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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Release the Butterflies this May!

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When God speaks, I try to listen.  I really do.  Even when it seems crazy to my rather limited imagination.

Peter face

A few weeks ago, while I was gearing up for the 2:1 Conference, I was thinking about what I was going to do for Ichthyosis Awareness Month this May.  I was remembering how when I attended last year, I wore a little homemade button with this picture and the statement, “Ask me about Peter.”

Note:  If you are wondering “what’s Ichthy-whosis,” click any of the Ichthyosis hyperlinks in this post to find out more.

And people asked.  And I spoke to them about Ichthyosis and how it affects his daily life.  Awareness happened.  That’s a good thing.  In fact, many of those same people asked me about Peter this year, and they didn’t need a button to prompt them.

But as I pondered what I might do to spread more awareness this year, God laid something on my heart.  I came to realize that while awareness of Peter’s condition and the challenges he faces is a good thing and might even help people to understand things that he does (and things that he won’t do), ultimately what he needs is something different from that.

He needs to be seen as that funny, intelligent, creative kid, Peter.

Not as that kid with Ichthyosis.

The Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types (FIRST) publishes a pamphlet called “Release the Butterfly.”  It’s a guide for care-givers of kids with one of these skin conditions.  I’ve always loved that image, that of a child being freed from a “cocoon” that keeps him from being seen in all his splendor as the wonderful child of God he is.

I want to release Peter from that cocoon.

But God was pushing me even further than that.  Because, you see, this isn’t really about Peter, although he was the impetus for this project.

Release the Butterflies is about letting go of our preconceived notions and allowing our kids to break out of their cocoons. 

All kids

Let's appreciate their uniqueness and embrace who they really are.

All kids need to be seen as individuals, not as a collection of strengths and weaknesses.

I admit that each of my children can be challenging.  I’ve read so many books in the past several months about temperament, learning differences, and what not, that it’s very easy to lose sight of the fact that I’m raising a child and not a collection of pluses and minuses.  A specific, one-of-a-kind child.  A treasure entrusted to my care.

Four unique and precious treasures entrusted to my care.

So, I’m christening May, the month of Mother’s Day, the month to Release the Butterflies.

It is a month for each of us to celebrate our children as individuals.

A few friends are joining me to blog on this topic each Wednesday of this month---and you are welcome to join us!  I will also be hosting a giveaway each week and posting freebies for everybody…

…and did you see the beautiful Release the Butterflies banner?  My friend, Carolyn, of Digi Cyber Scraps, created one of the most beautiful digital scrapbooking kits I’ve had the pleasure to work with in honor of this event.  Thank you, Carolyn.  And thank you for the free copy.  (Pssst…I get to giveaway a copy to one of you later this month!)

I’m excited! 

And a bit scared.  It seems I get these big ideas.  I know who put them in my head.  I try to run away from them, because I feel, well…not big enough.

That’s when my husband steps in and reminds me…you are the one He chose.

Deep breath.  Here we go.

To make it easy to find everything, you will be able to click on that Release the Butterflies button in my sidebar throughout this month to find this post.  I will add links to all of this month’s happenings here…so bookmark it or pin it, whatever makes it easy for you to find.

And if you’d like to join in, I’ll add a link-up to each week’s post.  You can grab the button if you like:

Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

What do you think?  Do you want to join me?

Links will be added here as the posts go live.

Release the Butterflies Posts:

  1. Embrace the Wild Child, Release the Butterflies
  2. Giving the Butterfly Time to Emerge 
  3. Hold onto Your Butterflies, but not too tightly
  4. The Butterfly’s Dazzling Colors Dance in the Sunlight

Giveaways

  1. Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids Bundle (ends 5/12/13)
  2. Character Trails set (ends 5/19/13)
  3. My Memories Suite Bundle (ends 5/26/13) 
  4. Ultimate Homeschool Expo ticket (ends 6/2/13)

Freebies

  1. Preschool Butterfly Printables Pack
  2. Math Mystery and Full-Color Addition/Subtraction Cards
  3. Butterfly Notecards

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of the digital scrapbook kit, “Release the Butterflies” from Digi Cyber Scraps to use for this event.  I received no other compensation and was not obligated in any way to give a positive review of this product.

17 comments:

  1. This would be amazing!!! My son was born prematurely at 26 weeks and I would love people to see him as how much he is developing and learning (he is on track for his adjusted age) instead of continuing to ask me when he is going to catch up.

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  2. Yes, each child IS a unique one-of-a-kind creation of God and sometimes that makes it hard to parent them (sometimes because they are so LIKE us that we bump heads, lol!) I too have a special Peter that was in our lives for a time and I still pray for every day. Glad to find your blog! God bless!

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  3. I loved reading this post! I have a child with special moderate to severe special needs and all too often people only see what she can't do. I am always looking for ways to show what she can do and also to bring more awareness of all special needs.

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  4. Thank you for sharing Peter's story. I clicked on the link and am more aware. I loved this post! God is doing great things through you. I also pinned the Release the Butterflies banner. I hope to spread the word more later today. All of our children definitely each have a uniqueness that we must embrace. I loved that you discussed the fact that they are individuals (children) and that it isn't just about their strengths and weaknesses. I will embrace and treasure my daughter.

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  5. Felicia,
    It's disheartening when people are so busy comparing a child to other kids that they don't see all the wonderful things he's doing. Your son is a miracle and I hope people come to understand that.

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  6. Yes, ruralnebr!
    Each of our children changes our lives forever.

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  7. Unknown-
    Thank you for helping your daughter make her way in the world in her own way.

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  8. A Learning Journey,
    Thank you so much for spreading the word. I didn't feel "big enough" to speak these words. Thank you for helping me to feel God's hand on my shoulder. I know that this is truly in His hands.

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  9. Susan, Beautifully written and so thoughtful...and a great reminder that each of our children are so incredibly unique!

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  10. I am looking forward to "releasing the Butterflies" in my son! He has ADHD and struggles emotionally and socially and his hardest days/times are at public school. We will begin our homeschooling journey this summer, and not enroll him in public school next fall!

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  11. Sounds like an inspiring book, thanks for the offer.

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  12. I needed.this today! My oldest was born with half a heart (hypoplastic leff heart syndrome) and has been struggling, especially w school. I am going to try my hardest to release the butterflies and help him realize how and why he is so unique!

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  13. BlessedOne-
    Good luck to you on your homeschool journey!

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  14. Wow--so touched by the concept of "release the butterflies." I just wrote today about my challenges with letting my daughter grow up in her own time, letting her be her own person. She is such a blessing just as she is--and doesn't need to be weighed down by MY insecurities and expectations. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. This is very encouraging. I want to start letting my daughter be the Superhero, boy toy loving girl that she wants to be and not worry what people will think. I will ignore the isn't that for a boy comments and let her be what she is.

    She is very bright and beautiful no matter what.

    God Bless.

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  16. Jamie and Amy,
    I think as parents we worry so much about our children that we just don't want to see them rejected by society because they don't fit into the "mold." I don't really know how we got to this point as a society---it really isn't in our best interest to value sameness so much over uniqueness.

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