2:29 p.m. Today's project was to spend a nice afternoon together having lunch, clipping Sunday coupons, sprucing up the house a bit, and then going to our new Home Fellowship.
We enjoyed a wonderful mid-morning service at church, and I saw and talked with so many friends, who also made sure to say hi to Steve. His men's Bible study friends greeted him with hugs as well. Before and after church I had lots of excited conversations about our Heart to Home ministry and the next two classes, "3-in-1 necklace," which I'll be taking; and "Welcome Winter with Delicious Soups" for which I am one of the three instructors. (our last cooking class is picutured to the left). I also had a good visit with Candy, one of my Mary Kay consultants, and with Nidia, who hopes to get signed up this month.
We sat behind Heidi and Pavel, and were able to give them 2 homegrown green Bell peppers, and collect two DVDs that belong to her sister Heather after the service. Debi and Bob Snyder found their green peppers in a bag with a note on the hood of their blue Jaguar--a small thank you for Bob's taking Steve out to a movie on Friday night.
Psalm 122 says, and I concur:
I was glad when they said to me,
"Let us go into the house of the Lord."
There is something so strengthening about singing praises to Jesus, listening to the teaching of the Word of the Father, and receiving understanding by the power of His Holy Spirit! How we need that strength, because you can be sure that as we descend from the mountaintop of His glorious presence, evil, sickness, confusion and despair await us in our everyday lives!How do people cope without Jesus?
At Winco, the discount grocery, Steve became rebellious about walking side-by-side with me and the cart, dragging along several feet behind. When I stopped to wait for him to cover the large gap between us, he demanded, "So, you're doing this again?!" I reminded him, as I have done many, many times, that if I just kept walking at my normal pace, I might round a corner and he'd get lost. So he settled back down, we went on with our shopping, and met up with plenty of acquaintances before we left with our groceries.
Lunch was going well until Steve did some vacuuming, and then broke the Oreck, as far as I can tell, because it was suddenly taken apart. We cannot afford another vacuum cleaneror even to get replacement parts or a repair done. The last hour or so, he's been emptying the bag and cleaning up around the garage, but not putting the appliance back together. I didn't witness him taking it apart, so I don't know how one would reconnect it! That vacuum has run faithfully with no coddling for about 20 years, so I am praying Steve will find it in his brain to put it back together. That seems to be all that's needed, because the vacuum was working! Prayer and more prayer is needed, friends! Prayer for me to use good judgment as to what Steve should be allowed to do as his disease progresses...
Next on the radar is my youngest son Steven in Fresno, who has been violently ill since yesterday when he left work early. He can't afford his work's insurance, but I told him if he goes to a County Hospital, they are obligated to treat him, and can arrange for emergency Medi-Cal (or is it called Healthy Families)? Public welfare isn't our family's way, but since we pay taxes to the State of California, we should use what we've paid for as a last resort, which this is!
Back at the ranch, only the Lord knows how things will turn out with the vacuum. I texted my oldest son, who is very mechanical, to please try to come over and help his dad one morning next week. How grateful I am that God has created my kids with so many talents, talents that I surely don't have!
Time to check on Steve, and make sure we are ready for our home Fellowship, a time so sorely needed for encouragement, loving concern, and assistance in keeping our focus on Jesus, not our difficulties! It urns out, that Steve just took off walking around the neighborhood without saying a thing to me, or taking the dogs! He figured out that the back door hasn't got an alarm beep on it, so in the five minutes since I last checked on his progress with the vacuum cleaner, he disappeared! He walked into the front yard just as I stepped out the door, preparing to call 911!
While I am relieved and happy that he is all right and safe, we are now entering a very bad stage of his disease, and I'll need counsel--and probably mechanical arrangements-- as to preventing this kind of incident from recurring. NO ONE can watch another human being 24 hours a day, as I've just discovered. And NO ONE can keep a mentally unstable person calm and stable--only the Lord can change a person's mind and heart whether they are functional or dysfunctional. The Lord has a solution, of this I am sure! But the ultimate solution is that our lives here on earth are just a passing shadow as 2 Corinthians 4:17 reminds me:
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Thank You, Lord!!