Saturday, October 11, 2014

Some Good News and a GIVEAWAY!

In many posts, I have shared the desires of my heart and how they have changed since Deacon was born.  I've longed to find a way to make a difference in this world. To find my place.  My purpose.  I don't want to just exist.  I don't want to live selfishly.  I want to be used.  I want to help others.  However, I don't always have the resources to help in the way that I'd like to.  We are in the process of simplifying our lives and opening up some of those resources, but the transition and the in-between is kinda making me crazy.  I'm constantly having to remind myself to "Be Still" and wait for God's timing on that part of it.  

If you've read any of my more recent posts, you've heard me talk about a project that I have been working on.  That project has a name.  It's called the "Be the Light Project".  Matthew 5:16 says "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven."  That's what this idea is based upon.  I want to be a light.  When people see me, I want them to see Christ in me.  The desire of my heart is to live like He lived and to love like He loved.  I don't always do a good job of it, but thank goodness for His grace, love, forgiveness, and His mercy.

I've had several ideas about what I could do, but I've allowed myself to feed into the lies that Satan has put in my head that it would never work.   That my ideas were dumb.  That I would just be another person selling something and that people won't really like my products or buy them.  I recently read a quote that said "The difference in who you are and who you want to be is what you do." And I'm tired of wanting to do something, but doing nothing.  So here goes.  I'm starting by selling handmade necklaces with my own personal designs and will soon add t-shirts.  Necklaces & T-shirts? I know right...everybody and their Momma sells this kind of thing on Etsy and everywhere else.  I promise you I don't think that necklaces and t-shirts are going to make me rich nor do I think will they will change the world.  But it is something I know and something I can do. And it's better than nothing.  I have no desire to be rich, but I do long to make a difference in someone's life. No matter how big or small.  

Right now we are working towards making the difference in the life of a little girl.  Our daughter.  We don't know who she is, but we love her.  We long to hold her and to give her the love of a family that every child deserves.  So any funds raised in the beginning will go towards our adoption.  However, after our adoption is complete and should this project be successful, it is my prayer that I will be able to use the funds raised to help others.  If I see a need, I want to do my best to meet it.  I want to go on mission trips, help with, and donate to organizations and causes that I'm passionate about.  I have no desire to work for "things" but rather people and experiences.  That is what this project is about.  And to me, that is what life is about.

Here is an example of the necklaces...

They will soon be available for purchase.  Please follow @bethelightproject on instagram and watch for details as that will be the first place that I sell them.  You can also follow my page on Facebook by clicking here.  If you are not on IG or FB but would like more information on how to purchase one, please email me at  I am in the process of opening an Etsy shop as well.   

Guess what else? I'm also going to be giving some away!  

There are two ways you can win:
1. Go like Be the Light Project on Facebook and share this post.  Then, come back here and leave a comment along with feedback as to which necklace is your favorite.

2.  Follow @bethelightproject on Instagram.  Share this photo in your feed and hashtag it #bethelightprojectgiveaway

Winners will be randomly selected on October 21st.  Thank you and God bless you!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dear Deacon: A Proud Momma Post

Dear Deacon,

You just snuggled up with me on brother's bed, and we belly laughed til it hurt.  This went on for about five minutes.  The harder you laughed, the harder I laughed, and I don't even know what started it.  But tears ran down my face as I took it in.  You have no idea how much joy you bring me.  I've been told many times that you bring it to others too, and I've seen with my own eyes how you can light up a room.  It's just like I imagined after I accepted and appreciated who God made you to be.  Only it's better.

You are at such a fun age.  You are growing, learning, talking, and entertaining more and more each day.  You started school this week.  It was a big milestone for you and for me.  It took quite a bit of letting go.  You wouldn't even be going to this place if I hadn't spoken up for you when you couldn't speak for yourself.  And it took some staring awkwardness in the face to make it happen, but when you came home yesterday identifying a circle and the letter "A", I knew I did the right thing and it was worth it.  YOU are worth it!

But I have to be honest...when I dropped you off Tuesday, I had some fears and some what-ifs. "What if you can't keep up with the other children physically? What if your teacher sees you as a burden? What if you stick your hand in your dirty diaper as you've been known to do? What if other parents don't know how awesome you are and are uncomfortable with you being in their kid's class? What if you take too big of a bite and choke on your food?" We all know I tend to be a worrier, and I thought of them all.  I was in the middle of telling your teacher some of my concerns when you slammed the little half-door in my face and said, "Bye, Momma!"  It was like you were saying, "Calm down Woman, I've got this!"  And you did.  Your teacher said you did great!  That night I found out she had been following you on Instagram and loved and prayed for you before she even knew you.  Tell me that's not a God thing?!  It's amazing how he works out even the smallest of details!

