The Reality

A blog from the past:

Know that God is a God of hope. Know that He will work out your problems for some good, unseen as it is now in your life. Know that He has reasons beyond what you may ever know on this earth for the dark days you are facing. Know that He will never leave you or forsake you.

He Said What?!

Three years ago, we planted sunflowers around the perimeter of our vegetable garden.  Aaron was SO happy that Gary and I had finally agreed to grow these giant flowers.  Aaron had wanted sunflowers for a long time.  They did not disappoint as they grew and grew and grew that first summer.

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Last year, Gary and Aaron planted some of the seeds that Gary had harvested from our first sunflower crop.  Again, the mammoth flowers grew steadily and gave us much beauty to enjoy.

This year we decided not to plant a vegetable garden.  Time constraints during the planting season, very late winter weather, some traveling, and severe drought caused us to make this decision.

One day, though, we noticed some plants emerging from the soil.  Sure enough, we soon realized that our sunflowers had returned.  We hadn’t planted a single seed this year.  These were volunteer sunflowers that had sprouted…

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When is the Time to Trust?

A couple mornings ago I felt compelled to open my very old copy of the classic devotional book, Streams in the Desert.  This book was a gift from my home church when I graduated from high school way back in 1973.  But even though my graduation date makes the book old…of which I am all too aware more and more each day…the actual writings of Mrs. Charles Cowman were first published in 1925.  Her writing style may be old school, but the deep truths contained therein are timeless.

I was touched deeply by what I read that morning about faith and trust.  I jotted a few notes, tucked the truths away in my mind, and was soon about my busy day.  Aaron was staying home that day and we had fun plans!

Our plans were to meet some friends at All Star Sports for a morning of games.  My friend Joyce and I had decided to get our two sons together.  It would be the first time that Johannes and Aaron would be with each other for an outing, and we both wondered how it would go.

How it went was great!  I mean, there wasn’t tons of interaction between them, but the ice was broken, and plans were made for more time together.  Sweet Johannes held his hand out and with a prompt from me, Aaron shook his hand without squeezing it too hard, and Joyce and I laughed and were happy.  The boys had a good time and that’s what mattered!

 

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Aaron and I then went to eat some lunch and to drop off donations at Goodwill before heading home.  Soon after we got home, Aaron took a nap.  I had the monitor nearby, listening as I always do when he sleeps.  I really didn’t expect to hear a seizure, so I was surprised when I suddenly heard that unmistakable sound coming across the table where I sat.

It was a hard seizure, lasting close to 3 minutes.  And exactly one hour later, to the minute, he had another one.  It wasn’t as long as the first one but was still 2 minutes long.  Thankfully, he was done then and had no more the rest of the day.

It’s so surprising, even now after all these years, how quickly Aaron can go from being out and about, happy and fine, to having a seizure.  I don’t try to figure them out like I used to do, but I still find myself wondering why.

Even the next day on the way home from his day group, his speech was somewhat slurred, and he was very tired.  He fell asleep on the way home instead of his usual non-stop talking.  Was it the residual effects of yesterday’s seizure, I wondered?  Is his sodium low again?  Will he have another seizure when he gets home and takes a nap?

 

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So, even though this is Aaron’s life and our life, it’s still disconcerting.  Worrying.  Unsettling.

My mind was drawn back to the devotional I read earlier that morning.  I went back to it and was, as I always am, so amazed at how God has for me just what I need when I most need it.

Mrs. Cowman’s words were based on the story of Paul’s shipwreck in Acts 27.  The south wind blew gently as the sailor’s pulled anchor.  Paul had warned them not to take this trip, but they didn’t listen.  And that south wind was such a hopeful sign to them that they were right, and Paul was wrong.

But soon a terrible storm hit.  For days the ship was violently tossed on the waves.  During that horrible storm, with no sun or stars for days…with everything thrown off the ship that could possibly be tossed overboard…verse 20 says that all hope of being saved was abandoned.

