Tag Archive | Peace

Saying “I’m Sorry”

OOOOh those are words most folks hate saying…”I’m sorry.”  I’ll raise my hand here too, as more often than not, I’d rather pull eye teeth out than say it.

Why is that?

Pride.  Yep, that sin that has a habit of slipping in and quietly taking over.  “I’m not wrong, he’s the one who did such and such”, or “she’s the one who owes ME an apology”, (do I need to go on?)  Pride says that the other party owes an apology, and you won’t cave in and let go until they do.  Pride says “I’m right, how could I possibly be wrong?”

But what does the Lord say about pride?

“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Psalms 10:4, KJV

“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Proverbs 8:13, KJV

“When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2, KJV

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” Proverbs 16:18-19, KJV

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble . . . Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:6, 10, KJV

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:” 1 Peter 5:5-6, KJV

Pride is not one of the things the Lord loves.  We shouldn’t either.  In our daily walk, we need to keep an eye on how our heart is.  I’ve had to learn this too, and it finally hit me just this morning how I’ve been prideful in my daily life, and I had an apology to do.

Is there pride hiding in your heart?  If so, pray, ask for help in loosening pride’s grip, and seek the Lord’s working for you.  You won’t be disappointed.

Note:  all verses referrenced here are from the KJV, listed from End Time Prophecy

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Growing Home

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Hoarders, or “Do I Really Want To Let This Go?”

I saw a rebroadcast tonight on ABC about a show called Hoarders.  I’ve never seen the show before, hadn’t really heard of it, but was intrigued by what I saw.  I seldom watch tv, as in the network stuff that comes in by digital antenna (we don’t have cable or satellite), so this was new to my sheltered little world.

People had hoarded everything under the sun in their homes, to where there was no place to walk, no place to sit, no area to cook or do dishes, etc.  We’re talking trash, diapers, food, clothing, papers, books, you name it.  Mountains and mountains of this stuff decaying into compost inside the homes.  One home even had 2 decayed cat carcasses INSIDE the house.  There were interviews with people who grew up in those homes, and how they were now.

The children of the hoarding parents didn’t live like that.  They kept clean and tidy homes.  Genetic link?  Probably not.  Granted the notion was put out that the people hoarding had a genetic problem and “it really wasn’t their fault”.  Of course not, we can’t take responsibility for our own actions, now can we?

I will admit that the spot on ABC did get me to thinking.  And looking.

A quick sweep around the house and I have come to the drastic notion–we are low level hoarders.  Oh no, not the kind where you have to scoop shovel out a path, have mountains of junk piled up the ceiling, boxes of 50 year old magazines piling up type thing.  We’re more like papers that are put to the side to read later (but never gets done), things purchased because it was on sale and we might need it, old medicines kept because they may still have some good….10 years expired, keys to places we haven’t lived in or been around in years, etc.  Minor stuff, things that can be easily gotten under control.  But it is a wake up call that turned on the light for me to see it.  It’s more than a clutter thing, it’s letting things go and retraining to not let those things happen again.

It’s also a heart issue.  Are we putting more stock into material things than into what the Lord promises in taking care of us?  Instead of holding back for the “what ifs”, why not use what we are given, and what we don’t need anymore, pass on to those that do.  If it’s garbage, put it out in the garbage.  If it’s useful, find it a new home with folks who can use it.  If it’s paper, shred it, burn it, do something to get it a new home somewhere besides yours.  Do we need to hold on to things as a security blanket?  No.

I will admit it.  I’m guilty.  I’ve shed many things over the years, with moving, downsizing, getting tired of moving tons of junk.  But there’s more to do, especially after marrying a man with some hoarding habits that increase as time passes.  Sure, we both come from homes that had little, with parents who had basically nothing when they were growing up.  But does that mean we have to keep every shred of paper, book, grocery bag, plastic cup, etc that comes into the house?  NO!

Would you like to join us as we begin our own trip down Hoarders’ Lane and declutter along side us?

I’ve already started in the past week or so, with giving away all of my hair clip making supplies that I haven’t used much of, as well as bags of fabric scraps I’ve held on to “just in case” I get a chance to use them.  I’ve given books to the thrift shop, as well as other items have left our house.  I’m guarding against bringing any more back in that can’t be used up immediately.

I imagine this will be the first of many posts on our new adventure….decluttering!

