Thursday, June 7, 2012

i baffle myself.

lila is my conundrum of a child. my challenge. and perhaps most importantly, an avenue for my continual sanctification.

sometimes, if you look closely, another human can show you all the idols you hold in your heart.

lila shows me the way i love approval of other moms.
i want you to think i am doing a good job. 

but what do you know, other mom's sometimes look at me weird when lila talks her gibberish. and when she hugs their kids too hard. or when she's too aggressive. or when she doesn't respond to their questions.

i'm very aware that lila has no friends. and part of that is my fault...i don't want her pushing over your kids. and it's hard to get a talking to from a mom-- even if it's with her disapproving eyes. it's also difficult for your child to be friends with a gal that doesn't make a lot of sense when she talks. and so shamefully, i don't pursue friends for her.

she has no idea that she's different, from what i can tell

it's only that I know she's different. that I want approval. that MY heart shows it's darkness when i am not satisfied with this process.

it shows itself in the way i want to make lila learn
and do
and be good
and speak
and act like the other girls her age.

when it doesn't go my way, i tell God that i am better at control than he is.

i can do this better. i can make her better with more therapy. i don't need your help because you are not doing it like i thought you would. 

and so, lila shows me how much i love control.

the problem is, i am out of control. i hold no power over the weather.
i can't make a port for IKEA to bring their magic ship to KC.
i can't make myself like math.

and i can't make lila learn faster.

i go back and forth like the Israelites. when i read about them, i think. seriously?...he keeps telling you to stop worshiping idols and then you do.
and then it works out really bad for you.
and then you get desperate and come back.
and he says, stop. i told you i'm enough for you. those idols will kill you.

then you come back to God.
sad thing is,  after a while, you get distracted again.
the next thing you know, you are carving an idol. with your own hands.

even though i know that putting my hope in God brings life and putting my hope in my idols brings death.

See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:  the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today,  and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known.
deut 11:26

and in the same way that i am baffled by the Israelites, i am baffled by my own tendency to hoard idols of approval and control. why do i pick the curse that brings death?! it's insane. but my heart wants to go that way.

and that's what i do with lila. i take this great thing that God made perfectly, and whittle away at it until it is fashioned into something unintended to satisfy any of my needs. and it fails me. miserably.

i only noticed at the park yesterday when 2 girls lila's age were talking back and forth. lila comes into the mix and just smiles and follows them around. they race to the tree and she can't keep up. they come back laughing and talking and lila walks over to the swings by herself.

 ma. ma. poo-ssssssh. 

and i feel the pang of sadness and pain. sissy...i want to make it better. i want you to have friends...
but under that is, Lord you didn't make her the right way.
which is to say, i can do this better. let me take the reigns.
and under all of that is unbelief and and worship of other gods.

God tells us to let go of our idols because they will fail us and destroy us. having those idols removed is painful because they are embedded so deep in our hearts...often times, those idols come to the light in painful situations. wherever there is pain in your life, generally, you can find some sort of thing you love to put your hope in rather than Jesus. the only one who can satisfy your deepest longings. even when things are bad or not like you planned.

i have to continue to trust that God is doing something with our suffering and our pain. he said that he was using it for His glory. i need to believe that in my heart and stop relying on other things to fix my situation. hell, they may never be FIXED anyway. that's not the point. God's not my genie in a bottle. we are here for His Glory not ours.
i must trust him when He says, this is for your good and my glory.

i want those words to wash over me every morning before my feet hit the ground. and when my eyes open and i stare at the ceiling and repent, i will ask God to give me a new heart and a new mind. that i would seek His glory and not mine and that i would walk in obedience when i see sweet lila. so i can say, this is how God made my baby.

and it is for his Glory.

(side note, don't forget to enter the giveaway above)


  1. Oh my goodness I am crying ..... thank you for this precious reminder to continually give every situation back to God!!
    I am praying for your baby girl!!

