Heaven is Real

Have you ever seen a dog trying to lie down comfortably on a blanket? It usually involves scratching and turning, and more scratching and turning. At some stage he would lie down for a while, but then get up again to repeat the process over and over. He is usually frustrated with his need to settle. Only when human hands get involved the dog can really get comfortable, with help the blanket gets straightened and can cover him up, to get settled and fall asleep.

This image reminds me of so many of us trying to find our place in this world, a perfect spot of significance to make sense of this life.  The perfect spot to lie down and be content and peaceful. It is very unlikely to find any person on this earth who is not searching for some level of significance.  The big problem is that we, like the dog, do not have all the skills and knowledge to get there ourselves.  We find moments and glances of clarity and relief, when we just know: “Right here is where I need to be.” At times we might see that place clearly, but to get settled in and find our peace on that spot seems almost impossible.

I would like to encourage you today by testifying that I have seen and experienced how the all-capable hands of God comes and settle His people in their spot.  Definite scratching and turning is always involved, but when someone live near God, He really wants to settle and cover his child up.  Just like the human, who loves his dog and wants to help him.

The heading for this blog might have intrigued you in some way, right?  You might ask what dogs and blankets have to do with heaven?

Well, since the absolute uncertainty of the pandemic, I can’t stop wondering about those who have not found their spot.  Those who do not have the loving hands covering them up to assure them that everything is going to be OK…

Living with no hope, or in absolute fear is utterly exhausting.

Many do find peace under their blankets and it is because of absolute knowing that this life is not the end all and the be all. Heaven is real, there is gloriousness awaiting.  God’s eternal promise gives peace and hope, and even joy in the most unnerving times.

Are you the one who found your spot but persist to scratch? Let the loving hands of our Godly Father cover you.  He will, He wants to …

Are you the one utterly against the idea of eternity and refuse to be subject to false hope? My friend you have nothing to lose, just think about it. Explore Jesus and everything He stands for. Just understanding what He did on earth might clear up so many things for you.

He has cleared up so many things for me in my life.  He is my eternity, it’s not just an idea.

Today I pray that your peace and significance may come swiftly and help you settle.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Written by Johanni Meiring 

Thank you for reading! It was a pleasure having you here!

If you would like to find out more about Life Coaching  with Johanni click HERE

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY (Special Needs Parent Support) website click HERE

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You are Enough

I wish I had adequate words, pictures or sounds to describe what this phrase: “You are enough” has meant to me in the last couple of months since lock down started. The mere mention of the words sends shivers of excitement and deep understanding down my spine. The excitement speaks of not just what the phrase brought into my life, but what it can bring for so many others.

I have such an excitement of what these words can mean to you …

For the first time in history, we are all experiencing a similar challenge. We can maybe even call it a type of trauma: “A deeply distressing experience”.  The COVID_19 global disaster.  It has naturally sent all of us into crisis management, – questioning so many things and simply derived us from the control we thought we had over our lives. As we still find ourselves in this state of waiting, trying to make sense … trying to survive, more than ever before we are questioning ourselves, and our place in this world.

During this process, my life-spotlight has also changed its focus, from “life as I knew it” to … well … ME. The spotlight is set, and I cannot hide away anymore; I must face it.  God is leading me on a new path, a path I was longing for and praying for, for so many years.  By His grace, many circumstances are starting to align.

In the beginning of lock down, as these changes of events started to unfold, I purposefully, started to walk on this path towards dreams and destiny, BUT I could clearly feel that something misaligned. When something is misaligned, try as you may you just cannot draw the strings together, there is a constant mismatch, an uncomfortable grip.  There was a huge gap between my personal new normal and where I found myself, the place where I need to start this new adventure.

Hard as it was, I had to accept that this gap is the truth of what I believe about myself.

What did it sound like? “Just hang on, you might just make it.  With lots of grace and mercy God will pull you through.  You have some strengths, but don’t you think this will just fall in your lap.  Remember life is hard and we very seldom receive what we dream about. You are just a small part of a big whole …” and so on…and so on.

You know those words right, I’m sure you have very unique ones of your own…?