 

I Wanna Be Loved Like That

You’ve heard the love stories, Anthony and Cleopatra, Sarah and Abraham, Scarlett and Rhett, Natalie Wood and James Dean, Roy and Ginger, and so many others throughout history…  The ones where you know they love one another no matter what, til literally death do they part.  They’d give each other the moon and stars, even die for one another.

Do you ever hear of stories like that in your daily life?

I’d love to share one with you!

Picture back to the 1950’s, just before the communist revolution.  Bautista is still in charge of the little island.  Jose was a new Christian and with help of missionaries, on his way to a new life in America.  He left behind his family, who still worked on the farm as sharecroppers.  Mama, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, all the family still on the island then.

Jose comes to the US and goes to bible college.  There he meets a young lady named Dorothy.  They fall in love and marry.  Of course this is during a time when interracial marriages are frowned upon, and if you weren’t white you had prejudiced people just waiting to look down noses and exclude you.  Jose and Dorothy return to Dorothy’s hometown, a little bitty town in Kansas, and help her mom and dad, Jose working for him for a while before going on to work for the local school district.

They raise a family, host Jose’s family as they come in from Cuba to escape Castro’s regime, work in their local church, and work with Voice of the Martyrs in spreading the gospel all over the world, all from the little town in Kansas.

Their children grow, becoming nurses, real estate agents, oil field workers, one goes into the military, etc.  All grow up and begin families of their own, but all keep close ties to home.  Eventually Papa retires from the school district after 20 or more years of service.

Dorothy’s health declines, and Jose begins taking care of her, doing all the things now that she used to do as a homemaker.  He cooks her meals, does the laundry, cleans the floors, gardens, grows beautiful flowers, makes sure Dorothy has her medicines, makes sure she goes to her doctor appointments, hosts anyone who visits and extends hospitality to everyone.

Jose starts feeling different, and after some lab work discovers he has cancer.  But this is a slow growing cancer, but already taken over 1/2 of an organ.  By this time, he is 85.  Of course the kids fret and worry about dad.  He does a series of shots to slow down and push back the cancer cells, and it works.  He even gets to a point where he can be cancer free.  The shots don’t kill the cells, but has gotten him to where he can do a short series of radiation and finish them off and be in remission 4 or 5 months after initial diagnosis.

Jose turns the option down.  He worries he wouldn’t be able to take care of Dorothy, and she wants no one but him to tend to her.  He puts her needs above his own.  He knows the radiation will make him sick, and he wouldn’t be able to tend to his needs and hers.  So he puts her above him.  He continues to serve her.

I want to be loved like that.

Jose and Dorothy are my father and mother in law.

*

*Summer 2012 update–Jose has moved on to complete successfully most of the radiation treatments.  No sickness!  He has more energy than he did before the treatments, and doing well, taking care of Dorothy, and marching on.  Isn’t God good?

What Having Children With Autism Has Taught Me

Ya know, there’s tons of blogs and billions of blog posts on autism.  I’ve read a few, commented on a couple from time to time, but on my own I’ve mostly stayed away from posting much on autism.  It’s not because there’s nothing to say, it’s just the way we see the kids evidently is much different than many of the bloggers out there.

Our 3 are on the spectrum at varying levels.  One is almost ready to *not* be on the spectrum as he’s outgrown most of the things he does that’s considered on the spectrum.  One is going farther into the spectrum (almost like he’s sucking up all the things that the other one has stopped doing).  One just had an evaluation for the spectrum.

Mr. Kevin has went from mild autism to PDD-NOS, and working his way down.  Believe me I’m happy–he’s displayed less and less of the autism type behaviors as he’s grown older.  He was diagnosed at 2, after putting his head through a plate glass window after headbanging.  He at that time had textbook signs and was an easy diagnosis.   Now, before doing the full Baptist happy dance…he does have a replacement diagnosis that will dominate the rest of his life.  He is also diagnosed with Bi Polar disorder, which his biological dad also has.  But even with the bi polar disorder, he has chance at a normal happy life and independence and so on.

