Life, A Mixture of Opposites

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There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven– A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.… Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 NASB 

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*Sometimes life doesn’t end up the way we always thought it would…instead it ends up as a mixture of extremes with the occasional middle of the road, calmness.

*Things happen or don’t happen, or we wished they would have happened.

*People leave and sometimes that is good and sometimes not so good.

*Other people arrive and maybe at the time, we didn’t even know how much we needed these people.

*Births and deaths and both touch our souls in ways few other things can.

*A word said, and a word not spoken and wondering which one of those makes more sense in any given situation.

*Friendships that last and others that fade and realizing there is a season for everything.

*Could have, would have, should have.

*Happy memories and bitter regrets and being willing to try again.

*Saying, “Sorry”, and “I love you”, and “Please forgive me” can be scary but, all are humbling.

*Life is a ball of entangled emotions with strong cords and frayed ends.

The Road Not Taken —written by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves, no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

 

An Alien Abduction

 

It was 2 a.m.

My husband and I were sound asleep. So were the kids, and so were the dogs…and maybe the cats, but that is debatable.

Anyway, I heard a noise, a rumbling sound. I rolled over and sat up in bed. What was that? At this point, the dogs began barking like maniacs. Hmmm…..not good. All of a sudden the bedroom lit up in a white light. My first thought was that the mother ship had landed just outside our bedroom. (Don’t you love how that was my FIRST thought?) I waited for a split second to see if a light beam was fixing to attach to me and take me up to the ship. I shook my still sleeping husband. If this was going to be an alien abduction I was determined we were going to go together! I guess these are the thoughts that go through one’s mind when woken from a deep sleep and also from watching too many X-Files reruns. Just sayin’.

I, being the brave woman I am, told my husband to go investigate as I peered through the curtains. He went to the French doors that lead from our bedroom out onto the deck. All I could see from looking out of a dark bedroom into a bright white light was nothing. I could see absolutely nothing but light. Great. This was how it was going to end. I was wondering if I should throw on some clothes or if being abducted by aliens only required pajamas?

I heard my husband out there talking, but couldn’t make out everything that was said. Was he arguing with the commander? Letting him know that we were not good specimens? That this was all just a big mistake? I was growing a little bit anxious. Or a lot anxious. Whatever.

My husband walked back inside. He appeared normal and unharmed. Then he said, “It was an ambulance. I told them no one at our house called them. They got the wrong house or wrong road, or something. The ambulance turns those bright white lights on at night when they get to their destination so they can see what they are doing”. Oh. I guess that makes sense.

I might have had a heart attack. Or a panic attack. Or some kind of attack. Or something.

Then it occurred to me…Why didn’t I think to take a picture of this white light, assumed alien abduction? Man. I always miss the good stuff. Note to self, I need to be more prepared.

It didn’t take long for me to fall back asleep…well…mainly because I was still tired. It was the wee hours of the morning after all.

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I Am Passionate About What I Do

Those of you that have been following me for a long time, or know my story, know I started teaching in special education in 1990. Before that, I had been a special education major in college, I worked in camps and group homes for those individuals with developmental disabilities, I volunteered in a special education preschool, and also as a Special Olympics “hugger”. I grew up with an aunt with developmental disabilities, and have a grandson on the autism spectrum.

When I was younger, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was around sixteen when I knew that I wanted to work with children that had special needs. I never waivered from that desire. Years have come and gone. I’ve worked with so many students, it would be difficult for me to count them all. I consult about special education and all that entails. I complete assessments for families that home school their children. I helped to start a parent support and networking group for parents to discuss special education issues. I talk a lot, but I try to listen even more.

I am passionate about what I do. That passion drives me to want the very best for all the children (and their families) that cross my path. I try to be a voice for those individuals who deserve to be heard. I stand with families.

I read. I research. I educate.

I want to make a real, positive difference in the lives of those I touch.

From my archives, here is some of my story. The beginning.  Then some more…and more…and more. This is the final segment. This isn’t actually the final segment because I am still working, and learning, and doing.

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Be Still

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The river of life can change in an instant. Sometimes the water flows slowly, calmly, and other times it can turn into a roiling wall of white water. The thing is, sometimes we know things will be turbulent and other times we are caught unaware. We get plunged under the water, only later finding our way to the surface sputtering and gasping for air. Can anyone else relate? My unintentional hiatus from blogging, over the last few months, is purely due to constantly trying to keep my head above the water.

