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Camp Sunshine!

Last summer after depositing my oldest son on a college campus for a week-long camp, my youngest child who inspired this blog asked me, “When will I go away to camp?”
My reply was “we’ll see,” all the while on the inside I’m thinking to myself ain’t now waaaayy that’s happening.

Well, it happened.

That’s what I get for thinking in absolutes. God always has other plans.

Lan spent this weekend on his favorite college campus. Camp Sunshine is open for kids who may not be able to attend other camps. I had my reservations, or rather fears, that kept trying to creep into my mind. However, we are trying to foster more independence in Lan and he was more than eager to head off on his own!

For once, he wasn’t going somewhere under the shadow of and watchful eyes of his big brother. When they were younger the boys did most things as a pair. It was usually Cam and Lan. Now as they are older Cam often experiences things that Lan can not.

Lan is always asking when is it his turn?  

Lan’s turn came by the way of a beautiful campus with Lake Hartwell as a magnificent backdrop. He was free this weekend to laugh as loud as he wanted; there was no one around to temper his excitement. This kid was delightfully happy for the time to just be. He was free to be him, idiosyncrasies and all, under the warmth of the sun.

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There was no pressure to conform to the norm, no reason to curtail his excitement. There were no standards to measure him against others. If only he could have this luxury all the time?

But our society isn’t as forgiving as camp. It confines us to standards, norms and expectations. It pushes us ever toward goals and what it thinks we should be and how to behave.

I’m not advocating anarchy by any means but I wonder how much more the light inside my child could shine if he weren’t always under pressure to confine himself into someone else’s “box.” How much brilliance and creativity are snuffed out because society doesn’t always embrace creativity in others when it is packaged differently?

We should all be able to shine under the warmth of the sun free from expectations, scrutiny and the wayward glances of others. If only.

But with God we can shine and just be. He created us. There is no defect or deficiency under Him, only love. Love and acceptance of us just as we are.

There is an old hymn, Just As I Am, we used to sing in church when I was a child. I think my favorite stanza is as follows:

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings within, and fears without,
O Lamb of God, I come I come!

This weekend provided not only an opportunity for Lan to shine at Camp Sunshine but it was also a reminder that we all can “just be” in God’s presence if only we would dare step out of our confines and into His warmth.

Many of us, especially us Christians, are so preoccupied about what we do (or don’t do, or what others are doing!) we fail to simply “be.”

We fail to be content. We fail to be at peace. We fail to be still be in His presence and allow God to simply and amazingly love us.

We should be joyful. We should be grateful. We should be peaceful.

The Son shines on whosoever will dare to step into the light. His light can transform us into the people we want to become if we would pause long enough and simply be with Him!

In His presence, are the answers we seek, faith and hope that renew, and the peace that passes understanding.

Lan knows how to just be and receive love. He knows how to enjoy the present without worry about the future! Lan trusted that his father would provide the overnight camp he wanted. 

I’m going to trust that my Father provides as generously for me as well!

 

My Brother’s Keeper?

 While I was away this weekend, my oldest son had an epiphany of sorts. I’m not sure exactly what sparked his revelation, but according to my husband he was very suddenly and emotionally distraught about his little brother’s future. 

Now, my oldest has always been mature for his age. I tell you he has more sense than most adults. The only common denominator between both boys academically is their band instructor. The band room is where students often hang out or practice no matter their grade level or academic rank. Music is a great equalizer. Lan, the youngest, does very well in this area despite other academic challenges.

Nevertheless, something occurred to upset my oldest. Both boys were heavily involved in a band festival held at the school last week. I suspect something was said to Cam about his younger brother. Lan could have easily wandered away from an assigned task, said something not quite age appropriate or any number of things. I’ll probably never know. All Lan knows is that he had a great time participating in the music festival. However, per Cam’s suggestion, Lan won’t be hanging out in the band room without his supervision.

I have always told the boys to love one another and be kind to each other because mom and dad won’t always be around. I suspect the oldest has now grasped the reality that his brother may not become as self-sufficient as he is. Cam has readily embraced the role of “third parent” when neither my husband or I are around.   My hunch is Cam’s worry for little brother won’t necessarily end when he leaves home for college.

