Let Freedom Ring

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

“Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

These words, spoken by Martin Luther King, have been familiar throughout America for over 40 years.  They are some of the most powerful words portraying the stand and the emotions of a human being. Webster defines freedom as the condition of being free of restraints…liberation from slavery or from the power of another.

So often we find that we are held in bondage.  For some it is an attitude of the heart; for some, an old habit that will not die; for others it is that they have yet to find the Truth of Jesus Christ.  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Freedom from the power of sin; freedom from the influences that surround us, freedom from the evil one who wants nothing better than to silence us.  Scripture tells us that we are free in Christ (John 8:31-32). 

And if Christ has set us free, are our words and actions ringing loudly?  Are we boasting in the One who empowers us through the Holy Spirit? (Acts 1:8)  Are we portraying our freedom through righteousness (Romans 6:18)?

Freedom to live in the Spirit; Freedom to speak boldly of your faith; Freedom to tell others about the saving grace of Jesus; Freedom to overcome evil; Freedom to resist the world; Freedom to proclaim the promises of God; Freedom to stand firm under the pressures of the world; Freedom to shout from the rooftops “Jesus Is Lord”.  Freedom that comes only when you relinquish your desires to God; when you fall to your knees at the cross; when you say “not my will but Yours.”  This is a freedom that can only be found in Christ (John 8:36)

Oh, what freedom!  What a glorious day it will be when all those in Christ will  Let Freedom Ring!

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Return to Sender

When you work at home, there are certain highlights of your day.  The peace and quiet you get when the last child is on the bus and you can finally relax with a fresh, hot cup of coffee, strong and black, before you dig into the mountain of work your day holds.  This is when I catch up on my email, news headlines, and just enjoy a few moments “connecting” with the world.

Another highlight of my day is the arrival of my mail.  For some this is a dreaded moment, but I do most of my banking online so I receive very few bills via traditional methods.  Most of my mail is ads, newsletters, credit card invitations (which I quickly destroy), a new quilting catalog or better yet…the newest issue of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine, now that’s the JACKPOT.  But there are some disappointing deliveries also.

Today was one such day.  You see, I had a Kindle on my Christmas list.  An expensive gift, but one of those gadgets I just HAD to have.  I held one in my hand and from that moment on, I fell in love with it.  I would be able to download e-books and enjoy them at my leisure.  I had been debating for some time before I wrote my letter to Santa.  Is this really what I want for Christmas?  Yes!  That was my final decision. 

Alas, no Kindle was found under the Christmas tree and now I know why.  The envelope was stamped “Return to Sender”.  Santa never received my request. Sad as that may seem, it really was a blessing in disguise.  Instead I got an IPod Touch for Christmas. 

What a powerful little device.  I wondered if I would use it often, but I am finding myself downloading podcasts, music and keeping up to date with my Facebook friends.  It’s very cool to be able to get up-to-the-minute news. I also downloaded the Kindle app so it works as a reader (just a bit small).  So far, I love my new IPod Touch.  I even was able to plug it into my car AUX and away I went with my favorite tunes today. 

Only two negatives to date…you need to have access to Wi-Fi.  Not too bad, but the other day when I was on campus, I tried logging in but had forgotten my password to enter their system.  That’s a memory problem on my part, ya think? 

The other is a woman thing…I have acrylic nails (okay, so I like my nails and as much as I’m beating on my keyboard, they’re a lifesaver).  Touch doesn’t work with your nails, just the little pads of your fingers so sometimes my mobile tweets and FB posts have a few misspelled words, for which I’ll ask forgiveness for right now.  Oh, but I found a solution, they have a stylus that I can get to type in my messages.

I haven’t ruled out getting a Kindle eventually, but for now, my IPod Touch is my newest toy and I’ll stick with that for a while.  Any thoughts on either?  Good, bad or ugly, I’d like to hear from you.

Does A Mother's Job Ever End?

Really, I think that is one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever asked myself.  Though I was just told that no question is ever dumb. 

I’m preparing today for a workshop I’m presenting at tomorrow on Special Needs Children:  A Parent’s Perspective.  I have a lot to say about that.  When our son was first diagnosed with ACC (agenesis of the corpus callosum) I had no idea what was in store for us.  Even 16 years later, I’m still not sure, but I do know that God has brought us through so far and I will continue to rely on God to see us through the rest.

By now, if you’ve read “A Mother’s Response”, you know that I am passionate about my beautiful Nicholas and will defend him to the end. There is such cruelty in the world and I will not stand by and watch children, such as Nick, be attacked, degraded or be left out in the cold.  I will stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. 

Okay, I need to close for now and prepare for tomorrow…God is good all the time…All the time God is good.

Does A Mother’s Job Ever End?

Really, I think that is one of the dumbest questions I’ve ever asked myself.  Though I was just told that no question is ever dumb. 

I’m preparing today for a workshop I’m presenting at tomorrow on Special Needs Children:  A Parent’s Perspective.  I have a lot to say about that.  When our son was first diagnosed with ACC (agenesis of the corpus callosum) I had no idea what was in store for us.  Even 16 years later, I’m still not sure, but I do know that God has brought us through so far and I will continue to rely on God to see us through the rest.

