Archive for the ‘Encouragement’ Category

Her Voice


Recently I also delighted in the sound of Chloe’s voice. Chloe is 10-years-old and is mostly nonverbal. When she vocalizes something, we notice. And we smile. And we’re proud. And we think it’s precious.

We were at a group Bible study recently at a friend’s house. Chloe was back in the little girls’ room playing toys. And several times she mimicked a talking toy. I heard her clap a couple of different times. She talked off and on, unaware that anyone was listening.

But I was listening. I heard it. And it made my heart glad. It was difficult to follow the adult conversation because I was so taken by the sound of Chloe’s voice in the next room.

I love that precious little girl. And anytime she is talking, it makes me stop and listen. And my heart is so filled with singing and smiling.

Keep it up, little one!


Delighting Today

As most of you know, I chose a word for 2012. A word to focus on. A word to sorta guide me. A word to remind me.


My word for 2012 is Delight. It has been more of a challenge to Delight than I was expecting. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the daily struggles, big and small. It is so easy to get carried away with my to do list each day.

But today I delighted.

I went away for the weekend on a church women’s retreat. I was gone for 2 nights, and Paul took care of everything single-handedly. (Well except for a few hours when my sis-in-law had Zippy and Chloe.) Coming home, I was excited to see my family. Don’t know if you’ve noticed before, but I rather like my husband and my kids. They are my life, and they complete me. I adore them. I breathe easier when we’re all together and accounted for.

So coming home was a nice feeling of expectancy and reuniting.

Elliot was the first one I saw. He ran across the parking lot to greet me. He was genuinely pleased to see me and told me that he missed me.

Then I greeted Zippy who is always glad to see me. Even when I’m gone for only an hour, he often greets me as though I’ve been away for a week. I love that kid.

And then I said Hi to Chloe. When she heard my voice she looked up into my eyes for longer than she usually does, seeming to take it all in and making sure it really was me. It was a sweet look. And then I made her give me a sweet kiss.

And then I saw Paul and was genuinely glad to see him and to touch him.

I was home. And all was well. ūüôā


Update on my Word for 2012.  I am delighting in:

  • spring-like weather!
  • Chloe’s throwing a big ol fit to express her frustration
  • basketball season with my boys
  • watching¬†Wheel of Fortune with the family
  • the boys playing together
  • Chloe dribbling, dribbling, dribbling the basketball
  • an evening with nothing to do
  • a freshly-mowed lawn
  • finally discovering what was stinking up my fridge!
  • new air fresheners
  • new batteries
  • a clean bathroom
  • a new shirt
  • friends who “get it”
  • celebrating my nephew’s graduation from Basic Training in the Air Force!
  • bedtime ritual with Zippy of reciting a special poem while rubbing his cute face
  • holding Zippy’s hand while walking across a parking lot
  • hearing Elliot practice drums/bells
  • Chloe voting NO! to going to her brothers’ basketball games
  • making progress on some goals that I set for this year
  • speaking of, feeling like I’ve conquered the new “one space after a period” rule!
  • playing Words With Friends with Elliot

… Yes, I’m delighting! ūüôā

Well Done!

Sometimes I think I can talk all day . . . write a dozen posts . . . scream from the mountaintops . . . write letters . . . over and over and over trying to explain the life we want for Chloe — the life that we think Chloe wants for herself. ¬†Oftentimes my words fall on deaf ears (figuratively speaking). ¬†Oftentimes my words fall on non-understanding ears. ¬†Oftentimes my words fall to the ground because the hearer doesn’t want to hear or understand. ¬†Oftentimes my words are given a sympathetic grin and pushed aside as a sweet mama in denial speaking non-sense.

And then I see a video that a precious mama made this week for her 2 year old daughter who has Down Syndrome. ¬†The video is powerful — I cried and cried with the power and the truth. ¬†At the time I am posting this, this video has only been viewed 301 times. ¬†I’m hoping many more people see it. ¬†I’m hoping that lots of the people who see it will be changed by it. ¬†I’m hoping that through this video more people will understand the civil rights issue that our family and other families are fighting for.

Well done, sweet Mama!  I am sending my friends to watch your video:

To Have or Not To Have

To Have or Not to Have . . . That is the question.

After Paul and I had been married for several years, it was the natural conversation to have:  so . . . wanna have kids?

