Surf Ups… Autism Day!

Many people are misinformed and have a distorted view of Autism, disabilities, and what can be achieved! We have told our son he can do anything he wants… he might need to do it in a different way, but he can do it!

We are blessed here in New Jersey with several organizations that help people with disabilities and Autism. We have an organization called POAC, NJ Autism Warriors and organization that has come to New Jersey for this event in particular called “Walk on water”.

This day was created entirely for people with Autism and disabilities to have the freedom to feel the Atlantic Ocean surround them… to allow them to learn how to surf with a professional by their side… and to allow them to have the opportunity to know that they can do anything when they put their mind to it.

I have personally never surfed, but I have a few friends who have, and they said that there is nothing like riding a wave and the freedom it allows you to feel.

These kids were blessed one by one with riding the wave, winning an award, having a day set aside just for them and the list goes and on.

For one day they felt like they could be like everyone else. For one day they could feel proud. For one day they could feel like they were “all that”.

We were blessed to have such a special and awesome day for our family!!!

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I hit a wall!!!! Emotional whiplash!

Have you ever been there?  Have you ever hit an emotional wall so hard that it felt like whiplash?  Well I have….and yikes!

Our summer season is usually filled with lots of fun day trips, but not this season. We usually have one day where we would run some errands… and maybe hit the beach or similar afterwards. Then one day is spent doing a day trip or a mini vacation day. And of course the evenings would be filled with visiting friends, listening to some local concerts on the beach, and any other summer event that’s here at the Jersey shore. Why wouldn’t you… why not fill your summer with lots of fun before you settle into the fall and winter seasons. This is the normal for us… but not the case this summer! Somehow we slipped in and out of this summer with out ever really taking advantage of a summer fun season. We were extremely busy, with on going things, but when all is said and done we really didn’t feel like we had a relaxing and enjoyable summer, but one that was filled with just extreme busyness. But the question remains in our minds… what were we even busy with? Why did we come out exhausted… and not feeling refreshed and rejuvenated from a beautiful summer season. Why do we feel like we’re spinning our wheels and feeling fried and an emotional wreck?

My schedule is normally full with work and our regular activities of life…but we soon started to realize that so many unusual things were happening and I could feel myself slipping into a wall of emotional overload.  With extended family, church, ministry, friends and our normal needs of a “special needs” family…we seemed to be on overdrive for the past few months.  I woke up one day realizing that I could hardly breathe, lift my head and or want to even do anything at all.

I had a friend who suffered from “work burnout”.  I have heard of this but could not really relate.  My friend in the end… ended up in recovery for several months.  I was not at that point ….but looking over a 10 day period of our life that took place this past summer, we began to realize that 7 different major stressful events took place in that short amount of time. This left me feeling completely empty.

I am blessed to have a husband and partner in life who noticed how I was feeling and he also realized that he was falling into the same situation. So it was time to sit, chat and make a list of what all just happened to us.  We were both amazed that we could almost still function with all that hit us so hard and fast. After chatting with each other we needed to dissect each area where there was an emotional wall.

We gathered our emotional bandages, an emotional neck brace and some emotional crutches and started making a plan.  It was not easy to dissect all of this but we needed to do it. With some time in prayer and reflecting on some verses of scripture and a good hard look at what was happening we have made a recovery plan.

I normally know myself enough and when I am reaching “overload”, I can stop, stand still and regroup but not this time.  It came too fast and too hard.  Now that we have a plan we can take one step at a time and regroup together.

I hope all of this makes sense to you….if you break your arm you see the hurt and discomfort.  But when you break your spirit it does not leave any visible things for people to see that you have discomfort.  This made me realize even more that behind every face is a story and to be more kind to those around me as well…since you never know what people are going through.

One brick at a time of the wall is now coming down.  In some case we just got a bulldozer and took the wall down and oh boy did that feel really good. We are on the road to recovery… by making better decisions, better choices, and being wiser people. Life is enjoyable and should be… But we need to sit back and realize when we are overloaded with stress and stressful situations. There needs to be a time of refreshment, a time to be able to regroup, and a time to be able to reflect what has just happened so that you don’t hit an emotional wall.

