Like Sand Through The Hourglass…




Like sand through the hourglass….so are the days of my life. (Hmmmm, I think I may have heard that phrase somewhere)

I turned forty-eight yesterday. Getting older hasn’t really bothered me, per se. I mean, what’s the alternative, right? I’m not upset about being just two years away from FIFTY, but I do find it rather shocking. The other day, some classmates from high school were talking about having a thirtieth reunion this Fall, for the class of 1986. In my mind, the eighties were last week. Does that prove I’m aging?!


Is my life perfect? No. Whose is? We all live in a world that is full of great joys, and intense tragedies, highs and lows, ups and downs. One can’t get away from that. The truth is, each different season of life is special and unique in its own way. I really would not want to go back in time. (Well, a good friend of mine posted a picture of the two of us when we were twenty-one. Although I like the wisdom that comes with age, I wouldn’t mind still having the bod of a twenty-one year old….) In the midst of the every day, I find myself stopping and appreciating. There is a lot to be said for being in the moment, and going through one’s life with eyes wide open. Out here in rural Ohio, I often find myself driving down back country roads to get to my various destinations. I admire the green, green, grass, the bright blue sky,  the open space, the black and white cows that are trying to nibble on the other side of the fence, and the hawk circling high over a field. I think about my family that loves me and whom I love right back, a husband who makes me laugh, kids who are now young adults, the comfortable house I live in with land to roam, and my (fairly decent) health.


It has been about five or six years ago since I first read Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. (you can read my posts here and here) Her book spoke to me about what it means to be truly thankful for all the ways that God blesses. I will admit, it is a struggle some days to see the blessings when all I want to do is be a grump. When the cat pukes and I have to clean it for the umpteenth time, or the flowerbeds are overgrown with weeds, and the dog digs up my last surviving bush. The days when my children grow up and become more and more independent and I realize my opinion isn’t as important as it used to be. Broken dishes, broken promises, and broken hearts. Some days I force myself to stop, breathe, and start counting out loud, all the ways I am thankful, and all the ways I am loved. God is so good. Even on the hard days.

One day it truly dawned on me (pun intended), that I most likely, have more days behind me, than I do ahead of me. It is highly unlikely that I will live to be one hundred. You want to know something? I’m okay with that. That might sound weird, especially in a society that is so driven by youth and beauty. My days are just as important to me now, maybe even more so, than when I was in my twenties. I know I appreciate them more. I don’t pretend to have all the answers to life’s questions, and on many days I am struggling to understand just like everyone else.


Today I am able to say that life is good and I am happy.




Father, You Are Good

I found a little treasure when I was out shopping yesterday. A tiny book entitled “Pocket Prayers” by Max Lucado. I was drawn to this book because I don’t know about you, but often times I feel stymied by what I think prayer is supposed to be. How do I really talk with my Creator? The One who knows me better than I know myself? I’ve been praying to Him since I was a child, but here I am nearly five decades later still wondering if I am missing something?

On page seven, Mr. Lucado compiled all the prayers of the Bible into one “pocket size” prayer.

“Father, you are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

So simple, but oh, yes! I can relate to these words. They are few, and yet so full of meaning.



You are good.…..A good, good Father. You are always good. You don’t know how to be anything but good and holy, and loving, and just. You are the ultimate truth and life.

I need help. Oh, how I need you. Not only do I need you for the hard and difficult things in life, but even those things I consider involuntary, like breathing, are under your control. You know my name. You know every hair on my head. You have already marked all my days in your book. When I call to you for help, you are always there.

Heal me and forgive me. I live in a world that is broken. Those of us on this spinning orb know what it is to feel pain, discontent, and regret. These feelings can weigh heavy on a heart that longs for forgiveness. Freedom from sickness and freedom from baggage, I was never meant to carry.

They need help. I’ve cried, because people I love are hurting. I’ve mourned their losses, I’ve held hands, and heard hearts. Sick beds, and sick souls. People that need help. It can seem overwhelming. Help them to find their peace in You.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your presence. Thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for your creations. Thank you for your death and resurrection. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for life.

