Thursday, April 15, 2010

Who Am I?

My name is Prather.

I am a woman of God, mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, habilitator, therapist, leader, speaker, writer and life coach, just to name a few things. I love to read, write, talk, make my kids laugh, make my husband smile, watch Oprah, lift weights, be with my family, and learn more about the Christ within me. I hate cardio, cleaning and energy vampires. I've been through alot! I had breast cancer. I have joy! I'm happy in my marriage. I have joy! I have four beautifully boisterious boys! I have joy! I have a son with autism. I have joy! I have wonderful parents. I have joy! I lost my mother to breast cancer. I have joy! I am possibly going through the most difficult season in my life. I have joy! What I have learned is that each of my successes and ESPECIALLY the trials and tribulations, bring me joy. What I am learning is to lean on God first in ALL things. What I want to know is how can I be more of a blessing to others. What I do know is that to be a blessing, I need to start somewhere, so I might as well start with those things I know I do well. This blog is a part of that.

"A Day In The Life..." is a series of writings I started sometime ago to share with my family and close friends what a typical day in our life can be like. My husband and I live in Arizona. We've lived here for 8 years and had our children out here. We do not live near our support system (they live in Wisconsin). The closest relatives we have here in Arizona are almost an hour west of us. So we've been raising our children on our own, primarily. We've gotten used to that part. But we do hate that our family does not get the opportunity to witness our children growing up...the day to day details of the good, the bad and the absolutely hilarious in our household. So when things get particularly crazy, sometimes I just stop, sit down, and take the time to document the details of the day so that I can share it with my family and friends just so they can at least live vicariously through my emails in our lives. However, I haven't done this nearly as often as I'd like to...until now.

Writing has always been therapeutic for me. I've been journaling since I was very young. In addition to journaling my life with kids, I began to journal my journey with breast cancer. I found it to be my very much needed release at the time. It was healing for me to journal, and healing others to read what I had to say. However, somehow, I got burnt-out trying to keep up with all the writing. I was starting to gain an audience and they were desiring more and more of my writing. That was a good and bad thing. When it became something I felt I HAD to do verses something I wanted to do, I stopped doing it. Nobody was pressuring me, I was pressuring myself. At that time, it was difficult enough going through the treatment and process of managing the cancer. Trying to maintain a blog, in particular about a topic I would prefer not to have in my life in the first place and quite frankly had grown sick of talking about, was a little overwhelming. Add to that, the time it was taking me to write (rarely do I write or talk in brief excerpts)...I just couldn't manage all of my doctor appointments, kids, other responsibilities and the blog. So I just stopped.

Over time, I felt something missing. I'm almost a year and a half past my last cancer treatment. I realize that although I went through breast cancer for a reason, breast cancer itself is NOT my passion. And I didn't want to write about that all the time. Autism, on the other hand, is my passion! Or at least one of them, anyway. I have a 5 year old son with autism. I can talk about that until I'm blue in the face. I constantly seek to learn as much as I can about it, not only because my son has it, although obviously that's what ignited the spark, but because I find the world of autism incredibly interesting. My son is incredibly interesting. And I recently decided that this is what I want to continue my pursuit in advanced degrees studying...autism. And yes, I can also write about autism probably until my fingers fall off. I decided I would Twitter my experience with autism. That lasted all of 2 hours. I think I tweeted 3 tweets and never looked back. For one, I can't get all my thoughts down in 146 characters or whatever it is. And secondly, I have to be accessible to my laptop or phone or whatever all the time. But any parent of a special needs child knows that it's a very unrealistic endeavor. Besides, he's not the only son I have...I do have three other boys. I want to talk about them, too!

And then there's so much more...I've been happily married for the last 10 years to a wonderful husband, who I know God hand-created just for me. I have another son, 7 yrs old who I think was a stand-up comedian in a past life or something because I could blog about just him alone and have enough to write about daily. My youngest son is almost 2 yrs old but mad he's not 5. He's trapped in a body too small for his mind. And last but definitely not least, I have a 17 yr old bonus child (my step-son), my introduction to motherhood. He's truly never given me any problems. Our life is a blend of peaks and valleys, accomplishments and disappointments, setbacks and comebacks, energy and fatigue and without question, a colorful mix of God's humor, plan and purpose.

So this blog is entitled, "A Day In The Life..." for a reason. I couldn't find just one topic to blog about. That would be too boring and so unlike me for those who know me well, to stick to just ONE topic! But since my life is so colorful, and my journey is all about striking the ever popular balance we've all heard about but rarely ever seen, it makes for interesting reading. One day it might be about a day in the life of a mother of a special needs child. On a different day, it might be about a day in the life of a breast cancer survivor. It might even be a day in someone else's life and its effect on me. It just depends on what suits me when my fingers hit the keyboard. I never know what kind of day I'm going to have, so I can't tell you what I'm going to be writing about. All I know is that I cannot be going through all of this in vain. There has got to be a higher plan at work here. But the one thing you can count on is that God will always be with me on the journey, and that THIS journey is ever changing, rarely ever consistent, but always from the heart.

I asked God recently what am I supposed to be doing that I am not doing to pursue the job of my dreams. What do I need to be doing right now? He said, "write!"