Saturday, August 22, 2015

Some thoughts on prayer

I am a praying person. Sometimes people question why we need to pray to God if He is going to do whatever He wants anyway. 

I was listening to a sermon by Adrian Rogers and he told a story that really touched me. He said that a college invited him to speak and sent a private airplane to pick him up. He said the pilot asked him if he'd like to try flying the plane for a little bit. Of course Adrian wanted to give it a try!  He said it was exhilarating knowing he was flying the plane. He said that pilot didn't need him to fly the airplane, but Adrian definitely needed the pilot!  He said they made a connection and enjoyed the experience together.   And he said that's what God does with us. Even though God doesn't need our participation, He invites us to partner with Him in what He is doing. It will allow us to fellowship with Him and learn to depend on Him. 

Another thing I've been learning is this:  as someone who prays, I spend a lot of time praying for temporary needs. There is nothing wrong with this--in fact the bible tells us to be persistent in our prayers. Jesus even tells us to ask for "our daily bread" in the example he gave his disciples  of how to pray. 

But I recently started thinking about prayers that pertain to eternal things. Maybe it is more important to pray that a person's faith grows than their comfort. Sometimes God takes us out of our comfort zone because he wants us to depend on him. Maybe then we will really experience the exhilaration of flying with Him. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Meltdown of epic proportions

So, we had plans for Drew to meet his new teacher before school starts. We made arrangements with her and planned to meet Drew's aide at the school.  I precisely planned the timing of telling Drew about it. He seemed to take it pretty well. Blake knew about it but didn't make a big deal about it, either. Blake started talking about how he wanted to sit in the front seat. I told him he needed to sit in the back today and to let Drew sit in the front seat. Sometimes when Drew sits in the back and gets nervous, I have a very hard time getting him out. I figured it would be easier to get Drew out of the front seat than the very back of the van.  

We all got ready and while I was turning things off in the house, Blake ran out to the van and got in the front seat and buckled in. I scolded him and told him to get in the back, but he refused. Drew was getting agitated about it and climbed into the backseat. I decided to not make a big deal about it, because I wanted to keep them both calm and happy.

We got to the school and Blake was quite agitated. He repeatedly lock the door when Drew wouldn't get out of the van. Thankfully, I had my keys with me and was able to unlock the doors. Eventually Drew got out and went inside the school with his aide. At this point, Blake was very agitated and wouldn't get out of the van. I let Drew go in and told his aide that I would wait in the van for him.

After a few minutes, his teacher came outside. I had gotten Blake calmed down at this point and he came in the school with me. I was able to go in the classroom and talk with the teacher. Drew waited in the hallway for the most part.

Blake slammed the classroom door and ran out to the van, which was right outside the door. I knew the parking lot was pretty much empty, so I didn't follow immediately. After finishing up my conversation with the teacher and aide, (just a minute or two later) I went out to the van. Blake was all ready coming back towards the building. He said, "I broke the van it is broken."  I got in the van to check it out, and sure enough, he had pulled the sun visor off. The plastic was actually broken. Drew freaked out and started yelling, "he broke it he broke it Mom the van is broken!" I agreed, but tried to stay very calm about it, even though I was upset about it. When we got home I called my mom to see if she could come over while I ran the van up to the car dealership to see what they thought about it. Too bad I didn't call her to see if she could watch Blake while Drew and I went alone to the school!  Anyway, she came over and I brought the van to the car dealership. They looked up the part, which needed to be replaced completely. It is going to cost $143 to fix! It was an expensive visit to the teacher. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Pool Party Success

So, as an update to THIS post, here are some pictures of the Arc pool party we went to last night.  We all had lots of fun, even though the water was so cold! 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

When Special Needs Child Rearing Differs from Typical Child Rearing

Sometimes I vent about my kids and their behavior.  If you don't have a special needs kid, you might say, "Well, that's all kids.  My kids do that, too."  And I don't dispute that there are similarities.  But I can almost guarantee that the scope of the behavior varies greatly.

As you may have guessed, I am thinking of a particular situation we are dealing with right now. (read: enduring)

Yesterday, Shelby County Arc was scheduled to have a pool party.  When it comes to outings, we need to tread carefully about introducing the idea to our kids.  Drew especially struggles with going places.  So, I broke the news that we had a pool party last night.  Amazingly, he took the news really well.  He even tried on his new swim trunks without coaxing.  Unfortunately, the weather was bad and the party was postponed to tonight.  He was in his swim trunks and I had to tell him the party was cancelled.  Again, he took the news well and changed into his regular clothes.

