March 11, 2014

beauty & joy {lately} photographs

I reminded myself: It is in the hurried days when it is most important for me to take the time to pause and look with expectation.

I don't like to be rushed. It is no longer alluring to me. But, at times, it is a reality.

Even so, I combat it.

Today I set my timer to chime at odd times throughout the busy day, reminding me to be still. When the timer alerted me, I calmed my hands, took a deep breath, and stood motionless.
I prayed. I gazed outside. I watched the sunlight splash across the room. I closed my eyes and gave thanks.
I stilled myself with expectation. And I was rewarded.
It is a verse commonly quoted, but not so commonly practiced:
   "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 4:10
The reward? To know. To know that even through the craziness, through the unknown, through the good and difficult times, God is in control. He is sovereign. God is God.
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Hew are a few pictures from the past month featuring our Winter-Spring-Winter-Spring weather. :)
So much beauty and joy...

My colorful little boy who thoroughly enjoys being outside no matter how cold it is.





Outside time means nature sensory time for Grant.

I'll never forget the first time I saw North Carolina clay dirt. I was fascinated by it. Now I've become a master at getting it out of the boys' clothes.

Let it snow! Again!

Eating snow


While Grant endured some outside time, he preferred to stay indoors during the snow and cold. His body doesn't regulate "extreme" temperatures well. So he'd rather look at books.
Cold weather is also a perfect time for making indoor forts. :)



God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
    though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    He lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations He has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    He burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.                Psalm 46

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February 25, 2014

Where to find strength {for the days you just want to stay in bed}

I opened my eyes this morning to my screaming son and breathed a prayer, begging God for a reprieve. Waking early to grinding screams has been a daily ritual for weeks now.

Even more than usual, the past few weeks have been challenging. The steady drum of anxiety, cries and screams of frustration, and regression in eating, all rapidly beat together in a tortuous tune.

And we don't know how to help him. I think that is what wears me down the most.

It is evident that our family is not unique. As I scour the internet for answers, countless Facebook groups, blogs, support websites pop-up with questions similar to mine. The special needs world is very real and heavily populated. But no one has the answers I need - the answers my son needs. The replies to the questions all appear to be trial-and-error and shoot-in-the-dark type responses. There are no clear answers.

I feel strength drain from my body.

"Wise" platitudes cast aside, I beg God for strength to get through the day. I need a clear answer. Lord, where can I find strength?

     Joy in Me.

I am reminded of a verse Aaron shared with me weeks ago:

" not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10


Once again my perspective is refocused. Shifting my gaze from my own tired self, I lift up my eyes and seek God. In the Word I am not given trial-and-error or shoot-in-the-dark tips. There I am always given clear answers. I am always given hope.

"...His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither." Psalm 1:2-3
When I have joy in the Lord, it is joy in something unshakable, unchanging and perfect. While my day may be full of uncertainty and hardships, I can always find strength - and joy and hope and peace - when I seek after God and delight in Him. He gives me the strength to continue the good fight.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13
Are you curious?
Click on the titles of the following articles for guidance/wisdom on where to find joy and strength!

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January 21, 2014

a winter calm

Like a shy falling of quiet snow that blankets the landscape, so has a hush gently fallen over our household.
But to notice it, you must look closely.
In many ways the landscape of our day looks exactly the same. There are still the endless noises of daily life and daily needs. Indeed, the loudness of it all sometimes swirls aggressively around me, attempting to stir up emotions.
However, over the mountains and valleys of our journey, there is a hush of peace to our countenance.
This is the day - the life - the Lord has made.

Today, in spite of the noise - no, because of the noise and His presence in the midst of the noise, I will rejoice in it.

He has made me glad.

"For our heart is glad in Him,
because we trust in His holy name."
Psalm 33:21
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

~ our bits & pieces of winter quiet ~

Wesley & Grant enjoy listening to music and stories on CD, a favorite indoor activity

Because sleep is a precious commodity in our household (sleeplessness is one symptom of Fragile X Syndrome), I cherish every second of it. And, like every mother, I love the precious scene of my boys sleeping.

~ a little bit of silly ~
  Giggles and cute, funny faces

Wesley's groovin' dance moves :)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Yes, He has made me glad.

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