Counting It A Privilege

As my son has become more physically handicapped over these past few years from his Dystonia,  it has become more of a challenge to care for him.

I find myself daily at a mental crossroads. Will I complain and murmur (inwardly or outwardly) or will I “count it all Joy”?

When I’m exhausted from an evening of feeding David his dinner (which could take an hour if he is moving in slow motion) and trying to help him be relaxed while he is trying to manipulate the mouse on the computer, how do I come across to him? Do I give him the impression that he is a burden?

And what about the times when I say to my husband, “but I fed him lunch” or “but I’ll be taking care of him the rest of the day when you go to work” or “but I put him to bed 5 nights a week”. Do I actually say that? And in front of David?! Pierce my heart! I’ve tried to zip my lips more lately.

I want to be more like Jesus. He never complained:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. “ (Phil. 2:5-8)

To consider it a daily privilege to care for David. That is my prayer. To say, “Thank you Lord for the privilege of caring for David while on this earth!”

I must confess, there are times when I feel more like he is a ball and chain rather a gift from the Lord. Did I really just say that? I hate to admit it but I’m just trying to be real and honest. I have a feeling that I’m not the only parent of a special needs child who has felt that way.

But

It doesn’t have to be that way anymore!

We have a choice. We can, by God’s Grace, change our mind, change our thinking.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

From this day forward, by the Grace of God, I can count it all Joy. I can count it a high honor and privilege to care for my son each day!

And to start and end each day with Gratitude for the high privilege of being chosen to care for “one of the least of these” for His name’s sake!
May you find joy and blessings too as you “count it a privilege” to care for your special needs child or loved one!

Dayna

aka. hopebuilder

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The Hardest Arithmetic Problem!

The Hardest Arithmetic Problem!

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”
American Social Writer, Eric Hoffer

Before your feet hit the floor each morning, express at least 2 thoughts of gratitude to the Lord.

 

Count your blessings. Name them one by one!

May you realize your blessings today!

 

 

 

Why not bless someone today?

Do it here!

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It Takes Courage!

I recently came across this poem and thought it was certainly worth sharing.

 

I think for a parent of a special needs child, it is very appropriate.

 

Strength and Courage! That’s what it takes! May this poem encourage you and bless you!

 

 

 

 

 

IT TAKES COURAGE

Author Unknown

It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.

 

It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.

 

It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt.

 

It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.

 

It takes strength to feel a friend’s pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

 

It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.

 

It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another.

 

It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.

 

It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.

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Who Am I? – Casting Crowns

Do you ever need a reminder of who loves you?

Inspirational videos are a wonderful way to start the day! May this beautiful song by Casting Crowns be a reminder of whose you are! If you love Him it is a comfort. If you don’t know Him, I pray that you will fall on your face before Him and realize how much He loves you and wants you.

Blessings to you this day!

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First You Die – Finding Contentment and Joy In Difficult Places

How do you find contentment and joy in difficult places?

Over the past year, as David’s Dystonia has gotten worse and other life situations have become more challenging, I find myself asking this question more.

I guess it’s in how we let ourselves see things. We all have our own set of “difficult” circumstances – my dear friend from high school being the soul caregiver for her husband ill with the late stages of  alzheimer’s (he is only about 53) and now having to make some very hard decisions, my friend up north whose son is manic depressed and is a danger to himself and others, my mother-in-law in her 70′s taking care of her husband and getting up sometimes 7 times a night with him, our sweet friend who is suffering so severely with Dystonia that she is now in the hospital on a feeding tube and who knows what else attached to her to keep her stable until the doctors can find the right setting for her stimulator.  I could go on. The Lord has brought many people across my path in very difficult circumstances,

It sure is easy to wallow  in self pity with a complaining attitude.  But that only makes it worse and we end up feeling more miserable and making life miserable for those around us.

I cry out often, ” Lord, help me to be content and joyful!”

As long as I’ve know her, my mother-in-law has  said, “It’s a chance to die.” whenever a situation was difficult. I would often cringe and think to myself, “but that is such a negative way to look at things. I’d much prefer to think on the positive and say it’s a chance to be grateful.” But lately, I’m coming into a better understanding of this “negative” concept.

“A chance to die.”

Jesus said, “Unless the kernel of wheat fall to the ground and die, it will bear no fruit.” Joy, contentment and a heart of gratitude is fruit.

Death brings life. What a strange concept. Jesus had to die in order to rise again and so that we might “live”. How beautiful!

We live our lives so naturally seeking our own pleasures. Not all of life is difficult and challenging. There were many years when the children were young and we were homeschooling and David seemed a little slow and mom was still living. I remember thinking, “Life is so perfect! When is it going to hit?” and then feeling guilty for those thoughts because it seemed like I wasn’t trusting in the sovereign loving Father that I know.

But when challenging times come we realize just how self-centered we are. And we grasp at anything to bring joy and happiness. But now I’m seeing it. Death brings life. I feel like I know more. I feel like I know and trust our Father more deeply than before. I feel like I have a deeper sympathy and understanding for others going through deep waters. That is life, isn’t it. Death brings life.

So as I learn daily to die to my own selfishness by the grace of God, I am finding a deeper contentment and a deeper joy in Him. I am learning to joyfully receive and delight in the challenges in life.

May you be blessed as you find your contentment and joy in Him!

 

 

 

 

 

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True Colors : Are you a Peacock or a Duck?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just ran across this little inspiring story about the Peacock and the Duck. It really makes you think! Which one do you want to be like? Choose wisely! :)

“Spectators watched a peacock spread it’s tail and show it’s bright feathers in a park zoo. The bird thrilled them as it strutted about in it’s pen, showing off it’s beautiful tail.

