Anxious Mom

Anxious Mom Trusts

Praying Mom

Motherhood is no laughing matter. I have prayed with Mothers of sick babies. Kindergartners before the first day. Before middle school. Before the first date. I prayed during the pregnancy and delivery of my grandchildren. Mothers of preschoolers, football players, new drivers, toddler and teenage temper tantrums, I have prayed about it all. I am a praying mom! I recently learned first-hand what it’s like to be an anxious mom.

Anxious mom
Anxiety feeds on fear that can only be overcome through trusting the Lord.

Peaceful Mom

I have had my share of fears and concerns but I learned long before I had children peace was available after a conversation with Father God. The Holy Spirit rushes my heart like a balm washing out the concern with peace. Things didn’t change instantly, sometimes they even got worse before they got better but I changed. How I approached the situations changed and prayer became my crutch.

Crying Mom

I’m not saying I was perfect and without concern. I cried when we didn’t have money to buy the toys everyone else had. I cried when my kids did or said things that hurt me. I cried when my kids were left out, called names, or were suspended from school. I cried at IEP meetings and parent teacher conferences. Yet the crying led to prayer and prayer led me back to peace even when I didn’t understand anything God was up to.

Confused Mom

Because I had my crutch I was confused when people I knew were anxious about their children. Some people I discounted as disconnected from God. The ones I knew loved God and trusted Him left me scratching my head. I would often include “I just don’t understand” within my prayers as I prayed for them and their situation. I didn’t.

Then my daughter came home and said she wanted to go to Prom.

All those opportunities with all those kids and when my youngest, age nineteen, told me she wants to go to prom, it hits. Anxiety knotted my stomach and trickled down my spine. Being the confidant prayer warrior I prayed. I would like to say I prayed with faith and trust that opened my heart to the Holy Spirit’s comfort and peace. NO, I prayed out of anxiety, fear, and dread. My focus was “what if” and “let her forget”. Therefore I did the logical thing and forgot about it.


Nine days before Prom I got a call from the school. Monique’s teacher called to see if I knew Monique wanted to go to Prom. And that she had asked a boy to be her date. She didn’t forget, she got a date.

That little taste of anxiety I had boiled over into an ah-ha moment. I get it. Even when I wanted to pray fear seemed to surround me. The little peace I received seemed fleeting. This was happening and I had no escape and no control.

Fear of others

I wasn’t anxious about drinking, reckless driving, or sex. I was anxious for Monique; rejection, isolation, bullying seemed not only possible but probable. Additionally I was anxious about Monique contributing by reacting or behaving in a way that would exacerbate a stressful situation. Prom is a big deal for many teens and I didn’t know how they would respond to her and her autism. But Prom was coming so in a week she got a dress, haircut, nails painted, flowers and dinner plans.

God stretched My Trust

God has stretched my trust and my confidence. The Holy Spirit had settled my spirit before Prom but I thought it was a resignation to an unknown. Little did I know how much my trust was growing. A few days before Prom I started to tell God, and myself, I trust Him. I was trying to convince myself that I trusted God, but I still had doubts.

Monique and her school community make me cry. Prom was yesterday and it was GREAT. We picked up her date and took them to dinner then off to Prom. They were greeted and welcomed wholeheartedly. She danced with her date till she tuckered him out then went out to dance with others. She got pictures with friends and memories for life.

Blessed is the Mom who trusts in the Lord … She is deeply rooted in prayer and will not be anxious.

(from Jeremiah 17:7-8)

© 2016 Elayne Cross


Tuesday with Monique

Tuesday seems to be a day I have to be ready. Several Tuesday’s last year and two this have required strength I lack. What is with the second day of the school week? As I sat to write this I turned on Pandora and the first song that played stopped me and reminded me what I need is just a prayer away.

This school year has been rough to say the least. Growing up with autism is hard work!!

Week One

Tuesday following Christmas break I had to pick up my daughter Monique because she refused to go to ‘work’. Work is a transition training program with the local high school to prepare her to work/serve in some way after graduation.

Wednesday I kept her home because she refused to shower on Tuesday. Can’t go to school or work stinky.

Week Two

Monday she refused to get out of bed because her alarm didn’t go off, she forgot to turn it on and I forgot to check. She was late but had a good day.

Today is Tuesday!

She was argumentative and forgot her key. I texted her teacher to see if Monique could make it without me bringing her key to school. She has to use a lock with a key because the combination is too difficult. He responded he was home sick and the kids would not go to work. Immediately thinking, ‘I should just go pick her up, she has a substitute aid and now a substitute teacher.’ Before I could decide the school name showed up on caller ID. Expecting her voice I was only slightly surprised to hear the principal greet me.

She kicked another student and would be suspended for three days.

Really what is the point in her going on Friday? It’s one day then the weekend. Then it’s just one Monday away from Tuesday!


From the schools side they are looking toward the ten days of suspension mark. Where protocols collide with disabilities at a manifestation hearing.

We already had one manifestation hearing this year. At a manifestation hearing the education team gathers (special education teacher, regular ed. teacher, administrator, director of student services, school psychologist, parents, case manager from county DD, and others).

  1. First determine if the behavior is related to the disability. Absolutely.
  2. Second establish a plan of action to understand, control, or modify the behavior in question. I wish I knew how! This behavior is new and unpredictable.

