Success comes in small doses

So the youngest comes up and tells me “me and Eric are going to a poetry thing on Thursday.” ” Really??, I responded. He then sort of half laughs and says”yeah, I promised.” So off he went this evening and hopefully he will gain some confidence in himself, because if he could go to a university with voices in his head saying not nice things, then surely this will be better and easier. But it is always tension producing as well as anxiety producing. He did take an extra dose of his anxiety meds, which is ok. When asked how long he let me know he would be home around 8:30 , pause “or sooner” little giggle smirk. So we will see, but he did exit the door and get into a car without his headphones, and with a positive “see y’all later” so success does come in small doses.

so again my prayer is for all those who work with people with severe mental illnesses, the caregivers, the peer counselors, the therapists and the doctors. For all those folks who uplift the youngest and my family in prayers nightly and more than once when I have called in crisis or sudden and unexpected changes . I am thankful as I have seen the work of the God, who is sovereign and remains and works in all things, over all things and through all things. Thankful for the small dose of success and the possibilities that it might lead to in the near future rather than the distant future, thankful because we live and breathe and exist in a compassionate, merciful and grace filled God who is Immutable. We may not understand what we are going through but we can rest assured that Emmanuel,God with us, is present every step of the way. AMEN

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Pause and consider

Today I read this from the Berean “Thus, wisdom says, “This is a situation I cannot truly change. I will not let this seeming injustice dominate my life because more is going on here than meets my eye.” He will ask himself, “Is there anything I can do to help my judgment so this doesn’t destroy my attitude and with it my faith and fear of God?” It was talking about life circumstances with Ecclesiastes 7:15-18 as the references verse. And wow , it hit me. The circumstances I live in I cannot change, nor is it likely that it will change in my life time. So then it becomes one of will, living under God’s will, living in the knowledge that this is not my home, and that I may never see “happiness” in this life. But boy do I want that lol. Who wouldn’t want to see their loved one be released from disease, and be whole and functioning.

The scripture states “15) In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:
a righteous man perishing in his righteousness,
and a wicked man living long in his wickedness. (16) Do not be overrighteous,
neither be overwise—
why destroy yourself? (17) Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool—
why die before your time? (18) It is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
The man who fears God will avoid all extremes .

And again shouldn’t extremes be avoided anyway, I think so. I also agree with the commentator, that when you are involved, enmeshed in a situation you cannot see clearly. I think also that we should believe as the commentator states, “there is more in this situation than we can imagine. For indeed God works in just these types of situations. And while we chafe at the waiting, and want to see results, we have to remember that we ,as Christians , are being made into the likeness of Christ. We are being made Holy, not happy.

There are things we can do to help our judgement. 1. Seek Christian counseling and listen with an open mind and heart. 2. Pray – ask for wisdom in the situation. Be aware you may not  like the answer because He may say wait,see I am doing a new thing. 3. Read and reread the truths in the Holy Bible, read more than one translation , more than one commentator, search and research the scripture. 4. Listen to friends who may have had similar circumstances ( I have yet to find any that come close to mine – lol) 5. Practice the sacred lament, but don’t fall into the whiney “poor me syndrome” , use and reuse the Psalms of lament .

So my prayer today is that I remember that there is more going on in my situation than I can see, or do anything about. I pray for the patience to look beyond myself and look to Christ, my hope, my firm foundation. I pray that I continue to recall that the Sovereign Lord, is sovereign, and that no matter what, He is present, He is powerful, and that He is in all things over all things and through all things. AMEN

All is quiet

image1We are experiencing quiet, lol. The eldest and the grandson and son-in-law have fled from our house to the other side of the planet, they made it so far safely,though a bit tired I am sure. We are trying to get back into some routine, get back to our focus of getting the youngest to be more independent.

This is harder than anyone would think. We have struggled with getting an ID, because the license place requested a ss# card, and of course the social security wanted a driver’s license, and after some time and finally talking with the folks at Social security got that sorted, but getting the ID  is still out of reach though we are closer. We went and the place was crowded and busy, neither is something the youngest can tolerate right now, but he is willing to go to another license place which may be less crowded, though farther away which of course means in the car travel time, and another hurdle.  He seems to be ok stating that as long as he has his head/ear phones he will be ok. They block traffic noise, car noise and road noise and have been of tremendous help and I am thankful and grateful. He has also expressed that he wants to do some practice grocery shopping, and that to will be a stretching thing for him, budgeting his money as keeping his emotions, his anxiety in check as he does this. So perhaps as the seasons change and flow into the fall with the cooler weather, we will also flow into a new season of learning and teaching and hoping.

so today my prayer is for a slow and steady pace of improvement, accepting the challenges that come, for the wisdom to deal with those challenges with a positive attitude, calmness, and direction. And rest, because August while wonderful was also tiring, joyful and busy . Amen

Change of seasons

Finally the heat has broken and while it is still warm, the nights are coming a bit cooler, the spiders are spinning their webs to catch the last prey  of summer and the leaves are slowly turning from rich, deep green to paler shades and even some yellows and oranges. Yes, here we are again in another change. In five days we have to say goodbye to the grandson, and will surely miss his toddler voice saying “I’m coming down” as he comes downstairs each morning. Yes we will miss it greatly.

