Count Your Blessings

One of the constants in our family is Jacob’s unpredictability. From minute to minute I can never be sure if he is going to be calm, relaxed, and happy or agitated, wired, and mad.

Contemplating his next move!

Recently when I went to pick him up there were a number of clients sitting outside at the pick up spot. The Clear a Path post explains the sense of dread that washed over me. LINK: https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2019/09/12/clear-a-path/

Pictured is that spot with no clients congregating (as I wouldn’t post pictures of people without their permission). So, in this case, use your imagination to see the amount of space at the entrance/exit minus the two steps down. The area isn’t large and quickly gets small when numerous people are hanging out.

As you can imagine, I went into overdrive worrying about how many of those people Jacob would ‘pick on’ as he came out. He would have no choice but to walk between them. He swung the double glass doors open and walked out to their comments, “bye Jacob”, “see you tomorrow Jacob.”

In my mind I thought, they are going to wish they hadn’t been nice because Jacob is about to ‘give them what for’. Did he? NO. He. Did. Not! He walked right between them never giving them a look. It was as if they weren’t even there, as if they were invisible.

I was shocked and thrilled. It truly felt miraculous. They weren’t invisible to me. They were real and had precious hearts and I wanted so badly for them to know how much I appreciated their kind ‘good-byes’ to Jacob. To thank them for their sincere spirits.

Outside, looking in, others could think that Jacob walking calmly from the building to our van, through a sea of people, was not a big deal. A small accomplishment. Inside, looking out, I can testify that it was huge. HUGE.

This I know, the size of the blessing doesn’t matter. A tiny one or one unusually enormous. Look and you’ll see them all around. Count your blessings, name them one by one.

My heart is filled with Thanksgiving. May blessings of all shapes and sizes fill yours.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Why, Oh Why?

I’m not a morning person and neither is my boy. I woke him up and left the room. Next thing I knew I was hearing loud noises. LOUD. It sounded like he had started a demolition project. I hurried back to his room to see he was lifting television equipment and slamming it back down. Pulling wires and shoving cords and generally in a frustrated state. I got everything back to where it belonged and made sure a program he enjoys was on the TV.

Half an hour later I returned to get him dressed for the day. He was uncooperative pushing me away with his hands and his feet. I put my game face on determined he wasn’t getting the best of me. And while I was frustrated, it didn’t last long and he was ready to go.

Jacob was very cooperative leaving home and seemed to enjoy the scenery as I took a longer route to give him a little more riding time. Once at the center, he got out fairly quickly and walked right up the steps. And then, proceeded to bother the two guys sitting on the bench that he scared the week before! ARGHHHHH…… I jumped out of my vehicle and managed to redirect him into the building. ONLY for him to turn around and yank an earring off the staff member at the check in desk. She wasn’t fazed. I was. Finally after shaking up everyone in his path, he headed toward the kitchen and I back out to the parking lot.

Why, oh why? One day he is almost perfect and the next day just the opposite. I can take him slamming equipment. I can take him pushing me around. I cannot take him being a bully. I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes knowing I don’t know how to make it better.

Why, oh why can a few minutes one morning affect your whole day putting you in a downhearted funk? I was unmotivated to start anything on my to-do list that day. A heavy cloud was smothering me. I wondered around the house trying to pick one thing to do. Either a necessary chore or a just-for-fun project. Nothing. Not one thing interested me.

I sat back in my recliner and fought back tears. At one point, our Golden girl, Gracie, came up beside me and laid her head on my arm, searching my face with her big brown eyes. She has such a sweet, sensitive nature. And as I reached to scratch behind her ears, she started licking me. Covering me in puppy kisses. Oh, how God uses His creation to feed our souls.

In an effort to shift my attention, I picked up a book I’ve been reading and opened to my bookmark. My eyes read this sentence, … trust totally in the Lord’s feet. IN the Lord’s feet? Hmmmmm….. I did a double take and reread the sentence – I would lay my worry and trust totally at the Lord’s feet. AT, not IN. Ever skim a page and miss important parts of a sentence? (An indication of my mental state.) In this case, I felt I did need to trust IN. He would carry me, HIS feet would take me where I needed to go.

It was a day where I didn’t accomplish much but I was in a much better frame of mind when it was time to pick up my fella. All because I recognized God speaking to my heart through two unsuspecting sources—our dog and a fictional book.

Why so downcast, oh my soul? Put your hope in God.

Psalm 42:11

Up to His Old Tricks

As we were getting ready to leave home, I heard Jacob in the master bedroom. I knew he was probably getting into something he shouldn’t have, so I headed in there. Sure enough, he had been through my purse, with the contents scattered on my desk, the chair, and the floor. I gathered everything I saw, and told Jacob it was time to go.

