"Beaches" Inspiration for New Quilt


Beaches

Beaches

Beaches Painting

The painting above was my mother-in-law Freda’s painting and is now mine. The bed is full size if that gives you an idea of how large the painting is.

As you know if you have kept up with my blog, my husband’s mother passed away the day after Christmas. Her absolute favorite vacation spot was the beach. She had planned a trip with my hubby, my father-in-law and myself to go to Orange Beach for the weekend of New Years because I had never gotten to go to the beach with her. However, due to the injury she received to her shoulder on December 10, we had to cancel our vacation plans. Instead, she had to schedule torn rotator cuff repair surgery. Complications after the surgery led to her death combined with her sleep apnea problems. We never even got to say goodbye. It was all quite sudden AND shocking. Even today as I type this it is hard to comprehend she passed away almost 6 months ago. I miss her every single day.

Freda had started redecorating the master bedroom and bathroom of her house in the past couple years with the beach scene in mind. Her bathroom is beautiful and she already finished renovating it, but she had never finished the bedroom.

Freda did, however purchase a painting to go in her room once it was finished. With that in mind, I had secretly purchased some toile machine embroidery designs of seashells thinking I would surprise her and make her a quilt to match her beautiful painting. I had made her a quilt before (the one featured in my banner is the quilt I made her), but this one was going to be extra special because of the beach theme.

Due to my health issues and also because of the things going on in both our lives, neither of us ever got our projects started. The BEACHES painting (pictured at beginning of blog entry) is my inspiration to make a quilt in memory of my dear mother-in-law. I want to hang the painting above the bed and use the quilt on the bed.

Can you see my silly cat Pumpkin in the picture? She literally jumped up there just because I got out the camera! I could NOT get her to move, so I figured it made for a cuter pic, anyway. She LOVES the camera.

I am truly inspired when I look at the Beaches picture. Something about it calms me and brings me peace and reminds me where my mother-in-law now is, safe in the arms of Jesus.

Beach and Seashell project supplies

Beach and Seashell project supplies

seashells

Seashells

I had also bought some seashells one Christmas for Freda to use in decorating once she finished this room. At first, I thought about doing a shadow box with them, but after a trip to Walmart, I was inspired by these plates I found. I have posted pics here of the project supplies above and below, but keep in mind I plan to do something to make it look quite different as the final outcome. I will also post pics of the final project when completed.

My idea is to paint the outer border of each plate a hint of blue, then gradually fade between the blue to a white, then back to the tan…not sure yet, but I will definitely tape off a square for the center, then put real sand in the middle for texture AND looks on top of a glue base to anchor it into place. I will then glue three seashells on each plate. I originally purchased two plates, but now that I have laid out all the shells, I realized I need one more plate. I will put these on the side wall by the bed in the beach themed bedroom.

First Seashell plate collage

First Seashell plate collage

Second Seashell plate collage

Second Seashell plate collage

Third Seashell Collage

Third Seashell plate collage

I put the remaining seashells in two bowls to be displayed on a bookcase. I am SO LOOKING FORWARD to being able to make this quilt. I pray I can!!!

I looked at shadow boxes online for beach themes and they are about $170 each! CRAZY when it is so simple to come up with a design as an original. I am so glad I decided to go with my own idea. I think I like the plate idea better, anyway.

The curtains in this room are tan and have the huge wide open circle rivets and chrome colored curtain rod, so will match quite well with the breezy look of a beach themed room.

I now pray that my health will be restored enough that I can START and COMPLETE this beach quilt task soon. Feel free to pray this on my behalf, as well.

MRI RESULTS UPDATE

I had an MRI this week on my back because I am in such pain between shoulder blades and throughout ribs that just lifting my purse brings great distress. It also brings laughs because my father-in-law or hubby now carries it around for me! BUT this is not what I want. I want to be able to carry my purse myself.

The internist had told me I would get one of two possible outcomes from MRI. He said either I would have a bulging disk which would mean injections and likely inevitably surgery OR if normal MRI, then fibromyalgia flareup would be the culprit and nothing really to be done other than what is currently being done, I could continue with chiropractic care and meds. I have been going to a chiropractor because of the falls I had over the past few months that jarred my back. He has not been able to work on my mid-back area in weeks due to the severity of my pain.

