Hi, my name is “Ridiculous” and sometimes it’s “Crazy,” and I am a P.O.T. (Parent of Teen). My support group is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and other mothers. My only escape is prayer.
So I prayed, “God, give me children lest I die!” and He gave us children. Then, sometimes I want to die. And we parents do die, right? Every. Single. Day. For-the-rest-of-our-lives.
Yeah, this is where I live and I can’t move out because it’s a lifetime lease. How about you fellow P.O.T.s? (And yes, you MOPs and MOAs and ones in between those too.) Do you ever tell God, “Hey God, this was Your idea! You told me to be fruitful and multiply. So God, You have to help me! Help me help them—in Jesus’ name, amen. Please.”
At six years old I was a red-headed, freckled-faced little girl and an orphan once again. I believed I was unlovable. With the death of my foster mom, I was taken from my beloved family who could no longer take care of me.
Welcome to Part 2 of 2 of A Conversation with United Army Chaplain, Special Needs Parent, and Writer Brad Lee. In this video segment Chaplain Lee is joined by his wife, Lori and they share more about life as a military family with six children, one of whom has Downs Syndrome and Autism. Lori gives insights on how we can support military wives and parents of special needs children and more.
It is my honor to introduce you to United States Army Chaplain, Brad Lee. Chaplain Lee is a husband and father of six, and a writer with a forthcoming book inspired by his journey with his young son who has Downs Syndrome and Autism.
In Part 1 of this two part conversation, Chaplain Lee shares the road that led him to become a chaplain in the U.S. Army, some of the adventures, challenges, and opportunities he encounters as he serves our country and our soldiers, as well as some powerful thoughts on and wise counsel to our nation.
There’s only one explanation for Robin—Jesus. And also for her sons Miles and Jake. Robin and Jake are nurses currently caring for Covid19 patients. Miles serves as a teacher in Malaysia. Robin is also an award winning author, speaker, and leader of Higher Ground Outreach ministry for incarcerated women. What an honor to interview them during Teacher and Nurse Appreciation Week and in time for Mother’s Day, and to share their timely and timeless, inspiring and joy filled stories with you in these two videos and the article that follows.
Honored to have my article, In Step with My Father published on Southern Ohio Christian Voice. You may click here to read it and while you’re there please check out their other great offerings. 🙂
In Step With My Father
(For fathers, children, and not just for Father’s Day)
I remember Daddy holding my hand as we entered the gates to the botanical gardens, Wrigley’s gum, Elephant Ear pastries, Matchbox cars, him carrying me when I was hurt, and scraping every speck of black pepper off my food. And bumper cars. I hated them, but I never told him because I liked to hear him laugh—and we were together.
Daddy was pale and shaky after riding the corkscrew roller coaster. We made kites with bamboo and tissue paper. They always crashed, but that was okay. He drove way too fast on the windy island mountain roads in his little ultramarine Triumph Spitfire… Cont. Here: http://sohiochristianvoice.com/in-step-with-my-father
Please forgive me for my quietness here. I have much to share and am currently working on a few articles as well as a couple new exciting writing projects. I’m looking forward to catching up with you in a few days. Thank you for joining me on this writing journey. and for your prayers.
Update from Massachusetts Family Institute on Massachusetts Senate Bill 70 (The Counseling Ban)
Updated April 9th, 2019
MA Senate Bill 70 violates freedom of speech, parental rights and religious freedom
SEE YOU IN COURT! Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the Counseling Ban last night, April 9th, 2019.
Massachusetts Family Institute is already hearing from potential PLAINTIFFS and is prepared to help them protect their rights in court.
PLEASE CALL or TEXT my cell phone at (978) 204-9131 if you know a minor (age 17 or younger) and parents that want therapy to escape LGBTQ lifestyle OR a Licensed Therapist that desires to give such therapy.
The only way now to protect free speech and access to therapy is through the courts. We NEED your help!
Read more about current LGBTQ activist plan to continue to assault religion and family values here: https://tapit.us/lYiuO Please SHARE with EVERYONE YOU KNOW!Michael King www.mafamily.org
(978) 204-9131 (cell)
UPDATE Friday 3/29/19: Unfortunately, Senate Bill 70 passed on Thursday March 28th, 2019 with a vote of 34-0. But I urge you to read this post if you have not already so you can be informed and know what next steps to take to try to stop this threat to freedom of speech, parental rights, freedom of religion and the safety and well being of children. Massachusetts Family institute is urging residents to call Governor Charlie Baker at Phone: (617) 725-4005 NOW and ask him to veto the bill which is set for signing early next week.His office staff informed me today that you may leave a message voicing your concerns after hours and your request will be tallied. *I added more information on the results of the vote and some of my thoughts on them at the end of this article. (A strike-through indicates that information has been updated.)
