What do you do when things aren’t going right? Do you sit and sulk, or do you get up and take action? Do you listen to what the Lord has to say, or do you try to handle things your own way and hope for the best? *A revision of an article I wrote a while back.*
The link above is a rewrite of an article I wrote a while ago, and posted here. I felt there were some important points to look at, and wanted to add some information which I hope will be helpful to those who need it.
Being part of a family or other group can have its difficulties, especially when the quarters are cramped. We live in a tiny house that is seven-hundred square feet of living area. We shift, turn, and shuffle our way around each other in such a way that would nearly be worthy of a finely choreographed dance on Broadway, except now and again, we trip, stumble and collide with Keystone Cop-like coordination. Sometimes it’s comical, sometimes it isn’t. Always, it’s annoying.
What happens when something in the normal routine changes? It can be as simple as a teenager who used to spend most of his time in his bedroom, but has decided to come out and join the family in the living room. Nothing wrong with that, and in fact it’s a really good thing! I’ve been trying to get him out of there for years. It does have it’s effects though.
Since the space is small and cramped already, it can seem even more so with the addition of one more body on a more regular basis. Especially when that body is six-foot-five and all skinny legs and arms. Come to think of it, that’s how he got the nickname, “Daddy Long-Legs”. It can make a parent who loves his child a bit edgy to have most of the living room floor taken up by sprawled out legs and size 14 shoes, even if the kid is quiet by nature. It’s not noise… it’s space.
So how does the dad-in-question handle it? By going to bed at 8:20 PM, which completely disrupts my routine. My response was something along the line of, “WHAT?! Wait!” because I was in the bedroom working on a paper, and making every attempt to concentrate while working in solitude. “What do you mean, you’re going to bed NOW?? UGH! Fine.” So I relocated to a different room to work uncomfortably. Solitude. Personal Space. And it’s all because of one little change. One person made one small decision about where he wanted to spend his time, and the rest of the people in the house lost their minds.
See, here’s the thing, and I want to be clear on this; We are a typical family. We interact regularly, usually eat dinner together and talk, yadda, yadda… we are always doing something together. The thing is… in this particular case, the timing is what really changed, and that’s what actually threw everything out of the delicate balance it was for years. Dad’s TV time was disrupted, and that caused a minor cascade of events.
Adaptation takes time. Becoming reacquainted with an area once something has changed is a process just like any other. For my husband, the shift of our son spending more time in the living room was the equivalent of having someone move in, because it was an extra body that wasn’t usually present at that tone of the day.
The boy had always had a habit of staying in a certian area of the house, and no amount of cajoling from his mother had ever chanced that. Autistic people are creatures of habit, and up till recently, getting the boy to spend time with family was more like pulling teeth than actual socializing. It was out of his comfort zone, and sometimes you have to let a person have their comfort.
Here’s the thing… my son is high-function, and isn’t anti-social. On the contrary, he interacts with people on a regular basis, and does very well. He has a lot of friends, and has held a job without problems typical to autistic people. He’s socially okay for the most part, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy his solitude, and his room was his preferred place for that.
So what changed? Hard to say, really. One day, he just decided to bring his computer to the living room, set up shop. It’s now become his preferred area to do whatever computer-related things he does. Why? We don’t know. My curiosity got the best of me, because I am an observer by nature, so he and I had a conversation about it. The boy was unsure as to why he suddenly liked the living room better, but says it has more space. Interesting that it took him four years to come to this decision, but personally, I’m happy about the change. I like that he’s spending more time with dear old mom & dad. I’m happy to see him out of his room and interacting more when his brothers and their girlfriends come for a visit. It’s a good thing.
The (former) Behavior Specialist in me is jumping for joy at yet another social victory in the life of her autistic son. The mom in me is just happy the boy isn’t cooped up in his room constantly. As for dad? He’ll adjust eventually… most people tend to adapt to changes pretty well in the long run, it just may take a little longer for some than other. At this rate, he will be well-rested at the very least.
One thing I think we will all agree with, is the need for a bigger house. Let’s face it… Tiny House living is tough at best, but when the dynamics suddenly change, it’s rough. Seven-hundred square feet of living space isn’t much for three adults and a dog, but we’ll manage. We always do.
Sometimes I feel like the Lord has to knock me down a peg or two so He can lift me up again. I’m not saying that’s exactly what’s happening, I’m just saying that’s what it feels like.
Today was one of those days. In church, the pastor said things I felt sure were being said directly to me, and they weren’t exactly pleasant. Does that mean my pastor is targeting me? No, it just means I recognize myself in what he was saying, and my spirit is aware of my own wrong-doing.
To top it off, I get home only to end up in an argument with my husband and two of my sons, all separately, and on different topics. So the common factor here, is me. Four people can’t be wrong and only one right. Well… they can… but it’s unlikely. No, I’m pretty sure I’m the wrong party here, and I need to fix that.
So what is it I’m doing that’s so bad that it seems everyone is coming against me? Okay… I will admit that I’ve been a bit on the irritable and harsh side lately. There are some things in my life that have directly affected my body, and my mood in some negative ways, and I have been taking it out on those around me.
Even here on my blog, I’ve been harsh with the general population, and that’s something I really have no right to do. I don’t have the right to do that with anyone, and I apologize. Besides, it really isn’t my nature to be mean or harsh. Quite the contrary, I assure you. I am normally a fairly nice person, but have let some bad days get to me. That’s not an excuse, and I will try to do better in future. Let me tell you a little something about why I started this blog. I’ll try to keep it short.
It really started with the same reason the Lord lead me to become an ordained minister; to help people, and lead them to the Lord. That’s really always been my desire, and the Lord put it in my heart a long time ago. Interestingly, the Lord reminded me of those things in the sermon my pastor delivered this morning, and I’d like to share that with you now.
Colossians 1:24-29 says it perfectly from the reason I felt compelled to minister, to the reason I come before you and humble myself to you today:
“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”
And then in Colossians 4:6 is where we find my correction:
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
Now as my pastor so eloquently put it, salt is supposed to make something taste better. My words of late have had either not enough and been too bland, or way too much and burned going down. For that I do apologize once more. I’ll do my best to remember the Lord’s good lessons and behave more kindly.