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Posts Tagged ‘Perseverence’

perseverence

In my job I get to work with students who may have adaptations availed to them through their Individual Education Plans (IEP). Some of these adaptations might be to have tests and assignments read aloud to them, decreased problems on a test, more time to complete assignments or tests, etc.

None of those adaptations actually change the ability to show that they have learned what is required, but simply to show it differently, so that they are not being ‘tested’ on being tested but on the material learned.

Over the years I have had opportunity to see students thrive once the playing field was levelled, and they were given the chance to show what they really know.

One does not have to have an IEP, though, for there to sometimes be a need to have the playing field levelled to accomplish a task.

Sometimes our paths are not in a direct line, do not follow a prescribed method or journey.

Sometimes we need to take the road less travelled to reach our ultimate destination.

Sometimes we need the help of others to get to where we are going, relying on the family, friends, the community around us to get to make the desired achievement.

Our lives are unique to us, and we do not all succeed best by doing things as others, as expected.

The key is to keep moving forward, not back.

Easy words, but not always easy in practise.

We need to remind ourselves that we too can persevere to accomplish the task at hand. It is not how we get there, or how long it took, but that we didn’t give in and give up.

 

 

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snailTo persevere is to practise persistence, pertinacity, tenacity.

It is to keep going, even when the going gets tough.

It is not easy to keep going when the going gets tough. When life gets tough, we tend to pull back, making a U-turn or a dead end stop. We often change our trajectory, looking for greener pastures. There is a reason that there is a road less travelled … it is bumpy!

Sometimes we do need to avoid the tough road, but often it is the only route to our ultimate destination.

For some it is the pursuit of a career, requiring either night courses, after tiring days at work, or starting a less-than-desired job, knowing you need to pay your dues before you will reach the career of your dreams.

For some it is the pursuit of parenthood, beyond a couple’s biological ability, and through human dissection of every area of their lives to be granted permission to adopt the child of another.

For some it is the fight for a marriage that seems as though were hopeless. Going to any and all lengths to, not just prevent it’s demise, but to flourish into a mutually-gratifying relationship.

For some it is that thing that is controlling their very life. Perhaps the addiction comes through an activity, substance or way of thinking, and will require personal tenacity and assistance from others … the greatest struggle being to acknowledge that the problem is our own.

For some it is tests and treatments that seem worse than the diagnosis itself.

As I continue in my personal study of Hebrews 12, I haven’t made it very far (ironic? I think, yes).

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us
Hebrews 12:1b

As I continue in my pursuit of the sin that hinders, Hebrews is instructing me to not just persevere, but to run with perseverance. I find myself wondering if, what the author is really saying is to persevere in running from my sin? Now that sounds like an intense cardio a work out! That sounds like something that would require an immense and constant choice to be tenacious, persevering.

But … (and doesn’t the Bible usually provide a but?)

that is not all.

The verse continues, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. This is no Amazing Race or Survivor, where obstacles are put in front of us to make us stumble or fail. This is a path with an unknown end to us as the runners, but breadcrumbs have been placed to keep us going in the right direction, by the one who knows of the prize at the end.

This is hard, but the prize is worth persevering through the tough stuff.

Another day on the journey.

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As it was past 10:30pm when I sat down to write, and my brain cells were simply comatose I have done what I do not often do … I re-posted a blog post from the past. This one came easily to mind as I had been in communication twice today with moms of kids with special needs. It is these moms who I most admire. Let me explain …

I am a mom, and I am a special education assistant … but it was becoming a mom was what gave me a better understanding of the people I would be called upon to assist … the students and their families.

In my job I am very aware that God has entrusted ‘my’ students:

first, to their parents …

and w a y down the line, to me.

I am also aware, because I am a mom, that I do not know what is best for them … God didn’t entrust the students to me first.

I am not always right … ask MY kids!

I work with ‘my’ students about six and one half hours a day, for a year, maybe two or three … their moms are with them for life.

To be a mom of a child with special needs means living with public scrutiny, public embarrassment and public shame.

To be a mom of a child with special needs means living with a large host of professionals who ‘are better educated’ about your child’s ‘needs’, than you.

To be a mom of a child with special needs means constantly having to hear what is ‘wrong’ with your child.

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.

I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”

Mother Teresa

But …

To be a mom of a child with special needs also means …

being a mom to a son or daughter

who you have dreams for

(what good mother doesn’t?)

who you have fears for

(what good mother doesn’t?)

who you love, with that unconditional love that is called ‘Momma Love’

(what good mother doesn’t?)

PERIOD!