But an angel of God stood before Paul to assure him there would be no loss of life.  Paul stood bravely before those battered and terrified seasoned sailors, and confidently said, “So take heart, men, FOR I HAVE FAITH IN GOD!!”

I thought about our life with Aaron…the ups and downs in so many areas…and the fear concerning his seizures.  How that day had been so much fun and so without fear, and then out of the blue came two hard seizures.  It was easy for fear to replace our fun.

My need to trust God is always there, right at the surface, even underneath all the normal and the fun and the hopeful.

But ACTUALLY trusting God is a must when suddenly the normal and the fun and the hopeful is yanked away.

That level of trust is a conscious decision that I must make.

That level of trust isn’t based on circumstances or on feelings but is rooted in God Himself…in Who I know Him to be.

This year for all of us has seen the rug pulled out in so many areas of our lives.  Things were going along pretty well for most of us.  Then…BAM!!

COVID…jobs…riots…anger…fear…disagreement.

I want to leave you with the hope that God is not taken aback or surprised by any of this.  He has a purpose and a plan.

Can you say, with Paul, that you have faith in God?

I want to leave you with a wonderful poem shared by Mrs. Cowman that I read that morning.  I hope it will mean as much to you as it did…and does…to me.

 

When is the time to trust?

                        Is it when all is calm,

                        When waves the victor’s palm,

                        And life is one glad Psalm

                        Of joy and praise?

            Nay!  But the time to trust

                        Is when the waves beat high,

                        When storm clouds fill the sky,

                        And prayer is one long cry,

                                    O help and save!

 

            When is the time to trust?

                        Is it when friends are true?

                        Is it when comforts woo,

                        And in all we say and do

                        We meet but praise?

            Nay!  But the time to trust

                        Is when we stand alone,

                        And summer birds have flown,

                        And every prop is gone,

                                    All else but God.

 

            What is the time to trust?

                        Is it some future day,

                        When you have tried your way,

                        And learned to trust and pray

                                    By bitter woe?

            Nay!  But the time to trust

                        Is in this moment’s need,

                        Poor, broken, bruised reed!

                        Poor, troubled soul, make speed

                                    To trust thy God.

 

            What is the time to trust?

                        Is it when hopes beat high,

                        When sunshine gilds the sky,

                        And joy and ecstasy

                                    Fill all the heart?

            Nay!  But the time to trust

                        Is when our joy is fled,

                        When sorrow bows the head,

                        And all is cold and dead,

                                    All else but God.

 

 

Seeing BIG!

I want to see God BIG, but not to just expect His bigness to be demonstrated in BIG events.

He Said What?!

Last Friday evening, a good old Kansas thunderstorm was trying to blow in from the west.

WP_20180622_20_43_53_ProBy the time we were getting ready for bed, the winds were kicking up and the lightning was really flashing.  Aaron, who loves storms…especially nighttime storms…was very excited at the prospect of a lightning show, seen clearly from his upstairs westward facing windows. 

“Mom, I want to keep my blinds open,” he informed me as we went through his bedtime routine.  I knew he would want to do this.  Every time we have a storm when it’s time for bed…or the prospect of a storm during the night…Aaron wants to keep his blinds open so that he can see the lightning in all its bright glory.

I’m glad that he’s not scared.  In fact, I join Aaron in his love of watching lightning.  That’s why, after I told him goodnight, I went straight to…

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Aaron on the Wild Side

Not even two miles from our house is an amazing wildlife park.  Tanganyika Wildlife Park is a favorite of ours, and definitely a favorite of Aaron’s.  Yesterday afternoon Gary and I took Aaron to Tanganyika for an afternoon on the wild side.  I loved these pictures so much that I just wanted to share them with all of you.

You can see by Aaron’s smile that he loves Tanganyika!

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We were greeted at the beginning of our visit by these ends!  🙂

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Aaron loved feeding Pluto some carrots.  Look at those teeth!!

