National Autism Conference-Getting There.

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We are blessed to be able to attend the National (and there are inter-national attendees here as well) Autism Conference at Penn State University this week! I thought I would blog nightly and reflect on the things from each day.

So now, I will back up and start at the beginning of this story :-)We never know how things are going to play out with our son in any given situation.  We have been prepping him all summer about this trip, but we cannot be sure how he is interpreting any thing. He is typically not happy about any plans we make that he hasn’t made, and he always complains, so we are used to that! We have to sell him on any thing we do except anything having to do with eating or playing video games of course!!

About 30 minutes into our trip a few incidents happened that made my husband pull the car over in a fury and make me want to say; “take me back home, I don’t want to go with either of you!” Sometimes it is one thing after another with our son. Things that make sense to him I guess, but drive us absolutely bonkers and add an incredible amount of stress to our marriage. During this frustrating scenario that was going on, my husband bit his own tongue by accident, enough to make it bleed!! It was just all so awful! I was angry and frustrated, they were each angry and frustrated, and then my heart went out to my husband because things like this happen so frequently. There was just nothing to say that was going to be helpful, I could only sit in the salty silence of acceptance. My flesh wanted to go home but I got out my guitar instead and started singing my songs.20170730_200513

We got through unexpected traffic and dinner ,which continued the “ordeal”, and made it to our room. The pool at the hotel is very nice and relaxation came, when we all got in the whirl pool. Peace…

When our son hit the bed, with all of it’s hotel comfyness and pillows, it didn’t take him long to go out! He looks so peaceful when he sleeps, all of that frustration he deals with in a day  fades away and it is well with my soul.20170730_223916

 

 

 

 

My Beloved

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“The core of my faith belongs to the conviction that you and that I and that we are the beloved daughters and sons of God. One of the enormous spiritual tasks we have is to claim that and to live a life based on that knowledge.” henri nouwen

I agree. It is something that I have been trying to wrap my mind around for the last few years, but more than that, asking God Himself to implant that deeply into my mind and my heart. I believe it is the core of living; looking past our “false self”, or our apparent self or circumstances to our “true self” who is the beloved of God to fully live as we were intended.

While meditating on Nouwen’s book, Spiritual Direction and his meditation on The Beloved, I wrote this song.

 

I am your beloved-you made me in eternity

You gave me love-so I could give it out-it will not run out in you

My beloved, my beloved, my beloved-Jesus

 

Here and now-your love is my power for victory- your song and strength to me

You will never leave- though the enemy tries to deceive- I will trust in you

My beloved, my beloved, my beloved-Jesus

 

You know my thoughts afar- you come to where we are- no stones, just nail scarred hands

You put them ’round my face- and sing amazing grace- love divine pouring into man

My beloved, my beloved, my beloved-Jesus

 

I pray that this love pours out of me to others and that I let it’s truth sustain me the rest of my life<3

Morning…

20170719_081404.jpgThe sun has reached it’s placement in the blue that makes the dew glisten on the blades of grass.

The way it shimmers and flickers in the light, made me think, just for a moment, that a serpent was slithering.

I am warmed in the glow, except for the cool wisps of a flittering breeze and the air, so thick with moisture, almost carries in it the taste of fresh cut pine and cypress.

I am hemmed in by birds surrounding me with an intoxicating chorus of individual song, so much so, that it softens the brakes of the logging truck gearing down to a stop.

This is the morning that was given to me and I  have welled up with a clarion mind bubbling with serenity and gratefulness. The Creator, the Father, His son and Spirit, whirling around the created and delighting in my delight.

 

Be Brave!

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I Started Doodling with my daughter who is still at home. We learned it from my friend who is on her umpteenth round of Chemo.  In the natural, she shouldn’t be alive. But she is Brave! She puts all of her trust and faith in Jesus and completely trusts Him to meet her needs and use everything to bring Him glory, even her Cancer and especially through her art.

The last 5 times I have seen my friend, who lives several hours away, I think it is going to be the last time I will see her. Her son surprised me last month by saying he was going to be driving her here to see her parents and asked if they could stay with us. Honestly I was a little stressed because I knew we had a lot going on that month, but God worked out all the details! I instantly was eager for the visit as they always end up being such a retreat for both of us. It like putting the world on hold and keying into a deep spiritual relationship with another saint. As it turned out, we were gone 2 of the days they were here which allowed them to have time and space to have visitors over! I made one request to my friend, that she teach me something of her artistic ability, because this is a sampling of art that I own from her…

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(See and BUY Jeanette’s art at her website; Jyvonne Inman)

I wanted to sit at her feet and learn something from her so I could say Jeanette taught me how to do this! It wasn’t easy for us to sit down and do that together. She had just found out upon arrival to our home that the cancer had grown in her back and she had been experiencing a lot of pain.

