Encouragement and a Special Needs Mama

Sometimes it is a challenge to remain positive.  I tend to be a person who sometimes gravitates to the worst possible outcome because I think that if that really is what happens, I’ll be prepared. 

Hey.  We all have our weird.

I wish I could say I was always upbeat and cheerful, but that ain’t me.  I refer to myself as a realist.  Which I’m pretty sure is a pessimist in denial.

A little boy with Down syndrome

This drives my Mom nuts about me.  She tells me that it’s hard for her to keep her faith and tune into what the Spirit is whispering to her when I spend so much time worrying.

Worry is simply the way I’m wired.  It’s so much a part of me that I have to stop and insist I change my self talk several times a day.

I worry about Parker.

I worry about Parker’s health and his upcoming cardio appt.  Come on, we need a pretty EKG this go around!

I worry about his need for greater physical, occupational, and speech therapy.  I worry about whether or not I’ll have the ability to meet the needs of this littlest Hodson boy I love so much.

This month I went over the grocery budget significantly, without really buying more actual food.  Worry.

A little boy with special needs

I’ve got a kid getting ready to head off on  a  Mission.  Worry.

I’m the only person who can change my attitude.  And it’s time I make of list of things I can do to help do just that.

Do Unto Others:  It doesn’t cost money to do something for someone else.  A quick note.  A batch of cookies made with stuff already on hand.  Spend time in specific prayer for someone you know is struggling.

Repurpose Something:  It’s getting closer to yard sale season, and one thing I love is taking trash and turning it into treasure.  This year I might look at purchasing stuff at yard sales to resell on Ebay to help with the mission money.  I’ll need to do some research, but I actually like doing research.

Organize Something:  I don’t know what it is about cleaning and organizing and chucking stuff.  But it never fails to lift my spirits.  I have to do small projects when I can due to all the therapy and educational work I’m doing with Parker.  But, heck, just organizing a drawer can life my spirits.

Get the Hell out of Dodge:  If I can figure a way to swing the cost, I’m hoping to take Parker to the Zoo and the Aquarium not just once, but several times before the weather gets too hot.  Taking him just once really doesn’t do a lot for him.  He needs SEVERAL exposures before something locks itself in and he really ‘gets’ what he is seeing.

  • In between I’d love to take Parker to feed the ducks, visit the stuffed animals at Cabelas, and go to a stocked fishing pond with my Dad.
  • Now that my sweet friend has created new cushions for Parker’s old stroller, I can grab this kid and take a walk. Walking helps to keep me sane.

Count my Blessings:  Rigel is an amazing young man that has worked so incredibly hard to be worthy to serve a mission.  He did a lot of work to make things ‘right’ so that when he walks into the MTC he will know he belongs.  (When I say make things ‘right’ I’m talking about working to make it up to his little sister for all the times he drove her nuts, etc.  How sweet is that?)

  • We’ve NEVER had to go a day without enough food. Not once.  Each month I re-evaluate my grocery budget.  Yes, food costs are rising.  I’m going to have to get smarter, and plan deeper.  The garden and berry bushes will start producing soon.  I only have one more month of having to make sure I have ‘lunch stuff’ for my kids to use to take lunches to school.  During the summer they can eat leftovers!

whole grains

  • We have our older kids over for dinner every Sunday.  I’ve been purchasing a quick ice cream type dessert for after dinner.  When I realized how much I was spending a week on just an individual ice cream treats, I was so surprised.   I can make these for a fraction of the cost.  I’ll have to make a HUGE batch and then hide them, but they will sure be cheaper.
  • I go grocery shopping once a month.  This saves time and gas.  I will cherry pick through out the week, price matching at our down the road Wally World.
  • I’m going to take this one step further and start dating and labeling what specific meal we will be using a particular item for.  Anyone who breaks open something titled with a specific use get booted off the Island.
  • Go back to Bountiful Baskets, but downgrade to a conventional basket from an Organic one.  This will save me $10.00 a week that I can use toward an extra watermelon or cantaloupe each week.  My family really goes through the fresh fruit and veggies these days.
  • My Mom’s neighbor often sends fresh eggs just from the chicken’s bottom our way.  It helps so very much.

Fresh eggs from backyard chickens


  • I’m going to buy a cheese slicer.  Pre-sliced and grated cheese is way more expensive than just a big ‘ol block.
  • Remember how blessed I am for Reed to have a job, and for us to have a roof over our heads.
  • Parker isn’t in the hospital.  KNOCK ON WOOD.

A backyard garden

  • It’s almost gardening time!

Spend Time in the Temple:  I’m close enough to be able to make it to the Temple often.  It’s a time where you leave all of the world outside and focus on your relationship with God.  It’s empowering in such a beautiful and uplifting way.

Here’s my list of things to help me keep myself encouraged until this funky cloud that’s been making it’s home over my head blows away.

How do provide encouragement to yourself when your heart get gloomy?


One Response

  1. maria cordner Apr 23, 13
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