Raising an Autistic Child

I’m currently updating my first published book, an autobiography as a mother with an autistic child. My son, Benjamin, was non-verbal as a small child and was later identified as having High-Functioning Autism. He is now a published author and speaks at churches and schools about his experience growing up with autism. You can still get a copy of the first edition but some of the links in the resources are outdated. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction of the book.

Where do you go to, My Sunshine? 

“You have the most beautiful blue eyes, my handsome baby boy. Why can’t I see you behind them? Where do you go when your eyes wander away from me?

I hold you in my arms and stroke your tiny face, run my fingers through the yellow strands falling across your brow and I search for a glimpse of soul connection, but you are nowhere to be found.

If I let go of your small hand you’ll run away or you’ll walk in an endless straight line and not care where you’re going. You won’t see the people on the path in front of you or the tree that blocks your way. You won’t run excited to play with the other children on the swings because they’re not there in your world.

We walk by the lake. I point at the birds, gracefully gliding, skimming over the lapping waves. A young puppy barks and, for an instant, I see a puzzled frown on your tiny forehead, then it’s gone.

I show you the delicate, colourful blue petals of the Forget-Me-Not and we stop for a while to listen to the rustling of the birch. But you walk where I walk and stop when I stop only because I hold on tightly to your little fingers so you don’t slide down the bank and disappear. You have no response to these wonders around you.

I tell you how God made all these things. How He loves you and created you as part of His masterpiece too. How you have a purpose in this life and how I’ll do my best as your Mummy to help you find that purpose He has planned for you. But you don’t seem to hear a word. You just stare into the distance.

We walk back on the path and I sing to you “Forever Young.” You don’t sing along or dance in circles around me giggling. But oh how I love you my Sunshine.

Where do you go to, my sweet baby boy, when your eyes wander away from me and you’re lost in your autistic world.”

 

The first edition is available from Amazon at a super discounted price:

Raising Benjamin Frog – A Mother’s Journey with her Autistic Son

Get updates on the second edition and other work 

 

For a closer look at autism from Benjamin’s perspective and to see what he’s up to now, visit his blog   benjaminfrog.wordpress.com

https://benjaminfrog.wordpress.com/about/
Benjamin T. Collier/Author & Speaker

Til next time, know you are loved by the One who made you in His image.

Lynne

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‘Reset’ A Book by Brett Ullman

A few years ago I wrote a personal story in Brett Ullman’s book, Reset. I’d like to share that story with you as I look forward to the new focus of my blog. All the stories in this book are about personal struggles and how the writers moved forward with a new perspective. Brett includes his own story of a dark time in his life.

You can follow Brett’s blog about his work with teens and their families and receive the book for free, or go to Amazon to purchase it:

http://amzn.to/2qazvtz

“Brett Ullman travels North America speaking to teens, young adults, leaders and parents on topics including sexuality, mental health, men, dating and media. Brett’s seminars engage and challenge attendees to try and connect our ancient faith with the modern culture we live in. Participants are inspired to reflect on what we know, what we believe and how our faith ought to serve as the lens through which we view and engage tough conversations in our society today.” – Brett’s blog.

Till Next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

(note: I’m an Amazon affiliate and receive a small fee for using their images when I promote someone’s work.)

Redefining My Life || A Closer Walk With God

A Closer Walk With God

WriteCanada Conference 2016
WriteCanada Conference 2016 with one of my clients, Melanie.

Part Three

In my first blog about my transition from blogging about writing, I wrote about Discovering My Kingdom Purpose and how I discovered my Kingdom Purpose. In my second blog I wrote about how God created all of us with a Unique Design. So in this third and final blog in this series of my transition, I’d like to show you how God put both of those together to shape a wonderful future for me.

 

My Ministry at Church and in the Community

I no longer try to serve at church or in the community in a position I’m not gifted for nor have the natural talents to carry out. Having said that, if there is ever a time when no one else with the gifting or ability to do a certain task is available, I will do my best to muddle through because ‘Helps’ is one of my stronger gifts. But it will, most likely, be a muddle. I volunteered to serve in the kitchen once – and only once!

