The summer is slowly becoming longer and longer. The first month seemed to go by quickly, due to the newness of not being in school.  But now that boredom has set in, Sketch has taken to running away when he is outside, and throwing tantrums when he is inside.  The days are getting longer, one by one.

I have been thinking about this post I wrote last year, as it really applies again (more so than normal) now. I need to remember to notice the time that I have that is wonderful. To be present in the moment, and grateful for what it holds.

Treasures In The Dust

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
White space may refer to:
  • White space (visual arts), portions of a page left unmarked
    • Space (punctuation), the space between two words of text
  • Whitespace character, a computer character for the space between words
    • whitespace characters, a character class in regular expressions
  • White spaces (radio), allocated but locally unused radio frequencies
  • White space (management), an area where no one is responsible
  • Whitespace (programming language), an esoteric programming language”

I have been thinking about White Space lately, but not the kind mentioned above.

I’ve been thinking of the kind of White Space that is more like White Noise–that background static that either drives you crazy or that is so common you don’t notice it anymore…or maybe you love White Noise because it drowns out some other sounds you would rather not hear.

The White Space I am writing about relates to T-I-M-E.

That four letter word…

View original post 773 more words

Advertisements

A Way in the Desert

Where am I? It’s so cold and windy here…and dirt is everywhere!

Why is it so dark?  Maybe I still have my flash light…oh, there it is. Good, it still works.

Now, how do I get out of here? Maybe if I just keep walking I’ll find the way out…or, at least something familiar.

What is this? Something is sparkling in the dirt–the wind must have uncovered it. Let’s see… Hu? Oh wow! A jewel, like a sapphire!  It looks like there is something engraved in it.

Where are my glasses? Here they are. Ok, let’s see…Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving.  I remember! How could I ever forget that lesson.  Giving Thanks for everything, Yes, that is how I can get through stressful times, by searching for the gifts God has placed in my life and truly being thankful for them. Yes… recognizing the gifts He’s lavished on me really helps keep my mind on Him instead of my problems. I definitely do not want to forget that hard-learned lesson. Hum… I think I’ll just put this in my bag so I don’t loose it.

Philippians 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Last year was not what I would call a good year, and sometimes I think to would be nice to be able to walk through it leaving behind all the hard things that happened–actually forgetting, and grabbing on to the treasures. I bet my bag would need to be bigger than I expect.

A friend has told me that the way to get through the seemingly impossible times, the way to be content in the worst of situations when there seems no end, is to recognize and think about all the good things that are going on around me instead of focusing on the negative things. The secret is to acknowledge the gifts, the Giver.  They are always there, as He is always there.  It is hard sometimes to shift our gaze from our troubles,

“But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” Psalm 3:3

but when we do, He lifts us up our of our constricting place, and sets us in a spacious one.

When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD;

he brought me into a spacious place.

The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.

What can mere mortals do to me?

The LORD is with me; he is my helper.

I look in triumph on my enemies.

Psalm 118:5-7

I’ve decided to pick eight treasures that I was given last year, eight gems engraved with a word of remembrance that I want to make sure I take with me into this next year.

1) On the Emerald is engraved the word Time.  I want to remember to be present in the moment, appreciating the White Spaces when they come and being thankful to God for the breaks, no matter how small.  Refusing to give in to the temptation to re-live or stew in the dark space–the stressful events that can easily suck away more time than it should, if we let it.

2) On the Amethyst is engraved the word Hope.  I want to remember that His promises are true regardless of my circumstances… that no matter how bad things get, I have a hope and a destiny waiting for me. Because of that, I can take the cup that God hands me, and see the blessings that He’s given through it.

3) On the Rose Quartz is engraved the word Persevere. I want to remember that I can “keep on keeping on” when things get hard just like Jesus persevered.  He kept going, even to his death, all because of his love for me, so that I won’t “not grow weary and lose heart.”

