Sunday, May 27, 2012


I really don't want to write this.

And I have been trying to avoid it all day.

And still, I am here at 9:30 pm. Because I am supposed to write this.

God can be so pushy. And I can be so stubborn.

I don't want to admit to this. I don't want anyone to think badly of me.

But I also made God a promise. That I would be transparent in ALL THINGS. Good and bad. Ugly and beautiful. They all have a place here.

I want you to know that I love my son. His face lights me up. His smile melts me. I HURT with loving him. Just looking at him causes a rush of nearlypainful joy.


I have spoken words over him since he was 5 months old. Words about his lack of fear, his common sense, and his intelligence.

All done in a joking, loving manner. But still...the words were there.

When he throws himself off the stairs.

When he goes headfirst off his chair.

When he shows a remarkable lack of self preservation, or impulse control.

In fact, one of my favorite phrases for him is "If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough."

I have said that to him since he was 9 months old, when this daredevil attitude really took flight.

And if I could take it ALL back, I would.

Because words have power. Words cast a net and reap what you have sown.

And I have spoken less words of praise and love over my son than I have words of fear and impatience.

I know you are judging me. And I understand that. I make no excuses. My shame over this is real, and it is profound.

I have said, in his hearing, that I didn't know if he had any common sense. That I didn't know if he was smart. And that I didn't know how we would ever make it to 3 years old without a trip to the ER.

And yes, my son is impulsive and fearless. And he terrifies me with his ability to dive headlong into anything he sees or wants.

But I have wronged him with my words.

I have spoken something over him that has come to fruition.

lacking intelligence or good judgment; dull-witted.
lacking the power of speech
temporarily unable to speak: dumb with astonishment.
refraining from any or much speech; silent.
made, done, etc., without speech.

I know I have said these things with laughter, with astonishment, and with love...but I have still said them.

And it hurts to know I have said these things to my boy, over my boy, and around my boy.

Forgiving myself is going to be a truly magnificent task.

But for now, the lesson I have taken is this: I have to, as a mother, speak over my child what I believe to be true, and only what I believe to be true. Words out of anger and frustration are destructive.

My words are as powerful to him as God's are to me. Until God speaks to Sammy in a way he can understand, I put the face to Jesus. I am His words and His hands.

And I have NOT been faithful in this. I have not done right. I have made a mess of things.

But that's the beauty of a Savior. I am corrected, convicted of my wrongs, and forgiven.


And I can go forward and speak over my son only what I know to be true- that he is a creation of God, that he is smart and kind and good, and that he is perfect as he is.

2 Samuel 23:2“The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue."

Psalm 37:30The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.

1 Peter 4:11If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dear Sam

Dear Sam,

I want you to know that how you are labeled or diagnosed means nothing to me. You are NOT APRAXIC. You HAVE apraxia. There's a difference. I won't allow myself to shrink you down into just one word, one set of symptoms, or one lack of something essential.

You don't talk. Not in sentences. You speak in one word bursts.

But you are a magnificent communicator. With one look, one sign, or one gesture, I know what you want. You have created your own elaborate language with me, your mama, and it makes me feel so special. I am as close to you as any human being can be, because without even knowing it, I have learned your language. One that needs no words.

I struggle with this, Sam. You were made this way. And I believe you are perfect. Is it up to me to try to change you? To manipulate the way you speak to the world? To force you, in essence, to fit yourself into the mold of everyone else who can talk?

Or do I let you be who you are, and accept the world you can give me? This world of yours with it's sounds and gestures and nods and smiles. This IS your language. This IS your speech. Do I immerse myself in your world, because it is yours and it is easier for me to find my way in yours...or do I pull you over to mine?

I just don't know.

I want to do what is best for YOU. I want you to live in this world with ease and comfort. And, truly, the only way you can do that is by having words. I don't want you to be lonely. I don't want to look at you, and see you watching children playing, and singing...and feel that you are lacking.

Because you aren't, my sweet baby boy. You aren't lacking anything. Your brain just can't tell your mouth how to move very well. And I am going to do everything possible to make sure you never feel different. Special and set apart, yes. Different- no.

I can't say that I know what to do, or how to fix this, or how to make you better. I can't say that I am not heartbroken for our family, because we all feel your silence. Deeply.

But you remain a sweet and kind boy. With mischief in his heart and a killer smile. You dance. You run. You play and you laugh.

And you love with your whole heart, grabbing our faces and kissing us when we least expect it. You walk up to strangers and shake their hands, because you can't say "Hi.". You make people smile with your grin.

