Tag Archives: motherhood

Podcast #20- Carrie Strachan, Parenting a Child With Special Needs

Oh y’all… This one is so good!! I cried a little during our conversation. I know that probably comes as no surprise to you. This is a HOLY conversation about parenting a child with special needs.  I am speaking with my friend, Carrie Strachan.  She has four beautiful children and her son Matthew has Down Syndrome. He is 20 years old now.  This will bless you if you have a child with special needs no doubt but also if you don’t.  Because Carrie is a blessing.  She is wise and kind and thoughtful.  She is my friend through Holy Yoga and I was mentioning to another friend from Holy Yoga that we were recording a podcast and that friend said, “Don’t you love her?  Don’t you just want to crawl up on the couch with her and have her talk to you and make you feel like everything is going to be alright?” Uh…yes. So consider yourself curled up on the couch with us, listening and sharing and drinking coffee and feeling less alone. That’s my hope…that you will feel a part of this conversation among friends.

Moms…we see you…we feel you.  When we talk about living out a greater calling on  your life, there is no greater calling than that of being a mom. I know some days it really feels like drudgery.  I can’t tell you how often I think, “Why do these people need to eat again?” My mom gave me a magnet once that says, “Who are these people and why are they calling me mom?” Honestly, it’s just so ordinary and routine and downright boring at times.

But God. He is so in this.  And if you let Him in, the results, the outcome of all your years of hard work…the kids grown…you grown…your marriage grown…it’s just downright spectacular.  Amazing.

This motherhood thing never ends, it doesn’t matter how old your kids are.  In addition to parenting, we are usually trying to figure out all the other tough stuff including marriage, career, and faith life.  Or if you are like me you might still be trying to figure out how to do laundry well and what’s for dinner.  Half the time we are just wondering, “Is everyone going to turn out alright?  Am I even all right? Who put me in charge?”

I’ve heard it said that our kids pick us. I don’t think that necessarily but I do trust that God picks us. He specifically gives us the children who need us and who we need.  Our children force us to lean into God because we don’t have all the answers.  And there He is.  Loving us.  Transforming us.

He loves our children more than we do.  They were His first.  He knows every hair on their head and He calls them good.  Every single unique child, born to change the world. Isn’t it miraculous?

I’m grateful for this conversation.  I hope you will listen in and be encouraged!

Happy Valentine’s day!

 

 

A Mother’s Prayer

 

She woke up today with a heavy heart.

Anxiety pierced her chest.

Slushing through the breakfast routine she wondered why.

Fell asleep reading a book about minors being stolen and trafficked.

Could wreak havoc on even the most hopeful mind.

Studying, learning, praying, demanding some sort of safe haven for these sweet souls bought and sold. Bought and sold. Mercy Lord. Your daughters and sons. Like property.

Her stomach hurts and she considers going back to bed. 

Nagging uncomfortable feeling persists and she remembers more.

Good people she knows looking for son. He’s lost. Find him Lord.

Other mothers that are dear mourn their lost children.

Friends struggle through teaching right and wrong. Boundaries. You are worthy. You are loved.

This too shall pass.

It will be better in the morning.

Except when it’s not.

I was told motherhood is the great equalizer and that is true. You pray for me I’ll pray for you.

It’s all we can do really.

Money, connections, family, friends, education, they don’t guarantee anything.

It’s a rocky road we travel. It’s an unsteady balance beam and we can’t strut here.

We walk tentatively. We focus our gaze.On you Lord.

Light.

Like Peter we lose focus, we look away. We fall. This reminds us to look at you again. We regain balance.

Only you know Lord. And you love us. You love our kids more than we do. Although I can’t imagine.

We read books and we share what we know and we love and we hold and we pray.

We tuck in and we snuggle and we laugh and we do homework and make sandwiches and drive and text and call and do laundry.

We cheer from the stands and we cry in cars alone. We buy things and fix things and anxiously await results.

We teach and we hug and we provide and we pray some more.

Lord, protect my baby.

Stay right there beside him even when he’s six feet tall.

Don’t ever leave her.

Remind him who he is when he forgets.

Love her when I’m not there Lord.

Have his back.

Guard her heart.

I’m sorry for complaining when I was tired or angry or hungry or lonely.

Lord, this gift. This gift.

Thank you. 

 

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©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

It’s Okay

My mom told me a story once.  It was about me in grade school.  My teacher, Mr. G, told my mom what happened.  He said he was helping me zip up my coat and the zipper broke.  He said, “Oh, Susan, I’m so sorry” and he said he felt really bad like it might be his fault.  But he told my mom that I made him feel so much better.  I just looked at him and calmly said, “It’s okay. My mom won’t be mad.”

This story has always stuck with me. Now that I’m a Mom I realize she shared that story with me because she is proud of that moment.  I couldn’t have explained grace or kindness at that young of an age but I knew it because my mom taught me.  Just by the way she lived.

I want to be that kind of mom.

As you know, we moved to Texas a few months ago and it has been amazing.  I am  processing so many things, it’s tough to write about it.  I start and stop because there is so much to say and I want to say it all but I don’t think it’s time yet. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I’ve been trying all along to just roll with whatever is going on.  I don’t always succeed.  I’ve been saying, “It’s okay” to the kids a lot.  I’ve been showing up, meeting people, asking questions, laughing, staying open, trying to manage my expectations.  All along, saying to my kids, “it’s okay” and trying not to fly off the handle at the little things.

The other day I went grocery shopping and the refrigerator was loaded to the max.  I opened the door to get something out and strawberries and blueberries flew everywhere! I was not calm.  I yelled, “OH S**T – NO -UGH!”

You know what happened?

All three of my kids came running.  They saw me on the floor and they got down with me to pick up the fruit.  They said, “It’s okay Mom”, “It’s no big deal Mom”, “Don’t worry, we can wash the fruit Mom”.

I couldn’t have been prouder at that moment.  Or more grateful.

I will remind them of that story one day.

The way they offered me kindness and grace and understanding.

It was just a tiny moment, but to me…it was huge.

I don’t know where they will go to college or what their jobs will be or who they will marry or where they will live.

But I do know they will be okay.

They know it too.

And that gives my heart rest.

©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

 

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