4) On the Sapphire is engraved Thanksgiving.  Remember to search for the treasures God pours down on me, and be thankful for them.  Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

5) On the Diamond is engraved Provision.  Remember that everything I have have, comes from God alone.  All things, not only income and possessions, but my HELP comes from Him as well.  Psalm 121:2 “My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.”  He provides for me according to His riches, not mine.

6) On the Aquamarine is engraved the word Remember.  Remember all that He has done for me from trading places on the cross-putting on my filthy rags and giving me His righteous royal robe, to remembering His promises are always true regardless of the circumstances I see before me, to remembering his Word, and keeping it in the forefront of my mind.

7) On the Ruby is engraved the word Desires.  I want to remember that our loving Father sees the desires of our heart, and He loves to give that desire to us, even when we’ve long given up hope for it.

8) On the Topaz is engraved the word Purified.  I want to remember to lay down my “sufferings” at the foot of the cross, and let Jesus purify me and strengthen me though the trials, instead of fighting tooth and nail against it.  1Peter 4:19 “Those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good”  I want to remember that God’s plans for me are much better than I can ever imagine, and that he promises to use the fires of life for good.

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me, that at least sometimes, God makes the “way though the desert” by laying treasures out like bread for a bird along the path.

This year, I believe God is saying to me,  “I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

Happy New Year everyone!  What Treasures will you bring along with you through the year?

Psalm 65:11 “You crown the year with Your goodness & even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.” (NKJ & NLT)

Faith looks to God alone; laughs at impossibilities; dances in anticipation of tomorrow. (The Lewis Awakening of 1858)


The Colors of Space in the Craziness of Time

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
White space may refer to:
  • White space (visual arts), portions of a page left unmarked
    • Space (punctuation), the space between two words of text
  • Whitespace character, a computer character for the space between words
    • whitespace characters, a character class in regular expressions
  • White spaces (radio), allocated but locally unused radio frequencies
  • White space (management), an area where no one is responsible
  • Whitespace (programming language), an esoteric programming language”

I have been thinking about White Space lately, but not the kind mentioned above.

I’ve been thinking of the kind of White Space that is more like White Noise–that background static that either drives you crazy or that is so common you don’t notice it anymore…or maybe you love White Noise because it drowns out some other sounds you would rather not hear.

The White Space I am writing about relates to T-I-M-E.

That four letter word we never seem to have enough of…or do we?

One of the things I have noticed in the last few weeks (after keeping record of the blessings God pours down on me, unrestrained each day), is that there is actually a surprisingly large number of time-pockets, where things are calm and quiet. I know… dare I even say that? It may be snatched away!

But no, there always is time like this.  This White Space, lingering about waiting to be noticed…to be used, appreciated.

At our house, It looks something like this:

          (The beginning more resembles black space because that is how I feel when it happens…dark & anxious, frustrated and s-t-r-e-s-s-e-d out.)

Sketch gets home from school in a bad mood.  He asks for Veggie Tales, “King George and the Ducky” DVD and so I put it on, thinking it will calm him down.

As soon as it plays he asks for the “Introduction”.

There is no official introduction on that DVD.

Sketch says, “All done King George & the Ducky?” so I take the DVD out.

Sketch asks again for King George and I remind him we just had that on and he didn’t want it.

He asks again.

I give in, trying to avoid the impending tantrum and tell him this is the LAST time I’m putting it on.

The movie starts.  Sketch says “All Done King George? AHHH!”

And it happens.  (I suppose it had to happen, if not now then in 5 minutes..he just has to get it out of his system!)

He starts pushing me, throwing toys, trying to attack in any way.

I (eventually) get him in his room where he will calm down (after he pees on the floor, adding another to-do item to my list).

          (Now enters White Space).  There is nothing I can do at this point.  Sketch is throwing his fit and he is safe in his room.  History proves he will NOT calm down unless he is alone in his room.

But usually, at this point I will still be stressed out about the whole thing, wondering what is wrong? Why is he acting this way?  How long will it last this time? …What could I do differently?  etc.

