Egeiro – It’s All Greek to me

So today is a day for learning Greek, no not the whole “it’s all Greek to me” kind of thing, but just one word. Egeiro, get up, arise, move. Translated in the New Testament as one or all of those things. This week while reading my 40 days of decrease by Alicia Britt Chloe , I came across this word egeiro; to make a transition from one place to the next, and indeed there always seems to be some kind of transition here. These past few weeks have been hard because the youngest has slipped back from his forward progress into a cocoon mode going back to the familiar. During our family session without the youngest present , we came upon the possibility that perhaps this was going to be as good as it gets. Or not. One can only wait and see. This is part of the long road, the path which has been set in place by the Lord of all, who is in all things, over all things, and through all things. And I have been placed here, for a purpose, on purpose. I have also been reading Esther and she also was placed in a particular moment in time. She embraced her moment and was written up in history. But I am not so sure of embracing this moment for I find myself being drawn from extreme anger to extreme sadness and complete frozen in time non-movement. It all seems too much on some days. I struggle with the concept of “come follow me” with my nature being “are we there yet”. And the not knowing what the end point is, if there truly is one at all. And while doing all these things were are to be joyful in trials and patient in affliction – really?!?!? It would make more sense to me if that verse had said we are to learn joy in trials, and to learn patience in affliction, but that’s just me. And these trials make you think, since the trials are to refine you like gold (Malachi 3:3) really how deep and wide and long is your own sin nature since these trials are long and deep and wide. Others seem to have it easier but perhaps they are just better at hiding the angst. How are we as Christians, to learn and grow if we do not speak of our trials, but instead go to church and show up with our polished facades and halos brightly shining. Where are the tears, the anguish, the sorrows?? And how can we receive comfort, direction, encouragement if we just hold all our junk inside, after all we are to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Perhaps if we learn to be vulnerable with others, we shall also learn to be vulnerable before God, after all He is not surprised by anything, no-thing, nothing surprises God!!!!!

So for today my prayer is that I have patience, endurance, I am not to joy at the present and may never be but I confess my unbelief daily, expectantly await the next miracle which is just around bend which only God can see because the road is long.

Fasting

So this is the Lenten season and it seems that people are fasting all sorts of things like chocolate or coffee. But I have been reading about fasting and today for my fast I am to fast premature resolution. Deep sigh. Because these last few weeks have been difficult.

the youngest has slipped back into a cocoon mode of staying at home and when he does get in the car there are panic attacks. Not sure why. Now what does one have to do with the other. Well, I can be resolved to moving forward every day, but that resolution goes down the tubes when the panic attacks hit, and I have to step back one or two or a dozen steps and then start the forward motion again.

I can resolve to be patient, but again my impatience shows when I am awakened in the early morning with” I have a migraine and can’t go to therapy” like happened this morning. That raw spot that longs to be healed has the scab torn off yet again when the therapist says things like” Y’all , your son is seriously sick, we have his psychotic symptoms under control, but his anxiety is off the charts and I don’t know how he will survive outside you home, but we are working on it”. Yes that was said and it was like a sucker punch to the gut, and my “premature resolution ” of  the youngest getting stronger and moving forward suddenly seems light years away. And I think at my age that my frailty is showing when hubby says ” you are old” well he hasn’t exactly gotten younger ” but I don’t feel old says he, “you look old!” And yes I am old and these thing sent to try me don’t make it easier.  Premature resolution reminds me that we can not and should not think that over is over, because God works in God’s time and always in His time. But it does make you pause and consider how deep and wide your own sin nature is when all these trials are meant to polish you so that you shall be like gold;  mine must be way deep cause I have been being polished for a long time and I am tired and sore. Knowing that He who began a good work in you, will continue that work is another verse that comes to mind along with the question “are we done yet? ” and again light years loom large at the scope of things.

so for today my prayer is for no premature resolutions seeping into my brain, that I will remain in patience and endurance. That the grace of God will somehow flow in me and extend to others even on the hard days when it is way easier to cry than it is to smile. For migraines to disappear, for anxiety to dissipate, for peace to reign over anger and impatience amen

 

Transitions

Nobody likes change but throughout our lives we are in an almost constant state of change and transition, so it is a conundrum that we dislike it so much. Funny how you just get used to one way of doing things and they change. Sometimes the transitions are quick and easy, and at other times they are long, drawn out occasions with lots of starts and stops along the way.

We are on a season of transition with the youngest. And for the most part it’s a good thing. He is stable on his meds, stable in his environment and so the therapist and psychiatrist, have been weaning him from his once a week/once a month visits to once every other week/once every two months visits. Which is good and frees some space for the usual household events to take place without fiddling with the calendar and making adjustments.

BUT it has also caused some anxiety to start freefloating around the room and it seems a bit uncomfortable. The youngest knows he needs to press forward, but the anxiety holds him back. He recently received encouragement to seek vocational rehab and work skills training. We are encouraging him to take this next step before going to a community which supports those with serious mental illnesses and helps with job placement and housing, but he seems disinclined due to the anxiety. This is one of those long, stop and start transition deals.

So today I am thankful that I have had practice at the stops and starts of life, thankful that though the road is long I am still on it,thankful that the Lord is still present daily and that I can call upon Him because He is not surprised by any event, or circumstance that occurs. I repeat my verse of the year today this new light of transitions and it brings peace, hope and joy for my weary traveling (thought not leaving home) soul. Isaiah 26:3 says” I will trust the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord God is the rock eternal” and I am assured, reassured blessed with His comforting presence. Amen

Boom

Today was family meeting day, where our little triad goes and sort of has a check in with the therapist, to see how things are going what changes , what successes, what setbacks etc. are discussed. So far all has been going fairly well, or so I thought and hoped. But today on the way to the office the youngest had a panic attack, accompanied by shaking and breathing problems and short sharp answers to “are you ok?” The response was “NO” . So I was reminded that the youngest has a serious mental health problem, which no matter how much improvement we have, it still exists! It made me send up a quick prayer for peace and help right then and as I was driving the car in traffic I couldn’t do much more than that. It caught the hubby off guard also and his response was” oh for heaven’s sake” which I am sure he regretted the minute it left his mouth and he followed with ” just take some slow deep breaths and here you can hold my hand”, which was refused.  Being caught off guard is hard and while I could not just stop and cry which is what I wanted to do , I could say a prayer for peace and help , maybe that was what was needed. The youngest got himself together, but was still shaken when we got to the office, so I slipped my arm in his and gave him a little squeeze , just to let him know I was there,  no words  said, but I could feel his step relax and he seemed better. We did discuss the reactions at session and we all agreed that it was the unexpected nature of the anxiety and panic which caught us all off guard.

That is what it is like with schizoaffective  disorder, you can do something over and over again like getting in the car and going to a session and Boom, anxiety sets in and then panic and there you go!!

Today I am thankful for the presence of the sovereign Lord, who hears every prayer the quick ones and the long ones, as well as the short, desperate ones. And I am assured He hears them all, captures the tears in bottles and remains present. I long for the day when I don’t have to think about such things as panic attacks in traffic ,  it  probably won’t happen, but the sovereign Lord has and does provide miracles so I will await with hopeful expectation, eyes and ears alert, and will still be caught off guard!!! But that is one thing about God – HE is never caught off guard !!  

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.