My thoughts that is, they’re wandering as most of us would probably admit to. I wander mostly to what life would be like if I worked a full time job outside the house. Would things be that hectic? Would it alleviate my boredom? Hard to say and/or predict. Don’t get me wrong I’m thankful my husband has been able to provide for us that I have been able to stay home but dang man, this staying at home mom thing seems to get more difficult as the kids get older. In my personal experience, I find that I’m taken for granted. My girls *know* when I’m home and that they can call to come home from school (this past time my daughter was NOT all that ill that she had to come home, I only discovered this only after I picked her up). Another daughter asked to be picked up because she was not feeling well but well enough to attend some classes but not well enough to take the bus home~again information I discovered after I did the driving and picking up of said daughter.
I know my husband appreciates me as I appreciate him. I don’t want either one of us to take each other for granted and so far we’ve been “ok” in that category. My kids on the other hand…after last weeks picking up – a- pa-looza. I made the decision that just because I am “home” doesn’t mean I have to pick everyone up just because they want me to. I think when you stay at home long enough you start to feel “well that’s what I’m here for”, but honestly no it’s not. I’m here at this time in everyone’s life to ensure the house runs smoothly, not to pick up kids that aren’t even sick (like really sick you all know what I mean).
So as a result of being taken for granted my thoughts wander. Wander about working full time, part time, any time that wouldn’t take away from when I have to be here. Not an easy schedule to work around but those are my requirements. I won’t make excuses for why I’m still home. Things with Thomas kept me here at this station longer than I thought I would be.
So now my thoughts wander and I wonder what’s next?
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.
Acclimated that is what my son has become to his school. Or should I say his “home” now. It’s odd to think of your child calling somewhere other than your home *their* home. I’m not complaining and surprisingly not upset about it. But my son is most likely more comfortable at his school/home than here where his family lives. I noticed this past week that when Thomas is asking to come here, he doesn’t ask to “come home” he asks for “a visit”. I respond in the way he asks, that yes he can have a visit. I notice I don’t say he’s “coming home” either.
So this is probably item number 856 of things you should know as a parent of a special needs child who needs residential placement. Some days I wish I journaled the first time Thomas was in residential. There are many instances that stand out bright and unmistakable but I wonder what didn’t make it in the memory banks. I know we felt very empty when he went the first time. This time it wasn’t emptiness. Relief was there as well as disbelief and I know I was glad to be able to feel safe in my own home and know Thomas was in a safe place as well. The first time he was so young but back then I wasn’t worried about his age as much as his behavior. We just wanted him “fixed”, make him well that he can come home again. And they did.
This time, residential is not to fix Thomas it’s permanent, we cannot provide for him in our home. He isn’t safe to live here anymore. Heavy huh? Again, I’m ok with this. I don’t like it, not one bit. I’m still his mother. But things are what they are.
So I guess one could say we are acclimated to Thomas in residential too. We’ve made our home very comfortable for “us” who live here at this home. We’ve shifted and adjusted and have become acclimated to one of our family living elsewhere. Almost dare I say “normal”? Or whatever normal is. One of my favorite people used to say, “Normal is just a setting on a dryer” and I would laugh. But it’s true.
This past Friday morning I drove to Thomas’ school to pick him up for a visit . While I was waiting for him in this area that resembles a living room, there was a group of people visiting the school. 4 people. Of course the people watcher in me was intrigued. There were a mom and a dad, a social worker (she mentioned she was an MSW) and another male figure who gave no inclination as to who he was in relation to the parents. I get so nosey when I see parents doing what Tommy and I did but these people have “back up”. You see every time we had to hospitalize Thomas or visit residential schools we did it alone. Just Tommy and I. No social workers, no case managers visiting to give their input or questions that may have been helpful. Actually just to have another shoulder to lean on may have been nice. But then again I say this now. In retrospect. Honestly its funny because Tommy and I never felt “alone” during those times, we were fortunate enough to have each other. I guess I wonder if the grass is greener having other people involved with you making these decisions. Or is it more confusing because unless you are that child’s parent you are not as invested as to where that child is placed.
I shouldn’t say Tommy and I were “alone” as we certainly had The Lord with us, leading us and making His way for the school Thomas were to attend.
So after my people watching incident, Thomas was brought to me and we were on our merry way home. The visit went well in the beginning but by the end of Saturday things were starting to crumble. Not in a horrific way Thank God but in a way that only solidifies our decision for Thomas to attend residential school. Tommy drove him back Sunday morning. Later that day, Tommy and I discussed together how do you parent a kid like him? Since Thomas was a toddler you could give him what ever he wanted and he would still throw something at you or have a fit. These days you give him what he wants and he almost dismisses it once he obtains whatever it was he wanted and he’s on to the next “thing”. It’s exhausting. Not only that but we still realize we cannot leave him alone with me. There was a part of me that was hoping that would change but it has not. There was no aggression at this visit but the signs are still there that he will target me for no particular reason. Thomas will also be somewhat defiant and its not easy to reason with a 17 year old “kid” you don’t have the control over you did at say age 10 (not that we had much control over Thomas at that age either). It’s a bitter pill to swallow about your own child. This isn’t a pity post. Its the truth and it’s our life.
This makes me realize how huge God is and how He has given us so much direction and so much wisdom in dealing with our son. I always pray for a hedge of protection for Thomas. Although one could say I could easily pray for protection for me when it comes to Thomas. But I don’t. I pray for protection for him so that whoever is teaching, guiding or working with my son will do so with the wisdom and maturity my son needs. If I can’t be there Dear Lord let there be people who are there that know how to handle him. I know the Holy Spirit is well at work ensuring those things happen.