Things are moving along albeit slowly but that’s okay. Slow and steady is fine for both Tommy and me. I’ve learned that an agency here had requested Thomas’ “packet” from his current school and it was quickly emailed off. I still have phone calls to make, Thomas is in need of a “Medicaid service coordinator” or MSC for short. This person will help greatly in setting up services for him when he comes to live in a group home. Thomas has had MSC’s in the past when he lived at home. So we’re familiar with their role. Tommy and I are also meeting with the group home’s nurse and psychologist this week. I’m looking forward to this meeting.
I have something amusing to write about. The person from the state who was previously pressuring me to accept group home placement in other boroughs *except* for the one we live on is now totally on board for Thomas to live here. On this borough. Really? The other day this person said to me, “You’ve been away from your son long enough, you need him to live near you now…” It was all I could do to not reply in a sarcastic manner but I knew I just couldn’t. Instead I exclaimed my agreement with them, “Oh yes, exactly!”
I’m so grateful to my church family for praying with us for the group home placement to happen. People I didn’t even realize were praying for us are doing so. The power of prayer is real and I’m honored with this wonderful group of people. It’s amazing how the Lord works, He is worthy to be praised! When I look back at my journey with Thomas it’s the times I know that God was with me that mean the most. He is always with me but the distinct times I know God was blatantly, no argument, hands down, definitely answering my prayers mean so much; how do you put it into words or explain it to someone? You can’t. You have to believe.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10) is one of my favorite Bible verses. In looking up this verse I learned that “Be still” is to stop frantic activity, to cease and to look to the Lord for help.In this life I lead now, I can see no other way to face a problem. Acknowledging that God is all knowing, everywhere and all powerful; trusting Him and His plan; that we understand who He is. When I am still and surrender to God I know I can find peace.
The new year has been ushered in and with it brought my father to the ER/hospital/admitted with pneumonia. It came on very suddenly. He was fine New Year’s day; by the next morning my mom was calling an ambulance and my dad was on his way to the hospital. So fast. He’s feeling much better today and is eagerly waiting to be discharged home.
I’ve always wondered what my dad thought of God and Jesus, did he believe? He’s the person that always came to my mind when our Pastor spoke about spreading the Gospel. The Lord has put it on my heart many times to talk to my Dad about Jesus but I pushed it aside. Today was different. I called my father at his hospital bed and told him I wanted to talk about his salvation and I wanted to be with him in heaven. Did he believe in Jesus? To my relief my father said that Yes he believes he just doesn’t go to church and was actually spurned and turned off to church when he was younger. I mentioned perhaps he could go to church with my Mom when she goes. He seemed open to that suggestion.
I’m glad I had this conversation with my dad. It started out a little difficult but became easier the more we talked. I firmly believe the Holy Spirit was prompting me and I’m grateful for that. I know I would say to myself, “but I don’t know what to say or how to say it” referring to talking about God or Jesus to people other than my friends from church or my church family. My bible study leader always said to not worry, the Holy Spirit will guide you and she’s right; He will and has.
I woke up having a song running through my head, 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSxocnIaN0A. Specifically the chorus, “Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul. Worship His holy name…” Such powerful lyrics. To not only worship the Lord but also His name. He deserves such worship and devotion, the great I Am. Each day I’m amazed at His greatness, how He can change lives, and change people. I know the Lord has changed me. Changed the way I see situations and how I see people. I’ve seen Him work things out in a way that only He can.
I’ll never forget when Thomas was in the psychiatric hospital 2 hours away. I was called to come in for a meeting and Tommy insisted I not go by myself. The meeting was in 2 days and I had no one to come with me. I thought about my church family and calling the church to see if anyone could accompany me. I didn’t call the church. Instead I went to the Macy’s one day sale. While in Macy’s I ran into Cheryl who is one of the pastor’s wife from church. She immediately asked about Thomas and I told her I had this meeting to go to and I needed someone to come with me. Without missing a beat Cheryl asks, “When is the meeting?” I told her the day and she quickly answered, “I’ll be there.” I almost fell over right there in Macy’s. And true to her word Cheryl came with me. I took up her whole day. And she acted as if it were no big deal. That was the work of our God right there working through Cheryl. This was over 3 years ago and Cheryl is now a wonderful, dear friend of mine.
