Saturday, January 25, 2014

Love Thugs

**another excerpt from my diary blog.. written August 14, 2013

He sends me

The children don't watch much television. We used to only watch on Saturday, but that became too difficult to ensure.. so we watch quite randomly. We, means the kids.. I have some favorite shows that I do watch in the evenings as I foam at the mouth from the day's happenings...Anyway.. every time a cartoon was on, there would be an elephant in the episode somewhere... I started to say to Myles "God sends you elephants every time you watch" and "He loves you so much" .. could it be that simple to relay the LOVE of our Father in that way to our precious boy?? It became such a regular occurrence, Myles began noticing on his own and announcing it.. " God loves me.. He sends me elephants" ... "Yes sweet boy.. He does"     and He Loves each of us in His beautiful unique way..in ways that we will hear..and see..and feel.. perfectly designed so that we KNOW it is from HIM.. for me it is in hearts.. like the shape of a heart found on a leaf.. or in the morning sink from schloop that formed into a heart.. or after a huge tree gets cut down in our yard.. and the remaining stump LOOKS LIKE A HEART!! 

Yes! He sends Myles elephants.. and He sends me hearts..

When Myles was born, I had this overwhelming feeling, as every Mommy probably has, that part of my heart was no longer inside my chest.. that it was outside of me.. I found a heart charm that symbolized that for me.. ((envision just the outside of a drawn heart..not solid))  I would wear it and Myles would play with it as I held him.. I started to say to him.. "is that Mommy's heart?".... and continue in my response to him... " ....Noooooo... cause YOU'RE my HEART! You're my heart! You're my heart"..

All three of my boy's know this exchange.. They each have always responded in some way.. eye contact.. a glance.. a giggle..a tiny voice saying "nooooo"... or drawing their bodies closer to get a little tickle.. They are my HEART!! My boys.

He sends me HEARTS.. such an obvious sign.

He also LOVES on me in disguise too...in not so obvious ways in the depths..in the trenches.. with no "hearts" to be seen or heard.. my signs of love.. my boys..my hearts.. ARE here.. the way they are.. not broken. or wrong. or not better. or less.. in the whirlwind..in the deafening silence.

We are helping them. ((which would leave you believing that they must have a need))
Their need is only LOVE.
They are helping us. ((which would leave you believing that we must have a need as well))
Our need is only LOVE.

This is unconditional. I fall short often. I am reminded of HIS LOVE... and the HEARTS that were given to me were so purposefully placed.. to teach me to LOVE better. to show me how limiting my thoughts have been..to show the expanse of my heart's potential..it's intended purpose.. to allow my heart to grow to fullness.. to see that I become the person I was intended to be all along.

My hearts.

He sends me hearts.

I know He loves me.

No matter the circumstances.

My heart is humble~full with this awareness.this knowing.
My heart is JOY~filled with the hope LOVE has to offer.
My heart is THANKS~over flowing with PEACE.

He sends Myles elephants.
He sends me hearts.

 Fast forward to today...

As you know, Brandi was here for our outreach  a couple weeks ago from the Autism Treatment Center of America...I shared with her how much I love finding ((receiving)) hearts throughout my days. She had posted on Facebook a few weeks prior about her calling into her work.. and how she truly "followed her heart" down this path to helping hundreds of children with autism learn how to receive love in such a profound way through the Son~Rise approach!! Instantly connected we were ((in my best Yoda voice!!)) On our way back to the airport we were chatting it up and I saw a heart spray painted on the street..right in the middle of the road.. we were both excited!! I dropped her off and on the way back..there was another graffiti heart on a stop sign coming away from the airport!! I immediately sent Brandi a message when I got home telling her of this great find!!

Could there be a gang spreading symbols of love around the town??

Imagine the hazing!! ((sign me up))

We messaged a couple more times and concluded that "Love Thugs"  would be a perfect name for our awesome gang!!

I did not get a picture of the stop sign, yet, but I did just make this lovely collage of recent heart findings I have received in my days!!


I may or may not have already made my first "Love Thugs" shirt.. ahem..

There is so much more to this little story..

stay tuned..



Joyfully His..
me

ps.. do you find hearts too?? tell me more..

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Invitation





3 weeks into 2014.. so far it's off to a beautiful start!!

I have pondered my thought/word for this new grouping of days in my life..

Invitation is what I am choosing to lead the way through this next year..

Invite:
1. to ask (a person or persons) in a friendly or polite way (to do something, attend an event, etc)
2. to make a request for, esp publicly or formally
3. to bring on or provoke; give occasion for
4. to welcome or tempt


 
Yes!! Invitation.. I am going to actively Invite more into my life..
Yes!! I see me looking ahead and making plans with my dear friends and family.
Yes!! I imagine requesting my children.. INVITING them... to play our games one more glorious time!!

