Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's official

I have begun to fund raise for my trip to India.  This makes it all official.  I am scared to death.  I have thought about cancelling the trip . . . too afraid . . . how will I raise the money . . . what will my kids do without me . . . am I crazy to travel in June when it is SO HOT in India . . . what am I doing???

I am stepping out in Faith.  I am following God's calling. 

A dear sweet child who lived at the home I will be serving died this week.  These children are so sweet yet have the hardest life.    Please visit Sarah's Covenant Homes to learn more about this fantastic ministry. 

I will need approximately $3500 for my trip.  I have created a CHIP-IN page to track my fund raising.  Check it out and please contribute, any amount will help! 

What I need more than money is prayer.  This trip, in order for me to pull it off is going to take an immense amount of prayer.  For starters please pray for Autumn and Rayne.  They will be without their momma for 3 weeks, a very long time. 

I can't wait to update on my journey!  It's going to be one crazy ride!!!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lots of Kids . . . Lots of Tips

Although my family is not a huge family we are on the larger size with 5 children ages 16 - 6.  I live with my sister and her 3 children.  We run our house like a married couple, finances and discipline and all.  Here are a few things we do to keep organized.

Sock baskets.  These two sock baskets sit at the bottom of the stairs on the first floor.  We got tired of trying to figure out everyone's socks so now ALL the socks go in these two baskets and if you want a pair it's up to you to find ones that fit you!


Another thing we do is our weekly calendar on the dry-erase board.  This is in the kitchen next to the refrigerator.  I list every activity and appointment for the week.  My dad watches all the kids after school so this helps him see what is going on for the week.  It also is helpful for Hilary and to coordinate our schedules.  The kids LOVE it too, the more they know the more they can help us out!



Autumn and I take medication everyday.   Every Sunday I set up our pills for the week.  This is a HUGE help.  Autumn takes several pill several times a day.  Her medication case is the white one, each day pops out.  In the morning I leave out the day's container for my father.  In the afternoon he gives Autumn her pills and it's easy and simple, he doesn't have mess with medicine bottles or dosages. 



A few years ago I labeled these three containers and they have been such a help.  "Shooters" are medicine cups and syringes, Riley calls them "Shooters" and it just stuck.  Teddy suffers es from very dry, irritated skin so we put his creams in the white container.  Autumn has asthma so we keep her inhalers and nebulizer medicine in the yellow container.  We also keep Teddy's inhaler in there too although he doesn't have to use it that often.


We keep all our prescribed medicines in this 3 drawer container and the 3 colored containers stack up nicely right next to it.


When I'm having a good night I will prepare all the lunches for the next morning.  Aedan buys lunch each day so here are Riley, Teddy, Autumn, and Rayne's lunch bags ready to be packed.  I can't tell you how smooth the morning runs when the lunches are already made.  I don't know why I get lazy at night!!!!


We installed these hooks in our kitchen by the back door.  All the kids hang their bookbags up on them, it keeps them nice and neat!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

India ...

So I think my trip to India is coming along.  I am getting excited and getting scared at the same time. Satan continues to try to stop this from happening including Autumn's last set backs.  But I will move on with my plans.  God is in control and He is definitely in this. 

I have decided.  God has decided I will go to India at the end of June.  I will be going for three weeks.  I will be there for 4th of July (one of my favorite American holidays).  I will be there for the ending of school and the beginning of camp.  There is a lot to pray about. 

I will soon begin to openly ask for donations to make this trip happen.  I know God is faithful and I know He will provide. 

There is a lot to do!  It feels good to have a date in mind.  And yes it will be hot!   And yes it will be humid!!!  And yes it will be rainy!!!!!  I'm not going on a vacation.  I'm going to do the Lord's work.  I don't want to be comfortable.  I want to grow.  I want to be stretched.  I want to be Jesus' hands and feet.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dear Autumn

The past two days have not been Autumn's best. 

Yesterday I received a call from my father (who watches me and my sister's 5 children after school).  He said Autumn and Riley were having a BIG fight.  He said Autumn pushed Riley into a bookshelf.

I left work and headed straight home.  Autumn has never gotten violent with other children.  She can destroy a room but she has never put her hands on another child.  This was serious.

By the time I got home the fire was put out.  My dad was able to calm Autumn and he said he hugged her and went to be with Riley.  When he returned into the room where Autumn was he saw Autumn cleaning up the room she had destroyed.  She was cleaning up all by herself, he didn't ask her to, she just did it.

My dad took Hilary's kids out of the house and left me with Rayne and Autumn.  Autumn swears Riley hit her first.  Riley says she didn't.  I tend to believe Autumn.  Riley has been known to hit (she's 6) and Autumn does not hit anyone . . . she will push back if someone does it first . . .but she never does it first. 

I had Autumn clean her room.

She then had to write Riley a "I'm sorry" note.  She did not like this but she did it.  This is what she wrote:

"I'm Sorry . . .OK!?"

Too funny.  I decided to increase her Risperdal in the afternoon.  Hopefully this will help.



This morning Autumn had another meltdown.  I ended up at the bus stop with her, she was in tears screaming "YOU DON'T LIKE ME!"

After she got on the bus I sat and cried.  I called her teacher to warn her about Autumn's morning.  She heard the hurt in my voice. 

When Autumn got home she showed me this letter her teacher wrote her.  I am blown away by her teacher's kindness and understanding.  Take a look:






Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weekend Meltdown

Structure is what makes most children with Autism's life managable. 

So how do you handle the weekend with a child who needs structure? 

Really weekends are unstructured. 

No wake up time.
No set time lines for meals.
Activities vary week to week.
And on the lazy weekends, when nothing is planned, there are
H-O-U-R-S of unstructured time.

So come 7:00pm on Sunday night (tonight) all this unstructured time was just too much for Autumn.
She had a major meltdown.

a hyperventilating,
uncontrollable,
throw everything on the floor,
snot flinging,
mouth drooling,
unrelenting,
crying,
moaning,
"I can't calm down!"
M E L T D O W N

As soon as her meltdown began and I knew she wasn't going to snap out of it on her own I sent her to her room.  Well I had to walk her to her room.  It is there the majority of her meltdown occurred.  I told her I would tuck her into bed once she calmed down.  I continued to put things away in my room and soon realized Autumn could not calm down by herself. 

She needed deep pressure. 
I put her blankets on her, including her 20 lb. weighted blanket and then laid on top of her. 
Talk about deep pressure!
Within in 60 seconds it worked.  She had completely calmed down.
I gave her a kiss and said what we always say to each other,
"See you in the morning!"

