Sunday, January 25, 2015

Deep Thoughts Today

My Uncle passed away a few nights ago...It has of course made me sad.  He had been sick for a long while and we knew this time was coming.  I was close to my uncle when I was a child, when I lived in Up State New York.  When I moved to Georgia,  I only saw him when I would travel back up there.  I wrote him letters regularly and called him occasionally on holidays but looking back wish I had done more. 

I have thought a lot about life since his passing.  This happens to many of us when we suffer loss of a loved one.  It makes you put into perspective all things.  When our daughter passed away many years ago, I was deep in grief and could not wrap my mind around how fragile life could she be just gone?  After that day, It was branded in my heart, we never know how long people will be with us.  When someone dies, it reminds us that things are not what is important in life. 

When my mom passed away at 58 years they wheeled her empty body out of the hospital room...I thought to myself...she is gone and could take nothing with her.  She came into this world with nothing and left the hospital not even wearing her own clothing.  She had on a hospital gown. 

As I have gotten older, I have a hard time grasping how fast time is going by.  I have watched my grandparents generation slowly leave this world.  Over the past many years, I have seen many from my father and mothers generation go.  I have experienced childhood, teen years, young adult hood and are in the more mature years now.   Standing on top of the hill, you might say.  I have raised children from infants to adult hood.  We have suffered many happy, joyous, days but also many losses.

Pondering these losses has once again driven home in my heart, that the most important things in our lives are relationships.  I know it is nice to have nice things.  I know it is nice to enjoy having hobbies, going on trips and being entertained but these things are so fleeting and don't last for eternity.  People do.  Souls do.  Relationships do. 

I know this is an "out of the norm" post, that it might even make you feel down a bit.  I know we all know these things but right now this is all raw and real again in my mind.   So I just wanted to share my heart and thoughts.  Nothing, is more important than having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Nothing, is more important that serving God.  Nothing in this life, is more important than the people in it.  Nothing more precious, fragile, long lasting or worth nurturing, than a human soul.  To let them know you care, you love them, think of them and are praying for them.  Nothing is more important than reaching out to hurting people who need to be encouraged.  They are all around us every day.

If God puts someone on your heart as you read this today...  make that phone call, write that email, give that hug, tell someone how much you care.  It can never be done or said enough.

My friend is praying very hard for two special little boys in Bulgaria to find their forever homes.  God led her and her husband to adopt many times from this country, so Bulgaria and its people hold a special place in their heart.  She and her husband have an amazing calling from God.  A gift to love and raise special children for Him.  If you could please hop over to her blog and pray for these two boys to find their forever family.  Every child deserves a mom and dad.   It would make a difference forever in their lives.  Please feel free to share on any social media to bring attention to them.

May the God in heaven help us daily to reach out to others and hold nothing back.  May we be full of Gods love and compassion as we view others around us.  May He help us to have servants hearts and be Christ's hands and feet in all we do.

Mark 10:45  For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.




Saturday, January 17, 2015

A New Friend

As many of you know, William lost his dog and good friend Will a few months ago.  They were very bonded together and inseparable when at home.  She was a good therapy dog for William.  He needed her in his life as much as she needed and loved to be with him.
William wears a back brace most of the time because his back bothers him from helping me lift Antonio so much.  Bless his heart.
William has many health issues.  Autism and the learning disabilities that come with autism, are the hardest to cope with daily.  Part of him having autism, is that he has very high anxiety.  Anxiety that most of us would not understand having to live with.  Often, when someone has autism, they have certain things that bother them tremendously all day long.  Irritation they have to learn to live with.  For example...nails on a chalk board irritate and hit a nerve in certain people?  It would be like living with that sound, going on all day long around you.  Certain sounds, clothing textures, change in his routine and also trying new things are some things that bother William.  Plus, he is a worrier.  He worries about everything.  Things like, how he will pay for a repair on his truck if it were to happen and such.
We try to keep Williams (and Zekes, who also has autism) life as low key as possible.  We try to stick to routine as much as we can.  But yet gently encourage them to get involved and do new things.

This anxiety and worrying plays into the health issues he has been struggling with for several years.  When he works to hard, goes out into the heat, gets stressed or does anything that gives him a heavy anxiety load, it causes his cortisol levels to plummet and his blood sugar to fall.  It plays into his chronic hypoglycemia.  When this happens, he has trouble thinking, talking, walking, he gets exhausted and can not drive or function.  He calls these episodes crashes.  We have not found out all that is wrong with him but the anxiety plays heavily into it all.

Tim and I have seen a lot more anxiety and health crisis, while his dog was sick and since she passed away.  We have been waiting for him to go thru the process of grieving but he has not seemed to be able to get through it.  He has been very low all the time, has had daily "crashes" and I have had to drive William every where he has needed to go for the last several months.  I think he has taken the trash to the dump for me four times and that is all the driving he has done.  

I decided that it was time to try him with another dog (friend) and see if that helped him.  I have been searching for a month for the perfect match for him.  I have been searching for a small, young, indoor dog that is calm and would make a good therapy/lap dog.  I checked our local animal shelter daily as well as  many other rescue sites.

