This Life-Saving Truth Bomb Was the Parenting Wake-Up Call I Didn’t Know I Needed

How We Live Our Days

I have had a sinking feeling for weeks now. It wasn’t any one thing that triggered it – it was more the slow progression of many things, one after the other, building over the course of days and then weeks. It finally culminated in last week’s meltdowns.

We are sliding backwards.

It happens. It has happened to us before. It has happened to other families we know. Many of you have left comments sharing that it is happening to you, right now. So I know it is not out of the question.


We were getting used to things being easier, not so intense, not so destructive, not so rigid. We began to relax, to exhale, to forget.

We also began to schedule more, take on more daily requirements, travel to see family, eat less strictly – because we were doing so well. Maybe we got a little too ambitious. Maybe we forgot a little too easily.

It was almost imperceptible at first – a minor irritation over the schedule not being just so, small noises suddenly being an issue again, staying in his room under the lycra sheets for longer stretches of time. Then, it was obvious.

We are sliding backwards.

I am fighting feelings of fear and panic…like it’s happening all over again. The stress and the chaos, the damage and the pain – the little boy I love so much feels like he is slipping away again.

I have spent a lot of time the past few weeks bouncing back and forth between total denial, general anger, and waves of depression. Because, you know, there are stages of grief, and this is grievous.

More than that, I have spent a lot of time wishing it was different. Or worse yet, thinking that it needs to be fixed, needs to get better, needs to be changed, before we can live again.

And then, I came across this quote –

“How we live our days, of course, is how we live our lives.” – Annie Dillard

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I teared up reading it, not only because I was exhausted and emotional and a little crazy, but because I knew I had not been living like it.

How we live our days, our hours, our moments – they all add up.

These moments, even the ugly ones, are all blending together to create the tapestry of our lives.

They ultimately will make up my boys’ childhoods. They ultimately will make up my motherhood.

I don’t want to wish them away. I don’t want to resent them. I don’t want to sigh and moan and groan and think that I am somehow getting a raw deal.

I don’t want my first thought to be, “I can’t do this again.” I know better. I know that playing it all out and expecting the worst never serves me or my family well. I know that the real beauty, the real grace, the real living happens only in the day to day, right now.

No matter what, this is the day that the Lord has made. I may not always understand, but I pray for the faith to trust. God has shown us over and over again that He is in our midst.

He is in our today.

Oh, for grace to trust Him more.


If an autism diagnosis is making your family’s every day more difficult to navigate, I hope you’ll take the time to check out Shawna’s book Everyday Autism. 

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Her heart is to help mommas who need someone to encourage them, to tell them they are not alone, to celebrate their victories however small they may seem, to acknowledge their grief,  and to assure them that there is so much joy, so much love, and so much hope ahead.

This book is a labor of love for the struggling, the overwhelmed, the terrified, the desperate, the defeated, and the shell shocked parent, new to this whole autism life.

It is an invitation to settle in, love our kids and enjoy the ride.

You can find Everyday Autism on Amazon for just $3.49, and free with your Kindle Unlimited membership.

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Shawna Wingert
Shawna Wingert is a wife to a wacky, voice actor husband, and a special needs momma to two uniquely challenged little boys. Passionately real, she takes an honest look at the messy and the painful, the sweet and the laughable, and how Jesus is in the midst of it all. You can find Shawna at her blog, Not the Former Things, and on Facebook.