In Jesus’ name, amen. The name above all names. The One who is fully God and was also fully man. He who died, so I could live. Savior. Lamb. The Son. The Prince of Peace. Lord of lords. The Good Shepherd. Emmanuel.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17 

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me.” John 10:14 














Autism Awareness-A Call To Action!



As some of you know, that have been reading my blog for awhile, I am a special education teacher. I am also a consultant and advocate. It has been both an interesting and rewarding choice for my life’s work. A choice that I have never regretted. At times, it has been fascinating and encouraging, and other times frustrating and overwhelming….much like life itself. There are good days and well, the not so good days.

April is autism awareness month. Those of us who are immersed in the world of autism understand that awareness is not just one month out of the year, but an every day call to action. As time goes on, more and more people are being made aware of autism because they are personally being touched by it. They have a loved one with an autism spectrum diagnosis, or a friend’s child, or a classmate or the family that sits behind you in the pew at church. Even though the CDC just announced that so far this year the numbers of autism diagnoses are stable, but up to this point, the number of autism diagnoses has accelerated over the the past 25-30 years. In the late 1980’s autism was known about, but considered fairly rare. My college professors said that I, as a special education teacher, would probably have more students with Down Syndrome or intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities than a child with autism. At that time autism was about 1 in every 10,000 births. By 2000 it was 1:150. Then it was 1:88. Now it is 1:68.

The people in this epic battle with autism, don’t always agree on what causes autism. They might not agree on what are the best therapies. Whether or not a strict diet will help ease the physical pain that often accompanies those with autism. Individuals with high functioning autism have their own issues with which to contend. “Oh, he doesn’t look autistic. I think he will outgrow it. Just give him time.” (As if, there is a specific autism “look” and “giving him time” only delays the intervention that is desperately needed.) Sometimes supports are overlooked because he seems “so normal” accept for his quirkiness. It is a struggle.

The journey with autism is real for a lot of parents. All these children that have been diagnosed over the past quarter century are growing up. What do families do when their child with autism grows up? The supports for adults with autism are sorely lacking. As these children grow up and age out of the school system, there will be a tsunami of autism in the adult world, like nothing we’ve ever seen before. We, as a society, cannot abandon these individuals or their families. Burying our heads in the sand, will do nothing to solve the problem.

This is a call to action. Not just to wear a special color on a special day, but to stand up and advocate every day. To make a difference in the lives of these individuals……

Autism Stats:

*Prevalence of ASD is estimated at 1:68 births (CDC,2014)

*It is five times more prevalent in boys than in girls.

*There is no known cause or cure.

*No two persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are alike.

*Early intervention (EI) is key! Outcomes improve when diagnosis and intervention occur early.

(stats from: OCALI- Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence)

A previous, older post of mine,on autism….notice the difference in the stats from the mid 2000’s to now.



How Is Easter Real To You?

I found this post that I previously wrote about Easter. It is just as true today, as the day that I first wrote it. I needed to read it again…..maybe you will too?










“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live.”    John 11:25

How many of us have stood over a casket, looking down at one we loved?

Tears leaking down our cheeks…already missing the one that is gone.

The body so still. The breath has ceased. The lids now closed.

Burial. In the ground. Dirt covered.

And we weep.

And yet…

Jesus‘ words ring out in the darkness. The darkness of hopelessness. The darkness of fear. The darkness of death.

I am the resurrection and the life.  Alive again. Living. Breathing. In glory.

Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  John 14:6

He who believes in me, though he dies,

yet shall he live. Shall live. With Him. Forever. Real. Oh, so real.

No more heart hurt, no more rampant cancer, no more diseased body, no more accidents, no more shallow breathing, no more depression, no more pain, no more poor vision, no more sickness…

No more.

Believe in Me, Jesus whispers to our souls.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him, shall have everlasting life. John 3:16

Jesus says,

I have conquered death. I have taken your place.

It is finished. 

Words that echo through the ages.

How is Easter real to you? Not only on a Sunday in Spring…but, all year long?

