February 29, 2012

Beautiful Handiwork

With Spring beginning to peek through, I am met with many reminders of God's splendor. His handiwork surrounds me as I take the time to lift my eyes.

This Friday my oldest son will be evaluated for autism. Autism.... The heavy word carries with it so many deep and complex feelings. The possibility of autism was first mentioned to me, regarding Grant, two years ago. That word began the process of pulling the rug of a well thought-out life from under my feet. It forced me to kneel before God as we were led to the diagnosis of Fragile X Syndrome.

I thought the diagnosis journey was over but it seems certain labels can be helpful when seeking the necessary services for your child. Words like autism are still difficult to hear but, after watching God display His glory over the past year, those words do not have the same effect on me as they did two years ago. My son is who he is... a beautiful handiwork of the Creator.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

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Our days have been sprinkled with warm weather - so warm the boys and I enjoyed running around the backyard without shoes.


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Just a bit of silly fun. :)

Wesley is becoming Daddy's little helper... he takes it very seriously.

Grant is perfecting his golf swing.


February 24, 2012


Ever have one of those mornings when, before you open your eyes, the cares of the world settle heavily on your shoulders? A never ending to-do list races across your mind as you brace yourself for another day.

The past couple weeks have crescendoed to the point where, if I'm not careful, the stresses of life threaten to bubble over.

I have made it a point to purposefully pause from time-to-time. To push aside what can wait a couple of hours (or maybe even a couple of days) and stand still long enough to taste the sweet joys in my life.

...to snuggle in bed with my oldest son as he giggles himself awake.

...to hold and rock my youngest son as he slowly opens his eyes.

...to breath deeply the morning air as I linger outside a few moments while feeding my Sadie-kitty.

...to pull out my favorite hymnal and softly sing praises as I wait for my coffee.

...to walk slowly behind my energetic boys while they run and dance along the sidewalk.


Grant never leaves home without his trusted bat.

The sign of a good day... all tuckered out.

Grant's first self-portrait. Grant has been practicing drawing circles and, together with a teacher (hand-over-hand), he had fun using circles to draw a face. He is very proud of his masterpiece.


February 22, 2012

One year ago today...

One year ago today, I received a phone call that would challenge my faith to the core.

If you ask me what I felt after I hung up the phone, I could tell you with precision. You don't forget moments like that... The moment I was told that my life would be forever changed. The moment cold fear gripped my entire being and threatened to suck all the hope from my marrow.

For months I stumbled around in my new reality, bouncing between intense anguish and seething anger. Countless times I begged God to either alter the circumstances or restore hope and peace in my life.

Slowly, over months of crying out to God, He patiently and lovingly led me through His words of truth. And that truth, when put into practice, lead me back to hope and peace.

And He shall be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is his treasure. Isaiah 33:6

'For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,' says the LORD who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

I have been given the gift of hindsight. I can see God's perfect will being exercised in my life as He lead me to that moment - that phone call. Yes, at times, I still experience intense feelings of sadness and fear, but I confidently lay them before my LORD and He never fails to exchange those emotions with an eternal perspective filled with refreshing hope and a peace beyond comprehension.

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Below are ten posts written over the past year that highlight God's work in my life and in my heart.

The Diagnosis

As I parked my car in front of Carolina Neurological Clinic, a wave of nausea washed over me. I'm not sure why. I already knew the truth. A day earlier I had gotten the call... {click here to read more}

A painting of Grant's ultrasound picture by Inner Child Art Studio

When God says no

I still remember the first time I saw Grant. I was eight weeks pregnant. As the ultrasound technician zoomed-in on the image on the monitor, I could see something moving... {click here to read more}

Hoping for Hope: The Never-Empty Nest

I am at the beginning of my journey dealing with Fragile X Syndrome. My son affected by the syndrome is only two years and 9 months old. Even though I have just begun to wage through the trenches of raising a special needs child... {click here to read more}


I lay my hand on my mouth

After spending time with some good friends, I got into our car and quickly buckled my seat belt. The kids were laughing in their car seats as Aaron started the car. Noticing I was quiet, Aaron asked, "Something wrong?"... {click here to read more}


The Path {a short story}

As I made my way down the serene path, I paused to smell the most delicate flower I had ever seen. Its sweet fragrance lingered, intoxicating my whole body. I felt the soft sun soak into my skin as I looked around. The path was full of beauty... {click here to read more}

He believed...

