Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jesus Heals a Man's Hand....

I grew up in the church. Both my grandfather's and my dad were pastor's. I've always been told that the Bible is God's word and the ultimate "how-to" guide for life. I remember listening to all the stories in Sunday school about Jonah and the Wale and Daniel and the Lions Den. All were fascinating stories to a kid who's imagination ran wild. But as I got older, the bible became more of a "rules" book and harder to understand. Sure, I could quote bible verses and knew the basics but I didn't really study it or apply it to my daily life the way God intended us to do. In fact, there were several years that I was struggling with what I believed. Was it what I was taught or did I believe something completely different? After years of trying to live by my own guide (not successful mind you), I realized that I needed to turn back to the Lord and His word. He clearly states in Luke 11:9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Since having two special needs children, I've tested this and He has been faithful to reveal Himself in a real way to me. Now when I read the Bible, it's that exciting feeling I once got as a child, sitting in Sunday school listening to all the wonderful stories. I learn something new and God speaks to me in some amazing ways each time I open His word.

With my job I get the amazing opportunity to hear how God is working in ever day peoples' lives. I hear about miraculous healing's, salvation and deliverance, marriage restorations, miraculous survivals, and financial restorations. I hear how God heals and restores people that aren't even living for Him or know Him. He grabs their attention in such an extraordinary way that they have no choice but to acknowledge Him and give Him glory.

This has led me recently to wonder if maybe just maybe God could heal give her back the area of her brain that was damaged by the stroke? To allow her right hand and leg to be as normal as her left hand and leg? Is it possible? I think anything is possible with God. Is it His will? I don't know and I'm okay either way. I have been praying and seeking the Lord about this exact subject of healing for a few weeks now. Tonight I picked up my bible and read Matthew 12:13 "Then Jesus said to the man with the crippled hand, 'Hold out your hand.' The man held out his hand, and it became well again, like the other hand." This not only excites me to see that God healed this man (whom we don't know what caused him to be crippled but it sounds like a hemi-CP to me) but that He is acknowledging my prayer and letting me know that He hears me. He is the same God yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He still performs miracles today! Do you need a miracle? Do you need something in your life that needs the healing touch of Jesus? All you have to do is ask, believe and you shall receive. Whether it's medical, emotional, spiritual healing...God hears you!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Be careful what you Google...

Isn't it funny how today we can find answers to anything with just a few few clicks of a mouse? I remember spending hours in the library searching resources for research papers in high school and even college. We really had to work hard at searching, reading, paraphrasing and referencing all our work. Wish we had been as technologically advanced as we are today. I might have had more time to sleep!

Today, we just jump on the computer and "google" it. But how many times have you "googled it" and wished you hadn't? We have to be careful what we believe on the Internet. ANYONE today can post ANYTHING they want on the Internet. Just because it's easily accessible doesn't mean it's creditable. So I challenge you; don't believe everything you read. If you truly want to research a topic then go old school or make sure you are reading enough to wean out the crap and process the facts.

Unfortunately, I am human and have given in to the "google" epidemic myself when trying to learn about more about Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. I too have been influenced by what people believe their level of development or quality of life will be like. However, as they grow and develop I am realizing that they don't typically fit all the stereotypes and definitions that I've read about. That is part of why I'm writing this blog. It's just our opinion and our journey. It may not look anything like yours but I hope that it will be encouraging and real. Each individual has their own story, their own journey, their own obstacles, and their own triumphs. Don't let society and "google" distract you from what's important....from what is right before you.

