Category Archives: Special Needs Parenting

New Year, New You?

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So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NRS)

Resolutions are great, except for when they aren’t.  Sure, they serve a good purpose for setting priorities, opening new horizons and creating positive change.  Yet, if we feel we fall short they also come with a side-dish of guilt, something that parents of children with special needs cope with constantly anyway. So what’s the solution to keeping a New Year’s resolution?

Bing Crosby had some good advice “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.” In accentuating the positive, I started choosing a variety of goals for the New Year. I choose one thing I’d like to learn, one habit I’d like to change, and one challenge goal that is my personal moon shot for the year.  One year my “learning” and “challenging” resolution were one in the same. I learned to scuba dive despite being claustrophobic and uncomfortable in the water.  Plus, the movie Jaws left an indelible mark on my psyche as a child. Approaching it this way, accentuating the positive, resolutions have become fun, plus I have a whole year to achieve them. I’ve learned how to do things that had lingered on my list of, “someday I would like to…,” I’ve eliminated some bad habits and created healthier ones, and I’ve tested limits and been surprised by what I can do.

It’s the “eliminating the negative” that is the real challenge when it comes to resolutions.  We all fight that voice of doubt that says, “No, you can’t.” Some days we miss the mark, and guilt sets in. We can eliminate the negative by offering ourselves a measure of grace. It takes forty days to make a new habit, or break an old one for good. It’s okay to have a bit of trial and error along the way.  The main thing is that we can trust in Paul’s words to the Corinthians.  “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation.” That is the true and ultimate new you. The best resolution we’ve all made is to become followers of Christ.  That is the most important “new you” any of us will ever be.  How we celebrate that new creation is important, but when we fall short of perfection in resolutions we can trust that grace abounds.

So how did I do on my 2016 resolutions? I nailed two out of three, and grace abounds.

It is not too late to start a resolution on the second week of January. The year has not been “ruined” by missing a week already. There is still plenty of time to learn, explore, and succeed.

Renewing God,  remind us again of how you make all things new.  Open our eyes to new possibilities and shape us to be who you call us to be. Amen

Happy New Year, and happy new you!

Lorna Bradley

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Travel Tips for a Merrier Christmas

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When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” (Luke 2:15 NRS)

Travel is a holiday tradition dating back to the first Christmas.  Mary and Joseph traveled a moderate distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The Magi went on a longer journey.  Even the shepherds had a quick trip from the fields to town. Travel is exciting, but it is also daunting with a child who has fragile health, does not handle changes in routine well, or has physical or behavioral challenges that leave extended family and friends feeling ill-equipped to help. Here are a few ideas to make holiday travel run more smoothly.

While in the Air or on the Road:

  • There are fifteen airports that offer a “dress rehearsal” for travelers with autism.  This provides an opportunity to know what to expect ahead of time. More info here.
  • TSA offers special accommodations for children with medical conditions.  Learn more here and download a disability notification card here.
  • To help shorten wait time at screening, consider enrolling in a TSA pre-check screening program for future travel.  Turn-around time is a few weeks after application so there is not adequate time to enroll before Christmas.
  • Prepare for noise of planes and traffic.  Headphones, earbuds or ear plugs all help reduce sound.
  • Bring plenty of favorite snacks, especially important for picky eaters.  Also, providing sugar-free candy to suck on, or anything to encourage chewing and swallowing, can help avoid uncomfortable eardrums at take-off or landing.
  • Bring lots of activities to fill the time.  Consider getting a toy or activity that is new to your child as a surprise for travel day. Keeping them busy and engaged with something different from the usual may help break up lengthy travel.
  • Bring spare battery packs to recharge electronic devices.
  • If traveling by car, plan on frequent stops and travel at the time of day that best suits your child’s energy level.
  • Notice good behavior and offer frequent praise.

The nice thing about planes and cars is that they go two directions. It is equally possible to receive guests rather than being a guest. This removes the stress of holiday travel.  Sharing a home, whether receiving guests or being a guest yourself, always comes with new routines. Here are a few thoughts for keeping things running smoothly once everyone is under the same roof:

  • Share photos with your child ahead of time so that the faces of extended family are familiar when they arrive.
  • Cousins may have grown and changed since they last saw each other.  Help them connect via phone or text messaging to help break the ice ahead of time.
  • Try to keep the most important part of familiar routines in place: favorite breakfast food, consistent bed time, favorite games, movies or other activities.
  • Educate friends and family about your child’s unique needs (fragile health, food allergies, mobility or communication challenges, and behavioral triggers). This invites dialogue and helps ease concerns.
  • Try to fit in some one on one time with your child to help them feel less over-whelmed with all the new faces and a fuller house.

