Welcome!

As you can see, I’m still working on things over here and moving posts over from my old site, leahatha.com.

In the future, I hope to post more book reviews and other things about life in general, so stick with me! (And I’m sorry about all that old stuff clogging up your readers. It will get better! Promise!)

Regards-

Leah

(aka The Barefoot Theologian)

Biomedical: a Tale of Two Doctors

Note: This post originally appeared on my old site, leahatha.com and was published on December 27, 2012.

In the days since receiving a diagnosis, and in the weeks since I suspected that something was wrong, I’ve done a bit of research on treatment options.  I (we) decided that we’d give the biomedical (integrative medicine) approach a whirl.  I contacted two doctors on the night before Christmas Eve, not expecting to receive a response until after the holiday.  The “small town” doctor replied to my questions the next morning, and has personally answered additional correspondence.  Although his practice usually sees patients age seven and up, he makes exceptions for cases such as ours.

The big deal, big city doctor send a brief response to tell me to call his office, even though I’d already supplied them with my telephone number.  To be fair, he does have two separate offices and I’m sure he was enjoying his holiday.  He’s also highly qualified.

So.

Initially I thought that I’d really struggle about where to take our son to pursue this course of treatment, but this situation has made it easy.  When it comes to medical care, there may be alternatives that aren’t as highly publicized on the web, that may also be close to home, and at a provider covered by one’s insurance policy.  Plan B has quickly become Plan A.

Our First Christmas “with” Autism.

Note: This post was originally published on my old site, leahatha.com, and posted on December 26, 2012.

Copyright Leah Atha

Copyright Leah Atha

December 2012 will go down in my memory as the month in which all illusions that I have any sort of control were smashed into smithereens.  Our month was spent continuing speech therapy, utilizing a cash only developmental pediatrician and having our suspicions confirmed a mere nine days before Christmas that our son has autism.  Our “first” Christmas “with” autism.  For me, this has meant letting my urge to stress eat take over, drowning my woes in (gallons) of Pepsi and Lay’s potato chips all while Googling  like an obsessed information addict, forgetting a few Christmas details (cards to go with those photo gifts), calling total strangers for help, and for once finding that my natural hard headedness is working in my favor, and not against me. Prayer has come easily, even when sleep does not.

I’ve discovered that this dark path of unknowns has been lit for me (really, us) by beacons of God’s grace, so that there is no mistake that someone else loves Oliver more than I (we) ever could, and that I (we) have Sovereign Help on this journey.  I don’t know why this has happened, but Job didn’t get an answer, either.  I’ve stopped looking for the why, as much as I often enjoy trying to “discover” the “whys”, and started focusing on “what next”.

There are a few family members and friends (readers) who will read this and who won’t know what to think about autism, in part thanks to some reckless reporting from the media after the shooting in Newtown.  So, if you’re confused about it, or just don’t know what to think, click on the link below for some information about autism.

What is autism?

As for Christmas, our son still hasn’t quite made the connection between opening gifts and those shiny new toys! We’re hopeful that he will by next Christmas, and if not, we get to open toys for another year, which is something I thought was long gone when I entered my teen years.  Thankfully, he has enjoyed playing with them, even if he hasn’t quite mastered their intended uses just yet.  He has received so many, that several are still in their boxes, awaiting assembly, but so far he has enjoyed the ball drop set that we got him and his new workbench.  Today will be spent in purging old toys (because building onto the house just to make room for the toys is beyond our budget), putting the rest of them together and returning at least one official call regarding services for Oliver.

Book Review: Constantly Craving by Marilyn Meberg

Image courtesy of the publisher.

Image courtesy of the publisher.

Note: This review originally appeared on my old site, leahatha.com and was published on December 10, 2012.

When I initially signed up to review Ms. Meberg’s Constantly Craving: How to Make Sense of Always Wanting More, I thought that it was going to focus on food cravings due to its cover. Instead, Constantly Craving focuses on mankind’s desire for MORE in everything: romance, friends, marriage, our schedules, and our quest for happiness. These topics are covered in Ms. Meberg’s humorous and easy to follow writing style.
I was encouraged to see Ms. Meberg affirm the sovereignty of God, as in this passage:

Understanding these truths affirming God’s sovereignty over our purposes lets us stop the magical thinking that sometimes springs up in our heads as we attempt to know his will (Loc 1535-36)

Sadly, Ms. Meberg then contradicts her own statement about the importance of Scripture, quoted here:

 I want always to look to Scripture instead of to signs which may be no more than human assumptions and hopes that add fuel to a fire not meant to be (Loc 1536);

by including a passage from the book Heaven is For Real as well as a personal account of her husband’s vision of heaven. I’m certain Ms. Meberg intends to encourage the reader, but accounts such as these should be held loosely due to the account of the rich man and Lazarus, found in Luke 16:19-31 (NKJV).

Another source of discouragement is a rather scandalous account of the private lives of President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor (around Loc 1902), with no sources cited. Stories such as this have no place in a Christian book! Other (less scandalous) stories are given as examples, also without sources. Constantly Craving also quotes modern philosophers as well as psychologists like Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. Freud. The role of sin in our lives is downplayed a bit; it doesn’t fully come into play until the end of the book, but, since that is the source of humanity’s problem and the aim of the book is to help the reader discover “how to make sense of always wanting more”, it’s to be expected. I found Constantly Craving  to be more of a discouragement than an encouragement, especially during the first half of the book.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Father Hunger by Douglas Wilson

Note: This review originally appeared on my old site, leahatha.com and was published on October 6, 2012.

Image courtesy of the publisher.

Image courtesy of the publisher.

Father Hunger by Douglas Wilson is an informative read that not only tells us “why” men should love and lead their families but also provides evidence as to how we’ve all been affected by “father hunger” in some form or another.

Mr. Wilson correctly informs us that “theology undergirds everything. How we think of God the Father will drive how we think of all fathers. God the Father provides the ultimate definition of what a father should in fact be like”(189).  After all, “we live in fatherless times”(23).  This is important stuff!  We all have a father in some form or another. We have all been affected.

In a statement that best describes the book, Wilson writes:

“Father Hunger is one of the chief symptoms of our idolatry.  It is the basis for our political follies, our cultural follies, our technological follies, and so on. But the solution is not to schedule numerous family retreats. The solution is to announce, preach, and declare that the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of God, and of His Christ” (23).

Father Hunger is a serious book with heavy implications, however, it doesn’t read as such. Mr. Wilson’s writes in a humorous, creative style (think Wodehouse) that keeps the reader from getting too bogged down. In fact, the only aspect of this book that interrupted the flow was a sort of “mini book review” of James K. A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom in chapter ten. I realize that Mr. Wilson was using this as part of his supporting argument but it just seemed sort of choppy.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”