Coaching and hosting workshops is my ministry in the church as a life coach (my gift of encouragement) and workshop host on various subjects I’ve learned through the years. This utilizes my personal experiences to help others go through similar times in their own lives.

At my church, I started the SHAPE ministry using Erik Rees’ videos and study guide. I enjoyed this immensely, though I was not expecting to be the team lead and I don’t have the gift of leadership. But other leaders and helpers I worked alongside were wonderful and because of their patience with me we managed to work well as a team. I was overjoyed to see many participants realize God’s purpose for their lives too. The coach in me was thrilled to hear someone say she realized God had been calling her to the worship team.

I don’t like being a leader, (did you get that impression?) and I don’t like public speaking, but I know God wants me to share what I experienced with others so they may experience the same joy I have been blessed to experience. So I’ve led workshops at women’s retreats and women’s groups such as MOPS where I can sit on a stool, and it’s ok to speak from notes. I like to have the participants interact and have fun, and it saves them from listening to me ramble for an hour. God opened these doors for me to share and I’m happy to do that rather than be the keynote speaker.

 

My Service Through Business

White Rose Writers is a website for writers and authors, and writing service providers to connect with others in the business. I started the website to help authors promote their work, and we now have talented artists, editors, social media experts and more, who use their natural talents to help authors publish their work. Starting this was my service to God’s Kingdom here on Earth through helping writers.

 

My Long Term Assignments:

– Christian Life Coaching

Coaching in an office was good training but turned out to be only a temporary assignment for me. I had offices in two locations, but God closed those doors after only 10 months. He had a broader clientele for me.

Now I coach here on my LynneCollier.com and through White Rose Writers, and occasionally host workshops through business and church venues.

 

– Author  

I write about what I have a passion for; my Lord, my simple life in the country, my coaching. This is my second (actually more like fourth or fifth) career later in life, and it was a bit of a struggle at first to accept that this is what God is asking me to do now. I never saw myself as an author. But now I write novels of fantasy and fiction, and online courses to help authors tell their stories well. I can’t imagine not writing now. I get very cranky if I have to go a day without writing something. I would never have guessed.

 

I wonder what God has in store for me next. Do you know how God has designed you? 

When I forget:  1 Peter 2:9 “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.”  – NIV

 

Till next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

Resources

White Rose Writers website

My Writing Courses on Teachable

My Author Workbook on Etsy (co-authored with Kirstie Shanks)

S.H.A.P.E by Erik Rees

Redefining What I Do || Lord, What Do You Want Of Me?

Part Two–

Me on the back deck reading a gardening book
What I Do – When I Can

My Unique Design

In the books I read and the classes I took at church, I came to realize I’m God’s unique design; a one-of-a-kind human being created in His image for a specific purpose at this moment in time. It’s no accident I’m here right now, writing these words, and knowing that makes a world of difference to how I live my life. God made me with specific intent – and you too! If you’ll bear with me for a while I’ll bring it full-circle.

So here’s who Lynne is in a nutshell, from my studies:

 

My Top 3 Spiritual Gifts

  • Faith
  • Encouragement
  • Service/Helps

I have 4 supportive Gifts which aid me in using my top 3, according to most on-line tests which are an indication and not an absolute, and which we all need to try out to see if we agree and if others see these Gifts in our lives too.

 

My Passion

To help people who are searching for identity and purpose, who may have lost direction or feel disheartened and hopeless.

 

My Natural Abilities

Here are my 5 strongest abilities:

  • Encouraging
  • Writing
  • Networking
  • Counselling
  • Creating

I’d like to list them all but I don’t want to brag 😉

 

My Personality

INFP  – with a quirky twist, I’ve been told

  • Introvert
  • Intuitive
  • Feeler
  • Perceiver

 

My Personal Experience

  • Christian Writer
  • Lay Pastoral Counsellor
  • Workshop Leader
  • Kingdom Purpose Coach
  • Mentor
  • Helper in church ministries, community events and in public schools

I’ve listed only a few things here, but there’s a reason for that …

 

How I Discovered God Had Been With Me All Along

As part of my Kingdom Purpose Coaching, I help my clients bring all their attributes together to discover how individual they are and what they can do for God’s Kingdom by His unique design for them. I do this by asking them to take note of the repetitions in each category. Here’s what I learned about my own Kingdom Purpose:

‘To help others see the hope in Christ; encourage them to discover their purpose for God’s Kingdom on Earth, and equip them for their assignment’.

