Tag Archives: christian

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 🙂

 

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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

I MET a man.

6 Oct

I met a man yesterday.

20151005_131440You see, I had seen this man a few times before kinda hanging out around this local Chinese food spot.

One of our CI Babies (what we call kids in our program) who went through the program years ago, needed a ride to meet this tow truck company. She had been waiting for months to get her car and today was the day. She finally got her keys back from a relative, and I told her I’d take her to get her car!

When we pulled up, this man (who is always friendly I might add) came over with joy,
“You are finally getting your car!”, he said to the young lady.

She was eager and he was so happy for her. Her car had sat in that parking lot for months and now she was going to be able to have it moved to a safer location, until the proper work was done on her car.

When the tow truck company arrived, this man offered some advice, and helped get her car safely onto the truck.
He then walked over to me, “Do you have a quarter?”

He asked me this the last time I saw him and I smiled.

“What are you going to do with a quarter?”

I wasn’t asking out of pure nosiness, but trying to figure out what this man would do with $0.25.

He responded, “Well If you give me a quarter, and others give me a quarter, Ill have just enough to go grab me a burger from McDonalds.”

I then said, “What is your name?”

He said, “Ronnie!”

“Ronnie, I don’t have a quarter-”

He simply thanked me anyway, but I wasn’t finished.

“I don’t have a quarter, but here’s what I can do. If you stay and keep V company, Ill run and go get you that burger from McDonalds”.
He smiled and said, “Okay, I can do that!”
I said, “What else?”

He looked shocked, and said “How about a Coke?”
“Well Ronnie, I can do that!”

I came back shortly, and handed Ronnie 2 cheeseburgers, fries, and a medium Coke.

He smiled and said, “I really appreciate that, I owe you one,” I simply replied,  you don’t owe me anything.

Jesus paid it all anyways right?

V hugged him and told him she would see him around. I asked her how she knew him, “He’s homeless but he’s a good man”.
I’ve always admired V’s determination to work hard to excel in life despite her circumstances, and her willingness to accept any and everyone.
I had seen this man before, but yesterday I MET him. He had a name. He knew cars because he worked on them before he became homeless.

You see, these people may be HOMELESS, but they had lives before (AND AFTER).
They are just like you and I with dreams, aspirations,etc.
If you peel back the heaviness and grunginess of homelessness, you will see that they aren’t just the annoying person on the corner hounding you for money. If you got the chance for a second to ask them their name, send them a God Bless you, and got to know them, you may find yourselves and God tucked away on the inside.

I’m saying alll of this to say, EVERYONE needs a little Sunshine in their life. There are people in this world that need to know that when they feel all hope is gone, there are rays like us, filled with God’s love, ready to spread it and shine down on the darkness an
d harsh realities the world throws our way.

Until Next Time, Much Love,

Mrs. SPJ 🙂

A $10 and an I love you

30 Sep

So after the initial interruption in my last post where I blessed a mom with a mere $10, I went to Bible Study last Wednesday and something remarkable happened.
At the end of Bible Study, a woman handed me $10 to bless someone else. REALLY!??!?
I sat there literally in shock, and called the Women’s Ministry Director, Shannon, over at Rock Creek.
We both just held our mouths open, and when I finally got home, I said to myself, “Okay God, I see where you are going with this. I will save this $10 and bless someone else with it.”
I let the hustle and bustle of life, being a mom, and the weekend, occupy me, but I never forgot that $10.
I knew from the minute I was given the $10 who I was going to bless with it.

Ms. Oliver.
She’s a 53 year old amazing woman who took in 6 kids in her house to give them a place called home.
She’s such an amazing person, and I can’t imagine how big her heart is to take on a task that huge.
She gives these kids love, gets them to school and church faithfully, and gives everything she has to these kids.
The thing is though, it takes a lot out of her, and she struggles to do so. I called her on Monday and asked her what she needed and she said whatever I could bring. She had just got out of the hospital after being there for a few days and she wanted the kids to have the food. I began asking her what kind of food the kids ate and I just started creating a list. When I got to the grocery store, I realized my $10 and her list didn’t add up, but I was determined that I was going to get what was on her list, and not be guided by this $10 although that’s what prompted it.

I began placing in my cart, chicken nuggets, cereal, Crystal Light, Sandwich Meat, Cheese, etc. I was determined to get everything on her list regardless of the cost. I added quite a bit to the $10 and was thankful for the seed placed in my heart but was more happy that I’d be able to put a dent in what this family needed.

When I got to their home, Ms. Oliver was so thankful, and so was the youngest! I captured this cute photo of him in the kitchen while I put away the groceries!
20150928_134611She was so grateful, and as I filled her refrigerator I was completely humbled. She barely had anything in her refrigerator and in her pantry. I still think we can do more!!!

