Monday, March 31, 2014

Nothing New With Me Today...

Except I'm still playing 'catch-up' and I probably should just stop and wipe the slate clean. Yet I know that's not going to happen.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dear Enemy

I pray that you never get 
what you deserve.
Instead I hope that 
God blesses you
and keeps you,
opens your eyes and
your heart--
fills your life with
joy and truth.

I forgive the harm
and the hurt
that you've burdened on me.
For your sake, I pray
you accept the One
who can bring you

I want for you
an eternity in happiness
by my side, laughing together,
dear enemy.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Today I Got Things Done

I actually cleaned, wrote, supervised the kids cleaning, spent time with the husband, read, planned, and had time left over to myself.

That will not happen again. 'Twas fun while it lasted.

Friday, March 28, 2014

April Calendar Is Full

Boy, I sure do have a lot on my plate (metaphorically speaking because I'm still not eating so much because of the dairy restriction) for next month. For some reason, I've decided to write two stories at once. I'm also doing daily prompts for National Poetry month at an online forum I sporadically help to moderate, and I'm about to take on further responsibilities with my son's schooling, along with who knows what.

I sure am tired--pronounced 'tahd'...Don't worry; it's a good tired. I'm sleeping like a breast-fed baby.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

When Will I Feel I'm Home

I'm an alien in a strange land. This is not where I belong. I'm on a journey to my home; every day I make a step closer to that rest, that promise.

My extended family on my mother's side has been here for seven or so generations. Yet I don't feel this country is truly our home. If I saw on the news that a bill had been passed and that our family had to pack up and go because of whatever loophole the government or whoever made up, I wouldn't be surprised.

I bet we'd go, too. And without a fight. This doesn't feel like our home. We're tolerated here. Allowed. Not welcomed, not accepted. How can this be our home? When can we go home?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Adventure

I've been wrestling with something lately (well, something new), and I think I've been worn down enough to accept what I need to do.

The only problem is this seems like a lead thing, rather than a follow thing. I don't do so good with leading. No one wants to follow me, for one. And I actually want this cause to be furthered, for two. I don't think I'd make much progress by myself. And the thing is I think I'll be by myself for much of this. That's a big part of why this is a problem I feel I've been led to tackle.

I'm so scared. Mostly that nothing will come of this, and I'll know that nothing can be done about the problem even though there are solutions. Easy ones.

An adventure...and a long road ahead.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Heaven, Your Hell.

After the bright lights subside
there you stand, in the midst
of tall grasses and sweet air.

Humming reaches your ears
and you turn your head
in anticipation and eagerness.

Up there! What do you see?
Choirs of angels swaying in song...
But you frown at the noise.

They swing their shoulders
as they utter their praises
scats and beatboxing and rapping.

You cringe and pull your head
back in confusion and contempt.
Surely angels would sing hymns?

This isn't the reverent spirituals
befitting a great King. Would a Holy
God accept music such as this?

Before you can question further--
Over a hill women and men spill
to greet you with joyful smiles.

Your blood runs cold and your
own smile falls. Not very many
of them look very much like you.

Some have turbans. Others robes.
A few wear colored braids and
wild hairstyles you have never seen before.

Where are the familiar faces that you
expected? Surely this place would be
filled with the people you held dear.

In a sudden flash, you contemplate
the possibility that you have gotten
it all wrong; that this beautiful place

that you thought was full of angels
and saints was ridden with demons and
lost souls. Not Heaven, but Hell.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dairy Update

Still not consuming the milks. Still bites the big one.

Made a 'cheesecake' with cashews (can't vegan stuff be cheaper?) from some random Internet recipe that was okay. Too much lemon juice. Really snappy flavor that hit the back of the throat. Real bright. I think I'll cut it with half fruit juice next time. I really liked the date and macadamia nut crust, though (as well I should---expensive!).

I'm going to try to figure out cheaper ghetto alternatives (are there ghetto vegans?). Too poor for this.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Why Peace Is So Stressful

Everyone wants more peace in their lives, right? Well, no. I don't think so. Peace is gained through struggle and sacrifice, not comfort and contentment. How can I be freed from worries and distractions and distress if I've never experienced them in the first place? Yet who wants more strife? Who wants to let go? Even when it's of something painful, we don't like to let go. That means losing--no one wants to be a loser.