I learn something new every day, and today I learned I must structure our weekends if I want peace.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Puberty

Autumn does not want to grow up.

If she had it her way she would probably choose
to be 3-years-old . . . forever.

So here is the HUGE dilemma . . .

PUBERTY!

How do you get an 11-year-old girl,
who doesn't want to grow up,
get through PUBERTY?

Well, I don't have the answer.

Autumn's Psychiatrist
(the most fantabulous Pediatric Psychiatrist around)
told me during our last appointment
that this will be the toughest stage of life
to get Autumn through. 

Wow . . .

Autumn has 3 goals to work on for her Psychiatrist.  We see Dr. Edwards every 2 months for medication monitoring and Autumn is old enough now to have goals that she comes up with herself. 

Here are her goals:

1. Talk like an 11-year-old. 
(Autumn constantly talks like a "baby".)

2. Make a list of ways to calm myself down.

3. Calm down by MYSELF!  

So you put a kid like Autumn who has
major sensory problems,
is Autistic,
has ADHD,
and struggles in a major way
with any kind of change or transition
through a life-changing adventure such as puberty
and well . . .  you have a  . . .
MESS

My heart breaks for Autumn.
Every change her body is going through she struggles with.

Breasts.
Body hair.
Body odor.
Growing height.
H e a v i e r weight.

You can't control puberty. 
NO CONTROL. 
It's Autumn's worse nightmare. 
NO CONTROL.

Although I don't know exactly have the answers to getting her through this stage of her life I do have one technique I use to get by each day. 

It is a technique her Psychiatrist
taught me and it's very basic.

Very Basic.

"Autumn . . . this is how it is."
"Autumn . . . this is your job."
"Autumn . . . it is what it is."
"Autumn . . . this is the rule."
"Autumn . . . we can't change the way things work."

Basically I tell her there is no compromise.  This might seem cruel or inflexible however it is best for a child who is inflexible herself. 

See with Autumn you would could argue with her until your blue in the face and never convince her that your way is the right way. 

Puberty.  It is what it is. 
You can't control it.
You can't change it.
You just have to roll with it. 



Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Coola-Doula!

I love childbirth.

I love babies.

I love supporting families during childbirth.



Here is my latest baby I helped bring into the world.  Ok,so it didn't end in a vaginal birth.  After four days of trying to give birth vaginally my best friend Sarah had a C-section but the end result was the same and I was there at the hospital supporting her the whole time!



Mercy Maranatha
September 16, 2010

Ten months before she was born I was a Doula to her cousin Henry's parents.  You can find Henry's mom here.  This birth too ended in a C-section but I was there the whole time to support the family.


Henry Thomas
November 9, 2009


Here are my two little peanuts.  They are cousins!!!

I have my next Doula job all lined up! 
The baby is due in April!!!  Can't wait!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Life and Death

Today was literally filled with Life and Death.  I woke to a text message from one of my managers.  She told me her sister had passed away early this morning.  She was 50 years old and had battled breast cancer for 5 years.  It was only 2 weeks ago that my manager's sister told her that her fight was over.  I asked my manager what happened, I thought her sister was doing okay.  She told me that for 5 years her sister fought cancer, fought hard.  The pattern would go like this:

chemo . . . radiation . . . bad days . . . chemo . . . radiation . . . bad days

My manager thought that this Thanksgiving was just another bad day . . . until her sister told her that the cancer had spread to her liver.   My manager waited for her sister to tell her what the next treatment was, she always told her what the next step would be.

What is the next step???  Her sister did not answer.  She said . . . "that's it, there is no next step".  Two weeks later she died.

I can't imagine losing a sister.  I just can't. 

Life is extremely fragile.  God is in total control.  I don't mean to get morbid but it's true.  We have no control.  Every relationship we have could end tomorrow.  EVERY ONE. 

My day began with death however ended with life. 

My second job is as an adoption caseworker for a private adoption agency in New Jersey.   Tonight I had to do a routine Post Placement Supervision for a family who was placed with an adorable newborn 4 months ago.  This is a New Jersey placement so I am required to complete 4 supervisions before the adoption can be finalized.  I was the one who approved this family during their home study process so I have known them and was routing for them during their wait to add a child to their family of three.  They have a 7-year-old biological son and have turned to adoption to grow their family.

This family was matched with a birth family within 6 months.  This is not typical and was very fast.  In August they welcomed their daughter into their home.  The birth mother and father already had a son and could not financially or emotionally care for another child.  They painstakingly decided to parent their second child through adoption.

The adoptive couple was at the hospital with the birth family when their daughter was born via c-section.  Since the birth of their daughter the families have communicated via email and the adoptive family has sent pictures and updates of their daughter. 

Tonight was my third visit and all family members are doing great!  The baby is growing strong and healthy.  This visit reminded me of how lucky I am to have my two daughters.  Although it is extremely difficult at times to parent them on my own I know that there are women and men who can not have children of their own. 

I am extremely blessed to have given life to my two beautiful daughters.  I am also blessed to have had the ability to parent them. 

Life and Death.  Both are so fragile. 

God is in control. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Today

Today was a good day.   I've been trying to pull it together and for the most part I am.  God is working on me and I like it.  I have many, many areas of my life I need to work on but for now God is being patient with me and I love who I'm becoming.  For the first time, well in a really long time, I feel like I'm becoming who I'm suppose to be. 

For most of my life, well let's be honest, for my entire life I have felt like the black sheep.  I said this to one of my friends the other day and he gave me that look like,  "What? Your nuts".  Well yeah I am nuts and I have felt nuts for a long time!

The more I get to know myself God, the more I realize that I am who I'm suppose to be.  That might sound confusing and writing it is confusing me but it's true. 

I dated a guy a couple months ago and he said I'm intense.  At first he liked that about me, it was one of the things he was attracted to.  He then became a super psychotic, narcissist and the INTENSE part of me was a major turn off to him.  He would say, "You're so intense", but in a total negative way.  He would make me feel ashamed about being "intense".  At first I apologized for being SO "intense" but I now realize I LOVE that part of me!  I LOVE being intense. 

My feelings are intense.
I love deep.
I feel deep.
I hurt deep.
I care deep.
I laugh hard.
I cry hard.
I work hard.
I play hard.

It's who I am and I refuse to apologize for it.  Some day, if God wants me to have a life partner, I will be with a man who LOVES my intensity.  I want someone who is just as intense as me. 

