When Church Is The Hardest Place

disability ministry

We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing.

No, we need to keep on encouraging each other.

This becomes more and more important as you see the Day getting closer.

Hebrews 10:25 ERV

When my son was little, he was just one of the babies in the church nursery. I never gave much thought to the idea that things might not always be that simple.

But as he grew older, the problems started. He needed direct supervision at all times and didn’t walk until he was four. Tired, overwhelmed and just wanting to sit in church on Sundays with my husband once in awhile, I asked about finding some buddies for him. I was told they didn’t have enough people.

We attempted a number of arrangements but nothing ever stuck. Invariably it was a member of our family who had to be in there with him every week. Sometimes the arguing started in the car…

“Who’s going in with him this week?”

We were all tired. And after awhile, it started to become easier for me say, “I’ll just stay at home with him.” Of course this wasn’t a real solution. Prone to depression and anxiety, I needed to be in church just as much as anybody else. Our marriage needed it. My hurt and resentment began to grow. I was beginning to feel like “that mom.” The one whose son was always acting up and always needed something. Feeling excluded. I reasoned that if church was going to be a country club for perfect Christian families, I didn’t really want to be a part of it. We were never going to measure up. It was certainly toxic thinking on my part but that is where I was.

And then it happened that I had a chance to visit a faith and disability conference where Pastor Joel Hunter was speaking. It rocked my world. I saw people and a church who genuinely loved the disability community and wanted to help parents like us. In fact, he stated that the church needed them more than they needed us..because they ground us. We become more like Christ in our love and service to them.

We found another church with more inclusive ideas about special needs children and adults with disabilities and it has made all the difference in the world for our family.

But there’s still so much to be done in every community. The church must be on the front lines of reaching out to the disability community but it’s an uphill battle.

Here are some links to other bloggers who have also spoken out on the importance of disability ministry.
Where Churches and Disability Meet

How Christians Should Respond to Kids With Mental Health Issues

7 Tips For Finding The Right Church When Your Child Has Special Needs

10 Steps Toward Special Needs Inclusion In Your Congregation

7 Reasons Why Churches Fail Special Needs Kids

special needs moms

My Favorite Blogs for Encouragement

encouraging blogs

Part of self care is learning to reach out to others. Many of us struggle with isolation. Our schedules are overloaded the daily-ness of caregiving, advocating, medical and therapy appointments leaving very little time for socializing. While nothing can replace time spent together in real life, it can be really encouraging to find a few blogs that are consistently encouraging and refreshing.

Use an app like Feedly to help organize them and keep for quick reference. Before you jump on Facebook or other social media, take a few minutes to read something positive and encouraging.

I’m going to keep things simple and just list five seven of my go-to websites for spiritual refreshment.

She Reads Truth – I can’t say enough good things about this site. It has revitalized my devotional time which had become quite stale and now, I don’t miss a day.

Rachel Wojo – practical Christian living helps to help you walk out your faith every day.

Clare Smith – If you’re like me, practicing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t come easy. I check in with her frequently to help me keep motivated.

Sheri Dacon writes extensively about her faith, struggles, disability and the church.

Ellen Stumbo is a mom of three, two with special needs. Her heart is to encourage churches to embrace disability.

Gillian Marchenko is a mom of two girls with Down Syndrome. She also writes eloquently about depression.

Special Needs Parenting is a blog whose mission is to remind special needs parents that they’re not alone.

Do you have any favorite sites to help you stay encouraged along the way?

special needs moms


Learning to Forgive

learning to forgive

"And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespassed against us." - Lord's Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer When we think about self care, forgiveness probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Making our spiritual life … [Continue reading]

New Series: 31 Days of Self Care for Special Needs Moms

special needs moms

Where Have I Been? As my regular readers may have noticed, it was a busy summer and I took some time out to think about the direction of this blog. My heart has always been to encourage special needs moms and those impacted by chronic illness or … [Continue reading]

Crazy for Coloring Books

coloring pages

Have you noticed that coloring books are just about everywhere these days? They can be seen at countless retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Target and craft stores. Coloring books and coloring pages are the perfect antidote to our stressful, … [Continue reading]

Thoughts on Going Home Again (Part 2)

New York City

This is a less serious post than my first one, and is just my random observations and pics of my trip to NYC in June. 1. When I was diagnosed with dystonia in 2010 I really thought I'd never be able to do something like this again. I didn't think … [Continue reading]

Thoughts On Going Home Again (Part 1)

Bayside Queens

And a new day will dawn for those who stand long And the forest will echo with laughter Led Zeppelin/Stairway to Heaven The last week of June I took a road trip home to NYC with friends who I had not seen in something like 20 -30 years. We grew … [Continue reading]

National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day

pet disaster preparedness

“The best thing a family can do in the case of an emergency is be prepared, and that includes having a plan in place for your pets. We hope that families take into account some simple steps that will help them feel ready to respond should disaster … [Continue reading]

When Mother’s Day Is Hard

When Mother's Day Is Hard

I don’t look forward to Mother’s Day. I’ve been blessed with a loving husband and four beautiful children but it’s hard not to think about prenatal losses and toxic family relationships. If it were up to me, I’d be happy just to take off to the … [Continue reading]

How to Create a First Aid Kit with Essential Oils

first aid kit essential oils

I've been trying out a variety of essential oils over the past few years. My husband jokingly calls me "the witch doctor." But my kids come to me asking "Is there an oil for ________?" And many times, there is. Many of us keep first aid kits handy … [Continue reading]