Monday, April 30, 2012

What's your take on Psalm 23?

Our pastor gave us some homework this week.  She wanted us to meditate on Psalm 23.  We are to take verse a day and meditate on in.  What does it mean?  How can we incorporate in our lives today.  I actually like homework.  If only I had that attitude when I was in school.  I thought maybe you would like to take the challenge with me.  Leave me your thoughts.

A Psalm of David.

Psalm 23

 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the Lord

Today's verse:
The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want.
I take that to mean that God is like a shepherd.  He takes care of me.  He provides my needs. 

What do you think?  Can you addd anything to my my thoughts?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Don't Mess With My Kid!!!

There are very few things in this world that can bring my claws out, but if you mess with my boy I will bring you down.
As a Mom of a nonverbal child one of my fears is that Josh will be mistreated when I am not around and I will never know. He can't tell me, so what is to stop someone from being cruel to him?

When Josh was four years old I dropped him off at school and when I got to the parking lot I realized that he didn't have his gloves.  It was cold out and they were having fall fest I knew he would be outside.  His gloves were in my coat pocket so I turned around, as I reached the bathroom I saw his wheelchair sitting outside (the bathroom was too small for his chair). When I got closer I could hear his aide yelling at him and I could hear Josh crying. I ran the rest of the length of the hall and flung the door open.  His aide was shocked and stumbled for words. She was standing over Josh changing his diaper.  I looked at her and said "you need to walk away from him.  I have it from here." She told me Josh kicked her in her private spot. There were so many things wrong with that statement.
1. Josh has never been malicious to anyone, ever!
 2. Josh does not stand on his own, let alone is he able to kick his leg high enough to reach that spot. 3. He was on a changing table that was above her navel and his pants were around his ankles.
I never found out the true reason that she was screaming at him.  I did however make sure she would not ever work with him again. The school told me it was my word against hers and no disciplinary action occurred. The school essentially called me: the parent a liar and her: the assistant a victim. Pat her on the back " Oh it's okay there's always one parent in the pack. hahaha" The only victim was Josh. They wouldn't even remove her from the room they only removed her from Josh.  I told them if I ever found out she was near him I would take legal action. I literally threw up every morning for the rest of the year knowing that he would have to see her face and hear her voice.  It was repulsive.  I did trust his teacher that she would keep that woman away from him. That was in the beginning.  I am a seasoned pro now and I will make sure you are terminated or removed from the school if there is ever a next time.

Yesterday I came across a video from a dad with a son with autism.

This video broke my heart.  I know it happens all of the time.  Our society has sent a message that it is okay to be verbally abusive to children with special needs.  Time and time again I hear the stories or I see it with my own eyes.  It shakes me to my core.  How is this okay?

I won't let Joshua ride the school bus because every year I read about and hear stories about children with special needs being abused on the bus.
I have an acquaintance that opened her own school because of conditions she saw at a public school her daughter was to attend.  She witnessed teachers tying a child to a chair feet and all.
I have witnessed children being confined in a corner and not being allowed to participate with the class. One school Josh went to had a padded room with a window.  I knew some of the children I would see in that room.  Children that were curled in a ball on the floor crying and begging to be let out.  I know this sounds exaggerated but it isn't.

Do your own research.  When I was watching the above video on you tube I found other videos that were similar to it.  I know I have found Josh strapped in his chair in a corner while the rest of the class is engaged in something else.
I realize that a teacher is not Mom or Dad.  I understand they are going to do things differently than I would, but you still have to treat my child with respect and dignity.  He is a person with feelings. Children with special needs can't fight for themselves.  Non verbal children can't tell someone what is happening. 
I had one of Josh's (past) teachers tell a friend of mine.  I wish my child had special needs because you really don't have to do anything.  If this is your attitude quit your job right now. 

I love being a part of this "special needs world."  Thank God I do because I didn't have a choice.  If you have a choice and don't love being a part of this "special world" please go somewhere else.  You are not helping these kids.  You are only hurting them.  You are never going to get rich off of them.  I know there is a career out there that you are more suited for. Please leave my child and other children with special needs alone.
This topic is unreal to me.  We shouldn't have discuss defenseless children in the United States that are being abused by the very people we trust to educate them.  There should be no union protection for someone that mistreats a child.  Parents of all children need to realize this is happening and say NO MORE.  We will not accept this.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Little Inspiration

Don't Quit

by Anonymous

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and its turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When they might have won, had they stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Born Again

