tips & encouragement for homeschoolers

tips & encouragement for homeschoolers

I haven’t been homeschooling for long myself, but I am a second-generation homeschooler (meaning I was homeschooled and have now chosen that road of education for my children), so my insight into this world comes from an uncommon angle.  I hope that some small amount of knowledge I have gained through my experiences will be of help to you if you are considering homeschooling, are just getting started, or are feeling discouraged midway through what is beginning to seem like a very long journey that is wiping you out!

Here are my 5 tips/encouragements for homeschoolers or aspiring homeschoolers:

1. You were made to do this. Yes, you.  When the Lord knit you together in your mother’s womb, he already knew who your children would be, what they would need, and everything about your relationship and choices with them.  He gave you your child with the specific design to be raised by you and taught by you. Whether or not you have begun technical “homeschooling” in the traditional sense, believe it or not, you have been homeschooling your child since the moment he or she entered your life!  Every time you open a book, every time you ask, “What sound does a doggy make?”, or every time you even talk to your child about your surroundings, you are teaching them.  They are learning! So congrats, you are already a homeschooler!  Turns out, you were a natural all along!

2. You are not her.  They are not them.  This is a big one.  Remember that part I mentioned about God designing your children to be raised by you?  Yeah, that means your children don’t need “put-together Susan”. You know… the one with the perfectly clean home enjoying, constantly field-tripping, journaling, beautiful outfit wearing children?  I could go on about how Susan is tricking you through her fabulously fake Instagram photos, but the point is, even if her life is that perfect (it isn’t for the record, but for argument’s sake…), it doesn’t matter!  Because you are not her. You were not created to be her, and your children were not created to have a mother like her.  Some…scratch that… MOST of us are riding the Hotmess Express, and that’s okay!  Just as a side note, I’m not advocating laziness or neglectfulness by any means. I am simply suggesting that life comes at you fast and hard (especially when you are homeschooling and have your kiddos home all day destroying the house), and as long as you are doing your best to glorify God, don’t worry about Susan!  Don’t hate on her, but also don’t try to be her. You go, Susan! I am cheering you on while sporting my mom bun and yoga pants- you do you, girlfriend! On another note, your kids aren’t Susan’s kids either. Just because her kids totally love analyzing Shakespearean literature, stargazing, and charting constellations while listening to Mozart, that doesn’t mean your kids have to enjoy and engage in the same hobbies and interests.  If your kids love downtime, sitting together enjoying a good book, or other simple pleasures, do those things! Trying out new activities is great, but torturing yourself and your kids into keeping up with the Susans is foolish and completely opposite of why you chose to homeschool in the first place! Which takes me to my next point.

3. Use your resources, but don’t over-analyze.  Every family is different.  Every child is different. Every curriculum is different.  Don’t limit yourself, and don’t choose based on someone else’s success.  Check out a bunch of options, pray about it, and make an educated decision.  Does this trigger anxiety? It doesn’t have to! Your child may need something way structured or totally off the walls eclectic!  And guess what, the following year, they may change. So don’t sweat it! You don’t have to sign some sort of blood oath and stick to one method!  Also, realize that your resources don’t stop at curriculum. Not at ALL! Get involved in local homeschooling groups, use Youtube to your benefit (cautiously of course- it can be a great supplementary tool for science, art, history, etc.), go to the library (an incredible resource!), and the list goes on.

4. Don’t be afraid to switch things up. This point touches on a couple of different things.  First, don’t be afraid to stop mid-semester and change your curriculum 100% if you have to. Better to resell your partially used curriculum and seemingly “waste” some money rather than go insane trying to force a curriculum on your family that everyone detests.  The reason I say “seemingly” waste because it is never a total loss. Through trying out various methods (“trial and error” if you will), you learn more about yourself and your children! You will find a method that suits everyone. Second, don’t be afraid to change things on a smaller level as well: stop working and take a walk, go to the symphony, spend the day baking and making cards for a local nursing home or your neighbors.  Start school at a different time if you feel like your child might be able to focus better at another time of day. Third, you are in charge! If you feel like there is a section of curriculum that your child is loathing and it isn’t necessary to them experiencing a full, well-rounded school year, skip it! Do something else and give that growing brain a break! Again, you chose homeschooling for a reason. I know one common reason is freedom!  Enjoy it and utilize it!

