Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Just Got An Advent Basket!!!

I'm soooooooo excited and feel soooooooo blessed that someone would think of me at the start of this Advent Season. For those of you who don't know, Advent means the time of waiting for the coming of Christ. About an hour ago, I got a knock on the door. When I opened the door, I saw this -

The note inside read -

Stay tuned for more posts throughout the month as I open the gifts!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Poster Child

Christian was asked to be included in 2 International publications for the Sturge-Weber Foundation within the last 3 years. We gratefully accepted both of them.

The first one was a brochure made to send to all the families across the world affected by Sturge-Weber Syndrome (SWS). That was published a couple of years ago. Christian was 2 in the picture.

The second one was a book made for young children with SWS to help explain to typical children that although their faces may look differently, they have many similarities. This book was published a couple of months ago. Here's a picture of Christian looking at it for the 1st time.

Earlier this year, he was asked to be in a book written by a friend of ours from church. It should be out sometime next year. That makes 3 publications that he's been in before the age of 6! Stay humble lil buddy, stay humble :-)!

We thank God for how He is using our handsome lil guy to touch so many lives across the world. The works of God are definitely being displayed in him (John 9:1-3)!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Why I’m Thankful For the Fruit of the Spirit…

As a Mom of a Child with Special Needs ~

1) Love is unconditionally selfless like Christ - even if I’m still changing the diapers of my 5½ yr old and may be for his lifetime.

2) Joy is lasting gladness in Christ – even if my child has a seizure after celebrating one year seizure free.

3) Peace is calm assurance of Christ – even if I don’t know if my child will live to be an adult.

4) Patience is steady endurance from Christ – even if I have been working on my child feeding himself for 4 years.

5) Kindness is sweet tenderness of Christ – even when my child’s behavior is out of control.

6) Goodness is unwavering righteousness through Christ – even when I feel like I have a right to live in despair.

7) Faithfulness is constant allegiance to Christ - even when I’m tempted to have a “What about him” attitude.

8) Gentleness is humble meekness of Christ - even when I feel like I’ve had enough.

9) Self-control is restraining impulses through Christ - even when I feel like verbally lashing out to those who may stare, say ignorant things, or treat my child unkindly.

Praise God for his indwelling Spirit that works in us (Phil 2:13). I thank God for what He has taught me and continues to teach me on this journey of having a child with special needs. I am learning the secret of contentment… it’s ALL about Christ’s strength (Phil 4:11-13).

May the fruit of God’s Spirit be evident in you this Thanksgiving Season. May you walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:10).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Growing Pains

For the last 3 months, Carysse has often had teething symptoms (eg. fussiness, lose of appetite, waking up in the middle of the night). She's had symptoms, but no new teeth. I was starting to get concerned about my 18 month old only having 4 teeth. However, last night when I laid her down to put on her PJs, I looked into her mouth and saw 4 new teeth on the sides and back. I was so excited!

Then I thought, that is exactly how the Christian life is sometimes. We go through times of discipline and tests. In those times, we often become discouraged and think, "It's too painful, I don't see any change in me, I don't think it'll ever get better." Then one day, we realize that we're not the same as we were. We don't respond to circumstances like we used to. We have more joy, peace, contentment, and satisfaction in Christ. All these characteristics are evidence of God's work in us.

As we live a Christ-centered life, we must remember that...
1) God began a good work in us and He will see it to completion. (Phil 1:6)
2) God gives us what we need to approve what is excellent, in order to be pure and blameless. (Phil 1:9-10)
3) God fills us with the fruit of righteousness. (Phil 1:11)

So, we must cling to the Lord through the tests of our faith. He's disciplining us for our good (Heb. 12:10-11) so that we may be mature, complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spectacular Sunrise

Yesterday morning, when I walked into my kitchen, I saw a reddish-orange glow shining through the window shade. I grabbed my camera and headed outside. Even though it was cold enough (17 degrees) to see my breaths, the sight I saw was breathtaking.
When we see spectacular, breathtaking, & amazing things in creation, many of us stop and admire them. But we rarely let them be a pointer to the Creator of such things. God created all the beautiful, great sights we see--mountains, waterfalls, sunrises, sunsets, rainbows, etc. (Col. 1:16). When we see these things, we should use that opportunity to stop and glorify God and praise Him for the work of His hands (Rev. 4:11, Psalm 19:1).
As you stare in awe of God's magnificent creation, let it be a moment to magnify the awesomeness of our Creator!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Advocate As Though You Were Not Advocating

Before the election, John Piper wrote an article titled, "Let Christians Vote As Though They Were Not Voting." It was based on 1 Cor. 7:29-31. He stated, “Voting is like marrying and crying and laughing and buying. We should do it, but only as if we were not doing it. That’s because “the present form of this world is passing away” and, in God’s eyes, “the time has grown very short.”

Likewise, we should advocate as though we are not advocating. The word “advocate” is used so prevalently in the Special Needs community. We hear, “You are your child’s advocate…if you don’t fight for him no one else will!” Yes, we are supposed to want the best care, resources, services, therapists, and doctors for our children. However, not to the point to which we neglect everything else for the sake of advocating. As we support our children and seek out what’s best for them, we should always keep God’s eternal truth in mind. So, the next time you’re in a school meeting to go over your child’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan), God desires you to keep in mind His IEP (Infinite Eternal Perspective). Focus on these 3 truths -

1. God acts for those who wait for Him. - Isaiah 64:4
2. God gives what is good to those who walk uprightly. – Psalm 84:11
3. God fights for those who do not fear. – Deuteronomy 3:22

So, in other words – God is our Advocate! As you, “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30), He takes care of everything else. We must live for Christ, surrender to His will, and trust Him with the outcomes. Only in doing that can we advocate as though we are not advocating.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Great Paradox

"The Christian life is a great paradox. Those who die to self find self. Those who die to their cravings will receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life (Luke 18:29-30). If I crave happiness, I will beget misery. If I crave to be loved, I will feel rejection. If I crave control, I will feel every chaos. If I crave reputation, I will receive humiliation. But if I long for God and His wisdom, I will receive God and wisdom. Along the way, sooner or later, I will also receive happiness, love, order and glory. "Seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matt. 6:33).
~Quote from "How Shall We Cure Troubled Souls?" by David Powlison

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Madness Has Begun

The Mall Madness that is. Where there is no such thing as Thanksgiving. Everything is moved over for the holiday shoppers. We received at least 5 toy catalogs from various stores within the last week. What caught my eye and saddened me the most was a page advertising the Bratz dolls. These dolls are targeting older, pre-teen girls. As I looked over the page, words like -- sensuality, immodesty, worldly, lustful, and materialism popped into my mind. The ad and the website represent that, "IT'S ALL ABOUT ME!"

*IT'S ALL ABOUT my hair & my makeup.
*IT'S ALL ABOUT my outfit & my accessories.
*IT'S ALL ABOUT my house & my car.

And that I'm doing it all "IN STYLE"!

On the contrary, take a look at God's Word -
* 1 Samuel 16:7

* Proverbs 31:30

* 1 Peter 3:3-4

Whenever you shop for your daughters (& sons), be sure that the toys & dolls that you choose...
1. Represent Biblical values.
2. Represent Godly characteristics.
3. Uphold modesty and purity.

“Parents, our wicked culture is appealing to the sin in our daughters, alluring them to gain their identity and satisfaction from external fading beauty and not internal lasting beauty found only in the Beautiful One – Jesus Christ. Your daughters exist to become beautiful [attractive] to God. We need to promote any means that help our daughters toward this glorious end!” ~Kempton Turner

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Quote For Such A Time As This

"The question for me at this time is this: Can I continue to live Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone) under a President whose moral judgment already is questionable before he takes the oath of office? Yes I can, for I can be obedient to Scripture, praying for the one in authority (1 Tim. 2:1-8), honoring the one in authority (1 Pet. 2:13-18), submitting to the one in authority (Rom. 13:1-7; Tit. 3:1), and seeking righteousness for the entire citizenry (Prov. 14:34). These I will seek to do by grace. I will "honor the good appointment of God."
-Eric C. Redmond

Here's the whole article if you want to check it out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


No matter how one voted, all have to admit that this is a monumental moment in U.S. history! The majority of the United States of America voted an African American man to be the next president. My mind still cannot fathom the reality of this. From slavery to presidency...INCREDIBLE! I never thought this would ever be; at least not in my lifetime or even my children's lifetime. My parents grew up in Birmingham, AL. They've shared countless stories of how life was in the deep south during the 60s. Not to long ago, most of this country embraced church burnings, lynchings, spitting on others, water hosing, police dog bitings, segregation, etc, etc, etc. Today, having the same country elect a black man to represent them in the Oval Office...UNBELIEVABLE!

However, as believers, we have total allegiance to our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ not to man. This moment is monumental but no man is our Messiah. We ultimately submit to our Heavenly Father. In submitting to our God, we must submit to whoever He chooses to put in the office.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Romans 13:1-2

So, whether today is triumph for you or tragedy, we must honor who God has exalted for His own purposes.

Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor (president). I Peter 2:17