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The penguins are adorable!

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We fed some lemurs but couldn’t take photos in there.

Then there was this huge guy, who is 48 years old!

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The kangaroo was soft and mellow.

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And Aaron LOVED the Lorikeets, especially the one who nibbled and licked his hair.

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This beauty danced when I played a song on my phone!  So much fun!

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There are so many other animals to see.  It’s just a great place…not too big but with plenty to see.

We ended with a stop to see and feed the giraffes.  Look at both these happy faces!!  What a perfect way to end our day on the wild side with Aaron!

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Setting the Mask Example

You know how you feel if you see a sign while you’re driving that says, “DANGER AHEAD!!”   Well, it’s not like we see those signs often, if ever, but in my life with our autistic Aaron there are most definitely sure pointers to a certain danger lying ahead of us.

Take, for instance…masks.

I knew when this COVID issue was ramping up and masks were becoming suggested…strongly suggested…then required…

Well, I knew we were probably in for a rough road ahead with Aaron.

Aaron…who would come home from school at a very young age with holes torn in his shirt because he had angrily ripped the tag out.  The tag irritated him and so I learned to cut tags out of each of his shirts.

Aaron…who furiously rebelled at wearing jeans when he was young because he only wanted “soft pants.”

I could go on, but you understand.  And so do many of my special-needs friends and other parents I don’t even know who are facing this mask dilemma with their tactically sensitive children…young or adult.

Aaron and I pulled into our Aldi parking lot when I decided to have him wear a mask for the first time.  Actually, I had been plotting this day for awhile.  I took Aaron for a nice walk nearby at Nellie’s Pond.  We sat on a bench and watched a family of ducks.  We watched people fishing.  We watched geese munching on grass nearby.  We were relaxed and happy.  A perfect time to broach the irritating subject of…MASKS!!

And to break the news to Aaron that on this day…in just a few minutes…he would be wearing a mask and I would be wearing a mask when we went to Aldi.

GULP!!

I helped Aaron with his mask before we exited the van.  He was not too happy, to say the least, but he did keep it on.  We hadn’t even opened our doors yet but I was telling myself, “So far, so good!!  The mask is ON his face!!”

“Okay!!” I happily exclaimed as we met at the back of the van and I took out my shopping bags.  “Let’s go shopping!”

We had taken only a few steps when…

“This is all TRUMP’S fault!!”  Aaron angrily responded.

Oh boy.

For some strange reason, since the virus first became an issue, Aaron had an issue with Trump.  He blamed the virus and the disruption in his personal life on Trump.  Who knows why?!

“Aaron,” I reprimanded firmly, “stop saying that!  Do NOT say that in the store!”

Aaron was quiet as we walked inside.  As he looked at some cookies, he made a comment about them and then stopped mid-sentence.

“My VOICE sounds funny!!” he blurted out.

“Then just don’t talk, Aaron,” I replied with impatience.  I walked away and Aaron followed, with me dreading what the next outburst might be.  I just wanted to hurry and be done with our shopping.  When Aaron gets upset like this, there is no pleasing him.  No pep talks.  No consolations.  No smiles (he couldn’t see them under my mask anyway!!).

Really, nothing helps but to end the misery and I was determined to not give him an easy out.

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Through the rest of the store he pointed out people who weren’t wearing masks.  I glared at him with my best glare!

He complained about being uncomfortable.  He said his ears hurt.  And the second we stepped up to the register line, he was done.  Off came the mask!

All in all, though, I thought it went pretty well.  Trust me.  It could have been FAR worse!

The following weeks have seen progress with Aaron and his mask.  Look at him here at his doctor visit in June!

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But there was a big hurdle ahead…one I really dreaded.

Going back to his day group, Paradigm.

Masks were being required there, although his wonderful staff said they all understood that not only Aaron but several of the clients might have serious issues with wearing a mask all day.

