Monday, July 14, 2008

Pray for Me Please

Please pray for me. One of my closest autism mom friends called me this morning and asked me to testify at a hearing in front of legislators on the need for ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapy for children with autism. The big deal about ABA is many children have gotten significantly better when ABA is taught at the earliest of ages (like around two) and intensely (8 hours a day). Insurance presently does not cover ABA services and it is so expensive no one can really afford it out of pocket. Several moms of children with autism have formed this task force to get this changed in hopes that insurance will cover some of this therapy and children can get the help they need. I am so proud to call these moms my friends. They have worked tirelessly trying to get attention for the autism community. What she told me she needed me to do was to just "tell Evan's story." Wow! How can I put into words what autism is like for my sweet child every day of his life? When I think about all Evan has to struggle with, words just seem inadequate. Public speaking scares me to death, but for some reason, I am not as panicked about it as the day has worn on. I'm feeling more like "what a gift!" I get the undivided attention of these legislators that could actually change things to give our children the chance at a life! I haven't even begun to write what I am going to say. I have just been spending some time in my thoughts first. I am praying God will give me the words to say that will make the biggest impact with the little time I will have with the legislators. I am praying for these legislators to have a tender heart toward us moms that are bearing are souls in front of them. Will you pray that, too? Thank you so much! And, if you think about it, I should be shaking in the State Capital at about 10:30 a.m. on Thursday if you would like to say a prayer for me then. :)

Oh, and I wanted to share this with you. This was the Arkansas sky last night from my front side walk...


19 comments:

The Polk Family said...

My thoughts, prayers and well wishes are with you now and will be with you on Thursday morning. I know you will do so well in front of those legislators. You are the BEST Mom to Evan and sharing his story has got to make a difference with them. Hugs, kisses and best wishes!!!

LOVE YOU A GOOGLE... said...

You will do wonderful! They will have to break down when they hear your story and about sweet Evan! I will be praying that God gives you words. You will be brilliant! Can we come hear you speak or is it closed?

I will keep my thoughts and prayers on you Thursday morning.

Love ya!

Megan L Hutchings said...

LAH ~ I have no doubt that God will provide you with the exact words you will need on Thursday ;)! I definitely agree that this is an honor and a chance to get the word out about Autism. We will be sure to say a prayer for you during our devotional on Thursday! We all love you and we will be thinking about you!!!!

p.s. The sunset is beautiful!

Heather said...

Ooh girl, I'm on it!! I would LOVE to pray for you!! You will do wonderful! I don't care for public speaking either, and yes, I realize that is odd for someone who does it for a living ;), but I know that if I speak from my heart, things go much better. You will do wonderful because God will give you the right words to say, and because you are speaking from the heart! Oh, I'm praying...Keep us updated!

Laura said...

Oh, Leigh Ann! What a GREAT opportunity to promote autism for everyone that is/has been/will be affected by it! I am so glad that you have been given this chance to tell Evan's story and for the legislators to hear a mom's point of view. I will be praying for you!

Meag said...

Hey love! I am so excited for your opportunity to speak up about autism! Know that I will be praying for the legislators to have open hearts and heads, for the Lord to put the words in your mouth that need to be said and heard, and that you will be able to speak from your heart! I am already so proud of you!!!!

Breathtaking pictures! I never cease to be amazed at the beautiful world He gave us!! I can anyone look at a sky like that and deny his existence!?! Wow!

Candy said...

Wow, Leigh Ann!!! This is just awesome!!! :) I'll be praying!! You will do GREAT!!! :)

The Garners said...

What an awesome opportunity!!! I trust that the Lord will give you the exact words you need to say on behalf of Evan and others dealing with autism. I'm sure his story will just flow naturally from your heart, and those listening will easily see your passion. I can't wait to hear how it goes...you're in my prayers this week!

Becky said...

It is awesome that you're getting this opportunity. You will be just fine in front of everyone. Remember this is Evans' story and no one knows it better than you. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Betsy said...

I will definitely be praying for you Leigh Ann! I hate speaking in front of people, too, but I think it's easier when you're talking about things that you know well and are familiar to you...like Evan!! Just a mom telling her story will be so meaningful and I know their hearts will be moved. This is a great opportunity. You will do great!! :)

Kelly said...

Leigh Ann:
I am SOOOOOOOOO proud of you! You will do awesome. I can't imagine how difficult it is to live with autism every day. I have seen first hand through others just how hard it is and it makes me love and admire you even more. Thank you for taking something that is difficult and making it a blessing for others. I'm glad you have a support group of other moms.
I will be praying for you! I wish I could be there to hear you! I know you will make such a difference!

Megan said...

I am praying for you Leigh Ann. Will you email me at purrfectmeg@aol.com please? I have to tell you about my new job!

Lauren said...

All I have to say about you speaking at the Capitol is "Thank God they finally recognize she needs to speak in public!" You have an amazing story to tell. You are smart, witty and eloquent, and your conviction will show through every word you say. Make eye contact with all the crusty old men on the panel and they'll crumble, baby. Also:
1) That salad looks AMAZING.
2) EG is so cute in her hat in the pool!
3) Can't wait til September!

Melissa said...

I know this seems scary but it is going to be one of the most wonderful things you ever do. Our ASD group in Ms just got through doing the same thing. Wish we could all have an autism equity law like that of TN. Maybe if Arkansas passes one it will get Ms moving. I know you will put a real face on autism, we are not a number and on that day Autism Will Speak and they better listen! I am praying that God gives you the words to open the minds and hearts of those with the ability to change lives for so many. ABA is essential and it is awesome that they are going to listen. This ASD mom and my whole asd group is praying for you! Let me know what happens so I can clue in our task force with the news. Good Luck!

Lauren said...

The car float came from Target...it's $12! They have purple ones for little girls. I think EG needs one! The steering wheel turns and everything!

Kara said...

I will definitely be praying for you! Lord please lead and guide Leigh Ann voice, help her not to be nervous, but give her peace that only comes from You. Thank you in Jesus Name Amen!
I am praying for you! The Lord is using you in mighty ways, how exciting!

Kara-Prov 3:5-6

Julie said...

Leigh Ann-
I'm so sorry I just read this at 1:30 on Thursday. I still lifted you up to our God. I've asked Him to use your words in a mighty way. What a great opportunity for you to share!!!

Heather said...

Leigh Ann- I am praying for you now and will definitely be specifically interceding for you on Thurs! I can't wait to hear about it! You are such an inspiration to so many of us!!

The Garners said...

I'll be thinking about you in the morning during your talk--you'll do a wonderful job!