Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Earned The Title Mother

Life's experiences make us qualified and "professionals" more than any amount of schooling could ever do. I feel qualified to speak out as the mother of a child with ADHD. I feel qualified to share how it is being told that your husband may not live. I feel qualified to understand the challenges one faces when moving from one country to another. I feel qualified to know how it is to leave one church to attend another. I sure wish I wasn't so qualified! However, on the flip side, I feel qualified to know that Jesus can calm the storms of ADHD. I feel qualified to share how there was a special closeness I felt with Jesus when I thought my husband would not make it. I feel qualified to say that I survived a move from one country to the other. I feel qualified to say that Jesus paved the way in a new church family for us. Perhaps being qualifed isn't all that bad after all.

Yesterday was one of those days for me as a mother of ADHD. I gained a little more schooling. We had a really rough afternoon. What started as a very pleasant day, ended with a heavy heart within myself and my husband. Unfortunately, my precious son had a very bad public ADHD meltdown. I learned that nothing could stop the storm that came on so suddenly. I had to change my son's surroundings and make the consequences much worse than the meltdown. That is hard for a Momma's heart. God created us as mother's to be loving and caring. If we are not careful though, we will give in to "guilt" feelings. My sweet friend told me yesterday... "It's not easy being a good parent". Those were the words I needed to hear at that exact moment. I sure didn't feel like a good parent. How could I be a good parent with a child acting out like that? That's where I have had to learn (and still am learning) that all I can do is my best in each situation. I can't MAKE things happen; I can help facilitate and do my best to set up for success, but that doesn't guarantee success. I had to stick to my guns and proceed. That's can be rough! I am speaking very bluntly about our day yesterday to show that days like these can abound. You can't stop the storm, but you can choose how to respond to the storm. I credit blogging with helping me choose to stay calm, loving, yet firm. Being able to write about ADHD allows me to be able to remember to choose the correct response.

I feel that I got some type of school degree for what I experienced yesterday. Unfortunately, life isn't like college. Once you get your degree, you do not have to keep taking the same class over and over. I know that we will experience more days like yesterday. However, I also know that I will not walk them alone. My King and my Savior knows that path I travel. He calmed natural storms, I know he can calm the storms of life for me. It brings to memory one of my favorite songs...

I know the Master of the wind
I know the Maker of the rain
He can calm the storm
Make the sun shine again
I know the Master of the wind.

Do you know the Master of the wind? If not, you CAN know Him too. He can calm your storms. He doesn't always take them away, but he will hold you in the palm of His hand as you go through them. There's no place I'd rather be.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dreams vs Reality

We all have dreams. Our dreams change as we mature. I always had a dream of being a Mommy. I now dream of being able to have two minutes of peace. It's amazing how life has so many twists and turns. Some of our dreams come true, some do not.

Growing up, I had three things I stated I wanted physically in my husband: 1) He could not wear glasses 2) He could not be a lot taller than me 3) He needed to be a good singer. I laugh now when I think about this, because they were all "dreams" that were superficial and of non-importance. Reality is this: 1) Martin wears glasses (and he looks real good in them too), 2) he is almost a foot taller than me 3) He couldn't hold a tune if his life depended on it. I find it SO comical that everything I thought was so important is not what I married. Let me tell you... I married the most wonderful loving Godly man there ever was! He is my very best friend and my rock. He is a wonderful father and provider for our family. I'm glad that God knew my dreams were just silly little girl dreams and gave me my true dream!

I always would dream of being the mother of four children. We stopped at two. I pictured myself sitting on the couch reading to my children as they sat on the floor playing quietly and sweetly at my feet. Ha! That is one funny dream to me now. If that ever happened, it would probably be because I paid them! Reality is this: I will read to my children while they are sitting at a table coloring or building with Lego's and we might get through a page without an interruption, but probably not. I pictured myself always being the fun, patient, never-yelling, perfect mother. Ha! I never knew I would have a child that would test my patience to the very limit. Sometimes I have that Jekyll and Hyde moment (all you mothers know what I'm talking about!) I pictured sending my children off to school when they became of age, cleaning my home and preparing wonderful meals and greeting them with kisses and cookies each day. Ha! My children have never been on a bus, I clean in-between school lessons and activities, and sometimes I run and get pizza because I'm just too tired to cook!