 Of course!! I can give occasion for a celebration of any kind.. (( hint: Love Thugs))

I ultimately plan on welcoming visitors to our home.. people who have not ever been here..friends who haven't been here in a long time.. I will break the comfort of set times and places... directions.. schedules.. I will invite this change into my life.. I will invite the opportunity to have new perspectives..the change will in itself be comforting.

I am experiencing, already the gift this can be.

That moving furniture around thing has the right idea!! ((so.very.tempting.))

Our children are making improvements in their little lives daily.

Hypothetical furniture is being moved around in their minds.. they are seeing things differently.. they are LOOKING at us with new eyes all the time.. we are hearing them use words that have been held captive for years.. Changing it up!! This completely amazes me all day and is truly blessing upon blessing being heaped onto our hearts!!

We had a phenomenal weekend during our outreach from the Autism Treatment Center of America last weekend!! Brandi came to our house ((from Massachusetts..INVITE)) and worked with Myles and Sammy.. and was so useful in refreshing our perspective of their needs and their program goals!! We are really looking forward to the next outreach opportunity we can receive..perhaps in the summer or early fall!!The total goal for the next outreach will be $4000.00  covering the cost of TWO AMAZING child facilitators to come to our home!!

This will require more fundraising!!

*We most likely will have another HUMONGOUS yard sale in the spring!!

*I am thinking of ideas for large canvases to display ((and sell)) where the boys go to speech therapy.

*We have our GoFundMe page that I will need to spruce up a bit.

I am excited to get back at the fundraising again!! It was so much hard work last year, but it proved to be ever fruitful in our journey to have this life we have always imagined...the one we are living at this very moment!!

I have also been uploading videos of our playroom time on a new YouTube channel! I INVITE you to come take a look and see what we have been up to!

Do you have a word/thought for this new year??
How has it been going so far?

Much love..
Joyfully His











 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Peace


Oh yes!! I really love this mug!! It was actually donated in one of our yard sale fundraisers we had over the summer.. I can remember seeing this at Barnes and Noble a few years ago and even getting the magnet version for my dear friend Valerie.. surely this was more applicable to her hurried heart at the time than mine. And then I saw this mug in a pile of ((generously)) donated items for our BIG cause!! Reading over the words I felt such a tug at this ((pulled in many directions)) heart of mine!

So, this heart has been at work.

This heart~work has been so freeing.

The free~ing has been the best gift I could get ((and give)) to myself ((and to my children)).

Ahhhh. To be in the midst of all that is crazy!!

Zscha. (( so you know.. this sounds like a little slobbery sound.. perhaps a sound you might make when petting a kitten.. or a beagle puppy.. or a newborn baby giraffe ))

Ahhhhh. To be at the epicenter of silence.. and longing for some noise.

Zschaaa.

Oh...To listen carefully to a new utterance..a stringing together of sounds~ that make a word, and then another..forming a beautiful sentence.."I want, spin me around".. and knowing this is something you have been waiting for your whole life..  ** Yes.. my whole life.. I have known I would be a mother. I have, for my whole life, longed to be someone Sam would want to be loved by.

Zscha.Zscha. ((my peaceful contentment))

So, we were playing yesterday in his wonderful room. Myles was playing with Lori. Owie was resting...or so we thought.


video


Zscha.Zscha.Zscha.

I posted this on Facebook, and was met with such loving responses.. and much laughter, of course!

I did say his name with varied emphasis on each syllable .

There was no way to discern what to do first with regard to cleaning up..

bath..check.

water bottle and metal spoon for scraping..check.

hands and knees positioning..check.

lots of smiling..check.

a feeling of overwhelming...peace... Zscha!! Check!



Here he is..

My little super hero.

The one we have been surprised with from the start!!

Sweet O.



 
Patience.
The biggest response, by far, to the paint "Incident".
 
Having Peace In My Heart.
no matter the circumstances.
 
This was my heart~work.
 
I believe it is one thing to have patience about something.
The waiting can be a tough one though.
 
How PEACEFUL you feel during the waiting.
Within the midst.
In the trenches.
Even on the horizon.. sometimes we are just not peaceful.. no matter what.
 
This is my wish for my little family.
That true peace would be ever present.
I am so glad to have been chosen for this little life.
 
May you also do the crazy thing on your heart.
and let us all call it a thing of wonder!!
 
Joyfully.
me
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Inspiring

Inspire:

1. to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence
 
2. to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.): to inspire confidence in others. 
 
3. to fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought, etc.
 
4. to influence or impel 
 
5. to animate, as an influence, feeling, thought, or the like, does: They were inspired by a belief in a better future.
 
