Use My Voice

Speaking up about the issues I can't get out of my head or heart.

Thank You

I wanted to take a minute to say thank you to all of you that commented or messaged  on my blog last night (or any other time that I have posted).  Your words all contained wisdom and grace and I value each one of them. I love that I have a forum that I can share what is in my heart. Never in a million years did I think this is something that I would do. I tend to be a pretty private person but for a while now I have felt God calling me to share what is on my heart. This process is sometimes scary and I am often unsure of what to say. However, like most times when I follow where I feel God is calling me, when I am done writing I feel a tremendous peace. It means so much to me that you would take some of your time to read what I say. Thank you for letting my share my voice with you.

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Tough Decisions

This is the first post I’ve written that I’m not sure if I will actually post. I fear posting it might cause me to lose friends or to have people believe that I have become completely brainwashed into liberal ideology. Please know that this post comes from a person who tries to live by what Jesus called the two greatest commandments. I try to love God with all of my being and I try to love my neighbor as myself. Those things aren’t always easy and I fail at them often. However that is the filter I try to use to view my relationship with Christ, the world, my place in it, and what I am supposed to stand up for.

With all of that said here goes. I think the Boy Scouts are wrong to not allow homosexuals participate in any way in their organization. There I said it. I say this as someone whose  family is very involved in Cub Scouts and believe that it is an organization that does a lot of things right. My oldest son is entering his last year of Cub Scouts and plans to cross over to Boy Scouts next spring. Since he was eight he has said he will be an Eagle Scout one day. My husband is his Den Leader and the Committee Chair for the pack. My younger son is anxiously waiting to enter the 1st grade so that he can be a Tiger Cub. My family has benefited greatly from Scouts and if we are to continue with them I have no doubt it will continue to be a great experience.

To continue or not is the question my family faces right now. I do believe what they are doing is discrimination. They are singling out a group of people and saying, “you can’t join”. There is no other way to put it. I can not imagine there would be any other form of discrimination that I would be ok with. If the Boy Scouts were to say. minorities can not participate, or people with special needs, or families that are not Christians, we would have never gotten involved.  However this week as they reaffirmed their decision my husband and I have begun to feel uneasy.

You can say the Bible says homosexuality is a sin and I’m not going to argue that point with you because the Bible says a lot of things are sins. Gossip, back stabbing, laziness, premarital heterosexual sex, etc…. I do not see any of these sins listed as something that disqualifies a boy from participating or an adult from leading. If an unmarried adult leader was having sex with his girl friend there is nothing to stop him from leading. If a boy is lazy or disrespectful to his parents there is nothing to stop hm from joining. Why is this one thing that something that disqualifies a group of people from participating?

So our problem comes as to what do we do for our family? What decision do we make for our children? How much do we tell them (especially the 10-year-old)? Do we force our oldest to quit something he has worked very hard at and has achievement in when there are not many areas in his life that he is recognized for achievement? Is there value in staying with an organization and trying to be an agent for change?

We do not have answers for those questions yet. We stayed up late last night talking about them. We have decided we will fulfill our commitments for this year. We will take this year to pray and talk about it. I really don’t know what we will decide.

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I welcome your thoughts and input I just ask you to be respectful. Respectful that this is a decision that we are struggling with so whichever side you would choose please show us grace as we try to find the answer that is right for us. I also ask that in your comments that you be respectful of others. This is a highly personal topic and I do not want anyone called names or spoken disrespectfully to on my blog.

 

 

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Wonderfully Kind, Tolerant, and Patient?

I love it when I am reading a passage in the Bible that I know I have read countless time but God uses it to speak in a new way. I love it when a verse in that passage stands out for the first time. I am studying Romans right now with a great group of women. Romans is a tough book and I will be the first to admit that I don’t always love Paul. I am pretty sure if Paul and I had lived at the same time we would have had more than one heated discussion.

The first couple of chapters of Romans Paul talks about sin and how sinful people all. He talks about hard hearts and judgment.It’s the kind of stuff that often makes us Christians feel pretty good. We can always find people who have done worse things than we have. This past week however a couple pf verse I don’t remember from all of the other times I have studied Romans stood out.”Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that this kindness is intended to turn you from your sin” (Romans 2:3-4)

Yikes, when was the l was “wonderfully kind, tolerant and patient” with someone I thought was in the wrong or not living the way God would want them to. When did I use these actions to try to help someone turn from sin? So often I am to quick to criticize or judge when I don’t like how someone is living. For me it’s often when I don’t think other Christian are living the way they should. When I don’t think they are loving others the way I think they should. The irony is I don’t always use love to try to help them turn from that. I am just asking for God’s judgment because I am doing the very thing I accuse them of.

I’m pretty sure I will be plastering this verse around a lot pf places. I am going to try to keep it on my heart for  when I find myself starting to judge or criticize others.

 

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Quieting The Questions

As a parent of a child with special needs you spend a lot of time asking your self questions and questioning yourself. “Are we doing the right therapies?”  “Are we doing enough or too much therapy?”  “Will my child ever learn the skill they are working on?” “When do I push harder?” ” When do I pull back?”  And yes the big one, ” If I was a better parent would he be further along?”

Sometimes these questions are all around you at once. Sometimes these questions go away for a period of time when your child seems to be functioning  closer to the level of a “typical child” his age. Then they come back again, usually out of nowhere. Thus is the life of parenting a child with special needs.

However sometimes you get an answer out of nowhere too. You aren’t expecting it. It just comes, you see a progression you had long since given up on (all though you would never tell anyone that). They do something you really never thought they would.  These are the moments of joy you cling to when the questions fill your head and keep you up at night.

We had one of those moments last night. For whatever reason coloring has always been one of those skills that has eluded my oldest. Be it his sever ADHD that makes him struggle to concentrate long enough to finish something. Maybe it is his serious fine motor delay that makes the activity seem so unmanageable. Or maybe the visual processing disorder that makes it hard in his head to understand where the lines are and make sense of what it is he suppose to color. It is probably a combination of the three.  I can honestly tell you before last night I can not ever remember my child coloring a complete picture.  He would have considered it an act of torture.

Last night though something clicked.  He came upstairs and asked where we keep the crayons. “I’m coloring you a picture” he said. I set aside my shock and hand him the crayons. I invited him to sit upstairs with me and he did.  For the next hour and a half I pretended to watch The Olympic Trials but really watched him. I fought back tears. I resisted the urge to hold him. I let him work.  He would stop every few minutes to see if I liked it or to ask what color I thought something should. He worked for almost two hours in a zone I usually only see him in playing legos, with his best friend or when he is playing outside. I could see his pride grow withe each of part of the picture he finished. I will never forget the look on his face when he finished. I am not allowed to take the picture out of the book because it might mess the book up. So I suppose I will have to keep the whole book forever, and I will, because at 10:00 my questions were quiet.

Noah’s picture

Click above to see his masterpiece. You can find the book this picture is from here:

http://www.myubam.com/p/1016/dinosaur-coloring-book

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