Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Adult ADHD and Going to Walmart

I ran to Walmart at lunch to pick up a few things. Actually, it was my monthly run so it was more than just a few things. When I go to Walmart, it always takes me a few moments once I’m inside to gain my bearings because of the eccentricity of the people within the walls of Walmart. The fact that I’m part of this phenomenon doesn’t escape me either. I don’t count myself as better but rather different, just like everyone else in the store. I wonder if any of them think they are “normal,” and if they are “normal,” what am I? And did you know there is a website called where people post pictures of people they’ve seen at Walmart?

God’s creativity in designing individuals is staggering. He has made a patchwork quilt of individuals using His creativity to not form any discernible pattern.

So just as I’ve gotten my bearings to those around me, I’m starting to move forward with my buggy that has the thumpity wheel because I can NEVER get a buggy at Walmart without one. I hear a sound that rises above the cauldron of other noises. I hear a very clear, distinctive song being whistled…Chariots of Fire. Now being ADHD, I can’t seem to filter out much, but this whistling is so clear and perfectly pitched, I have to see where it is coming from. As if the eclectic environment wasn’t stimulating enough, I turn around to see a rather large man on his hovaround leaning forward going slower than a herd of turtles whistling Chariots of Fire. I just about lost it.

I think if I was an English teacher, I’d send my students to Walmart to observe people and to write a character sketch. Observe what they are wearing or NOT wearing. Observe their appearance. Observe the way they move and their behavior, and write a character sketch based only on what they observed…leaving all judgment out of it.

One good thing about being ADHD is that we don’t miss much. Some of you non-ADHD people are so tuned in on what you have to do that you miss some of the most hysterical things, the most beautiful things, the most incredible things. Whereas us ADHD folk get to see it…until we are distracted by another fascinating object.

God is very creative and has a sense of humor, so take the time to observe, to listen, and to…Hey, I just saw a blue jay.

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Boy Child Is Fortunate to Turn 8 Today

God definitely has a sense of humor.

If you ever thought that you’d adopt a child to circumvent your mother’s prayer…FORGET ABOUT IT. Really. Forget about it.

Patrick and I used to joke that our gene pools were to shallow to swim in and that’s why we had to adopt, but God knew what He was doing.

Every year this time I write about the one who is the answer to my mom’s prayers – many, many, many prayers, the one who challenges me, the one who stretches me and the one who is probably the most like me. My beautiful son Pearce.

Pearce is a child who from a very early age knew exactly what he wanted out of this world and how he was going to get it and whoa be to the person who got in his way. Enter stage right – his mother. I am still learning how to be his mom. He’s always changing, always moving, always taking things apart, always trying to take charge. He has the best belly laugh when he laughs at slap stick comedy. He’s physical. He’s loving and charismatic. When he smiles, he lights up the whole room. He is being honed and shaped into a future leader. When you think he isn’t listening, he is and can repeat it all back to you. He has little if any fear. He is strong-willed and independent and makes friends easily. He knows exactly who he is.

Funny things is when God spoke to my spirit telling me to adopt again, Erin was a year old, and I was sitting at Anna Jo’s funeral. She was a friend who left behind three little kids and a husband and had entered the hospital with pneumonia. Anna Jo’s life verse was on the program and quoted throughout her service, and I kept thinking what an odd verse for a funeral. The verse kept bothering, and it was because the Spirit was prodding me that this was to be the life verse for my next child.

At that time, I was the happiest mom on the face of the planet bar none. I was content. After having gone through failed fertility treatments and failed adoptions, I was finally a mom. I was the mom to the happiest, chubbiest, funniest, easiest baby in the world, and I really was not interested in going through the adoption process again. It was just too exhausting and emotionally draining. And yet, every time I did anything towards a second adoption, Anna Jo’s verse would be quoted to me, taught in Sunday school, sent to me in a letter, or preached from the pulpit. It was like God confirming that He wanted me to move forward whether I was ready or not. Anna Jo died January 2002. By the summer of 2004 I had made a baby boy’s scrap book. We were not matched. We had not been promised a boy, but I knew in my spirit God would provide a boy. So I prepared for a boy believing God was going to give me the desire that He placed in my heart.