When I went to the chiropractor today, we decided to call the doctor’s office to see if the results were back yet. I was not able to get the results, so he just worked on my neck. However, the nurse called me late this evening and told me the MRI is normal, but my doctor is on vacation and cannot sign off on it to send to my chiropractor until next week. I can still unofficially let him know, though. With the results of the MRI being normal, now I am faced with a dilemma of wondering if getting chiropractic care is actually causing the flareups, or if I should tough it out and continue to let him try to adjust my back. My chiropractor is conservative in his approach and only does what he thinks I can handle. It is just a fine line and if crossed makes for a bad week. I am in no better shape now that he has stopped adjusting me, so I am just in a “pickle”.

Maybe I should sit out a “donation jar” for prayer (instead of money!). Prayer please! Prayer please! Poor sickly one needing prayer! I would say I’d work for prayer, but I’m disabled. lol I’m just useless except I can pray for you, too, so I’m NOT REALLY USELESS!

I hope you are NOT in back pain and are having a much better day physically than I am! God is always good and I know there is a reason for this dilemma.

At least I am getting inspirational ideas again, which is a very good thing indeed!

UPDATE Year 2015

This is the finished quilt on display at a local quilt show earlier this year…

image

Little tidbits of my life,

Teresa

My very first entry was about my Aunt Marie!


Aunt Marie with the Guardian Angel picture

Well, homestead bloggers have been going through the process of an upgrade all weekend. As a result, we were not sure if our blogs were lost, in limbo, etc. Tonight my blogs were here. For this, I am thankful. However, they were not categorized. As it turns out this turned out to be a blessing, too.

As I went through each entry and set up the categories, I just realized that the very first blog entry I ever posted in February 2008 included pictures of the angel quilt my mother and I had made for her sister Marie that I have mentioned in my last two entries. My Aunt Marie passed away after a battle with Stage IV Inflammatory Breast Cancer last friday. She had a massive stroke approximately three years ago and this had weakened her body, making it difficult for her to withstand the chemo treatments.

My aunt lived every day in preparation for Gloryland, so I know she would tell us not to weep in sorrow for her, but to rejoice in the full GLORY OF THE LORD she is now beholding. She has always loved to collect angel figurines, but now she is rejoicing WITH the angels and PRAISING HER SAVIOR!

Please pray for the Morris family especially this week during their worst time of grief. God can bring about joy even in sorrow and He often has unexpected blessings in store when we least expect it. I pray He will pour His love, Comfort, Healing and Blessings upon the family. She has two beautiful daughters still here, with many grandchildren and great grandchildren. I pray they see glimpses of their mother in their children and grandchildren and that it gives them great comfort in the coming years. My uncle especially will need prayer to keep Him strong. I know God’s strength is more than enough when ours fails, though. My mother and her remaining two sisters and brother would also appreciate your prayers, as well as our large extended family. She truly touched each and every one of our hearts with memories we will always cherish until we meet again.

This is the link to my very first blog entry here at the homesteader group in February 2008.

https://stitchesbyteresa.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/memories/

I just want to thank my Lord for giving me an aunt who lived and served Him and whose very life and every story in it is a testimony of God’s goodness, mercy and love. He has her now with Him and I am so VERY humbled and thankful that I will also be with Him one day in Gloryland for He has prepared a place for all His children. He knows us each and every one, even the very hairs on our head. Amen

Thank you for your comments and prayers


I just wanted to say thank you on behalf of my family for your comments and prayers while we mourn the passing of my husband’s mother and his mamaw both in the same week. It is just a bit much to take in all at once, plus Nana just passed away in September, so have still been having a difficult time because of that. I know it is something we all must face, but that knowledge does not make it any less painful.

We are not doing too well, as is likely expected. I also talked to my neighbors/relatives today who lost their son Christmas Eve. He was only 36 years old and has two small little boys. They also continually need prayer.

God knows all the needs involved and is the ultimate healer, it is just so very hard right now.

Thank you again for all your comments and prayers!

I love all my blogging friends!!!

