Gratitude Challenge – November 17 – Thankful for My Youngest Daughter and Granddaughter

Here at Words of Encouragement



I should clarify that I am thankful for all FOUR of my adult “kids” AND their respective partners AND my two granddaughters (and #3 due next month!) In this particular post, though, I am focusing on my youngest daughter, Joy, and oldest granddaughter, Chloe, for a special reason. I’m proud of Joy, mommy of my granddaughters, who started a blog called “Journey of Grace 2016” to chronicle her journey as a mom with a daughter who has special needs (sensory processing disorder and likely Asperger’s, perhaps other as yet undiagnosed challenges).

Joy and Chloe
                        Joy and Chloe


I thought I would share some excerpts from some of her posts and encourage you to visit her blog to read the full posts, especially if you can relate to her struggles because you also have a child with special needs. Also, please share her blog with anyone you know who has children with special needs. I believe Joy’s words will encourage, strengthen, and inspire you, and she welcomes your questions and opportunity to network resources and support. This is a longer than usual post, but I believe you will find it’s worth the time you take to read it. Oh, and you might want to grab some tissues!  (Fair warning…)

Saturday Coffee Date


“Coffee dates with your best friend ( husband ) are the best! Got an early start around 6am, because Ava was hungry.

Cory made breakfast to go with our coffee.  I’ve been blessed with a great cook for a husband! Also, a husband who supports a celiac diet – major bonus points.  Gosh, I love that man.

Chloe woke up around 1:30 am (one of her many wake up times), and came to find me for God knows what reason. I told her she needs to get back in her bed.  I tuck her back into the top bunk. She falls back asleep.

Doesn’t matter if I just ate dinner, I am always hungry at night.  I take another bite, mid chew – Crying.  The very familiar, and I hate to say – obnoxious – Chloe cry. It’s obnoxious because I don’t know how to help my kid! And she hunts down what she wants (mom) so she can fall back asleep.  Times like these I thank GOD for not being able to sleep efficiently.  I do believe at times, I’m invincible . . But then Chloe’s infamous, blood curdling scream and head butts reassure me that I am very much in fact human.”




“The wind blows the leaves around that have given up.  They let go.  They get lost in the chaos of the season.  All focus is gone.  Mother nature exhales, trying to brace herself for the next season that’s about to come.  Similar to motherhood.

You can spend time outside surrounded by the beauty of fall, yet you can’t help but feel the crushing loneliness when you look at the trees that were once a different form.  Being a stay at home mom can be the same at times.  The sadness and isolation.  You have this job to shape, mold, and raise these kids – and God gives you a kid who is so complex and contains so much unpredictability.  Having typical kids is a journey all in itself, and then there’s my journey with Chloe.  So many don’t understand.

I just told Chloe for the fourth time she needs to take her nightgown off … she is currently hopping down the hallway.  I’m beating my head against a brick wall.  I talk to myself all day long, and repeat just about every word, oh I’m not sure how many times.  I lose count.  I lose my mind. Like the leaves that are dead and falling – I, too, feel numb.

Through all of this I think of Chloe’s heart.  Although the emotional/social aspect is off, I can see her heart.  It’s so, amazingly beautiful, and she makes my heart swell.  This stay at home mom venture while figuring out the help that Chloe needs, and being here for the other girls, is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I do appreciate a lot of it.  I know God is here, with me and guiding me – it’s just so hard to tune out the noise of isolation and turn up the volume of His voice.   I’ll get there, slowly but surely.

Anyone else on a similar journey – you are not alone.  Know you are enough, and I’m here if you ever need to talk about your trials and tribulations.”


The Volcano In Its Safety Zone


“The sun shines bright in hopes to help ease into a good day.  The same routine unravels,  but with the commotion brewing – routine and schedule don’t give any promise that she will remain calm.  A warning for a transition is put into place.  She mindlessly responds with “okay”, not showing any other form of communication that she understands what’s about to come.  The time comes to end her virtual escape located in an electronic rectangle, today anyway.

Transitions are not her friend regardless of screens or no screens.  The pressure that’s been building is about to show.  The transition infringed upon her control of a decision.  She’s stuck and seeing red, tunnel vision.  She cannot move in any direction besides shifting inward, applying more pressure to what currently is residing within her.  She can only keep it together for so long.  She says she wasn’t done.  She’s kindly reminded about the period of transition.

It happens.

Her surface breaks.  All focus is lost, besides searching for a release.  It’s here.  Her safety zone stands strong, although it will be painful.  This volcanic eruption of a meltdown, yet again, doesn’t stand a chance against her safety’s love for her.  As destructive as the lava is, as unbearable as it is every single time – her safety zone remains.

Her eyes.  They crush my soul.  She wants so badly to tell me how she feels – but she can’t.  She is so lost and confused.  She knows she will be isolated, but the lava continues to erupt.   More destruction to herself, to me and her surroundings.  There is no choice left but to isolate her, so the destruction is minimized.  Everything inside me is screaming.  I want to hold and console my little girl – but I can’t.  Communication is non existent and impossible when the volcano erupts.

I’m so lost in this journey of unknown.

The calm after the explosion is taking place.  A broken voice speaks out,  asking to come out.  She says she’s all done.  I hesitate to open the door because I have no idea if the lava completely cooled.  Regardless, I offer her a hug.  I am her safety zone, no matter the circumstance.  She falls in my arms.

That reassurance, from her safety zone will wrap her heart in love unconditionally.  It’s what will get her through each hardship, heartache and sadness when she feels so lost.  After all, her safety zone has survived four years thus far of countless volcanic eruptions – nothing stands between me and my girl.”


My reflections:

I cry every time I read Joy’s posts, because I’ve observed some of the situations Joy writes about. I ache for her and my precious granddaughter Chloe, as well as my son-in-law Cory and younger granddaughter Ava.

Please do visit Joy’s Journey of Grace blog, read the rest of the posts I’ve shared as excerpts, and check out several other posts on her blog. As I mentioned before, you will benefit especially if you can relate to her struggles because you also have a child with special needs. Also, please share her blog with anyone you know who has children with special needs. I believe Joy’s words will encourage, strengthen, and inspire you, and she welcomes your questions and opportunity to network resources and support.


So what are YOUR thoughts?

Do you have a child with special needs or know someone who does?

Can you relate to any of the situations Joy describes?


Chloe and little sister Ava, enjoying apples during a family outing to pick apples.
Chloe and little sister Ava, enjoying apples during a family outing to pick apples.

Photo by Joy, who also happens to be a photographer!

Check out her Facebook page: J 2Photography



This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. There was a person who had a child with special needs, I have seen the mother literally be a child day in and day out. Yes it was hard for her initially!#NaBloPoMo

  2. I will indeed investigate your daughter’s blog. As the sister in law of a man with autism, I have another perspective-one that I need to blog about a little more.

  3. I can relate to everything in this post, both my children have ASD. This is beautifully written

  4. How I relate to everything written here. My, now adult son, has Fragile X Syndrome (includes intellectual disability, autism and anxiety). Life for him is easier now, but my heart aches when anxiety hits him. Half of me wants to keep him home with me all the time but I know his 4 days at a disability day center are good for him in lots of ways.

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