I’ve been praying for a new job all the while knowing this can only happen on His timing, not mine. Now here I am presented with this new opportunity. I don’t know if this is exactly where He wants me to be I can only step out in faith and trust Him.
Today (Sunday) was choir day. I usually love choir days (at our church we typically sing 2 Sunday/month). But today I was so nervous. I have no idea where this nervousness stemmed from. I am not usually nervous to sing with our choir, I love singing with the choir. But during these past rehearsals I began wondering if I were good enough. I loathe this anxiety of mine. Loathe it. That is where this nervousness stems from. Once we started singing in front of the church the nervousness went away and I truly enjoyed singing His praises. Singing to our Lord. Singing with my choir family. And I remembered how blessed I feel to be a part of this ministry and to be able to worship Him, like this.
Recently I’ve been wondering why I doubt myself so. There are times that I wonder if I’m Christian “enough”, but I don’t have an answer for what would make me *more* Christian. Reading the Bible more? Praying more? Witnessing to strangers? Believing more (if that is possible)? No, I don’t think those are the answers either. But regardless I feel like there is more I should be doing and I pray consistently for guidance and discernment to know that the path I will be set on will be His path and not any other’s.
These are my thoughts. I’m not looking for advice or to be analyzed. I’m putting this out there as perhaps I’m not alone in my thoughts. I can’t be the only one wondering if there’s more I should be doing for our God. And what exactly might that be? What if I suddenly get an epiphany of direction, will I follow it? I like to think that yes I will follow His lead because after all His plan is the only one that would be perfect regardless of my or anyone’s thoughts on the matter. There are days I feel on the precipice of change. And I get nervous. Yes, that nervousness again. However nervous I may feel I do trust him and I know His way will be the perfect way.
I attended my first prayer meeting ever at my church this past Friday night. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go at first but I swear the Holy Spirit works through my children as it was my oldest daughter who encouraged me to go. I arrived a few minutes early and was fortunate enough to find parking. This next part was odd. When I was walking up the stairs to enter the church I swear I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach telling me to leave. Like a feeling of dread. That I shouldn’t go. I wasn’t apprehensive about going, I had made up my mind earlier in the day while emailing my friend about the meeting. We were to meet there. I never had a feeling like that before and it made me very uneasy. I still continued on and entered the church. The minute I did that the feeling left as soon as it came on. Say what you will but I believe the enemy exists and I believe it was him trying to discourage me from attending the prayer meeting.
I had the pleasure of sitting with 3 other strong Christian women along with my friend (who is also a strong Christian as well as a wonderful friend). I feel blessed to have been surrounded by such women. The prayer meeting was powerful. Powerful. We prayed for ourselves. The elders and Pastors anointed those who were ill with oil and they were prayed over. We prayed for people sitting next to us, we prayed for our youth and their parents, we prayed for our children and the children’s ministry and the children’s ministry leaders. We prayed for our Pastor and his family. It lasted over 2 hours and people were still praying and the Pastor invited everyone who wanted to stay that they were welcome. I left after being prayed over at the alter. It was amazing.
The people leading us in prayer were so eloquent and moved by the Spirit. Their words were perfect and inspiring to the soul. I wish I could pray out loud and so be Spirit led. I’m more of a stoic/quiet pray-er. I know God hears me. I believe it is quite the gift to be able to pray out loud for a group of people, many of whom you don’t know personally. And I believe it’s even more of a gift when your words touch the very heart and soul of someone listening. It’s the gift of the Spirit leading you to relay a much needed message to someone you don’t even know.
Prayer is so powerful.
