Zero Stickers

So let me ramble here for a second…. a couple nights ago, I spent several hours looking through old pictures. It’s quite scary, actually, to see yourself many moons ago….so weird how you change over time. Actually very weird. I’ve always been one to worry about my weight. Always. But looking back at those pictures, I wanted to reach my hands through the old copies and wring my skinny little neck. What in the world was I thinking? Even after having Evy, I was still pretty little.

Me and Evy with our dear friend {and Evy’s Tree model} Kate. 

And here’s me after I had Jake. Can we say TINY? Brandon and I goofing off at a restaurant mirror.

So I keep thinking about how over the last couple years I have complained about my figure so very much. And boy, do I feel ashamed now. Especailly since I am now at least 10 lbs over what I have ever been. I think the moral of the story is this: it’s so easy to look down on yourself, but learn to love yourself at every stage in your life. Because you never know…things could be WAY worse.

Dear 25 year old Amy, at 36, I can show you NEED TO DIET. Stop complaining.

So with that thought off my mind, let’s talk about Jake for a second. Part of his ADHD 504 plan classroom modifications is to break the day up into small parts and work towards success in each individual area. Since ADHDers have a hard time working on long term goals, his modification plan is full of short term goals to encourage excitement with his learning. His day is split up in three blocks and he is assessed accordingly. His behavior is monitored three times a day, and he gets a sticker on his take home paper for each block that he accomplishes his main behavior goals: sit quietly, doesn’t distract others, and raises his hand to speak {just saying these three goals makes me giggle as if you know him, these are HARD things for him to do! ha}.

Since implementing the plan, he has always gotten at least one sticker. But yesterday his take home paper came home looking like this:

Zero stickers. Awesome right? ugh. Before we got Jake diagnosed, a good friend of mine who also has an ADHD boy told me, “Living with ADHD is REALLY, REALLY hard. I don’t care what anyone tells you, it very difficult.” I remember thinking that it couldn’t be THAT bad.

But it is. It really, really is.

It’s very hard to have to make special modifications for your child that you love so much. It’s so very hard to see that is he is JUST NOT capable of behaving like everyone else, no matter how hard I try to help him. My friend was right, living with ADHD is extremely hard.

Yesterday when he came home with zero stickers, Jake and I had a chat about his day. Thankfully, he is still really young and doesn’t understand that his behavior is extremely annoying. {ha}. And thankfully, our school is so wonderful that being sent to the office isn’t always a bad thing, just a support. Our principals are awesome and always positively redirect Jake, so that’s helpful. But as a mom, hearing your kindergarten student was sent to the office prompts visions in my mind of my future high school student practically living there, if he continues at this rate. Honestly? It’s enough to make me want to lay down and have a good cry. Yup. it does. Go ahead and judge, but it’s the truth.

The last couple days I have felt the Lord nudge me to read about Elijah. And this portion of scripture jumped out at me:

 ’Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.’ I Kings 19:3-5

Dear Elijah: I love you. If you read the entire context of this scripture, you will read about how before this laying down and dying incident, Elijah has the miraculous show down with the 400 prophets of Baal…where God hears Elijah’s prayers and sends fire down to devour Elijah’s offering, all while the 400 prophets of Baal’s offering sits untouched. You see how God delivers the people out of drought through Elijah’s prophecies. You see miracles, signs and wonders coming from Elijah…but at this point, Jezebel threatens him, saying she will kill him. He is alone. He is the last prophet left. And he is frustrated. And he runs.

Thank you Elijah. Because now I know, it’s not just me that feels like doing that from time to time. Dear readers, I’m not stupid…I know what it may look like over here. Social media puts such a deceiving twist on people’s lives. Things look WAY better than they really are. But the reality is I often feel like Elijah {probably more often than not}. Like last night when I got Jake’s take home paper back. Or when I step on the scale in the morning. Or when I get a business situation that I have no idea how to deal with. I feel like Elijah. The thoughts that go through my mind sound like this:

Parenting is too hard

Marriage is so tough

Manufacturing is way too difficult, I should quit

Living for God is not easy

I want to quit.

If you have some time, read through Elijah’s story in 1 Kings, it will really encourage you. My favorite part is when he spends 40 days walking up the mountain to where God is. And when he gets there, the Lord says to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”. HA. I love it.

After Elijah complains to Him how faithful he’s been but now he’s about to be killed, God sends him back. But not without showing Elijah His power through the wind, the earthquake and the fire. And not without telling him that He had seven thousand people who had not turned to Baal. He was not really alone.