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

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A life filled with Routine or a Life of Adventure…..

img_0775I am a Modern Day Working Mama with a homespun twist and a dash of special needs and disabilities – a life of adventure with a constant new norm. 

 I just love to watch people and how they live their lives, I try to figure out why they do what they do and I learn about what I like and don’t like and how I want to live my life. It got to thinking today when I watched three people who are in my life…and how they are living their lives, and if I want to this that way. 

Do you ever people watch?  I have a friend who fullsizerender-2was
sharing witProcessed with MOLDIVh me that he and his wife where having a “discussion” about what to buy at the food store.  Now you might ask “what is the big deal”…but we have all been there. Discussing, fighting, arguing about which Ice Cream to buy, what brand of bread to get etc…. It sounds silly and it really is and yet we let this get to us.

I have another friend who has a very, very structured life.  She maps out her life in increments of time and activities.  She will work her 8 hours and 8 hours only.  We will plan for evening after work, to take on one task which can include baking. When she goes home….she will prep, bake, clean up and call it a night. Mind you I would be washing dishes, doing a load of wash, listening to a You-Tube channel and stirring the pot for dinner …all while baking.  Her life is so planned out and she never deviates from this.

I have another friend who as I would like to say…gets upset over a pen falling on the floor.  She is wound up so timg_1913ightly that everything in life seems to bother her.  She can bully anyone in her path for the smallest thing they have done wrong and yet if you try to talk to her about anything she will burst into tears with fits of anger.  Yikes!!!

I have two other women in my life who I admire for the way they adapt to life.  Both of them deal with a “special needs” situation in their life.  One seems to run with ease …I know she will tell you that is not the case, but to me she does.  The other friend seems to just live life and take on new adventures anytime they pop in her life.

Now getting back to a life of structure or a life full of adventure…..well, you probably guessed it, I will take the life of adventure.  Yes it can be filled with chaos at times, it can be filled with half done jobs, dishes in the sink, laundry not done and drive-through for dinner. But life is too short to worry about a pen dropping on the floor, it is too short to worry about which ice cream or bread to buy and it is too short not to taste life at its finest.

If you have read my story and the journey that I am on….my life is never normal and it is always a moving target to finding a new normal.  I am a “Modern Day Working Mama with a homespun twist and a dash of special needs and disabilities – a life of variety a constant new norm”!!!img_9065

I work full-time, I am involved in three distant ministries, I homeschool, I am a mom of a special needs son, I am a wife of an epileptic,  I am a mom of adult children, I am a women who strives to live out her dreams, I am a women who loves to blog, craft, scrapbook, be a planner nerd, try new things, travel, make homemade soups, decorate her home and much, much more.

Some people ask with delight how do I do it all….they watch me on Facebook and see how full my life is.  Some watch with judgement and question all that I do and wonder if my life should be more structured.  Some watch with wonder and they would love to live this way but are afraid to step out and try it.

Now my dishes do get washed, and my laundry gets done…..we don’t run around in dirty cloths. I do stay at home and with a task list in hand at times and “try and get more organized”. fullsizerenderYet on the other hand….life keeps calling, new places to see, new things to taste, new adventures to try with my family.  I have people to meet, lives to encourage, people to share great experiences with, people to mentor, people to learn from and a whole lot of life to LIVE.

What Journey are you on? What path have you chosen to live? This is your life and your choice to make…..what do you like “structure”, “wound up tight”, or “a little chaos”?  Tell me your story in the comment below…I would love to hear from you today.img_0921

Follow me on my blog for some fun, new and interesting topics.  Like my blog post  and share with a friend who might need to rethink how they are living their life.

 

Lynn A.C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Modern Day Working Mama with a homespun twist and a dash of special needs and disabilities – a life of adventure a constant new norm!

Ringing in the New Year….. How depression and FEAR had taken over … learning to adapt and changing my perspective!