Wishing you safe holiday travels and a Merry Christmas!

Rev Doc Lorna

 

Oh Yes, We Need a Little Christmas…

Manuel Joseph photo from pexels-photo.jpg

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7 NRS)

“What do you want for Christmas?” This was the second time my husband asked in as many weeks and I noticed a hint of desperation in his voice. “I don’t know.  I can’t really think of anything.”  He gave me the “you’re not helping” look. I get it.  It’s hard to select presents, but the things that matter to me most aren’t the kinds of things a person can buy.   That becomes a challenge this time of year.  Somewhere along the way Christmas became a too showy, like a competition.  Who can buy the most, decorate the most, host or be invited to the most parties. It’s daunting. It’s also no wonder that December causes a spike in depression and anxiety.

I once took a test that measured life stress, asking questions about health, job, relationships, deaths, etc.  I added a point to my level of stress for each one that was a factor in my life.  One stressor, “Do you celebrate Christmas?” Oddly, celebrating Christmas scored a point on the stress meter, equivalent to losing a job or having surgery.  When did Christmas become synonymous with stress?

Despite the lyrics of Silent Night, “All is calm. All is bright,” that first Christmas was pretty stressful at times, too.  There were two tired travelers bedding down in a stable rated by Trip Advisor with just one star. Granted, it was a pretty big star, but just one nonetheless. Warm? Maybe. Dry? Probably. Clean? Not so much. And a baby chose to be born right then and there. This was not the dream delivery of a nervous, first-time mom. Yes, that first Christmas definitely earned a point on the stress meter.  Except it wasn’t the kind of Christmas we deal with. It was two people coping with the birth of a child as best they could in challenging circumstances. No lists, no parties, no decorations, though there were eventually the unexpected gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  That first Christmas was as simple as it gets, simply the Holy family together marveling at the miracle of new life. I imagine after the excitement of a stable birth it was calm and the future looked bright.  There was peace in the middle of chaos.

That is what I want for Christmas too.  I want peace in the middle of chaos. I want the calm contentment of a family while the world rushes by at its own pace, a pace very different from the one that suits us. I want that sense of hope in Christ that promises a future that is bright even where we cannot see. Years ago we down-sized Christmas.  We buy less, we do less, we stress less and we enjoy ourselves infinitely more. We plan again this year to have ourselves a merry little Christmas. I wish the same for you and your family.

Amazing God, surprise us once more with the meaning of Christmas. Help us to embrace your peace, love, joy and hope, and make us your instruments to share a little Christmas with others as well. Amen

Rev Doc Lorna

Three Strategies for a Smooth IEP Meeting

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“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” (Matthew 7:7 NRS)

Now that school is well-underway, some of us are in the midst of follow up IEP meetings (Individualized Education Program) to adjust education plans. A new school year may mean it’s time to update goals now that your child is established in a routine. One of the most frequent prayer requests I get is for IEP meetings.  How can parents reduce the anxiety level when everyone sits down around that table?

  1. Know your rights. Being informed helps instill a sense of preparation. Check out wrightslaw.com for information about special education rights.  In particular, their IEP basics tab here is a good place to start.
  2. Understand your own goals. What are your expectations? Are they reasonable? How will you be part of the process? Looking back at my own IEP meetings in early elementary school, I think I had in the back of my mind that the school’s interventions would somehow make up all of the deficits in my child’s development.  I think that came, in part, from the term “developmental delay.” It left me with the expectation that someday he would catch up all the way across the board. That unreasonable expectation added to my sense of anxiety when that goal remained unachievable year after year.
  3. Bring grace to the process, and maybe a few goodies. Teachers and administrators often end up with IEPs scheduled over break time. Light refreshments are often a welcome addition and set a good tone for the meeting. A positive attitude goes a really long way in smoothing out communication. It is possible to advocate by way of appreciation rather than anger. That philosophy worked well for me. Every six-week grading period I dropped off a note or small treat to each person who worked with my child letting them know how much I appreciated their efforts.