Then, a duck waddled across park nearby. The peacock became angry and chased the duck into the pond.  In it’s rage, the peacock’s tail closed like a fan and it seemed ugly.

But the duck, swimming gracefully in the water, seemed attractive.  Those who had praised the peacock now delighted in the duck.

Sometime our true colors don’t show until we are put in a pressure situation.  When the heat comes your way, do you react like the peacock or the duck? ” (this story is from Seeds From the Sower)

 

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

I hope you chose the duck! Have a blessed day!

 

 

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Focus For Gracious Living

Is it part of going through the “change of life”?
Maybe it’s A.D.D. (undiagnosed)

Maybe it’s from having a unique family with a special needs child and another one whose chosen field in life is “undecided”.
Or is it that I have so many ideas swimming around in my head all the time that it’s just so hard to stay focused!
When I was in elementary school I had good report cards. But often, the teacher would write about an issue in the comment box that she wanted to address with my mom.

“Dayna daydreams too much.”

Somehow, that was negative. Would you rather be labeled a “dreamer” or a “realist” (or one who is pragmatic) Although I would rather be blamed for being a dreamer, it often gets me into trouble by causing me to lose sight of where I’m headed. I often get geared up and excited about a goal but  soon fizzle out because another idea comes across my path.

The Bible says life is like running a race and gives us the directions.

 ”Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.” Hebrews 12:2

This is the bottom line. In all of life, this is where FOCUS begins and ends.

May you be blessed and inspired as you consider where your focus is in life and see where you might need to tweak!

 

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Thankfulness List With My Special Needs Child

Sometimes it’s easy to dwell on the difficult things we face as parents of children with disabilities. As David’s special needs have increased over the years, especially as his Dystonia has developed, life has become more complicated. And although it’s easy to focus on the negative, by God’s grace, I try to choose to focus on the positive things daily. Here are some of the things I’m thankful about on a regular basis. Hopefully it will spark your own daily thankfulness list:

  • A kind caregiver with very similar values
  • An easy-going disposition from David
  • The freedom to have choices to work from home
  • That my husband still has his job in the newspaper world when so many others around him are losing theirs
  • That David has had excellent health. So many people with special needs have fragile health.
  • That David has developed his own ways of communicating his needs and wants.
  • For a good sense of humor.
  • For the knowledge and experience that God loves us and is lovingly sovereign.
  • That we have the freedom to have David home with us and take care of him ourselves (with the help of our part time caregiver too)
  • When I can’t think of anything to be thankful for, the one thing I can say is that, “Well, it could be worse!” :)

That’s my short list for today.  I find it helpful to start each day by saying outloud a few things like this that I’m thankful for. It sets the tone for the day.

“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. “  Psalm 107:1

I am linking up with Ann at A Holy Experience today, where we are sharing our gifts to 1000 (and beyond).  Will you join me there?  Or leave a comment below and tell me how you are thankful today?

Have a blessed day!

Dayna

aka. hopebuilder

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Another DBS Miracle!

When a suffering and contorted child or adult finds dramatic help from their Dystonia it is a chance to stand and shout it from the rooftop!

That is why it is with great pleasure and rejoicing that I share this story of DBS and Dystonia with you.  It is a story of a seemingly perfectly normal child whose life is turned upside-down when he begins to show signs of Dystonia at age 11. What is Dystonia? Dystonia is a neurological disorder which causes muscles to contract involuntarily, forcing affected body parts into awkward and often painful positions.

Sometimes Dystonia is caused by a genetic flaw in the genetic code. This was the case for Michael Sharp.  By the time his Dystonia was diagnosed and Deep Brain Stimulation was recommended, his whole body was affected with painful contortions and he was on several strong pain medications that left him unable to concentrate or even remember basic things like his friends’ names.  Discoveries Magazine has written a wonderful and inspiring story about his life and the miraculous affect of DBS.

Watch his video. Truly a miracle!

DBS isn’t the cure-all for everyone with Dystonia. So far, it hasn’t helped our son, David. But we still have hope and they are discovering new things about Dystonia and DBS all the time. In the meantime we continue to look to the Lord to open doors of help and relief for him and to give us the grace and perseverance for each day.

Many blessings to you!

Dayna

aka.hopebuilder

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A Thanksgiving Poem

I love finding Thanksgiving Poems! I found this one in my email inbox! It would certainly rank under true inspiring poems. I hope it blesses you and causes you to meditate on all that you have to be thankful but especially on the One in whom to give thanks!

A Thanksgiving Poem

Let us give thanks to God above,

Thanks for expressions of His love,

Seen in the book of nature, grand

Taught by His love on every hand.

Let us be thankful in our hearts,

Thankful for all the truth imparts,

For the religion of our Lord,

All that is taught us in His word.

Let us be thankful for a land,

That will for such religion stand’

One that protects it by the law,

One that before it stand in awe.

Thankful for all things let us be,

Though there be woes and misery;

Lessons they bring us for our good-

Later ’twill all be understood.

Thankful for peace o’er land and sea,

Thankful for signs of liberty,

Thankful for homes, for life and health,

Pleasure and plenty, fame and wealth.

Thankful for friends and loved ones, too

Thankful for all things, good and true,

Thankful for harvest in the fall,

Thankful to Him who gave it all.

~by Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer ~

Dayna

aka.hopebuilder

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