  2. "trying" to be in control sucks, doesn't it? thank you for your words and your thoughts... your honesty about your feelings is simply beautiful. Lila is so blessed to have such an amazing mom. I'll be praying for both of you girls=)

  3. I read this and I think I saw something completely different than you have. Stop thinking of it as trying to wrest control from God and think of it as using the tools he is giving you to help your daughter. Therapy, doctors, etc. They are all tools and blessings, not you thinking you know better. There is an old story/joke that I am reminded of when I hear people talk the way you do about letting God take the control and waiting for him to do his works.
    The story starts during a terrible storm - hurricane strength. The flood waters are rising and a man is on his roof as are his neighbors. A neighbor paddles by in a canoe and says "get in". But the man says no- I am waiting for God to save me. So the guy in the boat rescues others and goes on. The flood waters rise more and the coast guard comes by and says - you have to leave now. We can't come back this way. And the man replies to them. No, I am waiting for God to rescue me. The coast guard has to leave him. Then as the flood waters are nearly over the roof, a helicopter comes along with a basket. But the man refuses to get in and yells up to the chopper "I am waiting for God to help me." Needless to say the man dies in the floodwaters. When he gets to heaven he asks a question. "I don't understand. I have always been so devout and I waited for you but you never came to help me." God replies "Of course I came to help you. What more did you want? I sent you two boats and a helicopter."
    Look for the gifts god gives you. He wants you to use them.

  4. Jami, thanks for this (and all!) your post(s).

    You and the perfect mom for Lila, God made no mistake.

    I love how you wrote about idols with raising our kids because I see myself slip into the same thing, even with the silliest and smallest of things.

    So-and-sos kid was talking at 11 months. My 22 month old still isnt. So-and-sos baby is sitting up at 7 months. Mine isn't.

    But my kids are perfect for ME and our family and I forget that a lot because I fall back into idolatry of wanting to have THE kid who does everything perfectly. And not even for my kid's glory (much less God's), but for MINE.

    Thanks again girl
    Love your blog.

  5. This are bad for me and not like I planned. I just delivered a full-term stillborn baby girl a few weeks ago. It is the hardest thing I've ever gone through. You're words are exactly how I've been feeling, just written more beautifully than I ever could. Thank you.

  6. I do not know your daughter's exact situation, nor would I pretend to. What I do know is how much it hurts for your child to be different from everyone else's child. I also know about the importance of making friendships. My son is different and after lots of debate we were able to put a name to it. Before the name tried several things to get hm to look more normal - there is no cure and I don't think I would want one. In addition to this I teach social skills to students with social communication disorders. I get highly defensive when adults don't take a moment to understand my students. I have found relief and resources through Social Thinking and I wanted to share it with you.
    You know your daughter and you will know if something on here helps you. I will say that with my son and my 15 students who struggle with social thinking it's easy to get wrapped up in the can'ts. Celebrate the glimpses God gives you into the cans. Makes all the work worth it. And don't give up on those play dates. They are instrumental in getting her to her future.

  7. Well gracious, come on over. Lila and Evelyn can destroy the playroom together and talk in ways only they will understand. In fact the playroom is already destroyed from Evelyn getting alone time up there yesterday while I cleaned up the clothing and carpet she covered in makeup, so how much more damage can they really do?

    I feel your pain. Thanks for the encouragement.

  8. it is so easy to see the israelites and wonder, "what were they thinking?" a little harder to identify idol worship in ourselves. and while i don't know if that is what you are doing or not, what i do know is that you are a great mom who seeks the Lord and his will for your life and your daughter's life. take some time, give yourself a break and try to not be so hard on yourself going forward! praying for you both.

  9. I can SO relate to this! We are greatly struggling with my 6 year old son. He has developmental delays, and is struggling greatly with anxiety, and many other issues. And these things keep him from being able to interact with other children. He barely tolerates his siblings. Like Lila, he has no friends. I don't' take him places very often, because when he gets overwhelmed by unpredictable situations he throws colossal tantrums. And ya, I don't like the other moms thinking I am a bad mom, who doesn't discipline her child. Oh, my stupid pride.

    All that to say Amen and great post and

  10. I so relate to this. This post perfectly describes how I felt when I would take my son (who has Asperger's) to the park when he was younger. It is such a process.

