Friday, July 31, 2015

Finding the New

Looking up (3588243695).jpg
"Looking up" by John TannLicensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
For I'm about to do something new.  
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? Is. 43:19a (NLT) 

Routines Everywhere
No, I have to admit I can’t.  It’s the same thing every day.  If you have a child with autism, you understand routines.  The wakeup routine: come to the door and collect all items of clothing, then shoes, get dressed, then use the bathroom.  The breakfast routine:  ask for water, drink it, ask for the glass to be taken back to the kitchen, wait at the kitchen door for the smoothie to be made, drink it, ask for water.

The boring things don’t change.  The hard things don’t change.  Impulse control blips.  Potty training struggles.  OCD issues...  The list goes on.  I hate it when people ask, “How’s Jaedon doing?”  What am I to say?  No milestones, no markers, no new words.

Coping Routines

Part of coping with autism has been to develop routines of my own.  I know him, so I have thought, emotional and behavior patterns that create my autistic routine.  I prevent catastrophes with these routines, I keep myself and my family coping.  Routines are funny things, though.  They limit your view of life.  This is part of why we work so hard to help our kids be flexible.  So they can experience more, and learn more as a result.

Part of my autistic routine with Jaedon has been that I don’t take him out with me into the public by myself.  When puberty hit, I noticed that he became stronger and faster than I was.  That realization, plus mood swings, plus a couple incidents of running down the sidewalk in the Bronx, and running into the street in Connecticut,  prompted my new routine.  It’s a good routine.  It’s kept my blood pressure from skyrocketing while assuring my other 2 little ones that we’re doing our best to reduce scary occurrences!   These are the perks of this routine: predictability and safety.  I try not to look at the flipside: a huge limitation of our experiences together as a family.

It’s interesting that God asked Isaiah if he could see the new thing that He was doing.  That suggests a difficulty seeing.  Though it may be obvious to God, probably not so much to Isaiah.  God had to get specific.  It’s springing up here.  Look over there… Could recognition be part of our problem?  Are there special glasses to help us recognize the new things God is going?  I need a pair!

Mommy, you were considering taking Jaedon to the park yesterday right? Could we go to the park today?  Sometimes recognizing the new thing that God is doing starts with a shove in the direction of changing my routine.  That was the voice of my 13 year old daughter, who had been having a little bit of a down day.  In her question, I heard her thought, “Maybe being in the park would help me feel better”  My desire to help her in any way I could, interrupted my automatic answer to questions like those.

I had noticed that Jaedon seemed calmer.  He is staying in his seat more while we drive, even without his harness.  He’s more responsive to my direction around the house.  I have been asking God for more opportunities to be together, for Jaedon’s continued healing, for healing for our family.  God’s word says these issues concern Him too.  Could I believe this for myself today?

I won’t give you all the details, but we went to the park and had a great time.  As Jaedon monopolized the swing, I took the opportunity to inventory all the new things.  This was the first time in 3 years that I was the only responsible adult in an external recreational space with all 3 kids.  Jaedon got to take many looong walks.  He responded to all my redirections and gave some of his own. He held my hand when requested, and stayed by my side when he wasn’t holding my hand. He took my hand often, to help me move the way he wanted.  He was regulated in a chaotic space, moving away from moving kids and avoiding projectiles (the park was full!).  In a new space, outside our routine, so many new things to be seen, invisible in the old routines.

The B.A.A. of Seeing the New

I want to increase my ability to see what God is doing.  It must start with faith, the evidence of things that are still invisible.  Lord, help my faith.  My faith is in what God has said.  And He has said a lot! Like, Isaiah 55:11, God’s Word always produces fruit, accomplishing His purpose; Lamentations 3:23, His mercies are new every morning! If I actually believe God’s word, I will anticipate the new things that could spring up in any moment.  What I anticipate and believe will show in my actions. 

Experience the new = Believe + Anticipate + Act based on beliefs.

Lord, Thank you for the new things you have in store for me today.  Increase my heart's longing for you, so that I will look where you look. Please heal my eyes so I can see as you see. Transform my heart so that I can believe what you have said, and anticipate your presence in all the ordinary, boring, routine happenings today. Help me to see your miracles unfolding in my family's life today and energize me to let go of the old, and act based on what I believe and anticipate that you will do.


  1. "It’s interesting that God asked Isaiah if he could see the new thing that He was doing. That suggests a difficulty seeing. ... Could recognition be part of our problem?" Good thoughts!

  2. It's certainly part of my problem, Michele! But thankfully, He's healing my eyes.