I read on a friend’s facebook post today, “God didn’t bring you this far to drop you on your head”. That statement made me literally stop in my tracks. The post was not directed towards me but rather a friend of this friend but in my heart I know I was meant to see that. How could anymore be more true right now, to me anyway. I’ve been having a hard time lately trying endlessly it seems to figure out what exactly I’m here for. This being a SAHM gig is getting stale to me and I feel the need to *do* something but what that something is? I’ve been wondering have I been forgotten by God? Maybe he’s forgotten about his plan for me? A silly thought yes I know. Then after reading my friend’s facebook post I realized that God hasn’t forgotten me, he’s brought me this far hasn’t he? Why would he then drop me on my head? He wouldn’t. His love is far greater than that.
It never ceases to amaze me how great and awesome our God is. He’ll accept our anger and still cover us with His grace, He’ll always be sovereign even though we accuse Him of being unfair. He is and always will be our God and I give thanks to Him that He will never drop me on my head after bringing me as far as he has brought me. To His glory may all things point. He will never leave us or forsake us. I need to write these things down as a reminder to myself and maybe someone else needs to read it as well.
I will continue to pray and praise Him even in the darkness He will shine His light and I know that He is near.
It’s 6:30 am on a Sunday and the only reason I’m up is because the the choir is singing today at church and I’m in the choir. I’m not complaining about being up (No, I don’t enjoy waking up this early on a Sunday) but it is what it is. We are to be at church approx. an hour before the first service for extra practice time. I don’t even mind the practice as it gives us a chance to say hello/good morning and just be together, in between songs we’ll laugh and joke a bit. It’s really nice and kind of makes up for the fact that we’re all there so early :). I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy being in the choir. Everyone is really nice and genuine. There is no phony-ness although I see no reason for that to even exist anyway within our choir. What I love the most is the fellowship. I’m probably repeating myself from a previous post but I can’t help it. To know when you really need prayers that this group of awesome people will pray for you is an incredible feeling.
The only thing I would change right now is the weather. It’s colder at 7:45 am than 10:15 am which is the time I usually go to church when the choir is not singing. I have to laugh because when I first joined the choir and I was told what time we had to be there on the Sundays that we sing, someone should have told me what my face looked like. I say this because inside my head I was like, “Nooooo!! Oh No…please tell me you’re joking”. It’s funny though because you do get used to it and to be honest after a while it’s really ok, you just have to get over the initial jolt. I’m not a morning person but as I get older I find mornings can be pretty cool; just don’t talk to me until I’ve had coffee.
Oh and the other really cool part about being in the choir is that we get to sing for all 3 services. I love that as each service has it’s own personality. When you’re up there you realize this and it makes it all the more special for some reason. One or two services are more vocal than others, one can be on the “quiet” side, one can start out quiet than really get into the singing. It’s really sweet to be a part of every service in that way.
What totally surprised me is that people really do notice you up there. You might think you’re inconspicuous or hidden behind the microphone or another person but …nope! You are out there and people see *you*. At first I thought that might freak me out a bit, but it didn’t and still doesn’t. Story of God’s sense of humor: The first Sunday I was singing with the choir I was determined to not be in the first row. I was very nervous. I somehow managed to situate myself in the second row and I was feeling good about that for my first Sunday. Then the choir director asked someone to move to the first row to even us out. I felt my hand go up and then I heard myself say, “I’ll go”. What?? Who said that?? I ended up in the first row and you know what it was fine, totally fine. I was not nervous and I really felt like I was singing in front of my family. I was. I was in front of my church family. God would never let me make him look bad.
This is my last post of 2013. I can’t say 2013 was the best year of my life but it certainly wasn’t the worst. 2012 was way rough compared to 2013. This past year I’ve struggled with depression and made it through med adjustments, therapy sessions that were at times intense and at other times full of relief. There isn’t a time that I think of both my doctor and my therapist that I don’t thank God above for placing them both in my life. Without that combo I honestly don’t know where I’d be right now.
I was reading over past blog entries specifically dealing with depression and I’m so thankful I’m not in that dark place anymore. I’m thankful to feel more like “me”. Good moods are not taken for granted anymore but are recognized and enjoyed to the fullest. I’m incredibly grateful for my friends and family (both online and in person). Words fail to describe how I feel about my choir family. I love our fellowship and the friends I’ve made through the choir. They are all very strong people who pray for me without me even asking.
I also don’t know where I’d be without my husband. He’s received quite the education in dealing with a wife fighting depression. And he’s been wonderful, I’m not just saying that he really has been.
I didn’t set out to make this a “thankful” post but it looks like it’s heading in that direction and that’s ok. These and many more blessing have followed me this past year through the laughter and the tears. “Silly” questions I’ve asked and wonderful friends who have an answer. I am looking forward to 2014 beginning; I think 2013 has had enough and is tired but I hope she goes off quietly and without a huge bang to anyone.
I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions at all. But there is one I would really, really like to keep and that is to spread the Gospel and be more bold in my faith. We are called to make disciples and I’m am ridiculously intimidated by that command. I know the Holy Spirit will be with me when the opportunity arises and will give me the “right” things to say. I need to trust and submit. Maybe those 2 actions should also be part of my “Resolution”. Yes I think they shall be.
We are ringing in the new year with a small party, a gathering of friends and family and friends that are more like family than anything else. I love it. I love that people want to come to our house and celebrate with us, I love that we have such people to get together with and be comfortable, laugh, have fellowship, talk and laugh some more and usher in a New Year.
Good bye 2013.
Happy New Year!
I’ve been feeling down the past few days. It’s not major but not minor either. But on the upside, Daniella and I had an interesting conversation last night. She asked me what do Nancy and I talk about, but…I don’t have to tell her if I don’t want to. I thought that was very sweet and insightful for a 12 year old. I explained that we talk about almost everything and yes sometimes we talk about her and her siblings, but not always. That Nancy listens and may explain why I might feel a certain way or pick up on things that I don’t feel are important. I have a caring daughter. I’m glad she feels comfortable enough to ask me such questions and in a mature manner.
I’ve been praying in hope that a The Lord will relieve this down-ness. One of my wonderful choir friends said something to me last Thursday that is sticking with me still. She said that God uses your weaknesses and wounds through which His Light spills out of you. You are then able to bless others when you expose the humble, hurting parts of yourself. I found this really profound. This blog is/has been an outlet and source of healing for me. I’ve received such feedback to keep writing, something I never expected, I had no idea anyone would even read what I write.
I can only hope God’s Light spills out of the parts of me that are wounded and that that light is shining and touching someone else.
I really heart my choir family. My friend received her words from a book “Dear Jesus” by Sarah Young.
After choir practice this past Thursday night a fellow choir member/friend and I started chatting. She was telling me about when she was going through a difficult time and how our Pastor said during service that even though some people may appear to not be worshipping during church, those people are right where they’re supposed to be, sitting in church.
I know I’ve said this before, I have really wonderful friends. My friend didn’t know I had already written in my blog that maybe this wasn’t the time for my business to take off as it isn’t the time God wants it to happen. I am just where I am supposed to be. I love this. If someone had said that to me a year or so ago I might not have liked it but it still would have rang true.
As of this moment I’m glad to be where I am, where God wants me. I’ve spent the better part of the last year and a half cursing my station in life and putting myself down as a stay at home mom. I was convinced because I wasn’t filling a role within a company and earning a paycheck that I was worthless. But…right here is exactly where God wants and has wanted me to be.
I believe it’s all about trust in The Lord. We have to trust His judgement and follow with faith. I don’t believe we know better than God, that what we want is what we should always get. I expected and wanted a “typical” son. That didn’t happen instead I was given a gift of a boy who challenged me and in that process those many challenges tore me down so I could be rebuilt spiritually.
I began attending church again when things were going well in my life. Thomas was stable on his meds, my family was in a relatively calm state. I was able to join a bible study group. Life was really nice and I accepted Christ as my Saviour. I realized I had a church family when things started unraveling, the med changes and hospitalizations, etc… God placed me in church at the right moment. When life was good I was exactly where I was supposed to be so when things became rough we would have the support and people to support us during that time. Our God is amazing.