I am finding that there is a big difference between believing in God and believing God. Do I believe in the God of the Bible?  Yes. Do I believe He is the one-and-only true God?  Yes. Do I take God at His word?  Hmmm... I'd like to think I do, however my thoughts and actions often portray that I don't. I want to, but sometimes I struggle to believe God's promises. {click here to read more}


With both eyes glued to my son, I attempted to carry on a conversation with my fellow mom friends. I scanned the play area and took inventory of everything that Grant could hurt himself on: uneven ground, steps, the plank that bordered the playground… {click here to read more}


The whisper of a dandelion

Recently I prayed that God would open my eyes to see the circumstances that surround me through His eyes. ... to see beauty and joy throughout the trials of this world. A piece of me expected a great conversion. But just like Elijah {1 Kings 19}, I experienced God's glory in a way I didn't expect... {click here to read more}


Woven through my heart are the little joys that complete my days. A syndrome I used to think could only be a curse has revealed beauty so intense it takes my breath away. I have learned to see the treasures that only hardship can produce. {click here to read more}

Trading broken cisterns for living water

Sitting in my living room I hear the winter rain drumming outside. The pattern of the rain drops soothes me as I pull a blanket close around me. I am filled with comfort and contentment. {click here to read more}

Soli Deo Gloria!


February 17, 2012

Pushing Forward

This week was marked by the ever-constant range of emotions and frustrations one experiences when fighting for a child with special needs. I spent countless hours on the phone with our health insurance provider, trying to gain approval for some therapy. We cannot give Grant everything he needs - not even close - but we are trying.

At one point, the back-and-forth debate on "proving my son has an illness that warrants needing therapy" (at which I wanted to scream at the top of my lunges, He has Fragile X Syndrome!) was beginning to push me over the edge. I set my phone down and walked away. 

Grabbing my camera, I went on a walk through the backyard woods. The peaceful setting soothes me and helps clear my head.

A beautiful hymn often sung at my childhood church came to mind...
This is my Father's world, 
and to my listening ears 
all nature sings, and round me rings 
the music of the spheres.  
This is my Father's world:  
I rest me in the thought 
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; 
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father's world, 
the birds their carols raise, 
the morning light, the lily white, 
declare their maker's praise.  
This is my Father's world:  
he shines in all that's fair; 
in the rustling grass I hear him pass; 
he speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father's world.  
O let me ne'er forget 
that though the wrong seems oft so strong, 
God is the ruler yet.  
This is my Father's world:  
why should my heart be sad?  
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!  
God reigns; let the earth be glad!                    text by Maltbie D. Babcock
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This week in pictures:

We went to a birthday party for a family friend's son. Wes was all about the party hat and Grant was thrilled to see they used Curious George plates for the cake.

Grant hanging out with two of his buddies... I really cherish the relationship we have with the families at the birthday party. They have loved on us and are raising their boys to love Grant. That is the best present anyone could ever give to me.

One sweet boy kept checking on Grant and asking if he was having fun. It nearly brought me to tears to see the kindness my friend's son had for Grant and it was fun to see Grant so excited to get that attention from him.


Grandpa came back from his trip to Africa! The boys were excited to see him again and we all enjoyed hanging out together.

Slam dunk!

Sweet fellowship.


The boys stood at the door watching Grandpa and Grandma drive off.

Bath time! For the first time ever both boys managed being in the tub at the same time and there were no tears involved. Just a lot of splashing...

Wesley was mesmerized by his reflection.

Grandma pulled out a stack of Valentine's stickers and the boys thoroughly enjoyed plastering their papers with them... also a great fine motor workout for Grant.

Life is good. :)

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