Is There a Doctor in the House?

When Sarah was in 3rd grade her bus driver loved listening to the Oldies on the radio station.  Sarah came home off the bus singing phrases like “Stop! …Think it oh-oh-ver!”  Or, “You ain’t nothing but a Hound dog!”  We would sing along with her excited that she was trying to communicate in her own way.  She thought she was funny and would say “Stop!” over and over again.

Mother’s Day that year we joined David’s Mom at her church.  Her church only had childcare for children age 2 and under, but I was prepared.  I packed a bag filled with Bible word searches, coloring pages, and activities sheets.  All I needed was a flannel graph board and I could have held my own Sunday School class in our pew! 🙂  I was ready for anything… so I thought.

As we sat down, we tried to sit as much in the back as we could and David and I sat as bookends between our kids to try to control the environment.  As the organist played the prelude, the music swelled and filled the sanctuary; I began to take out items out of my bag to hand them to the children.  The organ stopped, yet you could still feel the vibration of the music against your chest.  The sanctuary was quiet and reflective.  The church was ready for the worship service to begin.

Seizing this moment, Sarah at the top of her lungs sang out, “Doctor, Doctor give me the news…”  I was still bent over looking in the bag for colored pencils and I quickly sat up to cover her mouth.  David on the other end thought the same thing and lunged over the other three children to try to stop her.  What a sight for the people in the rows behind us!  As I tried to whisk her out of the sanctuary with my hand still covering her mouth, she struggled with me to pull down my hand to belt out and finish the last phrase of “bad case of loving you!” before I could push open the double doors and get her out of there.

It was a Mother’s Day I will never forget and also perhaps for the good people at St. Michael’s Lutheran!

Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the mediations of my heart, be pleasing in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”  

Growing up my Mom would say to me, “Garbage in, garbage out, Jill” as a reminder I needed to be careful of what I see and hear.  What goes in is bound to affect my thoughts and come out in my words and actions.   Now, as I remind my kids of “Garbage in, garbage out”, thanks to Sarah’s “Doctor, doctor”, I have another life lesson of what goes in, will come out…sometimes at the worst, most inopportune times! 


Leaving the Results to Him

Yesterday, Kendall and I went to her 6 month check up for her scoliosis.  The last appointment back in June, her curve was at 42 degrees and the specialist said she was past the point of the usefulness of a brace.  On the way to this check up, Kendall was sharing with me her frustration of why it was too late, especially as we have been seeing him since her scoliosis was only an 18 degree curvature.

“Why didn’t the specialist put a brace on me before and now it is too late?”

This is the same girl who was not too happy about the idea of wearing a brace 24/7 and was thrilled each time he said to wait.

I told Kendall, “Honestly, I felt the same way back in June and I complained to God about it.  In fact, I was mad.  I asked God, ‘Why can’t we just get a break sometimes?’ and I was reminded that if I believe God is sovereign then these are the times I need to trust all the more.”

I asked Kendall, “Did we take the pediatrician’s recommendation to see a specialist?”


“Is this specialist one of the best for adolescent scoliosis?”


“Kendall, did you do the back exercises exactly as he told you to do?”


“Then we need to trust and know God is in control.  Could have God had this doctor recommend the brace back when it was 27 degrees or 35 degrees if it would have made it better?  Sure.  Could God have stopped the progression of the scoliosis that it remained at 18 degrees?  Absolutely, but since He didn’t we need to walk in faith and trust that He knows best.”

Kendall nodded her head as I continued, “Kendall, it is like with Sarah.  Have we done all the research on best treatments for autism?  Yes.  Have we tried and are trying all we can to help her?  Yes.  Could God use this so Sarah would be greatly improved like some other kids we know doing the same therapies?  Yes, but it hasn’t always been this way.  I need to faithfully obey and work hard with what He has entrusted to me and leave the results to Him.”

We went to the appointment and basically she is where she was at 6 months ago, so it is good that it has not worsened.  He is now recommending we see a Physical Therapist for core strengthening exercises and to see him again in 6 months, which we will do.

This morning, I came across Jeremiah 31:35 and 32:27, “He who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar-the LORD Almighty is His name.” “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind.  Is anything too hard for Me?”

While it is Christmastime, maybe you are going through a tough time, too.  Maybe you are faithfully obeying and working hard in what He has entrusted to you, but you are feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.  If this is you, please join me as I try to daily trust in the One who knows and is in control.  There is nothing too hard for Him and the LORD Almighty is His name!

Thank you for your faithful prayers!

Christmas Wish List

I have seen TV news stories of a non-verbal autistic child writing and expressing their thoughts that no one knew they had inside.  From outside appearances, people would question if the child was even aware of their surroundings.  Yet given a keyboard and a world of emotion, creativity and beauty comes forth and shows the world what truly was on the child’s heart as they type out their feelings onto the computer screen.  I don’t just cry during these TV stories, I sob.  My heart aches as I think, “Is this true for Sarah? Is there more going on inside that she is trying to express?  If autism has locked these thoughts inside, how can I help her?”

I tried giving her a keyboard and asked her to write, but she wasn’t interested.  Secretly, I was wishing she would be like this child on the TV news show who now communicates with the world via her computer. Instead she got angry with me, pushed the keyboard away and walked away.  In the TV story, the child wrote a poem (a poem!) to express her feelings.  It had rhythm and a pattern.  I was hoping for just a few words to get a sneak peek into my daughter’s world.   Nothing, not a single word from Sarah, yet, we have always felt she understands and is aware of her surroundings.

(Sarah can copy things down on paper, she does this at school, but I was hoping for original thoughts so I could know what she is thinking/feeling.)

Last December, Sarah was playing a game on the computer.  I walked up to her and placed a sheet of paper in front of her.  I wrote on the top of the page “Sarah’s Christmas Wish List” and I walked away.  I came back 10 minutes later and the ENTIRE page was filled with Sarah’s wish list.  At first, I thought it was just scribbles, but as I read it, I realized it was one long, continuous thought.  There were no spaces between the items.  It read like this:

“Barbie Mariposa doll Barbie in the Princess and the Pauper DVD Barbie in the Princess and the Pauper Sarafina doll Polly Pocket Playtime Pet Shop Polly Pocket Drive N’ Slide Car Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses DVD….”

As I read the list, my heart broke.  Here my daughter had so much on her heart and I never knew it.  I took the paper into the other room where my three other kids were watching TV.  I showed them the paper and said, “Look at this!  Sarah understands a lot more than we think!”  They were amazed at the list.  They cheered for Sarah and hugged her for what she wrote and the look of pride on her face was undeniable.

I feel like I got my peek and am so grateful for this small opportunity to see her heart.  More importantly, I am thankful that the Lord knows what is on her heart all the time.  In fact, He knows the cries of all our hearts.  He doesn’t have to hope to get a peek into my soul to know what I am facing, struggling with, or my hopes, wishes and dreams.  He hears the unspoken cry and understands and is right there with me in the midst of it.

Sarah has already started a new Christmas Wish List for this year.  Like last year, it is takes a bit of decoding to find out what she wants.   I am thankful the Lord didn’t need to decode what we needed when He sent His Son to be our Savior!  He knew our need and sent the answer in His Son!

This Christmas as we celebrate our Savior’s birth, I thank you for coming along side and praying for Sarah.  Bless you for your faithful prayers!   Merry Christmas!

“For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”   Isaiah 9:6