She had a fever a few of the days she was here, which is frighting to some one in her delicate state. She also got sick while she visited and was a bit weak.  But there was some space carved out one evening where she sat with me and my children and told us that all art starts with doodles!

Of course her doodles are masterpieces, but we all worked on our individual pieces as she related how the contrasts are often like the contrasts in life and wove kingdom lessons into everything she taught. “We can’t appreciate the light unless we compare it against the dark times.”

Here is my friend, our evening together and the doodle I made!

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I haven’t been feeling all that brave, strong or courageous lately, that is why I wrote the reminder down. After writing this post, I can’t help by be inspired by this woman who is incredibly brave everyday. From the time our children were all at home (11 children between us) and we were home-schooling moms, to this last visit, Jeanette has inspired me and brought the peace of Jesus to my mind and heart….and reminds me again to be brave. Thank you my friend, I love you<3

 

It Wasn’t Always Like This!

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Over the last year, my husband and I have something we call “Friday Morning Dates”. It wasn’t always like this. This year marks our 25th wedding anniversary and for 23 years of this adventure, we didn’t have regular dates.

In the last few years, after our separation, I started posting pictures of our Friday Morning Dates on Facebook to make memorials along our journey and to encourage others in what is possible when you let go and let God.

We, by faith, have trusted that if we are willing to make changes in ourselves, and literally throw ourselves on Christ, that something beautiful will, and has to, happen. Whether we would have remained married or not, we both had to deal with the deep root issues that neither of us wanted to face. We realized that those issues were in fact affecting all of our relationships and that we would just take them into a new relationship if we were not together.

We started completely cutting out things that didn’t serve ourselves individually and our marriage…like not discussing anything that could be emotionally charged after 7 P.M. and conversely, we realized we could not get our son ready for school together in the morning. One of us had to leave- we had to change our routine.

We decided to start praying every day for our marriage (George usually calls me on his way to work and usually on his lunch break). And we needed to start having a weekly date, even if it was short. So as soon as the kids got on the bus, one of us would make breakfast, wrap it up and we would head off to the bike trails in the area (even in the middle of winter!).

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Every week, we read a book we have been reading through for two years; Face To Face; Seven Keys to A Secure Marriage by Dr. Jesse Gill ( who we have since started a friendship with and a dialog about leading a group study with his book). This book, similar to Susan Johnson’s Hold Me Tight, in it’s focus on attachment,  has revolutionized the way we look at our negative marriage cycles.

After we spend some time reading through the book, we take a walk (even in the snow!) and listen to each other.

As I am reading this, I can understand how some would say, “my significant other would NeVeR take the time to do these things!” I have been there! As a matter of fact, when we started this process, many times I did not want to be on the date! Many times while we were on the way to marriage therapy, I couldn’t stand being in the same car! When we went to a marriage retreat, we didn’t stay in the same room! Like the title says,  it wasn’t always like this , and we certainly haven’t arrived but we are miles from where we started. I thank George every week for making the decision to change his Friday morning schedule to make his marriage a priority, because if he didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have remained.

It wasn’t always like this, and it will ebb and change again. But I want to encourage YOU to be willing to change and grow where ever you are, especially when things look bleak. And fall in love with  Jesus who loves you more than any other person in the world, who has a perfect future and hope for you and who WILL grow something amazing and beautiful in you using ALL the things in your life to accomplish it!

Happy Birthday America!

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Crown Thy Good With Brotherhood from Sea to Shining Sea! How we need an increase in brotherhood in this country! But despite all of our differences between the left and the right (people with a lot of passion about what they believe on both sides), rich and poor, religious and unbelievers, all ethnicities, proud and apathetic, some how, by God’s grace, we all work together and make this country great despite all of it’s flaws.

Happy Birthday America! Thank you for being my Country! Thank you for all of the sacrifices and hardships, opportunities and successes that make us stronger and make us a beacon of hope to other citizens of the world. God Bless You<3

I’m Believing God

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Went to the doctor’s today

Left so upset at all the things he had to say

My mind flooded with pictures of the news

So many voices, so many ways to choose

I could slip away and stay in bed all day or I can face my fears there is another way…..

 

I’m believing God, He is who He says He is

I’m believing God, He created the heavens and the earth

He died and rose again

I’m believing God, His Word testifies of Him

I’ll only believe what He says, I’m believing God

 

Before I know it I give into despair

The bills, responsibility, does anybody care

I stop and sing a gentle song to Him

The Alpha and Omega, The beginning and the End

I could drown my sorrows, there are many ways

Or I could lift my hands to worship and Proclaim…

 

I’m believing God, He is who He says He is

I’m believing God, He created the heavens and the earth

He died and rose again

I’m believing God, His Word testifies of Him

I’ll only believe what He says, I’m believing God

(From I’m Believing God, Julia Allman c.2000)