Parenting Real Talk

One parenting thing I’ve never really gotten is that we’re only allowed to say positive things about our kids.  Look, I’m not a parenting Grinch but I just find it really irritating how we have to pretend everything is wonderful all the time and our kids are the actual spawn of angels.

I seriously want to update my Facebook status with, “My sweet little Michael managed to get suspended again!  We think he’ll grow up to use his giant brain well in the fast food industry!”

Seriously though, I don’t post often about it but we’ve faced many challenges as parents of our oldest child, Michael.  Michael is gifted with very high intelligence and he’s a tall, good looking kid (of course, I am his mother so….) but man oh man it’s not been easy.  Michael has Aspergers.  Michael is extremely stubborn.  Michael is very smart but thinks he is smarter than everyone else, including his school principal and every other adult he encounters.

Many, many nights my husband and I have stayed up late just talking like- we don’t know what to do with this kid.  We’re doing our best but it isn’t good enough.  A lot of hand wringing and calls from the principal and I’ve decided that Jesus is basically the only hope here. 19055433_10158911764265074_4485162110289028260_o

I often pray, “Lord, I need you to get through to him.  I need you to touch his heart.  We can discipline and talk til we are blue in the face but only you can change his heart.”

I got up early a couple mornings ago, with a sore throat.  It as 5:30 so I had plenty of time to pray and I did.  I prayed for Michael.  That day ended up being a really great one for him.  His special ed. teacher actually emailed me with all caps and plenty of exclamation points on what a great day he’d had.

Prayer works.

No, it’s not always that startling effective.  I’ve been praying for Michael for years and we are still dependent on God daily.  Which, of course, isn’t a bad thing.

It’s also a huge relief for me.  As parents, we tend to feel this enormous responsibility for how our kids turn out.  Which we should, in a way.  But there’s only so much we can do.  We do our best but there are always so many other factors at play (like, hello- the child’s free will!).  Our kids need Jesus.  They need us praying for them everyday.  They need to know the Word.

Ultimately we are entrusted with these precious gifts but they belong to God.

I thank God that though Michael struggles, I know God is in control.  I know God loves him.  I know so much more rests in God’s hand than on my shoulders.


Autism and Detoxing

I’ll be totally honest, this has been the first summer break I haven’t dreaded. Why? Because my oldest child, Michael, is on the autism spectrum with a side of A.D.D. It’s difficult to understand the strain and chaos that can entail if you don’t have a child on the spectrum.

That’s why I’ve always felt like I needed the break I get when he’s going to school everyday. Michael, like many other ASD kids, does best with structure and routine. Summer break just unravels all of that and leads to…well, stress that was enough to make me dread it months out.

I honestly haven’t this year, at all. Michael has made major progress. He’s been taking silica everyday and I think it has really helped.

See, I’ve done a ton of research (yes, I’m a proud google-mamma) and I believe all his neurological symptoms are a result of the synergistic toxicity described in this pub med study… and others.

I had Michael very young and I did everything wrong. He got all his vaccines, and always with Tylenol.  It’s kind of a miracle he didn’t end up in worse shape.

But anyways the cumulative toxin overload essentially poisoned his brain and the resulting autistic symptoms were merely the result of cumulative vaccine injury.  He developed primarily sensory and behavioral issues.  Unlike other kids, we thankfully haven’t had to deal with food allergies, asthma, or gut problems resulting from his vaccine-injury.

Sierra….where’s your proof? I never had a dramatic event following a vaccine.  Michael never had a seizure or lethargy (that I can remember). He just went from being a sweet, bubbly, laid-back baby to a completely out of control toddler with major sensory issues. 192254_10150438180300074_8167383_o

I’ve no doubt in my mind that Michael was born perfect. The vaccines set him up for years of heartache and struggle….not to mention putting an enormous stress burden on myself and my husband in dealing with the fall-out.  His autism is nothing more than the degree of vaccine injury that was inflicted onto him as an infant.

For years I had heard about detoxing to reverse autism but I always assumed it was ridiculously complicated and out of reach for an average parent like me.  I just didn’t have a ton of hope that Michael could get better.  We dealt with the same behaviors and tantrums for years.  But then I saw this article …Detoxing and improving neurological health in ASD kids could be as simple as drinking a bottle of Fiji water every day.

I talked with Michael about it.  Smart kid that he is, he read the article and really wanted to give it a go.

