Sunday, July 29, 2012

"The Man Before Me" by Ray

Ray and Jason last 4th of July

I felt I had lost my son and desired desperately to get him back from the addiction which had taken him from me. An addiction to meth had stolen the life, happiness and exuberance from the youthful boy I remembered. At one point during a time of serious lament my wife graciously suggested I learn to accept who he is. I did not want who he is, I wanted my son back. What would it take to get him back, what kind of man was hidden in this mask of drugs?  

The battle began not long after his graduation from high school. He would come to visit us, most times under the influence, sometimes not, I never knew what to expect. Today he admits to not remembering some of those visits, but I do, they were the memorable because of the heartache I felt.

  Then my father came to live with us because his health was failing and he needed constant care. This stretched my emotions even further, dealing with his needs and worrying about my son.

 I had to decide how to approach my son about his addiction, there needed to be a confrontation. That same week there were floods in the area and his trailer was washed away. He asked to come home, I only had one condition, no drugs allowed on the property He hesitated but he came home, our confrontation had been provided for us.

 Jason was a blessing in disguise. He would be all night with his grandpa, who suffered from sundowners, a form of Alzheimer’s. They would talk all night allowing my wife and me to sleep. It also gave my Dad a chance to have an influence on his grandson. I had installed an intercom system in the room to monitor dad at night before we knew Jay was coming home, consequently I was privileged to hear most of their conversations. The topics surprised to me, the depth and compassionate wisdom from this man who suffered dementia and the coherence of a young man fighting drugs was amazing. His grandpa was able to say things to him and have an impact; if I said the same thing it would be an instant fight. I so desired to have that influence and not start arguments.

 After his grandpa’s funeral Jay disappeared for a week, where I did not know. I found out later he had gone to a friend’s house where he quit drugs, including meth, cold turkey. He did not want me to see him go through that, feeling I had dealt with too much already. My wife and I had been praying for him continually. Thankfully things began to change as the effects of the drugs wore off, his attitude slowly changed to that of a sober person. As the process continued I began to notice he was changing into the person I remembered. As the weeks wore on he continued to heal, I began to notice a definite change in attitude.

 Would I get my son back? I was learning to accept who he had become, but longed for the boy that was easy to love. Then standing in the kitchen one day, talking about what the next step in his rehab, I realized we were having a conversation that I had desired. And as I realized this, there in this man before me was the son I remembered. He had grown into a man to be proud of. I had to break away and give thanks to God for answered prayers.
July 21, 2012 "After" the Warrior Dash

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Preparedness and The 2012 Drought

Consider the lilies how they grow. For they do not labor nor do they spin. But I say to you that not even Shleemon/Solomon in all his glory was covered like on of these. Luke 12:27

What are you doing (if anything) to prepare for the coming price jump in food? That was the question posed on one of the many blogs I enjoy.

My answer is, "As much as possible." However, everything we are able to do, we did last year when Kimberly-Clark quit on Everett selling off all the parts of the mill, garenteeing that the citizens of Everett would no longer have that option for work that pays a family wage. It was great while it lasted but, just as the Romans destroyed the Temple of YHVH when it was time for a change, so the Everett paper mill has been destroyed...... OK, that was a bad comparison and I digress.

What is left of the old Scott Paper, Kimberly Clark paper mill

Last year Ray knew he did not have much time left as a wage earner. We have a morgatage and all that goes with that. We like to eat, travel, play on the internet, heat the house, keep the cars running. What could we do? Both of us wanted Ray out of the mill, but on our terms, in our time. What do we do? Rage, complain? Ask for prayer to bring a stop to this? What?
"But first seek the Kingdom of Elohim and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, be not anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow is anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its evil."  Matthew 6: 33-34 AENT

Task 1. Seek the Kingdom of Elohim/God, of which I am a citizen-bride in good standing because of the sacrifice of my Y'shua/Jesus! Elohim takes care of my needs through many different and sometimes surprising ways.

We do our best to be wise with what we are stewards over. You would have thought we were "preppers" from the type of groceries we bought with the last few checks from KC. Flours, cornmeal, beans, oatmeal, rice, all in huge bulk bags. Meat packs, sugar, basics that I suppose I will need for holiday cooking, all of it in safe storage.

I have been a passionate vegetable gardener as a hobby. Now I have turned my passion into a living. I count my main occupation as suburban farmer. My 2nd job is working with home-schoolers on the internet through my church's private school. That ministry provides $400.00 a month for 10 months of the year. If I cannot grow something, my school income provides the means to obtain it. I am so thankful!

So, just what am I doing to prepare for the drought? Not much has changed. We are trying to put aside an extra bag of feed and scratch for the chickens, but beyond that we have stores of food to last a while. As we are able, we put local beef and chickens into the freezer for meals to come. If the drought is only a year long we are already ready. It occurs to me that Elohim is gentle and kind to those who seek Him. He took away our fear of tomorrow when KC quit Everett. He has allowed us to change our lifestyle in gentleness so that we might be ready to help and encourage others in their time of transition. We are abundantly blessed and long to pass that blessing on to others.
Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come.  Proverbs 31:25
I have spent too much time avoiding the Proverbs 31 teaching. Some man, intent on telling of an ideal woman, always makes her sound like another reason why I will never be good enough in anyone's eyes. But in this season, I am not offended and understand her laughter. It is the laughter of Joy from a woman of faith. One who does not know what tomorrow will bring but who does trust the Elohim who holds her tomorrows in His hands AND holds her in His heart as she does Him.

Seek the kingdom beloved friends. Everything else belongs to the King who loves you.

Debs of The Toy Box Suburban Farm but more important, of the Kingdom of Elohim.
Expanding the gardens while we still had an income.