Tuesday, April 17, 2012

To my Bubba

My dear, sweet, wonderful Son,

I'm so grateful to know you. I cannot believe that I have had the honor of being able to look into those amazingly deep, brown eyes of yours for 16 years now. From the day you were born you were like this amazing little old man who held the secrets of all the world in his soul but had the wisdom not to share them with me because I am just not wise enough to handle it...yet.

Our beginning was rocky; we both almost died but before your first breath God wanted to show you that He was there for you, that He cared and that, for you, He would move mountains, do miracles. I believe that still. I hope you do too.

You have come to a place in your life of maturity and grace that just humbles me.You have suffered so much and yet there is nothing in you that is hateful or mean spirited.  I know you are not perfect, you are no saint and your pedestal isn't so high that it will hurt you if you fall...which you will...you get that clumsiness from your mother (just ask Laurana). Who you are though...well...all I can say is that I am proud of what God has done in your life.

I'm proud of your constant effort, your determination, your gentleness in spite of your pain. Not because it is a reflection of good parenting...I don't see it that way. I see you, overcoming, day by day the challenges that have held you back in the past, the preconceptions of those around you about what you can and cannot do because of your "disability", holding onto your dignity as a young man and choosing to not let go of your faith, even when it seems your prayers aren't answered and God just isn't listening.

Bubba, I'm proud of who you are, in your heart and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a part of your life. I'm grateful to see this amazing transformation of my frail, wizened little baby into a strong and hope-filled young man. Your courage and resilience inspire me.  So many people have found peace and comfort in your presence, I am no stranger to that benefit of having you around. You have always had an innate sense, an empathy that seeks to ease peoples hearts. Don't run away from that. I know that in the past it has been a source of great heartache in your life, but you are older, you have matured. Use the discernment that comes with that empathic gift and don't be afraid to love, to give, to be used.

 Not all "using" is bad. Many things grow weak and worthless if they are not used as they were intended...our gifts, as human beings in this world, are like that. We don't lose them, but with neglect they become rusty and impotent. You were meant for more Bubba, never doubt that you were meant for more.

Best of all my son, you have finally grown tall enough to hug me without pain and after the years I waited, your hugs mean the world to me!

I love you, every moment, every day, I am grateful to be your Mother and proud that you are my son.

With all my heart,

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Eyesore

A story found on the net that I used in Sunday School class.

By Mike
Once upon a time there was a piece of land, a lot really. The lot was filled with weeds, rocks,and broken glass. More than a few people had dumped their trash in the old abandoned lot. To make matters worse, a dilapidated house sat right in the middle of the grounds. The windows had been broken out years ago. Rumor had it that the house was filled with rats and mice and other creepy things. People went out of their way to avoid this spot. It was hopeless. The only thing that could fix this lot was a bulldozer.

One beautiful spring morning, a lady known as "The Gardener" walked by the old lot. The weeds were now waist high and flies were buzzing around the trash. The poor house looked sadder than it ever had. The woman paused, then began to walk around the outside of the lot. A few of the townsfolk watched as she took down several pages of notes, then quickly walked away. The Gardner had seen enough.

Word spread quickly thorughout the town that the woman was going to demand the city clean up the lot, bulldoze the house to the ground, and plow it under. Why, how could anyone be upset with her? After all, the lot gave the whole town a bad reputation. It didn't matter if it would be very costly to clean it up, the city would just have to find the money. "It just wasn't right having an eyesore like that in our town," the people would say. "Someone had to do something!"
Several days later the Gardener walked into City Hall. The clerk behind the desk braced himself for a fight. The clerk knew the city didn't have the money that it would take to clean up the lot.

The Gardener walked up to the desk, pulled out her notes and said something the clerk would never forget. She asked, "How much is the abandoned house and lot at 371 Beacon street? I'd like to buy it."
The rumors going through the town couldn't have been further from the truth. The Gardener didn't want to destroy the lot, she wanted to buy it.