There’s a big push in the autism community that we need to celebrate our kids autism and act like everything is a-ok.  Michael doesn’t think everything has been great.  Not when he didn’t have any friends at elementary school for two years.  Not when he struggles to control strong emotions he can’t always understand.  Not when he started to realize he was different.

He was extremely gung-ho to start, to the point that he begged me to get him a big supply of Fiji water.  It was touching and also kind of sad that he wanted so badly to gain healing from his autism.  We started right away and also bought him solgar’s oceanic silica (because everyone kept drinking his water!).

That was about three months ago and Michael has made major progress.  The tantrums have been less.  He seems more relaxed and happy.  He is just easier to be around.  Hence me not dreading summer vacation. 19055433_10158911764265074_4485162110289028260_o  I don’t think autism is something to be celebrated.  It has been like a cloud hanging over Michael, obscuring who he really is.  We owe it to our kids to help them to truly heal, so they can become that person they were meant to be.

What causes autism?  It seems glaringly clear to me.  It’s the synergistic toxicity (and the sheer volume) of the shots kids receive.  As the vaccine schedule has doubled and then tripled; autism rates have exploded.  It’s the toxins we spray so we can have pretty, bug-free lawns.  It’s the franken-food we eat.  It’s low vitamin D levels.  It’s the mthfr gene expression which makes it harder for some kids to detox the harmful adjuvants in the vaccines.

When 1 in 3 kids have a chronic health condition- we need to wake up.  In spite of (or because of!) our current vaccine schedule; kids are sicker than ever.  Somethings got to give when the projected autism rate is 50% of American children by 2025. -children-by-2025-and-glyphosate-is-to-blame-mit-doctor-says/

A Trip on the Short-bus

Shout out to all you who parent, love, or work with challenging kids.  Autism, O.C.D., O.D.D, A.D.D., A.S.S…(ha jk about that last one).

I have one (Michael) who is a whole lot of aspergers and a little bit of the other ones.  He is also very capable, almost a genius in fact.  He was starting to read at three and was put in a gifted program this year.

He is super smart but not the most *ahem* driven or compliant child to ever grace a classroom.

This year he has been quite a pain to his teachers- argumentative and refusing to complete work.  He was shocked to learn that he might be held back a year, and have to repeat fifth grade if he doesn’t get his act together.  “But I’m in the Quest program…”  Sometimes (all-the-times) we can’t sail through life on sheer giftings alone.  We need to be willing to work hard, to persevere, to see it through.

My son Michael also had one too many infractions on the bus and got put on the ‘short bus’.  He came home after his first day riding and was humbled.  He had to be strapped in and the other children riding had much more severe problems than him.  I think it was a bit of a wake up call.

Like Michael, we all have God-given giftings, abilities, talents, and passions.  But we also have many weaknesses, frailties, and struggles.  We have to wade through, work hard, never give up… if we want to realize our God-given potential.

Michael has the ability to be well-behaved and do great at school.  If he will or not is ultimately up to him.  Just like any of us.

So take this as an admonishment to do your best with what you have.  We all have cards stacked against us.  We might have to yell at some mountains in faith.  We might have to be stronger than we ever thought possible.  K2-Eight-thousander-List_of_countries_by_highest_point-List_of_highest_mountains

“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20




Dark Tunnel

Today I’ve been thinking about brokenness in life and finding glimpses of light in dark spaces.  Cheery, no?

Life is heavy.  Life is hard.  Sometimes it all, plus the unrelenting pull away from God can all be too much.

I have a child with aspergers, high-functioning autism.  It’s never easy but sometimes it is just so hard.

Another child has eczema an it is a daily struggle to keep it under control.

I have my own health issues- which means I am on a very restricted diet or  I feel awful.

I tend to get sad and withdrawn because of the weight of it all.  So often we bear our burdens alone.  No one can totally understand what we go through.  Or we get platitudes or the dreaded unsolicited advice.

Plus the pressure we feel to act like everything is ‘ok’ when it isn’t.  Suffering is just part of life.  I wish we could just let things be what they are without trying to put a positive spin on it.

But if we are real we risk being judged or having our pain minimized.  Like Job.  We are uncomfortable with suffering so we try to come up with a quick fix, an answer, a reason…when sometimes things are just broken.  Sometimes prayers just go unanswered.

If we can’t be real in our brokenness and honest is our faith even real?  Jesus was the ‘man of sorrows’.  He understands even when no one else does.

“Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne…” Matthew 19:28

I’ve been thinking about that a lot- that there is going to be a great renewal of all things.

Every burden lifted.  Every tear gently wiped away.  Every last broken thing gloriously made right.

In the mean time I pray that my own pain and brokenness makes me a more compassionate, merciful, caring person.

No one has it all together.  We all have private hurts, pain, and burdens.  We all need mercy.  I think pain can be like the surgeon’s knife- cutting out the pride and arrogance and leaving something a little messier and tender and Christ-like in it’s place.

“Lord, all you asked us to do was to believe and follow you.  Help us to do that in spite, or even because of, our circumstances.  Help us to love.  Help us to be beacons of grace in a harsh world.  Help us to be strong until you come to set all things right and make all things new.”



“I Felt God”

20150617_185056_resized This is my son, Michael.  He is ten and he loves reading and video games.  His step-dad and I have tried hard to raise him right.  The first song he learned was ‘Jesus Loves Me’.  There’s been lots of prayers for a covering of grace because we have made so many mistakes, you know?  It has been a tough road at times.  Michael is super bright, funny and a natural leader but he also has aspergers syndrome.  That kid is as stubborn as a goat. 😉  He is too smart for his own good, for sure.  Thankfully, one thing (the most important thing) has sunken in.  His faith in God.

Last Sunday, as he often does, he got himself kicked out of children’s church.  So he sat by me through the service, doodling on an offering envelope.  About halfway through he started listening and quietly asking me questions.  When Pastor Al gave the altar call, Michael wanted to go.  I went up to the altar with him and stood behind him, quietly praying.  Pastor Al prayed over Michael and we went back to our chairs.

“I felt God.  He is here in the room.”  Michael said quietly.  “It felt like he was filling me up with his happiness.”

You can and should teach your kids about Jesus but nothing comes close to that first-hand encounter.  God only has children, not grandchildren, right?  So years of prayer and teaching culminated in Michael’s first real encounter with the living God.  I am grateful and pray that it is only the first of many.  Cause, as Michael said, he was born for this. 

Autism, Allergies, and Eczema…Oh My!

untitledI do randomly blog on health issues, because it is very important to me.  I’ve blogged before on my boys’ health issues.  My oldest son, Michael, is diagnosed with Aspergers and A.D.D.  My younger son, Gabriel, has severe eczema and anxiety.

I read this article  this morning.

Dr. Lara Briden has an awesome, informative blog.

I firmly believe that modern medicine is more about covering up symptoms than addressing the source of the problem.

I have resisted giving up milk and dairy to this point.  Hello, we are Midwestern.  We LOVE us some cheese, ice cream, and milk.  I didn’t think we had problems with milk.  But maybe I was wrong… Dr. Lara makes a very convincing argument.

It ‘clicked’ in my mind because I know as a baby I started suffering from severe ear infections at around the time when cow milk was probably introduced.  Through childhood I also had asthma, allergies, and then anxiety, depression, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, stomach aches, acne….the list goes on.

I know for sure I can not have gluten, soy lecithin, or carrageenan.  Do I need to add cow’s milk and dairy to the list?

I know everyone in the 70’s was fine eating white bread and margarine and veggies from a can.  Autism and food allergies were unheard of.  But could the damage have been cumulative?  Check out this infamous cat study.  He took the cats from their natural ‘whole foods’ diet and put them on processed, canned food.  The affect on the health was seen getting more severe with each generation.  Obviously, we are not cats.  But I think the massive switch from traditional foods to heavily processed foods in our culture, over the last 100 years or so, is having equally disastrous consequences.  Coupled with environmental toxins and aggressive vaccinations- our kids are paying a high cost.

I am going to try cutting out dairy for our family.  I’m going to look at goat milk options, which appears to be much more tolerable.  What can it hurt?  I would do anything to see my baby healed from eczema.

It is super overwhelming because my kids are so dang picky.  I’m just going to charge ahead and do it.  I have already seen huge improvements from eating mostly healthy, unprocessed foods.  I know diet is huge and can positively affect virtually any health issue- even mental health.

I know it is overwhelming (especially with a family) to overhaul your diet.  Easy swaps that make a huge difference-

-replace vegetables oils (yes, even canola) with olive oil, coconut oil, or butter.

-cook more food from scratch.

-try not to eat from a can (BPA).

-use sea salt in place of table salt.

-go organic and grass fed when possible.

-take vitamin D.