Color your World

7 Nov

We have so much to be grateful for!

Add color to your world.. To your life…

Check out this video, and appreciate the things we take for granted.

Until Next Time, Much Love

Mrs. SPJ 🙂

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What a Plus Year!

9 Aug

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Christian with Ms. Christa & Ms. Paige

Today I sit overjoyed.
Overwhelmed. Truly Thankful.
Christian completed his first year with Pediatrics Plus and we couldn’t be happier!
Our story started with Pediatrics Plus not too long ago, yet the place already feels like “home”.

When Christian turned 1, we started noticing things were a little different, but we couldn’t put our finger on it. We went through the Autism screenings and more to only find out we have quite the “Sensational Little Boy”.
You can read about that here.

When someone tells you there is something “different” about your child, you start questioning what you could have possibly done wrong, your “ideal view” (which is stupid by the way) is shattered, and you feel lost. All you wanna do is “fix it” because at the time all you know is that your perfect child seems “broken” because when you have a child with special needs, you initially focus on “what’s wrong” when really there’s nothing to be fixed at all. You, “the parent”, realize that you’re the one that needs fixing, along with the world that has a long way to go in accepting these beautiful extrodinary children for who they are. That’s where I am today and that’s where the team at Pediatrics Plus has been SINCE DAY ONE.

Christian & Jen

Christian & Jen

Christian started at Peds Plus with therapy after he was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). He was given some of the best rockstar therapists from the start. It was determined early on that he needed a speech therapist since his vocabulary was almost non-existent. Jen took him in and made him work from the beginning. She worked through the meltdowns, the sensory issues, and layed the ground work. Shortly after came Anna. Christian accepted Anna from the beginning and I always told them, “I think he has a thing for Blondes.” Anna and Jen made a

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Christian and Anna!

dynamic team and they did everything in their power to get him to where he needed to be. They both assured me, if I could get him in the preschool, I would see a world of difference, and, boy, were they right! They continued with therapy and we were making great strides, and then after being on the waiting list, Christian was set to start preschool in 2016.

I was nervous. He had been in Soulie (Grandma) school once we realized that traditional daycare wasn’t cutting it anymore. He would be entering a new world, and they were going to teach him, work through the sensory issues, the delays, yet I still didn’t know what to expect. I was told Jen would no longer be his therapist, I was even more nervous. Who was going to keep my son on track, help him with speech, and who would be teaching this superhero 3 year old of mine? Here comes Ms. Christa, Ms. Paige, Becca, and later Mr. Jordan.

All of a sudden we had a team on our side. We had teachers and a new therapist who knew how to work through the kinks (that’s all they are), who knew how to build those skills, push the limits, and push my child to be the incredible little boy that he is. They cheered through his triumphs, encouraged him through his difficulties, and sat with him when leaving mommy in the morning was just a bit too hard.

They kept food diaries, to assist during the time when food textures became too much and he refused to eat. When words became hard and Christian was having a rough day, he had a speech therapist there who was willing to be creative and teach through play, who celebrated when he could say the “ink” in pink, and so much more. (Becca I could go on and on about how awesome you have been) All of a sudden my husband and I weren’t in it by ourselves. We had a team who celebrated victories, who were there at his birthday party, and became a true part of our family.

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Christian with BECCA!

Christian was no longer by himself either. My son, who only had the close family friends who saw past everything, now had friends. He even had his special friends Molly Kate and Emma (love those girls). Christian loves Emma so he tries to take care of her and Molly Kate, well that sweet feisty little girl just loves on my son and I’m so grateful that she’s a part of his life (she has the best family too).

Christian has an increased vocabulary, isn’t as afraid as he was in public environments, works through his sensory issues, loves to read books, and seems to be a happier, full of life, he has the sweetest friends, and super loving little boy.

Emma and Christian

Emma and Christian

So today, My heart is full. I’m thankful for each and everyone of you. You have made such a dynamic team for my son and you’ve forever changed his life.

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Ms. Christa, Molly Kate, Becca, Christian & Ms. Paige

Ms. Christa- Thanks for loving on him when he was having those hard mornings, and assuring me that he was having incredible days just rough minutes ( not even mornings) because they would never last longer than 4 minutes). Thanks for  teaching him so much! I swear he has asked for every book that you ever shared during Circle Time! Thanks for being such an amazing teacher and always reminding me that Christian is extremely smart and he will go far!

