Recent Blog Entries

  • 18 hours ago
    Posted by Dion Todd
    Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brothers, and they hated him all the more. He said to them, 'Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: for, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and behold, your sheaves came around, and bowe...
  • RHM Devotional: Climbing God's Mountain from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo. Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfi...
  • Nov 18
    Posted by Dion Todd
    He took a towel, and wrapped a towel around his waist. Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, 'Lord, do you wash my feet?' Jesus answered him, 'You don't kno...
View All




It's Complicated 8/25/17

  • It’s Complicated

    ( if you look real close all the way back on the left you will see how far away my black Saturn I still have many steps to my apt) 

    Job 42:2

    I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.

    Where do you begin when there is so much to share, to tell, or to vent about. Over these last few months my life has felt like it has been at a carnival. I feel like I have been on the different rides, going up and down, side to side, going faster one minute then spiraling down the next, through the darkest tunnels to the splash when you hit the water at 100 miles an hour. I know God is with me because He says so, but its been a crazy ride with no end in sight.

    Months ago now, I cut my finger on a serrated steak knife which required 4 stitches. That slipped into a boil busting on my chest, which sent me on an antibiotic, which caused a candida outbreak rash, that slipped into a urinary track infection, which led to more antibiotics which led to a terrible reaction, which led to another antibiotic, which then led to a yeast infection and more medication.

    At the beginning of August I got a note from landlord saying that if I have intentions of moving that I have to give a 60 day notice, in writing as of the date of the note. If I plan to stay, my rent will go from $585.00 to $615.00 beginning October 1, 2017 ( a $30.00 increase). My heart just sank, feeling trapped, I cried. I knew last year, when shortly after the rent went to $585.00 that the next year it was going up again. I began praying then, seeking information, looking on line and doing drive by's and even stopping at two complexes to speak with the property manager. This door just has not opened. I could not make it open. If I moved, it would require someone else driving the truck, my health would not allow it this time around. So unless a divine intervention comes in, we will be here for at least another year. I was told that if I have a note from my doctor that states I have to move because of my disability that I would be able to get out of my lease. Well, that's all fine and well, but if God does not open the door, then here I will have to stay until He moves.

    My apartment building, picture the capital letter M is the main office area of design. If you face the M straight on there is a drive way, only one way in and one way out. I live on the inside right side of the M. On the out side of the M on the right and left are other driveways, getting access in and out on those sides only. Well, the front of the M ,where I put the underline is the main road of which is under construction digging up the sewer lines etc and repairing. Well, it came to the point where just days away was when they would be totally closing down the only opening to my apartment complex. Which meant I would have to park my car in the outer driveways on either side of the M. But its not as easy as that sounds when you have Osteoarthritis and walk bone on bone. I could not wait till the last minute to move my car, nor could I risk getting stuck in the complex with no way out or no one to help me get out. In the complex there are stairs every where. When I moved my car the first time I put it where I thought it would be the easiest, I was wrong. The long walk way steps were high and deep, I had to hold onto Ashers shoulder in order to get up the walkway. The cement walk way stopped and went into cobble steps on to very uneven ground to just grass with dog poop in sight before I could get to my apartment. Talk about stressed out, but at least my car could get out if I could make it back to it. Ok, the second trip out while my car was over there cost me the walk across my parking lot and 40 stairs round trip, including the steps it took to get to my car. Getting back from that trip, I moved my car again to the other end of that parking lot which cut my stairs down to 30 round trip. It took me days to recover. Then the last time I went out, I took a good look at the end of the drive way and our parking lot driveway was open so I could not get back in and park with in a few steps to my apartment once again. Praise God!!!!!!! No forewarning from Management, no neighbor saying hey the road is closed, or the road is open. We are visible only to God. This is not the end of of this driveway closing since this is major work on this front road. This road project is not supposed to be finished till sometime next year. I can only pray, and be as prepared as I can. But the steps as to the next when loom in my minds eye daily.

    I live on the basement level of the building and once you open my door, if you look diagonally to the right you’ll see the laundry room. Two washers and Two dryers are in this space. These date back to 1949 when the building was first built. For several months now, one washer has been completely down, leaving only one working washer for 12 families in my section. The dryers are in tough shape, one works good the other you need your clothes to go around a second, sometimes a third time. Each wash, and each dry is. 75 cents. It costs me $40.00 a month to do laundry. We have tried the laundromat to see about how efficient, how costly it would be and discovered all around it costs more, time, energy, and strength. Instead of doing laundry a few times a week, now it would have to be done all in one day, we would have to wait, and Asher would have to carry all the baskets, his clothes, mine, towels, sheets and other. Not only that, Asher would have to carry each basket up the six stairs our of our apartment ( or 30 stairs if we get locked in the apartment complex), load the car, unload the car at the matt, load the car when all was dry, unload each when getting back to our apartment and going up and down the six stairs or more. Just not dooable. I reported several times the broken machine to the Landlord, she said, just go to one of the other washers in another building and that she has no intention of fixing the broken washer. Instead, after several months of only one washer, we found out they planned ( months ago) to put in new washers and dryers, along with a nice increase to each. Along with that we will have a debit like card that we load with money and use the card in the washers and dryers. They plan to build a Kiosk right behind us at the pool. Humm, I wonder if they will shovel a path to this little building in the winter. Only time will tell. In the mean time, my $40.00 a month, looks like $84.00 a month, based on a $1.50 wash, and a $1.50 to dry, but the final price in not available yet.