It’s great knowing that our children go to school and are taught by people who have chosen the profession of teaching. They have gifts and talents for what they do and they genuinely care about young people or they would have chosen another profession. They are experts in what they do, and the IEP helps them learn to be an expert in our children’s unique requirements. Sometimes neither side of the table is exactly sure what is needed for a particular child, especially at first. Parent and staff alike can be on a steep learning curve in discerning the best way to help each child with their education goals. Understanding that education is a team effort with many players goes a long way in creating the right plan.

God of Peace, help there to be peace throughout the IEP process. Calm the fears of parents, reduce the anxiety of teachers and administrators. Let your glory and gifts shine through in the process of helping to equip children to grow to be the best prepared and most content versions of themselves.  Place love of children at the center of the hopes and plans of all who gather around the IEP table. Amen

Rev Doc Lorna

 

Take Ten. Really, It’s Okay!

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“O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” (Psalm 55:6 NRS)

One of the greatest gifts of back-to-school is that parents have just a bit more time for themselves.  Gone are the long days of summer, which may be pretty empty for families with special needs.  All of that time and creative energy put into filling a child’s day can leave Mom and Dad with little time for themselves.

Yes, we are all still busy this time of year, but everyone can find ten minutes a day for a bit of self-care.  But can ten minutes really make any difference?

Yes!

Ten minutes a day in meditation can improve sleep, increase willpower and reduce anxiety according to health psychologist Dr. Kelly McGonigal of Stanford University.

Ten minutes a day of exercise improves cardiovascular fitness and reduces stress, per Dr. Timothy Church, director of the Laboratory of Preventative Research.

Ten minutes a day invested in talking with your spouse improves satisfaction with your relationship per American Psychological Association.

Clutter driving you crazy? Setting aside just ten minutes for some quick organization can go a long way in reducing perceived chaos, which in turn can improve mood, sleep and health, per Darby E. Saxbe and Rena Repetti in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Ten minutes engaged in a favorite hobby relieves stress and nurtures creativity, with the added benefit of reduced blood pressure and lower levels of depression, per a study by National Center for Biotechnology Information. Plus another study shows it helps improve problem solving, a skill we all need when dealing with challenges.

What is the power of ten minutes? How about a better marriage, better sleep, less stress, better organization, and improved mental and physical health.

Be intentional and find ten minutes for yourself.  I’d love to hear back what you did and how it helped in the comments.

Restoring God, thank you for the gift of renewal. Even as we care for others, remind us to care for ourselves.

Rev Doc Lorna

Photo courtesy of unsplash.com via Pexels

How to Reduce Back-to-School Anxiety

Back to School

When I was a child, back to school came with lots of excitement and the good kind of anticipation. For my son, it was a very different experience.   Early on, we didn’t have anything close to a smooth transition when the school doors flung wide, welcoming all the little people who had become somewhat bigger people over the summer. As the first few years got off to bumpy starts, I found he grew anxious about the start of the school year. I started to worry too. Would my son have a teacher who was a good fit for his needs?  Would he be able to cope with the social strain? Would he handle all the new material he needed to learn? Would he be safe from bullies? Would he make just one friend that year?

Dear God, is it asking too much for the answer to all of those questions to be “yes?”

For both of us, the sense of anxiety about back to school had much to do with the unknown. What happened to the “fun” part of back-to-school that I had known?  I was determined to help him have some happy memories by making what felt unknown become familiar instead.  Here are a few strategies that worked well for my family:

  • Brush up on academic skills. Math skills were always a challenge and hard-won gains eroded quickly over the summer. We found a math tutor who did a two-week intensive, meeting one-on-one an hour a day.
  • Review lists of back to school supplies with your child’s therapists. Check for alternate suggestions that best suit your child’s needs and motor skill abilities. Also, schedule ongoing after school therapy appointments. Therapist’s schedules fill quickly in those coveted afterschool hours. Booking early will help reserve the time slot that best fits the rhythm of your family and minimize disruption.
  • Make a “First Day Plan.” Navigating crowded hallways can be overwhelming to children with sensory issues, especially if he or she already has anxiety about a new routine. Introduce your child to their “go to” people, such as the school nurse, cafeteria monitor, and so forth. We used to arrange a time before school began, apart from the hectic “meet your teacher” night, and find the route to classroom, library, cafeteria, nurse’s office, and restrooms.
  • Avoid unnecessary embarrassment by having a spare change of clothes and underwear tucked away at school, just in case.
  • Help your child connect with other children he or she already knows who will be in the classroom. A familiar face on the first day of school can help alleviate anxiety.
  • Get in the groove ahead of time. Adjust bedtime and waking time to match the back-to-school schedule during the week before school. Experiment with lunch. The first day goes so much better if a picky eater is willing to eat what is packed in their lunchbox. What they ate happily a few months ago may suddenly be less appealing. Try doing a full dress rehearsal of getting ready for the first day and keep it fun rather than rushed.
  • Plan to something simple, but special to your child after the first day. It may take a few weeks to get into a settled routine and that is alright. Celebrate even small victories along the way.
  • Pray for your child each day and give over to God all that is outside of your control.

These are a few ways that my family made back-to-school fun again.  I’d love to hear what works for your family.

Rev Doc Lorna

Photo “Back to School” by Nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Blog republished from 8/12/15

 

 

When a Pedi Goes Wrong, or Does it?

nail polish (practical joke) photographed by Kungfuman

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NRS)

Can all things really work together for good? Really? Even if you go to get a pedi to get in a little self-care in the midst of raising two children with significant developmental delays and physical disabilities and the person seated next to you comments about wanting to rent a child in a wheelchair so she can skip the lines at Disney? Can God use even that and turn it into something good? Why, yes.  Yes, God can! And here is how.

As my friend Elizabeth’s aforementioned attempt at getting a pedi unfolded, two women near her started talking about an upcoming trip to Disney. Worried about how her children would handle the long waits, one advised she had hired a guide for $150 an hour to bypass the lines (Seriously? This is a thing? And people pay for it?). The second lamented she could not afford that and wondered aloud if she could rent a child in a wheelchair, so that her precious bundles of joy wouldn’t have to wait their turns with the masses.

You know that moment when you are shocked beyond speech, but the words come later? Boy, did they come! Elizabeth shared a “teachable moment” post in a community social media group.

“…I was so stunned I couldn’t say anything. Now with my heart pounding, I wish I spoke up on behalf of my children and every other person with a disability. So if that was you, here is your teachable moment: You don’t “rent” a person. Certainly not for your gain and especially not so your kids can jump on rides faster. I have two kids with special needs, including a daughter with a wheelchair. Your kids are lucky to have legs strong enough to wait in line. I could go on, but think I’ve made my point… remember to be kind. Disabilities are not humorous. They are not convenient, and they most certainly are not to be used for your convenience!”

She didn’t rant or use ugly words, but made it clear that as a family living with the daily reality of wheelchairs the conversation had been both painful and inappropriate.  (And yes, the two “Disney ladies” did see the post!) It was a healing balm to say what she meant to say and help others outside of the world of disability understand a different reality. End of story. Right?

God had other plans.

The post went viral within her community message board.  Support poured in.

And then came the replies from a silent population of special needs moms in her own community, neighbors she had never met. They got it because they lived it. They needed each other and, through intense vulnerability, began introducing themselves and their children.  A few clicks of a keyboard later and a secret group was born creating a safe place for moms to connect, over one hundred and growing.  The post filled a void, creating a network of support, advice, idea exchanges and more.  Their latest adventure? Indoor skydiving at iFly! The activity will be adapted for families of all abilities.

There comes a moment when we need to make a choice. Ignore the pain or face it. Sit in isolation or find community. Sometimes it takes incredible vulnerability to follow where God leads. Thanks be to God that we can trust in God to make all things work together for good.

Healing God, we thank you for community. Give us the courage to be vulnerable enough to find it and the courage to speak up with words that are pleasing to you when we face our own teachable moments. Amen

Rev Doc Lorna

Photo “Nail Polish (practical joke)” photographed by Kungfuman courtesy of Wikimedia

Twelve Tips for Special Needs and the Long, Long Summer

“Blank Calendar Shows Plan Appointment Schedule Or Event” by Stuart Miles from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

You have fixed all the bounds of the earth; you made summer and winter. (Psalms 74:17 NRS)

I told a lie. I didn’t mean to, but it just happened. I suppose I wanted to fit in with the other moms. Peer pressure is a powerful force, even for parents.