It has been quite the balancing act juggling the demands of two children who have totally opposite needs. Cam has often been in the background when Lan’s diagnosis has forced us to spend more time and attention addressing it. Lan has often been in the shadow of big brother’s achievements and academic accolades which he has never matched.

My husband and I made a deliberate choice to become parents. My oldest son did not. He shouldn’t be preoccupied with what the future holds for his sibling. Instead, Cam should have the liberty to focus on pursuing his own dreams and aspirations. Cam is a very loving child and through he get’s annoyed with little brother from time to time, he has always shown a love and concern for Lan that I pray will continue long after I’m gone.

We have no way of knowing what the future brings. I am hopeful and trusting that God will just “work it out” as He has done so many things in my life. Still, I am grateful that my oldest son is mature enough and concerned that Lan is well cared for now and hopefully into the future. It is my hope that Cam can spread his wings without the worry of looking back.

I don’t know if Lan will gain the maturity and skills to live independently. I don’t know if I will have the resources to provide for his care years after I’m gone. I don’t know how God is going to resolve this issue. I…just…don’t…know.

So I must trust.  

Such a simple sentence but so often very hard to do. Yet, I will manage by focusing on the present and allow God to order my steps for the future. I don’t have to see the solution, though I admit it pains me greatly. However, we will continue along prayerfully, grateful for miracles yet to come. 

I expect great things for both my boys. Maybe Cam’s experiences with his brother will mold him into the man God intends him to be. Maybe, just maybe, Lan in his own way is looking after him.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective ~ Barriers

I get by with a little help from my friends… Sue and I share our faith, a love for photography and nature. Her post today over at Heavenly Raindrops inspired me this morning with hope for the future. I pray it blesses you as well. Enjoy!

Heavenly Raindrops

A small sand wall formed by the tideA small sand wall formed by the tide

Sand frozen in time
Layered canyon sea barrier
Tide swiftly washes

When I took this photo, the tide was receding.  An entire section of the shore stood taller than that closer to the ocean, with the sand above separated by the collapse of the wet shore beneath.  The tide had formed a miniature sea wall, like a barrier.

However, when photographed from a close up perspective, the wall looked as large as that of the Grand Canyon, with the shells on the surface above mere spectators of the imposing scene below.

The wall was actually only about a foot high and was really no match for the next high tide. 

Varied perspectives in photography intrigue me, particularly close shots.  I like the details in things, especially in nature.  Things that others sometimes miss.

I also try to appreciate people others dismiss.  It…

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Jesus and mii

We have one of those Wii gaming systems that the kids have enjoyed for years. I was reluctant to get one at the time but soon learned that the Wii Fit activities actually helped improve Lan’s hand-eye coordination and balance. So in moderation, it has actually been quite beneficial in addition to entertaining.

I was playing with it today, trying to exercise my coordination and balance before I began my “real” exercise. One of the upsides to the Wii is that it allows Lan to create various characters to join us in this little universe as we play. These characters are called “miis” (rhymes with me).  Ever the artist, Lan has created “miis” to resemble everyone from classmates to historical figures.  And yes, he even created a mii to resemble Jesus.

Now some would think that is kind of blasphemous but when the child said “we want Jesus with us all the time, don’t we?” who was I to argue? Apparently Lan understands some Biblical concepts far better than many adults.

Well today as I was struggling with one exercise in particular, the only mii “companion” remaining with me on the screen was the mii of Jesus. I was struggling and struggling to accomplish one particular task on the screen and I just could not manage to do it before the timer went off. Time and time again it would be just the two of us left. I would love to tell you that I did finally manage to beat the buzzer with “Jesus” at my side but that was not the case.

However, my little exercise did reiterate to me that no matter what “trial” I am going through, even when I am unsuccessful in my endeavors as long as Jesus is with me, I’m okay.

I figure if God could speak through a donkey, gaining some spiritual enlightenment through a Nintendo game wasn’t that far of a stretch. You see, last week with all the snow and ice down here in the south I had a few cold and hard disappointments that really got to me. I had to pray continually not to let anger consume me and not to lash out at the offender. I knew I should let God handle it but I still wanted to do something and say what I was really thinking.  Thankfully, I did not and have since mentally walked away from that particular situation. But it was not easy.

