Saturday, April 12, 2014


Yesterday I pouted my way into work and out of work.  It wasn't anything that my students did, it was all my poor attitude and the non-sense that has to be fought to get my students what they need.  The day ended with something that my head understood but my heart had yet to accept.  Something I knew I didn't have control over but didn't want to accept.  Anyways, when my coworkers reassured me I had done the right thing, I tried to agree and then said "I'm getting Caleb, letting him eat all the M and Ms he wants and enjoy driving with the windows open."  I knew Caleb would make my day better no matter what.
I took him and my friend Cierra to a Special Olympics fundraiser at my school.  He loved the music and the many snacks I had brought for him.  He ran around the gym and even tried to escape the building to watch people load supplies into the car.  He didn't worry how much money we were going to raise or if we had enough food.  He just enjoyed the event.  

When I drove Caleb back to his home, I realized something that I never noticed in the year he has been at the group home.  The street Caleb lives on is called Carefree and his staff call his house the "Carefree house."  Of course I have known the name of the street but I made the connection of how meaningful this was.  If I could describe Caleb in a word it would be carefree, how perfect is this house for him in so many ways. 

Sometimes I get angry that Caleb doesn't understand what graduation is or that he won't go through "typical" teen activities.  But then I realize that Caleb has the better end of the deal in this life.  He doesn't have to stress about bills, if his car has enough gas to get to work or if he will have enough food for lunches.  Caleb's day starts with a new chapter everyday and whatever comes his way, he goes with.  If there is a bump along the way, he goes with it. It never fails that I plan an even to take him too like a big fundraiser with auctions, food and live music and all he wants to do is stick his hands out the window and scream at trucks.  He is carefree in this life.

Dude, we are going to rock out summer this year.  You and I are going to be carefree and are going to soak up what life is all about!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dear Parent

Dear Parent, Today I walked to the parking lot and before I got there I knew it was your son having a meltdown and not wanting to come in the building. The first thing I noticed before I even got out the door was that you had left. You drive him to and from school and no matter what the day is like, you are smiling. I often secretly wish we could be friends, I admire your constant smile because by all means you should be exhausted day in and day out. You are a single mom to two, and you work nonstop to give them everything they need. Anyways, I am getting away from the point. I saw you had gone and there were at least ten staff trying to manage your son. I turned to two staff who were also responding to assist and said 'can you imagine how that mother feels every time she has to leave him when he is upset?' You leave me speechless. You call your son's teacher Superman, but truly you are the superhero. A mother has an instinct to fix everything, and when you are selfless to admit, 'he needs more then I can give him,' you show how being a parent is sacrificial. By book standards and many professionals you should have out your son in a group home where he can be managed. People probably think he should be medicated until he can't move or he should be spanked more until he behaves. I'm sure some of those options have been tried, but you are on a marathon, and you aren't sprinting in your quest for the best for him. You are looking for the long term for him even if the hours are long and finding that takes his whole life. Even if I told you how much I admire you, you would insist that this is what a Mom does for their child. You are not only his cheerleader you are ours. You make us laugh, claiming his hiding in the trunk was some 'crazy Soprano #%%*.' I hope you know that your confidence in our staff, gives us confidence in ourselves. And there is only one reason that we all continue on this marathon, your son is completely, one-hundred percent, without a doubt.. WORTH IT!!! Sincerely, Behavior Analyst without a clue

Dear Parents, I sat across from you today. You both had tears running down your face and pain in your heart. One of your kids is struggling and it's affecting your family more than words can express. I will never pretend to know your son better than you. I will also never pretend to understand what you are feeling. I've watched families walk your path time and time again, and it never gets easier to watch. You told me how a broken system has not only let you down, but has let your son down time and time again. If our students came with instructions, we would have nothing left to learn. It sure would be a lot easier helping your son get to the bottom of what he is struggling with though. Even if someone handed me the book on how to 'fix' his issues, I'd refuse it. He is an individual. He doesn't fit a mold and he isn't in a textbook. Actually, no child is. Any parent who says their kid is 'easy' is lying. You are on a journey that many will never be blessed with. More will never have the guts to step a foot on. You, are parenting, and you are parenting with your heart and on your son's agenda. You are doing the best with your situation, and you are doing a great job. Your son, despite his issues has a huge heart. He is a gentle young man with eyes that melt my heart. Your son is perfect in his own way, and will get over this hurdle. Your son will have a bright future and your son will look back at this time and realize sometimes parents do things out of love, not out of punishment. I wish I could hug you and tell you that it will be all right in a few weeks, but that would be a lie. What I will promise you is we are not giving up on him. We will do our best to stand by you and help you and him together. Your son is worth it, and he doesn't deserve anything less than the best. Sincerely, Optimistic Behavior Analyst

Sunday, September 16, 2012

God's Crazy Plans

Shortly after the 9/11 tragedy I remember an email going around that listed people that had things happen to them on the morning of 9/11 that made them late for work or miss work.  One guy missed the train, another had a blister and stopped in the store to get an bandaide, another had a child that was sick and didn't go to work.  if each of those annoying situations would not have happened to them, they would have been in the World Trade Center on that morning.

Sometimes I think of the things that go on in my life, and what God could be using them for.

Today I went into work, brought lunch for a coworker and I, and planned on working on some things I had not had a chance to do this past week.  Well after we enjoyed our lunch I went to get to work, and found something awful.  The folder on our schools shared drive that holds every behavior document my coworker and I share, was missing.  I checked three computers and each had no behavior file on it. I restarted the computer, thinking that might do something, but no such luck.  I called my coworker, but she didn't answer.  I eventually figured, well I guess there is no point for me to stay here, I might as well leave.  And that I did.  I ran a few errands, went to some store that I enjoy and then went home.