His first day back last week started out a little rough.  I walked in with him and my heart sank as he at first refused the hand sanitizer, and emphatically said NO each time he was reminded to wear his mask.  I left there and drove home with a very heavy heart.  But later, after he ate, he was told to look around at how everybody else had on a mask.  So he put his on and has done well every day since.

I was talking with some of the staff later in the week.  They are amazed at the resilience and adaptability from these special-needs adults.  They have so many challenges already on many various levels, yet there they are in their day group…happy, chatting together, eating, laughing, not able to go out in the community right now, some sitting in wheel chairs, struggling with all sorts of health issues and other problems…and they’re wearing their masks.

They’re not arguing about whether masks do a good job.  They’re not talking about conspiracy theories.  They’re not reading the latest media stories or listening to all the debates.  They just know that they are, at this point, required to add one more uncomfortable thing to their already uncomfortable lives…so they do it.

They just do it.

Sometimes I wonder if our special-needs ones, full of so much discomfort already, have an easier time adapting to just one more discomfort than do we.

We…who are acting a bit spoiled, I might add.

I have ONE thing that’s irritating to me on most days.  A mask.

I don’t have the myriad issues that Aaron and his friends at his day group have.

Then why am I the one that is quick to complain?

I am humbled, once again, at our wonderful special-needs population…many of whom were unable to be with their families for weeks as they were in lockdown in their group homes.

I am humbled by the parents of our special-needs angels…parents who are exhausted and worried and have yet one more huge concern to add to their already full plates.

So let’s follow their example and just do what needs to be done right now, thanking God for each day and not letting our little inconvenience of wearing a mask turn us into absolute grouches.

Smile along with Aaron, everyone!

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Did God Say?

No matter the kind or the size of your garden……vegetable, flower, small, large, shady, sunny…..there is one thing that your garden will always have.

Weeds.

Pesky, fast growing, determined weeds.

It’s amazing how quickly they grow, even during times of drought.  We used to laugh when living in Arizona, telling each other not to pull the weeds in our yard because they were the only vegetation that was green!

Weeds themselves come in all kinds and sizes, shapes and colors. Some weeds are very obviously weeds.  One doesn’t even have to look or think twice before pulling them up, hopefully by their roots, like these weeds that were blatantly growing in our vegetable garden recently.  Lots of these weeds were either pulled or tilled over the past two days.

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If you could take a look in our Rose of Sharon bushes, however, you would find another sort of weed.  You might have to look hard, though, to find the intruder.  Can you see it?

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The first time I noticed this plant was when I was pruning our Rose of Sharon bushes two years ago.  The Rose of Sharon bushes were growing well and blooming beautifully as I began to prune some of the dead branches away, as well as some of the growth that was in the way of the lawn mower.

I saw the rich green and the pretty shape of these leaves.

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At first I was deceived by their beauty, thinking that they were a part of the Rose of Sharon.  But then it hit me.  Wait.  These leaves, pretty as they were, were NOT Rose of Sharon leaves.

I investigated further, tracing the growth of this new plant, and soon discovered that this pretty plant with the lush leaves was actually a vine.  It was a vine that was curling itself around my Rose of Sharon branches.

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Two years later, I’m still fighting this same vine.  It wraps and wraps itself around each Rose of Sharon branch, insidious in it’s desire to choke out my bushes…….my flowering bushes with their pretty blooms of white, purple, and pink.

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If I left this vine to do its crafty work, it would soon overtake my entire Rose of Sharon garden.  Every branch would eventually be choked and would die, leaving only the vine to prosper there.

It’s my choice.  I can have Rose of Sharon bushes there, or I can have an area full of this vine.

But this vine is a weed…..an intruder, as I said, that wants to destroy my bushes.  As pretty as the vine may be, it will only bring death to the bushes that I really want to grow.

So I continue to fight this stubborn vine.  I cut……I unwrap its tentacles from around each Rose of Sharon branch……I yank and I pull and I toss it in the trash.