You bring about in me the intense need to protect, to teach, and to nurture. You make me work, hard, at being a good and patient mom.

I understand you so much better and so much more deeply for your lack of words, sweet boy. You have taught me that love is more than words. That care is more than physical. And that in me lies a mother who will stand between her child and the world-forever if need be.

I will never be moved from this place for you. I will be your mother, your teacher, your therapist, your buddy, and your words if need be. You will never be lonely in your silence while I live and walk.

You are loved even MORE because of this. Treasured even MORE because of this. And cherished to the end of my days because I get to be your mother.

I love you, more than all the Thomas trains and cars in the world.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Until this morning, I was in a fog of denial.

My boy is fine. He is simply quiet. He doesn't have anything to say. He doesn't want to talk. He is just stubborn.

No. No to all of it.

My son, my quiet little guy, is apraxic.

And this, this, is why he is aggressive at times. Why he throws himself to the floor. Why he bangs his head. And why only I can understand his wants/needs.

His language skills are at a 12-15 month level. He comprehends all, but cannot communicate beyond gestures and a few words.

And yes, we are getting him help. And yes, I have faith.

But this is my BABY.

And some kids recover. And some kids don't. Some kids never become great communicators.

And what if?

What if he cannot be understood? What if he is made fun of?

Why can't I take this from him?

Its neurological. And there is no definitive reason why it happens.

Was it the birth? Was it the vaccinations? Was it a fall?

Did I do this to my boy?

Did I do this???

I am utterly lost.

I drove him away from that appointment today, and watched him in the mirror. He looked out the window, pointing to trucks and cars. His mouth opened, emitting sounds I knew and understood. And I cried.

What if I am the only one who ever understands him?

And have I handicapped him? In trying to honor his quiet spirit and not "force" him to talk, did I hobble him? By letting him be, letting him play alone and in his own world, did I make this worse?

The speech pathologist words echoed in my head- "Sometimes people think they just have a quiet baby. And sometimes it is more than that."

I've sat with him in silence since he was a newborn. As somebody who enjoys silence myself, I thought I recognized in him a kindred spirit.

He took everything in. He watched.

"Still waters run deep." I told myself.

I was wrong.

Today as I drove and as I cried, God spoke.

"I created him."

And as I protested "Yes, but God..."


And it sunk in. God has made Sam just as He intended. Nothing about him is flawed. No part of him is a mistake.

My soul knows this.

But for today, I will allow my mother's heart to cry for my sweet silent boy.

And pray for the floodgates to open, for the words to come...if that is God's will.

And if it is not, and if it is His will that silence reign over my son...

I will stand between Sam and the world. I will relay his gestures and words. I will interpret his needs.

And I will love him just as God made him.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Am I mom enough?

Boy has this subject made the rounds this week, all inspired by the Time magazine cover from my last post.

And it has made me think. Alot.

So, am I mom enough?


I have made no secret of the fact that as a mother, I have no clue what I am doing. I am going on purely gut instinct.

And Lord help me, I mess up. Alot. Everyday I feel the overwhelming guilt and drawing down of myself for something I have done or not done. Something I have said in the heat of anger or frustration. Something I have let go instead of addressing...because I am just...tired.

I am not a perfect mother. Nor am I a particularly good mother. I am impatient. I am unkind at times. And I am hard pressed to spend quality time with my kids when there is so MUCH ELSE to do.

I am not a good mother. Not on my own.

But oh those moments. Those beautiful fleeting and all consuming moments...when I realize I am exactly where I am supposed to be in this life an in this world. When I am content, happy, and joyful.

And those moments ALWAYS involve my children. Always.

I look at them. I study their faces and their hands as they play. I stroke their cheeks and kiss their sweet skin. And I am home. Home to myself, and perfectly at peace.

That sacred space in my soul, one that can, at times, be disturbed by the winds of this world, sits silent and peaceful. The world pauses. The tide stops.

And I am in the moment, with my children. And with my great and loving God.

See, by myself, I am nothing. I am a broken and ruined city, sitting darkened and deserted.

But with Him, I am restored. I am alight with the love He gives me. I am the city on the hill, shining the way for my children

I am alight with the love it is my responsibility to teach these two sweet human beings He has given into my care.

No. By myself, as I am I am not mom enough.

But God be praised I have a savior. One who loves me enough to raise me from the darkness. One who has enough faith in me to give me my babies. One who sees me as a daughter, beloved and cherished.

Am I mom enough?


