autism, faith, family, Morgan

Keeping Life Meaningful

Atrophy – A wasting away, a gradual decline in effectiveness or vigor due to underuse or neglect.

Every now and then, I need to revisit WHY we do all we do.  It’s not about being busy.  It’s about staying engaged in community, giving and receiving joy.  It’s about living our lives with purpose.  Just as a muscle will atrophy from lack of exercise, a person’s spark for life will decline and waste away if meaning cannot be found.  There is a human need to be recognized and relevant.  The more I include Morgan, the more Light I see in her.

morgan-mom-program

Since Morgan exited school last May, my biggest concern has been how to keep life meaningful for her.  Knowing that college, marriage, and the other norms of life are not in her future (short of a miracle), I continually pray to be able to provide things that bring quality and enrichment.  Having a schedule is imperative to keep down her anxiety, but having “Too Much Schedule” can be equally stressful.  We’ve been on and off the treadmill of activities, and we’re learning, it’s all about striking a healthy balance.

Once upon a time, in the Hundred Acre Wood, when asked whether it was time to WORK or PLAY, Winnie the Pooh replied, “YES!”.  Following the wisdom of Winnie, we do a little of both, and Morgan has no problem letting me know when she’s “Busy Relaxing”. 😉

job-small    raptors-bowlingbusy-relaxing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now Morgan works a couple of hours each week at a local sandwich shop, and has her list of chores at home.  She volunteers once a week, helping her Papaw with Meals on Wheels, and her Sunday school teacher put lesson plans together.  She enjoys piano lessons, special needs sports, social activities, and Sunday school.  Together, we enjoy music, art, and baking on occasion.  Recently, we’ve both become part of an Adult Friends Choir at church that performs for assisted living centers in our community. And we have one day a week that NOTHING is planned, except “Staying Right Here” at home.  Image result for winnie the pooh quotes

Until Next Time,

Know The Hope!

Tammy Vice

 

 

 

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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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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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Waiting With Joy

“Let’s think of something to do while we’re waiting.” – Fred Rogers

Morgan is all about putting events on her calendar.  Her enthusiasm is contagious as she talks about every detail she’s looking forward to.  However, there can be a fine line between expectation and obsession.  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is my daughter’s ever present companion.  I have seen it steal her joy on many occasions.  Sometimes it will have her so focused on a future event that she’s unable to see the fun that’s right in front of her.

Any of us can get so caught up in tomorrow’s possibilities that we miss the sweet simple pleasures of the here and now.  In my ongoing quest to help Morgan learn how to wait with joy, I’ve been given an unexpected gift.  Whether it’s learning to draw our favorite characters, watering a flower to help it grow, testing out a new recipe, or watching a fire burn under the stars, I’ve found there are countless wonderful things to enjoy “while we’re waiting”.  Once again, I am thankful for Mr. Rogers and his words of wisdom. 😉

Drawing Fun with Morgan Drawing Fun With Morgan

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