autism, caregivers, faith, family, Love, Mental Health, Uncategorized

Breaking Old Ground

“Bloom where you are planted.” Saint Francis de Sales

Mamaw has a gift for making things grow. Whenever she purchases flowers in a pot, no matter how healthy they look to me, she is convinced they are root bound. She can’t wait to get them in a larger pot, or even better, the great outdoors of her flowerbed. I have often kidded her about this. But the truth is, once she’s replanted them and tended to them, they flourish in the new spot.

Mamaw believes in pruning things up, working the soil, adding miracle grow and plenty of water, then covering the ground with a protective mulch.

We all love the idea of a fresh start. As we celebrate the beginning of each new year, we have aspirations of breaking new ground and attaining new goals. But what happens when we’re stuck in our old pot of circumstances, when we have obstacles that are not going to budge?

When I don’t have the option to relocate, it’s time to take a fresh look at the ground God has already gifted me. It’s time to dig in and break up that dry soil, removing those rock hard pieces that tend to form from long term pressure and neglect. I need to nourish this old ground and protect it with some renewed thinking.

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8

I know I will never be the gardener Mamaw is, but I do believe if I faithfully rework this familiar soil, there will be new growth.

Until Next Time,

Know The Hope!

Tammy

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autism, faith, family, Morgan

Puzzle Peace

“Think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.
Don’t consider yourself to be wise; …” Proverbs 3:6,7

Although the puzzle piece is often used as a symbol for autism awareness, I wear it as a reminder to me that we are all different for a reason.  Just like the pieces of a puzzle, each one of us is uniquely created on purpose, for a purpose.  Regardless of a person’s disability, we all have strengths and weaknesses.  We all have needs.  We all have something to offer.  A community is best served when everyone is a part of the picture.

For me, the battle happens when I start looking too hard at what others are doing, and begin longing to fit into the same places they do.  Contentment only comes when we stop competing and comparing ourselves with others,  when we are operating in the gifts we were given, filling the space that only we were meant to fill.

For now, I believe my main purpose is helping Morgan find hers.  I am currently her part time job coach and full time personal assistant.  I admit I feel very unqualified at times.  The truth is, I don’t even feel qualified to figure out my own life without looking up constantly to the One who is. 😉

Morgan First Paycheck

Above is a picture of Morgan with Mr. Steve and Mrs Leslie, picking up her first paycheck!  We are very thankful to have this piece in place for her.

Each day, before my feet hit the floor, I ask  God for guidance to help me make decisions that will lead Morgan & Mom to the places He has appointed specifically for each of us.  There lies my trust and my peace.

Until Next Time,

Know The Hope!

Tammy

 

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autism, faith, family, Morgan, Uncategorized

Come Passion!

I was searching for a word, or phrase, for what happens to us when we can’t face a trauma that has occurred.  Whether it’s an injury, or an event, like the tragic situations we’ve seen in the news recently, or a chronic life circumstance.   In my search, I found the words “numb” and “disconnected”.  They hit home.  Healthguide.org

It’s been a particularly tough week in the world, shouldered on a summer of some major personal changes.  Morgan and I are facing more than a few “last times” as she grows older.  We are prayerfully continuing our search for “what’s next” in this new season.

Yesterday, after the storms, Morgan said “I want to see more rainbows.”  I smiled and said, “Me too, Morgan.  Me too!”  She had put into words what I’d been feeling lately, or rather, NOT feeling.  When we are in the middle of that gray numbness, there may be a disconnection from pain, but there is also a disconnect from passion and joy.  A good reminder to mom that it’s time to plug in again, and do a little rainbow hunting.

Mailbox Flowers

I pointed to our mailbox, where we had planted a spring mix on another gray day.  A couple of weeks ago, they still looked like weeds.  Now they are showing off a few sweet hues of promise.   Sometimes it is so hard to find rainbows on dreary days.  But if we don’t give in to the gray, if we keep searching, rainbows are waiting in new places, to be seen and enjoyed.