By now, if you’ve read “A Mother’s Response”, you know that I am passionate about my beautiful Nicholas and will defend him to the end. There is such cruelty in the world and I will not stand by and watch children, such as Nick, be attacked, degraded or be left out in the cold.  I will stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. 

Okay, I need to close for now and prepare for tomorrow…God is good all the time…All the time God is good.

Tell Me About It

Today my Bible reading was on the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).  How he wasted away his inheritance and then was so hungry he wished he could eat the slop that the pigs were eating.  It was during this time that he realized that what he had at home with his father was missed; he admitted he was in the wrong and went back to his father who greeted him with open arms (and a party to boot).  That’s how God is with us, too.  How often do we walk away, unintentionally even, only to miss what He has to offer, love, mercy, grace, comfort, healing…

Today, I resubmit an unperfected poem that gives thanks to God, for everything, even the unanswered questions of life.  I praise Him and remain ever so thankful that He welcomes us back with open arm each time we get sidetracked.  Tell me about your prodigal moment…..

What Do You Say?

What do you say to God when life isn’t ideal?
What do you say to God when you don’t know which way to turn?
What do you say to God when you have nothing left to give?
Thank you, God, for the wonder of your guidance and strength.

What do you say to God when the pain is disabling?
What do you say to God when you receive news that it’s terminal?
What do you say to God when your legs will not hold you any longer?
Thank you, God, for the power of your love and healing.

What do you say to God when you’ve made a mess of things?
When you’ve responded in anger?
When the bitterness is so deep you don’t know how to love anymore?
Thank you, God, for showing me the true meaning of forgiveness and grace.

What do you say to God when you see the first spring flower?
What do you say to God when the rain has drowned your holiday picnic?
What do you say to God when the first snow flake falls from the sky on a cold winter’s day?
Thank you, God, for the seasons and the beauty of your creation.

What do you say to God when you celebrate the birth of a child?
What do you say to God when you grieve the death of a loved one?
What do you say to God when He gives you a child that is “not so perfect”?
Thank you, God, for the miracle of life.

“…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

©Tammie Swaney 2009

A Mother's Response

I submitted this response to our local news network.   I thought I would share with you, my friends.

I wrote:  “Now, how to respond to all these opinions (and I use that term lightly) without getting angry. 

First to Popup:  Ignorance will get you nowhere. These children/adults do have a right to life, a life as good as one can have; why not give them the help that is needed…I bet you don’t have a handicapped child. 

Secondly to GetaLife:  You seem so generous.  If someone reached out to you for private funding, is your wallet open?  Even in these hard times?

Thirdly to Taxablechump:  You are right in the fact that private support would be wonderful but let me tell you first hand, NOTHING is easy when you are dealing with a disabled person and trying to plan a life that will give them some type of fulfillment. 

I can’t speak for all caretakers but in our home, we have done all we can to finance every EXTRA that has been needed (far less than most families in the same situation). By the time our son turns 18, we legally have to obtain guardianship…did you know that?  Most kids when they turn 18 are either in college or working and when they’re able, they are off on their own, making a life for themselves.  This is not the case for those with disabilities. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if all the services they needed were FREE, by law and they were not allowed to be charged for their physical and medical needs because they don’t have the means to pay?  Oh, but then the doctors, nurses, specialists, teachers, bus drivers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, service coordinators (the list goes on but I’ll stop) would be banging on Albany’s door hootin’ and hollerin’. 

I love my son with all my heart, I did not ask that he be born with a disability but I am thankful that he’s here.  He has more love in his heart than all of us put together and tolerance for the misinformed, ignorant society we live in.  Oh, to have a simple mind.

A Mother’s Response

I submitted this response to our local news network.   I thought I would share with you, my friends.

I wrote:  “Now, how to respond to all these opinions (and I use that term lightly) without getting angry. 

First to Popup:  Ignorance will get you nowhere. These children/adults do have a right to life, a life as good as one can have; why not give them the help that is needed…I bet you don’t have a handicapped child. 

Secondly to GetaLife:  You seem so generous.  If someone reached out to you for private funding, is your wallet open?  Even in these hard times?

Thirdly to Taxablechump:  You are right in the fact that private support would be wonderful but let me tell you first hand, NOTHING is easy when you are dealing with a disabled person and trying to plan a life that will give them some type of fulfillment. 

I can’t speak for all caretakers but in our home, we have done all we can to finance every EXTRA that has been needed (far less than most families in the same situation). By the time our son turns 18, we legally have to obtain guardianship…did you know that?  Most kids when they turn 18 are either in college or working and when they’re able, they are off on their own, making a life for themselves.  This is not the case for those with disabilities. 

Wouldn’t it be nice if all the services they needed were FREE, by law and they were not allowed to be charged for their physical and medical needs because they don’t have the means to pay?  Oh, but then the doctors, nurses, specialists, teachers, bus drivers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, service coordinators (the list goes on but I’ll stop) would be banging on Albany’s door hootin’ and hollerin’. 

I love my son with all my heart, I did not ask that he be born with a disability but I am thankful that he’s here.  He has more love in his heart than all of us put together and tolerance for the misinformed, ignorant society we live in.  Oh, to have a simple mind.