Tag Archives: God

Turning Leaves

The leaves where I live are now just turning vibrant and crisp.

Unlike the seasons, we can’t always predict what twists or turns we are going to have in life. Some of us with the best laid plans think we know what tomorrow will bring, but in reality we never know until that new day dawns.

I can anticipate that those trees will turn colors and loose leaves only to grown green and flourish in the spring. With my child, that pattern of familiarity was often lacking. We have spurts of great growth or gains, and then sometimes things cool off and go dormant. I pray and hope that once again there will be renewal and continued growth.

This uncertainty could keep me anxious, depressed and nervous. I admit it has done that before.

However, I choose to hope in things unseen and have faith in a God I can’t always see or hear, Who at times been silent when I’ve called out, but Who has never once left my side.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven,” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV

I don’t always know just what season I am in.

I have once thought I was in a season of growth only to be cut down to the ground. I’ve also been at my lowest and right on time, an unexpected miracle reminded me that God is ever with me.

I choose to be grateful for gains made and milestones achieved in this season of Thanksgiving. I am grateful for Lan’s great attitude. His “why not?” has kept him moving right along to his own rhythm and time but he is still moving!

I am grateful that autism has not overcome us. It’s knocked us around a couple of times but we learned to fight back!

I may not be grateful for every experience I’ve had in life, but I am very grateful for everything I’ve learned from them.

God deals with each of us in ways as unique as we are.

I’m grateful for that too.

Knowing that God will get me through whatever season I am in allows me to face tomorrow not in fear but with a faith that wherever I am and whatever I need, He is more than enough!

Whatever your circumstance, give thanks for gains made and blessings yet to come.

Allow gratitude to determine your attitude.

Enjoy a Very Blessed Thanksgiving!

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind,”
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV

Photosynthesis….lets get into this!

Lan has done a pretty good job holding his own this first year of high school. However, biology has taken a bit more time and mental energy than he ever imagined.

I try to help him as best I can to study for exams and review material. His older brother (only by 15 months) is taking Advanced Placement biology and does his best to help him also. Lan’s enthusiasm for our efforts has been lukewarm at best.

However, this past weekend, He was very enthusiastic about his biology homework. I thought that was odd but decided to be grateful instead. A couple of hours later he bounces down the stairs and wants me to hear his new song. I’m befuddled but go along with it anyway.

Pho-to-synthesis…lets get into this!

Plants take water, sun and CO2…to make the sugar that they use for food!

Now his little song continues on explaining some not so simple chemical reactions. I was first impressed that he actually grasped the concepts in his lyrics but then secondly disappointed that I hadn’t come up with the idea to help him learn these lessons!

My mind then begins to wander. I begin thinking how much better he would be if he were in one of those private (and very expensive!) schools that cater to kids with ASD or learning disorders. I begin thinking about how farther along he would be academically if I were a stay at home mom and had the time to supplement the material he’s getting at school. My mind spins off in a hundred different directions of I’m not doing enough, I’m not providing enough, what kind of sad parent am I?

I only engaged in my pity party for a few minutes until I remembered that “I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me,” Philippians 4:11 NKJV. I can raise this child to reach his greatest potential while I work more than full time, meet the needs of other family members and not go crazy in the process! I don’t have to be the strong one, through Christ’s strength I am able. It may not be easy, but I am able to do what is necessary.

I had to remind myself “my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” Philippians 4:19 NKJV. God supplies my needs not necessarily my wants! And truth be told, I probably don’t know what I want anyway. I have thought that I wanted to not work and stay home to meet every need of my child but I don’t want to be unemployed either! I surely don’t want God to meet one desire and in the midst of doing so I have to undertake a larger problem! Besides, I like the people I work with and the patients we serve. Staying at home full-time might be good for Landon (or not) yet it might be terrible for me! 

