Thursday, September 15, 2011

Water and Fire and Problems/Blessings

We have had lots of issues lately and previously involving water. Rental house with leaky pipe, another where sump pump didn't function correctly = ugh. There has also been much flooding in many areas. Lots of photos of water much higher than it should be.

So I had started thinking about how some things, in moderation....or controlled, are good. However, left unchecked and too much? Bad, sometimes VERY bad.

Water and fire were two that immediately came to mind.

Water, controlled by the tides, controlled by a faucet, running through pipes and available on demand is an awesome thing. Water cools us off and hydrates us.
However, water not controlled means flooding, leaks, and ruined stuff.  Things left wet get wrecked very quickly. No water is damaging as well (little pun, there). Sometimes the cost to get water is prohibitive.

Fire, when contained properly is good for heat and cooking. However, fire out of control burns buildings, fields, forests and pretty much anything it comes into contact with.

And then, I'm reading a book that refers to Isaiah 43 (NIV), hence my confirmation that now is the time to write.

 1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
   he who created you, Jacob,
   he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
   I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
   they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
   you will not be burned;
   the flames will not set you ablaze.

Problems can seem like water and fire. I guess if we could control our "problems", they wouldn't be a problem. Problems can be opportunities though. A chance to let God remind us that He is still in control even when we least feel like it.

Many times we feel overwhelmed when in the middle of our own flood, fire or problem. It is hard to see problems as blessings. It is hard to see through our own issues that there are people dealing with their own water and fires at the same time. Hopefully, though, the water recedes, the fire cools off and our problem is solved. Often, the solution will not be one we had thought of. Sometimes what we go through helps somebody else in ways we can't even imagine.

Control what we can and give the rest to God. He promises us that we are not alone and we are His.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Flags - A 9/11 Memorial....10 years later

“A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

I have a tendency to remove myself from things that make me uncomfortable. On September 11, 2001, I was at work. I heard some of the AM news. I called my husband and he watched on TV and later told me more. Co-workers went to watch the TV to see what was going on. I stayed at my desk. The events sounded bad, I couldn't make myself watch....and I worked. Even later on in the night, I only halfheartedly paid attention to what was going on. Even the little bit I saw overwhelmed me with sadness. I saw church attendance and blood donations go up. I saw people being more kind and considerate to each other. It did feel like the world was ending and where would we go from here?

Then....days, weeks, months and years passed. Every September 11, more flags would appear. Patriotism would surge and then, it seemed, back to normal.'s been 10 years. When all the attention came up for the 10th Anniversary, I was not sure what I would feel. I'm proud to be an American, I know that for sure. September 10, 2011: I heard about The Flags that would be at Canonsburg Ski Area over the 9/11/11 weekend. I was going to be out that way anyway so kind of as a last minute thing I stopped by there with my 3 nephews. I found out it was called "The Healing Field". There was a large flag on a crane at the entrance. Then we saw the hill and I heard gasps and "That's a lot of flags!" from the back seat.

We went to the hill and they took off racing up. I wanted to tell them to calm down because it was a memorial. However, they're young and they were excited. I admired the precision of the rows. There is a tag attached to each flag portraying the age, location where attacked and a brief story of each person that died that day on September 11, 2001. My nephews weren't even born then.

We walked up the hill, past the flags and looked back down. I took their picture in front of some of the flags. One nephew grabbed my hand as we walked back down. I showed him some of the tags. He started telling me some of the ages. I choked back a tear and said a prayer for the people and families represented by each flag. As we neared the bottom, he told me thank you for bringing him there and for spending the day with him....and "I love you".

It took a field of flags and a 7 year old to remind me that avoiding what is uncomfortable allows evil to win. Enjoying each moment we're given and saying I Love You is HOPE for a better tomorrow.

God bless America!
¤*¨¨*¤.¸¸ ...¸.¤\
\ 9/11 AMERICA \
.\¸.¤*¨¨*¤ .¸¸.¸.¤*
/ \ UNITED WE STAND . . . NEVER FORGET !  (Not sure who made this, but quite awesome)
The flags come down Tuesday AM. There is no cost. Donations are accepted. If you have time, it is definitely worth going. Some more info from GR Press and MLive (their pics are better!)  The Healing Field

Friday, September 09, 2011

We KNOW what we live.....

I have had this thought in the past, but it was made glaringly clear again today. I am a parent representative for our district on a special ed parent advisory committee (PAC). We are a small group of parents that meets at our county ISD monthly and have a parent meeting one night a year. We are the voice of parents to the school district which trickles down into the individual school districts. We are there for emotional support....for each other....and for other parents that may not be as far down the road from diagnosis as we are and/or may be dealing with the special ed system for the first time.

There are varying degrees of issues that we have experience with: ADHD, Autism, Cognitive Impairment, Emotionally Impaired, Physically Impaired, Learning Disabilities or combinations of any of these. We were discussing the chance of reduced funding and what/how legislators are dealing with it OR not dealing with it.

The point that was made obvious today though is that we are informed and know about what we deal with or have learned about. "They" (legislators, school employees, other parents, other family members) don't always understand what we deal with because they don't live it every day. We expect "them" to know what our lives are like when there is no possible way they can understand unless they have something or someone similar in their life. I believe this is an unfair expectation of them....and us.

A meltdown to someone else looks like our kid is being rude to others and us. Sometimes it is, but often times it is because they feel safe with us and have had to be on high performance to function in the everyday world. Something I sometimes take for granted. My brain isn't going 160 all the time unless it has help to slow down and focus on one thing. Many times, my child's brain is. I can (pretty much) recognize facial/social cues to know what the other person is thinking. My child doesn't always....and will keep talking and talking (picture the Energizer bunny, smile).

Special ed and our kids/family life is just one small piece in the puzzle of life where this happens all the time. We expect someone to understand where we're coming from. However, we are looking at the situation with what we know and have learned by living it every day. Another person expects the same thing and may be frustrated when we can't understand why something is a big deal.

I knew very little about ADHD, medication, counseling, etc. until our family started to deal with it. I probably was one of those people that has babysat or looked at a kid and said why can't they just listen better, try harder, etc. For the fact that my eyes have been more opened to what is going on around me, ADHD and our family issues have been a blessing in disguise. I would like to think that I have become a better, less judgmental person for walking the road we've been given.

In an effort to help others know what we live, I hope that we are willing to learn and experience what others are living through. We will never truly experience what the person is dealing with, but maybe they can give us a piece of a puzzle that will fill in a big picture of working together to be more understanding.

Job 15:9 (NIV) What do you know that we do not know? What insights do you have that we do not have?