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Monthly Archives: December 2014

When God Tucks Us In

HisGreatRest

Recently, I have been visiting my parents for a few days at a time in Amish Country. I wasn’t raised here. They moved here a few years ago. But I remember the days when Chester County, Pennsylvania, was similar in landscape: rolling hills of undisturbed cornfields and cows. My life in Boston is much more densely populated and busy. Horses and buggies are a welcomed sight after highways of minivans, Mercedes, and Land Rovers.

I have to admit: This started out as an idea of taking each child on a fun road trip, one at a time, to get some quality time with their grandparents, to make individual memories. But it also metamorphosed into more selfish reasons: Coming here is like a retreat, a respite. I could hole up here for weeks reading, writing, and conducting small amounts of business from an Adirondack chair facing farmland and Amish laundry hanging straight on a line. Peace and rest. Order. Clean air. Quiet countryside.

As I was trying to snuggle under some incredibly warm and enduring afghans from my childhood on my parents’ couch, my father came over and asked if I would like to be tucked in. He had seen that the afghans were slipping from the smooth leather couch onto the floor, and I clearly was in need of being wrapped like a bed burrito. He was happy to oblige.

Backing up a bit, Dad is recovering from bladder cancer. I guess a more accurate way of putting it is that he is recovering from bladder removal. Cancer has become his frequent, persistent, and most nagging companion over the course of 34 years. So not only is my recovering father tucking me in with his bladder bag saddled to the side, but he was caring for me, the one with fewer years and better health.

And it is a picture I simply cannot get out of my head.

Why?

Because God tucks us in that way. God is a Father Who loves this way. God offers protection under His wings, rest for our souls.

I’m 42, and my earthly father can still wrap me to sleep on the couch.

I’m 42, and I still desperately need my heavenly Father to wrap me in His shadow and under His wings.

I will never grow out of that need.

Neither will you.

And I love it.

The key is that we must remember that we are welcomed to be that child nestled under our Father’s strong arms and wings of protection. He loves having us there.

Mom actually made those afghans many years ago. In her own way, with those afghans, she comforted feverish children, covered chilly knees and feet on cold winter nights, brought warmth to a 44 year old man convalescing from radiation in 1981, kept the chill off the 95 year old matriarch of the family as she watched Lawrence Welk.

That afghan is family history from start to finish. It spans time and memories. It warms the soul and invites those needing the deepest of rest.

Like God, it knows our history and covers us in spite of it—when we trust Him and in Him.

Doesn’t that sound so inviting? So nourishing?

The verses that follow show the Truth of what God offers us, and it’s so much more than an aging, cozy afghan on a slippery couch.

It is ours just for crying out and being willing to submit to a Father in heaven Who wants to be our Loving Parent in the most significant and hope-filled of ways: forever.

May 2015 be the year these verses settle deeply into your hearts and minds—that you know how deep and wide and enduring the Father’s love is for you, and that you daily cry out for Him to tuck you into those promises when you come with the heart of a

trusting,

open,

eager

child.

Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus speaking, ESV
“Come to me, all 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Psalm 91:1-4, author unknown, possible Moses, ESV
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

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Dad’s story and tales of treks to Amish Country can also be found in “Waiting for the Telephone Call” and “Cows, Cornfields, and a Father Who Cares for It All.”

More stories of how tender a relationship God offers us through His Son Jesus can be found in the recently published Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day.

This blog has been shared at Christian Mommy Blogger and Pick Your Pin Tuesday.

 

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Would You Do Anything to End the Pain of Grief? Even Give Up Loving Memories?

Would You Do Anything to End the Pain of GriefToday’s blog post has a special place in my heart, mostly because my guest blogger, Tammie Wommack, hurts for the grieving. She knows what it is like to get through extreme pain during the holidays.

Why?

Because Tammie’s story is one of unfathomable heartache and grief—the kind that can knock you over, hold you down under water, and threaten to never let you breathe again. And because she has found a way to breathe again—she has discovered the airhole through which to draw life, breath, and oxygen out of her very changed world, her “new normal”—her heart is to help others do the same.

Tammie wants to reach into the hearts of those experiencing the significant pain of loss and bring them hope and encouragement during the time of year when families gather but some loved ones are noticeably missing at the table or celebration. She fully understands how incredibly difficult that is to face. If this is you, I hope you can feel her heart not only beating with yours here but that you can tangibly grasp the hope, ministry, and nourishment her heart is trying to communicate to yours—that you can start to find or rediscover that airhole.

