Friday, February 10, 2012

lila. sigh.


that's exactly what i just did before i started typing. it is known in my family that the women are sighers. different sighs mean different things. it's an art really.
i did a short sigh, which means... i'm baffled.  and side note, if a woman ever does a sigh mixed with some sort of gruntal noise, go ahead and move out of her way because she's about lose it and/or grab some sort of object and throw it at your face.
anyway, i haven't written about lila in a while. lila has some stuff going on in her sweet brain and body that we are trying to figure out. we don't even have a label for her, actually. maybe that's good or bad. a part of me wants a label so i can say, this is what she has, now let's fix it!  and the other part of me doesn't want her to have a label at all. i don't want her to be confined to a definition or a disorder.
with that said, we kind of know that she has a sensory disorder going on. she seems to be growing out of some of it. we are doing therapy and gluten free for her. hence all the bean brownies... toot toot!

we definitely know she has language and learning delays. lila is 3 and 1/2 and doesn't talk well.
but she is trying.
she is improving.
you may not understand her, but i do. sort of.

she can't get her shopping cart over the rug because it's stuck on the carpet. Elwp! (help).
she's hungry and says, tees! (cheese)
uh doo doo do, BABY! awwww, baby.  telling me something about her baby. haha. we have no idea what she's really saying. but it's cute.
uh oh! this is a constant word. she's gets into trouble often. and then comes to me and says, uh oh! and then i go find something crazy that she's gotten into.
i mostly instagram these things. (you can follow jaminato if you want a good laugh at my expense.)

i need to do better about taking actual pictures.
here are a few lila moments for you. you would think i don't watch her. but generally this happens when i'm going to the bathroom, putting penelope down for a nap, or cleaning the kitchen.
now that first part is probably coming off more light hearted than i intend.

lila is a complete challenge for me. just constantly into anything and everything. ALL. THE. TIME.
no nap time to regroup either. she doesn't nap or else she stays up till midnight. even a 5 minute snooze can derail the evening.
now mind you , lila is not like my first child. i was like...AWESOME. layne was sleep trained...and he also was not a rule breaker. sheriff layne at your service.
then lila came along and i realized that i knew nothing. absolutely nothing. none of my old tricks worked. and then penelope came along and i was like, wait...aren't i supposed to know what i'm doing by now? but alas, i do not. long sighhhhhhhhhhh.


so basically to do anything during the day, i just run around and chase lila. while eating lunch or getting something done. lila is in my sight.
i do my makeup with lila in the room. she's digging around in my makeup...dumping it out everywhere. or taking things out of drawers. you imagine it, she does it.
if i'm dressing penelope, she's in the bathroom eating toothpaste.
if i'm going to the bathroom, who knows what i'll find when i come out.

now, yesterday i was having a really terrible morning.
couldn't find my keys. running late to drop layne off to school. penelope crying. house is filthy. can't find pacifier. lila has no shoes on. etc. etc.
on the way to drop off lila, nato and i are on the phone. i'm yell-crying at this point. saying things like, I QUIT! i'm done! i'm not being a mother anymore!
kind of funny, actually. because it's absurd. mother's can't quit.
lila goes to mother's day out once a week. hear me loud and clear when i say, we do not miss this day for anything.
so of course after the nutty morning yesterday, we showed up 20 minutes late.
i park the car and open the back door to get lila out.
she's gotten into her lunch, eaten some of it and squirted her juice box everywhere. at this point, i'm crying. and i can't blame it on "allergies. sometimes you can be like, oh it's just my allergies...i'm not crying. chuckle chuckle. this was beyond that.
i just dropped her off to mother's day out. words, but communicating with my watery eyes.
here, take her.
and then i just kept crying on down the hallway. it was pitiful. luckily i was late and no one was in the hallway to see me wipe my snot on my  jacket.

then i went to laser hair removal appointment. nothing will cheer a gal up like a painful, rubberband snap-feeling to your sensitive areas, i always say.
there is no transition from that last sentence to the next sentence. so i'll leave it at that and say, man...this child is extremely frustrating for me. she is also so delightful. but it doesn't take away the frustration piece. i want to just be ok with everything and be like, no big deal! i got this! 
but i don't "got this".

i want to be better equipped for mothering lila. but i'm not.

i was reading in the bible(matthew 9 and 10) this morning and Jesus was telling the disciples to go heal the sick and preach in some place they'd never been. and the funny thing is, He sent them off and said, hey, don't bring extra clothes or shoes. no extra staff. don't bring money or food. just go with what you have. (jami paraphrase version)

and i sat there and i thought, he sent them out there to do his work and he made them go with nothing. they weren't equipped. they just knew what they were supposed to do, not really what would happen when they got there or how they were going to do it.

that's it.

and i'll bet you ten dollars and a laser hair removal session, that he did that on purpose. so they would remember they needed Jesus. so that they would be provided for by Him in their need, not that extra this or that they decided to bring. each little step by each little scary step they would need Jesus.
and i need that provision.

so that's what i'm praying for. just provision for my next steps with lila when i don't feel equipped. that i would love lila right where she's at. not constantly trying to make her do more, learn more, be fixed, be like others her age.

