Breakthrough 💨👍🏻🙏💡💡

So the hurricane blew through and dropped a massive amount of rain which flooded much of the East and southeast of NC. We are still in damage control with more than 300 roads still out of service and many still without power, homes and basics of life. We are fortunate that Baptist Men and Women’s disaster relief is here from several states serving food, doing muck outs where possible and providing prayers. Anyone can donate to this organization and 100% of the donations goes to help the people – no administrative cost deducted.

So with all that going on and the youngest is still making steps forward. He has become sort of an administrative assistant to the jobs counselor at the vocational rehab place. He has sort of created this job for himself and he works at it. This week he was excited because as he texted me “I found jobs for 2 people this week” yes son that is a good thing to help others. On Wednesday he met with his peer counselor, talked about riding the bus, and then later that day actually got on a bus rode it into town and back home. I was stunned, pleasantly stunned but stunned all the same. He rode the bus with a friend not the peer counselor. He admitted that some of the ride was “kinda hard” but mostly was not as bad as he thought it might be. And just like that another wall, barrier has crumbled a little bit. Not a Jericho walls come down but a definite cracking and crumbling and this is what we at our house call a working miracle.

so my prayer today is for the walls and barriers to continue to crumble, for the set backs to be smaller and smaller for the negative self-talk to be replaced by loving koneness self-talk. I will be ever thankful that the Lord remains in, over and through all things. That He is ever present, ever patient, ever faithful even when I am not. For the people who have been devastated by this hurricane to know His presence , for us to be His hands and feet as we can to the best of our abilities thanks be to the Lord AMEN

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Aftermath flooding

F5757EE8-ACC0-48F2-8B69-FA2FD5331F27This is NOT my house, I am fortunate. But this house and many others located inland 200 + miles from the coast are flooded. The rains came and came and came. Places that were dry for decades are now knee deep or more in muddy,stinky, insect infested waters. We here in NC are bracing for a long, long clean up. Helping those in our own county as well as those in distant places that have been devastated by floods, many without flood insurance which is onerous, and expensive. We are humbled by the workers who have come from at least 28 other states to help with water rescue and power outages. We thank them all for their dedication.

The youngest went back to the vocational rehab and has been back to his job. He is still practicing his bus stop acclamation but is still scared and having a difficult time, but at least he tries. Even this small step of trying is a step in the right direction.

So my prayer for today is for the linemen, with water rescue people, the post flood muck out people, for the disaster teams that are now feeding and praying and sustaining many in those areas . (If you feel led to give check out Baptist Men And Women Disaster relief , this is truly being the hands and feet of Christ) . Thankful for the fact that God can sustain, will sustain, those in this time and in the recovery time, however long it is. Thankful He is in all things, over all things, and through all things.

Touch and go💦💨💨💨

Praise this morning abounds. Yes Florence hit the coast, yes there are power outages and yes there is still more to come. But I am in praise this morning because this huge storm which was once a cat 4 storm, was a cat 1 when it hit. Praise to the Sovereign Lord who controls the wind and the waves. There will be rebuilding, and renewing to be done that is a given, but our merciful Lord has reduced the catastrophic damages and we can survive a cat 1 – we have in the past and I am thankful for this little respite.

Today I will tell you a story. A couple of days ago in the midst of hurricane prep, my second daughter came home to collect some supplies we had gathered for her. The youngest was at home and there was a lot of talk about the storm. The youngest was pacing with anxiety and he just came over to my chair and patted me on my arm. I asked, “are you ok. “ and he said yes and went back to distract himself on his computer. This small touch tells me that he is seeking something. Security, comfort, reassurance. What exactly I do not know, but it also reminds me that he has a serious mental illness, and that sometimes you need touch to have the anchor, to know the anchor is still there, reality is present and that you are on solid ground. He has done this a few more times these past few days including this morning when’s in the kitchen and out of the blue stated “I don’t think I will survive “ I gave him a bear hug, reassure him that we would be ok.

So my prayer today is for safety for those in the path of this storm, gratefulthat is is not a cat4. As I listen to the winds blow, I am also assured that God remains in all things, over all things and through all things, especially through all things as we may be in this storm for 3 days, like Jonah time for reflection as we can’t or have no desire to be out. The radar shows how massive the storm is, but I remember that God is infinite and much stronger than the storm. So Lord, Sovereign Lord wrap your almighty hands around those in the direct path of this storm, help them to understand that You are present with them in this storm and You will be with them when it passes and the cleanup and rebuilding starts. You are the one true Lord of wind and the waves and thank you for Your sustaining presence AMEN

Hurricane😱💨💦

So for the last few days we have been in hurricane prep. The youngest has stated “I hate this” but in all honesty I believe he hates the edginess of the atmosphere not the hurricane. We have been through this before and he was 4 and slept through the whole thing as did the rest of my house, except me, lol I paced the whole night listening to the winds roar!