So, we leave ourselves unchallenged. We settle, thinking we're satisfied. And we hold on to what we don't need and never empty our hands so that we have a chance to grab on to something of substance.

The hardest thing about peace is recognizing what it truly is.

Too Afraid to Hope for Rest

Isn't Sunday the day that I'm supposed to rest in the Lord? Yet I haven't really done that in a long time. And when I make the effort to plan that, those plans fall apart like one of my German chocolate cakes (but the cakes, at least, taste better when they crumble apart). Things come up, and I find myself running here and there and filling my day with this and that until it's time to sleep (or in my case, fall unconscious), and I've barely done the things that were piled on my plate.

Why is resting so much work?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Chronic Illness Form

I finally gave up on having the doctor fax the chronic illness form and just took two hours out of my day, hopped into my raggedy car, and drove it to the school. I couldn't wait any longer after I got the notice today that my son's unexcused absences had reached the five maximum. If I ever find that some of those were indeed excused, it's on. Because that sounds like way too many.

Boy, the angers that rolled off me. Yeah. I kept my mouth mostly shut, however. I did a point and stare routine.

The receptionist foisted me on the nurse immediately. The nurse asks me ridiculous questions that I refuse to answer. I show her the notice. She doesn't deal with that; the district sends those out. Will the form handle that? Well, the district will take it into 'consideration.'

Then she looks me in the eye...and tells me that it's up to me whether or not I take my child home. She wants my son to be kept in school as much as possible.


She just didn't know the danger she was in--no, she didn't. Then she blames the teacher for sending him to the nurse's office. I guess that's why she demands that he goes home all the time, too? Then I get a 'Does he have medications?' Yes, his inhaler! At the school. Use it! Why don't you have a brain?

She said other stuff, but I left.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Therapist - Part 3

Still looking for a therapist. Oh, and my son needs a speech therapist. Ba-da-dun.

I'll be here until they show up with the funny jackets and juice.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Speech Therapist Part 2

Yep, it's gonna be a hassle finding a therapist for my son. The one I visited doesn't take his insurance. On to the next one. They were the closest one, too. And they were twenty minutes away.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Speech Therapist

I need to find a speech therapist for my son to replace the one from his public school.

I wonder how much of a hassle this will be?

Do I really have to fill out this form talking about when he first walked and drooled? He's a tween now--I'm so tired of paperwork. Just evaluate him, please. This won't help you help him. He's much too old now for this to be relevant, believe me. I hope they give me a pass when I ask. They'll probably dismiss the question and give some lame excuse that means, just do it, even if it doesn't make sense to do it.

Actually, it may all be moot. I sent them an insurance question by their contact form today. If they don't respond, I'll move on. I don't have time to deal with people who can't be prompt with getting back to me.

Long road ahead.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Family Meeting

I wonder if the kids will throw the times that I call 'family meetings' back into my face, telling me that they were the most excruciating times of their lives. I wanted to tell them the changes that were coming up in our lives and that we might be facing tough times. Therefore we'd need to pray more than ever.

Any questions? Yes, my daughter had a few. Their father announced upcoming changes in his job schedule. Any more questions? Right. Handled those.

Then I made the mistake of asking them if they had anything to announce. Why, yes. My daughter proceeds to unload every last minute thing she's been holding back for the last month. And now we're trying to figure out the logistics of this, that, and the other. Why didn't she come to us before?


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Trying to Keep It Simple

But it ain't so simple, you know? I want to do as few things as possible--only the important things. The only problem is figuring out what's really the important stuff.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Motivating Yourself When You're Behind

I feel like I can't ever catch up. There's a million things in front of me. It's not like I can just say, "Well, I'll just let them go." They are important things; that's why they are in front of me. I also have a billion things behind me that I've had to let go.

My days go by in a blur, and I have to cram, cram, cram it all in. I'm starting to learn to say, 'No' however. I guess that's a good thing? Doesn't feel so good.

