Tag Archives: hope

Change is good. Days 11 & 12

30 days of thankfulnessIt is safe to say that I am not a fan of change. (Really though, do you know anybody who is??) I like to know “the plan”. I like when things go according that plan.

Now, that is not to say that I can’t roll with change when it happens, because I can, and do, on a daily basis. But that does not mean I am thrilled about it. I simply don’t love it.

Some changes I can totally get behind, though.

The recent time change is one of those things. I am a big fan of that! No, I don’t love that it is dark at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, but I DO love that it is beautifully bright and shiny at 6:50 a.m. when I am driving my daughter to school! It really does something for me.

I also love to see my kids grow and change.

Jacob, nearly 18 and a home school senior this year, went to a PARTY this weekend. If you’ve been around here for any time at all, you know that Jacob has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is part of the autism spectrum, and he is not a super social guy. So, to say that he went to a party, well, that is saying a mouthful! He has come so far.

Four years ago, due to his severe sound sensitivity, there is no way he would have gone to that party.

No way, y’all. 

But my Jacob of today, my child who has worked so hard to grow into the young man he is now, decided he would go. So, I dropped him off there. And when the Hub and I arrived to pick him up, he was standing around the bonfire with about six other teenagers. Laughing. Talking. You know, doing regular teenager-y things.

As we walked up, one of the girls saw us and said, “Oh, no, you don’t have to go now, do you, Jacob?” <secret mother smile here> We did not leave right away and as we stood around, we watched one of the girls tossing marshmallows in the air for Jacob to catch. We watched one of the other boys jam a crazy number of marshmallows in his mouth just to see how many he could get in there, while all the other kids were egging him on and cracking up. And while he’s doing that, in my mind, I’m trying to figure out how I would clear his airway when it got blocked with all those marshmallows. <Oh, so THIS is what typical teens act like? Okay, then.> Jacob had a great time.

Today, I got an email from Jacob’s doctor: the amazing woman, who is a child/adolescent psychiatrist, and one of the instruments God has used to help Jacob deal with his anxiety and sensory challenges. She was just checking in and wondering if we might schedule a yearly appointment with her. 

What? It’s been a year since we saw her? No, wait, it’s been more than a year, in fact. Things have changed that much. Things are going that well that we haven’t even thought about needing to go visit her.

In her email, she said this about Jacob: “I use his success as an example when I am talking to folks that have hearing sensitivity.”

Whoa.

Jacob’s story could possibly encourage another person who is suffering like he was? God-willing! Yes!

My heart is filled with so much gratitude. Thank You, Lord! Thank You for using this thing, which was so horrible for Jacob and for our family in those darkest of moments, to give hope and encouragement to someone else!

Thank God that He allowed us to find this doctor who was able to help us—not just Jacob, but our whole family.

I am so thankful that Jacob persevered and went to go do those hard and scary things so that he could get through them, and then each time he did go to Wal-mart, or a movie, or a restaurant, or the fair, or classes at the co-op without earplugs, it got progressively easier.

I am so thankful that, by the grace of God, I have been able to step away and let some of those hard and scary things happen. MAN, that is so, so hard! Just call me El Presidente…that is, Presidente of the Helicopter Moms Society! Yes, it was hard to take a (huge) step  back. But so worth it. And it gives me so much hope for the future for my son.

There was a time when I could never imagine that Jacob would be where he is today. Oh, I never lost hope and I believed it could be, but I could not imagine it.

And yet, here we are.

Yes, change is good. I can’t wait to see what is next.

 

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” -Andre Gide

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The Day After. Day 7

It sounds like the title of a sci fi movie…The Day After.

The election is over. All the analysts are still trying to analyze. The people have spoken and there you have it.

I generally avoid discussing anything related to politics…ever. But on the day after, what I want to say is this: I am grateful to be an American and I love this country, but I do not put my faith and confidence in any man, Democrat or Republican.

People worry about the state that our country is in and what the next four years will now bring. People worry about how the president will deal now with the economy and jobs and taxes and abortion and war and foreign policy and gay marriage and a plethora of other issues.  These are legitimate concerns and I believe it is my responsibility to pray for our president as he leads this nation as it relates to these issues.

But I believe that there is another important issue at hand: the hearts of the people of this country. Personally, I think that the current state of our union has  a lot more to do with the state of our own hearts and less to do with who lives in the White House.

So, here is what I suggest:

Let’s pray for the hearts of the people of this country, including mine and yours and President Obama’s and all our elected officials. Let’s pray that people will seek God, that they will choose to do what is right, what is good and what is pleasing to God. Let’s stop being angry and blaming this thing or that person for the way things are. Let’s love one another, because so many people are really hurting out there!

I don’t care if you fall on the left or the right side of things. If we are going to be a great nation, then we have to stop being so angry and selfish and feeling so entitled and look out and look up.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

I am thankful that God is still in charge of things. After all, in Matthew 18, Jesus said that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him, so I don’t need to worry. I am also thankful that He is able to change the hearts of men and women, because we are all a hot mess. I am a big old hot mess, myself!

So whether or not your candidate was elected, our job now as the people of this nation, is what it has always been: To examine our own hearts. To pray. To love. To have hope. Yes, hope.

“As for me, I will always have hope…” Psalm 71:14 NIV

Let’s pull together and pray for our country. Pray for its leaders and pray for the hearts its people.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,  so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6 NIV

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 NIV

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What we take for granted. Day 2

30 days of thankfulness

Like the rest of the country, I have been following the news coverage of the devastation left by super storm Sandy up and down the east coast. Having grown up in the land of hurricanes here in the South, these images are not unfamiliar. They are not unfamiliar, but they are always a shock. Mangled homes, beachfronts and roads. Broken hearted people. Cries of “we’ve lost everything.” All are hard to see and hear.

It is so conflicting to sit and watch the news and say, “oh, I am so thankful that we were spared this time.” It did not hit us, but so many were hit. So, to be grateful that we were spared almost feels like I am not honoring the ones who were. My heart hurts for them: the ones who have suffered so much loss in this storm. My prayers go up for them.

In light of those images and real life suffering of those affected by the hurricane, I find myself feeling thankful for the every day things that we take for granted—that is, until we don’t have them so readily.

Clean water. A roof over my head. Electricity. Food. Available gas to put in my car. Heat in my home. A telephone to call my loved ones and see if they are okay. The knowledge that my family is safe. A simple hot cup of tea.

I want to live a life of gratitude, in the good times and the not so good times—and not only during the month of November. I don’t want to be unaffected by suffering of others. Lord, help me not to take things—any things—for granted.

I am thankful for a God who brings comfort and restoration. I am thankful for hope. I am thankful that He is not only in the midst of the storms we encounter in life—both literal and figurative, but also in the aftermath.

 

“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.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

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