D&C 35:17 ". . . and in weakness have I blessed him."

Monday, June 15, 2015

Tender Mercies

" . . . the Lord's tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ . . . the tender mercies of the Lord are real and do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Often, the Lord's timing of his tender mercies helps us to discern and acknowledge them."
 
 


It was early on a Sunday evening and Rob and I were relaxing on the bed with the baby trying to hold onto what remained of the weekend. Rob got up to bath the girls and after feeding the baby I got up too.

To my horror I discovered the backdoor wide open! I was certain it had been locked. An open door only meant one thingour little runner had escaped and was off wandering through the neighbourhood.

"Rob! Rob! The backdoor is open!" I yelled, "Where's David?" My heart was pounding and my thoughts were racing. I needed to think clearly and act quickly.

"Please don't let him have gotten so far I need to call 911. . . again," I prayed,     ". . . and please keep him from getting hit by a car."

I grabbed my car keys, cell phone and slippers and called out to Rob, "I'm taking the car!" Experience has taught me I can cover more ground more quickly with the car.

I decided to go in the direction of 900 E since this is where he was picked up last time. I got to my car only to discover it was occupiedby David! He was sitting in the driver's seat shuffling through my other set of keys, like he was trying to find the one that starts the car.

Relief washed over me along with alarm. David had been found and he was safe. He didn't even make it past the driveway. But he wanted to drive the carhe's only 10!

I herded him back into the house and locked the door and grabbed every bunch of keys I could find. Rob and I had talked about this day. We knew David would one day develop the fine motor skills to unlock the door. We had also joked about him wanting to drive the car. We knew this day was coming, but we didn't think it would come so soon.

Now what?

Our whole security system is based on lock and key.

Now what? How do we keep David in? And how do we keep him from getting the keys?

A stifling pressure of "now what's" filled my head and I still felt a little shaky. I went to the bedroom to check on the baby.

Fifteen minutes later there was a knock at the door. Emma bounced into my room and announced, "It's the nice ladies who make us cookies!" This was music to my ears. Cookies. Sugar. What perfect timing!

Terri and Camille didn't stay long but their visit calmed my anxious spirit. They showed up right when I needed them. They weren't able to provide me with solutions to my security problem, but they did leave me feeling loved and comforted. Which is exactly what I needed.

The timing of their visit was so remarkable. 

Coincidence? I don't think so.

More like inspiration.

Through their act of service I was able to recognize the hand of the Lord and feel of His love for me. The timing of their visit confirmed that Heavenly Father is aware of me and my needs.

What a sweet and joyous comfort.

What a tender mercy.

Monday, June 1, 2015

How We See the World

"So how do people with autism see the world, exactly? We, and only we, can ever know the answer to that one! Sometimes I actually pity you for not being able to see the beauty of the world in the same way we do. Really, our vision of the world is incredible, just incredible . . . "


Higashida, Naoki. (2013). The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy With Autism. New York: Random House.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Remembering Marcelle


 
In the first week of David's life I was unable to be at his bedside because I was confined to my own hospital bed. And Rob needed to be at work. So we asked my mother-in-law, Marcelle, to sit with David during the day. She willingly accepted. It meant a lot to us that our baby not be alone at this time. He had an angel at his sideeven his loving grandmother.

In that first week David rarely opened his eyes and barely moved. His little body was recovering from the trauma of his birth and had been heavily sedated with seizure medication. Even though there was little opportunity to interact with him, Marcelle remained at his bedside. Hour after hour.

Sometimes she'd talk to him. Calling him "little prince", she told him about all the people who loved him. Other times she just sat quietly while he slept. Undoubtedly his recovery was aided by the influence of her strong spirit and great love.

As she spent long hours sitting at his side, lending her strength, we couldn't have imagined the pending fragility of her own mortality. Six months later she was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer.

A few months after David's first birthday Marcelle passed away. Her passing made the time she spent with him even sweeter. 

With the simple gift of her time she left a legacy of her love for him.



Friday, May 15, 2015

Angels With Chariots of Fire

"On the other side of that veil there are angels riding with chariots of fire to be a protection for your child."

Angel Greeting Child mormon

(Jeffrey, R. Holland, 2012. For Times of Trouble, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company)

 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Feeling the Spirit at Church With My Autistic Son


After 10 years of taking David to Church I've finally realized I don't need to sit through an entire service in quiet reverence in order to feel the Spirit. When I make the effort to be at Church with my autistic son the Spirit can find a way to reach me. 

Sunday.

The longest hardest day of the week.
 
The day I take David to Church.
 
One Sunday after an especially long and trying sacrament service I found myself standing in front of the elevator. Nine months pregnant. David had just pushed the button and was jumping up and down as he waited for the doors to open.
 
I felt exhausted. I wondered how I’d get through the next two hours. David had been upset for most of the first hour. This made me think the next two wouldn’t go well either. It was one of those Sundays where I found myself wondering if it was worth all the effort.

As I leaned against the wall a painting caught my eye. It hung next to the elevator and was positioned directly in front of me. I recognized it as a pioneer burial in the snow. I’ve stood in front of the elevator many times and I’ve seen that painting before. But this time was different.

The scene before me—‘Martin Handcart Company, Bitter Creek, Wyoming 1856’—depicted by Clark Kelley Price, ignited a warm glow inside me as the Spirit filled my being. Deep within my soul the fires of faith burned a little brighter.  
 
I tried to imagine what it must be like to bury your husband or child in a shallow, snowy grave. Tears welled up in my eyes. I was glad that wasn’t my reality.

All of a sudden my trial didn’t feel so bad. I’d rather bring an autistic child to Church than bury him in the snow.

The elevator doors swung open and David pranced inside. I followed close behind. It didn’t matter now if the next two hours were difficult. I’d received the spiritual strengthening I needed.

In the midst of chasing David, the Spirit found a way to reach me. It only took a few seconds for me to be uplifted and edified. In the short time it took for the elevator to arrive I received a beautiful impression of comfort and faith—my reward for coming to Church.
 
All of my effort in wrestling David had now become worthwhile.
 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Our Lives Are Blessed

"Our lives are blessed as we learn lessons from trusted friends whose disabilities and humility invite the Spirit. They teach us a new dimension of faith, courage, patience, love and individual worth."
 


 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Divine Comfort

When I feel lonely, grief-stricken and depressed divine comfort is always available.

While still in the hospital recovering from the trauma of David's birth I was in need of such comfort. I could tell my body was starting to heal from the unexpected complications of his birth when I began to cry uncontrollably. As my physical pain decreased, my emotional pain increased. With my body no longer struggling for survival, I started to feel the devastating grief of my situation.

David was born at 2:48 a.m. on Friday. On Sunday morning the nurse asked, "Would you like to attend the sacrament service held in the hospital (we were in LDS Hospital) or would you prefer the sacrament be brought to you room?"

Rob and his mom accompanied me to the chapel. Unsure if my newborn would live or die, I was crying even before the service began.

When offered the sacrament I shook my head and pointed to the tube protruding from my nose. A nasal-gastric tube had been inserted through my nose, down my throat and into my stomach. It was designed to suck air from my stomach. I'd been given strict orders not to eat or drink anything.

The old man holding the sacrament tray kindly suggested, "Take a piece of bread and touch it to your lips and do the same with the cup of water. This is what we've done for other patients. I believe it'll have the same effect."

So I took a piece of bread and touched it to my lips and did the same with the cup of water. I was grateful not to be excluded from this ordinance.

I cried even more when I listened to the talks. They were on the Atonement. A young sister spoke about the Savior's ability to provide comfort and peace when we experience sorrow and heartache. As she spoke the Spirit warmed my heart and soothed my soul. I received a witness that what she was saying was true.

I realized my baby was grateful to me for providing him with physical life. Jesus Christ provided us with spiritual life and I provided David with physical life. With this realization came feelings of peace and comfort--the Savior knew my pain and provided the solace I sought. In the midst of deep despair and uncertainty Christ's love reassured and strengthened me.

"Though we (may) . . . face . . . all manner of afflictions, our caring, loving Savior will always be there for us. He has promised: 'I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.'" (Rasband, Ronald, A, "Special Lessons," Ensign, May 2012).

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sweetest Spirits

"But we are reminded that a perfect body is not required to achieve one's divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail or imperfect bodies. Great spiritual strength is often developed by people with physical challenges, precisely because they are so challenged."