5. Dive in, realizing that you can always step out of the water if necessary.  As with anything truly worth beginning, the best way to start something new is to make a firm decision.  Not a “try” decision but a “do” decision. You WILL homeschool! You WILL jump in and do a great job! You WILL succeed!  However, can I let you in on a little secret? If you go bald from pulling your hair out within a few months and feel like homeschooling is going to somehow cause your entire family to implode and turn everyone into sociopaths, you don’t have to continue.  That’s right! No one is forcing you to continue doing something you hate.  Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am an adult,” and walk your big girl self to the school and re-enroll your child.  Ready for another secret? If you decide that circumstances and dynamics have changed by the following year, you can try to homeschool again- or not!  No one is duct-taping you and your child to your kitchen table and forcing you to home educate! Furthermore, no one is saying that you can’t try and fail over and over again until you find exactly what works for your family!  Take your time, don’t be fearful, and be sure to give yourself and your children a heaping scoop of grace!

I hope this encouraged and uplifted those of you who are making new, tough decisions or just needed a mid-journey reminder of some things you may have forgotten along the way.  If you have any questions or have some encouragement for others who might be going through a rough time, please feel free to drop a comment! Happy homeschooling! Keep up the great work!

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”  Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”  Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (ESV)

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

Advertisements

attacked

attacked

Have you ever started to do something new like join a Bible study or try out a new church that really spoke to your heart, and then suddenly, your tire blows out, the water heater busts, etc., etc., etc.?

It is still relatively early in the year, and many of us are setting goals, trying to get into new routines, and trying desperately to do a little better than last year.  I am doing the same!  I think self-reflection can be great and goal setting helps those goals become achievable rather than just “someday I will” situations.  Just be aware that you have an enemy.

Wow, that turned dark pretty quickly.  Sorry, but the truth needs no sugar coating sometimes!  You have an enemy.  Satan is real and he is out to destroy those desires God has placed in your heart.  I speak from experience on this.

For the past couple of days (literally the last two days not even including today yet!), I have been doing “quiet time” with my boys.  Couch time with low lighting, diffuser going, fireplace ablaze, and the Word of God open upon my lap.  I read them a story of their choice, take prayer requests, pray, and snuggle them until their wild, energetic bodies simply cannot take another moment of calm.  On top of this, I have been playing a lot of worship music and attempting to achieve some other goals as well.

Two days.  Two days was all it took for the enemy to grow uncomfortable.  For those of you who have known my family for some time, you know that raising up our eldest boy has not always been a smooth road (I know some of my close friends and family are giggling at this because it is a colossal understatement!).  Well, if “6” was a year of growth, then “7” has been a year of bloom so far!  Things have been going so great with his attitude.  He can be so independent and caring.  He is still a child, but we have been so blessed by his overall good behavior recently.  So where did the enemy attack?  You guessed it.

As of yesterday evening, T.J. was exploding with rage and sassing us like he hadn’t in so long!  This morning I had difficulty with him as well.  Not Instagram difficulty.  Not “Oh my goodness, motherhood is such a challenge sometimes, but like sooooo totally worth it!” with a picture of us snuggling.  Like, defiance.  Screaming.  At me.  Not cute.  Not acceptable.

As I wondered what could have happened recently to bring on this behavior it occurred to me.  Our quiet time.  I have made it a goal to “Make Jesus the Center” this year (You can check my PowerSheets!  It is in there!  Openly written and declared!).  I have disturbed the enemy.

Here’s the kicker though.  The enemy doesn’t care about our children; in fact, he hates them (I think we can all see that pretty clearly in light of certain recent, worldly legislation).  He doesn’t care that attacking them and using them to bring about destruction is completely unjust. Thankfully, we can depend on God’s protection, but I do think that sometimes the enemy will use indirect circumstances and quiet whispers into the ears of our children to try to derail Godly choices in our lives.  He is trying to do just that with our son.

Unfortunately for Satan, I know the God I serve.  I know investing in time with the Lord and raising my children up in the knowledge and love of Him is so worth it.  So this is when I decide to not just defend but counterattack:

  1. Pour grace on the head of my 7-year-old who probably doesn’t understand why he is suddenly drawn to defiance while also disciplining and discipling him through this rough spot.
  2. Love God even harder.  Pray more.  Worship more.  Read more.  Spend more quiet time.  Make Him an even bigger priority.

We serve a big, powerful God. We need not fear when the enemy attacks.  But we must keep our eyes open to take notice when it is happening.  Knowledge is a powerful thing.

So here’s your encouragement for the day, ladies.  Keep strong.  Keep alert.  Keep moving forward because sometimes when you feel a push back, it is actually    confirmation that you are making the right choices, the God-pleasing choices.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”  Galatians 6:9 ESV

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,  and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,  for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV

 

drift

drift

Can I tell you how I feel?

