Posts in Faith

Day 220 – The Wonderful World of Adult Services

 

I have to be honest, I haven’t posted much lately because I haven’t had a whole lot of positive stuff to post about. I really struggle with posting the negative stuff because it makes for some awful reading material. I am an optimist and naturally, what I enjoy putting out there is positive stuff. It’s difficult to express some of the more unhappy things and the reality is, there is quite a bit of negative things. Read More

Day 213 – Notes to self?

I read a blog recently of a woman with children on the Autism spectrum.  She was looking back and wrote what she would say to herself if she could go back in time and talk to herself when it all started. It was about the advice she would give to herself.

She then encouraged others to post their advice to themselves so here is my shot at it.

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Day 211 – Love Needs No Words

I recently commissioned a friend who started crafting to make one of her pallet wall art pieces for me. The caption I requested was “Love needs no words”

The exchange of Love does not require words, it is pretty evident in our family with two non-verbal teen boys who are loved so very dearly and show much love too. But I can see it elsewhere too. Read More

Day 209 – Confessions of a “Sharer”

I am a “sharer” of information.  I am on Facebook a lot, I have a blog and I have many boards on Pinterest.  Anytime there are free anythings(kindle books, apps, printables, recipes, ideas etc.), I will share it.  If there is a good deal at the mall or grocery store, you can be sure to see a post by me giving all the details and where to go to get it.

I share experiences good and bad and I have no qualms with using the “feeling like” emoticons on Facebook.  I have a hard time telling people that I am fine when people ask me how I’m doing when I am not fine.  It just doesn’t feel right to be dishonest.  Why would they ask if they just wanted the typical response every time? Read More

Day 208 – New Year’s Resolution

I just read a blog about how having three children is a whole other universe to having two children.  I agreed with it but laughed a little.  Well, maybe a lot.  It could have been one of Calvin’s maniacal laughs really but it is morning and Andrew decided it was going to be a mischievous day for him.  It really hasn’t been more than an hour since he has woken up and I am already on the verge of calling in some reinforcements. Read More

Day 197 – Intent to harm?

What is all over the news lately in our province of Ontario is a letter written anonymously by a neighbour to the grandmother of a 13 yr old boy with autism.

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In case you can not read from the image I have provided, here are a few excerpts.

*The number, but not the frequency, of exclamation and question marks used in the letter has been approximated in this post. It reads:

I also live in this neighbourhood and have a problem!!!! You have a kid that is mentally handicapped and you consciously decided that it would be a good idea to live in a close proximity neighgbourhood like this???? You selfishly put your kid outside everyday and let him be a nothing but a nuisance and a problem to everyone else with that noise polluting whaling he constantly makes!!! That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL!!!!!!!!!! It scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!!!!!!

The letter goes on to state:

Crying babies, music and even barking dogs are normal sounds in a residential neighbourhood!!!!! He is NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He is a nuisance to everyone and will always be that way!!!!!! Who the hell is going to care for him????????? No employer will hire him, no normal girl is going to marry/love him and you are not going to live forever!!

T]hey should take whatever non retarded body parts he possesses and donate it to science. What the hell else good is he to anyone!!!!

You had a retarded kid, deal with it… properly!!!!! What right do you have to do this to hard working people!!!!!!!!!

I HATE people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are entitled to special treatment!!! GOD!!!!

Go live in a tralier in the woods or something with your wild animal kid!!! Nobody wants you living here and they don’t have the guts to tell you!!!!!
Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!!! Either way, we are ALL better off!!!

This letter has been circulated all over the social media sites and the public outcry is unanimous that this letter was disturbing to say the least.  Many are calling for hate crime charges to be laid while others are ready to call out a lynch mob asking for her name to be published.