I remember well the day I realized how heavy the weight can be to be a mom of a child with special needs. The mom was bringing her daughter to school, and I asked how the new ‘special’ air mattress for her child was working. The mom’s reply was that she had just had her first full night’s sleep in YEARS. Now I do not mean one or two years … this ‘child’ was about sixteen years old …

Then there is the mom with a child who, as a toddler, would sit still on a blanket when out at the park. And the other moms of toddlers would tell her how ‘lucky’ she was that she didn’t have to run around after him … when, inside, she so wished that her son would need her to run after him.

Then there is the mom whose son is mostly non-verbal, and can be violent and aggressive. She spends most waking hours ensuring that she knows where he is, as he is a flight risk. When her son does express affection, adoration and love it is never to or for her, because her son only has eyes for other males.

Then there is the mom who spent many years doing homework with / for her son, so that he would not be embarrassed that his work was obviously ‘inferior’ to that of his classmates.

Then there is the mom who has taken on the task of raising the special needs child of another woman. And that child’s special needs are the direct result of the actions of the child’s birth mother.

Then there is the mom, whose child has been so discouraged by teachers, leaders and other adults that don’t ‘believe’ his diagnosis, preferring to think that this student is simply ‘lazy’. And this child, so beaten down by the bad attitudes of some teachers, leaders and adults in his life that he has chosen to be viewed as bad over being seen as stupid. And his mom has picked up the phone far too many times to hear the school principal’s voice to tell her of another antic causing harm to people or property.

And then the mom of the child with Down’s Syndrome (Trisomy 21) who NEVER goes out in public, with her child, without facing strangers staring at her child …

“Hey, keep staring at me and you just might cure my disability.

Then we can work on YOUR social skills.”

Anonymous

How many of us, as parents, as moms, have said, ‘I wish my son, my daughter could stay a baby forever’? To the mom of many special needs children, that wish of yours can be like a curse to them. As they might have a child who will never live independently, or have a job, or learn to drive, or learn to count, or be toilet trained.

I like to think that I have thick skin, but I know that mine is nothing compared to the mom of a child with special needs.

For anyone out there who is the mom of a child/children with special needs, may you know that …

I don’t know more than you, about your child

I don’t look at your child as a disability to our society

I don’t look down at you

I don’t know how you feel

… and there are many more, who feel the same way.

All that to say, I just wanted to give you some positive ‘air time’. And to tell you, that if I have worked with your son or daughter, I have respected, appreciated and prayed for you …and may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

“Perseverance is not a long race.

It is many short races one after another.”

W. Elliot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A while back while in the hairstylist’s chair, this song enters my consciousness. And throughout my being I felt that inner … sigh. That sigh that says, “I heard every word, I felt every emotion, I just experienced the cry of my own heart through the words of a stranger.

I wrote recently about my flawed ability to persevere, and how I have a three year lifespan of interest in just about anything from my job, to hobbies, to even my relationship with my hubby, and it is in that, my relationship with my hubby, that the words of the song in the hairstylist’s chair, spoke to me.

It does not make me proud to admit that my hubby has heard from my lips, statements like:

“I’m done.”
“I cannot keep doing this.”
“I don’t see a future for us.”

And those are just the statements that I am willing to share in writing. Perseverance is not my strength! But, commitment is my strength, and I am thankful for that.

When we married, over twenty-three years ago, I know I expected this marriage thing to be easy, after all we loved each other, and that is all it takes, right? Well about six or seven years into our marriage, when neither of us were as quick or willing to apologize, kiss and make up, as when we were first married, easy was not how I would have described marriage.

There have been failures on the part of both of us. We have had seasons of frustration, boredom, annoyance, anger and apathy with and for each other. There have been times when each of us have failed the other in our initial vows to the other.

Now, twenty-three years later, I know that we had not even touched the tip of the iceberg of what love is when we were married. Now, I know that love is not a feeling, it is a state of being and doing, even when it is ugly, messy, uncomfortable and inconvenient. In the words of someone I heard back when we were first married, “marriage is about bad smells and bad noises,” and if I might add to it, bad attitudes and bad behaviors.

But, it is not all bad …

In our years of marriage, we have had seasons of great joy, great happiness, beautiful memories, mutual love and support of each other. My hubby is my best friend in this world, he knows me like no other, and there is no other who I want to share my darkest nights, or brightest days with. It is with him that I feel a sense of completion that is other-worldly. It is with him that I feel the most real me.

So, as I sat in that hairstylist chair, with the following song penetrating my mind and heart, the statement that came to mind so very clearly was:

“I won’t give up on us”

“God knows we’re worth it.”

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It had been a day week. One in which I was tired, cranky, depressed and hopeless. It was … a week.

As I sat down in front of my technology to try to clean up my email inbox, I was sighing with my lungs, and calculating how many hours until I could go to bed with my mind. The thought of crawling under the warm and safe blankets of my bed was the most appealing future I could desire. All I really wanted to do was hide and sleep.

