Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guest Blogger!

This week's guest blogger is a long-time friend of the family. Her name is Katie Martin and she is the ultimate super-mom. I've known her family for about 15 years and I was so excited to share this with you. She doesn't blog, but I think you'll still be able to take something away from this post. If you'd like to send her a note, leave it as a comment and I'll forward it on to her.

1. How many kids do you have and what are their names/ages?
I have 4 kids with one due in Feb. My oldest, Jerry is 8, next Bethany just turned 7, Faith is 5 and Luke is 2 1/2

2. What are their disabilities?
Bethany has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy which usually doesn’t have seizures (which we are very thankful for) it affects her legs giving her low muscle tone making it hard to walk on her own. Faith has down syndrome which there can be many thing involved but for her, she had open heart surgery at 6 months of age, has had tubes put in her ears, she is also delayed in speech as well as mental delays. And the last thing we have dealt with is Leukemia.

3. What is the biggest challenge raising children with disabilities?
It can be quite lonely. It is hard to find kids that your kids can play with (that are willing to play with someone that can’t do everything they can do) as well as spend time with moms that know exactly how you feel. I don’t know if it is harder for me since I have two children that have totally different disabilities but I am sure most moms with special needs kids have this challenge especially as their child gets older and notices more.

4. What do you love the most about them?
Their personalities. How each one is different, and that they look after each other in a special way.

5. What are their favorite foods?
If they could have their way they would probably want mac n cheese everyday for a week and then the next pizza. But they are pretty good eaters with whatever we have.

6. Where do you draw your strength from?
I have to continually turn to God for strength. Sometimes He allows things in life to draw me closer to Him and other times I willing turn to Him.

7. What does your daily schedule look like?
Each day is different, though now that there is less therapies it is getting more manageable.
I home school my oldest two so the morning is usually filled with school stuff and three (a couple of years ago it was 5) days a week (two of which we take her) Bethany has physical therapy. Faith is going to a special needs preschool 3 days a week where she will get her therapy. Then it is just the everyday stuff involved with being a wife and mother and everything that goes with it.

8. What is the biggest lesson you have learned?
That God is always in control, no matter how uncontrolled our lives feel at the time and He will use circumstances in our life to draw us to Himself

9. What do you struggle with the most {personally}?
I struggle with fairness. I try not to think about it to much and compare how easy (at least I think it would be easier) life would be if my girls didn’t have special needs and all the therapies and doctors we go to and the things we “miss“ out on because my kids aren‘t able to do it. I want to be content in whatever God has for me, so I try to not think about the hard part just focus on the blessing that they bring and knowing it could be worse.

10. How does your family support you?
I am so thankful for my Mom as well as my Mother-in-Law. They watch the kids for me so I can run to the grocery store without 4 kids (one of which uses crutches) in tow. Or when I have to take one of the girls to their doctors appointments. As well as my Mother-in-law would stay at our house (sometimes for over a week) when Faith was admitted in the hospital so that I could stay with her.

11. What is one thing your husband does that you are most grateful for?
He is always there for me encouraging me to keep on keeping on. When he gets home from a long day at work he just steps right in and helps me get done whatever I haven’t gotten done that day. Plus he gives some great neck and shoulder rubs.

12. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a Mom. When I was a little older I figured I better have a plan b in case I never got married or had kids so I was going to become a teacher.

13. Who is your biggest role model?
I don’t know if I really have a role model. I just want to be a pleasing servant of God who at the end of my life hears. “ Well done good and faithful servant.”

14. What are you most afraid of?
That I would be an inadequate mother and wife.

15. What have your kids been able to teach you?
To never give up even when things are hard. It took Bethany till she was 6 to start walking on her own (she is still working on her balance so she usually uses crutches). To love unconditionally. I think the closes picture of God’s love to us I have seen is in those with down syndrome. They just demonstrate it so easily and effortlessly.

16. What advice would you give my readers?
1)To take nothing for granted. 
2)God will use things in your life that you probably wouldn’t have picked for yourself to show Himself to you. 
3) Lean on Him, trust in His infinite wisdom and grace. 
4) Reach out to a mother of a special needs child and let them know you care and get involved in their life.

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