  11. Just remember you are loving her and she knows it! .....As hard as it is, the rest will work itself out! I am studying to be as school psychologist and there are groups out their called "Circle of Friends" that are usually ran in schools during/before/or after school! If you want more information as your school or I would be happy to get you resources :) I know schools in Nebraska can get grants to start these groups!

  12. This reminds me of Sacred Parenting. Your honesty and humbleness are refreshing and honoring to the Lord. Lots of moms need to hear this, especially the ones that have a tendency toward disapproving eyes...

  13. I've been in the same place with my oldest--he's an odd duck and for years I've PUSHED him to make friends--so he's happy and normal, right? But then God prodded me to LET GO AND LET HIM.
    Amazingly, within a week of me letting go of my need to "fix this" and "control" T, he got an invitation to a buddy's. And then HE initiated his own invitation. And God is like, "DUH, Mel, TRUST ME."

  14. I needed to read this today. Thank you for your perspective, your honesty and your faith.

  15. I know they say there is comfort in numbers and I just want you to know that EVERY mom (shamefully) seeks approval from other moms. Its a sick little "one upper game" we all play because we want that affirmation for our selfish selves. And like you said, we get on track for a little while and then we slowly creep back into that pattern. Although we've never met, and likely never will, I feel what your heart feels. I know Lila feels your love for her too - she doesn't feel all of the ugly that we fight internally. I love this entire post and I really love one line in particular : God's not my genie in a bottle. we are here for His Glory not ours.

    So often I know that I am guilty of treating God like my genie in a bottle and I never thought about it in that way until you said it. Thanks for the conviction. I really needed that today. I will keep you and sweet LIla in my prayers. Being a mom is hard work - we need all of the prayers we can get!

  16. Oh Jami...I know those feelings so well, and I feel them with my own daughter, as well. God gave us these wonderful, beautiful, perfecting children for a reason. And for some reason He knew that my daughter needed imperfect little me for a reason!

  17. this sure is a tough mommy situation. if i were a mommy, i might have some advice for you.

    but i'm not haha.

    just keep covering this in pray my lady!

  18. hey there...i am a stalker (i found you through my friend victoria, who i also stalk :)) but i'm coming out today. this post really hit are super courageous and know just how to say it. thank you!

  19. Praying for you, Jami. Like really, not the way I usually say that because it's what you're supposed to say. I hear every word you wrote. I have no answers, but I can pray. And I will.

  20. I love you friend. Thank you for this reminder for my own heart. God made Lila perfectly for his glory and you too. She is so blessed to call you mom and you to call her daughter.

  21. You're so great. Thank you for being so transparent & using your words to share Him!

  22. I know this is kind of beside the point of idols but I've talked to about Timothy. For a long time I was in the exact place as you. Worried he would never have friends I would see him playing "with" other kids that couldn't understand him and my heart would ache for him even though he didn't seem to notice they were ignoring him. I did kind of try to compensate by being his playmate as much as I could. But now he is finally making friends. (and what do you know they don't speak english here so theres that added challenge)

    I always try to look at the extra challenges in my life and try to think of it as something God allowed to make me (or Timothy in this case) stronger. Side benefit for Tim is he has an incredible imagination.

  23. i went to the park this morning to meet my friend and her son... who is one month younger than my son and is far more advanced.
    i actually thought about waiting in the car because i hate that situation at the park. the one where the kid i don't know tries to strike up a conversation with my kid. and then says "oh he's a baby" when he doesn't respond. and the mom awkwardly laughs and asks me how old my son is. and is shocked to learn that he's 2.5 and doesn't talk much yet. thank you for being so transparent with something so sensitive and close to your heart. it is both encouraging and challenging. and if nothing else - please know that you're not alone.

    i am coming to influence and might hug you a little uncomfortably hard, okay? kay.

  24. My heart breaks for you, and sweet Lila. I am so sorry that she has been struggling so much to achieve "normal" developmental milestones.