I noticed a blogger friend had a new post, so I opened it up. She wrote about being a writer, and the question, did she want to be a writer or did she want to have written. Basically, she was asking herself, am I a writer yet (to which I, one of her avid readers, would say, “honey, you ARE a writer”). I could relate to her question, about writing, and about other aspects of my life.

Then I noticed the following video also in my inbox:

Perseverence

“Now we know another thing that won’t work. That’s progress!”
Thomas Edison

My hubby would tell you (accurately) that my lifespan of interest in pretty much anything is three years … tops! Perseverance is not my gift. Thankfully commitment is something that I am gifted for, and it covers a multitude of my non-persevering flaws.

I need to remember the value of persevering, of keeping on in what I am doing, even when it might seem that I am failing miserably. I need to remember that adrenaline highs are not to be expected at all times, and that sometimes our perceived lows are the times when we are learning to maturely just keep going, because if we stop, we might miss the highest height of our experience yet!

Our persevering is a model of integrity, of commitment, of faith in “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion (until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:6).

I really like how Hebrews 12:1-3, especially here from The Message, nails it so well”

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

And so I will persevere, I will keep on, focusing not on the race, but the finish line.

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I am a mom, and I am a special education assistant … but it was becoming a mom was what gave me a better understanding of the people I would be called upon to assist … the students and their families.

In my job I am very aware that God has entrusted ‘my’ students:

first, to their parents …

and  w  a  y  down the line, to me.

I am also aware, because I am a mom, that I do not know what is best for them … God didn’t entrust the students to me first.

I am not always right … ask MY kids!

I work with ‘my’ students about six and one half hours a day, for a year, maybe two or three … their moms are with them for life.

To be a mom of a child with special needs means living with public scrutiny, public embarrassment and public shame.

To be a mom of a child with special needs means living with a large host of professionals who ‘are better educated’ about your child’s ‘needs’, than you.

To be a mom of a child with special needs means constantly having to hear what is ‘wrong’ with your child.

“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.

I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”

Mother Teresa

But …

To be a mom of a child with special needs also means …

being a mom to a son or daughter

who you have dreams for

(what good mother doesn’t?)

who you have fears for

(what good mother doesn’t?)

who you love, with that unconditional love that is called ‘Momma Love’

(what good mother doesn’t?)

PERIOD!

I remember well the day I realized how heavy the weight can be to be a mom of a child with special needs. The mom was bringing her daughter to school, and I asked how the new ‘special’ air mattress for her child was working. The mom’s reply was that she had just had her first full night’s sleep in YEARS. Now I do not mean one or two years …  this ‘child’ was about sixteen years old …

Then there is the mom with a child who, as a toddler, would sit still on a blanket when out at the park. And the other moms of toddlers would tell her how ‘lucky’ she was that she didn’t have to run around after him … when, inside, she so wished that her son would need her to run after him.

Then there is the mom whose son is mostly non-verbal, and can be violent and aggressive. She spends most waking hours ensuring that she knows where he is, as he is a flight risk. When her son does express affection, adoration and love it is never to or for her, because her son only has eyes for other males.

Then there is the mom who spent many years doing homework with / for her son, so that he would not be embarrassed that his work was obviously ‘inferior’ to that of his classmates.

Then there is the mom who has taken on the task of raising the special needs child of another woman. And that child’s special needs are the direct result of the actions of the child’s birth mother.

Then there is the mom, whose child has been so discouraged by teachers, leaders and other adults that don’t ‘believe’ his diagnosis, preferring to think that this student is simply ‘lazy’. And this child, so beaten down by the bad attitudes of some teachers, leaders and adults in his life that he has chosen to be viewed as bad over being seen as stupid. And his mom has picked up the phone far too many times to hear the school principal’s voice to tell her of another antic causing harm to people or property.

And then the mom of the child with Down’s Syndrome (Trisomy 21) who NEVER goes out in public, with her child, without facing strangers staring at her child …

“Hey, keep staring at me and you just might cure my disability.

Then we can work on YOUR social skills.”

Anonymous

How many of us, as parents, as moms, have said, ‘I wish my son, my daughter could stay a baby forever’? To the mom of many special needs children, that wish of yours can be like  a curse to them. As they might have a child who will never live independently, or have a job, or learn to drive, or learn to count, or be toilet trained.

I like to think that I have thick skin, but I know that mine is nothing compared to the mom of a child with special needs.

For anyone out there who is the mom of a child/children with special needs, may you know that …

I don’t know more than you, about your child

I don’t look at your child as a disability to our society

I don’t look down at you

I don’t know how you feel

… and there are many more, who feel the same way.

All that to say, I just wanted to give you some positive ‘air time’. And to tell you, that if I have worked with your son or daughter, I have respected, appreciated and prayed for you …and may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

“Perseverance is not a long race.

It is many short races one after another.”

W. Elliot





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