A Precious Find

One of two things would happen if you were to come to my house.

1. You freeze at the door, eyes stretched wide at the sight before you.  The "flight" response powers your feet to march politely back out the door to the safety of your clutter & germ-free car.

2. You dare to step in overlooking the topsy-turvey terrain, to find the beauty buried beneath. You'd look at the creations of art by the children, at props laid out for scenes rehearsed and have a good 'ole belly laugh.

Our house is undoubtably messy. Given that we have 4 kids (10, 10, 7, 1) and two with autism & ADHD living in this small house-gone haywire, I don't know how we can have it any other way.

Chaotic as it is...  The last few months have uncovered various precious finds.  Amidst the overwhelming clutter, discovering something loaded with character, filled with beauty, amazingly brilliant or just plain funny is even more striking.

It is like a gift.

A gift laid in place by God, with it's purpose to bring a smile to my face.

Here are a few examples:

♥ I open the pantry door, peer between the cans and bags of various foods in search for the pasta I know is in there somewhere.

I get this odd sense that someone, or something is staring back at me.

I dare look in it's direction, and I see a butternut squash looking back at me.

Someone drew life in him with big eyes, a nose and mouth.  The squash is no more. Now it is the famous gourd "Jimmy" from VeggieTales!

No doubt, my Stevie gave him life that day.


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♥ I sit down at my computer to check for email amidst the spam.  I open a message from my 10 year old, Sage but the "From" line says it is from "The National Weather Service". Here are few excerpts:

At 5:30 PM at 12/31/12, An Emberrising Situation For The Last Day Of 2012. Fireworks Air Up At Different Times Instead Of 2011.

The New Year Signillifant Is A Situation For The Dates. When You Are Sleeping If You Hear Loud Noises, That will cause BIG Problems.
Fireworks Can Travel 46 to 61 MPH. This Is Dangerous But Away From The Windows AT HOME!

I love the way he processes things in his day.  His emails make my heart glow with cheer.

 

♥ I try to organize the tower of dvd's thrown hither and yon, and find amongst them this homemade dvd that Stevie had wanted for months:

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♥♥♥ Blessings in secret places; unexpected, like God was having fun planting them for me to find.

I can imagine the anticipation He must have as he waits for the discovery; to see me laugh, smile big.

 

All gifts are showered down on us by God.  He lavishes us with love (it rains down) .  

"Every good and perfect gift is from above" James 1:17

 "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us." Eph 1:7

 To lavish is like a torrential downpour of good.

His gifts and love are pouring down on us, we should be sopping from the wet!

Yet we so often miss "it" and grumble about needing to change our clothes, or complain that we forgot our umbrella.

With a shift of perspective, we see with new eyes.  Eyes gifted to see all the rain holds. We can soak it in, we can romp.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Phil 4:8

Let us not miss what is all around us because of what is right before us.

Let us not miss the beauty of the forest because of all those trees in the way.

The disaster may be right before our eyes, trying to snatch our attention away from the big picture which is above; beyond.

But we don't have to look at all the stuff; we can open our eyes to truly see.

To see the gifts and graces showered down on us right smack in the middle of the mess.

 

And don't you think if we are standing out in the rain of His love, riches and grace, that maybe some of that rain will seep in?

Perhaps, reign in?

Reign over our thoughts?  And this is my aim.... That He would reign in me over everything.

Lord, Reign In Me  (click the link for the you-tube video of the song)

Over all the earth You reign on high
Every mountain stream, every sunset sky
But my one request, Lord my only aim
Is that You reign in me again

Lord reign in me, reign in Your power
Over all my dreams, in my darkest hour
You are the Lord of all I am
So won't You reign in me again

Over every thought, over every word
May my life reflect the beauty of my Lord
Cause You mean more to me than any earthly thing
So won't You reign in me again

 

♥ One last Funny Find:  Stevie propped up Animal oh-so appropriately!

 

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This post is dedicated in memory of my Aunt Amy. I wish she could have seen past the many trees blocking her view. And to her 4 siblings left behind. May you all know the magnificent love contained in every drop of rain. 

Family Roles

"Sketch, we are going to Whole Foods in 5 minutes."

"No!  No Whole Foods?"

"Yes, we need to go while the others are at the track.  In 5 minutes you need to get dressed."  I give him a warning; time to let the idea sink in.  I set the timer, which usually helps a bit, but not this time.

"Beep! Beep! Beep!"

"Sketch, let's get dressed."

"No! Are you all done?" He starts kicking me with his ever-stretching 7-year-old legs.  I back up, he comes toward me to hit and kick until I leave the room.

He slams the door.  Repeatedly.

As if on cue, I connect the eye hook so he can't continue to slam the door.  It's what he wants. His door is broken (I wonder why?) and won't latch anymore.

As I close the door, I see him dart to the bed, his almost toothless grin spreading ear to ear.  He is having fun. I hear the tell-tale signs that someone is jumping on his bed behind that closed door.

I know I am playing the exact role he wants me to play. I know that he is "winning".   But, it just isn't worth it.  I can't physically move him anymore; I can't make him come to the store.

So, I choose my battles, and this isn't it. This time.

I think about how he doesn't play a part in the family.  He is in his own little world most of the day unless he wants something.  He doesn't do any chores or tasks; he doesn't help out on any regular basis.

Dash (9, autism/adhd) used to be the same way.  Now he plays a big role in the family: proudly helping with recycling and trash, watching PolkaDot and letting me know if there is a problem, going to the store and helping with loading the groceries and bringing them in from the car.   He also has chores, which he does not want to do.  And he will gripe, groan, grouse and growl until our ears ache from it.  But he does do it--especially when computer time depends on it.

Sketch still does nothing.  Partly, this is because we have always been so busy with Dash (who has the most severe case of ADHD I have ever seen) keeping him safe, making sure he doesn't jump out a window or anything, that we never had time to spend teaching Sketch or helping him have a role or chore.

Now, Dash is doing splendidly!  Now, it's time we focus on pulling Sketch up through the crack he'd fallen through.

There is so much potential that we see with Sketch.  Last week I took him to the grocery store with me because we were out of his favorite snack foods. He did a surprisingly good job (I would say, smashingly good job, but that may put a whole different picture in your minds : )  getting some of the grocery items off the shelves, loading the items onto the belt for purchase, and putting the bags in the car. He really seemed proud of himself!

But he does not see this as his "role" in the family. There have been many times when he'd refuse to go to the store even when it was to get his beloved Stoneyfield French Vanilla Yogurt. He'd rather do his own thing in his own world and not have to bother with the workings of the family.

However...

It really caused a blockade for us this time. We couldn't have the dinner I'd planned, because the main dish was still sitting in the refrigerator section at the store.

The next day I took PolkaDot to Whole Foods, and Sketch went to the track (after the use of Mr. Incredibles super-powers, to get him there) with the others.  I had told him that we need him to play his part in the family or we just can't function. We can't get things done without him.  I told him he is very important and that we need him.

The idea that we can't function without Sketch playing his role reminded me of the Body of Christ, and how we all have a part to play in the Body in order for it to function.

But so often we sit on the chairs and watch others do the doing. We don't get involved, we don't find our roles.  We sit in our own little worlds and do our own thing...just like kids with autism so often do.

We all have to do our part in order for the Body to work right, no matter how small (in our eyes) that part may be. Sometimes the result of our lack of participation is not as obvious to us. After all, "No one is ever told what would have happened." (Aslan's sage observation from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis)

1 Corinthians 12: 12-26

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.