I think that's why I need to go to India, by myself.  I need to learn more about God and in turn learn more about myself.  I love who I'm becoming but there is SO much I need to work on.  There is so much going through my head. 

This I know. 
I know that I love God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit.
I know that I want to live a life that leads others to Him.
I know that I am not perfect and I never will be.
I know that I suffer from depression but that it's part of me, who I am.
I know I'm beginning to love this part of me, the part that suffers from depression.
I know that God has a super huge plan for my life and my children's lives.
I know that being a parent to a almost 17 year old scares the crap out of me.
I know that I could be a better parent.  That I have messed up A LOT.
I know that I eat way too much.
I know that I'm ashamed I have gained weight after having gastric bypass surgery.
I know that this depresses me, A LOT.
I know that my thirst for more in life is a good thing.
I know that I could be a better friend.
I know I have let people down who are close to me.
I know I should love and treat my mom and dad better, they deserve more from me.
I know that one day I will wish I treated my mother with more respect.
I know that lack of forgiveness is at the root of my disrespect.
I know that God loves me . . . just as I am TODAY.
I know that it is very hard for me to BELIEVE what I know.

Sorry for rambling but I felt compelled to start writing again.  I try so hard to "blog" so others will find it interesting but the truth is I then don't want to blog at all.  I use to write a lot.  I use to write poetry specifically.  I didn't write for anyone else, it was for me.  I still have my poetry books.  So tonight I decided to write for me and I'm going to continue to write for me and God.  I want Him to fill these pages and if someone decides to read the writings then good but I'm not going to write for the reader anymore.  I wanted to write about Autumn and her struggles.  I wanted to write about my weight struggle.  I wanted to write about my trip to India.  The truth is I'm going to write what I feel and if some of those topics come up then so be it.

That's it for now.  I'm so tired and it's way past my bed time :). 

TTFN

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tithing

Money.

I struggle.

Big time, with money.

I make decent money.

I work two jobs.

Money.

I do not give with a joyful heart.

Money.

I give to my church, to God, out of obligation.

If I don't give a certain amount in my head I feel guilty.

My pastor told me I'm being legalistic.

I need to change.

I need to look at how I'm spending my money.

I need to give back to God because it's all His anyway.

I need to do it with a glad heart.

I have some research to do.

Some soul searching.

I need to give.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Real life

Not sure what to write tonight.  So much is going on.  On Thursday I am going to meet with my pastor.  I occasionally meet with him just to process some of the things going on in my life.  One huge thing is about to happen and I want him to pray and bless me for this adventure. 

I'm taking a leap of faith.  I'm going to India!

Words really can't explain what is going on but I feel like my "real" life is merging with my "spiritual" life.  I feel like I'm becoming my authentic self . . . it's pretty mind blowing and amazing!  

If you'd like to see where I'm going click here.

This is really amazing.  I will be going by myself . . . BY MYSELF.  No one to distract me, no one to clutch onto, no one to use as a crutch . . . it's scary but it's what I need to do. 

I told my mother I was going today.  She told me, "You can't go by yourself!".  I knew she would react that way.  I simply told her, "God will protect me." 

I can't wait to be Jesus' hands and feet.  I've been waiting my whole life to get enough courage to do this.  It took my heart being broken to give me the nerve . . . for that I am thankful.  Something beautiful is coming out of my heartache.

Speaking of heartache that's a whole other post!!!!!

So my journey begins.  I have no idea how I'm going to fund this trip.  I have no idea how I will prepare Autumn for 3 weeks away from me.  I have no clue how I'm going to travel by myself.  It's pretty exciting!!!! 

Please pray for me and my journey to India!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Since July 27, 2010

Wow, it's been a long time.  I quit blogging because I just was too, well confused, stressed, and just all around unfocused.  Well I'm back!!!!  And there has been a lot going on since then!  I'm off to work but can't wait to catch up!!!!
~Love lost
~God's calling
~Orphans
~Summer Camp
~Camping
~Family fueds
~Love lost again
~Weight gain
~India
~Finances

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stretching my Faith, Stretching my Pockets

Because of some unforeseen circumstances I can not reveal on this blog I am no longer going to be receiving my oldest daughter's child support money for at least 10 months.

Yikes!!!! WHAT???? How can this be????

Although I only get $300.00 a month it was comforting to know that every month on the same date (the 1st) 300 bucks would be deposited into my bank account. This was the case for nearly 15 years.

On June 24, 2010 this all changed. I was told I would get my July 1st money but starting in August ZERO would be deposited into my account.

GASP!!!!!!!!!!!!

The funny thing about God is that He has been tugging at my heart to become a better steward of His gifts to me, specifically my finances. I guess this is His way of saying, "Hey you!!! I'm serious, you have to do this!!!!!"

Ok so over the past month I've been getting use to the fact that I won't get my child support but then last night I received another phone call.

"Amy . . . . there is a problem with Rayne's health insurance now".

YIKES!!! GASP!!!!! WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, you got it she does not have health insurance anymore either!!!!

God is surely stretching my faith!!!! So I prayed, prayed, and prayed some more!

This morning I told myself, "Amy, God will take care of you, don't worry". And you know what I believed it. I went into my HR department at work and told them I needed to add Rayne to my health insurance and ask for the rates as I knew it would be additional money. Not only did I lose my child support money but now I had to PAY to get her insurance.

Guess what???? God answered my prayers . . . the HR representative said, "THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL COST TO ADD RAYNE"! I then said, "OH PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!"

What a blessing, especially since Rayne has a surgeon's appointment tomorrow and she has physical therapy twice a week.

I also called her physical therapist to let him know the changes, to which he said, "Amy don't worry about it, I will treat her for free if I have to!"

God is good and I'm actually enjoying the stretching exercises he is giving me to do!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Love Letter



I wrote this love letter to the future Mr. Trouwbottom last year in May. I locked it in my locked box and forgot about it. A few weeks ago I had to look for something and I found it. God has perfect timing. I was going to get it out and read it but for some reason I was heald back, it was not the time. Last week my boyfriend and I broke up. This morning I remembered the letter and I ran downstairs to get it. Here it is . . . God is so good, so wise, and again has perfect timing. I'm so glad I did not read it a few weeks ago. I'm glad I read it today, July 13, 2010. I can't wait to give this to the future Mr. Trouwbottom!


May 9th, 2009
To my beloved husband,

I don't know who you are but I'm excited that God does. I want you to know that today, well actually yesterday I gave God the authority to write my love story.

