Weighted Faith

Weight Loss and Faith Collide

Posts Tagged ‘mess of me’

What Autism is Teaching Me

Why Can't We Just Get Along{Guest Post – Shelley Hendrix}

Shelley is a wife, mother, Bible teacher, speaker, author, founded church 4 Chicks, and television talk show host –but more important than any role she fills, she is most grateful to be a child of God, learning to live out of who God says she is. Shelley has been referred to as the “strongest female communicator on the topic of grace in our generation.”

She wrote the book “Why Can’t we just get Along? Which I will be giving a copy away. — To enter just email me a number between 1-100 and I will pick the winner at random. weightedfaith@gmail.com

I have a child with Asperger’s Syndrome. In fact, shortly after we became aware of her diagnosis, I shared about that experience in a blog series called “Our Pearl Story,” that you can find at Shelly Hendrix.org
As Macey continues to grow and mature–she’ll be 16 this fall– I continue to be amazed by her, even in the midst of being challenged by her. I think most parents can identify with that statement! Life through Macey’s eyes is always educational for me as her mom. I wanted to share with you just a few ways this girl has changed my life and continues to help me become a better person.
1. Macey is the bravest person I know. I don’t know of many people, much less adolescent girls, who could go through what Macey has gone through and come through it with a resolve to keep on keepin’ on. She has been hurt time and again by people who either don’t understand her processing challenges or don’t care to understand, and she continues to take one step after another and give the world another chance. Her bravery inspires me to be brave!

2. Macey has the inability to be anything less than persistent. This sometimes…okay, OFTEN…drives me and the rest of us in the family absolutely bonkers. When she gets a hold of an idea, or a desire, or a plan, it is next to impossible for her to let it go. Yet it is this persistence in her that has helped her come to understand her forever relationship with her Heavenly Father; when she can’t sense His presence, she refuses to give up communicating with Him; she refuses to stop worshiping Him; she pursues His heart even when she doesn’t recognize He is always, always with her. Her persistence challenges me to not give up so easily, either.

3. Macey always has a song in her heart–and usually on her lips. Although, because of her AS, she doesn’t always get when it’s an appropriate time or setting to belt it out, watching her life over these past almost 16 years has shown me that I’ve allowed myself to stop singing when I ought to be singing. I used to sing all the time. I used to sing in the shower, in the car, while doing housework. I’ve noticed that I just don’t do this as much. I don’t know when I stopped either. Macey says that when she sings it’s like she’s getting a hug from Jesus. Her reckless and unabashed worship emboldens me to belt out my own song of praise and celebrate life more.

I’ve confided in those closest to me before that I don’t know who Asperger’s Syndrome is most challenging for: the one who has it, or the one who loves the one who has it. Some days are really, really hard–for all involved.

Macey has asked me before what I think she would be like without Asperger’s. Would life be easier? Quite possibly. But, honestly, I don’t want to know her without it. Not only would she be fundamentally different than the Macey I adore, I would be different. I would be less brave. I would be less persistent. I would be more inhibited. I know I wouldn’t have as much patience or compassion for other parents who have kids with special needs. So, no, I wouldn’t want to have Macey any different. She teaches me SO much and inspires me in countless ways by being Macey–who also happens to have Asperger’s Syndrome.

I don’t know what challenges you face in your relationships with those closest to you, but this I do know: God has a GOOD purpose in mind. And this purpose isn’t to hold us back, but to set us free. I’ve shared just a few ways my Macey Girl has helped me become freer. I’d love to hear what challenges you face and how God is using even these challenges to help you grow as a person and find greater freedom. Feel free to connect here or with me via email at shelley@church4chicks.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

I hope you are encouraged by Shelley’s Story and please feel free to reach out to her she is an amazing lady! -A

 

My Normal

mom

I remember that every year my sister and I would ask my mom what she wanted for mother’s day and every year she would look at us and say “I just want my house clean” So I would take a weekend and clean the house TOP to BOTTOM for her and she was just as happy as if we got her a million dollars.

My mom had Pulmonary Hypertension, in real people talk… she had a hole in her heart which caused her heart to work harder and she had lost capacity of her left lung. She had to use oxygen at night or basically anytime she was in the home. She had this oxygen machine that sat in the hallway and this long oxygen tube that allowed her basically walk the whole house. I remember my friends coming over to hang out and they would ask “what is that? What is wrong with your mom?” Most of the time I would get embarrassed in fear of being judged or gossiped about. I always had a desire to fit in and be liked by everyone so I never wanted this to sway that. I would look at them and say “you mean not every house has this?” just to joke it off. Later in High School I would just say matter a factly, “Oh my mom needs help breathing”

My mom would always be in her bed watching TV or reading. Which left me most of the time to do house work and cook. My dad was here and there, as an alcoholic and addict he never held down a steady job. My mom would have to work 2 sometimes 3 jobs to give my sister and I the best life she could provide.

When we would go to the store or the mall my mom would have to take short breaks walking to catch her breath. My sister and I would just walk and stop, we knew the pattern. That was our normal. Sometimes I will catch myself doing it still and then I will look around like “why am I stopped?” Its so true when the say old habits die hard.

Later when I was long out of High School, they came out with an oxygen tank that was light and easy to carry, so my mom carried that everywhere she went. People would stare and whisper when she walked by. I wanted to fight everyone who did it. My mom would simply say “Let them talk Ang, their life must be sad and boring if they have to talk about me” I think that this is why 80% of the time I don’t care what people think.

Having a mother with an illness has shaped a part of who I am today. God knew how this would affect my character and humble me. It taught me patience and tolerance. My favorite memory of my mom was one year we went to Disneyland (her favorite place next to San Francisco) and she was on a motorize scooter. She was so happy to zoom around from ride to ride. She would say “get out of my way or I will run you over” She came really close. Her favorite ride was Space Mountain and I still ride it for her every time I am there.

My mom had the rarest blood type AB Negative. I remember that she was looking into a possible heart and lung donor for a transplant. The doctors told her it was going to be difficult because of her blood type. There just isn’t enough donors he said defeated. If you know me, you know that giving blood every eight weeks is so important to me for this very reason. My husband Ray had O positive blood the most universal blood. He gives blood religiously and it means the world to me. I also told Ray that when I die part me out like a classic car and then burn the rest. If I could save a life of someone like my mother it is totally worth it, hey … I don’t need it anymore.

To know a little bit more about who my mother was check out my older blog … My Mom

-A

The Road from Your Mess to His Message

{Guest Post ~ Rebecca Halton is a brilliant author, a speaker, and a redeemed adulteress.  She wrote Words from the Other Woman as a way of discouraging others from making the same messes she made, and believes God’s redemption can empower people to have bright futures despite bleak pasts.  Learn more at http://www.rebeccahalton.com }

RebeccaHalton

No matter how tidy we can try to keep our houses, cars – and lives – the truth is, we’re all a mess without God.  I, for example, made a big mess in my early 20s when I was in an adulterous relationship with a married man.  And off and on since I was a teenager, I’ve been cleaning up the mess of an unhealthy view of food.  Too often, food has been a coping mechanism – and my weight a defense mechanism.

When we inevitably make a mess of something: a relationship, our bodies – our lives – what do we do?  You’ve probably already heard it said that God can take our mess and turn it into our message (our testimony) – but how do we get there?  I want to share here three things that I’ve learned on my own roads from messes to messages:

1.  You can’t move forward without forgiveness.  Once I began down the destructive road of adultery, it was hard to feel like I deserved forgiveness.  Even when I left the relationship, it was easier for me to forgive the married man with whom I was involved, than to forgive myself.  When I repented and asked for God’s forgiveness, He gave it quickly – but receiving it took me a bit longer.

I think what ultimately helped me forgive myself, was remembering what Jesus went through so I could be forgiven.  And remembering that it’s not a suggestion to forgive: in Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus commands it.  You can’t move forward from mess to message without forgiveness: repentantly receive God’s for you, and extend yours to whoever has hurt you.

2.  You can’t un-mess-up yourself.  Have you ever tried decorating a cake – like, writing something in colored icing on white frosting – and you mess up?  If so, then you know how hard it can be to fix.  And it seems like the more you try to fix it, the more of a mess it seems to become.  In our efforts to fix ourselves, we can often just make more of a mess than we started with.

For me, this usually comes out of feeling responsible: if I caused it, then I should clean it up.  But that responsibility will only get me so far – there are just some messes in life I don’t have the ability to fix.  Those words I spoke that hurt a friend’s feelings?  I have the ability to ask for forgiveness – but I don’t have the ability to soften a hardened heart.  God, however, can.  Tell Him you need His help cleaning up.

3.  You can’t keep having unrealistic expectations.  Perfectionism is pretty much good for two things: disappointment and failure.  Perfectionism creates and feeds unrealistic expectations of yourself and other people.  Grace – like forgiveness – has been hard for me to extend to myself.  But it’s grace that helps us bounce back faster when we’ve been, well, human!

Adjusting your focus can help, too.  If you’re expecting that you – in and of yourself, on your own strength – will never mess up, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.  If, however, you rely on the power of Christ and the wisdom of the Word, you’ll find your messes become messages faster and more healthfully.  Or, like navigating a minefield, you become more adept at dodging disaster in the first place.

~I hope Rebecca’s message has encouraged and inspired you as it did me. Go to her website for more information about her new book “Words from another Woman”