Do you see the repetitions?

So with that in mind, how did I apply it to my life moving forward? I’ll blog about that in Part 3.

 

Till next time, know you are loved by the One who created you in His image.

Lynne

Resources:

S.H.A.P.E by Eric Rees

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

Redefining Who I Am || My Backstory

Part One – My Backstory

LynneCollier.com
Lynne Collier – Author & Kingdom Purpose Coach

 

Discovering My Kingdom Purpose

I now know about God’s purpose for my life, but in early adulthood, I attended a church which didn’t speak much about the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives. The congregation was taught the laws and rules of ‘being a good Christian’ and entrance into heaven, it seemed, was by doing more good deeds than bad ones so the scales ‘tipped in our favour’. The atmosphere was one of perfection and judgement. I often thought God must be very disappointed with me and I felt that I let Him down constantly. The overwhelming feeling of falling short of God’s grace led me to fall away from the church and it was several years before I felt strong enough to try another church. Maybe you’ve experienced this too.

So I sought the Lord and He heard me. I was invited to a church for a dedication of a newborn, a baby born to friends of the family, so I happily attended. The difference between my previous church and this one was like night and day and I was drawn to follow Christ again. This new church spoke about the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Trinity works together. They also had classes I could take during the week to study my faith more and find a deeper relationship with my Lord.

It was at one of these classes I learned about Spiritual Gifts and I was astonished to hear I had been given special Gifts by God and didn’t know it! I took every class I could to learn about God and spoke often with believers who had been involved with the church for many years. Through their guidance and mentorship, I gradually realized the unique way God has designed me for a specific purpose. I’m not just here to live then die and hope the in-between is good enough to get me into Heaven. I’m here for a reason! We all are. God has a royal assignment for me and every believer. Yes, royal; He is the King of Kings and we are His children, princes and princesses in the Kingdom of God on Earth. How cool!

I learned to realize my Kingdom Purpose by studying about my Spiritual Gifts and how God, my Heavenly Father, has also given me a heart passion for his work for me, a personality that works well with what I need to do, natural abilities which help me to carry out specific tasks, and life experiences to help me grow in my faith and calling. These are all in a book I studied at church, called S.H.A.P.E by Erik Rees. This book has played a major role in every aspect of my life, as you’ll come to know if you follow my blog. Another great book to study is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

I tried to fit everything I could into one blog, but there are so many areas of my life I had to work on to find my Kingdom Purpose I’ve decided to blog about each aspect separately, so you don’t need to read a ten-page blog.  I hope you’ll join me as I share with you how God brought clarity and purpose to my life.

Till next time, I hope you are blessed.

Lynne

 

Resources:

Spiritual Gifts Test

S.H.A.P.E by Erik Rees

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

Switching Focus

My next blog was going to be about compiling a playlist to inspire you as you write your fantasy novel. Instead, I’m letting you, my fellow bloggers, know I’m switching my focus on this site. I’ll let you know how you can still read the playlist post later.

Switching Focus
New Path

#WritingFantasy  Will Carry On

I’ve completed the series of posts I wanted to share with you about Writing Fantasy and the steps I’ve taken on my own journey writing my first fantasy novel. I’m very excited to start the actual writing process this November for my second NaNoWriMo! If you’ve followed my posts over the past few months I hope you’ll join me in November as we fire out 50,000 words together.

My Outline, Setting, Characters, World Building and Premise are all going to be relocated to another blog I write on, White Rose Writers.