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Yet the only way to permanently do away with each new vine growth that I find is to pull it up from its roots.  I must locate the source of the growth and deal with it on that level……the roots.

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Weeds remind me a lot of sin.  Some sins are very obvious to us.  We may see certain sins in our life and have no doubt about the fact that they are wrong.  Just like the weeds among my vegetables, those sins we know need to be yanked up and thrown out of our lives.

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But then there’s that other form of sin……the vine.

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I think it’s interesting that the very beginning story of mankind occurred in a garden.  God designed this gorgeous place for His creation, Adam and Eve, as well as all the animals and plants that He so carefully created.  God gave Adam and Eve great freedom, along with a free will.

We all know the tragic story, how one day Satan slithered into the picture.  He was captivating and wily, changing God’s words around ever so slightly to Eve in a way that made her doubt God.

Satan was beautiful, and he showed Eve how beautiful the forbidden tree could be to her.  He would never have convinced her to sin if he had shown her the truth of his lies…..if he had shown her that pain and sorrow and death would follow her sin.

We all know the tragic result, too, of this tragic story.  Look around today and we see it still, more and more as our culture continues to decline.

Satan hasn’t changed one bit.  His method is still to deceive us by masking sin in beauty, much as my ugly weed was masked as a lush, lovely vine.

Sin today is presented by the slick Hollywood version, all painted and desirable to those who can’t…..or won’t…..see beneath the surface, where broken lives and death prevail.

The arguments are as old as Satan in the garden himself.

“Did God say?” he whispers in our ear.  “God didn’t really mean it that way.  Those words may have been for a time long ago…..a culture far removed from our own…..but not for our progressive world today.”

“Did God say?” he softly hisses again.  “How hateful that sounds.  You don’t want to be known as a hater, do you?”

“Did God say?” he continues as we are lulled to sleep.  “God just doesn’t want you to be free to be you.  You should follow your heart, not those old words in that old book.”

“Did God say?” he again suggests.  “But you must find your own truth.  Your truth may not be what the Bible says.  Be who you are, without any regret.”

It’s so easy to listen to such charming words, especially when those words embody the popular ideas that are absolutely everywhere around us.  Our movies, our music, our classrooms, our books, our advertisements, are all jammed full of these world views.

Satan has taken such a hold on our culture now that he is entwined in every area.  He has curled himself around our thought processes and our lives in such an invasive way that we hardly recognize him anymore.  It’s all so loving and so warm and so free to think this way…..to live this way…..until it’s too late.

Satan would never want you to see the end result.  Paul told the Corinthians that Satan was an angel of light.  He comes at us with bright promises of a life lived the way we want, full of self-satisfaction and fun and acceptance.

But Jesus also said that Satan is the father of lies.  His lies sound so pleasant, so current, so loving and right.  But what he doesn’t show us is the death that always comes from sin.  Death of dreams, death of a relationship with God, death of living in God’s plan, and eternal death in hell.

Satan and his lies must be dealt with at the root.  Go back to the source of his lies, the evil that he represents, and know that Satan hates God.  Satan hates me.  Satan hates all of us, and he wants us to die eternally.  He is a murderer.  And you and I are the ones he wants to murder.

Sin brings death, but Jesus came to bring life.  He took our sin on Himself on the cross, suffering for sins that He never committed.  Suffering so that you and I could be free….free to live in His grace and His forgiveness.

We don’t have to sin.  We don’t have to have Satan’s lies choke out the life God wants us to have.  Repent…..turn around from your sin and turn to the God Who truly loves you…..and accept His grace and salvation.  Follow Him.

And be wise to the ways of our enemy.  Lush green leaves among my Rose of Sharon were really there to kill.  So is Satan, with all his clever words and his compelling beauty.

You might need to do some serious pruning in your life, but never will you regret the decision to let the right plant grow in your life’s garden.

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A Fun Fourth

Our Fourth of July was hot and sparkly, full of Aaron smiles and excitement, mixed in with too much quietness for my liking.  The quietness comes from not having our kids or extended family nearby.  I don’t even really like holidays for that reason, but I choose to count my blessings and enjoy our special Aaron times.

On Friday, Gary and I took Aaron out to eat at Cracker Barrel.  He loves that restaurant!  He left with a full stomach and a chocolate bar from the gift store, and ended up with a sack full of sparklers and other smoky, loud Fourth of July fun that we chose in the big tent a couple miles from home.

I’ll just leave you with pictures of our weekend, including a perfect front-row view of our town’s fireworks and the gorgeous full moon on Saturday night.   And lest I forget, we rescued a turtle that Gary found in our flower bed.  😊

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And my favorite picture of all says it all!

 

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Magical and Maddening

“Aaron, look!!” I exclaimed one recent night as I closed our family room blinds.  Aaron walked over to join me at the window.  There, emerging from the grass in our front yard, were dozens of fireflies.  Lightning bugs, we called them where I grew up in West Virginia.

Aaron thought they were very cool!  He insisted that Gary come to the window as well, and so we stood there together for a minute, enjoying the sparkling little bugs.

A few nights later, Gary and I sat on our front porch after the stifling heat of the day had subsided somewhat.  It’s nice for us to enjoy a few moments of quietness and of being together, just the two of us without Aaron’s loud interruptions.  As dusk fell and darkness was encroaching, up from the grass once again came those beautiful fireflies.

It was captivating watching their glow, so many of them combining into a magical light show right in front of us.  So peaceful.

Then…BAM!!

Out on the porch rushed Aaron, who is rarely quiet.  There went the peacefulness of our front porch evening!

“MOM!!  Are we watching a Little House tonight?” he asked, knowing the answer.

I assured him that we would watch an episode, as always.

But, as always, that wasn’t enough for Aaron.

“When?” he asked.  “Can we do it now?”

I knew what was ahead but wanting to remain in the magic of firefly glow I told Aaron that I would let him know when I was ready.  This answer never suits Aaron.

One of the very hardest things for Aaron to do is to wait…on anything.  He especially finds it nearly impossible to wait on me to watch a program with him when HE is ready.  He escalates quickly into anger at those times, no matter what I say or how well I prepare him for the inevitable wait.  That night was no exception.

Our evening was quickly reverting from magical to maddening.

Such is often the life of a caregiver.

My blogging friend, Cheryl, is the author of a caregiving blog written out of her experiences as she cares for her husband who has Parkinson’s.  Our situations are very different but also very similar.  I have loved her insights and her godly wisdom.

In one recent blog…linked here… (https://parkinsonscaregivernet.wordpress.com/2020/06/13/similar-yet-different-but-really-similar/) – she wrote:

“But we live for the moments of joy: seeing our loved one smile, hearing them recount experiences from the past, watching them respond to family and friends, hearing them tell a favorite joke. Those moments may be brief, so we hold them sacred in our hearts and bring them to mind when the times are difficult. Another is the joy of knowing we are doing our best, that we are doing the right thing, that we are doing God’s work here on earth by caring for our loved one. Let’s not forget that, especially when the moments are difficult or uncomfortable.”

The difficult moments with Aaron often involve his autistic behaviors…his demands that life revolves around HIS order and expectations of how things are to be.  During those times, no one else’s desires or needs are considered by Aaron to have importance.

Maddening.

On our firefly night, we told Aaron that he needed to wait.  We tried to get him to  enjoy the magical lights in our front yard but he was blinded by his own frustrations and cared nothing for the beauty around him.  Only one thing mattered.  And he wanted that one thing NOW.

Anger intruded into our evening and stood on our front porch, as opposite in its effect as could possibly be when compared to the earlier joy of time together with Gary among the little sparkles in our yard.