She previously shared parts of her experiences here at Espressos of Faith in “Honoring Josh: A Mother’s Heart in the Aftermath of Suicide” and “Journey to Joy: How Giving Back Brings Hope and Healing to Hurting Hearts.”

Today, Tammie both asks and answers the question:

Would you do anything to end the pain of grief, even give up the loving memories?

Blessings!
Bonnie Lyn Smith, author of Not Just on Sundays

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As I have been reliving beautiful memories of our time as a family during Christmas, especially now as we are surrounded by Christmas every day in the tree lot where we are currently working, it occurred to me how much power those memories have and how much more I cherish those moments in time than I did when they were happening to me. We are never fully aware of how much of an impact something is going to have on our lives when it is actually happening, but we are given the gift of those memories forever.

This brought me to this question about my grief and the loss of my son Joshua:

Would I trade the memories in order to spare myself the grief?

Grief is such a tough aspect of living, yet it is always going to be inevitable. Some people choose not to love or have friends so that they do not have to experience the pain of loss. But to avoid grief, you would truly have to give up something worse: no beautiful memories of all the wonderful times together—memories that help you relive the joy and love you had with people.

The answer for me is:

NO!!!!

I am so thankful that I have those beautiful moments that I can recall whenever I need to, and I need to—often. Times of fun, laughter, things he did and said: Sure, some of those are sad, but most are so special. Memories are a rare gift that God has allowed us to have while we live our lives here on earth, and having them is a priceless treasure.

This Christmas season, my husband Rick and I were given a gift that no money could ever buy: time with our oldest son, Brian. We created new memories that will always be with us of time spent working together at the tree lot. We also were able to relive old memories of his childhood and enjoying Thanksgiving. We also experienced some real healing time to all share our thoughts and memories of Joshua. It also gave us a glimpse of the wonderful man Brian has turned out to be—a gift that not all parents are privileged to receive. In some ways, it has allowed all of us to gain some closure and move to an even better place in our grieving process. And as a Mom who lost a child to suicide, it was so comforting to hear and see how much our parenting made an impact on him and to have him tell us that we were truly good parents.

So this Christmas Season, create some memories and relive the past as you can. They are all gifts from God, and if we are not careful, we will let them slip by unnoticed.

If you are grieving, use this time to help someone else. If you are involved in family disputes, forgive whatever it is and choose to show God’s love.

Time is so unforgiving.

How we use it is up to us.

You never know what the future holds, only that God is in control.

God gave us the ultimate sacrifice in His Son Jesus Christ—a gift so awesome that nothing we do in our lives could ever repay.

And the truth is we don’t have to. God is not looking for us to repay Him through works and deeds. He is looking for us to have a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ and to treat others as we would like to be treated.

Merry Christmas and Much Love in Christ,
Tammie

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Feel free to leave comments to share, connect with, or encourage Tammie. The message she wants to send is: You are not alone, she understands, and you are deeply loved. Make every moment count. Memories are such a treasure, and making new ones with loved ones still here is a precious gift not to be wasted, even in the midst of deep grief.

A great resource for suicide prevention is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

To find out more about Tammie and Rick, you can read part of their story at http://www.gofundme.com/Giving-Back-For-Joshua.

This blog has also been shared at any link highlighted here: Mom 2 Mom Monday Link-Up, Make a Difference Mondays, Pick Your Pin Tuesday, Women With Intention Wednesdays, Grace & Truth, A Little R & R, RaRa Link-Up, Me, Coffee & Jesus, Dance With Jesus, Blessing Counters, Coffee & Conversation, Saturday Soiree, Tell His Story, Find Stability, So Much at Home, Faith-Filled Fridays, Reflect His Love and Glory Link-Up, Bonbon ‘n Coffee Linkup, and Christian Mommy Blogger.

 

 

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Christmas and the Post Office: One Local Legend Brings Holiday Cheer

Christmas and the Post Office-One Local Legend Brings Holiday CheerMany people associate the post office at Christmastime with incredible stress. Long lines. Grumpy, impatient people. Holding heavy packages and always forgetting some necessary label or custom form.

Will this make it for Christmas?

Did I pack it right?

Does that guy really have to talk about his entire family when there are 12 other customers behind him?