Ms. Paige- I swear you were Cj’s First Crush. How many stories have I heard with Ms. Paige’s name in it? How many times did I hear, I’m going to hang with Ms. Page (I guess he doesn’t just like Blondes!, ha ha) Thanks for always being so sweet and soft with him. For always being willing to provide that extra little love in the morning. It made a WORLD of difference for him, and I want you to know it doesn’t go unnoticed. Thanks for being an awesome babysitter too!

Mr. Jordan- Thanks for being Cj’s friend. He would always talk about playing with Mr. Jordan and cool things that Mr. Jordan showed him in class. Every kid needs a guy like you in his corner.

Anna- Thanks for sticking with us from the beginning. Thanks for never giving up on my son, for your INCREDIBLE communication and for always willing to come up with solutions. You never stop, no matter what time it is, and you’ve always been so accessible to me. I’m so grateful for you.

Jen-Thanks for being the beginning of our journey. Thanks for laying the foundation and being so incredible.Thanks for pushing, encouraging, and just being you!

Becca- MAN! Thanks for just being you. For your heart. Your Spirit. Your soul. Your love for my son. For pushing him. For never settling for mediocrity. For never giving up. You are a light my friend like no other, and I’m glad to know you.

To my fellow pediatric mommas I’ve become so close with- Whitney-Nikki-Janaye-Thanks for being rockstars. Thanks for being supportive, shedding tears with me, laughing with me, and being in my corner. I can’t forget Mary Lu and Paula either!

To all of Pediatrics Plus Faculty & Staff in Little Rock, thanks for being so awesome and for showing everyone that these children aren’t different, they are “special”. Unique. One of a Kind. Thank you for showing the world, that the kids who go here are dynamic, little superheroes who will change the world one day.

Thank you for being a champion for my kid and being behind me 100%.
I’m in awe of each and everyone of you, and how far Christian has come.
Thank you for being a part of our extended family. We love you all very much.

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs.SPJ 🙂

 

Easter Remembrance 

15 Apr

It’s that time of year again when all the little girls are  getting ready to be dolled up in brand new dresses and little boys will be running around scuffing up those brand new church shoes. Ladies have picked out their perfect outfit, some with the final touch of a perfect hat, as the men prepare to get suited up  a in their Sundays best. So many of us fixated with our eyes on our appearance, and I can’t take my eyes off the cross.

I always get super emotional around Easter and I just can’t help it. The idea; the thought; the emotion behind someone dying for me, is more than my heart can even handle at times. 

I find myself going through the gospel from time to time  in disbelief, because we all know how flaky human beings can be at times, and even when Jesus asked God to “take this cup from me” he didn’t allow temptation or fear to overwhelm him. He carried out what was set before him and if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is. 

Today, as we remember the power of the cross and the depth of his love, let us not forget what it means:

1. Jesus died for us because God loves us so much. (John 3:16) Sin was keeping us from the world, and Jesus’ death became the bridge back to our father and that bridge is ALWAYS open, which means nothing we can say or do will keep us from him. 

2. God isn’t asking us to be perfect, he doesn’t expect us to be perfect ( he is) so don’t put expectations on yourself that God doesn’t even have for you! (I will get into this point more a few lines down) 

3.  God loves everyone ( go back to point one). We aren’t here to justify what is right or wrong, we are here to love and point people to the word, let them see for themselves how much God loves them and discover truth. Don’t let a “view” or “mindset” distort who God is for others. He’s pretty awesome, and here for errybody (yes, I meant it like that).

4. God wants what is best for you. That doesn’t mean life will be easy. Everything works for the good of the Lord ( Romans 8:28) Not some things, sometimes, on occasion, EVERYTHING. So just hold on, he’ll pull you through.

5. God isn’t keeping score. He isn’t condemning  u for what you have done. ((Romans 8:1) There arent bonus love points for being a pastor and news flash, there are no GOOD christians.  There is no such thing. So stop beating yourself up and telling yourself you need to be a “better” Christian. Love him, follow him, and keep his commandments. (And guess what, if you don’t, he still loves you). 