As he often does on Saturday, he started obsessing about going to church on Sunday.  He follows me around the house, saying, "I'm not going to church on Sunday.  I can't open the door for the ladies.  Mens go first.  Church is cancelled."  We assure him that he is going to church on Sunday, and he can open the door for the ladies.  It doesn't matter what we say, he continues this conversation over and over.  He asks who will be there.  The expected answer is "Lofty"  Who is Lofty, you might ask?  Lofty is Drew's imaginary friend, the crane character from Bob the Builder.  We think he relates to Lofty because Lofty is hesitant and anxious about things, just like Drew.

So, we were already on this treadmill conversation and had been for a couple hours at least, when I let it slip that we are going to the pool party tonight.  So, added to the conversation about church, he says he can't go swimming, he hates swimming.  Lofty will not be there.  And he hates Little Caesars.  Wait, what?  What does Little Caesar's have to do with it?  Well, a few times, we stopped at Little Caesars for a Hot and Ready pizza and breadsticks.  So, now we have to do it every time we go swimming, or a meltdown ensues with self-injurious behavior and all.

I keep reassuring him that he can do it, and he will have fun.  I made him a schedule and showed him pictures of past pool parties to remind him  that he likes pool parties.  But still he follows me around as I try to do some household chores, going through his script, so close that he bumps into me if I turn around too fast.  It is now twenty minutes before five.  We have almost two hours until we leave for the pool party.  His behavior will escalate with his anxiety as the pool party approaches.  Would it be easier to forgo these outings?  You bet.  But we know that he will have fun and have a sense of pride that he actually was about to do it, just like we told him.  I will update later with pictures of his success.  Hopefully.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Different Perspective on the Duggar Situation

I have only been watching the Duggars for a couple years.  I have been fascinated with their lives and their family.  I admit I was pretty shocked to hear that Josh Duggar molested his sisters when he was a teenager.  I have read many comments online saying what a slimeball Josh Duggar is/was and how their family is in a cult and that Josh's victims will be ruined for life because of his abuse.  I have read that he has apologized and his sisters have forgiven him.  From what I have read online, people have said that they couldn't possibly have forgiven him, that they were coerced into saying they did to protect their family image.  All of this may be true, I don't know the Duggars personally, so I can't say.

But I do have a few things to say on the subject.  Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident.  And I have read reports citing as many as 1 in 3 women will be abused in their lifetime.  So, these are high numbers.  Chances are good that if you are reading this, either you or someone you love has been sexually abused.  And it is my belief that these statistics are low because many instances are never reported.

Like many of you, I was sexually abused as a child.  It was by a babysitter.  I didn't report it because I didn't want to get anyone in trouble, and of course, there was shame about what I had done/been forced to do.

I am not going to lie and say there were no repercussions.  It was a secret I didn't want brought up for years and didn't even tell my parents about it until I was an adult.   And I probably wouldn't have told them ever if it hadn't been revealed by my sister who also was abused by this person..  I didn't want them to be hurt or maybe think they did something wrong by allowing this person to babysit for us.

 Psalm 61:1 is one of my very favorite verses in the bible. It speaks of Jesus and his redemption:

 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

Ah,  friend-- good news to the poor means that Jesus died for your sins and mine have been forgiven by Jesus.   He died on the cross to pay for the sins of the world.  When I accepted Him as my Savior, my sins were forgiven and placed on Him.  No longer am I dead in my sins, but can know they are forgiven and will have eternal life with my Savior.

I have given my life to Christ and with it, all of my hurts.  That includes the pain of sexual abuse. Jesus says through the prophet Isaiah that he was sent to bind up the brokenhearted.  Psalm 147:3 says: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Sometimes, people who are sexually abused are held captive by the memories of what they endured.  I am not saying that is wrong.  I think it is a natural reaction.  Satan would love for us to be bitter about what happened and let it ruin our relationships.  He is a deceiver and a destroyer.

I have completely forgiven my abuser.  When I think of her, I feel no malice.  I only feel sorrow for the fallen world we live in that led her to hurt me in the first place.  I pray for her salvation and that she has repented of her sins and has given her life to Christ.

 I believe that if Josh Duggar has TRULY repented of his sins and humbly asked forgiveness, the Bible tells me:  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

I don't know if the Duggar sisters have truly forgiven their brother.  But I know that it is possible with Christ's help.