26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #23

Today’s post is ‘W’ for ‘Word of Life’.

I love, love, LOVE being a writer. Playing with words, exploring infinite possibilities with them. With just a piece of paper, a pencil, and time, worlds can be created, rich in detail, full of interesting characters, and scenes full of laughter or nail-gripping tension. What power there is in a string of words!

The spoken word, too, is often more powerful than we realise. I’ve blogged before about my autistic Mr7. He’s the most soft-hearted person I’ve ever met. (And believe me, teachers meet a LOT of people!) So even just a mention of his ‘making the wrong choice’ is enough to bring on the tears and have him self-recriminating-in-spades. And he’s not being melodramatic. It’s all genuine. And it stops me in my tracks each time: seeing so visually how huge an effect spoken words can have.

Words have the power to heal and to harm, to inspire and to destroy. I’ll admit now, I’ve cried twice in the researching and writing of this blogpost, in realising yet again how powerful the wrong words can be. I’d been looking for a quote I’d half remembered, and discovered this image instead:

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 9.52.22 am
[Click on the image to find the original source]
And the second was one of those co-incidental-maybe-perhaps-not-finds, an article from scientificparent.org, which I immediately shared to all my friends via Twitter and Facebook:

(In fact, if you have two minutes, could you also please click through and read this article? I’d really appreciate it!)

So back to ‘W is for Word’ – our words are important. They can give life or take it away: it all depends on how we use them.

And they have this power because of the author of life, God Himself. He calls Himself ‘the Word’ – and rightly so. John 1:1 says:

W“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

God, the creator of life, spoke – and it was so. His words gave life.

That’s something I should try to emulate. Use my words to encourage, to build up, maybe even to inspire.

How about you?

Have a great day, dear reader ๐Ÿ™‚

— KRidwyn

26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #21

I’m an insomniac. Not chronically, but fairly regularly. It doesn’t particularly bother me, most of the time, because I know I’m able to cope with whatever comes my way… but ever so often, the sleepless nights will build up to such an extent that it starts worrying me, and I’ll wonder if I’m ever getting to get a proper night’s sleep again. The sense of relief when that night’s sleep *does* come is just beautiful!

That’s what happened last night.

For over a week now, it’s been Mr7 who’s the main reason for my wakefulness ย – he’d have a nightmare, I’d get up to him, and then I’d be unable to fall asleep again for hours and hours.

And yes, last night he also got me up at just gone 11.30pm.ย But I got back to bed again before midnight.

And at 5.48am this morning, I woke up.ย I LOVE this feeling of having slept!!!

Now in my opinion, sleep isn’t such a big deal. Not in the grander scheme of things. I know that if I’d had yet another sleepless night, that this morning would still have come, and I’d still have coped with whatever today has in store for me… but it’s lovely that I can face it with a larger reserve of patience under my belt! [Right now I’m reminded of the Robert Ludlum JASON BOURNE series. “Rest is a weapon,” Jason Bourne said regularly :)]

But I also know that God cares about it. Because in the book of Matthew, chapter 10, verses 29 to 31, Jesus says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Fatherโ€™s care.ย And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So donโ€™t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

He knows how many hairs are on my head? He cares about things THAT minutely?

That’s pretty mind-boggling.

Today’s letter in the #AtoZchallenge is ‘U’. And my mum’s cross-stitch shows the Earth being held in two upraised hands, with the words ‘Upholder of all things.”
The verse is Hebrews chapter 1 verse 3. And we’re back to the King James version for this wording:

U“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high”.

Modern translations of this verse use the word ‘sustaining’ instead of ‘upholding’: “The Son is the radiance of Godโ€™s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

He upholds (sustains) ALL things. My sleep included, if I wanted it! A colleague once shared with me, decades ago now, the events surrounding his new-born child’s health. The child had been born VERY sickly (I can’t remember the exact condition) but the doctors were very worried. So my colleague, in great distress, prayed about it. And felt led to pray for very specific things. Instead of ‘please heal my child’, it was ‘ask for her heart rate to slow down’ (the first thing that was needed for her recovery) – so he prayed for her heart rate to slow, and it did. Then the second specific thing that was needed, he prayed for, and her body responded. Then the third thing (I wish I could remember, but it *was* many years ago) and the same thing happened. Several times over, until his new-born child was completely out of danger. The doctors were amazed – as was I, when he told me the story. But that’s God for you: upholder (sustainer) of ALL things. If he numbers even the hairs on our heads, then of COURSE he can work to sustain that new-born’s life.

He could also work in my insomniac issues – if I asked Him to.

Maybe I need to do just that, hey?

God is the ‘Upholder of all things’ – so everything that bothers me, I can bring to Him to deal with. My takeaway lesson for day 21.

Have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

 

26 lessons from God’s metaphors: #8

In each post in this #AtoZchallenge, I’m highlighting one facet that God has revealed about Himself in the Bible. Most are metaphors (I am the Bread of Life; I am the Good Shepherd etc.) but they aren’t always.

This one isn’t.

FullSizeRender (4)In the book of Psalms, Chapter 103 verse 3, the Bible says, “[the LORD] forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases…”

God is a healer. The cross-stitch sampler to the left shows a man leaping for joy, no longer needing a walking stick; he’s been healed of his physical illness. Stories abound throughout the Bible wherein people are healed physically; and also emotionally and spiritually, when their sins were forgiven.

It’s taken me a while to decide what ‘life example’ *I* could give here, to illustrate my point. I mean, I’ve never really suffered any physical aliment from which I needed healing. Nor, to my knowledge, have any close friends or family, so I can’t relate their story here either.

Emotional healing I’ve had a little more experience with though, and long-time readers of this blog might remember the roller-coaster ride that was the time when my youngest was diagnosed with autism.

But the biggie was probably when God healed my marriage.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.10.01 amI posted this photo on Facebook earlier in the week. Hubby and I were out, and I managed to snap a selfie of the two of us – where he was SMILING! This would be the first ever smiling selfie, in over 20 years of marriage.

And I’m sharing that piece of information so you can see how completely He healed us.

You see, we broke up after just 18 months of marriage.

It was pretty bad. And I was the cause… well, to be specific, it was my experiences with a cult a few years prior, which had screwed me up BIGTIME, that had driven us apart.

Anyway, SUPERlong story short, we patched things up and got back together again.

This was only possible because of God. No, really.

The story is too long to tell here – you’ll need to read the longer post here instead – but suffice it to say, God healed us. And look, twenty years later, we’re still together. And I’m proud of that.

That’s not to say we haven’t fought in the meantime. I’m a stubborn thing, and a control freak, neither of which do me any favours. We’ve had some doozies of arguments. But we’re in this for the long haul, and are both committed to that. No matter what. God healed us, and for that I’m eternally grateful.

So that’s my lesson for Day 8. God Heals. He’s healed others, and He’s healed Hubby and I. I can take comfort in the fact that He’ll heal again, whenever and wherever is needed.

That’s pretty awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

On death and other such stuff…

So I wrote last week about motivations; what’s the *real* reason behind people – and characters in novels – doing what they do. Is it all explainable? If so, then is it forgiveable? When is a crime a crime? All that kind of thing. I was trying to puzzle out how to go about writing a torture scene for my current WIP (Work in Progress). I was concerned that, having had zero experience with torturing someone – physically, anyway; I’m fairly sure that I hurt people emotionally in my past, and I’m sorry and I regret it – and having zero experience also of being tortured physically, that my writing of a torture scene would be just simply inane. How could I write something successfully when I had – you guessed it, zero! – first hand experience? Yes, imagination is all well and good, but in my opinion it’s not good enough when potential readers *have* real experience of torture, and who may find my treatment of it inane, hurtful, derogatory, deprecating. So I was worried.

And so, after several hours stewing, chewing my nails about it, and so on, I did the only thing I could do. I needed a torture scene, so I sat down and wrote it. As best I could. I guess it’s just a wait-and-see what my beta-readers think of it when I finally get it to them, huh?

I had death on my mind rather more than normal this week. Not only because I wrote my first ever torture scene, in which the character died as a consequence, but also because my doctor suggested it to me on Monday. You see, I was finalising the paperwork for Mr6’s future autism allied health visits, and needed his signature. He signed away happily, then looked at me, and asked how I was going. If I was sick at all. I said yes, I’d been sick since last Thursday, and it had gone through the throat on fire and the runny nose, to my chest. He said, “Come on in, let’s check you out” and ushered me into his office quite smartly. I was surprised, I didn’t have an appointment. Long story short, I was at 50% lung capacity and hadn’t realised. He’d asked me what my athsma was normally like, when I wasn’t having an attack like I was right then. I replied that I wasn’t having an attack, that my breathing had been like that all day. He was very, very concerned. I explained that my reason (there’s that word again!) for not using my ventolin was that, whenever I use it when I have a headcold, the ventolin reacts badly with that nodule on my vocal cords, and I end up with laryngitis for AGES. The last time, it took over 6 weeks to clear. And as a 0.7FTE teacher, I can’t afford to lose my voice.

He said, “Just imagine if you got to the stage where you’re down to only 30%, and you’re in the shower, with all the humidity, trying to get air in, and then something triggered an attack. I’d hate to think what might happen.” Which made me think. Seeing as my husband regularly works a ridiculous-number-of-hours-week, I’m primary care-giver to my three gorgeous cherubs. And I would hate them to be traumatised by one of them finding me curled up on the floor of the bathroom, turning blue, gasping for air, at 10pm at night [not to mention I couldn’t afford the therapist fees], so I reluctantly agreed. Laryngitis versus death. I guess one is infinitely preferable to the other.

I was amused, initially, at how ‘serious’ it all was… until it occurred to me that having only 50% lung capacity was kinda like I’d been walking around and doing stuff with just one lung. So I did as the doc suggested. I bought my own Peak Flow meter (my God, those things are expensive!!!) and have been diligently taking my meds (so much for the ‘drowsy’ side effects; I’ve had insomnia all week) and my stats have slowly risen from the 240 which I blew Monday afternoon, and the low of 150 that I got to on Monday night, back up to the 340 mark. Which is good. Someone of my height should be blowing at around 480, apparently, so I’m getting there.

So yes, death has preoccupied me a little. This morning though, I’m more thinking about pain. Because for the first time in a few weeks, I did my Krav Maga session yesterday morning. And boy, oh boy, am I feeling it today!

Have a great week, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

On devices and syllables

I assembled Mr6’s desk the other weekend. It came as a flatpack, so I spent quite some time in his bedroom, with an Allen key, bruising my thumbs and pointer fingers. Mr6 visited me from time to time, to watch. I couldn’t stop myself from chuckling when one of his comments was that his desk was ‘loading’. If anything was indicative that devices (and the terminology associated with them) are colouring his world, that was it!

Something else of note during Mr 6’s last week. As his school music teacher, I get to see him with his classmates, and teach them all, the fundamentals of music ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Last week, we were discussing various pictures, and whether they were one syllable words (eg. sun) or two syllable words (rabbit) in preparation for the differences between crotchets and quavers.

My Mr6 was the only student in the whole of his grade (three classes worth) who worked out that ‘owl’ was a two syllable word, instead of just looking at it and assuming that it was just one, because of its length. Cool, hey!

 

Reading time

I’m sitting at the dining table. Mr6 is next to me, reading to me. I love that!

He’s chosen his favourite books.

Bears on Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman

and

Inside, Outside, Upside down by Stan and Jan Berenstain

He’s just finished the last page. We had a discussion about the text on the final page. Mr6 refuses to read the first line: “Mama! Mama!” His coping strategy (typical autism here) – he runs away if he’s made to read it. He always has. Today we talked about why. I thought that it was because the word is different to what we use at home: he calls me ‘Mummy’ not ‘Mama’. But no, that’s not it. He said that it was because if he said it, the mother bear should be answering, “Yes, yes?”

Interesting, hey! Well, I think so, at least ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

Conversations with my younger children…

Yesterday, we went out for breakfast. Mooloolaba Surf Club – breakfast overlooking the water. All you can eat. And the food is always yummier if you’re the one not preparing it or washing up, don’t you find?

Miss7 decided to serve herself fruit salad. She ate some rockmelon, gushing, “This is my favourite fruit of all time! I love rockmelon just sooooooooo much!”

I looked at her. (We rarely have rockmelon in the house, because I’m the only one who eats it.) “Really?” I asked “Since when?”

She paused in her munching, and thought about it for a few moments. Then she turned to me, all seriousness, and said “Since I was six.”

It was hard to keep a straight face, but I managed. I think.

Mr6’s conversation, immediately after breakfast, left a different kind of feeling. He took my hand, looked into my eyes, and said, “Mummy?”

“Yes, my sweet?”

“I’m autistic.”

“Yes,” I said, my eyes tearing up. “Yes, my sweet. You are.”

It was a bittersweet meal.

 

Just a little sad…

My autistic son is now 6. And he’s the same precious blessing he’s been every day of his life. Since the age of 3, he’s had almost-weekly speech therapy, meaning that now, a few years on, he’s finally talking above an almost inaudible mumble; he’s quite happy to initiate conversations with people that he knows – he still won’t with strangers, but that’s fine with me! – and he’s also starting to work slowly through words, to get the pronunciation of these words correct.

This morning, talking about school today, he finally changed from saying “Morning Teeth” and “Morning Teef”. He said “Morning Tea” for the first time. It’s lovely to know that he’s growing up. That there’s now one less thing in this life that people will tease him about.

But knowing that he’ll never say it again? That’s also just a little bit sad.

Just thought I’d share that with you today, dear reader. Have a lovely day.

— KRidwyn

Highlights…

Wow! It’s been a busy one! Some highlights:

– my little man has now used the toilet for BOTH number 1s and number 2s (yeh, I bet you didn’t *really* want to read about that when you clicked on the link – but as a Mum of an autistic 4 year old, that’s a HUGE highlight for me!!!)

– Miss 8 asked me to start teaching her how to crochet – and she’s pretty good!

– Miss 5 has improved IMMENSELY in castings, and I’m SO proud of her, and

– Mr 4 had his immunisations yesterday (boo hiss) but it went EXTREMELY well! So well, in fact, I thought I’d write you the story:

One of the doctors in the treatment area, who’d heard my explanation that “I haven’t prepared him for this – he’s autistic, so he won’t understand” told the nurse “get another person, and do both arms at the same time then”. So my little man’s GP came back, and that’s what they did – and he screamed for about 20 seconds. TOTAL!!! I could NOT believe it! I mean, yes, he was sore and a little whingy afterwards, but WOW! I wish someone had thought of that with my other children – for every single time that they’d had needles!!! But oh well.

So. Here’s praying that today and over the next few days, are good days at Kindy for him then, while his shoulders are both so sore…!

And here’s wishing you, also, a great day, dear readers! ๐Ÿ™‚

A rainbow *sob*

Yesterday was a memorable day.ย My pretty much non-verbal, autistic, Mr 3 blew me away.

“Mummy? When [it] raining… when it stop… [we see] rainbow. Okay?”

Precious words from the gorgeous lips of my (no longer non-verbal!) little man!!! It was lunchtime, and he was busy munching on his favourite sandwich – sprinkles – and we were listening to the pelting of the rain on our tin roof. And he just started talking, right out of the blue (well, grey, actually, if that phrase is referring to ‘sky’ LOL). He’d obviously been thinking about when the rain would stop (although for most of the day, it just poured and poured and poured; the type of rain that you think will never ever end) and he verbalised what he’d been thinking about.

What a tear-jerker moment!!!

And what made it more special? Posting about it on Facebook and getting SO many supportive comments and ‘Likes’ from online friends. It was just SO incredible to be able to share it with those who know me, and know Mr 3 & our situation, and to see that they were as touched as I was by it. One comment especially made me think. Katherine Howard, I’m looking at you! She mentioned that it was “a lovely observation to verbalise” – and I couldn’t agree more! The idea of the ‘rainbow’. The beauty, after all the miserable-non-stop-rain; the happiness after the perpetual dreariness; even the promise of hope from the original Noah-and-the-Ark Bible story . It perfectly mirrored what had just happened. My little man, talking, after so many months of not. So unbelievably precious!

Wow. Just wow! It was a special, special day. ๐Ÿ˜€

Thanks for letting me share that with you, too, dear readers – and have yourselves some incredible days today, too! ๐Ÿ˜€