Friday, May 31, 2013

Star Wars Bedroom: 7 Year Old Boy

I had been feeling a little overwhelmed about the need to redo my son's bedroom.  He still had an alphabet theme, and here he is 7 years old!  So I started to think about how to redo the room without having to paint and take on a large project.   It ended up being something I did a little at a time, and found it also wasn't that expensive.  When talking about themes, he chose +StarWars.

I purchased these Star Wars wall decals at  The decals includes several figures of varying sizes, as well as symbols and ships.  The decals stick right on walls or smooth surfaces; our walls have some texture but so far they have stayed on well.

His toddler room had red circles up already (see left), and I left those on the wall for the Star Wars/ planet theme.  These red circles are actually cork board circles that are painted red.  I ended up putting some of the decals right on the cork board. 
I purchased blue (dark and light) vinyl circle decals  at Amazon to continue the planetary theme on another wall.  The Death Star is among some other spaceships featured in this scene.

Continuing on the circle/planet theme, I also purchased chalkboard and whiteboard circles, again from Amazon.

These are a fun addition for notes and messages.  I put some here on his book caddy, as well as on his front door and on the top of his dresser.

Although I looked into getting a Star Wars comforter and pillow set, they were expensive.  I ended up going with a dark blue comforter.  We also had a space themed pillow case that Nana made that fits the decor perfectly.
I'm glad I expanded the theme to be a space and circle them with many Star Wars elements.  I also put many of his Star Wars toys, +LEGOs, and memorabilia on his shelves for effect as well.  I'm sure he will enjoy it for years to come!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Holy Plans: Excerpt from Soul Cries devotional Jeremiah 1:5

Excerpt from Soul Cries devotional: copyright Regan 2012
*2013 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist*

Jeremiah 1:5 (The Message)

Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you…

In this passage, God is speaking to Jeremiah about his identity and destiny in Him. He tells Jeremiah that he has been known by God before he was even shaped in the womb. There was a holy plan over his life; he was called to be a prophet to the children of Israel. I believe that God’s delight is the relationship He has with His creation. I believe He knows us intimately and individually, and that He speaks identity and destiny over each one of us. I do not think that anyone is here by chance, but rather by design.

Look at each of your children. God sees them and knows them. He speaks identity and significance over their lives. They are created to impact their world for good, and to partner with God to bring about brilliance and wonder. They are created to hear His voice and respond. They are called and sent. God has holy plans for each of them. Can you hear God’s heartbeat over your children? Rejoice! They are called to change the world.

1. If you see your children struggling, you may feel concern about their future and their role in the world. Ask God to enlighten your heart about their God-given identity and destiny. They are called to fulfill a great purpose in God.

2. Have you heard God speak over your life? What is your identity and destiny? What is His holy plan for you?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Do you Volunteer?

Now is the time of year that parents are thinking about how to keep their kids active, engaged, and learning over the summer.  Have you considered getting your kids involved in volunteering opportunities?

Check out, a website that matches where you live, what types of activities you would like to engage in, and what opportunities are in your area.

Another interesting site to check out is This shows the layout of the United States including the demographics of who volunteers (parents are high on the list), what types of volunteering people tend to do most (e.g., fundraising, delivering needed supplies), and what states in the USA top of the list of individuals volunteering in their community. 

And how about Volunteers of America.  They were formed in 1896 and continue strong today. 
According to their website:
Volunteers of America helps more than 2.5 million people in over 400 communities in 46 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico through programs that are staffed by full-time, paid professionals who have adopted this same ideal of service as their full-time mission.  However, that does not mean that we do not also depend on an army of modern-day "volunteers" who offer their free time to support our volunteer programs nationwide.  In fact, in 2012 nearly 60,000 volunteers devoted more than one million hours to hundreds of Volunteers of America programs and activities nationwide--and we can always use more volunteers!

How have you taught your children to give back to the community?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Soul Cries devotional: 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist

Celebrating Recognition for my book Soul Cries!

