Tuesday, July 31, 2012

good for me.

we've just returned from being out of town.
not to be confused with vacation. this was far from that.
and not just because patrick was working, but because it was mostly difficult.

the little trip west was beautiful! the drive was calculated at just under four hours. elijah and i made it in six.
which was two less than i figured it would actually be. so i was pleased. i think.

driving alone across the north dakota prairie land is not something i'd recommend to anyone. 
and i am not sure i'll do it again. i braved it because i missed my husband, 
and it's hard at home without him around to help and encourage, you know? 
so, i packed up everything that elijah and i needed, and got on the road.

at first i was energized, and looking forward to joining patrick. 
he was working to help a new verizon store get going in another town. 
i was working to keep my sanity.
we stopped often. to retrieve toys from the floorboards or for rest stops.

this little trip, the driving and the hotel stay, 
showed me that i am a long way from knowing what the heck i'm doing.

i felt inadequate.
and a little bit angry.

i think i was angry at myself.
my secret hope had been that this little trip would be fun and maybe even restful for me in some way. 
it did turn out to be fun. but not in the ways i expected. but isn't that the story of life?

one thing i'd planned to do while exploring the great western prairie, was visit a friend.
kaylee was so sweet to invite me and elijah to her home for the afternoon.
we had a blast! it blessed my heart so deeply, chatting with kaylee and seeing her sweet, funny girls.

i've met kaylee in real life only once, at blog sugar. but we've been "blog friends" for awhile,
and i was super looking forward to seeing her and hanging out a bit. there was a tiny part of me that was terrified. 
you see, i am not that comfortable in social situations yet, parenting with autism.
i don't know any less embarrassing way to tell you that. and you need to know, it isn't elijah. it's all me
i am the one who is lacking confidence. i am the one who is fearful of how we are perceived.

this little visit with these special friends? it revealed a few things to me.
examples being, i have extreme anxiety and expect the worst. in others and myself.

not the prettiest things to see in yourself, i assure you.

but do you know what the lord did after i recognized this in me?
he calmed my spirit. he drew me close to himself. he helped me to relax.
he helped me to let go.
he made me enjoy that visit with my friends.
he allowed me to accept their love and hospitality, and not worry about anything.

i felt at home. well, i felt even more than at home. 
at home, i don't sit down to eat. that afternoon? 
i sat in a chair and let elijah wander all over the place, exploring new people and surroundings.
he tried on boots and hats, and we joined him. he unloaded shelves of cute toys. he didn't eat his lunch.
and it was all perfectly wonderful.
at the park i chased after my little runaway, and i didn't cry when we returned. 
because i felt loved and supported. not judged and helpless.

the lord is working on me here, friends. in this crazy area of my life.
he used kaylee and her sweet girls on friday to show me...i am not alone.
i can have friends. i can stop judging myself, and ask for help when i need it and not feel ashamed.

i'm grateful for the precious parts of our little trip.

i'm even grateful for the wild, scary and not so precious parts.
one thing's for certain, elijah had a terrific time!
and every minute was growth for me. each moment was good for me.

praise the lord!
i will thank the lord with all my heart
as i meet with his godly people.
how amazing are the deeds of the lord!
all who delight in him should ponder them.
everything he does reveals his glory and majesty.
his righteousness never fails.
he causes us to remember his wonderful works.
how gracious and merciful is our lord.
{psalm 111:1-4}


  1. Hannah, I want to tell you how all kids run away from their moms or throw fits in public... But I know you already know that. And I'm thinking you have a lot more grace for those other moms than you do for yourself. You deserve the same grace too. XOXO

  2. Great post - you are such an encouragement to me Hannah.

  3. i'm totally jealous, i wish i could meet you in person!!! :) some day maybe?? anyways, girl i so relate unfortunately: "i have extreme anxiety and expect the worst." um, guilty. extremely guilty. in the last 24 hours guilty. i pray the lord calms my spirit too.

  4. this is a GOOD post hannah.
    i am so thankful and grateful that you and kaylee got to meet up.
    i can clearly see the Lord's divine hand in that adventure for you.
    and i'm so happy for it, and for you. :) He knows what you need and he gives it to you just when you need it. He is so good.

    also, i am the worst BA friend, I had no clue kaylee was at blog sugar! did i meet her when I was there?!?! EEK!