    It all points to less money at the end of my disability payments a month.

    The little I have found out about Medicare is that I have to except it or else I will be fined 10%. I thought I qualified for this come this October, but found out not until April of 2018 is when I qualify. I should be getting a notice in the mail come February. It will cost $134.00 a month. The mock budget I assembled with Medicare included leaves me with $240.00 a month after tithe, and bills are paid. That $240.00 needs to cover food, toiletries, doctor copays, car repairs, hair cuts, and the list is endless. Needless to say there is not enough.

    A few months ago, we had an opportunity to go to Blue ridge Independent Living Center (BRILC)where they work with those with disabilities. Asher has a disability, Fibromyligia, its proven, we have it documented and current updates. But because Asher does not have the work credits, he does not qualify for disability.

    But at the BRILC they wanted to find out if Asher had any other disabilities that would further hinder him from working. So Rob at BRILC called and referred us to the Department for Aging and Rehabilitation Services (DARS). They help people with disabilities get back to work or find work they can do. Well, first thing we had to do is meet with a Vocational Rehabilitation councler, Lena Hale. From her office Asher had to sign papers to release his medical file to prove he had a disability.( We would not have gotten to her office had it not been for BRLIC refferal). From there Asher was sent to Excellence Edge for a psychological evaluation. That was a 4 ½ hour test. From that test, DARS sent Asher to the Career Ability Placement Survey, another 3 hours of testing. With the results in and back on Lenas desk we met with her about recommendations.

    Several things were recommend, one was bus training, yep, they can set you up with a person who will walk you through the bus system and get you acquainted on how to take the bus ( I felt so much better when Lena said, she does not know how the bus works nor has she taken the bus anywhere). This would free him up some and me in taking him where he needs to go, but that is not set up yet. This has been a long process , Lena is the one who has to set this up. Bus fair one way is $1.50. There are bus passes you can purchase for longer, if you have to change buses there is a pass, and I read an article last week that said bus fares were going up to $1.75 one way. If bus fare comes out of my pocket, that is something else I have to add to my mock budget.

    Next, the question was asked, do you want to go to work or get your GED, Asher said GED. There were several places to call to see about this. After several calls and questions, Asher is set up to get registered on August 28th. He will have to take a 2 ½ timed test to see where he fits . It would be two classes a week, and in the morning hours , where he takes the classes depends on the test results. One place is on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 12:30 pm, the other is is on Monday and Wednesdays 10 a, to 12:30 pm. How many weeks depends on how Asher responds to the classes and what he does and learns on the days he is not in class. There are GED book fees, classes are free but not the books. Not sure how Lena fits into this as far as paying for the books but we wont know that till we meet with her again and let me just say, she works “SLOWLY”. Asher will take the test on Monday the 28th and have the results before he leaves that day, so that he can take this information to Lena Hale on Friday September 1 at our 10 am meeting. Lena also mentioned a

    tutor program they pay for, so I am hopeful because Asher can not do this alone and I do not have the skills to help him with it.

    Next it was talking with a Job coach , for the sake of time in the little update, google what is a job coach and see what you find. Lenas office will pay for anything there that requires money, like a Job coach, Asher just has to pick the one he feels comfortable with. So on Thursday August 24 th at 8:00 am we met with Goodwill to learn more about a job coach. I am always early, this was no exception as we sat in the Goodwill parking lot at 7:15 am. We were meeting with a man named Maurice Hicks. While sitting in the parking lot, a tall well dressed man walked into the GW office, he glanced our way, went into the building and came back out again and we had eye contact. He asked if we were waiting for Maurice Hicks ( I saw his name badge) we said yes, and he explained he had an appointment he had to keep at 9 am and could we come in now for our appointment. We said yes. We spend an hour and a half with him. Maurices title is Job Development Specialist. He explained in detail what he does, what programs are offered. He told us about the Job coaches and that Asher could be seen by them at a later date should we decide to use GW as the source of help we needed. Asher really liked him, so did I. We found out that Maurice has taken care of his brother for many years that has a disability. ( we had many things in common and it was good for a change to get someone who got what living with a disability was all about and caring for someone with a disability.) To much to tell but this meeting brought a little hope back into our lives. Asher needs to tell Lena that he wants to work with Maurice at GW so that Lena can make the arrangements that Asher can go to the programs that GW offers. They even do bus training through GW. We might be able to save a step. Again, Lena is slow in processing stuff for us. There is some kind of friction when we go to her office, I can feel the negativity. It was not so when we went to GW. So I have asked Asher just to pray for Lena that God will give us favor with her. Its her job, she works with disabled people, not sure if she has this attitude towards others. The two other woman Asher has worked with in testing from this office there attitude was vibrant and alive. Not sure what Lenas underlining issue is, but there is clearly an issue.

