Confession: I am a bit of a pack rat.
Much to my husband’s chagrin (he is neat, tidy, and obnoxiously organized), I keep every note, every letter, every card, every stick figure portrait of myself my kids have drawn for me for Mother’s Day. I cannot bare to part with the sweet stuff. My husband calls it hoarding, I call it sentimental.
Several years ago, I started what I affectionately refer to as, “The Love Book.” It is a three-ring binder stuffed full of cards and letters protected in plastic sheet covers. It is a true treasure. And on bad days, when I am feeling worthless and rotten, I pull out The Love Book and read all those beautiful, uplifting words.
During a particularly challenging day, autism was getting the best of me. I admit that the challenges I frequently face with Camren are a broad rang of “difficult.” From his “fat donut” phase--when he was calling everyone within his circle of influence a fat donut--to toilet training struggles and language development delays and me longing to just sit beside him and have him tell me about his day. It’s often hard.
In a low moment, I posted the following on Facebook: "Lying in bed, eating LOTS of chocolate, feeling sorry for myself. Because sometimes autism kicks my trash and sometimes it stinks! Sometimes I experience defeat and sometimes I feel my courage slipping. But then I eat a candy bar and remember that tomorrow is a new day…"
The response I got was incredible.
—Autism will not defeat you but define you and mold you into one amazing, patient, champion of a mom. That kid is lucky to have you in his court.
—A special woman for a special job…that’s you.
—You are a beautiful person, friend, and mom.
—Keep your chin up. You are amazing.
—You are a great mom to a great kid who makes me smile every time I see him.
These incredible words, from friends and loved ones who believe in me and my abilities, were obviously sent in an “electronic from.” Written on a Facebook wall to eventually get lost with time, ads, and additional posts. But they had healed my heart, and I knew I wanted to keep them forever. I wanted them for my book.
I did the only thing I could do. I copied, I pasted, I printed.
Do you have a special email from a friend sitting in your inbox, whose message means the world to you? Did someone leave an inspiring comment on a picture you posted on Instagram? Is there a message on a blog post that you’d like to remember?
Print it out, my friends! Put it in a book and let the power of positive affirmations buoy your soul through life’s inevitable seas of trial, heartache, and discouragement. Trust me. I know it will fill you up. I know it will help you.
You can always trust a pack rat!