His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis

Faith

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

HERE WE GO AGAIN

When our son Tim was born, he was very premature. Because of complications, and a pretty bad hack job of a delivery, he had a massive brain hemmorage at 16 days old. This caused him to have Cerebral Palsey. They didn't tell us that he had Cerebral Palsy. They sort of let us find out on our own. When we started asking questions like, "why doesn't he bend his legs? Why is he so stiff? Why can't he turn over? Whey can't he sit up?" Then, they said, "Oh yeah, he has Cerebral Palsy." gee thanks.
I wish I had known that before. I could have spent a lot of time reading up on it to know what was ahead for us, and what we could do to help him.

I think the hardest part of having a child with disabilities is the isolation one feels from the general public, not the disability issue itself. It is hard sometimes continually being asked questions. Always being stared at. At home, it isn't an issue. Don't really notice anything. But then in public, it's another story. I'm not that shy, but do wish for anonimity sometimes.
Just to blend in. Nobody notice. Nobody stare. I remember one time when I went with Tim to the store when he was about 17, we kept getting stared at. For a while I couldn't figure it out. I actaully went into the bathroom to see if something was wrong with my hair or face. Then it dawned on me. They were staring at how he walks. LOL I had completely forgotten that it isn't every day that you see somebody walk like Tim. I really don't even notice it. But others do.

So, here we are, all old and everything. And now, we have 3 little girls. 2 of them have missing limbs. One, just her leg and some fingers, with some deformity of her existing leg and arms. The other one, has arthrogryposis, and had to have both feet amputated. They are wonderful, beautiful girls. Sweet beyond sweet. But what do people see? They see disfigurement. They see missing legs. They see "HANDICAPPED". And yes, we are back to being stared at all over again.
The sad thing to me is that nothing has changed over the past 25 plus years. People still don't teach their children not to stare. They still whisper while looking at you and don't smile. They still point. The same kids that made fun of our dear son, and stared at him, are now the parents of the kids who stare today. Nobody seems to learn, and that makes me sad.

So here we go again. Educating people that we do not know. Rising above the hurt, to say, we are just people with feelings.
And NO, you don't need to feel sorry for us. And NO our lives are not terrible. And NO we are not "catchy".

What we like to share is how wonderful, rich and full our lives really are.
After all, how many people can break their leg, drop it off at the hospital and pick it up the next day like we do?
How many people can take thier feet off when they hurt? I'm stuck with mine.
We are able to speak frankly with our children about love, understanding,ignorance, forgiveness, education. Are they special kids? YOU BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR THEY ARE!
But not because of the outside that society tries to define them with; but because of the inside that reveals their true spirits of kindness, bravery, confidence and love.
How many people have the privelege of meeting and working intimately with some of the finest Doctors., prosthetists, nurses and all around great folks on a regular basis all for the cause of making a child's life successful?

And I can't forget to mention the silent siblings. First, our 3 other boys, who lovingly cared for and watched over thier brother. Who patiently and sometimes not so patiently protected him. Who waited for him to get back from a missions trip so they could all go to college together. Who encouraged him to keep on keeping on and follow his dreams, when he got discouraged.
And to our little Anna, who quietly serves her sisters. Many times she helps them find their socks. She knows the exact socks they are supposed to wear and many times wakes up early to help them get dressed. She has helped Erika with the bathroom, making sure she has wipes. She has actually surprised us and carried her to the bathtub, out of the tub and gotten her dressed, only to say, "mom Erika's done with her bath, it's time to get her out!" Then, I go to get her out and there is howling laughter at my surprise! She has helped Erika put her legs on and surprised us with Erika walking out of the bedroom all dressed. What joy she brings us with her servants heart.

So we will continue to share our blessings with those who truly know what blessings are. And to educate those who don't.
This is the Life that God has chosen for us, and we are most grateful.

Friday, May 25, 2007

RANDOM THOUGHTS


I was looking at some pictures of our new little grandson Sam. Look at how he is engaging his mom at 3 weeks old! His mommy and daddy are his delight. He trusts them fully. He does not doubt that his mommy and daddy will take care of his every need. When he cries, they are there to comfort him. When he is hungry, they are there to feed him. When he is cold they keep him warm. He is cuddled and loved by them and he adores them.