Here’s the reality of the situation: when you are on the Lord’s team… NOTHING MATTERS.  It doesn’t matter how down you feel about yourself. How much you question your purpose, or how often you feel like quitting. Because even when I go to Him feeling like laying down and throwing in the towel…He is still there asking me, “Why are you here?”. I love that. Because He sees the end of the story and knows it will be exactly how it’s supposed to be and how HE planned it….success, regardless of how we feel about it. And everything really will be alright. Just ask Elijah.

Nothing is too hard for God. Ever. {Even zero stickers.} And for that I am so very thankful.

Big hugs friends. xoxo

14 thoughts on “Zero Stickers

  1. 1
    Amanda says:

    Well that was a timely message. Funny how God works…
    :)

  2. 2
    Cherish says:

    This is the first blog post of your I have read and I love it. I often have felt like just giving up like Elijah lately- I guess I’m in good company. Life IS tough!
    Anyhow I have a son who has behavioral issues. I used to think he had ADHD but after some dietary modifications he improved DRASTICALLY! Food coloring is a huge trigger for his wild behavior. I know others who have cut out that along with preservatives to control their sons (diagnosed) with ADHD. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Though I am sure you have already looked into that. :)

  3. 3
    Ashly says:

    Thank you, Amy! I definitely needed to hear that. Thank you for not quitting.

  4. 4
    Henria O. says:

    I have tears in my eyes right now because I can totally relate. It’s nice to be reminded that we can do it…even when we feel we can’t. I will be 40 next month and have two small ones, 6 and 3. Sometimes I feel I wasn’t made for motherhood, that I’m too old for this….but I keep trying. There are days when I want to give up but I’m reminded that I am human, that I am not perfect, and that anything worth acheiving takes effort and persistence…and what’s more? …that God will always be there through it all. I’ve never considered that I may sometimes be an Elijah…I’ve always identified with being a David who “encouraged himself in the Lord” when he faced adversity or hard times. Now, I will recognize my Elijah moments. Thanks for being so open, honest, and sincere.

  5. 5
    Catherine Castelli says:

    Once again, nail on the head. Thanks for sharing Amy, I am going to read Elijah as soon as I get home. I am constantly fighting this battle, glad I am not alone.

  6. 6
    Brittanie says:

    Loved this! It’s just real!

  7. 7
    Amy says:

    Thank you for posting this! Since the new year, I had a bad cold for 2 weeks that got my asthma so worked up I spent days struggling to breathe then my husband got sick this past weekend & I managed to cut my finger so bad I needed stitches, then my daughter got sick (4 years old). I had a huge wholesale order to finish & get out the door–and made that deadline thankfully but not without late late nights. Did I mention my husband has been out of town for work nearly 2 weeks of the last 3? We’re living where we know almost no one–29 hours from friends and family. I took our daughter to urgent care this morning to find she has a bad flu and ear infection….and now I feel the flu coming on me, scary since I’m still not 100% from the cold/asthma. I sobbed last night to my husband (away on a trip) that I had nothing left to give our daughter, who couldn’t sleep because she was so miserable. I prayed all night that God would pull me through and He did. Now I’m sick but trying to work on sales tax forms, knowing I still need to complete 8 hours of online training this month for my psychology license to stay valid. I’ve been thinking…is it really only the 23rd of the month and Oh no! How is it the 23rd already? simultaneously. I’ve wanted to run away a lot lately and thought the same things: parenting is hard, marriage is hard, running a home based biz is hard, I want to quit, I want to run away.

    Last night I had nothing left to give but somehow God refilled me. Tonight my husband flies in and will work from home so I have a break. Four more hours until he comes in the door. Then I read your post and thought “I am not alone.” Thank you for that. It’ll make the 4 hours go easier. It’s been such a hard month here and yet reading your post I reminded of all God has done to help me get through each day, each hour, each minute. Thanks for keeping it real!

  8. 8
    Andrea says:

    Thank you Amy for your honesty and humility….Such a great reminder of God’s grace. Living with a husband who was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid and a 7 year old son who is just like his daddy, I can completely relate! Especially to the teacher’s notes. I want to encourage you that it does get better. My husband learned how to adapt and find new ways of getting things done while still having fun. He is now an ordained minister and associate pastor of our church. God is using his strengths and weakness’ to bring people to salvation. It gives me hope when my son won’t stop moving, talking or distracting :) Much love to you and your family!

