Day And Night

The other day, I was tucking Dash into bed…not an easy task on most nights, as he is prone to functioning on very little sleep.

But this night, he was actually a bit drowsy, and was willingly stayed snuggled under his weighted blanket.

He had his eyes closed, but he was squinting at the same time, as if he were trying to read something far away, but with the lids shut tight.

He was concentrating on the view-master in his memory… trying to read the instructions off the computer screen he’d looked at all day long…trying to read the instructions on how to build the long sought after K’nex Motorized Madness Ball Machine.

Day and night.

This child, now age 8, was memorizing the instructions to a contraption he did not own. Committing it to memory, for that day…

That day when he might just have that contraption in his hot little hands…

I was struck by how incredible his memory was, how he knew what step number went with each task… details.

It reminded me of the instructions to the Israelites:

Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

I wonder…

What would happen if we took that exhortation to heart.

Put it in our hearts…that when the day comes, the one we may not wish for…we would know what to do.

The day we do wish for… we would remember to give praise to the Giver.

The day we never expected…we would remember that God has a plan for that one too.

I wonder how many of those not-so-good days would never have occurred in the first place,

and how much greater the good days would turn out to be.

Psalm 119:24  “Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.”

Becoming Purified by Tantrummy Flames

Recently, (and hopefully not currently) we went through a really hard time with Sketch.  He started having longer and more frequent tantrums, and more intense and aggressive ones as well.  A developing tactic he began to form was throwing heavier things such as furniture, if he could.

One time he became upset with some Math-U-See bricks (of various sizes) and took the whole bucket and threw it–pieces flew all through the air in various directions.  They came dangerously close to hitting Princess Buttercup in the face, as she sat obliviously reading her book.

And, to add to the intensity and unpredictability, Sketch would flail, pull hair and hit, scratch, kick, etc. and became more intentional about it with each tantrum.  He would target my face, hair or worst of all…my stomach with a growing baby inside.

Because of baby, I am not able to remove him from an area, as I could do before.  I am not able to calm him with tight squeezes, or be near him in that state.  I had to separate him from us with a baby gate–the only option with our house layout at this time.  The problem was, that he is good enough with problem solving now, at the ripe old age of 5, that he would pile blankets and cushions at the gate on either side, to step on and climb over to a soft landing, so he could continue his attack.

This is NOT like my sweet, cuddly boy!  The last time he was like this, he was on steroids most of the time, due to asthma and undiagnosed food allergies!

I don’t think I have ever been so stressed out or overcome with despair at a situation with my kids before.  I had prayed for help, for God to calm my little boy, for sanity to return to our house.  I desperately pleaded before his throne of grace for help in my time of need, but I didn’t seem to be getting the results I wanted. Day after day this continued…sometimes several grandiose tantrums a day. I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t understand why this was suddenly happening. And worst of all, I was sure I would NOT be finding any “treasures” in these tantrums!!!

But, God does redeem e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

As some of you know from my previous posts, I really like Beth Moore’s Bible Studies, and I am currently going through one with my wonderful church called, “A Womans Heart:  God’s Dwelling Place”

In the first few weeks of the study, Beth says this:  “…we offer God something more precious than gold when we joyfully lay our sufferings on His altar and agree to be purified by the flames that threaten to consume us.” (p.58)  She was commenting on this verse from 1Peter 4:19 “Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good”

Hard advice, I must say, especially when the ONLY thing you want, is to get out of the situation. The. End.

She continues, “No one can make you surrender your suffering to God.  Only you can decide how your fires will affect you.  Will you be sanctified or scarred?  Listen as He says to you, “My precious child, I bore My scars so that you would not have to!”  He has suffered enough for both of you”

That night, I realized the only thing I could do is to lay down this “suffering” with Sketch, entrusting it and it’s consequences to the God who desires to do more for me than I can ever imagine or comprehend.  Even if the situation didn’t change quickly, I needed to be willing to allow God to purify me in this situation, instead of becoming scarred by it.  I woke up the next morning with the song, “Refiners Fire” playing in my dreams.

Tough lesson, but a treasure worth learning.

I guess there was a treasure in that after all.

And, for the follow up… God has guided us as parents and we ended up re-arranging our childrens bedrooms so Sketch had a room downstairs where I could put him to calm down, and not harm anyone.  He always wanted me to take him to his room upstairs (carry him) when he was out of control, but that is no longer safe.  Being able to take him to his room again has worked wonderfully to calm him down quicker!  Also, we suspected that his medicine for ADHD may have been contributing to this behavior, although not following the typical pattern of side effects.  We changed the medicine and the tantrums have reduced back to more normal and manageable levels!!!