God knows what I need and what I really want even when I don’t. I remember that I am indeed blessed and the trials I feel I may have to work through are for my development and so minimal compared to what others are facing! I have since redirected my thoughts to “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer,” Romans 12:12 NKJV and turned the “what if” button in my head to OFF.

We are all tempted to second guess ourselves and even God from time to time. His timing has never been my timing and by now I should be okay with that (should be but still working on it). I am however confident His plans for our lives are better than anything I could ever put together.

I will continue to let God be…God. I will do what I can and trust Him to do the rest!

 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11

Do My Shoes Match?

As Lan is making it along in his first year of high school he is becoming ever so aware of other people’s perceptions. Somewhere along the line he has matured away from the kid who wanted to wear a sweater in the summer and shorts in the winter into someone with a true desire to be “handsome.” His word, not mine!

I find this kind of comical. Teenagers are often very self-aware and insecure about their looks, dress and a number of other things. Lan has for the most part been oblivious to all of this…until now.

He wants his shoes to match his clothes. He has even taken to swiping some of his older brother’s “cooler” clothes. No big deal for most but I am proud of him for his increased awareness of the people and things around him and his at urge to at some extent blend into the “normalcy” that surrounds him.

I have at times often wondered through the years when some major “turning point” would occur. I’ve prayed about certain things and then forgot that I prayed about them having prayed so much for one thing or another.

Progress begins in steps. Lan continues to make gains, some large and some small.  God faithfully answers my prayers, even those long forgotten.

Simple things like dressing himself appropriately and other social cues that were once so foreign to him are steadily creeping into his consciousness.

I still have a long list of things I’d like to see Lan progress in. I will admit dressing appropriately isn’t even in the top twenty. However, I am grateful for this accomplishment even though I almost “missed it,” not realizing he hadn’t asked me or his father for clothes in months! We always picked his clothes out for him but somewhere along the line he began doing it for himself and doing a very good job at that!

Sometimes our minds are so fixated on the “major tasks” we are trying to carry out that we miss those minor milestones along the way. I am grateful for my blessings, truly celebrating all the gains and successes we have had this year. My every prayer has not been answered, but I have hope and faith that God is not done with us yet!

We are blessed beyond measure even as the ASD hovers in the background. I won’t allow “autism” to rob us of our peace or joy. It only serves as a point of reference for where we were to where we are now.

We are blessed in spite of diagnoses, IEPs, and a few social hiccups.

I’m grateful for gains socially, mentally, and even physically this year. Lan is building up both mind and body going with his dad to “la fitness” as he calls it.  This child who was once weak and so uncoordinated is now hanging tough with his dad on the treadmill, elliptical and bench press. I never could have imagined this years ago!

Lan has friends at school who are nice to him. His new school is no longer a source of anxiety. High school has at least been embarked upon even if not fully conquered.

So much to be grateful for!  Too many blessings to count. God is faithful even when I fail. He lifts us up when we are weak. He has provided us with angels here on earth.

Celebrate this season giving thanks for blessings large and small. I am grateful even for those small things that don’t really matter in life.

I’m grateful his shoes actually match!

Cat Lady

Over ten years ago, our black cat Lucky showed up hungry and homeless. I thought we were a blessing to him but in fact he was a blessing to us, especially for my youngest son Lan. Lucky really pulled him out of his shell and made Lan more in touch with his surroundings. This all occurred during a crucial time when we weren’t exactly too sure how much talking Lan would ever do.

Fast forward ten plus years and here we are again. It’s Lan’s first year in high school and we’ve had a few bumps along the way, the latest of which was an upperclassman trying to bully my child. From what I can tell, it seems the cat or rather cats showed up at another pivotal time for him.

Several weeks ago, a family of stray cats took up residence at our house. At first we believed it was just a mama cat “Grey” as we call her and two kittens. I’d seen four kittens across the street weeks earlier but suspected something had eaten two of them.

Lan would continuously keep an eye out for them, making sure they were provided for as best we could.  We would put out food and water. Lan never gave up hope that all the kittens survived. As usual, he can see the best in any given situation. His faith is at times is stronger than mine.  I can learn a lot from my child.

