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.

Problem

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

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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.

Tuesday
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!

Perspective

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.

Response

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.

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Joy in Simple Things

Joy in Simple Things
Have you lost some of that childlike joy? Seek out the Simple Things in life for a boost.

Thanksgiving is like a dry run for the larger December holidays. Parties to host or attend fill my calendar. Someone experiencing it for the first time can be overwhelmed. Living with a developmentally disabled child at the holidays brings another added layer of two extremes. She doesn’t outgrow it and she can’t prepare mentally for it. Today it’s all about Christmas Joy in Simple Things. Simple Things is my term used to describe my daughter, and those like her who has developmental disabilities.

Outgrow Christmas?

Christmas is a special time of year. Christians around the world celebrate the first Advent of Christ. Nonreligious folks enjoy the excitement and atmosphere of joy it brings. Christmas is the one time of year we are all encouraged to set aside differences and forgive. We show others we love them through well wishes and gifts. No one wants to be a Scrooge. Children readily believe in Santa for a season. Then they go through many funky stages of liking and hating Christmas. As they grow to adults they outgrow some of the childlike vestiges and move on to adult like behavior. By eight most children know Santa is mom and dad having fun. They may tolerate the game a few more years but the fantasy is exposed.

My daughter believes in Santa, she’s eighteen.

Funny thing is I never told my kids Santa was real. I didn’t want to lie to my children, so I told them Santa was mom and dad. There was a bit of family drama one year when my oldest told my sisters youngest Santa was just her parents. My sister was not happy. She knew it was probably her last Christmas where Santa was real and the excitement would be palpable. Apparently her older boys were sympathetic to their little sister’s childishness, she was the baby after all. Try as we may to fix the damage the seeds of truth would not be uprooted from my nieces mind. It’s been about eighteen years since that fateful Christmas and my youngest believes.

Monique’s a fighter so don’t try too hard to change her mind. I tell her I’m Santa and she accepts my words. However, the truth is revealed when someone asks her. People in the mall or church trying to continue the joy get a bit of fun seeing her light up at the thought. She starts to bounce up and down thinking of Santa swinging by with his sled and reindeer. Maybe the joy is real because she hasn’t hit the point where Christmas is about a wish-list turned expectations. Maybe I’m cruel, often I’m just on a budget, but my children have never gotten everything they asked for. It good to have a few birthday ideas for the after Christmas sales.

Holding on and Letting Go

My sister was holding onto something she would be forced to relinquish. Her children, beautifully normal would all one day leave childhood behind. Knowing things will change gave her a desperate hope to have just one more magical Christmas. It seems I will never fully move beyond the idea of Santa. As friends refine their celebration I get to continue the simplicity and joy of childhood. Sure it can be exhausting but she never rolls her eyes or speaks negatively at any childlike antics I want to enjoy.

Find Joy in Simple Things

If you need a little pick-me-up or reminder of joy, watch a child at Christmas. If that child is an adult who talks or walks a little funny, join in. When someone asks Monique about Christmas I can never guess what will come out of her mouth, but it will make you laugh. While shopping yesterday she revived the joy of Christmas in two young ladies hurrying to find the particular gift. How do I know? The countenance of the faces went from – ‘I’m in a hurry here’ to ‘I’m going to laugh about this for weeks to come.’

It’s your turn. Do you know some of God’s Simple Things? Do they infect you with their Joy for life? Were you encouraged? Comment below.

Share it, like it, tell other to bring them joy, and me. Everybody loves a like!

©2015 Elayne Cross

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