Confession: I’ve locked more than my keys in the car.

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So I have a confession. It’s one that, until now, I’ve only told my husband and parents. In fact, I’d be okay if no one else EVER knew this embarrassing (and scary) mommy failure.

I locked my keys, my phone…oh, and Gideon…in the hot car last Tuesday. It was the sickest and scariest feeling in the world. To say I lost it, would be an understatement.

Allow me to explain away my failure by start at the beginning…

Laynie and I dropped Gideon off at therapy and then headed to our favorite restaurant, Chiloso, for breakfast. My parents met us (which is not the norm) and upon finishing, Laynie begged to ride home with them. No problem I thought. I would go pick up Gideon by myself, and meet them all at my parent’s house.

(Now understand this, Laynie is with me 99% of the time when I pick up her brother from therapy… you’ll understand the importance of this in few paragraphs or so.)

Upon arriving at the therapy center, I left all my personal belongings (except my keys of course) in the car. Why only my keys you ask? Well, after therapy, Gideon is NOT happy and in much need of a nap. When they hand him (and his bag) to me, he’s usually fussing and throwing himself about. His bag weighs just as much as he does so as you can imagine, carrying a 20 lb diaper bag on my shoulder and a life size wiggle worm in both arms, I only have two fingers left.. and I use them to hold my keys.

As I fought to hold onto everything, I clicked the unlock button on my keys and opened the side door. When I tried to sit Gideon in his car seat, he began throwing this body around worse than usual. As I tried to hold him tighter, my keys were still in my hand and I accidentally hit the lock button. Once I got him in his seat, I threw my keys over the drivers seat and hurried to sit his bag down so I could grab his bottle. Maybe he was fussing more because he was thirsty I thought. While getting out his bottle, I even thought to myself, don’t forget to unlock the drivers side door. But in the process of getting out his bottle, I heard his hearing aids buzzing in his bag. They forgot to turn them off. So while he fed himself (yes, he can do it when he wants to), I quickly grabbed his hearing aids and turned them off.

It only takes me one distraction to forget something important. So as soon as I pushed the door shut, I remember the car was locked. Everything inside me knotted up. I thought I was going to vomit. Like an idiot, I wasted 2 seconds by pulling both door handles and banging on the window (as if either of those were helpful). I then sprinted inside to use the therapy center’s phone (mines in the car, remember?). I pushed aside a very sweet woman at the check in window and calmly (yeah right) demanded that the receptionist call 911. As she spoke with the 911 operator, I was already on my way back outside. She hollered to me and asked about my vehicle information. I believe my words were, “I’ll be the woman panicking beside the black jeep.”

I ran back outside and pressed my snotty face against Gideon’s window. As I apologized over and over, this was the first & only time since his diagnosis that I was glad he was blind and deaf. He couldn’t see or hear the panic coming from outside the car. Unfortunately, Gideon was crying; not because he was locked in the car, but because had dropped his bottle.

The cops were there in less than 90 seconds. (I’m not surprised, I only counted SIX of them on my way into town…apparently Rockwall is cracking down.) One of the two officers firmly told me to move and then demanded to know the length of time he had been locked in. Feeling so shameful and guilty, I sobbed “Two and half minutes!” Thankfully that sweet woman who I pushed aside earlier had come out and wrapped her arms around me. She sweetly told me that everything would be fine.

It took them about 30 seconds to unlock the doors. I immediately started my car and pushed by the officer to tell my deaf-blind kid I was so sorry. After I gave  him his bottle, I threw myself onto the officer and apologized to him for being such a negligent mother. He must have felt awkward. He quickly peeled me off, and said I did the right thing by calling immediately. Apparently most people spend 5 minutes or so trying to handle the situation themselves because they think they’ll be in trouble. Not me. I’ll go to jail, pay a fine..just get my kid out.

I thanked the officers again and Janelle (the sweet woman who held me and didn’t make me feel like a horrible person). Then I got in the car and left.