My lesson today affirmed that I don’t need others to always treat me fairly. Sure it is nice and appreciated, but it isn’t a necessity in this particular situation. We will all run into circumstances where someone else will turn against us or disappoint. I was allowing this “situation” to dominate too much of my thoughts and the simple reminder that Jesus is all that I truly need really clarified my thinking.

My baby boy once again provided a venue for mommy to re-learn yet another lesson. It can easily be said that kids on the spectrum see things differently that the average person. However, I am learning that my child sees some things far more clearly than many “neuro-typicals.”  He doesn’t leave Jesus at church or just at prayer time. He wants to have fun with Jesus, talk to Jesus, run with Jesus, laugh with Jesus and allow Him into more than just compartmentalized times or venues that are deemed “proper.”

How liberating it is to love, laugh and trust like a child. With Jesus, we actually have the freedom to do this. Sometimes, as adults we forget this fact with all the “important” things we have running around in our minds. But thankfully, our children can often show us the way if only we expand our minds and open our eyes to see…

“But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:16 NKJV

“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 18:4 NKJV

Baby Steps

In the midst of the snow-pocalypse down here in Atlanta my kids were out of school most of the week. That left Lan with lots of unstructured time. Anyone with a kid on the spectrum knows that isn’t always a good thing. One of the things we’ve been trying to work on continuously is maturity and age-appropriate behavior.

When the snow fell on the first day, Lan made mention of going outside and making snow angels. He is now fourteen. His older brother (by fifteen months) had no such inclinations. It was a far cry from the last snow three years ago when they both played gleefully outside. This time however, Cam in his teenage sarcastic voice exclaimed, “It looks pretty but snow is wet and cold. I’m not trying to get in it.” Lan held no such reservations. So, I simply waited for the time he would ask, “Can I go play in the snow?”

Interestingly enough, the request never came. Additionally, Lan was a trooper over four days studying biology on the computer test prep site (and making As), reading the James Patterson book assigned to him by his teacher and thoroughly practicing both his instruments without a peep of dissent.

Cam had biology he could read ahead on and math to preview as well. When Lan saw he was not alone in his studies, he appeared less ambivalent about them and did not at ask why?  He had a sincere desire not to get behind in school. Trust me; this is a huge step forward.

Lastly, as hubby and I headed out for date night last night, Lan was perched on the couch ready to enjoy some television time. When I asked what he was going to watch he said, Transformers.  I was intrigued because for once it was the live action movie and not the cartoon show. I’m sure I wasn’t overly confident that he wouldn’t soon turn the channel to Ninja Turtles or something else on the “kids” cable channel but when we returned several hours later he was still on the couch watching the third Transformers movie. The live action movies with real people were actually able to hold his attention.

So, what’s the point?

The point is the things we pray for in regards to our kids, their growth and development won’t necessarily come all at once. Sometimes they come in increments so small we would miss them if we aren’t careful. I certainly didn’t realize it until I was in church this morning and realized that God was slowly answering my prayer!

And to top it off, Lan walked up to one of my friends after church today and said “Hello.” He doesn’t know Keren that well at all. She said, “You have a really friendly child.” I just smiled. She has no idea of how miraculously far he’s come to reach the point of walking up to her, without me and politely speaking.

None of these minor changes seem like a lot to most people, yet I believe small changes in the right direction should be recognized, appreciated and celebrated.

On this Sunday it is one more thing to be grateful for. My “baby” is taking small steps away from childlike things. Now don’t get me wrong, we still have a house full of Legos, Ninja Turtles and other stuff. And I don’t mind that at all. But it’s wonderful to recognize movement toward our goals. Sometimes when it seems nothing at all is changing, things may actually be making a shift in the right direction.

Today I am grateful to God for “baby steps” no matter how small they may be. I am also grateful for revelation to recognize them and not just gloss over things as I am apt to do. Not only is God doing some wonderful things in my baby boy, it appears He is also doing a few good things in me as well. 

“The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way,” Psalms 37:23 NKJV

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps,” Proverbs 16:9 NKJV

[I would have lost heart], unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalms 27:13 NKJV

What next?

I am sitting here today pondering, “What’s next?” in regards to Lan and his future. Old habits would have me convinced I should be preoccupied doing something to facilitate an outcome.

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I met with Lan’s teachers and counselor to come up with strategies to help his academic success. So far, so good. However, the true outcome of our plan won’t be evident until progress reports come out… next month! At this point I can only wait patiently.

I’m sure there are things I could be doing but I am confident my efforts would be fruitless. I would just be busy. Having Lan’s best interests occupy my consciousness for so long, it seems odd to be at this standstill. Yet, God isn’t prodding me to do anything right now. It is both liberating and strange all at once.

I’ve prayed long ago for my “load” to be a bit lighter or to be able to manage it better. I’m not quite sure which or both have been answered. It is as if we’ve come to yet another rite of passage, probably more for me than for Lan, that I must cast my cares (once again and continually) and trust God for the very best.

I don’t know how his first year in high school will end. However, unlike before, the unknown no longer fills me with fear or dread. My priority now is to be ever aware when God does give me instruction and respond quickly.

Abraham didn’t know what was next for him when he headed out toward the unknown. Yet, Abraham was patient, obedient, maintained his faith, and was well rewarded for doing so. I only pray that I can do the same.

Abraham even made a few mistakes as he waited (Hagar) and I’ve made mine, but I am not letting momentary failings withdraw me from God’s faithfulness or the promises He has for me!

So if you are like me and have no idea of what’s next, don’t fret!

I am less concerned as I get older in understanding the how, what and why as I am in having faith for the final outcome.

Sometimes, the answers to our questions extend beyond our comprehension. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is my child diagnosed with autism? How is my child ever going to succeed?

I don’t know.

I’ve finally matured enough to trust God to equip me to do the best I can with what I’ve been given instead of wasting time pondering how or why?

The unknown isn’t as daunting a prospect when you know the God who is in control of it all. We may think we know what is next for our circumstances, our future and our lives. However, all any of us can really do is learn to live our lives as best we can.

Perfection is impossible, that’s why we need a Savior.

We can choose to believe in Him or what this world has to offer. We can choose to speak life or death. We can choose to follow Him or fall by the wayside. Whether we choose to live in faith or fear for the future can make a world of difference. I choose to wait patiently with hope and in faith.

I guess for me, that’s what’s next!

“But without faith [it is] impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8 NKJV

 “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV

Snow Day

Well… it didn’t actually snow.

The above picture was indeed taken on a rare snow day here in Georgia just not this year. But the result was just the same. School in our county was cancelled on Tuesday of last week due to the frigid cold. That added an extra day to my kids’ Winter Break.

There were shrieks of laughter, shouts of joy and happy dances of elation for the gift of an extra day off. As I lay on the couch convalescing, I thought to myself there’s a lesson in this.

My kid’s had just been given a day off and planned on taking full advantage. The party was on! They were making snacks, singing songs and playing games most gleefully together. They were not thinking about possible consequences to such good news such as having more work to do in less time or an extra day possibly added to their school schedule. They simply celebrated the time given to them.

I, however, when given a day off tend to quickly load it with things to do, lists to complete and obligations to fulfill. Even when I am “doing nothing” I am often haunted by the things I should be doing.

I will readily admit IEPs, the challenge of meeting objectives, setting goals, supervising homework and trying to prepare for (predict?) the future can leave my brain a jumbled mess even after the clock has long stopped. As a parent trying my best I often feel overwhelmed and under productive as a tinge of guilt tries to impart in me that I should be doing, more, more, more!

But I’m a little wiser now. I allowed myself to hear God as my children rejoiced at their good news.  You need a “snow day.” You need a day with Me without the guilt, the hurry or a list of “to dos” hanging over your head.  Let it all go and come to Me.

I have been able to put some things down from time to time and run to Him, but now I’m realizing that lately when I’ve turned to Him I’ve come with another set of petitions, prayers or concerns different from the ones I cast down. It isn’t that God doesn’t want us to come to Him. He actually invites us to bring our burdens to Him.

