Living with Autism

Scattered Cheerios on the table, heavy footsteps on the wooden floor, and  buzzing sound in the morning are to name a few things that makes up the family’s day. When Michael is awake, everyone is at their feet. He is the super star, always the priority at all cause.

Outside the four corners of our house, my brother is an eye candy. More than his looks, his movement and action gives him away. Once, we were walking at the food court trying to find mom when suddenly he grabbed someone else’s soft drinks. I ended up saying sorry, walking away as fast as we can.

Michael’s special needs didn’t matter much until I was 13. Questions like, “Why can’t we have a family vacation in Boracay?” or “How can we manage buying things  when he is with us?” started to make sense.His condition was a big part of every member’s decision, from who get’s to sit beside the window to who get’s to go out on a Tuesday.

One night, after so many attempts to make Mike settle down and sleep( which he did eventually) I just sat down on the floor and cried. I can’t do this anymore. “Why did You placed me in this family, in this situation?”, I asked God.

I wish I could tell you I never lost my patience and have been able to cater all his needs at all times. As much as I wanted to be the one that saves him from the limitations autism has caused, I can’t. I needed to tap on to a greater power.

I started to pray for Mike’s healing. Everyday, God would not only improved his condition but also change my heart, hitting two birds with one stone. I hardly noticed that doubt, fear and frustration has been a part of my system and  I needed healing myself.

And with his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5-ESV) because Jesus not only suffered and died for our sins but he also cut the chain of illness that might threaten the life of our families. It’s amazing how the cross continues to keep us and our families safe and secured.

Autism is not okay because I believe that we are made to use our brains in it’s full potential. Yet “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine(Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT). Living with autism teaches me to see life in a different lens as I  pursue love every single day.

I know that one day, may it be on earth or in heaven, Mike and I will lift up our hands and worship the one and only King of our hearts. But until then, As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him(Psalm 18:30 KJV).

 

 

Follow That!

I am a follower. Just a few minutes ago, I followed 5 new blogs in this account. It took time, which I didn’t not expect. I found myself asking the questions who will I follow and why will I follow him ?

We all follow someone or something. From early childhood, we learn by imitating our parent’s action. In group discussion, we agree with our leader. When lost in the street, we find someone who we can trust to lead us to our destination.

Those who have gone ahead of us has this credibility they have gained from experience. And we want to follow their footsteps, depending on what they have showcase. We set our own criteria and look for someone who will put a check on the list.

Today, I chose to follow 2 bloggers from my Reader’s recommendations, a blogger from the autism tag, a female blogger from the Philippines, followed back a blogger. It was great exploring. Though it took some time, I am satisfied with my choices.

Maybe for the next few days, I will look at my Reader and realize my criteria have changed. Or it could be that the blogger I follow is the one who changed. I could easily filter my reader by clicking the unfollow button. Humans are progressing, we are ever changing.

We continue to follow something or someone.But the thing is, their is a God who doesn’t change that we can always follow him whoever or wherever we are.As it is written in James 1:17 (NLT)”…God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.”

We can choose who to follow. And my prayer is that we will choose to follow the creator of light that outshines the brightest star in the sky. He is who he is. He doesn’t change.

Head Line

To press is to move or cause to move into a position of contact with something by exerting continuous physical force. While to press on is to advance and move on.As I do life, I don’t want to be stuck in between, being pressed by life’s circumstances.  I am made not to just survive but to conquer.

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:14 NLT

Time marches on. I am progressing. Doesn’t my title says it all? But to be able to press on, I need faith. Faith to conquer my fears of being vulnerable, judged and misunderstood.

 ” Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews11:1 NIV

As I’ve said on my previous blog, I desire to write and so I hope that this 2016, I’ll be able to share stories every week. I know that without God’s perspective, I couldn’t do it. Writing would be pointless.

“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians5:7 ESV

Through the lens of faith, I am moving forward, sharing life with others who has the same passion for Jesus Christ, womanhood and the next generation.

 

 

 

What’s going on?

     Ever since I was 9, I would end my day narrating on my diary what had transpired , from the rising of the sun in the east and setting in the west. Today on my journal, I do not only narrate but  also reflect on things that matters in this life and beyond . Writing makes me remember and helps me create. To remember is to revisit the goodness of the past while to create is to hope  for the best in the future.

     I am but one in a sea of millions of people yet no one can ever be me. But that does not mean I am not capable of relating to others for each one of us are connected in so many ways. I would like to share through blogging a life of freedom that is changing me from the inside out. Knowing that there is always hope for everyone, sharing the joy of salvation makes it known that one is never alone.

     All humanity was given eyes to see what is known to be able to look beyond what is unknown.Writing is traveling through time and witnessing stories worth retelling .I’d like to explore the wonders of being a daughter of the Almighty God, a sister to every single woman, a writer to a reader of poetry and short stories and a teacher to the next generation.

     Connecting with other who are passionate about Jesus Christ, womanhood and the next generation will make blogging more fun and exciting! I desire to write and so I hope that this 2016, I’ll be able to share stories every week. But of course,I’m always open for more! The ultimate promise giver  has plans for my welfare and not for evil, plans to give me a future and hope.

Drops of Joy

Happiness is a mental and emotional condition with respect to circumstances or attributes. It ranges from contentment to joy. Joy is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. You can be happy but not reach the point of rejoicing yet you can be joyful and experience happiness at the same time.

In our world today, there are promises of pleasure we can easily get from reading magazines, watching movies or eating a meal. We are so caught up with Instagram, convenient store and fast lane that we sometimes forget the cost of experiencing the real thing. We cannot identify anymore what is the truth from a hoax.

