Unwinding, decompressing, learning

So the youngest completed his 5 day trial stay, successfully. The director called us on Friday to let us know that they had identified ares which they could work on with the youngest, that he had shown what they needed to see in order to participate in the next step and that we were to pick him up around 3:30. It was all really good

so we went and got the youngest, he was meeting with the jobs counselor. This is also exciting. The group there works to find jobs for those who are in the program and matches them, coaches them, gets them to work, appointments and other things as they progress through the program.

When asked how it was the youngest said he had learned a lot. He learned that work is good for everyone, all the people there are good, serving people, that the worst didn’t happen, that it a structured program “which I like”,and that he wants to go back. When asked what was the hardest he said “coming home from work” because there is time to fill and he wasn’t allowed to take his laptop. He continued to do his exercise even though he was tired,working different muscles, pushing mowers, loping bamboo, raking leaves and generally working. So all in all positive steps. Minor things included their medication stuff and after one email from me and the director, it was straightened out.

So returning will happen probably after Thanksgiving if the funding goes through Vocational Rehab, which it should. There are phone calls in the meantime and some questions to be answered , but not major ones. So we have about two weeks to get things sorted, and we have gotten him a small crockpot lol. Because after all you can only eat so many peanut butter sandwiches. He did very well, I knew he could do it and I am thankful that this program is close by and far enough away. It is such a blessing!!!

so my prayer today is that the youngest begins and continues to feel the successes of this past week. That the people at this place will feel appreciated and continue their good work. And again a prayer of Thanksgiving for all the doctors, counselors, friends who have prayed me and my family through this journey, please continue these; these prayers they strengthen me and sustain my family. And most of all Praise to the Lord, the Sovereign Lord, who is and was and forever more shall be AMEN

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Quietude, or calm before the storm

Today is the day. Hubby and I took the youngest off to the assisted vocational rehab place. It is a short 10 minute drive from our house, but this trip was five years in the making. And it is a miracle. When we first got the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder we were (or perhaps it was just me) overwhelmed, confused , distraught and way, way our of our comfort zone. And in the five years we have moved through all the stages and perhaps some not thought of before of this step but sometimes slow step miracle. It is a miracle and today I am thinking about hope.

When we started this journey we were blindsided by the complexity of the mental health system, stymied by the medical and insurance stuff, and confused by all the information and sometimes misinformation that we received from practitioners as well as internet resources and even from the National institutes on mental health. After a year we switched doctors because after the second hospitalization we needed to do something different and I am ever so thankful that the Sovereign Lord placed Dr. P. In our path. The first day we met she said something like this to the youngest “ I know you don’t have much hope now, but I want you to know that I have hope and if you will work with me then you can have some hope of recovery also “ . I have to say it still brings tears to me eyes and joy to my heart because this doctor took the step to shine a light into our dark place and offer hope.

these days with mass shootings happening all too often make me think that people are out of hope, lost, alone, scared, angry and they too could use a little hope, a little light on their dark world. I think rather than more regulations on gun control we need more access to hope, to genuine concern for our neighbors, and easy access to mental health help, less insurance interferences better coverage for mental health and just more Jesus in everyone’s life.

now how do we get that, we start with a little hope. That hope that grows from the fact we are deeply rooted and connected to the rootstock, grounded in Christ and the Sovereign Lord. This isn’t a request it is a command that we as Christians stand up and go. That we go to all nations and all people and show and tell them of the Christ the one true Lord, who is in all things, over all things and through all things.

My world was squeezed down to nothing during this illness, but now it is once again expanding. Yes, there will be troubles, trials , blips. But my hope is grounded in Christ and rooted in the word (the Bible) and my hope is that somehow I can share that hope with someone who is in that dark place like I was when I was offered hope.