    There is also a Job Club through Dars where Asher can benifit from participation in learning job seeking skills, but Lena said to hold off on that for now. ( We found out from GW yesterday, they participate that the Job Club at DARS)

    Let me just say here this all sounds good, but we can only go as fast as God allows. Since Asher has a disability, the jobs that he would go into through Dars would have to be able to accommodate Asher in some way because

    of the disability. Like I said, Lena is very slow in what she does and does not return emails. This is just one more thing we have to stay on top of.

    Understand we would not have gotten this far if God had not opened a door through the Blue Ridge Independent Living Center. ( Where was this information when I was looking for a job??) I drive by Blue Ridge many times a week ,its just on the route ,but its like the well in the desert that Hagar did not see until the angel opened her eyes to it. I could have gone through this program at DARS just like Asher is doing now, God knew that the program was available, but He did not take me that way. But he is taking Asher this way and only time will tell the outcome.

    All this does not mean he will even get a job, we know he needs the GED, but that still does not guarantee him a job, only God knows. He also knows that we need extra money coming in to fill back in the increase in the Rent, laundry, extra gas for going to and from these places, and the increase in my pain medication because of my disability payments. My co-payments went up at the clinic because of the Disability payments, and as of yesterday that increase caught up with my pain prescription. Only God knows what this is doing to my heath and pain. If Asher does qualify for a job, then that little bit needs to be reported to food stamps in which that will change because there is more money coming it. Like I said, “It’s Complicated”!

    Asher has no phone, so he has no communication with me and although I have a free phone, the program is one per household. There is no room for another phone in the budget. There are still a lot of unanswered questions and my mind is reeling with all the things that go around all of these segments of our lives right now.

    I did get Asher a hair cut over this weekend, so any appointments he will look good. I recently got him some new sneakers so his feet will not hurt while he does what is required of him. Asher will still have to do the things he does here on the home front. I can do some things, but will have to be careful not to overdue or I will not be able to get him where he needs to go.

    This is an opportunity that only God could have opened for I did not know these even existed ,so what ever happens, it is all God, and its all in His timing. He is aware of all that we need, He knows both our fears.

    What is so great with all of this is that it takes into consideration Asher’s pain with Fibromyligia, and with Fibro Fog, and the trouble concentrating which comes from it. If you want to learn more about Fibromyligia just google it, if you have it and are dealing with it you will know exactly what I am talking about. Again, through me losing my job and all that has transpired over these last two years, God is beginning to reveal things that could not come into play with out having me in this place first.

    My back pay from Disability is almost gone, with a little over $400.00 there will be no wiggle room at all once it is all used up. I have had to do some real creative financing and have had to choose real carefully what I really need. This is a true step of faith as I watch increases all around me which are all out of my control. There is nothing left to sell, or to pawn or to change, I have done all that I can do. It’s time for God to shine in and through our circumstances. Let’s just say, waiting is not one on my strongest points, but God knows me in and out and continues to tell me to trust him, do not be afraid or discouraged, that He is in control.

    All we can do now is jump through the hoops and keep praying that God will put it all together as it says in Romans 8:28.

    Job 42:2

    I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.

     

    Funny, Asher’s 33 birthday is September 14th. Do you recognize a significant number? We know God’s timing is always perfect even if we do not think so. I can see the hand of God reaching down and moving us into position. There are kinks to work out, a lot of trust involved, a lot of prayer and wisdom needed as we move forward with these opportunities.

    Well, that's it folks , for now, you have all the updates I can give. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.


Tip: You must be logged into the website to leave comments.

 

Social Sharing

3 comments
  • 0
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle Love and hugs <3
August 25, 2017
  • 1
Rebecca Adkins
Rebecca Adkins

Leslie

I'm so sorry for all you are going through. I understand because after being in the valley for the last six years, God has me climbing up the mountain. I have many illnesses also. I'm finally in a good place in my life. The waiting can be so hard, but if you just continue to let God take over, it will be so worth the wait. Remember that you are the head, not the tail. Satan will creep in when you are at your weakest point. If God brings you to it -- He will bring you through it. I will keep you in my prayers. I believe it an I receive it by faith that God is in control and will provide in His time. Please stay strong.

Rebecca  

August 25, 2017
  • 1
Roseanne Braverman
Roseanne Braverman

Prayers and love to you and Asher <3

September 12, 2017