The youngest feels the changes and the anxiousness that approaches as only he can. I am sure it is hard on him, this upheaval of scheduling and people in and out. I can tell because I had to go out and he said “Leave your phone on” , now this is the first time he has said that in a while so I know anxiety is ticked one step up. Not much, just a little, so we are aware, alert and on guard again, trying to balance the meds for the anxiety against the need and not over do that combination which would lead to dependancy, but rather having him cope with his internal skills because he needs to do this also!!

I read a Jesus Calling devotion the other day , the one by Sarah Young. Funny how sometimes those devotions just hit the target. My second daughter gave me a flip calendar, before she left for Africa, now she is back and I am still reading it daily. The devotion said “Entrust your loved ones to me,release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands.” And since I had been thinking about the upcoming departure of the eldest and her family to a foreign country, it spoke to my heart. It also applies to the youngest as he works towards going and living on his own.

So today my prayer is for me to release those I love into the care of the all sufficient God, who has more resources than I can imagine. For me to cling tightly to His hand, and obey , to hope in Him and know that He is the God who is in all things, over all things and through all things. Amen

Privileges – sorrow and joy

We have the great privilege of hosting our eldest, her husband and the grandson before they transition to another country. There are lots of moving boxes, and stacks of stuff here and there and a change of schedule/schedules. So the youngest has kept with his routines, his walking, his exercise, his appointments, his meds and this is a good thing.

He has been surprisingly calm and accepting of all the commotion. I am appreciative of this because when he goes to the next step he will have to make these kinds of transitions on almost a daily basis, so this practice is really good.

It is also a sad time after all the eldest is moving across the world, the youngest is moving out and up and onward. So my job is to remain calm, remain focused on the ElShaddai,the living God, knowing that He is able, He is in all things, He is over all things and He is through all things. So my prayer today is that my sadness will not overcome the joy, the joy at the progress being made , the joy at the grandson’s “Let’s do this” , the joy of seeing the youngest become a bit independent , the joy of seeing all these children become the wonderful people they are becoming. It is also one of thankfulness for the Jehovah Jireh – the Lord who provides patience, persistence and endurance in all this change -AMEN

 

Respite care

Respite care is when you give over all you are doing and take a break. This is something that everyone needs when caring for a loved one who has a serious mental illness. I have been reading today about vacations, retreats, soul revival and other forms of  relaxing and getting away from it all. It reminds my of a very old commercial “Calgon take me away” and the person in the ad lounges in a bath of bubbles. Yes, being taken away would be great – except for one thing – you have to come back lol. Some days here where I am that  are just too hot and humid, 90 degrees, 90% humidity, even the air is tired.

So there are some things which I do to provide myself respite care, even if I do not or can not go away. First thing each morning I give my day over to God, letting Him know that I thank Him for the rest I had last night, and for His presence with me during the day. Then I go and get me a coffee, have a devotion with hubby and eat breakfast. Some days I exercise indoors due to the heat index, others are a bit more rushed with appointments to get to and chores to be done. In the between times to relax there is always some knitting project to be done, and of course one round of Angry Birds (yes it makes me laugh and I am terrible at it). Then when day is done off to bed with another devotion time, this time I read what is for the next day and thank the Lord for a quiet day, if it has been one, or for His presence and peace if the day has been fraught with anxiety and stirred up emotions.

So for all who have those lovely vacations pictures on Facebook, instagram and other places, good for you, I hope you are also including the Lord in your time “off” because He is never” off” . So today my prayer is for vacations, mini retreats, even quiet moments to pause and reflect and honor the presence of the Lord who never goes on vacation and is always present Amen

Transitions

So this past week the youngest made an appointment to go and talk with the admissions counselor at a transitional housing/work place. This organization helps those who have serious mental illnesses transition from where they are to a level of independence and helps them establish a work history as well as other things. The youngest made the appointment  and so we went. It took almost two hours and we got to tour the rooms and see the organization setup, which was good. The youngest and I had gone and talked with the admissions person about a year ago. This time we all went, hubby, myself and the youngest.