All that while, I thought why did this happen?  I hoped that my school had a backup server for our files, but deep down, I knew Gods hand was in this.  I knew that He is totally in control of my life and if He wanted me doing something today, he may cause a computer error to make it happen.  You see, I serve a mighty God who knows everything that happens in the world with each invidvidual person on it.

I'm sure if you've read this far you are waiting for how God used me, seeing that I didn't use my few free hours on a Sunday catching up on work.  Well I don't have an answer.  I have no idea why that happened and I'm not sure I ever will.  One thing is for sure.  I will trust God for today, and tomorrow.  And then after tomorrow, I'll trust him again.  If my files are gone, He will still be good.

God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply. -Hudson Taylor

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I am the Student, They are my Teachers

I have a some what unhealthy addiction to reading a million blogs about families with Children with different needs.  I recent started reading one about a young man with an incredible mom who sees him for who God created him to be.

I recently read this blog post which taught me so much.  I've always seen the beauty in my students.  They are wonderful and as much as I get frustrated they never disappoint me.  The most beautiful part of this post is where the mom says 'I promised to always be your student.' That is sooooOooo true!  As much as I want my students to do what I want when I want, they are each different.  Why should I expect one to do exactly what the others are doing? God has given then talents and skills and if I don't take a step back and learn from them, I'm not honoring God.

Last week I got a new student.  His mom told us that she never had him at a school where they had positive things to say about him.  I couldn't believe it!  Sure he punched us and kicked us, spit on us with ridiculous accuracy and frustrated us, but he had amazing moments where I wanted to cry because I was so proud.  I was so proud of the staff and how they worked with him, stayed late to update and change things daily to find other things that might work.

When we were trying to figure out how to get him to calm down, I realized I needed to take a step back and see what he had already developed as coping skills so we could build upon those skills.  Why should I reinvent the wheel on this one?  He is teaching us, and what we learn, we will help him turn into skills he can use on a daily basis.

So on Monday, I'm going to look at my students differently.  They aren't there for me to teach.  I am there to se what God has given them, and help them redefine those skills?  For what reason except to glorify the creator of this world and everything in it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'll Stand

You stood before creation
Eternity in your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
And carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart, Oh God
Completely to you

So I'll walk upon salvation
Your spirit alive in me
This life to declare your promise
My soul now to stand

So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart, Oh God
Completely to you

I'll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the one who gave it all
I'll stand
My soul Lord to you surrendered
All I am is yours

--Hillsong United

Monday, March 21, 2011


This is Carrington. She was probably left at the hospital after birth because she has Down Syndrome. Her birth family probably thinks of her, but has no other idea that there is the ability to care for her themselves. But since the was born in a country that believes she will never be anything, she was rejected.

Carrington was recently adopted by a family. They visited her at her orphanage daily for weeks, but it wasn't until they had custody of her that they found how malnurished she was.

This little beauty is three years old, and weighs 11 pounds.

Her family took her right to the hospital when they returned from their adoption, and she will be there for a few weeks to try to get her health under control.

"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world when He could do something about it.... but I'm afraid He might ask me the same thing."

~ Anonymous ~
What will YOU do?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

As Long As I Shall Live I Will Testify To Love

Acts 20: 24: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

You may or may not have known that for the last few months I have been searching for a new job. A job to me is not just making money to live, but my desire is that it is a place of service to God. The people I work with and for, those that I come into contact with, my behavior and attitude should be worship to my Savior.

Colossians 3:17: "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

So when I started looking for a new job, I did not want to make a rash decision. I knew that God has better plans for me, than I could ever plan. Some jobs that seemed perfect, fell through. And jobs that from the worldly sense were awesome, didn’t seem right to me. I knew the right thing would come along, even though I didn't know how much longer I could remain at my current employment.

One weekend after church, I went to a park, sat in my car for an hour and told God, I need you to open and close doors. Should I stay where I am, I need a new attitude and energy. I need to do my job for You, and be the best I can be.

Let your will be done.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3: 5-6
A little over a week ago, I was offered a job making about $8,000 more a year to work less hours a week. A job that has the possibility to turn into a full time behavior position helping children with Autism. A job four minutes from my home. A job that wants me, and wants me to succeed with my talents. My God given talents.

I know that because God is getting the glory I this situation, that Satan is going to try to attack me. It already happened. Last week my car broke down (a fountain of anti-freeze pour out of the head gasket- whatever that is) and when they said it may not be fixable, rather that start to cry, I remembered a good friend in college that had a similar issue. As a newly married couple, her and her husband found themselves carless and with jobs they could not walk to. She came to Bible study one week and wanted to share her praise report, that she was so excited to see how God was going to provide a car to them.

I sat in the car place and prayed, “God I have no idea how you are going to fix this. I have no money and no one I can share a car with. I have a stupid work schedule and there is no way to get to work without a car. This one is on your Jesus, I trust you. I claim you, I rebuke Satan” About ten minutes later, the guy came out (as if I was waiting for a family member in surgery) and said that yes the problem was a major one and would be expensive to fix. My heart did not sink, I did not cry, for some reason I got excited. God, I trust you. Then he said the price. $350. Bad, huh? Well not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, or not nearly as bad as a new car!
I won't let Satan ruin or get in the way.