The subtitle is “Hopeful reflections on the challenges of parenting children with special needs.”
Recently we’ve had a couple more families with autistic children come to our church. I am glad God find us worthy to care for His special children.
I read this book to better understand the families. The authors have two autistic children. Actually, the attitude adjustments in caring for special needs children is not much different than in caring for any children. But these parents have a heighten awareness of their need to examine themselves as parents whereas most other parents can easily add children to their list of other life priorities.
These are some insights that I relate to:
“There are days, even now, when it’s tempting to blow my own trumpet, whether by looking for recognition in the wrong places or by belittling the parenting trials that people around the face. In a room full of women bemoaning the fact that their children won’t try broccoli, it can be tempting to throw in a conversation bomb like “Yes, but does anyone have any strategies on stopping smearing?” The truth is, as a parent, you wield a certain amount of power to make people feel bad about their own challenges or to make them live in awe and admiration of yours… But the life sacrifices are ultimately for an audience of One.” (p 40)
“I love my kids most not by loving them the most but by first loving God. As soon as I take my eyes off him and my attitude falters and I begin to believe that I alone must push for them and control their destinies, the unbearable weight of playing God soon becomes apparent.” (p 43)
“in God’s global mission, the role of extraordinary people doing exceptional things is probably as far smaller than we imagine – and the role of ordinary people doing everyday things is certainly far greater than we imagine…Carl Trueman was right: “My special destiny as a believer is to be part of the church; and it is the church that is the big player in God’s wider plan, not me.”” (p 48)
“if I go into our conservatory and I can’t see Xindel, our giant-sized golden retriever, I can be virtually certain that he isn’t there. He’s so large that if he was there I would be able to see him. But if I go into a conservatory and I can’t see an amoeba, that doesn’t really tell me much… In the same way, the fact that I don’t know why suffering exists doesn’t really tell me much about whether there’s a reason for it. If God knows everything, and I don’t, the chances are that the reason for suffering might be more like an amoeba than a retriever.” (p79″)
At the end of the book there are recommended resources. Since I plan to give this book to one of the families with autistic children, I am going to put here the ones I want to check out later -
The Reason I Jump: One Boy’s Voice from the Silence of Autism by Naoki Higashida
Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic
Mom Enough: The Fearless Mother’s Heart and Hope edited by Tony Karalee Reinke (a compilation from various women)