Yet, I am learning more and more it’s good to simply come to Him empty-handed and wanting nothing in return but His presence and the peace it offers. I can go to Him and allow my thoughts to stop racing, my head to stop spinning and simply be still.

I haven’t taken an entire snow day just yet but it is coming! In fact, I am making them a priority in the New Year! The peace I find in His presence will inevitably transfer over to my family and we will all be better for it.

My mental and spiritual health are just as vital as making sure homework gets done and helping Lan prepare for End of Course Tests that will culminate his school year. I just have to remember that and have enough discipline to seek my Father, often.

So if you are like me, probably stressing more than you should and finding more and more things you think you need to do…stop!

Turn to God and listen to Him. Take some time to be still. He will tell you what you need to do to succeed on the path He has allowed before you.

Sometimes the best success comes from doing less!

Snow days aren’t just for kids. Sometimes grown-ups need one too!

“Come to Me, all [you] who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29 NKJV

Out of focus!

My mother gave me a very lovely camera for Christmas. As it arrived shortly after Thanksgiving, I didn’t hesitate to begin shooting with it. I have in a short time learned a bit about photography. There is far much more to it than simply “point and shoot.”

Different lenses when used for the same “shot” yet yield different results. Some differences may be subtle while others are quite pronounced. One image may be crystal clear whereas taken with another lens it will be little more than a blur. Fooling around with cameras and lenses over the Christmas break highlighted for me that I need a better view of what’s really going on. I need to focus!

Lan “survived” his first semester of high school. It was a bit touch and go a few times, the highlight of which was “bad kids” attempting to steal his backpack the last few days of school. He squeaked by on finals, with us learning after the fact that much of the information he needed to study wasn’t in the book! But we made it.

He made it.

Now if only we can refine our “focus” so that he can thrive and not just survive.

My new camera provides an auto-focus mode. This means I have to think less about the image I want to capture and just let the camera do its thing. The auto mode will capture the image. It just may not take the best picture possible.

I think I may have been on “auto” with Lan this previous semester thinking what once worked before would continue to do so. Not so much! I’m learning at this juncture “auto” isn’t going to cut it. I’m going to have to handle the details myself.

I learned that professional photographers rarely rely on the “auto” mode. Instead, they purposely arrange the details such as lighting, aperture, setting and a bunch of other stuff I don’t yet understand. This yields a far superior result than the “auto” mode. In fact, professional photographers rarely trust leaving the details to others. That is another lesson in itself!

In the last few days of the semester, I learned Lan’s medication wasn’t working. Of course, he didn’t bother to mention this!  I only asked  when a few things just weren’t adding up. So he saw the doctor over the break.

Come to find out that his dose of medication was incorrect because the physician’s office in September documented him weighing far less than he actually does! At this recent appointment the physician thought the child had gained forty pounds!  My boys eat a lot but neither one of them eats enough to gain forty pounds in three months even if my grocery bill says otherwise. Alas, one problem belatedly solved.

Secondly, my husband spoke with his school counselor who informed us Lan should have been receiving handouts of all the information covered in class that was not in the book from his teachers.

I didn’t know this. I had no idea a large part of the information covered in some of his classes was not in the book. More than one teacher, unaware of the details of his IEP, failed to provide this information for him.  It now makes sense why those hours he spent trying to find the answers in the biology book for those study questions were less than productive.

In this year, I am going to take a more detailed approach toward what is going on in regards to school. I’m going to ask more questions, and not take for granted that every instructor is doing what he or she is supposed to.

A better picture requires more effort. I will work on the “composition, subject and setting” for Landon more so than I did last year. But that’s okay. I’m more than willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that this next semester is as close to “picture perfect” as possible.

Setting. Lighting. The correct equipment. These are necessary to get the desired result.  I can’t expect to capture a “landscape” image using a lens best suited for a microscope! I can’t rely on my “auto” mode to get the job done.

Lesson learned.

I thought the camera from my mother would introduce me to a new hobby. God used that gift to open my eyes to so much more!

“Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law,” Psalms 119:8 NKJV

 

Versatile?