  9. 9
    Ashley green says:

    What a great heart-felt post Amy ! And a totally random comment: i really love your eyebrows ! i wish i could do that with mine ! it seems like your signature :)

    Life is hard and I’m so glad that our God is who He is ! Thank you for the reminder of Elijah !

    I hesitate to even type this…but since you wrote what was in your heart, I just wanted to ask you if you’ve tried any nutritional modifications in regards to Jakes diet? If not, You might want to look into a paleo type lifestyle…because the food most Americans consume is totally devoid of real nutrition & real food. { just food for thought}

    • 9.1
      evystree says:

      HA!!! Ashley, I’m dying about the eyebrows. Thank you for the compliment! I was actually born with pointy eyebrows {courtesy of my dad}, and they are very thick, but thankfully somewhere along the way someone showed me how to “clean them up” a little. Basically I just follow my brow line and that’s it. Wish I had a magic secret to share. :)

      Regarding diet for Jake, thank you for suggesting it!! We went gluten and nearly sugar free for close to three months, eating mostly whole foods. I was really hoping to see a difference but both his teacher and I agreed it didn’t really help much at all. And it was super expensive. boo. So now we eat normally again, which for us is really low sugar anyway, lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean poultry and meat and very, very little junk. Brandon and I have always been pretty health conscious so we try to really limit the kids treats as much as possible. I do believe with all my heart that food makes a huge difference on behavior so we are conscious of that. Thanks again for the suggestion! I wanted to respond here on the blog instead of through email like I normally do with comments because we are asked about food all the time so I thought other people are probably wondering too. :) hehe….

      For anyone who is reading and has an ADHD kid, what really makes a HUGE difference is sleep!! HUGE HUGE HUGE. I can’t emphasis it enough. Jake goes to bed around 7 normally. If he goes to be later, like say around 8:30 or 9, the next day will be TORTURE for him at school {and for his teacher}. We have found that being responsible and putting him to bed on time can make all the difference in the world for him.

      Big hugs xoxo

  10. 10
    Nicole Bowen says:

    Thank you for your openness! As a 40yr old, with 4 kids ranging from 14 to 2, I can only give you the encouragement that this shall pass, and you are not alone. You will try everything in the book, behavior and food mods, herbal remedies, meds. You will want to go all “Mommy Bear” up on people who don’t get it. (Please refrain) it will pas, it won’t go away, but it will get better. Please follow (if not already) Help for your ADHD child on FB. I’m not affiliated, just a follower, and it really is a great place for Moms going through this. Most of all… Don’t lose faith!

  11. 11
    Jami M. =) says:

    First, ladies, if ya’ll are reading this comment, I want to say that it’s SO RELIEVING to know that I’m not the only wife/mama around that feels like she’s losing it at times. In fact, listening to what some of ya’ll have on ya’ll’s plates, I should feel down-right ashamed for every whining or complaining. Prayers to ya’ll and keep on keepin’ on!

    YES, I agree with what my other “sisters” said: thank you, Sis. Amy, for your “realness”. I forwarded this to 3 of my friends, commenting on how much I love your writings because they ARE real – nothing I have to rererereread to get the message.

    Oh, and you remind me and one of those friends SO MUCH of a good friend of our’s who lives out of state, which is a wonderful thing! (Not that she lives out of state, that you remind us of her. Probably needed to clarify on that part.)

    Hope all have a wonderfully blessed Thursday! =)

  12. 12
    Hanna says:

    Amy, thanks for this post! I really enjoyed it!!! I’ve been having such a Rough time and I found this encouraging and I can totally relate on all levels with the weight issue. Now at 8 months pregnant and gaining 70 pounds I look at myself at 128 pounds and think, wow, I was so tiny! But of course at the time, I was STILL trying to loose!!! Crazy! Itssa what we do to ourselves as women.

  13. 13
    Aida says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! For your post….I needed to read this today. My little girl who is 5 also has ADHD and today was not a good day for either of us. Lets start with HUGE tantrum while shopping, huge tantrum while I was driving and it’s pretty much still going. She’s been pretty busy today and I just looked up and felt like Elijah too. Thank you Amy for reminding moms who have these special little guys and gals that we are not alone. I am truly grateful to be reminded when I forget that My Lord and Savior is ALWAYS with me and He will bring me the peace I need and He loves me always the way I love my girl. God Bless you!

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