Music, Vocals, Writing and Life

Maggie

About Us 2008

Homer Alaska USA
kids_poppysYes, we moved. After much prayer for direction, God gave us an answer. Not one we saw coming or one that we readily accepted. Dave was offered the chance to print the ballots for Alaska in October of 2008 in Homer Alaska. After 1 week, all the printing was done and the owner offered him a job. God had been closing doors in Southern California and had left Dave out of work for most of that year. At first, we both said NO WAY I am not moving to Alaska. But God moved a mountain … He changed our heart. We are now renting a home east of Homer in a small community called Fritz Creek with a beautiful view of Kachemek Bay, Homer, the famous Homer Spit were the infamous “Time Bandit” is moored and the famous “Salty Dawg Saloon” is located. If you watch “The Deadliest Catch” on the Discovery Channel, you have seen these on TV. Most Alaskans call Homer the “Jewel of Alaska”. We’ve been blessed to meet a lot of new godly people and become part of wonderful new church. Our neighbors also go to our church and they have also homeschooled all of their children . Even though the temperature is cold, the people are warm and friendly.

ian_maggieOn the left is a picture of Maggie and Ian taken in the summer of 2003. You can visit Maggie’s Blog, Just A Thot where you can read their story’s of Ian and all those crazy things that happen with a Special Needs child, encouragements for moms & dads and things that help Maggie home school a Special Needs child.

Dave and Maggie, through much prayer, have felt that God is leading them to help other parents with Special Needs children. There are different levels of learning disabilities, each with their own set of issues.

Children with higher level learning disabilities such as Aspergers, ADHD or ADD, usually have secondary issues that accompany these “labels”. These children also get other not so flattering labels such as “stupid”, “lazy”, “eccentric” and more. These parents are told they are bad parents. Dave and Maggie have been there!! And, at times, still are.

As we share with parents of lower level learning disabilities, we are finding that a lot of these resources work great for them too.

Dave and Maggie’s goal is to first provide a place where parents can know they are not alone in their struggles and to get support & encouragement.

Dearest Ashley

May the Joy of the Lord overflow in your heart and may your home be filled with Grace.

BABY BLANKET – Just as you wrap up your baby with a baby blanket, wrap up your babies with Christ’s love. Fill your home with love for one another! The more love you have in your home, the less room there is for fighting, arguing “disagreeing”. The more love, the more forgiveness, contentment and security there will be.
“Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. I John 4:7

BABY BLOCKS – Give your child the building blocks of Character that he’ll need for the rest of his life. Integrity, Honesty, Obedience, Responsibility, Respect. These are the building blocks that will help him grow into a wonderful, healthy adult. Each child learns differently. Learn how the individual child learns and teach that way.
“Train up a child in the way he should go (according to his bent – how he learns) and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

MEMORY BOOK – Every day, you are making new memories. Every day is a new page! Jot down one good thing that happened today. When something else pops into your mind – write that down too! And the next memory and the next! Before you realize it, you’ll have a whole page of fun memories in one day! And don’t forget to take pictures – take lots of pictures. When the day is done, turn the page. Look! Another blank page with which to write your memories on or paste a pic or two on. Remember though, you can always flip back the pages to re-visit those days, but you can never go back and “do over”. Once a day is done, a page has been turned. It is finished. Make the most of each day.

SAFEGUARDS – We safeguard our kids by putting outlet covers over the outlets and childproofing the cabinets, making them physically safe – but think of what you can do to make them safe for eternity. Teach them the way of salvation. Take them to Sunday School and church. Take them to VBS. Have family devotions. Do all you can to ensure that they are shown the way of salvation so that when they are ready for that decision, they’ll be able to make it.
“And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation though faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15

OUTFIT – Clothe your child in Prayer. Pray daily for them. Nothing will fit better, be more in season, or be more suitable for your child to be clothed in your prayers. There’s so much to pray about concerning our children: their salvation, their safety, their relationships with others, their virtue, their witness, their general welfare – the list could go on and on!
“Be careful for nothing; but in EVERY THING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God.” Philippians 4:6

BIBLE – Make the word of God prominent in your home! Tell the stories – ask questions – become the characters. Memorize verses. Slip in scripture “would you like Austin to do that to you? Do unto others as you want them to do to you. What does that mean?” Use it so often that it’s just a way of speaking.
“You must teach them to your children and talk about them when you are at home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning.” Duet. 6:7

BABY RATTLE – At times when things get rough – remember the rattle! Rattle for God – call out to Him who knows you. You can’t do this parenting thing on your own. You need God to be a good parent! Get close to the Lord in your daily devotions and prayer life. Make Christ your strength.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

RUBBER DUCKY – Have FUN!!! :) Sometimes you just need to let go and have a “Fun” day. Sometimes it just happens, and other times you need to schedule it in!!!
“And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” Colossians 3:17

INDIVIDUAL TOYS – SUPPORT TEAM! We – each of us in this room – represent one of these toys. Alone we are just a jumble of toys, but together we are strong. We form a great Support Team! Will you join me in supporting Ashley? I’m going to pass around a little notebook that she can keep in her purse. I’ve filled out my name, phone number (contact info) and my two fav verses. If you feel lead, put in your name, contact info and a verse or saying that has meant a lot to you.