What did we learn? Well there are several things that the youngest needs to practice before he can go. First, he needs to get an id of some kind. I think his old driver’s learners permit is out of date for sure. Second, he needs to practice his money , management skills so we need to re-establish is debit card and checking account. Third, he needs to practice grocery shopping. Like actually going into the grocery store, picking out his groceries within the $50 per week limit given by the place and check them out. And of course he needs to fill out the application form.

Surprisingly, he has not been too overwhelmed by this. He is slowly working through the application form and does this little by little daily, this helps his focus and he doesn’t get overwhelmed. Once the application is in it may take up to two or three months to actually get to go for a “visit”. The visit consists of 5 days with him at the place doing the work and getting into a routine, then there is a post visit conference in which we all get together and decide if he is ready to take the next step.

For me I guess I never realized how much teaching goes on in parenting and I am thankful for the other three siblings who helped me walk this path without too much drama, lol. So now for the practice with the youngest and for the unwrapping, because we have certainly cocooned him quite well. Hopefully the unwrapping won’t be painful for him or for us.

So my prayer today is for patience in practice, for looking ahead and not behind (because we have seen the psychosis) , for encouraging words from us to him as he steps out beyond our tight cocoon, and for peace that this is the right step, and for the errors that will happen so that we can learn from them and set a straight path. And most of all thankfulness for those whose calling is for helping those with serious mental illnesses we thank the Sovereign Lord, who remains in, over and through all things, big and small AMEN

Accountability

Dictionary .com defines this as “the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable.” We all need to be accountable. The youngest is continuing on his journey with his peer counselor and so the other night at supper he asked “so when would be a good day to go and visit Caramore?” We were a bit surprised, but then he related that the PC (peer counselor) had asked him if he had made any effort to get to make a tour of this place. Of course he had not, and his dad asked him “Why are you doing this now?” And here is the thing – he had promised the PC he would get it done,  lol. Makes me smile –  a lot. Simple accountability, holding one to their word, promise or what they said they would do. I think about being reliable, which really is being accountable. Some people are not reliable, they have not been held accountable for their promises and sometimes it hurts others, yes we hurt others being unreliable.

But for today I am thankful, thankful for PCs , thankful for others who hold us accountable, thankful for the Lord who does not hold us accountable for our unfaithfulness when we come to Him and confess, thankful that He is always accountable, reliable, sufficient, faithful, forgiving and most of all loving. S my prayer for today is one of thankfulness and may the reliable all-sufficient Lord, El-Shaddi be present and a presence in your life as He is in mine. AMEN

Noise

We live in a noisy , distracting world and for those of us without serious mental illnesses we can usually get by with quieting ourselves. But for those whose brains are jarred anyway, sometimes the noise is overwhelming. And such is the case for the youngest, as with traffic, and all the noise bothers him – a lot. It bothers him so much that we have been taking alternate route, on back roads, where the traffic and the noise is less, but it really didn’t help too much. So one of the therapists suggested that perhaps some noise cancelling headphones might help. Finally the youngest looked up and researched and decided on some to try. And it does help though I am not sure to what degree, but at least we don’t have to drive 17 miles when we really only have to drive eight, a big time, gas, and nerve saver.

This week earlier the youngest got a phone call from his peer counselor. They had been talking about goals and one was for them to go to a poetry slam and observe and then perhaps one day for the youngest to actually participate. So the event was to take place tonight for them to go and observe, but yesterday the youngest confessed to me that he didn’t feel ready. I told him to discuss with the peer counselor and let the peer  counselor know his concerns. So he did, but can back and said “we will continue to look for opportunities” . Let me say that again “we will continue to look for opportunities!!!” .  So even if he did not go this time, the seed has been placed in his self to continue to look for opportunities and that is something I can water, fertilize and let it grow at it’s own pace. A positive outcome not disappointed in the results at all, waiting and watering the next step and thankful.

so today my prayer is one of Thanksgiving for noise cancelling headphones, perhaps I might try them out when the world rushes in so I  can hear the voice of the Father God. And thankful for seeds planted, positive steps taken, forward looking counselors, and the daily presence of the Father, who lifts us when we are in the pits, places people and things in our path, may I be ever watchful, ever open to teachings, and remain in His will and under His care AMEN

Begin- again

So we are starting again!!! Lol, isn’t that just like life to start over and over. The youngest met with his peer counselor person this week for the second time and hopefully this will help him move forward. I asked him what they talked about at their time when I picked him up and he told me “setting goals” . Wow, music to this tired momma’s ears.  I have been speaking to goals for a long time and sometimes it was falling on deaf ears, but perhaps now when a new person helping goals can be set and accomplished. And perhaps my goals were just too small, because some days were like, just get a shower, ok, not a shower, how about a wash, ok, not a wash how about letting me wash your hair, and finally hair washed . But perhaps that was the way it had to be at that time. Continue reading