Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Perfect Thanksgiving

When I was a child, the perfect Thanksgiving began with the women cooking in the kitchen in the morning, putting the turkey on in the early afternoon, the men began to watch football, and then the drinking began promptly at 5:00.  We ate Thanksgiving dinner at 9:30 or 10:00 at night.  And shopping began for the women only at Neiman Marcus the next morning.

The same thing was repeated at Christmas, only at that time, it was the after Christmas sales.

My family's traditions revolve around special needs

We are sensory sensitive.  We are cautious not to leave food out, so that my special needs son does not overeat.  We keep the food locked up, and out of his reach. We eat healthy, wholesome food that agrees with his digestive system. We keep him busy. We play when he plays.  We take naps when he does. It is simple really.

The funny thing about centering activities around your special needs child is that in the end, life ends up uncluttered, and more family centered.  Yes, there are those special issues that may come up, but in the end, it is more about working and living together as a family with a special needs person.

But, sometimes the holidays go wrong.

Your child is in the hospital.

Your child gets sick.

You have family relationship problems.

Someone passes away.

You are grieving the death of someone in the past.

You can't cook for some reason.

You add your own issue.

The devil wants nothing more but to steal, kill and destroy.

He attempts to reflect to you all of the mistakes and bad decisions you made for whatever reason. Then he attempts to keep you there until he can destroy you.  Yet, if you are a Christian, you are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and the only reason the devil terrorizes you, is because he cannot do anything else to you anymore.  You are God's, and have His Holy Spirit in you.

Jesus gives us hope.

During the holidays, we as special needs parents, can find hope in the Lord's healing of our children. Hope for our family's future, even in the smallest details of our lives.  Hope for love, healing and peace in our close relationships. Hope for the future.  The enjoyment and fellowship with family and friends, no matter what may be going on around us. Yes, we have hope in Jesus, but we need these practical pieces of hope that He will come to our rescue.

I will tell you, friend, that if you are serving Him, the Lord will surprise you.  If your heart is pure before Him, in a moment, in a flash, He will bless the socks off you!

#RealLove brings life.

The Lord's blessings to you and your family~Kim

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

God is Your Personal Healthcare Companion

If you haven't seen Big Hero 6, you need to go see it as a special needs family.  We went to see it for the first time this past weekend.  It is packed, of course, with tons of action, and we, the viewers are introduced to Baymax, the Personal Healthcare Companion, and robot, of Hiro, a young boy with a gift for technology.  Baymax is created and programmed by his brother, whose primary job is to "heal the sick and injured." You are just left with the feeling that you just want to hug Baymax and take him home.

In the movie, Hiro leads the way when his brother dies, and injustice strikes.  A team of normally geeky kids, and Baymax, find themselves fighting for justice against a villain who, it turns out, really desires to seek revenge against a tyrant who killed his daughter.  Hiro alters Baymax's programming to help a team of 6 accomplish his mission to retrieve his invention. Yet, in the end, Baymax's primary mission takes charge, while he uses his heart to still accomplish the immediate mission of justice.

Our own Personal Healthcare Companions can be this way.

Baymax made me think of our own helpers who meet many of our special needs famlies' needs in the medical, personal, and educational world.  Everything usually comes down to the medical foundation necessary for our children's health, and as special needs parents, we rely on our providers quite a bit sometimes. While they don't usually fight for justice;-), there are times when it does happen, in special cases, but like Baymax (and all of us really), there is a solution without annihilation...

God is the REAL Personal Healthcare Companion, who guides our hearts.

We need to trust our GREAT Personal Healthcare Companion

We can come to Him to heal the sick and injured, but at times, God stands against the enemy, and defends our families.  Of course, this is a limited view of the Great I AM, but these two purposes speak volumes about the contrasting character of God's love.  He alone should guide our moral compass, through His Holy Spirit.  And, man's laws and rules cannot match up to His. But, He brings us to, and sends us people along the way whom God has ordained to meet our family's needs. And, if they attempt to annihilate us, well, He is the God of justice.

We need our earthly Personal Healthcare Companions.

While God guides us, we still need hands-on care and support for our families.  I am amazed at the "regular" world's ideas and mythology, that we are just supposed to wave the magic wand and our special needs children's care will magically happen. While we depend on God, we still need the hands and feet of Christ---workers approved by Him for service.

If you are still waiting for a Personal Healthcare Companion, seek His will first for your family; God does know the way, and He knows what we need and what doors to knock on.  No, not everyone will listen, but the care for our special needs children must take front seat in our families; it is the LORD's call on our life. And, if He calls us to it, then NO ONE will close the door on it.

If you have a Personal Healthcare Companion, pray for those who need one, or more.  Further, have you hugged your Baymax today?  They need all the love they can get.

Pray for His will, and He will provide what your family needs.  Seek #RealLove  #justhavefaith  #angelarmies

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The God of Angel Armies

Their redeemer is strong; Yahweh of Hosts is His name; He shall thoroughly plead their cause, that He may give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon. Jeremiah 50:34

The Bible tells us that the Lord is our Defender, and sends in His Angel Armies to defend us.

