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Monday, November 3, 2008

Back to Church ..... Comments About Family Life

Sarah was able to attend church again yesterday for the first time since surgery, which means I was able to attend church again for the first time since Sarah had surgery.
It was nice to be back!

Bob Deffinbaugh spoke yesterday on Hebrews 7, but it was his last part of his sermon that stuck in my mind so very well, and I am thankful that he spoke it, as they are words of wisdom.

Here is the female regurgitated version of what he said:

Be cautious that you do not look to a shepherd, an accountability group, a mentor a trusted friend or counselor and replace them with being accountable to Christ, to looking to Christ and having them be your intermediary instead of trusting your Christ and your relationship with him, depending upon personal prayer and the word.

Excellent advice. He was not saying that mentors are bad or seeking wisdom from a trusted counselor is bad. What he was saying was be careful not to replace them with seeking God directly.


Now, about Family life Comments.

I have had several people ask me how Anna is taking being a sister to special needs sisters. They have made comments like, "The other girls have all these needs and get special attention and then she is just there", or "she doesn't get the attention they do."

I wish these types of comments didn't bother me, but honestly, they do. Not because I am blinded and cannot see the girls individually, or because I think Anna has no needs, but because it is implied that Anna is being ignored. She isn't.

I am so thankful that we have already done this before with our boys. Our lives were different than many families because we had a child with special needs. But you know what? Different is just that... DIFFERENT. It isn't less than, it is different. Anna's life just as her brother's lives were not "less than" or defined by things we did not do. In my opinion, all of our lives have been made richer and broader and fuller and raw and real. We have had opportunities we would have never known. We would have never met the wonderful people we have met over the years. We would never have had opportunity to minister to other's needs and hurts like we have been able to BECAUSE of "special needs".
"Special Needs" are also not limited to physical needs. Anna has special needs too, which are not visible to the human eye. She has every bit as many "needs" as her sisters do, and we are very aware of the specialness of our daughter. Unfortunately, her needs many times are looked over by others outside of our family. They can be misinterperated and misunderstood.
I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father that I can look to for wisdom and understanding in dealing with each of our children's individual needs. Anna does not feel the least bit "slided" by her family life. She is every bit a center part of it and loves being a helper. She is REALLY enjoying taking care of the animals herself right now and not having to share the "chore" of taking care of them with Sarah. :)

Sarah and Erika are both accountable themselves to be helpers in the home, with casts and without feet. They are both capable girls and we do not let them get away with being dependent when they don't need to be.

Each of our girls gets special time with mom and dad. We take them out alone at different times during the month and treat each of them individually and take that time to listen to them and have fun and enjoy them.

I have watched a few shows about people who have had special needs siblings and how much they resented it. I think the shows were slanted and slighted towards abortion.
I think they were grossly missing the point that ALL Humans have value and selfishness is not to be condoned but put aside and risen above. Selfishness is sin. To put yourself more important than another is wrong. There are just as many selfish people who resent even having a healthy sibling. :)

The way parents raise their children to view siblings is oh so important. We try to help our children to view their siblings as very special people whom they will have relationship longer than they will with us. Thus, those relationships are special relationships given to them from God.

Each one of our children is a blessing to us from the Lord. Each of them teaches us to be dependent upon the Lord for our very breath. Each of them bring us utmost joy.

We do not take those relationships lightly, nor do we ignore one for another. Sometimes we have to take more time with one, but that does not diminish our love for the others. Each person is of utmost value to us. I also do not feel guilt about needing to spend extra time with one than another. It all works itself out in due time. And... As I have told each of our children. God placed you here for a reason, in the order he placed you and in the body He gave you. IF you are the oldest, he must have thought you could handle it. If you are footless, he knew you didn't need feet to survive. If you are the youngest, he must have known you needed to be and could put up with a whole lot of bosses. :)

We put our trust and rest in the Lord, and we place our family in His Hands.

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