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Friday, August 23, 2013

Aspergers, Emotional Disability...Or Fearfully & Wonderfully Made?

Friday afternoons for me are a good time for reflection. A time to sit in the quiet for just a few hours before the mixed up pile of jumbled noise begins once again. Mostly I can handle it. Mostly I embrace it actually.
I've learned over this summer to see my glass as half full . Instead of calling my life chaotic and full of noisy kids all day long, every day, I call it full of life and energy and fun. Mostly.
Generally during the summers, I have my 3 kids, plus two to four extra kids in my house that I babysit.
It keeps my kids mostly occupied and happy to have friends to play with. But right around lunch time,
it gets extra noisy, extra busy...and well extra full? Suddenly the kids break out in some sort of debate over some silly thing and are tattling on one another. Suddenly I am making lunches for seven, eight or nine people in the house.
But on Friday afternoons, my husband is a peach. I lay my two Friday kids down for their nap, 
and he takes my three kids out of the house down the road to the park or to a local coffee shop...
and I can just sit. I can breath for a good two hours or more.
It's heavenly to say the least. And that is what I am doing right now. 
Breathing and reflecting on the course of events this summer has taken.


Today I'm reflecting a bit on something I wrote last night. I was asked to write a post for a website that will be launching soon called Women With Worth-W3. I wrote it in my usual nature, thoughtful and encouraging in something that I have been learning. I won't really get too much into it right now, but it affected what I'm about to say. We have a big change happening for us this school year. My oldest son, Wesley will be attending a public school for the first time.  He is going into Fourth grade. You might think, no big deal...but he has been at his school for five years now. All his friends are there...So honestly, this did break me, just a little bit inside. Mostly for him.  Partially for me. 
Feeling a bit sorry for myself, the details leading up to the switch. Feeling a little lost.
For years, Wes has had problems with emotional outbursts. He's just very emotional, which causes him to get very upset and in his words "angry" very easily. Anything from a missed word at a spelling bee to an annoying little sister can set him off and up until this past year or so, we always just chalked it up to a 'bad temper.' 
Or people would tell me he is being "naughty."


Which I agree, he definitely needs discipline, but more than anything, he needs to learn to control himself when he gets frustrated. And when he was in second grade, the words Aspergers Syndrome were brought to our attention by his teacher. After several tests were conducted during third grade, the conclusion was that no, he is not autistic, but carries a lot of similar traits and rather has a emotional/behavioral disability.   

Part of me wanted to take those words and go around to any person that has ever given us subliminal grief over our bad parenting or his behavior and shove it in their face. But the bigger part of me refuses to give my child a name that associates him being anything other than who 
God says he is. Which is what I wrote about last night. Not identifying ourselves with the negative....but with the people who we are created and promised to be by our creator.

Wesley is created in the image and likeness of God. 
Wesley is fearfully and wonderfully and intricately made. 

And yes, the recent letter that was on the news made me furious and horrified 
at the heartache this mother must have felt.  

Wesley's school since K3, being a private school and ill equipped to deal with some of his behavior, asked us to perhaps try a public school for at least this year, where there are counselors and special ed teachers trained to give him time to just talk out some things when he gets upset. They seemed genuine in their concern for Wesley's well being and they are hopeful for his return in his future.
Initially, I wanted to aim word fire at anyone who played any part of this decision, out of frustration and stress and offense. But I stopped, I breathed, and I prayed for Wisdom. And I felt ok.


Now I am looking at this as a positive thing. 

He cried when I first told him, but now he is excited for a fresh start. He gets to go to a school where no one has any preconceived ideas about how he will behave. No kids from his new school have ever gone home and told their parents "what Wesley did today" so he doesn't have to feel embarrassed. Wesley is well aware of how the outbursts looks to others. It's sad when he questions to me why he is not normal. And I reaffirm to him that he is. And that everyone has issues they have to work on.
Every single person in this world does. I know I do. 
It's an opportunity to prove you can work through it.
Not to mention that, Wesley is one of the brightest, smartest kids I know.  As a nine year old,  He doesn't necessarily love that "being smart" is one of his outstanding qualities, he'd rather be funny like his sister, but that brain power will come in handy one day. Man that kid can figure out things on the computer that I still cant. 
The ability to get good grades have never been an issue.. emotion and will to do it have been.

Anyways, as I look over this change in his life...and in ours (since the girls will still be going to private)...
I'm choosing to see how much this will help Wesley and help us. It's nothing to be embarrassed about.
But I tell Wes all the time, that I am so thankful that God gave me the chance to be his mother,
because when he loves, he loves BIG. 
It's part of that extremely emotional thing, it comes in handy when he is in snuggle mode.


On a side note: I was laying with him in bed the other day and he was gripping his "Moosey-Moose"
and Wesley kept kissing him as he snuggled him with his eyes closed and all I could do was
stare at his hands.
Those hands that in just 3 1/2 years will be teenage hands...
and I wanted to pause that moment forever...

_________________________________________________________

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.
Psalm 139:13-16



Friday, August 16, 2013

This May Be The CUTEST Photoshoot You've Ever Seen


As always, my sister Joanna stopped by yesterday in her sweats and decided on a whim that she wanted to do a photoshoot of my girls. I just happened to be babysitting a friends girls too, so it turned into a super cute BFF photoshoot. We are completely in love with the way these turned out. Of course, there are zillions more...but I think you get the idea. I had to share them with you all though.
Leila was done long before it was over. This is what she looked like at the end as I kept promising 
her ice cream and money to do "one more picture." Haha.

