Issue 54: Ways to Survive ASD Parenting and Stay Thankful
Issue 58: Winning Ways to Share the Love with All of Your Children
Issue 81: When Special Education Fails to Be Special
Blogging. I've been doing it for years. Took a break for a while. I used to blog about our family life - vacations, home schooling, the kids, what we were up to, recipes. It was a great way to keep out-of-town family updated on what we were doing and kind of like keeping a journal for myself I guess.
The I created a blog called Teaching Jeremiah where I blogged about raising Jerry, our youngest son diagnosed with autism. I shared challenges with his behavior, his therapies, home schooling him, his fight with epilepsy, whatever.
Then I blogged as youth leader of our middle school kids the lessons we learned and the events and activities we were involved in. That was a fun time for me.
Then I stopped blogging. Not really sure why. Didn't matter much anymore I guess. Life was happening all around and in so many different ways with four kids and youth group and church and being married. It was hard enough just to be a part of it all, much less blog about it.
And lately? Well, I haven't really been sure about my role in any of it anymore. I stepped down from leading youth group because of demands at home and just a change in season for us. My kids are practically home schooling themselves now as high schoolers. My oldest is an adult and so my role with him has morphed into this new relationship as two people co-habitating under the same roof, me trying to give him his independence and freedom while still trying to be his momma in little ways that he hopefully won't find too annoying. It's strange when your purpose starts to evolve and change and you go from one season of your life into another that is so unfamiliar.
I have spent a lot of time over the last few years trying to figure out my "thing", my purpose, my ministry, what God wants me to do. I still believe part of that is wife and mom, Christian and friend. But it doesn't feel like that's entirely all of it. And not that those things aren't enough and fulfilling in and of themselves. Because they are. I just have always felt like there was more I needed to be doing, and doing purposefully. And there has been. Like I said - home schooling, youth group, even working my essential oils business.
Lately, as in the last year or so, my entire world seems to have revolved around raising Jeremiah. I know it doesn't. I won't let it actually. He is one of four kids, remember? But he does demand a great deal of my attention and energy just the same. And I've noticed something else too. I am not the only one whose world has been rocked, turned upside down, and affected by this Tasmanian devil of a little boy. Those other three kids? That husband of mine? Yep. All of us have been. As have his teachers, his therapists, our friends and other family members.
For the most part, I have tried to just "deal" with him, raise him no differently than my other three kids, check parenting him off my to-do list each day so that I could get down to that other purpose for which God has called me to...you know, the one I am still unsure of, but know has to be out there somewhere. And the more I "deal", the harder dealing becomes.
So I resign, not in dealing, but in purpose hunting. Know why? Because I think that purpose has been right here in front of me all along.
Our family doesn't just live with autism. Autism and Jeremiah permeate every single fiber of our existence. If affects where we go on vacation, what we eat for dinner, how we sleep, who we invite into our home, what invitations we have to turn down or can graciously accept. Like it or not, this is my purpose. At least right now, in this season of my life. My role is to navigate through it with John, Jonathan, Michaela, and Benjamin. To use what we have learned having Jeremiah in our family to comfort others in the same ways God has comforted us. To be real and honest...no matter how ugly that reality can sometimes be. Intentional. Inspirational. Transparent.
And my role is also to be Jerry's advocate, his voice, his cheerleader, his teacher, his mom who loves him unconditionally...that last part being the hardest to do if I am being completely honest. Because he is unlovable sometimes. That's truth. It's not just about teaching Jeremiah anymore, which was the title of my last blog. But it's about loving him, fighting for him, raising him, protecting him, understanding him, and most of all, SURVIVING him!
So welcome to my new blog, my new purpose - for such a time as this. It's time I stopped chasing rainbows and began blooming where I'm planted. Some days that looks like between the cracks of two slabs of pavement. Some days it's in a field of green as far as the eyes can see. Some days it's amongst so many weeds and thorns, I can't breathe. Some days it's in a drought and on others I feel well-watered and nourished. Each day's forecast doesn't matter as long as my roots run deep and I keep my face towards the Son. I know that. That knowledge doesn't always make it any easier out in the elements, but knowledge is power too, especially when it leads to wisdom.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope my posts give you a glimpse into our world in a way that's
I am a Christian. I am a wife. I am a mom. I am an author. In that order.