Encouragement​ for the Special Needs Parent

Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart! I had no idea what I signed up for when I began. My bright obedient firstborn son made my job look easy. It wasn’t until my second child came along that I realized just how difficult the road ahead would be.

Many years ago, I was at a homeschool conference desperately seeking answers to help me figure out how to homeschool my young special needs son. I knew God had called me to homeschool, but I had no idea of how to teach a child with special needs. I felt very alone, on an already lonely journey. Wandering around a vast exhibit hall, I had a divine interaction with a lady at one of the booths. She didn’t have a “magic formula” or a quick fix solution for me, but what she did have was wisdom.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”dcZ82″ via=”yes” ]She had walked far enough down a road similar to mine so she could shed some light on my path.[/ctt]

The Christian’s life is sometimes referred to as a “walk,” a “journey” or a “path.” The path is not always smooth or easy—sometimes we stumble and fall in our walk, and other times we lose focus on our journey and drift away.

Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;  I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Aren’t you glad that your Heavenly Father always has His eye on you? Even if we are lost and afraid, we are never alone. God is always with us. Even in our darkest times, He is there. All we have to do is call upon His name, and He is there to guide us and instruct us in the way we should go.

Find theBeard that Suits You-3

One of my all-time favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 3:5-6, which says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

This verse reminds me that even when my world is turned upside down, and I have no idea of what to do, if I put my trust in the Lord, and not try to reason things out on my own, He is faithful to show me the way. We must look to our Heavenly Father and acknowledge Him; trust Him.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”j8x0o” via=”yes” ]In this Christian life sometimes the way can be lonely, but we are never alone.[/ctt]

That is the wisdom that the lady I met at the homeschool conference had for me—advice that I needed to hear. It is so simple, yet so profound. We are not called to walk alone on this faith journey. God is always with us and He cares for us.

Some other things to remember when the road gets tough.

Our children are an incredible gift from God, and they give us a unique perspective on the world. There have been many activities that we haven’t been able to participate in because of our child with disabilities, but at the same time, we have had other experiences just because we have an exceptional child.

God has a purpose for the special needs child. Uniquely created, yet in the image of God. Just like everyone else who is alive and breathing on planet earth they have a calling on their life and were made for a purpose.

God doesn’t entrust his special children to just anyone. You were carefully chosen from the began of time to shepherd this extraordinary child. You are their earthly advocate. They need you to pray for them, believe in them, and do everything you can to give them the best possible life.

Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. Fight the good fight. There is a blessing ahead.  “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.” Galatians 6:9 TLB When the days get hard, find time to rest.

Surround your yourself with a community that loves you, and that can pray for you on stressful days. When the days get too hard, find time to rest and take care of yourself. You can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself.

Remember, wherever you are God is with you and you are never alone. He is fighting your battles for you, you only need to trust Him with your circumstances and with your child. Your child is His child, and He loves them more than you can imagine.

Whether you have a typical or a special child, what are some things that offer you hope as a parent when you are facing difficult times? Leave a comment below that might bless another weary parent.

May Jesus shine His face brightly on you today friend!

Much love, Misty

Encouragement​ for the Special Needs Parent

Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart! I had no idea what I signed up for when I began. My bright obedient firstborn son made my job look easy. It wasn’t until my second child came along that I realized just how difficult the road ahead would be.

Many years ago, I was at a homeschool conference desperately seeking answers to help me figure out how to homeschool my young special needs son. I knew God had called me to homeschool, but I had no idea of how to teach a child with special needs.

I felt very alone, on an already lonely journey. Wandering around a vast exhibit hall, I had a divine interaction with a lady at one of the booths. She didn’t have a “magic formula” or a quick fix solution for me, but what she did have was wisdom.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”dcZ82″ via=”yes” ]She had walked far enough down a road similar to mine so she could shed some light on my path.[/ctt]

The Christian’s life is sometimes referred to as a “walk,” a “journey” or a “path.” The path is not always smooth or easy—sometimes we stumble and fall in our walk, and other times we lose focus on our journey and drift away.

Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;  I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Aren’t you glad that your Heavenly Father always has His eye on you? Even if we are lost and afraid, we are never alone. God is always with us. Even in our darkest times, He is there. All we have to do is call upon His name, and He is there to guide us and instruct us in the way we should go.

Find theBeard that Suits You-3

One of my all-time favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 3:5-6, which says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

This verse reminds me that even when my world is turned upside down, and I have no idea of what to do, if I put my trust in the Lord, and not try to reason things out on my own, He is faithful to show me the way. We must look to our Father and acknowledge Him; trust Him.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”j8x0o” via=”yes” ]In this Christian life sometimes the way can be lonely, but we are never alone.[/ctt]

That is the wisdom that the lady I met at the homeschool conference had for me—advice that I needed to hear. It is so simple, yet so profound. We are not called to walk alone on this faith journey. God is always with us.

Some other things to remember when the road gets tough.