Right now, I'm running in place. Might as well be running backwards. I have somewhere I need to get to, but for the life of me, I can't get there. I'm making no progress. I'm too weighed down to move.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Drastic Steps for His Well-being - Part the Second

When the school called me Tuesday, insisting that my son be sent home, I told them that he couldn't miss too many days. It wasn't right that the school send him home for so many days and then gave me a notice that he had missed a lot of days.

The girl I talked to told me to get his doctor to 1. fill out a form and send medications to school (which resulted in me sending him to school Thursday with a note telling them to use the medicines that he already has at school) 2. fill out a chronic illness form so that a certain number of absences will be automatically be excused.

So they send my son home with the illness form (and also a note explaining why they couldn't handle him at school--I insisted on it). I faxed it to the doctor. The doctor faxed it to the school. I call and confirm that with the doctor. I call the school.

"Did you receive a chronic illness form for --?"

"No, I did not."

"Oh, you didn't? I just called the doctor, and they said they just sent it?"

"Well, I'm sitting here looking right at the fax, and I don't see any form. Oh, you know what? I bet it's because the fax is broken."

Do you believe in God? Because I do. God has brought me through many a terrible situation in my life that I would have not otherwise have survived. Now back to your program currently in progress.

"When will it be fixed?"

"Probably by the end of the day. You know what you could do? Have your doctor scan it, and send me the scan in an email. Okay? Just do that."

*she hangs up phone*

But I don't know her name or her email address. God's grace brings me through many a bad situation.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Drastic Steps for His Well-being - Part the First

Today I sent my son back to school...with a few changes. Around this time every year my son has asthma symptoms. The nurse calls me, insists that my son is so sick, and demands that I pick him up. They do this for about five or six days during pollen season. Meanwhile, my son tantrums because he's frustrated and suffering.

The thing is, he has asthma medication at school. Before school every year, I run around updating the form, getting new medicine at the pharmacy, and send it in to the school. At the end of the school term, I get back the inhaler. Unopened. Unused.

What in the world is going on here? If they just use the medication, he'd be fine. It works. He does well at home. In fact when I take him to the doctor because the nurse acts like I'm the worst parent on the planet, the doctor usually finds my son's breathing to be normal. Because I use his medication.

So today, I sent my son to school with a note: basically says that he has asthma and allergies and that he is to be kept inside during pollen season. Next are instructions on how to use the inhaler. Last is an indication for how often the nurse can give him the medicine.

You know, since they can't figure it out themselves. Yet every time that nurse calls me, she's giving me unasked for, illegal (that school is just waiting to be sued) medical advice on what meds might control his asthma. But she doesn't have the common sense enough to know to give him his inhaler when he's wheezing? To maybe tell the teacher not to have him outside exerting himself when the trees are full of pollen and it's windy? Oh, but she goes on and on about steroids.

The nerve.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Not Himself

In the struggle to give my son an opportunity that he wouldn't otherwise have, I have shut the door on his potential.

When he was small, he was a typical boy with autism. He screamed and had tantrums and didn't smile so much and didn't like contact. I could barely keep him in school. None of the teachers wanted him in their classes.

I decided that I had to teach my son how to hide his symptoms so that he would be better accepted and so that he could survive in this life. I taught him how to make and keep eye contact. I taught him how to sit still for longer and longer periods of time. I taught him to seek out hugs. I taught him how to suppress his tantrums most of the time.

I taught him how to not be himself.

Only now am I realizing how stupid I've been. At school, when my son is feeling bad and doesn't want to deal with school, do you know what he does? He acts like himself. He screams and throws tantrums.

The teachers throw up their hands and give up on him and send him home. They supposedly specialize in children with autism, but they can't handle my son on the very few days out of the school term when he acts out. "He's not acting like the student I know." Well, you never knew him. Then they simply throw him away; they reject who he really is.

I can no longer abide by this. Why am I teaching my son to act like someone else to make them comfortable when they don't appreciate that? They think I'm lucky to have my son. They're ignorant of all the hard work my son, family, and I have put into his behavior. They think that he's a happy little mistake. They're blind to the truth.

He's not my mistake; he's my blessing.

Monday, March 10, 2014

In a Fuzzy Place

I'm definitely not in a 'good' place, but I can't discount my blessings. My health issues are slowly receding, and I think that I've been learning a lot about myself and where I stand.

