Category: hands and voices

Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving snuck up on us once again. I swear the older the kids get the faster time goes. It seems like it was just summer and now Thanksgiving. I have so many things to be thankful for. I really believe we dwell on what is wrong in our lives. We are blessed with so much and we have to consciously think about these instead of complaining.

Wednesday night our church takes place in an ecumenical church service. It was very low in attendance but was just what I needed to hear. It brought me to tears. I needed to hear those words tonight. I was asked to share a testimony for our church. The following is what I talked about on Wednesday.

About a month ago Kathy approached me asking if I would share at tonight’s service. I was a tad hesitant but it didn’t take me long to say yes. Kathy asked me the question of “What has God done in my life lately” I can answer that question. He has done a lot this past year.

I will start last February. I received a phone call; I should note I am notorious for not picking up the phone unless I know the number. I did answer the call and it was truly a life changing call. I was alerted to an opening at the local radio station, KSCR. I had worked in radio before in Willmar. I loved it but hated the hours and the drive. This was 5 blocks from my house. I quickly texted a couple friends and family members and asked what they thought I should do. I talked to Chad when he got home and he gave me a smile and said well hurry up and print your resume and get it in. I sent it in and I guess the rest is history. I heard back, had a couple interviews and offered the job. It was truly answered prayer. “The Lord will guide you continually…” Isaiah 58:11

One tough conversation I have to have with an employer is letting them know about the hearing loss I have. It is like there is an elephant in the room with this until I bring it up. This task was so easy at the radio. A couple years ago I was on Kathy’s radio show, Best Life. I talked about my hearing loss on her radio show, who happened to be the producer for this show, my new boss. He knew about the hearing, he knew I could speak on the radio. Going into this new job was stressful, mind boggling but also a calm had come over my soul. I had worked these other little jobs to make ends meet. I had worked in Willmar horrible hours but I had learned from the best of how to be on the radio. These things all came into play until a job was open in town. God was paving a way for this job. I truly believe from being a guest on Kathy’s show, to working in Willmar to answering the phone that day was all in Gods big plan for my life.

I currently have two paid jobs. I am the program director at KSCR radio in Benson. I am also the morning show host which I have titled Sunrise with Sara. I love my job. What I love is that I have say on my content. I can interview people that I think Benson would like and benefit from hearing about. I can have a morning show with morals. In a bigger market that isn’t something you usually see together.

I also work for Hands and Voices of Minnesota. Hands and Voices is an organization that supports families that have children that are deaf/hard of hearing. We put on family events. To see children that usually are one of the minority at their school or town be with all these kids that are like them is a beautiful thing. We also have mentors which I am one of them. We want kids to know that they can do anything they want in life. There are very successful and well adjusted adults that are out there that grew up just like them. I have worked for Hands and Voices a little over a year. My son has had issues with his ears since a baby. We just had his 4th surgery on his ears. It helped but not to the extent that we hoped for. So again God has placed wonderful resources and families in my past with Hands and Voices that I can lean on now that it is personal in my life now. Another coincidence I don’t think so, it’s a God thing.

This past year is one that I listened for God. I waited to get his guidance and in doing that I have found joy. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5

I was blessed to talk at the service and it put the whole Holiday on the right track.

Thursday, Turkey Day, I hosted the big day. We had Chad’s family over for the meal. I am excited to host. I really enjoy cooking and am new to hosting. I was able to use my grandmothers dishes. I have so many memories of dinners at her place using these apple dishes.

Friday we headed to the farm for a little more family time. Chad welded and I helped him and enjoyed being with the farm cats. I love being out there.

Saturday we got Christmas up at the house. Always enjoy the warmth that Christmas lights and decorations seem to bring. Always a fun family memory making time.

What a fun filled family weekend. What was also nice was getting up later than 4:45am. Morning sure came early this morning.

I am BLESSED!!

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A Burden

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I have a woman’s name that is lying heavy on my heart.  I just learned about this woman yesterday.  It consumed my thoughts all day.  Let me back up and I will explain.

I arrived at work yesterday.  I am a personal care attendant in a private home.  Dr Phil was on the TV when I arrived.  I have never been a huge Dr Phil fan but I watch it and more often than not I can get pulled into the episode.  Dr Phil had a guest Bethany Storro, a woman who survived having acid thrown into her face.  What makes this shocking is Bethany did this to herself.  A failed suicide that had to be accompanied by horrible pain.  When she realized she wasn’t going to die, and made a huge personal mistake, she said she was attacked.  She said someone did this to her, a big mistake.  She didn’t point out a certain person but she gave a description.  She later retracted her statement and took the blame for the act.  She was charged and went to court were fines and time were given to her.  This is where the story ends in the newspapers.  I researched more on Bethany yesterday and what I read was horrible.  She was told to die in these articles.  She was called dumb, idiotic, ugly and deserved to die.  When did common human decency go out the window.

That was the back story, now why this is lying on my heart.  Bethany had a speech impediment. I could hear it and thought maybe acid near her mouth might have caused this.  Dr Phil did more questions and was very kind with Bethany.  It then was brought out.  Bethany is hard of hearing.  She has a deaf accent.  She poured her soul out with Dr Phil that because of her lack of hearing she has always felt like a burden.  This brought instant tears to my eyes.  She felt like a burden for her lack of hearing.  This ripped at my heart.  How was she raised? Did she have parents that advocated for her? Did she have a mentor to show her that life can be good? All these questions swirled in my mind.

I work as a deaf/hard of hearing role model with Lifetrack in Minnesota.  It is a new groundbreaking program that pairs a family that just got a diagnosis of hearing loss for their precious child with an adult who has hearing loss.  They can learn and see that this isn’t a dark road they have to walk alone.  These kids can do anything.  These children can grab the brass ring like any other child their age.  Deaf and Hard of Hearing kids are not a burden because they can’t hear.  I have attended many Hands and Voices events and I see children that are full of life and energy and promise not a burden.  These children are tought to self advocate.  A very hard skill to learn for anyone but they are learning it young.  Skills that will take them far.  I have learned so much from these young children to young adults, they are remarkable.

Bethany of course has mental illness on top of her hearing loss but I just sense it all was a cumulative effect from her hearing and her speech.  Did she learn to self advocate, did she have adults that advocated for her as a child?  I look into my own life again with a son that has an IEP (Individual Education Plan).  He has had an IEP since age 3 and we know he will have one for sure for the next 3 years to 5th grade.  We have tried to do the best for him.  He doesn’t have huge issues but every smaller hurdle he has we have been there with him.  From a fluctuating hearing loss, to being on the Autism spectrum, to learning disabilities.  We are helping him and trying to teach him how to self advocate for himself.  Advocating as an adult is hard, you put yourself out there and exposed.  It is daunting at times but so valuable and needed.

People are not a burden.  People need a hand at times, people need help. We have a job as a fellow human being to help them.  Bethany ended the interview with saying she was sorry.  She was sorry for the pain and problems she caused.  Dr Phil had the perfect response, you don’t need to apologize there is no need.  You have a hearing impairment which lead to speech problems.  You never felt like you fit in.  You now have a burned face and still show your face and get out there.  You are brave and you have grown.  Now Bethany can read lips and says she still see’s people saying she is ugly, she is stupid, and she should have died.  Please have compassion people, this world would be so different if we can just remember no one is perfect and we are not a burden.  We all have a purpose and we are all wonderfully made.

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