Friday, February 19, 2010

What I want to be when I grow up

I remember the terrible dread of having to give a speech in Mr. Anfinson's 5th grade class. I was a pretty shy girl. (Believe it or not.) I remember the days leading up to it. I remember sitting in the class waiting for my turn. I actually remember standing in front of the class for those awful three minutes. I do not remember, however, what my speech was on. Not that it really matters.

Chloe (my fourth grader) just participated in the patriotic program at school. She was a bundle of nerves all week and I totally sympathized with her. I remember the freaking out feeling of having to talk to a group of people. She pushed through it and did a fabulous job as Clara Barton. I was and am so proud of her.

Now the funny thing is...I also had a speaking gig this week. I got to talk to around a hundred mommies about marriage. It was a blast! No dread. No fear. Just the comfort of knowing myself and what I am capable of and knowing my God and knowing He has equipped me to do just this. If you could've shown the forty one year old me to the ten year old me, I don't think she would've believed it.

This was the first time I've spoken to a group outside of my home church. I've been in front of smaller groups and larger groups, but always with people I know in the audience. So, my only reservation was that it would be somehow different...that I wouldn't be quite myself.

Well, no worries. I was 100% me...no compromises. I do have to say, it was a fabulous group of women. They were warm and welcoming. And (thankfully!) they laughed at my jokes.  I love how motherhood creates this fabulous universal bond. We don't all live the same lives, but we have amazingly similar experiences. I was comfortable. The mommies were comfortable. And I have to say...a good time was had by all.

I think this is what I want to be when I grow up.
Writing or speaking - I want to be:  
Beth Hilbert - Mommy Encourager!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Welcome to Holland

This was sent to me by one of my bestest friends...as boat reading material. (see previous blog entry)
It's tres fabulosa!

"Welcome to Holland"

By Emily Perl Kingsley, 1987. All rights reserved.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I'm on a Boat

I'm on a Boat has been running though my head since Sunday (sans bad words). I looked all over the internet for a clean version of the song, but no dice. Even the beeped out versions didn't beep enough in my opinion...so I won't set up a link. There was a chipmunk version, but that was just slightly less offensive to my ears than the profanity.

Okay...I'm reeling it back in for my point...

Our Sermon on Sunday (by Pastor Ben J.) was on Mark 4:35-41. Hold on...I'll look it up and pop it in here for you...

Jesus Calms the Storm - Mark 4:35-41

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

These are the three points in our notes:
1. Storms come even when we are with Jesus.
2. Fear comes when we lack faith in Jesus.
3. Reverential fear comes when we realize the authority of Jesus.

Okay, so, it was one of those times when I was sure God told Ben to do this sermon especially for me. Ever been there? You know, when you know you have an appointment to hear something that God needs you to remember.

Here's the deal. I'm on the boat. I can picture myself there. In my version the boat is yellow. I don't know why. I am drenched. The waves are far above my head. I didn't ask for this. Okay, yes, I got on the boat, but I expected it to be a gentle ride. I'm seasick. I'm confused. And I sure can't paddle myself to safety.

But, I notice Jesus is with me. I'd forgotten. How do I forget my Savior is with me? Don't know. But, I do...on a regular basis.Well, here's an idea...I can ask Him for help. Goodness,  He's waiting for me to ask. I'm sort of ticked off that I have to go through this storm so I ask kind of snotty..."Don't you care?"

Okay, I know that God is definately above this...but, I always picture the Holy Eye Roll. "Seriously, child!" How do I know He cares? Um...it's written like a thousand times in my bible.

So, in the real life Bible version, He stops the storm. Eeeert! (that was the sound of car brakes) Calm. Even the wind and the waves obey Him. He can stop my storm at any time. My God is bigger than anything life can throw at me.

There is the comfort. Big God. He's got it all planned out. He's got my back. Will my storm calm? I don't know. But, He knows. And no matter what, it's all for my good.