 I was 13 when I gave my heart to the Lord.  It hasn’t always been an easy journey, but the devil does not want it to be.
I was at Evangel Temple church in Toronto, ON with my grandparents and cousin.  I was sitting in the balcony when I heard Pastor Benny Hinn say God has just healed a child from chronic migraines.  I was sitting there with a painful migraine and in that moment I felt something flow through me and my migraine was gone. I knew God was real and that he was a God of grace and power.  I went to the alter at the end of the service and accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.
That summer was wonderful.  My grandparents were both Pentecostal ministers.  They were extremely involved with their church.  I went to church at least three times a week.  All of my friends in Canada came from Christian families.  I was baptized that summer.  I received the Holy Spirit and started speaking in tongues.  I went to a Christian camp and out of a few hundred children; I received the “Rancher of the Week” award, because I displayed the most Christ-like behaviors. It was easy being a Christian, and then I had to go back to the real world.
I returned to Maryland at the end of the summer. I had no support system, so being a Christian became a whole lot harder. I had relatives threaten to beat me up if I didn’t stop talking about God.  I had family and friends think I had lost my mind.  They said my dad’s parents had brainwashed me.
I went to a Christian school, but according to their beliefs speaking in tongues was in the past.   I was called into the principal’s office an accused of being a satanist.  I had short hair and was wearing a black cardigan, so I couldn’t be a Christian.  Teachers had dragged me out of class, because I debated them.  My mom is Catholic and we had a teacher say 98.9% of all Catholics go to hell.  I raised my hand and asked “How do you know? Have you gone to Heaven and hell and counted all of the Catholics? I quoted scripture to disprove a teacher’s agenda.  Throughout middle school, I drifted further away from God.  I attended a public high school and soon forgot my beliefs.
High School went by quickly, and my by my early 20’s I tried to ignore God’s voice all together. I partied every weekend.  I was searching for love and acceptance.  I was so lost.  I felt alone.  An outsider may think I had the greatest life, but I was constantly trying to fill a void. I gave my heart, my soul, my being to God, and because of that I knew what I was doing was wrong. What I was feeling was conviction, and I knew that.  I still tried to ignore it, but God’s voice was there saying “You deserve better.”
I settled down in my mid-twenties.  I ended up with a man who has no intentions of ever marrying me.  We have nothing in common and can honestly go days without speaking. We have a beautiful son Joshua.  Josh was diagnosed with 1p36 deletion syndrome when he was three weeks old.  After Josh’s diagnosis, I found God again.  Fear brought me to him and fear would once more lead me away.
I came to God out of selfishness, not because I wanted to love Him.  I wanted something from Him and that was to heal my son. I prayed that He heal Josh and make an example out of him to bring others hope.  Then one morning feeling panicked I ran to Josh’s room and he was having a grand mal seizure.  He turned blue and his little body just stopped. I called 911 and told the operator that he had died. My brain wouldn’t stop, yet everything seemed like it was in slow motion. Josh ended up being okay.  An ambulance came and he was later flown to Baltimore.  In that moment, I should have been thanking God but instead I cursed him.
Why would he do that to Josh? To me? I had “Christians” tell me my son was being punished because of my sins. The older Josh got the more people disappeared. People in public would stare. Strangers would make horrible comments. I finally through my hands to Heaven and screamed “I am at my limit!!! You said you wouldn’t give me more than I can handle!!!  I can’t handle this!  You are not real!” I felt abandoned and because of that began to question the Lord’s existence.
This past November I finally broke.  I have written about my anxiety attacks so I won’t go into too much detail.  Again, I started praying out of fear.  I played Christian music around the clock.  Josh’s father and I had separated for two years I had him move back home. I did everything because of fear. I started taking anxiety medicine and I started to feel better.  I stopped playing Christian music.  I stopped praying. I started following my old ways.
To be honest I am not sure what the change was, but I knew I wanted God in my life.  Not only did I want him in my life but I want to immerse myself in Him.  I want Josh to know Him. I started to pray. I decided to find a church. We went to a few different churches until we found the right one for us.  I am excited to go to church.  I would go everyday if I could.
The first time in my life, I can hear God.  I want to read the Bible.  I want to completely understand the Word of God. I have no idea where I am headed, but I know he is leading me somewhere good.  I have learned to trust Him, and obey Him.  He doesn’t want me to fail. 
There are some really awesome things that God has been leading me too.  I am going to keep you updated so you can see how He is working in my life.  If you are not saved, I hope my experiences will inspire you to have a personal relationship with the Lord.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

In keeping with the theme of anxiety and I just got to me I wanted to post more about... ME! Trust me I am not conceited, but I am working on it. For so many years I have not been happy with myself. I haven't been smart enough or pretty enough.  I thought I was boring.  I felt like I had nothing to offer anybody.

