January 8, 2012 ~ Great Sunday afternoon to all of you!!! I hope you all have had a life-giving, thanks living week!!! As I write to you today, I reflect upon my own week of “firsts” in 2012!! I would LOVE to share that it was all perfect, but that would not be the truth…and we all know that we need more truth wrapped in love and grace for this parenting journey, than EVER BEFORE!!! So, upon reflection, I decided to MAKE peace, and accept that my JOY and PAIN can share the same dance, but even more than that…they can create a NEW dance that will bring forth healing to others! In my week of “firsts,” something quite amazing transpired as I re-entered work…after being gone from my Early Intervention cherubs since mid-November….several of them called my name to gain my attention, as they desired to share about their adventures with all their new words, gestures, and facial expressions!!! I kept hearing, “DanaKae, D..Ka, or DD..Ka, and for a moment I pondered who am I to these little ones that they desire to SHARE so much??? In a moment, GRACE poured all over and around me…these loving cherubs were saying THANK YOU….thank you for GIVING to us…for TEACHING, for LAUGHING, for DISCIPLINING….for allowing TIME to be your BEST FRIEND????? Oh…the JOY that danced as they moved, laughed, and shared….and then I saw it…a true “joy dance” one that embraces the truth in the sacrifice, in the offering of life….Could I honestly hold this much JOY??? All of a sudden my heart began giving THANKS back to them…joining in their new accomplishments, validating their new words, thoughts, and ideas! TO ALL OF YOU PARENTS that give me the OPPORTUNITY to be a part of your cherub’s lives….DEEP GRATITUDE!!!! So, when did the pain come in? When did I need to shift and make peace that JOY and PAIN can dance, and out of their relationship emerges PROGRESS, NEW LIFE, NEW LOVE, and overall NEWNESS?? Oh, it was an Ah-ha moment of deep conviction…of 2012 visiting me to face the new challenges for all of the cherubs working/struggling up their developmental ladders!!! YES…key words, “struggling/working,” as we must be DOERS in this thankful work we are called to as parents, or professionals working with all cherubs!!! We must persevere in the struggles, the pain, because the JOY waits…or the JOY dances in the midst…if we ALLOW IT!!! We cannot face our children’s struggles in FEAR…we will be found bowing to the pain, and unfortunately become immobilized, and our cherubs will dysregulate, become fearful, negative, behaviorally “off” to SHOW us their needs…and most importantly they will not be free to dance to their developmental timing!! Time to re-focus, revisit what works for each child, practice scaffolding, and reassuring their hearts, minds, and bodies that they are still moving forward! REMEMBER: We must follow their NEEDS!!! What an amazing combination, to NOW grab the struggle and move in it with a new JOY…a JOY that ushers in confidence, and belief that we are “CAN DO” parents, and professionals with our cherubs!!! SO…let’s dance into our week, with great expectations of JOY in our struggles…JOY in our successes…Joy in our pain….JOY in the whole of living, as we teach, and rear such amazing children!!! SENDING YOU LOVE in your dance!!! ~DanaKae