Friend to the "friendless"

 I was so proud of my son Benjamin yesterday.

On our street lives an autistic boy  “J” who is about 9 or 10  years old.
“J” is on new meds that him wandering all over the place at all hours of the day and night for that matter.   He will come up to the door and want in the house and I will tell him he needs to go home because his mommy is looking for him. I am not sure if there is a dad in the picture or not as I have only seen his mom with him. I have watched her struggle with him trying to get him to listen or reason. Quite often he does his own thing as he tunes her out.
  Yesterday Ben went outside and played with him even though he would have rather been doing other things…..for 5 hours! What sacrifice.
“J” had been hanging around our house looking in the screen door, wandering around the yard wanting someone to play with. He was really starting to get on my nerves, and here is Ben showing the love of Jesus to him by being a friend to him, regardless if the child was “different”…It didn’t bother Ben in the least, he liked him for him. Really put me to shame.
He later told me that “J” is a nice kid once you get to know him.
That’s my boy….liking people for who they are as a person…he takes the time to get to know people . Who cares if society deems them as different or annoying. He gives them a chance and knows how to be a friend.
Isn’t that a lot like Jesus?
He loves us all regardless of who we are, where we are or what we have done, unconditionally. We don’t have to become anything to be worthy of His love. He always has time for us. He is always there for us.
Nothing can separate us from His love..nothing!

Romans 8:31-39 ( The Message)

 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Tough pill to swallow

A couple of years ago my daughter was diagnosed with ADD. It made perfect sense;  a piece to the puzzle solved…and yet when I heard… I cried.
I thought back to all the times I was hard on her for not keeping her room to my standards, for just throwing her stuff all over the place and not being able to focus on any one thing, being so easily distracted. It made perfect sense, much as I didn’t want to accept it.
I would send her off to her room to do a few things only to come back and find not one of them done. drove me crazy!
So, when I heard there was a reason for all these behaviours, not just her trying to be disobedient; something inside of me broke.

Our Dr put her on a low dose and from day one her teachers noticed a huge difference in her. She was listening and no longer disrupting the class, her grades improved.  The meds were only for school, for concentrating on her lessons. She would not be on them on the weekends or any school vacations.

This year however, in chatting with her teacher one morning, the thought went through my mind that perhaps her dosage needed to be increased.  She didn’t seem to be doing as well. She was slipping into her old patterns.
However the next morning a light went on! It was one of those aha moments. I clued in that she had not been taking her medication.
I didn’t think at her age that I needed to stand over her and make certain that she actually takes the pill but apparently I should have.
When confronted about it her reply broke my heart.
“Mommy, I just wanted to prove to everyone that I don’t need the pills anymore”

How she hates having ADD . She hates to be labelled a stupid ADD girl as some kids have called her. I can’t count the times she has prayed that she would wake up and not have it anymore.
My heart hurts for her.  How I wish I could just take an eraser and blot this out of her life so she no longer has to struggle with it and feel that she is “different” than everyone else.
I long for her to realize her full potential. She IS smart, compassionate, sweet and giving.  This is the girl that spent some of her birthday money on a beta fish for her brother Ben to replace his fish that our cat killed.  Rather than spending it on herself she spent it on her brother and totally brightened his day. She was so excited that day!

 She doesn’t want to need the meds that help her so she was trying to do it on her own without them and it just did not work.

How many times do we do that in life? All of us have done it at one time or another. Trying to do life in our strength without God’s help, and end up falling flat on our face. Just like it says in Phil 4.:13…that “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me the strength…”
 I believe that without Him we can do nothing..and we will fail if we rely on our own strength.
It’s kind of like getting in a car that has no gas and expecting to go somewhere…it’s not gonna happen!

Recently my mother in law was chatting with a friend who is a global worker in another part of Central America. Her grandson had come to visit for a year and his ADD symptoms all but disappeared while he was living there. The reason?  They believe that it is because the food there does not have all the additives in it that the food here has.
I have also heard that in Honduras, ADD is unheard of.  I don’t even know for sure if her medication will be available there.
Perhaps once my daughter is on a different “diet” her symptoms too will disappear…
that’s this mother’s prayer anyway.

Blessings along the way…

August was a crazy busy month for us. It seemed we were hardly ever home, between Segue and weekends away.
A few days after returning home from Segue, we went camping in the St. Catharines area with family friends. It was the first time we had ever camped without electricity and running water. Even without these amenities it was a  much needed relaxing time.

On this campground there was a little “corner” store. Elisa had gone there with her friend from the other family; Curtis. The two of them are very close.  It’s kind of cute to watch them actually.
One day Elisa came running back to our campsite all excited about something she had seen at the store that she wanted me to buy for her. I went with her to see what all the fuss was about. There sitting in a basket were these glow in the dark earrings. They were like those glow sticks you can buy at the dollar store that only last a few hours. We used to buy them all the time for the kids when they were younger and we would give them to them before bed around the campfire when we were camping.  These were two inch versions of these, made into earrings. I didn’t buy them for her because they would only last a few hours and then the glow would be gone. A pointless  waste of money, I thought…

Fast forward to the following weekend.  We camped at Braeside camp for Holy Spirit weekend.
The same family was there as they were running the children’s program at the camp. It wasn’t long after we arrived that Curtis showed up at our campsite and he and Elisa went off to play at the near by park.
Curtis mom and I were chatting and she told me that Curtis had bought Elisa a gift but she didn’t know if he would give it to her or not.
He did.
He presented it to her in this little wooden box with a heart on top. What was in that box?
You guessed it…the glow in the dark earrings she so desperately wanted!
Elisa told me afterwards that Curtis had spent all his money on them.
Curtis knew how much she wanted them.  His gift was the perfect gift for her and from the heart. It made Elisa so happy as she proudly wore them around the camp that night and basked in the many compliments she received about her glow in the dark earrings.
I admit a part of me felt really bad for not buying them for her. They were not that expensive after all….but oh the joy they brought her.

I was reminded of God’s love for us and His desire to give us good gifts.
Matthew 7:11
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give good gifts to those who ask him?

I thought too about how God gave us His all in giving us His only son..a precious, priceless gift….the gift that gives us eternal life if we believe in Him…
John 3:16
For God loved the world so much that He gave us His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.

Finally I want to share about a gift that I received this week.
For a while now I have been mentioning to Dale that the only thing I wanted for Christmas…provided we had the money; was an e reader. It would be awesome to have in Honduras to be able to read in my spare time. It gets dark there around 5:30 or 6pm all year around, and you don’t go out once it’s dark .so what does one do in the evenings?  I am pretty sure even in libraries English books would be few and far between, and do they even have libraries in Honduras?  I don’t know.

At noon the other day when Dale came home at lunch, he had a gift for me from  friends in the church…an e reader! What a kind and generous gift!
I can’t tell you what a blessing that is and will be when we are away. I’m so thankful for it…both to the couple who gave it to me and to God who knew.