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Showing posts from January, 2008

Links on FAS/FASD info and some quick thoughts

I had some thoughts today about how to help parents who have children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FAS FASD). I am reading an article in the Journal of Biblical Counseling that points out the similarities in counseling and parenting. This particular volume has several articles focusing on family relationships, especially that of parent and child. The titles include : Helping the Parents of an Angry Child; Angry Teens; Counseling the Adopted Child; and Helping the Grieving Child or Teenager. ( Journal of Biblical Counseling Winter 2007 Vol. 25 Number 1) I haven't completed my studies in the journal and so I cannot begin to write a proper synthesis of the various issues addressed, all of which I think may be helpful to parents of FAS or FASD children. But then, these topics aren't exclusive to FAS and FASD children. I was blessed with raising some wonderful children in a unique set of circumstances. My sister died leaving behind 5 terrific kid

Letting some light in

Last night as I was going to bed, I walked into my bedroom, flipped on the light switch and not one but two of the three light bulbs in my bedroom light fixture blew out. My first reaction was to jump because it startled me. What came next were some unsanctified words and thoughts. I was thoroughly annoyed at what an inconvenience it will be for me to haul in a stepladder or chair, climb up and change light bulbs. I had sufficient light to postpone the ‘arduous’ task until the morning, so I continued with my bedtime routines and fell asleep. Today I woke up with bright sunlight streaming into my room. Yesterday had been gray and raining. Today it was crisp, cold and clear. Knowing I have plenty of time to change the light bulbs, I set about doing other things including reading my bible. Something I read reminded me of my Biblical Backgrounds class. I was remembering the class fondly; the professor is a godly man who has tremendous knowledge and a love of teaching. I began

Let me be like Connie Reed when I grow up.

Tuesdays are good days. I look forward to them. I meet with a group of women for a bible study each Tuesday. This session we are doing a topical study on revival. I enjoy their perspectives, I enjoy their company, I enjoy studying the way the look and trying to imagine what they were like when they were younger. We range in age from the young and newly married to the widowed there with their adult daughters. I am new to the group and so I missed the history that came before. I missed the transitions these women have made, the trials and the celebrations. I think they all have stories that are worth noting. I think we all have lives that when you stop to look at them and ponder the intricate details.... are nothing short of amazing. One of the women who attends the group is recovering from surgery. She had a suspicious mass and the unenviable position of being a nurse and knowing enough about what things looked like to be reasonably fearful of what the surgeons may, in fact, find

Writer's Block and Analysis Paralysis

I haven't been able to write much of anything lately. I have analysis paralysis. Analysis paralysis happens when I think too much about one subject and usually because I am thinking about it in the wrong way. For example, I have been thinking a lot about the weight of words and the responsibility of using them wisely. The admonishments in the bible about being mindful of what we say aren't intended to keep us silent but to keep us from using words foolishly. Because of my sinful and mercurial nature, I have thought about my responsibilities to the point of being fearful to write anything in a blog. Isn't that just like sin? Taking a bit of God's wisdom and twisting it to incapacitate you from doing something good and making you think you're doing the right thing. I want to be mindful that I am treading on holy ground when I try to speak God's truth and use it as a balm for tired, aching souls. Yet remaining quiet is not the solution for being careful. I am still

When There is No Hope in "Recovering"

I had the chance to talk with a woman from my church the other day at a community women's bible study. We have been developing a friendship and I am very appreciative of her. She is one of those sweet, soft spoken people I have always wished I could be. We were chatting about people we love and their struggle with drug addictions. I found myself saying something that I hadn't really thought about in detail. I told her I thought that people who had drug addictions have a misconception that their sins are tattooed on their foreheads and are worse than other people's sin. Like Hester Prynne in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter , they are marked by their sin and struggle with always being identified by those scars. Why wouldn't they think that way, what do we do to change their perceptions? Addictions do mark us physically. Hollow eyes, bad skin, rotten teeth-those who know the signs can read the map of scars addictions leave on bodies. The world says their souls are scar

Appreciating Refinement

God is working me over. Usually, I resent it when He does this because it generally means He is changing something I like about myself. Take sarcasm, for example. I am really good at it. It is really annoying to be good at something that God doesn't want me to use. Now, I am not saying all sarcasm is off limits, just the kind that is biting and wickedly funny. Which of course is the type I am really good at. Comic relief at the expense of others... a chance to show off my wit and intelligence. I even like sarcasm in others, unless of course it is focused at me. Proverbs 25:11 {Like} apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances. Colossians 4:6 6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, {as it were,} with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person. (NAS)

Knowing and Worshiping the Living God

Knowing God- A Christian's Greatest Privilege. I have been so blessed by this series. I am trying to figure out how to let others be blessed by them. So, I have resorted to guerrilla tactics. Look at that picture of my dog! How could you possibly resist reading this post? Anyway, on the right side of my blog I have posted some of the links to this series my pastor (Bill Haynes) preached a while back. I am hoping to post all of them but I am using free space to store the files and they only allow 10MB files and a few of these sermons go over 10MB. Meanwhile, please have a listen. I will try to post the individual links like this periodically.