Praise God that we are now from Him,giving us the right to become His children through the shedding of blood on the cross.By the Spirit within  us, we are able to know what is authentic from fake, essential from insignificant and eternal from temporal. And because we believe, we are able to live a life of freedom.

Going through tough times is a part of a persons life, and so is the life of a free man. Various challenges causes one to stumble and fall, yet it does not end there. A free man standing up after a painful defeat is a man who has a hope beyond his circumstances.

A joyful person is not blinded by his circumstances but encouraged by seeing beyond his situation. He does not deny the facts but does not feel the need to stay where he is and be complacent. Him pressing on produces drops of joy, knowing that all things always work for good.

Joy shared to anyone will not reduce its taste but instead reproduce the same flavor. It is contagious and unlimited, powerful and exciting. When you choose to rejoice, you encounter the goodness of a Father who did not spare His own Son just for you to experience the fullness of His love.

*Photo grabbed from Google.

I Will Pursue You

Growing up in a family who values tradition, I’m used to going to church every Sunday, praying some memorized prayers before I sleep, and not playing after 3 pm on a Black Saturday. As an eldest, my family is my priority and time is for me to control. For 20 years, the pleasures of the world took hold of my aspirations and dreams.

Back when I was in 2nd year college, I befriend a pastor’s daughter. After our class, me and my best friend would sit on one of the benches beside the colegio’s basketball court and listen to worship songs, then pray for one another before we part ways. It was my first official encounter with what they call Christianity.

In group meetings, my classmates would ask my best friend to pray. I noticed that she prayed differently. One day, for some reasons, I just felt this kind of desire to know more about God. I started attending Sunday mass regularly as well as reading popular books about Him.

I started reading Genesis yet found myself lost after some chapters. Seeking for a bible study group in our local church seems to not work at all. One day, I had the courage to strike a conversation with my dad and asked, “What if magging Christian ako?” “Diba hindi sila naniniwala kay Mary?” discombobulated, I stopped probing and became contented with what I know about God.

Fast forward, I was now an excited fresh graduate, ready to conquer the world. With my new work and my new world, having so many “new things” in my life kept me going. So when my best friend invited me to attend a Christian service with her, I said yes. I thought to myself, “If this works, I‘m willing to try this Christian thing. If not, then I could always go back to my comfortable life.”

I would like to believe that on that day I stepped inside the church, my eyes were opened to the Lord’s truth that set me free. From then on, I attended the Sunday services regularly and joined a small group were I was encouraged to read His word. That desire to know the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit was rekindled.

Today, I am living my life in freedom because of the finished worked on the cross. It was by surrendering my life to Christ that made all things new. This Christianity was from darkness to light, death to life and a relationship with the Lord.

God’s business became my priority, submitting even my time to Him. I found pleasure in praising and worshiping Him. It was not my perfection but my direction that He was after all this time. Yes, it was a pursuit of a father for her long lost daughter.

*Photo grabbed from google.

Brave New World

There are moments I feel that conversations are not enough to really convey what the messenger is saying. Most of the time, I couldn’t find the words to describe my joy and pain. I find comfort knowing that as I hum , melodies are created, communications are strengthen.

I’m thankful that God created me uniquely, initiating our meetings in a creative way. Indeed, words such as boredom could never find its ways in one’s heart when The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords meets you where you are.

Today, I would like to honor not only God but also the means He uses to reach my heart. He never stops pursuing, loving that knows no end. I’m blessed with those people who chooses to obey him, helping others like me, to find and enjoy the melodies that God has deposited in me.

“Pieces” by Amanda Cook reached my heart. It reminded me that wherever God has set my feet, I am to give my all. He doesn’t give his heart in pieces. He deserves my best cause his love makes it worth it all.

As I venture in my Brave New World, I’m expectant of such an encounter with Him ,bring me closer to who He is. So with this, I’m placing this album in my pocket, believing  that I am never alone.

Pieces

“If we were on a ship in the ocean, every water drop in that ocean is a testimony of His nature and His goodness. The vastness of that picture is what I want people to encounter in this album. These songs are droplets, and they are precious to me, because I’ve spent time in that water. I hope that these water droplets invite people in. We have a kind God, a merciful God, a God who doesn’t hide His heart in pieces. I want to expose the little pieces I know in my heart to be true.”

– Amanda Cook

I went over to Steffany Gretzinger’s house one day– we were going to write together. She had actually been singing this line and thinking of me: “speak even if your voice is trembling, please you’ve been quiet for so long.” And as soon as she said it, I felt that invitation to become the character in that story. I could see it, feel it and sense it.
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“Brave New World” feels like a story record; I’m the character, I am the protagonist on the ship who’s going through serene calm seas; through stormy things, but ultimately, the goal not being getting to the place, but actually being immersed in something much bigger than myself.

The process of writing gave me permission to explore and to breathe in a way I didn’t know I needed. I was given a gift- to find out what I actually believe about God, to ask big questions, wrestle with what I had been told are answers, and find peace within the mystery. These are my imaginations and confessions put to melodies and music.

Brave New World represents a voyage of discovering that God has been on our side all along, that we can live a whole life, full of heart, with a capacity to process pain, wrestle with truth, and find ourselves steady at the end of our pilgrimage.

There is an endless possibility for God to create a world within us, a world transformed through the bravery of perfect Love. My prayer through this record is that you would experience the reality that you, in fact, housea Brave New World; you are a Brave New World. May you be filled with hope in the One whose mercy is timeless, and whose Love for mankind is as boundless as the sea.

– Amanda Cook

Source: https://bethelmusic.com/albums/brave-new-world/

Photos: https://bethelmusic.com/albums/brave-new-world/