What I Need

I was driving and listening to one of the Christian radio stations we have here and the dj played an intro to a song. The intro was from one of the artists who’s song was about needing Jesus. And it hit me. I need Him. I really do. I was thinking of all the times in my life I thought I could do it on my own or thought I was doing things in my own strength and how very wrong I was/am.

I started thinking of how many times I didn’t thank God for his goodness and mercy. I repented for transgressions that happened a long time ago. He knows. I’m sitting here at the ferry terminal waiting to go to work and I realize He is here. Right here in this building full of people waiting to get to work, school, tourists… Our Lord and Savior is alive and well and He is with us wherever we go even in times or trial, especially in times of trial. I never before thought of The Lord as being so… so tangible. His love is amazing and all anyone has to do to receive it is accept Him as your Savior; the Lord of your life.

I also thought of The Gospel. The truth that God sent his only son who lived a sinless life to die a horrible death for us all of us. It’s so very humbling and unreal and so very real at the same time.  The Gospel is indeed good news!

I thought of all this while driving home from bringing my daughter to my Mom’s for a sleepover. It’s amazing how God will meet you where you are when you’re least expecting it. He meets you where you are… You don’t need to be “perfect” or cleaned up or have your act together to meet Him. The Lord takes you as you are and loves you as you are.

She’s an Adult.

I’m so proud of my daughter Alyssa. She started college today. Her first day. Tommy drove her in to Manhattan with him this morning. She said it went really well except for being unable to find her first class and arriving there late. She even made a friend. Everything you want for your child. I’m proud of her for going to college by herself in Manhattan. She’s very familiar with the city having gone many times with friends either shopping or going out to eat. But this is different, even though she’s still living at home she’s grown wings and is flying solo. She’s an adult.

Alyssa even went on an interview today to pass out a magazine during the upcoming fashion week. It’s a paid position and she has the opportunity to meet many different people including celebrities. I’m excited for her.

My heart swells for her. I love all my girls but Alyssa is my first girl. My first child after Thomas who was able to show me what a typical kid could do. And do it fabulously. I think of the days we lived in Jersey. Thomas would be going off on a tantrum and put in his room to calm down. I used to sit with Alyssa in front of Thomas’ door (guarding the door until he calmed down). Alyssa and I would sing the alphabet or her favorite Sesame Street song. She was 2 and fabulous even then.

I can’t wait to see what this semester brings for my YaYa. My girl. To watch her grow and blossom even more as an adult. I’m so proud of her.

Work and “the city”

I was in the city yesterday for work. I had such a great day at work. I met really nice people and the babies who came in to get their ears pierced were adorable and each did really well with the procedure. One family even brought me the most delicious piece of crumb cake sealed in a plastic single serving container. I just looked at them wide eyed and said, “No way…Thank you!”. They were a great family besides the cake, very down to earth and they loved cracking jokes.

I love being in the city. I love the anonymity you have walking down the street. I’ve been thankful that I’ve had nothing but uneventful visits to Manhattan except this one time last week when I was walking from the R train to the Ferry Terminal. I had a sweater thrown over the opening of my bag. This guy on a bicycle came flying by; caught his handle bar on my sweater and then he flew over his bike and did an awesome tucked up somersault to the ground. It was as if he had lessons on falling off his bike. Someone screamed, I froze and watched the whole thing. I asked the guy if he was alright (he literally jumped back to his feet after the somersault) and told him he was caught on my sweater. He said, “Well…it’s very windy out” which it was but still… He said he was fine and we were both on our way. Definitely odd and eventful.

I really don’t mind the commute to the city for my job. I love meeting people from literally all over the world. NYC is definitely a melting pot. I’ve met so many parents from many different cultures and their children are simply beautiful coming from such an array of backgrounds. I’ve also learned and/or picked up on how different cultures act towards each other and their children and that’s interesting. Nothing bad or adverse, just different depending on the culture. When these parents meet me it’s for a specific purpose and I’m kind of chatty so I’ll get them talking too most of the time. There are quite a few first time parents who are so nervous my heart goes out to them. I remember being in their shoes.