Today Lan was proven correct!

All four kittens have survived, I found them sitting in rocking chairs on my porch. Lan’s hope was not ill-founded. His fascination with the cats and protecting them has been an escape I believe from the problems he was having at school. I suspect if not for the cats, the issue at school could have caused my child to “shut down.”  As usual, God finds a solution when I don’t even realize I have a problem!

He is not a child of many words and we certainly don’t want to lose any ground that we’ve gained. I’m now grateful that mama cat and kittens have taken up residence.

How I’m going to round them all up and get them to a vet I don’t know. We have had four-footed angels before (even if our resident house cat has been more of a devil as of late). I will entertain our kitties for as long as I can and hopefully find them the best of homes. It’s the least I can do. And if that’s not possible, I’ll be content to be the cat lady on the corner.

My experiences thus far make it awfully hard to remember that I don’t like cats.

Progress Report!

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things [are] noble, whatever things [are] just, whatever things [are] pure, whatever things [are] love, whatever things [are] of good report, if [there is] any virtue and if [there is] anything praiseworthymediate on these things,” Philippians 4:8 NKJV

Last week both boys brought home their mid-term progress reports from school. Lan called me while I was at work with a slight tremor in his voice. His report wasn’t awful but it wasn’t great either. His grade in two major classes dropped and he was well aware I would not be pleased.

He rattled off his grades tentatively and I succinctly told him I knew he could do better and would do better. He wasn’t grounded. I reminded him that as long as he did his very best I would always be pleased with his work.

Now, that is a huge change from the “old me” of just a couple of years ago. Both boys could definitely put a little more effort into their schoolwork but it isn’t a matter of life and death. Having received a bad report in matters of life and death has definitely put things in perspective.

It is two years ago now that my oldest son, the one without an ASD diagnosis, went to the doctor. He had a funky skin rash that began in October. It gradually spread. Nothing would cure it.

In November, my husband took him to the dermatologist, the earliest appointment he could get. The doctor very matter of fact admitted she didn’t know what it was. I appreciated her honesty, but I thought that was rather odd. I got a funny feeling in my gut, the kind you want to dismiss, but just won’t quite go away.

I was expecting them to leave the appointment with prescriptions for antibiotics and a topical cream. Instead, my oldest left with a small plug of skin taken out of his arm. The biopsy was sent off for analysis.

It wasn’t until two days after Christmas I found myself on the phone with the physician who sat with my son and husband in her office as she explained the diagnosis, a diagnosis that affects one in five million people. My husband was wise enough to have her call me as his head was reeling. After the dermatologist ran through the possible scenarios (including chemotherapy) I vividly remember standing dumbfounded in my kitchen trying to decipher the boatload of information that had been dumped on me. I remember crying and walking around in circles but I also remember very vividly screaming as loud as I could “I will not receive a bad report!”

I heard the dermatologist. I respected her opinion. But I wasn’t going to receive that finality in my spirit in regard to my son. And God heard me.

I prayed. I solicited the prayers of family and friends who had their entire churches and Sunday school classes praying for my child. I knew that whatever we had to endure, we would get through it.

Thankfully, we had only to endure a battery of tests. His skin was affected but not his internal organs. His brain was fine. We didn’t get the final “all clear” until February. It was a harrowing ordeal for any parent. I was forced to examine if I’d put so much energy into one child to the neglect and detriment of the other.

So many questions, but God is faithful. We learned some things through our experience. We endured. Matured.

That experience allows me to put my “bad reports” whatever they are in perspective. Two years later and that time is still so fresh in my mind. I don’t want to ever forget it. I learned things aren’t always as they seem. God doesn’t want us to have faith in what we see or hear but instead in His power.

During that trying time I thought about all the miracles God had done for my family. I thought about the positives, the joys and undeserved blessings. I meditated on God’s grace toward us every time a negative thought would try to break me. It wasn’t easy, but a very deliberate decision on my part. God is pleased when we look at Him instead of our obstacles.