Well as it turns out, these beliefs have been accompanying me for years. There are lots of reasons and experiences where they could have taken route.  Fact is if you are human, at some stage there will be, or has been, negative self-beliefs torturing you on one level or another.  There is not one person who has not experienced this, no matter how secure or how famous.  Each one of us must intentionally fight the instinct to not talk down on ourselves or express little self-confidence.

As I started to become aware of this gap in my truth it was as if everything just started to make sense.

The sense? The next step is, and constantly will be, up to me.

I need to find and believe the truth, the truth about me. If I carried on trying to just bridge the gap, I will not move forward, I will just work extremely hard to not fall into an abyss of failure and broken dreams.  As I continued through my coaching training, wrestling and battling to understand how dreams become reality… I heard, really heard, those words again …

YOU ARE ENOUGH… at that moment the confusion clicked into place.

A random coaching trainer, someone who does not know me at all, have no idea what I have lived through or what I am capable of was an instrument in highlighting God’s infinite knowledge about me.

I AM ENOUGH. ACTUALLY … MORE THAN THAT … I AM LOVED.

I am deeply loved by the Creator of Heaven and earth, and I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. THAT IS MY TRUTH.

Why do we struggle so much to just be positive about ourselves? To believe what God sees in us?

The only sensible reason for this, I believe, is that the enemy is out to kill and destroy. If we are what we think, how easy it is to just start there?  Therefore, if you want to destroy someone just give them destructive thoughts to believe about themselves and Bobs you uncle! Problem solved! That person will self-destruct. It’s a given.

Destructive thoughts lead to low self-esteem which leads to passivity, depression and even aggressive behavior towards others.

The perfect recipe for destruction to happen from the inside out is to constantly believe destructive thoughts.

It is a full proof plan … EXCEPT ….

If the person who have the thoughts, starts questioning their thoughts and set out to discover the truth.

Those truths spoken in love; those are the words which could be trusted.  God is love and that is how He works, in love.

So, I am wondering … what could have happened in your life by now if you honestly believed sound truth?

That you are enough as a mother

That you are enough as a friend

That you are enough as an employee

That you are enough as a husband

That you are LOVED by the CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

 

The next step is yours…. what will you believe?

Written by Johanni Meiring 

Thank you for reading! It was a pleasure having you here!

If you would like to find out more about Life Coaching  with Johanni click HERE

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY (Special Needs Parent Support) website click HERE

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Click Here to Buy: Special Needs Special Life – 3 Keys to Conquer and Experience Peace while Parenting Special Needs Kids

 “I distinctly remember one evening, Emma was about three months old, I was taking a bath with one hand on my baby’s crib next to me on the floor, to regain some sanity. By then I was in a serious sleep deprived and defeated state. Nothing seemed to help to calm her down. She was still screaming loudly and painfully as she’s been doing for the last hour without resolve. The thought suddenly crossed my mind:” I wonder if she’s not autistic?”. – Autism – a frightening concept I read about for the first time in a magazine a few weeks earlier. I was shocked at my thought and rebuked myself for thinking such things about my beautiful daughter … still crying.”

On that day when diagnosis is received … you are also diagnosed, not only your child.

Sharing her own story, Johanni Meiring, a Special Needs Parent, Life Coach and Co-Founder of Parent Reality, provides useful tips and advice in caring for a special needs child.

To purchase your copy of this book visit these links:

https://www.amazon.com          OR        https://books2read.com/u/mKzp2Z 

Enjoy the read!

His Mercies are New Every Morning

These words bring tremendous relief to me in this current season of my life

For the past few weeks I have developed a strong hunger for God and the way He works. It is as if my dependence on Him got elevated, and my control freakishness deflated. My character stays a constant “work in progress”, but with a relief I am actually realizing that God is for me.

My prayer experiment has brought so much fruit in my life (I took the challenge to pray for 30 mins each day for a week, and then discovered I couldn’t stop). My heart is refreshed and hopeful.

I think life became simpler. Less things that I have to worry about. Worry stuck to me for years. The habit of surrendering and waiting for the solution changes everything. I now realize how many times I take responsibility of people, events, difficulties and many other eventualities. The responsibilities mostly taken subconsciously, and often unnecessarily. The impact starts when I just feel something on the inside being uncomfortable and before I know it my shoulders are in knots and hopelessness has moved in.

