Monday, April 20, 2009

Feeding to Amazon and Posting Video Blogs

I admit I have come into the technological world kicking and screaming. However, I have recently learned that I can have all of my blogs fed to my blog on Amazon so that they will all be in the same place and people looking at my books can see my blogs for more information on my work as well.

Additionally, I learned today that I can post YouTube links right on my blog so the video blogging I am trying to start will show up in the blogs themselves. I am sort of testing it with this post. I am posting the youtube video referenced in the prior post to see if it will come up on this blog and my Amazon blog.

The presentation was done at my church to give folks additional understanding about what life can be like for families who experience special needs. It was done more for awareness than for families themselves.









I am beginning to do more video on my own and elsewhere. I also just did a podcast for the Needs Project . When I do video or podcasts they will now be listed at

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
For a complete list of my sites see www.peggyloumorgan.com

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lighthouse Parents on Tangle (formerly GodTube)

Lighthouse Parents now has a ministry page on Tangle (formerly Godtube). Our home page is here .

We just put up a video of a presentation I did at Grace Fellowship last week. If you click on the home page you will see the video.

Until next time,

Peggy Lou Morgan
for a complete list of websites and blogs www.peggyloumorgan.com

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What Would Jesus REALLY Do

According to this article on the Star Trubine website, Carol Race wanted to take her family to mass at St. Joseph’s where they had attended for 12 years. A Sheriff’s deputy waiting in her own driveway reminded her that if she took her 13-year-old son who experiences Autism to St. Joseph’s Church, she would be arrested. This is based on a restraining order taken out by the church to prevent her son’s attendance in church.

I have written about the parents role in asking for what a child needs to make church a welcoming environment here . In fact, there is a video of my son participating in friendship and worship time at our church in that post. However, it seems important to note that it takes willingness on the part of the church to make adaptations and accommodations to make it work too.

While contemplating that story I saw numerous bumper stickers stating “What Would Jesus Do”. That begs the question about which would be Jesus’ response getting the restraining order or finding some way to make it work. He answered that in Mark 10:13-16 (American Standard Version quoted below):

“13And they were bringing unto him little children, that he should touch them: and the disciples rebuked them. 14But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me; forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God. 15Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall in no wise enter therein. 16And he took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.”

Pope Benedict demonstrated what I believe that Jesus would have done in that while tens of thousands of young people waited outside at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, NY he met with and blessed disabled children. See article on CNN website here. He said to them:

"Sometimes, it is challenging to find a reason for what appears only as a difficulty to be overcome or even pain to be endured," the pope told the children and their caregivers.

"God has blessed you with life and with differing talents and gifts. Through these, you are able to serve him and society in various ways."

I happened to watch part of Pope Benedict’s time with the children and observed how touched he was by them. He went through the lines touching their faces before speaking and literally broke free of his guides to touch several of them again on his way out of the event.

I plan to stray from my message to parents for the next few blog posts and address churches on what I believe the Lord would show us and how churches can reach out to families with special needs.

Until Next Time,

Peggy Lou Morgan
http://www.peggyloumorgan.com/
http://www.lighthouseparents.com/
http://www.parentingyourcomplexchild.com/

and blogs at:
http://parentingacomplexchild.blogspot.com/
http://parentingacomplexadult.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Billy Ray and Donna


On Saturday when the Pastor was snapping pictures for me he caught this picture of Billy Ray proudly snowing a pretty worn out picture of his special friend "donnagert" as he calls her (he often adds something to people's names).
Donna and her husband Max are "snowbirds" so they are gone during the winter months but she maintains her relationship with Billy Ray by cell phone. A conversation with Donna never fails to perk him up. While they are in town she makes him high fiber cookies with helps with the bowel issues common in Autism.
This picture was taken in September 2006 when friends of mine from Salem were coming for a barbecue and I had invited several of our church friends. It happened to fall on Donna's birthday. They wanted to bring something and I suggested that her husband just get a cake for her birthday so Billy Ray could blow out the candles for her. He is not big on cakes (at least not then) but he loves the candle blowing part. The picture is blurring so you can't see much of anyone but Billy Ray and Donna but he loves the pictures. He has two copies one he carries around a lot and this one on the refrigerator. He has been showing several ladies the picture when they were bringing meals since I have been ill. He is so proud of his Donna.
Donna makes such a special effort to understand what Billy Ray likes and how he needs things to be. She inquires a lot and this has given me a chance to teach her all things Billy Ray. During my recent crisis this was a great comfort for me because I realize she probably knows Billy Ray better than anyone outside the family right now and would be available to advocate for him if I wasn't.
I have written more about this relationship in my new book that comes out next Fall (if I get it finished and to the publisher in time) so I won't elaborate here. However, I want to make the point that there is lots of things that can be done to support families with special needs that don't take a lot struggle.
Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan

Neither Snow Nor Dark


This is one of the pictures that Pastor Lighthill took the night that his wife, Denise, brought dinner. He sent me the pictures yesterday and I added one to the original post but wanted to put the one with all the snow separately because I know that Big Brother in Arizona and Nick in California love the snow pictures.
Yesterday Larry and Billy Ray took some snow pictures at his son's cabin and I will post some of those later for the kids to see.
I am going to see my primary care provider today. My blood pressure is down a bit and I am feeling a little better this morning.
Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Doing Better

I am at home. Still feel really tired and weak but my blood pressure is down for the first time this year. They found no blockage in my stress test even though they thought there was in the hospital. I think it was answered prayer.

The cardiologist thinks the breathing problems and weakness are because of the blood pressure problems which run on both sides of my family but haven't really effected me until now. He started me yet another blood pressure medication which seems to be working already. He also thinks the severe burning is acid reflex which is certainly easier to deal with than heart issues and our family primary can take care of that. I will follow up with our family primary tomorrow.