Travis and I are a couple of weeks away from our move to Tennessee, and as we get closer, my heart is beginning to ache.  Only when I let it.  Most times, I try not to dwell.  There will be time for tears later.  But for the time being, can I just say something  to all of you girls who have been in my life since moving to the Treasure Coast?  You will know who you are… just read.  Disclaimer:  It is about to get mega-corny.  And I don’t care because I need to have an outlet for my cheesy-mushy feelings.  So suck it up, sisters, and read on!!!

I will miss all of you.  I know I’m not going away forever, and family will continue to bring me back for visits.  But I need to be real.  Honest.  I know that you will move on… I know that we won’t remain close friends, but rather “old friends”.  That’s okay.  I will see the pictures on Facebook where you are spending time together, taking selfies, and going to each others’ kids’ birthday parties.  I won’t be there.  I won’t be invited.  Because I will be a friend who used to live in Florida.  I will be spending time with new friends, new faces.  “Mom dating” once again.  While all of you grow closer and closer, we will drift apart.  And that’s okay.

But can I just say something?  Before I move on… before our friendship shifts out of the present and into the past…  Thank you.  Thank you to each of you who has loved me and my family.  Each and every one who has reached out and shown generosity with your time and your love, thank you.  Those of you who have listened without judgement as I griped about my tough days with my boys.  Those who have encouraged me toward Godliness, better motherhood, and health.  Those who have uplifted me when I felt low or worthless.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being there for me.

I grew very close to some of you.  Some of us were moving in that direction, but it was too late.  And others were passing ships.  No matter.  Thank you to each of you who has played a role in shaping who I am as a mother, wife, and Christian today.  Whether you were someone who contributed one time to my life or someone who regularly poured into me and filled my cup, God has used you to shape me.  I am so grateful.

So with every “like” on Facebook, with every delighted comment I post on your social media lives or text message, I will be wiping away some tears that I cannot be in the middle of the fun, beautiful, chaos that has developed in our circles over these past few years.  Although it won’t ever be the same, I want to stay connected with each of you and continue to cheer you on through every milestone.  From a distance or right in the thick of it, I hope to continue loving each of you ladies who have been God-given influences in my life.

Okay, okay.  Time to sum this cheese-fest up:

I love you.  I will miss you.  Thank you.

quick look: isaiah 14:18

quick look: isaiah 14:18

Ok, so this is a strange verse blurb because I am plucking one small verse that is an incomplete thought out of a whole passage that goes together.  That being said, please, read all of the surrounding context to understand exactly what is being said in this verse.  There is a comparison being made between verse 18 and 19.  Check it out:

All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb; but you are cast out, away from your grave, like a loathed branch, clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a dead body trampled underfoot.”  Isaiah 14:18-19 (ESV)

As you can see, this is going to be a fluffy, lighthearted blurb today.

I know that the author is comparing an evil ruler to other rulers, but let’s just focus on the bold portion, verse 18: “All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb…”  This hit me in a profound way…

We carry nothing to heaven.  Neither possessions nor talents nor kingship.  But those things we’ve done in Jesus’ name will not fade away.

At the end of the day, where does your earthly body end up?  A tomb.  And even though you may have the admiration of those left behind on the earth, you take none of those aforementioned things with you.  Kings may rest in glory for those remembering them on earth, but when they get to heaven, there will be only ONE King.  The King of Kings.  So this begs the question, did that earthly king use his position for God’s glory?  Was he Godly in his dealings?  What did he do for the one Kingdom that matters?

Therefore…

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

Whether you have a talent to share, a large following on your social media account, or an enviable financial situation, choose to give those blessings back to your Heavenly King today.  Those choices will bring God glory and never fade away.

 

what would Jesus do? but no, like, really.

what would Jesus do?  but no, like, really.

I was reading in Acts about the stoning of Stephen, and I came to a realization concerning the incident.  Right before he “fell asleep”, he cried out to the Lord asking Him to “not hold this in against them [his murderers].”  Acts 7:60a  Does this ring a bell?  “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  Luke 23:34a  Jesus said those words as he was hanging on the Cross, dying in innocence.

Many times we use the phrase, “What would Jesus do?”  It has become trendy and millions of bracelets have been sold donning the acronym “W.W.J.D.” on them.  When we think of this phrase, what comes to mind?  Let me throw some common struggles/dilemmas out there to ya:

How should I treat people?  W.W.J.D.?

Should I watch that movie?  W.W.J.D.?

Should I use that word?  W.W.J.D?

These are all certainly situations in which to ask that question.  But they are kind of first world dilemmas.  What if we were in Stephen’s position?  What if we were being martyred for Christ?  To put it more in the context of current events… what if we were being beheaded for our faith?  How would we react?