Now, I asked Him (the Holy Spirit) to warn me. When one of these situations, words, feelings activates worry…I surrender and “…. The peace of God which transcends all understanding, guards your {my} heart and your {my} mind in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:7, NIV)

On these early winter days the first light  is so beautiful, soft but powerful. Where do I find the words to describe the beauty, the freshness and hope of a new day? I treasure these moments. It almost feels magical to stare at first light, gripping my tea and feeling the silence in the house on my skin. It is here where I feel safest, the day’s full potential in waiting. And here I know He waits to draw me close and whisper everything I need for today. But if I keep on talking He listens. He hears every word.

So many of my questions has been answered in these words: ….” For his compassions never fail, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam 3:22-23, NIV)
All I need is His compassion for today. His faithfulness covers all my limitations, failed plans, insecurities and impatient parenting moments. We only have today, the gift of this day.

Maybe if you go out on a limb, and call out to Him in your moment of tired hopelessness, you’ll be surprised? The thing is: we change but He doesn’t. Since the beginning He was waiting for us to respond. He CAN perform the miracle a good friend or glass of wine can’t.

Many moments in my day I find myself calling out to Him “God please help me!” I am not feeling ridiculous anymore if that plea revolves around keeping to my time schedule or asking Him to miraculously supply tomato and onion mix in my kitchen cupboard.
I know that the “ridiculous” prayer and the prayer for someone precious battling with cancer, are both heard. They are both acknowledged because He knows my heart and He is for me.

Therefore, I keep calm and ask for help, because for the first time I am striving for dependence on my God, rather than independence in life. After all…
“…where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”(Ps 121:1-2, NIV)

Written by Johanni Meiring 

Thank you for reading! It was a pleasure having you here!

If you would like to book a Life Coaching Session with Johanni click HERE

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY (Special Needs Parent Support) website click HERE

If you want to read more blogs click HERE

 

If I can just find the reason

(Written: 9 June 2015)

That’s the first thing you do when you receive diagnosis, you look for the reason.  Who, or what is to blame for this terrible name given to our confusion? “It will make me feel better, if I know the reason I can cope better.”  But will we, cope better?  Will our load be lifted with the reason for this pain? Will this untrodden path be easier to walk?

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”  Jesus said, “You are asking the wrong question.  You If are looking for someone to blame.  There’s no such cause-effect here.  Look instead for what God can do.” (John 9: 1 – 3, The Message)

As I understand it, Jesus says no. “No, don’t do that to yourself.  Trust God for your life, see what He will do.”  If He will heal, if He will minister, if He will restore, if He will humble, it is all up to Him.  But we must trust and look for what He is doing.

Face it.  We cannot change the diagnoses.  We cannot manipulate God into doing anything.  But we can pray and trust, we can worship and find rest in Him.

We can spend our lives trying to identify the cause, the root, where it all began, and the source of this brokenness.  And then when we find it, what then?  Will we be free?  No, we could just add grief, disappointment and most probably bitterness to our lives.  All feelings we can do without.

Whether you know the cause and accepted or don’t know and desperately want to know why.  God advises us to look to Him.  To draw near to Life.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart….” (Jer 1:5, NIV)

When a friend reminded me of God who forms us in the womb, I suddenly, with great surprise, realized that since the diagnoses I did not believe that He formed them purposefully this way.  That somewhere, in this forming process there was a “glitch”.  How unproductive to try and fix something I think God overlooked. How impossible.  What a heavy burden.

To cope with the news I threw myself into every, and anyway to help fix whatever went wrong.  Here I could cope and not fall into a pit of dispair.  We therapised, medicated, dietised and whatever else I could find to do.  Any parent does this, when your child cries, you fix it.  You change the nappy, give medicine, rock them or kiss them.  We are programmed this way we take care of our children.  Don’t get me wrong, all of treatments contributed to my children’s development and the overall place they are functioning in today.

After four years I just realized, as if for the first time, God made them this way.  It isn’t just a temporary setback, they are unique and set apart.  Their way of doing may look and sound different, but their life purpose will be carried out gloriously on this earth.  And Gideon and I have the privilege to share the journey.

