Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What if the Lord Sees Good?

I don't think I've kept it any secret that I struggle with the "whys?" of Clayton's condition.  As parents, we feel like we've done what we are supposed to do to bring about healing.  We've been proactive with traditional medicine, we've added the ancient medicine of essential oils, and we've prayed over him and had him prayed over more times than it's possible to count.  We've done the whole reasoning with God thing----"Lord, if our unbelief is in the way, then what about those around us who are full to the brim with the faith that you will heal Clayton???"  Oh, we have faith that Clayton will be healed; but to be honest, when you're in the trenches of day to day life with disability, you lose hope that the healing will be on this earth.  

So when during his sermon the other day, my pastor said "If it's not good then God's not done!!!", I pretty much zoned in on that statement and didn't hear much of what else he said.  


At first, the hope welled up inside of me.  Wow!  God would not leave us hanging!  The healing of Clayton's physical issues is just around the corner!  

And then. 

And then. 

And then this thought occurred to me:  What if God sees Clayton's condition as perfection?  What if God looks at Clayton and sees nothing but good?  

He sees a child who garners attention like no typical child can.  

He sees a child who has blessed countless people with his smile and spirit.

He sees a child who is full of JOY despite his circumstances.

He sees a child who is exposing non-believers to the love of the Father and the promise of eternal life in Heaven.

He sees a child so in tune to the Holy Spirit that it's as if he has a sixth sense about the struggles of others.  

He sees a child doing more work for the Kingdom in his little red chair than some of us adults all combined together will ever do.  

He sees good.  

He sees good.
He. Sees. Good.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Finding Motivation

One of the new "systems" we've implemented is simply a remix of an old one.  A couple of years ago, this little chart was my key to keeping Clayton on task during school time and it was literally the only reason he would even pay attention to "school" things.  Last spring, I was incredibly lax on keeping up with his "stickers" and our then system fell by the wayside.  

I hadn't given it much thought until the other morning when I found myself saying to Jackson the same things I say to him every. single. morning.  At that moment, I thought to myself, "self, I'm pretty much tired of repeating myself!!"  So that afternoon, our new reward system was born.

Since Jackson would play the WiiU 24-7 if we would let him, I decided to use that as his reward.  If he does the first four things on the list without being told then he earns the corresponding amount of minutes on the WiiU.  If I have to remind him constantly, then he doesn't earn the minutes.  If he participates in lessons and is a good helper with a great attitude throughout the day, then he also earns more time to play.  We're only two weeks in, but he is already figuring out what he can do to maximize his earnings and has even started saving his time instead of using it on each day.  My main hope is it works as a motivator long enough for some of these things to become habits instead of "chores."
Clayton's list isn't near as long, but he was in desperate need of some positive motivation as well.  Mornings with him had become nightmares.  The transition from being in the bed to dressed and in his chair was a battle.  But the promise of a check mark that counts towards driving Daddy's truck has turned his attitude completely around and he's been almost helpful when I'm getting him dressed and up out of the bed.  Avoiding the tears from both of us has been a welcome change!

So far so good . . . I'm praying this keeps them on the straight and narrow for a long time to come!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Unlikely Assignment

Ms. Beth.  Every church has one.  An elderly saint who is the ultimate prayer warrior.  Her days of rushing around in heavily scheduled life have been replaced by slow days of close communion with the Father.  I remember hearing her story once of how she awoke in the middle of the night and knew that it meant she was to pray for a certain person.  Wow.  How extraordinary to be pulled out of deep sleep to intercede for someone!  

The importance of personal prayer has become more and more evident to me over the past few years, but it still doesn't come easy for me.  I'm not eloquent . . . my words are usually closer to beggar's words. And the act of personal prayer time is usually hard labor for me.  That's why it has come as a complete surprise that the Father has literally been pulling a "Ms. Beth" on me!  These last few months have been hard ones for several that I love, and for some, their lives have literally been on the line.  I've woken up night after night, wide awake with those people's names clear in my mind.

Must.  Pray.  Now.

I suppose the Lord is teaching me that there will be no rest until some of their situations are resolved.  And if that means I wake up night after night and know I'm supposed to be praying for a certain person, then that is what I do!  

I doubt prayer intercession will ever be one of my "spiritual gifts," but I'm learning that God can use even the most unseasoned pray-er . . . one who stumbles over her words, gets distracted, and begs and pleads as a means of communication.  And if the Lord can hear and use my meager prayers, then he can use anyone's.  

Monday, January 05, 2015

A New Year, New Focus

A new year always brings the chance to refocus on neglected areas of our lives, and I welcome the chance here at the start of 2015.  In fact, for the last couple of months, I've been trying to begin the process of getting my "ducks" in a row for putting new "systems" into place.  Our house will never be fully clear of clutter, but I've slowly been ridding myself of extra stuff in the last few months; and with the start of a new year, a new lists of clutter hotspots are on the agenda.  With this new focus on systems and being more productive, it was only right that my word of the year for 2015 correspond with this focus.  Last year, my word was all about spiritual growth, and I do believe I succeeded in that area of my life during 2014.  But this year is all about the practical.  All about making my everyday simpler, and at the same time fuller.  
The word of the year 2015 for me will be STREAMLINE.

Streamline my belongings, my time, my commitments, etc.  You name it, I want to streamline it.  Granted, I don't expect to become Martha Stewart (who would want to anyway?!), but I do expect to make real progress this year on simplifying some things.  Wish me luck!!