6. to communicate or suggest by a divine or supernatural influence: writings inspired by God. 
 
7. to guide or control by divine influence.
 
8. to prompt or instigate (utterances, acts, etc.) by influence, without avowal of responsibility.
 
9. to give rise to, bring about, cause, etc.
 
10. to take (air, gases, etc.) into the lungs in breathing; inhale.
 
11. a. to infuse (breath, life, etc.) by breathing (usually followed by into  ).
      b. to breathe into or upon.
 
I have been inspired lately in so many ways!!
 
* watching the boys say a variety of different words and combinations..with eyes wide open.. what an inspiration to my Mommy heart.
* writing down the account of our Son~Rise journey this morning for our upcoming outreach in January. ((Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible.. your donations are being used in such a great way!!)) How INSPIRING to work so hard on that.. it took me a couple hours, with a few ((welcomed)) interruptions.. but in the end.. what a relief!! I, hands down, love talking about how much progress the boys are making..they are so inspiring to me to keep growing!!
* having the opportunity to go browse at Anthropologie twice in the last couple weeks.. WOW!  Although the prices were out of reach, the inspiration was abundant.. The colors and textures and patterns and styles and ideas a plenty!! Super Inspiring!!
*OUR VOLUNTEERS ARE AMAZING!! I have loved giving them feedback these past couple of weeks!! We are seeing so many sweet interactions in Sammy's playroom.. Incredible JOINING (( Sam is inspiring in that way too))...Fun is been had in there!! I am learning from watching them too!!
 
We are definitely inspired by a belief in a better future!!
 
AND... we are inspired by our better TODAY!!
 
TODAY.. right now.. is so inspiring!!!
 
A quiet, sleeping 2 year old.
A dripping rain.
A cup of tea.
A happy playing 9 1/2 year old..((which he declared the other day..Who told him he was "and a half" by the way?))
A blissful 8 year old.. making a tiny plastic cow fly through the air as if it is in a Blue Angel's air show.
Pandora Christmas music playing in the background.
Inspiring.
So... I sat down to write a quick little note right here.
 
Here's to great big plans!!
 
 
I hope you are inspired!!
 
Joyfully..
me
 
 
 

Monday, December 9, 2013

My wonder~filled life

Hello!Hello!

I am sure everyone has had the opportunity to welcome this season's hurry scurry flurry by now!!

Have you ENJOYED it ??
Any savoring going on??

YES! is my answer!

YES!
YES!
YESSSITY...YES!!

The tree is decorated.and keeps being admired closely by Sam..he has been "marking" ((ahem)) some of his favorite ornaments. We noticed as we were decorating this year that last year was particularly rough for the ornaments on the front lines!!

Broken wheels.. antlers.. arms.. all misplaced..but still all happily put back on the tree for another year of memory making!!

This Christmas is somehow magnified in my heart. I am like a heat seeking missile, searching for all that is most lovely.. all of the straight on eye gazes.. all of the BIG smiling and laughing.. there are words increasingly falling from the lips of my children... and the missile is simply my heart.. HOT and fiery with LOVE... and a perma~smile!!

I have had the chance recently to talk to a few friends about what our days were like a couple years ago ...before Son~Rise.. when we were in the freakin' trenches people!! I recalled all of the hope that was always so seemingly out of my reach..like always a breath of air between my reaching fingertips and all of what was to be.. my wonderful life.

I was so sad.. still with a smile on my face.. yet, aching and angry for the lack of respite in my life.

I have so much peace about it now.. but it was the catalyst for Myles' shutting down.. I was emotionally paralyzed and we slowly began to see him literally collapse before us.

This set the wheels in motion for us to seek some other way..

Son~Rise!!

I can say ((translate:shout it from the rooftops)).. we are on our way to recovery today!!
I am daily being recovered as we recover our boys.

Recover:
1. to get back or regain (something lost or taken away): to recover a stolen watch.
2. to make up for or make good (loss, damage, etc., to oneself).
3. to regain the strength, composure, balance, or the like, of (oneself).
 
I love the example of a stolen watch.. that represents my time.. our time.
 
Recovering our time together is happening in these heat seeking missile moments.
 
Recovering those precious moments I was choosing to be anger filled..and now choosing love.. and patience.. choosing perma~smiles even in the midst of a little hurry scurry!!
 
The gap has been closed on that space between the end of my fingertips...and MY WONDER~FILLED LIFE.
 
I take full hold of it.. these tender and massively awesome little days I have been given.
 
My heart is so full this season.
 
I hope yours is too.
 
Joyfully..
me
 
** and here.. a little video.. Here's to all the Beautiful Things!! Enjoy!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 






Tuesday, November 26, 2013

On Commitment


((Taken from a secret blog of mine... I have only a few entries..and it is not public..but I felt like this post was something I wanted to share afterall. Perhaps I will share others too..it is helpful to look back on thoughts and ideas..feelings of mine..and see where I have traveled in my journey.. enjoy!!))

