A Matter of Contradictions

A Hand Full of Stars
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A Matter of Contradictions

I am a contradiction, but I have come to the conclusion that in some ways the Lord loves contradiction.  I am a writer, but I also happen to have Dyslexia and Dyscula, another words letters and numbers can be read or written back words, I was diagnosed at the age of six or seven the first time with this learning disability and again in college, but it is funny because for as long as I can remember I have been a reader, my Nonna never took no I can’t do that for an answer and neither did my Mom or Dad, so I grew up with a love for books and began reading at the age of three and a half not a bad feat for a child who did not walk until she was two and a half and who had/has dyslexia.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes itself manifest primarily as a difficulty with reading and spelling. It is separate and distinct from reading difficulties resulting from other causes, such as a non-neurological deficiency with vision or hearing, or from poor or inadequate reading instruction.[1] This suggests that dyslexia results from differences in how the brain processes written and spoken language.

Dyscalculia was originally identified in case studies of patients who suffered specific arithmetic disabilities as a result of damage to specific regions of the brain. Recent research suggests that dyscalculia can also occur developmentally, as a genetically-linked learning disability which affects a person’s ability to understand, remember, or manipulate numbers or number facts (e.g., the multiplication tables). The term is often used to refer specifically to the inability to perform arithmetic operations, but it is also defined by some educational professionals and cognitive psychologists as a more fundamental inability to conceptualize numbers as abstract concepts of comparative quantities (a deficit in “number sense”).[1] Those who argue for this more constrained definition of dyscalculia sometimes prefer to use the technical term Arithmetic Difficulties (AD) to refer to calculation and number memory deficits.

Dyscalculia is a lesser known disability, similar and potentially related to dyslexia and developmental dyspraxia. Dyscalculia occurs in people across the whole IQ range, and sufferers often, but not always, also have difficulties with time, measurement, and spatial reasoning.[citation needed] Current estimates suggest it may affect about 5% of the population. Although some researchers believe that dyscalculia necessarily implies mathematical reasoning difficulties as well as difficulties with arithmetic operations, there is evidence (especially from brain damaged patients) that arithmetic (e.g. calculation and number fact memory) and mathematical (abstract reasoning with numbers) abilities can be dissociated. That is (some researchers argue), an individual might suffer arithmetic difficulties (or dyscalculia), with no impairment of, or even giftedness in, abstract mathematical reasoning abilities.

The word dyscalculia comes from Greek and Latin which means: “counting badly”. The prefix “dys” comes from Greek and means “badly”. “Calculia” comes from the Latin “calculare”. which means “to count”. That word “calculare” again comes from “calculus“, which means “pebble” or one of the counters on an abacus.

Dyscalculia can be detected at a young age and measures can be taken to ease the problems faced by younger students. The main problem is understanding the way mathematics is taught to children. In the way that dyslexia can be dealt with by using a slightly different approach to teaching, so can dyscalculia. However, dyscalculia is the lesser known of these learning disorders and so is often not recognized.

[edit] Potential symptoms

  • Frequent difficulties with arithmetic, confusing the signs: +, , ÷ and ×.
  • Difficulty with everyday tasks like checking change and reading analog clocks.
  • Inability to comprehend financial planning or budgeting, sometimes even at a basic level; for example, estimating the cost of the items in a shopping basket or balancing a checkbook.
  • Difficulty with multiplication-tables, and subtraction-tables, addition tables, division tables, mental arithmetic, etc.
  • May do fairly well in subjects such as science and geometry, which require logic rather than formulae, until a higher level requiring calculations is obtained.
  • Difficulty with conceptualizing time and judging the passing of time. May be chronically late.
  • Particularly problems with differentiating between left and right.
  • Difficulty navigating or mentally “turning” the map to face the current direction rather than the common North=Top usage.
  • Having particular difficulty mentally estimating the measurement of an object or distance (e.g., whether something is 10 or 20 feet (3 or 6 metres) away).
  • Often unable to grasp and remember mathematical concepts, rules, formulae, and sequences.
  • An inability to read a sequence of numbers, or transposing them when repeated, such as turning 56 into 65.
  • Difficulty keeping score during games.
  • Difficulty with games such as poker with more flexible rules for scoring.
  • Difficulty in activities requiring sequential processing, from the physical (such as dance steps) to the abstract (reading, writing and signaling things in the right order). May have trouble even with a calculator due to difficulties in the process of feeding in variables.
  • The condition may lead in extreme cases to a phobia or durable anxiety of mathematics and mathematic-numeric devices/coherences.
  • Low latent inhibition, i.e., over-sensitivity to noise, smell, light and the inability to tune out, filtering unwanted information or impressions. Might have a well-developed sense of imagination due to this (possibly as cognitive compensation to mathematical-numeric deficits).

[edit] Potential causes

Scientists have yet to understand the causes of dyscalculia. They have been investigating in several domains.

  • Neurological: Dyscalculia has been associated with lesions to the supramarginal and angular gyri at the junction between the temporal and parietal lobes of the cerebral cortex.[2][3]
  • Deficits in working memory: Adams and Hitch[4] argue that working memory is a major factor in mental addition. From this base, Geary[5] conducted a study that suggested there was a working memory deficit for those who suffered from dyscalculia. However, working memory problems are confounded with general learning difficulties, thus Geary’s findings may not be specific to dyscalculia but rather may reflect a greater learning deficit.

Other causes may be:

Some may think that because of my learning disability my Nonna pushed me to much, reading at three may seem ridicolous, but that is not the case at all,. learning has always been a part of my life, and though I still struggle with math, and sometimes transpire words I would not be the author of four published books, including a novel if it were not for Nonna.

As you can imagine rewrites are difficult for me, so I have two friends who help me a great deal when it comes to the process of editing, as a writer that is my least favorite part of the job, my friend Sarah has been helping me with this for years, and more recently my friend Janet, who does not let her blindness slow her down, she helped a great deal in the edits of A Sisters Justice.

I long ago was drawn to the conclusion that despite limitations, whether they be the physical ones i.e my Muscle disorder or learning disabilities such as Dyslexia and Dyscalula which despite what same may believe are not tied with the Muscle disorders I have learned to embrace life, to cherish each moment and thank God for each breath.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell


Freedom: Place Your Trust In the Blood Stained Hands Of Our Savior


Place Your Trust in the

Blood Stained Hands of Our Savior

By Michelle Kidwell
An infant automatically trusts his or her Mother, and will soon to grow to trust others, but as a child grows older trust does not come as easy.That is why it is so easy to understand, the Bible says to train up a child in the way you want it to go, and the child will not stray.
It is not always the case though, sometimes a child will leave the faith they grew up with, and we do not understand why, but a lot of it may have to do with the fact that they lose trust. Perhaps a church group hurt them in someway, or maybe a pastor said something to us.
As we grow older, we learn to be less trusting, and often that leads to a falling away.
Learning to trust and obey also involves learning to let go, and I have had to let go many times in my life. I’ve had to say goodbye to many people in my life, some people I would see again, but others I lost to death.
Believe me, learning to let go and not stay angry at the world, and at the good Lord is a lesson in trusting and obeying His will; that is not to say we can never ask, because I believe the Lord expects that of us.
In Ecclesiastes it says there is a time for everything, a time to laugh a time to cry, a time to build up a time to tare down. That does not mean we take that as meaning the end of our lives, the end of our faith.
When Nonna died about three and a half years ago, we realized that we would have to let go. She was eighty nine and a half, and the last few months of her life had been difficult. It was not easy letting go, but I knew Nonna was going to be with the Lord; I had no doubt of that in my mind.
She and I talked about faith, and from a young age she encouraged me to memorize Bible Verses. During the last moments of her life, I found myself sitting beside her bed, with our family around her, as I read from the twenty third psalm.
As she slipped away I felt a peace about letting her go, because the Lord had given me the assurance in my heart that she was no longer in pain, and that letting go was the right thing to do.
Letting go happened again unexpectedly just a few months ago, I had called my friend Melissa as I often did, only to hear her husband’s voice on the other end. My best friend, my sister at heart, went home to be with the Lord, she was only thirty six.
Letting go was not as easy then, she had not lived the long life Nonna had, her son was not yet grown, and I never really had the chance to say goodbye. I found out that she died two weeks before I called. It all seemed so unreal, but even then I had to let my trust in the Lord.
I had to give him my pain, my tears, and believe she was in a better place. Truthfully, I knew she was in a better place, her amputated limbs made whole, her failing organs, functioning again, she now has a new body in Heaven.
Trust is often something broken by people, but when we place our trust in the Lord, it will not be broken, that is not to say that we will never have troubles again, but when we face troubles, we can give those troubles to the Lord.
Placing trust in the Lord must be something we do everyday, because without placing our trust in him nothing goes right. We need to lean on the blood stained hands who sacrificed His life for us. We need to trust our Lord and Savior the way an infant trusts the Mothers whose breast he or she nurse at.
For some, trust is not as easy, for some, trust is hard, because they have strongholds that are getting in their way, strongholds are a part of life, but we have to give them also to the Lord.
Letting go is a part of trust. In order to trust we must let go of those burdens we are carrying; burdens that may seem impossible to let go, but just laying them at the cross is enough.
This is where Jesus wants us to lay our burdens so that we can learn to trust Him, and in trusting Him we are obeying the commandments of the Lord. When we hold on to a stronghold we are not really honoring God.
When we place our trust in the Lord, and obey his laws, it is then and only then we will find fulfillment, and what it truly means to be free of the “worldly ways.” Only then can we be free to live Godly lives; this is true freedom. We also have a reward if we do follow His commands. Ps 20:7-8 KJV
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. 8 They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.

Copyrighted © 2007 Michelle Kidwell. All rights reserved


Wrestling With God

Are we really so brave in the face of angel? Or have angels become like “White noise” to us something we hear about so often, we don’t really realize that angels are servants for God, and the fallen angels are the ones who fell from God’s Grace, in this day and age we seem to place Angels at a higher level than God, when in fact they are below God, Angels are beings of God, they take many shapes and forms. Sometimes they even take on Human form, but they are not God, they have only the power that God gives them.

In my Bible Readings this morning I was reading about Jacob wrestling with God, and I thought of how I would react if I came face to face with an Angel of God, and wrestled him. Can you imagine what Jacob must have felt?

In Genesis 32:22-31 we learn exactly the impact that had on Jacob?

Jacob Wrestles With God
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, [a] because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, [b] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, [c] and he was limping because of his hip.

Jacob was brave enough to wrestle with God, and in so doing he changed the course of the history of his people, but what about the things we wrestle with today? Are we really so brave in the face of angel? Or have angels become like “White noise” to us something we hear about so often, we don’t really realize that angels are servants for God, and the fallen angels are the ones who fell from God’s Grace, in this day and age we seem to place Angels at a higher level than God, when in fact they are below God, Angels are beings of God, they take many shapes and forms. Sometimes they even take on Human form, but they are not God, they have only the power that God gives them.

Copyright Michelle R Kidwell