BABY BLANKET – LOVE

BUILDING BLOCKS – CHARACTER

MEMORY BOOK – Every day is a new memory

OUTLET COVERS – Teach them about eternity

OUTFIT – PRAYER

BIBLE – Teach/live the Bible daily

BABY RATTLE – “Help!” Cry out to God

RUBBER DUCKY – Have FUN!

INDIVIDUAL TOYS – Your personal Support Team! reach out to others – we are here to help and support you. I am here and I will always be a shoulder to cry on – I’m just a phone call away.

Open Ministry – Jesus Ministry

Do you believe in God? Do you believe God? When He said He will provide for you, do you believe Him?

So … why has God not filled that Sunday School position? Or why is the Youth Group under staffed? Where is God in that? Maybe pointing the finger at God is pointing in the wrong place! God does and is providing all the time. Most of the time, we humans are making “revisions” to Gods Plan. We ask God for people to work and help in ministry, but then we don’t want those He sends our way!!! How very demi-god of us to make that decision.

But those people will be difficult to work with. They don’t know what they are doing – I will have to train them. That will take time away from my family. I already put in 35 hours a week in at church (on a good week – but who’s counting). Why should I have to give up more of my time – my personal time – to train these people that God brings into my life and my ministry. It’s my ministry anyway. Just what does God think He’s doing???

Any of that self talk sound familiar? If your honest and your human, it does. It is difficult to put our heart and soul into our ministry and not get possessive of it. We know what we want in this ministry, for this ministry. We know the fruit of this ministry is going to be and by golly, we’re going to get it there using those whom we hand pick or it “just wasn’t supposed to be”.

Sometimes, I don’t want to get involved in an “open” ministry – one where God is in control. Why not? Cause then I would have to work with some people that I don’t want to work with. Sometimes it’s those who argue all the time, sometimes it’s those who are SUPER needy and sometimes it’s those who are downright mean. Sometimes, it’s working with those who are just “below” us – spiritually, emotionally or monetarily.

Open Ministry. What is Open Ministry? It’s one where God is the leader. One where everyone has a place. It’s a ministry that is OPEN to ANYONE. I got to tell you – it’s the hardest ministry you will EVER have in your entire life – but it’s one that God will move in more than all the others combined. Look at Jesus’ Ministry. Who did He minister to? Who did He use to help Him minister? Were they the wealthy, the powerful? Jesus showed us how to lead a ministry. Follow Jesus’ example. Use those God brings – not the ones you bring. You’ll be amazed at how God’s people are “dead ringers” for that particular ministry!

One Stone at a Time

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

There is a pathway that I’m following. It’s a stone pathway meandering up and down, over hill and dale. I keep thinking that if only I knew exactly where I was supposed to be going, I could go in a straight line and get there so much faster. But I can’t see the end. It’s dark and damp, the stone pathway slippery with all the slim around me. But He is there. His hand on my shoulder, His spot light showing me the next stone to step on. Sometimes I get frustrated and just go off the pathway – wanting to take the short cut. But He is still there, right beside me. When I lose my way, He gently steers me back to my stone pathway … just one stone at a time.
I want a flood light. I want to see the whole picture – find the short cut and be there. Be good, be finished with the task, be someone. But still He only shows me one stone at at time.

The journey makes the man, not the destination.

Oh Be Careful Little Tongue What You Say

If a parent walks up to you and informs you that they do not want their child playing with your child because your child has dark skin – would you be offended? What if they say that they don’t want their child playing with your child because your child has red hair. Would you be offended? Why?
Both your skin and your hair color are determined through your DNA. You have no choice on it … it’s something that God determined. How your brain functions is also determined through DNA – something God chooses.

So … how do Special Needs Parents handle it when an NT parent (Nero-typical) says that they do not want their child playing with your child because your child has ADD or Autism or …

One Goal

When our son was born – he was rushed to the NICU. He had complications and had to stay in NICU for three days. The nurses took one look at him and put football stickers on his crib. I bout had a fit – no son of mine was going to play football! Three years later, we start realizing that something was different with our son. He has Autism. Aspergers to be exact. We homeschooled him most of his life (10 yrs) then after we moved to Alaska, we found this wonderful Special Needs Teacher who cared about Ian almost as much as we do! :)

After one year of public High School (in the Special Ed Class), the football team decided at 6’4″, 288lbs and stronger than an ox, Ian would be a great asset to the Homer High Mariner Football Team! So here is this wonderful, tender giant of a kid whose mom sheltered him from football his whole life only to be thrown into fray at 17 yrs old. Now Dave and I are frantically trying to teach him the basics of football.