I love to see you blowing misconceptions of Down Syndrome out of the water one after another.  I know it's hypocritical, but even as your biggest advocate there have been areas where I doubted your abilities and you've proved me wrong too.  I must apologize for those times. You are constantly showing me that I should never underestimate, and I couldn't be more proud of you.  Thank you for being YOU, for showing me what life is all about, and for teaching me to appreciate differences.  I love you more than words can say.  I tell you all of the time, and you usually just pucker up your lips at me to show me you love me too.  But guess what? Today you said it back, and once again my Momma heart is full!

Now, let's go work a puzzle and sort some colors, because you are awesome at that too!

Much Love,

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ready or Not

It kinda makes me sick to my stomach to think about Deacon's evaluation through the school board tomorrow.  I knew this day would come, but gosh, it feels like it came way too fast.  And the reason why it makes me sick is because it means that stuff is about to get real. I feel like the school phase and the IEPs and all of the other things soon to be on our plates is when the adversity will begin.  In fact, I know it is, because I already had to write my first advocacy email next week.  When you call a preschool to inquire about their openings and they tell you "we're not equipped" to take him when all they have heard are the words Down Syndrome, it's like a punch in the gut!  Never mind the fact that he walks, talks, interacts with peers, is really not that different from other kids his age, and requires no extra aid or certification.  Thank you, Jesus, that it was a big misunderstanding caused by a lack of communication! The director called back within five minutes of me hitting the send button sincerely apologetic and regretful of how it went down, and he is now on the waiting list there.  And also, thank you, Mom, for writing the email for me when I was too angry to write it myself.  I knew she couldn't be mean and would be more professional than me, so I asked her to do it.  I would have been the one feeling awful after her phone call if I had sent the email I really wanted to send, but I'm really trying to work on being more like Jesus in situations that really just make me want to lose my religion.  Especially after I embarrassed myself at a snow cone stand the other day.  I didn't realize that a line had formed behind me, and I wish I could apologize for the awkwardness.  But I mean, come on...if you are buying FOUR snow cones, you would think a guy could sell you a small extra cup for less than the cost of another snow cone.  It's not like I was asking for it for free, but dude wasn't lettin' up.  Obviously it doesn't take much for me.

I know that this is only the beginning, and that we won't always have the happy ending that we had in the preschool situation.  Up until now, we have just been able to enjoy him as a toddler without worrying about any of the mumbo jumbo that comes with his diagnosis. Yeah, we have therapy, but we have been very blessed with those services.  Our therapists are our friends, they come to our house, are always on his side, and have helped me coast through all of his meetings without any bumps in the road.  But now, I have to become educated myself.  I have to learn what his rights are and how to fight for him to get all of the services he needs and deserves.  I guess this is something I should have been learning more about before, but I chose to block it out and not think about it, because I have that right.  Or had that right.  Not anymore.  So if any of you Mommas that have gone before me have any advice, I'm all ears!  Also, I'm requesting prayers...For Deacon, that he will not be the stinker that he can be and just tell them, "NO!" to everything.  When I told him he had to take a test tomorrow and that he better do good he said, "No, I not!"  (It doesn't help that he has a double ear infection this week.) Please pray for me as they tell me the results and what he does or does not qualify for and that I can easily find his birth certificate and social security card. They called as I was typing this to tell me it was a requirement to bring them. Glad they did.  Apparently I didn't read all the way through my letter.  Don't judge.  I'll be completely honest with you, my life is one big, unorganized, chaotic, beautiful mess.  However, you'll be happy to know (Mom) that the adoption process is forcing us to slowly but surely get it together.  Finally, please pray for my husband, who has to deal with me if I'm not happy with the results.    Hopefully it will all go smoothly, and we won't have anything to worry about, but I have a habit of preparing myself for the worst.  Maybe I should bring back the "WWJD" bracelets just incase. ;)

On top of the evaluation, I have the back to school blues.  Please tell me that I'm not the only mom that gets all sad and lonely when her kids go back to school.  It only lasts a few weeks, and then I embrace the "me" time (or the me & Deacon time), but right now I'm still in a funk.  The same one I get in after Christmas is over.  It doesn't help that my son goes into fourth grade and all of the sudden comes home wanting to talk about very deep controversial and political issues. So, um, now not only can we please go back to summer, but can we also please go back to last week when all my nine year old wanted to talk about was things like Minecraft & Clash of Clans?  I know I said that stuff was boring, but I take it back.  I would be happy to talk with him about it now.  Heck, I'd even play it with him if we could just change the subject!  I swear, all of my kids are growing up so fast that it makes me not even want to blink!  

I have so much to be thankful for, and I know that my problems are SO minuscule compared to what so many others are facing that it almost feels wrong to vent.  However, this is my space.  These are my struggles. They are real.  And I like to keep it real.  But I'll end my pity party now.  And I'll leave you with some highlighted moments from our summer. Although I'm sad that they are over, I'm so happy and thankful that they happened.