Pearce’s story is unique just as he is unique. He knows his story. He knows God doesn’t make mistakes. He knows that God wanted to match us in a spectacular way to show us just how awesome He is, how capable He is, and how just in control He is. Some people see Pearce and know he’s adopted, but if they saw my cousins on my daddy’s side, they’d not think a thing about it. If they knew me as a child, they would know he is mine. When they see how he idolizes his daddy and wants to always be with him, they’d know there’s no greater love.

On August 27, 2004, William Pearce Mullins made his entrance into the world just as God had planned. God has planned Pearce’s future. He is going to give Pearce hope. He is Pearce’s hope, and the verse God gave me for Pearce is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, “ declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Pearce says he wants to be a person who has adventures when he grows up, and I know that God has ordained his footsteps, that God goes before Pearce and will protect him in his adventures, and will lead him in the ways Pearce needs to go.

Thank you, God, for entrusting me with this beautiful boy of mine. He is definitely an adventure in my life, and I thank you for the honor to be able to call him “son.”

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Here's the Rest of the Story...

“I don’t wanna die today! I don’t wanna die today!” Odd words coming from my 7 year old son. I don’t know if he had big plans for the day or what, but one thing is for sure, he was NOT prepared to meet his maker that Wednesday. My son had disobeyed me…not the first time, nor the last. Like his momma, he’s strong-willed and learns lessons the hard way. He had gone outside barefoot and cut his foot. He bled profusely. I couldn’t get the bleeding to stop. He later confessed his fear was that he was afraid he was going to bleed out. When I couldn't get the bleeding to stop, I threw him into the truck and drove him to the fire department. I have a feeling we will be getting to know these guys well over the next few years. Once there, Pearce began screaming, “I want my daddy! I want my daddy!” He has been a daddy’s boy, a man-baby since he was born. When at 18 months your happy place is Home Depot and Lowe’s and when you have a mustache by the tender age of two, you know he’s got strong testosterone coursing through his veins. After the firemen wrapped his foot twice due to the volume of blood, I drove him to the ER. Patrick met us there. Once we were back in the ER, Patrick and I were sitting on his bed facing Pearce when he said his foot was bleeding. Sure enough, there was a puddle on the bed that had poured onto the floor. Patrick turns three different colors, and I told him I’ll try not to step on him on the way out to get a nurse. When it was finally time to get stitches, Patrick was trying to get Pearce to not look at what was going on, to not look at the tools of the trade. Pearce looked at him with terror in his eyes and cried, “I’ve already seen the long things with pointy ends!” That’s when Pearce cried were, “I wanna go home NOW! I wanna go home NOW!”

Rebellion. Pride. Disobedience. Disrespect. THEY ARE HEART issues. The mind and HEART of this woman struggles with pride and rebellion to this day.

Yes, I want to do things my way, like Pearce wanting to run barefoot in the yard, but God says, “Submit.” Because of my pride, I really hate that word. Submitting my will to His is a must.

Yes, I want to handle things on my own, but God says, “Humility.” The world teaches we should be self-sufficient and self-reliant. That’s not Scriptural.

Proverbs 29:1, “A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed – without remedy.”

Here’s the thing. Had Pearce played outside before without shoes? Absolutely. Had he gotten caught before without being hurt? Sure he had. He’s seven. But when he got caught and cut, he was sooooo surprised. This was not what he was bargaining for. Aren’t we the same way? We over-eat, and then act all surprised when we are told we have high blood pressure or heart disease. We spend more than we make, and then we’re surprised when we get a collection notice. We fail to invest in our spouse or family, and then we’re surprised when they walk out the door. Pick your poison, sistas. Name your heart issue.