Sorry I didn't get on here and let you know that I was okay last night. We had rough day with over a foot of new snow yesterday morning and fighting to get to the clinic to finish the stress test. Then we got a cell phone call relative to the death of my uncle in Idaho.

Untl next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
www.peggyloumorgan.com

Monday, January 07, 2008

One down, one to go

The first part of the stress is done. I won't know any results until after the tests tomorrow and my meeting with my cardiologist, Dr. Koch afterwards. I do know that they didn't find anything concerning them enough to keep me at the hospital tonight.

Billy Ray went with our friend and consultant Keddie to get a hair and have lunch but he wouldn't eat. By the time we got home all of us were pretty hungry. Sandi from church brought us a wonderful casserole, garlic bread, green beans and jello salad. She even brought Billy Ray cookies right out of the oven. It really hit the spot for all of us.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
www.peggyloumorgan.com

Knowing God Through the Love of His People


There is so much I want to share with you this morning. A lot has gone on since I last wrote on this blog. I won’t finish updating you today but I wanted to get started.

In the midst of writing a new book we have had some problems and the love and support shown to us by our little church reminds me so much of Jeremiah 22:16:

“He helped those who were poor and needy, so everything went well for him. That is what it means to know God,” says the Lord.”[1]

In a very real way, we have come to know God even better through the love and care we have received. Here is a recent example:

On New Year ’s Eve just before midnight, I suddenly experienced great difficulty breathing. After a terrifying ambulance ride I spent the rest of the night and most of New Year’s Day at the hospital. At this point, it is believed that I had a small heart attack and possibly have some sort of blockage.

I have been able to be home but not able to do a lot since then. Wednesday morning several people including Pastor Lighthill and others came to pray for me. That evening the ladies ministry began bringing in dinner every night. Billy Ray is really getting into this having ladies bring dinner. The picture is with Denise Lighthill on the night she brought it.

Since starting this blog I have gotten email from people in churches who say that they don’t know how to reach out to families of special needs children and adults. The reality is that much of what our church does for us they would do for any other family in the church who has had health or other difficulty. I remember my Mom taking meals to folks when there had been a death in the family or someone was ill.

The amazing thing to me this past year is the way the Lord seems to speak our needs and even wants. Here’s a couple of examples that showed God’s love to me:

The ladies’ ministry has a secret sister program where everyone draws names and does things secretly throughout the year for the person whose name they drew. All last year I kept saying that the person who drew my name must have been in our home and really knew me. I was convinced that it was our pastor’s wife because there were cards with verses about lighthouses, gifts with lighthouses and things that I could really use. To my surprise my secret sister was Sonia, who I don’t know well at all and she has never been to my house. When I thanked her , I marveled at how she could know such perfect gifts. She said that she prayed about it because she didn’t know me well and each time the Lord just seem to lead her to something.

Also regarding the meals the ladies have brought in, it has amazed me how many family favorites have been brought that no one would know unless the Lord led.

I written on this blog and elsewhere about what I like to call the Lighthouse Concept where we look to the Lord to know what to do for our children with special needs. Apparently it works very well for knowing how to reach out to others too!!!

At noon today I have a stress test scheduled to try to discover if there is blockage in my heart. There is another one scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday. I will try to keep you posted on how we are doing. If they would find blockage and I have to go to surgery, Pastor Lighthill will post on here so you know how we are.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
For a complete list of my sites see http://www.peggyloumorgan.com/

[1]The Holy Bible : New Century Version , containing the Old and New Testaments. 1991 . Word Bibles: Dallas, TX

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

For LaPine-Bend Area Families

If your child loves music as much as Billy Ray, you are always looking for free or low cost entertainment. I want to let you know about a concert in LaPine on October 6th. Here's the flyer for it.








Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
http://www.peggyloumorgan.com/

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Helping Your Child Build Relationships at Church

I have been talking about relationships between church members and children or adults who experience special needs. I know that it sounds easier than it is. To parents who have been hurt by Christians who don’t understand it seems impossible.

The bonding doesn’t take place immediately and it takes work on a parent’s part but a thing of beauty develops from that effort. Through the magic of video I can show you the joy that Billy Ray and his friends at church experience. After you watch it I will have some pointers on how to establish those relationships.

video


Many parents write that they are not welcome in service with their child. Sometimes the whole family stops attending and other times one parent attends the first service alone and the other parent the next service alone. The separation and isolation from the church family is painful. We have been there.

The answer may be in prospective. We understand that our kids can’t always control talking out in whatever setting. For the most part young children who do not experience special needs would be taken to the nursery if they can’t remain quiet during service. For many of our children with special needs to do that could cause a meltdown which may be more disruptive to the service than the occasional noise or talking out. This may not be obvious to everyone.

An amazing amount of acceptance and tolerance happens when your child establishes relationships. I think the video from friendship and worship time at Grace Fellowship demonstrates that.

I started years ago, just introducing Billy Ray to folks in our prior church. I taught him to shake hands and say hello. Sometimes he would want to hug. Until we knew folks enough to be sure that was okay I was very cautious about having him ask or I ask. Little by little I would add little insights into Billy Ray relative to noise or who he is as a person.

Now that he is very attached to folks, I have learned where I can just set him free to interact independently with folks and when I should supervise closely. You will note that when he was greeting an elderly man I stayed very close because even though I have warned him that he must be gentle with Lewis, he sometimes is too rough for him. On the other hand, I know that he can do his “running hug” with John or Max so I back off a bit.

I can often tell who he wants to greet by who he is looking at and can’t figure out how to get to. For example, I saw him staring at Max and there were people blocking him from getting to Max. I confirmed where he wanted to go and then helped him wade through the crowd.