I’ve applied to quite a few part time jobs. I don’t necessarily want to leave my job I do like it there and I really like my boss. I simply want more money. I would love even more hours at this current job even though have been given another day. I have a suspicion that I’m exactly where God wants me to be right now. I’ve heard nothing back from over 10 jobs I’ve applied for. Maybe my resume needs a tune up, yes I’m sure it does.

I go back to work in a couple of days. Hopefully this heat wave will break and my commute will be even better with great weather. The ferry is always breezy being on the water, the subway platforms on the other hand can be quite brutal. Even so I still don’t mind. I get to visit and walk the greatest city on Earth and be a part of the living breathing population of NYC.

 

The Typical Child.

Our oldest daughter, Alyssa is graduating high school this June. I’m amazed at how fast time has flown. It literally seems like just yesterday I was seeing her off to pre-school and she was crying for me to not leave her. I can’t help but remember her as a baby and how pretty she was/is. When Alyssa was born we were living in the first house we bought and thought we would live there forever. Two houses and two more kids later…things change.

These days Alyssa is driving (which surprisingly does not freak me out), off working her part time job or babysitting *and* planning for the next phase of her life: College. She’s planning on attending college in Manhattan at a fashion business college right in the heart of midtown. Exactly where she wants to be. I’m excited for her and I know she’s going to do well in college. She did really well in high school keeping up with the demands of the International Baccalaureate program (which is pretty much a super high honors program with the added bonus of earning college credits while in high school). I know I sound like I’m bragging but I can’t help it, we are very proud of her. Especially since she is the first child following Thomas.

When Alyssa was born I was so, so happy to have a typical child. Thomas was only 2 years old when Alyssa was born and his behavior was already off the hook. While Thomas was busy being his special needs self and I was attending to those needs, Alyssa would quietly meet every developmental milestone. To the innocent bystander Alyssa wasn’t doing anything “great”, but in my eyes she was. I noted every single one of those milestones and reveled in them. My mother and I swore it was as if she read a growth and development book and knew what to do next. I thanked God everyday that she was so typical.

So here we are almost 18 years later. Alyssa is still meeting milestones and doing what she’s “supposed” to do. God is still working in her life in a mighty way. We’re still attending to Thomas’ special needs but life isn’t as hectic as it used to be. Alyssa has been able to shine in her own typical way and that to me is fabulous.

People watching and being in the city

I’m on my way to Manhattan this morning. I’m on the ferry and I’m people watching. I love to people watch, usually the subway has more interesting people to watch mostly because it’s a more diverse population than the morning ferry. On the ferry are mainly people going to work with the occasional college student here and there. The afternoon ferry is interesting because of the number of tourists. I love to tourist watch too.

I was in the city yesterday for work and I still can’t believe the location I’m at. Literally right across from the Empire State Building. It’s amazing and you never grow tired of craning your neck to see the top. I love it. I’m in the city today for an appointment with my therapist. I’ve “graduated” to every two weeks as opposed to every week. I’m okay with the new arrangement. Honestly there are weeks that I go and I have literally nothing going on to talk about, I’m just not ready to let it go completely. We discuss my small group bible study and some challenges that have come up. It’s good to have Nancy’s perspective and insight. So I am glad that I still see her.

I received a phone call from Thomas’ social worker yesterday. It seems a couple of agencies are interested in Thomas for group home placement. When Thomas is 21 next year he’ll go to live in a group home, this is the plan. However these agencies represent group homes in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. Umm….No. We want him here where we live. And thank God his social worker feels the same way. She’s in complete agreement with us and already told me she will also advocate for Thomas to be placed here where we live. So I’m praying for there to be a space available when the time comes.

Tommy and I will pick up Thomas on Friday morning so he can spend Easter with us. I’m looking forward to seeing him. We speak often on the phone but it’s not the same. He’s really looking forward to coming home so I’m hoping it all goes smooth and anxiety free for him and us.

Happy Easter!

Life and looking back

I’ve been trying since this morning to write this post. I started a couple of times on my phone while on the ferry but for whatever reason my phone won’t “save” the post, so that was a waste of time. Then I tried again on the way home on the ferry, then on the bus. Again with my phone not saving anything. What the heck man!