God has me as lila's mother for a reason. i don't have to have all the tools i think i need to do that. God says he's got that part covered.

i'm going to rest in that today. and i hope you do to.


  1. Jami, I don't even know you and I love your heart. I love your ability to just surrender and put everything out on the table. Thanks for the reminder of God always having complete control! I needed that :)

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Wow. Thank you for sharing your heart. How much did I need to be reminded to really love my kids right where they are & how much Jesus is going to provide everything?!

  3. Tear. Okay, maybe tears. Lila is absolutely precious. So adorable and spunky. I love how she sucks her fingers and her cutie smile. God created something wonderful in her. And He definitely definitely created the perfect mama for Lila. Someone that will make her black bean brownies and let her dig in their make- up. Gosh, I'm sure it Is so hard. Praying for you and that you would rely on Jesus.

  4. i needed this today. i love you.

  5. that comment from legris777 was me, I was on Justin's account by accident :)

  6. Jami, you have hit the nail on the head - you need to love your little nugget where she is at.

    I just have one question (that you don't need to answer, so I guess its more of a suggestion than a question) - have you looked into early intervention for Lila's speech and development? The early years are so important for helping to catch kids up that need extra support. You know that I'm sure, but I just wanted to encourage you that you don't have to do it all on your own and that there are lots of people out there who can help you figure out the best ways to support Lila right where she is at right now - you don't need to do it on your own.

    Praying for your family - from Australia :)

  7. Oh Jami, I feel like I could have written this post (if I had your gift for writing), but about Evelyn. Bella is napping right now covered head to toe in highlighter compliments of my trouble maker. Have you read Kisses From Katie yet? There's an amazing part in the book where she says she doesn't agree with the statement that God will never give you more than you can handle. She firmly believes, as do I, that he purposely gives us more than we can handle because he wants us to lean on him and lose ourselves in His ability to provide for us. I suck at that a lot of days and spent several moments this week sobbing in a heap on my kitchen floor, but the truth is there to embrace. Hugs for the journey.

  8. I love you.
    And I pray someday soon I get to live by you and quickly pop by when you're teary and frustrated and you can hand me Penelope and hand Jon Lila and we will be off...
    We love you, we are praying for you.
    God is good all the time. Why is that so hard to remember? So hard for us to understand?
    You're not alone in your wonderings.
    We're a plane ride away! Come!

  9. God knows your little Lila better than anyone else. There is no parenting genius, super nanny or doctor who could know her more intimately. He is her designer and creator, and knows every detail of her needs, limitations, gifts, and dreams. He is the ultimate parenting guidebook specifically for Lila. And he promises to give wisdom to all who ask. He will not only strengthen you with grace and patience in parenting, he will reveal to you the wisdom you need to daily care for her.

  10. Jami, such a good post. So real and encouraging. I have been right there with you with some issues with my 9 month old daughter this week. As I was in a church service Monday night (crying my eyes out in worship)God just spoke to me "A bruised reed I will not crush. A smoldering wick I will not snuff out" (Is. 42:3) He was just reminding me that He is very mindful of my weakness as a mom and and he does not scorn me for it. Praying for you and sweet Lila! Being a mom to little ones is the hardest (and most rewarding) job in the world!

  11. fabulous post.

    Its always so hard to live in the now - especially when the now isnt easy - but I think you have the perfect mindset for battling through the now.

    She will get better, she will grow out of some of her quirks, she will learn more words - but right now she needs you just like you need jesus.

    love your words today!

  12. I don't think i've ever commented on your blog before..i'm a lurker! But, wow.. Lila is a lucky (gorgeous!) little girl with you as her mother. Well done...even through the tears it looks like you are doing a fab job. I'm not really that religious (eek..there i admit it!) but I have to say that i love the way you make religion more relevant to me. (Does that even make sense?) Thanks for that. Great post. xx

  13. Penelope with marked up face nd bottle of vanilla in bowl tie for funniest.....have you thought of apraxia of speech? My girlfriend's son had it diagnosed with their two year old non verbal son. after a year of therapy he's verbal but still uses therapy. Also signing times videos might make communication easier and how cool to be able to read sign language

  14. TOUGH stinkin' stuff, Jami. I have no advise, but admire your perspective and your trust in the Lord. Praying for you right this minute.

  15. Delurking to say
    (1) you are not alone and
    (2)I freaking love your honesty. Love. It. Because sometimes? I cry too. My kids are 18, 11, and 4. I still don't know what I'm doing...

  16. Hi there...I am quiet lurker of your blog, but I LOVE IT! I had to write and tell you today, I cried for you, prayed for you and wished I could hug you after I read your entry today. Crazy thing I am NOT a mother, but my heart ached for you today...I am praying for're a great mom, what I think makes you a great mom is that even through your frustration and honest entry your love for sweet Lila is 100% evident...I will continue to pray for you...

  17. such amazing perspective. you are such a great mommy to all of your babes. Praying for you friend.

  18. My husband gives me continual grief/laughs at me for my frequent sighing.
    I also feel your 3 year old pain. We do not have the sensory or language issues...but he is my third child and I cry more over the things he does than the other two combined. He is constantly destroying things, making disasters, disobeying. And could care less about discipline. It's not just a 3 year old thing either...he's been like that since he was one. We have been trying to correct some of the same behaviors for 2 solid years which makes me fear he may never get it. Ugh. I am desperate for a break sometimes but it doesn't happen very often. Somedays I think I'm losing it! Just wanted to say that I feel your pain-kids with those activity levels and lack of sense are hard to parent! It's good that my older 2 weren't like this because it allows me to have a little grace with myself when I want to feel like it must be my terrible parenting!

  19. Awww, I was thinking similar thoughts this week. My youngest is driving me just as nuts. At 20 months, there is no talking either. Just nonstop shrieking. My nerves are shot. I hear ya, girl. One step at a time and a whole lot of emergency prayers.

  20. beautiful. and just what i needed to hear. i recently have also yell-cried, "i quit" to my husband. i have also said things in a whiny voice like..."being a parent is too hard." i just had my third and most days i can't figure out why after three kids i feel so clueless. you are doing a great job, and you helped out another momma today. thanks!

  21. **gulp** i got chills. and i laughed so hard at the instagram photos. though i know, when those things happen...not always funny. i think lila might me my middle childs twin. he is five now. and he is still alive. and he is getting easier. i don't fear for his life or someone elses if im not in the same room with him at all times. that is huge. i hope you can find some peace in that. she really won't be coloring on penelope's face at 9(at least we hope ;) anyway, i think you are a great writer, and a great mother to those babies. it is the hardest thing to love our littles so much, and be so frustrated all at once. as a good friend always says...may the force be with you((hugs)) oh and thanks ,as always, for being real--always appreciated.

  22. hugs. motherhood is sooo hard sometimes. it must be especially hard not knowing whats going on with lila and so hard for her too. it just sounds like a gob of frustration! glad you found some comfort in that verse, you totally inspire me, i always forgot to check my bible and take a lesson read there and apply it to my life. your a great mom and i love your honesty here.

  23. My daughter is SUPER challenging and busy too! I too have had a really rough day with her so I understand where you are at. I sent my husband a text demanding R&R tonight... by myself.

  24. I get it. I had two Lilas and was completely done in during the toddler, pre-K years. Totally beyond crazy. I didn't want a diagnosis either; but when my eldest was finally diagnosed (Aspergers/bipolar) it was an amazing relief. I could now research my kid's issues and find out that his behaviors and limitations were normal for him and that ::gasp:: I wasn't just a crap parent. With a diagnosis we were able to seek out specialists and receive services that helped my boy immensely. I also had a term to tell others when my kid was a complete monster and they were putting on their judgey pants. It didn't become an excuse or an identity, just a means for help and compassion.
    This is just my experience. You need to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit for your family. You are so right about our limitations. They are the gateways he uses to draw us to him and lavish his kindness, care and love on us. Lila is So lucky to have you for a mommy.

  25. I love your blog, love your honesty, love your sense of humor. One of my most favorite things in this world is when people are real. Thanks for encouraging me today.


  26. I'm sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed, but I wanted to share that based on just this blog, Lila seems "normal" to me. :) I have twin boys that no one could understand anything they said except me an d my husband basically until they were 4. And they were so "inquisitive" (my nice word for destructive) that I even started a blog called The Thing my Kids broke. Ever seen the viral video of the kids messing up the house with flour? Well, that wasn't me but could have been, because my boys did that when they were 3 while I was pooping. For real, I couldn't even have a bowel movement without them destroying something. They are almost 5 now and their speech is much better (but still considered "delayed") and they are a little less destructive. I actually think their language improvement has heLped their behavior because I think they can express themselves in other ways than actions, plus they can understand our language more too. Hope you find the same happens for Lila. Just don't get too hung up on what is "normal".

  27. Thank you for sharing your story! My first born was so easy in every way, I thought I was the best mama ever, and then I had my second kiddo and everything fell apart. Little guy started having some serious issues when he turned two. He is five now and has grown so much. We have done psychotherapy with a fantastic child psych who helped us pinpoint sensory disorder and speech delays. We documented every tantrum and were amazed to see patterns that triggered these huge anger displays. We are done with family therapy but still do speech therapy privately and as part of our son's special education preschool through the private school district. I was guided by my pediatrician and our psych to have my sweetie tested by our local school district and he now has a plan and goals. I am amazed by where we are today versus where we were a year ago. It's still rough some days, but
    so much better. Good luck, I really appreciate you being open about the not so great side of parenting.

  28. Such a great reminder. Thank you!

  29. At the risk of sounding like everyone else, I love your honesty and transparency. :) I have no advice and you're probably not looking for advice, just an internet hug or something, BUT I will say that I really struggle with anger and impatience and one *of many* things the Lord is teaching me is to just think about TODAY. Don't think of your and Lila's relationship in terms of years or even months. Just get through TODAY. God gives us enough grace for TODAY. :) That's all. Love your blog.

  30. honestly written, but without dishonouring your daughter. thanks for sharing your mother heart.
    don't you love it when God reveals a truth that is perfect for the time?


  31. Whether you have a typical child or a challenging child, parenting is a crap shoot, at best. My kids are grown (they're probably older than you!)and they still present parenting challenges. Blessings to all of you.God will guide you.

  32. siiiiiigh... this is a brutal love we carry for these monkies isn't it?? :) they are our undoing and yet they usher in his grace so thick that they are somehow wrapped up in our saving.... what a mystery.
    you threatened in exasperation to quit motherhood?? um yeah me too.
    the marker on the baby face?? too much. i'm not laughing AT you.. i'm laughing WITH you... right? right?? ;)
    praying his path is clear before you and his peace is tucked up nice and tight in your heart. xox

  33. amazing post. thankful for honesty in the blogging world :)

  34. Jami, everyone has definitely touched on how moving this post is. Serious writing skills yo. You're gifted. Wonderful message to your post.

    But to make you laugh I just have to say, I LOST IT when I saw Penelope's baby face covered in Sharpie. Soooo not funny I know, but SO funny. Maybe bc I have a 4 yr old and a 9 mo old and it WILL happen to me too. Then you can laugh at me. : )

    Thank u for the note back about the dollar silver trays! You're awesome.

  35. Thank you for being so real and relatable. I felt like I was sighing with you as I read this post. Our middle child is hard too, she doesn't have any sensory issues, but she is our adopted child so it only makes matters more complicated when punishing her (like the whole me feeling guilty thing) She is always into everything!! And she has stirred up anger emotions in me I did not know that I even had. and our first child, like yours, is a total rule follower. I think part of it is just being a middle child, they always make you realize you have no idea what you are doing as a parent, that ultimately you can't do it without Christ.

  36. Motherhood is tiring. Even on good days. My son is 18 months and entering his terrible 2's early. I'm waiting for the things you posted about to start happening at my house. :(

    My son also has sensory issues (mostly about feeding) and motor delays. Nothing terrible, but we're doing therapy and I'm learning (aka making it up) as I go. It's hard to be everything for one small being. I, too, find myself at my wit's end more frequently than I would like. That's when you throw up a prayer and give a big hug and remind yourself that you're doing the best you know how in the moment.

    I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You can do it! One day (or hour or minute) at a time!

  37. love.
    every word of it.
    especially the "God says he's got that part covered."
    i need to constantly remind myself that i don't NEED to have all the tools to parent my kids.
    thanks for sharing lady.
    you met me right where i'm at today.

  38. I love your heart here, Jami! I am praying for you & little Lila right now! You are so right on, in saying that God puts us where we are not equipped apart from Him. He knows Lila & you & all that is needed.