Immediately, my son thought of the worst-case scenario, and for him, it was death. For some of you, it could be death. For some, it will be losing your family. The loss is a consequence of the sin – pride, rebellion, disobedience. What is ironic to me is that too often people want to blame God for the consequence of a choice that God had no part in. Seriously? Take ownership of your failure, your issue.

Then my son called out for his father. His momma was already with him. Pearce was rallying the troops. Pearce wanted his daddy. He wanted to climb into his daddy’s lap, feel his daddy’s big, strong arms around him. He wanted his daddy to protect him from what was going to come next. God, if you’ll just get me out of this scrape I’m in right now… God, please help me! Please don’t take ______!

And while Patrick didn’t want to see Pearce in pain or hear him in pain when they put shots near the wound, Patrick knew Pearce needed to go through it to get better. Did Pearce’s daddy leave? Well, once when he saw a lot of Pearce’s blood on the bed and floor, but other than that Patrick didn’t leave Pearce. Our heavenly Father is with us regardless. He knows the consequences and the pain that will be associated. He also knows that we must endure the consequences of our actions, so hopefully, we will get better. Hopefully, we learn our lesson and don’t repeat the behavior.

And then Pearce’s daddy carried him out of the hospital, took him home and loved on him.

I don’t always want to open my Bible and crawl up in my Father’s lap. I don’t always want to listen to what He wants to tell me, but I am so thankful that He’s still there when I return from my rebellion, when I humble myself. I’m so thankful I can cry out, “Abba, Father!” or “I want my daddy” and He’s there. I’m so thankful that He will never leave me or forsake me.

Here’s the last point to this story. If I continue to be stiff-necked, when I become broken without remedy, it doesn’t just affect me. It affects my children. It affects my spouse, my marriage. It affects those around me. Pearce wasn’t able to go swimming after getting stitches which meant Erin couldn’t go. Pearce has been hopping around on one foot or is carried…who do you think is carrying him? And the consequences don’t stop in one day. We are on day eleven of this consequence, and while his stitches may have just come out, he will be visiting the doctor tomorrow to see what’s next as his wound has reopened. Check your heart, peeps! Check your heart.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Southern Upbringing Put to the Test

Today, I’m thankful for my southern upbringing. My momma taught me to be gracious, as gracious as possible under different situations, and today that lesson was put to the test.

Today, I wore a dress to work. I had to actually get dress and drive into work. So I say, “I dressed like a girl today.” I don’t often wear dresses to work. One time I wore a dress above the knee to work, and I still hear about it from the guys from time-to-time. “Hey, do you still have that little, blue dress?” Seriously, like they've never seen a set of legs before. So, today I had on a dress that I bought for $10 on sale at J.C. Penney's. It’s hot pink with white flowers. It’s a summer dress, and yes, I had on a pearl necklace and bracelet carrying a my daughter’s straw hand bag she got from Gynelle. I went old school. It was hot, and I didn’t want anything touching me. After ordering our food, I made my way to a table and sat down, and Deanna joined me. I don’t get to eat out often any more since I work from home, and I live in the boon docks, so going out to eat with a girlfriend is a real treat. I miss my girlfriends. We had no sooner sat down and started visiting when a male waiter came up and began talking to me.

I noticed you when you came in today, he said. I figured he was going to say, You reminded me of someone OR I thought you were someone else, but it went somewhere else altogether different. I just wanted to tell you how beautiful you look. Right about now, I kind of scan around to see if any LSP or SPD officers I know are there and are pulling one on me. I’m an old-fashion kind of guy, and I appreciate it when ladies wear dresses. I’m so knocked off my center I want to crack up laughing because I can’t believe this is happening. He went on to complement my whole ensemble and was most sincere. I’m not sure, but I think he said beautiful three or four times. I graciously thank him, and he walks off to do his job. That’s when I snicker…when he’s out of earshot.

