Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A New Car!

Standing in the Toyota Carlsbad used car lot, Jim tried to track the various specs our salesman, Mo, had committed to memory. Which Prius in the row was the best value for us? They honestly need a chart (or a website like CarMax). Without it, the oral recounting was as lost on us as the details of our genealogy.

Jim started to sound like a parrot, reiterating his own clarifying questions.

"How much is the that one again?"

"What was the mileage on the white one?"

"Has the black one been discounted yet?"

Each time we moved down the line to the next car, we lost site of the sticker on the previous one. It's a larger-than-life-size game of elimination. And that was before we got to my color preferences.

Reid must have been thinking this looked a lot like a rental car lot at any airport in the country. He knew what to do. Hop in, hang on, and start scoping out the glovebox.

As we'd piled out of Jim's MiniCooper, Reid opened the back door of the silver one right next to us, "I like this one. Let's go." (Come to think of it, that's the one we drove off the lot 2 hours later. Hmm..)

I was on Reid-patrol since Jim is the premier negotiator, "Well not yet, Reid. Dad has to talk to the man here and think it through. It costs a lot of dollars so, it might take him a little while." This is when the circular Q and A ensued.

That was our cue to search for a vending machine. Before we did, Reid put a hand on Jim's shoulder and came out with a phrase I imagine he must hear frequently at school, "Dad, are you having trouble making a choice?"

The kid speaks the truth...and keeps us laughing:)

I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Matthew 11:25

Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
Psalm 25:11-13

Get wisdom—it's worth more than money; choose insight over income every time.
Proverbs 16:15-17

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 1o Things I am Thankful for this Week

1. a husband who serves (and surfs)

2. a decisive husband

3. a husband who seeks righteousness

4. children who are set apart

5. children who embrace their destiny

6. children who tell me they love me, often

7. friends who hold me accountable

8. friends who pray aloud, face down, and without ceasing

9. friends who text me Scripture

10. Eugene Petersen's translation of The Message

11. a God who reveals Himself to me specifically through rain, numbers, and newspaper headlines

Oh, that's twelve.

Hallelujah! I give thanks to God with everything I've got—
Wherever good people gather, and in the congregation.
God's works are so great, worth
A lifetime of study—endless enjoyment! Psalm 111:1

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Deafening Silence

I must report a new noise around here. Accustomed to the after school din of Nick Jr., BluesClues intro or Between the Lions, I was shocked twice this week by the sound of silence. It's a beautiful thing. And I think it really is a sacred thing too.

Peace, at last. Hurrah! The addictive trait of zoning out to television has has been broken and is staying so.

Can anyone relate to the shock and dismay of this? Without my asking, Reid turned off the set and chose to get his homework, sit in concentration to complete it, and then simply sit and be. This concept of rest is unprecedented in his repetoire of recreational activities.

Once upon a time I (or a team of therapists) would structure his every waking moment and attempt to factor in some quiet in theory. In practice, this always took more of my time and energy and talking than it was really worth. Prompting and following through; reinforcing and praising.

Somewhere in the teens, I acquiesced to the age appropriate allowance of vegging on the couch after a long day of school and bailed on the hope of productive independence. I'm ashamed to admit, it's just easier and I've run out of steam.

But praises be! It is happening spontaneously before my very eyes. Again today, there was a reasonable amount of tv, then a bath, a rest period, then engagement with dad. No tv blaring, no pleading and negotiating.

"Be still and know that I am God," is an oft-quoted verse to slow our American 21st century pace. In my past reality, living with someone whose engine runs on constant high, it seems slightly unrealistic. Hyperactivity has a contagious aspect to it. It dictates that at least one other party is launched into a synchronized orbit. Like a tag team surveillance operation, Jim and I have developed a rhythm over the years of alternating being "on." Supervising, intervening, available and alert. This has been our norm for years. The house is rarely quiet. As one friend duly noted, its like the terrible two's but you haven't outgrown them. (At the time, I did not appreciate that.)