    I have friends facing similar challenges, one with 2 kids. It it so difficult to have to set aside your dreams for your baby and accept that their life might be different than you originally imagined.

    Thankfully, there are so many services available to help our kiddos but it's still difficult.

    Your faith is amazing! I do think it helps to trust that God is good and our struggles have meaning. Still a lot lot crappy struggles out there though! (My brother is 30 and just had to have a bone marrow transplant.) Ugh!

    Keep strong! She is lucky to have you as her mama!

  25. Amen, Hallelujah!!! Love this, I LIVE this struggle everyday. You're lucky I'm in Seattle 'cause I wanna kiss ya on the mouth for writing this. LOVE LOVE LOVE

  26. Such good words. Dang idols always getting in the way. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  27. do you know how much these words help other mommas? like wow.
    you are delivering the gospel in a way that makes me can't get enough.

    lately, the only time i think about the israelites is when my little dude is watching a veggie tales dvd...
    i forget [shame on me] that there is so much purpose to the old testament, and the new testament is not only where it's at!

    oh taste and see that the lord is GOOD!!!!

    thank you thank you, this post was beautiful.

    my little roman would much rather choose to play in the corner by himself than in the middle of any group of children [which is SO unlike my outgoing self] it's taking me a while, to embrace his uniqueness, and even longer to love and rejoice that the Lord made him far better than i could have ever even tried.....ahhh psalm 139, he knows are heart and our anxious thoughts.

    ...give me water from your well Lord, that never runs dry, and i will thirst no more.
    [thank you jami, for being my well today]

  28. Thank you south for writing this amazing, transparent post jami. Lila and my son, Hudson, are so much alike. And I guess you and I are as well. I keep pushing and pushing for him to do "normal" developmental things. Talking, Playing with other children.... Whatev. But I have to constantly remind myself god is in control. Do I think god can heal Hudson??? Absolutely! But I have to hold onto his promises instead of fear. Thank god that he is the way he is.

  29. Ok so this is my second time to comment... My first one messed up because im a dork sooooooo here's the new one. :-D

    Thanks so much for writing this genuine and transparent post jami. I often feel so judged by other parents.... Or is it all in my head and the devil is trying to steal my joy? Hudson (my son) and Lila sound so much alike. And so do we. I know how hard it it to not be in control of our babies development. When they don't talk like they should .... Or play like they should..... "normal". I have grown to hate that word. And I am so guilty of pushing it. Pushing god. Instead of me waiting on him. Do I think god can heal Hudson? Absolutely. He already has. But I need to give in. He doesn't want me to have fear. Praise Jesus that he is in control and has a HUGE, awesome plan for Hudson and sweet little Lila!

  30. look at the amazing opportunity God has given you to bring Him so much glory through raising your kids. He gives beauty for ashes, in every situation. In this, you can encourage all of us moms to keep pressing on, and to put ALL of our hope in Jesus. AMEN! I am praying for you, Jami.
    Jer 29:11-13

  31. my heart sounds like yours, too. there's such sweet Grace in our common depravity. thanks for always saying important Truth in the best of ways.

  32. I know. Every second of every day I feel all of those things and ask for forgiveness and help for the next second. It is disappointment and sadness every day. But, if you listen closely enough, it is also joy and thankfulness too. Thanks for being brave and writing this. You always make me less afraid to scare people on my blog :)

  33. Oh man Jamie. You really hit the nail on the head with this post. I have a "Lyla child" that brings out all my weaknesses as a Mom. All my short comings are magnified in my parenting of him. I will re-read this post when I get discouraged and I will look to God to remove the idols of control that I have as well. Thank you so much for this beautiful reminder that we don't write our story...God does!

  34. this was so good. and spoke to me, like, whoa. you have such a way w words. makes the bible so understandable. & simple. thank you! i need to search my heart for those idols as well. kids teach us SO much, eh? it baffles me.

  35. Every time you post about your gorgeous little Lila, it strikes a deep chord with me. I so know the thought, "my child has no friends". And the crippling, crushing anxiety about the future. And the overwhelming desire to re-make him as I think he should be.

