Sunday, November 20, 2016


As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, we recognize all the blessings for which we are truly thankful. Although we have been through times when being grateful wasn’t always easy, we made sure to find something to appreciate about each day. Now that Alex is doing quite well, we make certain not to take these good days for granted and praise God for all He has done for us.

For good health, we are thankful. Not only have Ed and I been blessed with remarkably good health so that we can take care of Alex, but Alex is getting healthier all the time. The inflammation that has plagued him, as evidenced by acne, yeast overgrowth, and irritability, appears to be under control. His complexion is clear without needing acne medication, his appetite is good, he sleeps peacefully, and his mood is nearly always pleasant and upbeat. Praise God for these blessings!

For financial stability, we are grateful. Even though autism has brought about unexpected expenses, such as multiple therapies, nutritional supplements, and a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, all of which are needed to address various issues, we have always had plenty of money to pay for them. Even though we are both teachers, and I only work part-time so that I have more time to devote to Alex, our salaries have been more than enough to meet our needs. Now that Alex is an adult, he receives disability funding that allows him to receive additional therapies and support. Praise God for these blessings!

For Alex’s support team—his psychiatric nurse practitioner who manages his anxiety medications, his case manager who oversees his budgets and coordinates his services, his behavioral therapist who teaches him coping and social skills, his music therapist who helps his language skills and anxiety, and his respite care companion who engages him in conversation and allows him to enjoy a peer friendship––we are appreciative. Not only are all of them exceptional at their jobs, but they are also wonderful people who see the best in Alex and strive to make him better through encouragement. Along with us, they celebrate his accomplishments. Praise God for these blessings!

For the progress Alex has made that allows us to enjoy a “normal” family life, we are thankful. Now that we can go to sporting events, concerts, restaurants, stores, and parks, enjoying our time together as a family, we remember when Alex wasn’t able to do any of those activities and feel fortunate that he has learned to cope with his anxiety. For many years, we couldn’t go anywhere together, and now we engage in recreational activities almost daily. Praise God for these blessings!

For family and friends who have supported us and prayed for us, we are filled with gratitude. When we struggled through difficult times and felt overwhelmed, we knew that we had loved ones who cared deeply about us and our situation. We also appreciate those who understand that sometimes the seemingly small steps are in actuality great milestones for Alex. I am especially thankful for my parents who have been Alex’s greatest cheerleaders. For their unwavering faith in him and unconditional love for the three of us, they have more than earned the honor of having Alex name them first when he’s asked who his friends are. Praise God for these blessings!

For the grace of God who saw us through difficult times and for the healing of God who has made Alex better, we are overwhelmed with thankful praise. When we couldn’t see how things were going to work out, we knew that God had plans for our lives and trusted Him to arrange the details, which He did. When we didn’t know what to do, God guided us to the right choices and the right people who could help us. When we didn’t know how to reach Alex because he was filled with anxiety, God never let him go and kept him safe until the storm passed. During that time, Alex developed an unwavering faith and trust in God that carries him through life. Praise God for these blessings!

Not just on Thanksgiving, but every day, we realize just how blessed we are, especially when we see how far Alex has come and recognize all that we were given so that he could make great progress. Praise God for these blessings!

“I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all of Your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing the praises of Your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1-2

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