Friday, February 10, 2012

House Full!

Yesterday our house was filled with the happy sounds of little children and we even got to bless a friend with room on a couch.

After Ms. D's non-epileptic seizure in the morning, I was wondering if I needed to lower the activity level and anxiety in the house even more after the stress of the past few weeks. Of course, both kids were showing signs of stress in their own ways. Mr. I's fearful and more outward manifestations were feeding Ms. D's more inward focused reaction to stressors. I tried to remain calm and upbeat, which was only possible because of the grace of God and the retreat the weekend before. I was so happy when even Blackbelt daughter recognized my efforts. It was really encouraging.

But then, I got a call from my daughter in law, asking if we could watch Grandson while she went out with a friend for lunch. I hadn't seen him in a few days, so I gladly said yes. We took him with us to walk the dogs in the warm afternoon. We had so much fun!

Blackbelt Daughter and Her Nephew

Then, later, a neighbor asked us if we could watch her two kids while she went out with her husband for dinner. She really needed to get out also, so we did. It ended up being a great thing for both of my kids, because having the little ones around took their minds off their own cares and helped them to feel needed. I can't tell you how important it is for teens to feel good at something and to feel that they can make a difference in the world. And my kids felt both yesterday.

And later, another friend was on call at a hospital near us. She lives over in Santa Cruz and would have had to drive at night over the mountains to get there. She was grateful for even a couch, and so she spent the night here. And yes, she was called in around midnight, so it was a good thing we live five minutes away. Another God thing was that she was able to help my neighbor with a problem. I had told the neighbor about my friend earlier in the day before I found out she was coming. My friend had never been to our house before, and the day I talked about her, she was here! Now, what are the chances for that to happen? I really think it was a total God thing!

And the best thing of all is that all this activity helped to calm my kids in ways I would not have expected. I could have said no to each of the families we helped yesterday because it seemed like it would increase stress on the kids. But if I had, we would have missed out on being a blessing to others. And being a blessing was the best antidote for the stress my kids were feeling.

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