Now, I think our our own dear little girlies. Left in beds. When they cried, nobody came, so they ceased crying. When they were hungry, nobody fed them, so they found other ways to satisfy their most basic needs. When they were cold, they shivered. When they wanted to talk to somebody, there was nobody, so they cooed to themselves, they comforted themselves, they rocked themselves.

To think, that every moment of every day for Sam's first 5 weeks of life now, he has been cared for; I couldn't imagine his needs not being met, even for 5 weeks. That would be terrible!
But, I know, our own dd's needs were not met for YEARS. How can we fathom Years of neglect?
We nearly can't. Our hearts would break.

What amazes me even more is that they are all blossoming into lovely young ladies, full of love and compassion for each other, for their own mommy and daddy, and for others outside of their immediate family.
I am amazed at their capacity to forgive, move on, grow and explore their new world. It IS a new world for them. To see little babies being cared for the way they never were, has got to bring a tinge of pain to them. After we see the babies, they ask if we can rock them. We do.
I cannot make up for their loss. I cannot change their loss. What I CAN do, is grieve for them, with them, and guide them to maturity. I cannot pretend that they were never neglected or that it hasn't effected them in some way. It has profound impact. My prayer is that they will use it as a tool of understanding that most will never know, and not an implement of destruction to continue the cycle of neglect. I have a sneaking suspicion, that they will use it as a tool for the positive.

Thanks for hearing my heart break for them.
Now I will turn around and smile at them, and continue to love them.
They always have a way of mending my heart.

TURKEY MAMA


Sarah is in charge of the baby Turkeys. Today, when she went to the coop, she and Anna found one a little weak and looking rather sickly. We determined that he might be a little cold, getting pushed out from under the warm light. So Sarah decided to keep him warm alone for a while and bring him in the house. The girls were eating their breakfast and Anna asked if she could hold him for a while. Sarah cautiously said, "well ok, but watch his head!"

Thursday, May 24, 2007

FARMER ANNA


Today Anna and I drove the sheep to Trenton to be turned into food. She has gotten used to the trip, and enjoys going. She has really turned into a farmer. :)

Today, as we were driving, it seems that we were noticing lots of new housing developments popping up where there used to be corn and wheat fields. It is progress, I guess, but also sad. It seems to way of life that we so love is giving way to "city folks" who want to be country folks, without the country. Meaning, they like having space between their homes, but instead of cows, sheep or goats, there are big fancy swimming pools and rec rooms instead of barns. Then, those very people who encroached on our way of life, turn around and snub thier noses at us "low class farmer types" and start to demand that those smelly animals be moved to where they belong! The country!!
Well hello! We WERE the country, until YOU moved here!
Not that I'm venting or anything..... but, it is getting harder and harder to keep a precious way of life safe.

Back to Anna.

She asked the question. How Long before we will have to get rid of our animals? I told her I didn't know, but my guess was, not too long. She proteseted, WE HAVE to have animals! I can't LIVE WITHOUT animals! :) She is a good animal keeper, I must say. She takes great care of them. I do not have to remind her to feed them or spend time with them.

So, what does she do? What any farmer would do. All the way to Trenton, she was looking at property and for sale signs.
She kept saying, "There's a good place! Look at that barn!" "That one has a pond!"

I think she has the farmer bug. I'm so proud of her. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Post Office and Turkeys


You might be thinking, what do post offices have to do with turkeys? Well, that can be two fold.

The first Turkey I ran into at the post office was an employee. He asked to see my ID because I was purchasing stamps with a credit card. He dramatically looked at my ID, then ME, then my ID, then Me. Finally he said, you look nothing like this picture, IS THIS YOU? DUH!!! Like I'm going to say NO, if I was some sort of terrorist trying to buy a roll of stamps.

Could I possibly look like a terrorist crook? I'm standing there, amost 50 years old, bandana on my head, white t shirt, favorite jeans, socks and birkenstocks. The worst thing somebody dressed like me would commit would be preventing somebody from cutting a tree down in Washington State. I was only lacking my Starbucks to prove the point!

Ok, so the guy was a Turkey.

Fast forward to 2 days later:

I get a call from the famous Post Office telling me my Turkeys are in to please come and pick them up.
HUH!!!! They are a tad early. I wasn't expecting them till next week. Oh well. Turkeys, we aren't ready but what the hey, let's load up in the van and start a new adventure.

