Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jack's father did not go home last week. Instead he was transferred to the geriatric psych area so he could regain his strength and the doctors could better stabilize his medications. This was really tough on Jack, but he realized that this really is the best thing for his dad. The visitation rules for this area of the hospital are much stricter with visitors only being allowed for a couple of hours a day. So Jack has been home every night for almost a whole week!

His mom has been moved to the long-term recovery part of the hospital and seems to be gradually improving.

We have been blessed by friends who have brought us meals (Even my children reached their fast food saturation point!), prayed for us, and hosted our small group at their home. One set of friends even let all 4 of our girls sleep over!

So I should be feeling great. But I don't. I feel a bit down. I don't really know why. I think living with uncertainty, both of the future and of each day, takes a toll on me. Jack has been down and I know that affects my emotions. And I'm just plain weary!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And Then I Fell Flat on My Face

The fits and crying that I mentioned last time, they happened. After praising God for His sufficiency, I totally crashed and burned. Not that God wasn't still sufficient. But I think I began to think I had something to do with the victories God had won. So He allowed me to see just how weak I really am! But since I realized my weakness, I can now depend on His strength!

We have had even more challenging times with
Paul's parents. A few days after his mom's surgery, his dad became ill. Paul thought he could deal with it at home, but a wonderful physician friend said that he really should be in the hospital - which is a VERY DIFFICULT place for a person with dementia to be. He has pneumonia and has been in the hospital for over a week now. A VERY LONG WEEK!!! Because of the dementia, someone has to stay with Paul's dad 24/7. Because three of Paul's siblings have chronic health problems and his younger brother had the flu, Paul has stayed with his dad every night but three since his mom was admitted to the hospital. And some of those nights Paul's dad did not sleep. (So Paul didn't sleep either!) He's weary. We're weary. We're hoping that Paul's dad can go home tomorrow. (We were really hoping for today, but the doctors said maybe tomorrow.) When Paul's dad gets home, one of his brothers plans on staying with him most nights. I hope that goes as planned, because I don't think our family can continue with this schedule for weeks on end!

On a good note,
Paul's mom is out of ICU! However, she does have some water in her lungs and had to have a blood transfusion earlier this week. We really don't know a whole lot about her condition. The only way to learn anything is to see the doctor during his rounds (which are at different times every day!). And even then we're likely to get only vague information! There's got to be a better way for doctors and patients/patient's families to communicate!

I need to remind myself to cherish the times of peace and normalcy. Because, as we've seen this month, trouble can invade suddenly and turn our lives upside down.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sufficient Grace

If I had known last week what we would be going through this week, I would have broken down and cried. If my girls had known last week how often Paul would need to be away this week there would have been much weeping, some pouting, and maybe even a fit or two.

But this week has gone as smoothly as it could have. God truly does give us the grace to handle the need of the moment when the moment arrives, and not before. Not that we've handled everything perfectly. But we have managed to get through the first part of the week without stressing out or breaking down.

Ironically, Friday was a breakdown sort of day for me. I began the day out of sorts and my sour mood did not abate during the day. As I began to journal and blame my mood on not enough quality adult interaction, God totally convicted me that the problem wasn't a lack of interaction with other people, my problem was lack of quality time with Him! So I immediately stopped my journaling, downloaded the first video session of Beth Moore's A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place, and watched it. And this week I've been faithfully spending time with God through the workbook. I know that God has used my time with Him to strengthen me. I really don't want to think about all the ugly flesh & self that would have come out of me this week had I not been in the Word!

God was so faithful to prepare me to be in His Word when He knew I would need it most!

Monday, February 4, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours

Sometimes life is smooth and, if not exactly easy, at least comfortably predictable. And I seldom appreciate those times while I have them. We are not currently enjoying a time of peace and rest. Jack has felt a lot of pressure regarding an investment he made last year. What seemed at the time to be an incredible opportunity to enhance our income has become a major headache! One of the other people involved has had various family distractions, and others have just been dragging their feet when it comes to moving forward and resolving things.

If that weren't enough, a couple of weeks ago, Paul's car was broken into and thieves broke in and stole! The thieves took his bag which contained some business items that will be expensive to replace, his wallet, and, worst of all, his Bible and journal. The police have not been able to catch the thieves, and don't expect to recover any of our stolen property. We are praying for God to use Paul's Bible to save the thieves or someone else. (It would be great if the thieves would get saved and then RETURN OUR STUFF!!!)

Then on Sunday, instead of watching the Superbowl with some friends from Sunday School, Paul sat in the waiting room at the hospital waiting for his mother to get out of emergency surgery. The surgery went well, but she is fighting infection, so she is still on a ventilator and sedated. She knows the Lord, so we aren't worried about her eternal destiny, but we sure would like to have more time with her! Paul has been dividing his time between visiting at the hospital, helping to care for his father (who has some dementia), ministering to his siblings (some of whom do not know Jesus), and all the regular stuff of life like working and spending time with us.

God must have some great things in store for us, because He sure is allowing some situations that are causing us to stretch our faith and rely on Him and Him alone! Since we know He wastes nothing we can be sure that He is working even in these awful things. (Now if only I can keep that perspective all the time!)