  5. I am so proud of you for taking the chance and leaving the house. I need to learn this lesson here too.


  6. God put you heavy on my heart about a week ago. I was just praying for all these things for you...friendship, the loneliness, etc. I even wrote my next BR post as a prayer for moms of special needs mamas as a result of my prayer time about you. He is so good. I am so thankful your experience was a moment for you to receive His grace. Much love to you, Hannah.

  7. God is so perfect at giving us exactly what we need exactly when we need it. i am over joyed that your time with kaylee was so wonderful.

    "For the LORD will be your confidence,
    And will keep your foot from being caught."
    Proverbs 3:2

    that being said hannah. if the Lord is with you who can be against you... your a wonderful mother. even when times are hard i know you give it all to God. we have one judge. one. everyone else's thoughts of you or how you parent etc aren't important.

    keep stepping out of your comfort zone friend. He's got this!

    kisses and hugs to you!

  8. Hannah, You need to know that ALL mothers lack confidence in their parenting, and we all question if what we are doing is right. Don't beat yourself up about that. As always, I wish I could give you a huge hug.

  9. I can relate in that I too "have extreme anxiety and expect the worst. in others and myself." It keeps me from many social situations. God does give me small bits of opportunities to grow once in a while and I am trying to make the most of them. It sounds like you sure did :) So glad you got to be free from your own chains for a bit!

  10. you are one cool mama to brave a road trip solo and i'm so proud to know you via the www. i love to read the things you are learning....so often mimicing my own lessons!

  11. i want to echo what so many are saying....we all lack confidence in parenting, we all question our decisions and frankly, leaving the house with my three kiddos has never been my definition of fun. vacation and trips are work, not vacation. yes, they have fun but i realized a long time i was going to have to change my perspective about going away with kids. and while i can't relate or understand what having a child with autism is like, i can say you are doing a great job! thanks for sharing.

  12. omigosh, i understand 100%. When ollie was at the height of his spd problems, i was TERRIFIED of being around people. because a lot of people ARE judgey and were judgey of me at the point as well. I had some unkind things that were said. but i realized that my "fear of man" was turning into an idol. God's opinion is the only one that should matter to me. I knew that i was doing the best I knew how. It should not matter what people thought. and i should say, there were some people who were WONDERFUL and that helped a ton.

    This said, I am SO HAPPY that you have found people in your life that accept you and love you for who you are as a parent. You are doing great and I wish we could hang out. I assure you that Elijah could do just about anything and it was not phase me:)

  13. Man Hannah! This made me.cry and I already knew all this about your time away. The fact of the matter is that I rarely go out in public because I am not strong enough to handle miles on my own right now. I'm lonely, and this time is super challenging for me. I am encouraged by you sharing today.i love you and I ain't lion. You inspire me and I look up to you in a lot of ways as a mother & a friend. I love you Hannah girl!

    Paws for peace today.

  14. You are my new role model... 6 hour trip alone...I can't even work up a trip to the store alone sometimes :)

    Thanks for sharing...as always you are uplifting!

  15. God is being glorified through you, and i love that as much as he does.

    you make people not feel alone in their whatever, hannah. that is a gift. a gift i needed today.

  16. My heart swells for you while reading this. I love that God provided comfort for you. So many times we doubt ourselves and need to remember that we have the Ultimate Provider. It warms my heart hear the love that you felt while with your friend! God is so good!

  17. Oh goodness... I can relate in such a funny flip-flop way.

    This week we got to meet a much beloved blog friend who has a son with autism. I hoped very much that I would know how to act, how not to act, what to say, what not to say... and then began stressing over how SHE would perceive ME! What would she think of my wild child, my deafness?

    And it was just utter nonsense. God blessed us with a wonderful time and reminded me that He brings people together - and we are the ones who complicate things!

    So thankful for the wonderful visit you had... how good He is!

  18. oh bless your sweet heart, Hannah!
    i'm just so glad you found comfort with your friend and
    that God was able to provide that for you.
    He knows our weakness and with his help, they become strengths.
    as stressful as this trip was.. it's what you needed.. in order to grow
    and to become stronger.
    you are a strong mother warrior. you've got this girl. :)

  19. i'm so glad you braved the drive and everything else to make this trip. and praise the Lord for Godly friends and chances to sit while eating!!

  20. Thank you for your honesty, Hannah.
    It's beautiful!