Theresa Regan, author of Soul Cries, receives national recognition
by the 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards

The 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards recognized Soul Cries by Theresa Regan in the category of Self Help: Spiritual as a finalist.
This national award, based in Los Angeles, CA is open to all English language books including small presses, university presses, independent publishers and self-published authors. Works published in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 were eligible for consideration.
The competition is judged by independent experts from all aspects of the indie book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters. They select award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation“We appreciate you, we applaud you and thank you for your great work. You are contributing to make independent publishing a great sector in the literary community,” said Ellen Reid, President of the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.

Soul Cries is a book of 155 Christian devotions written for anyone praying into the life of an exceptional child. The reader may be a parent, grandparent, educator, or pastor, loving and praying over a child with physical, emotional, learning, or behavioral challenges. This book is written to encourage readers and ignite their faith as they pray. As a mother and a medical professional, Theresa Regan has seen first-hand the challenges families with struggling children face. Her six-year-old son has tackled various challenges associated with the autistic spectrum. As a Neuropsychologist working at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois, she interacts with children and parents in the context of medical obstacles. Within her city and community, she sees families trying to help their children overcome learning problems, tackle anxieties, and develop social and relational skills in difficult situations. She is aware of the struggles that parents and children wrestle with, gain from, and often wrestle with again. This book was born out of living, seeing, and knowing. “I have seen your wrestling. I have seen the heart you have for your children,” says Regan. “I pray that this book will declare God’s goodness over your household and encourage you in your faith.”
For more information please visit:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Excerpt Soul Cries Devotional: Praying for Resources for Families in Need

This excerpt from Soul Cries devotional is written for families with struggling kids, but can be applied to any situation where resources are needed.  I am praying this for you today...

Soul Cries devotional, copyright 2012 Regan


Deuteronomy 8:4 (Amplified Bible)

Your clothing did not become old upon you nor did your feet swell these forty years.

When you are raising a child with special needs, you are likely to feel the pressure of resources and provision, wondering if there will be enough. Will there be enough finances, energy, patience, assistance, or wisdom? I like this verse from Deuteronomy. Moses is reminding the Israelites about God’s provision in the desert. There were times when God provided resources “out of thin air,” such as manna, water, and meat. God also provided for their needs by supernaturally extending the life of their resources. Throughout forty years, their clothing never became old, never wore out, or needed to be replaced. Their bodies didn’t show the expected wear and tear of walking miles and miles through the desert. The expected blisters and swelling never materialized. God extended their resources to meet their needs.

I pray for your household right now, reader. I pray that the God of the desert journey will not only provide new things that you need on your journey, but will supernaturally extend the life of what you already have. I pray that your current resources won’t need to be replaced and won’t show the expected wear and tear. May God cover you with His provision in ways that you can’t explain in the natural!

1. I invite you to watch for ways in which God meets your needs by extending resources in unexplained and unexpected ways.

2. I pray that this provision from God will be a witness to you and your children about God’s heart and His supernatural ways. I encourage you to journal about this part of your journey with God.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Video Interview: Characteristics of High Functioning Autism

One hour interview conducted by Tom Batkin of (Australia) with myself on the topic of high functioning autistic qualities.  Some of the characteristics reviewed include communication, social interaction, special interests, sleep disturbance, dyspraxia, sensory symptoms, executive function, allergies, digestive problems, and theory of mind.

Recommended book: Children with High-Functioning Autism by Hughes-Lynch

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Detoxinista food blog: Review

I am in heaven!  For the past 5 years, I have made the transition to a gluten free-casein free (GFCF) diet in our household because it helps my son who is in the autistic spectrum.  This year, there are so many more blogs and websites with grain free and dairy free recipes--I want to shout for joy! 

I love this blog by Megan (I've seen her go by Megan Dotoxinista on various social sites).  In addition to great recipes, she also has a pregnancy page on her website.  It looks like she is in her third trimester and reporting about food and health in her journey.

Her background:
She is a certified Holistic Health Counselor, trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Based in New York City.  It is the largest nutrition school in the world. The school teaches over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and is led by top experts in the field of health and wellness including Dr. Andrew Weil, Geneen Roth, Dr. David Katz, Dr. John Douillard, Dr. Mark Hyman, and David Wolfe among many others.  She also trained with Clinical Nutritionist and Detox Expert, Natalia Rose in Intelligent Detox Counseling. This approach encourages eating all-natural, whole foods in proper combinations, for best digestion.  She states, "I encourage my readers and clients to make gradual steps in the right direction, such as choosing real foods over processed versions, to create lasting lifestyle change."

