Perserverance

Wow, dictionary .com defines this as “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. I am talking about the youngest and his perseverance over many obstacles. In 2014, we had gotten his drugs sort of situated, and his thought processes were much clearer but due to the drugs, most of which cause significant weight gain, he had gained weight.  This is a struggle many of us can relate to, but the youngest left the doctor’s office the day he learned he weighed 286 lbs, and stated “I will not be 300” . So I asked how did he think we could help. So our journey began, lo-carb cooking, calorie counting, finding things that tasted ok and some that were down right awful. And of course there was exercise. So we started slow, did some weight training and then began walking. We also de-sugared the house. Well as much as we could because there seems to be high fructose corn syrup in everything!!! If I was president , I would declare it illegal to be put in any food product, read the labels folks!!!

Anyway, this week we had his annual physical done and he weighed 187 pounds, yes he had lost nearly 100 pounds over the course of two years!!! Yes,  his feet hurt, yes he is proud of his accomplishment, and yes he plans to continue. In talking with the doctor, he said he “just made up his mind” , but there was a little more to it than that, but his perseverance was and is amazing!!!!

Here are some steps to consider: 1: make a commitment to change – nothing was going to change until the youngest made a declarative statement and followed through.

2: Have support , especially if it requires deep changes , fortunately I can read labels and research different dietary options and play around with recipes ( some were not good , others on the do again list and this takes time)

3: don’t obsess over pounds, just stick to the goal, having a workout buddy or accountability partner helps

4: celebrate every success , the youngest got a fit bit which gives him all kinds of  encouraging things, but just hearing someone say that you did a good job helps.

5: pray every day, for endurance, perseverance and peace , this should probably be listed first

so my prayer for today is one of Thanksgiving . Thanks be to the Almighty God ruler of heaven and earth, who provides for us in many ways and allows us choice and even when our choices are faulty He never ever gives up on us, removing us from His presence if we call upon Him, acknowledge our failure and ask for guidance we have His presence along our journey.

Wisdom – tooth

Today the youngest had one wisdom tooth pulled. This may not seem like a big deal and it probably isn’t  but for the youngest with his schizophrenia and anxiety issues it is a big deal. Last night I went to Prayer team so I knew that there were at least  4 other persons praying for this event to be as successful, as anxiety free, and as painless as possible, which was a great comfort to me.

The dentist commented after the procedure that it was “textbook” . And I commented that we had been praying for good results today and were now saying thankful prayers. The youngest did well. Blood pressure moderate and within reason, pulse again within reason, not bad considering not that long ago he would have had skyrocketing blood pressure and pulse, of course the extra medicine helped. And so did the prayers.

Praying is such a mystery. You can’t know what the sovereign God will make out of our little words spoken. We don’t know what miracle will occur when we speak them. These days it behooves us to pray as never before because the sovereign God is listening, and we should also listen to Him. He speaks to us through the Bible, through devotional readings and through worship, but sometimes we are distracted. Ok, in America we can be distracted all the time with our cell phones, and such. Perhaps that is why now more than ever we need to retreat, find some quiet space and commune with the sovereign God.

So my prayer today is one of thankfulness , for the skilled dentist and her staff who know and seem to care about the youngest,for the church family who send up prayers every time requested, for the privilege of living where we can read the Bible and abide with the Lord without fear of suppression or death, and for the Son who submitted to his Father’s will and died, rose again for us, for me , for everyone to be reconciled to the Father . Thanks be to the one God the Father of all who is in all things, over all things and through all things,who remains steadfast, and faithful and praying for continual trust in the Lord, for the Lord is the Rock eternal (Ephesians 4:6, Isaiah 26:3). AMEN

LIMBO

Limbo,what a word. Dictionary.com defines it as a place or state of oblivion to which persons or things are regarded as being relegated when cast aside, forgotten, past, or out of date. It also defines it as a an intermediate, transitional, or midway state or place. Both of these apply for me right now. This transitional state has been going on for my entire life!! I think everyone is in limbo or transition all the time. We may not see it that way when we have babies that need feeding and changing, or school aged children that need homework help, or teenagers needing guidance or even adult children who need advice. But transitions occur daily. And sometimes you get stuck.

The stuck feeling comes to me when things are even, unwavering and steady. There is no crisis to intervene in, no drama to deal with, no tension, and yet there is a feeling like something needs to be done, to be looked after , to be accomplished.

And then I remember “be still and know that I am God” from the Psalms. Yes being still is hard work, awaiting a change, awaiting forward movement, awaiting …. something which I can not give a name to or explain.

So for today my limbo stands for L – living I – in the M –moment B-by the O –omniscience ,all present God. I think I can live in LIMBO , but I will not tell anyone that it is easy to be still. Stillness goes against my nature in this rush, rush world so I have to constantly remind myself to be still, and to acknowledge that God is indeed in control. My verse for the year is from Isaiah 26:3 “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, The Lord God, Yahweh is the rock eternal ” . Limbo or not God remains in control and this is my refuge.

Footsteps

This year has been interesting. We have had days of 70 degree weather preceded by days of ice and isolation. Interesting.

The youngest approached me the other day and said something like ” I need you to help me” so of course I asked what he needed help with. He then told me that his feet hurt. This is not a surprise as he walks more than 10,000 steps per day and most days actually walks between 3-8 miles per day. So I took a look at his feet and glory what a mess. He has callused soles anyway, but over time these had split and were painful!!

So bring out the foot bath and start the process of debreding the calluses and healing the cracks. It is a job that will take continual effort, continual monitoring, continual soothing with antibiotic cream and with callous softening cream.

And it reminds me of so much of life. We get to the place where we are so cracked, raw, bleeding that we finally ask for help. And we wonder what took us so long when the debreding takes place it is painful, but then the healing balm is slathered on and we are relieved when we come to this place of pain and healing.

Life can be painful, but we have this Healer, Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals. He is ever present, we need only to ask. One of the scriptures says”you have not because you ask not”. Wow, just ask even in our most cracked state, healing balm can be applied. Remain vigilant, continually monitor, stay in the Word, and ask when things are not clear. So my prayer for this Year is to be aware, to be present and to have a presence for God’s glory to shine through me so that others are led to seek the Healer, the Lord God.

Show up, be present, be a presence

So Happy New Year almost!! Hope you all had a most enjoyable  Christmas and will have a blessed new year. I was reading another blog and one phrase that caught my attention was “show up”.  I do not remember the blogger  or the full context of what she was saying but she had lost her phone n the snow and had a choice to make about searching for it or showing up at an event – she chose to show up and look for the phone later.  But do we always choose to show up? I think not, because  sometimes we are physically present, but not a presence , not focused in the now but on future things and lists and events.  And sometimes life requires us to be a presence, not just be physically there but a presence, available not just physically but soulfully and spiritually, cognizant of feelings, both spoken and unspoken.

I have seen this with the youngest as there are times when he cannot or will not verbally say what is happening. And I have to be fully present to understand what the difficulties may be that are affecting his demeanor. Some days this is easy, a trip for a blood draw may impact him due to the car trip and the blood draw. But there are other times when it is not quite so easy and then it requires not just my being there and showing up but also my presence.

so today I am thankful for the presence of the Lord. Always present always nearby always abiding and awaiting my request for more of His presence. So in 2017 I hope to be more abiding and resting in His presence. 

The difference in small things!

So last week was grey, gray and today the sky is still grey, gray. We have had very cold days and today the high is supposed to be 70 and then tomorrow the high will be 38 – what is with this roller coaster weather. Luckily I have had a lot of practice with riding roller coasters with the youngest’s illness. I do not like roller coasters!!!

We were still in the down cycle when on Thursday we had to get a renewal of the prescription that was not working, so off to the pharmacy and glory – the medicine that does work was finally approved by the insurance company. Light in the  darkness, perfect for this Advent season.

Today while reading a devotional from Rick Warren from his Daily devotions I read that we should be thankful in all things. And then Pastor Warren stated this“Thank God in all things. No matter what happens, give thanks. The Bible doesn’t say, “For all things give thanks.” It says, “In all things give thanks.” You don’t have to be thankful for bad things in your life. You should never be thankful for evil. You don’t have to be thankful for cancer or a car accident or war or abuse. But God says in everything give thanks. Why? Because you know that God’s going to take care of you. You know he’s going to meet your needs. You know he’s going to help you.” 

Do you see the difference?? It struck me that I was struggling to be thankful FOR all things when I should be thankful IN all things. And yes there is always something to be thankful about. I believe that God the Father is In all things, Over all things and Through all things. Our circumstances must never dictate our joy, hope and love in Christ, and yet there are days when I forget this and stumble into the pit of despair and have to refocus letting the three ogres despair, hopelessness and discontent  know that my Lord is stronger , deeper, higher , longer than the misery they dispense to the world.

