On Wings of Eagles

I was feeling so tired and overwhelmed with everything that we did last week, everything coming up, and all that is going to happen with school starting:  IEP meetings, new teachers, new classmates, new routines to establish, etc.

And to tell you the truth, we just really have a lot to deal with these days.

“These days” started around November 2002 when the twins were born; one being extremely sensitive to everything and cried most of the first 4 months.

It seemed then, that we had “too much on our plate” as people would say to us.  Then Sketch was born and we heard that even more.  Then Dash was diagnosed with autism in 2004 (I think the extreme ADHD part didn’t need a diagnosis, it spoke for itself!)

At this point, friends we had made started to disappear. I think it was just too much for them; they didn’t know what to do, they were ovewhelmed by what they saw and so they must have decided to just not get involved; to take a step back.

Then Sketch’s medical problems (eczema, reflux, food allergies, extreme asthma) started around the age of 10 months, in 2006.  Things got harder than “too much”.

In 2007, when Sketch was 2, he was also diagnosed with autism.  His color on the spectrum was very different from Dash. Dash is more yellow: a sensory seeker-extreme boy type.  Sketch is more red: the sensory avoider-anxious type… the kind that tends to have terrible meltdowns…often.  In 2011, he was also diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety.

Our surprise baby in 2011 has been a wonderful joy, but along with her came a sudden onset of crippling aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis for me.

I won’t even go into the many other things that could be added to the list along with these. It’s too much to type.  Too much to read.  It IS overwhelming.

On Sunday when I was standing in worship, singing the songs that had been chosen for that day, the words to Chris Tomlin’s song “Everlasting God” really struck me.  They are directly from the Scriptures:

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the week. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

And relief poured over me as I felt my heart beat slow, muscles unclench, and a calmness settle on my shoulders. There IS ONE who will never grow tired or weary of hearing what goes on at our house; in our lives.  There is ONE who will listen over and over to my problems, to my complaints about my RA pains and symptoms.  He understands like no other; he understands completely.

Not only is He always there to pour out my heart to, but He promises to give me strength to carry on. He will make me soar on eagles wings, and run this race without growing weary.

Matt 11:29-30 says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.


Click here:  Everlasting God by Chris Tomlin  to listen to the song.



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…

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The Treasure of Friendship

Sketch ran away. Again.

It is really getting frustrating to have to constantly think about where he is, what he’s doing.

Is he still doing what he was doing just a minute ago?  How about now?

It’s a source of constant anxiety leading to panic when he’s out of sight.

So many times he is right where he should be, we just can’t see him.  But, the anxiety continues to rise until his body is visible again.

Just yesterday this happened. He went exploring in the small strip of woods along the side of our yard. It was about to rain, and I’d seen him go back there so I wasn’t too worried. Not worried, that is, until I lifted PolkaDot to my hip and walked across the yard with aching back, wrists, feet and knees (due to RA) to tell him to come inside only to find that I couldn’t find him at all. He’d vanished!  I knew I couldn’t search far, especially while carrying my 1 year old. Then I heard him scripting (I thanked God for his scripting this time!) and knew he was nearby.

But tonight when I wasn’t worried, is when I should have been worried.  That’s how it works, you know.

Sketch was outside snacking on Pirate Booty.  I was inside with my new best friend, the Kitchen Aid, watching it tirelessly work kneading dough for pizza tonight. Mr. Incredible was with the other 3 kids.  Next thing I know there is a house shaking “KNOCK – KNOCK – KNOCK” on the door, scared me right out of my rolling pin!

It was our neighbor, “Is this one yours?” he asks, as Sketch happily trots and scripts, signing to himself in the back yard.

“Yes it is.  Where did you find him?”

“Oh, down at my house.  I thought he was yours.”

“Did he give you a hard time coming back here?” I cringe, sure he fought him the entire way…like last year.

“No, he just ran to each house along the way, knocked on their doors.” He said with a smile.

