Johnson’s Journeys Day 2: (back story continued)

It was important for us parents to not lose sight, not lose her as number amongst other students. As a matter of fact, her father and I have continued to work diligently in advocating for the best possible care for her and her education according to her individualized education plan (IEP). This would ensure her care from down time, to alone time, sensory breaks, additional supports and assistance with transitions in and outside of the classroom as well as ensuring her safety.

We have always believed as parents that the sky is the limit for her. Not only is she not defined by ASD, but she has come so far! I remember when Michaiah was limited in the words she could speak and how she could express herself. She was great when things went her way or if it was something she wanted to play with, but it always had to be her idea. As soon as a new toy was introduced or play was interrupted, that could not be such a great thing. Big spaces and loud noise would also adversely effect her negatively. Michaiah would want to escape and calm herself. She has always been more than capable academically and is very smart and bright! Her classroom is designed to instruct her and her friends on general education curriculum with mild modifications as necessary. Michaiah also qualified for speech and occupational therapy in the school for x amount of hours a week/month. These services started in preschool, where she attended for two years.

In addition, through her school ISD, we were referred to our local community health and were able to connect Michaiah with therapists who could provide her with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA therapy). Michaiah’s issues haven’t been so much academics as much as the ASD has effected her behavior. The therapists have been working on many things including behavior modification. I can’t tell you how many times therapists have sat for hours instructing her therapy sessions! Michaiah is thriving and particularly loves the outdoor and craft activities they do together between 9-13 hours aweek in our home given the week and what all is going on.

Michaiah is now in 1st grade and is doing so well. Michaiah is able to talk in full sentences and have full conversations. She loves school so much she asks to even go to school on the weekends. I really think this is because…

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Clarification: Autism Awareness (Part 1)

Friends, I have talked with a few people recently. The more I share this with others, the more I realize there is misconception about something that I feel is very valid and noteworthy of clarification. You can choose to read this post or move on, but I would rather ensure that there is clear understanding rather than preconceived notions, assumptions, or lack of clarity for that matter. I am finally in a spot as a mom and a wife, that I am addressing this from the heart, so please only take this as my way saying, ‘I care and I want you to know’.

Our daughter went through a rigorous process of being evaluated over the course of the last 4 months. As bright, beautiful, intelligent, and spunky as we see our daughter, there were a few minor delays we noticed and we wanted to ensure that if this truly was the case, that our daughter receive the additional support and resources she needed so that she could thrive and be the best her possible! We didn’t want for her glass to be half full so to speak, we wanted to see her full potential come out and shine! As it turns out, Michaiah does fall on the Autism Spectrum.

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A Belated Merry Christmas To You!!!

Just recently, our church decided to come together and sponsor a family for Christmas who had lost everything. Not many details were shared with the congregation that I can recall off hand. It was brought to our attention that there were tags hanging on the Christmas tree and would we consider helping this family. As mentioned a few times, we wanted to begin teaching our child that it is better to give than to receive. We let her pick off a tag one Sunday at church. It was a very special item from a store we didn’t know much about. We prayed it through and out to the store I went one day in complete faith, but with great love in my heart that something ‘special’ was going to happen.

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Fun Then Work OR Work Then Fun

To single mamas, step-mamas, married mamas, separated mamas, adoptive mamas, those that are like mamas, felt really led to share this message with you so here goes:

This weekend was a very unusual weekend. My Friday started by not making as many calls for work as I had planned. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I like order and routine each day. I didn’t quite understand, but I heard the words, ‘trust me’. I went on with the day, and made a sale right off of our life conference call. I set the gentleman up with training, took care of the package, and made it just in time to my afternoon nail appt. I came home, wrapped up a few calls thinking that after, I would have the opportunity to make our meals for the week. Instead I found black marker and gray Crayola pencil marks all over the walls, the furniture, the bedding, the carpet, and all over my daughter head to toe. ‘This was not in the plans,’ I shared with the Lord. I had a choice either to get angry or to stay calm. With one Magic Eraser scrub at a time, I little by little, got the marks out. I scrubbed until both erasers had been used up. I thought to myself, ‘great, now we are going to have to spend the weekend cleaning, ugh.’ I had been praying to God for a few years now for a weekend that was free from cooking and cleaning. I no longer wanted to feel the manipulation and bondage of being a slave to my cooking and household chores before spending quality time with God and my family. I have spent hours, days, months praying, praying, that I would be able for once to let these things go for just one weekend of freedom. God had a plan and He truly honored the desires of my heart because he saw week after week my struggle with this and my crying to Him that I just want to be free from this particular bondage.