Up until now I have tried to be in control. I have "picked" all my partners, I have not let God control any part of my dating life. I guess I never trusted God enough or I was afraid of who He was going to pick or I did not believe God would bless me with an incredible man like yourself, or somehow I did not feel deserving, or it was all these reasons rolled up into one. So today I give God the control, He is in charge of my LOVE LIFE, He is going to PICK YOU FOR ME!!

I am going to be patient.

I am going to be still.

I am going to pray everyday for you even thought I don't know you yet.

This is so exciting. I mean God knows me inside and out so you are my perfect match! I want you to know that from this day forward I will not date anyone who God has not picked.

He is preparing me for you!

If you are reading this then I want you to know that God has looked down and smiled on our relationship. Today, May 9, 2009 He has picked you and He has begun the wonderful journey of us finding one another!

I'm so excited to be your in your life! I'm so excited that no matter how long it takes from today I have saved myself for you and have given God total control in order to find you.

You are perfect for me because you are:
a man of God
diverse
kind
emotionally generous
truthful
intelligent
have a great sense of humor
a man of strong character
a communicator
a good father
patient

You are NOT:
rude
hold grudges
a pessimist
undependable
shy
racist
in denial
mean spirited
a liar
a hypocrite

I want God to write OUR love story and I am resting my faith and confidence in Him. This is extremely hard but I trust GOD. I trust that He will pick the perfect person to spend the rest of my life with. I'm excited, nervous, and I can't wait to meet you!!

Love,
Amy

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Guess who's driving?


I can hardly believe it myself.


YEP!

Rayne is driving!!!!

She just took her 6 hours of driving lessons so now she has her permit to drive!!!

I can't believe my sweet baby girl is old enough to drive!!!!

Here she is with my bff Tracey. I love this picture.

Isn't she so beautiful???? AND DRIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Messy Side of Depression - The Ugly Truth


I suffer from DEPRESSION.

I see a psychiatrist.

I am on anti-depressant drugs.

I have tried to go off my medication several times . . . not a good idea.

Every month I get "LOW". It is clearly hormonal.

I can not just "snap out of it".

There is nothing you can do to help me when I am depressed.

Besides hormones these are the other things that can trigger my depression:
  • stress
  • lack of sleep
  • lack of exercise
  • lack of prayer
  • lack of communication with God
  • satan
The past 3 weeks my DEPRESSION has been kicking my butt.

It has not been my normal DEPRESSION that goes away in a week.

It has lingered. It has immobilized me. It has affected my relationships.

I decided to show you how it affects my living space.

This is embarrassing but it's the TRUTH.

When I'm depressed it literally paralyzes me. You can tell how bad my DEPRESSION is by the condition of my bedroom.

Again this is embarrassing but I'm done with FAKING IT.

HERE IT IS ....










DEPRESSION SUCKS!!!!
You'll be happy to know my room no longer looks like this! Two days ago my DEPRESSION slowly lifted and I had the energy to clean and organize.
Do you suffer from DEPRESSION???

Monday, July 5, 2010

Year 36 . . . . Philippians 3

I'm now 36. It's now July. I have 10 months left before I turn 37. My desire is to make the most of these 10 months ahead of me. Last year I made a list, a long list, of things I wanted to accomplish. I was able to check some things off the list, others I still struggle with. I want to make a new list for this year, or for these next 10 months. But first I must preface it with verses from Philippians 3 because my number 1 desire is to find out what God wants from me.

"....we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh-----"
"----the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith."
"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
"....and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you."
"....Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame."
"....by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."
1) Seek God everyday. Talk to Him. Walk with Him. Read about Him. Listen for Him. Listen to Him.
2) Have no other gods before Him. No OTHER gods. NONE. Not TV, Not Facebook, Not the computer, Not music, Not men, Not my children, Not food, Not work, Not ANYTHING!
Last year I had a list of like 33 items. This year, this is it! A list of two.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

"I'm not comfortable!!!!!!"

Today is 4th of July and we had our annual 4th of July BBQ. The Trouwbottom BBQ is like no other. We eat all day long, from 1pm to 8pm. All the food is brought out in courses. It kinda goes like this:

1pm: Clam Fritters (Made by Uncle Gary who inherited the recipe from my late grandfather).

Hot Dogs (mainly for the kids)

BBQ chicken

Grilled Portabello Mushrooms with mozeralla, roasted red peppers, basil,and balsamic vinigarette

Corn on the cob

London Broil

Grilled spicy shrimp

Hamburgers

It's all spread out from 1pm-8pm, it's quit the experience.

Autumn has been going to these BBQ's since birth. Nothing should be a surprise for her so it is a safe comfortable space for her. In years past we have had to leave the event early, go for frequent walks, or have numerous time outs during the party.

Today she was pretty good. As usual Autumn had to have a seat right next to me. If someone sat next to me and she was not able to have a seat next to me it caused her to have a fit. At one point I told her, "Autumn you can't have things the same way all the time."

Around 3pm Autumn sat next to me and was whining very loudly, she finally screamed at me, "I'm not comfortable!!!!" I ask her if she wanted her medication and she said "YES!". After she took her medication I told her I was very proud of her that she used her words to tell me she was not feeling right.

At around 4:20pm Autumn was whining again about something and she then told me, "I need help!" What she meant was that she needed help controlling herself. I was pretty impressed! So I told her let's collect bottle caps which she was happy to do with me.

Later on in the evening she was eating watermelon. When she got to the watermelon rind she bit it into pieces and spit it out. She told me she loved how that felt on her lower teeth. Several times throughout the evening she told me she wanted something to chew on. "Like gum?", I asked her. She said, "No, something crunchy". She was clearly looking for the deep pressure the watermelon rind provided.

Over all she had a pretty good weekend. She continues to struggle with rigidity but I was shocked at how she verbalized her needs today!! Small steps, small steps!!!

It’s been a long time and my 36th birthday

IT’S BEEN SUCH A LONG TIME AND I HAVE SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT. I’M TOYING WITH THE IDEA OF STARTING A NEW BLOG TO DOCUMENT THE DAILY LIFE OF AUTUMN AND HER STRUGGLES. I STRUGGLE SOMETIMES WITH HER BEING SO HIGH FUNCTIONING AND THAT SHE DOESN’T “LOOK” LIKE SOMEONE THAT STRUGGLES WITH AUTISM OR ADHD OR ODD BUT THERE ARE SMALL THINGS THAT HAPPEN EACH DAY THAT CLEARLY DEFINE HER DISABILITIES. SO ANYWAY, I AM BACK AND I’M HAPPY TO BE BACK!

