From Ugly Cry To Deeper Why (Vulnerable Video)

Ever have one of those days when you feel like a total failure at life? Ever get so down and discouraged that you’re tempted to give up on your goals and dreams? Me too. But fortunately, that’s not the end of the story. …
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To See Beauty First: A Video

Hello and Happy Monday! Since I'm traveling this week, I'd like to share a video with you in lieu of the usual post. It's a 10 minute talk I gave as part of the Faith Inclusion Network's March 2013 "That All May Worship" conference. (I thank Karen Jackson for her wonderful work in organizing the event, and for sending me the recording as well.) A Wish Come Clear readers who receive posts via email may recall the story I sent out about my experience speaking at the conference two months ago; it's reprinted below. To make sure you don't miss ...
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All Too Familiar: A Story for National Siblings Day

One Tuesday night this winter, I was babysitting my friends’ children, three-year-old Eliza* and one-year-old Mitchell.* I watch them on a weekly basis, so I have a working knowledge of their routines and habits. But on that particular Tuesday, Eliza did something I didn’t expect. When she noticed her brother Mitchell getting a little fussy around bedtime, she stepped closer to him and looked into his eyes. He grew still. Then she stepped away, her hands partially covering her face. And then … Older sister. (Used with permission.) “Ah BOO!” Eliza exclaimed, moving her hands away from her ...
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Reflecting Light: Wishes for World Autism Awareness Day

It was just another visit to the Home Depot in the weeks before World Autism Awareness Day. Since we're renovating our house, my husband visits the store on a near-daily basis. We were laughing about paint colors ("'Manhattan Mist'?! That's just ... toxic!") when I saw them. The blue light bulbs. I didn't have to read the signs. I've volunteered with Autism Speaks, and written for their blog as well. I knew what the bulbs were for: Light It Up Blue for Autism Awareness. When I saw that display, I had this sliding sensation in the pit of my stomach; ...
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So Much to Celebrate: Thoughts on A Wish Come Clear’s Second Anniversary

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Here's what I'd like to share with you today: 1. A tremendous amount of gratitude. The launch of my new Kindle Single*, I Was a Stranger to Beauty, has been an amazing experience. I'm so thankful to have released this book with ThinkPiece Publishing; Adam Wahlberg and his team have done a phenomenal job. (And remember, sales support a great cause too: 5% of the proceeds from the first 30 days go to L'Arche DC.) And thanks to your support, the Single debuted at #3 in the Special Needs Memoirs and Special Needs Ebooks ...
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Launch Day: I Was a Stranger to Beauty is Here!

Oh, happy day! Thanks to ThinkPiece Publishing, my new Kindle Single* is here! It's titled I Was a Stranger to Beauty: A Story of Special Needs, Simplicity, My Brother Willie, My Friend Miguel and A New Way of Seeing the World. (I'm fortunate to have a fantastic publisher who shares my affinity for ridiculously lengthy subtitles.) *If you don't have a Kindle, don't worry! You can read Kindle books with Amazon's (free) Kindle Cloud Reader. If you have Amazon Prime, you can also borrow the book through Amazon's Lending Library. *** This book is the story of a family moving ...
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10 Reasons to Give Thanks, 10 Days Before Thanksgiving

It's that time of year. Mom, thanks for making me such a lovely princess costume for my very first 'dress up' Halloween! We're putting away the Halloween costumes (or, in my case, enjoying photos of past ensembles!) and making plans for the upcoming winter holidays. We're hitting the road and opening our doors. And in the midst of it all, we're giving thanks. At the moment, I'm thankful to have 3 guest posts (From Helplessness to Courage: A Sister's Story at Autism Speaks; Love Takes the Lead: A Story of Struggle at The Bold Life; Becoming Whole at ...
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The Summer I Ran Away (and What Brought Me Home)

Hilton Head, 2012. Photo Credit: Donna Fischer Once upon a time, I ran away from home. I ran in a very structured, organized, responsible sort of way, which is to say, I disguised the escape. *** When my husband and I visited family last month, we spent time with my parents, brother, grandparents, and an aunt and uncle too. I'm blessed with a wonderful extended family, and I feel particularly close to this aunt and uncle. Why? Because I lived with them for a summer seven years ago. When people asked me why I was staying with my ...
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I Wanted To Blend In, But Special Needs Mean Standing Out

She leaned toward me as she said, "I'd always wanted to blend. You know? I never wanted to stand out. And when I had my son, I knew that I would have to lay that down, and it was hard." Photo Credit: Brian Taylor Photography My new friend Kristy was sharing her experience as a mom to a child with special needs, speaking about her challenges in a straightforward, matter-of-fact way. It takes courage to speak one's truth to a (relative) stranger, and I admired her for it. I leaned in, listening. "I know just what you mean," ...
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Trying to Learn, Seeking to Love? Start Small. Always.

A mosquito lands on my leg, and I swat it away. I'm in our front yard, pulling weeds with my husband, Jonathan, and trying to understand my own confusion. It's the perfect time of day to be outside, just before the sun sets in our small town in Alabama. As I pull out the roots, I'm thinking about the conversation I just had with my mom and my brother Willie. I'm thinking about how, for all the knowledge we as humans have gained, there are still so many things we don't know. For example, we don't know precisely why one ...
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