Why can’t they open another line?

Did the whole world come out today to mail everything in their houses?

(I think we can all safely say we’ve thought something like that at one point or another.)

But not in my local post office. In my small, local post office, people come from several towns over just for the main manager’s 365-days-a-year cheer.

He is never grumpy. Never unkind. He often runs that place by himself and sings, blesses, offers counsel, is patient, loves on everyone, and knows each person by name.

He has been known to sing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!” while smacking down the priority mail tape.

No matter how much we Type A customers perseverate on if we used the right tape and box, he has a patient word.

He stops what he is doing to pick up mail that fell out of someone’s P.O. Box so she doesn’t have to come back.

If an elderly customer is worried about a parcel that is arriving today, he offers a reassuring word and tells him to come back because he’ll leave the door open as long as he can before closing time.

When tensions seem to rise in the line, he cracks a joke, remembers something sweet about someone in line, or starts crooning a song playing in the background.

He’s like a hit of therapy, offering a smile and encouragement, his trademark line: “It’s all about you, Darlin'” to each and every customer.

Today, he was a one-man-band, and everyone in that place, whether or not his/her heart was tuned to the grumpy station upon walking in, was in good spirits, helping each other wrap and pack, passing parcel stickers assembly-line-style, and openly declaring how this is the best post office on the planet. (It truly is! I’ve lived in several states and in two other countries. He’s the best!)

I’ve never seen anything like this so close to the holiday mail crunch with so many stressed-out people choosing to follow his lead of love and kindness.

One man came in, and it was his first experience in our post office. He was discouraged by something and in need of cheer. I watched over 20 people show gentle-heartedness and compassion—if not directly to him, then to each other. He walked out of there with a smile on his face, as if he had just received his blessing.

And I truly believe with all my heart that:

Jesus came for this.

This is Christmas.

How can I tie Jesus to one cheerful postal attendant? Isn’t that taking things too far?

Well, Jesus came to bend down to wash feet. He offered a kind word to the orphan, the widow, the lame, the short dude in the tree, the woman about to be stoned, and the sick of body, heart, and/or mind. Nobody walked away the same after meeting Him. I’ve personally never been the same. I can’t be talking to Jesus or singing to Him and be anything but inspired, lifted up, and changed for the better.

Matthew 20:28, Jesus speaking, ESV
“…the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

John 13:3-5, 12-15, Apostle John narrating, ESV
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”

And I see this postal worker not just going through the motions with the daily grind or even giving it his very best. He goes way beyond slapping the stamps on and asking if there is anything “fragile, liquid, or hazardous.” He checks the pulse of every person coming through the line and doesn’t let them walk away with malaise. He checks in. He cares. He’s like a personal care nurse in U.S.P.S. standard-issue clothing.

How many of us approach our jobs this way?

Or do we count down the minutes until our people interactions are over?

Do we just check off the to-do list without enthusiasm?

How many of us consider how we can change lives, impact hearts, bring hope in the middle of whatever it is we are doing?

When we stop to acknowledge the faces we see, whether we are hanging off a garbage truck slinging trash in frigid temperatures, checking people in at a frenzied pediatrician’s office, packing groceries, wiping baby bottoms, etc., do we truly realize how much we can affect a life for good? How we can bring “better” to someone’s day?

And isn’t that incredibly worth it?

Isn’t that reflecting the Father’s heart who sent a baby Savior for His children at Christmas?

It blessed me so much to see one woman give back. As he was ringing up my package, she handed him some eggnog and a packaged treat. Everyone in that line had a story to tell about our local legend who kept an entire tiny office with a crowded line patient, conversing, content.

He passed on something that then became wildly contagious: joy and hope.

How can we do more of this in our spheres of influence, with our coworkers, clients, children, fellow grocery shoppers, bosses, spouses, strangers, or even with those we are waiting in a post office line?

This Christmas, this is what I’m thinking about, thanks to one dedicated, kindhearted man doing his job with joy in a hectic season when many hearts are hurting and nerves are raw.

What inspires you this Christmas?

*This blog has been shared at any link highlighted here: Mom 2 Mom Monday Link-Up, Make a Difference Mondays, Pick Your Pin Tuesday, Women With Intention Wednesdays, Grace & Truth, A Little R & R, RaRa Link-Up, Me, Coffee & Jesus, Dance With Jesus, Blessing Counters, Coffee & Conversation, Saturday Soiree, Tell His Story, Find Stability, So Much at Home, Faith-Filled Fridays, Reflect His Love and Glory Link-Up, Bonbon & Coffee Linkup, and Christian Mommy Blogger.