Many people feel like this. Depression and anxiety affect around 14 million people each year.  I am not alone.  We are raised in a society that pushes for more.  Good is never good enough.  I am here to say you are good enough. Don't let other's insecurities affect how you see yourself.  Sometimes we have to go back to a time when we were carefree and just be silly and forget about our stresses.

I feel my best when I am being myself.  I am goofy.  I love to be loud and obnoxious.  I love to sing and dance like a wild woman. Society tells me as a 37 year old mom  I need to be mature and serious.  I am responsible.  My son is very well cared for.  I make sure he has food, shelter, love.  I make sure he is taught to be kind and to respect others. I make sure he gets to all of his appointments. I work with him everyday with walking, standing, climbing, communicating,self feeding. (For those of you that are new here; my son has special needs). Why do I have to be serious?  Why do I have to be the type of parent my Mom was, my neighbor is, or like the woman I saw at Target? If you are not putting your child in jeopardy you will never hear me judge your parenting skills.

 Why do I let other people tell me how I'm supposed to act?  I'm not hurting anybody.  Actually, I strike up friendly conversations with strangers in the grocery line.  I am a very kind, loving, and helpful person, but I have friends and family members tell me that is a ridiculous way to be. I dance through my house and have been asked to stop.  I will not change for anyone anymore.  I will try with all of my might to be true to myself.
Keep in mind I am serious when I have to be. I don't dance and sing all over town, but we all have the right to let loose.  If you aren't hurting anybody do whatever it is that makes you happy.

I have someone in my life that constantly puts me down.  I started to believe this person.  I am taking my control back.  I will not allow someone else to dictate my self worth any longer. I hope you learn to let your hair. Learn to be yourself.  Learn to love yourself.

Today's lesson:  Be true to yourself.
Tonight's homework: Run around your house singing "Girls Just Want To Have Fun,' at the top of your lungs.
Men you can sing "Boys Don't Cry."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nicole Bishopp: The Sharpie Artist

Nicole Bishopp is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, snowboarder, skateboarder, artist, adventurer, and college graduate.
Nicole grew up in a small town in Maryland. She knew she wanted to be an artist since she was in grade school. Her family wanted her to seek something different for work since there were not many opportunities for an art career in Hagerstown. Needless to say, she was anxious to get out and explore the world as soon as she could.
She attended Montana State University (Bozeman), and graduated with a BFA in Sculpture/Ceramics
She also earned a degree in Web Design at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
I knew of Nicole when I was a freshman in high school. She intimidated me a bit, and because of this it took me until my senior year to actually talk to her. This is saying a lot because we went to a really small school. This may seem irrelevant , but there’s a reason to my digression. I mentioned that I would be writing about people who inspire me. Nicole is one of those people. I was so intimidated by her, because in a time where most people are desperate to follow the crowd and be accepted Nicole remained true to herself. She never struck me as the type of person that would change herself for someone else. I think we have all admired someone from a far because of a strong quality that they possess. I got to know Nicole my senior year and discovered I was right. She is an extremely talented artist. She believes in herself, and is kind to others. She has an energy that is wonderful to be around.
Nicole’s first job was working for her father. She has come a long way from cutting glass for her father’s side business. She is now an accredited artist.
She started out creating 3 dimensional art in college and loved
the freedom of it. This is the first piece she sold. Hitch hiking. He is 6 ft. tall sculpture.
After college started a pottery business
at MSU . She said she had so much fun and loved throwing pots.
She lives in Washington with her husband and son. She is a long way from home, but she is thriving in her artistic endeavors.
One day she picked up a sharpie and started to create unique and beautiful art. I asked her why sharpie and she responded because of the permanence. She started doing illustration a year ago and In her words was lucky enough to be interviewed by Sharpie Permanent Marker and featured on their website. Here’s the link to her work.
She has also combined her love for skateboarding and art. Here are some of her examples.
Upcoming Events:
Nicole has a showing of her work May 24, 2012 in San Diego, CA at 4th
and B( with RAWartists
If you want to see more of Nicole’s art please follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Right now Nicole is in the running to have her artwork put onto a bottle. You can vote once a day for the next five days.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Steve Jobs

Nicole inspires me. She is living her dream. She knew what she wanted out of life and stayed true to her path. Her passion is clear in her work. I hope you will enjoy her art and support her ambition.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Whould you feed your child like this?

Alicia Silverstone feeding Bear Blu

There is so much controversy over this video.  What do you think of Alicia's method of feeding?
Do you or anybody know have some out of the box parenting strategies?

There is no concrete evidence that this is harmful to her child.  Doctors and scientist have come up with contradicting research about this.  Some say it helps build a child's immune system.  Others say it can introduce harmful bacterias to attack the child's immune system.  What do you think?