 

For years….and I am not sure why exactlring-in-the-new-yeary, the New Year was one of the most depressing times for me and I could not handle the midnight celebration that comes with New Year’s Eve.

When I was a kid….we would always go to my Aunt Kay’s house with lot and lots of munchies and tons of food …of course was one of the favorite parts of the evening.  As kids it was also a treat to hang out with the cousins and stay up past midnight and not get told that it is past our bedtime. Another great part of the evening was…the memories of my mom and her 5 sisters dancing together to the “oldies” music.  I absolutely loved watching them dance around as if they were young school girls again while giggling together.  Even today when that type of music is playing somewhere….I have those wonderful fond memories pop into my head.

My teen years….well we had a great night of food, games, memories, shared stories, songs and a message at church.  We were renting a local school gym and I can remember it as if it were yesterday…carrying all the chairs, tables, food and decor in and out for these events. memories as well.

Then during my college and career age ….I would hang out with my friends and have a get together at someone’s house and play games until the wee hours of the morning.tree-of-depression

When I became a mom and my hours and my husband’s hours at work changed……each year would be something different from year to year and what event we could attend.  I am not really sure where the depression for the New Year came from but I do remember it being such a rough time ….not being able to deal with it when it came on. I am not trying to make light of the depression but I am not going to dwell on it and or the details of this horrific time for me. It was a bad time but learning to move on is one thing I have had to do. I do believe FEAR and the ripple effect it can have over our lives played a big role in this for me.

My husband said one year when he saw me almost loose it…..while I was watgo-to-bedching the clock tick and turn towards midnight….”why not just go to bed”.  It was like an epiphany.  Why not just go to bed?  Why did I not just think of that. Just think I could go to bed and wake up the next day and keep going and not dwell on the fact that at 12:01 AM the new year arrived.

After doing this for several years….. (Of course he would sit up and watch the ball drop in NYC for himself), I adjusted back to “normal” or at lease my normal….. and was able to deal a little better with the whole New Year’s Eve thing.

This past year in 2016 ….was a year that I entered into feeling like it was going to a year of challenges, new beginnings, and a full year of events.  That it was!!!

God had prepped me for this in a small way by preparing my mind with these feelings noted above.  It was by far one of the toughest years for us.  It was the first year without my father-in-law on this earth. It was a full year of firsts for things at church, at my work, with my Autistic son with some of his new norms and a year full of many, many , many….seizures with my husband. It was probably the most challenging year in our almost 30 years of marriage.

As I reflect back…..I realize that when I wrote my first blog…..”Normal is a moving Target”, how true this statement is in my life. And how far in many areas of my life I have learned to adapt and have a fresh new perspective!

My families “normal” would not be normal to most.  I don’t think that I ever make plans that pan out in the way we even ever thought they would.  I am sure many of you also feel the same way.

john-15-7This year again New Year’s Eve came and went but with a different twist.  I have to say I am a BIG fan of Dave Boyer and he was in concert for New Year’s Eve where I work.  Just think of that…..I was able to work and see him in concert at the same time….oh boy did this bring back some childhood memories of the “oldies” and my mom and her sisters..  What a treat for us and then we headed home around 11 pm and you guessed it, “I went right to bed”, before midnight could set in.

The next day of course was New Year’s Day 2017.  I worked 7-3 that dafile_000-6y and when I got home my hubby said let’s go out and grab a bite to eat at the new local restaurant called the Mellow Mushroom. You might have one near you.  Well, what a great place….it is on my favorites list!!!.

