Being Elizabeth’s big sister has taught me more life lessons than I can count. I had no idea just how much the Lord is able to use my pain for His glory until I experienced what it’s like to be the big sister of a little girl with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
She Calls Me ‘Kiss’
When I look at Elizabeth,
What I hope to see
Is the sweet child that hides behind
The eyes that gaze at me.
When I look at Elizabeth,
What I would love to see
Is the girl who’s chosen a nickname
Which means so much to me.
Elizabeth is slowly learning
The importance of our names,
And how she can refer to us
In both times of sun and rain.
The name she uses just for me
Is a sweet name I’ll never miss –
My little two-year-old sister
Is the one who calls me ‘Kiss.’
I suppose it’ll be a while yet
Before I understand her mind,
But in the months that follow here,
I simply desire to be kind.
Being a big sister to a child like Elizabeth comes with a dozen daily struggles.
I am challenged every day to care for her in the right, loving, godly way, and more often than not, my efforts fall short. I think that’s because for most of this time, I’ve been relying on my own strength to get through each day … instead of allowing the Lord to love her through me.
Recently, I’ve been adhering to the belief that it will always be this way, that she’ll struggle with her emotions and understanding of the world for years to come. When I stop to watch her, however, I see improvement every day. If I don’t focus on her setbacks, I see the beautiful progress she’s making. When I trust that the Lord is working in her heart, I don’t fall into despair … I give her room to grow.
I’m praying that the Lord will continue to work in my heart, that He will teach me how to love her constantly. I don’t want to only be happy with her and enjoy her presence when she’s having a good day. I desire to care for her in the moments when she doesn’t understand, when she’s trying to understand … because the thing about autism is that she’s not giving me a hard time; she’s having a hard time. That’s a quote I read recently that really spoke to me, because I have to remember that when Elizabeth’s upset about something, she isn’t deliberately throwing a fit, or trying to ruin our day … she’s in just as much pain as we are, if not more.
Living with two autistic siblings has taught me so much more than I would have realized. It’s teaching me how to truly love someone, and how to care for them as the Lord does. It takes a special deepness of love – strength that only the Lord has! – to unconditionally adore people who are different, who have bigger struggles.
I’m praying that I won’t take this time of learning for granted, that I won’t wish it away … I’m praying that I’ll embrace it from here on out.
The inspiration for this poem and post is based on the fact that Elizabeth calls me ‘Kiss.’ She has confused my name with my mom’s occasional encouragement to her to give me a kiss on the cheek, which is both weird and absolutely adorable. The fact that she refers to me by how we show affection to each other honestly touches my heart. It’s the little blessings like this that make life worth living.
Hello there, and Happy Friday to you! ❤ I hope you’re doing well 🙂 In this post, I will be looking back on how I spent the month of March, which I have to say was truly enjoyable as a whole! I accomplished many of the tasks that were on my to-do list for the month (which I’ll share below!), experienced some fun things with my family, and I also got back into blogging this month. I can’t wait to tell you about all of it!
How was your March? I really hope it was a good month for you, and also that you’re looking forward to April as much as I am! 🙂 Let me know in the comments below: what did you love about March? And what are you excited about in April? I’d love to know! Now I’m happy to give you today’s post. I hope you like reading it!
March’s To-Do List:
Checking Things Off
- watch some more movies. I’m very happy to say that I did this one! I usually don’t get around to watching new films, but I was able to in March because we bought different family films online and found other good movies at second-hand stores that we all enjoyed. My favorite of the month would have to be Jack, which Robin Williams is in, because it was SO good!
- continue to organize digital photos. I didn’t take as many photos as I would have thought I would in March, haha – and that’s actually a very good thing! I found myself living in the moment more these past few weeks, which means my camera wasn’t always out (: Because of this, my pictures folder is still quite organized, which makes me happy.
