Saturday, January 14, 2012

holding it all together..or not!

Reading one of my favorite books of all time, "The Christians Secret To A Happy Life" by Hannah Whitall Smith. 
I thought I would share a quote that touches me every time I read it...

The greatest burden we have to carry in life is self. The most difficult thing we have to manage is self. Our own daikon living, our frames and feelings, our especial weaknesses and temptations, and our peculiar temperaments, our inward affairs of every kind, these are the things that perplex and worry us more Than anything else,and that bring us oftenest into bondage and darkness. In laying off your burdens, therefore, the first one you must get rid of is yourself. You must hand yourself and all your inward experiences, your temptations, your temperament, your frames and feelings, all over into the care and keeping of your God, and leave them there.  He made you, and therefore He understands you and knows how to manage you, and you must trust Him to do it. say to zhim, "Here, Lord, I abandon myself to thee. I have tried in every way I could think of to manage myself, and to make myself what I knowI ought to be, but have always failed. Now I give it up to thee. Do thou take entire possession of me. Work in me all the good pleasure of thy will. Mould and fashion me into sucha vessel as seemeth good to thee. I leave myself in thy hands, and I believe thou wilt, according to thy promise, make me into a vessel unto thy honor, 'sanctified', and meet for the Master's good work" and here you must rest,trusting yourself thus to Him continually and absolutely. 

I love the freedom this passage suggests. I see the parts and pieces of my life flying in the wind and I try to pull them back together with bungee cords of my own making. Pretending that I am the person that I am suppose to be, hoping nobody sees the dangling sins and inconsistencies. It's too hard, I can't manage myself. I can't hold it all together!  But as Hannah Smith suggests...I don't need to!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I wrote this over the weekend and thought I would go ahead and share it. Maybe there are some who can relate to it.

Tonight we ushered in 2012. Much to our surprise, our welcome party into the New Year included the first full blown "episode" for Miss Abby in over 8 months!  She did not have one of these the whole time she was in the program or since she came home in October. The really frustrating part  is that we are on a weekend vacation to the Oregon Coast with two other families, something we rarely dare to do!  
The issue started because she was sharing a bed with Jojo, which she was not happy about and she felt the need to wiggle her leg for a while before going to sleep, provoking a fight. Her solution was that Jojo go somewhere else to sleep. Not really what I had in mind. In my mind, her choice was to stop wiggling or sleep somewhere else herself. Not wanting to do either, she proceeded to make a stink. 
The stink escalated to screaming and wailing, then "discussing" with her invisible friend the plan to leave. 
What is especially hard for me is that David and I disagreed on how to handle the situation. I should have listened to him, of course. And now I feel like garbage.  He wanted to just get Jojo out of there, make her a bed somewhere and let the household get sleep ( likely saving the weekend as well). My feeling was that if she wanted to be the problem, she should either have to go somewhere else or help make Jojo a bed somewhere else. 
Let me take a minute and explain my reasoning- 
       Before Abby went into the program her behavior was completely out of control. She would rage out of control at the slightest provocation, scaring the kids and leaving David and I physically and emotionally exhausted. We got to the point of walking on egg shells trying to keep from causing any issues with her just so we could have as normal a life as possible.  Unfortunately, instead of keeping her calm, she would just find a new way to throw a log in our path so we would have to address it and she would have a reason to ramp up her behavior. Partly because it gave her a sick sort of comfort from her pain, and partly for attention. Our fault in it was allowing the behavior to ramp up. 
My problem tonight was that my response was based in fear. I was afraid to let the behavior go because I'm scared of repeating our past patterns. 
So here I sit at 2 a.m. Posting guard outside her bedroom door to make sure she doesn't slip out of the house in the middle of the night. She probably won't, but you never can tell with her, besides it makes the other kids feel safer knowing I am watching. David is in bed, probably not really sleeping. Both feeling frustrated at ourselves, each other, and the situation. The question is, what needs to change? 
We need to find a way to manage this complicated relationship more effectively. I don't believe that all is lost but this child has a very limited chance of ever living on her own due to her disabilities And I feel desperate to find a place of peace and grace with her. 
So much rides on me and where I am at in my relationship with her and the Lord. Honestly, she is not a very easy person to be around, so when I am stressed or tired, I tend to pull away some. I REALLY need Gods help to keep me vulnerable and tender-hearted. No one would argue that I have every reason in the world to be hurt and even angry with her. She has done a lot of hurtful things to our family. It's easy for me to allow a protective wall to rise up between us. The hardest thing is living in a really raw, unprotected, vulnerable place where I have to trust that God will protect my heart and family.