He headed to the door all the while probably thinking, ‘she doesn’t realize her keys are not in that purse.’ I’m searching the purse, checking every pocket, turning it upside down and giving it a good shake in hopes of hearing those keys rattle. Nothing. Yes—missing. I did a swift glance around the room to no avail. Thankfully, Mike’s keys were nearby so I grabbed those and headed out. Seemed Jacob was up to his old tricks again.

I ran a few errands and came home knowing the first item on my to-do list was to find those keys.

Follow along with me and feel my amusement turn to frustration!

  • My work satchel was by my desk. I started with it by pulling everything out to be sure he hadn’t dropped them there. It was a sensible place because it was under my purse when Jacob got all nosey. Not there.
  • Next, my desk. Miscellaneous papers were haphazardly stacked on either side of my laptop. I quickly straighten those making sure keys weren’t hidden in between. No such luck. Opened the three desk drawers. Nothing. Looked under the desk chair and pulled out the desk to check behind it. Nothing.
  • Searched the dresser, chest of drawers, and nightstands making quick work of shuffling through stuff that should have already been put away and opening each drawer. I got down on my knees and looked under the furniture. The high and low game revealed nothing but dust. (And why I didn’t document my search with photos!)
  • Went into the bathroom and checked around the sinks. Also looking for drawers that weren’t closed shut and into cabinets. Nothing but frustration building.
  • I considered going through our closets but that thought was overwhelming so decided to come back to those later, if not successful.
  • I literally crawled around on the floor and shone a light to look under the love seat. Nothing. This is getting ridiculous.

I was 99.9% sure that my keys were in our bedroom but goodness that rascal made speedy work of making them hard to find. He has hidden my keys multiple times and unfortunately always in a different spot.

  • Back on my knees and raised up the bed skirt.

AH HAAAAAA! That rascal had tossed my keys under our bed. Yes, they were in the last place I looked!! I might need to put a finder fob on my key ring. Not that I misplace them but someone does it for me!!

When I picked him up, I told him I’d found my keys. I don’t think he was even a little impressed. I’m telling ya, he is a smart cookie! That day he was definitely up to his old tricks, once again.

A Better Answer

As I dropped Jacob off at his day program, a couple of the guys were out front talking to the center manager. The conversation revolved around when they’d be going to a certain restaurant. Of course, I didn’t know the ‘whole story’ but I could easily see that one of the guys was frustrated. He would ask a question and she would answer him. He repeated the same question and she answered again. And again. Exasperated, I heard him say loudly, ‘is there someone who could give me a better answer?’

I drove away laughing our loud and couldn’t wait to tell Mike. We find ourselves using that phrase around home. That could be the story of my life. And probably yours.

‘Your son may never walk or talk.’ “Is there someone who could give me a better answer?”

‘His collarbone was broken at school.’ “Is there someone who could give me a better answer?”

‘You need surgery.’ “Is there someone who could give me a better answer?”

‘This is borderline.’ “Is there someone who could give me a better answer?”

‘Your request has been denied.’ “Is there someone who could give me a better answer?”

‘She is bleeding internally.’ “Is there someone who could give me a better answer?”

‘That is a seasonal item.’ “Is there someone who could give me a better answer?”

‘The doctor called. It is cancer.’ “Is there someone who could give me a better answer?”

If you have ever been around Jacob, when he wants you to talk to him, he reaches for your mouth. In a sweet, gentle way. Sometimes he might want you to keep singing. ‘Don’t stop.’ Sometimes, he may want you to tell him about a certain picture in a book or magazine.

And, sometimes it may be his way of asking you to repeat what you said. His way of asking, ‘what did you just say?’ He will look me straight in my eyes and I can read the question in his. He wants to know the plan, what are we about to do, where are we going, is he staying home that day, etc. Many mornings when he gets up, that is part of his routine. Questioning what the day holds.

Last week he did just that and I answered his imploring eyes, “we are going to SV.” He turned to walk away and quickly came back and reached for my mouth, “we are going to SV.” Headed out of the room and came back asking, ‘what did you just say?’, with his eyes. ‘Did I hear you right?’ “We are going to SV. But, today is Friday so tomorrow you can stay home.” Mike was watching this exchange and said, “is there someone who could give me a better answer?”

Again, I laughed out loud because that had to be EXACTLY what Jacob was thinking!

This post has been bouncing around in my mind for months. The lyrics to the song Andrae Crouch released in 2003 have been on continuous loop as well. “Is there someone who could give me a better answer?” “Why, yes.”

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