Monday, May 16, 2016

Cleaning Out Drawers & Finding Gold

Now that I have an awesome desk (I have needed one for a decade), I spent the better part of yesterday cleaning out drawers of paperwork for the sake of sanity and needed organization. I found strange things like an envelope marked TAXES filled with advertising (that could explain a lot). Dump pile! Ten year old receipts were also dumped along with old calendars and recipes I have collected over the years and never once tried.

Bound neatly together were my teaching certificates for Wisconsin-Illinois-Texas, my transcripts, my college diploma from UW Whitewater, along with other educational paperwork.

What pleased me the most was unearthing certificates that my son had earned before mental illness changed him. First, his high school diploma. Basic, yes, but how many teens leave school without this?  Just ask me. Too many, I say. Its the jumping off point for the rest of your life.

Then there was his diploma from vocational school and also his state certificate from passing the state  exam to be a certified nurses aide. His Freshman English grade from NCTC. He earned a B.

A few awards he won from caring for elderly in residential settings.

Excitedly I shared these treasures with my son and told him that if he ever feels down about himself to pull all these out and look at his achievements.

There will be more achievements for him.

I am sure of it.

God will not be finished with me when I retire in a few more years.

 And he sure isn't finished with my son.

We have work to do.

Important work.

Life ebbs and flows. The only certainty is change. We think we are on one journey and suddenly we are on another path, heading in  a new direction.

Last year, Matthew was asked to speak to a group of mental health professionals at MHMR, including doctors and nurses, about his journey. I think there will be more of that.

Matthew has such a big heart for helping others. Somewhere along the road of life, there will be a time for that.

When we look into a person's eyes, no matter what their ability, God can and will and does use them.
One of the greatest gifts God offers is hope.

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