Many people have told me how much getting to know him has touched them. Children and adults with disabilities change us in a way no one expects.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
Blogs: Amazon Author Connect, Parenting a Complex Special Needs Child and Parenting a Complex Special Needs Adult
Websites: Parenting Your Complex Child, Lighthouse Parents, Peggy Lou Morgan.com
Club Mom Articles
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Billy Ray and "Grandma Lowery"



We went back to our prior church (Soul's Harbor in Woodburn, OR) last Sunday. We moved 2-1/2 years ago and hadn't been home for 2 years. It was wonderful to be back for a visit.



My friend, Carol, had put on a wonderful buffet for after church which made it possible to visit because Billy Ray had something to focus on. Thanks Carol!!

I asked Bob Brown to take pictures of Billy Ray and "Grandma Lowery" for an article I am writing on her ministry to special needs children. Thanks Bob!! Here is my favorite.

Eldora Lowery, now 90 years old, is an inspiration to us all. When I started a Lighthouse Parents support group in that church she came to me before the first session and said "I want to be involved" and she was there every session. Though the group never really got families to come, Eldora has continued her ministry in special ways.

It seemed just when Billy Ray needed the fiber for medical issues a package would show up with oatmeal cookies from Eldora. She writes him cards and letters often. Since Eldora talks about how good the Lord is, caregivers and family members who are not believers have had to read about the Lord because Billy Ray loves to have them read to him repeatedly.

For years Billy Ray was the only child with special needs in that church. I will never forget one day a father visited the church by himself. They had just moved to the area. He said that they didn't bring their son to church because he could be disruptive. He said that he and his wife would trade services to attend alone while the other one would stay home with their son. We encouraged him to come and bring his WHOLE family and he did. As the church learned to accept Billy Ray they took this boy into the services and their hearts.

It's my understanding that "Grandma Lowery" ministers to him just as she does to Billy Ray. Truly ministry is ageless.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
Blogs: Amazon Author Connect, Parenting a Complex Special Needs Child and Parenting a Complex Special Needs Adult
Websites: Parenting Your Complex Child, Lighthouse Parents and Peggy Lou Morgan.com
Club Mom Articles
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group

Monday, April 09, 2007

Purpose Driven Child or Adult With Special Needs

For years I struggled with the question of why God would allow disabilities of all kinds or injuries. We know the general answers: he sometimes uses adversity to get our attention or to deal with sin. I was unsatisfied that there was a connection to disabilities with those answers. Eventually, I found John 9:

"As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. "Teacher" his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?"

"It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered. "He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him. All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, because there is so little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end. John 9:1-4 NLT

At first, I interpreted the story that the man was born blind so that Jesus could heal him. That being the case why wasn' the Lord healing Billy Ray and other disabled persons I know?

While reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, I began to think AGAIN about why the Lord would allow our children to suffer so. Is there any purpose for Billy Ray's life that is so full of struggling for him and for us?

I reread the quoted verses in John 9. I asked the Lord if the man was blind so that God could be glorified not because of his sin what was the reason for the long-term suffering of our complex children.

The many books written on the topic of how we are changed by knowing disabled children came to mind. To be honest, I have not always been positive about those type of books because I felt they missed the point of what the children need. In an early draft of the Introduction to my book I wrote as the first line "There are many books about how disabled children impact their world and change those around them for the better." I went on to make it clear this book was not about that. I rebelled at the idea that changing others was important when these children suffered so. Searching these questions has changed my thinking.

Our children do have major impacts on the lives of those who take the time know them. That is a nice thing but the question of why would God allows these precious ones to suffer remained. If God uses adversity or affliction to get the attention and to deal with sin but these children have not sinned what is the purpose?
As I watch Billy Ray suffer I sometimes wonder how God could stand watching his son, Jesus suffer such torture for us. He did that to bring us to Him. Our children change people for the better and draw others to the Lord in ways no one else can accomplish. That is a powerful purpose.

Over the past couple of years I have had multiple discussions with theologians I respect. Not one agreed that John 9:3 would apply to children with special needs. Most felt it was more a Romans 8:28 thing that all things work together for good and that God uses it. Eventually I came to accept that it really didn’t matter which scripture applied these children are used to bring glory to the Heavenly Father.

Len Bynum, a man in the church we attended when we adopted Billy Ray helped with Billy Ray so I could continue teaching my Sunday School class or be in worship service. He wrote a poem for Billy Ray one day. I typed it out and have kept it in the corner of one of Billy Ray=s pictures all these years. Here it is:

"It gives my heart special joy,
To know God loves this little boy.
Billy Ray B God works through you,
I see your smile and it makes me know
That God will help us both to grow!"

Billy Ray and I were sitting near the Henrys at a recent church potluck. Lori Henry and I were talking about these scriptures to explain disabilities and suffering. I shared that I believed John 9:3 pertained and others disagreed. She said they should read Josh's Testimony, their blog about her son Josh's recent struggle with a brain tumor. As a result of sharing with others many have been brought to the Lord. I have written about the witness this has to folks who have never thought about going inside a church in Being Loved by the Real Church. I know that not all Christians are as supportive as our church has been but when they are the world sees Christ in action.

The Lord has not failed to give our kids a mighty purpose no matter what their disability might be.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan

Blogs: Amazon Author Connect, Parenting a Complex Special Needs Child and Parenting A Complex Special Needs Adult

Websites: Parenting Your Complex Child and Lighthouse Parents

Club Mom Articles
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Our Little Answer to Prayer

Today is the 23rd anniversary of Billy Ray's adoptive placement. I wrote a post about it here . There is a "rest of the story" that I wanted to share with you here.

We were waiting for a newborn with Down's Syndrome through a doctor in Portland and had been number one of the list for a while. We were told that we would only have 24 hours to pick up a baby when we were matched to one. It had a definite impact on our lives during that horrible wait. We took a packed diaper bag when we visited my late husband's elderly parents and checked our voicemail constantly whenever we were away from home.