Hollywood presents such a far-from the truth "fairytales". Everything always works out the way WE want them to. That's not real life. Couples who expect that type of hollywood romance each day are in for a big awakening. I'd much rather have my reality.

Giving my dreams to the ultimate One in life is the very best thing I can do. He creates my reality into dreams that I never knew I had!

Monday, April 26, 2010


I had an overwhelming feeling of contentment wash over me Saturday evening. I was playing UNO Attack with my husband and children. We had enjoyed a nice dinner together. Everyone was happy and there was peace in our home. It was blissful. How I wish this was the case each and every day.

Since then, my mind has begun to ponder the words content and contentment. Paul writes in Philippians about contentment. He states that he had learned to be content in whatever state he was in (paraphrased). This is something that God has dealt with my heart on over the past 12 years. When we moved from Canada to the U.S. in April of 1997, I had a hard time adjusting. Everything was different. I was far from family, I was in a new church, I was in a new house, etc.... Even activities such as grocery shopping was very different. In my time of struggle, this scripture that I quoted above became my motto... "I have learned in whatsoever STATE I am therewith to be content." (Philippians 4:11). I took this Scripture very literal. I told myself that I was in the STATE of Michigan and that I needed to learn to be content. A great transformation began to happen in my life. When I "let go and let God", I became content. I would now have a very hard time leaving Michigan. I have not learned to only be content here, but to LOVE it here.

I relate this feeling of contentment to being the mother of a child with ADHD. It can be real hard to be content when you face the daily challenges that are packaged with ADHD. I know the days where you feel like walking out the front door and never coming back. This is a feeling I never understood until I became the mother of one with ADHD. This past while, God has been dealing with my heart once again. He is the Master Heart Surgeon. He is speaking to my heart to learn to be content in this state I am currently in. Again, I'm finding that I'm not only learning to be content, but I'm learning to be thankful for it. When I learn to be content, my eyes are opened to all the blessings I have.

It's imperative that I remember that things do not stay the same forever. Life changes. My mission is to learn to be content. Jesus knows exactly where I am and the challenges I face each day. He is to be my source of contentment. I am blessed among women.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Timing Is Everything

Wow! I did not know that the words I wrote yesterday were the very words I would need today. We are not having a good day today. My son is challenging me extra this morning. I sincerely think that he would be ready to argue that the sun is green today. I began to get uptight, frustrated and exasperated with him. Then yesterday's words began to ring in my mind..."whisper..." I chose to whisper. What a difference. It is actually empowering to know that "I" am the one controlling how I choose to respond. My world is in no way perfect, but I'm so blessed that I have our perfect Savior to hold my hand and whisper, "Child, you can do this."

God's timing has always amazed me in my life. It can be so hard when in our current circumstances to understand why God allows things to happen. You know what though? His timing is ALWAYS perfect! I look back over my life and see that when I had to wait for things that I thought I should have had immediately, that's God's timing was perfect. Hindsight certainly is 20/20.

I have always liked to be on time. If I'm not early, I'm late. However, when I had children this belief was greatly challenged for me. Many times, the unexpected would happen. Other times, I just hadn't planned ahead of time properly. If I am running late, it creates a great amount of stress for me and then for my children. Again, my attitude sets the tone for our home. There are certain things that I must be on time for, but I have learned that other things can be relaxed more. It can be a monumental chore to get a child with ADHD to get his/her shoes on and out the door. My mind thinks, "let's just put the shoes on and let's go!" His mind thinks, "Wow, these shoes a cool blue color. The sky is blue too. I wonder how high I can jump into the sky? Maybe if I climb the tree and jump, I can get father up." You get the picture. This leads me to looking around for my son to find him in the tree ready to jump! How exasperating that can be!!! I am learning to walk my son through putting on his shoes. Giving a child with ADHD too many steps or too many commands is setting them up for failure. It is a good idea to give him one action to do. I will then peek to see how that action is going. I will redirect if needed. Then, the next action to be taken can be directed. I have learned that it's not David's disobedience that led him to climb the tree, but his creativeness.