Now I saved the best part of my story for last!!! That same day my hubby and had our devotions separately and both felt we were given a verse by the Lord.  Mine was John 15:7 and my husbands was I Timothy 3:15 -17.  As we were walking out of the house to head to dinner we were sharing this with each other.  As we walked towards the van the night sky was so full of stars…..so brightly lit like we have not seen in years since we were kids.  The North Star was actually twinkling and the moon seemed to shine right around it, as if it was talking to us.  We both looked up and at the same time…..spoke out loud the word “HOPE”.  Nothing mystical happened at the moment….but for us….we felt like the Lord was giving us that very moment in time of a clear chance to see HIS handiwork.  It was a little sign to us …..that this night’s evenings sky was just for us. It was a clear sign and direction for us to continue claiming our verses He gave us, and that this would be a year filled with hope.women-of-faith

We took that special moment in time, the 2 bible verses and a few other things that happened on that day and called it “the most encouraging New Year’s day that we have ever had”.

Happy New Year everyone….share your story of how you enjoyed your New Year’s Eve and or what the Lord has shown you already in this New Year of 2017.

Lynn Wilson – Resume of a Mother

 

The life of a Wife of an Epileptic….how hard can it really be?

I remember when I started to date my husband and he said he had Epilepsy….it was a whole new world to me.  I watched and learned to know what he needed and what caused problems, so I would be a help.  His seizures were much different then and they didn’t even seem to be a challenge…little did I know.

My Wedding day……I remember standing at the img_0760top of the aisle ready to walk down to be married….my father whispered to me….”you don’t have to do this”.  He was reminding me that he had a long talk with me and that my life would be different, it would be hard, and we would not always know what was coming.  He wanted me to really think about this decision and not jump into a marriage that was not a fairy tale. Thisimg_0663 committment would be to myself, my future husband and children.  It would be a life that I would choose and not forced into…..and it would be a life time committment and a vow.

Well I can tell you almost 30 years later….we are still together.  I love him more now than I did 30 years ago.  Do I love his seizures?  Well….what I can say is that this is part of the package that makes up my husband and who he is and since I love Graeme…I need to accept this situation with as much grace as I can.

Is life easy as his wife?  No life is not… life is hard, frustrating, challenging and sometimes so overwhelming that I feel like I cannot breathe.  I can say that for me… I can understand what it is like to feel alone and yet be married, I can understand what is like to be a single parent and yet have a husband/dad always around, I can say that I understand the challenges of role reversal.  Let me explain a little about this…..

Epilepsy comes in all shapes and sizes!  Each day is never the same….we make our plans and then life takes over.  If my husband is having seizures….mood swings can come, anger issues, depression, lack of memory, needing tons of sleep and a total change of schedules and life style instantly.  These symptoms can also come on the “good” days when he is not having seizures which makes the good days not so good.  For us we have about 2 days a week of a really “good” day…and the rest are filled with these symptoms of some sort.

img_0757This leaves situations for me to handle on the fly all the time.  We can plan a family vacation, holiday or event and all of a sudden I am going it alone.  I might have Graeme with me but mentally and physically he is really not there with me.  This has left me many times….taking care of the kids and whatever else is needed pretty much on my own.  Many nights I get home from work to find him quiet, depressed, or seizing…..so then my nights arimg_0758e basically spent alone.

I find myself alone in my thoughts too…I don’t always know how to help him, I am afraid and fearful of what life can bring, I am tired and weary at times from just “keeping it all together” for my kids and making it as much of a “normal life” as I can for them….and I am still learning that “normal” is a moving target.

Now with that being said…..I don’t want to paint a horrible picture of our life.  YES, life is tough and YES it is VERY hard at times but we have a beautiful life!  My husband has been a rock in our family even when we feel like we are crumbling.  He has set the stage for us on his good days to walk close to the Lord for strength, for wisdom and guidance.  My problem is that I veer away from this path that I should be on daily and fear and anxiety sets in for me.  Graeme has allowed me to evolve into the woman who I need to be for our family.  I need to work full-time to keep a roof over our heads.  Graeme stays home and manages the home better than I ever could, he assists me in homeschooling our children, make the phone call’s needs, and keeps the running “to-do list” as current as he can for me.