The blind man was healed and nothing would ever be the same for him again.  He testified, and praised God.  He met his Maker in an unthinkable wonderful way.  Through him people saw what Jesus could do.  BUT if he wasn’t blind, he was not part of this great uproar, this undeniable miracle …

Written by Johanni Meiring 

Thank you for reading! It was a pleasure having you here!

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY (Special Needs Parent Support) website click HERE

If you would like to book a Life Coaching Session with Johanni click HERE

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The Power of Simplicity in 2020

In my daily life I usually have this constant longing for open spaces, freedom and quiet places.

There could be a few reasons for this.

  1.  I have a substantial overactive mind, always thinking of projects, plans and ideas
  2.  I am a busy mom, with three busy children and all the tasks do not seize to   disappoint.
  3.  Life is busy, there is always some task or responsibility to tend to.
  4.  I am an introvert; in our introvert inner lives we consciously try to escape chaos   and sit in a corner.
  5.  Technology has a way to consume time and over stimulate the mind.
  6.  I am sure there are more reasons

Be that as it may, I have recently become more and more aware of how complicated our lives have become.  Even the simplest tasks or events become a mass of detail and information which is utterly overwhelming.  I have yet to decide why our society and way of living has become so complicated.

Is it the vast amounts of information we suddenly have access to?

OR just keeping up with the Jones’s who have taken up the challenge to constantly outperform their neighbors?

I am so tired of always feeling like I’m lagging behind, … have you experienced the same feeling?

Look, I certainly know that we all are different type of organizers and project mangers of our lives, but somehow, I also know there are many of us struggling with a vast amount of “too much” in our lives. A feeling that encourages disappointment and dis contentedness.

A while ago I came across Rachelle Crawford and her ABUNDANT LIFE WITH LESS blog. Slowly but surely the words she wrote about minimalism, living with less clutter and a simpler mindset started to nestle its way into my being.

As I spent time with the Lord in a wonderful solitude day, He so clearly stated to me that “THERE IS POWER IN SIMPLICITY”.  He is the God of simple but powerful lives.  Simplicity involves focus and clarity where clutter brings distraction and confusion. Jesus lived a simple but powerful life, with his focus on the Father and a display of peace personified.

The way our Almighty God chose to bring His son – The Savior of World- to earth, still blows my mind.  Simplicity and humbleness to the extreme.

I have finally realized that having too much of any- and everything in my life is a problem.  It is stealing joy and peace from my life …

I have also learned that simplifying some of the most basic things in my life ushers back the peace almost instantly.  It’s not a big elaborate simplifying life drive, but rather a one- thing-at-a-time project.  Please bear in mind that making these changes are intentional actions, not an automatic response.  Life do not encourage us to live with less but very specifically point us in the direction of more, better and higher. We will have to choose His simple life, every day.

Simplicity is not the source of peace, most assuredly not.  Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and He left the Holy Spirit for us to have His peace dwelling within us.  The Spirit is also our very reliable Counselor who shows when you are not at peace in your being.  I have just realized that life has a way to distract and distort what is meant to be joyful into a maze of just surviving day by day.

This verse always stays with me and is so beautifully simple:

Luke 10:41-42:  “Martha, Martha” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Here’s to an intention to simplify what may lie ahead of us in 2020, with the will to live joyful and powerful lives! You have the right to choose.

Written by Johanni Meiring 

Thank you for reading! It was a pleasure having you here!

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY (Special Needs Parent Support) website click HERE

If you would like to book a Life Coaching Session with Johanni click HERE

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Just Being The Parent

What if I just focus on being the parent more, instead of doing all the parenting things?  Can I just stand in the mothering position and acknowledge this is my place instead of trying to earn it more … day by day.

We have been created human BEINGS.  In a world where DOING is the only action that seemingly gets you anywhere, the understanding of who human beings are, gets muddled up.

Living in the western mindset is complex.  Everything we do gets over analyzed and complexified.  There is always a better or faster way to make coffee, sell a product or even wash your face.  Yes, there is advantages, your bread is now baked by a machine and not really by your own hands.  Mostly, though, it seems like our joy is being stolen.  Our freedom taken away.  There is always, but always, something to do, or do better.  Simplicity gives freedom, too much knowledge takes it away.

