Thursday, February 21, 2008

at the end of an ordinary day

I do not want to post for posting sake. I want to write out of inspiriation. I want my words to be words of encouragement, to bring laughter for a moment, to provoke a thought every now and then.

Yesterday, I just felt that I had to post about Jackson and that part of our journey. Somedays with Jackson are amazing, others are days I can only get through by the grace of God. The reality is that we all have days like that. God has always been faithful to provide ALL that we need, right? When my eyes are on Him, my perspective is "spot on."

After posting yesterday, I reflected on the pure goodness of the Lord as we have traveled together these years. I look back and see the hand of God, ever present.

Then last night, after holding a newborn baby, making dinner, doing laundry, checking homework, giving hugs, signing agendas...the phone rings. "Hello, Hedgepeths."

For the next 30 minutes, I had a conversation with a mom who has just moved here with her family. She was given my name and number by a friend. This family knows they have been led to this area by the Lord. And, their young son is overcoming autism.

She shared her heart. After our conversation, I had to tell her that I am so proud of her. Her journey has not been as long (her little boy is much younger than Jackson) but it has been intense. To hear her heart, to hear God so BIG in her. I was so encouraged.

We definitely are getting together for dinner...soon. (Especially now that the oven works, right?!)

At the end of an ordinary day, I have seen the hand of God.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Words Not Yet Spoken

"Love you Momma!"

What sweet words so long ago. I still remember the mornings I would go into Jackson's room. He would be standing up in his crib, and in his baby talk would say those precious words. At the time, I did not realize how truly precious those words would be, or how they would stay etched in my heart and mind forever. It was not long after that, that Jackson stopped using words. Then , he slowly withdrew into a place I never wanted, or intended, to go. (I soon realized that no one was asking about my intentions!)

Months later, Jackson was diagnosed with "childhood autism." (Childhood only because it was diagnosed at that time...not that he would "outgrow" it, or age out of it.) It was there, at that juncture in the road, that we needed to make a decision.

Do we "go home", or do we continue to walk out in the destiny that God had for us? (We had just started to pioneer YWAM-Charlotte. We were in a new city, meeting new friends, getting new doctors, etc.) We were, still are, convinced that the Lord knows what He is doing. Nothing takes God by surprise. He is never out of control, and I am never out of His sight or His care.

We continued to move forward.

There were many days that I cried so much one day, I was in bed with a migrane the next. God was still there, ever present, ever faithful, ever loving, ever just...during an uncertain time, God was very certain, very constant.

We made a decision that we would stand on what we believed to be the word of the Lord to us. There were times when we, with respect, declined the way of the "experts." At times it was contrary to our values and our beliefs in what God could do. There are many other times that we fell into bed at night, praising God for all the "experts" He had placed in our lives that day.

Long ago we made a choice. We choose JOY! We have walked, with dear family and friends, on this path for almost 14 years. I would never wish autism for anybody. I also would not trade what I have been given on this journey for anything in the world.

I believe that I know the Lord in ways I would never have known Him otherwise. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He is faithful, kind, trustworthy, loving, merciful, full of grace, compassionate near, ever present, my refuge and strong tower. The list goes on. These are not cute sayings, church talk...this is my life line. The Lord is my life.

On this journey we came to realize the meaning of Jackson's name. "God is gracious. God's gracious gift."


As far as Jackson is concerned, he tells me he loves me. It is just words not yet spoken. It is when he lets me hug and kiss him. When he crawls into bed with us on a Saturday morning. When he unexpectantly holds my hand, stands so close to me that I feel I have doubled in size! Sweet things.

I long for the day that words pour out of Jack Jack (a nick name and sometimes a way he writes out his name). I want to be a person from Hebrews 11, around verse 13, it talks about those, having died in faith, believed that God could do it and because of their faith God is proud to be called their God. I want that.

We still have journeying ahead of us, but looking back...we have traveled far and well. God has been, and will continue to be, faithful.

"Two roads diverged in a wood and I-
I took the one less traveled by
and that has made all the difference."

-Robert Frost

We will wait for words not yet spoken.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Game On!

Dear Vickie,

I'm back, Baby! Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday! I'm ready to bake all the amazing things needed for a fabulous party...yummy tater skins, pizza rolls and mini pigs in a blanket, so much more. It feels good to be back in the game. You can count on me!

xoxoxo...your "oh, so fab!" oven

You got that right! We are back in the game. The repair man has come through...My hubby! This is really amazing. By his own admission, Todd is not "Mr. Fix-It." In fact, if there is a "honey, do" list in our house, it is usually for me. (We are both fine with this.) However, for the stove I had to call it in. My hubby, the new "Mr. Fix-It" did it!

After taking it apart, and through a process of elimination, he went with the heating element. Bingo! We are ready to go. We are heating things up around here. Meanwhile...Todd arrived in Switzerland on Friday, his luggage arrived on Sunday along with his winter coat...bbrrrrrr!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

written on the walls of our hearts

I love decorating! It's a creative outlet for me. I was taking inventory at our New Year's party, we have painted two bedrooms, the diningroom and hallway. We have also refinished our hardwoods, all in the last year. (Okay, so maybe this is a stress release as well!)

When Jackson and Ashley were younger, they shared a room. I painted it a beautiful bliss blue. These 10 ft. high walls needed something else...some more life. I had an idea to paint life scriptures on the wall. My friend Jackie was "commissioned" (or coerched) to come and paint a few scriptures on the walls. These were scriptures that we wanted our children to remember, to be reminded of, as they went through their day.

A couple of years ago, Jackson moved into his own room, and Ashley stayed in this room. She has talked about "redecorating" for the past year. We have discussed colors, painting over the scriptures, etc. We settled on lavendar, celery green and a dragon fly quilt, right out of Pottery Barn Kids. It has been a beautiful thing...seeing this all come together.
The day approached, time for priming and painting. Ashley took it all in and then gave the go ahead. Later, after the scriptures were covered, Ashley came in. She was trying to hold back the tears. "Mom. I love the color. I am just so sad about the scriptures being gone."
(The conversation in my head went something like this..."What!??! We talked about this honey. You said this was something you wanted. It was time for a changed. Oh m' gosh! WHAT HAVE I DONE! Oh Lord, please help me here.)
What came out of my mouth, was this, "I am a bit sad too. This was a special part of this room, this house. What is so incredible is that we can NEVER really get rid of scripture. We have it written on the walls here, under this paint. We have memorized these verses so they are in our minds, and more importantly they are written on the walls of our hearts."
"Yeah. That's right. I will never forget those scriptures, Mom."
Mmmm...what a lesson for me. Lord, may your word be more than mere "decorations" in my life. May I be marked by your word, living according to it day and night. May the same be said of my children, my children's children and the children and that!