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

 

 

 

Finding Beauty

The older I get the more I want to find beauty. To see it in people’s faces. To recognize it in their laughter. To find it in their tears. Life is a struggle (for us all), and so many times I find myself weighted down with all the things that are going on in the world, but yet still…I look for ways to list all the ways that people are beautiful. The smooth, sweet smelling skin of my five month old grand daughter, her contagious laughter instantly changing my mood. The older lady in the store parking lot, smiling at me. The UPS delivery man who is always so friendly and kind, even though I know he is tired. My husband who works hard for me and for his family. The neighbors who offered help, and unconditional support when we lost our beloved dog. My friends who know me, and know my heart, and I theirs. There is beauty. I just keep my eyes open for it.

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I enjoy being outside. I like to take sky pictures… And field pictures… And animal pictures. And yes, people pictures, in my search for beauty. The other night I walked out on the deck, waiting to call the dogs in for the night. The cold, crisp winter air was still as I peered up. The sky was blacker than ink, with sparkling glitter. I find moments like this to be holy. I am reminded how small I am, and how big God is. The intricate workings of the Milky Way, created by the sound of His voice. Beautiful.

Scented soap homemade from a friend, texted messages and voicemails from family and friends, iced tea, and iced coffee, holding hands and holding hearts, baby laughter, and giggles, good books and timeless stories, friendships that have withstood both time and distance, children who are now adults, but still say, “I love you”, pictures on the refrigerator, and smiles from strangers at the grocery store, dogs that lay their heads in my lap and lick me until I pet them, wedding rings and commitment, love and loyalty and fun. God is so good and He chooses to gift me with beautiful people and beautiful moments and ……..

I am so thankful.

 

 

It’s A Wonderful Life

Yes, it is true. This movie is one of my all time favorites to watch during the Christmas season. I wait for that time when George Bailey realizes that his life really did make a difference, and that things would be different if he had never existed. Most of all he realizes he truly does have a wonderful life.

I agree with George Bailey. Sometimes all we need is a reminder……

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Top Twenty Reasons It Truly IS A Wonderful Life: 

*Celebrating Jesus’ birth, the greatest gift of all (all other gifts pale in comparison to God entering time and space to make a difference for all eternity)

*Remembering The Light of the world (the baby born on that day so long ago, that grew into a man that shattered the dark– of hopelessness, and separation of man from God—because of His love for us)

* Christmas music (my favorites are O Holy Night, and White Christmas)

*Family, both near and far ,that I love and love me right back. (family in different states who don’t let the miles get in the way of showing love)

*All the kids home for Christmas (even though they are young adults)

*A new daughter-in-law (our first Christmas together)

*A new granddaughter, seeing everything for the first time. (is there anything more precious?)

*Sweet baby laughter (I could listen to this all day long)

*White lights (simple and pure)

* Hot Chocolate (home made, not from a packet)

*Snow on the ground (preferred over the ice)

*A warm house (yes!)

*New opportunities (one year is ending, a new one getting ready to begin)

*Friends (I am so blessed)

*The nice UPS guy--(we see him a lot)

*An “A”in my grad class (Hallelujah!)

*Time off from school (rest? maybe?)

*Watching Christmas movies with the family (fun times)

*Outside twinkle lights (it “looks” like Christmas)

*The night sky—Silent Night, Holy Night (there is nothing better than the winter night sky, cold and clear)

 

 

I Can No Longer Feel My Fingers

My family and I moved to Ohio seven and a half years ago. Even though I am originally from Maryland and my husband from upstate New York (so yes, we know cold and snow) with lengthy stops for each of us in Texas and Tennessee–there is something to be said for the cold AND wind here in rural Ohio. The wind makes things one hundred times worse!

Today our high is supposed to hover around 10, with (yes!) a windchill of -15. Even with insulated gloves on, my hands are cold by the time I get over to the barn to feed our horse, Jazz. I’m not complaining, because over all I enjoy winter. I just wish I could feel my fingers.

When Scott and I were building our farmhouse in the middle of what was once a cow field, I remember we were building (well, okay “we” in the sense of we were paying for it, not “we” as in actually building the house) and it was February and it was snowing and the wind was blowing. I was suited up like Nanook of the North. I should have known!

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Light In A Dark World

 

My family enjoys seeing the lights at Christmas. There are some families that go all out decorating their houses like light show extravaganzas. You know what I mean. They are a sight to behold.  (Although, I always wonder about the January electric bill for these homes) The lights I enjoy seeing, made me think of something I read on another friend’s blog post the other day. She said, “See  the lights. Be the light.”

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Light that cuts through the darkness.

Light that brings joy to those who see it.

Much like the Light that cut through the darkness of time and space…

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Flashback over 2000 years ago… A dark night. A man and a woman who needed a place to stay. No one could help them out. The city was busy and there was not one room available. They were bone tired. The young woman was not feeling so well, she knew that this child that she had been carrying for the past 9 months, was ready to be born. But where?  The man managed to talk an inn keeper into allowing them to sleep in his stable, which was really not much more than a cave.  A literal hole in the wall.

In the stench of barnyard animals, the greatest gift to mankind was born that night. A night where people were running to and fro, busy with their lives. A night where no one was really paying much attention. A night not so unlike what we have now. God came into the world. Jesus left Heaven to come to this earth in human flesh. AND THE WORLD HAS NEVER BEEN THE SAME SINCE. A divine gift. A gift of love to humankind. A light to the world. Light that split the enveloping darkness of that night, as well as all the days and nights to come.  –(excerpt from my archives)

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