Driving home I couldn’t believe that had just happened. I started to rationalize, well if Laynie had just been with me like she normally is, then this would have NEVER happened. You see, Laynie loves to start the car and so she ALWAYS does. That’s why I habitually throw my keys over the drivers seat…because Laynie grabs them and starts the car. But this wasn’t her fault! It wasn’t my parents fault. It certainly wasn’t Gideon’s fault.

It was my fault.

I’ve always thought to myself, that would NEVER happen to me! And yet it did. I like to think I’m a pretty good mom…you know, responsible and what not. But the truth is, we’re all capable of mistakes. Sometimes scary mistakes. And I think the most important lesson I learned from all of this is that I need to own my mistakes.  So I called Kevin, owned up, asked for forgiveness. Not because he would expect me to, but because I felt guilty about it. As always, he was quick to forgive and in doing so, his words lifted my spirits.

And so that’s my confession. My most recent mommy failure. Maybe you think it’s silly. Maybe you can relate. Either way, I feel much better getting it out there.

Anyone else ever done this?

Or am I the only one?    ;)

 

Share your story

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One year ago today, I published my first blog. My son was newly diagnosed with a terminal genetic disorder (PBD) and I was devastated. A wise friend encouraged me to blog; she said it would be therapeutic for me and it would put me in touch with others who were experiencing similar circumstances. 

I had never been a blog reader, so I didn’t know the first thing about the process. After watching some how-to YouTube videos, I took the plunge. 

I was astonished after publishing my first post. I didn’t realize the effect that our story would have on so many people. Social media was good to me and my post got shared so much that within 48 hours I was contacted by Shannon Butalla, the president of the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders. Her son also has PBD, and his therapist shared my story with her via Facebook. God heard my cry for clarity. I learned more about my son from her in 60 minutes than I had learned from all the specialists we visited over a 6 month period. Not only that, but the out pour of love I received ever since that first post has been nothing short of incredible.

My friend was right, the encouragement came from all over the world. I felt loved and supported in our crappy situation. But what I didn’t expect was that over time, my family’s journey would in turn, help others… And not just our circumstances alone, but the way we chose to respond to those circumstances.

Looking back over the past year of blogging, I can tell you with confidence that it is important to share your story. And truthfully, it doesn’t really matter how you do it- blog, social media, face to face, etc. I think we often times buy into the lie that our story isn’t a good one, or that it doesn’t matter… But the truth is, it is good and it does matter! And if we are willing, there is always an opportunity for us to be transparent.

I do not know the particulars of your circumstances, but I do know this- SOMEONE is going through a similar situation as you. SOMEONE will benefit from your transparency. SOMEONE desperately needs to know they are not the only one struggling with _____________.  And chances are, you are the person who can encourage them the most, because you’ve been where they are now.

I’ve been so blessed by sharing my son’s journey. I talk about Gideon with anyone who is willing to listen. I began doing it because I wanted his life to matter to others. My original thought was, If he won’t ever get the chance to tell this world who he is, then I will!! That’s why I started to share our journey. But through this process, God has taken it far beyond my selfish and small intentions.

Sharing my son’s story has allowed me to point others to His Son’s story.

And He can do that with your story.

You just have to be willing to share it.

 

 

 

Back Seat Wisdom: Brought to you by my four-year-old

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My daughter astounds me. Sometimes I think God uses her sweet curiosity to not only calm my fears but to knock down my ego as well.

We had just dropped Gideon off at therapy and we were driving to Braums for our mommy/daughter hour.  Laynie innocently questioned, “Mommy, was I born blind?”

After I told her no, she quickly said, “Gideon was because he has a genetic disorder, right?” I confirmed her statement and there was a brief moment of silence. I don’t remember exactly what she said next, but her comment led us into a discussion about possible future brothers and sisters. She told me she really wanted a sister that didn’t have a genetic disorder. I told her that unless we adopt, that really isn’t up to me or her daddy.

