Saturday, August 29, 2015


      The 2015-2016 school year has officially started. It's the start of my 7th year of teaching special education and this morning has been the first time in two weeks that I've been able to hit pause and reflect. I caught up on Internet articles I saved, and cranked up the tunes in my Beats headphones. Specifically Hillsong United because they help slow down time. They're like a Swedish massage for the brain. I'm getting off track. The start of this school year has been different than any other I've had in my career. I may have been diagnosed with ALS last summer but I hadn't accepted it yet. This school year started and there was no denying that I have ALS. In my mind I struggled with the idea that maybe I'm biting off more than I can chew? What if my arms officially crap out on me like my legs did? What if my voice goes? My ability to swallow? After all I'm living with a terminal disease, am I going to be reliable enough to support these kids?
      I read an interview that was recently posted with Tim Shaw. Tim is a former NFL player, he's 31 years old and he has ALS. Tim is an inspiration for me. He openly talks about his faith and is truly living even though he's dying. In the interview Tim said, "I believe God makes us for a purpose. Sometimes God specifically says, This is what I made you for." Tim goes on to say that he knows God didn't plan for him to have ALS, but he prepared him for the tough road ahead. Tim spends his days using his famous reputation to help the needy in Brazil, coach football and traveling the world spreading God's love and fighting for others with ALS.
      God's purpose for me showed brightly yesterday afternoon. Any doubt I had about whether or not I should be in the classroom with ALS was blown out of the water when the Gronk's Grace squad united for the biggest Ice Bucket Challenge in IL history. 480+ kids and some 25 teachers soaked themselves to support the ALS community and to rally behind me. Sometimes God shows his Grace softly and cryptically and other times his Grace kicks you in the face. This time around it was a kick in the face. With the tremendous love and support I received from my Whitman Post family I don't have time to dwell on the What If's? I will fight like hell to keep advocating for those in need and use this inspiration to share God's love and grace. My purpose is clear. 


Here's a link to the epic #ALSIceBucketChallenge from WPES:(ignore the name butchering)

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