So What’s My New Focus? #AmWriting

As most of you know from reading my profile, as well as being a writing coach I’m also a Christian Life Coach and Certified Lay Pastoral Counselor with many years experience coaching and encouraging believers in their walk with God. This will be my main focus on this blog going forward.

I’ll be blogging about Your Sacred Path, Finding Your Life Purpose, Hearing God’s Voice, Choosing Careers and possibly sharing a few gardening tips along the way. I love to network so I’ll be giving you links whenever I can for you to explore further.

My newsletter will be about the books and courses I’ll be writing, plus I’ll let you know when I’m launching something new, and I’ll have giveaways and social media events exclusively for my blog readers. If you choose to continue following me here that would be lovely, if however, you’re interested in continuing to follow my posts on writing, head over to White Rose Writers and follow my posts there, along with branding and marketing tips from my social media partner, Kirstie Shanks.

Thank you for taking time out from your busy life to read and comment.

Till next time here, or at White Rose Writers, I hope you are blessed.

Lynne

Your Spiritual Gifts from God

Before you begin your Spiritual Gifts evaluation, you’ll need to understand what Spiritual Gifts are, and are not. These passages from scripture will help you see how wonderful our Heavenly Father is, that He would give all His children such special Gifts!

Romans 12:6-8

1 Corinthians 12:8-10

1 Corinthians 12:28

Ephesians 4:11

1 Peter 4:9-10

As you willingly accept your Gifts from God, ask Him to reveal to you how He wants to use them to accomplish the special assignments He has for you to fulfil your purpose for His Kingdom on Earth.

This evaluation will take approximately twenty minutes.

 

Let’s begin to unwrap your Gifts

Spiritual Gifts Test with Lynne Collier

How much do you agree with each statement? Be totally honest as you are right now, not as you want to be. God can use you right now for His Kingdom, so start where you are right now in your life – warts and all! Hold on to the person you want to be – that person will emerge as you seek God with all your heart and trust His leadership. You may see other Gifts unwrap as you grow in your faith. Put your answer beside each statement. And don’t be shy – if you know you fit the statement – say it with confidence in the realization that it’s not anything you’ve done, but what God has done through you. Give Him all the glory!

Score as 0 = Not at all. 1 = Sometimes. 2 = Often. 3 = Usually. 4 = Almost always.

__ Q1. I effectively organize people and projects to reach goals in ministry and work.
__ Q2. I have specific plans for reaching defined goals.
__ Q3. I easily delegate tasks in order to make things run more smoothly.
__ Q4. I seek out opportunities to make decisions.
__ Q5. I understand what must be done to accomplish a goal.

__ Q6. I feel driven to start new projects for God.
__ Q7. I enjoy new challenges and taking risks.
__ Q8. I enjoy making a difference in other people’s lives.
__ Q9. I would like to work as Christ’s ambassador on earth.
__ Q10. I am willing to work hard to see churches reach their full potential.

__ Q11. I can usually tell right away what a person’s character and abilities are.
__ Q12. I usually know if something is from God, Satan or Man.
__ Q13. I recognize inconsistencies in people.
__ Q14. I realize people’s true motives for doing something.
__ Q15. I perceive when something is twisted in communication.

__ Q16. I am driven to impact other people’s lives for Christ.
__ Q17. I rejoice with people who have put their trust in the Lord in difficult times.
__ Q18. I seek out opportunities to help people reach their full potential for Christ.
__ Q19. I like to be able to inspire people and encourage them.
__ Q20. I rejoice at other people’s success.

__ Q21. I seek out opportunities to bridge the gap between myself and people not of my faith.
__ Q22. I sense when a person is open to the message of salvation.
__ Q23. I have helped many people come to faith in Christ.
__ Q24. I believe love, not logic, wins people to Christ.
__ Q25. I’m deeply burdened for those who don’t know Christ.

__ Q26. I welcome taking risks for God.
__ Q27. I get excited by overcoming obstacles through faith.
__ Q28. I readily accept a challenge that seems like a ‘mission impossible.’
__ Q29. I have a passionate prayer life.
__ Q30. I have a great sense that God is in control of all things.