Yet, sometimes our angels are not supernatural Heavenly Hosts.

Sometimes our families are covered by Angel Armies in the flesh.  They are people that rise above their jobs, or go out of their way to show kindness to our special needs families.  They are the people that make a difference in our lives, both short-term and long-term without even being asked.

They are the hospital care workers, phlebotomists, chaplains, doctors, nurses, therapists, child care workers, church friends, family members, pastors and many others in our lives.  But, whoever they are in the flesh, they are God's Angel Armies.  God knows their hearts, and places them strategically, and usually, they are also Christians.

The Holidays are a dark time for many special needs families.

Thanksgiving and the holidays are a season where some of us spend time with family.  Yet, not everyone in our extended families and community get on the bandwagon when it comes to the needs of our special needs children.

In the world of my son's syndrome, Prader-Willi, food is a big problem, because our children have an overdrive to seek out food.  That goes against the grain of many people's traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  Yet, many of our children cannot eat a normal amount of calories, and can quite literally eat themselves to death.  If food is everywhere, then it becomes very difficult for them to control.

Or, if you have a child with autism, whether it is a primary or secondary diagnosis, you also know about the stimulation of the holidays.  The lights, the music, smells, sounds, the extra activities and food.  It can all overload a child to shut down in a tantrum, even typical children, but especially in sensory-sensitive children, and it doesn't just stop in 2 minutes.

The Lord's Angel Armies have gone before us.

If He has shown you problem areas during the holidays in your family, then you can rest assured that He will help you face those who do not understand your needs.  He has prepared the way.

Whether these issues leave you a little more shut in for the holidays, or setting out for fellowship with others, I pray that the Lord will strengthen and lift you up in Jesus Christ.

The Lord's blessings to you and your family~Kim

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dogs of War:To Protect and Serve

I saw heard this story on K-LOVE yesterday about a war veteran and his wife, and their mission to provide service dogs to Army veterans, televised throught the presentation of an A&E television series, Dogs of War.  The men served in the military and are suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and other injuries.  Jim Stanek, founder of Paws and Stripes, with his wife, Lindsey, hosts the show.  He suffered a traumatic brain injury in war, and still suffers from PTSD, but came back to life through his dog, Sarge.  

The goal of a Paws and Stripes service dog is to help war veterans cope with life after service to their country.  These specially trained dogs provide love and companionship to such men, helping them to give and receive love.  It is a special sort of therapy intended to help the veteran bond with the dog, and thus, enter back into society and connect with the people he loves.

This program can offer hope to those who are hurting.

My grandfather was killed in the Korean War, as one of the first Air Force fighter pilots in the country, and my father was a paramedic in the 82nd Airborne in the Dominican Republic.  My great-grandfather is laid to rest with his son in a military cemetery.  I know what it is like to grow up in the fallout of the military, but I do not know what it is like to grow up in war.

Yes, the military can "grow up" some men, but for many, the scars of war linger once they return home. Even those who feel "called" to service, struggle with the effects of war and its losses.  Finding their hearts is the first obstacle for men (and women) in returning to relationships.

A service dog is a wonderful way to transition people to love.  

Yet, there are also some who receive Holy Spirit intervention.

In spite of all the counseling and specialized therapies, some never arrive at the door of healing. Yet, the real hope lies in the fact that we should never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit's intervention through a door of heaven.

I recently saw such a miraculous intervention through a veteran, whose heart was obviously soft before the Lord. It was a miraculous event that ignited the Holy Spirit in his life; it is only beginning. Such an event highlights for me that God is the author of many miracles, and the harvest of souls, both in and out of the military; and the ones who return from war are truly blessed. But, the ones who know Jesus are even more blessed, because they have grabbed hold of eternity.

Whether it is through service dogs, counseling, or the Holy Spirit, all are roads that lead to hope in the future, yet salvation will take only the saved into God's future, and consequently, to heaven; the river of the Holy Spirit will bring them a life of Divine healing that will make them healthy and whole.  

Please join me in praying for the veterans and their healing on Veteran's Day, as we remember all veterans.  

While Veteran's Day could be about all the free food and recognition they can get;-)  It is also a day to remember their sacrifices, and how God uses these men and women everyday to protect our country and its freedoms.  God has really blessed our country, no matter what we see around us.  He is a God of justice.

The Lord's blessings to you and your family~Kim

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Blankie of God's Love

My special needs son received a blanket as a gift.

He has always had a stuffed dog, named Max, which still sleeps with him, but he cherishes that blanket, like it is one of his favorite toys or DVDs, only better.:-)  He carried it with him to the  ER at the hospital, hiding and playing under it in the waiting room.  He insisted that it cover him in his hospital bed.  He covered the dog with it, who sort of appreciated it....And the blanket lives on his bed, covering him every night.

No, this blanket is no ordinary blanket.  Because he received it from a special friend, the blanket has a special meaning to my son;  it is a warm and special reminder of love received.

