Pages from the Word

I LOVE to read.  I have a handful of things I want to read RIGHT NOW.  And I don't have the time to get to them all in the immediate future.  And sometimes it physically hurts me.  What you see in the picture is 69 pages of material that I have to MAKE myself read.  Honestly, it's not very interesting or inspiring.  It can be enlightening - but not always in a good way.  These 69 pages comprise Shelby's IEP.  That stands for Individualized Education Plan.  This is Shelby's school plan for the next calendar year.  It details what she will be taught, what her goals are and how and when those goals will be measured.  69 pages to teach someone on a two-year-old level.  I find this both ridiculous and reassuring.  It is a ridicuous amount of "legal-speak".  It is a ridiculous amount of work for the hard-working, caring people who spend their lives helping Shelby and others like her.  And it is a ridiculous amount of paper.  It is reassuring to me that I live in a country and in a state that requires this much documentation to assure that my daughter gets what she needs from our education system.  It is reassuring to me that well-meaning teachers and aides have a plan to follow.  It is reassuring to me to know that her teachers want the very best for her and are willing to work at making that happen.  And as work through Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts, (yes, I'm a little behind the trend) I can even find gratitude in an IEP.  Voskamp says, "...every moment is a message from The Word - God who can't stop writing His heart."  What has God written in the pages of this IEP?  The most important thing I see is His love for Shelby and His care for me.  So pardon me while I simultaneously role my eyes and smile.  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28 
And for those special needs parents who have yet to find thankfulness in the ARD/IEP process, how about a giggle instead.

Originally published on Feb. 19, 2013