Thursday, October 22, 2009

some catching up

I wanted to report by now that good health has once again returned.  However, we are all still coughing and dealing with lower energy levels.  Sinus infections don't go away easily, I'm discovering.  I've taken to boiling water and putting my head over the pan several times a day, to ensure that the intense pain doesn't return.

The financial stress we've been under (six months without a full-time job), is something I've endured pretty well.  Recently though, with the added health stress, my positive outlook has taken a nosedive.  The economy just isn't recovering.  I find myself praying daily for greater endurance.  I know God won't stop providing, but I'm just so weary.

Our neighbor has been out of work since January (specialized work in the auto business).  My cousin Rick in CA--who owns a custom landscaping business--can't find any work and may lose his house.  He previously did very well financially, meaning he has a hefty house payment.  Unfortunately, his set of skills is very specialized; I don't recall him ever doing any other kind of work.

All of us have heard sad stories, I'm sure.

Hardship is a great teacher.  We mustn't forget that, even as the recession drags on.

A friend of my husband's called the other day, out of the blue.  Don couldn't really get out of telling Jim about the job loss, but he did reassure Jim that we're meeting all our bills.  In an act of great kindness, Jim sent a $100.00 check, which arrived a few days later.  Our cell phone bill was nearly a month overdue (Don didn't know this).  We don't have a land phone, so paying our cell bill was a necessity.  We both got teary-eyed over the blessing, but accepting it was hard.  Yes, God put it on Jim's heart to do this, and we're grateful.  It's just that we would really like to get back to paying our own expenses.

This aspect of hardship is harder on me than on Don.  There are givers and takers in the world, and many people in between.  Don is in between; I am a heavy giver.  Taking feels so unnatural.  I can see God wanting me to learn how to receive, but does He have to drag it out this long?  Good grief!  (And yes, I was telling the truth about the jackets, Dear Reader (who sent me an e-mail).  We all have jackets!  Bless your heart!)

In another random act of kindness, Don's sister sent a $300 check, to ensure that Don has sufficient funds to take his first computer-certification exam.  Someone rear-ended her vehicle recently, and she received a $550 dollar check from the driver's insurance company.  She decided to have her son fix her car, enabling her to send some of the insurance money to Don.  We had another teary-eyed letter-opening session.  God is so faithful.  And so are his servants!  We are blessed beyond measure, truly; I have no right to be feeling so down.

Yesterday Daniel and I attended his first counseling session. I gave a detailed history, and the therapist made a diagnosis and wrote treatment goals.  Daniel has Generalized Anxiety Disorder (runs in my family).  He will see his therapist once a week, until the goals have been met.

He is still off his ADHD meds.  I'm happy to report that, with the token behavior system we're using, he's been more manageable this week.

On the way home from the appointment, Daniel asked me if Amanda (therapist's name) loved Jesus.  I replied, "I don't know if she does or not, but even if she doesn't, she can still teach you strategies for dealing with your fears.  She went to college to learn how to help people manage their feelings, and I think she enjoys her job.  Once you get to know her, maybe you can tell her about Jesus."

I watched him in the rear-view mirror as I said this.  He just smiled.  God will use my Daniel in mighty ways.  The poor guy has some handicaps that I wouldn't wish on anyone, but he also has a heart of gold, and a deep love for his Savior.

Last night during prayer time at AWANA class, the teacher asked the children to take turns praying.  Daniel prayed that he would do well next week, when he talked to Amanda about his fears.  Timothy told God that he loved Him, and that he wanted to love Him forever and ever.

My boys can really rattle my nerves.  Pretty often.  But last night, their prayers blessed me beyond measure!  It was the boldness, the sweetness, and the sincerity.  With all this recent stress, I've felt like such a failure as a mother.  Their prayers helped me remember that I'm not the one raising my children.  God is.

And he is a perfect parent.