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Fight Night ~ The Battle with Braille

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The Ring! Tonight we will see the anticipated match-up of Hefty verses Braille.  This highly anticipated fight is brought to you after years of training, and lots of education, sweat and tears.  The opponents are in their corners and reading to come out swinging; so get ready for an exciting battle.

Bong!  Round 1:  
I heard it first at the Parents of Visually Impaired Pre-Schoolers conference, "Start Braille early."  It will be a challenge, but we need Braille in our arsenal of weapons as our child is at risk of losing her vision.   Jab, jab...

No problem.  We have a great system and are already learning tactile discrimination in our home visits from the Vision Specialist.

Thwack...
Easy peasy.   Floored.

Better get some water...I'm already sweating.

Bong!   Round 2:  
Oh, yeah.  We are rocking you, Braille!  I'm even using sidewalk chalk to make Braille cells in our driveway and having our daughter jump to different letters to show-of…
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Is It Meaningless or Is It Success? Guest Blogging Day

To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.  Ecclesiastes 2:26 NIV
We are digging into Ecclesiastes 2 at our church and I couldn't be more fascinated by it.  King Solomon, who wrote the book, would have been considered "successful" by most worldly standards, especially at that time in history.  Yet, in this memoir, you find that he has deemed most of the riches he has amassed, the hours he toiled, the wives and concubines he had claimed...he realized that it was all MEANINGLESS and brought him no closer to any sort of joy in his heart of hearts. 
In reading through his dilemma, we start to wonder for ourselves, WHAT IS SUCCESS?  
As a mom, a wife, a writer, an advocate, a teacher, daughter, citizen...where will I find my scale that shows me how much JOY or SUCCESS I have achieve…

Stop, Think and Feel ~ Guest Blogging Day

Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.  Proverbs 14:29 NIV
God has been working on me and my patience as I've gotten older. He continues to show me more and more of how foolish I appear when I am angry. A recent sermon that I heard at our church was on the topic of anger and how to rid your life of anger. It was tremendous because the most important thing I gleaned from that sermon was the fact that my ANGER is ALWAYS the band-aid on top of a different emotion.  
Take for example my experience recently in trying to start a dialogue with a number of different people in our state assembly or even those in my own city regarding Rare Disease Day. I had sent in my proclamation request to the state in the month of November and had e-mailed a number of different people in the middle of January trying to drum up enthusiasm for the event. However, I found that I wasn't getting responses from anyone!
I was so ANGRY. I had that feeling of, …

When a Friend Speaks the Truth ~ Guest Blogging Day

Many are the plans in a person's heart,but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.Proverbs 19:21 NIV
I was driving home from the hospital with my baby girl in the car.  My heart was racing and my blood pressure was high.  How could God do this to us?  Just when we had reached the finish-line of chemo...boom, another punch in the gut.

I dialed my friend Kathryn and she answered.

"Can you believe it, Kathryn?  We just finished chemo and now she has pneumonia?  Oh my gosh, are you kidding me?"  I say in response to her, "Hello".

"Tammie Jo," she replied, "This is your life...stop waiting for it to change."
Continue reading on Comfort in the Midst of Chaos...

Preparing for the Flood ~ Guest Blogging Day

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.  Isaiah 26:4 NIV
Last week my family arrived back home to Nevada from our vacation in Florida with just enough time to make a run to the grocery store for food and supplies before the torrential rains hit Northern Nevada and California.  On our first week "back to school" after winter break, our first day was cancelled, the following two days consisted of late starts due to closed roads which had flooded and high schools being turned into shelters for evacuees, and icy roads as the temperatures were dropping and still more precipitation was falling.  School was again cancelled on Thursday and we had another delayed start on Friday.

Continue reading on Comfort in the Midst of Chaos...

If You Don't Hate Christmas Yet...Guest Blogging Day

If anyone comes to me and does not hate their father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26 NIV
I know, I know...this doesn't SOUND like the start to a post about Christmas-but it's a message that God has been giving me repeatedly in the past week.
It READS as though it's a message of hate... It READS as though it's contradictory to a commandment about honoring your father and mother...
What it really IS, however, is a statement about how much we have to GIVE UP in order to BE a Christ-follower.  
However much we love our family- We need to love God more. However much we love our pets-  We need to love God more. However much we love our job-  We need to love God more.
We need to love God MORE. We need to love God MORE. We need to love God MORE.

This is the repeated message that God is delivering to me this holiday season.  Whatever I love in my life, I must love God more.

Continue re…

Why it's HUMANLY Impossible to be the Parent of a Child with Special Needs ~ Guest Blogging Day

"See now that I myself am he!There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal,and no one can deliver out of my hand."Deuteronomy 32:39, NIV

I can't do this.I wish I could run away.I am FAILING at this.I give up.
I have thought these thoughts before, and perhaps I may again, and it's only through the grace of God that I can get up each morning and muster the energy to make the coffee, shower, smile and go bravely into a brand new day.

I do this for my daughter, my husband and my God.

I do this because I KNOW for a FACT that I AM A WINNER...and I'm ONLY a winner because Jesus Christ died for me and conquered the grave.

BUT WAIT! Let's take a step back.

Why is my life so hard that I may have thought the thoughts that I listed above?
Continue reading on Comfort in the Midst of Chaos...