Instead of enjoying the moments, I often find myself treading water. Being too busy can be draining. Swimming against the current can be exhausting, and yet I keep swimming. What I really need is rest. A calm oasis in the middle of life’s fast pace.

Quiet. Stillness. Peace. I want to picture myself on an inner tube in the middle of a “lazy river” of life. Not to be lazy, of course, but to slow down enough to enjoy the ride.

One of my favorite authors (Ann Voskamp) wrote, “Life is not an emergency”. So true. I need to remind myself of this.

Busyness doesn’t make me better…..it just makes me tired.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

 

 

 

What Makes A Perfect Life?

Today I read an article entitled,  Appeal to the United Nations. The article, dated November 2015, discussed how more couples are choosing elective abortions when they find out that their baby has Down Syndrome. The article went on to state, couples who went through screening and found out their child had Down Syndrome terminated the pregnancies at these rates:

United States: average of 68%

Europe: average of 98%

Netherlands: 74-94% after Down Syndrome was diagnosed in the last 23 years

Iceland: during the period from 2008-12, in which Down’s was diagnosed, 100% of the pregnancies were terminated

Denmark: 98%

Beyond just my sadness over voluntarily choosing to not continue with a pregnancy because a child isn’t “perfect”, are the ethical and moral implications of this decision.

When is it okay to say, “this child won’t be born perfect, therefore it is okay to not have this child”? Who has the right to determine the quality of life or what makes life worth living? Does a genetic difference make it okay to stop a pregnancy?

 

 

Does perfect genetics equate to a perfect life? I don’t believe so…

No one is perfect, and in fact, it is often times our imperfections that make us so unique.

I believe all life is valuable and worthy.

Matthew 18:1-2, 10  At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them…See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

A Decision That Changed My Life

 

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Each of us lives in a world made up of milestone moments. Those moments in time that stand still, like a monument, even as the rest of life rushes by. Those special moments that, when woven together, help to create our story.

One of those moments happened to me right before my eleventh birthday in 1979. It was a sunny Sunday morning in May when I walked down the aisle of my small church and told the pastor I wanted to accept Jesus into my heart. You might be reading this and thinking, what does a fifth-grader know? How could I possibly understand what I was doing? I can tell you, I was old enough to know that I needed Jesus. Although I had grown up in a Christian home, and for my family attending church was a weekly occurrence, I still realized that I needed a personal relationship. Not my parent’s relationship with Jesus. Not my grandparent’s relationship. It was not even about attending church and sitting in a pew each Sunday. I loved Jesus, but I wanted to know Him. Even as an almost eleven-year-old, I knew I needed a Savior….even if I wasn’t able to verbalize all the reasons why, at that point.

That decision I made almost 38 years ago, has affected all subsequent decisions throughout my life. There is no other decision that I’ve made that has been more important. More life changing. More eternal. I am not here to say that life has always been easy since that day so many years ago. I have had many hard and difficult things happen over the years. I’ve cried. I’ve been angry….and I’ve often wondered why? Being a follower of Jesus Christ doesn’t mean that life is easy or always happy. It is not about never having very real problems. The difference in having a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus, is that He gives hope to the hopeless. He loves the unlovable. He has compassion for those who know they don’t deserve it.

His grace truly is amazing.

Becoming a Christian

God Loves You!
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

God has a wonderful plan for your life!
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b)

Walking Down the “Romans Road” to Salvation . . . .Because of our sin, we are separated from God. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23) The Penalty for our sin is death. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23The penalty for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ! But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) If we repent of our sin, then confess and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sins! For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)

***http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/about/becoming_a_christian.aspx

 

 

 

 

Around The Bend In The Road

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One of my passions in life is to listen to people’s stories. To know people through their stories. To see people through their experiences. To try and understand the meaning behind the expressions.

Everyone has a story inside them. With some, the story leaks out slowly, while with others, it pours out, causing a flood of emotions. Some stories bring sweet memories, and some bring bitter tears. Funny, sad, mesmerizing, sweet. Stories of what is right, as well as some difficult lessons from regrets. Anyone that has lived for any amount of time on this spinning orb, has that story.  Their story. The story that only he/she can tell.

The stories become real and personal. The words wind their way through time and memory, etching meaning into the mundane as well as the miraculous.

This week I am going to begin to tell a story. My story.

I hope you will join me.