It’s so easy to think that you know someone well enough that you can say pretty much anything to them. Whether it be family, friends…..or *gulp* our husbands or kids! It’s hard because we say things and then tack on “oh I’m just teasing” or “don’t take things so seriously” but in reality, it only takes once or twice before the person starts to get a different impression of you and begins to think “well I guess that is how they really view me” even if you don’t
This was the topic of a sermon we heard a few weeks ago as we got a rare opportunity to sit together and her another pastor speak! He spoke about our speech and what it reveals of our heart. And it is so very true!
As I thought and prayed over my speech and I asked God to give me something to share with you, my readers, I have been compiling a list .
A person that speaks……
Complaints, has a discontented heart.
Harsh words, has a unconcerned heart.
Angry words, has a bitter heart.
Sarcastic words, has a hopeless heart.
Words that tear down, hasa malicious heart.
Teasing words, has a selfish heart.
Gossiping words, has a tasteless heart.
Perverse words, has a vile heart.
Crude words, has a heart lacking in wisdom.
Vain words, has a heart lacking control.
Arrogant words, has a heart lacking in humility.
And I had to ask myself some really HARD. Questions! Like…
What are my words revealing about my heart? What are my words conveying to those around me? It has not been easy but realized that just like most people I was letting things affect me….and then the condition of my heart is revealed! I listened carefully to the things I was saying to my family. It’s those little things that collect in the dark recesses of our hearts and if we are not careful to weed them out, that’s when our hearts become infected!
So what does the speech of a person who has a Christ-centered heart look like? we have to look no further than 1 Corinthians 13 for that answer!
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. ESV
So much of what we say is evident by the fruit of the spirit in our lives, and if that fruit is missing or dwindling we need to find out why….the fruit of the spirit are a great indication of what’s going on on the inside.
Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. ESV
As I titled this blog post, I thought of how so many times as Christians we can portray one thing and yet our speech/actions reveal our true heart and that made me think of something called an oxymoron…..which is basically two words that are exact opposites, for example “jumbo shrimp”. Well just like that so is “edify stupid”.Edify is to build up, but stupid is tearing someone down. And yes we are called to hold each other accountable, but not in a condescending, Blunt, way
As I think about speech too it seems as though bluntness has become a badge, or almost like another spiritual gift, when in reality, BLUNT is hurtful,shows a lack of humility, self control, tact, and grace Of all people Jesus could have been blunt. He is our picture of how we should relate to people. Instead Jesus told stories (parables), asked questions, and quoted scripture (not out of context I might add!). He didn’t call for worship of himself, he came humbled to serve, to change lives! He showed love and grace and pointed ALL to our Heavenly Father! He didn’t claim greatness, he didn’t boast of who he was or the things he did, was doing or the things he will do!
So I will ask a hard question……what are your words saying of you? Are they saying she is a follower of Christ? -OR- are they saying look out she is harboring bitterness in her heart? If you don’t know listen to yourself, ask your husband or kids AND pray that God would :
1: open your eyes and show you
2: that he would clean house in your heart, weeding out those pervasiove weeds!
3: that He would change your heart, continually making you aware of those little areas that need cleaning, and giving them over to him!
And I’ll close with this verse from one of our kid’s favorites songs:
O be careful little mouth what you say
O be careful little mouth what you say
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say
Hi, everyone. I took an unplanned mini vacation from blogging…..and pretty much everything else! Three weeks ago I smashed end the face of my iPad (unintentionally of course!). My dear hubby smuggled it out of the house and took it to the kiosk in the mall to have the glass replaced. Three days later I had it back. But because the case was bent the glass didn’t fit properly, AND what we didn’t know was that having the face replaced could (and in my case did) affect in the internal antenna! Which meant that I could only get internet reception on the couch and in one other weird spot in our house! We’ll that wasn’t going to work….I can’t very well blog without internet! So a local retailer was having a special deal that if your iPad could power on and had no scratches in the face then they would trade it in for $200 at the least. Why yes mine qualified! Woohoo. So refurbished iPad a week later……so I got the iPad in the mail, and then I got sick!
So in betweenn the no iPad, we celebrated hubby’s grandparent’s 70th wedding anniversary and what a blessing that was but more on that in a later blog post! And then there was our bi-annual planning meeting….then enter sickness!
Isck! I could barely stand to move, let alone look at a screen that moves.
I am slowly getting better, but I have had to re-set up the iPad, just how I had my old one with passwords, apps and so on. It just takes time.
This week has had a trip for a second EEG for weasel after he had a Pet. Mal seizure at school earlier this school year. Then a dentist appointment (which I did liken to wanting to go to the dentist,like I wanted to hug a provoked porcupine)…..and did I mention I am hosting Thanksgiving next week! Whew! Then starts in a host of meetings for weasel, including his 8 hr. Evaluation!
So that in a nutshell has been my last 3 weeks! So please be patient with me as we work around crazy schedules and so on!
Have a great night!
The Weather:::it was very sunny, and very brisk!
Right now I am::blogging while cuddling with child number 3 as he sleeps
Thinking:: it’s only 8:30 and I am very much ready for bed!
On my reading pile:::again mountain and same as last week! Lol
On my tv:::Peter Pan 2
Favorite Blog post this week (mine or other):::i dont have one because my ipad got smashed (by me). There was no blogging or blog reading since last monday!
Something fun to share:::
On the menu for this week::
Monday-creamy parmesean pasta
Tuesday- stew and Biscuits
Thursday-bbq meatballs baked potatoes, veggies
Saturday- grilled cheese and soup
On my to do list:::ahhhhh, the list is too long, get ready for hubby’s grandparents 70th anniversay party, fall cleaning
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating::: working on scrapbook project for afore mentioned party
Homemaking:: i’m deep cleaning drawers and cabinets that have become cluttered. In doing this i’m trying something new by dumping everything into a box. I can work on the box as i have time! I can create spaces for things that need a new home.
Looking around the house:::let’s not talk about that……really!
From the camera::
On my prayer list::: unsaved friends and family, new missionary friends, old missionary friends
Bible verse, Devotional::: James 1. Hubby is speaking through James on Sunday evening, what a convicting book!
Day 1- God…..no joke! It’s not just some pat answer. It’s not something I take lightly. Without God I have no hope of my future. My joy is not based in what the world has to offer me, but in the free gift offered to me and you by God, and all we have to do is accept it. And lastly my peace is not in my circumstances but is in the understanding that god doesn’t give me more than I can handle with Him by my side, that all things work together for good for those who serve the Lord, that He will never leave me nor forsake me, and has everything under control….even those “bad” things!
Day 2- My husband, also not a pat answer. My husband really is my best friend! I trust him with EVERYTHING! He is a man of God. He teaches me, and pushes me to go farther and deeper than anyone ever has. He fosters my talents, and believes in my abilities! He sacrifices for me. He studies me. He knows what makes me happy and knows my biggest heartaches…..he knows when I need chocolate, flowers, or both! He builds me up, not tear me down!
Day 3- My Kids. In all their crazy, high energy, overly happy, loving Crazy selves, I am so grateful that God gave them too me just as they are!
Tornado- the spitting image of his daddy, a little boy who so longs to be much older than he actually is. He is servanted hearted, and trusts everyone. He is also a budding artist.
Ladybug-my little horse girl. Who brought pink, purple and loads of sparkle into our lives. She is a mini me, not afraid to get dirty but likes beautiful things too! She has grown into quite a young lady. She loves to color, and play dolls!
Weasel- our very artistically driven autistic son. He loves animals, coloring and being outside. He collects all things little and has impacted our hearts to change the church (not ours specifically) but the collective church. His great heart for people, his contagious hugs, and encouragement has already touched the lives of so many!
Little bean- also the spitting image of his daddy and older brother, is known for his contagious smiles and giggles! He is a very determined little boy who enjoys life with every bone, muscle, ligament, tendon, and cell in his little body. He gives me a run for my money, and mostly I am grateful for it. It means he is healthy and strong!
Day 4- My Parents- who took me to church…..who trained me in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They taught me how to treat people, to not judge, to not teases, to not look down on others and to not think myself better than those who are worse off. My heart for people grew out of these things.
Please join me again on Thursday for the next installment!
The Weather:::COLD!!! And since it is still dark, I am hoping sun is part of the plan for today
Right now I am::fixing kids lunches, listening to Pandora
Thinking:: “i can’t wait to get to the book sale today!”
On my reading pile::: lol that’s funny, not a pile….a mountain. My bible overwhelmed by Lisa Harper, women mentoring women by Terri Jenkin, and a women after god’s own heart by Elizabeth George just to name a few
On my tv::: nothing
Favorite Blog post this week (mine or other)::: My blog post from late last night HERE
Something fun to share:::
On the menu for this week::
Monday-hamburgers and hotdogs and fries
Tuesday-chocken and rice soup with fresh breah and salad
Wednesday-beef stroganoff and veggie
Thursday- crockpot meatloaf and potatos
Saturday-Chicken, rice and veggie
Sunday- bbq pork, scalloped potatoes and salad
On my to do list::: Put my house back in order after a crazy weekend! Weasel’s team meeting today, book sale!
What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating:::nothing quite yet, but soon heart for out thankfulness tree!
Homemaking::I love the fall, not for the cold but for the re-direction back inside. After the garden gets attention for half the year, it’s ni
Looking around the house::: construction mess from hubby working on our heat!
From the camera:::
On my prayer list:::many unspokens….i wish i could share but SORRY!
Bible verse, Devotional:::a thought from our missions conference this past weekend. We had the assistant camp director that our kids go to and in his Q&A time yesterday morning, he said something that spurred some thoughts that will more than likely be worked through here! But the general gist was this……we should not be focused on wanting the accolades of men but remember that we need to be focused on that audience of one. When we focus on pleasing God than the others will fall into place. Then that was reinforced again last evening but another former camp director , now missionary with The Joy Clubs, and he shared that there comes a point where your encouragement comes from Christ, not others!
In a few short months hubby and I along with our 3 oldest children will mark our 5 years in ministry at our current church…..little bean came a little over a year in! And as much as I love this church, it is not my greatest joy or Privilege to serve them. Matter of fact my greatest joy and priviledge isn’t a lot of things, but it is 4 things!
And here they are….
No joke….they are my greatest joy, outside of God and my dear husband! They are the four most amazing little people you will ever meet….if you give them a chance! You see in the world we live in, so many people see four kids and think (and sometimes say) “wow you have your hands full!”
Yes, the boys are my biggest challenge. They are also balls of energy! And most days are more than I bargained for, but boy do I love them to bits!
If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times.
That’s exactly how I look at it to! Most days anyway! Truth of the matter is, I lost this perspective for awhile! One person in particular was incredibly hard on our two oldest children. And in two years time watched her destroy one child and in oneof those two years destroy a second child. The problem is this, I also fell prey to her. I became overly critical and tough on these two sweet kids. I became glaringly aware that I was letting someone who barely knew my children to say how awful they were! As I journeyed through this last year and as I searched introspectively at my heart concerning my amazing little people, I grew sad for I had missed some very special and proud mommy moments, and for what, the judgement of other people who didn’t take the time to get to know them.
I regret that fully but, as I move forward, from this moment, my eyes are open watching for my little servants sprouting their branches and flowers!
So how can my 8,7, almost 6 and 3 1/2 year old ministry kids impact the people around them? Well let me break it down by kiddo!
Munchkin #1 is 8 but at 5,6, and 7 he chose on his own to attend funerals not just for family members but for church family as well. He has made special friends with a young man in our church with muscular dystrophy, he drew him pictures, and attended his funeral when his friend passed away this past year. He has made hospital visits with his dad, nursing homes visits with me, and wept tears of sadness as elderly friends are graduated from this life to heaven. He was “caught” this week wiping down the counters and cupboards in the church kitchen without being told to.
Little bug, at 6 attended her first funeral this year, also of her own choice, has made nursing home visits, loves on the elderly people in our church and most recently was seen sitting by a wonderful lady with Alzheimer’s who was once a school teacher, and what were they doing? READING! She started out reading to Bug but by the end she was teaching her! Helping her learn. The joy on both their faces was beyond words….no one asked Bug to go keep this wonderful lady company…she just did it!
Then there is Munchkin #3. He’s our autistic son, and yet he still blesses others, just through his smile. Not a week goes by that people talk about him and his smile! Do you know what kind of blessing it is that he even does that? It’s huge for us. And last week, he said during the worship time at church one of the most amazing things…..he had come off of a VERY tough week and we were sitting in the narthex listening when he took his thumb out of his mouth and said “i love God, I want to give him my pajamas”. Instant tears….you see his pajamas are one of his most prized and necessary possessions. They are so important to him that the feet have been worn almost completely off! They are what he puts on right after school most days because they are “comfy”.
And last but definitely not least is Munchkin #4…..and even though he is not old enough to do the things that the others are doing, he still loves everybody. His smiles, hugs, and his newest encouragement “i miss you” melts most hearts.
There is nothing like watching your YOUNG kids walk up to a grieving person at a funeral, wrap their arms around that person, whisper unprompted condolences, wipe away their own tears and say, I’m praying for you! All I have to do is stand back and watch!
Or when daddy gets a phone call that interrupts family plans and he must rush off to the hospital….do they complain….nope, they suggest an impromptu family prayer meeting! For both daddy and the family concerned! EVEN IF THEY DON’t know them!
Are they perfect no, but neither am I but I have 25+ years on them, and if I’m not perfect yet, I have no reason to expect four little munchkins to be better than I.
One last thing I have learned from these amazing little people. Despite the fact that they get hurt by people (and yes they heard your impatience, your unkindness, your ungratefulness, your ungraciousness, your lack of care, your arrogance, your coldness) they still pray for you when you are sick, they cry when you are hurting, they still hug you when they see you and they talk about you like you are the greatest thing since sliced bread when you’re not around. That’s called unconditional love and forgiveness.(And no you NEVER asked for it…they gave it because they are that cool!)
And that my dear friends is why I consider them my greatest joy and privilege!
Wow guys it’s been awhile! This morning as I sat pondering where to go from this last week I must confess, I wasn’t sure. I read something that shook my heart to the core….and to boot my mothers heart at that!
But first as I contemplated all the things that I now find myself wrestling with, God painted a beatiful picture!
So last week and into this week I felt like I lived in Mark Shultz’s song “Running Just to Catch Myself” Except for there was no running, more like hobbling……on crutches! I was feeling pretty bummed about not being able to do anything and being in bed for two days and out of commission for four! I have a great hubby, and he was such an encouragement and a trooper for helping out so much and the house was in better shape (not that it was all that bad to begin with).
But in the process of all of this, we were preparing for a workshop on churches reaching out to the growing population of children with developmental disabilities. But as I read and read and read, I stumbled upon a blog post that struck interest, unfortunately due to some of the content, I really feel as though I can’t share it. What the blogger shared was pretty good, but it was the commenters, that were, oh, I’m not sure of the right words to use!
There were countless explicatives used, specifically in reference to autistic people. Two commenters in general have haunted me, from Monday morning to this very moment! The first one generalized with” Autism is just an excuse for poor behavior”. (I removed the explicatives for the G nature of my blog)
The second commenter said something to the effect of “What no mom bloggers complaing how hard their life is .”
Ohhhh I have taken the last week to examine my heart, for two things,
1. Am I making excuses for my child because he is autistic? am I excusing his “bad” behavior?
2. As a mom blogger am I using my social platform to complain?
These are hard questions to answer, and in a way gave me a form of writer’s block. They also made me feel unworthy of writing on the subject….I ‘m not sure why but it did! Have no fear though I have collected my thoughts and I am back!
First off let’s address that “excusing poor behavior” commenter. We as parents refuse to let our child use his disability as an excuse to act a certain way. He knows he is different, and sometimes tries BUT, we are right there reminding him, that his autism is not a valid excuse, that being said, there are certain things that he along with other autistic children/adults can not help.
Just to name a few are: jumping, spinning, and rocking, also known as stimming; and then tics. Tics, like that of aperson with Tourettes can be repetitive movements, or sounds ranging from soft, to extremely loud. They happen for various reasons and to some are not recognizable as tics unless you know what you are looking for. Our son for example, does hand flapping, but has also in the past screamed in short repetitive screams, clucked like a chicken, made a clicking noise with this tongue, a noise almost like kissing ( but not quite), repetitive sniffing, a very gutteral noise in his throat, and blowing out through his nose. The tricky thing is, you can correct these, but they don’t even realize they are doing them. That’s where tolerance and understanding comes in. They aren’t harming anybody. You might be made to feel uncomfortable but so are they….1) because they are in a setting that makes them uncomfortable 2) you are staring at them! 3) some people are commenting! An autistic person is not stupid, matter of fact they tend to understand more non-verbal reactions. (Except facial expressions….more on that later!)
We cannot correct our children in conventional ways…..if anything it makes them worse. We have to 1) be very creative in finding out what works 2) we have to be taught! I am a firm believer in the fact that parents need to be students of their children to begin with! I also believe that discipline will looks different for each child! We see it time and again. The autistic child will respond to firm, but kind discipline, rather that too harsh…OR too sweet! Take into account that most of the States in the U.S. Provide no help for parents of autistic kids. They are given a diagnosis and sent out the door with a hearty “Good Luck” and the parents are left to learn everything they can to help their kids survive in the world suited for normal people! (Let’s remember that normal is a setting on a dryer). Our little guy just started recieving services….PT, OT and Speech. But we have yet to go through our 8 hour evauluation, which when that is complete will allow for respite care, help with insurance (because we’re talking 60,000 dollars a year average on medical expenses for that person alone) and even more classes like being taught how to read facial expressions (so “the look” actually works instead of them thinking you are making silly faces at them!) Until that point we are making due. That being said, cut us some slack, we are on a HUGE learning curve! We aren’t experts!
Even though our child does not understand social norms, most parents of autistic kids kill themselves trying to teach them that it’s not ok t lick people or things, talk loudly, be too rough, get upset and throw fits when things don’t go as planned and so much more. It takes so much longer to work through the simplest of things, so when your condescending glance or comment in the grocery store, at the park or at church is made, we feel as though our child needs a defense, afterall they are struggling, they do have reasons, but the average adult should know how to guard their speech and behavior! And yet they still say inconsiderate things!
So onto commenter 2……am I really using my social platform to complain? This journey we find ourselves on is not an easy one. A lot of people would be shocked to learn what a day in the life of Mary looks like. The little bits I share, are for three reasons 1) to help others who are struggling, not feel so alone 2) to help others understand where we are at (otherwise known as transparency) 3) i need an outlet, and it helps me work through the tough spots! Here’s the thing, my blog is a safe place, where I try my hardest to build others up. Too many people slam others, and hurt! That is not my goal, nor will I aoplogize for sharing my story that could possibly help someone else!