Recently I was given the privilege, at a game reserve, to look at a few lionesses as they are going about their day: They are determined animals who hunt from early.  This is their main purpose, to find food and caring for their young.   Their young are taught by being around the mother and doing everything she does, because soon they will be weaned and start hunting for themselves.  They have precious relationships in the pride and the lionesses move together with their family.

What struck me was that this mother is only being a lion.  And that is how she parents.  She is what she was made to be and by this example the cubs are being parented.  There is no list on her agenda of bird watching, whole digging, grass prepping and whatever else … just them learning from her and copying her.  The cubs will be who they are meant to be, by the example of her being who she is.

Truth is, we have to fight for our freedom to live the lives God gave us.  Everything around us fights to cage us in.  God the father wanted us to eat from the tree of LIFE not the tree of KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.  He sent Jesus to give life back.  But we still choose.  Jesus and life, or only knowledge and captivity.

I want to trust him to show me how to be more, instead of losing day after day to the rush of planning the next moment.  My mind wonders back to these words:

“But seek first the Kingdom of His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you as well.  So therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt 6: 33-34, NIV)

Written by Johanni Meiring (12 May 2015)

Thank you for reading! It was a pleasure having you here!

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY (Special Needs Parent Support) website click HERE

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Why can’t we stay connected anymore?

Our world is packed with connection technology but it’s getting harder and harder to connect meaningfully with each other.  Are you feeling it? Can you see it?

We work on our laptops, our cell phones, we drift around on the internet, with way too many things to see and no time to look at it. Our minds are consumed and over informed.  We hit and miss, a thousand times a day while the world and people around us carry on, and so many times we miss it. We miss the REAL things which are much less complicated, but so much more valuable.

Is this a problem?

Are we not just moving forward in a fast pace world, developing with the trends?

The answer is YES and NO.  Because we will always keep inventing, developing and creating new things. That is the extraordinary ability humans have.

BUT we will always have to choose:

  • To let our creations consume us and ultimately break the connection between our Creator and each other;
  • OR to fight the battle against being consumed and being present in our lives, hearing His voice and listening to the people around us.

To REALLY CONNECT takes time, a treasured commodity we are all, for some reason, losing at a rapid speed.  Therefore, it is much more “effective” to text than to talk, to e-mail than to call, to Skype than to meet.  I know, I do it too!

Unfortunately, what we do now, our kids will do now and later in a more amplified state. If we are disconnected now, they will lose the art to connect in the first place.  They need us to connect with them, even if they are non-verbal.  They need to see our eyes, and we need to see theirs, that’s how we stay sane.

We will have to choose every day, and every time the option of technology-versus-person comes up. Especially with our loved ones, the ones we live and breathe with.

Let’s keep fighting for connection.  The face-to-face kind.  Especially when it’s hard, when there is no time.  The thought that “I have no time” might turn into “I have exactly the right amount of time” if we start focusing our time in the right directions.

Connect with Your maker first, He will know how to help you connect in those important moments!

 

Written by Johanni Meiring

Thank you for reading! It was a pleasure having you here!

If  you want to visit our PARENT REALITY (Special Needs Parent Support) website click HERE

If you would like to book a Life Coaching Session with Johanni click HERE

If you want to read more blogs click HERE

 

 

 

Guest Writer: Elmari Dreyer – When Your Grandchild Has Special Needs

I have three grandchildren of my own with special needs.

For me it always was a dream to be a grandmother.  When my children were grown-up and got married, I could not wait for them to have kids so that I could become a granny.  I love babies and was always good with toddlers and small children.  I was overwhelmed with happiness when my daughter’s three children were born 18 months apart in a row. I loved them to bits but I could see that my daughter became extremely stressed by the fact that her eldest two were very difficult.  I soon sensed that two of her little ones reacted very differently from what I could remember from my two children.   I loved them very much but was waiting in vain for their happy smiles and them responding to my rhymes and songs.  The eldest, a boy, was hyper-active and had an angry disposition while the baby girl cried a lot, seemed  unhappy and did not reach the usual milestones for babies of her age.