Numbers 13-14 teaches of how eight of the ten spies Moses sent out brought back a “bad report.” They could not see the potential in the land promised to them by God, only the enemies who possessed it. Furthermore, they gave a bad report to the other Israelites causing them to long for Egypt, the very place they had been in bondage.

How often do we look back to the familiar, even when it is to our detriment, because our present obstacles look insurmountable?

Only Caleb and Joshua, the spies who gave the “good report,” made it into the Promised Land with the descendants of those who died. God was so displeased with the Israelites’ lack of faith; He caused them to die in the wilderness. These are the same people who witnessed miracles that freed them and walked through the Red Sea! These were the same people who ate manna from Heaven! These same people would not allow the miracles of their past to fuel the faith for their future.

I don’t want to make that same mistake.

So, we may have hit a bump in the road with grades but I’m by no means accepting it as the “end all” for either child. I have faith in what God can do with them and in them. I have witnessed miracles with both my children. I may not have all the answers but I am confident that I don’t have to.

I look at the neatly typed papers from the county office and see them for what they are…merely progress reports. Not a definition of my parenting skills or a proclamation of my children’s future. I once would have been infuriated with less than the best. I am now… patiently waiting. We are all progressing toward God’s plans for us.

I am not going to analyze, criticize, and run all of us ragged as I used to.  Instead, I think about the great gains Lan has made thus far this year, successes I didn’t anticipate so soon. I’m proud of how Cam has been able to handle his classes along with the rigors of marching band. I focus on the good.

God’s got it, whatever my “it” is at any given moment.  Only His report truly matters!

Focus!

As the mom of a son with an ASD diagnosis I am constantly telling him to focus. At times when he is running around all loosey goosey and flying free as a bird I have to remind him to concentrate on the task at hand. Sometimes when we are so fixated on getting our kids on their proper path, we as parents fail to do that very thing.

I have at times been so frazzled with all the different scenarios and possibilities that are years in the future I have failed to focus. When I allow room for half a dozen priorities and possibilities to simultaneously rattle around in my head I don’t accomplish that much. The time I could have spent being productive leaves me instead with half a dozen half done things. I have since learned that my key to sanity is to focus.

We have been programmed by modern society to think that we should be able to do all things all the time. I’m a good multi-tasker but there comes a time when I need to cut away the extraneous things that engulf my attention and concentrate on the task at hand. The misguided notion that I should be the ideal spouse, mother, friend, employee and whatever else all at the same time is now ludicrous to me. I could do a dozen things all at once but not nearly with the precision or accuracy that I would have them done.

When I finally learned to focus on what the Spirit was prompting me to do instead of what I thought I needed to do, I found a peace and productivity that had alluded me before. Focusing on what God would have me to do in that moment instead of worrying about what could be or what should be gave me the grace to actually accomplish some things.

My God/gut instinct has never failed me. It is only when I’ve been headstrong trying to do too many things all at once that I have regretted my choices.

When I’m not flustered I can concentrate on keeping my child organized and orderly. Our kids take their cues from us. If I’m a mental wreck he picks up on it, more so than most, because he is a sensitive child. Lan tunes into emotions and sensitivities with a tenderness not seen in most people.

I have learned I need to keep it together if we are to both progress. I haven’t always been successful in doing this but I’m much more so than years ago! I’m no longer having those mental meltdowns that trigger his tears! And yes it did take years, prayer and maturity on both our parts but we are definitely in a better place now as we journey along.

I have learned to focus on the present. It has been said that half the things people worry about never come to pass. That amounts to a lot of wasted energy. I’ve decided that I don’t have a lot to spare so I’m keeping what I have for when it’s really needed!

I determined my inability to focus was often founded in fear. Fear of what the future could hold for my child. Fear of failure as a parent. When I decided to rely on God instead of feeding my fears I gained peace that allowed me to abide instead of strive in vain.