But my God is certainly God enough. And through him I can be the mom my children need and deserve.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fed up

I'm hopping onto my soapbox.

This oughta be good, huh?

Listen. This image has been in my newsfeed on facebook at least 6 times. And each time, it makes me more angry.

Why? It's just a mom breastfeeding. Right?


It's conformation to those who think breastfeeding should be controversial. Or hidden. Or not talked about.

Because the image is shocking. And provocative. And wrenching.

All of which, I must say, breastfeeding is NOT.

Breastfeeding is sacred. It is a gift given to us by our creator. It is what our breasts were designed to do- nourish our children. Feed our babies. THAT'S why they exist.

Not to make us look good, or to make men stare, or to be ogled. Although I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I mean a lamp can be beautiful in the daylight and still give light at night. Right?

Okay, maybe that was a bad example. I confused myself. The lamp is the breast. And breasts are beautiful. And useful. Oh gosh. Okay, I'm sure you can figure it out. Oy.

Anywho, tangent much?

So, as I was saying. This cover. This image. It is, simply, jarring.

I don't know of anyone who has their child stand on a chair to nurse. It is MUCH more comfy to lay down and snuggle while nursing a toddler, or to sit on the couch and watch Dr Phil. Or to read People in peace. Gosh I miss nursing.

Nursing a baby is an act of love. It is warm and loving and primal. It is an act committed by mothers every moment of everyday. In the comfort of home, in public, in the dead of night.

But it is not a spectacle. And publishing an image like this makes it one. And that is doing a disservice to every mother who goes to extremes to nurse discreetly, and to the ones that proudly offer nourishment anywhere at anytime. This act is not to be used to sell magazines, or to create discussion.

Just as cooking is not controversial, or bottle feeding, or giving a hungry kiddo an apple, breastfeeding should not be.

It is, simply, the act of nourishing with love.

Shame on you, Time magazine, for making it any more than that.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


This is truly one of the most difficult posts I have ever written.

Sometimes I have a hard time trusting in God.

Are you cringing?

I know.

That sentence makes me cringe.

But if I am going to share with you, I have to share all of it.

And my belief sometimes wavers. I am inconstant. I am disloyal. I am petulant.

When I see tragedy. When I see wrong. When I feel betrayed. I don't want to trust then.

Because I don't want to think of the God I love watching pain and not intervening.

And if I am being completley honest, it is because in a very deep dark part of myself, I don't trust Him with my heart.

It's a part that is reserved, locked behind walls. The part of me that was wounded and protects itself. That part of me does not trust. And that part of me rears it's ugly head far to often.

Today I was running. And I was worshiping. And I was talking to God.

And He stopped me in my prattling and prayer and silenced me.

And I heard, clearly, His voice.

Do you love me?

Of course, Lord. You have blessed me and given me so much...

Do you love me?


Do you trust me?

Not fully. (and that HURT to admit)


Yes, why? Why don't I trust Him? Why is that part of me reserved for disbeleif? Why haven't I plunged into His love and fully committed myself to trust?

Hasn't he earned it? And doesn't He deserve it?

What am I waiting for?

Well, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am waiting for it to all be revealed to be smoke and mirrors. I am waiting for the fallout.

I am waiting for Him to stop loving me.

As I have always done with those I loved.

Ingrained in my soul is the ability to on the face trust, but to pull back the most sacred part of myself and keep it hidden...just in case.

And He said:

In case of what?

And I had no answer. Because with God there is no "in case". There is NOTHING, nothing in this life He does not walk me through. There is not one injury that goes unseen, There is not one sin unnoted. There is not one appeal for forgiveness repelled.

Nothing, nothing, can be hidden from God. And nothing cannot be walked through. There is nothing that cannot be healed. Nothing that cannot be mended.

You may think that part of yourself is hidden. But it is fully revealed to me at every moment.



Allright then.


I guess it is time to shine a bright light on that part of myself. To look and see it, fully.

And to open it, to the One who can at all times, and in all things, be trusted.

There is no point in loving unless you do it all the way. By throwing your heart in despite what may happen. By trusting love. By trusting that if hurt comes, it teaches. By deciding that injury is inevitable, disappointment expected. We cannot love without enduring pain. Opening yourself requires being vulnerable to hurt.

And right at this moment, I am refusing to let hurt worry me anymore. I am refusing to let pain and past regrets determine how I love, now. TODAY.

I am casting all of my belief on Him. I am casting all of my cares. I am giving over to him my heart, and trusting that anything that comes we can walk togther.

And I am opening myself to loving more and with greater abandon than ever before.