God > Chocolate


Things with Claire have been so good lately, that I’ve hesitated to pick up the pieces I’ve left off from the beginning of her story. So…sorry if you’ve been waiting on those; I’m just not ready yet.

Part of it is because so many good things are happening to her and for her right now, that I’ve been consumed by them and my emotional energy has been spent there — and well, raising the other two little humans, and the crazy dog.

The other part is that when things get hard with her, they are hard on me and diving back into it is almost like reliving it all over again. Which can be therapeutic when the timing is right. For me, right now, I just don’t have the emotional capacity to dive back into the early part of her story.

I’ve been wondering for a while now, what do I write next? There’s been so much going on, so many good things for Claire, I could really write about three or four entries. I’m sure I will at some point; I just hadn’t felt the nudge, or the “shove of the dove” (Holy Spirit) as my mom calls it….until tonight.

We have an IEP coming up for Claire soon and it required filling out a survey which will help us assess where she’s at and where she’s going. I’d be lying if I told you I enjoyed filling out that survey. It was long ( 11 sections ) and quite honestly, it was depressing. It’s easy for me to get wrapped up in our own bubble and only compare Claire to Claire. But in these assessments, she’s getting compared to typically developing peers. There are so many things typically developing kids can do at her age that she’s not doing – and it’s a hard dose of reality that I didn’t realize I wasn’t ready for. I try to focus on how far she’s come and the things she can do, but when you’re bombarded by that information and constantly clicking “never,” question after question…for 11 sections…it got me a little down.

No, she can’t walk up and down stairs independently.
No, she doesn’t use a fork and spoon to feed herself.
No, she can’t kick a ball.

And on… and on… and on…

I had come back to the survey four different times because my mama-heart just couldn’t handle it all at once. I finally finished it tonight – praise God – but I’m feeling quite depressed over the whole thing.

So my choices are sit here and wallow in self-pity while eating/stealing more of my children’s Halloween candy (which, btw is one of my favorite parts of having small children who can’t count to know I’m slowly chipping away at their stash)  … or … I can practice a little self-control, say “no more” to those adorable bite size snickers bars and write out a gratitude list, which undoubtably will lift my spirits, remind me that I’m truly blessed, and get my thoughts in the correct order. In my last entry, I mentioned that the devil likes to use fear to cause uncertainty and bring anxiety into my life, especially when pertaining to Claire. Yeah, he’s really trying hard tonight, and damnit…I’m tired of it. So, Satan, go to Hell. I’ve got better things to do with my time. Because God has “not given us a spirit of cowardice, but rather of power and love and self control.” 2 Tim:6.

…and as I looked that up, right about above it in the Bible is a prayer of Thanksgiving. God, you’re funny.

“I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day.” 2 Tim:3.

In my discouragement, Lord, I offer you these prayers of Thanksgiving:

  1. For the gift of life in Claire and all the joy she brings to our family and those she meets
  2. Her resilience
  3. Her smile
  4. Her ornery giggle when a character in a movie gets hurt
  5. How she has taught me empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and trust
  6. Her profound growth this year in verbal language
  7. The gift of a speech device that allows her to communicate with us, and extra gratitude that she doesn’t know how to program bad words into it yet.
  8. Her gross motor strength in being able to walk close distances independently
  9. Her improved physical health over the past two years
  10. Her desire and willingness to improve, even when things are much harder for her than her peers
  11. How she’s equally as mischievous as she is sweet
  12. That she has appropriately used multiple times in the last week, with her very own voice, “I love you,”(I wuhhyew) to daddy and me .

Ah….That’s better. Thank you, Lord, for your peace, patience, for your love, and your infinite grace and mercy.


Claire (1)


  1. Ha! Shove of the dove… love it. I’m sure that navigating even a ‘normal’ day can be exhausting for you. But it reminds me of something my sis-in-law once said to me. God will give you everything you need. A thought we all can rest in. BTW if you ever need a babysitter while visiting Omaha and Chris and Al are busy I’d be happy to watch one or all of the little tykes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are a gifted writer and insightful Catholic to recognize so quickly how the devil was trying to pull you down. I would ask the teacher why they have you go through that checklist. I could see maybe once in a while if you are one of the parents who have no clue that their child may have difficulty in a regular education classroom full time. But you are not one of those parents. In my opinion, and the opinion of many of the wonderful Special Education teachers I have worked with over the years, Claire’s IEP should be about celebrating Claire’s accomplishments, which have been great this period! She is going to accomplish great things – on her own timeline. You and your husband have always provided Claire with ‘just the right challenge’ as my mentor, Reggie Harbourne, has always encouraged we try to find for our children. Just the right challenge, entices the child to continue growing on their own timeline, in a fun way. Continue to rejoice in the accomplishments of Claire and in her personality which will keep her persevering and growing. I love your blog and am going to share it with my daughter Kelly, who is studying to become a special education teacher. Blessings to you and your beautiful family!


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