Teresa

From West Virginia to Georgia AGAIN


FIRST OF ALL

I want to share a bargain: Prescription eyeglasses…I purchased online for $32, shipped to my door! I can see clearly for the first time in over a year! I am so amazed at the quality! I had read a blog on homestead a few months ago that first suggested this option, but I could not find it, so I just googled the idea and I found www.eyebuydirect.com. Here are my glasses:

UPDATE ON WASHER AND DRYER DRAMA:

A neighbor moved out and sold us a used washer and dryer for a very low price! My new friend and I were both so happy because although she was glad to let me do my laundry at her house, I kept having the weak spells and twice she sent me home and had to bring our laundry over to us after it dried because I was unable to do it. SO now that it is in our apartment, there is no need to lift heavy bags or drag them several yards anymore!!! Just the night before, I had prayed God would make a way for us to get a used one somehow…I knew our budget was tight, so when I found out about the offer, I got out the calculator and started figuring…we had just enough extra over our budget to cover it! My hubby immediately said “I’ll stop by the bank on the way home…tell them we’ll take it”…the lady’s father was there with a dolly, so he brought them over and put them in the utility room for me, too! JUST ONE BLESSING AFTER ANOTHER!!!

I have actually given my new friend one piano lesson. We had SO MUCH FUN! As I said before, we both have fibromyalgia, so we were exhausted and will just have to learn to pace ourselves. She has taken lessons before, so we are specifically working on chords. I could tell she has a good ear for music and will be a very good student. I look forward to the challenge. I am amazed at how God works through our friends. Every time one of us is having a bad day, the other calls at just the right time and we both end up feeling better. It has done wonders for both of us stresswise. My hubby has told me several times that he is so glad I met my new neighbor. I was not able to go to church with her because it was another bad day for me, but I hope to be able to soon! She says the church is really great and she thinks I will like it. She is definitely Godsent! I thank the Lord for all the friends He has given me!

AND FINALLY

SADLY, my hubby told me today that he will not get to take the week off to go home (to GA) with me next week to my doctor visits for my test results. HAPPILY, I will still be able to go…Fortunately my wonderful middle sister and mother are going to come up saturday, spend the night, and bring me home sunday…so I will not miss my appointments. I just am not sure at this point what my plans will be after that. We have discussed getting my rheumatologist’s advice on scheduling the surgery with the podiatrist for my left ankle/foot (total reconstruction and put back together w/rods/pins/screws/bolts)…or if he thinks fibromyalgia too severe…BUT this is all contingent still on test results…MRI, ECHOCARDIOGRAM, holtor monitor…my cardio dr expects everything will be fine with my heart, he just thinks my BP is too low and dropping even lower at times…neurologist had ordered all the tests as a result of my visit w/him b/c of the weak spells and migraines. The meds he gave me for migraine prevention are working GREAT. I am AMAZED. It is the first time in YEARS I have gone an entire two weeks without a headache. I am so thankful he was able to help me. That should bring you up to date on medical issues for those who wanted to know. I won’t know anything more till the end of next week.

The main dr visits are wed and thurs, so if you’d like to pray for me, those are the days I will be talking about all this to the drs.

God bless you!

Teresa

All things work together for good….


As you may have noticed, I have not posted in awhile. I have been trying to get settled in West Virginia in our little apartment. I am determined not to give up and do NOTHING all day long. That being said, I told my hubby that I wanted to try to at least do our laundry while here. Since I am disabled with fibromyalgia and have a hard time doing daily tasks such as cleaning chores at our home in GA, he was hesitant to turn this chore over to me. However, when I had heard he was spending between $30 and $50 paying a laundry-mat company to clean and fold his laundry for him, I was sure I could save us quite a bit of money by spending mere quarters per load. The laundry unit is located directly behind our apartment, so is not very far at all.

