CP Awareness Day 2013!

The Lord has done it this very day;
    let us rejoice today and be glad.
Psalm 118:24

Today, March 25th, 2013 is designated National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day by the US Congress.  We are so thankful to those who have worked so hard to make this happen.

You might be wondering, how can I raise awareness?  What is it that I can do to help?  You might be surprised how easy it really is.  I can't tell you how much encouragement we have received from conversations that have taken place because of a t-shirt.  Talking about, educating, fostering acceptance...these are all things we are about at Common Threads and we pray that you will join us in our mission to spread awareness.  

And, I wish all of you could see how Jack responds to seeing "his" glasses and walker on the tees...he is so proud and I know it provides him so much comfort to know that others support him.  Never gets old to see the smile on his face :)  

So, we are wearing some GREEN today or a Common Threads tee...or both!  Will you join us? Then, post your pics to our Common Threads FB Page @common threads, on Twitter @common_threads1 or Instagram @thecommonthreads (#cpawareness)? 

If you do, you will be entered into a drawing to win a FREE Walk by Faith or ROCK WHAT YOU GOT tee!!  

Today, we honor our son, Jack and the thousands affected by Cerebral Palsy.  You are our heroes and we are blessed because of you; your joy, perseverance, and unconditional love have taught us so much.  May you always know how much you are loved right back.  



Say Cheese!

Are you a special needs family who would love to have new family portraits?  Or, do you know a special family you would love to nominate to receive a family portrait session?  If so, this is the place to be!  

Here at Common Threads, we are always looking to partner with others who share our mission of being an encouragement to others.  My sweet friend, Abby Coyle of Abby Coyle Photo Artistry (www.abbycoyle.com) is offering a special family a mini photography session completely free!  

All you need to do is comment here and tell us why you would love to have family photos taken or why you would like to nominate a family and you could win!  The session will be for 30 minutes, near Oklahoma City, so the receiving family need to be willing to travel to the OKC area in order to enter the contest.  You must enter the contest with your comment by Monday, April 1st at 10:00 pm.  And, Abby will contact the special family after the contest to discuss location, time, and date.  

Friends, please share the word...we would love to hear from lots of families!  

Be Blessed!


Choosing Joy

As we were driving home from Oklahoma City on Saturday in the pouring rain, without a front passenger window, and glass pieces everywhere (our car was broken into while at the State Fairgrounds watching HS basketball and numerous items were stolen, including Jack's iPad, my purse and wallet, and our camera), Andrew looks at me in the backseat, sitting in between Will and Jack and says, "We will not allow the enemy to steal our joy.

John 10:10 says, "The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full." 

And, from that moment on, our attitudes shifted.  Our perspective changed.  And, boy did we need it to.  We were all sad, angry, depressed, blindsided, blaming ourselves (Will kept saying, "I am so sorry, Mom,I should not have brought the iPad."  Man, I love this kid's heart), and just flat-out sick to our stomachs.  

But, as soon as Scripture was spoken, we were different.  

We were lighter.  

We laughed.  

We praised Him in the storm...literally.  

We knew that so much had been lost-countless videos of the boys and most of a "book" I have been working on for almost 2 years about our experiences the last 4 years.  

But, we knew that we still had SO much, too. It was hard to have bad attitudes when we focused on what we still had and not what had been lost. 

And, although it's not a fun situation to go through, our prayer is that something good will come out of this.  Who knows?  Maybe the person who took the iPad will watch a video of Jack walking for the first time or sitting up on his own as his brother cheered him on, or read something I wrote and it will make an impact.  Maybe this person will see those with special needs differently.  Maybe this will soften a heart that has been hardened.  Or, maybe because of something they read about the Lord, they will turn back to Him or come to know Him for the first time.  Only God knows.  But, I am choosing to believe that He allowed this to happen for a purpose far beyond my understanding.  

Lord, you are so faithful to give us your Living Word when we feel so robbed and beaten up...help us to continue to choose joy over anger and sadness and have the right perspective. And, we know that you are in control and see everything.  So, again we pray that good will come from this circumstance, even though we may never see the end result ourselves, because we know that in all things, You work for the good of those who love You. Amen.  

After a rough weekend, we were thankful for a very joyful moment at Horses for Healing (www.horsesforhealingnwa.com) in Bentonville, Ark!

What a perfect week to get back on the saddle! 

And, the Lord gave Jack a horse named "Scooter"!
God Bless Horses for Healing!


Giving Back~ March

Since March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, we are giving back to Reaching for the Stars, a Foundation of Hope for Children with Cerebral Palsy.  

Here is some information from their website: www.reachingforthestars.org
{Launched in late 2005 by two mothers in Atlanta, Georgia, “Reaching for the Stars. A Foundation of Hope for Children with Cerebral Palsy”  (RFTS, Inc.) has grown into the largest North American pediatric Cerebral Palsy nonprofit foundation led by parents, with a focus on the Prevention, Treatment and Cure of Cerebral Palsy.  We are committed to serving the needs of children with Cerebral Palsy, their families, and the care givers involved in their care. You can read more about our story here in a feature on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website about Cerebral Palsy.
The RFTS mission is centered on the belief that leading-edge pediatric research, increased awareness and education will lead to new treatments of Cerebral Palsy, improving the lives of impacted children and their families. Research for CP, particularly in children, is under-supported and severely under-funded… slowing progress towards better understanding what causes Cerebral Palsy, how to best treat it and how to eventually cure it.}
Our family is so blessed by RFTS and all they do for children with CP...thanks so much to everyone for supporting their hard efforts!  
Be Blessed!


Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month so I thought it would be appropriate to share a few facts with you about CP.  And, to ask you to join us in spreading a little extra awareness and acceptance this month for those with Cerebral Palsy.  

Did you know?...

1.  Over 800,000 Americans, and over 17,000,000 million people worldwide are impacted by Cerebral Palsy, the most common motor disability in children.  Can you believe those numbers?  And, still, there is very little federal funding for research and awareness.  

2.  Cerebral palsy is incurable – Cerebral palsy is damage to the brain that cannot currently be cured. Treatment and therapy help manage effects on the body.

3. Cerebral palsy is non-progressive – The brain lesion is the result of a one-time brain injury and will not produce further degeneration of the brain.

4. There are wonderful organizations like Reaching for the Stars, a Foundation of Hope for Children with Cerebral Palsy, that need your help in spreading awareness for our kids.  You can start by checking out their website: www.reachingforthestars.org

5. Children with CP can absolutely take your breath away, just by being themselves?  And, teach you more about life than anyone else on earth ever has or ever will without speaking a single word?  

I did not know any of these facts three years ago...but, today I sit here and write these words to spread awareness, foster acceptance, educate, and unify.  All because God chose me to be "momma" to a sweet little guy named Jack Wesley.  I consider myself blessed and thank the Lord for giving me the chance to witness something so remarkable each and every single day... pure joy, no judgment, perseverance, and the ability to soften even the hardest hearts.  

Please join us in the fight for our kids with CP and Be Blessed!!

There is no stopping this guy!