Growing up, my number one life goal and plan was to be a wife and a mom.¬† It was all I wanted to be.¬† Yeah, I wanted to be a teacher, too, but it was certainly secondary.¬† In fact, I’m not sure I decided to be a teacher until I was in college and had to come up with something to do with my life.

When Paul and I began to have those thoughts and conversations of whether or not to have children, we both were a bit surprised at our answer.  No. 

We decided that NO we weren’t going to have children.¬† It’s not that we didn’t like children because we did.¬† It’s not that we were scared or nervous or weirded out because we weren’t.¬† Our decision to NOT have children was a very logical — oddly unemotional — decision.

You see, as we thought of WHY to have children, we could only come up with selfish answers.¬† –To have someone to care for me when I’m old.¬† –To enjoy their cuteness.¬† –To create a mini-ME.¬† –To pass on the things that are important to me.¬† (These aren’t really the reasons that we listed, but you get the idea. . . . they all seemed like selfish answers.)

One day Paul and I were visiting with a college friend — a single guy who was off being successful in his career.¬† Probably he had had no thoughts of the pros and cons of having children.¬† Paul explained our predicament and decision to our friend.¬† Without hesitation, this friend corrected us, shocked that we had come to that conclusion at all.

He explained that having children was the most –absolutely most — selfless thing a person could do.¬† To put everything in your life aside in order to raise a child was the greatest act of selflessness he could imagine.¬† To give of your ¬†finances in order to provide for your child.¬† To give of your time and your plan in order to accomodate and nuture a child.¬† Having children is a total redo of your priorities in order to raise that child.

Our friend added some more good points to his argument.¬† The Bible teaches us to procreate . . . to have children. . . . to fill the earth.¬† He explained that it is pretty clear that the plan is for couples to have children.¬† If we decide NOT to have children, then we need to have a reason not to — not the other way around.¬† It’s not up to us to find a reason to have children.¬† God has told us to do so, and the act of having and raising children is not selfish.¬† period.

And that was that.  We decided right there on the spot that we would have children after all.  Granted, it was still several years away since we had some fertility issues, but we decided that day to have children.

And today we have 3.   And I am focusing this year on delighting in them.  They do delight me.  I just sometimes am too busy to stop and enjoy them and delight in them. 

Delight in 2012

DELIGHT in 2012


It’s my word for 2012.

In thinking about my life and my time and the people I love, I chose the word DELIGHT to be my focus for the year 2012.

Today, the first day of 2012, I begin my focus and my meditation and my aim for delight.  Finding delight, acting in delight, claiming delight.

So much of my life is consumed with making sure things are covered, making sure things are done, making sure things are thought through and accomplished.  So much of my life is often stressful, often un-fun, often serious, often daunting.  So much of my life tends toward serious, life stuff.

And so often, I am bogged down in the seriousness of life.¬† So often I realize I haven’t laughed in too long.¬† So often I realize I am not enjoying my children.¬† I often realize that I am too busy or too stressed to have fun with my husband.¬† When I stop and think about what brings me joy, I hesitate a little longer than I wish I did as I try to think of my answer.

I am setting out to DELIGHT in things I love this year.

Delight to me includes:  happiness, contentment, joy, laughter, sunshine, fulfillment, yellow, bright, pleased, blessed, joy, smiles, fun, enjoyment, deep-heart happy.  Delight is also going to involve some action for me this year.  Not just feeling it in my spirit, but acting on it!  Acting on it to the point that people notice it.

I will delight in Paul, my husband of nearly 20 years.¬† In fact, we celebrate our 20th anniversary this year, and I would love nothing more than to celebrate it right in the middle of my Year of Delight actually delighting in him!¬† I want to bless him and be blessed by him.¬† I want us to have fun together — even spontaneous fun! ¬†Not too many years ago, Paul and I had the type of relationship that people looked at with envy and commented how it was so obvious that we enjoyed each other so much and were such good friends. ¬†Seems like the hardness of life has zapped some of the joy and the fun from our relationship. ¬†We have a strong bond, but perhaps some of the joy and fun are MIA. ¬†I am aiming to change that this year — change it by starting in my own spirit this year.