  1. Our children are an incredible gift from God, and they give us a unique perspective on the world. There have been many activities that we haven’t been able to participate in because of our child with disabilities, but at the same time, we have had other experiences just because we have an exceptional child.
  2. God has a purpose for the special needs child. Uniquely created, yet in the image of God. Just like everyone else who is alive and breathing on planet earth they have a calling on their life and were made for a purpose.
  3. God doesn’t entrust his special children to just anyone. You were carefully chosen from the began of time to shepherd this extraordinary child. You are their earthly advocate. They need you to pray for them, believe in them, and do everything you can to give them the best possible life.
  4. Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. Fight the good fight. There is a blessing ahead.  “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.” Galatians 6:9 TLB When the days get hard, find time to rest.
  5. Surround your yourself with a community that loves you, and that can pray for you on stressful days. When the days get too hard, find time to rest and take care of yourself. You can’t take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself.

Remember, wherever you are God is with you and you are never alone. He is fighting your battles for you, you only need to trust Him with your circumstances and with your child. Your child is His child, and He loves them more than you can imagine.

Whether you have a typical or a special child, what are some things that offer you hope as a parent when you are facing difficult times? Leave a comment below that might bless a weary parent.

May Jesus shine His face brightly on you today friend!

Much love, Misty

Hope When You Feel Like A Failure

I have made some pretty dumb decisions in my life, and life has not always worked out the way that I hoped or planned. Bad choices and sin in my life have caused me to feel guilt and shame that has weighed me down for far too long. I know without a doubt that I am saved, but the accuser likes to haunt me with reminders of my past failures.

One memory that comes to mind is when my entire world was turned upside down when my brother died.  I was in middle school, and his death had a devasting effect on my life. That same year a girl in my class lost her sister to a debilitating disease. The pain we both experienced in losing our siblings bonded us to one another.

We both decided to try out for cheerleading. I had been in dance and gymnastics for many years. We practiced routines in the front yard for hours on end. I taught my friend how to master a flip-flop, but after falling on my neck and head several times I developed a fear of tumbling. My friend went on to make the cheer squad, but I didn’t. This crushed my already broken heart, and I felt like a failure.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”y54Kv” via=”yes” ]Have you ever wanted to try something new, but were afraid you might fail? Me too.[/ctt]

Anytime I chose to step out of my comfort zone and walk in faith the accusations and the insecurities flood my mind. You’ll never be able to do that! Who do you think you are?What are you thinking? You are not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough! Essentially, I will never be enough, and the thought of that stings.

On my own, I may never be enough. But thankfully, that is not the final word. I find comfort and hope in the Bible which tells me that I can do all things through the help of Jesus.

 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13 ESV

Fortunately for you, and for me, we have an advocate in Jesus Christ, and He intercedes on our behalf continually to the Father. Jesus Christ is our champion, and through him, we can do anything! Jesus gives us the strength to do everything He calls us to do, and apart from Him we can’t do anything!

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”. – John 15:15 NIV

When we abide in Christ through surrender, repentance, prayer, and praise, we remain connected to the source, and when He reigns in our hearts and minds, we are fruitful, productive Christians. Does this mean that we will never fail at anything again? Absolutely not. We often miss the mark when we chose to go our way.  

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The Bible contains stories of flawed men and women who serve as a powerful example to us. They show us what to do and what not to do.  David was a man after God’s own heart, and we learn in 2 Samuel 11 that he committed adultery with Bathsheba and got her pregnant. Then sent her husband into to battle to die. Jonah gets a word from the Lord, and He runs the other way. Joeseph’s brothers sell him into slavery. Lot’s daughters get him drunk and sleep with their father, and the list of broken, imperfect characters go on and on.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”o946u” via=”yes” ]Failing is not the issue, what is critical is our response to failure.[/ctt]

Will we learn from our mistakes and lean into Jesus? Our trials and failures can help draw us closer to God. Our failings help us to see our great need for a savior. As we decrease we make room for Him to increase within us.

As we abide in Christ and walk in faith, not fear, we are able to do more than we can possibly imagine through the power of Jesus.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV

So instead of being afraid of failure, what would happen if we boldly stepped out in faith and in radical obedience to Jesus? How might that change our circumstances? And then how might that change our world?

God is calling me to be brave and walk out into deep waters to follow him, and everything will be okay as long as I keep my eyes fixed on Him. I can’t look to my left or to my right, my gaze must be firmly fixed on the master because in my flesh, I am weak and my feet may fail. But through Christ, I am strengthened to walk through whatever He wills.

I am wondering if God is calling anyone else out into deep waters? Do you ever struggle with feelings of not being enough? Or does fear paralyze you and hold you back from walking in obedience or answering His call on your life?

I would like to close this post today in prayer for you.

Heavenly Father, we love you, Lord!  Help us to be brave and live wholly for you in faith and help us in our doubting and unbelief.  I pray for my sisters to cast out the fear of failure and to be brave enough to step out in faith to do whatever it is that You are calling them to do today. That we would keep our eyes firmly fixed on you, Jesus!