Would we, too, ask that God not hold our enemies’ sins against them after they killed us?  Honestly, that is a hard thing to consider.  I mean, I see the way we tear into each other over trivial, worldly opinions on social media and wonder if we could conduct ourselves with love and grace in our darkest, last moments?

Let’s try to remember Stephen when we go through our trivial day-to-day “trials” and interactions.  If Stephen could live out “W.W.J.D.” until his very last breath, we certainly can do better when dealing with our general, day-to-day issues… right, Christians?

salvation

salvation

Can we get excited about God’s Word together for a second?  Before the ascension of Christ, He replied to His followers question about when He would return in this way:

“He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.'”  Acts 1:7-8 (ESV)

Pay attention.  We are given power by God through the Holy Spirit!  We have power.  And with this, we receive the great commission to bring Christ to the ends of the earth.  How cool is that?  God wanted us to help Him with this grand mission.  What an honor!  We, who are not capable of saving ourselves get to help the One who saved us!  A tall order, but a great honor.

Now let’s take a look at what happened after this promise was fulfilled during the day of Pentecost when Christ’s followers were filled with the Holy Spirit.  Everyone began speaking in tongues and people started hearing them and understanding in their own native languages!  Visualize that for a second.  What an amazing display of the flowing forth of the Holy Spirit from these believers!  And yet… the response was not unanimous:

“And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’  But others mocking said, ‘They are filled with new wine.'”  Acts 2:12-13 (ESV)

Sometimes, in this day and age, the thought of sharing our belief in Jesus Christ seems daunting because people are relying less and less on faith and leaning more on their own understanding.  If they in their own prideful, fallible human minds cannot comprehend something, they toss it aside as falsehood.  However, here in these verses lies proof that even back before the age of modern technology and science, there were always those who spread doubt and mocked believers.  The believers were accused of being drunk!

Therefore, go forth boldly.  Use the power Christ has given you through the Holy Spirit, spread the gospel knowing full well that there will be mockers and doubters.  God did not give you a spirit of fear, He gave you His Holy Spirit to guide you in the greatest quest we have set out before us.  How awesome is that?

So I proclaim: I believe in Jesus Christ and am a slave to Him.  I love Him, and I am His disciple.  I will go where He wants me to go and do what He wants me to do because I have given my life to Him for His eternal Kingdom.  You can think I am crazy and believe in fairy tales… you can believe I am drunk… you can believe I am uninformed and stupid.  It won’t change what I know to be true.  Jesus is the Son of God.  Jesus is God.  One and all in the trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  He died on the cross as a ransom to save the souls of anyone who will reach out and take the gift He is offering- the gift He chose to offer to us by the outpouring of His blood.

Someday, when I die, I will be with Him for eternity.  Will you?  If you will, then I urge you to stay close to Him… realize that your eternity with Him doesn’t start when you die, but rather it started the moment you accepted His gift of salvation and decided to recognize Him as Lord of your life.  Make sure you follow your calling as His child: spread the gospel to the ends of the earth.  Help bring more souls into His Kingdom.

If you don’t know that you know that you know that you will spend eternity with Christ, I urge you to change that today.  Can science prove it?  No.  Will there be plenty of mockers and scoffers?  Yes.  That is why we need faith.  God’s Word says:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)

Are you willing to let your pride die for the sake of your eternal life?  Are you willing to say “Maybe I don’t know it all… maybe I can’t know it all because I am a created being with limitations… but I am willing to have faith to accept this gift that was paid for by Christ Jesus.”?  I can’t give you scientific proof that Jesus is God.  But I know what He has done for those who have believed in Him, including me.  Trust me, you may not know now, but if you decide to follow Christ, you will have all the proof you need living inside of you.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”  Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)

a changed perspective

a changed perspective

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”  Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)

Travis’s grandfather had a stroke a few years back, which for any typical man in his 80’s doesn’t sound too unusual.  However, for Grandfather, it was unusual.  This is a man who up until the stroke had not been on even one medication- not one!  Healthy as a horse!  Here’s the kicker: not only is he on multiple medications now, but he is also pretty much sedentary.  The man who was still doing yard work, volunteering, and fixing things in the heat of the Florida summer when I met Travis back in 2004, is now having to use a walker to be able to move around very slowly.  He cannot drive.  He is completely reliant on others’ help whereas he used to be the one to lend a helping hand.  He used to take care of others.  Now he can’t.  Everything takes effort.  When he started getting a little depressed, I understood to some extent.  Sympathized some.  That has changed recently.