Even if I forcibly remove myself to the hammock in the backyard, a habitual hyper-vigilance cues me to the tv's buzz, the garage door creak, the stainless fridge door flashing open. "Just in case;" "you never know;" "better safe than sorry" reminders caption every quasi-meditational thought in my head. We are not accustomed to rest or stillness.

How does one who is never still begin to know God? Or develop intimacy with Him? It's easy to see how our hyperactivity--whether chosen or imposed--serves to separate us from hearing--knowing--experiencing God. If experiencing God happens in stillness, then how will it happen for the hyperactive child or parent? It is both a discipline and a skill.

What I'm realizing this month in gratitude is that the converse of that Scripture is also true: Knowing that I am God enables you to be still. As Jim and I acknowledge God on the throne in our home, knock other idols off the high places (yes, i mean tv), and take more of His Word literally, peace arrives. We can all be still, not because we changed anything in the physical--rules, rewards, or policies--but as a result of changes in the spiritual invisible realm.

The change is inexplicable and undeniable. But don't take my word for it, take God's.

Silence is praise to you, Zion-dwelling God, and also obedience. You hear the prayer in it all. Psalm 65:1 The Message

Quiet, everyone! Shh! Silence before God. Something's afoot in his holy house. He's on the move! Zechariah 2:12-13

"But oh! God is in his holy Temple! Quiet everyone—a holy silence. Listen!" Habakkuk 2:19-20

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Giving up the Need to Know

I can explain almost everything around here--no matter how odd. How did the trash can get in the living room? Why is the mail on the curb? What's that brown smear on the towel? Where is the scotch tape? Do we have any Parmesan? What time is...?

As moms who make a vocation of studying their spirited, strong-willed, challenging, indigo, otherwise unique children, I can nearly read Reid's mind. True confession: I take pride in that. It's second nature to surmise a motivation for almost any of his behaviors. I'm not saying I can control, extinguish, or modify them but, almost always I can hazard a good guess as to the method behind the madness. Small comfort, I know.

This baseball, Exhibit A, is an exception to the rule. I have no idea where it came from!

When I asked Reid, "what does it say?" he answered, "Babe Ruth." Obviously. You do the math (or spell check as it were)!

It is Reid's writing for certain. But I am clueless as to who, what, when, where or why it got autographed. What brought Babe to mind? Who explained the concept of signing to him? What precipitated the burst of appropriateness and synergy of understanding?

I silence the barrage of questions running through my mind in order to revel in the independence that it marks. He's achieved something I can't explain! I didn't witness it happening and I can't decipher its arrival. Good for him! And oddly, newly, surprisingly, gratefully, there is freedom in letting that be.

In my mind, the limited edition autographed baseball immediately became a tangible symbol of Reid's increased comprehension of the world. It's also a momento of the joy that is mine (did I say joy? not despair, fear or regret) when I relinquish the need to know every minutia of his daily life. Truth be told, it's really control fueled by pride and fear. Sayonara!

I just finished studying the tabernacle of God in Beth Moore's A Woman's Heart. This tent of meeting that the Israelites carried through the wilderness for 40 years was God's dwelling place with them. A minutia of detail surround its construction and every color and composition of thread used; every position of every piece of furniture and curtain in it has meaning. One could re-do that workbook 5 times and still be discovering. There is sooo much we don't know about the symbolism of Christ, about how to pray, about how the spiritual world works. Marvel in it! And let it be...for God to know and show you if and when He decides you need to know.

Wasn't this the fatal flaw of Eve in the Garden? Her driving motivation to gain "the knowledge of good and evil" was what the enemy held out to her as reason enough to break a simple, solitary rule established for her own good.

Like a maturing child learning that I actually can wait for Christmas morning without peeking at presents, I am learning from Reid, from autism, from the ever-loving, patient teacher, Lord, to trust and not know everything. I don't have--don't want--to have all the answers.

“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” Romans 11:33-35

God commanded the Man, "You can eat from any tree in the garden, except from the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Don't eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you're dead." Genesis 2:15-17

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace... Ephesians 2:6-8