So today we will do last-minute things like a doctor’s visit, perhaps a blood draw and then we will bunker down and wait. This too is nerve-racking and make the edginess exacerbate. Right now the birds are tweeting and the sun is coming up,there are clouds which belie the danger of this huge storm.

so my prayer for today I’d for those in the extreme danger zone to have sense and evacuate. I am also thankful for those who are staged ready for the aftermath of this storm.  I heard that some of the NYPD were in NC ready for rescue and help as are Samaritan’s Purse, and Baptist Men and Women. I am grateful for the linemen who are ready to redo power lines and I am thankful for the whole house generator we had put in after the last one passed through. Thanks for all the prayers that are being said for safety and for this storm to dissipate quickly in a fashion that will show others that our Sovereign Lord is still in control and remains in all things, over all things and through all things AMEN

Bus stop🚏trials

So the youngest has a task before him and I am not sure how he will deal with it. The vocational rehab wants him to use the bus system to get to various places. This is not  an easy task taking into consideration that he is scared – more like terrified of people,  new situations, and different situations. So he was nudged rather hard by his therapist and came home before the Labor Day weekend angry at the therapist, and remains with some anger. He has not divulged what was said but I have gently reminded that the therapist has his best interest at heart and he agrees with that so we will see if the anger dissipates.

Yesterday I suggested that he practice just standing at the bus stop. Just to get used to standing around with a group of strangers, not interacting with them, just standing there for 3 minutes. He did it!!!! This was a great surprise to me even if he did time it and “run like hell “ when the three minutes were up. He admitted to being scared. BUT HE DID IT AND HE DID IT AGAIN TODAY!!!! 3 minutes which for him feels like days. So today when I was picking him up we talked about ways he could focus on other things rather than time, strangers and his anxious feelings. Perhaps he will take some of those suggestions and work up to 4 minutes lol. This is a hard thing for a Mother to watch, and all the time knowing it will help him grow in confidence.

so my prayer for today is one of seeds of confidence to grow, and seeds of anxiety and fear to diminish. And I say a prayer of thanksgiving for the therapists, and workers at the rehab who are involved and aware of his struggles,  thankful for doctors and thankful for the Spirit who provides me with wisdom and strength when I feel less than adequate to this task of being the mother of one who struggles so. Thankful that the Lord remains in all things, through all things and over all things amen.

Pots and pans

So the voices have given way, now they just bang pots and pans -ALL DAY LONG. I can not imagine the noise this would be like and yet the youngest has to deal with this daily, every day, every waking moment, even in his sleep the pots and pans bang on. It makes it hard to concentrate and you can see it in the youngest’s face , the distress, the sadness, the hopelessness. And yet he soldiers on, getting up going to his work (which has been greatly reduced by his counselors at the rehab) .

The problem I have is that I am too aware of that distress and can see (or think I can see) the cycle that he is in and am anticipating the next ER visit. This is not good for each day has enough troubles of its own like the lesson Sunday was about. So we are to plan for the future, but not let our plans be controlling of our today’s life, I am finding this a particularly hard task these days. Anticipatory angst is a bear lol and I know how that goes as I am off to the dentist shortly. Most worries do not come true , but some do and when you see the cycle it is hard not to have the angst.

so my prayer for today is first that the pots and pans cease and desist, for the caregivers, doctors and counselors to find a way to help, for peace for my soul so that I do not let my fears override my knowledge that God the Father remains in all things , over all things and through all things. AMEN

August angst

The oppressive heat and humidity of July has given way to the stagnant heat of August. The routine has become fixed with the one exception – bus rides. It seems that the youngest has been getting rides to his appointments and here and there and the rehab wants him to  progress forward to riding the bus to his appointments. No big deal and yet it is. Because of his schizoaffective disorder, his high anxiety with any new thing, and his admitted fear of people, this simple get on this bus task seems to elude him. So he has been calling us and we have been taking him to his appointments.

This is not a good thing!!! So last week I suggested that he practice getting on the bus and riding it with his peer counselor. When I was in college my roommate and I just rode the bus all day, different busses, just to see where it would take us and how long it would take us to get to various places. But this is hard for the youngest. Hard because he would have to wait at the bus stop with people around, get on the bus with more people, be aware of when he needed to get off, and of course not listen to the voices in his head saying various things and being annoying. His counselor has been on vacation but I will be letting her know of the progress and the barriers so she can come up with some plans that may help.