This is on my list to make this week!  I've been looking for some recipes that call for cashews--

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

(Dairy-free, Grain-free)

A rich chocolate cheesecake, that’s free of dairy and refined sugars, and loaded with a full CUP of veggies!
For the crust:
  • 2 cup raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the filling:
  • 2 cups raw cashews (no need to soak)
  • 1 cup peeled & diced zucchini
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  1. Prepare the crust by placing the pecans in a food processor fitted with an S-blade, and grind them into fine meal. Add in the rest of the crust ingredients, and process again until well combined. Line the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper, then press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer to set, while you prepare the filling.
  2. In a high-powered blender or food processor, process the raw cashews until they are a fine powder. Add in the zucchini, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt, and blend again until a smooth and creamy batter is formed. Add in the melted coconut oil, and blend again to fully incorporate the ingredients into a uniform filling.
  3. Pour the filling into the frozen pie crust, and allow to set for 8 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. Serve directly from the freezer, for best texture. *Note: This cheesecake will become quite soft if left out at room temperature, so be sure to keep it chilled!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Retro Gal: Things I Used That Make My Son Say "Huh?"

I have had a few strange "retro" experiences lately.  First, because of the availability of streaming for some older TV series, I was watching old spy TV shows from the 80's recently.  These are ones I watched in high school that seemed very cutting edge.  Well, not so much anymore!  The funniest thing about watching the shows now is seeing the outdated technology.  No cell phones...huge computers with computer paper!  Much of the storyline even centers around things like not being able to find a phone and not being able to get intel for weeks (things we could find out in seconds now!). 

Second, I was showing the famous chocolate factory clip from I Love Lucy to a group of medical students the other day to illustrate a concept related to thinking quickly, and no one in the room had ever seen it or even seemed to know what I Love Lucy is!  I have become retro (not old)!

It made me stop and think of other things that are quickly becoming "retro"--

1. Bar of Soap
A year or so ago, Joshua asked me what a bar of soap is.  I quickly remedied that problem, and introduced a bar of soap to our household, in addition to the more common liquid soap found in stores today.

2. Wrist Watch
I used to wear a wrist watch all the time, until about 7 years ago.  Now I just use my phone to see what time it is.  A friend said she gave her son a wrist watch for graduation this year, and he was thrilled.  He had never owned one before.  A novelty?!

3. VCR tapes and recorders
I remember in 7th grade, we were the first family in my class to get a VCR.  It was so new, so novel.  We went through several machines before DVRs came out.  My secretary just mentioned that she continues to use a VCR for her regular taping.  I didn't know they made those anymore!

4. Pay phones
I was in a medical office building yesterday for an appointment, and saw a sign that said "pay phone."  When I followed the sign, I couldn't find the phone.  They are more and more scarce these days!

5. Typewriters
After typing my first paper for me when I was a Freshman in high school, my father (a writer) told me I needed to learn to type! Now everyone is texting and "typing" in whatever form that is.  Joshua is in the first grade and is already taking "keyboarding" for computer class!

6. Cash
I have to say, not only do I not use coins that much, but I rarely use cash.  Maybe some day we will see these in a museum with a display about how cash used to be used to exchange goods and pay for services.

7. Cameras
They are, of course, still in use.  In particular, photographers use separate cameras to get great photos and videos.  But, I do notice, for my day to day needs, I use my phone instead of a separate camera. Cameras may become less of a household item.

8. Books?
I certainly love a good book.  I like the weight and feels of the book in my hand.  But, I have to say, I like ebooks too.  I like being able to change the font and size of the words, the color of the page.  I like being able to highlight right in the book and then erase with no difficulty.  I like changing the lighting on the screen to make it more comfortable with less glare.

I wonder if people who loved the weight and feel and scent of scrolls also complained about the book binding revolution!

What do you consider retro!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Calling Out The Gold: Helping Others Succeed

I recently heard a teacher say "Your success is my success", speaking to students at a graduation ceremony.  He was telling his students how much he wants them to discover great things, to have incredible adventures, and to know huge success. 

I was struck between two disparate mindsets we can have toward our children, students, employees---those we lead and influence.  In the first mindset, we place great value on maintaining control and status quo.  We want things to look "neat" and in line.  We hope to  keep people in "their place," focusing on telling them when they err, or cross the line, or fall short. 

In the second mindset, we place great value on individual gifts and inner gold.  As a leader, we see ourself as one who "calls out the gold" in others and inspires them to try new things, take some risks, and think outside the lines.  We teach them that they are important-- that they were created to change the world.  We expect our children to exceed us in life, and when they do...we rejoice.  We see that they have grown into something bigger and better than anyone had ever envisioned. 

If we take the first road, wanting others to follow the rules and stay in their place, we are left with people who walk between the lines, who become smaller and less seen, people who live in "normal" and fit in.  If we take the second road, we are faced with something more messy at times, less seemly...We may find ourselves in charge of a group of people who fail and fall short at times---but they also succeed and become more.  We see them exceed our expectations and our own place in the world.  We have children and students who become more in the world than we could have foreseen, who are world-changers and who influence the influential.  They have their place with CEO's, government leaders, and kings.  They have opportunities to make the world a better place by reaching great heights, and they in turn influence other children, students, employees...leaving our world filled with more and more gold.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Tribute to Women this Mother's Day: by Amy Young

I have seen this tribute recently circulating social media.  It is by blogger Amy Young and her blog can be found at Messy Middle.  I have always felt the complexity of mothering, even moreso now that I mother my son and live in a community of those who mother. 

Her full blog post on the topic of Mother's Day got quite a few comments, positive and negative.  I particularly resonate with this tribute she wrote, and post it for you this Mother's Day week.

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Freedom Parenting: Letting Courage Take Root and Fear Take Flight

When I was pregnant with my son, I had a medical condition that doctors watched every two weeks. So...I was watchful. I also work in a hospital, so I see things that can happen unexpectedly in pregnancy and later in the lives of kids and families.  I remember commenting that I think being a parent is one of the riskiest things someone can ever do.  Risk...hmmm.  I tend to be a predictable, perfectionistic, conventional person.  Risk doesn't suit me. It feels...well, risky.  There are so many things in parenting that I have influence over, but not control.  

I have to really watch that fear doesn't creep into my parenting style.  I mean really watch!  My son is in the autistic spectrum, and there have been weighty decisions like...whether to get a diagnosis, what treatment to pursue, what to let go, what to spend money on, how to invest in my marriage and job.  What if I make a mistake?  What if really important things are ruined because of my wrong decisions!  What if things get...messy. 

I have realized that fear can do one of two things in my parenting:
1. Fear can paralyze me and keep me hidden--
Fear can make me feel stuck and unable to make any decision...perhaps second guessing or changing my mind.  Fear can make me avoid seeing what is really there and dealing with it.  "I'm just not going to think about it!" says fear. 
2. Fear can cause restlessness
It can lead me to a place of striving, achievement, and quick decisions--trying to fix everything so nothing is undone, out of place, or without solution.  It can make it difficult to wait, and think, and rest when there is messiness...when things are undone.

Fear in any form - avoiding the decisions or making any decision just to feel like some progress has been made--is a tyrant.  Fear is a ruler that takes away freedom, courage, and peace of mind.  Fear is a story teller, weaving tales of all the possible dire outcomes to your situation.  Fear is a judge, telling you how short you have fallen, how responsible you are for difficulties and bad outcomes.

I have made a commitment (and many re-commitments) to kick fear out before I make decisions.  I want courage to take root and fear to take flight.  So, I ask myself, "What would I do if I wasn't afraid?"  

Think about any area of your life.  What would you do if you weren't afraid?  When fear is out of the equation, what decisions would you make for your kids, household, and family?  What would parenting from courage and love and peace look like?  Would you find your roots?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Loving Well: Excerpt from Soul Cries devotional

I have been thinking about how fear impacts our ability to love well.  As I was thinking about this, Mother Teresa came to mind.  She knew how to love well.  There was no fear in her heart, nothing that caused her to protect her portion or try to maintain the status quo; rather, she was filled with courage-- the courage to love well, to love generously, love abundantly. 

Meditate with me...