Later, the anger was gone as Aaron and I watched our show.  Aaron is usually oblivious to the effect he has on us during those times as he brushes off the recent outburst and is happy in his bubble again, where all is well.

Oh, that it was so easy for me to do the same!

Like Cheryl said, though, it’s important to hold the moments of joy sacred in our hearts and in our memories.  And to know that we, as caregivers, are doing God’s work here on earth.

My heart this morning was heavy as I helped Aaron during his second seizure…knew that I would have bedding to wash later…canceled my hair appointment…and tried to still my worried heart about other matters.

I had finished my normal Bible study and so I opened my Bible randomly to see where my eyes fell.  I love doing that!  It’s like opening a treasure box that I just unearthed, excited to see what’s inside!

And look what God gave me!!

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you.  Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?  In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”  (Job 12:7-10)

It’s all in God’s hands!

Aaron…me…Gary…others I love…our world…

All life and breath is in God’s hand.  All of creation declares that truth!

Now it’s up to me to trust our loving God and to rest in His hand.  And to…most importantly…trust Aaron into His hand and know that God put Aaron into our lives for a purpose I may never know on this earth.

But may I trust God’s knowing.  Trust and know just as much as the beasts and the birds and the bushes trust and know Who has done all this!!

Fireflies know, too, I am sure.

Maybe that’s why they shine their magical lights for all to see!

May I do likewise.

Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Radim Schreiber.

 

Aaron’s Talking Points #8

Time for more of Aaron’s comments that I’ve collected over the years!  😊

 

I just watched Aaron chow down 4 slices of taco pizza that I fixed. Then he said, “You know, Mom……….that wasn’t my favorite.” And it took you FOUR slices to figure this out, Aaron?!

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This week, Luke B has started the next part of our remodel. It did not go unnoticed by Aaron yesterday that the baseboards in the hall are gone. He charged into the room where I was, excited and bothered.

“MOM!!! Why is Luke digging up the bottom of our house?!!” 😅🧐

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I’m heating up leftovers for supper tonight. Aaron decided he wanted some Ravioli Lasagna.

The time was 4:36.

Me: Aaron, do you want me to heat up your Ravioli Lasagna now?

Aaron: No. It’s not 5:00.

Gary: Are you hungry?

Aaron: Yes. But it’s not 5:00.

😁😜⌚⏲

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Gary’s working on his truck mirrors. Aaron was outside talking to him (of course!), so when Aaron came inside, I asked him what Gary was doing. His answer?

“Dad’s working on his look-out mirrors!” 😅😅😅

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I ordered a game for Aaron yesterday. I told him it will arrive in a week or in 10 days. Today he said, “So it’ll arrive in a week or in 10 days, which is a week & 3 days. That’s all, right?” He must know the EXACT day. We’ll have this conversation for the next week or week & 3 days! If it doesn’t arrive on time, I may take a trip for a week or a week & 3 days – far away!

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Me, at 11:37: Aaron, do you want some lunch? Some pizza?

Aaron: No. It’s not 12:00. Don’t rush me!

🤣🤣🤣

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I told Aaron that Gary and I were going out tonight. His response: “OK. Scram.” He doesn’t waste words.

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I was trimming our big Rose of Sharon bushes while Gary worked on our bathroom remodel. Aaron was helping me put the limbs in a trash can. He could tell that I was getting tired, so he had an idea.

“Mom! You should take a break…and fix supper.” 😅😛

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Aaron had seizures night before last and into the day yesterday. He was slow and quiet and all the other things that go into a seizure day.

But today…total opposite for sure. He was out of bed way too early for me on a Saturday morning, but not for him!

“MOM!! I woke up at 7:59, but I stayed in bed till 8:00! Was that good to stay in bed till 8:00?!”

Let me think before I answer that, Aaron. 🤔😜

Trust me, I was trying to pull up all my sympathetic feelings from yesterday as he stood in front of me before 8:30, fully showered and dressed and mouth working overtime

He followed Gary around like a little puppy, talking about anything and everything.

