The Fortress Around my Heart

The most dangerous place I ever found myself, was inside the strong fortress that I had built.   Early on in my journey, I began fortifying my defenses, brick by brick. If I couldn’t feel anything, it couldn’t hurt me.  Of course I didn’t set out to build a fortress, I was just being practical and realistic (two of my “strengths” that often drive others crazy!)

I recently spoke with a mom who is right there, inside that fortress, and I peered over the walls and saw the tears that were perpetually right behind her eyes, and I suddenly remembered all those feelings myself – and wanted to make sure I sound a loud alarm to you all: Tear down the wall! Continue reading

Welcome to Redefine Special!

Welcome! Whoever you are, and why ever you’re here, I’m glad that you found this spot.

I began writing years ago, sensing that it was important to chronicle my journey as the mom of a special needs child. That journaling, which began on a PC the size of an ATM machine, continued in spurts for many years.  A few years back I took a giant leap of publishing my experiences, one small blog post at a time. And just recently I published my first book, Bundle of Joy.

This site is titled Redefine Special, because that is where my journey took me.  After the initial highs and lows (and more lows) of having a special child, a great hope, joy and peace eventually broke through.  It broke out over everything in my life. I truly had an awakening to what Special is.  It’s not a burden to bear, a hardship to contend with, or even something to just accept. The definition of special has been changed by our society and put in “air quotes”  – to be used as a euphemism for less than, undesirable, or outcast.  My journey brought me  back to the original, true definition of the word: extraordinary and particularly valued.

My purpose for writing and speaking is to reach any other special mom out there, who thinks she just has to accept her struggle in life, and deal with it.  No sister!  Follow along with me and you will see, you are so exceptionally gifted in this life.  YOU, too, are special!

If you’re not that mom should you read on? Well, apparently YES! The most unexpected part of sharing my story has been the people who are affected by it.  Men, women, moms, dads, college kids.  People from every walk of life have taken a moment to tell me they are so touched, changed, or challenged by the posts.  Because it is a true story of God’s mercy and grace, it is an encouragement to all.

Browse through my blog posts, order my book and/or follow me on Facebook.  You can read the background story of my son’s diagnosis on the page called “Why I’m writing this blog.”  I would definitely suggest going back in time to my first few posts if you’re looking to find your own redefinition of something (start at the bottom of my list of posts).

This is Awkward

This week we need to confront something that might be uncomfortable.  If you know me, you know I’m a “people pleaser” and that confrontation is the thing I avoid at all costs! So although there’s a part of me that wants to skip this post, here we go. There is a fundamental truth we need to face in order to fully surrender and use God’s perspective completely.  I have heard a lot of people, including many well-intentioned Christians, proclaim the opposite of this truth.  I am going to show you what I believe is the Biblical, scriptural truth about a very sensitive, misunderstood subject, which is this:  God doesn’t cause suffering.  He does not inflict illness, loss, or tragedy on people today.  It is important for you to know in your heart of hearts that God doesn’t kill children, put cancer in bodies, cause airplanes to crash, or any of the other things we may have heard attributed to Him.  I have heard people say “God needed another angel in heaven so he took your baby” or any number of variations on that theme.  That simply doesn’t agree with anything I find in the New Testament – the Jesus-redeemeed part – of the Bible.  It may appease the  grief-stricken mind at first, but I imagine it can easily become a seed of disdain and anger  that will fester and grow towards a God who would act so cruelly. Continue reading

Letting Change Take Over

Best Friends

Best Friends

It is amazing how laying down your own perspective of things opens up a whole new world that you didn’t know you were missing.  When I finally stopped hyper-focusing on my immediate problem, I was able to see so much more.  Romans 8:8 took on new meaning for me: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” I finally saw what it was really saying.  Not, “God will make everything good/ok/all better” but “God works everything out for my good.” So then, in everything, God is bettering me and bettering my situation. That is a huge paradigm shift. He is making me better, making my family better, my marriage better, my friends, community, etc. Not necessarily by answering every prayer or fixing every problem I face. That verse says that within the problems, I am being bettered. Continue reading