We get to the post office and they look at us like we are from Mars. Turkeys? What turkeys? I say, "you called me 10 minutes ago! What do you mean "what turkeys!" So, I call home and have mike get the Number from Caller ID. It turns out my Turkeys are over an hour away at the Coppell Post office. I am trying to figure this out, and it turns out that the Coppell Post Office is a big branch for all the other post offices. BUT... the package said, when it arrives, call customer for pickup!
Now I know, that package went to at least 3 post offices, with that sort of Logic, I would have had to pick them up in Idaho where they originated!
The person on the phone actually tried to defend not sending them to Wylie! Even though we have picked chickens up in Wylie on more than one occasion!
I'm thinking, did they transfer the Wylie guy to Coppell????
DUH.
So, I agree to drive ove ran hour to pick them up. Then they say, oh, you aren't a business? You can't pick them up here, this is only for businesses and other post offices, there is HIGH SECURITY HERE you won't be able to get in!!!
WHAT!!!!
Ok, so my Turkeys are not in Wylie, but Coppell. They called me to come and pick them up, but now that I'm coming, they can't let me in becuase I'm not supposed to be there? It is high security??

I get a call back after they figure things out and get permission to pick up my poor turkeys. When we arrive a lady looks at my license plate, has me write my name on a check list and tells me what loading dock to go to. I walk up and tell them what I am here for. (I'm the Turkey lady!!") They go get my turkeys and ask to see my driver's license. You know, the one that doesn't look like me! That one. I'm thinking OH GREAT, I'm going to get arrested for Turkey Theft because I don't look like me. He didn't say a thing about me not looking like my driver's license picture.

I drove off back to Wylie wondering....... Who are the real Turkeys?

gobble gobble

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I WON'T BE WEARING MY LEGS TODAY

Last night when I was putting Erika to bed, she said, I'm not going to be wearing my legs tomorrow. I couldn't really get an answer from her as to why. She isn't in any pain, she likes them, she just decided to leave them off.

Wouldn't it be nice if your feet hurt, to just, take them off? Or if you wanted to laze around for the day, just, remove your legs so nobody would expect anything from you, except that you could sit on the couch and knit?

Well, this a.m., she said again, "I won't be wearing my legs today." Hmmm. Now, I figured last night, she was just tired. But this a.m.? There are places to go, people to see, things to do. So I asked her, "did anybody say anything to you about your legs? No. Did your legs hurt you yesterday? no. Are you mad at your legs? No.

Then, I asked, are you worried about surgery? BINGO! Tears started flowing. I'm going to be in a CAST for 8 WEEKS!!!!
I won't be able to move or get around! That isn't totally true. You will be in a wheel chair and can roll around, albiet from a laying position, but get around YES.
So my question was, "so why are you punishing yourself by not getting around now?" Smile. I dunno.

If she decides to wear her legs, I'll be happy. If she doesn't, my back will be sad.
We'll get through the day together.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I Love You Gramma

I saw Lillian yesterday. We went to take Chuck to register Katie for school next year. She will be in the 6th grade. Lillian came along and was her sweet self. She adores her Daddy. As he was coming out of the school office, she started to smile and was whispering, "that's daddy". As he got closer to the car, those adoring little eyes lit up and she was smiling at me and saying, "THAT' MY DADDY!"
So darling.
When Chuck got in the car, she said, "hi daddy" with a big ole' smile on her face. :)

When we drove to their home to drop them off, Chuck took her out of the car and she looked at me and said, "bye gramma! I love you gramma. "

What a little joy she is, and she brings me great joy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back Troubles

This blog would not be complete without a complaint about my back. Right now, it is hurting so badly that I wish I could just take something and go lay down in a cold room with lots of blankets and sleep it away. I can't. I need to stay busy. I need to stay happy. I need to work it so that it doesn't keep getting worse.

The problem is, IT IS getting worse. It doesn't seem to matter what I do. I can rest it, relax it, take drugs for it, massage it, x ray it, not lift with it, lift with it, cry about it, laugh about it, and it is still with me. I can't see it, it is behind me, but I sure can feel that it is there.