Mr. Michael was diagnosed with Asperger’s at 6 or so.  I think it was 6.  He was in kindergarden anyway.  He’s 10 1/2 now, and with each passing day the signs show up so much more distinctly.  Such rigidness in everything–anything with instructions must be done precisely as written, with no variance.  Sounds are hard on him, he hears things the rest of us can’t.  He gets overstimulated so easily.  And violent–when he doesn’t get his way, he chooses to lash out physically.  He also has severe adhd to contend with, and it’s not just the wiggling in the seat type thing.  Oh no, that’d be a blessing.  His is absolutely so wild and unable to concentrate first thing in the morning that he is not able to comprehend his own name, get dressed, etc.  It’s a daily fight to simply get out of bed, do bathroom time, take medicines (he has been threatened with suspension without it), and get ready for school.  Without medicine, he has paranoia that is unreal, is so unable to focus he is in his own world and may as well talk to the moon and get an answer as to talk to him, so hyper he can run around the block 10 times before I get out the door (or seems to anyway), so super sensitive to sounds that he hears something across town and asks us what it is (as if we heard it too).  And he flaps enough that if combined with the hyperness, he will someday take flight.  Literally.  But with all that, he has the extreme brilliance–he is super super smart, near genius IQ (was 110 at 6 yrs old, and due for another test),  can take things apart (especially electronics) and put them together (in varying ways).  He has programmed a tv to get radio reception (it didn’t have a radio) and freaked out his grandma and grandpa (they weren’t so pleased).  He when he was younger was able to put together a tv/dvd/vcr/cable (all different boxes, dvd and vcr was not combined) and make them all work.  He is totally obsessed with computers and computer games and video games and anything electronic.  And now Star Wars and light sabers.   He has an imagination to equal George Lucas’s.

Miss Jess, she’s a quiet one.  She has a submissive spirit, but a wild adhd like her brother as well.  She is a tomboy, loves playing with hotwheels and barbies, soccer and tea parties.  She was a screamer as a little girl, at 2 to 4, she screamed at the top of her lungs when things didn’t go her way.  She didn’t want to go to bed, she’d scream.  All night.  She didn’t want to take a bath, same thing (and she still got her bath).  She didn’t want to do anything at all, the high pitch screaming came out.  Her verbal skills didn’t start til near 5, and the screaming steadily went down.  She also didn’t potty train til 5, when she’d simply choose to pee or poop in her pants, would tell us she knew she had to go and then would play or watch tv instead.  It took making her wash out her own panties that she got the hint really fast, and she decided it wasn’t so fun to sit in pee and poop anymore.  She is very slow, not mentally, but physically.  She will goof off, daydream, anything but the task given to her.  Homework from school can and usually does take allllll evening…for 6 to 10 simple math problems.  A simple meal takes an hour and a half.  Dressing about the same amount of time if we let her.  I’ve seen a 2 legged turtle go faster.  She is smart when she chooses to show it, but usually chooses not to.  She has so much potential, if she’d only physically move.

I’ve learned that they are not a diagnosis.  They are kids.  Slap whatever label on them, they are still them.  They will test limits.  They will act out.  They will drive us nuts.  But they are not their diagnosis.

With this family, we choose to not let their diagnosis rule them.  Many folks would let them slide on things because of the autism stuff.  Umm no.  They are able to learn correct behavior at home, in public, in church, in school, in stores.  The kids may not like having to practice it, but to be honest, with the work they’ve done to learn correct behavior in public, many times they are much more behaved than ‘normal’ kids.  I can sit them in a pew at church, and you won’t hear them.  They may wiggle, but you won’t see them acting out (or if you do, you’ll also see consequences and a learning experience for them).  I can take them to a store, and you won’t see them throwing big fits wanting the latest toys.  Oh, they’ll bug for things, step out in front of folks as they hang on to the cart, fuss with each other as siblings do, etc, but you won’t see the fits that many ‘normal’ kids do demanding the latest, most expensive toy.  Why?  Training.  I tell them no, I teach them that there’s reward for good behavior, and a punishment when they behave badly in public, and it’s up to them to choose.

Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t happen overnight.  And it wasn’t easy.  It has taken years of training, years of episodes of one, two, or all three acting out so badly I had moments of where I wasn’t sure I wanted to be associated with them.  I’ve carried them out many times kicking and screaming.  I’ve been hit, kicked, scratched to bleeding, etc over not getting what they want.  And each time, I’ve been consistent.  Regardless of what they’ve been labelled with, they can and do learn.  And they will model what they see and are taught.  If you teach them that they can’t learn because of a diagnosis, they will run wild and nothing will get through.  If you teach them that they can learn, it’s expected of them, there’s consequences for good and bad actions (good consequences and bad consequences), and that they can control how they do, the DO learn!