    Thank you for just sharing honestly about this. It's something I have not yet been brave enough to blog about directly. But it blesses my soul to know I am not alone, that other mothers go through this--all though it grieves my soul that any child, yours or mine or anyone's, has to go through it.

    And thank you, too, for being honest about what you believe is true in all of this. I have to admit that after a lifetime of following Jesus, I am having a really hard time seeing God's goodness or believing that I will someday see it. It helps to know that other people facing great pain still trust God.

    So thanks, and I'm praying for your precious girl.

  36. This post alone, and admitting all the realizations you are having of yourself, are glorifying God. You are glorifying God in sharing your story...all your stories...with those who may be going through [or may go through in the future] a similar situation. For those who can't see the light in a dim situation, you are showing that there is a way to find it. May God bless you and your sweet little girl.

  37. God chose YOU to be her mother. that's perfect. she's perfect. your words always manage to strike a chord in me at the right time. always.

  38. your words encourage and preach and love somehow all at the same time. thank you. lila is such beauty.

  39. Thanks for another Lila post. I love-love-love this little girl, but often think of you and wonder how you're doing in regards to Lila. Thanks for your transparency once AGAIN.

  40. to God be the glory forever and ever and ever and ever, amen.

    Thanks, God, for speaking through Jami. I like it when you do that.

  41. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for the reminder to Let go and Let God.

  42. Found myself thinking about this post all day yesterday. Your words were totally ringing in my head, reminding me constantly to remember to let God have control and to quit trying to fill voids in life with anything but Him. Thank you!

  43. I get it. This is my daily battle too. With two boys on the autism spectrum, there are definitely days when I want to grab control back from the Father and *make* things happen. Like when my kid is put in the hospital on a 5150 (danger to himself or others) and I can do nothing but pray and fret and plan. But then God tells me to stop planning and let him lead and I want to yell " Yeah? I let you lead and now my kid's in the hospital!" and then, oh-so-gently he says "Yes, he's in the hospital. He's sick." and Boom, I'm back in my rightful place.
    I'm praying for you and Lila right along with me and my guys. You are doing an excellent job seeking his face and being transparent. I admire you! Love you, sister.

  44. Btw, shared this on Facebook!

  45. So good, Jamie. My oldest boy is like your Lila. He's 5 and just started making sense when he talks in the last year or so, though he still lapses into gibberish when he gets excited or nervous. I'll never forget the V-day party this year and the other little boys saying he acted like he was really 3 years and was "weird". It's a ache to give to God and yes, acknowledge He does all things well and makes all things to His glory. Thanks for these reminders.

  46. So good! Thank you.My daughter has special needs and I caught myself explaining to the Macy's sales lady today, that she has "low tone" and that is why she slumps in the stroller. To which the lady responded- She's perfect! I forget that even when things don't seem perfect to me that God knew exactly what he was doing when he made her and she is his perfect creation.

  47. Um, we need to talk about you sneaking peeks at my journal. Rude.

    But really, this spoke right to my heart. I've been amazing myself lately as I realized that I'm basically in the same struggle spot with some things that I have been in for yearrrrrs. Shame. And the answer really is simple, but my stubbornness is always so strong.

    Daily sanctification, its no walk in the park.

  48. thanks for this encouragement! so well written, convicting yet a graceful merciful reminder of his great love toward us.

  49. I'm telling ya, my world changed when I opened myself up to choosing to adopt a child that wasn't "perfect." Living with a child I can't "fix" and watching her overcome INCREDIBLE obstacles has made me realize how petty my attitude and ideals about life has been.

    Basically, what I am saying is that we could get together and have coffee. ;) I can't say enough how I absolutely feel ya. Thankful God is exposing my approval addiction. My lil' Lily is now my inspiration. But real life is hard forrealz.