So now I’m home with freshly dyed hair waiting for dinner to be ready. Here I am. I’ve been thinking about life these days and how I’m so glad to be a part of it. I have my relationship with the Lord, a great husband and a job I really like and lest I forget my 4 kids that always keep me on my toes. Especially Samantha these days. If it’s not one it’s another. But that’s okay.

I think back to this time last year. I wasn’t doing too well depression wise and it was at this time my doctor tried one other medication. He hit the nail on the head and I’ve been feeling well ever since. I don’t ever want to go back to where I was. Last week during bible study we were discussing times when we’ve felt abandoned by God. I know when I was in the depths of my depression I felt like God had just left me there to flounder. I know now this isn’t true, He’s never left me, He hadn’t moved, I had. The depression makes you feel isolated and worthless. I kept praying for God to guide my doctor, to guide his decisions that God being the Great Physician and Healer could certainly guide anyone here on earth. And He did. He’s been orchestrating my recovery all this time. I’ll never know why it took the time and med trials it did, or who knows someday I could know and everything will make perfect sense. Until then I’ll keep trusting the Lord and know that He never wastes a hurt.

Feeling Appreciated

I received an email from my supervisor informing me of some changes in my hours come March 1st. It’s an official increase; something I’ve been praying for a couple of months now so Praise God! Within the email was a request, do I have any suggestions to drive up our volume or improve our services?  I was humbled by that request. That my supervisor thinks enough of me to ask for my input was so flattering. I haven’t worked for a few years before this job came along, and in my previous position I sure as anything wasn’t asked for my opinion. Even when I worked as a nurse in the allergist’s office he never asked for my advice or opinion. So this felt good it felt really good.

I did have a couple of ideas that I promptly wrote and sent in an email. I prayed about more ideas asking the Lord for His help in this. I also asked Him for help in sorting out child care for Samantha on the day I’ll be staying later than the previous schedule. I’m really looking forward to the change as I’ll be working during the after school hours which is more convenient for many families who cannot come in on a Saturday or in the morning during the week. I’m excited for this new change. I love the new office and location. I’ve discovered the subway I was taking to get to the old location is the one I can continue taking, I just need to get off at one more stop and walk about 3 blocks.

It’s funny when I took this job I figured it would be temporary, I wasn’t even sure I liked what I was doing. But here we are almost 18 months later; I do like it, I love being in Manhattan and my boss thinks enough of me to ask my opinion and input. God is good.

So I’m off to brainstorm…

 

 

Changes

The office where I work has moved. I’m no longer working on the relatively quiet street of East 30th Street, I’ll now be working right on 5th avenue close to the Empire State Building. I helped my boss and her family move into the new place Saturday evening after I was done for the day. I liked where the old office was, nice and quiet kind of tucked away…but now things have changed. My boss is no longer leasing office space from another physician; she has her own office and I’m happy for her. I’ll be happy in the new space once I get acclimated. One thing I’ll have to get used to is the busy-ness of 5th Ave. I felt overwhelmed by the whole New York-ness of the area. And to top it off I didn’t know where the subway station was so I looked like a tourist trying to find my way after we were finished setting up. I had to ask a street vendor for directions and walk 2 blocks to get the 1 train. Two long city blocks. The next time I’ll take a different train, one closer to the office. I’ve already mapped it out.

The new office has 3 rooms, one my boss will be renting out shortly and 2 for her own use. One is almost set up ready for me to begin, we’re just waiting for a sink to be installed which will be nice for me to be able to wash my hands without running down the hall every 15 minutes between clients. I’ll no longer be close to a thrift store I found that was close to the old office. I’ll just have to find another one…I know I will.

The other change is my small group/bible study begins in 2 days. I will admit I’m excited and nervous. I’ve never undertaken anything like this. Any other group I was involved in I was never a “leader” but one who attended. I’m praying this works out well. That I’ll be able to bring God glory through my experiences with Thomas and my family and the depression from the trauma of living with him the last 6 months or so that he was home. I’m praying the book I chose speaks to the other women the way it spoke to me. I’m just praying…