I share this with you, not for the “go stephs” or “bless your heart”, but I share this with you so that you can be encouraged to be a vessel, help others, and see people around you who may be struggling. Last night, as I left a work dinner, I met a homeless man in the middle of the street. He could barely be seen, but there he was just standing, looking for food, money, etc.After giving him some money I asked him his name. His name was Johnny and he was just really trying to find something eat. I assumed by the looks of it, he wasn’t a stranger to the streets and had been just wandering around downtown. I told Johnny I had to get home, but that I’d be praying for him and that I loved him. He looked at me rather shocked, and said well I appreciate that, I love you back, and you don’t know how much your smile alone, means to me.

This is what Jesus was about people! It’s not about doing good a few times of year and then going back to your cozy homes and lifestyles! It’s about loving on people, sharing with people, and being a friend to those, that others may turn the cheek to. It’s about loving people regardless of their past, their political party, their failures, and their horrible decisions. Last night I stopped in the middle of the street, and the light was green. Some people may call that crazy, I call it trusting God and KNOWING that he puts people in my path and me in places for a reason.

So I encourage you today, do something nice for someone else. Really SEE people, instead of just passing them by like so many other people in this world do. A great message from one of my favorite people (although he probably doesn’t know it), Greg Kirskey, encourages us to get back to the place where we see people as opportunities other than opponents. To hear the full message you can go here,


I’m still learning and growing, and trying to live my life more like Jesus!
Don’t worry, I’m always safe. I go with God.  I want you to just look around you and really SEE people and
the difference you can make.
To think, this week I’ve simple done it with a $10 and I love you.

Let’s make our lives missional people, instead of simply going on missions.

Until Next time, Much Love,

Mrs. Spj 🙂

P.S.- If you aren’t ready to make a difference, or you aren’t sure how to begin, please pick my brain for ideas! At my job we work with over 3200 children and youth in poverty so I’m pretty sure I can find a way for you to give back and help. 🙂

5.21.13

21 Jun

The day my life forever changed.

On May 20th, I went to my Doctor’s appointment so that they could check to see if I had any progress on going into labor. At almost 41 weeks, they decided that I should go to the hospital and possibly be ready to give birth. At about 2 p.m I arrived to the hospital, bags packed and all, and after many routine checks and being probed, they admitted me due to low amniotic fluid. It was during that time, I was told that It looked like I may be having a 7 lb baby (although the nurse gave me the side eye when I told her that was what the doctor said.)

I wasn’t showing any signs of labor (no dilation and barely any effacement) so they decided to induce my labor. After I was stuck about 8 times because they couldn’t find my veins to being so swollen, the process began. The contractions started coming on but I pulled through. It was nice to have my mother and husband both there to support me through this whole process. It was in the very late evening, my mom convinced me to get an epidural. After all of the contractions and hours had passed, there were still no signs. They gave me oxygen because I was having trouble breathing through the whole process which was the Best part to me! I felt so free! As time passed, they noticed that during some contractions, the baby’s heart rate would drop but they kept a close eye on the baby. My doctor came in and she was really concerned that I still hadn’t shown any signs of giving birth. She brought up the infamous “C” word, but said she still wanted to see what my body could do and she wasn’t ready to give up on a natural birth just yet.

Well during the waiting period, My husband had the bright idea to run home and take a shower and pick up some things. I didn’t think it was a good idea, but he insisted. The way things were going, I didn’t know what to expect, so I wanted him close by. Well shortly after he left, they came in, and said we are taking the baby via C section. My mom called him, and he rushed back to the hospital. It appeared after 23 hours, Baby Jones wasn’t dropping, wasn’t showing any progress, and it was hurting him more the longer I was in labor.

So my husband arrived (he got there super fast) and bolted into the room. The nurses were scared when they saw him running because they didn’t know WHAT was going on. I think he just wanted to make sure he was there and didn’t miss anything.

After all was said and done, at 5:28 p.m., my handsome Christian was born weighing 9 lbs and 1 oz!

Shortly after he was born...

Shortly after he was born…

When they said how much he weighed, I thought I would pass out! No wonder I was having such a hard time delivering. I was literally “all baby”!

Today, I celebrate my son. He is momma’s little man and perfect for me in every single way. I can’t believe he is already 1 month old!

One Month Today!

One Month Today!

 

It has been so wonderful to see how God has blessed my family, and to watch him change and grow each and every day. I love seeing myself and his father in his personality, features, etc. I can’t wait to watch him grow and to see all that God has in store for him. Here’s to you little man!

Until Next Time, Much Love,

MRS. SPJ

P.S.- I know I haven’t posted as I normally do, but you can still keep up with me via Instagram and Twitter.

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