I did not understand what went amiss, until a family member suggested to my children that the two should be taken for professional evaluation.  The parents took them both to a pediatric neurologist who found that the boy has ADHD and the little girl was on the autism spectrum.  Her third child, a baby boy was neuro-typical and we could plainly see the difference in his temperament and development.

In the meantime my son, who is now living in London, got married and they fell pregnant.  We were so happy for them and their eldest son was born without complications.  He was a peaceful and happy baby except serious regurgitation issues.  Soon we noticed developmental problems and speech delay which probably frustrated him to such and extent that he would continuously bite other children.  To make a long story short, it seemed that he also was on the autism spectrum. Their second boy also seemed happy and lovable at first but did not start speaking according to his milestones.  We are still hoping that there may be another reason or solution for him.

When all of these happened, the first thing on my mind was WHY did this happen to my grandchildren.  Was it maybe due to something that I did wrong – perhaps sins of the past?  I immediately realised that this idea was ridiculous and I pushed it from my mind.  Other thoughts that crossed my mind include the possibility of genetic transfer.  Is it not just that my children made mistakes in how they are trying to raise their children?  Was it something in the air that we breathe or the diet that we eat?  What if it is some or other curse on our family?

I was disappointed and scared.  In the beginning I was bargaining with God and asked Him to heal them. We as grandparents also experience trauma when our grandchildren are diagnosed.  As is the case with the parents of the child, it is probably just as important that we as grandparents go through a mourning process.  For me this lasted for quite a while but in the end I realised that it was nobody’s fault, it was not a punishment from God but something that just happened because of this broken world.  Although a lot of research are being done on the topic, the cause of these spectrum disorders has not been found yet.  The more I learned about the conditions, the more I accepted and discarded the toxic thoughts that crossed my mind.  I learned that there are many factors that may play a role individually or simultaneously which cannot yet be pinpointed.  All I could do was to accept it, support my children and love all of them.

I only told you about the evaluations and the shock of the realisation that three of our grandchildren are not neuro-typical.  The day-to-day living with the reality thereof is quite another matter.  We and our children will have to deal with it for the rest of our lives as there are no quick fixes to the situation.  There are lots of interventions, though, as well as therapies  and learning how to deal with the emotions and behaviours of children with ADHD and autism or whatever condition they may have.  This will cost a lot of money, time, patience, energy and dedication from  especially our children, the parents.  It is difficult to comprehend the effect of atypical neurological defects on  the lives and relationships of the whole family as well as the siblings.

Our hearts bleed for our children but as grandparents it is so important that we accept our grandchildren and love them with all our heart, despite the fact that they are different.  We must realise that the way we raised our children would be quite different from how our children now have to raise theirs.   It would therefore be wise for us to try to refrain from giving cheap advice.  We must remember that our children  have a lot on their plate, do their very best and just cannot deal with our criticism and condemnation as well.  Even the slightest negative hint or facial expression may cause hurt and can lead to scars that may never be healed.  We can let our children know that they are welcome to ask for advice if they need it, but that is also fine if they do not accept what we advise.  For every parent (person) it is so crucial that their parents will accept and love their children.  This is no different for parents with special needs children. We must always keep this in mind so that we stay positive to keep our relationships with our children intact.  They must never ever experience a hint of rejection about this.  Although the whole experience is traumatic for all of us, all we can do is to support our children, pray for them, help out where we can  – even to walk the second mile – and LOVE them and their special needs children. It is important that the help we offer will be in a mature and lovable way.  How we react is very important, for an example when other grannies brag about their grandchildren’s’ achievements we have to learn to participate and take our share in bragging, but on another level.  Our love and pride of our grandchildren must always shine through.  It is also important to assure our children that we are willing to assist them as much as we can.  I have come across and heard of parents and grandparents of special needs kids who don’t have meaningful contact with each other because the grandparents simply do not know how to handle the situation.  We must avoid this at all cost.

As grandparents it is important to find out as much as we can about the condition so that we understand better why the discipline of these children are different to what we are used to.  Ask your children to tell you what they have learned but also do your own research  to gain knowledge and understanding.  I found U Tube and Google very helpful to teach me and it is an ongoing process to learn about neuro-atypical conditions in children.  I am sure that I personally have made lots of mistakes along the way, but in the process of learning it becomes better and I am so thankful that my children have patience with me, understand and love me and forgive my blunders.  I just know that I want to be somebody who is helpful and loving in stead of someone who adds to their pain.