My FIRST trip was akin to a horror film, at least in my paranoid little mind…that is once I finally hauled 3 mesh sacks of laundry up the little hill to the laundry unit. There I was – alone – in this little room with 4 washers and 4 dryers – blinds all closed and one door without a lock on it. The lights were on a timer. To use the washer, I had to turn my back to the door. I nervously, but successfully filled 3 washers full of clothes, put the quarters in and proceeded to start all 3 loads as once (very nice feature, having a room full of washers!)…the joy was very shortlived as two washers started knocking very loudly and a red light came on both showing the load was unbalanced. I unsuccessfully rearranged and then finally unloaded one of the washers altogether without success of the red light going off. The second washer gave the same result. The third washer…a SUCCESS! I proceeded in drying one load and finishing up the other two loads. At this point I noticed there were muddy tracks all over the floor and I was standing in water! One of the washers had been leaking and evidently no one had reported it…so now my socks were getting soaked through my tennis shoes and I was still a nervous wreck being in here alone. I finally just left the room and went back to the apartment hoping all would go well on its own. I checked everything a bit later and then dried the clothes in order and finally was able to finish up my first official wash day at the apartments.

Back at the apartment, I put all the clothes away and then rubbed down my neck/arms/wrists w/arthritis cream and took pain meds. The rest of the day was spent doing as little as possible. I soon realized that wash day was not working out very well for me.

For several months, I have taken my hubby’s advice and not driven a vehicle due to several issues related to my health. We live about 15-20 miles away from Walmart in GA, but here in WV, it is a mere 2 mile journey to Wallie World!!!! SO this being the case, my hubby has offered to let me attempt to drive just a little way again. SO I decided I might feel safer going to a public laundry mat instead of the isolated apartment laundry mat. I used our GPS and found that there is one about 3 miles from the apartment. I loaded up a week after the first laundry day and headed for the public laundry mat. I never had realized how blessed I truly was to have my very own washer and dryer all these many years. Anyway, I had even more clothes on this trip than the first time because now I had both my clothes and my hubby’s clothes. I tried to bring them all in at once, but it was not working and I was just hurting my shoulders. I could only imagine what onlookers might be thinking (as if I were drawing a crowd…really and truly, there were NO onlookers!). I finally gave up and brought in one bag in at a time, hoping against hope that no one wanted to steal a bag of dirty laundry (CRAZY now that it’s in print!). I walked in and never had I seen so many washers and dryers! I noticed the extra large washers in the very back just calling for me! I found that I was able to wash all of my hubby’s overalls in ONE LOAD!!! These were triple load washers…cost more, but washes alot more, too…ANYWAY, I was able to get everything done all at once and felt quite pleased with myself. I decided to sit down and read a book as I waited, just relax a bit. There was a pleasant looking lady in there doing the same and I said hi to her and she returned the pleasantries. At that moment, we both saw it…a ROACH on the side of my drink cup!!!!! We both screamed as we womenfolk sometimes do and I grabbed my cup and quickly turned on the hot water at the sink and scalded the bug and my cup, poured my soda out and immediately started wondering why I ever thought I should come to a public laundry mat!!! At this point, the lady started telling me that she thought they would have sprayed by now and then she started fighting the dryer as it had eaten her quarters. The owner came out and explained she had to SLAM the door on the dryer harder. SO this makes sense…abuse the equipment and it will work better…amazingly enough, the dryer roared to life. At this point, I saw a roach fall from the sky…okay, okay, so it was the ceiling, but it might as well have been the sky the way it just appeared like that!…I stomped it. I’m really getting creeped out at this point and I decided to keep my handbag against my side at all times so as to prevent critters from crawling into it. Finally my laundry is ready for the dryers and I grab a buggy (yes, to my surprise, I could have used a buggy and brought all my laundry in at once and stopped all that needless fretting!!!) and head for the dryers. I find that I have the same trouble as the other laundry lady. I cannot make the dryer work. She tells me to use my fist and hit it hard. I have very little strength and it hurts my hands/arms to hit things…finally she hit it for me and it roared to life! SO for the next hour or two, each time I had to stop the dryers to check for dampness, this kind little lady would gently walk over and pound on the dryer for me! By the time I saw the third roach, I had made a game out of it. I started chasing it with the buggy! I know, crazy, but I was getting bored I suppose. ANYWAY, the lady finished up her laundry and left me and I found myself alone there except for three young guys who looked to be all of 20 or so…you know the age…think they own the world, but barely old enough to keep from getting a whipping! So at one point one of my dryers stopped and wouldnt ya know it…a pair of my panties are right there as if plastered on the screen! I heard “Mee-OWWW” behind me…I quickly got my clothes out and packed up and left. Unfortunately, none of the socks were dry, so when I got home, Jamey had to help me lay them out on a towel to dry…then I had to lay all the denim out to dry on the bed. All this b/c I got me-owed at! I told Jamey I didn’t know that I had ever gotten me-owed at before that day...kinda funny.