The Massachusetts Senate will votevoted on Senate Bill, SB. 70, (the Counseling Ban), this Thursday, March 28th at the State House. If this bill goes into law it will violate freedom of speech, religious freedom, and the rights of parents to raise their children according to their moral and religious convictions. This bill would force counselors and parents to go against their beliefs about human sexuality and violates rights to privacy of patients and counselors.
Some think this bill will not affect them as they aren’t facing the situations it addresses. But regardless of where your convictions fall on gender identity and sexual orientation, and whatever your religious persuasion, bills like SB. 70 endanger the freedoms of all. Other states have also been pushing similar bills.
HB. 140/ SB. 70 would make it illegal for licensed health care professionals to offer counselling or talk therapy that encouraged a gender-confused minor to feel comfortable as the biological sex they were born, or to change, suppress, or stop any behavior or feelings in regards to their opposite-sex gender identity or sexual attraction toward others of the same sex. But they would be legally required to promote hormone therapy and sex-change surgery. This applies even if the minor is the one seeking help to change sexual attractions or behavior they don’t want to continue.
Parents who opt for counseling the state doesn’t sanction for their gender-confused child rather than cross-sex hormones or surgery, would be subject to DCF intervention which could result in the child being taken from their home and then receiving sex-change treatments without parental consent.
This bill mis-labels certain counsel as child abuse and dictates and limits healthcare workers in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Prohibiting licensed counselors from guiding those who seek help with their struggles by freely discussing and exploring a patient’s symptoms and feelings is negligent medical practice and abuse. If one doubts a healthcare worker’s advice they can choose to get a second opinion.
Many who identify as one sexual orientation shift to another, or between several categories over time. They change their minds. So why the push to alter one’s body with hormones or surgery? What’s the rush? This is especially true for children who do not yet have the capacity to fully comprehend the choices and their long term ramifications.
If a child identifies as a dog should the parent allow them to undergo treatment to become like a dog?
If a child thinks he is Superman, is it abuse if their parent doesn’t allow him or her to leap from buildings with a single bound?
If a white child declares they are a black child trapped in a white body, or a black child identifies as a white child, should their parents be forced to let them undergo treatment to permanently change their skin color?
It is my pleasure to share Pearl Allard’s guest post with you today.
I had just settled on the couch, grateful to have crossed the day’s finish line with two kids intact and in bed. I eagerly reached for a book I’d been longing to read, when my six-year-old padded out of her room—one bare foot and one slipper-socked foot. I bristled, wondering with the psalmist, how long, O Lord?
Dear daughter held up the partner slipper sock in one hand and a gray pom-pom in the other. The slipperhad (past tense) a pair of dangly gray pom-poms attached at the top which I was preparing to mentally curse. She wanted me to fix it.
Yeah sure, kid. No problem. I’m on it. And by the way, you’re supposed to be in bed!I choked back the destructive spew and accepted the extended slipper sock and offending gray pom-pom. I examined them (come on, you know that deserved a gold star right there), but I informed her it wasn’t getting fixed that night, if it was even fixable. She looked crestfallen.
I peered at the small mass of gray fibers coming loose in my hand. I’d wait until she was in bed and then throw away this whole fraying mess.
“Do you think you can fix it?” Her little voice held such angst.
It was a gray pom-pom for crying out loud, not a broken limb, or a break-up with a boyfriend, or a life-or-death matter, not even a blip on the radar of important…to me.
I looked up into her earnest expression watching me. Hoping. Trusting.
I sighed. When she’s grown, will she remember me shoving aside what she valued? Or will she remember me caring about even the outlandish details of her life? I sighed, again.
“Couldn’t you sew it back on?” I sensed her trying to lighten the workload, offering the most helpful suggestion she knew.
It was just a mess on my lap, and it was all kinds of unimportant and…it mattered. I sighed for the third time.
“Yes, I can probably sew it on,” I admitted. That seemed to satisfy her since she smiled and, with both feet now in one slipper sock, hopped her way back to bed. Crazy girl. This mothering thing…yeah.