This scripture is one that I've memorized recently. Ben also used it on Sunday.

But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:3-5

Maybe He won't calm the storm. But, He's there with me through it. And He's working something in me!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cold is a relative thing

This is by no means original. In fact, you've probably received it as an email. I got it from my friend Stacey this morning and I just felt like I had to share! Hope you get a good chuckle! 

Cold is a relative thing

Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Illinois plant gardens.

Californians shiver uncontrollably….
People in Illinois sunbathe.

Italian & English cars won’t start.
People in Illinois drive with the windows down.

Georgians do coats, thermal underwear, gloves, and wool hats.
People in Illinois throw on a flannel shirt.

New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Illinois have the last cookout before it gets cold.

People in Miami all die.
People in Illinois close the windows.

Californians fly away to Mexico .
People in Illinois get out their winter coats.

Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Illinois are selling cookies door to door.

Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in Illinois let the dogs sleep indoors.

Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Folks in Illinois get upset because they can’t start the snow-mobile.

ALL atomic motion stops.
People in Illinois start saying: “Cold enough for ya?”

Hell freezes over.
Illinois public schools will open 2 hours late.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Word of the day: Frustration

Frustration. That could seriously be the word of just about every day around here. Husband. Wife. Four kids. Dog. There's a lot of room for crazy here at the Happy Hilbert House.

Today it is the word of the day because of child number three. Well, not because of him, exactly...but, because his brain is wired a little differently. Josh has Sensory Processing Disorder. He was diagnosed two years ago and we have been on a wild ride ever since.

Let's just assume my brain is wired correctly. (Yes, I know this may be a big leap, but humor me, okay?) I'm sitting in the kitchen at the computer. If I focus and listen hard I can hear the clock ticking, the computer keys, the furnace, the ringing phone, my breathing. If I concentrate on my sense of touch I can feel the keys as I press them, the phone in my hand, my soft shirt, my dry skin on my legs, my sore throat, my wet hair, and my sore neck muscles. I taste my tea, know it's hot, and smell its wonderful smell. I can smell the dog, too. That smell isn't so great. Because my brain is wired correctly, I have "volume" control on all these things. That's a good thing. Can you imagine what it would be like to try to think and act and behave with everything you see, touch, hear, smell, and experience shouting at you at the same level?

Well, that's my Josh. He processes different. He is overwhelmed by just experiencing life. Once he's hyper-stimulated, that's when the crazy behavior starts. Also, if he doesn't get enough movement and motion and working of his muscles, that need manifests in aggression. We are in the middle of a very difficult season with him right now. All we have done and are doing no longer seems to help.

We've taken Josh to therapy. We've gone to Occupational Therapy with him. We've read many books. We've talked to other parents. We've joined yahoo groups. We've read internet sites. We've taken a class at Easter Seals. We've worked with Josh. We've worked with his teachers. I think really we've exhausted our resources.

So. I am frustrated. I'm frustrated by the way this changes my life and his life. I am frustrated by the way things pop up out of the blue and put my plans and dreams on hold. I am frustrated that I'm not the one in the driver's seat. But, I am also ever so in love with the little guy and I have no doubt that God has big plans for him.

What I am coming to terms with is that Josh isn't a problem to be solved. He is a person to be loved. I can't cure him. I can help him learn to cope with his surroundings a bit better. He will continue to "outgrow" some of his issues. He will become more adept at managing his symptoms. But, we will continue to take steps forward and slides back for many more years. And I'm in for the duration.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:1-5

Monday, February 1, 2010

And So It Begins...

I've had some close calls with blogging in the past. I've always managed to come away unharmed and unhooked. But, I could avoid the call no longer.

Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? That was my thought. The phrase not used in it's traditional sense...but, why put my writing out there for everyone to read? Who will ever buy a book when all they have to do is google me? Well, after talking to a few people in the know, I've found that that isn't really the case. So...here I am.

I have really no idea what I'm doing. But, fear not...I'll figure it out.