I was picking my son up from school toward the end of the year in second grade.  He walked home with me each day.  The school bus was too frustrating. The carpool line was long and caused anxiety as he waited to see my car.  So day after day I sweated in the late afternoon Texas heat with a handful of other moms outside the second grade hallway.

One mom gushed about her upcoming summer. “I can’t wait for school to get out. We’ve got swim team coming up. Then a trip to see grandparents. Then the kids are heading to my sister’s with their cousins so my husband and I can get away. After that we have vacation Bible school and then I’m sending them off to a week of camp for the first time.  We are going to try to fit in a trip to Disney if we can, but our summer is so packed it may have to wait until next year.”

Another piped up, “Same here.  I think we signed up for every single activity at the YMCA. Family is coming for a visit. It’s just crazy-busy all summer long.”

That’s when I lied. “Us too!” The second part wasn’t a lie, “It will be a relief when summer is over.”

All I could think of was the painfully blank calendar of non-existent summer activities.  Play dates? Kind of hard when your child has no friends.  Swim team? Ha! The noise, the chaos, that blaring horn and shrill whistle – not for my son on the autism spectrum. Vacation Bible school? I tried that once and, honestly, there were parents in that program who stopped speaking to me because I dared to enroll my son after the lead pastor encouraged me to do so. No way was I trying that again! The team activities at the YMCA? Those were a real challenge and more frustrating than fun to my son. He could have a full-blown meltdown playing BINGO. Siblings extending invitations to give us respite? Nope. We did have a couple of weeks planned to go visit grandparents, but two weeks out of twelve is a drop in the bucket.

This magical and marvelous summer the other moms described was not my world, though I desperately wished that it could be. So I lied and said, “Us too!” and set about erasing that lie by finding things to fill the days.

Here are a few strategies that worked for me:

  • Support groups. Other parents are likely to have kids in need of friends too. Ours was not the only family staring down the barrel of a long and boring summer.
  • “Special needs friendly” events. These were non-existent back when my son was young, but are becoming more and more popular. Check with local children museums, movie theaters, sports stadiums and performing arts venues.  For example, the Houston Ballet Company recently offered their first autism friendly performance, complete with interaction between performers and children afterwards.
  • Congregations with special needs ministries. Faith communities are much more aware and inclusive in summer camp and vacation Bible school. Find a program that fits your family and talk to the staff ahead of time so that they are prepared with volunteers who match the needs of your child. If budget is tight, volunteer your own time to help defray cost.
  • Summer camp for special needs children. There are more and more opportunities for children with special needs to experience summer camp. Some are child specific and some accommodate the whole family.  These often fill early so research registration dates and mark them on your calendar.
  • Check the calendar at local disability friendly non-profits. For example, in the Houston area, Family to Family Network and Easter Seals offer or have information about a variety activities and respite care. There is also Mikey’s Guide, a local publication to a broad variety of local disability friendly services and events.
  • Keep a routine. For many of our kids, structure is key. Set a routine for meals, errands, play time, family chores. Routine helps remove boredom.
  • Focus on therapy and acquiring new skills. Fitting in therapies during the school year can be a real challenge. Take advantage of available time to focus on areas for growth. Consider finding a tutor for challenging subjects to help keep your child from losing hard-won skills in math and reading.
  • Enjoy a less hectic pace for a while. While we live in a culture that glorifies “busy,” it is okay to step off the merry-go-round and enjoy a pace that is slower than the world around you.
  • Explore the outdoors. Children are inside for hours each day at school. Take advantage of summer as a time to get outside and explore parks, beaches, and walking trails. State and local parks in your area may have summer programs, such as guided trail tours, that suit a child’s interest and focus. If mobility is a challenge consider a tag along trailer for a bike. Check your own yard for bird nests and enjoy watching the new family grow.
  • Check out programs at the local library. Libraries are a treasure trove of child friendly activities and resources. The best part? They are free!
  • Water is wonderful in the summer heat. If the community pool is overwhelming, go at off times. No pool in your area? Create your own backyard water fun with sprinklers or an inexpensive wading pool.
  • Remember self-care. Parenting becomes 24/7 when children are home from school. With high needs children this can be especially tiring to the caregiver. Tag team with your spouse or other adult when you need a break. Schedule a night out as often as you can in order to nurture your most important relationships. Take time to do things you enjoy.