How many of us have stories of how God provided something just at the perfect moment? Last year, I was having a specially trying day with my son. I prayed and asked the Lord if He would give me something special to let me know HE knew and was aware. About an hour later, the mail arrived. It came about four hours earlier than it normally does. I thought it strange. I retrieved the mail and found amongst it a card addressed to me. I opened it up and the very front of the card said, "He Has You In The Palm Of His Hand." WOW! The Lord knew where I was and what I was experiencing! Even more amazing to me was that He knew when I would need that and had dealt with someones heart to mail this card to me. I felt so loved and humbled. I will always appreciate my dear sister in the Lord for following the Lord's leading. God's timing is perfect!

So... when you ask yourself, "Will this last forever?" Remember, that it will not. (Please feel free to remind ME of that on any given day too!). The Lord will equip you to complete each day as you raise the precious treasure you have been entrusted with. Hold on and enjoy the ride. It will be over before you know it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


ADHD is a very rough road to travel. There are a lot of hard days for child and parent alike. I have come to the conclusion that parenting my son will never be easy. There has been three days up to this point that were easy days. There has been a lot of tolerable days and intolerable days. To be honest, there's days I want to throw in the towel and allow someone else the chance to try. The Scriptures say that the Lord's mercies are new every morning. How amazing is that? He equips me each and every day to handle that day's challenges. Our God knows exactly where I am on each given day and gives me the strength to conquer it. I'm so blessed.

It's so important to remember that my son's brain works very differently than mine. This is a blessing and a curse to him. The curse is that he doesn't always fit in what society considers "normal" thinking and problem solving. The blessing is also that he doesn't always fit in what society considers "normal" thinking and problem solving. David will have challenges as he thinks outside of the box and that is sometimes hard for his peers and elders to see. However, David will be able to do so many great things as he is able to come at a problem and life at a different angle. So many successful people in history showed so many signs of ADHD. They were able to think outside of the box. The "H" in ADHD definitely would have given them the energy to make their idea come to life.

It can be so hard to react positivelty when your patience has been tried over and over in any given day. It is very important for me to set boundaries and stick to them. This is the case for any child, but even more important for one with ADHD. They need to know what to expect and what is required of them for their success. It can be so frustrating repeating yourself for the gazillionth time. At first, I thought that David was just not listening and disobeying. I realize now that many times he didn't hear me, or he heard me, but it didn't process properly in his brain. Eye contact is very helpful when giving direction. Giving too many steps to a child with ADHD is overwhelming for them. Many times I will have my son repeat what I have instructed him to do. He is not disobeying me and he is not dumb, he just processes information differently than I do. As the parent, I have to be the one that make changes in the way I parent. That has been the hard part for me, but oh so worth it. There's times when I feel very frustrated that I will whisper. My children look at me strange and ask, "Mom, why are you whispering?" I reply "I am whispering rather than yelling." It takes more concentration for me to whisper and helps to dispel my present distress. We all have given our children "time-outs". The purpose of time-out is to remove your child from the situation and give them time to regroup. Guess what? Sometimes I give myself a time-out. If we are having an extra trying day, I will give my children something to keep them busy and tell them that Mom is feeling frustrated and needs to take a few minutes to calm down. This is NOT a sign of weekness to them, but rather shows them a good example for problem solving. I will take those few minutes in my room alone. I will regroup and then return to what we were doing. My attitude sets the tone for our home. Do I ever lose my temper? Unfortunately, yes. It's those times that I need to seek forgiveness from my Savior and my children. Again, I'm so thankful His mercies are new everymorning.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Teaching Victoria has been an amazing and rewarding experience. She learns like I do and excels in the same subjects that I did. I find it very easy to relate to her. The main difference between us is that she has been blessed with amazing Creativity when it comes to art and drawing. I love to watch her create and use her imagination.