We were notified that a baby girl was expected momentarily and unfortunately, I had strep throat. I was on antibiotics and was on it long enough to not be cautious but I was frightened it would mess things up. I asked our then pastor, Fred Werbin, to pray about it. It was also a prophetic prayer I'll never forget. He prayed that when we got a baby it would be so clear that this was the child the intended for us.

That baby did not become available after all. Eventually we contacted an agency and were told about a 14 months old boy whose adoption was failing. The adoption came together in a totally unexpected way and speed. Billy Ray came to us at 15 months. The bonding was immediate.

When I was rocking Billy Ray at night I used to sing the little chorus "God is So Good" and modify it to add Billy Ray's adoption in several spots. For example, "God answers prayer he gave me Billy Ray". I also called him my little answer to prayer.

Over the years with the many struggles have experienced with my husband's long illness and death and later with Billy Ray's health issues, it has been such a comfort to know so clearly that Billy Ray was the answer to my prayers and that of our former pastor. It is quite clear that he is the child the Lord intended for us.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
Blogs: Amazon Author Connect, Parenting a Complex Special Needs Adult and Parenting A Complex Special Needs Child
Websites: Parenting Your Complex Child, Lighthouse Parents and Peggy Lou Morgan (under construction)
Club Mom Articles
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I Needed That Today

Sometimes I will be reading the Bible and a scripture just jumps off the page (or usually the computer screen from my Ebible Software). Today is a case in point. Billy Ray is giving little hints that something is changing for him physically. I haven't figured it out yet. I was reading 1 Peter and came to 1 Peter 5:7:

"Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you." (New Century Version)

That seems so simple but it is NOT. As parents we want to fix everything for our children. We are doers. Turning everything over to the Lord is much harder than it seems.

I can imagine captains of the old ships dependent on the beams of light from the lighthouse to make big rocks and shipwrecks visible and thereby avoiding them. We have similar anxiety today when there are choices of treatment (some of which has multiple risks) and programs to consider for our children. Like the old captains we might wonder if we are missing something. How reassuring to know that the Lord sees it all and will guide us because he cares for us (and our children).

To give him all your worries today and "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7 New King James Version) for to give you the light (understanding) for your child.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
Blogs: Amazon Author Connect, Parenting a Complex Special Needs Child and Parenting a Complex Special Needs Adult
Websites: Parenting Your Complex Child and Lighthouse Parents
Club Mom Articles
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

He Will Direct Your Paths..and Your Child's Path

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the decisions parents have made or felt they had to make for the children with special needs. Some had tried desperate treatments in an effort to “fix” their child. There are just times we don’t know what to do. We search the Internet, read books and talk to experts. It can all be overwhelming and confusing.

We may think that the Bible doesn’t have any help in making these hard decisions. Actually the principles in the Bible fit to decision making. Here’s some examples:

We don’t have all wisdom and understanding especially in the beginning with our child. Things are changing all the time how can we possibly interpret our options and make wise decisions? James 1:5 (New Revised Standard Version) says that if we lack wisdom we can ask God. I don’t read that as praying “Lord give me wisdom” and then just waiting some magical knowledge of what’s prudent. We need to do our homework about options and treatment. By asking for wisdom we are asking for understanding that we lack on what to do.

I love Proverbs 3:5-6 (The New King James Version):

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

How do we use that to apply in making decisions. I love the commentary on these verses from Bible Believer’s Commentary:

“3.5 First, there must be a full commitment of ourselves—spirit, soul, and body—to the Lord. We must trust Him not only for the salvation of our souls but also for the direction of our lives. It must be a commitment without reserve.”

“Next, there must be a healthy distrust of self, an acknowledgment that we do not know what is best for us, that we are not capable of guiding ourselves. Jeremiah expressed it pointedly: “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jer. 10:23).

“3:6 Finally, there must be an acknowledgment of the Lordship of Christ: “In all your ways acknowledge Him.” Every area of our lives must be turned over to His control. We must have no will of our own, only a single pure desire to know His will and to do it.

“If these conditions are met, the promise is that God shall direct our paths. He may do it through the Bible, through the advice of godly Christians, through the marvelous converging of circumstances, through the inward peace of the Spirit, or through a combination of these. But if we wait, He will make the guidance so clear that to refuse would be positive disobedience.”[1]

I have to admit that I worried a bit as I heard of some parents making some far out choices where the child died or mercy killings. However, I have come to see that relating to the Lord as above makes the decisions more clear.

There is great comfort in team parenting with our Father. I like to think of Him as Abba Father which makes Him Abba Grandfather as well. It helps so much to remember that He loves Billy Ray even more than I am capable of loving him and that He knows what I could not possibly know.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan

Blogs:

Amazon Author Connect, Parenting a Complex Special Needs Adult and Lighthouse Parents

Websites:

Parenting Your Complex Child and Lighthouse Parents

Club Mom Articles
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group

[1]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. 1997, c1995. Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments . Thomas Nelson: Nashville

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Another Story of God's Goodness

In my post Being Loved by the Real Church, I shared about the way our little church was there for us when Billy Ray was in the hospital and on the ventilator for nine days. The family who loaned us the RV so I could literally stay at the hospital with Billy Ray have been experiencing their own trauma with 12 year old Josh who had a tumor in his brain. His mother, Lori, has been doing a blog of the experience and Josh has posted some too. Check out Josh's Testimony both as an encouragement to the power of prayer and as a story of being loved by "the real church".

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
Blogs: Amazon Author Connect and Parenting A Complex Special Needs Child
Websites: Parenting Your Complex Child and Lighthouse Parents
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group
Club Mom

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Upcoming Radio Interviews

I will be doing some radio interviews in various parts of the U.S. as follows:

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 1 p.m. ET WOGR - AM in Charlotte, NC. It will reach other parts of North Carolina too. You can find locate other North Carolina stations by going to Word Net Radio .