SO onto the THIRD laundry week…what to do??? Should I just give up and let Jamey pay out the big bucks for our laundry? NO because these places are infested with roaches!!! SO I have no alternative but to go back to the unit behind our home. I decided I would just take one load at a time and only use the one washer that I knew worked great. SO I spot treated one of Jamey’s shirts and one of mine and then headed to the laundry unit. I put the laundry detergent in, put the clothes in, got out my bag of change, put in one quarter, two quarters…that’s it!!! NO MORE QUARTERS!!! I’d put all the other quarters in those horrid dryers!!!!!! What shall I do??? The spot treatment will bleach the shirts if on there for longer than say 5 or 10 minutes…I called my hubby who was at work. He suggested I go next door to the manager’s office and see if he has change for dimes and nickels. SO I did this, but no one was there. I went back to the laundry unit and just stood there over the washer. I said a little prayer. At this point, a lady walked in. She asked me if I was Curtis’s wife. I told her my hubby was Jamey…then I asked her if she had any quarters…well that was the beginning of my first friendship here in West Virginia.

I had been here for two and a half weeks and not met a single person to remember by name until I had met Peggy. From the minute I met her, I knew God had sent her in the laundry room to be my friend. Several days later, we have gotten to know each other better. I now do my laundry at her house and I have agreed to give her piano lessons. That’s right! There is a piano in her apartment to my heart’s delight! This is one of the things I miss from home, but no longer! Plus, she sings alto, so we enjoyed the day yesterday singing gospel songs in duets while my wash got cleaner and cleaner…she had moved in just a couple weeks ago, so God had brought us here together at the same time…and to think, I had wanted my hubby to go to a different apartment complex…AND she had almost moved into a different one, too! Now we are both quite content here!

As for driving, I have come to realize that I still should not be driving. I had the weak spells all day long yesterday, and Peggy told me that we could be shopping buddies now and she agreed that I should not drive since I am still having these spells so frequently. She is also going to take me to church sunday as she has been visiting in the area (and we are the SAME denomination!)…Jamey was relieved to hear this news as he was upset to hear I had a spell last week while at Dollar General and the ladies there took care of me till I was able to get to my truck. Everyone was very nice, though and I was okay once the spell passed. By the way, my heart doctor does think it’s my blood pressure dropping too low and causing these spells.

SO that’s the latest from me!

May God Bless you and I hope you will notice that everything you encounter happens for a reason and all things work together for good for them who love the Lord, for them who are Called according to His purpose!

Little Tidbits of My Life!

My Mother’s Day Story


Post from 2008

As I have shared before, although I am a mother at heart, I am not able to physically have children (at age 32, I had to have a total hysterectomy a couple years ago due to severe endometriosis and severe PCOS). My husband at the time did not want to adopt. I am at peace with his decision for now. PLEASE NOTE, I am not sharing this for pity. I want to share my story to show how GREAT God is. So here is my Mother’s Day Story:

It was the FIRST Mother’s Day after my hysterectomy. I had MANY thoughts that day:

I was NOT going to have a rough time sitting in the church service because I had waited such a long time before deciding to have the hysterectomy. I was TOTALLY at peace with this decision, WASN’T I? My doctor had told me I needed the surgery a year before I actually agreed with him and scheduled the surgery. I’d prayed and prayed. This WAS the right decision. I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. Was I just being a wimp, or had I made the right decision??? No, I saw the pictures from 2 prior surgeries of the irrepairable damage and scar tissue. I was ABSOLUTELY SURE I had tried all I could do prior to scheduling the hysterectomy. I had taken fertility drugs month after month, purchased and FAITHFULLY used an ovulation kit for years, took Lupron injections per doctor’s advice, as much as FDA would allow, to give us more time to try…NOTHING HAD WORKED. The fertility clinic had even told me I was not a viable candidate for IVF. I KNEW THAT IT WAS NOT GOD’S WILL FOR ME TO HAVE CHILDREN!!! Ahhhhh. peace overwhelmed me with the reality that it was NOT my fault that we couldn’t have children. It was simply a fact that we must live with and MOVE ON.

