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>Some Days Are Like This

May 3, 2011

>Good, that is.

I know all the days God ordains for us are good because God is good. But these past few days I haven’t had to think abstractly. They have been good in the simple, ordinary sense: I’ve been enjoying my children.

God has orchestrated several things to bring this about –and many more, I’m sure, of which I’m not aware. Since I am cognizant of these things, I want to acknowledge them as gifts. I also want to encourage my waiting friends that not every day living with FASD is hard.

Starting iLs has has helped. Not iLs itself.  According to the science of neuroplasticity, ten sessions is too soon to expect significant neurological rewiring. Instead, I think we’re seeing corollary benefits of from using iLs as home-based therapy.

  • It structures our mornings. Our iLs routine is now predictable and Hope thrives on structure.
  • Starting out Hope’s day with physical activity and 60-65 minutes of deep sensory input (bone-conducted sound; you have to feel it to believe it) focuses and grounds her. It satisfies some of her sensory-seeking needs that otherwise manifest as provocative behaviors.
  • The residual effects seem to last 9-10 hours. That gets us almost to bedtime with significant improvements in Hope’s demeanor toward family members. (For her, this has always been a mix of impulse disinhibition and sensory-seeking.)
  • And it certainly can’t hurt that Hope gets an hour of my undivided attention having fun. Not in correction. Not in instruction. Just doing things she finds fun that I have never before prioritized. Like bouncing beach balls and setting bowling pins. In Nurtured Heart terms, it’s like depositing a thousand dollars in our inter-personal bank account every day. The dividend seems to be some peace.
  • Fitting in two sessions of iLS has also stiffened the structure of my day. It is forcing me to use my remaining time more wisely, which is always a good thing.

Both photos are from the parachute and bounce house party Mercy and Hope earned for their neighborhood friends by completeling their first ten sessions of iLs with (mostly) cheerful hearts. Thanks for the parachute, Nana!

*****


One happy result is more time to spend in prayer and reading the Bible. For a few months, I’ve been mulling over this verse, Psalm 32:6:

“Therefore, let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the great rush of waters, they shall not reach him.”
Superficially it seems like a strange injunction: pray to God while he may be found –as if there is ever a time God is not available? There is no such thing as having catch our Father, God, before he turns on the lawn mower, or picks up the conference call, or boards the next plane to Bentonville. God is GOD. Available 24/7, everywhere, all the time.

God, being the perfect Father, goes even further. He’s never too busy with more important things to watch and wait for his children. Psalm 34:15 says:

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry.”
So how can Psalm 32:6 enjoin us to seek God before the limited-time-offer expires? I’m no theologian. They generally interpret this psalm as alluding to God’s protection of Noah and his family during God’s flood of judgment on the world. In that context this verse works (sort of).
But as I’ve pondered this verse in the context of my own life, God has drawn out another truth. When the waves of life are lapping high around my head threatening to overwhelm me, I do pray. And I do find God very near. But it is an entirely different kind of praying than I do on days when God gives me the physical, mental and spiritual margin to linger in prayer and over the Word.
During most of my life before I had children, the majority of my spiritual time lent itself to that quiet, extended, meditative devotion. I have recently realized that was a gift of my loving, all-knowing God storing up the spiritual riches He knew I’d need to start mining in February, 2004.
I confess I’ve floundered since then: longing for that old, long-familiar way of communing with God. In every way imaginable it seems superior to the fleeting, often desperate kind of hot line communication that has become the norm in the past seven years.
But God is showing me recently that even though the stretches of front-line-battle communication may dominate, he still graciously gives days like these past few. The reprieve comes from the hand of God and he gives me free choice about how I use this gift. Days like these are opportunities to slake my spiritual thirst the old, deliciously time consuming way.
“Therefore, let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the great rush of waters, they shall not reach him.”
It’s not that God’s offer of all-sufficiency expires in 24 hours. But it would be presumptive to think that 24 hours from now, this calm will have held, that stormy waters will not again be washing over the top of the sea wall. Rather, my opportunity to sit and linger in prayer over God’s word may likely expire.
God is found in a different way in these quiet, calm interludes. I will offer a prayer to God at this time when my heart will find him this way.
To my experienced mom friends bailing at the sea walls, know I am praying for you.
*****
A  P.S. for Dorothy: You know what you’ve always said about your Bibles? Think it means anything that my nine month old (puppy) ate mine?

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