On my 35th birthday I made a list of things I want to accomplish before my 36th birthday. I turned 36 on May 5th. Let’s see how I did . . . I’m kinda scared to evaluate myself!:

1) Run an entire 5K. I've started to train this week. I'm excited and it feels so good. NOPE, NOT AT ALL, VERY DISAPPOINTED IN MYSELF!!!
2) Lose another 45 pounds, making my weight loss 165 total. HELLO!!! WITHOUT RUNNING AND NOW EATING MORE I HAVE NOT LOST ANY WEIGHT, IN FACT I GAINED 10 POUNDS!!!!!

3) Live a life free of secrets and demons . . . I want to live in the light, once and for all!!!! I’M DOING THIS, IT FEELS GOOD. IS STILL A STRUGGLE BUT I LOVE TRYING TO LIVE IN THE LIGHT!!!!

4) Finally paint my bedroom and hallways (I have had the paint for 7 months now!) PAINTED MY HALLWAY AND MY BEDROOM!!!! HAVE A FEW TOUCH UP AREAS TO COMPLETE BUT AS A WHOLE IT IS DONE!!

5) Simplify, simplify, simplify. NOT AS SIMPLE AS I’D LIKE, NEED SOME MORE WORK!


6) Come up with a filing system and stick to it. I HAVE WENT THROUGH A TON OF PAPERS, GOT RID OF SO MUCH, NOW JUST HAVE TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
7) Go on a mission trip, no matter how small or large . . . follow God's calling. I’VE BEEN SIDE TRACKED BIG TIME. I’M GOING TO CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THIS.


8) Fall in love :) WELL I THOUGHT I WAS IN LOVE 2 TIMES THIS YEAR, I AM LEARNING SO MUCH ABOUT MYSELF AND GOD, I’M EXCITED TO SEE WHAT GOD HAS FOR ME IN MY 36TH YEAR.

9) Pay off my debt to my parents and my sister. YES! I HAVE PAID OFF MY MOM $1300 AND MY SISTER $700!!!

10) Live debt free. STRUGGLING WITH THIS, NEED TO STOP SPENDING!

11) Save two full months of living expenses and but it in my online savings account so I won't be tempted to touch it!!!! YEAH RIGHT!


12) Become comfortable with telling my mom, dad, and sisters I love them on a regular basis. Strange but true we do not do this and I wish we did. I can tell my kids and my close friends I love them but for some reason it makes me feel really, really vulnerable to tell my family I love them. GETTING THERE!


13) Transform my living space into a space of tranquility and peace . . . somewhere I can pray, meditate and meet with my Savior on a daily basis. NOT FULLY THERE YET!

14) Floss every day . . . one of my best friends is a dentist . . . I'm sure you wonder how I live with the guilt:)? I'm such a rebel!!!! MAN DOES SARAH WISH I DID THIS ONE!

15) Send out Christmas Cards. DIDN’T DO IT, BUT WAS PART OF MY LIVING DEBT FREE, TOO MUCH MONEY!!


16) Put carpet down in Autumn and Rayne's room so they don't have to live with cold concrete floors for another year!!!! DIDN’T DO IT, BECAUSE OF OUR FLOOD THIS YEAR!

17) Form a habit of prayer and devotion. I want to be in constant communication with God and look to his word each day. OH I WISH I COULD PUT "COMPLETED" ON THIS ONE:(!

18) Learn how to ice skate. I never learned when I was a kid . . . :( I was always the kid with boots on the lake! NOPE DIDN’T DO THIS!

19) Plant a vegetable garden. DID THIS BUT FAILED MISERABLELY AT IT, THERE'S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR RIGHT?

20) Learn to drink water as a health practice, not a beverage! (My good friend Dan has been trying to teach me that for years!) UGH, DIDN’T DO THIS!

21) Somehow organized my pictures. NOPE!


22) Complete my tattoo on my back. COULDN’T AFFORD THIS ONE!


23) Grow my hair into a new style. DID THIS AND IT’S STILL GROWING!

24) Go on a solitude retreat. Meaning go away for a day or two by myself. DID NOT DO THIS
25) Start a trip fund for Rayne's High School Graduation Trip. SHe wants to go to LONDON! DIDN’T DO THIS YET!

26) Throw a lot of crap out!!!!! DONE THIS, SO MUCH MORE TO THROW OUT! "OUT WITH THE OLD, OUT WITH THE OLD".

27) Get my body checked for skin cancer! NOPE! 


28) Pray with my children. UGH! NOPE!

29) Go to the beach a lot this summer! NOPE!

30) Have a fantastic Halloween Costume this year! I DID LOOK GOOD AS A HIPPEE THIS YEAR!


31) Start my poetry journal again. NOPE 


32) Learn to like one new vegtable (yuck!). NOPE!


33) Read more . . . I just never get around to it! NOPE!


34) Love Jesus with all my heart, soul, and mind. STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS


35) Live simply so that others may simply live ~ Ghandi AMEN

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Date

I'm going on a date on Monday night! I had to tell someone!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Loving your oppositional child . . .

I have a child who is oppositional AND I love her. At times I do not like her, at times she really gets on my nerves, AT times (gulp) I don’t feel like being her mother. You too might have an ODD child. When I say ODD I don’t mean odd as in odd-ball, although she does fit that definition:), when I say ODD I mean the psychiatric diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder. I saw early signs of this with Autumn, at age 3 I knew I was going to have my hands full.

Here is the clinic criteria for a child diagnosed with ODD:

You might have a child with ODD if your child’s oppositional behaviors:

Are persistent (Yep, persistence is autumn’s specialty!)
Have lasted at least six months (we are going on 7 years!!!)
Are clearly disruptive to the family and home or school environment (she can make everyone miserable at home, she was kicked out of summer camp on the first day and she has been sent home from school more times than I can count!)