Challenge #12, Might-Have-Been



I often get asked, why in the world did you move here? The people who ask, are alluding to the fact I moved from Knoxville, Tennessee. Knoxville is a city nestled in a valley surrounded by the foothills of The Great Smoky Mountains. It is a place that many Ohioans go on vacation. Yet, here I am. My family and I moved to a rural area of Ohio, outside a tiny village whose population doesn’t even make it to “town” status. It is not unusual to see Amish families on the roads in their buggies.I admit, it is not a happening place. I miss restaurants, and all the shopping. I could be to most places in five minutes. With that said, when I lived in the city I didn’t wake to the sound of geese flying overhead, or the rooster crowing. I didn’t have the opportunity to witness open sky and wide, uncrowded spaces. These places to breathe and think and not feel so rushed. In the city, buildings crowded out my view of the sun rising, and city lights detracted from the brilliance of the night sky. My house was on a large double lot in the city, but there is no comparison to the twelve acres in the country. There is room for the family and dogs, cats, chickens, and horse.


When I am going about my business of feeding animals and other chores, I often stop and soak it all in. I am a country girl at heart. This life I’m living, bring me so much joy. If you had asked me a half dozen years ago, where I’d be, or what I’d be doing, I could have never imagined this. A new marriage and family, in a new house in a new state, in the country. It might never have been……but, I’m so glad it is!



Challenge #8, All Good Things Come To An End

“All good things come to an end”. I don’t know if I want to write about this today. I suppose I will, but only because it is part of the challenge. Sigh.

We’ve all heard this quote, saying, whatever, sometime in our lives. It is kind of depressing to me. Depressing because it is true, and I don’t want to think about the fact that it is true. We live in a world with a lot of endings. Sometimes endings are great, and freeing, and exciting, but most of the time endings hurt. They aren’t fun. It is not something that most of us look forward to. They happen anyway. It is the nature of things. Unfortunately.

People lose their jobs, or get fired. Or they quit. Then they wonder what in the world are they going to do next?!

Friends that you thought were going to be your besties for forever, fade. Life has a way of pulling people apart. Oh, it is not necessarily intentional it just happens. You know what I mean.

You get to a certain age, and it is no longer appropriate to wear the super cute clothes….because your body has revolted against you, and you no longer look super cute in those super cute clothes.

People you love get sick and they die, and against your will you are forced to say good-bye. Sometimes a loved one is in an accident or a sudden medical emergency and they are gone. Just. Like. That.


Memories fade like a swirling mist. One day you think the good times, the happy times will last longer, should last longer, but much like that early morning mist, they dissipate.

With careers. With friends. With age. With love. With a million other things.

Life goes on though. There are more good times, and more memories to be made. It is the natural ebb and flow of life.

Understanding this makes one more aware of the precious moments when they happen.



Challenge #5, Before And After…

Yesterday’s challenge was my take on “Before and After”……


Before I became a follower of Christ, I thought I was “good enough”. After, I understood I was a sinner in need of a Savior. I found love and I found redemption. I realized that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. My life changed…for all eternity.

Before I was married, I thought I understood what it meant to share, to compromise, to trust, to love. After, I knew what it was to create a life together, to put aside my pride and say “I’m sorry”, to show forgiveness, and to remain committed through both good and bad times…..because life has a fair share of both.

Before I was a mom, I thought I knew how to be a good parent. After, I understood love in a way I never understood it before. I laughed, I cried, my heart changed, and I happily gave my time, day in and day out, for this little one. Each year brings surprises, and each stage is a new adventure.

Before I was a teacher, I thought I knew what it was to run a classroom and be an excellent instructor. I would be planning assignments, and checking papers. After, I found out that teaching is more than students in a classroom, but young lives that looked to me for some answers in an otherwise confusing world. I learn as much from my students as they do from me. That is just the truth.

Before the deaths of my grandparents, husband, and father, I thought I understood how to grieve. After, I realized that grieving is different for everyone. Grief comes in waves like the ocean, and one must face those waves and move through them. There are good days, and there are bad days, and on some days all I could do was breathe.

Life is full of before’s and after’s. The older I get the more I realize that when I am standing in “the before” I rarely understand. Oh, it is easy to think I do, but life has a way of teaching lessons in the midst of “the after”. Valuable, cherished moments. Lessons learned.