I have so many things in my mind that I really, really want to do, but when I go to do them, my back screams at me.
Sometimes it is a low whine. Sometimes it is a boring, dull ache that says noooo, and sometimes it is a shrill scream that says, WHOA! Don't do that again!!!! Sometimes it scrunches up and I have to run for a chair. Sometimes it refuses to let me get off of the floor after playing with the kids. Sometimes it feels like a lit fire and it warms my feet for me. Sometimes it won't let me drive, or turn my head to look at something pretty. Sometimes, it leaves me alone and I have a day to smell the flowers.
However, those days are getting more and more rare.

It is garden planting time. One of my favorite times of year. I went outside and saw the wood pile that needs moved to plant the garden, and went back in. My back was still smarting from loading the dish washer. If I try to move wood, I might have to lay down for a while. If I lay down, I can't get the floor scrubbed or finish the laundry. If I scrub the floor and finish the laundry, I will have to lay down anyway, so I may as well do as much as possible and then lay down.

So what now.... ???

I guess nothing. I can spend big bucks on more x rays to find out what I already know. There really isn't anything to be done.
I can park closer at stores because of a handicapped bumper sticker. I can park farther away because it is good to walk.
I can lay on my back and feel sorry for myself, or I can lay on my back and spend my time wisely, praying for others, praying for our missionaries, praying for the Lord to teach me to be content in whatever state I am in.
The problem though sometimes is complicated when other's are not content with the state that I am in. They need me to do more than I can do. Then I start to dwell on what I can't do, knowing I am making them unhappy and dissatisfied and then it is hard to do what I can do.
It turns into a cycle of sadness sometimes. I have to fight it. FIGHT IT!

So now, I must do what I know I can do.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Reconstructing Erika

Erika continues to be "under construction". :)
Her Dr. visit went great and she was able to show the Dr. the problems she is having with getting up from the floor. It doesn't happen. She can scoot on her back to the couch, and then wiggle up the coffee table with her back and neck, but that isn't so comfortable.

The Dr. viewed the video clip and said he felt they could do something to make her quality of life so much better.
Now, for a while, it will make it worse for all of us. :( It will require a body cast for 6 weeks, then, therapy to get walking again. After that, the sky is the limit!

She is very motivated to get it done. It will interfere with swimming plans for summer, but that is ok, it just has to be.
There will always be next summer.
And, swimming. Who knows, maybe she will learn to swim.

What a brave girl.

Mother's Day Musings

I have to say, that a few days ago, I was in a bit of a dismal mood and couldn't be bothered with Mother's Day. "Why do we have to be bothered wtih 'made up' days to make the card companies richer?" Those were my thoughts.

Then, the dreaded day arrived. I had already sent a few e cards out for my dear daughter's in law, and I love to do that for them. My problem is with me. I am uncomfortable with attendtion being paid to me. I know Mike doesn't care for holiday hubaloo, so I get uncomfortable with him feeling obligated. There are some things that cause him stress, and holidays is one of them. :)

So, on mother's day, I awoke to some sweet cards from the girls, and they WERE very sweet. They were so excited, that it made me feel excited too. It really was a special day after all, I am their mother and they are my daughters. Our son's being grown ups now with their own families are remembered on that day too. What life was like when they were little. It was really fun with them just as it is with the girls now.

So, here goes, this is what my day was like.

As I said before, I woke up to sweet cards and a box of treasures the girls collected. Anna's shawl that is too itchy, so she wanted me to have it. A baby seal, a tag from her clothing, a paper doll and a jewelry box.
We headed to church via the donut shoppe and picking up Katie. When worship was over, we headed home. Mike asked, what do you want to do? ( I hate that question) I was thinking, just go home and take a nap. But you see, as mothers, we really can't do that to our little children. They want to celebrate! We talked about the zoo, but there really wasn't enough time. So, because of my gluten free anti restaurant need, we stopped and got some tacos and headed to the local park.
We don't go to the park often, and it was special to go with mom and dad; so it was a real treat.
After playing in the park with the girls, we walked down town Wylie and stopped in for a cup of coffee, and the girls were treated to candy. They were so excited. Sarah said, "I think I'm dreaming!" This is the happiest day of my life!"
Wow. Simple pleasures.
We sat in front of the coffee shoppe and watched the girls play. Then we all headed back to the car.

I took a nap, sort of. Between the tortuous pain of having my hair styled by 2 8 year olds and a 7 year old, and having a manicure and pedicure, I managed to fall asleep and wake up to a french nail job. :)
It was so sweet.
Then it was off to McKinney Bible to listen to a missionary speak and see his slide show.
We also saw our children and dear grandson Will.