Thanks to all who have said prayers over the youngest and for our family, please continue for this journey is not over but has begun anew with hope. Amen

so we heard from the youngest tonight, he worked on the lawn crew, said he had a little trouble but that it was ok, got his groceries and was fixing his supper. Keep up those prayers this is a miracle that needs support from all angles , thanks for reading and praying

Moving forward day

Well, every day is a moving day, sometimes it is backward  and sometimes it is sideways and sometimes it is forward. We got the word today and have penciled in November 6th on our calendar. This is a moving forward day as the youngest will go to have his 5 day trial at the assisted/vocational rehab living situation. There is some relief, some questions, some fears and yet there  is a lot of calm.

the youngest has had his telephone interviews which all went well. He asked some really good questions and got them answered. Today we went back to the place to sign  some forms for the vocational rehab and so in less than two weeks, he will go and I am excited for him. We have built a strong network of care for him, he has confidence in this network and we love all the prayers and continued support that the network has provided. It has been hard work . Not long ago one of my friends commented when I emailed her that I was up way to early for someone who was retired. And I had to laugh because the last five years have been some of the most intense nursing that I have ever done. But the hard work is paying back with big rewards.

So my prayer today is for This moving day, be a positive moving forward day. That the youngest remains calm, faces the problems and learns how to deal with them and a big shout out thank you for all those prayers which have sustained us theseyears, please continue with the prayers they are coveted and are sustaining. A praise to the Lord God most high who on my weakest days gave me strength, captured my tears, and wept with me, and smiles with delight at the progress this youngest has made, this is a miracle of step by step continual encouragement and learning for me to once again learn to let go, thanks be to the Lord for His presence and patience and for His continued faithfulness, AMEN

Birthdays

So the  youngest and I share a birthday month, a fall month, full of weather changes, leaf changes, and just seasonal changes. Once when the youngest was about 3, I was taking him to his preschool before work and it was one of those October days , cool, crisp , sun shining, colorful; the youngest says to me ” this is a glorious day! ” truly it was a glorious day, I was surprised he knew the word glorious and had used it properly, he was a poet in his heart even then.

Fast forward almost 21 years ( he will be 24 soon) and he is still a poet. His journey has not been an easy walk in the park, but he has persevered. He has taken his lumps, but not been kept down. He walks a bit taller these days. His interview at the progressive housing place went well, and as early as the end of this month he may go for a 5 day trial placement.

I am not sure how I feel about this. Some days I am so proud a speck of dust would pop me like an over-gassed balloon. Other days I am full of concerns and what ifs, that are quickly beaten backing my mantra of God is in all things, over all things and through all things. And the crisp fall air (which hasn’t arrived yet) is just around the bend, and I wait in expectant hope and anticipation of this next step.

So my prayer for today is that for the Lord (who is in all things, and over all things and through all things), will open the doors that need to be opened, close others, provide perserverance for the blips which will occur, strength to carry forward, and that’s just for me – lol, no , that is for all of us who are walking this journey with the youngest, those who are personally known to me and those who are Facebook/internet encouragers. I am thankful to all those who offer up prayers for this journey, they are sustaining, and uplifting and I couldn’t image doing this without them thank you all so very much and Thanks be to the Lord who has placed you here on purpose and you have taken up that call thanks be to the Lord AMEN

Taa-daa, little things become miracles

Last week the youngest turned in his application to an assisted living situation, one which helps those with serious mental illnesses develop job skills and living skills. This is a MIRACLE. No , not the boom and it is done kind, but more of a step by persistent step miracle. And of course, God was present every single step, every single day including those days of seclusion when the youngest could not even leave his room but to his anxiety.

Today he went to the grocery store. Another small step by step miracle. Persistence to overcome the noise, people,  the rhythm of stores in general with their music, and beeps and just noise. For me, you just tune them out most of the time, but for the youngest it is like an assault on his ears and jacks his anxiety into high gear. But he is determined to do this and has placed himself squarely in the driver’s seat as he takes over the directionality of his life. MIRACLE, yes indeed it truly is one of those little by little moving forward. Will there be set backs? Probably, but even then I am confident he will be able to come up with a plan on how to overcome them.  Next week he goes for an official intake interview, this helps prepare him for future job interviews.

So my prayer today is for those step by step miracles especially when we want the boom, one and done kind of miracles. Thankful for those who continue to uplift the youngest in prayer, for the therapists, the doctors who have the patience to move step by step when we as parents want to see our children better- right now, but in their wisdom know that step by step is a better way. Thankful that the Sovereign Lord remains in all things , over all things and through all things and has immense patience with us daily. Amen

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

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