So as August eases by with all the heat and angst my Prayer for today and for this month is for the youngest to step bravely onto a bus, any bus and successfully ride to a destination, any destination and for him to become confident of this skill. That the Sovereign Lord will hold him firmly in His mighty hands and that hubby and I will not succumb to being taxi drivers in order that the youngest will make this next step. Knowing that it is hard for the youngest, knowing that as parents we want to protect and guide , but not enable him so that he continues to grow and move forward, knowing that the youngest is a remarkable person ; all the knowing does not make this task easier but sometimes clouds the vision and pulls hard on the emotions I also pray for our peace and guidance in this next task. Thanks be to the Lord who remains in all things, over all things and through all things. AMEN

The Ides of July

Yes, the ides of July have settled in on this house, heavy, weighted like the steamy humidity in the air. We have settled into an uneasy routine, or perhaps it is just me.

The youngest remains , voices distracting and now bored. He even let me know the voices were even bored. This routine is he has Wednesday’s off, comes home on Friday stays until after supper on Sunday. He and his dad get his groceries, skipping church to get this chore done. It seems Walmart is less busy during church hours. He let me know today he was afraid that the voices would get louder if he went to church, and they were distracting enough without an increase in their noise. He also thinks this may be his new norm, voices never ceasing.

So what remains is the ides of July, weighing each of our trio down in one way or another. Some spoken fears, some not, settling in our hearts and minds like the humidity on these stuffy days.

So my prayer for today is that the heaviness lifts on gentle breezes, the thunderstorms come and provide relief for the heat, and for the voices to get so bored they leave and remain gone. BUT GOD remains here, present, aware ever working things for the good, even when we feel weighted and sad. Thankful for HIS presence and guidance.  AMEN

Hot, heat , and humidity

This is N.C.. Hot, heat and humidity. I think the last time I felt this hot was the summer I was pregnant with my second daughter.  And all this heat makes things seem a bit worse than they really are. Your brain is foggy with all the heat, now add voices continually grinding away, saying things, banging pots, or just yelling. The youngest continues to struggle with this and I have no clue as to how to help him. Last night he texted me “ mom pray for me, I know you do every day, I think it is going to be a long week” . And just like that I am in tears, my soul weeps for this youngest of four, he is so kind and gentle and poetic. And I do not know how to help and feel completely out of my depth, out of my strength, out of knowledge and reason ; but God.

But God has immeasurable strength – I will rest in Him.

But God has unknown knowledge – I will seek His wisdom.

But God has unknown depths – I will look for Him in this broken world.

The Fourth of July is a noisy holiday, more so than most with the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air. Yes, it is noisy, and the one thing the youngest does not need right now is more noise.  He has told me the voices are tolerable but not comfortable and so crowds of any kind make the distractions worse. I think he has trouble distinguishing what noises are in this world and what noise are in his head, and that is really confusing. Even at his once a week dishwashing job, it is hard.  That job is also loud and fast paced.

So yes , I will pray for the youngest, even if I do not know what it is I need to pray for but my first prayer will always be for him to feel the presence of the living Lord above all the noise inside his head and outside in this world. So my prayer today is for relief. From the heat, the humidity  (the ac person is here checking out the system today and I am thankful it is working ) , and for the youngest, relief from the voices which plague him. I will also lift up those who have PTSD, because this is a holiday which can cause flash backs and is a strong trigger. Lord, be present in their lives even as they walk this path you have set for them, let them look to you and for you in this hot, humid time. AMEN

Miracles don’t last,but hope endures

Yes we had a little miracle, it lasted five days and a few hours. The voices returned on Sunday and were invasive. So the youngest did not go to church. He saw the doctor the next Tuesday and we had a short conference call about his work and how it was impacting his mental health. So the outcome of it all was that he is to seek a new job, one that he can go to early rather than late. So we will see what happens next

The youngest cam home on Friday and was in a good mood. He had gone to visit a place called “Club Nova” . It has as stated on it’s brochure “a holistic, caring environment designed to promote rehabilitation and reintegration into the community. It has a membership by referral for those with serious mental illnesses like depression , schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The youngest went for a tour and liked it. So hope moves forward.

Sometimes we all need a little hope, we have this hope, this anchor in Christ, who came and lived, died and rose again. “So do not fear, in this world you will have troubles, but fear not I have overcome this world “ Jesus said this and I believe it, yes I have troubles;some which look as though there is no hope ;but Jesus has overcome all things in this world, and remains in all things, over all things , and through all things, praise be to the Sovereign Lord.