Silent tears fall. I pull myself together, scrape the new fallen snow from the van, and head out, praying all the way. I pray through the Stages of Grief by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. I add Surrender.

Prayer anchors me

I can’t imagine riding this roller coaster without the comfort prayer offers. Is it a crutch? You bet it is because I would never be able to stand on my own. When we return home the tears fall again and I begin gathering support. A call to action, my texts go to family and friends explaining the situation and our needs; wisdom, tools, insights, and clarity to help Monique communicate clearly and express her emotions, needs, and wants less aggressively and violently. Peace for my heart and good decisions. Prayer is the first and best reaction when life blind-sides me.


When we call out for assistance the worst thing that can happen is no response. I had called out, to God, to friends, to my husband. Assurance and support came from those who love me, texts of prayers and encouragement blew up my phone. The most powerful was the response I got from God. It could have gone unnoticed but I have practiced my listening, and I work to maintain connection. Not only did God use people I know but music by Casting Crowns and Brandon Heath also touched my weakness with His strength. I opened a document that held encouragement from my other daughter from 2012.

Do you know someone who has special needs? Autism? Downs Syndrome? Birth Defects? Genetic Defects? Do you know someone who cares or helps support them? Comment below with a first name and commit to pray for them, I will join you and together may God’s Kingdom come into their lives and bless them.


Principal Calling – 4 part plan of action

I’m waiting for the phone to ring. Trying not to get too busy or caught up in some project. I’m sure you’ve had those days knowing – waiting for the inevitable action of someone else. Sometimes we know it’s coming at some point, I know it will be in the next hour. The principal from my daughters school will be calling me, I will probably have to go to the school, I will have to modify my plans for the day and probably tomorrow as well.

Principal Calling  ©2015 Elayne Cross

I need to post a blog anyway, may as well get started while I wait. Life with a Special Needs child has been on my mind to share. Writing while I’m in the middle of a ‘moment’ will be as real a time as any.

Overwhelming is too small a word to describe how some days, some seasons of life are. No one likes being blind-sided, I’m no different. I know the principal will call because my daughter’s teacher, Mr. C emailed me at the end of the school day yesterday. I can’t say I will ever get used to having the principal call me.

What am I feeling?

Anticipation – this will be the third, maybe fourth call this year – It’s still October. There have been 10 weeks of school.

Dread – I don’t know but I can guess the principal will suspend her for today and tomorrow. She may add days next week. Schools often keep a running tally and the consequences increase with each event. More on that later (maybe even another post).

Feisty – well a mild feisty – I am my daughters first and last line of defense. My job is to advocate and give her the voice she lacks. She just doesn’t get it, doesn’t understand.

What is the issue?

Yesterday while waiting for the bus she hit another kid in the knee with her umbrella. That is the story I got from Mr. C. Monique, my daughter, told me she hit him because he wouldn’t get out of her way.

Sounds clear and easy right? Wrong!

Nothing with a special needs child is clear, easy or typical. The ‘typical’ kids express ‘typical’ behavior. Monique is not typical. Thanks to all the politically correct gobbledygook it’s hard to explain.

Introducing Monique;

She is clinically classified as having Pervasive Developmental Disabilities. What does that mean? I’m still trying to figure it out! I’m serious stop laughing! I describe her like this, and I know it’s not PC, get over it.

She is mentally retarded

  • Mentally mean her mind and cognitive processing
  • Retarded means it moves at a slow pace, when you retard an engine you slow it down

Her mind moves – processes, analyses, connects, understands information at a slow rate. It takes her multiple times experiencing a new skill to learn it. It can also take multiple times for her to un-learn something. She does NOT pick things up – she must be intentionally taught. Of course the exception happens ‘one time she saw ____ and does it.’

Her expressive and receptive language is hindered. Meaning, she doesn’t understand or process easily what she hears or sees – nor can she tell you, express, what she feels, needs, wants well.

The only other witness to the event I am aware of is the victim, another special needs student. I don’t know his ability-disability, they can’t tell me. So it’s a he said – she said situation with two questionable sources.

My 4 Part Plan of Action?

  1. Gather information – principals’ call when they have their plan and course of action nailed down. I need to ask well-crafted questions to offer suggestions that will be heard.
  2. Remind the principal of Monique’s inability to understand what she did was wrong.
  3. Brainstorm mitigating circumstances and possible prevention. I need to find out where Monique’s aid and teacher was during the event. This is not about shifting blame unless there was a total breakdown in services. Things happen, I get that, just tell me what…
  4. Be ready to stand up for my daughter. The principal is not certified in special education and deals with typical students behaving badly. I have to remember that and help the principal remember that without being too offensive/defensive.

In The End

  • she hit another student, that’s never ok.
  • She needs to experience consequences for her behavior.
  • She doesn’t understand consequences beyond losing the opportunity to be in school with her friends.
  • She doesn’t understand jail or long-term things.
  • She is not typical, but very much in the moment.
  • She doesn’t have a big-picture view.
  • Get dressed I will probably have to go pick her up.
  • Be the light!

Have more to add or think my plan needs tweaking, share with me I would love to hear your comments.

Have you experienced something like this, want to share to add to the story? Please share

Do you know someone else who could use this information, even as an encouragement that they are not alone. Getting a call from the school is rough, encouragement helps. Share using the buttons below.

©2015 Elayne Cross