But worrying steals away the t-i-m-e that has been handed to me to unwind, relax, enjoy.

I could stop myself once Sketch is safe and not be upset any longer.

I could be thankful for the break.  Lately when I have calmed down and refused to stew over what’s happened, that pocket of time has seemed to slow down.  It feels longer than it was.  I thank God for it…for the calm, for the space in time.

In some ways, I’m sure the time is actually longer because less is unnecessarily handed over to the black space.  But I am sure that those minutes of calm, when noticed…are actually longer.

Have you ever sat and watched a clock tick for a minute?  It seems to take forever!  But day after day those minutes tick away so fast we don’t know what happened to them.

Time slows down (at least our perception of it) when we notice.  When we are present in the moment.

Now I know there are those days when it seems like there is no White Space time…when tantrums and crisis come one after the other and there seems to be no end to it. The intensity can be so strong that it seems like the crisis has taken up way more time that it actually did… usually because of what we do with it in ourselves, during and after… the worry, the time sucked up stewing… the drainage of energy leading to less productive time after.

But the truth is that there is White Space coming. It always does, and once we recognize it and are grateful for it’s arrival, the time seems long…once noticed, time stalls a bit. Relief. Rest.

Even if the time-pocket of White Space is short… it is there.

Even if it is prematurely interrupted…it was. And, it will be again. We can always look forward to those pockets.

And I wonder, if there really is such a thing as black space.  I wonder if that black is really more like a dark purple… a royal color.  A color marking that God is there.  He promises to turn all things around for good (Romans 8:28).  He redeems everything, even what seems so dark, black to us.  If God is in it, using it for his purposes, then is it really black at all?

Useful Pots & Social Stories

We have had many, many opportunities for using Social Stories lately.  If you have ever made one before, you know how time consuming they are to create from scratch!

On some issues, I have been SURE other people have run into these problems, so I have scoured the internet with steel wool SOS pads, investing time in the hopes of finding something pre-made.

I’m sure that I have only scratched the surface of what is out there, but even so, the amount of searching I did do,  was very time consuming, especially when it turns up with no possibilities!

So, I have decided to start posting the Social Stories I have created, in case others are out there looking for one on the same topic!

Here is todays story, “It’s a Very Useful Pot!”

And When There Is Not…

A Time For Everything

There is a time for everything, and when there is not , something must change. This is the season we are in. Interesting things happen when Newtons Law of Motion (Every action has an equal and opposite reaction) crashes into Ecclesiastes chapter 3!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

I have been in a season of “and when there’s not” a time for everything.  I have been home-schooling my 7 year old twins (Dash-with autism/ADHD, and Princess Buttercup-typically developing) for the past 2 years, due to issues with our local schools.  Now, we are entering into the time of my  youngest, Sketch(5), who also has autism, graduates from preschool (only 9 days left!)  and also will be entering into homeschooling.

There is just not enough time in a day to homeschool all three children, and get to therapies, etc.  The equal and opposite reaction to “doing to much” has resulted in many things, but especially an unmanaged house which is a constant frustration (by the way, by “unmanaged”, I don’t mean just unorganized or not picked up, but more like a tornado has hit!!!)  As positive as homeschooling my kids has been, the negative force of the pendulum has been becoming just as strong.

And so a change is required, it is time for a new season.  As this has become clear, I have been thinking about Ecclesiastes 3.

There is a time for protecting, and a time for letting go

A time to learn, and a time to act

A time to fight, and a time to accept

A time to pour in, and a time to fill up

A time for pressing in to do more, and a time to ask for help

A time to hold on tight, and a time to let go

A time for work, and a time to rest

A time to allow a mess, and a time to clean up

A time to learn at home, and a time to go to school

A time of certainty, and a time of unknowns

I am not sure what will happen in the next season.  I only know what is coming to an end.  The next few weeks will be filled with meetings with the schools to determine what the possibilities are.  In the meantime, it is a a time of faith.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

%d bloggers like this: