Some stuff that’s worked for us

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So a visitor to my website asked if I would post more things about couples where one of the people has autism…

I don’t have something that is specifically for people with autism, but here is something that has helped my husband and I keep our relationship strong. And since I have autism, hopefully it will be helpful to others of you out there like my husband and me.

This is a free little quiz that is surprisingly helpful:

The five love languages quiz for couples

This quiz was put together by author and pastor Dr. Gary Chapman. He has a number of books that are helpful for couples and individuals trying to maintain relationships.

My husband and I some similarity in our ranking of love languages, but his top one was my bottom language, and my top language was farther down the list for him. For instance, he really values people saying nice things to him, while I prefer people to do nice things for me. In my mind, you can talk all you want, but if I don’t see any action, I’m not feeling loved. So I had to get better at saying nice things to him, even though, if someone were to say those same things to me, I would feel patronized. And he has gotten much better at following through on little projects that he says he will do.

At first it was really awkward to say things that I wouldn’t want to hear from someone else, but seeing how much he likes it has made it easier and now it is almost second nature – almost! And it has also gotten easier to say nice things because he is now doing a better job of speaking my love language. So I don’t have to bite my tongue when saying, “thank you,” anymore. Here’s what I mean:

In the past it might take 5, 10 or 15 years for him to get to a project that he promised he would do and he knew I found to be important. He wasn’t taking forever to be mean or hurtful. It’s just part of his dreamer personality to come up with things to do, but not necessarily get to them. So when he actually would get them done, I had a hard time thanking him for them. Or, if I did thank him, I had a hard time not adding, “It’s about time,” or something to that effect.

Take the quiz, you might be surprised to find how easy it is to spruce up your relationship. Oh, and then you get weekly ideas on how to continue to encourage each other. Sometimes I read them, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I try them, sometimes they just seem too cheesy for me. But it is nice to have that free support!

Blessings on you all!

No Fear

Another thing I have seen God do when allowing people to go through trials is that coming out the other side builds such trust in God that we no longer fear what life can throw at us. We have faced our fears and have found them to be lacking when compared to God’s provision.

Proverbs 31: 21, 25

“When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”

May we be able to laugh at the days to come because we know God has it all under control.

He’s just trying to toughen us up

I try to get my kids ready for what I know awaits them as adults by pushing them to work hard and rest, too. But I know what is ahead, to some extent, anyway. They often think I am just being mean, but I want them toughened up, ready to take on the challenges of being an adult. Because when you are ready to take on the challenges, you are also in position to reap the rewards, like a steady job with good pay.

As God’s child, I forget that I don’t know what is ahead of me like He does. Sometimes I think a trial he puts or allows in my path is unnecessary, like when my kids think it is unnecessary to help fold the laundry. But eventually that strength, resilience, perseverance gained will be what gets me through the next challenge, and puts me in position to reap some awesome rewards; like peace, seeing another soul find God’s peace, and things that I can’t even imagine.

 

Rejoice

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I must admit that I struggled with this some, recently. How can one rejoice when things just aren’t going very well. What kind of God requires that I pepper him with praise while he seemingly sits back and, yes, supports me, but allows me to go through something I don’t particularly like. These are the two things I have learned – they are both in the Bible somewhere, I am sure, but it is different when you experience them first hand.

  1. God never allows anything in our lives that isn’t going to end up being very good for us. In other words, God loves us more than we can imagine and is always working things for our betterment, which in the end makes us happier (yes, happier, not just joyful) than we were before the thing we didn’t like happened.
  2. God doesn’t ask us to rejoice always for His sake. He asks us to do that for our sake. And not because if we do it we will get more of His blessing, though we might. He asks us to do that because it causes us to be constantly reminding ourselves of His love for us, so that when tough situations come, we are ready for them – we aren’t tricked into thinking that God isn’t for us, or whatever other lie out there Satan tries to use to destroy us. Also, when good situations come, we aren’t tempted to leave God and try life on our own, either, because we know where that good came from.

So rejoice always, in the good and bad times, not because God needs it, but because we need to be continually reminding ourselves of His love and goodness toward us.

The Struggle

Last night I was trying to get an FM radio setup in the kitchen so that we could listen to some Christian tunes in the a.m. while getting ready for school – sort of a “pump you up” session before heading off into the great unknown, known as a huge, public high school.

It shouldn’t have been hard, but at each step – unplugging the radio from the wall across the house, required me to move the bed, to be able to plug the extension cord that the radio had been plugged into back into the wall, so that the other devices relying on power could operate during the night – like my white noise machine to cover up the slightly less white noise of my spouse – seemed to be more involved than necessary. Then trying to plug the radio into the kitchen outlet was a no-go. One of the prongs was bent and the newer kitchen outlets were having none of that.

Thankfully, an outlet just around the corner allowed for power while the radio sat on a counter. Oh, and the cord wasn’t going to act like a trip wire, either. So that was a good thing.

I was getting a little annoyed at how complex this seemingly simple maneuver was becoming. It seemed something was thwarting my every move. I was asking God why he wasn’t making this easier when it was something I was doing for him. I know, these are minor things, but at midnight, they start getting on your nerves.

God just said, pull through and you’ll be glad for the struggle. I must admit it was a difficult finding a good attitude, but with some literal gritting of my teeth, I managed not to mumble too much under my breath, etc.

Once the radio was operational, a wave of accomplishment and knowledge that something bigger than plugging in a radio had occurred. Some battling was going to be happening tomorrow in that kitchen – not between flesh and blood, but between principalities and powers.

The added hassles lent a sense of anticipation that would not have been there had the process been easy.

As always, Father knows best!

Oh, and some battles were won.