__ Q31. I eagerly give more than the ten percent tithe in my offering.
__ Q32. I usually give anonymously when I can.
__ Q33. I look for ways I can increase my income in order to give more to the church.
__ Q34. I see my resources as belonging to God so I give beyond what is asked of me.
__ Q35. I know everything belongs to God and I am a steward of His bounty.

__ Q36. I firmly believe that people can be healed supernaturally.
__ Q37. I pray specifically to be used by God to heal people.
__ Q38. I believe healing occurs only by God’s will.
__ Q39. I view medical science as a means God sometimes uses to heal people.
__ Q40. I give God all the glory when He uses me to bring healing to someone.

__ Q41. I like to serve behind the scenes.
__ Q42. I rejoice in the success of others.
__ Q43. I like attention to detail.
__ Q44. I seek out ways to assist others in their tasks.
__ Q45. I don’t need recognition for the work I do.

__ Q46. I’m known for making people feel welcome and comfortable.
__ Q47. I seek out people who are alone in a crowd.
__ Q48. I have a strong desire to make people feel loved and accepted.
__ Q49. I see my home as belonging to God and I welcome visitors in His name.
__ Q50. I try to promote fellowship in believers when I can.

__ Q51. I have a clear understanding of what the speaker is saying, even if the language is unknown to me.
__ Q52. I can translate messages in a way that edifies and exhorts believers.
__ Q53. I am able to convey the meaning of words spoken by other believers to glorify God.
__ Q54. I am able to interpret messages given by someone speaking in a language unknown to the audience.
__ Q55. I am eager to interpret when someone starts speaking in an unknown language.

__ Q56. I devote much of my time to reading scripture.
__ Q57. I love to share biblical insights.
__ Q58. I love to help others understand God’s Word.
__ Q59. I feel strong benefits from studying the Bible.
__ Q60. I delight in answering difficult questions about scripture to glorify God.

__ Q61. I motivate others to work towards accomplishing visions for the future of the church.
__ Q62. I am naturally drawn into leadership roles.
__ Q63. I find it easy to inspire people to work together for the benefit of God’s kingdom.
__ Q64. I easily see the vision for the church.
__ Q65. I am happy to release responsibility to others who are qualified.

__ Q66. I am drawn to meeting the practical needs of others.
__ Q67. I devote much prayer time for the sake of others.
__ Q68. I grieve with those who grieve.
__ Q69. I generally place the needs of others above my own needs.
__ Q70. I feel fulfilled when I visit the sick, homeless, orphans or those in nursing homes.

__ Q71. I recognize prayer as a supernatural way God acts in the lives of people.
__ Q72. I give credit to God alone for supernatural works.
__ Q73. I fully understand it is by God’s will only that miracles happen.
__ Q74. I believe I am an instrument for God’s work on Earth.
__ Q75. When I encounter an impossible situation, I pray and look to God for His will.

__ Q76. I feel driven to help others reach their full potential in Christ.
__ Q77. I look for opportunities to serve others.
__ Q78. I enjoy developing a trusting relationship with a small group of people.
__ Q79. I am happy to give my time to help people with their spiritual needs.
__ Q80. I believe people take precedence over projects.

__ Q81. I am known for communicating God’s Word.
__ Q82. I enjoy sharing my strong biblical convictions with others.
__ Q83. I view myself as an instrument to be used by the Holy Spirit to change lives.
__ Q84. I find it easy to confront others’ motives if they don’t live up to biblical standards.
__ Q85. I frequently receive and share messages from God which comfort and challenge His people.

__ Q86. I spend many hours studying scripture in order to apply the truth.
__ Q87. I enjoy explaining God’s Word to others.
__ Q88. I seek out opportunities to speak biblical truth and principles into situations.
__ Q89. I enjoy helping people learn to study scripture.
__ Q90. I believe God’s Word can be effectively taught by several means.

__ Q91. I believe God prompts me to convey His messages through a language I don’t know.
__ Q92. I often pray for others in utterances using an unknown language.
__ Q93. I desire opportunities to pray for the church in an unknown language which I believe glorifies God.
__ Q94. I share words and messages given to me by God, using an unknown language.
__ Q95. I often comfort or encourage others using an unknown language inspired by God.