The peace took me through the singing portion of the church service. BUT when the flowers started being passed around to all mothers, an overwhelming despair hit me all over again. I MUST NOT CRY, I MUST NOT CRY, I MUST NOT CRY!!! I just KNEW everyone was thinking “poor Teresa”, “pitiful Teresa”, “maybe someone will give Teresa a flower”…(as if everyone in the service was thinking about me) the LAST thing I wanted right then was a FLOWER. Don’t make eye contact! As a deacon tried to hand me a flower, I QUICKLY got up and left the auditorium. I found myself going downstairs and before I realized what I was doing, I was standing in the nursery. WHY I AM IN THE NURSERY, I DO NOT KNOW, I thought to myself. I had avoided the nursery for months and never signed up to be a nursery volunteer. Miraculously, I was NOT crying! I told the nursery worker to head on upstairs and get her flower, I’d take care of the nursery for her. She was SO excited, she just ran right out to get her flower. I sat down to regroup. I felt better as I focused on my surroundings. At this moment, I met a little boy named Tristan. At the time, he was 6 years old. I had never noticed him before. I quickly realized that Tristan was different than anyone I had ever met. He sat down beside me and said “shoes off”. Hmmm…my shoes were on, so I took them off. He grinned ever so sweetly and said louder “SHOES OFF!!!”. He seemed at that moment the happiest person in the world! After about 20 more comments ranging from “SHOES ON” to “SHOES OFF”, the nursery worker was back with her flower. She immediately started talking to me about the upcoming Vacation Bible School, of which she was the director. During this conversation, and for the rest of the service, I observed Tristan’s behavior. Assumingly because he was not the CENTER of attention, he was knocking over rocking chairs, tossing toys around, doing whatever he could to hault our conversation and get our attention. Something about Tristan really intrigued me. The nursery worker proceeded to tell me that Tristan is autistic. He was also adopted from birth by a couple at our church. This was my first encounter with a child who has been diagnosed with autism, so I was very surprised at how active and sweet that he was. I realized that maybe stereotyping is NOT useful when it comes to something like autism.

I left the service that day with Tristan dwelling on my mind. I started praying that God would lay it upon someone’s heart at church to start a Special Needs Program. I realized Tristan was too old for the nursery. He simply was BORED in the nursery since no one really had a program in order to keep him busy. They just sat around holding babies and watching toddlers and Tristan play in the floor (and after all, isn’t this why we volunteer to work in the nursery???).

I generally put this out of my mind as the weeks passed, but I did still remember to pray about Tristan’s needs and the possibility of a Special Needs Ministry at our church.

A couple months later, I was at the nursing home when our pastor told me he would like a few minutes of my time after the service. I often play the piano at the local nursing home for a ministry our church does, including a service of singing and our pastor also preaches at this service. I waited for the pastor after the service and we walked out to our vehicles together. He told me that for a few months, God had laid it on his heart to pray about the development of a Special Needs Ministry at our church for children. He said that for the past few weeks, he realized God wanted him to ask me to help him pray about this ministry. I readily agreed and Tristan again came to my mind. I assumed this was the end of the conversation, so as I turned to go to my car, I heard him say that he felt the Lord wanted ME to be the Special Needs Coordinator and Sunday School teacher!!!! OKAY, SHOCK, I was AGHAST, UMMMM NO, NO, NO! I had NO IDEA how to be a teacher to kids with special needs like autism. I at once told him I thought he was HUGELY mistaken in whom God wanted for this ministry. He smiled and simply asked one thing of me: PRAY ABOUT THIS FOR ONE WEEK BEFORE GIVING HIM MY ANSWER.