Whether your child is autistic, has CP, Down Syndrome, is Deaf, is blind, or is typical; just love them and stay away from non-credible sites you may come across on the Internet! Read stories about real life people and how they deal with the day in and day out. Get involved in a support group or organization that helps educate people on the facts. Some of these are online and you can and will receive support. Attend play groups that involve kids of all abilities, ethnicity, and ages. This will allow us to raise a generation that doesn't look at people and judge on the exterior but shows them how to love people for what is on the interior! Can you imagine that type of world? It's possible and it all starts with us! :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Down Syndrome- Myth vs. Truth

Before I had a child with Down Syndrome I sadly admit I didn't know much about Trisomy 21. I didn't even know that was the medical term used for Down Syndrome. I was very blessed to find our local Down Syndrome Association. We attended our first meeting when Reese was only 6 weeks old. I had no idea what to expect or what the children would be like. I wasn't educated nor did I realize there were myth's about individuals with Down Syndrome.

Many of you might be sitting there not aware of them either. Unless you are educated then how would you know? So as an advocate I would not be doing my job if I didn't pass along some simple, yet important facts and truth's about Down Syndrome. I have learned a lot, being a part of our association. The best part, I must admit, is interacting with some of the cutest kids on the planet. If you don't know an individual with Down Syndrome, I challenge you to get to know one. They will change the way you think and infect you with a love and joy you will wish you had more of.

The following information comes from The National Down Syndrome Society. Take a few minutes and help debunk the myths and learn the truth!!

Myth: Down syndrome is a rare genetic disorder.

Truth: Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition. One in every 691 live births is a child with Down syndrome, representing approximately 6,000 births per year in the United States alone. Today, more than 400,000 people in the United States have Down syndrome.

Myth: People with Down syndrome have a short life span.

Truth: Life expectancy for individuals with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent years, with the average life expectancy approaching that of peers without Down syndrome.

Myth: Most children with Down syndrome are born to older parents.

Truth: Most children with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35 years old simply because younger women have more children. However, the incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother.

Myth: People with Down syndrome are severely “retarded.”

Truth: Most people with Down syndrome have IQs that fall in the mild to moderate range of intellectual disability (formerly known as “retardation”). Children with Down syndrome fully participate in public and private educational programs. Educators and researchers are still discovering the full educational potential of people with Down syndrome.

Myth: Most people with Down syndrome are institutionalized.

Truth: Today people with Down syndrome live at home with their families and are active participants in the educational, vocational, social, and recreational activities of the community. They are integrated into the regular education system and take part in sports, camping, music, art programs and all the other activities of their communities. People with Down syndrome are valued members of their families and their communities, contributing to society in a variety of ways.

Myth: Parents will not find community support in bringing up their child with Down syndrome.

Truth: In almost every community of the United States there are parent support groups and other community organizations directly involved in providing services to families of individuals with Down syndrome.

Myth: Children with Down syndrome must be placed in segregated special education programs.

Truth: Children with Down syndrome have been included in regular academic classrooms in schools across the country. In some instances they are integrated into specific courses, while in other situations students are fully included in the regular classroom for all subjects. The current trend in education is for full inclusion in the social and educational life of the community. Increasingly, individuals with Down syndrome graduate from high school with regular diplomas, participate in post-secondary academic and college experiences and, in some cases, receive college degrees.

Myth: Adults with Down syndrome are unemployable.

Truth: Businesses are seeking young adults with Down syndrome for a variety of positions. They are being employed in small- and medium-sized offices: by banks, corporations, nursing homes, hotels and restaurants. They work in the music and entertainment industry, in clerical positions, childcare, the sports field and in the computer industry. People with Down syndrome bringenthusiasm, reliability and dedication to their jobs.

Myth: People with Down syndrome are always happy.

Truth: People with Down syndrome have feelings just like everyone else in the population. They experience the full range of emotions. They respond to positive expressions of friendship and they are hurt and upset by inconsiderate behavior.

Myth: Adults with Down syndrome are unable to form close interpersonal relationships leading to marriage.

Truth: People with Down syndrome date, socialize, form ongoing relationships and marry.

Myth: Down syndrome can never be cured.

Truth: Research on Down syndrome is making great strides in identifying the genes on chromosome 21 that cause the characteristics of Down syndrome. Scientists now feel strongly that it will be possible to improve, correct or prevent many of the problems associated with Down syndrome in the future.