Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gratitude Update

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.  His love endures forever."
-Psalm 107:1

Happy week of Thanksgiving!!  I hope you plan to celebrate with family or friends and eat A LOT (recipe at the end).  That’s our plan!

I love Thanksgiving, because it reminds us to do what we should do every day: to reflect on our blessings and have a thankful heart.  After all, the Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for us!  It’s humorous how much time we spend wondering what God’s will is for our lives when it is as simple as that, along with being joyful always and praying continually.  Pretty much covers all the bases….  Certainly not easy to do, but beautifully simple.

Today, I want you to know how grateful I am for you.  Your partnership in our journey over the past 3 years and 10 months (yes, John will turn 4 in exactly two months!) means more than we can ever express.  And it is clear we still need you!!  After our last post, we truly felt your prayers uplifting us.  And guess what?  We have a neurology appointment today at 1:00 with the doctor we were hoping to see!  Thank you for praying this appointment goes well.  Also, our Medicaid application is complete, along with all the other forms, reports, and medical records I was gathering/filling out.  And the boys are finally over their colds!  Your prayers move mountains!

We are grateful and humbled by how God is truly meeting our needs in Atlanta with the many resources and opportunities available here for John and for our family.  I was able to participate in two wonderful events in the past week and a half.  The first one was an event called Hope Flies, sponsored by the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine that raises money and awareness for mitochondrial disease and potential treatments.  A panel of medical experts shared along with celebrity/autism spokesperson and mother, Holly Robinson Peete (you may remember her from either 21 Jump Street or Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper).  I was able to meet her right after the event, and she was truly lovely inside and out, as my grandmother would say!  Not only did I learn so much from the medical experts (and the links between mitochondrial dysfunction and autism, Parkinson's, ALS, epilepsy, etc), but I also felt validated as a mother and in what we are doing for John.  It is so easy to question everything you do or don’t do for your children, especially for your child with special needs.  You should check out Holly’s video about her family.  My favorite line is when her son states, “I may have autism, but autism doesn’t have me.”  So powerful.

Then on Saturday I was able to attend a wonderful women’s retreat called “Brookside” by Rising Above Ministries.  This retreat was just for moms of children with special needs, and what a breath of fresh air it was!!  I felt so blessed to worship and learn among these other women who speak my language and to hear their stories.  With each passing year, I realize that everyone has a story... everyone has pain; everyone has triumph.  Mostly, I came away from the event feeling incredibly grateful for my family, and so honored the Lord chose me for my children.       
I can sit in my cube chair better than ever before!  For a minute or so at a time!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Recipe for my family’s Cranberry Apple Crunch:

4-5 Rome Beauty apples (peeled and sliced)
1 lb. bag of cranberries (Rinsed and rained)

Combine with 1.5 cup of sugar…
Stir together in a large mixing bowl, then pour into a large baking dish or bowl.

2 sticks (1 cup) cold butter
2/3 cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
2 cups chopped pecans
2 cups oatmeal

With two knives, cut together the butter, flour, and brown sugar.
Stir in the nuts and oatmeal.
Pour on top of the apple/cranberry mixture.
Cover loosely with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

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