Friday, December 5, 2014

How Much?

It seems the last couple of weeks in the church office have been about seeing how much work we can cram into a week.  This week the worship committee met Monday night, I had a memorial service Tuesday night, a Blue Christmas service Wednesday night, and choir practice Thursday night.  We had to do 4 bulletins and a newsletter in the office. 

Monday-Wednesday I ate supper at the church.  Last night I took Daughter out for supper before choir.  Today is my day off, and I'm taking it.  Tomorrow I have a bell choir rehearsal at 10:00 for Sunday's concert, which is at 3:00.  I need to make some food for the reception following the concert.  This coming week should be easier-- I only have 3 nights at the church. 

Daughter decided to add some excitement to the week by claiming one of the men at her program was sexually harassing her.  She kept calling me, and I kept referring her back to the staff there.  Her case manager called and filled me in.  The man in question is heavily drugged, and during breaks stands by the lockers swaying and staring off into space.  Daughter claimed he was staring at her.  She had quite a story.  After talking to Case Manager, I was ready for Daughter's call.  She had worked on a plan with Home Owner about stopping the harassment, which she said included groping.  I informed her I had spoken to Case Manager and to cut it out.  I said staring off into space was not sexual harassment and if it bothered her, she should sit so she couldn't see him.  She texted Home Owner and told her to forget everything she had said. 

The next day Social Worker at program called me for advice on how to handle it.  I told her I suspected the problem had been solved by my conversation with her.  Home Owner had sent out an email about her conversation to everyone on the team but me.  I told her it was possible that he was behaving in a way that was triggering her PTSD, which could make her very reactive and lead to exaggerations.  I suggested that if she complained again, she tell Daughter she had talked to me and she would have to go to one of the other programs (away from her friends) until she felt safe.  Social Worker reported that Daughter had stopped complaining. 

Yesterday Daughter was at the church, and was very helpful and cooperative.  We gave her as much work as we could, and she did it all without complaining.  As I was driving to her house to pick up her supper time pills (which staff forgot to give her), she told me I looked tired.  I informed her I was tired and reminded her I'd been at the church every night that week.  She does not understand that I am working when she isn't with me.  She just can't seem to comprehend that. 

Today I'm being very lazy.  With my comfortable new adjustable bed, I have it adjusted so I'm sitting up and reading and spending time on the computer.  I'm warm and comfy.  It makes for a wonderful day off.  Unfortunately, I need to get up and get some of the chores done that I didn't get to through the week. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

That Time of Year

Life has gotten crazy busy around here.  I try to limit my evening commitments to 3 a week.  Last week I had 4 in a row, and it will be the same this coming week.  Including 3 completely different worship services in 4 days.  I have one that I still need to finish. 

Yesterday would have been my mom's 84th birthday.  She was born on Thanksgiving Day, so whenever her birthday fell on Thanksgiving it was special.  This was the first time that happened since her death 5 years ago.  It's hard to believe my parents have been gone for 5 years.  We gathered at my brother's for our celebration, which was my parents' home.  It is the house we all grew up in.  It was small, packed, and noisy, but I got to see my wonderful nephews, so that was wonderful.  Baby Nephew is a very happy baby. I got lots of baby snuggles in. 

Daughter continues to struggle some.  We came home early-- the noise and chaos were overwhelming her. She has spent more time with me, and has been cooperative.  She likes me to build fires in the fireplace, and is even willing to fetch the firewood from the garage.  I've enjoyed the fires, too.  It's been cold. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Breakfast in Bed

Daughter is staying with me this weekend.  She's actually been with me since Thursday evening.  Yesterday, she made me breakfast in bed, then accompanied me on a number of errands.  We had our children's ministry last night.  One of the younger guys was unhappy with the group he was in, I was impressed with the way she knelt next to him and wiped the tears from his eyes.  He ended up having a good time, and was glad to rejoin his friends at the end for some videos. 

Today, we've been busy working around the house.  She has been cooperative and helpful.  She continues to work on her dreams, and she continues to be unrealistic.  I continue to remind her she has to go a year without getting into extra food before she can move.  Since she got into food today, she reset the calendar. 

She showed me the notebook in which she's  been writing her plans.  She has decided she wants to live in a house, not an apartment.  She wants 4 bedrooms, a big kitchen with an island and double ovens, and much more.  I told her I didn't think she could afford it.  She wants to adopt a baby.  She wants to baby to be a 10 month old girl from overseas.  She was willing to consider an older child if absolutely necessary. 

Daughter has a very difficult time with the concept of money and what is and isn't realistic.  She is doing better now that she's back on the lithium.  She's decided she'll stay in her current house until she moves into her own place.  She doesn't want to move into another group home.  As far as I am concerned, that is excellent news and a great relief. 

Things continue to be busy at the church.  I've had lots of people wanting time with me.  I told Administrative Assistant that I'm just too popular.  Fortunately, I love every minute of it. The retreat I went on left me a little bit behind, but it was worth every minute I spent on it.  I gained some important insights into myself and why I've been avoiding some things.  I will share some of those insights at another time. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Appropriate Tears

Daughter called around supper time, in tears.  My heart sank.  She'd been doing so well.  What was she going to say to convince me she had to move?  I asked what was wrong, and she told me she'd been on Facebook.  She saw a note from a month ago.  A member of the church in Tiny Village had died.  Daughter called her granny, and they loved each other. 

We talked for a while.  I reminded her how Granny loved to write poetry, and suggested she could write a poem honoring Granny.  She thought that was a good idea. 

I had not told her of the death because I didn't think she was able to handle it.  Today, she was appropriately sad, and was able to receive comfort. 

I'm going to be at a retreat Thursday.  Administrative Assistant is going to pick her up for choir in the evening, but not to work in the office.  When I explained this to her, she was fine with that.  A couple of weeks ago she would have been upset by the change in routine.  She is definitely improving. 

I am much less stressed now, which is good.  I'm looking forward to the retreat, which begins tomorrow.  Life is good. 

Monday, November 3, 2014


Daughter is definitely improving.  She's calling me less, and when she does call, she's happier.  There's much less drama, and I am very grateful.  I get more done when she's stable. Daughter continues to insist that she wants to move.  I've told her we'll talk about that when she's healed.  I'm hoping and praying she'll decide she can stay where she is. 

Last week was very busy at the church.  Things here are going really well.  Worship attendance is growing, and we have a number of visitors who are becoming regulars.  Some of them will join-- we're having a new members class this Sunday following worship. 

On Wednesday, I'll be leaving for a retreat/seminar on spiritual practices and reinvigorating local congregations.  I think we are getting reinvigorated.  Last year we set up for 60 people for the monthly fellowship meal following worship.  This fall, we upped the number to 80, and I think we'll add another 10 come January. Not everyone stays for the fellowship meal.  Last year we averaged 85 in worship.  Our average since September is over 100.

I continue to have to evaluate priorities and how I'm spending my time.  I'm no longer going to everything.  Last week I was at the church every day, so I'm glad I'll be out of the office a few days this week. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Pin Prick of Light

The last few weeks have been challenging, to say the least.  Daughter has been rapid cycling.  She calls me multiple times a day, often times shouting or sobbing.  She has insisted that she has to move out of her group home immediately.  She has begged me to let her come back and live with me.  All this time, Psychiatrist was silent.  Her colleague said Daughter needed medication adjusted, but nothing was happening.  She had no openings in her schedule before Daughter's appointment on December 18. 

I was exhausted.  Beyond exhausted.  The toll she was taking on me with her drama was high.  Then I got a phone call from Case Manager.  There had been a cancellation and she had grabbed it for Daughter.  Daughter saw Psychiatrist yesterday afternoon.  Daughter sobbed, yelled, hid under her coat, hid her hands behind her back when Psychiatrist asked her to give her her hand, said (repeatedly) I was no longer her mother....  In short, she put on a show.  She is back on lithium, and has a prescription for ativan she can take if she wakes up between 12 and 2.  She has been going to sleep for a couple of hours, and then getting up and rearranging her room and such. 

Daughter told Psychiatrist everything was dark.  After her appointment, she told me she saw a pin prick of light.  I hope that will grow, and her mental state will improve quickly.  I ended up going into the office this afternoon.  I was going to finish my sermon, but instead ended up helping Administrative Assistant with folding letters that had to go out today.  In addition to the monthly newsletter and bulletin, we also had a couple of other big things going on in the office:  the stewardship material went out today, and bids were due today for major roof work to prevent future leaks from ice dams.  There is also a bazaar at the church tomorrow, and AA is on the planning team for that. 

The sermon will get finished tomorrow.  Everything that needed to get done today, got done today.  I will be at the church most of the day tomorrow, so I will take some time to go upstairs and complete my sermon.  Daughter called several times this morning, but eventually calmed down.  I can see her pin prick of light now, in fact, it may be growing.  I hope it's growing. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Positive Things

After all the challenges Daughter has presented in the last few days, I'm focusing on positive things today.  One of the biggest ones is that she no longer lives with me.  She is safe in her group home.  I'm grateful.  She is calling me a couple of times a day, trying to sound pathetic.  I listen between the lines and I know she is doing well.  Today she was cleaning and rearranging her room (again).  I think she keeps rearranging it because she is desperate to bring order to the chaos in her brain. 

Today I am watching college football while waiting for the delivery of a new bed.  I've been waking up with back pain at least once a week, so I went out and ordered a new mattress.  I bought a memory foam mattress, and the base is adjustable.  I've had the head of my bed elevated for several years to help with my sleep apnea and  GERD.  I had two raisers under the legs of the bed at the head of the bed.  It made it challenging to move the bed.  Because of the way the headboard was on my old bed, I couldn't lean on it.  It was challenging to read in bed, with the challenges of the bed and my bifocals.  Now, I will be able to do it. 

My old bed will go into Daughter's room, which means I'll have a double bed for guests. 

Tomorrow we have a drama instead of the sermon.  I wrote it, and we will be hearing from 3 characters in the book of Acts.  We practiced last Sunday, and I think it will be good.  The congregation loves it when we do creative things in worship.  I get bored so I have to mix things up.  Things are going really well at the church.  We continue to grow in so many ways.  I am grateful.