Monthly Archives: January 2013

On a Rainy Sunday afternoon

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My Rosemary bush in the rain

This has been one of those humdinger weeks, that seems to be more normal than not I guess. But, you know, as I sit here this Sunday afternoon, I realize that all is well.  Not all is easy– but all is well.

Here at our house, we have had rain all day, in a lovely break from the normal Arizona dry streak.  And we have had the windows open, listening to the sound of  peace raining down.  I find that life is like that too.  Sometimes the storms (or droughts, depending on where we live 🙂 ) in our lives seem hard to bear,  we need a break.  This was one of those weeks for me.  Besides normal school issues,  Dk’s dentist appointment was instantly referred to an orthodontist appointment, making me wonder how a kid who can’t let little pains go unnoticed is going to handle braces.  And then a sudden trip to the emergency room for my littlest, and after 5 hours of boredom in a exam room, an x-ray and an ultrasound, their best guess is just an intestinal virus.  sigh.  By last night I was to that point– to tired to even remember all I knew to be true.  But then to the rescue came the blessing from my hubby– and the strength and peace began again to settle into my heart like the gentle rain outside; refreshing and reminding me that our Savior is near.

He cares about us and wants what is best for us… but just like we make our kids go to school,  even when they find it hard and do not want to bear up  under the burden, we make them because we see down the road and want our kids to have a good ending to their school years…  He sees down the road too.   Yep, sometimes I hate homework too.  But He never leaves us, and sends the comfort and strength we need to get thru, just like the rain that brings new life to my backyard.

So now my heart doesn’t hurt, and the panic is melted away- I’m ready for a new week.  Hey- let’s go play in the rain!IMG_3133

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | 4 Comments

Psst… Moving thru the whispers of pain

Photo time!

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I love this photo.  Believe it or not, it says a lot about our family, the good, bad, and the tug at the heartstrings.

For one thing, our oldest boy is not in the shot– this was taken while he was still in San Francisco; one of those growing-up and family dynamics-change things that’s both good and hard on the heartstrings.  For everyone.

For another,  even tho’ behind the scenes it was being a hard day on my spectrum family  (formal photo ops are rare,  seldom end with everyone smiling at the same time and almost always end with at least one meltdown,  This one ended with 3, no 4.)   Still,  they all buried their stress during the moments the camera was on, not out of love of the camera- but love for me. What a gift it is to have a whole bunch of friends who call me Sweetheart and Mom.

And that brings up the point that,  like so many families that deal with Autism and Chronic illnesses, the pain is invisible. Like a whisper.   (there are many issues that are invisible like ours, but this is the hand we have been dealt, so it’s the one I will talk about.)  Just so you know,  I will seldom mention the pain, especially mine, or at least I try.  People don’t like to hear it, they are too busy trying to float above their own hardships to want to hear about others.  They like to hear the victories.  But you can’t see the victory without knowing the mountain that was in the way.  And pain is a very effective teacher and mountain.  So I feel like I need to mention it, at least once.

For instance; I am not on the spectrum.  But I was abused badly by school bullies in my childhood- up to and including the teacher walking in to see me huddled in a corner with the whole class coming at me with yardsticks.  Those couple of years were very formative, effecting me still to this day.  But tho’ it has taken a long time to realize it;  they were also a gift.  I used to say a prayer a few years back, that went something like this “Lord, I am the storm anchor for a lot of people, who is the storm anchor for the storm anchor?”   And then one day I actually heard an answer.  “I took care of that a long time ago, when I forged the anchor.”

And that answer has left me pondering many, many times.

I was “forged”.   Steel is powerful, strong, flexible, and beautiful.  But to get that way;  the ore is crushed, or rather pulverized.  Then it is blasted with heat so intense that it is forced to let go of it’s impurities, and the strengthening power of a bond with carbon is added. (I think of the Holy Ghost here.)   Finally it’s allowed to cool a little, before being re-heated and pounded into a tool fit for the master’s hand.

I also have medical difficulties, I hurt every day.  But all these things together have made me the mom I need to be.