“And the LORD He [is] the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed,” Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind,”
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

When my kids were young and got into trouble I would ask them, “have you lost your mind?” One day a very repentant Lan surprised me, “Mom, I found my mind,” when he determined what should be his proper behavior. I guess I can say I found mine too.

When you focus on your blessings your problems don’t loom as large. Focus on God and your test become testimonies. Focus on His faithfulness, not on your own shortcomings.

I’m always prodding my child to focus, stay on task and stay the course. I’m so blessed that our Father does the same for me.

Overwhelmed? Stressed? Depressed? Ask God to allow you to focus on what really matters. Take it (whatever it is) one step at a time. Don’t stress. Remember you are blessed. And then focus!

The Reason I Jump

A couple of days ago, I came across a book, The Reason I Jump. I’m pretty confident I had seen or heard the title before, yet I had no idea of its subject matter. This book is an autobiography of sorts written by a thirteen old boy with autism.

I found the book as I was searching for something else on Amazon. I don’t believe my finding this book was an “accident.” I believe God provided an answer to a prayer uttered so long ago I had honestly forgotten about it until I began to read.

The young author’s direct question and answer approach to what is going inside his mind is quite enlightening. I certainly don’t think this one person’s opinions and experiences is a one size fits all explanation, yet this book does provide me with a glimpse of what may be going on inside my child’s mind.

As parents, we are often concerned with changing a behavior instead of contemplating the cause for the behavior, especially when it is something relatively minor. This book actually explains some of those behaviors associated with ASD and entertainingly so at that!

This book is short and to the point, but it is by far the most insightful hour I’ve spent reading in a while. The author shows more wisdom than most adults through his writings. He expresses those things that are both annoying and helpful to him. He uses his “voice” as a platform for those who cannot express their own feelings so that we caregivers can better relate and not just accommodate. The author does a wonderful job of bridging what appears on the surface to what is actually occurring inside his mind.

Hearing about the autism experience from a viewpoint so close in age to my own child left me profoundly grateful. It also showed me my shortcomings as a parent.

I have done a fair job with Lan as we have plodded along this journey, but I now see I have at times treated our experiences as a “job” having to meet a certain end, goals or output. I have not focused enough on what my child feels, thinks or cares about in certain matters. In my diligence to “correct” behavior I didn’t consider that those quirky habits might actually be comforting. Sometimes caregivers are so focused on giving care and getting necessities “done” that we fail to really see the people we are caring for in their entirety.

Our loved one’s hopes, ideas and feelings can get swallowed up by our practical demands and daily routines. Reading this book has allowed me to see my son in a different light and ask Lan more pointed questions which have delivered broader and more detailed responses.

The Reason I Jump is surely only one person’s view yet I suspect a lot of truths in it that apply to so many others. It wasn’t at all what I expected. It’s simple but powerful stories give the reader empathy and a different viewpoint that is not only insightful but inspiring.

If you haven’t read this book I urge you to do so. If you’re reading this blog, odds are high
The Reason I Jump, will be very helpful to you. If you have already read the book I encourage you to share your thoughts.

Now, I may finally know why MY child jumps.

Be Blessed!

 

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida published by Random House 2013

Improvisation

This weekend Lan had to do a school project on two musicians. Part of the project required listening to their music. The particular musicians he chose to study were jazz musicians.

Lan enjoyed the music far longer than was necessary to complete his project. I watched him nod along to the changes in tempo and flow all the more aware of how much we have learned to improvise along our journey.

God, through this experience, has taught me to work with what I have. I’ve learned to be flexible. I admit that for much of my life I could be rather unbending. I would not tolerate a lot of gray areas. Things were either black or white, right or wrong, my way or no way.

Jazz musicians can take one song and play it a dozen different ways, with all of them sounding great. Lan and I have learned to be just as  inventive, spontaneous and a flexible with our own “song of life.”