I know without a doubt that I'm not in control--in any situation I'm allowing some force, good or bad, and I have to be very careful about my choices. Sometimes I make them carelessly, unaware.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Slow Work of Understanding

The sermon I heard today was challenging. Not because I found it convicting or condemning, but because I barely understood it. I haven't heard one of those in a while.

I am working through it and trying to digest it and praying and hoping that it all comes together for me during the week. The Bible passages that were given with the message have been enlightening; however, the message itself still eludes me. I wouldn't have thought a message about the Holy Spirit would do me in. Irony?

Zoning out was a difficult thing not to do. I had to fight against that for the majority for the sermon so I just had to record everything said, though it I felt like I was making a mess of it.

Will it come to me later what was being communicated? I don't know. Usually, when I'm unsure about something, it's just one small part, not a majority of it. Also, often I won't even know I didn't get something until the Lord brings to my attention something I miss when I re-read the Bible verses at home.

It wasn't that I disagreed with what was being said or anything; I was just confused. Yet I know the remedy for that is prayer. Understanding might not come quickly so I must be patient while I wait for God to work and reveal in me what I might need to deal with to see more clearly.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

What If I Can't Eat Chocolate Either?

I'm allergic to milk, and that's been confirmed both by reactions to it and by a blood test. Yet I wasn't tested exhaustively. I have to rule a few more things out. I haven't had chocolate for many months.

I'm scared.

What if I react to it? Or what if my anxiety provokes a reaction that isn't real, and it's really safe for me to eat, but I don't know that? That would be worse somehow. I don't eat chocolate that much, but I'd like it as an occasional option.

I need to see an allergist.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lifestyle Changes

I really don't know how to react to my body's sudden rejection to dairy. What is its problem? It's not like I eat cheese and milk in huge quantities. This feels like a drastic change in the way I'm going to have eat and shop.

When I looked at the allergen info for restaurant menus, it seemed every menu item at most places has milk or dairy products in one form or another, for seemingly no reason in some cases. I don't know how people deal with this kind of thing.

I wish these migraines would stop completely, but I know that that is probably not going to happen. In any case, the migraines aren't the only adverse reaction I'm having to some food. The coughing and wheezing and swelling and itching means that I won't be tempted at all to ignore my reactions and eat dairy products anyway. Too risky. At least I binged right before I started my elimination diet.

I'll miss thee, delicious, creamy, milky products. Farewell.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Fear of Hope

How many are living half-hearted lives, never fully expecting the best to come out of what they do or plan? Or what God does or plans. How is that hope?

I can no longer live in that cynical place of holding back and expecting the worst or only hoping just enough that my feelings don't get hurt if things don't pan out. I've made some of the worst decisions of my life because I became hopeless and gave up. I stop expecting better, stopped looking forward to good things happening to me, couldn't fathom a good future. I hurt the people that I love and I hurt myself. We are still hurting and healing. That is somewhere that no one should be.

I say, recklessly throw yourself in hope. Not in fragile things, of course. I'm not advising that anyone put all their hopes in things that are meaningless or that are unfulfilling or that don't last. Put your hope in what will be there tomorrow, in what has been proven time and time again. You'll never go wrong in that.

So then, when things in life go wrong, you still have your hope. And your promises will still come through.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Migraines Update

Still fighting migraines, but now they are manageable. Thank God. They don't happen every day and when they do happen, they only last a couple minutes, twenty at the most.

I got an allergy test and now I know that I'm allergic to milk (Boo!). Still no word on gluten. Been on an elimination diet since January. I hope to be off by Easter. At that time I will start re-introducing foods to my diet to see about food intolerance. Right now, mangoes, broccoli, and paprika is on that particular list.

My life is much more livable than it has been, that's for sure. I'm doing Lent this year and since I don't have much to give up, I'm adding a whole bunch of things to start doing. Like blogging. ;)

I'll be praying three times a day. Writing letters to my family every day. Reading the same book of the Bible every day (Colossians). Writing every day. Blogging every day. And writing a poem every day.

When I put it all in one paragraph. This seems like a lot...

Digression: It's raining tonight like it's Mississippi. Lightning flashing--almost the whole works. No thunder though... Oops. There it is.