I explained that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made by God (Psalm 139) and then I reminded her that her daddy and I each have a sick gene within us. I said to her, “If we have another baby, there’s a 25% chance that the baby will have the genetic disorder like Gideon; but there’s a 75% chance that the baby would not have the genetic disorder.” To which she replied, “Mom 75 is greater than 25.”

I found myself trying to fight back tears as I told her that she was correct. I thought to myself, “Oh sweet child, you don’t know how big that 25% feels though.”

I’m not sure if she noticed my silence or my eyes watering, but from the back seat she reassured me, “Mommy, if you have another baby like me that would be good. But it’ll be okay if we have another one like Gideon.”

My heart almost pounded out of my chest. I felt like her words were divinely given to me for my struggling heart.

Kevin and I both have wrestled with God over the issue about having more children. What if we have another baby with PBD?? Could we go through this again? We haven’t even buried one child yet, how could we someday bury two?? All of these are reasonable questions and I doubt anyone would challenge our decision if we chose to be done having babies. However, I can’t help but remind myself that all of these questions and concerns seem to boil down to fear. And for us, I think the fear of the unknown is the greatest.

But when I survey all that God has brought me through in the past (not to mention how He’s currently carrying me in this season), I can’t help but remind myself, that God will redeem whatever comes my way.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe you are currently struggling with your own What if? questions. Maybe you’ve looked at the statistics in your own circumstances and the odds seem impossible. I don’t know what unknowns you face, but I do know that they are NOT unknown to God. From conception to death, He already knows all that we will face…And He has promised that His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). Perhaps you can relate to this truth as well.

I wish I could tell you that our conversation carried on and Laynie revealed some more amazing truth, but I’d be lying. In fact, after she reassured me it would be okay if we had another baby like her brother, she said, “How about we go to the park later?”

In my opinion, the wisdom that came from the back seat that day was God’s way of reminding me to trust more in Him and to let go of the fear of what could happen.

I don’t know what the future holds for our family, but I know that God’s grace will be sufficient for each new day… sufficient even to the point of watching a child suffer and someday die.

God’s been there… He knows that reality all too well.

And because of that, I feel as though I can encourage you. No matter what decisions or unknowns you are facing, God works all things for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) He’s in the business of restoration and redemption.

Be encouraged, He notices

I just want you to notice! 

This was how my 30-year-old fit began a few weeks ago. Kevin was still teaching summer school and I was desperately looking forward to him being home. On this particular day, I had decided to clean…and I mean really clean the house. And if I’m being completely honest, this was the first time since we lost our hospice house cleaner that I actually cleaned. I’m not going to remind you of how long ago Miss Lucy left.

Needless to say, I was excited for Kevin to come home and see just how hard I had worked. On a therapy day mind you. He had been home for about 30 minutes when my wheels fell off.

How could he be here this long and NOT notice?!?

It was in the midst of my tantrum (when I found myself using the inaccurate phrase “you never”) that I realized I was the one at fault here. I had placed expectations on Kevin and ultimately fell into the trap of working for him, instead of for the Lord.

Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

How often do we forget that truth?

Since I’ve become a stay at home mom, I’ve found myself missing the affirmations of the job I left. Teaching is a great calling- one with multiple and tangible rewards. And for the past few years, I’ve struggled with the fact that no one notices just how hard I’m still working.

Maybe you’ve felt that way too?

But the Truth is, God notices.

He was there yesterday when you carted all the kids across town and back for their activities. He was there with you today when you did that 3rd load of laundry even though you didn’t get much sleep the night before. And He’ll be there with you tomorrow when you’re weak and weary from the meals you’ve prepared, the fights you’ve mediated, and the errands you’ve run.

Hear me say this friend…God notices all you do!

My husband is the best man on this planet. But he’s not my God. And as hard as it is, we have to remember that everything we do is for the glory of Jesus. When we do for others (no matter how big or small), we are serving Christ!! If we are working for anyone else, we will be disappointed and eventually we will become bitter.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

Be encouraged, He notices you and all you do.