I learned that filling the summer isn’t about keeping up with what everyone else is doing.  Rather, it is about finding the pace and activities that best suits my family and flourishing there.

God of all seasons, Let there be renewal of spirit and foundations for friendships that last for all. May the bounty growing in the fields of summer also grow within the hearts and minds of nurturing communities of acceptance. Amen

Rev Doc Lorna

“Blank Calendar Shows Plan Appointment Schedule Or Event” by Stuart Miles from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Unsolicited Advice I Need to Take

Teabags

“Be still and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10 NRSV

My tea encouraged me with advice today. Really! With cedar pollen running rampant in Houston I’ve settled into a constant, dry, allergy cough that irritates my throat.  Throat Coat tea to the rescue, with its wee string tab that offers advice.  I had two cups of it today.  They both said the same thing.

Renew

My tea is right. I’m due for a little “renew.” How about you?

Life gets busy.  We mean to read scripture. We mean to schedule a prayer retreat. We mean to… well, a lot of things. Just like taking care of our physical bodies, spiritual self-care takes an intentional plan. This is especially true for people who have loved ones with special needs. Our lives are busy as caregivers, sometimes extremely so!

As I go through the day this Ash Wednesday with the mark of ashes in the shape of a cross on my forehead, I am making a plan for 40 days of renew, 40 days to draw me closer to God.  My plan:

  1. Read Scripture each day.
  2. Reduce my distractions with intentional meditation on the verse, “Be still and know that I am God.”
  3. Name my blessings daily and thank God for them.

What’s your plan this season of Lent? Have you stopped attending a dearly loved Bible study? Find time for God’s word through something as simple as an email devotional or join with friends and read the Bible together. Do you miss time in prayer? Set aside 10 minutes of quiet time each day to pray. Have you been missing Sundays at church? Be refreshed and renewed by regular worship. There are great options online if caring for your loved one makes it hard to attend in person. You know which spiritual nurture you thirst for the most.  Use the season of Lent to water your spiritual garden and may your Easter bloom with abundance.

Amen

Rev Doc Lorna

Photo: Teabags by Rev Doc Lorna

When Family Has More Issues than TV Guide

Man Holding a Book and Looking Askance from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Collecting prayer concerns near the holidays is always interesting. Everyone has added excitement and stress, and it seems much of that revolves around family.

A roomful of special needs moms all nodded knowingly when one requested, “Prayers appreciated. They’re all coming to town and my family has more issues than TV guide.”

It is great to see extended family, but what happens when they just really don’t understand the reality of life with special needs?  Distance allows for prolonged time dwelling in the land of denial. Unrealistic expectations about development or chronic health concerns can take some of the happy out of the holidays.

Wouldn’t it be great to be that perfect, harmonious family? But then again, where do we see examples of that? They are few and far between in the Bible. There has been dysfunction from the beginning. There was that whole issue about deflecting blame and finger pointing when it came to eating an apple, “She made me do it.” “The snake tricked me.” The stakes were raised when jealousy began between their children, ending with murder. There are stories of stealing a birthright, incest, a king having his general murdered in order to steal his wife.  These are Biblical values? Not so much, but these are the families in the story of the history of salvation.

Our own families are shining brightly right now, aren’t they? What’s a little misunderstanding in the politically correct terms of disability in comparison? It’s an opportunity for education and conversation.

All relationships are about choices. How do we choose to be together with one another? It is love that wins. Love is a choice. We see it in our actions.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.  Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17 NRS)

This fourth week of Advent as we celebrate love  and we can see how God’s action in love toward us shows us the way forward.  When we make mistakes, God loves us anyway. So much so that he sent his Son so that we could be reconciled and have that example of perfect love. Putting love into action is God’s choice for us, too.

“My in-laws are coming and I’m planning to kill them (a pause just a tad long) with kindness.”

Well chosen, my friend. Love always wins.

Loving God, thank you for the example of perfect love. We fall short. We are human, yet you love us anyway. Help us, too, to offer that grace to others and keep the fun in dysfunction. Amen

Image “Man Holding Book and Looking Askance” by Imagerymajestic from FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Rev Doc Lorna