Sex, Questions and My Two Cents on the Subject

I want to start this post by divulging at the start that I feel strongly both ways. While that may sound confusing, I assure you, it is not. I will explain here shortly. The second thing I want to say is that I am not questioning anyone's intentions or salvation. This isn't a post about focusing on the right and wrong of the situation as much as it is focusing on a solution. Let me say this again. I want to focus on a solution. Now, to give you the problem. Mark Driscoll, a pastor at Mars Hill Church , has posted a link to a series he is doing entitled "Ask Anything." If you click the link there is a portal to the discussion for the question asked "Is birth control a sin?" The portal warns you that the content of the discussion is rated MH-17. They mean it. Clicking the link is entirely up to you. Running around cyberspace you can find a mix of reviews on the aforementioned posted material. I am adding a link to a blog that I read that does endo
Twenty Years Later...... :)

Hope, Expectations and Premeditated Disappointments

I went to sleep last night still thinking about what I would offer the parents of children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I began wondering what I would anticipate if I were going to adopt a child knowing that they may have special needs and considerations. Then the thought came to me, "What child doesn't have special needs and considerations?!" Children are basically black holes of need, no matter what syndromes have been attributed to them or describe their behavior. Admittedly, some are more challenging than others, but none of them get parented properly without effort; love, sweat and prayers. I was grateful to see a comment posted on my first blog article regarding adoption and parenting children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). My prayers were answered in that the person who left a comment is a Christian who has experience being raised with siblings and raising children with either FAS or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). I haven't read her blog tho

God's Expections for those with Disabilities

As I was drifting off to sleep last night, I was thinking about my answer to Vicki and what I would tell parents who had adopted children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I think if you define a problem the solution becomes evident. So I started peeling away the layers of the information and discarded what wasn't pertinent. Would I have different expectations for parenting an adopted child vs. a biologic child. No I wouldn't. While adopting a child does add some variables into the mix, it does not change the standard God holds parents to in raising a child. Whether they hand you a baby in the hospital that you've just delivered or whether you agree to parent a child that has been part of the state fostering program, the standard God holds you to is exactly the same. Genetic ties do not make a difference. Somehow in our culture how we feel emotionally about circumstances and conditions has taken precedent over what is true, right and correct. I can almost hear the argume

Thoughts on being a new creation.

So yesterday was bad for me. I went to bed asking God for a 'do-over.' Not that I wanted to repeat yesterday until I got it right- why on earth do people see the whole reincarnation thing as a positive experience? No, what I wanted was a changed heart and attitude. I didn't want to repeat yesterday by carrying in the same ungrateful heart and making the same unwise comments and causing grief for people I care about. What I was asking for was a clean slate. If you squeeze a sponge and dirty water comes out, it's not the pressure that makes the water dirty...the dirt was there to begin with-one of the things I was taught as a nouthetic counselor. After spending time with God I put yesterday behind me and fell asleep, hoping for a new day and a new start. A friend from church has had surgery today and when I asked her how I could help, she asked me to check in on her mom. I went to bed knowing I had a mission and was grateful for it. Normally I wake up about 7:00am b

Rosemarie and the day that wouldn't go away.

Ever have a day where everything you say and do comes out wrong? Every decision seems to be a bad one? Today started at 4:00 am. I found myself suddenly and completely awake. I had to take my sister to the airport but didn't have to leave for another 4 hours. I could not get back to sleep. I had errands to do after dropping my sister off. The store I drove 75 miles to was closed. I had to drive another 75 miles to pick up new glasses. New glasses are good but the prescription is going to take a while to get used to. The doctor told me it would be a challenge and that was ok two weeks ago when ordered the things. Today... I wanted a challenge free zone. But... I tried to do the right thing when I got them- I put them on. I was tired, my neck hurt from being rear- ended in November. The rental car provided by the other person's insurance isn't comfortable. So in my new specs with the new 'script I charged forward and soon my head was aching and my temples throbbing.

