On Community

On Community

I tried so hard to stay “strong” and hold my emotions together, especially when visitors were present. I felt helpless and foolish when the tears flowed so unexpectedly. I was all over the place mentally and my thoughts raced non-stop. I felt broken and was experiencing exhaustion. It was difficult to even identify what I needed when friends would ask how they could help. I was at an all-time low.

Then stepped in community.

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Thank You from a Vintage Church Foster Parent

Thank You from a Vintage Church Foster Parent

Dear Church,

Initially I was invited to contribute a parenting article from the perspective of a Foster Mom. The more I thought about what I wanted to share, the more I felt gratitude toward you, the body of Christ. So I would like to take a moment to thank you for all the ways you’ve made this journey possible.

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#socialmedia #itssocial #misunderstood

#socialmedia #itssocial #misunderstood

Many children and adults who have autism find that social skills are extremely challenging. This has been true for my son, Lawton, for all of his 24 years. I have been trying to instruct and encourage appropriate social interactions for his entire life. This has been particularly difficult when he wants to tell someone exactly what he thinks. To help those who are not around someone like Lawton on a regular basis understand what I am talking about, here are a few examples. 

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I Want That

I Want That

Scene at my house last week:

Big Sister was playing with her Little Brother. Well, actually, they weren’t playing “together;” they were just sharing the same space. I was in the kitchen cooking dinner when I heard her scream at him, “No, Brother! That’s mine! I want that!” Walking into the playroom, I understood what had happened. She was contently playing with some dolls. He had been playing with some blocks, but then he saw it—the Magna Doodle. From the looks of the screen, he’d only barely got a start at drawing, but as soon as she saw him playing with something that she’d identified as “hers,” she lost it. She was perfectly happy with the toys she had, until she saw him playing with something else. She didn’t care about that Magna Doodle at all. Hadn’t played with it in months. That is, until Brother got it. After a few minutes of tears, I finally got her calmed down. We talked about it. I asked her why she got so upset. “Because he was playing with that toy and I wanted to play with it!” she whimpered. More tears. “But Sister, you were having so much fun playing with your dolls when Brother was playing with is blocks.” She thought for minute: “But, Mom! It just isn’t fair! That toy is too big for Brother!” I explained, “Then maybe you could show him how to use it. You’re the Big Sister.” That won her over (as it usually does because she LOVES being the Big Sister). Finally, the crisis was solved, peace was restored, and dinner was made.

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My Worth Is Not Defined By My Marital Status

My Worth Is Not Defined By My Marital Status

Every season of life is going to have its ups and its downs, its pros and its cons. Whether that be high school, college, grad school, single life, married life, family life, or whatever else. Different seasons. Different experiences. Different stories. I am in a season where I am in my late 20s and find myself single. That is the point of view from which I will be sharing with you. I think it is important to be honest about where we are because people who aren’t in the same place don’t fully understand. So here is a small taste of my single life—small taste of it all.  

I have a screenshot of a text message from one of my close friends. It says, “You are more than enough. Date or no date.” I had just finished telling this friend that I was mad at myself for thinking I needed to bring a date to a holiday party where I’d be the only single person. The friends who were throwing the holiday party never told me I needed to bring someone and have actually never put any kind of pressure on me like that. So why was that my initial reaction?  

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Can I Help?

Can I Help?

My daughter is almost three, and she loves being Mommy’s helper around the house. She loves bringing diapers and toys and blankets to her brother. She loves helping load the washing machine. Lately, though, her very favorite thing to do is to help make lunches each morning. I am so thankful for her sweet little heart to serve, but honestly, things would go a lot more smoothly and would happen a lot more quickly if she would just watch me do it. Her little hands don’t work too quickly and she can’t read my mind, so I have to explain each step, wait for her to complete the step, clean up after each step, and help her refocus for the next step. Basically, I have to help her “help” me. I sometimes wonder if it is worth it. It would be easier to make the lunches myself. I would get done quicker. The mess would be smaller.

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Signs of Life

Signs of Life

On a walk through our home you’ll see shoes by the doors, dishes in the sink, laundry on the kitchen table, guitars leaning against the wall, and legos, toys, and blankets on the floor. Keep looking around and you’ll also find crumbs on the floor and toothpaste on the counters. If you open a door, there is a good chance you’ll pull back a sticky hand. There are probably school books stacked and receipts in piles. There may be a Wii remote hiding on the back of the couch. 

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The Aloneness of Autism

The Aloneness of Autism

It's not very often that I am completely alone. This is because I have an adult child with Autism. Even if Lawton is not with me, I am always available to him by phone, call, or text message.

April is Autism Awareness month, and April 2 is Autism Awareness Day. For the past several years, I have asked close friends and family to wear blue, eat Chick-fil-a nuggets or McDonald's pancakes (his favorites), or go to GameStop. The purpose of this is to remind our family and friends to stop and think of Lawton and pray for him. I ask these folks to take a photo of themselves and post it to social media with Lawton's hashtag, #lawtism. I want Lawton to see how much he is loved and how many friends he has who care about him and are praying for him. If I am honest, it's not just for him, it's for me too.

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Toddlerhood: A Lesson in Grace

Toddlerhood: A Lesson in Grace

Lately my two year old has been in fine form. There have been instances of her saying the word “no” in a very high volume, spitting in our faces when she gets in trouble, disobeying and being sneaky about it, and whining constantly. There are many days when this sleep-deprived mom of a two-year old and a newborn wants to pull her hair out because the “terrible twos” get a little too far under her skin. I know that she is acting exactly as should be expected in her developmental stage and sinful nature, but it still frustrates me to no end. I end up having to separate myself from her sometimes just to maintain a small sense of sanity. Can I get a witness? Any toddler moms out there know what I am saying? 

 

The more I have been thinking about my little girl and her ever-increasing bad behavior, the more I have understood the love and grace of Jesus in a refreshing way. There are so many times I act just like a toddler in my relationship with Jesus, and He continues to love, show grace, and discipline appropriately to teach me. I am so thankful he never separates Himself from me in those moments like I feel I need to do with my toddler sometimes.

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