I am able to ride the tide of drama of the tiny pains that spectrum kids can fixate on, and tease them into remembering that it’s too tiny to worry about- or comfort in true sympathy the big pains like migraines, or bullies-  because they know I have been there and can judge the difference.  And because they know my pains, they do not feel so alone.  And because they can see this so up-close, they can relate to the things we learn about the Savior.  His promise that he really understands and will be there thru it all, is more real to them because of the nearness they have to a living example.

Building our family has been a lot like building this temple. With a goal of eternity, we spent  lots of time on the foundation first.   I am truly their anchor, but the Lord is mine.  And on that foundation, I met and married an amazing man.  He comes home every day so stressed to his Asperger Eyeballs- from his allotment of dealing with people and fixing problems in his high-end engineering job- that he shakes like a leaf, and cuddles like a child.  Then he handles all the needs of his teens, and does it over again the next day, because he wants the Lord to be proud of him.  His testimony is his foundation.  And we hold on to each other hard, building our love thru life’s daily trauma like the framework of steel that the temple put in on top of the foundation.  Then we build the walls of the gospel around us to protect the tender youth of our awesome kids.

And just like any building, there are struggles that bamboozle the brain.  One of the temple wall panels fell when getting it off the truck.  Not many on the outside world knew, or noticed the extra time it took to get a new one made and shipped in.  It was not effecting the world outside any more than a whisper.   But it made for a great box of chips for them to give out as souveniers.  So we too keep trying. I keep reminding my kids that they are building emotional and mental muscles during this time in their life, that kids with no mountains yet will have to catch up to sometime later.  They keep trying to believe me, ’cause they’re my friends.   Someday we will have the profound joy of putting that crowning gold statue on the top of our family temple.

Ah well, time to finish this post before the family wakes and my quiet moment is gone.  As a final thought;  remember, my forging is not finished.  I make many mistakes.  But I keep trying.  May you keep trying too… with me.

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | 5 Comments

Greatness and Adversity

I needed another courage quote today…
“If we study the lives of great men and women carefully and unemotionally
we find that, invariably, greatness was developed, tested and revealed
through the darker periods of their lives. One of the largest tributaries of
the RIVER OF GREATNESS is always the STREAM OF ADVERSITY.”
— Cavett Robert 1908-1997

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Categories: Courage quotes | 1 Comment

Eye of the Storm

I’m not feeling very poetic or inspirational today… not even sure I am up to thinking straight.  It’s just been one of those sorts of days.  I am not entirely sure I’ll ever figure out all my health issues- Doctors still don’t know, and sometimes I’m not sure I want to bother stressing over it anymore.  Of course it could just be that invisible fatigue syndrome called multiple kids on the spectrum– nah.

But on the good side- Mark and I drove out to the airport to pick up our oldest.  He has spent over a month with his Grandpa, working in San Fransisco, and it was time to come home for a while.  He did great- was a good worker for them, and developed a great rapport with My Dad, which I am so excited  for.  He never did slow down the migraine frequency tho’, not even with the better exercise and eating.  He still is running 2-3 a week, he is just getting better at being cheerful thru an episode (how many normal people can say that?)  I was really worried that I would be the dumping ground for all he found wrong with the experience… still might happen, in that spectrum sort of way- but for tonight, he was happy just to get home.  He even let little siblings hug him and swirl around him.

So, I don’t really know how the next while is going to work out- and I’m stressing a bit in anticipation.  But the Lord promised he would watch out for these angels of ours- and I am focusing all my emotional energy and faith into holding hard to that promise, and just breathing… in the “Be still and know I am God” sort of way.  It’s kinda like living in the eye of the storm- the winds are strong, and chaos surrounds you; but inside, there is calm.  This is where I pray I can stay, until the Lord says it’s time for the storm to pass.

May you find your calm center this week too.

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Birthday Memories

 Journal- 1-11-2013
On this day 20 years ago I became a mother. What a ride this has been! The learning curve has been heavy duty at times for both of us, and is not over yet I fear, but it’s been good.  Lots of joyful moments to help forget the growing pains.  You are becoming an awesome man,  Happy Birthday!
Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | 1 Comment

Who wants to be Normal?!

