Oct 25, 2009


Do you get paid to talk about your favorite subject? Have you ever been paid to do something that you would have PAID to do?

I do. I don’t know how I got to be so blessed, but I’m on the plane on the way back from giving a talk about what it’s like to be the mother to 5 adopted children with special needs. There’s this awesome ministry in Peoria, Illinois called “Angel Arms” and they just had their first conference for the caretakers of individuals with special needs.

They found me via google! Isn’t that amazing? About 1 ½ years ago, Colleen contacted me and asked if I’d be the keynote speaker at a conference. I usually get booked via “word of mouth”. People have heard of me or have heard me speak. This was the first time I got found and hired with Google.

I did some research about them and was actually quite impressed. They have a program to help assist families with special needs children. So if you go to their church and you have a child with say autism, they will make a plan (much like an IEP) to assist you and your child. This way, the parents can actually attend worship service! Each family will have a different plan to meet the needs.

Their ministry is relatively small right now … but … I have a feeling it won’t be that way for long. I truly believe it’s going to explode in the near future! And furthermore, I believe this needs to be the model for every church! (If you know of a church or pastor … let me know and I can give them some awesome info about an amazing ministry.)

Anyway, I got to talk about my kids and share a little of our testimony of our journey. And as typical “Beth” form … I told the truth. I mean, I don’t think other necessarily “lie” when talking about special needs, but I do think they often leave a whole bunch of the picture out. And as I looked out over the audience, I saw a lot of heads nodding in agreement. I saw many tears being wiped away as I shared some of the stories. I saw people who “got it”.

It’s just such a blessing to be in a room full of people who completely understand what I am talking about. There are also BTDT. I do a lot of presentations but I rarely speak to an audience quite like this one. (I’m usually trying to get people to understand what I’m talking about … and these people are living parallel lives.)

They also asked me to sing some of my songs. It’s actually kinda cool as I don’t normally get to combine those worlds. But I have songs I’ve written on the subject and never get to sing them. One is called “Catch My Tears”. How God captures every tear we’ve ever shed (Ps. 56:8).

So as I go home to my children tonight, I’m so blessed to be their Mommy. And as I shared today, I know to the core of my being that my children were “Handpicked” for me and I was “Handpicked” for my children.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Beth,

    I've never met you, and to be honest, I've never even heard of you, but I have heard that the Angel Arms conference was a huge success! I am SO happy about that!

    My family used to attend Northminster, before my husband was transferred to France, with his job. While living in France, I gave birth to a beautiful girl, who at the age of 4 months, was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy called West's Syndrome. I have yet to meet another child/person with the same diagnosis. Sarah has physical and mental developmental delays and still suffers daily from "infantile spasms".

    When our family came back to the US we did not go back to Peoria, but rather to Lafayette, IN. By accident, we stumbled onto a church that has a sp. needs ministry. It wasn't long before I contacted Pastor Shirey and told him that Northminster needed a similar ministry.

    It sounds like Northminster has taken the sp. needs ministry to a whole new level, one that our church hasn't quite found yet. Don't get me wrong, having an aide for my daughter each Sunday is a HUGE blessing to our family. Yet somehow I feel that there could be more...that something is missing.

    I was hoping to be able to attend the Angel Arms Conference...I had a feeling in my heart that I was meant to be there, but my family schedule didn't allow for that. I would have loved to have heard you speak! I think I needed to hear you speak. Even though my daughter is seven now, I don't think I have completely accepted our family's situation. The idea that God handpicked me to be her mom and her to be my daughter is a rather overwhelming thought too. To be honest, sometimes I wonder if He made a mistake...then I remember what I tell my children, that "God doesn't make mistakes". Hmm... I don't know.

    I'm hoping someday soon I'll get to meet you and hear you speak in person. Thank you for what you do and God bless!


    PS BTW, my mom did attend the conference.