Thursday, November 2, 2006 at 9:05 a..m. ET, WBCL-FM which covers parts of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
You can check their site for a station near you. They also put archives on their site so you will be able to listen to the interview even if you aren't in that area.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
Blogs: Amazon Author Connect and Parenting A Complex Special Needs Child
Websites: www.parentingyourcomplexchild.com and www.lighthouseparents.com
Club Mom
Yahoo Group

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tired but Rejoicing 9/22/06

There is so much I want to share despite my sleep deprived fragmented mind. I want to write a blog post about our “real church” really being there for us again and it would be so true. I want to write that being prayed up before the crisis really worked during Billy Ray’s surgery and how good the Lord has been which is also really true. I promise to write about all of that soon.

For tonight I just want you to know that the Lord and great doctors came through for Billy Ray again. He did great in the surgery. Dr. Masterangelo was very pleased and under Dr. Raudy’s sedation he woke up soon after getting to the recovery room and was already off the ventilator (my biggest concern).

He was discharged the second day which was much sooner than we thought. Overall doing well except he wants popcorn and hamburgers and things he can’t have. Our challenges are not over but we have crossed a big hurdle in the past few days.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
My Other Blogs Amazon Connect and Parenting a Complex Special Needs Child
Websites: Parenting Your Complex Child and Lighthouse Parents
Club Mom
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Looking to the Lord BEFORE the Meltdown or Crises Come

It seems the Lord has to remind me often how much I need to lean on him not my own understanding. I have been in one of those struggling periods. He has been sending little messages in multiple ways that I need to seek him BEFORE the crisis.

If you read my other blog, you know we are adjusting to our in-home support staff leaving. It is normal for him to refuse to do activities that he normally did with support staff. It takes a while to get him regrouped. I am sure he is also picking up on my anxiety regarding his upcoming surgery on 9/21/06.

As I have gotten busier with Billy Ray and my work, it seemed we were in meltdowns before I got fully in touch with the Lord in the morning. I know that the Lord understands I can’t get on my knees first thing in the morning when BR is marching and that I am not a morning person so coherent conversation with him is more difficult.

Psalm 5:3 (NCV) says: “Lord, every morning you hear my voice. Every morning, I tell you what I need, and I wait for your answer." When I do that it makes such a difference in how our day plays out.

I don’t like rote prayers in general because I see prayer as a specific conversation with my Lord about who He is in our lives and the world, thanking him for what He has done for us and seeking his guidance and protection. However, I wrote one to use in those mornings when I need to get to the Father quickly and I just can’t bring up the words otherwise:

"Good morning Lord, thanks for your protection through the night
Help me to wake up as though I had a full night of sleep,
Instead of being awaken by my restless child and for periodic checks
Fill me with your energy and patience today, I am running on empty

Lord, help me to understand what my child needs today
Help me anticipate stresses that will over stimulate him and catch triggers
Remind me that difficult behavior can mean unmet needs and frustration.
Make me sensitive to what he communicates by behavior not just words.

Don’t let me get so busy taking care of my child today that I forget you.
Remind me that I need your presence for my own being not just my child’s
Stay beside me as I care for him; bring peace in the noise and activity.
Lord, please guide us through this day with your wisdom and insight.

Help me to sift through all the theories and ideas for his care.
And give me the wisdom to know what is right for my child.
Help me to communicate his needs to professionals who try to help.
Lord open the eyes and ears of the professionals to see my child clearly as he is

Let me love him in the same unconditional way that you love us.
Remind me that you have a purpose for his life and mine.
Most importantly be glorified as others see your love in my child.
In all the things we do today may thy will be done."

Before I could get that posted, I got the devotional from Proverbs 31 Woman called Crossroads written by Susanne Scheppmann and it was right on spot with what I have been thinking lately. Susanne tells of taking a wrong turn traveling and seeing a sign “Welcome to California” when she was supposed to be entering Nevada. She compares to our spiritual life as follows:

"My "detour" added an additional two hours to my long drive home. If only I had read my map or asked for directions, I wouldn't have found myself in California. I wouldn't have lost valuable time and energy.Often, I make the same mistake in my spiritual life. Big decisions loom ahead. I think I know the right course. So off I go without taking time to pray or read my Bible, and my choices go awry. Once I have strayed too far down the wrong path, I usually realize: "Oops, I should have sought God's advice."

It is the same with parenting a complex child. We have so many twists and turns in the road that we can’t see coming. The Lord does help us with those decisions when we wait until our son or daughter is on the floor in a public place or refusing to go to an important medical appointment or some other crisis. It is, however, much easier when we have asked for his guidance to understand what a child needs to be comfortable with an event and asked the Lord to calm him.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
My Blogs: Amazon Connect and Parenting a Complex Special Needs Child
Websites: www.parentingyourcomplexchild.com and www.lighthouseparents.com
Club Mom
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Weariness

I love my EBible software. When I am in Billy Ray’s room waiting for him to go to sleep I often do searches about how I am feeling. The other night I did one for “weary” because I was.

Several comforting scriptures came up in my search but one that surprised me. I never really think of God as becoming weary in fact in Isaiah 40:28 it says that he never faints or grows weary. So when I read Isaiah 43:24b (NKJV) “But you have burdened Me with your sins,You have wearied Me with your iniquities.” It caused me to reflect on it a bit.

In the verses before just before this one, God had been saying that Jacob and Israel failed to call on him. He felt rejected by their failure to maintain closeness. The weariness came out of iniquities that probably wouldn’t have happened if they had stayed in touch with the Father.

I think there are some similarities to our reactions to our children. We do get tired and even weary in attempting to understand and care for our complex children. Like the Father we don’t faint and get so weary we stop caring for them. We continue to love them with the unconditional love of the Father.