The following are behaviors associated with ODD:

Negativity (Everything is negative with Autumn!)
Defiance (she does not care about getting in trouble)
Disobedience (Rules are made to be broken!)
Hostility directed toward authority figures (She’s not hostile however she
does not have a healthy fear for authority)

These behaviors might cause your child to regularly and consistently show these signs and symptoms:

Temper tantrums (queen of temper tantrums, even at age 10)
Argumentativeness with adults (She does not argue, she shuts down)
Refusal to comply with adult requests or rules (Authority does not Phase her)
Deliberate annoyance of other people (Annoying is not the word!)
Blaming others for mistakes or misbehavior (It’s everyone else’s fault!)
Acting touchy and easily annoyed (Everything seems to annoy Autumn)
Anger and resentment (Her face says it all, picture a scowl!)
Spiteful or vindictive behavior (Not so much, thank god!)
Aggressiveness toward peers (when she’s in the zone, yes!)
Difficulty maintaining friendships (So sad, but yes, friends don’t come easy)
Academic problems (Yes, last year they wanted to retain her)

Related mental health issues
Oppositional defiant disorder often occurs along with other behavioral or mental health problems such as:


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (YES!)
Anxiety (YES!)
Depression (Have not seen this yet but it’s looming!)

So how do you love a child with this disorder? With Autumn it is easy. Although she can be extremely difficult she can also be the most loving, caring, sensitive child. Her smile lights up a room, her laugh is contagious. I try to remember her good qualities when I’m at my wit’s end. Lately I have been taking deep breathes to get through the moments. I try not to yell, I definitely do not hit. I use to spank, but at around age 3 autumn started to show signs of violence. Spanking made no sense, and honestly spanking did not phase her. Disappointment, yelling, reprimanding does not seem to phase her. Time outs work, taking tv away works, going to bed early works.

Presently I am thankful for the quiet times with autumn. As I write this she is sitting quietly drawing on her dry erase board. She is happy, content. Nothing is bothering her for the moment. I pray one day she grows out of this. I pray that she accepts rules and the way things are supposed to be. She has been resisting school again, she wants me to home school her:). If I could, maybe I would home school her, although she is overly attached to me so I’m not sure what that would do to our relationship. And who am I kidding, I couldn’t handle her, if I’m honest there are days I go to work and thank god I can get out of the house.

After writing this I’m not sure how helpful this is. Not sure I even answered the question, “how do you love your oppositional child”. I guess I just needed to get this out, I have been struggling myself for a while now. Autumn’s opposition and crabby attitude has been escaladed lately. We have had to increase her medications. At age 10 she has hit puberty which has not helped in the hormone department. She is also pissed at her body, she does not want to grow up. She wants her body to stop growing up. For a kid who does not transition well you could imagine what puberty (a major transition) would be like!!!!

So for now I take it one day at a time. Some days I take it one minute at a time. It’s all I can do. More on this later, I’m going to go enjoy my daughter :)!

Friday, March 5, 2010

10 Happy Things!

What are 10 things that make you happy????

Here are mine:

1) Thunder and lightning. I love the rain (hence my daughter's name, RayneJ). I even have a CD of thunder storms, it's one of my favorites, so relaxing. I especially love a midday thunder storm, there really is nothing that makes me happier!

2) The perfect summer day at the beach. I love the kind of day where you spend the afternoon down by the ocean, when it hits 5:00pm and the life-guards get everyone out of the water then leave for the day, we just sit there during low tide with our feet in the water, or in a circle talking to one another, eating dinner we packed for the occasion. The kids can swim and play and all the bennies have gone home, only the locals remain. It really is a perfect time, lounging about with the sand in between your toes. Perhaps I could work on cross-stitch or read a magazine. Ahhhh I can't wait!

3) ChapStick makes me happy. I really only like the original kind, you know the kind in the black tube. Nothing is better then smackin' my lips with some good ol' ChapStick . . . really I'm smiling now just thinking about it!

4) Newborn babies make me happy. I LOVE the newborn stage. My sister hates it, she'd much rather deal with a toddler. Not me, I love holding and caring for a newborn. I love rocking a baby to sleep and falling asleep myself while they sleep on my chest.

5) Photography. I love pictures, all kinds. I love looking at my own photographs and I love looking at other people's photos even if I don't know them. There is so much you can tell from a picture and then again there is so much to interpret. I guess that's what I like about it, I often wonder what others think of my pictures if they don't know me.

6) Burnt food. I LOVE burnt food and it makes me so happy to eat it! In our house, if we make cookies I will take the cookies out and then put back a few in the oven so they can get really dark and crisp. Interestingly I like my meat cooked medium-rare, this is the only exception, otherwise please make my food extra crispy!!!!

7) Autumn's laugh makes me extremely happy, not only her laugh but her smile. To have a daughter who is tortured by diagnosis after diagnosis and who is not comfortable in her own skin sometimes, to have her laugh and smile is the best feeling in the world. She has a really, really great laugh, it cracks us all up, and her smile is straight from HeavenJ!!!

8) Fist-pumping with Rayne makes me happyJ! I'm cracking up right now thinking about it. There are key, popular songs on the radio, that when they play, creates a fist-pumping, dance-crazy, reaction for Rayne and I. If you are ever beside us in the car you will know when this reaction occurs, the music will be blasting, the car will be rocking, and you will see both front seat passengers pumping their fists and dancing to the beat!!!!

9) Being alone makes me happy. I love having alone time, not in an anti-social way but just a quiet afternoon is just grand!

10) Being Jesus' hands makes me happy. I love serving God, I'd much rather get my hands dirty then "preach" about God.

Soooo???? What are you waiting for? What makes you happy??????

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My little hoarder!



Autumn is a hoarder. I suppose its all part of her PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) or a learned trait from her momma, but the truth is she LOVES HER STUFF!!!!

My sister was throwing out a dried flower wreath and Autumn just HAD to have some of the dried flowers. Hilary did her best to slowly pry the flowers from Autumn's little fingers but she managed to save a few flowers for her room. Since our flood we threw out everything in autumn's room except for the necessities and her most favorite toys. Slowly things are creeping back in. What she has managed to get back in her room so far:


  • Shoe box from Hilary's room she just HAD to have.
  • 12 sheets of paper with stickers on them.
  • Bunch of dried flowers.
  • 2 books she took from our "give away" bins.

Now this might not seem like a lot to you but this is only the start. These items will multiply and soon we will have the same hoarding situation like before the flood. I believe it all has to do with anxiety. It's her way of controlling her environment.


On another anxiety note Autumn has been obsessing about Middle School again.

SHE IS IN 4th GRADE FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She cried herself to sleep last night thinking about it. She's going to get lost, she won't know how to get on the bus, she won't know how to get to the nurse to take her meds, she won't know who to get to class, she won't know how to find her locker. I keep reassuring her that I will make sure she knows all these things, that she has an IEP and her caseworker will work with her to make sure she's okay. This doesn't help. At least she has only contained it to Middle School. I use to hear about High School and College too.