  39. So beautifully written. Such honest words that paint such a vivid and real picture...its truly appreciated. As I was reading your post, I thought about this other post I read last week titled "I don't want to raise a good child" and thought I'd share it with you.

  40. there is such brilliance to your writing. i could read a book written by you.
    my mom's name is lila, i think you know that, and she and i don't have the best relationship. but God gave us each other even though i don't "get her" and she doesn't "get me." we were MEANT to be mother/daughter. you are a good mom. i would like you in person.
    i know someone here who's daughter has a sensory "dealio" going on if you need her contact info.

  41. I'm not a parent so I don't know what it feels like to have my heart beat for a little person I helped create... but man, do I ever have massive respect for you, Jami. You are an amazing woman--honest, genuine, heartfelt. Lila is so lucky to have you for a mama. And we're so lucky to be blessed and inspired by your heart.

    Thanks for reminding us how much we all need Him, regardless of where we're at. You're a special lady. :)

  42. He doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called. There is so much truth in what you're saying.

    You've got this, cause He's got this.


  43. i. am. RIGHT. there. with. you. truly. if you need to talk to someone who understands when you are having those breakdown moments, please feel free to call me. i had my own similar moment (or maybe momentS) this week. and my head still hurts from having a hard object thrown at it on tuesday by said challenging child. it is so hard when we don't know what exactly is going on in our little people's brains. i don't think there is anything more frustrating than having a child who is struggling with something that is not completely known or understand (and that impacts the whole family). I don't "got it" either. Thankful for your honesty and boldness, as per usual....and p.s. I drove from my breakdown to my brazilian wax. There must be something cathartic about hair removal. =)

  44. I just adore your writing style...I have to admit that I was chuckling and gasping at the same time as I read your post. I have 2 kids, my oldest is a girl and my younger kidlet is a boy. I gotta tell you, my boy, who is now 14, was a handful...a leap before looking...self groomer {as in hair 'cuts'}...{facial} tattoo artist wanna be...the list goes on and's the thing, you'll laugh about all that...really...take it a day at a time...deep breaths...lotsa laughter. Thanks for always sharing the way that you's refreshing.

  45. I love your blog for this exact reason. Your posts are so honest. I know it must have been scary to push the publish button on this post. Luckily you're surround by friends and strangers who will pray for you! Because you're right. You're her mom for reason, this exact moment in time is for a purpose and you ARE equipped to lead her down the right path.
    Thank you for posting honestly. What a refreshing post!

  46. I just wanted to tell you that I think your blog is my favorite one on the intranets. Jesus loves you, and your children, and you are an awesome mom even when it doesn't feel that way.

  47. oh, i think you should try this:

    let us know how this turned out :D

  48. jami. thank you. this is my life right now.
    and i am with you, praying for that provision daily.

    much love.
    psalm 54:4

  49. Thank you for putting so much into perspective. Some days I read your blog and think...dang she has all the answers. And then I remember you get them from the Bible and it is nice to have one more reminder in my daily life that the Bible is where the answers are.

  50. i have a necklace that says "i am not afraid, i was born to do this" i got it because if the Lord says i'm capable, then i am capable. i have the same challenges with my son (i emailed you before), so i understand the beginning stages of figuring all things out. God has given me so much more insight into the brain than i could've ever known. He is good, faithful and our refuge. continue to look to Him in ALL things...
    and not to add any confusion, but if the time comes, read about Auditory Processing Disorder, just incase. it's not well known about, but thats what our son has, and he was misdiagnosed along the way with something else (all part of Gods journey tho)

  51. lila is too cute! you've written that she is gluten free, so i was wondering if you'd considered other food food allergies?

    i've never commented on your blog but the way you've described lila reminds me of myself as a child - my mom could definitely relate to how you're feeling! when i was 6, she put me on an elimination diet, where you eat a very basic diet and gradually introduce potential allergy foods back one at a time. we found out i was majorly triggered by berries and food coloring. to this day if i accidentally eat something with Red 40, i'll be up all night. and strawberries still make me want to punch someone in the face (weird, i know). maybe just because it's impacted my life so significantly that i see symptoms of potential food allergies everywhere, but an elimination diet is such a (relatively) easy thing to do i think it's always worth a shot. unfortunately it's usually not a firstline treatment option in mainstream western medicine, and pediatricians don't always know much about non-traditional food allergies.

    if you're interested, i would recommend the books "is this your child?" by doris rapp and "why your child is hyperactive" by ben feingold. the former my mom used as a diet guide when i was little, and i read it later on myself. the latter i admittedly have not read, but i've been on the feingold program to avoid certain chemical additives, & ben feingold pretty much created the foundation for food sensitivity research so there's bound to be good information in there. hope this is helpful :)

  52. Jami - It's so refreshing to read your blog. I love that you speak the truth and don't sugar coat. You are an awesome mother!


    p.s. I'm sorry but that pic of Penelope covered in marker made me crack up - like tears to my eyes cracking up!