All photos were taken by and are property of Joanna Photography.
No you may not steal them.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hypocrisy.


 It's interesting that when Jesus spoke of hypocrisy, he spoke of the Pharisees, the ones who in the outward appearance had it all together, who never showed the public their 'sin.' He never called the adulterer, the cheater, the murderer a hypocrite when they ran to God. Instead he ate with them, hung out with them and accepted them.   
Some today would call Jesus a hypocrite.

But it was the Pharisees that Jesus called the hypocrites -the ones whose righteousness was in their own actions.

 A hypocrite is one who professes certain ideals, but fails to live up to them. 
If we are a christian and we profess Jesus, then we ideally are professing his standards and his way of doing things, yes? His way was grace. His way was forgiveness. His way was running TO the prodigal son the moment the prodigal even took one step in his direction. The father ran to the son. He didn't say "Wait a minute. Stop right there. You screwed up big time. How dare you run back to me, you hypocrite." 
Nope, instead he ran to HIM and clothed him with fine robes and had a party for him.

A hypocrite isn't someone who runs back to God when they realized they messed up. 
A hypocrite isn't someone who stumbles and gets back up and keeps walking ahead. 
Part of the job of the Holy Spirit is to convict of us our error, so we do just that. So we get back up and start walking towards Jesus.
If a person says they believe in Jesus, and they believe in forgiveness and his grace...and then they screw up, get back up out of their mess, and keep walking towards Jesus...they are not being hypocrites, they are walking in the righteousness that JESUS provided despite what they did. Because THAT is what a follower of Jesus professes to believe.

Let's remember, Jesus wasn't joking when he said 'even if you look at another man's wife its the same thing as adultery, even if you hate someone its the same as murder. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. 
Let's not pretend that our sin is any holier than someone elses sin just because its not in public for everyone to see.
It's not by our righteousness that we go to God. Thank God, because according to what he said, we've all committed "the big sins" in our heart. We aren't doing ourselves any favors by lying to ourselves and pretending that's not true. We are all on an equal playing field here. It's by Jesus righteousness that we've been made righteous, not ours.


Sometimes, we need to watch ourselves before we reject the message that Jesus came for. He came for redemption. If we don't acknowledge his ability to pick someone else up out of their sin,  and we spout out the word hypocrite because we see them striving to walk out their redemption through Jesus after a major screw up we heard about...then we reject Jesus ability to redeem anyone...including us in our secret sins. To me that is scary, telling Jesus who he can and who he cannot redeem....or who he is able to redeem.  And then WE  become the hypocrite, professing Jesus, but forgetting and completely ignoring the pain he endured in order to walk out the redemptive work in our lives and in the lives of others. 

It's a great thing to know you are redeemed, and you are made righteous and even though you messed up you can continue walking in the plan of God for your life as his grace continues to strengthen you.

--------------------------------------- 



It's funny when you think these things through, it's obviously because somehow in someway it pertains to us or someone we know or someone we hear of... Otherwise why else would you be thinking about it?
But I actually wrote this as a "facebook status' this morning...and I wanted to share it here as well. 
Because it's something we can all gain truth from.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Moving Along

I miss blogging. I knew when I said goodbye back in early May it would be hard to stay away. I wasn't sure if it would be forever or not.
I was pretty sure it would be through the summer and possibly through the fall. I like blogging. I'm able to share a part of me I've never had the opportunity to share with anyone before, because I always felt like who would listen. Who was I?  Ya know?
I love that this great big gigantic world of passionate online (mostly) women who connect and share pieces of their lives and loves and passion and joys and sorrows and life stories!  And if you are not a blogger, wow, its way bigger than you can imagine.  It's not just about me, even though it is my online journal, of sorts.
The community in it and the friendships I've made are what I miss a lot. I feel sad popping on twitter now and then seeing friendships being built and people connecting and making plans and starting amazing new projects and I'm left feeling so "out of the loop." I don't know if it's jealousy or not, but I'm trying to keep my heart in the right place throughout this process and not jump into my blog full steam ahead just because I'm losing my blog mojo. I'm trusting that if I am obedient to what I feel God is asking of me, when the time is right, this sort of quiet season will bring me so much further in whatever God has for me than me pushing and promoting myself or my blog ever could.

Anyways, I just had to say it. I do miss it. I think thats obvious. It's been a little more of a struggle to keep my fingers off the keyboard lately.  But each time I've sat down I've found myself saying "Just hold on a minute'  or "Just a second, ok?" one too many times to my kids or husband and they only have a few weeks left before school, plus Leila will be starting preschool this fall, so I know this:
I want to be fully present in this remaining month... with them and with my time with the Lord.
It's vital.

On a side note, this song has been my go-to song lately every time I hop the car! 
It keeps me going !  
To be everything I am passionate about and moving forward because of it!


I wanna soar with You, Upon wings like eagles
But I'll crawl with You too, When the dark and lonely questions come
I wanna stand true, No matter what's new or comes through
I can't stand still, Whatever hits I'll keep making movements to You

I'm running fast and free to You, 'Cos You are the movement and fight in me
I'm running fast and free to You, 'Cos You are my home where I wanna be
Come move in me, Where I wanna be, come move in me

I wanna float with you, The currents driving me
But I'll paddle hard too, When the waves and rapids overcome
I wanna stand firm, When my mind's weak and my emotions squirm
I must stand true, Whatever hits I'll keep making movements to You

I won't walk away, won't walk away...
(Rend Collective Experiment)

I press on to reach the end of the race, and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, 
is calling us. Phillipians 3:14




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