Some thoughts as I’m going through this day and this week …
It doesn’t matter how children are educated, parents need to be involved. I am thankful that I am my Special Need’s Daughter’s Mother. She is where she is because of my diligence. Not a week goes by that I am not in contact with at least one of her teachers (she has many) by either email or phone or in person or a combo of all three.
Once again we are needing to re-evaluate where she is and consider more testing for discernment and direction. It is often difficult to ‘diagnose’ issues because my daughter doesn’t know any different; this is how it’s always been for her. Helping her is like putting together a 5000 piece puzzle one piece at a time. Every piece is important. Often we cannot see the picture we are creating until several little pieces are in place, then we can see that it’s a flower or a bird or a grasshopper. We do not have the final picture to look at; only God has that. So we rely on Him to guide and direct us.
I am greatly attuned to my daughter and every tiny change in her life. I can tell exactly where she is in her mind and how she’s feeling and how she’s going to respond by looking at her eyes and face, even if just for a second. I have made great sacrifices to stay home with my girls. Even now I am looking for a job where I can be home when they are home because my daughter truly needs me, and it is difficult to find such a position (prayers for this would be appreciated).
I have often been told over the years by many in the field of education and medicine (where I spend a lot of my time with her), “Wow, you really know your child!” This baffles me and saddens me. Of course I know my child, and yet how sad so many children are not known by their own parents.
The other thought rumbling through my heart and mind this week is that parents cannot leave the spiritual education and training of our children in the hands of anyone else; this, too, is the parents’ responsibility.
My Oldest began Youth Group at our church for the first time this past Sunday and Wednesday, and she is reading through the Left Behind for Kids series (at lightening speed). We have had multiple discussions of both. I am thankful our new youth pastor is focusing on Bible study. She learned great truths at both meetings (one for all youth and one broken down for just middle school). She is a deep thinker and is really dwelling on what she is learning.
I have spent an enormous amount of time one-on-one with each of my girls. This has been intentional. This has also cost me a lot of sleep and very often a clean house. But the rewards are priceless. I will never have the days past with my girls again to influence them, to be there for them, to love them, to train them. So I take advantage of every moment possible. As has been our routine since birth, I spend time alone with each daughter every day. Since the divorce, this has been at bedtime. Now, as I’m spending time with my Oldest at night in the beginning of these teenage years, she is beginning to really “get” what she is learning, ingesting it into her life, into her mind and heart and thoughts. Watching that and being a part of that is absolutely priceless.
If I did not spend the time with her and did not feel responsible for her spiritual training, I would miss infinite opportunities to teach her about God and His purposes for her life … and she would miss applying these truths to her life in such personal and intimate ways. No one knows her like I do, so no one is able to take what she is learning and guide her to apply it in such specific ways or to understand it in such specific ways. It’s really, really cool.
My prayer has been, “Lord, raise me up and enable me to be and become the Mommy for my daughter that You need me to be just for her.” My girls need me to be their personal Mommy … not to fit them into some generic mold. I love how God answers this and works this out in my life.
*disclaimer – I am NOT the perfect mom! My girls can give you a long and distinguished list of my imperfections. But I strive to be a mom who allows God to work in and through me to be and become the Mommy each of my daughters needs me to be. (And chocolate during PMS goes a looong looong way .