I am blessed to have someone who fights daily with this thing called Epilepsy. I am blessed to have someone who does so much for us as a family.  I cannot even imagine as a man how he must feel.  He cannot work outside the home, he cannot drive, he cannot play sports, he cannot hang out with the guys, he cannot do the “normal” things
that he would like when he would like to and sometimes he will never do many of the things he dreamed about.  Yet he strives to beat the odds, lift his head and move forward daily!  Yes he suffers from down days….but his strength comes from the Lord and keeps him striving for a purpose filled life.img_0759

What can I recommend to other spouses who stand by and watch and stand by and support their spouse with Epilepsy? First before anything ….take care of !!!  I find that we put everyone before ourselves and then there is nothing left.  Take time for a good cup of coffee, take time for devotion, take time to sleep, eat and take time for a segment of time just for you…to shop, have fun, go to a movie etc….  Make a point of finding a support system for your family, your spouse and a separate one for yourself.  Support can come in the form of a structured support group, a Facebook group, family, friends, and your church group and in other ways that you might find. Also, remember you are living this unique life and not your friends and family who “think they understand”.  Sometimes there is a need for you to say stop, no, wait, not now….leave us alone, no thank you.  You are the one who needs to take a stand and protect what is yours…..we live with this and we know better than anyone else what is needed….be gracious if you can but be firm too.

Please let me know what your story is in the comments below….please let us know where you find your support. I would love to hear from you all!!!!!

Lynn A.C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

 

Epilepsy Awareness and the Do’s and Don’ts…

November is “Epilepsy Awareness” month….but I often wonder is anyone really aware or how much do people really know?  We are a family who has been affected by Epilepsy.  We know what it is like to live with this daily; we know what it is like to live a different life copy-of-file_0005than most.  We know what it is like to consistently tweak our schedule, routine, meds, family events and almost everything else.  We know what it is like to just think that “we got it”, to find out we don’t…and what we thought caused the seizures changed again.

I wanted to write something about some of our challenges when trying to live a “normal” life and also in spite of this thing called Epilepsy.

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How has Epilepsy affected our family….let me list a few things that either you will relate to or hopefully will give you some insight to what “normal” is for us…

  1. Seizures daily
  2. Mood swings daily
  3. Anger issues
  4. Depression
  5. Loss of full time work
  6. Loss of friends
  7. Way to much advice from everyone as to what we are doing wrong
  8. Loss of a drivers license
  9. Large medical bills
  10. Health insurance issues
  11. Always trying new meds
  12. Trying to balance being a parent with your kids when Epilepsy gets in the way
  13. Trying to balance being a spouse with your wife when Epilepsy gets in the way

copy-of-file_00071 in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime. An estimated 3 million Americans and 65 million people worldwide currently live with epilepsy. Each year at least 200,000 people are diagnosed with epilepsy. In two-thirds of patients diagnosed with epilepsy, the cause is unknown.

http://www.cureepilepsy.org/ or http://www.epilepsy.com/

Epilepsy is real and does affect many, many families.  Each story is different and each person is unique!

I write to you today not to complain but to explain.  We are a typical normal family with an added member call Epilepsy.  We believe that this is part of what has been ordained to becopy-of-file_0001 the package that makes up our family.  We call ourselves the #teamgwilson
….and we strive to live each day to the fullest, we try to beat the odds, aim for a
fun filled live, not hold onto what we do not have etc…

Our greatest strength comes from the Lord!  We also find strength in our church family, family and friends and some support systems that we have put in place.

With most disabilities we as humans are normally frightened by it.  It is different…we don’t know what to say, what to think, where to look etc… Just remember that these people are human, and have feelings.  DO NOT treat them different or like they have a rare disease.  DO NOT offer advice when you have no clue what is going on. DO NOT pamper them. DO NOT ignore them when they walk in a room, walk the other way and DO NOT feel sorry.

My husband is one of the strongest men if not the strongest man that I have ever met.  He is a true example of what a life with Epilepsy can be when someone purposes in their heart to live a filled and purposeful life.

We will be writing a 3 part articles this month to share and encourage you all on this subject.  To help paint a full picture the articles will include….what is like to be the wife of an epileptic, what is like to be the son and grow up with an epileptic dad and then what is like to be the EPILEPTIC person.