So what have I to say about this?  I think every mother let alone any mother of children with autism shed a tear or two for the mother who received this.  That hurts.  Words do hurt despite the “Sticks and Stones” mantra.  My boys are just like that 13 yr old out in his yard, so I felt the hate towards my boys too.  But once you get past that initial hurt you get angry but then even that doesn’t last too long before you think of the person writing this and what is going on with them to be so nasty to someone they don’t even know.  And now I think this very angry mother is likely one very ashamed mother and is probably hiding for her life so I do feel a bit sorry for her.  She no doubt is getting a slew of Autism Awareness and is waking up to the very real challenges that our children face every minute of every day.

This letter was very hateful but I wouldn’t say that I thought she was a threat to this boy.  In fact, I would consider her more of a threat to her own children.

Thankfully this boy will never see this letter or hear the words from this woman and in fact will only feel the effect of a neighbourhood and nation for that matter, rallying around him.  The neighbourhood where this letter was received came out to support the boy and were giving high fives and cheering him on.

This reminds me of Joseph who was sold by his brother’s into slavery and in prison for many years.  His famous words to his brothers when reunited with them are “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good…”  Gen. 50:20

It is unfortunate but people are capable of some pretty terrible stuff.  We all are affected in one way or another by thoughtlessness, selfishness, carelessness, greed, pride, neglect, anger and the list goes on either by someone else or even by our own hand.  And we hear the cry “why is there so much suffering?”

When God created the world and the first people, He said that it was good and it was…until the very first sin.  Call it greed or pride but it was not of God.  That is when the suffering began for the human race.  The consequence of sin is the separation from the only thing good we could ever have – God.  “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.  He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” James 1:17

And so the condition of man and women from then on was less than perfect.  Always falling short of that perfection that God commands.  But yet God still wanted to have a relationship with us, to take care of us and to love us as His children.  So He made a way to make us acceptable despite the issue of our sin that separates us from Him.

That way is through His Son who was perfect and therefore became the perfect sacrifice, paying the price of our sins Himself.  Crucifixion that was intended to cause harm and kill the Lord, but God intended it all for good.  One act on the cross – Sins paid – separated from God no more.  But only for those who accept the Lord’s sacrifice as payment for their sins.  “…God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” Romans 4:24&25

 

 

 

 

Day 196 – Do We Need Green Lights From God?

greenlightI had a rough day today.  I had just arrived home from the chiropractor because I had a sprain in my back when I got a call from the summer camp folks where Andy and Ethan were.  Andy had a seizure on the bus on the way to an outing.  They had pulled the bus over on the side of the road and called the ambulance, then called me. Read More

Day 195 – The In Crowd

I was having a discussion with my friends recently about social inclusion.  I have to admit that my feelings are strong on this.  I see it happening all the time and believers are turning a blind eye to the effects of social exclusion on teens within the church.  Kids with excellent Christian upbringing with bible memorization and Awana attendance awards are turning away from the Lord and the church all the time.  We can not ignore how important fellowship is in a Christian teenager’s life who crave social acceptance especially in light of the kind of bullying that is happening in the schools!

When there are teens, there are bonds made through sports, games, activities and just hanging out.  For the most part the bonds aren’t really made in Sunday School class, it is in those extra social activities.  Kids become a group and develop friendships and appreciation for one another’s company through those activities.  They encourage one another and give each other advice on girls/guys.  They become accountable to one another and a good friend will tell another friend if they are being mean or careless or if they are doing something they shouldn’t (at least in my experiences in the church groups).

There is almost always that one kid who is socially awkward and can make conversations uncomfortable at times in the things they say or in their behaviour or their responses.  They aren’t always good at witty come-backs or kidding around and sometimes they just tell bad jokes.  Sometimes there are those kids who are into things that others would consider strange rather than athletics and rap music.

What happens to those kids?

Too many times, those kids end up fading into the woodwork and no one talks about them until they are posting pictures of drinking binges at parties and using foul language on FB and have been missing from church for a very long time.

So how did they get from faithfully attending a bible believing church with such great kids around them to becoming bitter with the church?