My son is very creative and imaginative also. I'm sure this is supposed to be a good thing. It can be a very trying thing for his Momma. David's creativity is outside of the box. It is outside of my thinking and my plan. I have learned and continue to learn the art of letting him go and let him fly. That is NOT easy for this Mom. Remember... my plan? I almost laugh now. Any type of plan I had went out the window with the David's diagnosis of ADHD in May of 2008.

I always knew that there was something more with our son. Yes, he was "all boy", but my mother's intuition knew it was more than that. Denial is a way of dealing with hard issues. That is what I did for a long time. However, it came time for us to face the facts and seek help. It was the best thing we ever did for our family.

We had to make an extremely hard decision about medication. There is so many different opinions and beliefs when it comes to a matter such as this. We prayed and cried. We wanted to make the right decision for our family. We made the decision to use medication. This is sometimes a very sensitive topic among parents and I believe that we are definitely in the minority of homeschoolers who choose this option. It was one of the hardest things I ever have had to do as a mother. I remember crying before dispensing it. It was NOT what I wanted to do, nor was it part of my plan.

The difference it made in our home and in our son's life was UNBELIEVABLE! We had a peaceful home (well... as peaceful as a home with children can be!). For the first time in 5 years, I felt like I was able to let out the breath I had been holding in. My heart goes out to parents who deal with this very issue. I remember the days where it seemed I was correcting my son non-stop. I remember the nights I would stand by David's bed watching him sleep and crying. I would cry because I loved this little boy so much and I longed to make his life easier. I cried because my life was full of turmoil. If you are reading this and are facing what we have faced, please know you are NOT alone. I have found a great need for mothers to be able to talk openly about the challenges WE face as a parent of a child with ADHD. There is a lot of literature on how it affects our child for which I am so thankful. However, we as Mothers also need to know that what we are feeling and experiencing within is normal and part of the diagnosis of your child's ADHD.

Remember, God had told me when I knew I was expecting my son that everything would be ok. Unfortunately, ok does not mean easy. At first, I wondered why God chose me to be David's mother. I was the one who made the plan and stuck to it. Mothers of children with ADHD can't exactly follow a plan. We have to be ready for change. I guess we don't really have to be ready, but it's coming whether we are ready or not! I have learned about CHANGE! I have learned that change is so imperative for a rewarding life. I still ask why God chose me to be David's mother. But I ask this question in a much different way now. Why did God BLESS me so much? Why did he entrust His little masterpiece that he let me name David to me? I only pray that I can BE the Mom this little boy needs to be all he can be in life.

Homeschooling You Say?

I will never forget our first couple years of homeschooling. I had my plan set of how it was going to work and we would follow it. Yep, there was my silly plan again. I did a good job of following that plan too. At the time, I was just homeschooling our daughter and she is so easy-going. Whatever method I used would work for her. To be a GOOD homeschooling Mom, I had to be so strict and inflexible, that's what school is all about, right? WRONG! I learned that learning is so much better when it is made ENJOYABLE. It's amazing how learning just HAPPENS! I have used many moments of non-school time, to teach my children. Those are the lessons that have stuck!

Was Victoria learning? Absolutely. Were we enjoying it? Not at all. I decided to change my curriculum up. There is so many options available to homeschoolers for teaching their children. My mind was boggled by it all. I would read books and catalogues long into the night searching to find the RIGHT fit for us. I had to have the EXACT PERFECT one. Somehow, I left God out of the equation. I began to pray for peace and guidance from Him. My husband had to go to Delaware for 2 weeks for his job. Our children and I were blessed to be able to accompany him. On one of those days, I just drove around. I saw a Salvation Army store and decided to stop. I was browsing the shelves of books and suddenly saw a familiar huge curriculum book. It was the exact book that I had almost purchased previously, but wasn't sure about it and didn't want to spend the money. (All who know me, know that I am VERY frugal). I decided to purchase the book. It so happened that day that all books were on sale, so this entire years worth of curriculum only cost me $1.29! I read through it and it was EXACTLY what I had in mind to teach and what I was looking for. God not only showed me what to use, but He placed it right in my path and at a major bargain too! Isn't He awesome!?! That is the curriculum I used for Victoria for First Grade and now for David this year. I purchased the Second and Third Grade Curriculum too. It has been a wonderful fit for us. We might be ready to change things up again, but I know that God will lead me to the right fit for our family.