- read (at least!) one book. Because it was on my list, I did end up reading, but I only got around to my minimum requirement! In March, I read one cozy mystery on my mom’s tablet, which I ended up really enjoying – it’s called Alice In Murderland (the actual book is lighthearted, not matching the title whatsoever) by Samantha Silver. It was fun, witty, and I had no idea throughout the book who the culprit was! If you like mysteries, I definitely recommend this one. ❤
master my favorite settings on my camera.Because of different circumstances with my family, as well as uneven priorities, I did not work on my camera very much this past month. However, this is one of my main goals for April, so I will be carrying it over into next month’s list! finish the Spanish courses on Memrise.As it turns out, the last level on this Spanish course is much more difficult than I was anticipating! haha because of this, I’m giving myself more time, since I don’t want to overload my brain with funny says en español xD try a few new recipes.I did end up baking and cooking some throughout the month, using recipes I tried at different points last year, but I didn’t try anything new! I’ll be browsing Pinterest again soon to hopefully find some good new things to try.
- eat healthily and stay fit. Uhh I’ll give a yes and no on this one, hah! I wasn’t fully consistent because I did better and worse (it depended on the day) when it comes to what/how much I want to eat, as well as my daily activity level. It’s still something I’m working on, from overcoming a growing sugar addiction to being willing to exercise every day. I might write a post on this sometime in April – would you want me to?
- keep up with reading blogs. I did a pretty good job with this in March, which I’m really happy about! Staying up-to-date with talking to bloggers whose blogs I love the most is important to me, so I’m glad I could do that this month.
- slowly go through possessions that don’t matter to me anymore. It has definitely been a long process, and I’ve made sure before getting rid of anything that it will benefit me more to not have those things. A lot of decision-making has gone into this, but I am so happy with the progress I’m making! I’m thinking about writing a series sometime soon about simplifying life ❤
- continue interacting more with my brothers. There were different games we enjoyed playing together in March, but nothing too solid, if that makes sense. We only end up being interested in a game or activity at the same time for a short period of time, and then we have to find something else to do together, haha! I’m still thinking and praying about other things we could do together.
- have less screen time. I don’t know if I accomplished this one or not … well, I know I did the evenings I dedicated to reading some of the books I have! However, it’s still something I’m working on because I need to start choosing more screen-free activities to fill my time.
- help my mom around the house. My brother and I have recently been helping our mom out more with housework, which I know has really helped her ❤ However, I’m still in the process of getting into a routine so that I can easily remember my new duties 🙂 The reason I’m still working on this is because I didn’t realize until now just how much my mom does for our family! It’s a lot to handle even when it’s divided between three people (my mom, brother, and me), so not only am I happy to help out as much as I can, but I also salute her for being able to do all that she does for us! ❤ ❤ ❤
- stay focused on completing schoolwork. This was a priority most of the weekdays (as it should be!), but due to the cold that has recently been going around our house, I have a bit to catch up on. It was nice to focus on helping everyone get well again and forfeit a bit of schoolwork, but I’ll definitely get back to work in the weeks to come!
- get a haircut. I was happily able to do this on the first of March! My mom cuts my dad’s and brothers’ hair whenever they need it, which I think is awesome, and since I just needed a simple trim, she was able to take a few inches off my hair. I can’t tell you what a relief it is for my head to not be as heavy as it was (my hair is SO thick!), and even though the length hasn’t ended up being the easiest to style lol, I’m very happy with how it turned out.
- write a few blog posts a week. I did this one! Woohoo! It has been so nice to be active once again in the blogging community. ❤
Thank you so much for reading! I hope that you enjoyed it – as you saw, I really did enjoy my March. 🙂 Aside from the sickness that has plagued us this past week, we all enjoyed ourselves! I’m looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for us this April.
I’d love to know in the comments below:
How was YOUR March?
Hi there! ❤ I hope you’re having a beautiful week. 🙂 Today’s post is dedicated to the sweetest toddler sister I know! I don’t end up talking about her much on my blog, but oh my gosh, she adds so much light and happiness to my life. I’m talking about my adorable little sister Elizabeth, who will be turning two this coming June.