There are other reasons for teens turning away but one very real reason is some of these teens aren’t being accepted by that group of great kids.  They get systematically separated from the group and when they are excluded from those activities, they start feeling like they don’t belong.  It is hurtful when they see the posts on FB of all their friends having good times that they weren’t a part of or when they inevitably hear about it from other friends or when the inside jokes circulate and they are the only one who doesn’t seem to get it.  Or when the kids are talking about  the good times with this or that or when other kids know things about one another like favourite music, candy or sports and they are in the dark.  The constant lack of connection through exclusion draws a very hurtful wedge between the awkward teen and what could potentially be an incredible lifeline for them – Good Christian Friends!

So who can they turn to if they can’t belong to a great group of Christian teens?  There are groups of kids who will accept them.  It’s the kids down the street who play Dungeons and Dragons in their basements, who have bad habits and who don’t love God.

On the flip side, when kids are accepted despite their eccentricities, they have continued positive influences on their lives.  It is easier to resist the bad influences when they have a solid group of friends and activities with them as an alternative.  They can make good choices when they know that there are friends that have their back, that will give them a pep talk and a word of encouragement.  They can be challenged to use their eccentricities for the Lord and really grow.

 

Day 194 – No Greater Feeling

I suppose some with Autism have difficulties getting close to people, even with immediate family members.  Hugs are few and far between and even a pat on the shoulder may cause extreme anxiety.

My boys do not have those difficulties and will allow me to come in close and snuggle or kiss.  With Andy, it is often for brief moments.  He will return my smiles lean in and allow the hug or kiss then push me away.  That’s good enough for me, I’ll take it.  So I sneak in hugs and kisses quite a few times a day.  I’m a bit of an addict.

Ethan loves it.  He will wrap his arm around me and look into my eyes and smile with his head cocked to the side a bit.  Sometimes he giggles.  We could sit like that on the couch for a while if he wasn’t looking for food all the time.

There is no greater feeling than to share a hug or kiss with my boys, like I said, I’m addicted.

Can you imagine having the same kind of relationship with the God of creation?  A closeness that can be shared anytime, anywhere.  A moment to lean in smile and kiss the One who loves us so much, He sent his only Son to die for us.  To embrace “Love” Himself.  To feel safe, to feel like you belong and to feel loved.

When God created Adam, it says “He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” Gen 2:7  If you could imagine the closeness of God to Adam to breathe life into his nostrils.  He must have been face to face with Adam and when Adam woke up this is the very first thing he saw.

We can draw close to Him too and it gives me warm and fuzzy feelings knowing that He loves it when I do!

There is no greater feeling than belonging to God!

 

 

 

 

Day 191 – Hanging Out

It was a beautiful evening and I actually had a meeting I was supposed to go to but because I had just been gone for a couple of days on a ladies retreat and the boys were at respite, I decided I was going to skip the meeting and hang out with the boys.

We went out front as Andy wanted a change of scenery from the back yard and was running up and down the driveway.  He kept running onto the road so I thought I would get the bubbles out to try and distract him from his current activity.  I had a small wand for blowing bubbles with and it held no interest for Andy whatsoever.  He did move from running out on to the street to ripping leaves off the shrubs and Tanner the cat, was trying to catch those bubbles.

Ethan and John came out too and sat on the front porch.  Ethan was fairly happy but Andy was getting agitated that he was being led away from his antics of shrub masacring.  He was clearly looking for the wrong kind of attention so I decided to take them for a drive.  We packed them up and I headed off in the usual direction for a nice little wilderness drive.

Andy sat in the front seat and then proceeded to try and open the door.  He was still in the mood to cause trouble.  I got the van moving with Andy inside and the door closed and rolled down his window and he was glad from then on to wave at everything we passed by and feel the wind across his arm.

I turned on a little Chris Tomlin and sang out loud with windows down “I know who goes before me. I know who stands behind.  The God of angel armies, is always by my side.  The One who reigns forever, He is a friend of mine, the God of angel armies, is always by my side!”