Feel free to let us know part of your story in the comment below.

Thanks for sharing our lives with us!

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a mother

I found my NEW Normal and it is a moving target…….

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Normal…..this is one thing that many people strive to be….then some of us like to say that we like to be a little different. I am sure you heard the term growing up….”that is not normal”. So who defines “normal”? Somewhere along the way “normal” was defined as we were growing up and this is probably the pattern of life that you thought you would be following. I never knew what it would mean to have to find a new normal for my life. I grew up in a family of five and the most challenging thing growing up with 2 sisters was waiting in line for the bathroom. Life growing up seemed very normal for me.

We had families who lived down the street that we would say as kids…..” that is the family that is not normal”. I have no idea really why we said that other than for some reason they did not fit into what we did.

attachment-1-1I dreamed of a career, not staying at home….I loved the thought of working, not having a husband and children….traveling and always learning new things was on the top of my list, not having a life filled with special needs, daily challenges, trying to follow a constant moving target and not having an ordinarily life.

Then life took over and little did I know that I would be a mom, a wife, a career woman, a wife of a husband with epilepsy and on full-time disability, a mom of a special needs son, a mom of a “average” son (as most people classify it), a mom who would homeschool her two boys, and that my life would take a turn in a way that I could never have imagined. I would have a life of major change… to the point that I would feel like a single working parent and a single woman many times in my “normal” life.

After being a mom to my first son where it seemed to be a very normal life and raising him was very natural, I thought had it all figured out. Then to have 2 miscarriages, and then many years later I would find out that our second child would come through adoption and have a life long list of 4 major disabilities. We would then to be told he would never walk or talk and to accept what his life would be. Wow….what happened to my ordinary life?

The normal life that I knew growing up just came to a screeching halt. Where is my normal? How do I now function? Where to go from here…..

So what is normal?? This is a question that has taken me years to realize that there is no such thing. When you live your life and ask the Lord to guide and direct you …..the target and life that you keep striving for….keeps moving and changing.

So what is my new normal and where am I now in this thing we call life? A woman who works out of the home full-time, a mom of an adult son who is now married, a mother-in-law, a home-school mom of a teenager with special needs, a wife of a husband on full time disability due to epilepsy, a woman who runs a ministry out of my home, a woman who is in leadership in my local church, a woman who has now entered the age of helping older parents adjust to their new norm as they age, and along with all of this…..a woman that still needs to be just a woman who enjoys life for herself in just being simply Lynn.

I am on a journey in life that is exciting, ever changing, and full of challenges, stress, fun, and new adventures all the time. The young woman who dreamed of a life of a career and travel was short lived. My new normal changed me and allowed me to become the wife, mother and woman I am now. My norm is not the norm I dreamed of….and my norm is not normal…. it is a constant moving target and this was not the life that I would have chosen.

attachment-1-2This is my story and we all have one, the chapters are being written and the book has not been completed. I have come to realize that my fears, desires, challenges, and my everyday life and my everyday normal……are unique and different. Yet there are so many similarities that we can share together as we walk our journey as moms and women .

I would love to share with you my heart and the daily delights that God shares and sends to me. I would love to share with you what I have learned from being a wife of an epileptic and a mom of an autistic son. I would love to share with you what I have learned from the challenges and uniquenesses of my life. There are so many layers to a life that is not normal and your normal is a moving target. Come and join me on my journey of finding our NEW daily norm and also adding to our “Resumes of being a mother”.

Come with me as we see how full our resume is with all that we do….look forward to stories, challenges through devotions, recipes, special needs tips and tricks, women’s ministry ideas, tips on adapting to a change in your life, how to move forward in a new norm, crafts, DIY’s, basic budgeting ideas for broke people and so much more.

I am so looking forward to connecting with you and getting to reach out and touch your life even if it is in a small way to encourage you a mom and a woman.

Written by Lynn A. C. Wilson, Resume of a Mother