In two years I will have a hoarding middle-schooler on my hands!!!! LORD HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Quit Faking It

So my friend Courtney over at Storing Up Treasures just wrote an EXCELLENT post about faking it.

She writes about faking it:

"It is particularly an issue in the Christian circles. It is like if we admit we are completely and utterly human - than we somehow are disappointing everyone. I get tired of it. And I don't think it is being a good witness despite what some people think. You can argue with me all you want. But, God cannot be glorified in our prideful, pretending selves. He is glorified in our weakness. He is glorified when we are willing to say I'm really screwed up. That is why we need Jesus. I mean if we really had it all together like we pretend to, what on earth would we need Him for?"

So here it goes . . .

I am really screwed up and I too Jesus something fierce!

Here are some of the things I fake:
~ I fake being happy. Really most people are surprised to find out I take anti-depressants. "You laugh all the time, you are so cheery, I would never think that." Truth is I suffer from terrible depression. Right now I am depressed. Right now I don't want to go to work. Right now I want to go home and get in bed and sleep.

~ I fake that I pray a lot. I always tell people I'll pray for them, their lucky if I give a 2 second prayer up to God. It really sucks. I want to be a prayer warrior, truth is I'm not, I suck at praying.

~ I'm a hoarder and a horrible house keeper. Right now my house and living area looks great because my bedroom and my kids bedrooms were just flooded so we were forced to get rid of most things but the truth is I keep everything and unfortunately so does Autumn. I filled up a small dumpster with "stuff" all of which had no real value. I hate picking up the house. I hate doing dishes. I will leave dirty dishes in the sink for days, it doesn't bother me. I don't make my bed or make my kids make their beds, and it doesn't bother me. I don't put my clothes in the hamper and it doesn't bother me. Sure I love a clean house but I'd much rather curl up on the couch and read a magazine then clean.

~ I live paycheck to paycheck. I have no savings and no college funds for my kids. When it was really tough I emptied my kids savings accounts and haven't been able to replace the money I took.

~ The amount of money both my sister's make, makes me mad. I have the highest education in my family and I make the least. Yes it is a choice, yes I am a social worker, yes I work for a non-profit agency but it still makes me really mad that my sisters and brother-in-law make so much more than me. I have my masters and am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and I make the least!!!!! I have the most resonsibility and I make the least!!!!! It doesn't seem fair to me.

~ I fake it big time with my kids. Half the time I don't listen and just nod my head and say yes. It's horrible, I'm a space cadet some days. My 16 year old calls me on it now, not the best example of communication!!!! Sometimes just them leaning on me makes my skin crawl. I just want to be left alone sometimes. I don't like them all the time. I yell and I get an attitude. Somedays I suck as a mom.

~ Over the past 3 years I have become someone who doesn't follow through. I hate these kinds of people and I am now admitting that I have become one of them. I'll say yes to almost anything and in the past I have follow through with most of my "yes'" but lately I don't even do that.

~ I act like I'm a huge advocate for Autism, but honestly I just don't have the time to put into it. I wish I did. I wish I could learn all I need to learn for Autumn's sake but I don't. I don't read much about it and I envy the blogs I read that are dedicated to Autism and their children. I'm guess I'm just tired. Tired of talking about it when I have to live with it.

There is much more truth to me, I'll continue on when I have more time, you know like when I'm not cleaning my house!

Courtney wants to start a Mommy revolution. Will you join us and quit faking it? Will you start blogging about your real life and not the life you want us all to believe you are living?

"And if you want to stop faking it. Copy the code below. Add this button to your blog. Or better yet, write your own "Quit Faking it" post and post the button there. Encourage your readers to quit faking it too."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

MIRACLE





My best friend when to the doctor today for a follow-up visit to confirm she really did have a blighted ovum. Last week when they did the ultrasound there was no baby :(. There was the embryonic sac but no baby. Today they would decide what to do, induce the miscarriage with drugs or have her go for a D&C.

Over the past 7 days my friend has been going crazy with emotions. But something very significant happened. First of all she was prayed over by some very powerful prayer warriors. Second of all God is in control, we are not.

Today when she had an ultrasound THERE WAS A BABY!!!!!!!!!! NOT ONLY A BABY BUT A BABY WITH A VERY HEALTHY STRONG BEATING HEART!!!!!

GOD IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Car Wash

Rayne was in a play this weekend. She truly is a natural. Never nervous. Just get's up there and turns it on!!!! Here is a snipit of her act.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Heavy Hearted on Valentine's Day

My best friend lost her baby this week. She was 7 weeks pregnant. I can't explain how I feel about this. Her little sister called me with the news. It's been a rough week for all of us but I can't imagine how rough it has been for my friend and her husband.



The good news is we all believe the baby is with Jesus. Some day my friend will be reunited with her wee-one. Will you pray with me? Pray for the healing my friend needs to move on. Pray that God will give her a healthy baby in the near future. Please pray.

I must admit this brings out tons of emotions in me.

GUILT is the biggest emotion right now. I feel guilt for so many different things. Guilt that I am SO fertile. That a man looks at me and I'm impregnated. That at 18 years old I was so irresponsible and got pregnant without even thinking about it. That at 25 my ovulation lined up "just right" on that fateful afternoon in December 1998.

I feel guilty that I can't handle my kids at times. That my 10 year old with Autism drives me to tears, that my depression takes over because parenting her is just too much sometimes. That my 16 year old and I fight, it seems, day and night. If only my friend and the couples I meet who are infertile could go through this. They would kill to go through this.

My part-time job as an adoption caseworker only compounds my guilt at times. I cringe every time a wanting couple asks me about my kids. I cringe when they ask, "How old?". When I reveal I have a 16 year old I always get the "shocked" look, and the standard response of, "You don't look like you could have a 16 year old." To which I have to answer, "Yes I was VERY young when I had her".

GUILT.

I also have guilt because I'm feeling depressed lately. I'm actually going nuts. The space I created with my boyfriend is killing me. And if I'm honest the last few days I have not created space but have suffocated him with emails, phone calls, and texts.

It seems he now is the one who wants space.



He's right but me in my female-hormonal induced craziness is now going nuts. I now am yearning for his company, his voice, his touch. I now want him with me.

But what about the Holy Spirit? What about what HE revealed to me over the toilet? Have I forgotten all that?

YEP!

I hate myself for this. Why am I not running to Christ? Why am I not having FAITH? Why am I not putting my love life in the hands of my FATHER?

GUILT



My best friend is broken hearted. I "think" I'm broken hearted, but really compared to her pain I am not.