Until Next Time,

Know The Hope!

Tammy Vice

Foot note: Click on the link to Healthguide.org for some tips to chase away the gray.

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Uncategorized

“Balls Fall”

Early on in my mom journey, I remember being impressed with a veteran mom who seemed to have it all together.  She laughed and said, “All the balls are in the air.”  Now that I’ve had a few years of practice, juggling everyone’s calendars and clocks, I realize why she had a sense of humor.  She knew, eventually, one of those balls was bound to fall.  I just dropped one last week.  I had the right time for our appointment. Even showed up early, feeling very prepared.  Problem was I had the wrong day.  ;-/ The fact is, despite our best efforts, sometimes Balls Fall.  If we’re lucky, we can catch them on the bounce. But some will roll away, never to be seen again.  That’s OK.  😉  Being human is part of being human, even when you’re a mom.  As Morgan would say, “We can always try again.”

allison-jabe-wed-527

Above is a shot of our family, holding each other up, on Allison’s wedding day.  Left to right; Rudy, myself, Allison, Morgan, Mamaw, and Papaw.  This was one of those rare perfect days when “all the balls were in the air”. 😉

Parenthood is NOT for wimps.  There are blessings AND challenges.  Having a healthy sense of humor is imperative.  There was a time when I was really hard on myself.  Whenever I made a mistake, I wanted to pick up my ball, and go home.  Learning to forgive my goof ups, and even have a good laugh at myself, has been a gift to my family and myself.    The book below, co-authored with my daughter, Morgan, is a collection of her quotable quotes and family photo -moments.  She has an unfiltered way of stating what’s on her mind.  We put together 52 Blue Mondays to give your family a few smiles, and some encouragement to get through those less than perfect days.  It’s available on Amazon.  A portion of every sale goes to support Autism Tennessee.

52 Blue Mondays Book Cover Print

Until Next Time,

Know The Hope!

Tammy and Family

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Uncategorized

Dancing Down Life’s Aisle

In the past six months I’ve lost a little over forty pounds.  Some of you have asked if I’m ok.  The answer is Yes!  I’m feeling much healthier and very grateful.  All it took was prayer and a little elbow grease. 😉  Here’s the story:

Romans 12:1 “…Make a decisive dedication of your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service and spiritual worship.”

The pages on the calendar continue to flip and fly with life’s events. Morgan will be walking (or dancing) down the graduation aisle with her senior class buddies next June.  She will turn 20 in November, but autism continues to keep her my “forever child”.  Allison will complete her Masters in May and walk down the wedding aisle next September.  All of that to say, I am a VERY blessed and busy mom.

 Although our body is supposed to be a temple, mine was feeling a bit more like a rundown duplex.  😉 After several failed attempts to lose weight and get back in shape on my own, I sent up a sincere prayer for help.  I wanted to be present again to enjoy my family.  As a caregiver, I knew I’d have to go about things a little differently.  Trips to a gym and extended special needs childcare were not within my budget or time constraints.  

Allison said “If you want to lose weight, there’s an app for that!”  I began using “Lose It”, a free app that helped me easily keep track of calories and exercise.   Treadmills are just boring, so I purchased a “Zumba” exercise DVD to get me motivated and moving. Morgan has started joining me to exercise.  She wears her hula shirt and does her own thing while I attempt to teach my body new ways to bend. Picture it in your mind and chuckle, because I will not be providing that photo here. 😉  It’s been fun!  And we are both enjoying better health.  By far, my biggest and best tool has been prayer.  Today I pray for your good health, happiness, and all the healing that love and laughter brings.

Image   Then – December 2012 Allison, Mom, and Morgan

Image        Image        Now – September 2013  

Graduation Aisle                                       Wedding Aisle    

Until Next Time, 

Know The Hope,

Tammy Vice                                                                     

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