Yes, I am very blessed with friendly neighbors who find my children far more often than I know they need to be found. It is an interesting way to meet ones neighbors, I might add.

Tonight when I posted on my Facebook wall that Sketch ran away again, several friends joined in the discussion because they either have the same problem with their child with autism, or they have ideas on how to help keep the children from running away.

I have made so many friends because of autism, that I never would have known otherwise. Friends literally across the world!  Some of these friends are among my closest friends, even though we have never physically met (yet!).

That is a true, true Treasure:  Friendship.

Friends who really do understand what it’s like to raise kids who don’t fit the mold.

Who have kids who are so smart there is no child proofing that can contain them.

Friends who struggle with children who go three days straight without sleep.

Friends who know what it’s like to have children prone to outrageous meltdowns due to sensory processing disorders that travel along with autism.

Friends who know what it’s like to have a child missing, not knowing if they are alive or if they drowned in the pond down the street. Not knowing if they were hit by that car coming over the hill ask they pranced up it oblivious to the dangers.

Some things we deal with in the autism world are so opposite from what “normal” parenting requires, but we are not alone.  God has given us each other.  He has made us find each other even when we reside on opposite sides of the globe.

As strange as some of the things that we deal with are, we are not ever alone in dealing with it.  “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes  1:9

Silly Saturday with Dash

Dash’s Bubble Monocle!

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.

Somebody Else’s Story

I will never forget the day when Joy told me that God was using me in her story.  That was the highest compliment I have ever received.  No doubt, a treasure found in the dust of life.

“I wanna play a part
Of somebody finding hope
Somebody finding hope in God of Heaven”

Joy isn’t her real name, of course.  But as I thought of names to use for her, this was the one that jumped out in my mind as perfect.

I’m sure right about now she is thinking I’m nuts, but the reason this is the perfect name for her is because one day, she WILL be filled with joy.  One day, the sadness and hurt will be wiped away.  One day she will be completely healed.

“I wanna play a part
Of somebody finding comfort
Somebody finding comfort when their hurting”

Somebody Else’s Story is a song written by John Waller.  (You can listen to it by clicking on the link)  I was listening it in the car this week, and remembered Joy and how she said God is using me to make a difference in her story.

“I wanna be the one
To shine the light of Jesus
Into their darkness”

When God reaches down to the deepest darkest hurts and brings light, dispells shame and heals you there… you just want to share that with someone!  You want to help somebody else.

“This hope in me was not meant to be
Contained inside I’ve got to give it away”

When God brought me Joy to share with, the joy ran…runs deep in my soul.  Somehow the events of the past make more sense…it is somehow ok-er than it was.

“So lead me to that someone I pray
Lord, I wanna bring you glory
In somebody Else’s story”

I was overcome with gratefulness and joy, that God has done such a work in my own life that he can use my story to help others and bring glory to Himself.

That’s what it is all about, really. We are comforted so we can comfort others.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Whether it is being able to comfort others in having children with special needs and autism, or dealing with life threatening food allergies and asthma, or sharing the hope and comfort God rains down in the midst of Rheumatoid Arthritis with someone else who has it, or healings of tragic events of the past, it is a treasure and honor, an absolute joy to be able to be a part of somebody else’s story and bring God glory.

(All quotes are lyrics from John Waller’s song, Somebody Else’s Story)

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)

On The First Day of Winter My True Love Gave To Me…

Today it happened again.  Either these boys have inside knowledge about the weather, or Someone out there really loves them a lot and wants to make them happy!

It was Sketch this morning, who came out from his room, looked at the window with the ketcup-stained curtains still pulled closed, and asked, “Snow?”

I opened the curtain and looked outside, but there was no snow.

“Snow?” he asks again.

“Not today, Sketch.” I confidently reply, since I’d already checked the weather forecast.

