Monday, October 19, 2009


A local 20 year old woman heard this at her interview last week, "Oh no, we don't hire your kind. You should apply at Goodwill, they hire people like you." She has autism. If you can believe one worse, this happened at Savers. They are the for profit branch of Easter Seals.


One of my family members works with a support agency that helps families with children who have developmental disabilities find resources in the community. Her coworker heard the interviewer say it. I wonder if she fell of her chair.

I don't know if her family intends to sue, but, I'm sorry, did that recently become legal? Or almost not wrong? I'll never spend a dollar there again. I like a good deal as much as the next gal, but not when it costs that much.

Seems to me, it wasn't the one with autism, that had the disability.


Sunday, October 11, 2009


I love the musical numbers from Glee.

I used to sing. It was my first identity, my favorite escape. I had an amazing opportunity that I passed up after High School. That train left the station more than a decade ago; I was blessed with my oldest son when I was 19. I don't regret my choice, just that I stopped, let the dream fade out. It is true that you lose what you don't use.

I sing for Jesus. I sing for my babies. In the car. In the shower. In my head... and I tell myself it's enough. Because it has to be. Still, I go there in my dreams, to a dark stage, the cramped green room, the dizzying heights of the catwalks and the sound of the fly system. Downstage to dangle my legs over the edge and stare up at the sound booth, waiting for one light, one mic. To dig down into my soul and pull out the song that makes me... me.

If only I wasn't petrified of being heard. Can you believe it? Horrific stage fright. I've always been back row blessed in choir, and tend to belt the whole time.

Glee stirs up old memories that I can't run from and honestly don't want to. I loved dancing in character shoes until I couldn't stand up. "Run it again!" my director shouted as he banged the drumsticks together. Gladly. Opening night jitters, closing night tears. The memories compete for attention to the point that I can't separate them, but I'm left with the feeling. The need.

To let out what God put in.

The Word says to, "Write the vision..." (Habakkuk 2:2) I'm auditioning for the Praise and Worship team at our new church on Saturday. Church is the one place I let go, because it's not about me, or the faces, it's for His Glory. I miss my choir in Minnesota so much it hurts, but I believe God has a ministry here for me. It's time to stop wasting time.

Psalm 96:1,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Candy Fairy

Do you have a plan for your children's Halloween candy? My Works For Me Wednesday tip is the Candy Fairy.

After working so hard for their big haul, I let my kiddies have fun with their candy when they come in from the cold. (It's Wisconsin people. Where we purposefully plan costumes that will fit over snowsuits, just in case.) After they've had their (reasonable) fill, they pick out 10 favorites to keep. These are doled out over the next week. The rest goes back into their loot bags which get looped onto their doorknobs at bedtime.

When they wake up, the Candy Fairy has come, and much like the Tooth Fairy exchanges teeth for money, the candy has been exchanged for a toy. Does it need to be said that Childhood Obesity is an epidemic in our country? Do we really want need candy sitting around tempting everyone all the way to Christmas? NoThankYouVeryMuch. My children like to Trick or Treat. They like the candy. They love the toy.

But it does beg the question, what does the Candy Fairy do with her haul? Well. She has her own fun picking and choosing and donates the rest to the food pantry. Think about it. Food pantries all over the country are gearing up for Thanksgiving Dinner donations. What a blessing to treat other children, to more than just the basics.

The Chubbiest of Fairies,

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Redeeming Time

I walked outside just now to feel the cool night air against my skin, to remember the world is big. I remembered something else, a glimpse of long ago. I wonder how long it will be before I forget the details of the life I used to have.

How much longer until I forget what tucking our children in together sounded like?

Until I forget what it felt like to have my hair brushed?

What it felt like to know I was not alone?

The season has changed here in Wisconsin. The air is crisp, the leaves are falling... and I am hurtling forward, faster than ever, to the 1 year mark. Have I come far enough?

How much longer until I forget what song was playing when I read the note X left on the kitchen table that Sunday?

Until I forget the panic that seized every fiber of my being, knowing I alone was left to explain his leaving to my children?

The feeling of suffocation those first days, weeks, that I could not breathe, because I didn't know how to be enough, be me, on my own.

There are moments, snapshots, that I concentrate on tucking away. And there are volumes I pray to burn. But each piece of the complex puzzle of my life, was laid out long before me. So on the advice of a dear friend, I am praying to redeem the date of November 1st.

Very soon after X left, my sister arrived in Minnesota to help. I will never forget the day she bought my children winter hats, boots and diapers. I was clinging to the cart to hold myself up, watching my 3 children meltdown in Target, looked at her with terror in my eyes and said, "I can't do this." And her resounding answer, "yes Carolynn, you can, you have to." She was right.

From this year I pray to remember, always, the safety in honesty.

To remember my family may not look like it did, but we are whole, and gaining ground.

What it feels like to pull my shoulders back and walk with my head up, not looking at my feet.

Most importantly, I will remember that my utter dependence on the Lord, is a daily walk. Sometimes minute by minute, but the time is always redeemed.

This week has brought blessings in such abundance, I cannot hold them. Why am I surprised? Malachi 3:10 ...see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing you will not have room for it. I had the best talk with my parents, received a box from a sister in Christ that took me to my knees... and went shopping for my children's winter gear again, this time with their grandparents. I could not only breathe, I laughed; we all did. Thank you, I praise the Lord for each of you.

Indeed, God has a sense of humor. We were approaching the dead of winter when this started. We survived it. It's coming again, I can feel it in the air, but I know we've already climbed this mountain. Having worn a path in it once, I'm confident we can do it again. What if it had been summer? The rug would be ready to be ripped from under my feet, undermining half the confidence I've built. No my friends, I already know what it takes to get 3 children up, dressed, fed and out the door before 7:00 a.m. I remember how to do it dressing 3 little bodies for the frozen tundra. I daily praise Jesus for the village that helps us. But I do not fear the task.

So yes, yes we have come far enough. The road is hard, but it's not much farther. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:11-13)