Monthly Archives: December 2013

9 Lessons- Taught By My Children


I think I’ve learned more in the past four years of parenthood, than I ever learned in all my years of college. My AA, BS, and both MAs did a meager job in preparing me for motherhood. I think most parents would agree with me when I say, this is a whole different ball game.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT complaining! In fact I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I think I learn more from my children than they do from me!

Am I the only one that feels this way??

I’d like to share with you all that I learned from my children today.

1. Think of others before yourself.
This morning my sleepy, half naked 4 year-old walks into our bathroom rubbing her eyes. Kevin gently asks, “Why are you awake, sugar bear? You should still be sleeping.” Without hesitation, Laynie lovingly replied, “Daddy, I didn’t want to miss you leaving for work.”
How precious is that? She could’ve rolled over and gone back to sleep…but no, she doesn’t want to miss a second of daddy time. I must admit, when it comes to things like sleep, I’m not thinking of anyone but myself.

2. It’s ok to cry.
About an hour later, Gideon had OT. I love his OT, but Gideon is not a fan. She makes him do the hard work. And as much as he wants the comforting arms of his mama, he’s got to do it. And although it breaks my heart to see him struggle and cry, I know it’s best for him.
In this moment today, I wondered if this is how God feels when I’m crying. He would love to pick me up and spare me the pain and tears, but He knows something better will come from my struggle.

3. Focus on what matters.
Fast forward to 11 am, I’m trying to quickly get in-and-out of the chiropractor’s office and of course, both kids have to poop and now Gideon is screaming because he’s starving. After both bottoms are clean and a bottle is made, Gideon is lying on the couch (feeding himself no less) and Laynie for the millionth time says “Mommy…look! Really look!”
She found a Tonka Truck and apparently it did a million cool things. And in that moment, my first thought was, “I don’t care about Tonka Trucks!”
But my toy preference wasn’t what mattered here. Laynie was. And something was new and exciting to her and because she’s worthy of my love, affection, and attention, I had a responsibility (and a privilege really) to focus on HER. She (and Gideon) matter.

4. Don’t take people for granted
After being thrown off my “schedule”, we still found time to grab lunch and eat with Mimi. I hate to admit this, but we rushed in and rushed out. I kept trying to shove food down Laynie, but she was persistent in loving on and playing with Mimi. Unlike my daughter, I most often take time with my mom for granted. Laynie never does. To her, Mimi hung the moon & the stars.
Adulthood sometimes takes the luster out of life. We forget that those we love won’t always be here. Laynie reminded me today how I shouldn’t take those I love for granted…especially my mama.

5. I’m never really lost.
On our way to Southlake, we got lost because my phone hasn’t been updated since ios5 (yes, I’m an old lady who doesn’t like change…but that’s a whole other issue). In my frustration, I blurted out, “Well, we’re lost!” And leave it to Laynie to respond with, “Mom! God always finds us! I bet He’s looking for us right now!”
I’m sorry, what 4 year old says things like that?? Apparently, mine does. Wise want-to-be-eighteen-woman that she is… Sometimes I feel like God speaks through her just to make a point. Maybe the point today was that we’re never really lost…just too busy to notice God is there.

6. True beauty is within.
After leaving the hair appointment I was afraid we’d never get to, Laynie tells me how beautiful we both look. My initial thought was, “Well you do, but I have no make-up on, none of my clothes fit…” I’ll stop there with the self tear down. You see where I’m going don’t you?
My definition of beauty has been tainted by mainstream media. Laynie sees my heart and she loves me the way I am. She hasn’t yet been taught by the world to judge by appearances. And I’ll be a fool if she learns it from me. So my response to her sweet compliment was, “We really do, don’t we???”
And while we’re talking about visible beauty, what about my Gideon? He may never know what his mama looks like, but you know what? His love for me & others will never be conditional upon appearance. How refreshing is that in a world that bases beauty & worth on our exterior?

7. Problems are solvable.
After dinner, we had to go to Laynie’s ballet class. But before we left, she wanted to help make Gideon’s bottle. I told her no, because we were in a hurry (are you seeing a pattern here?), but because she was insistent, powdered similac went all down the front of her leotard. My response- “See Laynie, now it’s all over your leotard!” Her response- “Well, mom, we can always just dust it off!”
Yes…yes we can. Looking back how silly for me to be upset. All I could see was something happened that I was trying to avoid…and here is my 4 year old, with a simple solution to my perceived problem. Who’s the adult here? Problems are solvable.

8. Just dance
Laynie loves life. It’s apparent in all she does- especially in her dance class. I don’t want to sound like a mean parent, but Laynie got Kevin’s sense of rhythm (or lack there of). But she doesn’t care. She’s that little girl, front a center, off beat but smiling, and pushing through to the end because she loves to take a bow and she loves the applause.
It doesn’t matter whose watching. Some days you just gotta dance.

9. Roll with it.
Poor Gideon, we drug him through a lot today. After some hard therapy, we drove all over the DFW area and Gideon just rolled with it. As long as he was fed and dry, he was content to roll in the stroller and chew on some toys.
I don’t remember the last time I was content to just roll with the events as they unfolded. Wouldn’t life be easier, if we could just take the day as it comes? Roll with the punches?

I love my kids. Like most parents, I think they’re pretty stinkin’ awesome. Crazy to think God would loan me such unique gifts. And if I would ever just slow down, all of my days could be spent savoring each moment that has been given. Like Laynie and Gideon, I would realize that life can be (and was meant to be) enjoyed!!

If I could go back to this morning, I would tell the 6:30 AM “me” to slow down, take a deep breath and get ready….because today is going to be a great day full of God-given blessings. Don’t miss it because of your “schedule.”



Back in September, Gideon was invited to be part of a clinical trial. Most people jump at a chance like this, but for me it seemed to be just another unknown…and for me, the unknown usually causes me to fear.

The study involves the administration of the drug Betaine for 6 months. In a petri dish, Betaine was found to help the peroxisomes functions better and while that would be great news for Gideon, we were told that what happens in a petri dish does not always translate to the human body. Therefore the doctors were very clear that this is not a cure for peroxisomal biogenesis disorder; in fact they don’t really know what to expect. The drug has been used for a completely different disorder so they know the side effects are minimal; but until now, the drug has never been used on our PBD kids.

The drug did not arrive until a few weeks ago, and due to illness and travel, we just began administering it to Gideon on Monday. So far he has done great! Crazy to think this will last into June- he has to take the Betaine orally 3x/day! Holy cow, I can barely remember to take my vitamins once a day… Hopefully I won’t screw this up.

It’s funny how we can feel so frightened by the unknown. If you know me well, then you know I’m not a fan of medication unless its really necessary. Take the Betaine for example- I know it sounds ridiculous, but I was so worried about it in the beginning. I had never heard of this drug, and even though we agreed to be a part of the study (back in September), Kevin and I prayed about it until the drug actually got here. Then once it arrived, I had two nurses and my chiropractor look it over. Turns out Betaine is a nutritional supplement that can be bought at GNC (not in the dose we have of course).

All that worry and fear…for what?

I tell you that story because I’m always learning something new (and old) from our journey with Gideon. This is may come as a shock to you (insert sarcasm), but God wants me to be fearless. All the praying I did about our unknowns & seeking wise counsel for my uncertainties… those are all good. However, they all seem counter productive if I’m not willing to let go of my fear.

While we were in San Antonio this weekend, Kevin and I were having heart to heart moment about “when that time comes”… (If you’re new to my blog, that phrase always means when Gideon goes home to be with The Lord). We don’t discuss it often, but sometimes, through random circumstances, it just comes up. As long as I live, I’ll never forget this moment. With tears in our eyes, I asked Kevin the unanswerable question, “What are we going to do?” At that moment a poster board that had been in front of me for over an hour hit my direct line of sight, and one word caught my eye….



I realize I’m about to state the obvious, but that poster board reminded me (yet again) that God doesn’t want us to live in fear. He wants us to live in FAITH. Faith that He’s still in control even when the circumstances of our lives seem like they are not. He wants us to know we can trust Him because He is the author and perfecter of our faith. He has the final say. He knows our fears and holds our tears long before they ever fall to the foot of the cross.

Philip Yancy once said, “Faith means believing in advance, what will only make sense in reverse.”

This means we can trust His heart even when we cannot see beyond our mountain. When its all said and done, the pieces will fit. If we believe God and His word, then fear falls out of the equation. The death and resurrection of Jesus leaves us with a faith like no other. Ultimately its that faith demolishes our fears.

So no matter what we face-
We don’t have to worry about all our unknowns.
We don’t have to have everything figured out in advance.
We’re not expected to know all the answers.
And we certainly weren’t created to live in fear…praise be to God for that!