I have some soul searching to do. I have to talk to God. I have to run to HIM instead of picking up the phone, or typing an email, or texting a message. I have to pick up His Word. Search for the answeres. Find the clarity I'm looking for. I need to get rid of this GUILT.

So this Valentine's Day it looks like I'm alone. I suppose it's the best way for me to be right now.

ALONE

But really . . . am I?

Friday, February 12, 2010

16 YEARS



Rayne Theodora Bailey Trouwborst

16 Years

I can not believe it.

You are so beautiful. So smart. So funny.

You hold my heart. My first born. My baby.

I can not imagine what the next 16 years will bring!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What I am thankful for . . . today

1) . . . for my late grandmother Lillian. I miss her a lot lately . . . I loved her so much.
2) . . . for my sister and her generosity. She opened her house to me and my kids and it truly feels like home.
3) . . . for my job. Although I don’t always appreciate it I am thankful for what I do and my ability to do it.
4) . . . for sugar-free Kool-Aid. I had no clue it was so good!!!!!!
5) . . . for my friends, who love me no matter how many times I screw up.
6) . . . for Autumn. She is truly UNIQUE and a blessing straight from Heaven.
7) . . . for Rayne. She is a vision of beauty . . . really . . . have you seen a recent picture of this kid?
8) . . . for Rayne’s father Frazz. We don’t always get along but he is a blessing.
9) . . . for music. It feeds my soul.
10) . . . for the Bible. I take it for granted . . . every day.


"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8

Sunday, February 7, 2010

SNOW




It has snowed here.

And snowed.


And snowed . . .

And did I mentioned SNOWED!!!!!




Autumn hasn't minded! In fact she loves the snow and it provides tons of "heavy work" for her to do which helps her tremendously with all her sensory issues!!!!! She has the same reaction to sand and water. Put her on a beach or in a pool and she is in hog heaven!!!!!!

I recently went to a workshop on Autism and the psychologist who spoke emphasized how important it was to take care of our children's sensory issues first. I agree whole heartily. Autumn can not function when her sensory issues are not taken care of, and you don't want to be around when she short circuits!!! So for the next few days she will enjoy the snow, and our house will be a little quieter!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Still listening

I'm still listening to God. My stomach has recovered but my heart has not. You see the guy I have "created space" with was well a great guy. I thought he was the one. Maybe he still is, IF God wants him to be. All I know is God wants me to step away. Remarkably I feel really good about it. I mean don't get me wrong I'm going through withdrawal.

Me and my guy use to talk several times a day so not having that is strange.

But guess what? I have clarity again. For the first time in 3 months it's clear that God had a HUGE calling he wants me to fulfill. I just know it.

Foster care is one of the callings. I don't know when and I have a feeling it's years from now but I know I will be a foster parent. I can't wait! This morning God told me I would be and the exciting part is that He also revealed to me that Autumn will be greatly involved. This makes sense since she loves babies. She might be socially challenged but she loves holding and caring for babies. I have a feeling we are going to be a great team for Christ some day!!!!!

Well I have to go . . . there's a big storm heading my way . . . good time to LISTEN to what God has to say . . . just me and 2 feet of snow!!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Listening to God through vomit and diarrhea

Do you believe God speaks to you? I mean really speaks to you?

I want to talk to you honestly. I'm afraid I have not been that honest in my blogs, maybe it's because I fear you will judge me, whoever "you" maybe that is reading this. Perhaps I am afraid I will offend someone, as I have in the past over my blog. Perhaps I'm afraid to really let "me" shine through. The truth is I'm tired. The truth is I don't think I can afford not to be honest on here. I have always been a writer. In high school and college I wrote poetry to show the world my "truth". After I graduated from college I stopped writing, not for lack of material but perhaps lack of time? I had 2 small children when I graduated with my masters so with a 6 year old and a newborn I stopped writing.

So anyway on to what I was asking you. Do you believe God speaks to you? If I'm honest I don't think I truly believed that . . . until this weekend.

God brought me to my knees. Literally, over the toilet bowl, on my knees, puking up my intestines. He had me sitting on the toilet as well, not only did I have a stomach virus that made me throw-up the contents of my stomach for 20 hours straight,He also blessed me with diarrhea for 48 hours straight. God spoke to me.

I know it might seem totally bizarre to some people that God would choose to speak to me through such a disgusting bodily function as vomiting and diarrhea but the truth is He did, He was there. In fact before I realized it was Him I was actually crying out to Him, "Why me, Lord, what did I do?"

You see in that moment the Holy Spirit spoke to me. Literally spoke to me. He told me to "Step Back" . . . "Create Space". I've been dating a great guy. This weekend we spent some time together. Then I got deathly ill . . . yes God was telling me to take a break from this relationship.

Now I could have resisted.

I could have told myself I was crazy to think that a stomach virus was the Holy Spirit speaking.

I could have told myself, I'm just sick, it will pass, he's a great guy.

I could have not listened.

But guess what????

I have chosen to listen. I have chosen to go with my gut . . . well go with the Holy Spirit.

I listened. I told him I needed space.

Then I cried. And cried, and cried. But guess what, God is with me. He knows what is in store for me and I'm willing to take the chance that Holy Spirit spoke to me.

It's pretty exciting. Really, scary. Pretty amazing. Pretty hurtful. Pretty raw. Pretty real.

So does God speak to you?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Marathon

So I decided to run the NJ Marathon Relay this year . . . AGAIN! Last year it poured the entire time . . . and I don't mean drizzle I mean POUR!!!!!!! It was still so much fun. Last year I ran for the Kourtney Rose Foundation . Team Kourtney was such a great organization to run for!!!!

This year I am running for my agency. We provide services to individuals with developmental disablilities. Our primary clientle have physical disabilities.

So yesterday I started training. I ran 1.5 miles and I almost had a heart attack. I'll be running the 7.9 mile leg so I have a long way to go. I will keep you updated on my progress.

I also plan on drinking massive amounts of water and stop eating at 8pm every night. Hopefully it will get some of this poundage off!!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

2010

So far in 2010 I . . .
1) Haven't blogged :(
2) Found an incredible man :))))))))
3) Turned into a mother of a 16 year old :)
4) Have increased my adoption work :)
5) Haven't ran :(
6) Haven't been to church :(((((((((((((


What I want to do in 2010 . . .
1) Run 7.9 miles in the NJ Marathon
2) Lose 50 pounds
3) Paint my room
4) Get back to church . . . :)))))))))
5) Become debt free
6) Blog once a week
7) Become organized