Christmas shopping

I’m well underway! It’s been nice because I have actual things on a list to go by. My gosh that list has made my life so much easier especially with my own kids, not to mention nieces and nephews. What was extra nice was that my husband was home the past 2 nights and together we made quite a dent in “The List”. It was nice spending time with him even if it was just shopping. I really appreciate my husband. I not only was glad for the shopping help but I appreciate him as a person. His sense of humor, that he watches me walking towards him with this smile that says he’s so happy to see me. Like I’m someone who’s worth watching. It’s a nice feeling. We split up a few times in the mall, I’m not really a Sears gal and he could care less about the teen/tween stores. After a while we’d find each other again and regroup, refer back to “The List”. We held hands and kissed in public.

I’m glad I have him. I’m thankful the Lord placed him in my life. We’ve been together since we were about 17 years old and married for 19 years this past November. 19 Married Christmases. That’s pretty cool. With the exception of our very first Christmas right after we were married, the other 18 Christmases have been all about the kids. Thomas first of course then just Thomas and Alyssa. Before we knew it Lelly was with us and last but not least along came Samantha. It was nice when the kids were younger and it was fun. But to be honest I enjoy the holidays more now that everyone is older and things aren’t as hectic as they were back then when kids are say under the age of 5.

Prayer meeting

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.

He Hears Us.

I’ve been taking notes at church lately, I’m afraid I’m going to miss something I think. I used to never take notes, I figured I wouldn’t go back and read them anyway so why bother. Well, I do go back and read them.  I love to re-read what our Pastor said and how it all applies to my life.  Our Pastor has been discussing the importance of prayer, that we must set aside time to be with The Father. But I wonder if we ever feel we have set enough time aside for The Father. Could there always be more time? My answer is yes, but I also believe God knows what is in my heart and he hears me. I guess that sounds defensive. I’m defending why I don’t spend more time in prayer. I wish I had an answer, a true answer.

Our Pastor also said, “Your life is a continuous act of worship. Everything can be lived to the glory of God.” I find that extremely inspiring knowing that all one does can be done to His glory. There is no act too small or unimportant.

I also find myself being more and more thankful for my life and the blessings He has given me, which makes me want to spend more time in prayer to praise and thank Him. I guess it becomes a wonderful cycle eventually: You spend more time in prayer with The Father which leads to more blessings and/or increased appreciation for present blessings which leads to more prayer and praise and thanks.

He hears us.

Up early

I’m up before everyone.  I do this fairly often and it’s really nice.  I’m up before the craziness of everyone getting ready for school.  That includes me getting decent hair and face going on.  I take Samantha to school but I’m not one to go in my pajamas.  Except for the barking of my dogs (for whatever reason early mornings are cat chasing time.  Go figure.) it’s really quiet.  Like hear a pin drop quiet.  So cool.  This used to be the quiet I would get at night when everyone was small.  They were all pretty much were in bed by 9pm the latest.  These days …nope.  Everyone seems to be up forever and want to talk.  Meanwhile by 9:30 ish I’m all talked out and I’m ready for the quiet. 

I pick up Thomas tomorrow for a weekend visit.  He’s so looking forward to coming home.  Every phone call these past 2 weeks has included confirmation of the date I’m coming to get him, Feb. 1st and that yes, I promise I’m coming.  Oh and that I spoke to the social worker about said date.  He’s funny but I don’t blame him I’m sure I’d be the same way in his shoes.  I’m impressed with how Thomas speaks to me sometimes.  He actually said, “Mom, you *promise* you’re coming?”  Who knew that he knows the concept of a “promise”?  Not me until he said it. 

I’m off to the city today (another reason I’m up earlier). Earlier this week I was reflecting on how things have changed since I started seeing Nancy.  When I first went to her I was terribly clinically depressed.  I hadn’t started meds yet, actually I was terrified of meds and said I would NOT take them.  That adamant position changed rapidly when I realized that no amount of therapy was going to help that this was more serious than I thought, plus I became more afraid of the depression than the medications.  When I first started seeing Nancy,  I cried through every session and after we were done I’d walk down Broadway on the upper west side for blocks and blocks, many times fighting back tears.  One time and I know this was The Lord’s work, my wonderful friend Jackie called me as I was walking.  I couldn’t believe her timing. I walked and talked and cried down Broadway on the cell phone with her for about who knows how many blocks.  Probably 10.  Until I saw a subway station for my train and decided I was tired of walking. Amazing how I thought I was all along when I wasn’t. I had the Lord with me and then He prompted Jackie to call. I love those perfect timings.

Ok, it’s getting later and I must start the chaos we call mornings. I’m extremely thankful the only one I have to “help” a little is Samantha. She really needs prompting and that’s ok. I’m off!

To a new beginning and a great year!

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!