Likewise, his older brother had a blankie from birth.  He cherished that blanket like Linus in the Peanuts did his blanket, carrying it with him everywhere we went.  He tied it around his neck pretending to be Superman, and it was his source of comfort; I sewed it back together many times, and it never quite went back the way it was.  It now sits in a drawer, a holy reminder of his boyhood, quite literally.

God's love is like my sons' blankets.

They are warm and special symbols of love.  God's blankets may come in many different ways.  We may feel His love through praise and worship music, reading the Word, or hearing Him speak to us in a very special way.  Or, we may feel His love through the love or services of other people.  We can even find Him in a supernatural way, through unexplained events.  These concrete things show us just how much God loves us.  We all need His blanket of Holy Love.

When we put our trust in Him, God's blanket wraps us up in His love, and makes us feel protected.  It shelters and provides, even when the world around us seemingly falls apart.  His love is never failing, and unending.  It covers us in mercy and grace.  It fills us with love.

Many people are suffering without a blanket of God.

We cannot just give people band-aids for their hearts, particularly if they won't trust their Creator. People all around us are struggling with scars that run deep, tragedies that have occurred in their lives and deep losses, that only God can heal.  The solutions for them are many, and God knows how to reach them.  We can't just use our brain power to fix them.

If you are the one in need of His blanket, God does promise us He will change our hearts, when we honestly lay them before Him.  Only then can He change our lives into service for Him. This is the righteous life; the life where love, joy, peace, compassion and understanding are all wrapped up in an imperfect package called, You, the Christian. It does not mean that our lives will become the perfect worldly package, but it will become more fulfilling than you ever dreamed.

So, have you found your Blankie?

If you haven't, ask God, and He will wrap Himself around you.  If you have, rejoice and share the love of God with those around you who are in need.  He is a comfort to all of those who come to Him.

The Lord's blessings to you and your family~Kim

Friday, November 7, 2014

They'll Know We are Christians by Our #RealLove

Daffodils are a generally known flower that bloom poison and toxicity, also known as narcissus.  Its bulbs are planted in fall, and the leaves come out in early spring, and bloom as the days turn warmer. They are God's creation, yet they are also poisonous.

In Greek mythology, Narcissus was also the name of the Greek hunter, known for his exceptional beauty.  However, he was also exceedingly proud and disdained all those who loved him. According to legend, the goddess of revenge, Nemesis, attracted Narcissus to a reflecting pool, showing him his own reflection.  Narcissus became so enraptured by his reflection in the pond, that he was unable to take his eyes off himself, and he drowned.

The name and word of narcissus have come to identify how some people are so wounded that they only see the reflection of themselves, which has become a distortion.  They see their own immediate reflection, but not the truth of who they really are. They will do seemingly anything to keep the focus on their ideations of themselves, and control others' beliefs.  Some can become quite psychotic, in reality.

The reflection of #RealLove

In the Hebrew Bible, the Law was the Lord’s reflection. Although man could never stand up to this, he was mindful of his sinfulness, and the priests were to intervene with sacrifices for the people's sins. This was the Old Covenant.

Then, God sent His Son in the form of a baby.  He sacrificed Jesus, for the sins of the people, the final atoning sacrifice. Thus, we have the New Covenant, meaning, we are now under the Law of Grace.

While our sins can cloud our vision of ourselves, God's perfect love shows us the truth, and as many of us know, it hurts. But, in a good way:-). Yet, we will see God's true reflection of who we are.

And so God gave us grace.

Once the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ occurred, He came among the people, yet again, to rally His disciples and encourage them.  Even Peter, who betrayed Him three times, as Jesus was led to His death.  Yet, Jesus told the disciples to gather Peter as well.

Jesus forgave the sins of the people, and then God lifted Him up to heaven, and His Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and they began to speak in "tongues" (some say in different languages).

Likewise, our sins are forgiven when we come to the cross of Jesus Christ, in true heartfelt repentance.  We are blessed with grace and mercy, and, the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of our salvation.

Narcissus is devoid of God.

Extreme self-centeredness, to the point of blaming, abuse, and even vicious back-biting and gossip are devoid of God.  While we all struggle with some of these sins on a lesser basis from time to time, the narcissist will carry out these behaviors, many times to the point of psychosis, and with a lack of conscience.  They are truly dangerous people.  However, in the end, like the Greek legend, they will die in their distorted images of themselves, if they never repent.

When we do repent, and are stamped by the Lord with salvation, we are His. We carry out our spiritual gifts, which are not necessarily acts of ’good service,’ but spiritual gifts that build up the church. When a person is left to cover up their addictions and destructive behaviors, such as Narcissus, they are not in the presence of Christ.  Consequently, they cannot see the Truth.

How can we know we are Christians?

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  To the one there is given through the Spirit, a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and still to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He distributes them to each one, just as He determines.  1 Corinthians 12:7-11

It comes down to Jesus, not us.

Either we turn over our lives to Him to steer us on the river of the Holy Spirit, or we find a new way to be Narcissus, the daffodil, only able to see our own reflection, and poisonous to everyone.

The Lord's blessings to you and your family~Kim
Originally published January 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm
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