So today, even in the grey of cold weather, my prayer is like the man whose son was having fits and being thrown into fires ” Lord help me in my unbelief”, because you Lord are the God Father who is In all things, Over all things, and Through all things AMEN

 

Grey, gray day

Yesterday was a grey, gray day. I am not sure why. Perhaps it was the dingy sky awash with grey, gray clouds. Perhaps it was because we are still awaiting pre approval of one of the youngest’s drugs which has kept him stabilized for nearly a year now and since it has gone off preferred meds from our insurance and his Medicaid won’t pick it up we wait. This is perhaps the greatest reason that it was a grey, gray day. We have been in this wait for a week now and it seems like eons and we are carefully watching the youngest for slips downward back into the dark hole of depression which took months to get out of and back into a doing forward moving place.

It was a day for knitting which I did quite a lot of and making elf hats or gnome hats the pattern says. So far I have made three, they are cute but did not lift the grey feeling of the day. And if I could have, I would have crawled back into bed and not dealt with any annoyances that kept popping up throughout the day, like the medication issue, the renter who has bailed and not returned the keys or paid the rent, and the persistent cleaning by hubby when I and my sore back cannot help which makes me feel less, less helpful, less hopeful, just less.

Today is still grey, but busy. We went out to the eye doctor – the youngest had not been in 10 years and he was a bit nervous so I had to go. And hubby also had to go and get his eyes checked. It took most of the morning. Then the youngest confessed his phone had died so after switching batteries and deciding it was truly dead. We then made a plan to take the gifts the church had collected to the organization in order to get the phone taken care of tomorrow. That took the afternoon and the day is about done. And it is still a grey, gray day.

So for my prayer today is for the sun to shine, the grey, gray to lift. For me to remember the promises of “plans to prosper and for good” from the one true Lord of all – especially in this Advent season, to remember Emmanuel “God with us” because He is with us through the grey, gray days and the bright sunny ones also.

Holidays, Holy days, hopeful days

December and the holidays can be a little hectic and when someone has a serious mental health illness well things are far from “normal”.  We have been cleaning and sorting out the house in anticipation of visits from friends and family, some will breeze in and out others will stay and relax. We got the tree up last week and this week will be a busy one of appointments sort of anticipation planning for the influx of the holidays.

img_2598Yes the house appears ready, not sure if I am. We have started our Advent services and there is a quiet peace about Advent. The anticipation of the Birth of Jesus. Funny though Emmanuel (Jesus) means God with us, and if He is with us how can we anticipate His coming?!?! In reflection of the year we have had a precious forward moving year, and are in hopeful anticipation for the next year. But for now we need to pause, reflect, give thanks and even though things aren’t perfect they are okay and much better than last Christmas.

So just for today, and for this Advent season I am pausing to reflect, give praise to God for all the miracles the tiny ones and the big ones. Praise for the blessings that all the children will be home the this Christmas, not scattered about the world serving the God of all in far away lands. Thankful for the quiet times, the pauses, the giggles with the grandson when he gets here. So my prayer is that all will pause, reflect and feel the presence of EMMANUEL GOD WITH US, because He certainly is with us and He is certainly in all things, over all things and through all things. Amen, peace, goodwill, and glad tidings to all may you have a blessed Christmas.

Thanksgiving 2016

img_2573Wow, a year has passed and what a change in The youngest. Last Thanksgiving we were still stuck, but getting some traction. We had our usual feast but the youngest ate in his room due to the intense anxiety he was feeling. This year just wow, and thankful for all the positive steps that have come with this year. To round out last year , the youngest had a seizure which scared us all  but it seemed to reset something in his brain, and from then on it was forward movement. Some days were small tiny steps, others were more impressive.

This year has been exciting seeing him come up from that pit he was in and seeing him take charge of his own self. For instance he started walking and then decided he needed to be jogging and then he decided he would do 10,000 steps per day. Part of those steps are jogging and part are jogging. He also made a milestone of one million steps!!! We are all inspired to keep our walking up because of what he is doing – no because of his leading and inspiring.

So on this Thanksgiving day I am thankful. Thankful that the Lord God continues to pour out patience, endurance and health on me and my family. Thankful for the doctors, counselors,  nurses, phlebotomist and others who touch our lives. From the smiling receptionist at the lab where he gets his blood drawn, to the receptionist at Oasis. Just very thankful. Psalm 100 yes I will be making a joyful noise ( since I do not sing well lol) and praise to the Almighty for His continued good works.