As many of you know, two and a half weeks ago I wrecked my ankle at a local trampoline park because I evidently have no boundaries.  I was trying to get off of a professional grade trampoline when I landed wrong on the edge mat.  I got a third degree sprain which basically means I tore my ligaments (possibly tendons) to the point where it pulled at a bone in my foot causing a tiny hairline fracture (which is actually not even a huge deal- the bad part is the ligament damage).  The doctors basically said it would have been better for me to have broken my ankle instead of what I did.  Awesome.  Therefore, now I am in a boot for 8-12 weeks ordered to completely immobilize my foot and keep it elevated.  Thankfully, Travis bought a scooter for me that works by me resting my knee on a seat-looking part, while my free foot scoots me along.  It has a basket on the front.  It’s pretty sexy.

Now before I launch into this, please understand that I am not saying I understand grandfather’s or any other disabled person’s plight at all.  So don’t send me e-mails.

What I will say is that since spraining my foot, I am getting the tiniest, slightest taste of what it means to live with a disability.  Just a slight taste.

I don’t know what I would do if I was told that this was it.  “This is how you have to live for the rest of your life.”  Rolling around on a device to make it from point A to point B.  Everything taking 3 times as long.  Struggling with simple things like putting your child down for a nap or bathing.  I would be… depressed.  Just like grandfather.  I understand that more now.  I can’t completely fathom it because in 5 & 1/2- 9 & 1/2 weeks, I will be out of my boot and able to get back to normal life (potentially with some muscle therapy).  But that is the rest of his life.  Immobile for the most part.  After 80-some years of doing everything and keeping active, he was asked to sit down.  I can hardly stand it for 8-12 weeks, much less the rest of my life.  And there are people who are born without ever being able to experience complete, uninhibited mobility.  There are some who get a sample of mobility before having it taken away as young children.  And that’s it.  Forever.

That being said, here are some things I have learned so far from my much less severe experience:

1. It is depressing.  I have cried, I have been frustrated, and I have been angry.  Don’t be surprised if someone who can’t get up and move around gets snippy or sad.  It is really hard not to get emotional when something as small as clothing left on the floor can make your trip to the restroom a difficult, time-consuming process of getting a wheel stuck, having to balance and pick something up move it, etc.  When you feel helpless to what is happening around you.

2. Sitting on your butt for hours and hours catching up on Netflix is awesome for a day.  After that, it is pretty boring.

3. Cleaning and organizing your own home is a gift.  Yes, I appreciate everything my parents have done.  They have been saints!  But, there is just something about cleaning my own house exactly how I want to with my own two hands that I miss.  Thankfully I can clean some with the use of my scooter, but I can forget about vacumming and mopping.

4. Getting clean is a lot easier on two solid feet.  I have been taking baths rather than showers since I cannot stand on both feet, and it takes forever.  Be grateful for your quick showers!

5. Visitors are awesome.  If you have a friend or family member with a disability… go spend time with them.  Even though it is great to have people come over to “help”, I have really enjoyed when people come over and just sit with me and talk to me.  Getting out and about is more difficult right now, so I appreciate when people sacrifice and come to me.

6. This situation has given me a greater appreciation of things like wheelchair ramps, handicap bathrooms, etc.  When I have healed, I will bound up steps with a greater appreciation for my ability to do so.  On our drive up to Tennessee, we stopped at a Starbucks to use the restroom, and pulled right up to an entrance- perfect!  I was happy we were close to an entrance before I realized there was no ramp… the only way to enter was through the main entrance.  Now I am not going to harp about needing more ramps and such, but I guess I am just trying to point out how nice it is to have a ramp when it is available.  Those parking spaces in the front of stores specifically reserved for people with disabilities?  They really help!  I was grateful to have a handicap bathroom stall that was big enough to fit my scooter!  When people demand handicap ramps and such, I kind of understand why now.  It didn’t seem as big of a deal until I experienced needing to use them.

7. Asking people to serve you gets tiresome.  Asking people to get me things and do things for me was nice at first.  Now I am just over it.  It would take me less time to actually do what I am asking someone to do for me if I had two working feet than to ask them to do it for me and wait for them to complete the task.  Also you start to feel a little guilty for asking someone to continuously serve you, even if they are the most giving person.

8. Sometimes I am going to move slower, be more cumbersome, be “in the way”, or accidentally bump into something or someone.  It is so easy to get frustrated when someone in a wheelchair is moving slowly right in front of you at a theme park or in the store, but just remember that (in most cases) they don’t have a choice.  They are just as or more frustrated than you because they have to experience the slowness and difficulty moving  24/7.  You have to endure it for a few seconds.  Be patient.  I definitely need to work on this with myself.

Overall, I have a gained a much greater appreciation and respect for people who live with disabilities every day of their lives.  Your strength inspires me.