God has taught me  I don’t have to play my notes exactly as they are written on the page. I can speed up the rhythm when necessary or slow it down when the mood dictates. I can add other instruments or enjoy going solo. I am now content to watch and wait confident that God will provide whatever we need. He has continually done so far better than my own orchestrations.

I have learned it is okay to deviate from the professional song book and flow with God instead of the experts. No longer obsessed with playing “my song” perfectly, I have relaxed a little and allowed room for variation and creativity as well.

My life hasn’t exactly turned out the way I envisioned, but thanks to Lan I now see my vision was rather limited. Out of necessity Lan and I work around a few things, and if necessary go under instead of over. This child’s overwhelming optimism and “why not?” attitude have spilled over to the rest of the family, granting us a vision I don’t think we would have otherwise.

Webster’s defines improvise as “to make or create (something) by using whatever is available. We are learning through God’s insight (and sense of humor) to make the most of our blessings where we are and with what we have.

The hubby and I are constantly working with Lan on his maturity and social skills but I am no longer allowing the negatives to overshadow his positives. Lan is humorous, artistic and very creative. We fuel his passions with the same determination once reserved for trying to force squares into round openings.  Instead, we are now learning to soften the sharp edges of our squares with a file. Or better yet, we now stack our blocks instead of pushing them through holes as dictated by other people!

Jesus was great at improvisation. He used a small boy’s lunch, the only food available, to feed thousands. Christ took the small meal, held it up before the Father in thanks and did the miraculous.

give thanks for this child I have, look up to our Father and also expect the miraculous.

God never fails. He is ever faithful even when “my song” sounds a bit off key to me.  I am then forced to remember that my part is only one part of God’s complete melody.

Is God prodding you to do something different with a situation you have?

A change to your routine or situation might not hurt. You may just find a suggestion or a brilliant idea that actually works!

Anticipation

Fear is defined by Webster’s as “to expect or worry about” especially something bad or unpleasant. In contrast, faith is defined as a strong belief or trust in someone or something. Both definitions rely on the anticipation of a particular outcome.

The plant pictured above appears prickly and spiked, yet it is actually soft to the touch.  I had a prickly looking situation just like that plant.  On the surface things looked hard and intimidating.  I believe God was once again asking me, when will I completely release my fears and trust God when He has shown Himself so faithful time and time again?”  I can’t control everything and God keeps demonstrating that I don’t have to.

Lan received his progress report from school last week. He anticipated it for days but because of a computer glitch, notices were issued late.  Lan is well aware he can always work good grades to his advantage.

Unlike middle school, high school thus far does not return lots of graded papers to students. At least I haven’t seen them.  I had no inclination outside of Lan’s confidence that this progress report would be a good one. We have been down this road before anticipating one thing only for the result to be something else. So, for days I also waited, not with hope, but an anxious dread for the outcome.

It appears Lan is settling into high school okay but I am well aware that appearances can be deceiving. He appears less anxious about attending a new school and making new friends. However, I realize this can be daunting for any teenager. Daily, I ask Lan about his classes only to be rewarded with “good,” or “fine,” and no other details. He is not a child of many words.

Well, the day of issue finally arrived and Lan hopped into the car.  I’m waiting for him to hand me his report. He’s waiting for me to get the car moving. I reluctantly asked him for his progress report and he pulls a crumbled piece of paper from his book bag. I glance over the grades…and smile.

It was the best progress report he’s ever received at the beginning of a school year that I can remember! I’m raving on and on about what a great job he did and Lan’s waiting for me to move the car so he can get home to the X-BOX! I promised I would reinstate the privilege if he brought home good grades. He was more than ready to hold me to it!

God answered my prayer. I am well aware this was accomplished through awesome school staff that enabled my child to be successful. The good report was a great boost to his confidence and an incentive for him to work that much harder. Especially so, since for once, his report was better than his brother’s!

Don’t get me wrong. I have faith in God’s ability to get us along this path just fine. I have seen His miracles both grand and subtle throughout my life. I do believe I am able to receive the things I pray for. It’s just that God’s timing ahead of my expectations simply amazes me!