 

 

 

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The Warm Hand of Jesus on Cold Days of Doubt

The Warm Hand of Jesus on Cold Days of Doubt

Do you ever need tangible reassurance when anxiety and self-doubt whack you around?

I’ve had the kind of week where I realized nothing was in my control. Maybe you’ve already figured this out, but I still find myself thinking I’m at the helm. It turns out I’m really not.

Nothing earth-shattering was wrong. It was more like low-level frustrations piling up. I chased down a new specialist for one of my children, playing phone tag for days. I could not get a professional I was working with to fulfill an expectation. My traveling husband was gone when I needed to be in three places at once and could have used his help. Christmas wrapping and packaging exploded all over my bedroom. And some of the goals I set for myself post-publishing to market my book were not working out. One of my kids is learning the responsibility of texting and emailing apps for the first time, and her emails went out 70 times to a friend because of a glitch. Yeah, that was just awesome.

Not being able to control other people’s end of an interaction (or computer glitches, LOL) can feel like personal failure some days. But the truth is: It’s not. Some days we wait for a reply, a response, someone to do something we asked them to or paid them for, a problem to come right that we’re working on. It may feel like we’re spinning our wheels on so many things in life. I felt like I could not propel myself forward in any way this past week. Everything I attempted fell flat on its face or blinked at me like a “No Walking” signal that allows traffic to keep moving from all directions but never seems to let me cross. The world seems so slow in those moments, as if the clock is ticking only intermittently, and it can feel like everyone is looking at us waiting for our next move.

When life moved that slowly for me this week and I could not accomplish anything, the temptation was to spin into endless cycles of self-doubt and catastrophic thinking. Know what I mean? Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Finding Advent

Finding AdventIn my book Not Just on SundaysI share a story about how one year, I secretly laughed my way up to do a family Advent reading in church—not because Advent is funny, but because I felt like a hypocrite telling the congregation to take rest in the anticipation of Advent when I hadn’t found rest that particular season. Not one ounce of it.

And ever since then, I’ve been in pursuit of Advent. Unlike the pursuit of finding Nemo, the orange clownfish that needed his friends and father to locate him many years ago in the infamous Disney film, Advent doesn’t need to be “found” in order to be rescued. It is there whether or not I choose to observe it. But if I looked for it, paused for it, and asked God about it, I just knew I could find it in more meaningful ways.

And I figured out a few things along the way. It’s been a journey. There’s been a learning curve, and I’m often a slow learner.

1. I give myself permission to not put up all decorations. I don’t even have to decorate each room. Twenty-one years of accumulating decorations and traditions pile up and start demanding to be followed. I can’t keep up. It’s okay to let some of those go. What I did as a newly married 20-something decorating those first few Christmases does not have to define how I choose to make the house merry today.

This year, we are minimalists: tree, some candles, advent setting, wreath, stockings.

I do not have to set up a Biblical times village or Thomas Kinkade-like warm scene of a street and candle shop in ceramics to usher in Christmas. Jesus did this for us. A simple baby in a manger, a humble birth, among the animals in a barn.

2. Advent observations can be few and still incredibly meaningful. The LEGO Advent calendar is fun. So is a box of pop-open windows with chocolate inside. Starbucks has even joined the Advent celebration with a chalkboard of tins dating through each day of December. Reading the Christmas story each day on a book ornament is sweet. So are lit candles each Sunday, with a time of songs and Scripture. We like reading through a Bible times Advent book (see these awesome Advent books by Arnold Ytreeide).

What isn’t fun is feeling like we have to do all of these. Legalism. Bah! So we got smart this year and chose about three of those.

3. I do not have to be a Christmas card overachiever. If writing 100 cards puts me in a Jesus Love frame of mind, then awesome! I love to write personal messages to folks. But if it’s a year when life is frenzied, and meeting that self-imposed or societal obligation will cause me angst, which takes me away from dwelling on why my Savior came, I don’t need to do it that year. Striving is never our goal. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. If we are doing something that feels like striving, we are not finding His true rest. And Advent is about resting in the gift of Him.

Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus speaking, ESV
“Come to me, all 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

I also can enjoy Christmas cards other people wanted to send me and not experience self-condemnation for not sending them out—or not sending them quickly enough, or on time. (I have to admit the first one to arrive in the mailbox Thanksgiving weekend always taunts the overachiever in me and fills me with angst all at the same time, even though I love reading handwritten notes.)

4. I am avoiding the mall from December 1st on. For me, crowds of people drain me. Others are energized by them, but for me, Advent rest means escaping the retail scene in December. What is super fun for one person is someone else’s dread, so I’m just agreeing not to stress out over traffic, parking lot spaces, and massive amounts of people (especially the ones coming out of their kiosks to approach me if I want this hair extension or that flying helicopter—I know it’s their job to do that, but the introvert in me always wants to run).

5. I do not need to throw a cookie exchange, attend The Nutcracker, visit three living nativities, or attend five Christmas parties to mean the season is important or here. It’s already here. It’s important with or without me. I can jump on and grab what I’ve found, or I can let it pass me by because I’m getting dolled up or food-prepping for too many December events on the calendar. (Don’t get me wrong: Those events are all fun. It’s more about choosing a few wisely than stressing out our family calendar and feeling forever frenzied, thereby missing the point, despite our good intentions.)

6. What That Other Mom Over There does has nothing to do with my Advent. Comparison is a holiday slasher. It sucks the joyful spirit out of festivities and celebration like a thirsty kid getting every last bit of that Blue #1 food coloring Icee out of the paper cup. [Even though it has nothing to do with Advent really, don’t even get me started talking about Elf on the Shelf! I’m not morally opposed to it; it’s a cute idea. Many of my friends have so much fun with it. I’m just afraid to start myself up yet another Mombligation I will fail or that will take years off my life stressing about achieving.]

7. The reverse of No. 6, Advent is not about my expectations on other people. It’s not about whether we were included in the neighborhood white elephant party, were invited to Aunt Nancy’s for Christmas dinner, received gifts from a certain family (because after all, we give their kids gifts every year for 17 years), and “can you believe the tacky blow-up Santa across the street? And she didn’t even put up her window candles this year! She’s really slacking. At least we’ve got those!”

Advent is actually the opposite of that. It’s everyone coming to the baby in the manger from the same humble position: bowed low. When we are bowing low, we are only looking at the position we came from—our own stance—and we cannot be concerning ourselves with what those around us are doing.

That’s the position of Advent.

8. Advent worship might look different every day. Today, I might be able to read my kids part of the story of Jesus. If we can’t sing around the table that week, we might enjoy “O Come All Ye Faithful” while riding in the car. Prayers might be geared toward children around the world needing to know the gift of Jesus. One day it might be a mention of thanks for Christ, or a journal entry. It could be sharing why and what our hearts celebrate with a friend who is curious but doesn’t share our faith.

Advent is every day in remembrance, but it is not a huge project or effort. It’s living from what Jesus has transformed inside our hearts.

9. No matter what, I don’t “do” Advent. It’s not an action verb on my part. It’s not something I achieve. God did this. Advent came to me. In a manger. Crying like me. Feeling pain and joy like me. Tempted like me. Dying for me.

10. Jesus wants me. The person. The relationship. The conversation. The yielded heart. The lover of His truth. He doesn’t care if my tree is up, my presents wrapped, if I’m a last-minute panic-shopper or the most organized mom on the planet. How many Christmas services/recitals/plays I attended or participated in make no difference in our relationship. He loves me right where I am, and stopping to spend time with Him, being still, listening for Him to lead my life, telling Him everything like a Holy BFF, coming to Him like a child: This, this is what He wants.

What do you think? What does Advent mean to you?

Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah the Prophet speaking, ESV
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Jeremiah 23:5, Jeremiah the Prophet speaking, ESV
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” 

 

*This blog has been shared at any link highlighted here: Mom 2 Mom Monday Link-Up, Make a Difference Mondays, Pick Your Pin Tuesday, Women With Intention Wednesdays, Grace & Truth, A Little R & R, RaRa Link-Up, Me, Coffee & Jesus, Dance With Jesus, Blessing Counters, Coffee & Conversation, Saturday Soiree, Tell His Story, Find Stability, So Much at Home, Faith-Filled Fridays, Reflect His Love and Glory Link-Up, Bonbon & Coffee Linkup, and Christian Mommy Blogger.

 

 

 

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An ADHD Child and His Not-a-Morning-Person Parent

An ADHD Child and His Not-a-Morning-Person Parent
“Hello. My name is Bonnie, and I am not a morning person….Oh, and I have an ADHD child.”

Notice which order I put those in?

I didn’t define myself by my atypical child.

I took ownership of my own issue. = First step to getting honest and dealing with the core issue: me, not my son with ADHD. (For more on my family’s struggles to make sense of ADHD, refer to the section of blogs dedicated to this subject matter and scroll through to see if anything interests you. My Reading List page also has a list of books that I found helpful.)

This blog is about the little morning explosions that happen when you take a very exuberant ADHD child straight out of bed in the morning and combine that with a sleepy mom who hasn’t had her coffee yet and barely got the first two kids out the door on their earlier buses. The Not-a-Morning-Person Mom. That one.

And it’s also about why I’m the one who has to change.

My almost-nine-year-old Tigger bounces out of bed like a ping pong ball shooting aimlessly around to eventually make it into the right slot—except that, in his head, he isn’t aimless. He’s accomplishing (or attempting to) about 12 things and processing many new ideas at once.

And…he’s eager to share them.

At 7 AM.

Contrast that with my sleepy mind that floated through the past 40 minutes getting the secondary school kids in my house out the door, and I’m still trying to retrieve the thought as to whether or not I packed both of those lunches, and did I tell them I wouldn’t be here right when they got home today?

I might even be thinking about the laundry. The pile of dishes I left last night. The fact I still have yet another lunch and snack to pack. And have I even stopped to use the bathroom this morning?

Is the coffee machine on? Did anyone turn it on yet?

While I’m still on Thought One and a Half, along comes my delightful, hyper, mostly happy youngest son who wants to share every thought in his head.

Right now.

Before coffee.

And I’m an introvert who not only hates morning but thrives on quiet in order to function and process.

“Oh, God, this is where I always feel like I fail.”

And I can get all grumbly, whiny, snappy, snarly, and inward right now. I can certainly get my selfish on. And I regularly do. But his disorder is here to stay. He can’t wish it away. He can “work on” coping skills and body regulation,

but he can’t stop having ADHD.

But I can find ways not to be grumbly, Not-a-Morning-Person, impatient Mom. I can go to bed and get up earlier. Start the coffee sooner. I can ask God to help me handle the bounce of life, energy, and mind from 7 AM until school drop-off. I have the warm hand of Jesus to hold. I can consult Him. I do not have to fail if I ask for His help. The thing is: I will fail if I don’t. I might stumble along and get a few things right now and again, but without the faith that God is carrying us both through these moments without wounds and fallout, I will not be whom I need to be for my son.

Since I pretty much analogize in coffee in my sleep, I will now share one here. (Aren’t you glad I don’t express these analogies in every blog?–wink!) I was thinking that my Little Man is like the air bubbles being blasted into the milk to make a nice frothy topper to the espresso drink. He comes in with full force and makes something flat and boring like milk burst into foamy, airy bubbles that soar above the dark espresso.

I’m the dark espresso…melancholic and weary, heavy and pensive in the morning, and in comes Mr. Bubbles of Life to make the drink more interesting, more varied, lighter. I am the strength under the foam, perhaps, but my strength can either encourage and support that lovely foam, or I can flatten it back to ordinary hot milk, with no vim and vigor—How boring!

My words and my attitude are choices. I can choose to see him as a complement to my personality and embrace the gift of us blended together in the wee, challenging hours of the morning, or I can squash his spirit, his mind, his heart.

It helps to get honest. I hope, if you have similar struggles as a parent (with either typical or atypical children), that you can feel some camaraderie in the struggle in my “get real” moment. I find that being honest about the journey brings me fresh perspective and offers hope that I can do better—not perfect, but better.

I want to “delight in blessing” every chance that I get. I want to “spring forth fresh water” and not muddy it up with my own salty murkiness.

How about you? How do you cope with these struggles? I’d love to hear from you.

James 3:9-12, James, brother of Jesus speaking, ESV

With it [tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Psalm 109:17-18, David (not yet king) speaking, ESV

He loved to curse; let curses come upon him!
He did not delight in blessing; may it be far from him!
He clothed himself with cursing as his coat;
may it soak into his body like water,
like oil into his bones!

 

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