Even with a meal plan, grocery store running early Friday morning in tote, 90% of all of the cooking was done in 2.5 hours. Not only was God faithful in multiplying my time, but my husband’s boss honored him and gave him the entire weekend off. These two things alone were nothing short of supernatural. God faithfully lined this weekend up. When I looked around the home, aside from putting a few items away, the entire home was clean and all the laundry was done. All we did this weekend was have two solid days of constant family time together. In fact, that wall still has yet to finish being scrubbed and the best part is, I am okay with that!!! Why? Because. We laughed together, played together, took lots of pictures together. I was having so much fun until I saw the load of dishes in the sink. At first I thought, ‘well there is just a few I can do those’. I stopped and thought again, ‘no, I won’t be doing any dishes, this is about my family not about me, it’s not my plan. My job is to enjoy my family right now.’ I went and had more quality time with my family and ended up watching a family movie. For those that know me well, this is a really big deal. I don’t like having fun unless everything is done first. I chose to break this and I realized finally, I was FREE!

I got up this morning and was in the shower getting ready before we went to the museum and the words, ‘all authority, every victory is yours’. I found myself in tears when it dawned on me it was the song we sing at church, ‘Overcome’. When I played the words in my head, I realized God had a very special message for this household and I was willing to listen as the water droplets rained down from the shower head. I heard clearly, ‘this is a sign for things to come. Your family’s victory is here. Soon this weekend will be everyday life for you and you will have ALL things you have asked for. You are faithful to me and I delight in you and your family’s desire to serve me. Just like Moses was shown a glimpse of the promised land, this is your glimpse. Though the giants seem tall, you will live to walk in your inheritance, you will walk in milk and honey, keep on pressing through, keep on keeping on, I have this for you and it’s here. Where your heart is your treasure is also’. I then thought of those words and I knew it was His promise to us. Now all the middle of the night wake ups, the constant dishes, laundry folding, working around various schedules, the trials, the tribulations, its now becoming so much easier because now I see Him with me in it all and I know He has the load. In him, when we hand everything over so that it is His plan, the load is so much lighter and easier to bear. It is so much easier now that I have chosen His plan over mine. My plan for this weekend was different, but His was the best. His plan is freedom, my plan was bondage. By grace, He truly honored me and my family and I will be forever grateful for this weekend.

Now that I have received this message, I will be praying for all of you mamas because you need to know just how much someone out there’s heart is breaking for you and wanting you to experience freedom in your everyday life and wanting you to live the master plan, the destiny you were designed and called for. Mamas you are called to freedom. Please, message me here or private message me what is on your heart and what you are expecting a miracle for. From one mama to another, I love you and I am here for you in anyway that you need, to listen, talk, to ask questions, to pray silently for you, whatever that is, please let me know!  I am here for you, I want to talk with you.  I want to know where you are at.  It is okay to be here in the moment.  Please know from one mama to another, I am here, and I am ready to receive all that you have to share with me.  It certainly is not easy being a mama sometimes, nor does it feel worthwhile.  Together, one day, however, we will be looking back at this moment together and we will see how our families flourished and we will know we did something very right.  Today may be about the seeds that are being sown, just please do me a favor, don’t forget to take a moment out of your day to celebrate 3 things that went right.  Even if it is the fact that you made it out of bed, or you were able to make the peanut butter and jelly sandwich for your child’s lunch that day, this is progress!  The little seeds that are growing sprouts matter and how you feed them will determine if your life begins to flourish or if is neglected and dies.  We want to celebrate life and the positivity of it.  The more positive we are the more positive we become and so does life around us!  We only get one shot at being a mama, so every moment in time embrace it and make it count.  I believe in you and your excellence and desire to be the best mama you can be!  You got this and I can’t wait to see your journey unfold as you embrace your families and grow!  I am proud of the mama you are and are becoming!