Billy Ray demonstrated that love to me in an unexpected way. Mother’s Days had always been hard for me because of my infertility. Billy Ray’s adoption healed that pain. When he was a teenager we were driving home from a very special Mother’s Day service at church. I tried to explain to him that Mother’s Day is special to me because I am his mother and how hard it had been before him. He punched me really hard in the shoulder. I was crushed.

Later I thought about that. Despite his rejection of my sharing I loved him still and understood that he was not able to grasp what I was saying. The Father’s love for us is so strong than even though we fail to turn to Him in crisis or reject His help in multiple instances, He loved us enough to send His own son that we might be saved.

It is comforting to think of the Father being able to understand weariness and our human impatience.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
My Other Blogs: Parenting A Complex Special Needs Child and Amazon Connect
Websites: Parenting Your Complex Child and Lighthouse Parents
Club Mom
Yahoo Group

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Billy Ray and His Choir


As shared before Billy Ray loves worship music. We attended Soul's Harbor Church of the Nazarene until we moved to LaPine at the end of 2004.

It was slow in getting acquainted in that church. Billy Ray can be disruptive in church from time to time. However, the relationship had really gelled by the time we moved six years later.

The relationship with Pastor Ray Jones and his wife, Christine, the minister of music, seemed to be the first to start. I wasn't sure it would actually work the first time Billy Ray took off for Christine. She, being the eloquent lady that she is was a bit startled by this teenager coming at her and grabbing her. However, the relationship became and thing of beauty and grew to involve the whole choir. Each Sunday before service "my choir" prayed for Billy Ray and that he would enjoy the service.

Lover of music that he is Billy Ray did not like to have special musicians come. He wanted his "Christy-dean" and "my choir". Christene was later to call him her biggest fan. During a time that he was really ill and we weren't in church much he would say "I want my Christy-dean sing to me". Pastor Ray had a CD that Christene had made and sent it to Billy Ray. We play it so many times it wore out and Pastor Ray had to make another one.

This picture was taken on our last Sunday there, December 19, 2004, which was Billy Ray's 22nd birthday.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
Blogs: Parenting A Complex Special Needs Child and Amazon Blog
Websites: Parenting Your Complex Child and Lighthouse Parents
Club Mom
Yahoo Group

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Gentle Reminders in Time of Trouble

If you are the parent of a child with special needs chances are good you have been through times when it seemed there were just no answers for your child. We are there AGAIN. There are health issues though we have a medical team who works very hard. The in-home support staff left a little over a week ago and we are back to trying to do it all ourselves.

The Lord gave me the Lighthouse Concept a long time ago yet when we go through survival with our kids it is easy to lose focus at least temporarily. He has a way of reminding me where the best help can be found.

One of those reminders came a few days ago. Billy Ray has been sick with severe sinus and ear infections plus the abdominal problems the medical professionals have been trying to resolve for over a year now. With him being ill and not having support staff I have not been in the Word and having quality time with the Lord as I like to.

In desperation, I went to the Lord and just acknowledged that I didn’t know how to help my son. While thumbing through the Bible to the passage I was looking for my eyes caught John 8:12 a verse I love “***I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

The Psalmist cried out “But, Lord, don’t be far away. You are my strength; hurry to help me.” (Psalms 22:19 NCV) The Lord is never far away but when we get in survival mode with our children’s problems sometimes we take our eyes off Him. The Light (wisdom, insight) is there waiting to help us if we turn the connection toward Him.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
Blogs: Amazon Blog and Parenting a Complex Child
Websites: Parenting Your Complex Child and Lighthouse Parents
Club Mom Articles
Yahoo Group

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Being Loved by "the Real Church"

The early Christians in the Book of Acts were known for how they cared for each other. You don’t see that as much today with our mobile society and hurry-up world. We often don’t get close enough to each other to know another’s needs or have time to help if we do.

Believer’s Bible Commentary says of the Church in Acts: “In an environment of hate, bitterness, and greed, the disciples manifested love to all. They repaid persecution with kindness, and prayed for their assailants. Their love toward other Christians forced their enemies to exclaim, “See how these Christians love one another!” [1]
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In December 2004 we moved to LaPine, Oregon. Only six months after that my son, Billy Ray’s health was in crisis and he ended up in St. Charles Medical Center for 13 days, nine days of which were on the ventilator. Our little church, Grace Fellowship didn’t really know us that well because we had difficulty being in church regularly due to Billy Ray’s health. Nevertheless they became what someone has called “the real church” to us.

During that time one family loaned us an RV trailer so we could stay right on the hospital grounds with Billy Ray. Others were there waiting when I would come out of the ICU to see if there was anything we needed or to pray with me.

Folks in the hospital were asking where that little church that loved us so much was located. It was an incredible support to us as a family but also a testimony of Christian love.

In this day of families who can’t find an accepting church home this story is intended to be an encouragement to others. I will share methods for creating a church home for your complex child and family and more about how churches can be a support for families in coming posts.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
www.lighthouseparents.com
Parenting A Complex Special Needs Child Blog
www.parentingyourcomplexchild.com
Amazon Blog
Yahoo Group


[1]MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. 1997, c1995. Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments . Thomas Nelson: Nashville

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Here's Billy Ray Singing


I told my Pastor when I started this blog that I wanted to try to capture Billy Ray enjoying the worship music for you. If you have been following my regular blog you know that it has been crazy so I hadn't gotten it done. Pastor Lighthill met us at the door this morning and asked if we still wanted to do the pictures. He handed his camera to Jeff Fields who snapped these pictures.

It is very difficult to catch the essence of Billy Ray's joy in a picture. A former pastor used to say that Billy Ray is the only one who dances in church. He bounces up and down and claps sometimes even to songs not intended to have clapping. He has a true sense of worship but it is in his own way. The second picture shows his expression but doesn't catch his clapping.