The The clerk found the few records there were for the property and looked carefully at them. "There are a lot of back taxes due. It would be quite costly to buy it, let alone the expense to clean it up."

"Never you mind that, is the property for sale or not?" the Gardener replied.

The Clerk scratched his head. "Yes Ma'am, the lot is for sale." Hearing that, the Gardener bought the worthless eyesore right then and there.

All summer long, she and her husband worked extra hard. They cleared weeds, removed trash, and made major repairs to the house. Then, they trimmed the trees and bushes, and planted many kinds of beautiful flowers. They even added a cobblestone walkway leading up to the front door. Out back, behind the house, they added a small pond with a fountain. The lot that was once such an eyesore had now become a beautiful showplace. Love, time and a little work had transformed the lot. Now, people went out of their way just to walk by and take a look at the beautiful view of the property.
What the Gardener did next also surprised the whole town. She she hung a sign out front that read:

She knew her lot could be restored because when she was younger, someone else taught her how to do it. Now, she wanted to teach others how to transform eyesores into things of beauty. And before long, the whole town was indeed a place of beauty.

Some people are like the old dilapidated house sitting in the middle of a trashy lot. They look worthless and many people go out of their way to avoid them. It may be the bully at school or the neighborhood kid that looks a little geeky. The Bible says that we all have trash in our lives. The trash in our life is called sin.

The Good News is that none of us are worthless in God's eyes. In fact, His will is that none of us should be forgotten, destroyed, lost. (2 Peter 3:9) He wants us to get rid of the sin in our lives, but we can't get rid of the sin by ourselves. We need to ask Jesus to forgive us and give us a new heart. When we do, we become "Born Again" to follow God. Then, just like the gardener, you will want to share the good news with others. You can let others know about the wonderful work God has done in your life, and that He can do the same for them.

Think about this. When you look at others do you see an eyesore or a garden?

If you give a Moose a cupcake...

Moose has been having some behavioral issues. They were pretty serious. I was frustrated, his teachers were frustrated...Moose was frustrated....it was all just very frustrating. Sooooo...we worked on some things, observed and adjusted and implemented a reward system. That system works pretty darn well. It consists of Moose having to not get in trouble at school x amount of days in a row so that he can obtain his prize. The prize is something he wants. The last one was a Jar-Jar Binks pen from the cheerios box. Simple, yet effective.

Today was a special day. It was the first day back after spring break. A whole 10 day break in his routine had come to a close and I was worried that he needed a little extra incentive to "Be good!" in school today. So I bribed him. Yes...I did. It's not a regular thing. His rewards are hard to get and we do not bend. If he was good for 2 days and then got just 1 warning on the third...no reward. He has to start counting over again. Today, all he had to do was not get in trouble at all and he was able to get a treat. I did not specify what the treat was...but I did specify it was a sweet treat and not a toy treat.

He was BURSTING with excitement when he got home. He had not gotten any warnings! He was good and didn't talk and did his work. Even his teacher said he had a great day. Yay! Woo Hoo! Good going Moose!

"What's my treat?"

Here's where it gets cute/funny

You can have this; one very rich, VERY chocolaty triple chocolate gourmet cupcake :)

"Can I have it NOW?"

No honey...you have to take a nap first. After nap you can have your cupcake.

He looks at the cupcake...looks at me...

and makes a BEE-Line for the bedroom. It was 10:30 am...lol
 "I'm tired now mom" He calls behind him. 

The next hour and a half before the real nap time consisted of MANY "practice naps" as I dubbed them where he went to bed for 3-5 minutes then ran out saying, "I slept, I can have my cupcake now.". 

Too cute.

He did eventually get his cupcake. 

He was happy to pose for the "after" portion of this post :)

So, the moral of this story is...

If you give a Moose a Cupcake he will probably be hyper for a few hours...but the hugs are very worth it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Just because...

I saw this...lost my breath for a sec...regained it and had to share...lol

I really can't say anything about this photo..except..umm...yeah...I'm a Bears fan...lololol