Whew! Wait just a moment while I get my breath! Are there certain calendar weeks or months for you that you know are going to be completely full and you will be running full-tilt from start to finish? The end of October through the beginning of January is like that for us. We have birthdays, holidays, Christian Ladies' Seminar, evangelist meetings, school functions, sports games--you name it. Plus, my second oldest daughter has been down since Sunday with a migraine. She was diagnosed back in June as having a migraine (to the tune of a $2,000 ER visit), and she was down for a week and a half then. We have been dosing her with everything we can think of, including prayer, but nothing seems to be working. So I have been somewhat busier than normal taking care of everyone, helping Dale, and doctoring Katie. Plus, this weekend is our aforementioned Christian Ladies' Seminar at church; we host a huge ladies' conference, invite churches from all around to come join us, and have special speakers. Our theme this year is "Obtain Favour of the Lord"; our preacher's wife has asked me to speak at CLS because, as she put it, "I don't think any family in our church has obtained more favour of the Lord than yours this past year!" So, I've been busy planning and praying (and worrying) about that as well. I do thank God for an opportunity to speak to Christian ladies about the wonderful God we all serve. So often we women get so caught up in our hectic everyday lives built around "living" for God that we forget to walk with God. That is the key to living a joyful life for Him as opposed to a dutiful life. So, I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.
I have begun administering (such a big word for simply "doing") the assessment tests with Dale. As I expected, he is breezing right through the sight word tests; he's halfway through and shows no sign of hesitation. I've been changing out tests and activities every five minutes or so in an effort to keep his attention from wandering. Even so, I need to cue Dale or repeat questions often. I'm using some worksheets that SP gave me as well as Hidden Pictures (which we love and Dale is good at) and other assessment tests. I tried giving Dale a writing assignment yesterday; he needed to write a few sentences about "My Pet." He understood the task but couldn't put his thoughts together coherently enough to write them down. So today I tried writing sentences along that topic, leaving blanks for Dale to fill in. He did very well on that, filling in "My pet is a dog" and "Her name is Peanut." The next sentence was "She is a fluffy _________ dog." I expected him to write "white" or "cute." First, Dale surprised me by putting a comma after "fluffy" to separate the adjectives---good job! Then, he wrote the word "deranged" in the blank! "She is a fluffy, deranged dog." I said, "Dale! Deranged?" At which point, we all cracked up! Just typical Dale humor. He has always looked for the ridiculous and silly and thrives on making someone else smile (or groan).
All seemed well---then I pulled out the math test. I set it down in front of Dale; he took one look at it and I could tell I had lost him. I read him the instructions for the first question (counting coins) and told him to begin. He started fidgeting and doodling on the paper. When I encouraged him to think and focus, he began to melt down. First came the "NO!"s and then the screaming. Maybe he was just tired or ready for a real break, but I couldn't believe how upset he was over counting coins. I told him we would be done after just that one question, but this did not seem to pacify him. He continued to scream and cry and refused to do the math. And math is his favorite subject!!! I tried to help him by pointing to the separate coins and asking him to name each coin and state its value. He could do it, but he cried the whole time. I finally had to set the math test aside, work on another activity for a couple of minutes (with him still crying), and then return to the math question at the very end. We still never got back on that solid "I'm willing to work" footing, but at least we got some work done. Every little bit helps his brain reconnect damaged wires.
I have a wonderful answer to prayer to share! We got word today that Dale has been approved for Medicaid. This will be retroactive, starting on August 1st of this year and continuing through July 31st of next year. Praise the Lord!!! This should help a) pay medical bills, b) reimburse us for already-paid medical bills, c) pay future medical bills---are you sensing a theme here?, and d) pay co-pays at Dale's therapy appointments. This should mean that we can schedule Dale for more therapy than just the one-a-week he's getting now in each area. Like I said, every bit helps! We have been praying that God will allow only what He wants us to have concerning financial help, and this is His answer. Thank You, Lord, for supplying our need. Yes!
We still have people stop us in the store or wherever and tell us they recognize us from the news and are praying for us. God has touched alot of people's hearts with Dale's story; He said He can work all things for good, and He certainly is now. Reader's Digest held a phone interview with us a while back; they will have a story about the miracle God worked in Dale in their Christmas edition which comes out this month. Every once in a while we are contacted by someone (media, church, etc.), asking if they can use Dale's rescue and recovery story in their publication. We are very thankful that God has deemed us, not worthy, but able to reflect His glory through this seeming tragedy. The road ahead is filled with ups and downs, and, frankly, we don't know where God will take us. But, in all things, through all things, after all things---He is Lord; He is worthy to be praised; and He is ultimately trustworthy.
I Timothy 1:17 "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen."