Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, You are Blessed!

As you gather with family and friends this week, I pray all of you remember just how blessed you are...

To have a loved one's home to go to or your own home to gather in.   
To have a hot meal with more than enough food.   
To have clothes to wear and shoes on your feet. 

And I pray that you stop and take a moment to truly realize the blessing. 

Don't take it for granted.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Imperfect Special Parents

After the day I had yesterday, it really touched my heart to see this go by on Facebook...
Today is a better day.  And I am humbled by this, remembering just what a blessing I've been given.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Because I'm Human and I Mess Up

I won't tell you what he did.  I've come to the point in my own life where I realize that to air all of the details of Bug's life is a great intrusion on his privacy.  There are just some things I can't share anymore, at least not publicly on a blog.

But I will tell you that today sucked.

I'm not going to sugarcoat it.  I know some people don't like to read the word "suck" and I know that it isn't very pleasant write, but that is what the day did.  It sucked.

I haven't written about autism in a while.  I guess I just haven't felt like being that emotional.  Vulnerable.  Open.  Real.

Because when you write about autism you have to be willing to be emotional, vulnerable, open, and real.

But today I need to write.  I need to get it out of my system.  I need to tell someone, anyone, that today was not my best day and it wasn't Bug's best day and I am just really annoyed with myself and with life.  I'm annoyed that there are still so many things he can't do.  Bug is eleven now and there are so many things that your average neurotypical kids are doing by age five or younger and he, well, he just doesn't have those things down.  Try as he might, he just doesn't.  And it's hard.  It's hard for him and it's hard for me.

And then there are so many ways in which his eleven year old mind is stuck back in age five.  Emotionally.  And in many ways, socially.  And he struggles to break out of it.  And he struggles to stay put in it.  He just struggles.

And he just looks like your average kid.  Autism is invisible.  You can't see autism.  You live autism.

And there is all this prep work that goes into taking him anywhere.  People see Bug at the store or at church or even at the library, and they have NO IDEA how much WORK went into that.

And they don't get it.  Some might be reading this right now and have no clue as to what I'm talking about because they truly do not understand.  They see the surface.

We live it.  Autism is our way of life.

And today it sucked.

And today, because I am human, I messed up.  I had my own meltdown.  In the middle of Bug's mania, I had a meltdown.

Yep, total mom meltdown.  And now I feel guilty.

Guilty for losing it.  Guilty for knowing better.  Guilty for not acting better.

And do you know what makes it worse?  Autism!  Autism makes it worse!  Because here I am feeling like a total asshat over my reaction to a bad situation, and I tell my son that I am sorry for being that way and he has no clue.  He has no reaction.  When I was having my mommy meltdown he had no reaction.  My apology... No reaction.  My emotionally disturbed behavior... No reaction.

It just is for him.  Life just is.  I know he feels things.  I have seen him get upset.  But his reactions aren't like other people's and... Well... Call me crazy, but when I'm having a mommy meltdown I would really love for once to have the kid that yells, "You suck!" in my face.

Yell at me that I suck!  Have a reaction!  Anything!

But he doesn't.  He has autism instead.  And that is so ridiculously irritating to me right now.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Your Inner Perception

There I was again, bright and early this morning, standing in front of my mirror.  Staring at everything staring back.  Listing all of my imperfections.  Like a broken record, I began telling myself once again how imperfect I was.  And that is when I heard the voice within me, the one I know to be the Holy Spirit, whispering ever so softly, "You are His masterpiece."

And that is when this blog post began to form. As I stood there staring at my reflection, hearing that voice tell me what I already knew to be true, I thought to myself, "Before you can successfully work on your outer appearance, you need to work on your inner perception."

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. 
Ephesians 2:10

God tells us in His Word that we are His masterpiece.  In another translation you would find the word "handiwork" and in yet another "workmanship".  It doesn't really matter which translation you choose, the fact remains that God is an artist and he molded us for His purposes.

As women, we tend to get caught up in how we look.  And in the industry I have chosen to build a home business upon, image is front and center.  Everywhere I look in my training are pictures of gorgeous people with gorgeous bodies doing gorgeous things.  And as I coach women in their fitness, I find them all focusing on those few pounds and those inches of flab and those imperfections that drive them nuts.  And I am also one of the women who focuses that way!

But I'm learning something invaluable.

And I want you to learn it, too.

No amount of exercise or healthy eating is going to matter if your inner perception is wrong.  

You can eat all the right things, exercise two hours a day, and drink water until you float, but if you aren't seeing what the Maker sees in you none of it will matter.  You will still look in that mirror and let the enemy lie through your own lips, telling yourself that you are not enough.

Yes, I want people to eat healthy.  Yes, I want people to exercise.  Yes, I want to coach women in fitness.


Even more, I want for women to realize that their worth, their value, and their purpose is not in their physical body.  It is not in the weight calculated on the scale.  It is not in the inches measured.  Your purpose comes from God.  Your worth is found in what God has ordained for you to do.  And your value is in Christ Jesus.