This is back to school week for the second semester.  Like many classes- DK’s  first assignment in art was a getting to know you page… He brought it home to show me before he handed it in, you should have seen the huge Cheshire grin on his face while he waited for me to see this line on the bottom of the page!   Yes!   I absolutely feel that getting comfortable with your difficulties starts with being O.K. with living outside the box called “normal”.   Nice to be able to giggle at my successes.  🙂

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Categories: LDS Mom of Autism | 2 Comments

Digging Deeper

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Today,  my errands led me right past the Deseret Book store, which is very unusual- so I squeezed in a little extra moments, and wandered around a little.  I was looking to see if there was any uplift and help for teaching the Gospel to our wondrous Autistic kids.  I mean, I am seldom let down by the rows of men and women who have shared their spiritual strengths in all those great books.

But there was nothing.  Not in the helps for parent section, not in the special struggles section, not nothing.  The church’s web site is almost as bad, no wonder we are all on-line blogging.  But most blogs are about managing meltdowns, and such… And while these are important- I really started thinking.   Maybe the Lord is asking me to be willing to do the writing.   Well- that’s scary for sure.  I would need lots of input and thoughts from all my online friends and everyone else I can rope into it- and dig way way deep into my abilities… but, well, I can’t get it out of my head.

Anyone out there?  what do you think?

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Seeing the Hand of God

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Christmas vacation was over.  On the first day back to school, I felt like I should make a good start to the year, too.  So as I drove around to all the schools that morning, I set myself the task of watching throughout the day to see if I could spot a moment when I could feel the hand of Heavenly Father working in my life.

The day went well enough for a first day, all things considered.  But the kids were reeling from exhaustion by the time they got home, just dealing with the social struggles and workload of school after the restful break.  And we hadn’t even made it to homework time.  I was wondering if I would have anything to write.

But I have to tell you about homework time for DK.

He fought it all afternoon- which was fine by me, it gave me a chance to help his sisters and get dinner finished.  But then it was finally time to focus all my strength on him.  “Mom, You’re getting more strict too, just like my teacher!” he complained.  Then a picture opened up in my mind, and I cuddled him up in my arms and told him the picture…

“My son, imagine you are swimming out in the ocean.  It’s fun, and you are playing, but I can see a huge wave coming.  I know that a half hour of hard work will save your life- but you don’t  see the wave.  You don’t want to work, you want to play.  Which choice should I make?”

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He saw the picture, and answered “the half hour of work”

“Yes, being strong and strict to make you work for a half hour just saved your life on that ocean, and now you’re safe, and can play the rest of the day…. This is the same thing.  There are things you need to know before you hit the adult world.  You need to know some basics, and how to find answers, and how to make yourself do hard things- or you won’t survive the adult world, you will drown.”

Well, he cuddled into my lap and started working; painstakingly writing his answers and smiling at my silly jokes.  And I thought, I wonder which was the greater moment of the “Hand of God”… The mini story that hit my head fully formed- or the minute of sudden and complete clarity of thought that my Autistic son had,  that allowed him to not only understand the parable- but to make the jump to apply it to himself enough to help overcome his fear of writing for the rest of the afternoon.  Nephi mentioned that small things are often the greatest miracles of all- It makes you wonder.   🙂

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings, Parables | Leave a comment

Lift Up Your Heads

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Today we had a great lesson in Relief Society on Rejoicing.  I especially enjoyed the power of the spirit as our teacher gave the thought about bringing our attitudes into line now, with how we would act after our prayers were answered- rejoicing before the blessings come.  It was a very good example of true faith.  When I got home, I looked up a bunch of the scripture references… these are the ones that touched my heart today.

2 Nephi 9:3
Behold, my beloved brethren, I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice, and lift up your heads forever, because of the blessings which the Lord God shall bestow upon your children.

Doctrine and Covenants 9:14
Stand fast in the work wherewith I have called you, and a hair of your head shall not be lost, and you shall be lifted up at the last day. Amen.

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