  53. Yesterday I was so dried out, weary...I had been going in my own strength, trying to do it my way for too long...I didn't even know where my Bible was. Then, I stopped. I went to Jesus. I laid face down on my bed and just told him how I had no more strength. "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." "Praise the Lord, O sweet mama you. Praise your God, O Jami! For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you. He makes PEACE in your borders; he fills you with the finest of the wheat." Psalm 147: 12-14 ... Here's to praying he "fills you with the best dang wheat out there!" Lots of love and prayers your way.


  54. I have a child who brings me to tears nearly every day with her strong will, anger and emotional outbursts and floors me with her talent and creativity. I like to say He is using her to make me more like Christ. I sure hope that's the case because she has pushed me soooo far beyond where I ever thought I could ever go. And I don't know what I'm doing.

  55. Good for you for getting it out. As a mom of a son with Asperger's, we spent two years seeking a diagnosis. I only wish we would have pushed more and done earlier intervention, but at the time it was so overwhelming and I was in a bit of denial. Keep pushing. The more you know, the more you can help your sweet girl. Hugs to you, Mama!

  56. Thanks for your honesty, and the fact that you can encourage others while going through the yucky stuff... you truly are Super Mom. Seriously.

  57. Jami Nato, you are an amazing woman. THAT is why God chose you to mother Lila. He knew your heart and he knew He could trust you with her. He knew you could love that precious girl in just the right way, not because you are a perfect mommy or because you knew this or that. He chose you and He will give you sustaining grace to make it through the hard days.

    Love you, friend.

    P.S. Next time you have a day like that, come straight to my house after drop off and we'll have a mimosa or something equally fabulous to take the edge off the day. And we'll pray.

  58. Loved this post & I'm sorry but it made me chuckle a little (my children are grown, so I can... : ) reminded me of my friend yrs. ago raising 6 children & they would do things like rub sticks of butter in the screens...
    BUT I wanted to tell you what my friend told me this weekend
    "Our weakness is a platform for the Lord to show his power in us. Then we can boast in Him & bear testimony of His Power"
    Motherhood is so hard somedays...
    but let me tell you.. This too shall pass & then someday you will such great stories to share, like we do now when we are all together, sons & DIL's...
    I would not trade one of those days for the precious memories we have now... (though quitting & murdering a husband were close to my mind at the time :)
    You are exactly where you need to be right now for yourself & for Lila... will be praying for you

  59. we were reading that passage (well, in luke 10...same story) about the people of peace. and made the realization that when the disciples had nothing, they had to depend on God to open up the hearts of those they were visiting to provide food/shelter/new clothes to them. how humbling. and humiliting, i'm sure. "hey, i'm here to tell you about this awesome dude i know, oh, btw. i'm hungry, got a sandwich?" i wonder what these people thought, knowing that the disciples (aka people tight with jesus) depended on THEM for basic nbd stuff. who knows. but know that i'm praying for you. and i hope that in this next season, that people come out of the woodwork (even more so than already have) to fill in your & nato's deficits (of time, energy, hope, etc). i'll be first in line jami. first in line! loveyou! (and you're doing a really great job. and are the PERFECT mommy for lila. for real! )

  60. Oh, man. I feel your struggle. Hang in there!

  61. Wow. Your story sounds like my life right now with my son, Parker. Thank you so much for sharing.

  62. Jami - thanks again for your brutal honesty. It just ain't easy being a mom. My babies are all grown but my plate is filled with aging parents (and needing to treat them as I did when my kids were little - very wierd!), a daughter struggling with life questions, an estranged gambling addicted father-in-law that suddenly emails for the first time in years (and wants money), my married daughter who is pregnant (yay-that's good!) quite possibly with twins so she will be starting this crazy journey of mothering, too!
    All this to say that even though the issues change, life continues to be streesful, no matter what stage we are at. So, initially this may sound depressing. But, I don't think so. I opened my devotional today as I am feeling quite overwhelmed by life lately. I can't say that reading my Bible is the first place I go, but I know that I need to work at more - just thought I'd share a verse that I read that seemed to tie into what I just read here on your blog.
    "After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?" (Gal.3:3)
    I think I'm being told that I need to rely on Him more day by day.
    Thanks for the reminder!
    Keep loving those kids. It doesn't mean that we will like them every day - but we will love them!