Lord bless our obedience and help us to succeed in whatever you call us to do.  And Lord if we fail, gently pick us up and draw us near, remind us how much you love us and help us to get back on the right path. We love you Lord, and I thank you for each woman who reads this blog post, and I pray for a special blessing in her life.  Amen.

How do you combat feelings of failure? I would love to hear from you, join in the conversation by leaving a comment below. Thanks for reading this post to today, and if this has blessed you would please share with others?

Be blessed today!

Much Love, Misty

Welcome to By His Grace!

Hey friend,

I am so glad you are here. I am a woman who is passionate about encouraging women to live authentically for Jesus! On this blog, you will find encouragement and pearls of wisdom to help you navigate the twists and turns of life.

I named this blog By His Grace because I am a woman in desperate need of the grace, that can only come from Jesus.  The tagline I chose for my blog is: seek Jesus, study the word, and grow in grace. When we seek Jesus, we find Him, and as we study His word, and grow in grace, we become more like Him. Spending time with Jesus studying His word has been the one thing that has brought about the most change in my life.

Jesus Christ has profoundly impacted my life and brought me through many difficult seasons of life, and along with those deep wounds, Jesus has shown me deep grace. My desire is for you to find something here to encourage you on your journey and that you will know without a shadow of a doubt that no matter what you are going through Jesus sees you right where you are and His love is great for you, friend!

Much Love, Misty

Wisdom for Parenting Teens & Young Adults

Parenting teens and young adults are challenging, can I get a witness? I just thought parenting little people was tough, but that was the easy job. Little people want to please and pretty much do what you tell them to do, but when they get older and can make choices for themselves, it gets much trickier to navigate as a parent. I don’t claim to have all the answers, and I can’t give you a guaranteed formula that works.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”E03c9″ via=”yes” ]I simply offer some wisdom that I have gleaned over the past 25 years of parenting in hopes that it will help you too![/ctt]

Start Early -Parenting older kids really begins when they are very young. Teach your child to walk with the Lord at a very early age. Establish boundaries and be consistent. Show them love and respect. Teach them right from wrong, and model for them how to walk. Children are far more likely to do what they see us do, then do what we tell them to do.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.– Proverbs 22:6

Open Communication– How well do you really know your kids? Do you know what has the affections of your young person’s heart? Do you have their heart? Do they share their hearts with you?

[ctt template=”2″ link=”6kcIG” via=”yes” ]Be genuine with your kids.[/ctt]

Keeping lines of communication open with your young people is of the utmost importance. Our kids need to know that they can trust us with their thoughts, feelings, and emotions without judgment. Keeping lines of communication open is critical. When our eldest son was in college he lived at home with us and commuted to the University. Since young people are night owls, this made for many late night conversations, but these conversations were critical. Our kids need to know that they can come to us.

[ctt template=”2″ link=”e6w4q” via=”yes” ]Our kids need to know that they can trust us with their thoughts, feelings, and emotions without judgment.[/ctt]

Keeping lines of communication open is critical. When our eldest son was in college he lived at home with us and commuted to the University, and this made for many late night conversations, but these conversations were critical. Our kids need to know that they can come to us when they have problems, need counsel or make mistakes.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. – Proverbs 4:23

Be Involved – We have to be involved in their lives. Life is hectic, and we can get caught up in living, but we can’t just go on auto-pilot with them as they grow. We need to know who their friends with and what their character is like. We become most like those we hang around with, so we need to help them choose their friends wisely.

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV

In the digital age, it is essential to know how they spend their time online, and you need to make sure that you are monitoring those activities carefully. Know who they are associated with, what app’s they are using, and where they are spending their time online and how much time they are spending inline. Limiting use and making course corrections over time as needed.

Wisdom for Parenting Teens and Young Adults-2

Pray without Ceasing – This goes without saying but is probably the most important thing we can do for our teens and young adults. The enemy would like nothing more than to deceive our kids. He is cunning and sneaky and attacks us at our weakest moments. Covering our children in prayer at every age is vital, especially when they beginning driving or as they fly from the nest. It is an honor and privilege to pray for our children, and one we should not take for granted.

It is an honor and privilege to pray for our children, and one we should not take for granted. Pray bold specific prayers for your kids, and keep them continually covered in prayer.

Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV

Let Go – Let go and let God. Once we have done our job, it is time for us to release them to the Lord’s care. This is a lot easier said than done, but it is the natural order of things.

I wrote about this in a previous post,  Learning to Let Go,  I wrote, “How do you love them with every fiber of your being and then simply just let go? By entrusting them to the care of Jesus. I will always be their mother, and no matter how old they are, they will always be my little boys, but I need to let them go so that they can become the men God created them to be.”

Raising productive responsible young adults really begins by training them from a very young age in how they should walk, it requires us to keep open lines of communication and be available to talk to them at all hours of the day and night. Continually monitoring and involvement in their lives while they are living under our roofs, so that we can make corrections before they drift too far afield. Then when we have done all that we can do to raise them well, we fervently pray for them and let go and entrust them to Jesus.