Be encouraged, friends. Stop being so hard on yourself! Oh how he loves us and I’m so glad he does and on this Easter, I just want to remind you what that love means.  It means he loves us when we do good, when we do bad and when we are in the darkest places, his light is still shining, if you look for it. You are never too far from God, and on this Easter, I hope you feel the love our Good, Good, father has for us.

Until Next time, much Love,

Mrs.Spj:)

P.S.- I’m so in love with this shirt Lift Her Up Clothing

Your church could do More.

6 Feb

Don’t get offended, it’s the truth.

I know some of y’all are already shaking your head at this post and before you begin rattling off the list of amazing things that your church does for the community, let me explain.

I’ve volunteered with nonprofits for most of my life and have even worked in the nonprofit sector for 10 years (this year!)  Although my experience may be short to some, I can tell you I’ve learned quite a bit in the few years that I have been here and I can tell you or almost guarantee you, your church could be doing more. Let me explain.

You could provide SPACE- Yes, my friends, sometimes simply having a location or space outside of an organization’s very own offices allows them to expand their reach, and serve more people at one time. While some organizations have space to do the types of services and events they do, many of them don’t.

You could provide PEOPLE- In my experience, a lot of organizations could do more if they had the hands to do it! A lot of times when serving the community, you get bombarded with people and I always think, if we just had DOUBLE the amount of people, it would make a difference.

You could provide SERVICES- Yep. That’s right. I know that many of you provide services already, but if you could reach out to people besides the ones living in your neighborhood to expand those services, imagine what could happen!

You could provide TRANSPORATION- This issue is a big one. I have heard from numerous parents and caregivers, that many times they would like to take advantage of opportunities and do more, but they just don’t have a way to get there or the funds to get a ride.

You could provide FOOD- Of course, that is literal for some organizations that feed the homeless, etc. but have you ever offered to provide food for an organization’s event, or for families,. etc? Do you know how many events, meetings, and programs go on, but we have families that are hungry? I’m just saying.

Most importantly, You could provide something OUTSIDE OF THE WALLS that you dwell in. (No pun intended, well kinda) I have knocked on several church doors and have dealt with quite a few church folks in my life, and I will tell you that a lot of them had something in common: They wanted to do good as long as it was in their comfort zone. It’s time churches stopped pushing this “Church” Agenda and became more people centered. Who cares how many members you have or if you have the biggest and baddest choir in the land! What are you doing to reach ALL people? How are you helping our brothers and sisters?  We’ve got some scary times going on right now, and it’s time that churches
focus on what’s most important: Loving God and People. That’s it. No fancy gimmicks, extravagant banquets, or tv ads. You don’t even have to recreate the wheel! There are already amazing organizations out here doing some great things that just need help! Simply, help people where they are and if I have learned anything from growing up in the church to giving my life to nonprofit, that is it.

So you can roll your eyes at this post if you want to and maybe even get a little attitude in your spirit, but at the end of the day, I’d rather you think about what else you could be doing to advance the mission of Jesus.

“And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 10:27  (ESV)

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs.SPJ 🙂

My Little Giant Slayer

30 Jan

dsc_0852-1My little Giant Slayer, Christian.

I’m so proud to be his mom and  of each and every stride he makes each day to be smarter and stronger even while his senses at times put him in overdrive.

If you know the back story of my little CJ, you know all about My Sensational Little Boy and the different struggles he has faced from having difficulties with motor movements to being a year behind in speech. I always knew he wasn’t exactly where he needed to be no matter how much I worked with him, and a trip to the doctor and some evaluations affirmed what I already knew.  My child was very behind and not at the level most children his age were.

As his mother, it was heartbreaking. When you dream of having a child, you hope and pray that they will be healthy, have their father’s dashing features and your smile, but you never think, time will pass, and that you will find something is different and not like every other little child. Regardless, I’ve always been grateful that God chose me to be his mom even if at times it was very hard and I didn’t know how to help him.

