Tag Archives: faith

Books, Books, and More Books

I love books.  I like the way they feel in my hands.  I like turning the pages.  I like underlining and making notes in the margins.  I like filling shelves toimg_1359 overflowing with them.  I enjoy walking through book stores row by row, stopping to thumb through pages.  Just thinking about it calms my heart and makes me smile.

As a result, I have several boxes of books from our recent move.  By several, I mean 50 or so; many of which I’m still in the process of unpacking.   We don’t have the space to continue to house all of these wonderful items so I’m trying to fill new boxes with books to donate.  It’s a time consuming process because as I unpack each book, I can’t help but thumb through it, remembering, smiling, cherishing.

Most of the books fall into either faith based writings or parenting or a combination of both.  Each of them are a reminder of all that God has done and His faithfulness to me over the years.

When I found out that we were going to have our oldest child, I knew that I wasn’t well equipped.  I had brokenness from my own childhood that I didn’t want to repeat; I didn’t want to mess up the beautiful gift that God was giving.  I knew some of the basics of keeping her alive, I just wasn’t sure about nurturing or loving her well.  So I did what I knew to do…I researched.  I watched other moms.  I asked questions.  I reached out for help.  I prayed.  And I read a lot.

Many of the faith based books were about growing closer to God, praying, healing, how to study the bible, and bible study tools.  I knew that I needed God if I was going to be the kind of mom I wanted to be, which meant I needed a lot of healing and truth.  I’m in awe today of all that He has done to sooth and bring wholeness in my heart.

The parenting books were what you would expect; how to talk to your kids, how to listen to your kids, when to start having them do chores, how to get them to work together, how to raise emotionally intelligent kids, how to teach kids about God, how to raise a child with disabilities, and the list goes on..

As the kids got older, I read books about helping children resolve conflicts.  One book recommended that I empathize with my child when he/she was mad with a sibling.  I jumped at the chance to try it out the next time a fight erupted.

I could tell one child was mad at another so I asked her, per the books instructions, “Are you mad?  Do you feel like hitting your brother?”  The book said that at this point the child would reply yes, and I was to empathize by saying something about how I understood her desire, but hitting was not appropriate.  But before I could say anything, she hauled off and hit him!  I was stunned!  This was not how it was supposed to go!  Thankfully, my laughter diffused the situation (maybe not the best reaction, but I couldn’t help myself!) and I was able to make a teaching point out of the failed experiment.  We still talk and laugh about that incident when we reminisce about the kids’ childhood.  It certainly made a lasting impression!

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So as I unpack each one of these books, I think about how each one came into my possession.  Some came by way of loving, caring friends who knew I was looking for answers.  Some came from spending time in the book shelves of libraries and bookstores.  All came through the loving hands of God who heard my plea for help.

I thumb through each book, looking for things I’ve bookmarked, highlighted, or starred.  The memories come flooding back.  Each mark reveals my thoughts, struggles, and desires during that time.  It’s hard for me to believe that those intense, fun, stretching, joy-filled, and sometimes difficult years are behind me. image I’m still a mom, and I have other things to pour into and walk through with my children, but those years of purposeful, daily parenting are gone.

My heart is full and grateful as I now enjoy the harvest of those planting years. 

I’m thankful for the wisdom I gleaned from each one of those books.  They offered encouragement, insight, and understanding.  They all became a part of my arsenal as I grew as a mom.

I smile as I lovingly put books on my shelves to remind me of all that has passed.  And I pray as I put some of those precious books in new boxes; hoping that they bless and encourage their new owners…

Reminders Of Home

My oldest is getting ready to go back to school.  I hate it when she has to go; saying good bye is hard.  I know that she loves her school and her house mates which makes it easier, but I miss seeing her every day.  I miss doing those little things for her that say ‘I love you.’

goodie-bagSo whenever she leaves, I send her with goodies from home.  Sometimes it’s leftovers from her favorite meals we had during her visit.  Sometimes it’s homemade spaghetti sauce.  Sometimes it’s something just for fun that she wouldn’t get for herself.  No matter what it is, it’s a reminder of home. A reminder that I love her, I’m thinking of her, and I’m available if she needs me.

I need those loving reminders, too, because life is hard!  Things don’t always go the way I planned.  And despite my telling death to go away, it still comes for those I love.   I need reminders that I am loved and cherished.  Reminders that I am thought of regularly.  Reminders that I’m not on my own.

Jesus is my reminder.

He reminds me that God loves me even when I’m not feeling lovable; for God so loved the world that He sent His only Son.  He reminds me that God thinks of me; He makes plans for my life for my good and His glory.  He reminds me that I’m not alone; God is with me always.  He even reminds me that this is not my home, but that He has prepared a place for me where He will wipe my tears, there will be no more death and mourning, and I will be with Him for eternity.

Reminders of home, we all need them.

Faith and Autism

How is he going to have a relationship with an unseen God, when he doesn’t seem to want a relationship with people he sees?

That’s the question that circled my brain not long after my son was diagnosed with autism.  I remember standing over his bed one night staring at his face, crying.  It had been a day filled with tantrums and avoidance.  He just wanted to be left alone.  It made me sad to watch his sibling try to interact with him only to have their gestures met with screams and hitting.  The only time he wanted me was when he needed something that he couldn’t get himself.  He didn’t even come to me for comfort when he was sad or upset.  I grieved for a relationship that would never be.

As I cried out to God, asking for help and comfort, questions flooded my head.  How am I going to teach him about You, God?  How am I going to teach him about having a relationship with You when he doesn’t seem to want a relationship with the people he lives with?  How will he know You and Your saving grace, Your comfort, Your peace?

I later told a frienWP_20150408_006d about my questions.  She lovingly reminded me that God had created my son and knew all about his disability.  She reminded me that God already knew how He would reveal Himself to my son.   He knew my son’s heart.  God had it covered.  I was just to trust.  Trust God’s plan.  Trust God’s leading.  Trust.

It seems like a simple thing to do especially when you are talking about trusting God who is loving, all knowing, and sovereign.  But, there have been days when it’s hard.  Days when I wondered if my son could really believe in a God he cannot see.

Trust Me.

Trust Me.

So I trust.  And God gives me glimpses of what He’s doing.  My son uses his beautiful voice to sing praise songs every chance he gets, even if it’s in the middle of a crowded store.  He prays for healing when he’s sick, trusting that God will make him better.  He wears a cross every day so that others know he follows Christ.

I celebrate those things.  I thank God for allowing me to see His work.  And I continue to trust…