Yesterday was one of those days in which I would have loved to just cloud up and rain tears most of the day long---I just didn't have the energy! It wasn't a bad day, just not a stellar one. And most of that opinion is my own; the neuro-psych doc and physical therapist probably would not agree. Maybe it was the near-constant travelling back and forth to school, PT, and neuro-psych. Maybe it was because the sky was gray and cloudy and spitting rain. Maybe it's just the fact that I turned older by a whole year (actually just a few gradual hours.....but it felt like longer!), and I wished to wallow in self-imposed misery for a brief time. At any rate, by the end of the day......and quite a few muttered prayers for forgiveness and strength........my spirits had improved.
Dale attended home room, followed by "study hall" in my classroom with his favorite teacher.....me! Yeah, right. Anyway, we worked on several speech worksheets and some Brain Quest cards before we had to leave for PT. Upon arriving at the PT office, we were informed that we were not on the schedule. Somehow, due to someone else's mistake (I'm sure }:-( 'cause it couldn't have been mine!), I thought we had an appointment. Unfortunately, Group Health did not. Praise the Lord, it all worked out because, just as the receptionist realized the problem, the PT assistant we see semi-regularly had a cancellation. So Dale was able to do PT for half an hour---which is better than none at all. Plus, I didn't feel as if I had paid the $1 parking fee for nothing. I know---$1 doesn't sound like much, but when you think about how many times we go to PT each month, it adds up! We left PT earlier than I thought we would due to the shortened appointment available, and headed home for lunch.
About 1:10 p.m., Dale and I got back in the van to go to his neuro-psych appointment. We had not gotten one minute down the road when I realized I had left my book at home. I really did not want to spend the next couple of hours twiddling my thumbs while Dale and Dr. Crain finished up the testing, so I turned around and drove back to my house, calling Katie and asking her to please bring my book out to the van. (She had stayed home with Ashley, who had been throwing up all night. Ashley was the lone holdout amongst our children who had not gotten ill from the nasty sickness the girls brought home last week. That seemed to only give the bacteria longer in which to formulate a plan of attack on her system! She stayed home with nausea and a stomachache all Tuesday. Even on Wednesday, Ashley was only in school half a day due to her continued upset stomach. Poor thing!) With book in hand---or in the seat beside me, at least---I headed back toward the doctor's office. Once we arrived, things went smoothly. Dale and the doctor settled into the last bit of testing, and I sat outside reading. Surprisingly enough, they wrapped things up early, finishing before 4:00 p.m. Dr. Crain seemed pleased with Dale's responses and went so far as to give us his "unofficial" findings. He said Dale did better in some areas than he had expected. That was good to hear. He also explained that Dale's primary processes are intact and functioning; this means that he doesn't have to work as hard to do things or to think as some other TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) patients. Dale's secondary processes are where the first problems rear their heads, things such as not thinking before speaking and not over-explaining something. Dale's third level of processing is inhibited by the problems in the secondary level, but Dr. Crain seemed to think that Dale should be able to continue to improve and heal as time goes on. Again, these are his personal doctoral opinions, not the full official results of the assessments. Still, I was pleased by this report, finding more ways to thank God for what He has done so far in Dale's life. We go back in three weeks to discuss the full findings and look at options for school and such.
We finally arrived home about 5:00 p.m. Every conceivable complaint was churning in my thoughts: I was hungry and tired; I wanted nothing more than to sit down and never move again; dinner wasn't ready yet; I had a headache; I wasn't wearing my favorite outfit; I didn't have a birthday cake; etc. Basically, I just wanted to wallow in my self-imposed misery for a while. My husband invited me along to his interview for a second, much-needed job at Burger King. He had been applying everywhere, and BK was the first to call him back. He said we might pick up a sandwich afterwards to celebrate my birthday. I figured going out would relieve me from my own undesirable company. I wandered around Rite Aid (in the shared parking lot) for about twenty minutes before going over to BK. Chad was just finishing up his interview, so we met at the counter to place our orders. While we were ordering, the manager who interviewed Chad came up to tell him that he was officially hired but at a different location (no problem). When he realized we were ordering something to eat, he waved off my husband who was reaching for his wallet and said, "Put your money away. This one's on me." What a wonderful blessing that was! That man had no idea just how close I was to tears at that point, due to his simple kindness, but God knew what was in my undeserving yet grateful heart. Here I had been grouchy and complaining, steeped in self-pity, and God still put it in that manager's head to buy our food. What a compassionate, loving, wonderful Lord we have! Chad and I finished our meal, stopped at Wal-Mart and picked up a cake mix and frosting tub, then went home and made me a birthday cake! As I said, the evening ended on a good note.......chocolate!
I've been reading back and forth in my devotions about the children of Israel and their seeming constant disobedience of God's very explicitly stated laws. It is so easy to be judgmental of their behavior, because of course I would never do anything like that. And yet, I fight every day the desire to gripe and complain, to go my own way, to make my own decisions, to live a Christless life while proclaiming to be a Christian. God's Word tells us repeatedly of God's longsuffering toward us and His ever-renewed mercies. Yet I still find myself thinking, "This is the time that He turns His back on me. This is the time that He cannot forgive." This is worldly thinking, fleshly thinking; this is me attributing to our gracious Father my own personal feelings and beliefs. God is compassionate toward our sinful state and always willing to forgive and strengthen us---if we but ask. We take one small step toward His righteousness and find ourselves enfolded in His loving arms. And this process is performed just as often as we desire it........again and again, hour by hour, day by day. God's love and mercy are everlasting; we will never come to the end of either of them. Praise be unto God for giving us life and breath and comfort and love and forgiveness and continual mercies!
I Corinthians 15: 57 "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."