In the midst of learning this lesson, a friend of mine pointed me to a song on youtube that wonderfully addresses this.  Here it is:

Playing Dress Up/ Trading Places

Little kids just love playing dress up.  Princess Buttercup spent many hours dressing up and trying on all the different outfits she received in her dress up trunk when she turned three.   Her twin brother didn’t get into it so much, but eventually did start trying on our shoes, or wearing Daddy’s hat.

Autism has a way of delaying some of the more dramatic childhood play.

Sometimes, siblings with autism need a little help from a big sister!

But, as they get old, they start to get the hang of it… It’s kinda fun to put on someone else’s face!

Time will tell, but I am pretty sure Princess Buttercup is going to have a bit of fun dressing up her baby sister when she arrives. She may even try to dress her up as herself!

Dressing up has always been a favorite activity for children.  It’s so much fun to pretend you are someone else.  But, it’s not just an activity for little children.

Back in Biblical times, Jonathan (King Saul’s son) even traded outfits with David (1 Sam 18), then a shephard boy.  Jonathan took his royal outfit off, and gave it to David to wear.  Jonathan then put on the clothes that David had on–probably smelly from hanging out with the sheep.  It was Jonathans’ way of saying that “I will become what you are, and you will become what I am, with the result that our souls are knit together as one.” (Beth Moore, A Womans Heart, p 60.)  Jonathan wanted David to have everything he had, and to give him that, he took on all that David was.   Sound familiar?  I don’t know how I ever passed this by before when reading this story!

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21

How wonderful is that?  God plays dress up too–although it isn’t just play… it’s for eternity!  He clothes us with salvation and righteousness from Jesus, while Jesus puts on our clothes, our sin. He gives us a crown of beauty, while Jesus wears a crown of thorns. Thinking about this, how Jesus traded places with us to save us, inspired a poem. It is a sequel to a poem I posted earlier, Garments, Mirrors, and Beauty In that poem I am looking in a mirror, seeing who God has made me to be: I’m dressed in new royal clothes, garments of praise and righteousness, with a crown of beauty on my head. In this new poem, I am still looking in the mirror, but I see past my own reflection, to that of Christ’s. Here it is:

Trading Places

Catching a glimpse of His reflection
I turn around to see
The crown on his head
His blood trickling down
The price that set me free

The scars on his hands
His clothes dirty & torn
For this task He was born

My pain on His face
My sin is His robe
My hurts on Him unfold

I gaze on His face
Amazed at His grace
His passion shining through

Deep love in His eyes
He heard every cry
As my life He bravely rescued

He took it all and healed my soul
He traded places with me
With love ordained from Heaven above
Determined to set me free!

He died on that cross
His life He lost
Paid the ransom due

He rose again
And conquered death
Defeated all sin too

Once and for all
His children He’s saved
Dressed in His clothes, redeemed, washed clean

That we would be

always together

On earth and in Heaven
His Bride for Eternity.

Look Out Carol Gray!

Princess Buttercup has taken up writing Social Stories!  We found this when we were cleaning up this weekend:

Not too bad!  She did this a year or so ago.  I guess this is an added benefit when you grow up with siblings on the spectrum!

(For those of you who don’t know who Carol Gray is, she is the original creator of the Social Story)

The Desires of Your Heart

I remember walking around the neighborhood with my then fiance’, talking about what we’d name our future children.  We had 6 names picked out, three boys and three girls.

But then we had twins…then autism, then ADHD, then another boy, and then ear infections, severe asthma, multiple food allergies, constant illness, and autism again, and ADHD again… that kinda put a damper on the thoughts of having any more children.

I had totally given up on the thoughts of more children, but I so much wanted a Rebecca Joy in my arms.  I think I may have even gone through the grieving process that this would never happen.  If anyone asked if we would have more kids, I’d always reply with a quick, “NO!”  (with the “are you crazy? We have enough going on as it is.” implied!)

We were overwhelmed enough.  It couldn’t even be thought of.

But God knew how much we wanted another child, and probably…it was Him putting that desire in our hearts.  He saw past all the rubbish, stress and insanity of our lives, and he decided to give us a baby girl after all…

Psalm 37:4 says, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

How wonderful is that?

I had my first ultrasound this week and she (yes, the answer to Princess Buttercup’s prayers for the last 2 years have been answered with a big, “YES!”) is doing wonderfully!

Here is a picture of my little skeleton:

A final thought: From the beginning, God has had good plans for our lives, and no circumstance, no illness or disability, no evil intentions, not even Satan himself, can thwart His plan.

“Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.” Isaiah 46:9-11

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