Fast forward a year and a half since opening up about my son and  hisSensory Processing Disorder  Diagnosis,  we have come so far!! Christian started at Pediatrics Plus Preschool which has helped him TREMENDOUSLY! He has amazing teachers and therapists who love him and truly want to see him succeed. They don’t give up! Since starting in August, his vocabulary has increased, his motor skills have improved, his interactions, and so much more! We’ve struggled with potty training, and I’m happy to say over the last week, we’ve made HUGE Progress that means little to no accidents, trips to the potty (even when we are out and about) and someone has some Big boy Mickey briefs on today!

My little Giant Slayer. At times I feel like I was so eager for him to be where he needed to be because I didn’t want him to be behind and I think my future self doesn’t want him to have to deal with bullying like so many other kids have to today. I also feel like as parents we give ourselves these invisible measuring sticks and when our kids don’t meet certain milestones we feel like failures or that maybe we didn’t try hard enough or do it right.
Christian’s OT said it best the other day, “He just needs time”.

So put down the invisible measuring sticks and ignore what those around you say (or what you tell yourself they are saying behind your back) Just do your best and Don’t give up. I guarantee you, you are probably doing the right thing. It just takes time.

As far as Christian, he continues to surprise me everyday with the things he says, the games he plays, and his little cute loving personality.

I love this shirt from Beacon Threads because it represents my son so much.  No matter what Giants he faces, he SLAYS them every time! Not to mention, he’s pretty stylish too! These rad jeans came from Farm Fresh Denim!

Stay encouraged friends! Get answers! Work Hard, and whatever you do, DON’T GIVE UP!

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs. Spj 🙂

P.S.- None of this would be even possible, if God didn’t continue to look out for us and make it possible and for that I’m eternally grateful!

 

I Can’t.

27 Jan

Seem to get it together.
Writing is one of those things that I love to do so much, yet still I find it hard to post the occasional blog posts for you after promising them to you. (What’s that about?)

Could it be that my life is so chaotic at times I don’t know if I’m coming or going, hence the last thing that pops into my mind is to write?

There were times when I would get a moment of solitude and in my friendly little app, I’d write whatever my heart desires.

I want to promise you that I will bring you stories of laughter, motherhood, and the attempt to do this thing called “life” but I can’t.

I can’t make those promises. So I’ll simply say, I’ll try and do better.

Is that good enough?

Until Next Time, Much Love.

They’re watching.

8 Jul

This morning I woke up, and my son was smiling in his sleep.

He doesn’t know what is going on in our world right now.
He’s oblivious to it. For that, I’m thankful.

But then, I began to think about all the children who DO know what’s going on.
What this means to them, how it affects them, and what they are thinking.
While we are all caught up in our own agendas, our thoughts, our actions;

Our children are watching.

So what will we do?

We will stand up for what’s right, but do it with respect.

We will share truth, as raw and as real as it is.

We will take action, but we will not support violence of ANY kind from ANYONE.
You cannot support the Black Lives Matter movement, by taking the lives of innocent officers who truly believe in protecting and serving.

We will be honest, We will be real, We will be authentic.

We won’t excuse our emotions, but we won’t let them control us nor make us lose control.

I’ve heard children asking, am I doomed because I am black? I’ve seen kids wonder and even question if they’re “black was even beautiful” because society keeps telling them that it’s bad. It’s wrong.

Working in Outreach, I see so many children from various backgrounds just trying to fight poverty, not even knowing the fight that stands before them due to their sex or color of their skin. It’s a completely different kind of war.

We must teach our children that LOVE is the greatest gift on Earth, and that God loved us so much, he made us all very different and beautiful like that colors of a rainbow.

We must teach them that not everyone has gotten the memo, and that YES, in this world you may be treated differently because of your skin color, your academic level, or whatever fill in the blank hate chooses.

We must teach them and PREPARE them to deal with whatever situations they may find themselves in due to them being who they are.

We must teach them that not ALL of one group is bad, and that hate can come in any form.

We must teach them that despite what history has shown, Black Lives Matter. Latinos Lives Matter. White Lives Matter. THEIR LIVES Matter.

So as I watch my son sleep, I want to remind you to stay encouraged, hold on to hope, and remember, They’re watching.

Until Next Time, Much Love,
MRSSPJ

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