Why Julia Matters

 

Here in Alabama, the legislative floor in Montgomery is a battlefield. Are they arguing over which road projects need funding? Are they discussing a politically and emotionally charged topic like abortion?

No, they are trying to decide if children with autism deserve insurance coverage for their immense therapy needs. They are trying to decide if insurance companies should be allowed to forgo paying for critical interventions like speech therapy, occupational therapy, and the main point of contention – ABA therapy.

 

Montgomery Assery

Welcome to Alabama, where the politics are made up and corruption doesn’t matter.

Continue reading

Em-Barking on a New Adventure

Yes, I know. I totally succumbed to a dad-worthy pun for the title. Consider it a nod to the man of the house who has a torrid love affair with all things punny. He lives to see my eyes roll, I’m just sure of it.

But bad puns aside, we do have a new adventure beginning here at the Sparks abode. It’s an enormous commitment, but well worth the time, energy, and destroyed shoes that I am certain are in our future.

Meet Max. He is in an Australian Shepherd/Newfoundland mix with a big job: he will become our middle daughter’s service dog.

 

FullSizeRender-1

Miracle Max loves to ride with Brinley in the car.

 

Continue reading

Bite Size New Years Resolutions {Free Printable!}

I love New Year’s. I really do. I love the new beginning that it brings. The sense of freshness. The opportunity for starting over. The problem is that I, like so many, get overly excited about this grand sense of a new leaf being turned, and I get overzealous in my resolutions. I convince myself that this year I really will do things like ” go 100% paleo on Jan 1 and never look back, or set up a Pinterest board with 365 days of organizing projects and complete one every day until my house is perfectly organized and spotless.  Of course, reality hits sometime around January 12th or so Continue reading

On Counting Blessings

We’ve all heard the old song. Or maybe we haven’t, since old hymns seem to be a dying breed.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
[*And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.]

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy [*wealth can never buy]
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end

Continue reading

Making the Most of My Mess

I read a few fantastic articles today. One was from the fabulous Lisa-Jo Baker on dealing with anger as a mom. The other was a hilarious and honest expose’ on the state of a home full of little people from Elizabeth at City Moms Blog.

As I sat in the Chick-Fil-A drive thru for the third…okay fourth time this week, I scrolled through the latter article on my phone and waited for our french fries that I was praying would pacify very ticked off, tired, and hungry children who were sick of being stuck in the back of the house while their daddy finished staining and sealing our new kitchen table. *Disclaimer -That makes us sound way more glamorous than we are. We aren’t a Pioneer Woman household in the least. Yes, he built our table. He also started it two months ago and it has been sitting in our dining room half finished with a tablecloth over it and a gaping hole on one uncompleted end until last night. It’s been fought over quite a bit, and the top has been reconstructed twice. So don’t start thinking we have our shit together – we totally don’t, and that’s the point of this article.*

20141010_123742

Sure, it took two months, but look at how pretty that table is! And there is just something about watching your man building things, yes?

Continue reading

On Choosing Grace

We took a trip to the library today. I had agreed to meet a friend there to help with some job applications, and since our library has an excellent children’s area, I decided to make a fun trip of it for the kids, so that everyone could play and choose a book. As they contemplated their options, played on the computers, and raced trains around the train table, I saw a young family come into the children’s area and sit down.

youthserviceslibrary

We love our local library!

Continue reading

It Begins With Surrender

A blog is essentially a story. As a child of God, my story is His story, told through me. And like many great stories, this blog begins on a sad note. Sad, but so full of hope, revelation and transformation.

For the past few weeks months years I have been struggling. Wrestling with God. Seeing as Jacob did precisely that, spurning his name Israel, I suppose I’m ingood company. However, it’s been a less than glamorous experience. I have been discouraged, felt far from God and even questioned my faith more than once. Continue reading