I expected a final good outcome that I prayed for but not without some major bumps and hurdles along the road. God has made Lan’s entry into high school far better than I ever imagined. I could not have hoped for such a great outcome so soon.

I think I finally get it. God is willing to do even more than I have faith for. He has shown me that He is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think,” as stated in Ephesians 3:20 NKJV. God teaches me once again not to depend on expert opinion but to rely on His power instead.

I have learned to anticipate the best. I can be faith filled and not fearful! God has shown me I can let my guard down and breathe. I should hand my cares over completely to Him.

Sometimes I think holding tightly to my “cares” has been an excuse that kept me from being obedient in other things. I suspect I’m not the only one who has done this. God is handling my “cares and burdens” as I have finally given them over while accepting my own limitations. I can now get working on other things. Other things I have prayed for….

I will have increased faith for my future and anticipate even better things for my child.

One lesson learned, so many more to go…

Late Bloomers!

I love my garden. The cooler days of fall have left me longing for fresh winter blooms as my summer selections faded.  However, last week I noticed fresh new blooms on one particular hydrangea plant.

My hydrangea have the potential to bloom through spring and into summer but usually give one large show in May and then swiftly fade away. Yet on one plant there are five fresh blooms in September!

I had not done anything in particular to this plant to facilitate such a thing and I wonder if that is why it bloomed. It may sound crazy to some but God talks to me in the strangest of ways and I believe my perfect powder blue blooms are there to ease my doubts and fears about those things so completely out of my control.

Sometimes parents try to manipulate and prod their children to perform based on outside expectations. In my own experiences with autism I am very guilty of this as well. However, God holds the perfect timing for everyone and everything right down to when flowers bloom.

Some flowers bloom early and are killed off by frost. Their timing isn’t just right and they fail to enjoy the full luster of their season. Others bloom later than expected and instead of becoming lost in the multitude of blossoms, they are showcased all by themselves, standing out that much more because they did not conform to an expected schedule.

My singular blooms wouldn’t have caught my attention if mixed in along dozens of others just months ago. Yet, in their solitude I can appreciate each and every one. I can appreciate them so much more because they were not expected.

I am now at peace that my many personal expectations will not be met on my time-table but on God’s instead. I have finally learned His timing is always perfect and it makes the miracle that much more. More amazing! More appreciated! More marvelous!

My new blooms remind me that timing is relative. I don’t have to get myself frantic and panicked when my kids (or other things for that matter) aren’t moving along when expected, especially on someone else’s schedule. Schedules can be arbitrary.  Growth charts, developmental analysis and mainstream medicine don’t have the Ultimate say in my eventual outcome.

Only God’s timing, which is always perfect timing, is all I really need.

Autism has taught me that, though I admit I can sometimes forget. God gave me my late bloomers to remind me that He is in control and that oftentimes the most pleasant surprises come when you aren’t expecting them at all.

I’ve seen my fair share of miracles and am yet hopeful for even more! At times when I’ve feared my kids were losing ground or were at a standstill, their eventual and accelerated growth was even more so celebrated!

We are all too some extent liken to plants in God’s great garden. Some people bloom quickly only to fade away just as fast. Some are slow to mature only to later bring sustained and dependable beauty. And now and again there are those few plants over to the side that don’t appear to have that much going on, but when you least expect it and out of their scheduled “season” will shine and stand out among the rest!

I have relinquished to God my expectations of time. Autism has tempered the “control freak” that once consumed me.  I cast my cares over to God and allow Him take them from there.

I can now pray, prepare and wait with expectation instead of frustration.

My faith has not failed me and God’s grace remains unending. I have a confidence and peace that I cling to as I travel this adventure in autism.

Just like my flowers, I am surprised at my miracles that “bloom” unexpectedly and out of season, yet their sweet reward makes me appreciate God’s grace that much more!