Friday, April 3, 2015

SPECIAL NEEDS PARENTING: From Coping to Thriving by Rev Dr Lorna Bradley

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2, ESV

Special needs parenting is full of brokenness -- messy, imperfect, grieving, frustrating, rejoicing brokenness.

Author and special need parent, Rev Dr Lorna Bradley, confronts this brokenness in positively unique ways from the cover of her book through to its appendices.  That is why I am recommending Special Needs Parenting: from coping to thriving to our Side-By-Side Mentor Small Groups.

While many books on the topic of special needs parenting touch on some of the critical challenges, followed by insights and resources on dealing with those challenges, Lorna takes a different approach.  The topics of  God and special needs or chronic grief may not be a new concept to some, but they are definitely worthy of the examination in the first two chapters.  The subsequent chapters take readers on a one-of-a-kind journey.  Parental guilt is bravely, unabashedly discussed with wisdom on what might be valid guilt and what might be misguided.  A different approach is laid out for working through each.  Parents are also assisted with strategies to increase patience -- an issue I have not seen addressed in Christian circles before.  Losing our patience seems to be the elephant in the room that no one discusses with parents like us.

Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn that Lorna also shares her giftedness for promoting parental self-care.  No one has her flair for ushering parents to that rest stop that too many of us tend to neglect.  There is even a wonderful, comprehensive Self-Care Inventory contained on the final pages of the book.

The latter part of Lorna's book is equally remarkable.  There are chapters dedicated to healthy relationships as well as hope and healing.  Notes are included to guide small group leaders.  A really special liturgy for blessing parents is presented.  And of course, the obligatory resource list is included, offering several titles by Christian parents and ministry leaders.

One of my favorite quotes from the book explains the image used on the cover:
"In Japan there is a beautiful style of art called Kintsugi, broken pottery repaired with seams of gold (as seen on this book's cover).  Through its brokenness the pottery is made stronger, more beautiful."*
I will let you actually read the book to see where Lorna goes with that incredible imagery.

Special Needs Parenting: from coping to thriving is not a cumbersome book.  The main body of the text is only 101 pages long, which makes it incredibly manageable for parents facing the stress and time demands of a challenged child.  Each chapter concludes with reflection questions, scripture, and prayer, making this volume perfect for either individual enrichment or group study.

I highly recommend purchasing your copy using Amazon Smile, naming Snappin' Ministries as your charity of choice!

PRAY:  Yahweh, You are the God of details.  Thank You that You see our unique position as parents of kids with special needs, sending us resources to refresh and restore us.  

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*Bradley, Lorna (2015), Special Needs Parenting: From Coping to Thriving, Huff Publishing Associates, Minneapolix, MN, p 98


  1. As our family moves from coping with special needs to thriving with special needs, we could use a resource to help with the transition.

    1. @Susan Spann, as POPULAR as this post was, you are the only one BRAVE enough to enter our giveaway! YOU WON!!! Please e-mail your street mailing address to, so we can get you your copy of Lorna's book.

  2. Coping, thriving and burnout is what we are all about!!!