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Exactly how does that Bible verse go? Is it “in everything give thanks…” or is it “for everything give thanks…”?

I have to be honest and tell you that I don’t always feel thankful. On nights that homework with my daughter turns into a 3+ hour ordeal, I don’t feel thankful. When I was told that my daughter had autism, I didn’t feel very thankful. When strangers in stores and restaurants gave us angry stares because my daughter was too loud or too busy for their taste, I felt defensive and angry, but not thankful.

God expects us to cycle through different emotional states because we’re human and He understands us better than we do ourselves!

Cycling through strong emotions such as anger, fear and sadness is a normal part of being a parent or caregiver of a differently-abled child. In fact, many of us will cycle through intense emotions over and over again as our children grow up. At each age, our children will meet important milestones in their development.

With these successes, however, will come reminders of the milestones that they have not yet, and may never reach. Knowing in our hearts that all things are possible with God doesn’t mean that we won’t feel a twinge of despair every now and then. What’s important is that we don’t allow these emotions to dictate how we interact with and dream for our children.

The key to successful “faith-parenting” is to discover things about your child and family to celebrate and be thankful for. Though not always obvious, there is always something to be thankful for!

Maybe it’s the way your child smiles at you when you kiss him or her goodnight. Or, perhaps, it’s the reassuring hug that your spouse gives you, just when you need it most. For me, some of my greatest joys have come from “the little things” that have happened in our lives.

For example, I can remember being VERY thankful for a “Pat the Bunny” videotape that we’d checked out from our local library when our daughter was about 2 years old. Who knew that it would put an end to her almost daily 2-3 hour tantrums? She loved the songs on that tape and would ask us to play the tape for her at least twice every day. We were all too happy to oblige!

Use your faith to continue to give God thanks for all that He has done in your life, in spite of any difficulties that you may be experiencing.

I’ve often prayed and told God that even though I couldn’t see how He was working things out for my good, I was thankful for His presence in the midst of my circumstances. Though not expressing thanks for the actual circumstances themselves, I was thankful for the blessed assurance from God that He is an ever-present help to us all in times of trouble.

Faith believes and expects the impossible!

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Miriam Owens is a self-published, Christian author and special education advocate.  She is the owner and founder of  Rhema Publishing & Consulting, LLC. Now happily married and the mother of three amazing children, Miriam discovered her passion for helping others as a teen growing up in New York City. Today, through her writing and advocacy efforts, Miriam continues to uplift and inspire others.  She is particularly passionate about educating and inspiring those dealing with chronic illness or disability.

In 2002, Miriam was appointed by the governor of Virginia to serve on the Virginia Interagency Coordinating Council as a Parent Representative. In 2003, Miriam graduated from the prestigious Partners In Policymaking Program, which is sponsored by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities. In 2004, Miriam and her family were featured in a television documentary entitled: "Partners: New Leaders in the Disability Rights Movement" which aired on PBS.

Today, Miriam continues to write books which encourage, inspire and support people with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Writes of Passage: Social Illustrations to Illuminate the Paths of Individuals With Autism and Other Developmental Disorders, was released in 2011. Her second book, Helps, Hints and Hope for the Homework-Weary Among Us will be released in the Fall of 2012. Miriam remains active in her community as a source of information and guidance for parents of differently-abled children.

For more information, please visit

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Thank you Mariam,for reminding to be thankful.I found out a month ago,that i have a blood clot in my lung..I wasn’t thankful for the discovery of it. It could have killed me,if I didn’t get guidance from God. Today Im thankful for getting to the hospital,and getting the help I needed to work on getting rid of the clot. Once I told all the friends,and family,gave me courage,and hope,to get better,and be thankful for the caring,of them all. its not very often that I leave a reply,but this one hit home. I’m so thankful for God being in my life. I love how you put your hardship in words,and the solution that God is the force,behind the gratitude,and thankfulness I had to get through the solution with your help. Thank you for reminding me to be thankful..Lots of love.

    1. Hi Patrick! Thanks so much for your response. My heart smiles each time I hear that someone has been blessed by the gift God’s given me. I, too, am thankful that you were able to get to the hospital in time to receive the medical care you needed. I will keep you in my prayers. Continue to be encouraged and know that God is ALWAYS working things out for your good – whether your circumstances are good or bad! You are an over comer!

  2. I found Miriams article very inspiring but I am finding it difficult to connect with God and I feel that He has abandoned me. I have been through very difficult times for many years and I feel hopeless and alone.

  3. Hello Craig and thank you for your compliment!

    Please know that you are not alone in how you are feeling. Many people feel abandoned by or disconnected from God at times, because it is difficult to sense His presence in the midst of prolonged difficulties. I, too, have felt very discouraged and lonely along my journey from time to time. Some time ago, I heard a song with simple, yet profoundly inspiring words that changed my life. The songwriter wrote that “when you can’t hear His voice, you can trust His plan…”. Those words resonated with me because I was looking for something that I could actively “do” when God seemed silent in my life, and those lyrics gave me an answer! I could actively trust Him, in spite of everything else going on around me!

    Some people find that connecting to a local church or support group helps to reduce feelings of isolation and hopelessness. Talking things our with a trusted family member or a close friend can also help to ease feelings of despair and anxiety. As a Christian, God has not and will not ever abandon you! Even in the face of prolonged adversity, God has a plan for your life!

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