  63. I just want to say, I love your humor, your kind heart, your honesty and the love you have for your little girl. Taking care of a child that is different is HARD!
    My daughter SAvannah has OCD/anxiety along with I think Sensory disorder( I actually talked with you about it on Instagram once!!)....
    not fun at all.
    it's so very hard and I feel your frustration. I get it, I do.
    much love, prayers and hugs.

  64. You are like a hero to me...I'm not the only mom who cries on those days??!! Thank you!!! I have 2 boys that get into everything, I do dishes and they are putting lip gloss on that they stole from my purse and are kissing every wall in the house, along with my curtains!!! My oldest knows it's wrong, but he does it anyways...and he's about to be 4! I think that we are all tested, and I'm happy that you can share yours with us! I love your blog, keep on being our hero!!!

  65. Such a beautiful sharing of your heart. Praying for you Jami.

  66. all i can say is hugs and prayers, sister.
    hugs and prayers for you.
    mothering is so damn hard... it's funny... and not funny at the same time.
    frustration is so a part of my day with my middle too.
    she's almost 6... so not as much in the destruction phase anymore but it's still friggin' hard.
    she's a daily battle.
    my middle one.
    same sigh as yours.
    anyway... just want you to know, you're not alone.
    you're a good momma... and this stuff teaches us through this tough stuff.
    love, hugs and prayers...
    keep at it!

  67. I don't even know if you will get to read this because you have a bazilllion comments on here already. I just want to say this simple thing- I know how you feel. My son is not 3 1/2 as of yet so I don't know to that extent, but he is 2 (or will be February the 26th). My son is not talking yet either. He says momma every once in a while. He says yum. And other ramblings I don't know yet. When we first started speech therapy I took an autism questionaire and he failed it. (This is all in the state of oklahoma... I don't know how it all works in kansas with speech therapy) She told me that he would have to take a more in-depth questionaire when he turns 2 to figure out further things. My world stopped. I was devastated. My son didn't point at things he wanted. He didn't have eye contact with anyone. He flapped his arms when excited. He didn't follow directions. He didn't respond to his name.... I was freaked out. I had no idea what to do and I felt like a terrible mother. I was at a place in my faith I had never been at... and never wanted to be. All I could think was "why God?... I don't understand..." crying constantly... worrying. And I hate to say it, but the speech therapist (as super sweet as she is) didn't help me with my faith.

    The thing that has helped me the most is talking to other mothers with faith. One in particular has helped me the most. She has 2 boys with autism. (I am assuming that Lyla has not been diagnosed with autism, but other sensory issues.) She has given me so much advice and support. And prayers.

    A few months ago I had a renewed faith. (Whats so amazing about this all is that my husbands has remained strong this whole time praise God!) My son now responds to his name, follows some directions (including the word no... ha!), looks EVERYONE in the eye, waves bye bye, claps his hands, points at things sometimes and takes my hand and guides me to things that he needs. He still has issues with some hyperactivity among other things, but I have noticed God helping and healing him. I am starting to see a personality in my little boy and I am so thankful for it.

    His speech therapist recently told me that she wanted to wait longer to give him the autism evaluation because of how much improvement he has had.

    Sorry that was like a novel, but its nice to talk to someone that knows what I go through. Its so so so hard not knowing what is going on in your childs mind.

    I have also thought about doing the gluten free for him as well. Is it going ok?

    Thanks so much for sharing your heart about this subject.

  68. my daughter is also 3 1/2 and probably my biggest daily struggle. she's very strong willed and dealing with her makes my heart sin. but i am encouraged when i read this because it reminds me i'm not alone. so thank you.

    this is what i'm resting in lately:
    2 Cor 3:4-5 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.

    because He knew what he was doing when he made me my daughter's mother. and i have confidence in that.


  69. i thank you for this post and your raw mothering honesty! i feel OUT. OF. CONTROL. some days and so desperately need God's grace just to get through. praying that God's peace that passes all our weak understanding falls afresh on you daily jami!!!

    you are a wonderful mother and exactly the mother your children need!

  70. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your struggles! I have a very difficult son that I struggle with so much some days and your description of wanting to quit being a mother is exactly how I feel sometimes! Thank you for the reminder that God placed these children in our lives and we need to rely on Him.