__ Q96. I enjoy speaking biblical insights into life situations.
__ Q97. I am often sought out by others for advice or wisdom.
__ Q98. I take great pleasure in counselling others.
__ Q99. I am known for making correct decisions and judgements.
__ Q100. I recognize God as the primary source of all wisdom.

Now tally your results:

Qs 1-5 =
Qs 6-10 =
Qs 11-15 =
Qs 16-20 =
Qs 21-25 =
Qs 26-30 =
Qs 31-35 =
Qs 36-40 =
Qs 41-45 =
Qs 46-50 =
Qs 51-55 =
Qs 56-60 =
Qs 61-65 =
Qs 66-70 =
Qs 71-75 =
Qs 76-80 =
Qs 81-85 =
Qs 86-90 =
Qs 91-95 =
Qs 96-100 =

Now record your highest marks and discover which Gifts God may have blessed you with.

Record your highest three scores. Your supportive scores are listed as your fourth, fifth and sixth.

If you score the same on more than one Gift, write them on the same line then go to the next score.

Qs 1-5: means you likely have the Spiritual Gift of Administration, and so on;
Qs 6-10 Apostleship
Qs 11-15 Discernment
Qs 16-20 Encouragement
Qs 21-25 Evangelism
Qs 26-30 Faith
Qs 31-35 Giving
Qs 36-40 Healing
Qs 41-45 Helping
Qs 46-50 Hospitality
Qs 51-55 Interpretation
Qs 56-60 Knowledge
Qs 61-65 Leadership
Qs 66-70 Mercy
Qs 71-75 Miracles
Qs 76-80 Pastoring
Qs 81-85 Prophecy
Qs 86-90 Teaching
Qs 91-95 Tongues
Qs 96-100 Wisdom

My Highest Gifts Are:

_______________________________

_______________________________

_______________________________

My Supportive Gifts Are:

_______________________________

_______________________________

_______________________________

Definitions of Spiritual Gifts

Administration is the Gift which serves and strengthens the body of Christ by effectively organizing resources and people in order to efficiently reach ministry goals.

Apostleship is the Gift which God uses to launch and lead new ministries to expand His kingdom.

Discernment recognizes truth or error within a message, person or event.

Encouragement helps others to live a godly life through inspiration, counselling, and empowerment.

Evangelism is the Gift that enables believers who are blessed to share the love of Christ in a way which draws people to accept the gift of salvation.

Faith helps those who have this Gift to see God’s purposes accomplished; trusting God to overcome all obstacles.

Giving encourages people to joyfully offer more than the usual tithe to further God’s kingdom.

Healing restores health beyond traditional and natural means, to those who are sick and suffering.

Helping offers assistance to others in reaching their goals that glorify God, without thought for the helper’s own gratification.

Hospitality provides others with a welcoming environment for fellowship and comfort.

Interpretation is the Gift which understands a message from God spoken in a language unknown to them or others in attendance.

Knowledge is the ability to communicate God’s truth to others for the purpose of promoting justice, honesty, and understanding.

Leadership is given to believers to relay visions of God’s will for spiritual growth and achieving specific goals.

Mercy is the ability to minister to those who suffer physically, emotionally, spiritually, or relationally. Their acts are characterized by their love, compassion, and kindness.

Miracles are supernatural acts that bring validity to God and His power.

Pastoring is having responsibility for a group of believers to equip them in Christ-centered living.

Prophecy offers messages from God that comfort, encourage, warn, and reveal truths that lead to repentance and spiritual growth.

Teaching is imparting sound doctrine in relevant ways, empowering people to grow in their faith.

Tongues communicate God’s message in a special language unknown to the speaker.

Wisdom is making wise decisions and counselling others with sound advice in accordance with God’s will.

Now you have an idea of the Spiritual Gifts God may have given you. Pray for His will and guidance to use your Gifts for His glory, and to serve others as you minister to them in the love that flows from Christ.

Lynne