What a breath of fresh air Tim Tebow is. I am hoping and praying that our son will look towards Tim as a role model – not only for how the game of football is played – but for how the game of life is played … with one goal in mind … the light at the end of this life – the light of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Living the Truth

I have a friend who is a young mom of four young kids. When you see her at church, she’s usually got a smile for you. When you see her at Safeway, there she is with that same smile. The smile that shines from way deep inside.

But this past summer, I saw this gal along the side of the road resting. She and her four kids were bicycling around town enjoying the sun – a rare thing that summer! Her husband is a fisherman and as such, is gone for long stretches of time. This was one of those times. She was tired. Tired physically, tired emotionally … just flat out tired.

We slowed to see if she needed help. She had her head turned talking to one of the kids. When she turned back around – there it was … that smile. She was tired and worn out, but her smile was still there. Her smile is so much a part of who she is, she just can’t leave home without it!

What a joy and blessing this wonderful Christian friend is. Who she is on the outside, yea, that’s who she is on the inside! Yup, she does say what she means, and sometimes it takes you back some! But she loves with an open heart. And this day and age, we need more like my friend.

We’ve been going over I John and now we’re on II John. What’s been hitting me is the theme of Truth. Truth verses Lies. Do you believe that you should tell the truth? Are you known for your truthfulness? Do you smile at church and bully everywhere else you go? Do people look at you and wonder what is so different about you? Why do you actually get along with your teenage daughter?

Do you LIVE the truth?

Dear Lord, change me. Let me love with an open heart. Who I am on the inside, Lord let me be that on the outside. Yes Lord, that may mean You’ve got a lot to change on the inside, but Lord, let me live the truth – Your truth.

In Jesus’ precious Name, amen.

Users verses Spammers …

Hi everyone – I’m getting lots of Spammers signing up as Users on my blog, so I’m going through and deleting Users. If you want to be signed up as a User – no prob … just please make sure and give me your real name. Ahhhhh, my REAL name??? You might ask with horror in your voice. Well, yes. If you are a real person and are really interested in Special Needs kids and families, then yes, I need a real name signed up as a User. :)

I promise I won’t sell your name or addy or even your first child. And I don’t send out mass mailings – so no worries about that!

I’m just trying to keep a safe, warm, loving environment where families who need help and reassurrance can come and be encouraged.

Nothing personal – but I’m looking to keep it personal! :)

Love ya’ll!

The Long Journey

“Squawk, Squawk, Squawk” We stopped school to see what all the ruckus was. It was the last of the Sandhill Cranes flying south for winter. They circled and circled, squawking louder than we’ve ever heard them, moving slowly overhead. On land, these birds are awkward looking, but in the sky, they are simply majestic. They seemed to fly in a bunch – not yet in the sleek line formation that they fly in when flying long distances.

Tori asked me why they were squawking so loud and circling over and over. Why don’t they just fly south? Soon, a pair of Sandhill Cranes from nearby started their assent towards the sky in route to meet the flock already in flight. We watched in awe as a whole flock of Sandhill Cranes waited patiently for the two stragglers to catch up, all the while squawking as loud as they could – they had to make sure that they didn’t leave anyone behind. It’s an impossible trip to make all by yourself, so the birds call out to any other birds, letting them know to come now to make it south for the winter.

When the two stragglers made it to the flock, they circled a few more times, looking and listening for any other stragglers. When no one else appeared, as if by some unspoken command, they stretched out across the sky, creating a huge V-shape and headed out for the long journey south. Each bird in it’s perfect place in the perfect formation for long distance flying.

Tears came to my eyes as I thought, I wonder if the church is ready for the long journey ahead? Are we circling and squawking out loud enough to gather all those who love Jesus to come together? Are we loving those around us and telling them about the long journey ahead? Are we ready to join the flock? Can we – each one of us – find our place in the flock? Are we who are already in the flock, ready and willing for others to join us? Are we calling out? Can we call out? Can we love those who need love? Can we accept them and allow them to join us and maybe even … make room for them in our flock?

Here, There and Everywhere

Matt 11:28-30
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.
“For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”

Yesterday we finally got a break in the snow. Our puppy jumped at the door, excited to get out and play. After a little while, I went to an upstairs window to see if I could see where she was. I didn’t see her, but I saw where she’d been. Here, there and everywhere! She’d circled over here, then run straight across to something else, then meandered around over there for a bit. She’d dug a hole here and there – looking for buried treasures. Then I finally found her … sitting at the back door, waiting to come back into the house!

As I stared at all those circles and mixed up tracks – running here, there and everywhere, I felt like that was how my life is. Running here, there and everywhere.

The snow is back again and as I look out that same window, all the little puppy tracks are gone. No more here, there and everywhere. No more holes dug in search of buried treasure. It’s all white again. All wiped clean – ready to start out on a new adventure. Ready to start again.

Lord, help me today as I start out on another day. A day wiped clean from all that has happened yesterday, and the yesterday before that, and the yesterday before that. Thank You so much for taking all those yesterdays and dying on the cross to wipe out all my sins, all my wanderings of yesterdays. Help me live today for You Lord. Make my path straight. Give me wisdom and guidance as I seek You and Your strength today.