I will delight in my children.¬† Elliot will become a teenager in my Year of Delight. ¬†A teenager!! ¬†My years with him are limited — he’s growing up.¬† He’s a great kid, and I want to relish in him and take time to stop and listen to him more.¬† Zippy is a lover, and I don’t stop and cuddle with him as much as I should.¬† I want to delight in my time with him. ¬†I want to delight in the sound of his voice! ¬†So much of my time with Chloe is consumed with therapy or stretching or practicing a skill — all of which are important.¬† But this year I want to enjoy being Mom when I’m with her.¬† In thinking of how to delight in my children, I want to laugh together and play together more in 2012.

I will delight in other people whom I love.¬† Life is oftentimes too busy, and I neglect the rest of my family and friends with whom I truly do want to connect.¬† As cold as it sounds, sometimes you just have to make it a commitment and mark it on your calendar in order to make it happen or else it just won’t happen.¬† So I would like to delight with some fun people — and commit to doing so. ¬†(Dear friends, you know who you are! ¬†So call me soon to schedule our fun times together! ¬†LOL!)

I will delight in the Lord.¬† I will delight in my relationship with God.¬† In the past I have found such comfort and peace and joy in relying on the Lord, with time spent in prayer or reading the Bible or in worship.¬† Lately, it seems life has hardened me to the point that I am too cynical about many things — including things of the Lord.¬† I want to again delight in time spent with God.

I will delight in fun things — in having fun just for fun’s sake.¬† I can hardly type this with a straight face because it seems so forced.¬† But it’s important for us to have fun, and I want to make it a point to do so.¬† Not sure what this will look like for me this year.¬† Maybe playing games, maybe watching fun movies (I’ve become such a movie hater because I feel like it zaps a ton of time from my life for no reason whatsoever!), maybe reading books just for enjoyment, maybe saying yes more often when someone asks me to join them in something just for fun.¬† (I realize this makes me sound like quite a stick in the mud, but perhaps that is indeed exactly what I’ve slowly become.)

And those are my thoughts so far on Delight in 2012 and what it might mean for me.¬† I am excited to have a focus.¬† I know it will be a struggle at times as things occur that will temporary zap my joy and my delight, but my goal will be to always focus on some things in which I can delight — even in the midst of trials or frustrations!

Have you picked a word or a theme for 2012?  I would love to hear about it!

DELIGHT in 2012

Finding Her “Voice” (Part Two)

Another fun example of Chloe’s learning to use her Proloquo2Go communication app on her iPod:

Chloe has been asking to put up the Christmas tree since August!  She really has!  It has very literally been an almost daily conversation since August!

Each time she would ask about the tree, I would remind her that first we’d do Halloween, then we’d do Thanksgiving, then we could do the Christmas tree.

She would oftentimes grab my calendar from the fridge and carry it around and look at all the days that had to pass before Mom would agree to set up the tree.

At some point I even pointed out to her the big, huge, green thing in the garage: ¬†the Christmas tree! ¬†It is standing upright and has a big green canvas bag pulled up over it so that it looks nothing like a Christmas tree, but she was quite excited to see that big ol green thing every time we pulled into the garage — that is, every time we pulled in the garage since September!!

Chloe’s excitement grew as Halloween came and went. ¬†And then as we talked about Thanksgiving approaching, she knew it was getting closer. ¬†She would most days get my calendar and either bring it to me to talk about it or would carry it off to her room to study. ¬†Would Thanksgiving ever come and go???

Well, Thanksgiving evening Chloe, Paul, and I drove home in the evening while the boys stayed in Salado with their grandparents.  When we were nearly home, I asked Paul if he would mind carrying in the Christmas tree for Chloe before we went to bed.  He agreed.

Chloe was so thrilled as we cleared a spot for the tree to go — the same spot she remembered the tree being in in the past. ¬†She stood in the cleared spot and danced in circles and waved her arms while she waited patiently for us to get the tree inside.

Paul and I carried in the big huge green thing that Chloe had watched longingly for months, and then Paul did the honors of unzipping the big green bag. ¬†As he pulled the green cover off of the tree and revealed our beautiful Christmas tree, Chloe growled with delight. ¬†She couldn’t take her eyes off of it.

At last she got Paul’s attention and showed him her iPod.

I feel excited,” she had typed.

Paul’s Daddy heart melted, and he just about exploded with emotion.

Excited. ¬†Excited. Excited,” she typed.

So thankful that Chloe is able to express her feelings and her thoughts with her Proloquo2Go!  Keep it up, girl!

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