Always on the Move

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
—Psalm 46:1

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Not because nothing is happening. More like too much is happening! I can barely come up for air most days. I never manage to get everything done. Add to that, the shifting dynamic of the grands’ lives and their mother’s trials and tribulations, and well, it’s tough.

I’m not sure how much to share at this point–there’s really too much, but I will say that I’m juggling a LOT of stuff. V is in heavy adolescent hormonal mode. It’s nightmarish. It’s worse than any of our daughters at this age. I don’t know if ADHD and anxiety have added to it, but I doubt it’s helped. Almost everything she says is mean and nasty and rude. It sucks the joy right out of most everything we try to do.

Then there’s A. He’s seeing a counselor for social issues, a psychiatrist for his meds, and another psychiatrist for exposure response therapy. It’s ridiculous but necessary. That’s a hard one to swallow. The exposure response therapy has helped with his OCD, though, so I’m grinning and bearing it.

Their mom? She’s back in the picture after spending a few months in jail this past spring. As in past times, she’s saying and doing the right things. She’s working. She’s in a rehab house. But she still hasn’t admitted to the many mistakes she’s made. Her son doesn’t mind; he’s just happy to talk to her, but he doesn’t really remember what happened almost six years ago. V is another story. She’s angry for many reasons. I can’t blame her.

We were on vacation last week–something I didn’t want their mom to know since the house was empty–and the kids told her. Her response? Can I come? Nope. Nada. Not happening. Luckily, she got a job and realized she couldn’t start a new job and immediately skip out on a vacation. But, when we got back, she told me she’d been in the hospital again. According to her, she almost had a stroke. Her blood pressure went sky high and the whites of her eyes turned blood red. One eye still is. I don’t know enough about her circumstances to understand what’s happening, but I’m so thankful she didn’t have a stroke. I talked to her about her diet–she’s vegetarian but eats LOTS of salt–and suggested she not push herself so hard. She finds multitudes of ways to stress herself out because she refuses to stop and think. She just plunges headlong into stuff.

That aside, she has no clue how to speak to her children. We saw her on Monday and she started talking about extraterrestrial aliens and telepathy and the grim reaper. The next day, A told me, “Mommy scared me.” I asked him which part, and he said the grim reaper story. He’s a sensitive little guy, and you never know what’s going to frighten or upset him. Add anxiety to his fears, and it’s hard to anticipate. I’m continually shushing V from talking about things that I know will set him off. Maybe I should expose him to his fears, but I don’t have time to deal with them and EVERYTHING else right now.

So, in a nutshell, that’s where we are, bumpy road and all. I know we were never promised an easy life, but I could do with some smooth sailing right now. Thank goodness God is on our side!

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Adjustments

Many of you know I follow another mom who blogs about raising her grandchildren due to her children’s life choices. She and I have never met, but we know each other and our pains well. This is the post she shared today. It’s definitely worth reading.

Mom by Proxy . . . and God's Grace

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Adjustments are a natural occurrence throughout our life’s journey. We adjust to all manners of things, whether it be externally or internally as we age. One statement I read as I reviewed the definition of adjustment that I find quite fitting with respect to this stage in my life is: the adjustment of one’s view of reality. Each of us respectively is responsible for not only the life choices we make, whether big or small; but also for our ability to adjust our view of reality involving those we love.

Most of us have been there, haven’t we? We have had to adjust our view of reality. As a parent, one of the most difficult experiences I have (or will) encountered is the adjustment of my dreams, hopes, or visions for my children to match the reality of their lives or their choices.

In…

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Silence For a Purpose: Why I Haven’t Posted

Silence For a Purpose: Why I Haven’t Posted

Image courtesy of TanteTati on Pixabay.com

I’ve been silent for awhile. Many reasons contributed to my absence on this blog.

For one thing, I really didn’t have the time. A lot was going on professionally. Personally, the situation with the grandchildren’s mother was going well, so I decided to not say anything for a while. Why? It appeared she might be making headway in straightening out her life. We’ve been there with her before, though, so rather than write about it, I waited for signs of true stability.

To be honest, I don’t know what to think right now. Thank goodness I can trust in Him when things get fuzzy.

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalms 62:8

For the first time in five years, our daughter joined us for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the experiences were not what any of us, the children especially, hoped for. She’s working long hours, so we planned our gathering to give her time to rest before coming over. On Thanksgiving, she seemed excited to see the kids but struggled to stay awake. She was supposed to get off work that morning at 7 am, but several employees failed to show up, so she ended up working until 1 pm. She didn’t dare try to go to sleep when she knew I was going to pick her up at 4.

At Christmas, she had off from 10 am on Christmas Eve until 7 pm on December 26. This relieved me because I didn’t want a repeat performance of what we saw at Thanksgiving. We even broke our cardinal rule and invited her to spend the night at our house on Christmas Eve, so she could see the children when they saw what Santa Claus brought in the morning. Also, I didn’t want to stop in the middle of our Christmas morning to drive across town to get her.

She turned me down.

That gave me pause. What mother doesn’t want to be with her kids when they get up on Christmas morning?

She assured me she’d find a way to our house. She did but showed up four hours after she texted to say she was on the way. She finally arrived driving a clunker of a car and told me she’d bought it. As of this posting, that car is out of commission. During the entire time she was here, she kept falling asleep. It was far worse than Thanksgiving, much more than sleep deprivation.

Everyone, including our granddaughter, suspected she was back on drugs.

A little over a week ago, she needed a ride to work, so I brought up my concerns about her using again. She became furious and blamed the long hours she works combined with her continued, but undiagnosed, health problems. I know something is going on with her health, because she lists our address when she goes to the hospital. The volume of mail we’ve seen supports this fact.

Maybe she’s struggling to stay awake because of her health issues, but what she tells me about it doesn’t make sense. When I told her everyone assumed she was back on drugs, she had the audacity to ask me why we would think that. As many times as she’s gone back to using, she still can’t understand why our suspicions turned in that direction.

I know we’re promised a changed life if we believe and stake our life on that belief:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Cor. 5:17

But, I haven’t seen enough change in her to fully go there, yet.

If she’s back on drugs, I’m angry at her. She’s managed to put a tiny question of doubt in my mind about potential health issues. It doesn’t take much research, though, to know her explanations don’t fit. I only know what she’s telling me, and the dots do not connect.

All I can do is lift her up in prayer. It’s no small thing, but some days it feels like a tiny drop in the ocean of her messy life.

On the personal/professional front, I did achieve a lifelong goal this past year, and for that I’m truly thankful.

After years of pursuing publication of my novel, I signed with a publisher and my first book, The Watchers of Moniah, came out on December 18. I haven’t said much about it here because it’s an epic fantasy trilogy–not exactly related to the topics on this blog.

If you’re open to reading fun and clean genre fiction, the second book comes out January 25, and the last one on March 1. (It helps to have two books already written when you get the publishing contract.) I talk a lot more about my writing journey on my writing website if you want to check it out.