We as grandparents play a very important role in the lives of our grandchildren.  We must strive to always be a safe haven where they know they are loved.

It is also important for the parents to inform other close family members about the situation with their child to prevent misunderstanding, rejection and criticism in the family.

The attendance of a support group for grandparents of children with special needs is not without merit.

 

Can you remember that girl? Part 2 … and the Tattoo

Eight months have passed since I posted “Can you remember that girl?”  As I read the blog post for the first time again tonight I realized; even in these eight months, I have changed.

To remember that girl takes courage.  It might be easier to just admit that I have changed. It is definitely easier to change the description of the girl of careless moments and limited responsibility, into the grown-up me. And move on.

Thing is; I’m not the girl of those years passed anymore, but I’m also not only the woman, mother and wife I am now.  I am both, or the new product of both these seasons.

Us mothers, we pride ourselves in doing the right thing.  Most of the time the right thing in the world of mothers is: to move forward.  It’s almost as if an invisible clock is giving us a rhythm, and the Lord help us if we miss a beat. Whether we are using others or ourselves as a measuring stick, somewhere we will find a benchmark to work towards.

See, women were made to nurture, and take care of the people around them.  We do have this other weakness though, it’s called taking control.  This weakness really features as soon as the world becomes a challenge to manage.  Or when we feel overwhelmed, or crippled by self-doubt.  Control is our safe place of hiding.  We start taking control of our houses, our husbands, our children and anything else that hints towards wanting to be controlled.

Bottomline?  We move forward.  When we are in a comfortable space we move forward and when we feel overwhelmed and tired, we move forward harder. And anyone around us must “get with the programme”, because face it…what choice do we have?  Our kids have to be happier, healthier and less disabled.  Our marriages must be better and more fulfilling.  Our finances need to keep up with all the demands.

But where does that leave us?  Does it even matter how I feel in the midst of all the things I have to do, ought to have done and probably should be doing?  Can I even remember how I lived before I started moving forward in the midst of this big responsibility season?

I want to beg you to STOP and remember.  Go back to where you were when life had no limits.  The world was your oyster and you were the princess in the fairy tale.  Your seasons did change, but you did not disappear in the process.  You are still there.  Yes, your perspectives changed, and some lines on your face have moved positions, but no one will ever enter a room like you do.  You carry your uniqueness wherever you go.

And then, after you have stopped, relinquished control a bit and put down the measuring stick, then you might just feel a bit more relieved.  You’ll realize you can really start discovering the REAL YOU that’s living now.  Because if you don’t do it now, when will you?

In the previous “Remember that girl” blog post, I let you in on my small acts of trying to discover myself again, bit-by-bit and day-by-day.  The clothes and the hair.  These actions help me, since the way I look have a big influence on my mood, and also how productive I am.  I am also realizing more and more that when someone meets me a big part of their first impression will be influenced by the way I look.  So, I have to concentrate on dressing to display who I am.  It helps me to be real.

This brings me to the TATTOO!! Yes, at 38 years of age, I got a tattoo.  It has brought me a tremendous sense of moving forward in who I am.  I’ve thought and prayed and dreamed about it for two years.  Then I made the tattoo appointment, and with my best friend at my right hand, we did it.  She was there, and just as, if not more, excited about this moment as me.  Of course I wanted to run out screaming just before I mounted myself onto the table, but I just knew, if I don’t do this now, I will forever regret my fear and also… never go back.

For some people getting a tattoo is huge, for others, no big deal.  For me it was an act of truly doing something to display more to the world the inside of me.  To in some way say something about me that words cannot really describe, and also say it to people who will walk past me and not ever even meet me.  The picture of a butterfly sounds corny…but it’s my butterfly, and it symbolizes the freedom of being who God made me to be.

flying-butterfly-tattoo-s

I don’t know what your thing is.  Maybe it’s painting your nails blue, spending more time in the garden or taking that friend dinner.  Whatever it is that will bring out the REAL YOU NOW.  Just do it.

You might just feel the soft freedom breeze, of just being you, blowing through your hair.

Written by: Johanni Meiring

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