Billy Ray's love for music began from being rocked by Mom and Grandma Daisy. We sang Sunday School songs and old hymns to him. Additionally, a then young pastor, named Virgil Askrin was our pastor and led the congregation in lots of little choruses that BR still sings today. If you are reading this on Bend Blogs, you may know Pastor Virgil since he is the Pastor at Bend Nazarene.

Here is another picture of Billy Ray singing taken at Soul's Harbor Nazerene where we attended before moving to LaPine in December 2004.



It is my intention to write a post this week about the ways our little LaPine - Grace Fellowship Church has been like the church in Acts to us. It is a story I want to share as an example of how others can support families in their churches.

Billy Ray has a colonoscopy on Thursday so prayers would be appreciated. He will have to be sedated which is always a concern after last summer's ventilator experience.

A servant in training,
Peggy Lou Morgan
Amazon Blog
Parenting A Complex Special Needs Child Blog
www.lighthouseparents.com
www.parentingyourcomplexchild.com
Yahoo Group

Friday, July 14, 2006

What to Say When a Friend's Baby (or Yours) is Born with Special Needs

I was surfing the net today and came accross this speech about the birth of a child with Down's Sydrome. It could really apply to a child experiencing any disability. The author Sandra Assimotos-McElwee http://leeworks.net/DDS/speech.html gives permission but it is pretty long to quote here. It contains scriptures and lots of insights about how to be support of friends and how to think about a child as a person.

Here is an excerpt:

"After telling four friends of his diagnosis over the phone and in person I really didn’t like their reactions. They were getting upset and apologizing. Their "I’m sorry’s were compelling me to comfort them and tell them "It’s O.K." and I didn’t have the emotional energy at the time to continue to deal with their sadness, when I had a new baby that I loved anyway, no matter what he had and I was worried about because he was in intensive care at the time.

"Then I thought, "well if this had happened to one of my friends what would I have said?" I couldn’t retrieve from my memory files anyplace I had heard the proper response, or even the improper response. So I decided to add a note to my son’s birth announcement telling people how we wanted them to respond. It read:

"Dear Family and Friends,Sean is a very special baby, and the birth announcement can’t possibly say it all. God has made Sean special and chosen us to be his parents...we feel blessed. Sean was born with Down Syndrome. We want to give you time to adjust to the news, so you wouldn’t feel the need to have an immediate response. We hope you will feel the same as we do, we’re happy and proud. We would like you to see him as we do, a beautiful baby boy. We also want you to treat him just like any other baby---Congratulate US. We have a baby, we’re a family now. This is not a sad moment, PLEASE do not apologize, we aren’t sorry. We are still gathering information on Down Syndrome and probably won’t be able to answer any questions for a while. We would like to encourage you to call us, come to see Sean. He sleeps, eats, cries and dirties diapers, just like every other baby, he’s just got an extra chromosome."

It is really worth the time to read it.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
Blogs: Amazon Blog and Parenting A Complex Child
Websites: www.parentingyourcomplexchild.com and www.lighthouseparents.com
Yahoo Group

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Dr. Charles Stewart's Book Review of Parenting Your Complex Child

This blog is not about selling my book but this review sent to me by Dr. Stewart does have good spiritual insight into special needs children and I wanted to share it with you today:

A REVIEW OF
PARENTING YOUR COMPLEX CHILD
by Peggy Lou Morgan

This review of Peggy’s book is from the standpoint of a pastor, and as a friend of Peggy and her family. Her world and that of Billy Ray includes that of her church and her faith.

Her story is one of great value to any caregiver, especially to pastors who could read what it is like to live with one such as Billy Ray. What I have to write is from this viewpoint.

Peggy Lou Morgan’s story reminds me of the story of Sisyphus of Greek mythology. Sisyphus was condemned in Hades to roll a stone up a hill until he nearly achieved the peak, only to have the stone roll back again, and the action to be repeated with the same failure forever. One might ask, "Will she never learn that there is no cure for Billy Ray?" This is not a story for those who want a "magic wand" to solve their problems or who wish for a happy ending to every story. Or for those who glibly sing of a silver lining in every dark cloud. However, this is the story of the power of faith, hope and love. Although Peggy never mentions the name of Jesus, it is not because she doesn’t live by His power. Her story reminds me of the story of Esther, the only book in the Bible in which the name of God does not appear, but in which the power of faith in Him shines brightly.

Peggy lays bare her life with Billy Ray and her husband Larry with the utmost candor. It is not a candor that parades itself with a false humility seeking attention to herself nor does she seek victimhood by her vivid descriptions of what she endures in trying to find solutions. In this day when abortion, euthanasia, and incarceration are on the tip of our tongue as solutions to the problems of the sort the Billy Rays of the world pose for us, it is refreshing to see that someone refuses the easy way out. Her perplexity and pain are laid bare, but so is the love that ties her to her son.

The questions that Peggy raises here about the ability of society (that’s us) to deal with the Billy Rays of the world may seem unfair. However, Peggy never descends into the easy criticism that destroys all who failed to help Billy Ray. Her experience with the world of professionals was both good and bad. The good was very good and the bad... well? Who wants to be treated as a "dumb parent"?

Does Peggy expect too much of the world of professionals? She knows that we exalt these people onto the heights of Mt. Olympus. She went to Mt. Olympus many times and found the gods not at home. Then what? With the true insight of a scientist she begins to document every thing. It reminds me of a trend in the world of religion. It is called "journaling." It is taught in colleges and seminaries under the heading of "Spiritual Formation" ( a new phrase for the devotional life). Peggy got a handle on her problems when she began to document what was going on in her life with Billy Ray. This proved helpful when she goes to her doctor.