A few days ago while we were all outside, Elizabeth saw that I was photographing the only color our front yard possesses (which are these gorgeous pink bushes, haha), and decided to come join me in admiring their beauty. I had to stop myself from focusing too much on the flowers and instead took some pictures of the little sister I’ve been hoping to have since I was a young child. ❤
On Halloween of 2015, I found out that my mom would be having another baby, and that following February, me and my family found out it was a girl! Before that, I had been sadly convincing myself that I was destined to have only brothers, because I couldn’t see myself being a teenager with siblings that much younger. However, the Lord had a different plan!
Throughout the lives of His children, the Lord draws us close through times of waiting. Teaching us the art of patience and letting our trust rest in Him is something that takes a lifetime! However, it is 100% worth it to look back and see His hand at work in my life, and even though it made me so sad to spend my childhood without a sister, I am more than joyful to have two little girly blessings in my life now.
Back in June of 2017, when I found out my mom was pregnant with her last baby, I had the most mixed response. My mom had just gone through a miscarriage a few months prior, in that March and April, and I feared that we would go through a similar loss that summer. I started out by strongly fearing things would go wrong, and I desperately wanted there to be no issue with her health. Because of this, I made the knowledge of her pregnancy sour for myself, and I deeply regret that now. However, I believe that I am not doomed to live with this self-condemnation.
With the Lord’s help, I am healing from how I felt that summer … and it is getting increasingly better as I fall more in love with Isabella, who turned two months old two days ago. ❤ It has been a struggle for me, for sure, but I know that His plan will prevail even in this. There’s no way I couldn’t love little Isabella now, although I will say that the pregnancy complications shook up our family more than once.
Knowing that the Lord was with us and by our side through it all makes the memories much easier to bear.
I am absolutely loving watching Elizabeth grow up. Times flies by most days, to the point where it feels like just yesterday she was learning to walk … however, that was nearly a year ago! She loves exploring outside, and she is the silliest toddler – the hilarious faces and sounds she makes cracks me up every time. As long as she’s not too mobile, she’s my favorite model for photoshoots – hence the pretty pictures I got of her a few days ago! She is slowly starting to say more and more words (from ‘woof woof’ for dog and ‘shoes’ when she wants to go outside), but for the most part, she has her own language still, lol. Watching her dance along to the shows she likes watching is always fun, and I am truly enjoying being home to watch her and Isabella grow up.
Thank you so much for reading! As you can tell by this post, I absolutely adore my sisters – I am very thankful the Lord blessed us with one another.
Let me know in the comments below why you love your sisters or your closest friends (who can be just as close as sisters!)! ❤
Have a blessed day!
Hey there, guys! Happy Sunday to all of you. ❤ I cannot tell you how crazy of a day yesterday was! It was the day we’ve all been anticipating for the last several months, and even though it didn’t in any way go the way I thought it would (life always has a way of surprising and delighting me, haha!), it was still wonderful just the way it was.
It was yesterday afternoon that we all got to go over to the hospital and meet our youngest sibling, and this morning, I’m truly wondering if everything that happened was a dream. I woke up and couldn’t wrap my head around the little person I met yesterday!
I would have definitely preferred to go earlier in the day to see them, haha, but the reason we couldn’t was because she and my mom had not yet been transferred to a real room. They were still being closely watched after my mom’s c-section, especially with the pre-eclampsia stuff (which did not affect either of them, praise the Lord!). However, at exactly 2 PM, they were moved to a room where visitors could visit freely, and that was when Joshua (14), Samuel (6), and I got to meet …
Yes, that is my sweet youngest sister’s name! It was the first one we loved when brainstorming names for her, and in the process of trying other names out, it was ultimately the one we returned to.
SHE REMINDS ME SO MUCH OF SAMUEL AND ELIZABETH AS A NEWBORN
Just like everyone says when they see us, we all look alike, haha! ❤
Health Update: My mom is doing extremely well physically after having the surgery. We could not have prayed or asked for a better beginning to her recovery! I know that the Lord’s hand is in this, and I am so grateful, because she felt really rough after the c-section with my baby sister (Elizabeth) in June 2016. Isabella is happy and healthy and really likes sleeping, haha. It gives me such peace to know that they’re both doing well. ❤
Here’s another picture, this one of me, Isabella, and Samuel:
I know that we all love her very much, but I can’t tell you just how much Samuel does! While we were at the hospital, he couldn’t stop cooing over her, and it’s so sweet seeing how much he already cares for her. She and Elizabeth are going to be 100% doted on their whole lives, haha! ❤
This last picture is the one that will go down in history as the first selfie I ever took with my smallest sibling:
GUYS! I love her so much ❤ ❤ ❤
Happy Sunday to you!
Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers 🙂
Hey guys! I hope that you’re having a beautiful day / evening!! I have absolutely wonderful news to share with you. 🙂
As you might have read in this post, my mom and dad went to the hospital yesterday morning because my mom was not feeling well, and she needed to be checked by her midwife to see what was going on. They returned home around lunchtime a few hours later since she wasn’t going into labor, and the painful contractions stopped. However, she hasn’t felt better physically since then.
We knew something was going on today not only because of how she was feeling (even how her vision was doing), but also when she went to a follow-up appointment at her doctor this afternoon. Her symptoms, as well as the tests the doctors had done, were starting to point to pre-eclampsia. That is a pregnancy disorder than can be dangerous for woman and baby this late in the pregnancy.
My mom already had a cesarean-section scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday (her due date, the 31st). However, her doctor wants to deliver my baby sister as soon as possibly – namely, tonight.
I am a whole mixture of excitement and anxiousness, guys, haha!!! ❤
I would deeply appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers for my family right now! I desire that the c-section to goes well, my parents (and baby sister! *squeals*) have a safe night at the hospital while us kids stay at home, and honestly that this would go as well as it possibly can. It’s a lot to take in at the moment, but I know that the Lord is watching over us and keeping us.
It is so important for me to take a moment in times of great rush to pray, and maybe even read my Bible, as well. I’ve already done that a bit this evening, and it helped calm me down immensely. There is nothing like His peace. ❤
O give thanks to the God of heaven,
for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!
– Psalm 136:26
I’m happy to be able to let you guys know what’s going on at the moment in our family, and I am planning on introducing her to you guys in the next few days!
Just a few minutes ago, my mom let me know that she and my dad arrived at the hospital. If you’re interested in receiving updates, let me know in a comment below and I’ll respond back to you as things happen!
I hope you’re all doing well! Thank you so much for reading!
Hi guys, and happy Tuesday to you! ❤ How’s your week going so far? 🙂 I hope you’re well. I wanted to do a quick post on this lovely afternoon to let you know what’s been going on with me and my family over the weekend. ❤ Hope you enjoy!
As you might know, my mom is pregnant with my last little sibling (once the baby is born, I’ll be the oldest of five kids!), and my mom will actually be full-term tomorrow. It is quite possible that the baby will be born in the next week or so – tonight is even a possibility, haha!
We have been getting things ready here at the house (as I talked about in this post), and the anticipation has slowly gotten stronger. We all can’t wait to meet her, and I am truly looking forward to how Elizabeth (she’s 1 1/2) will respond to there being a baby in the house! I’m sure she’ll love her, but Elizabeth’s responses to things are always so sweet and usually surprising.
Late on Sunday afternoon, my mom was quite certain she was going into labor. The contractions were very close together, so she and my dad went to the hospital while Joshua and I stayed at the house with Samuel and Elizabeth. They were there from five to around midnight, and as the contractions had stopped and labor wasn’t progressing, they came home.
It was a whirlwind of an evening to say the least, haha! It was stressful at times, but as a whole, everything went well with them, and with us as the house, as well.
We have no idea when she will have the baby, but it will definitely be soon. I can almost sense that it’s coming, which may mean that it could be in the next few days, which would be awesome! I know how hard the last trimester is because I know how my mom felt when she was in the last month or two of pregnancy with Samuel and Elizabeth, so I’d love for the baby to go ahead and be born so that we can meet her and my mom will feel better. ❤
It would bless me so much if you could keep me and my family (especially my mom and the baby!) in your thoughts and prayers! I’ll let you guys know as soon as I can when she has been born:)
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a blessed rest of your day. xx