September 1, 2013

We are just reaching our 1 year mark since we started our Son~Rise programs with the boys.
It has been an amazing year filled with so much learning about my own heart. Learning about parts of my heart that I thought I had already done a good job at knowing about myself. I can remember coming back from my Start~Up program at the Autism Treatment Center of America and saying to my husband, partially out of excitement and gusto from the intense process I had just learned.. and partially out of..let's just get it all out in the open.. CONTROL... what was I saying??  I said.. "You ((everyone)) either needs to jump on board or get off of the tracks!" Now, surely this was not what they had just taught me to say to my beloved husband.. but it was a surge of focus that I needed to make clear to him and everyone else directly involved with our children.

Focus..Commitment..

What I have realized about myself is that I AM so committed .

Wow.

Commitment isn't always accompanied with immediate results.. ones that we can see clearly at the moment.. The results have been revealed to me as the year has gone on..

Watching endless hours of videos about the Son~Rise approach.
Spending countless hours talking to team members about their time in the play room with the children.
Waiting.
Progress coming to a screeching halt after a windfall of milestones being made.
Being the only one left playing after we lost our entire team due to their choice to leave.
Still choosing to believe in this fullest potential thing we get from fully loving!!

Commitment.

This summer, Sam has really taken to licking all sorts of things.. yes, licking.
This is his ism. ((his thing that gives him focus/comfort/surges of intense effort))
During our sessions in his play room, he would transfer his saliva to objects and observe how the colors and vibrancy would be magnified.
His mouth juices would be constantly at the ready to continue this intense focus with another object..
Incredible!
I began to realize how fully committed he was ((is)) to his licking.

It took me awhile to LOVE this ism..and it was really so much more than the ism that I fell in love with.

I saw it as such an amazing quality to embrace.
I saw it not just as licking objects.
I began to see how he could stay with his idea.. and be completely committed to it!

I wanted some more of that.

And from then on, after so much licking.. I started to see myself become more
intensely focused than ever.
Arriving to his playroom with commitment on my mind.

What a gift!

I am so incredibly grateful for this summer's lesson that my beautiful boy taught me.

Joyfully His.

((And  a little song for you  .. May we all be taken deeper..to our own great unknown..may we know an unexplainable peace as the ocean's rise.. for me it is My Beloved Jesus. I am being taken deeper than my feet have ever wandered.. my trust is COMPLETELY without borders..and I continue daily to be in the midst of His Presence. ))

Much love.
Joyfully..me




Saturday, November 23, 2013

These are the days

Hello!! I hope everyone has had a great couple of weeks!!

We have had so much happen over the past month since returning from Maximum Impact.. all great news..

** After creating our GoFundMe page, we were gifted with two amazing donations... a couple of generous donations were also sent directly to us.. we also received our Pampered Chef fundraising money.. we participated in the Fall Festival Craft Fair fundraiser.. and today we had a super fun ornament making fundraiser!! All of these contributions have helped us reach a major goal for receiving support from the Autism Treatment Center of America !! Just Keep Going!! Thank YOU so much for your support!!

** We have been successful at drastically reducing sugar intake for the boys.. this was mostly seen with their juice consumption.. even though we would cut it with water, it was still such a necessity. Since we have been reducing their juice, Sam has had a huge surge of eye contact and a drastic reduction of panic while making requests!! WOW!!

**Sam will also look at me for long periods of time as if he is on the verge of telling me his life story!! ((What a dream that WILL be!!)) So.close.he.is.so.very.close.

**Myles was pushing Sammy on the swing in the house and said...
 
"I love having fun time playing with Sam!"
"Except for the lights"..
"He likes things that are licking and turning off!"

What!!?? So crazy fun..

**Just so you know.. If I don't get to answer your phone call.. or email.. or the door for that matter.. it is because I am hanging on their every word ... My children's words. Their thoughts.. that they are sharing with me right now..My kids that have been so far from me. They are saying things. Sharing things. Welcoming new things.. into their lives.. I am just so lucky and blessed to be a witness to all that is happening for them. I must admit, I am going to be ridiculously selfish and reserve the entire front row for myself.. perhaps even the whole theater at times.. MY HEART is exploding with so many dreams coming true!! And this is just the beginning. (( sigh....))

** Thank YOU so much for cheering me on!

** Thank YOU for rooting for our boys!!

** Thank YOU so so much for BELIEVING along with us!!

I tried to download a video for you.. lets see if    THIS    works instead!! Enjoy!!..

**I love the picture and the little extra commentary.. Son~Rise all the way!!

Joyfully..me