Excerpt from Soul Cries devotional, copyright Regan 2012
2 Timothy 1:7 (Amplified Bible)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of a calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

When we ask God to enter our lives, He comes and abides in us. We become the living temple of God; His very Spirit lives in us. But the Spirit we are given is not the spirit of fear. You may have felt the spirit of fear surround you and ask to make a home in you. The problem is that the spirit of fear robs us of the gifts God’s spirit gives us. Fear takes away our power and leaves us cowering and hiding, and we gradually become smaller and smaller. We begin taking up less and less space in the world; we become invisible and isolated. Fear takes away our ability to love well. We become concerned with holding on to what we have, with maintaining the status quo, and with protecting our portion. We become unable to extend beyond ourselves, to give generously, to honor others, to covenant in relationships, and give to the community. Fear leaves us thinking of ourselves rather than others. Fear takes away our peace of mind, our groundedness, and our security in Christ. We are left drifting in the waves, our minds filled with “what ifs” and “oh, nos.”

God’s Spirit gives us power: power to stand and to move, and power to proclaim freedom to prisoners, to speak healing to the sick, and to declare life over the dead places. God’s Spirit gives us the ability to love well, to love abundantly, flowing over, unceasing. God’s Spirit brings deep peace and rest to our minds. When our thoughts agree with God’s thoughts, we know unity and intimacy with God.

1. Have you felt the spirit of fear? Have you given it a place to live within you? How has fear reduced the abundance that you are meant to experience in God?

2. How can you say no to fear every day? What practical steps can you take to live without fear, but instead with power, love, and peace of mind?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Peach-Pumpkin Pie NonDairy Smoothie

I have so many goals and so many voices running around in my head.  Slow down, speed up.  Do more, do less.  Rest, work, play.  Eat healthy, grab something to eat as you run out the door.

I am trying for balance between realism about a busy and hectic life, and being able to commit fully to being healthy!

So, I am back to trying to do healthy smoothies in the morning that I can then take in the car with me to work.  My newest this morning was quite yummy (sometimes when I try new smoothies they are not. I don't really choose ingredients wisely or measure them---I just dump whatever I have in the blender until it is the right consistency...yuk).

I happen to love pumpkin and I haven't had peaches in a long while.  This weekend, I bought frozen organic peaches for a smoothie and combined them with pumpkin...

NonDairy Peach-Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
1 cup Hemp Milk
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
1 scoop Gluten Free Dairy Free Protein Powder
1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree from can
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Add frozen organic peaches to desired consistency
Add Agave Nectar or desired sweetner to taste (optional)

This one goes in my "keeper" recipe file.  Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My "In Season" Song Playlist: Hearing the "Now Word" of God

I am learning to try to be sensitive to the things that God is speaking to me in certain seasons.  Have you ever felt God is taking you on a journey during a certain season---a journey about grace, or peace, or forgiveness? 

With the journey in mind, I keep a spiritual journal, a written map of what I hear God saying across time.  As I re-read the map, I see the connection of dots, the consistent themes, the "now word" ("rhema word") for me and my family. 

In addition to a journal, I have recently compiled a playlist--this is a compilation of songs God has been using to speak to me recently.  I call the playlist "In Season." These are the melodies, scriptures, words, meditations placed on my heart this season with God.  

The Bible uses the term "rhema" for words from God that are for a particular season or a particular person.  They are "now words" for you to meditate on and treasure as part of your journey with a personal God.  

Examples of scriptures using "word" as translated from "rhema" are below--

Matthew 4:4

Amplified Bible (AMP)
But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
John 6:63
New Living Translation (NLT)
63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Here are some of the songs on my "in season" playlist now:

Desert Song by Hillsong United
Nothing is Wasted by Jason Gray
From This One Place by Sara Groves

What songs resonate with you this season? 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

Need some inspiration?  Try this link to a list of random acts of kindness.  Sometimes, when I feel powerless to change a big bad situation, I make a decision to do what I can.  Maybe it is paying for the person's coffee or food behind me in the drive through line.  Maybe it is seeing a daughter bringing her elderly father to +Starbucks every Sunday and buying them some treats.  Maybe it is writing a letter to a manager praising an employee.  Whatever it is, it is my way of lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness. 

What do you do to light a candle?