The Gospel, The Call to Follow Christ , Adoption and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Today I was reading an excellent post found here on Steve Camp's blog. It is thought provoking and meaty and talks about the biblical call to follow Christ. I was deep in thought when I got an email from one of my favorite people in the world. She is a solid believer who has seen me through more misadventures than you can imagine. Vicki is a doer. She is good hearted, has a great sense of humor and comes armed with the gift of helps. She is also a deep thinker. As we emailed back and forth I got brave enough to give her the link to my blog. One thing led to another and I found myself asking if there was a topic she would like to see me write about. She most emphatically did have a suggestion and I should have known it wouldn't be an easy topic. Vicki and I both have friends or family whose lives have been impacted by a person with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) . Most, if not all of these are families who adopted children with FAS. Vicki asked me to write about what

Chimps and Champions

If you have been reading blogs for very long you know how easy it is to lose complete track of time in them. If you have a favorite blogger that mentions his or her favorite blog, you're very likely to click a link and go see for yourself what the attraction is. We adults trade links to blogs like kids trading or playing a game of cards. If someone doesn't have a blog that addresses the issue you are looking for there is always Google so you can 'go fish.' One of my dear friends gave me a link the other night and I clicked it. I feel a bit like Cypher in The Matrix, I wish I had taken the blue pill. The world that opened when I clicked that link catapulted me out of the safety of my naive little world and plunked me into the middle of a controversy. I wasn't shocked but I was dismayed and saddened. It wasn't the topic of the conversation that bothered me, it was the tenor of it. While this medium leaves entirely too much interpretation to the reader rega

For those who learn audibly

Here are a couple of links to listen to and help you get started in your immersion into the Word. John Piper Building our Lives on the Bible John MacArthur How to get the Most from God's Word (This is a series you can find with multiple entries that are worth listening to.)

Meditation vs. Mediocrity

Meditation. I was surprised to hear one of my Biblical Counseling professors say that meditation was one of the most important components of a believer's life. Honestly, I hadn't thought about meditation in conjunction with my life as a believer. Transcendental Meditation was a big deal in the 60s and 70s and for that reason I had always assumed that meditation and recreational drugs were companions. It had not occurred to me that meditation and faith in Christ should be partnered. I certainly don't want to give you the impression that I don't think. I have always been an advocate of thinking and don't believe faith in Christ means checking your brain at the door. Meditation implies more than just thinking though. It is bigger than thinking through a problem or puzzling something through. Meditation means actually setting aside time to ponder a subject below the surface. It is extended contemplation and reflection rolled together and it is intentional. My last

Getting Ready to Become a Titus 2 Woman

I had the good fortune of being taught a lot of life lessons by an old cowboy named Dusty Rhodes. Yes, his name really was Dusty Rhodes and he really was a cowboy. I was a young girl who loved horses and he was an aging man who had horses and lots of patience. He saw in me something more than the casual horse lover. He saw a passion for all things horse and he cultivated that passion because he could relate. Most of what I know about working with people, I owe to Dusty. The same principles he used with horses work with people. I may expound on more of them in another post. For now I want to focus on what he taught me when we first got started. Dusty taught me that a horse was never going to think or act like anything other than what it was; a horse. If I was going to be any type of cowgirl, I had to get ready to be one [a cowgirl]. I had to be the one to learn to think a new way. I had to think like a horse. Training me to have horse sense started with basics for my safety.

Thoughts on being a godly woman....

The role of women in 21 st century America has shifted dramatically in just the last 50 years. I am old enough to have seen the mixing of roles from housewife to feminist as the wave of change crossed the United States, hitting some areas much harder than others. I grew up a child of the 60s living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I remember women burning bras, campaigning for what they saw as equal rights and flaunting their bodies as if being less clothed meant they would be more respected. It all seemed perfectly normal to me, it was all I ever knew. For a good part of my life I imagine I would have been described as a feminist, though I never actively sought the title and would not have spent two minutes thinking about it. I wasn’t expected to be anything different than what I was and I was never taught what it means to be a woman, let alone a woman of God. Whatever my expectations might have been for my life, being conformed to the image of Christ and living my life

More on Self-Discipline

There is a series done by John MacArthur on self-discipline and it is well worth the listen. It's a four part series you can find here . I recommend you listen to it if you're at all interested in developing your self-discipline. It's important to realize that God made us creatures of habit and when our habits are good, that works for us. Conversely, when we have bad habits, it works against us. Come on, join me as I work toward some self-discipline. Thought for today: Self-discipline doesn't happen without effort. You have to get up, brush yourself off and get going. Make today the day to get started in a small way and eventually the big things will take care of themselves.