When we got home, it was 10:00. Anna and Mike didn't go to the store for a mother's day card. They were regretful.
I'm GLAD they didn't go to the store. We had a great time together, loving each other and spending time together.
That is what mother's day is about.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Head Coverings and Me

I have struggled with the idea of head coverings for many,many years. In Corinthians chapter 11, one half of the chapter is devoted to this topic. If it were just one verse, or 2 verses, I could probably brush it off. But it isn't. It is 16 verses.
Then I have heard it taught that a woman's hair IS her covering. I tried that one on for a while but can't get past vs. 6
"if a wife will not cover her head she should cut he hair short". If the hair is the covering, then why would Paul be saying if you don't cover it, cut if off? (which is in line with a prostitute in that time)
Her hair is not just her covering, her hair is her glory. In vs.15 it states this.
And a woman is not to show her glory. She is to have it covered because her husband is the image and glory of God and he is her authority. A woman should cover her head because she is the image and glory of man, and we do not want to glorify man, but God.
There is also an interesting verse that speaks of the angels watching us. Because of the angels. vs.10. Because of the angels? Yes they are watching and learning. Is it possible they could get confused by who is in charge, if the woman doesn't cover her head? Why are they watching? I don't know. But in in vs. 12 it says, And all things are from God.

So, why do I struggle with this? Probably because in our modern society, covering one's head is seemingly odd. It is associated with the Amish, Mennonites or Muslims. . I certainly wouldn't want to be associated with Muslims. I am also not Amish or Mennonite, but believe many of the same things.
EDITED:  (this statement has been taken as an offense. My apologies.  I am trying to say, I want to represent Christ, and dress in a way that would Honor Him, not to be labeled with any particular sect or group. I may be worrying way to much about what others think... and that is a problem I need to deal with personally.  Thank you for your criticism, as Iron sharpens Iron. I did not remove the statement, but struck it through, so the comments can be clarified)

There is also harsh criticizm and judgement from ladies who don't cover their heads. At the church I attend now, a few women cover their heads in church. I wonder how we came to the conclusion that it must only be done during church? Most don't even bother at church. I do most of the time, and then there are times I forget, because I am not covering my head all the time even though I feel compelled to do so. At a church I once went to , they refused to allow women to cover their heads. They said it was "legalistic". Is it legalistic to want to do what God wants us to do? Is it legalistic to be modest? Is it legalistic to want to be modest? Is it legalistic to have long hair?

I think it CAN be. Heart attitude is important here. BUT... heart attitude is not mentioned in these verses. If you are submissive in heart, submissive to your husband, and have a quiet spirit, then are you exempt from covering your head?
It doesn't say that.

Is my problem hidden pride? I would have to say yes. What do others think of me? What will people say? Will they think I'm legalistic? Oh heaven forbid! and it goes on from there. My focus winds up being me. And, that is prideful.

Lord, help me to do what is right; not what is right in my own eyes, but what is true and honorable. Please lead me and guide me. Help me not to offend. Help me to be a blessing to my husband and not a burden. Help me to cause your glory to shine through him.

Joe's graduation Ceremony is Tomorrow!

Our 3rd son Joseph is graduating from college tomorrow. He has worked so very hard and parents just could not be prouder than we are of him. He is the second son to graduate from College. His commitment is so commendable. He started at Collin County Community College where he quickly found professors who saw great potential in him. He is still very good friends with one of his professors who was also a mentor to him.

During is Jr. year in College, he got married to his childhood friend Becca, and after all classes were completed for his degree, Becca and Joe had a baby boy named Samuel Parker Minich. He is a doll.

Joe, we are so happy for you. I know seminary is starting soon, so there is more school, but I believe you will go through it just fine and be able to serve the Lord in whatever capacity he places you.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Our dear brother Jim

We are so sad. Our dear brother Jim died of complications during the treatment of his Leukemia.
Jim was a great guy. He was patient and sweet and had a huge appetite. :) He worked it up by skiing
and wakeboarding on the lake nearly daily. He left behind a big hole in all of our hearts. We are really going
to miss you jim.

You can view the blog kept by the family at www.todayskid.biz/jim

You Are Still Holy

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