I set the book aside, hauled my rear off the couch, and rummaged through craft supplies, shaking my head. Was I actually comparing shades of gray thread?
Back on the couch, I stitched the fraying mess – and realized I was actually stitching up something far more significant. Isthis what real love does?Stitches things, people, back together? Reconnects the disconnected? Takes the time to do crazy for the sake of demonstrating love? I marveled at the way the eye of a needle opened my eyes.
I paused and looked up. Hanging over our fireplace were three crosses – just small hot-glued branches – beneath small heart lights I’d strung around the mantel. The cross, a symbol of the most crazy love ever. And small hearts connected together because of it. Radiating light. In that moment I tasted a richer flavor of God’s love for me. Why does He love me? Me with a wandering heart and reluctance to share what’s been lavished on me. Crazy-amazing love.
How fitting so near Valentine’s Day.
I tied off the knot and surveyed the repair. It didn’t seem nearly so costly a sacrifice anymore. Those few interrupted minutes a disguised opportunity to participate in something much larger than irritating gray pom-poms. Any investment of love, no matter how small, is really part of something big; because God IS love. I’m slow to see, slow to look up. But thank God, I didn’t completely botch this. (Lord knows how many other times I have!)
May this Valentine’s Day bring a fresh awareness of how much God loves you with a crazy-amazing love. Romans 5 is an amazing chapter to reflect on, if you get the chance today. But the verse below from John is a good summary.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life. John 3:16 ERV
Pearl and I met two years ago as members of The Jerry JenkinsWriters Guild and joined the same writing group, currently comprised of nine women from around the world with a passion for Jesus and to honor Him with our writing. Pearl is a precious sister in the Lord, a down to earth, gifted and anointed writer and speaker, a prayer warrior with a heart to glorify God and encourage others. She has written for (in)courage, Keys for Kids, and Breathe Christian Writers Conference.
Pearl is an imperfect Son-follower learning to enjoy grace. Sunflowers are her spiritual metaphor, because they track the sun’s movement as Christians seek to follow God’s son, Jesus. She is happily-mostly-aftered, work-at-home mama to two, and lives in Michigan. She writes at LookUpSometimes.com.
Progress is slow as I recover from an inflamed nerve which makes it difficult to work on a computer. Eleven of twelve articles are posted for my current series of interviews with pastors and pastor’s wives. I will post the final article in the series, (which features missionaries), as soon as I am able. This link will also bring you to my interviews with pastors and pastor’s wives from prior years.
Our culture spends a lot of time demeaning men and undermining the importance of the role of fathers, but wonders at the staggering numbers of fatherless and troubled children. To the fathers out there who stick it out and stand up for their families, and to the men who have stepped up to the plate to fill someone else’s shoes—thank you. You play a vital role not only in your family, but your positive impact is felt throughout society.
My heart aches for those who do not have a father in their lives or perhaps not a good relationship with them. My parents were divorced and I remember the longing and loneliness of watching friends make cards for Mother’s Day while mine was overseas and I had little contact with her at the time. Some feel this emptiness because their parent has died, is not a part of their life, or is physically present but emotionally absent. For those, Fathers Day can be hard. Or perhaps you know a dad who is not shouldering his responsibilities, or doesn’t know how to be a father and needs someone to come alongside and help him. I’m hoping if you know of such a person, you will consider reaching out as a friend or father figure.Continue reading “A Father to the Fatherless”
Sometimes as a parent your heart swells with joy, but at other times you labor in love with tears and a busted heart over your children. For those in a hard season, I thought I’d share some scriptures and re-post my poem, For the Prodigal’s Mom, in hopes of encouraging you. Whether your child is faring well, struggles or has strayed, whether you just have the occasional hard day or more tough days than not—your work does not go unnoticed. God sees you, He feels your heart. He wants to come alongside and help and strengthen us. Jesus weeps with us and we can take joy in the shelter of Him. He cares for our children. Remember, He sets out in search of the one lost lamb.
We don’t have to walk this road or wage this war in our own strength. Jesus is the difference maker in our lack as we strive to find your footing and guide your children on the right path. We can petition Heaven and storm Hell with our prayers and partner with our Maker, the Good Father, for the needs of our children. God provides and equips for every task He calls us to.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9 KJV
For the Prodigal’s Mom
Don’t you know Jesus loves your children
Even more than you?
Pound the gates of Heaven, Mama
Pray without ceasing
Know the God of Heaven, inclines to your cry
He shares your passion for restoration of the prodigal child