There is a lesson for living that shines bright in the chapter telling us to "communicate and adapt" (Chapter 9). It reminds me of Rabbi Kushner’s book about "all he learned for life he learned in kindergarten." We are all "telling it like it is" people, but we often fail to adapt, to get over it and get on with life. "Telling it like it is" is description; knowing what to do with the "like it is" is prescription, and she is not short in that respect.

What do you do when the thing that you do to help turns out to be tragic? Peggy details this dilemma on page 72. She blamed herself for giving Billy Ray the medicine that would change his life "dramatically." Wouldn’t it be grand if everything we did to help others turned out well? This is life in the raw. There are no failsafe ways to live and love. Peggy let her failures turn her to her faith. "Crisis has a way of turning us to our personal faith." (p. 73).

Support groups are essential for overcoming the obstacles of life. Peggy is not jousting with mice in her effort to find peace for herself and her home, and especially for finding the way to help Billy Ray. She comes to the place where one must acknowledge what can be changed and what cannot. From this cul-de-sac in life she arises to devise plans, in consultation with others, to help Billy Ray. The importance of formulating plans and goals to make a difference is a start. Carrying them out requires resolution.

Perhaps the central thing about her struggle, and one could say, a turning point, is when she allowed Billy Ray to teach her (Chapter 8) It reminds me of an observation made by Professor Stanley Hauerwas in his book Sanctify Them in the Truth, Holiness Exemplified. In Chapter 8, "Timeless Friends: Living with the Handicapped," Hauerwas writes . "People who really care about the mentally handicapped never run out of things to say, since they do not write ‘about’ the mentally handicapped precisely because they do not view the mentally handicapped as just another ‘subject.’ They write for and in some sense with the mentally handicapped." (p. 144). He goes on to show how our approach to caring for these people "exposes the pretensions of the humanism that shapes the practices of modernity." (145) To give an example of what he is talking about, Hauerwas refers to Michael Berube’s book, Life As We know It: A Father, a Family, and an Exceptional Child, the story of two college professors and their Down’s syndrome child. Hauerwas does not allow the Berubes, who believe in abortion to get off the hook. There is no acceptable future for Jaimie, the handicapped son of the Berubes, in the world of modernity that knows no God. "As Christians," Hauerwas writes, "we should not be embarrassed to discover that the mentally handicapped among us help us better understand the narrative that constitutes the very purpose of our existence." (p. 151). The handicapped expose our own sense of weakness and helplessness (153). Peggy experienced what those who use the methods of "therapies based on mechanistic presumptions...rather than community" experience (p. 152). She, however, had a community of faith, as ignorant as we are at times of ourselves and our weakness, that together, with God, all things seem possible.

Peggy did not write this book to do what I think would be an appropriate use of this narrative. If this book could stimulate a new discussion of the church and its care of the "complex child", it would more than prove its value to the larger community from which it has arisen.

Dr. Charles W. Stewart, D. Min.
Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan

Monday, July 03, 2006

Trust and Obey

Last week when our friend and assistant, Dave Peters, was praying for Billy Ray he said the old song "Trust and Obey" kept coming to his mind. I thought about that after he told me and realized that is a lot of what the lighthouse concept is. I often compare it to practicing His presence but it is also about trusting and doing what you feel the Lord is guiding when there are no easy answers.


I love Proverbs 3:5 (New Century Version): "Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding."

When your complex child is in crisis and you are exhausted a sense of desperation can come so quickly. There are so many things that you don't understand and don't know how to handle. The ability to rely on the understanding of the Lord brings incredible strength. There is release and comfort in being able to say to the Lord "I don't know what to do about this."

Once Billy Ray was refusing to eat or drink and I knew that we were going to have to take him to the hospital if he didn't eat soon. I just said out loud to the Lord "I don't know what else to try" and the strong impression came in my mind strawberry banna yogurt. Fortunately we had some in the refrigerator and I offered it to him. He ate two containers immediately.

We are often told God is our Abba Father (Daddy God) that means He is also Abba Grandfather. I know that seems corny but He loves your complex child more than you are capable of. He knows your child best, after all He created him.

When you trust in the Lord and don't limit yourself to your own understanding you will be amazed at what my friend and encourager, Bud Pugh, calls "God's awesome creavity". Team up with Abba Grandfather and rely on His understanding.

I do want to make it clear that when your instinct (often the guidance of the Lord) is to do something more intensive that the yogurt referenced, you really need to seek the Lord to be sure of understanding. There are many "fads" of treatment for children with special needs and even medications that are risky.

As shared in Parenting Your Complex Child Billy Ray experienced a series of major seizures believed to me caused by a medication that my instinct was reluctant about for two years. It wasn't an experimental drug, the literature said nothing about major side effects but I just felt hesitant. Eventually I acquiesced to assurance from several professionals I trusted that it was a safe drug. There was nothing to substantiate my hesitance. I believe that was the Lord's warning.

Six months after the seizures, the medication began listing seizures as a side effect. What was unknown at the time (like rocks hidden from the old ship's captain) was made known. There was a reason for my instinct.

I know there have been parents who said that God told them to murder their children. I don't believe God would ever tell you do anything that would harm your child. He is a God of love and strength for the day.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
www.lighthouseparents.com
www.parentingyourcomplexchild.com
Parenting A Complex Special Needs Child Blog
Amazon Blog
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group

Sunday, July 02, 2006

What is this Blog

Pictures here in taken by Dave Peters on the Oregon Coast.

There will always be storms and rocks along the way parenting our complex special needs children. When I was the most desperate with my son because nothing was working at home or school, I turned to the Lord and he gave me what I have come to call the Lighthouse Concept.

Following Jesus as our lighthouse when we have no idea what to do next for our child brings such comfort and increases our insight.

This blog is not intended to replace my other blog, Parenting A Complex Special Needs Child, it is intended to share the joys, struggles and spiritual adventure of parenting a special needs child together with the Lord.
Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan