Lest you think I am a proponet of, “name it and claim it”…

Yesterday a friend and I had tickets to the Twins game. The game was to start at 7 pm. The rain was forcasted to come through between 4 and 6 pm. I didn’t want to be guilty of not bringing my requests before God, so I again commanded that the weather behave itself for my outing. Yes, I used the same amount of faith that I had used on Sunday.

However, this time, God decided that I was not acting in His will, and saw fit to allow it to really pour (for Minnesota – nothing like what I have experienced in Florida, though!) from 5:30 pm until, well, I don’t know exactly when it ended. The game was delayed until 8 pm, and then postponed to a date TBD in August. My friend and I hiked through the downpour to the Rock Bottom Brewery, a local restaurant I would highly recommend. I guess their alcohol is amazing, though I wouldn’t know. But their food is wonderful. My friend and I shared some scrumptious lobster and shrimp mac and cheese, then washed that down with a mocha sundae that I wouldn’t have minded having more of, despite the fact that my stomach was near bursting (we had already had some food at the ball park before the game had been called). We found the precipitation quite light when we left for home at 10: 30 pm; it had stopped by the time I reached my door 30 minutes later.

So why did God answer my prayer on Sunday but not on Tuesday? It was the same prayer, prayed in the same way. The Bible says God will grant me anything that I ask in Jesus name, right? Well, here’s the caveat that many of us miss. “In Jesus name,” does not simply mean that we say, “in Jesus name,” and mean it. It means that we are praying something that Jesus agrees with, something that is absolutely in God’s will. For instance, if an official in a kingdom acts in the name of the king, they are doing something that the king has already said they could do, something that he agrees with.

In other words, when I prayed about the weather on Sunday, it was something that God agreed with, so he allowed my words to be fulfilled. When I prayed on Tuesday, is was not something he agreed with, so my words were not fulfilled. Quite frankly, I was being lazy on Tuesday. I should have first prayed, asking God what his will for the weather was, before wasting my time just praying for what I wanted.

Jesus’ prayers were always answered because He only prayed for what he already knew God wanted. If we want our prayers to be answered, we need to do the same thing – ask God what His will is, before we start blabbing 🙂

autistic child + losing my mind

My heart goes out to whomever (or whoever, I can never remember which is the correct one to use when) it was that found my blog using those search terms.

I was to that point, myself, this past Monday and Tuesday. After a typical weekend of my son’s constant fussing over every little thing, picking a verbal fight with anyone in hearing range, I let out a sigh after dropping him and his sister off at school Monday morning, and started in praying for new hope, new forgiveness for him, new love for him, so that I would be happy to see him and support him when I picked him up from school later that day.

Usually just a few minutes of remembering God’s admonishments to love our enemies, do good to those that think they hate us (my paraphrase added – I think most parents know where I am coming from here), put others needs before our own, forgive as He has forgiven us, then, remembering that God promises to always give us the strength and support we need to accomplish those tasks gets me back on track. I usually feel energized, or at least a little hopeful and positive.

But this Monday, nothing helped. I was tired and frustrated. I knew that God had seen me through before, so I was able to be civil when I picked my son up, but there were no warm supportive feelings – just trying to do my job properly, hoping that the feelings would come back sometime.

Tuesday I wasn’t feeling any better. I had offered to help a friend out at a local Christian ministry that afternoon, so I showed up and was told that I would be calling people to set up appointments for them to talk to my friend about prayer ministry opportunities. Those of you who know me well are probably laughing right now. I really have a difficult time making phone calls, and calling people I don’t even know, to see if they want to sign up for something is definitely on the bottom of my list of things I feel comfortable with. But on the way to the ministry I had told God that I would be willing to do whatever He required of me, no matter how mundane or out of my comfort zone, so there I was.

Since I believed in the “product I was selling,” so to speak, it wasn’t so bad, and I actually enjoyed myself a bit. Though I must admit that I was thrilled that most of the calls landed me into voicemail, where I could simply leave a message. As my time was drawing to a close, I dialed the phone one last time and ended up contacting a live person. He told me that he was already praying for the ministry, so didn’t need to set up an appointment, but then asked if I wanted prayer for anything. Since my own prayers hadn’t been working like usual, I thought I best not pass up this opportunity.

I told this kind-sounding stranger that my kid was stressing me out. “He has Asperger’s Syndrome,” I explained, and I just wanted a little prayer.

“I know a lot about that,” responded the stranger, with warmth and hope in his voice. “I married into a family with two children with autism. Would you like to talk to my wife?”

I felt a little odd taking up some of my volunteer minutes to get help myself, but since I wasn’t going to have time to make many more calls, anyway, I decided that I would be crazy to pass up such valuable support. “Sure,” I responded.

I then spent the next 10 minutes learning about how this mom worked with her son, who is graduating from high school this spring. It was inspiring to hear the hope she had in her voice. It was also comforting (my husband shakes his head at this, because I guess guys are not comforted by learning that someone else has a tough situation just like you, but girls do find it so) to hear her exasperation, frustration, and to hear for real, again, that I am not alone in this crazy world of raising a son with Asperger’s.

She said that, “Love and Logic,” and “The Nurtured Heart” approach have worked the best for their family. I have heard about both, but plan to get better aquainted with them, and try to use them myself.

She recommended writing lists of their tasks so that there is less to argue about, and then sticking to the broken record of, “When your list is complete, then you can play on the computer.” She said that staying very consistent, but calm when consequences needed to be handed out, then praising for good behavior was helpful. Also, having a carrot to work for rather than a stick to avoid was most motivating, though the stick is unavoidable at times.

I still am so floored that He met me in such an unusual way. Had my friend asked, would you like to make phone calls for me, I probably would have said, “You know, that is really not my strength.” I am so glad that I allowed myself to heed God’s leading to do something that made me uncomfortable. Through my obedience, He was able to give me the exact encouragement I needed, in a place that I never anticipated finding it.

I pray that all of us who are “autistic child + losing my mind” would find the support we need in Him.