Once that sets in, once you fully "get it" and come to the place of understanding that you are so much more, those negative voices of the enemy that we know to be a lie will fade.  Your inner perception will change and you will see what God sees in you.  And once you see your purpose the way God sees it, you will be ready to work on the outside.  And you will be successful in that journey because you will know that your fitness is more than an image.  Your fitness starts on the inside and radiates out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Frosty at the Door

Sometimes you see projects on Pinterest and you think, "Hey, I can do that!"  And sometimes those projects come out great, other times they come out a little lame, and then there's the snowman...

We tried our best with our limited crafty skills.  The kids had a great time decorating the front door.  We are definitely feeling holly jolly and all that.  For us, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

How to Prepare Your Teen to Make Major Financial Decisions

Teaching your teen to be financially knowledgeable does not happen overnight. Like many other important topics, financial readiness involves numerous conversations over many years. With this in mind, check out the following tips on how to prepare your teenager to make critical financial decisions:

Let them learn from their own mistakes

If you have not done so already, consider giving your teenager a weekly allowance. As much as you might want to control how he spends or saves his money, try not to be a micromanager. Your teen will undoubtedly make mistakes with his money, but it is best to learn from these errors when the dollar amounts and financial risks and consequences are minimal.

If your teen comes to you begging for more allowance money don’t acquiesce; instead, encourage your son to write down everything he spent the money on. It can be eye-opening to see how quickly those drinks from Starbucks, online app purchases and other “little” things added up. This will teach your teen how to trim expenses and the importance of budgeting and saving for a rainy day.

Discuss saving for an automobile

Most teens will start clamoring for a car right around the time they get their driver’s permit. In addition to making sure they are financially ready for such a major purchase, parents should take it one step further and determine if your teen is emotionally ready to have his own wheels. As AAA notes, recent research has found that distracted driving is more of a serious problem than previously known; it was a factor in six out of 10 moderate-to-severe car crashes. In order to improve his driving skills, encourage your teen to use an online tool like to learn about safety and how to avoid accidents; the website also offers free and interactive exams that will help your teen pass the permit test.

Once your teen has plenty of driving experience, sit down together and discuss the expenses of car ownership, including insurance, gas, tires and other maintenance. Use an auto loan calculator to estimate monthly payments for different cars; this will help your teen see that a used sedan will probably be easier to afford than a brand new sporty coupe.

Be a good role model

One of the best ways to teach your teen to be financially smart is to model this behavior as often as possible. You don’t have to get too personal with the financial information you are sharing, but it can be eye-opening for teenagers to hear you say, “We were hoping to take a staycation next weekend, but we just had a major car repair. We don’t want to put the hotel bill on our Visa, so we’ll wait until next month to get away.”

Seemingly simple statements like these help teach your teen how credit cards should be used sparingly, and not to cover “wants” like a staycation. It’s also a great opportunity to bring up related topics like FICO scores, credit ratings and how even one late payment can cause these numbers to drop.

When you shop with your teen, point out that you are choosing a certain brand of chips or cereal because they are on sale, and show your child how labels show the price per ounce for many products. Believe it or not, your teen is keeping a sharp eye on what you do and how you handle your money.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Reachable Goals

Have you ever started reading a book and immediately, like within the first couple of pages, had something resonate so strongly with you that you just knew the book was meant for you to read, like a God moment?  This happened to me recently as I began reading a book called Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom by Tricia Goyer.

At the very beginning of the book, in the introduction, Tricia writes, "My outward goals are only reachable if I submit my inward soul to God."  I haven't even read any farther than that yet, so this isn't exactly a review of the book.  I just had to take a moment and tell you what she said.  I had to take a moment and write it down so that I would always remember and so that I knew someone else out there was hearing it, too.

I've been going through a bit of a funk lately.  I got sick with the flu and it really wore my body down.  During my time being sick, I realized some relationships that I had in my life weren't quite what I thought they were and I got a bit depressed.  I found myself for the past couple of weeks just sitting here in my pajamas wanting to do a lot of crying.  And found myself pretty angry on top of it all.  Angry at people, angry at situations, and angry at life.

And I also found myself diving deeper into that pit that so many women enter.  It is the pit full of harsh emotions that tell you everything negative and nothing positive.  In that pit, I hear that I am never going to achieve anything.  In that pit, I hear that I am not worth the effort.  In that pit, I hear that I am a failure.

And then I opened a book that I downloaded to my Kindle during a special free event.  It is a book I never thought I would be reading.  But there I was, opening it up.  And I read those words.  And I cried.

Have I been submitting my inward soul to God?  Completely?  Have I let Him in to do His work through me and in me?  Or, have I just been trying to control everything on my own and in the process been dragging myself deeper and deeper into the pit that I so desperately want to crawl out of?

Those are the questions that sprung forth in my mind just from that one simple line in Tricia Goyer's book.

It's deep stuff, and I could write more about it, but I am choosing to leave you with just this: Think about your goals and think about what Tricia said. If you're not where you want to be in life, perhaps it is time to finally fully submit to God.
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