I have tried my best not to complain about the things we are dealing with. Yes they are extremely hard! Yes they will tend to drive me crazy….if I let them. Yes somedays I want to run away with a circus because it would be less insane! BUT in all of this I would not trade my little boy for the world! My hope does not rest in a cure for autism, my hope does not rest in quiet hours. My hope rests on the One who promises to Never leave me nor forsake me, the one who said All things work together for good who love the Lord, and I will Do ALL to the Glory of God, and that means raising all my children, to not be good citizens but to raise Christ-followers. My hope is in God alone! I am so grateful to even have Weasel! We have already seen it, God is using him in big ways. I am blessed!
Today I am stuck….and boy do I mean S.T.U.C.K.
I sit here in my “Jammies”, foot elevated, and a gel cast.
Just call me grace!
Yes I didn’t see the box of toys laying in the middle of the floor, and I was racing little bean for a nap! The rest is a swollen, painful memory. I spent the afternoon/evening in our local ER! (More on the four hour toture later)
I hate being laid up, not being able to do anything!
Just the thought of it makes me squirm and then my foot hurts terribly! Lol!
But in all of that my husband is amazing! He reminded me that some day i will need to take care of him. It’s our job to take care f each other. What sweet encouragement! So yes it’s not exactly what I want to be doing but at least I have a great hubby as my encourager! I love him dearly and is such a gift from God!
Sorry for the weird title, but i just couldn’t decide! It’s really been that kind of week! So I am very sorry for the silence on here! I wish I could say that It was going to get better, but October is jam packed!
So , here are somethings God has done this week in his amazngness!
1. God really has provided the perfect one on one aid for our autistic son. First off she is a believer in Jesus, so this makes all the difference in the world! Secondly hubby and I got to sit back and watch her interact with him on a field trip. She is exactly what we had prayed for!
2. Flexibility, patience, and perseverance. Those were the things God reinforced this past Tuesday, as we got home from the afore mentioned field trip! We got home after a brief trip to the craft store for some candles (more on that in the next point) and within 10 minutes we had no power….at all! Not normally a big deal BUT I had 8 people scheduled to come for dinner! We waited an hour, checked the electric company’s website…it was scheduled to come back on at 5:45, a whopping 45 minutes before everyone was to arrive! Do I reschedule? Do I relocate? Now what? So I made a few calls and we relocated to our church. 30 minutes before we left the power came back on! Now we move it back to our house, no everything was already packed to go! What a blessing! It was so much fun getting to know 2 of the newer families in our church! I could have been stressed out and I could have been worried about all the details but God had it all under control!
3. I was reminded of God’s protection, not just for our family but for the person in a wheel chair! Between the field trip and the dinner we stopped at a local craft store that was having a sale on jar candles. We got what we needed and left. We were in our Ford Excursion (it’s bigger than a Suburban) and we had a green light. Hubby was turning onto a ramp to head home. I yelled , “STOP” My husband was frustrated that i shouted, but there was a person in a wheelchair/scooter that never looked before crossing the road. I covered my face because they disappeared. I wasn’t sure what happened. I told my husband about the person and looked out his window, they were fine, but they were trying to race our truck. They had sped up. I am so thankful God protected them! And us!
4.god’s Peace….after our crazy schedule i needed to get away, not just for my sanity, but for my family’s as well. Girl Time. God knew that! And yesterday, i got such time! And God knew what I was going to come home to. A super agitated autistic child!
5. A gift of love….so what happens when you have an agitated, screaming, out of control autistic kid? How do you calm them down? Well last night I used a weighted blanket. Now all of this being said….we didn’t buy it, they are super Expensive but a lady from our church saw an advertisement for a free pattern for one. She called me immediately and asked if this was something we could use, to which I said YES! Two weeks later, we have this beautiful blanket that he LOVES!
This is just a fraction of what has gone on in the last week! And an even smaller fraction of what will go on in the coming weeks! Some of it has been hard, some of it…eh…but a good portion has been rich blessings from above!
I could choose to focus on the tough stuff, but instead I am deciding to be thankful!
Can you list some “God Sightings” from your life this week?