I don’t know what mountain you face today. I haven’t traveled your road nor walked in your shoes. But I want to encourage you to open your eyes & ears as you go. I don’t know much, but I do know Jesus goes before us.

And faith in Him renders us fearless.

Knowledge – Application = Pointless


I love mornings. Especially when I get to sleep in- seems like a forbidden luxury these days. There’s nothing better than waking up just because your body intuitively knows that its had enough sleep. The past three days have been sweet bliss… long over due nourishment for my soul.

We planned to meet some friends for a two night vacay in San Antonio, but because of the impending DFW ice storm, it turned into three nights!! We left a day early to beat the storm and although I was nervous driving in the freezing drizzle, it was worth the rush.

We drove about three-quarters of the way before we found a hotel in San Marcos called Country Inn & Suites and let me just say, wow! If you’ve never stayed with this chain, you should!! We took full advantage of their amenities. After sleeping 9 glorious hours, we awoke only because we wanted to! Upon finishing our complimentary hot breakfast, we then decided to take a dip in their indoor, heated pool and hot tub!

Let me just stop and say if this was the only night away from home, it would’ve been more than enough!

But with no schedule to stick to, we decided to hit up some outlet-shopping before driving into San Antonio. We met our good friends the Robinsons, got some burgers at Chris Madrids, and then drove to the Marriott where they had booked a two bedroom suite.

To make a long story short, we had the best weekend ever. Every day we slept in, had breakfast & then romped around San Antonio. We did everything from the Alamo to wine tastings to trying as many restaurants as the buttons on our pants would allow. Sometimes we went with our friends and other times it was just Kevin and I.

At the risk of sounding cheesy, we enjoyed each other immensely. Without giving any unwanted detail, it was like a second honeymoon. It’s funny because I majored in counseling so I know the importance of getting away with my spouse. I know the importance of making sure I’m rested and recharged. I know the importance of “me” time. But even with all my knowledge I did not realize how desperately I needed that time away until we actually took it.

Isn’t it funny how we know things? We know we desperately need to take care of ourselves but we don’t make it a priority? Knowledge without application is pointless.

Is anyone else as stubborn as me? I’ve known for a long time that I’ve been drowning in desperation…and yet, I’ve turned down many offers for help. Sounds so stupid doesn’t it? And you want to know my reason for turning down that help? I don’t like to inconvenience anyone.

How ridiculous is that?! I’m not going to ask for the help I so desperately need because I’m worried about inconveniencing others?! ? Pretty certain God knew I was going to be this stubborn so He had to breathe scripture like Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Again, even my knowledge of this verse is pointless if I’m not applying it to my life!!

I guess the lesson I am sharing here is that you should let others love you. I don’t know what you’re going through but I do know there are people out there willing to share your load. If I took anything away from this weekend (other than my cumulative 30 hours of sleep!) it’s that we need a break from the trials of life and its ok to ask others for the help to do so.

Like most things in life, we have to move past simply knowing and learn to apply what we know. That’s what I finally did this weekend & because of it, three major things that happened:
1. My love grew even more for my husband.- He has always been wonderful, but this time alone reignited us in a big way.
2. My heart longs to see my kids.-This sounds insensitive but my heart has been hard towards them because I’ve poured out all I have to give. This weekend has filled me up and I now have more to give again.
3. My soul has been convicted and made right with God.-I’ve been just as frustrated with God because of my sleeplessness and yet it’s been within my power all along to ask for the help I need. He’s faithfully realigned my perspective and filled my cup.

This gift of a weekend would not have been possible without the love of those who chose to share our load:
The Robinsons- thanks for inviting us down and loving on us. Your friendship means so much to us & we love you.
My mom, dad, sister& mother-in-law- thanks for braving the ice storm with an infant who can’t sleep and a 4 year old who needs your constant attention. Your sacrifice is greatly appreciated & has not gone unnoticed.
Jesus- praise be unto You for your forgiveness and mercy- I can only imagine how I must have looked like a toddler these past months- throwing tantrums and tears. Thanks for loving me despite my flaws. I’d also like to say thanks for the ice storm- the extra day of vacation was a very nice touch!!

Thanks to everyone else for your love and prayers. Your encouragement throughout our journey means more to me than I can adequately convey! I hope you’ll join me in allowing others to love you and carry your load. Amazing things happen when apply what we know.

Blessings to all on this beautiful and cold Sunday!