a little background

hi, my name is mandy and I have two amazing little boys. My oldest son, Ty, has been diagnosed with autism (which is what you will read most about in this blog); I also have Tripp, who is an amazing little brother to Ty (who you will also hear alot about). I was encouraged to start this blog to document our journey through life and life with autism... my world has been rocked in last few years and i have responded in good ways and bad ... but Jesus has gotten me through all of it...

i hope i can be an encouragement to you, and for the friends and family that will read this - maybe this will keep you posted indepth on what Ty is learning! :) and the adventures of Tripp too

thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, comments or smart remarks; feel free to post them.

Monday, August 7, 2017

failure...pure joy...

There are a lot of days that a lot of parents feel like failures... I know I'm not the only one. Lots of moms and dads on a regular basis don't feel like they measure up. You know those days when nothing goes right. You've been up all night for various reasons and then your child or children decide to lose their minds...yeah those days. For the life of you, you try to see the good, you try to keep your stuff together ... you end up doing and saying things you regret but at the same time you try hard to show them rules and structure and pray that all you do now will help them respect authority as adults so that when they grow up you aren't bailing them out of jail ... yeah I know that's extreme ... but really ... just go with me here....

Yesterday was one of those days. I won't even begin to describe the madness. Basically it boils down to disobedience, defiance, stubbornness and no matter what form of punishment that was given, to my non-verbal 9 year old, phased him at all. And I mean at all. Didn't matter what I did. He was right back at it. Time-out, spanking, talking, removing toys, changing his entire bedroom and our house for that matter (for his safety because he decided it was ok to jump off of the top bunk... he's never done this before). He could scream and stomp his feet in time out and then stop on a dime and smile and "talk" and get up as soon as I started moving some piece of furniture or had my back turned. He would just get up and do what he wanted and come show me that he was doing what he wanted. Over and over and over we did this. We went round and round all day and all night the night before. Exhausted doesn't even begin to describe how I felt and how I feel today. Failure... yeah that describes how I feel. How can we go from being on track and obeying and getting somewhere, to this? How can it all just be thrown out of the window in an instant? We didn't do anything out of the ordinary. But here we were 30+ hours of mass chaos... my 8 year old doing his best to help me move beds and furniture and then reorganize the house to be back in some type of order so we could function.  We got their bedrooms in order. The bunk beds are now in Tripp's room. Ty has a bed in his room that doesn't have any height to it and I'm debating on removing the dresser that's in there incase he gets some wild idea to climb on it in the middle of the night. Seriously?! What in the world!?

That's not the only thing that makes me feel like a failure. I fail because I don't remain calm. I fail because I don't always show them grace. I fail because I'm not able to understand what he is so desperately trying to tell me. I fail because his little brother is confused and worried and wants to help fix the problem and I don't know how to fix it myself so how in the world can I tell him how to fix it? I fail because of so many things. I could go on and on in a lot of other areas of life but I will stop here.

We went to church last night, missed the AM service for obvious reasons ... and guess what the sermon was on? James... yup book of James. If you don't know me, it's my favorite book of the Bible. In college I attempted to memorize the entire book. I only got to the first chapter. I can recite it word for word (just the first chapter) and it is my life book... chapter 1 verses 2-4 "consider it pure joy my brothers when you face trials of any kind for the testing of your faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish it's work in you so that you are mature and complete not lacking anything" it goes on to say that we should ask God who gives generously to those who ask and not doubt because he who doubts is like a wave in the sea blown and tossed by the wind that man is a double minded man and unstable in all he does. (some of that may be paraphrased???).

During all of the madness that ensued Saturday night and Sunday morning I prayed .. I prayed and I prayed. It was still chaos. ( I won't even go fully into what those conversations looked like between me and God, did I doubt? am I double minded? give me something ) So that leads me to consider it pure joy?! pure joy.... how is that even possible? I know I didn't get into everything that makes me feel like a failure... we would be here all day and ya'll would probably think I'd lost my mind!?

I know we aren't being persecuted by people for our religion, no one is threatening my life because I believe in Jesus as they do in other countries. No one is holding a gun to my head asking me to renounce Jesus or die - that's persecution, that's trials!? So that sends me to think that I have no right to have any of these feelings at all anyway?! Right? ... who am I to feel this way? Who am I to think I have a right to good nights sleep? (There are people scared to death in other countries because they own a bible and it's in their home. There are people wondering where their next meal will come from or if they will even be able to feed themselves or their family?) Isn't that just selfishness to be furious over a good night of sleep? Who am I to think my day was so terrible because of a disobedient child? (I'm not saying I have it all together and I'm not even saying this realization has fixed my opinion of yesterday... I'm just saying) Do we even have a right to be upset about these things? If I can't handle a little mass chaos in a free country and a "rich" country at that, do I even know what James was talking about? Trials... real ones.. not just minor 1st world problems ... I don't know ... just my thoughts ... just me thinking out loud in a way ... I hope all this makes sense... I don't know, it may not ... trials, failure = pure joy .... because they develop patience and perseverance, right? Something to think about I guess...

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