Deanna and I just look at each other grinning not sure of what to make of the whole situation, and just as Deanna says, “Be sure to show him your rock the next time he comes around,” I look over her shoulder. There was a woman sitting in scrubs, making the crazy sign around her temple, and mouthing “freak.” I grin and want to laugh again because now this bystander has put her two cents into the situation. It’s not that I look pretty; it’s that he’s crazy! Personally, I think it took a lot of courage for him to say what he said. I don’t know that I could walk up to a guy in a nice suit and say, “You are looking mighty handsome in that suit.”

Seriously, it’s nice to get complements. My momma taught me not to argue or belittle yourself when someone complements you. You are to graciously say, thank you. I don’t know the waiter’s name, and I may wait a while before I go back, and I may not wear a dress there again, but I do appreciate a complement when I get one.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I AM AN OLYMPIAN. Guess the sport.

I LOVE the Olympics! But I have to tell you, the Olympics blow my whole schedule out-of-whack. First of all, they are on till 11 PM. I’m normally in bed by 9 PM, so every night I struggle to see the ending. In June I was walking 3 miles with 120 deep lunges, but since the Olympics are on, I don’t want to miss a moment (and yes, I have DVR, but that’s not the point). Then I feel so badly for those Olympians. The sacrifices they have made to reach this pivotal point in their careers. Their diets are so strict and rigid, so I feel I need to eat dessert for them…see where this is going?

Then there’s the whole, “I could be an Olympian,” or “I wish I was an Olympian.” They are so in shape and ripped with their finely sculpted bodies that are skilled in the finer techniques of their sport making them the best in the world. My daughter has visions of becoming an Olympian in gymnastics and swimming. Problem is she can’t even do a cartwheel, and she’s 11! Yes, I have failed as a mother. So we discuss what it will take to make it to the Olympics for swimming. Then she’s not as quite committed because this girl LOVES her social time, and she just wants everyone to have fun and get along. She most certainly does not want to sweat.

One night after the children went to bed, I walked into the den and told Patrick I could go to the Olympics because I could do a cartwheel, a round-off, and as of last summer I could still do the splits. When he didn’t respond, I struck the pose as if I was about to start a tumbling layout. That got his attention. “Ummm, I don’t think so.” If he hadn’t have looked up, I would have had to do a tumble or something. It’s a good thing he didn’t tempt me.

Then there’s the whole judging thing. It’s amazing how quickly we become versed in a sport that we’ve watched for an hour. It’s hilarious. I hear my son say, “They’re going to deduct for that probably a tenth of a point.” Seriously?

These men and women work for years up to decade or so perfecting their techniques, strengthening their bodies, working on weaknesses just to have the privilege of competing in the Olympics. For some, we will never see them compete or know their names. For some we are bombarded with their names and images. Either way they aren’t satisfied with where they are. They are always trying to do a little better, get a little faster, get a little stronger. This is endurance through perseverance.

Christianity is compared to running a race:

• Acts 20:24, my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace

• 1 Corinthians 9:24, do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

• Galatians 2:23, I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain

• Galatians 5:7, you were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?

• 1 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith

• Hebrew 12:1, therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us

Christianity is a race of endurance. It’s not a sprint, and you’re done. Olympians train for years before making it to London in 2012, and then afterwards, it’s not over. Many begin training for the next Olympics.

Be an Olympian of the Christian faith. Work hard on your faith when no one is looking. Spend time with Jesus and have those quiet times. Dig deeper into His Word. You have the privilege to represent Him in this life, so do your homework.

Be an Olympian of the Christian faith. Dig into the Bread of Life. What you put into your mind and body is reflected by your body, your health.

Be an Olympian of the Christian faith. Train in such a way that when you enter heaven you will hear Him say, “Well done. Your reward is at hand.” Woohoo! I can’t wait for that day to see my sweet Savior!

Be an Olympian of the Christian faith, and persevere through defeat, through pain, through trials. Even if you never become a headliner for God while on this Earth, persevere and follow the race He has laid out for you to run.

Be an Olympian!