  50. I so appreciate your post. My son is 3 and has struggled with speech and being overly aggressive in play. I've gotten so defensive when other children don't want to play with him because they can't understand him and/or he's whacked them in the head one too many times. He runs blissfully off to play by himself.
    It can be so difficult and I've gone back and forth on the path of isolating him until he's 'fixed' (by me).
    But then there are those sweet glimpses of sweet success. Those times when some blessed child comes and plays with him, loves on him and enjoys being his little buddy. I think those are but sustaining gifts from the Lord. Reminders to trust Him. To allow Him to work how He wills.
    Thank you for sharing your journey and how the Lord is speaking to your heart.

  51. This was so beautiful, and a wonderful reminder. Thank you.
    Look at how much your family has overcome! He has His hand over you.

  52. oh lady, you kill me with this. I cry, because I know that idol too. Too well. My middle son has a terrible time reading, waaaaay behind. And all I want for him is to not have to struggle so much. For normal. And God keeps saying to me, this is how He made Eli, and it is for His purposes and plans that my tiny little brain can't even begin to fathom...that my wishing for normal would be so much less than what He has planned...and yet my heart wanders right back to yearning for "normal."
    Thanks for writing from your gut.

  53. Such a great post Jami. Your words are very right on and you have a gift!

  54. Great post jami. The way you write is so relavent. You have a gift!

  55. I feel like every single time I read your posts God speaks to me. I don't know you but I appreciate you and your outpouring in each post. I can't even express how much I respect you.

    And i feel compelled to tell you too that it's ok she is different. My sister spent much of her life feeling and being unique too... And her best friends are now in her own family - my mother, my brother and myself. She sees the world different than we do and that has made her both genius and magnetic!

  56. Thank you for sharing in such an honest, raw way. This parenting thing is hard, huh? I love that you express what so many can relate to, but so few admit. The Lord is using you to encourage and exhort me (and I'm sure lots of others) to TRUST Him, depend on Him, live in His grace, and in turn, offer that same grace to my children. And your kids can play with my kids anytime. :)

  57. Thank you for sharing in such an honest, raw way. This parenting thing is hard, huh? I love that you express what so many can relate to, but so few admit. The Lord is using you to encourage and exhort me (and I'm sure lots of others) to TRUST Him, depend on Him, live in His grace, and in turn, offer that same grace to my children. And your kids can play with my kids anytime. :)

  58. i haven't read yours or any other blogs for a while and yours is killing me today. still typing through my tears after this one. i have felt this at the pool time and again when shelby can't wear her glasses and her eye crosses. now, she is 9 and confident and it doesn't even bother her, so it doesn't bother me...but, when she's a teen, it might rear its ugly head again. oh, a momma's heart. so tender for our kids yet so selfish for approval. i get you.

  59. Jami,
    I randomly came across your blog this morning, and even more randomly across this post. Ummm... convicting? Just a little (lot). Humbling? Whoa. Encouraging? Oh my goodness... I don't have children, but control is my idol. I work in a very fast-paced, stressful environment where control is golden. I thrive on it in my work life. You can imagine what that does to my walk with Jesus. But praise Him for honest people like you. And praise Him for these loving, gentle reminders of how He wants to change my heart. How deep the Father's love that He does not chastise us harshly, but takes every opportunity to lovingly remind us of His goodness. Thank you so much for your post.
    Also, I think we have a lot in common... I hate math, and I'm pretty sure Layne could out-add me. I exaggerate a lot (every sentence, practically). And my husband is a terrible... really, terrible... driver.
    Have a great day :)

  60. Jami,
    I randomly came across your blog this morning, and even more randomly across this post. Ummm... convicting? Just a little (lot). Humbling? Whoa. Encouraging? Oh my goodness... I don't have children, but control is my idol. I work in a very fast-paced, stressful environment where control is golden. I thrive on it in my work life. You can imagine what that does to my walk with Jesus. But praise Him for honest people like you. And praise Him for these loving, gentle reminders of how He wants to change my heart. How deep the Father's love that He does not chastise us harshly, but takes every opportunity to lovingly remind us of His goodness. Thank you so much for your post.
    Also, I think we have a lot in common... I hate math, and I'm pretty sure Layne could out-add me. I exaggerate a lot (every sentence, practically). And my husband is a terrible... really, terrible... driver.
    Have a great day :)


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