Well, as you can imagine, one week later, I knew without a doubt that God was calling me to this ministry. I had researched the topic and contacted several people from various churches that already had such a ministry. Everything just fell into place, as things often do when GOD IS IN CONTROL of the situation. I presented a very detailed plan to the deacons and as the new Sunday School year began, I found myself with Tristan as his teacher!

I remember last year (2007) on Mother’s Day, I actually sang the “special” for the service. I sang a song I had written in honor of my mother called “A Mother’s Love is a Special Gift”. That’s how well I was holding up in this service, NO CRYING, and NO LEAVING THE SERVICE EARLY!!!!! AND when the flowers were passed out, Tristan’s dad brought me a flower and told me that he and his wife realized I had a mother’s heart toward their son and that I deserved the flower. That was just such a wonderful moment for me. This flower was given to me in gratitude, NOT PITY. I realized AGAIN how much God loves me. FOR a YEAR, God had fulfilled my mother’s heart by letting me serve God at church with our Special Needs Ministry. I found that I looked forward to class. I LOVED the time spent with Tristan. We bonded immediately and it was so obvious to me that God had planned it all!!! He’s clever like that, you know. I had learned a whole new language in the year we spent together. (He has his own language to communicate). My thoughts that day were fully centered around thanksgiving to the Lord for His blessings and for the surprises that come along that make us realize just how much He really loves us.

SO HERE I AM, MOTHER’S DAYS 2008…I realize as I type this that I didn’t have even ONE “poor pitiful me” moment during the entire service! I contentedly sat in the service with Tristan beside me. I realized again how blessed I am to have this special child in my life. I have had the privilege of seeing him grow for the past two years. From our first class together, I had held his little hand while we prayed…simply because he is SUPER ACTIVE, so to make sure he is not running around the room getting into anything while I have my eyes closed praying, I held his hand…BUT Tristan now insists on holding hands any time someone prays! It has actually became such a sweet thing for him to reach for someone’s hand as soon as he hears “Let us pray”. More recently, I’ve been trying to help him grasp the concept of bowing our head when we pray. WELL, when I tell Tristan to bow his head, he promptly puts his head down on the table with nose touching! LOL…I was so tickled the first time he did this. I quickly assured him he was NOT in trouble and that bowing our head is not the same as putting our head down in school. Nevertheless, now every time I start to pray in our sunday school classroom, with nose touching, Tristan puts his head all the way down to the table! I’m still trying to figure out how to help him differentiate on this one. Tristan wanted to put the sunday school money into the envelope, but could not easily pick up the coins from the table. His motor skills is one area he needs individual help. I showed him how he could scoot the money to the edge of the table, then pick it up as it is halfway off the edge. He figured it out from the first time I showed him. Now he does it almost without even thinking! I play the fiddle and this instrument is now one of the objects for which Tristan has became very intrigued. I played it for him one day, so now if I don’t bring it to class on wednesdays, he lets me know immediately that it is missing. He tries to say “fiddle”, but it sounds more like “diddle”. When he sees a fiddle in a book, he points to the area in the room where mine sometimes sits and says “diddle!!!”. These are just some of the victories I have been privileged to be a part of in Tristan’s life.

Below is a pic of dear Tristan…this was taken last year during a “parents day out” event.

Tristan is not the only child in our church with special needs. I have been praying for awhile about another child in our class and look forward to learning how the ministry can serve his family. This little boy is a classmate at school with Tristan. We’ve already had opportunities to help him, but I know God has more in store for him and Tristan, as well as any other child who becomes a part of this ministry.

If you would like to start praying for this Special Needs Ministry, please start praying about incorporating the program into our church’s AWANA program. This is something I’ve been contemplating and praying about lately. LO AND BEHOLD, this past wednesday our director of AWANA shared with me that he, too has recently started praying about how to incorporate this ministry into AWANA. I am just CONSTANTLY AMAZED at how God works and even lays on our hearts things to pray and ponder!

I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL Mother’s Day this past sunday! If you know anyone who is a “mother at heart” like me, start praying for ways God will use them. Above all, let us all pray for VICTORY in our Christian walk, regardless of circumstance.

God HAS A PLAN AND WE ARE PART OF HIS PLAN!!!