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Waking up from my slumber, getting right up again to write and share my story...

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Life in the Spectrum


    I wrote this article for kids ages 10 and up to create awareness about their peers who are in the autism spectrum.  My objective is for them to relate to those with hidden disabilities (actually, I'd like to call it challenges instead of disabilities) with love and acceptance.  It is heartwrenching to see kids within the autism spectrum being left out with no friends in the crowd because some kids just don't understand.  The article below is specific to Asperger's Syndrome:


Spying Aspies

  Aspies?  Maybe this is the first time you heard or saw this word.  This is a pretty new word.  But “aspies” is more than a word.  They are people.  It is a term some people coined for those who have Asperger’s Syndrome.  Asperger’s Syndrome is a personality disability marked by social isolation.  This means they have some problems communicating and interacting with other people or situations in a normal way.  Boys are three to four times more likely than girls to have Asperger’s.  You may not know it, but you may be sitting next to one, or friends with some, or maybe you are one.  They are very interesting, intriguing though sometimes annoying.  Aspies leave us wondering, asking, gasping “What’s up with them?”  A lot of times they are talked about as “weird’ or “strange.” That’s why it is important to understand them because they are unique and wonderful people. 
There are a lot of signs of an aspie but I will give the most unique one.  The best clue to spy an aspie is his or her very strong interest in a single object or topic. Have you met someone who really like trains or the solar system or dinosaurs or vacuum cleaners or something else and you cannot stop them talking about it?  This person can possibly be an aspie!  Aspies want to know everything about their topic and can tell you many facts about it endlessly.  They are very good at picking up details and gather enormous amounts of information about their favorite subject.  When they talk, they are like little professors with high level of vocabulary and speech patterns.  Sometimes they can get annoying saying the same things over and over.  They talk a lot!  They can be insensitive to taking turns in a conversation.  They often dominate with their information about their topic.  Most of the conversations then become one-sided.  They can sometimes be misunderstood as rude.  But they don’t do it on purpose.  It is just how their brain works.  They often do not notice that the person they talk to has lost interest in the subject.  
Interestingly, many of the aspies have an above-average intelligence.  They are very smart and a lot of them have become experts in their field of interests.  In fact, so many successful people seem to have the diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome.  Some historians suggest that Einstein and Mozart may have both been aspies.   
Knowing these behaviors, it can help us spot around us who can be an aspie.  By scratching the surface and spying some facts about them, we can now understand why they behave the way they do.  They will continue to amaze us, to intrigue us or even annoy us at times but now we know how to deal with them, help them and accept them the way they are.   They are fearfully and wonderfully made by God's loving hands.


All rights reserved. Odette Navarro 2013.

Friday, April 5, 2013

"Bread and Wine"...Book review for Shauna Niequist's new book


It's a combination of light and heavy.  It's crunchy and crisp.  At times soft and sparkly.  Strong, honest, energetic, full of passion and yet vulnerable and broken.  Shauna Niequist's new book "Bread and Wine" created mixtures of emotions, of textures and flavors that transported me to delicious places of the world and yet anchored and centered me to one place, a table, where life and relationships are shared, munched, chewed, digested.

I love how Shauna shared snippets of her life and the inclusion of recipes at the end of each essay.  Her life experiences ignited different textures, smells, consistencies, tastes just like the combinations of the ingredients in a recipe.  "Bread and Wine" stirred up my senses and imagination urging me to rush to the kitchen and enjoy every moment of not only cooking but more importantly serving the people I love and sharing not just the food but the bits and pieces of my own heart.

"Bread and Wine" is a combination, not only of taste but it also vibrated a rhythm of crescendos and diminuendos, like fire and water, boiling, steaming, simmering,  as Shauna opens her joys and pains, of surprises and anticipations, of predictabilities and uncertainties,some of the very ingredients that create life.  Essentials.

Being our Pastor's daughter, I've seen Shauna not just through her books but as part of the family of the big church we go to.  Some stories in the book mentioned names that are familiar and knowing their stories is like sharing the sumptuous beauty of life that God intended for His family.  It was encouraging to read how their lives intersected and grew through conversations around the table, over food, over bread and wine.  The book brought me some flashbacks of my own precious moments shared over meals with family, friends, even strangers that played parts in my own story.

It always excites  me to invite people at home and like Shauna, I love conversations, sharing laughters and  tears and joys and pains,  on the table.  That's why I share the same reaction as Brene Brown, New York bestselling author in her review of the book, I couldn't put the book down.  It so happened at the time I was reading the book, I had a terrible cough for three weeks and my husband wanted me to just rest and lay on the couch while he did my usual chores.  So I had the time to really read.

Most of all, the book kindled a new fire in my heart to remember the Lord Jesus not just during the communion time in the Church but every time I am on a table.  It impassioned in me how God Himself shared His last moments on earth on the table with His disciples and how in Revelation 3:20, Jesus knocking on the door and whoever opens the door, He will come in and He will share a meal with the person just like a friend.  Wow, the table, the meal, the bread and wine indeed play a big part in God's plan.  Jesus Himself is the Bread of Life.  The wine, His blood that was shed on the cross.  "Bread and Wine" for me is an invitation to life, a life in Christ.  And that life is meant to be shared to the people God sends our way, to be loved, nurtured, fed.

It is a blessing to be reminded of the essence of the table, the tastes and flavors, the conversations, life shared, munched, chewed, digested.

Let's come to the table.



Click on this link: "Bread and Wine" or check it out at Amazon for more information.

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abOut mOi

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Flawed. Broken. Wretched sinner. Forgiven. Embraced by the grace and love of God through Jesus Christ. I'm married for fourteen years with my artist husband Val and blessed with a fascinating son Gideon who's 13 years old and we reside in Illinois, United States. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts from the Royal Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines Since then I've been in the Broadcasting industry, Marketing and Real Estate. I'm currently working in the Outreach Department of a faith-based not-for-profit Christian organization. I love journaling, gardening, reading,picnicking with my two boys in summer, enjoying nature and savoring the beauty that God made available for our consumption. But most importantly, before the sun sneaks out of the horizon, I love reading the Bible, praising and praying to the One who loves me and created me and gifted me to be more than what the eyes can see! ! I want to make sure I come up first before the rays come out and listen to what God has to say for the day! I live on purpose! Each day is a gift! Live it for Jesus!

bOoks in my list to read

  • Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
  • the me i want to be by John Ortberg
  • Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

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