When Mr. Kevin was 2, I was told by a behavioral therapist who was doing in home work, to never tell him (Kevin) no.  Over my dead body would I follow that!!  Granted it cost me a lot of sanity and skin and a few pints of blood (that boy could scratch like a pro), but he learned quickly what no was, and that mom meant it.  Mr. Michael was taught for a while (not by me, but by his doctor, dad, therapist, school, etc) that medications were the fix and if he acted out it was the medicine’s fault.  He’s had a hard lesson, as I’ve had to teach him the opposite, and his dad has followed suit.  He has learned that regardless of his medicine, he is able to control his actions.  And he is held responsible.  Mr. Kevin has had to learn that as well as he just started blaming a medicine for his acting out, and his psychiatrist and I both told him that he is responsible for his actions–we both told him at the same time in the psychiatrist’s office after he’d been acting out horribly in public, and had some nasty consequences).

The point is, the diagnosis does not determine their lives.  They can choose right and wrong, and learn.

I’ve learned to lean on God.  Oh, I’ve seen folks who’ve said “I took care of me, God didn’t do it”…but they’re wrong.  God gives us what we can handle, nothing more.  He knows what it will take to make us let go and hold on to Him.  God knows that we will have to lean on Him in order to raise the three kids.  We can’t do it alone.  We have to wrap them in prayer, give them over to Him in order for Him to work His will in them.  I’ve learned to heavily lean on Proverbs 3:5-6 and Proverbs 15:1.  Without Him, I couldn’t be the mom the kids need.

Raising children with autism spectrum disorders isn’t all that different from raising “normal” kids.  There’s ups and downs.  There’s learning experiences that you live through and grow with.  There’s family that will never understand.  There’s friends who stick beside you, some that go away.  But God is always there, He understands.  He created each child, knew them in the womb, and knows each hair on their heads.  He gave each child to us for a reason, and some days I really believe it is to make us lean on Him more.  Sure, it’d be easy to say that “I did it”, but it’d be a lie.

He did it.  It’s all because of Him.

Growing Pains

A few weeks ago Miss Jess brought home a little cutting of a plant.  The little thing had 3 leaves and no root system, but it was lodged in a cup of soil and ready to start out.  Miss Jess left it on her dresser for a few days and didn’t mention she had it, but I found it when putting away clothes.  I put some water in it and set it in the kitchen window.

2 weeks later, we had doubled leaves!!  YAY!  Miss Jess was excited as can be to see her little plant growing.  4 weeks later, we have the plant above…with more leaves than before.

As I watched this little fledgling plant grow, it made me think of not only growing physically, but also growing in God.

Growing and blooming in the Lord is much like this little plant growing in the cup.  This little plant needs nutrients, water, and sunlight.  We need nutrients, water, which we get from the Bible and good solid preaching, and Sonlight, which is pretty obvious where it comes from.

Growing in the Lord also comes with growing pains.  We get where we are comfortable in our lives, or we get stuck in a rut and spin out.  We get festered in an area and need healing.  We get a sin boil that needs tended to.  It hurts, it gets inflamed, just like the real thing.

God the Great Physician takes care of the sin boil, taking away the sin and forgiving us.  He takes the infection and heals, making us whole again.  If He didn’t, we wouldn’t heal, we’d get more infected, and get sicker and sicker.  Just look at an unsaved person refusing God…how well do they look in their lives?

The Lord has worked on me as well, and I’ve had my own growing pains recently.  There’s been a lesson I needed to learn, and God put me in a position to learn it whether I really wanted to or not.  It hurt.  A lot.  But once the Lord tended to the infection in my heart that was winding its way through to other areas in my life, I feel a lot better.  The infection affected how I treated my family, how I handled things, etc.  With healing, I am better.  That sin boil is gone!

Growing pains come with being a child of God.  God wants us to look just like Jesus.  He’s crazy about His Son, and wants us to be like Him in all manners.  He will mold us, chisel away at us, take out what needs taking away, adding what needs added, in order for us to be more like Jesus.  It’s not always pleasant, but it’s worth it.

Much like watching this plant grow…

Peace Like A River

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Ah, I love this hymn….”It Is Well With My Soul”…  It is so..well..peaceful.

It is well, with my soul, It is well, it is well, with my soul. 

In all the turmoil that surrounds us, in our every day lives, this is an excellent reminder!

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul. 

Such peace in these words…  Christ shed His blood for me!  And for YOU too!  That someone would love me so much as to die for me and take my sins upon him, that brings much peace to the soul!

Won’t you today find the peace that only comes from Jesus?