Saturday, September 26, 2009

In Sickness and In Health...of your child

It is said that the divorce rate is about 80-90% for parents of children with special needs. Even though there is not much data to support that statistic, it is a fact that parenting a child with special needs is most often more challenging and complex than parenting a typical child.

By the grace of God, Kempton and I celebrated 10 joyous years of marriage in June. No, life has not been easy since Christian has been born. Yes, we have to fight discontentment with the daily, mundane tasks of caring for his needs. Yes, we have our stressful seasons & gut-wrenching moments. But God! He has been so rich in mercy towards us. Recalling Psalm 68:19 is the only way I can describe these past 6½ years…“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.”

We are not experts in marriage, nor do we have it all together. However, I wanted to share some tips that are helping Kempton & I strive to remain focused on our Lord Jesus and put much effort into our marriage.

Only by God's strength, We say “NO” to…
1) Our family revolving around disability. We are the Turner Team and we’re made up of 4 members. Christian is a blessed part of the family, but his disabilities do not characterize our family. Each of us has unique strengths & weaknesses. God gives us the grace to strive to serve one another and not focus solely on one individual. Keeping this central, has been the key in many of the choices we’ve made as you will see in the following points.

2) Tons of therapy services. God is sovereign over Christian’s disabilities. If He chooses, He can “heal” Christian in a millisecond. So, why would we stress ourselves in trying to “fix” Christian with tons of services??? We are not against therapy, Christian has actually had several therapy services. However, putting all our energy, time, & focus there is not beneficial for Christian, our family, our marriage, or our ministries.

3) The demands of disability consuming our 1st calling as husband & wife. God called husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and wash them in the Word. Wives are called to help, submit, and respect their husbands. Read Genesis 2:18 and Eph 5:22-33. If we strive to honor & obey God in what He has called us to do and keep this priority, He will take care of the rest. If you are too exhausted or too stressed to follow God’s desire, you may need to reevaluate your priorities. Ask the Lord for the grace and strength for you to keep 1st things 1st! The best way you can actually love your children is to love one another.

I know that there are some seasons that your child with special needs may need more attention, time, and focus. We’ve had several of those seasons with Christian. However, I listed here what we strive to do under "normal" circumstances.

God willing, the next blog post will be about what we said “YES” to.

Monday, September 21, 2009

We're all products!

"...we're all a product of how we've responded to the specific life God has marked out for us. Some of our responses may have occurred in a spirit of faith, while others flowed out of unbelief. ...our relationship with the Lord, particularly our understanding of who He is and the significance of His Word, will make all the difference in how we handle life's situations and our fears."
(Elyse Fitzpatrick - Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Veggie Monthly

The Hidden Valley Ranch Company has decided to do a digital magazine about veggies. They feature a different veggie each month. They started in May with Asparagus and this month's veggie is Carrots. Each month they feature tips, easy recipes and fun things to do with your kids to grow their love of veggies. Many adults, including myself, could use a veggie push as well. So, check out the veggie monthly!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"Fearfully & Wonderfully Made"

Our church does a Scripture Memory Program. As a church body, we memorize a "fighter verse" each week. This week's verses are Psalm 139:13-14. Kempton and I talked about these verses this morning during our time together in the Word. We shared how this is one of the most common verses used after the birth of a baby. Even non-believers quote it. It seems quite normal to rejoice for this new gift of life in such a way. However, what if the precious newborn doesn't look so precious? What if the baby doesn't look at all "fearfully & wonderfully made"? Do those verses still apply???

YES, INDEED! As Isaiah 55:8-9 says, God's thoughts and ways are not like mans. Therefore His definition of wonderfully and fearfully is different than mans. God creates all things the way that He deems best for them to display His glory (Romans 11:36). That is the meaning of fearfully & wonderfully made.

* God chooses whether your child has eyes to see a beautiful sunrise or blind eyes to display His glory.
* God chooses whether your child will run marathons or be confined to a wheelchair to display His glory.
* God chooses whether your child will be the valedictorian of his graduating class or have mental retardation to display His glory.
(Exodus 4:11, John 9:3, 2 Cor 12:8-10)

As Christian meets another milestone in starting 1st grade today, I sit and ponder this moment. I think about all the ways he's definitely not like a typical 1st grader. He can't talk as they do. He can't write as they do. He can't feed, dress, or bathe himself as they do. But there is one thing that he has in common with each of the other 1st graders around this world -
My handsome big boy

Christian has the same aide that he had last year. What a blessing...we love Ms. Jill!
He gave her a big smile when he saw her.

He couldn't wait to go into the school!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Treasuring Him - DWYL Sermon Jam Video

Check out this video! The music was produced by and the video was produced by one of the guys in our youth ministry named Seth.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Retreat Recap Part 4: Caryn's Unforgettable Moment

The moment I met my #1 (living) Hero of the Faith - Joni Eareckson Tada!

She is so friendly and loving. The same Joni I've read about and heard through various speaking events, is the same sweet, funny, God-glorifying, God-exalting woman that I met. That was so refreshing. She is the type of person you could sit and talk with for hours and walk away so encouraged, enlightened, and energized to keep going in the faith. Here's one of my favorite quotes from her.

"For me, suffering is still that jackhammer breaking apart my rocks of resistance every day. It's still the chisel that God is using to chip away at my self-sufficiency and my self-motivation and my self-consumption. Suffering is still that sheepdog snapping and barking at my heels, driving me down the road to Calvary where otherwise I do not want to go. It is at Calvary, at the cross, where I meet suffering on God's terms." (Hope...the Best of Things, p. 15)

She knows suffering. She knows pain. But more important than that, she knows the God of hope, the God of peace, the God of all comfort. Joni, God has given you the grace to shine your light before others, "so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). I praise God for you! May you finish this race strong and look forward to the day when you see your Savior & hear Him say, "Well done, good & faithful servant!"

One afternoon, I had the privilege of catching her when few people were around. After chatting, I wanted to get a pic. She told me to wrap my arms around her and get close. What a sweet moment! Here's that pic and others.