eggs in a basket

I think we ought to consider the 'new year' for Ryan to begin the day after the XXYY Symposium each year. Because it's with the same zip and zeal that many of us face January 1st, that Ryan lunges into August. I don't know if it has more to do with the added attention bestowed upon him for that weekend in Colorado or if it's being around other boys with XXYY that lights a fire under his rear. Either way, he returned to Kansas City with grand plans and a new hop in his step. He's decided he's going to lose his 'bowl full of jelly' that I so fondly mentionned here. He's on a new medication that curbs your appetite. I swear it's got to be more placebo effect than anything, but whateves. We'll take it. He's proudly skipping meals these days. Not that we even want him to! But we'll ride this train as long as it lasts and gladly congratulate him every time he throws off a few pounds.

I went over there yesterday and he asked me if I'd heard what happened. He always has and always will expect everyone to be privy to any event in his life. Even profoundly mundane events. Like what he ate for breakfast. But, I said no, I hadn't heard. He told me that our aunt had a gallon of sugar free ice cream (Ryan is diabetic) that she no longer wanted and sent home with him. After dinner he snuck the carton to the basement and ate. The. Whole. Thing. He said he was really feeling bad. Like, sick bad, not guilty bad. You know, he said, because that was a lot of ice cream. Yep, Ryan, that is. Anyway, he said, you know what the worst part was? I got on the scales in the morning and I'd gained five pounds from it. 

I'm no scientist but I don't know that that is entirely possible. Oh, Ryan. Always a flare for drama.

Another resolution Ryan has made in addition to losing weight is to give a more noble attempt at cleaning his room. He's decided that he'll make my parents take away his new pair of shoes if he hasn't cleaned his room. He explained the whole thing to me yesterday afternoon:

<<You see, if I want to wear, like say, the John Brewer shoes, mom and dad are just going to say, Nope. You know the deal, Ryan. Not until your room is cleaned. And Dad will put them in his closet and I'll go down and clean it up. You know, because I'll want to wear them. And then I'll go back up and tell them it's done and they'll let me wear them out to dinner and other stuff. Don't you think that's a good idea?>>

I can already see his temper flying the minute my parents ever try to implement this new plan of his. Oh, boy. And the 'John Brewer shoes' are referring to a pair of John's loafers that Ryan has been obsessing over for months and finally persuaded my dad to buy him last week. This isn't the first time that Ryan has been adamant about acquiring a pair of John's shoes. Accordingly, my dad told John that he has to pre-approve all shoe purchases in the future, considering it won't be long before he'll be buying them for his own kid. 

Anyway, on my way out of the house, I passed by this a stack of papers sitting on a little dry erase board. 

Let me explain just how great these lines are. First of all, he rarely ever writes anymore, so I always enjoy seeing his handwriting and his spelling. Secondly, I've never seen him pick up after the dog in the backyard. Ever. And finally, he has on there to ((water kiska loo)) who is the dog. I love it. Didn't you know? You don't give water to a dog. You water the dog. Get with it, kids. 

((Fix Fruit for my Fav, P.o.P.s)) What does that even mean? And ((Take griffin out for pee, walk, poop)) In that order, sir. Also, never seen him walk our dog before. Ever. And then my favorite: ((Clean up after Baby's mess when she here.))

Oh, Ryan. You got to love this kid and his londary and landrey spelling ways. 

Matthew 26:41 says that our Spirit is willing, but our flesh is so weak. That about sums up Ryan's whole agenda. But, who knows. Maybe he'll go against all odds and astound us by knocking the socks off of these chores lists. 

All I know for sure, though, is that despite ALL THE ABSOLUTE CHAOS, STRESS AND DEVASTATION that are sometimes a part of life with Ryan, he will ALWAYS make you laugh by the end of the day. And when you're pulling a year old stick of butter, banana skins and slabs of uneaten raw cookie dough from the basement crawl space with barbecue tongs because that was Ryan's long unknown hiding spot, you really do need to just laugh. You can't make this stuff up, people. 

One day, I believe, we will see Ryan in his true glory. It won't be in this broken world. It will be standing before his Heavenly Father, who in spite of our not understanding, knit Ryan together exactly as He did. And Ryan will be showing God his red leather jacket signed with Dale Earnhardt's name on it. I'm just sure of it. And there won't be anymore lists of chores to make Ryan any better of a kid. He won't need to keep striving for what he can't reach. I've given up hoping for redemption here on Earth. No magic tools or classes or gadgets that will make Ryan perfect or typical. 

And maybe if there were those things, instead of being blessed by them, I would be distracted and begin thinking that things were pretty good here on Earth and I'd stop looking toward my Heavenly Father in HEAVEN. The reality is, with this lot in life, our family has absolutely nothing here on Earth - no baskets - to put our eggs in. No government program. No special needs job. No group home. And the more we keep juggling our eggs in our own hands, the more apt we are to drop one. We, as a family, have to keep reminding ourselves to put those eggs in God's hands. I know, this egg metaphor (and this post) has gone on too long. But I'm serious. I keep looking to this world and its systems to solve Ryan. I'm looking to psychologists and Adderall to keep our family sane when this is what I need to hear:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

We need to keep begging for entry into Johnson County's special needs services so Ryan can make friends. But we can't think that that's our savior. We need to keep disciplining Ryan. But we can't think that that will fix everything. We need to help Ryan lose weight. But we can't believe that our problems will fall off with the pounds. We need to keep searching for better medicine. But we can't believe that medicine heals hearts. 

And taking my trust and my beliefs out of these things (medicine, government programming, health, behavior) will actually be satisfying. Because when they fail (and they will all fail) I won't be disappointed. Because my only hope will have only ever been in Him. 

Solomon writes in Proverbs 30:
Give me neither poverty nor riches...that I not be full and deny You and say, "Who is the Lord?" Or that I not be in want and steal; And profane the name of my God.

I'm not asking for a hard lot in life. And as much as my flesh wants to ask for an easy lot, I know that if I had it, I would forget to rely on God. So instead, Feed me with the food that is my portion. Proverbs 30:8

Brokenness is now and will continue to remain painful until Jesus comes back. But brokenness is also our catalyst for surrender to Jesus. And that is why it's good that these medicines don't heal everything. It leaves room for God in my heart. It gives me no choice but to trust Him.

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