“DAD!! Have you heard about…?”

“DAD!! Have you heard about…?”

Finally, Gary muttered something for only me to hear…something about motor mouth. But sharp-eared Aaron heard it.

“YEAH, DAD!! Have you heard about Mighty Mouse?!!”

😂😂😂

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Aaron, talking about someone who got pulled over for speeding (it wasn’t me!!): “He was supposed to be going the speeding of 30, but he was going faster than that!”

The moral of this story: Speed the speed limit!!

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Aaron asked me to fix him some apples. Then came the big decision about when to eat the apples. Finally, he had a plan.

“I know, Mom! I’ll watch Pirates of the Caribbean during my apples!” 😁😁

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Aaron had one seizure last night. When he only has one seizure instead of three or four, that’s when he seems prone to having the serious drop seizures that have caused injuries. I ran out this morning before Gary went to work and bought Aaron a helmet.

Aaron is staying home today to:

  1. See if he has anymore seizures.
  2. Participate in helmet training

So far, we have seen:

  1. No more seizures
  2. No helmet training participation

I have constructed a scientific formula based on our testing today.

Autism + Helmet = BIG FAT NO!!!!

Further testing and participation look doubtful. 🧐😟😬😝

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I’ve shared before about how Aaron has a very difficult time understanding and remembering family relationships. Remember when he was struggling with the fact that Andrea was going to marry Kyle? We told him that he wasn’t losing Andrea but instead would gain a brother. Then on a bad day, he responded, “I DON’T want Andrea to marry Kyle!! I don’t need a Grand-brother!!” 😄

So the other day, this happened:

“Mom, guess who picks up Chris at Paradigm? Sometimes his younger dad, and sometimes his grandfather!!” 😂👨‍🦰👴

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Aaron: Mom, do you want to play Skip-Bo?

Me: Mmmmm…..

Aaron: Do you want to?

Me: I don’t know.

Aaron: So do you want to play Skip-Bo?

Me: Mmmmm…..

Aaron: Do you want to?

Me: I’m thinking.

Aaron: Well, I wish your thinking would HURRY!!

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Masks, Mandates, and Believers

Our governor announced a mandate today saying that we must wear masks when in public, starting this Friday. And now it begins – the mask debates and opinions and shared articles, pro and con. I get it. All of you know I do. You know that I have shared my portion of opinions on various subjects. I don’t think it’s wrong to do that, but I do wonder what we as Christians are accomplishing.

Have we forgotten that God has ordained this time in history, and has also planned for you and I to be alive right now? What does He want us to say and do?

Just this morning, in my study of the book of Acts, I read the first four verses of Acts 8. Stephen had just been brutally stoned. Then Saul went on his horrible rampage, even entering the homes of Christians, dragging them out and putting them in prison. Christians were scattered all over Judea and Samaria.

Just think about that. Think about the fear you would feel. The awful fear of facing that kind of persecution or of having to run away from your families and friends, from your home and your town. Fearing prison or even death. Being hungry and homeless. And probably battling deep anger.

So what did these believers do? Verse 4: “Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.”

They shared the gospel.

If they were us, today, in our crazy world – what would they do? Argue about masks? Complain about quarantines or stay-at-home orders? Scour the internet for articles that confirm their beliefs? Deride those who don’t agree?

Doesn’t quite fit what I read in Acts about our early church family. And they were going through tons more than we are right now.

I find that thought, that knowledge, to be very personally convicting. We have a chance right now to talk to people who might not ever listen otherwise to the good news of Jesus. People who are vulnerable and scared and angry.

Why waste energy and time on feeding the frenzy right now? We need to feed people the Bread of Life. We need to get together with other believers and pray. We need to be in our Bibles.

Satan wants to mask any effort to share Christ with a hurting world by making us distracted by the unimportant. We can’t let that happen.

How I pray that we, the Church, will be the light in this darkness that will point others to the Light of the World.

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