    I think your blog is awesome by the way :)

  71. Praying for you & your little Lila.
    My heart hurts for you and your frustration in raising & understanding her. A little heads up from God would be nice....right? :)

    Also, can I just say that Lila is proof that heels+jeans are awesome? Yep. I just did :)

  72. let me just say: 1) you are awesome for realizing that uppercase letters are more trouble than they are worth; and, b) i just came across your blog by coincidence and this is just the post i needed to see.

    my husband is a preacher, and i, also, use cuss-words, which gets me in trouble occasionally. but, if that's our worst fault (probably not, but i can pretend), then we're doing ok. (aren't we?)

    my 3rd progeny, noah, has always been funny and rotten and crazy (in a good way) and smart and awesome and . . . difficult. but now, all of a sudden, in the middle of 1st grade (which he calls 3rd grade, cause he's been in school 3 years and cause he's a genius like that), he's being so "difficult" that his teacher actually calls me to come pick him up. and when that happened on friday, i got off the phone and cried. COL. crying out loud.

    he's adhd (just diagnosed) and we're working on figuring out how best to deal with his personality and learning style, but my feelings are hurt because for some reason, school personnel can't or won't figure out what works for him. they just say, come get him. which, of course, is not a bad thing to noah.

    and then there's family. they know what we should do to "fix" him. yeah, ok. whatever.

    anyway, you are so right about Jesus (worthy of uppercase) equipping us as we go. the only way to prepare for each circumstance is to look to Jesus to see how he wants us to handle it. and if we are seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right --thanks, amplified bible!), then God will be able to work through us (or in spite of us, maybe) to raise our awesome, wonderful, smart, funny, crazy (in a good way), and difficult (or maybe just different?) children to be who and what He wants them to be.

    and now i'm shutting up and stepping down from my soap-box, and stumbling into a pot-hole.
    thank you and drive through, please.

  73. nan. please be my bestie. seriously.
    email me.

  74. I just want you to know I like you so very much. I have a Lila-ish child of my own who is 9 and you would think it's easier because I've been doing it longer, but it's not. Because I am who I am and I need Jesus more everyday! Thanks for sharing your story. You are cool beans to me. xoxo

  75. Hello~ i LOVE your blog!u make me laugh,u make me cry...just like our son did.remember Donovan? of course u do,he may have smeared u w/poop or thrown a chair at u when u were watching him! i dont know how many times someone said "that kid needs medicine". never had it, he has turned out to b an awesome young man. keep praying 4 "the root cause" u know some of the crap we put Donovan through bcuz of our sin, he suffered, emotionally & spiritually. God knows whats going on far better than any Dr ever can. I have recently started speaking 'life' over Donovan. It works! i would encourage you to try it for Lila. i have seen things turn around in as little as hours. luv u

  76. joke i wanted to comment about the lack of uppercase as well. such a freeing experience, eh? and this is like the 3rd post of yours i read and i had to comment. i love it. love love love it. know what else i love? the people who don't have kids who try to tell us what we should do with our children. that's just awesome. what a great outlet this blogging stuff has to be. keep on keepin' on

  77. Jami~
    I too could have written this post if I had your gift for words. I have been in your shoes only by now my wee one is older and I guess I am a little bit more comfortable in these shoes now. I know that label carries such weight and you want it but you don't. Just know that no matter what, she is the same little wild crazy girl she has always been. Embrace her. Often. Celebrate every small victory. When life gets tough, cry, sigh, take a deep breath whatever you need to do to regroup and fight for your little girl. She was sent to you because you got this. Even when you think you don't. Hang in there.

    If you haven't seen this already, this poem really hit home for me.

  78. Please read about the Cave Man diet developed by Doris Rapp MD ... was very helpful with sooo many of my son's 'symptoms' and then just hanging in there and praying about all the other stuff ... the crying and yelling and the confusion and the messes and the impulse control (my son's and mine)... and every morning waking up with a new sense of committment to do better even though by the time breakfast was over it wasn't. I used to sit by my son's bed at night and cry,"Please please make me a better Mom to this kid." .... fast forward 20 plus years ... he works for the State Department as a Diplomat. I give myself NO credit except for the prayers and that maybe just hanging in there day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year ... it adds up to something. I still wish there were more calm times so there would have been more hugs and smiles and less frustration and fatigue. The humble shall inherit the earth right? These kids are humbling and we can appreciate them for this great lesson and maybe out of that humble place ... a greater love. Love to all you Moms and all the little adorable wonderful completely exhausting beasties.


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