No more than 5 minutes later a fluttering flake catches my eye.  Then another, and another.  “Sketch, look outside! It’s snowing!”

Rewind to nine days earlier, on the first day of Winter.  Dash comes downstairs and wanted to look outside.

“It’s the first day of Winter! We get snow!” he looks out the window, “Where’s the snow?”

I told him there is no snow today but that we’re supposed to get snow on Christmas. He was disappointed and left the kitchen. Then, I look out the window and wouldn’t you know, there was SNOW!

God really does care about the little things… really enjoys giving his loved ones things to make them happy.

I almost titled this post something like:  But What About the Stink?

Why, you ask?  Well, let me tell you…

I started this post weeks ago, well before the first day of Winter. I was having a Really-Bad-Day because things were going downhill quick in regards to our in-home supports.  Each boy was approved for 18 hours and we were using most of them.  But, big problems were getting worse and on this day, I knew it was over.  Our supports would yet again, be yanked out from underneath us.  The hardest part is that the boys were both attached to the staff we had, and we’d have to try to explain to them why they weren’t coming anymore, and the reason for this was not a reason a 6 and 9 year old should know.

It was a Tuesday when this all was going down. I was so worried about this, along with the other ramifications of  loosing 32 hours of help a week when I needed it more than ever.  Regardless,  I drive to the church for Ladies Bible Study:  Beth Moore’s “Believing God”.  I walked in to the study distracted and upset by all that was going on.  Funny… it really seems little compared to the other recent trials like job losses, health insurance loss and Rheumatoid Arthritis making it’s presence known.  God sure had taken care of all those “big” problems, in really BIG ways, too!

After missing the first part of Beth’s talk due to worry, I start to tune in to what Beth Moore was saying, and she was talking about what Martha was worried about with Lazarus.  Martha didn’t worry about if  Jesus could take care of the big problem of raising Lazarus from the dead. Instead, Martha worried because Lazarus had been in the tomb for 4 days and he may stink!     “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Luke 11:39  (I love Beth Moore, I don’t think I would have ever picked up on that line on my own!)

And it is so true, that we often believe God for the big problems, but think He is too busy for the stinky little ones, or we think they don’t matter to God.  Neither are true.

God does care about the seemingly little things. He has taken care of the boys emotions regarding the sudden loss of staff.  He’s taken care of us during our loss of help too.  And, He even took care of the boys desire to see snow on the first day of Winter!

Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

What little things has God done for you?   Please add you experience and encouragement to this post with your comments!

Recommended Readings:

The Colors of Space in the Craziness of Time

Muller Moments

Struck Down But Not Destroyed

Mommy, Did You Jump Out The Window Too?

“Mommy, Did you jump out the window, too?” Dash ( age 8 ) asked me as I half sat, half plopped on his bed to tuck him in. It was one of those questions that said so much more than it asked.  I was stiff and sore from what later we found to be Rheumatoid Arthritis.  For weeks I had been ever so slowly hobbling around the house.  This was Dash’s adorable way of asking me what was wrong.

Last April, Dash “threw himself” out the window on the second floor, so he could “fly” (You can read that story here).  That night he was extremely sore and stiff, and it hurt to move.  When he saw me stiff and sore too, he leaped to the thought that I must have also jumped out the window.

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:  Empathy is “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this”

It was so sweet, the way he asked what was wrong. It really showed that he had been thinking about how I must be feeling if I was moving around the way he was when he jumped out the window.  Pretty good for a kid with autism, who is supposedly not able to empathize.

That certainly hasn’t been our experience. Sometimes they may not be able to express how they empathize…but that is a completely different matter from being able to empathize.