Our Anniversary

On November 12,1995 two best friends were married.  Today is our wedding anniversary.  Today is the day 18 years ago Tommy and I became Mr. and Mrs.  I don’t mean to sound corny but I am proud of us.  I don’t know what the future will hold but the past 18 years seemed to fly by.  I remember us lying on the beach on our honeymoon saying we should save up to go back to Hawaii on our 10th anniversary.  10 years seemed so very far away.  We had no idea Thomas would be who he is nor did we have a clue we would have had 4 children.  Thomas was born that following July.

Speaking matter of fact, I’d have to say Thomas was our greatest challenge during our marriage. We had no idea what we were dealing with during those early days. We were young and he was our first child. I know we were guided by the Holy Spirit. I know because there is no way we made it through through that time in our own strength.

I’m excited to celebrate 18 years. I know it’s not a “milestone” like 20 or 25 years but it’s a milestone nonetheless. I can’t say I never thought we would make it this long, I didn’t think that at all. To be honest aside from our honeymoon and mentioning the wish to come back to Hawaii in “10 years” we never discussed future anniversaries or how we would celebrate them. Maybe that’s how we get by; putting one foot in front of the other and not taking the next day or year for granted. I know raising a child like Thomas had that effect on me personally as I never know what the next moment would bring never mind the next day, week or year. I took one day at a time with him, sometimes one hour at a time especially when his behavior was challenging.

I love my husband probably more now than I did 18 years ago. We were 25 years old when we said, “I do”. I believe we have both grown as people and I know Tommy has taught me so much. About myself and about the world in general. I only hope I’ve taught him something as well.

A short visit

I’m sitting here right where I’m supposed to be wondering what the heck just happened.  Our son came home for a weekend visit.  We had a great time a couple of weeks ago at his school picnic.  He was wonderful with me.  But this weekend, no.   It started this afternoon after church with a bit of defiant behavior nothing huge or big until you look back.  this afternoon Thomas absolutely did not want me along for the trip to Home Depot with Tommy.  I was going that was it, that’s the way it is.  Tommy managed to coax Thomas to getting in the car.  Thomas stated loud and clear that he wasn’t speaking to me. Fine.

Home Depot went well we decided on and bought a new upstairs hallway light fixture. While Tommy was installing said light fixture my son felt the need to verbally insult me to the point where Tommy asked him to go downstairs. No problem. We have dinner and all seems calmer. That’s cool. Around 7pm while Samantha and I were cruising the American Girl website discussing the finer points of American Girl Dolls and which one would make the better Christmas gift, Thomas walks over and starts verbally berating me. After about 20 minutes Tommy got him to sit with him on the couch and watch tv. Thomas still isn’t done and announces that we shouldn’t call him at school and he isn’t calling us. Fine. Then Thomas decides he wants to go back to school NOW. Tommy tells me to pack his stuff. I did as I’m told and they are on their way to Yonkers.

I don’t know why I’m writing this out. My head still doesn’t understand why this child feels he can say things that are not very nice to me. Why I am his target. I’ve heard all the professional explanations and logically I know it’s not my “fault”. I know if he were a typical child he would say things that aren’t “nice”. I get that as I have a typical 15 yr old. However she doesn’t look for me to aim insults at or call me names that aren’t true.

We are not used to this behavior. We don’t live this way anymore. Praise God I have a level headed husband. The moment Thomas said he wanted to go back Tommy was on his feet. Tommy is my greatest defender. Every day I thank God for putting him in my life.

My Church Family

I can’t write about the ambulance incident without mentioning my church family.  I emailed, Louise a dear friend who was running the Bible study I was involved in.  In the email I told her what had happened.  She  was wonderful and very supportive.  Louise then asked if Tommy and I would come to the Wednesday evening prayer time so the Pastor and anyone who comes could pray over us.  We found a friend to sit with the kids and Tommy and I went.  

When we arrived at the church we sat in a pew and I just cried and cried while praying.  I was giving thanks to The Lord.  After that whole fiasco I gave thanks.  For without Him I am nothing and I have nothing.  I was thankful for my husband that he is who he is.  I was thankful for all my children and I was thankful for the church.  At some time it occurred to me that God may not give us what we want but does give us what we need. I needed an ambulance and emergency workers so I was sent the most compassionate professional police and EMT’S that were working that day. I needed the courage to dial 911 for my out of control son, He gave me that courage.

After we all prayed separately we approached the alter and Pastor Paul gave the most heartfelt, incredibly touching prayer for us. His words were perfect and spot on. It turns out Louise didn’t tell Pastor Paul what happened, she forwarded my email to another Pastor at our church. Pastor Paul had no idea about the aggression and ambulance until prayer was over and Tommy told him. The Holy Spirit worked through him and gave him the words we needed.

To me our church family is nothing short of God’s work. To arrange the people who were virtual strangers before to be involved in our life is something only He can do with such perfection and grace.