Who am I ? (2)

My plan had finally unfolded the way I would like. I was happily married and had my two children. It was about time my plan came to life. I was ready to be the perfect stay-at-home mother of my two perfect children.

It began in the hospital, the day our son was born. David would cry when his position was changed. There was something wrong, or so we thought. The nurse took him to the special care nursery. Other than crying to eat every two hours, he was fine as long as no one moved him. I sat by him, holding his hand, crying. What was wrong with my baby? We waited for the specialist to see him. The prognosis: He might just be in a little pain from being born. He was a totally healthy baby. Thank God!

Due to the power outage, we were able to leave the hospital and come home early. It was wonderful coming home with our family! The first month of life at home is a fuzzy memory. We somehow survived. David liked to eat every 2 hours and cried a lot in between feedings. Nothing made him happy. My saving grace... he suddenly began to sleep through the night at 4 weeks. Thank You Jesus! That full night of rest gave me strength to get through the days of non-stop crying. It seemed that our son had developed colic. I was mom to a two year old, a colicky newborn and had no family close by. I remember somedays my husband would come home from work and I would be standing at the door with my screaming son in my arms, my daughter with me, crying. He would relieve me and I would go to the basement and lay on the bed and sob. What happened to my plan!?! This is NOT how parenthood was supposed to be.

I was torn between comforting my son, spending time with my toddler, being a wife, keeping house and being active in church. There was not enough of me to go around. Therefore, the "I'm fine" phasade came to be. The permament smile that let others know I had it all under control. Ha! Control? What was that? I had lost control. I was falling into a deep dark hole that I couldn't get out of.

I was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety in the fall of 2004. What? How could I, a happily married wife and loving mother and a Chrisitan be depressed? Where was my faith in God? Christian people don't get depressed! I started on medicine and things began to turn around. I could now think clearer again. I could cope better. The decision to medicate or not is always a personal decision. I respect those that don't, and I ask for respect for those that do. Life began to look brighter again. I could do this after all. It got a whole lot easier. David was never easy to parent like his sister, but it was tolerable now. I just thought that it was the big difference between a boy and a girl. However, deep down my mother's intuition nagged at me that it was more.

We moved back to the U.S. in June of 2005, one day before our 10th wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful and joyous day. (We had been living just across the border for 6 1/2 yrs. due to immigration). Life was unfolding beautifully.

My daughter (who has always been a joy and so easy-going!) was now getting to school-age. Our plan all along had been to send her to a Chrisitan school. However, whenever we prayed about where the word "homeschooling" would come to me. I was NOT going to homeschool. That was crazy, insane and NOT me. Also, my husband was dead set AGAINST homeschooling. This was NOT our plan. We both agreed to pray for a few months about it and discuss again. I will never forget that discussion! We were in the vehicle on the way to church. I said, "Honey, we need to make a decision about school for our daughter." He agreed. I continued, "Whenever I pray about her schooling, I feel like the Lord is telling me that we are to homeschool." He looked at me and said, "You are totally right." What!?! God had dealt with his heart and showed him that we were to homeschool. It was NOT what we planned, but knew without a doubt that homeschooling was what our family was to do.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Who Am I?

I am a wonderfully blessed happy victorious sometimes on the brink of insanity woman! I am truly blessed among women.

I walk the path that I declared I would when I was young. When asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" as a youngster, I would declare, "A Mommy!" Many years later, I am doing just what I claimed I would do! However, the path that has brought me to this place had many unexpected twists and turns. Being a "Mommy" is not all how I thought it would be. I had visions of sitting with my children, lovingly telling stories, playing, cooking, talking, etc.... Yes, we do these things together, but my vision was a perfect one. It did not include the days and nights of colic, fits, puke, fights, ADHD, need I go on? I feel sometimes as a Mom that I am a small boat tossed to and fro between the crashing waves. However, there is One that knows when to calm those storms for me and speak peace to my heart.

I had it all planned out. I would get married, a couple of years later have a child and then wait a few more years and have another child and then possibly two more. I laugh now when I look back and see how naiive I truly was! My plan was not God's plan. I did get married at the tender age of 18, one week after graduating high school. I went from being a child to a married woman. I grew up while being married. I learned so much during those years of my life! It was not always an easy way to travel, but it was the best way for me. I am still married to that man today. We have continued to grow and mature together. Step one was complete... I got married.

I had it planned out that step two would naturally come in about two years. I couldn't wait for the day I would become Mommy to someone. Suddenly, my plan was not going very well. I found out that I had PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). There was not a whole lot of doctors that were educated with PCOS where I lived. At that time, we were told that we may never have children. If I got pregnant, there was a good chance I would lose my baby. If we ever did have a successful pregnancy, it would be a miracle. The wind went out of my sails. What happened to MY plan? Why me? I would be the perfect mother. Why?

It would be three years before my dream would be realized. Three hard, painful, tear-filled years. During that time, we had some major uphevals in our life. My husband almost died from complications during an auto accident, he lost his job and we moved from the only home I had ever known to the United States. What happened to MY plan?

I realized in March of 2000 that I was in the midst of a miscarriage. It was bitter-sweet. I was sad for the child I lost, but yet encouraged with the fact that I had indeed conceived!

It was two months later in May of 2000 that I found out I was expecting. The joy was uncontainable! I wanted to shout it from the mountain tops. I was expecting a BABY! It was a few short days later, that I began to show signs of miscarriage again. I was encouraged to lay down and let my body rest and let nature take its course. I was broken-hearted. Remember my plan, Lord? A sweet sister in the Lord prayed with me. She said that the Lord gave her the word "auspicious". She did not know what it meant. She found when she looked this word up at home that it was "successful". I just looked this word up now and saw that it said "Favorable". In February 22, 2001, we welcomed our precious baby girl, Victoria into our lives. There was nothing like it! Today, she still continues to be a joy to mother and have in our lives. All those days and nights of throwing up became distant memories. I was now a MOM! My plan was finally working out the way I imagined it!

We found out that we were expecting again in August of 2002! How exciting! It didn't take three years to become pregnant again! Six days later, I sadly lost this precious child. This miscarriage hurt more than the first, because I now knew what I had lost. I started down into a dark hole of depression. I didn't know pain like this existed. Our sweet Lord held me in His arms during this time and walked me through those dark days. He continued to let me know that He was there.

Unexpectedly, we found out two months later that we were expecting again. I was NOT ready for this. I was still grieving our lost babe. I had panic within my breast. To this day, I remember standing at the top of our stairs and the Lord spoke to my heart and said it would all be ok. And that it was! We welcomed our son into our lives August 14, 2003. The day of the Great Power Outage in 2003! I think that was God's way of telling me, "Look Out!" I did not know what I was in for!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Beginning Of Blogging

I am doing something that I said I would NEVER do. "I will never blog!" were the words spoken by my very own lips. They were typed by the very same fingers typing now. Alas, here I am... blogging.

Why am I so resistant to change? Why does the word change ring discomfort within me? For many women "The Change" is not something looked forward to. When I was younger, I would almost laugh at those who would speak of change being a hard hill for them to challenge. I now sit at the same side and ponder what changes I must make to climb my mountain of life. I am not talking about "The Change", I am talking about the concept of "change".

I'm finding more and more that change is not something to be feared, but embraced. Just think of all I will never experience if I resist change. My goal this year is to answer the door when change knocks. I will not only answer, but I will welcome change into the chambers of my heart and home.

It has been suggested to me by many to begin to walk the road of blogging. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, daughter and son. All are precious to me. I have learned so much from being my husband's wife and my children's mother. My son has ADHD. This reason alone brings change into my life on a daily basis. However... that is a blog for a different day...