Special Needs and Resolutions by Ellen Stumbo

Happy New Year!
source: erjkprunczyk

With the New Year here, it is time for me to think about resolutions. The thing is, having children with special needs has changed the way I look at these hopeful declarations of a better me. So I turn to my daughters and see in them examples of who I want to be.

1. I want to love people despite of their appearance.

I tend to judge and keep my distance from people based on their exterior. My daughter with Down syndrome has the ability to look past appearances and accept people fully.

2. I want to give it all.

Sometimes, I don’t try very hard; I just do enough “to get by.” My daughter with cerebral palsy gives it her all, she is fully in, trying hard, never giving up. Everything she does, she does it to the best of her ability.

3. I want to experience joy in the little things.

My daughter with Down syndrome seems to find joy easy. She is not just happy; she is filled with joy (when she is not filled with crabbiness). The way her face lights up with a smile, and the deep laugh that comes from her soul when she is surprised with a bowl of ice cream reminds me I need more joy in my life.

4. I want to celebrate with others.

In our home, we celebrate every little accomplishment our girls achieve. Celebration is a normal part of our life; we clap, jump, and cheer often. I want to take that beyond my home, I want to encourage others and celebrate with them. We all need more celebration in our life.

5. I want to make a difference.

The world might see my children as less than perfect, but I know that God has a plan and a purpose for their lives. My children have inspired not only me, but many others around them. Hopefully some day, I will be able to do for others what they have done for me.

Ellen Stumbo is a writer and speaker. She is the mother of three daughters: Ellie; Nichole, who has Down syndrome; and Nina, who was adopted and also has special needs. She is wife to Andy, a pastor.

January Giveaway

It’s hard to believe that a brand new year is upon us! With a new year often comes new goals! Do you have any New Year’s resolutions? I am confident that finance-related goals are at the top of many of your lists.

Bad money management habits are hard to change, so the key is to start teaching your children healthy money management skills early. Our January blog giveaway just might be the service you need to help your child! This month we are giving away one 1-year subscription to ThreeJars.com.

ThreeJarsLogo.png

ThreeJars.com is an innovative modern allowance system that lets kids earn, track, and use their own money online. With this online service, you set an allowance limit for your child and decide how his allowance will be divvied-up between Save, Spend, and Share jars. Your child manages his own account, but your approval is required for all financial decisions.

  • Save — Your child can boost his savings by earning interest from you, encouraging the savings habit.
  • Spend — He can spend his money by requesting cash or gift cards.
  • Share — He can share money too, by making donations to charities of your choice on or off the ThreeJars.com site. (Don’t forget to teach the importance of tithing using the "Share" jar.)

Stop by ThreeJars.com for more details about how this allowance system works.

Everyone* who posts a comment on our blog during the month of January will be entered to win one 1-year subscription to ThreeJars.com

*LifeWay employees are not eligible for this giveaway. Multiple comments do not increase chances of winning.

Does your child get an allowance? How are you teaching your child about money management?