I’ve written here about my own failings as a parent, hopes for my children, my experiences with autism and even stray cats. Sometimes I never know what is going to come out when I hit “new post.” Yet more than that, this blog is about how God has carried me, revealed things to me and even dealt with me on my “autism journey.”

A very lovely lady in the UK nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award.  Sherri Matthews blogs over at A View from My Summer House. Her blog is both beautiful and inspiring. We have since discovered that we share many commonalities including a love for nature, photography, sons with musical interests, children diagnosed with Asperger’s and wouldn’t you know it, black cats!

Sherri inspires me with her story and how open she is about what God has done in her life.

Per my award, I’m obligated to share seven things about myself.

If given a choice between nuts or no nuts I always choose nuts.

I am a sucker for any stray cat, dog or person.

I love quiet time, however living in a house with three men it is indeed a rarity

My favorite color is green

My favorite beverage is sweet tea (southern style, real sugar!)

My favorite Christmas special is Charlie Brown’s Christmas. (How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a very close second)

I feel very fortunate to be sharing this blog with you!

Taking my cue from Sherri, I’m nominating blogs that deal with a subject close to my heart, autism or other mental disorders. The ones I’ve nominated here are informative, insightful and often inspiring. I encourage you to check them out!

Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane Blog   (always makes me smile!)

Youth of a Nation: Bent not Broke  (EXCELLENT support for a vast array of disorders)

Weathering the Storm: Overcoming Bipolar Disorder  (lovely blog by a lovely lady)

Coloring Outside the Lines (one family’s journey with ASD)

Adventures in LSD (another family’s personal story about life on the spectrum)

Aspie Story (one man’s story)

AnnKilter (an inspiring and informative viewpoint from years of experience)

I will try my very best to live up to this award.  If God has given me only one thing through this autism experience it is the ability to bend, stretch, and go with the flow…

Well how ‘bout that. Maybe I am versatile after all.

Perfect Pitch!

About two years ago, we discovered that my youngest son has something called “perfect pitch.” He can essentially hear any note played on any instrument and tell you exactly what that note is.

Now this may not be the most “practical” gift a person could have but it is one nonetheless. In fact, my concentration on what he didn’t have nearly blinded me to what he does have.

We were in a music store looking into trombone lessons a couple of years ago when Lan began talking with one of the salespeople which was a rarity in itself. Somehow or another, an instrument was played and Lan stated the correct note in response. The salesman began playing different instruments to see if Lan could continuously give the correct answer. He explained that Lan has “perfect pitch.”

Lan’s “talent” is now somewhat of a novelty with his fellow students in band class. The kids take turns playing various instruments and notes to see if they can stump him. So far no one has. It is something he is good at and it gives him pride and confidence I hadn’t seen before.

I admit I pushed Lan toward his musical inclinations. Not that he doesn’t love music, but my motives were deeper than that. I started him in piano lessons to strengthen his hands. This was my answer to out-of-pocket occupational therapy expenses. Lan was unable to grasp a pencil firmly and write legibly like his classmates. I figured piano lessons would not only strengthen his fingers and develop dexterity but stimulate his brain as well. Coordinating the notes he read on paper to the activity of his fingers would be a great mental exercise.

It would take the music teacher and me roughly two years before we realized Lan was rarely reading the notes! He can read music however we learned (slowly) that Lan has to only hear a simple melody once before he can play it on the piano. The joke was on us!

Sometimes in life we pay so much attention to what we don’t have, we miss out on what we do have. In my case, I was trying to develop certain skills in my child and focused so intently on that goal I was nearly oblivious to his emerging musical talents. I now encourage his musical pursuits not to facilitate a goal but because music is something in which he can succeed and enjoy.

Lately Lan has mentioned a desire to play the trumpet. I suspect the piano and trombone have become boring.  I will indulge his musical pursuits with the appreciation that for him, music is more than a pastime but rather a way that he can express himself and do it well.

I’m glad my eyes are now open to what he can do instead of fixated on what he cannot do. Now, if only I had this revelation all the time.

 I will encourage Lan to nurture his gifts, not based on practicality but rather instead because God blessed him with those things. 

Each of us lacks certain talents for sure, yet we probably possess so many more if only we would have eyes to see…

“And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability,” Matthew 25:15 NKJV