It brings me back to the time when we first learned about autism and all the deficits that went along with it.  The books we read about autism had parents talking about how their kids were becoming more real, more human, as they were “coming out” of autism. If they were becoming more real, does that mean they were less real, less human, before?  All kids, no matter how disabled, with what disability, are equally human…equally real, equally whole. Equally the way their Maker made them, in His image.  God made these kids the way they are, with all their special gifts and abilities, to serve a divine purpose.  We may not know what that purpose is in our life time, but we are guaranteed that there is a purpose and that these kids have a wonderful destiny.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

 Genesis 1:27 “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

The Writing’s On The Walls

Sketch told me the words to write, and where to place them. Then he added his own words and drew the frame.

This is my first post written from a special guest, Kay Lutsky!  Kay has been a friend of mine for over 23 years.  We now live many states apart, but keep in touch via facebook, which is where this post originates. I had posted the picture above in an album called The Chalkboard Kid.  Sketch (age 6, with autism/adhd)  has taken to writing on his walls with chalk, and often he will write the lyrics to his favorite songs.  When Kay saw this, this was her response:

I guess I should start with how this all started. Merri posted a picture of what is on the walls of  Sketch’s room. It really touched my heart, and the more I thought about what he wrote, the more I was blown away.

I know that what he wrote was actually lyrics to a song, I think by Chris Tomlin, but at first glance it appears to me that these words are written as a note to Sketch from God. God telling Sketch that he, Sketch, is beautiful. That to God, Sketch is a treasure and God has plans for him. Wow! Talk about positive reinforcement! I think we ALL need to have this written on our walls where we can see it day and night and remember that we really do mean that much to our Heavenly Father.

Then it struck me, Sketch’s walls are covered with these lyrics, these messages from and about our loving God and Savior. These words of God…(warning track jump)…This young man literally rests surrounded by the word of God, every night. This is where my mind got blown away. I mean literally and figuratively this little guy has got it right, don’t ya think? Here I am 40-something years old and I still have a hard time with the concept of rest, and I can’t begin to fathom how to rest in God. Yet, it’s so simple. We just need to surround ourselves with Him and trust what He says.

Every where we look we need to search for Him. We need to surround ourselves with His Words, not our own. We need to surround ourselves with music about Him, not worldly things. We need to talk about Him, not hide Him in our hearts. We need to talk to Him. We need to listen to Him and learn about Him from His Word. It always comes back to His Word. It is powerful and provides the (to borrow from my preacher dude’s sermon) “guard rails” in our lives. When we know His Word it helps us know which paths are righteous (check out Proverbs), and lead to life (good things) and not destruction (really bad things). How did I miss it before?

My family and I will have to move soon. My two teenagers think that Sketch is really “cool” for having chalkboard walls, and now they want them too. Wouldn’t it be so incredibly great to grow up surrounded with His promises on our walls? I wonder what difference it would make in my children’s confidence levels, and their relationship with God? If our landlord says “yes,” I think I’ll help them paint.

Thank you Kay for sharing this with us! It reminds me of Deuteronomy 6:6-9
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

Sketch wrote all these lyrics himself, to Chris Tomlins "I Lift My Hands"

Sketch's favorite verse.

Be Still And Know

Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know I’m here
Be still and know I love you so
Be still and know I’m near

Be still and know I’m who I say
Be still and know I AM
Be still and know I am Truth
Be still and know I can

Be still and know I can do what I say
nothing is too hard
Be still and know you can do all things
My Word is in your heart

Be still and know you’re who I say
Be still and know you’re Mine
Be still and know you are My child
Be still and know you’re My design

Be still and know you are forgiven
Be still and know you’re clean
Be still and know I am the Healer
Be still and know you’re free

Be still and know I move the mountains
the powers in My Word
Be still and know My Word is active
speak it so it’s heard

I wrote this poem as a response to the Bible study we are doing at church, Believing God, by Beth Moore.  I decided to post it here, because so often we forget that these things are true about our children with (or without) ASD as well.  So if you read it thinking about this being true for yourself, go back and read it again with your child in mind.  It’s really neat to think about God’s Word being alive and active in our kids, with their child-like faith…that they could speak to the mountain, and it move.

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