also being asked by Jesus to regulate myself a lot more for the sake of one of my children. I have to regulate emotions for the both of us because he is showing signs of not being able to regulate and control emotions.  And so each morning I am choosing to embrace the season we are in, not fight it, not try to make anything other then what it is and I swallow a little white pill and move past it. I need help, and that is not a sign of weakness that is a sign of strength.

I am not sure why medication is a taboo subject, maybe I am naïve I will fully take on that reality. Maybe it is because medication is so overwhelmingly used in todays society...maybe its because of people like me, who you look at and think "Why in the world would she need it?" I am also not sure why it is a sign of weakness, this one I don't really understand- because let me tell you, it took a whole of strength to admit I needed it and a whole lot of strength to take it and not beat myself up about it.

I am believing that as we continue therapy and as we continue figuring out puzzle pieces and as we continue to learn how to cope with some of the realities Jesus has given us that I will not need this forever. But right now, I am admitting that I don't have it all together and to be the mom I need to be for these amazing children God has given to me I needed an umbrella to weather through the endless storm.

As Jesus continues to release me to write more about this I will, because I want to talk about medication and children, however, Jesus has not asked me yet to share about this thing just yet.

I hope this encourages you, I hope and pray that if you are having to take medication and you struggle with guilt that this releases that guilt for you, Jesus is not disappointed in you nor does this have any reflection on our dependency on Christ. I am still so dependent on Him each and every day in every moment. I am thankful for a doctor who cared, for a supportive calm husband and for the little white pill.