Last week, I heard of a situation where a couple had rescued two young dogs from a bad situation.   They had heard whining coming from a small outdoor kennel in their neighbors yard a few months ago.  They went to see what was happening and two, small, puppies had been put out there. A female miniature long hair dash hound and a small male chihuahua.  They had no food or water so the couple fed and watered them.  They regularly heard whining out there and went out to check on the dogs.  They regularly had no water and food that was often covered with ants or wet from the weather.  There were two small pieces of ply board put up like a t-pee for shelter for them by the owners.  The couple started to daily feed and water the dogs.  When the temperatures started to fall for winter, they asked the owners if they could have the dogs.  The owners said yes.  The couple took them to the vet and found out that the young female was pregnant.  So they worked on house breaking and socializing the two dogs until the female had her puppies.  I learned of the situation when they were trying to find homes for them all when the puppies were weaned.  The dogs are both only about eight months old now.  The dashound had five puppies.  The couple told me what a wonderful personality the dashound has.  Very laid back, gentle and sweet.  They said we could bring her home with us for a visit and see if she was a good match for William.  William and I went to pick her up at the beginning of the week.
William and Dixie have hit it off wonderfully. 
I can tell he is much more relaxed and Dixie is so bonded to him that when he is not home, she finds his shoes and sleeps on them till he gets back. 
She is very sweet and loving and has the softest red fur. (Very snugly and lovely to pet.)  Her eyes are a deep chocolate brown and soulful. 

Tim and I saw a difference in William right away.  He has been focusing on her and her comfort and happiness. 
Friday night, movie night.
He seems happier and less stressed.  William was able to drive to town, to the GED program he is enrolled in, alone and do some errands all by himself with no issues by the end of the week.  God is so good!

We are going to give Dixie a month to settle in and then take her in to have her fixed.  She is a very sweet girl and I am grateful to God that William has made a new friend in her.  William is such an obedient, kind and helpful young man.  He loves the Lord and serves Him in all he does.  He still misses his old dog Will but it is good to see him happy again.

Jeremiah 29:11-13  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.




Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Two Week Repose

Happy New Year to everyone!  May 2015 be a blessed and great year for all.
William and baby "K" playing.
I can honestly say for the first time in 11 months I feel rested.  I thought I was tired before we started back into foster care!  Every since the toddlers came and then baby "K", I have been running on E and often at borderline exhaustion.  Tim always asks me if I slept well and I don't even remember.  I am just "out" as soon as my head hits the pillow and then morning or a bottle feeding seems to come so quickly.
Antonio wanted me to take a picture of a new shirt he got.
Whenever I usually give the children a day off from home schooling, we do some sort of work that day.  Like raking leaves, stacking wood, cleaning in the barn or deep cleaning in the house.  There is always so much to do around here.  I rarely have ever just given them a day off to do as they wish, except for Sabbath each weekend. 
"B" improving his hand strength with the good old light bright.
We had a very hard respiratory virus go thru starting the beginning of December.  It lasted for a few weeks with each person and slowly went thru us all.  I was beat from not feeling well, trying to keep the house disinfected and the children were struggling to recover.  Also, my schedule cleared for the last two weeks of the month of December.  Ballet was closed.  For the first time ever, our therapy place closed for the holidays.  I had only three appointments in two weeks and two of those were for Antonio's therapeutic massage therapist, who comes to our home once a week.  So we called a... stay at home, watch movies, work as little as possible, vacation, recovery, get some rest, time.  Two weeks of... do what you want even if that meant sleep all day.  Which some of the children did snooze on the couch some. 
William and "T" taking an afternoon snooze.
I truly got some rest as well.  I still had to tend to the sick ones and the well ones.  I still had to do meals and keep the house running.  I still had to make sure the barn chores were done.  But I left the house to go to town very little and spent a good deal of time planted on the couch with small children either climbing all over me or nestled up beside me resting.

Don't think it was easy peazy though.  To keep it all real...Of course there is always Elizabeth...sadly she spent most of her two week rest and vacation doing school work, as it is the only punishment that means anything to her.   Zeke also spent one day of his two weeks doing school work as a punishment.
I always feel so badly for Elizabeth.  She always has to ruin a good time by her own bad behavior, mean spiritedness or tantrums.  She even lost the privileged of staying up and celebrating New Years Eve with the other children.  I often just give her grace and let her participate...and always give her a chance to earn things taken away back.  She absolutely refused this time.  :(   I keep praying one day she will mature enough to be able to control herself and do what is expected of her with out lashing out at others.  On the good side, God has been working on her every day and every year that passes she improves a small amount.  I believe with all my heart, some day she will be saved and have natural love and self control.  She can go long spells now behaving and then has a week or so of just regressing terribly.  The past  month was one of those times. 

I am so grateful these three get along so well together.  They are good friends.
I feel good.  I feel rested and am resolved to keep my schedule lighter in 2015 and try to keep life as simple as I can for a season.  God is so good.

Lamentations 3:22-23  It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.