A Heart of Praise

 Let them praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. -Psalms 148:13
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. -Psalm 30:11-12
Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength: so we will sing and praise thy power.- Psalm 21:13

The Psalms overflow with verses of praise, prayer and thanksgiving as an expression of the depths of man's inner soul poured out before God Almighty. Many of the Psalms were written by David who experienced hardships, temptations, and trials yet was known as "a man after God's own heart." God listens to our heart even when it is too weak to sing a note.  God is so great that he can handle our thoughts, tears, concerns, and even disappointments.  Yet God is worthy of all our praises and His name alone is to be praised! He fills our hearts with gladness, thanksgiving, and praises!  He has filled Dean's heart with thanksgiving and praises and it is beautiful to praise God together with him!  And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings. -Psalm 9:10,11

October 30 - Day 137

In the morning I asked Dean to pray for breakfast and with a ready heart he prayed. He began, " Dear Lord,...the people.....her...(along with many words I don't understand yet)... help me to love and serve you...In Jesus name, Amen Amen!

The therapist asked him how he felt and he said, "Like a 100 bucks."

In the evening, we spent some time in the Quincy room where there is an upright piano. I sat down by the piano and played a few simple  and familiar tunes. The only song I know from memory is "Jesus loves me" besides "Mary had a little Lamb" and "Twinkle Little Star." Dean graciously listened to me as I sang "Jesus loves me" a few times. Then I turned to him and asked him to sing along. He begin to sing along as I played and my heart soared with thanksgiving to the Lord! I turned around and I asked if we could sing it again and he said sure. I could understand most of the words he sang. Then I said, "Let's sing Happy Birthday!" He begin to sing and said "Happy Birthday Dear Lord!" We sang it again and he said, "the one I love." Then in pure excitement I said let's sing "Praise ye the Lord, Hallelujah" and he sang along. This was the first time he ever sang on this journey and it was beautiful! Dean believes in his heart this simple truth: "Yes, Jesus love me this I know for the Bible tells me so."

We carried on a long conversation together and I was able to record 14 minutes of it. (I just realized my cellphone has a recorder.) We also quoted John 3:16 together! The first verse he has said in 137 days.

I asked him what 2+2 was and he said 4. Then I asked him what 4+4 was and he said 8.

October 31 -Day 138

Dean prayed this morning, "Dear Lord...Give us strength and power to go where need to go....In Jesus name, Amen." 

In the evening, we played the piano some and when I asked him who he bought his piano from he basically said, "when you ask me to remember the people..... it's irritating." This was the first time he ever expressed how he felt about his ability to remember and with respect I am trying to ask questions carefully. I'm encouraging others to do so as well. Weeks ago, I would say, "Do you remember our honeymoon in Alaska? We went here and saw this... or about our wedding, engagement etc." Now I don't ask if he remembers these things but tell him he got married on May 5, 2012 or just ask him questions and let him do the remembering without using the specific word. I also ask him if he would like to travel to Alaska and tell all things we could do and see if we were to plan a trip. I basically share all things we did on honeymoon as potential things we could do on a future trip. It's my prayer that one day he will say, "Honey, we already visited Alaska and did all those things together." On our honeymoon, we both talked about how it would be nice to visit Alaska again.

I asked Dean what 2+2 was and instead of saying 4 he held up 4 fingers!

We had a really late night and his sleeping schedule is a little mixed up again. So he seems more tired during the day but then again he never gets a solid night's sleep without lights coming on every 3 hours and being checked. His also requires much rest as his body heals. Please pray that we can get on a more consistent schedule. I thank the Lord that Dean is helping me by putting some weight on his legs when I transfer from bed to the chair. This has allowed me to transfer him on my own throughout the day and evening. He ate all three meals while sitting in his wheelchair ! Before he would eat most meals in bed while sitting upright with the support of his bed. He is getting better at sitting up on the edge of the bed and participating in daily activities with appropriate responses. 

November 1  -Day 139

This morning was very busy with his shower, breakfast, and early therapy along with many other details as we are preparing to transfer Dean next week to PennState Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital. 

During speech, Dean showed the therapist how he could count. She asked him to count 1- 10 and he steadily counted 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and then stopped. She asked him how high he could count and he said 50. Then she said, "how about to 30." Dean in his humor said, "30." I asked him to start at the beginning so then he said, "10, 20, 11, 12, 15." I said, "Let's start at 1" so he said 1 and then skipped 2-9 which he said the first time and began with 10 then proceeding with clarity 11, 12, 13....until he reached 30! He did great! He will throw out all kinds of numbers and ask about the time.  He will say 1991, 2004, 102.8, 27, etc. 

I placed a few objects in his hand to see if he could recognize them. I gave him a toothbrush and asked, "What is this?" He said, "a pen" because it felt similar. Then I gave him his razor and asked, "You shave your face with this. It is a ________." He was unsure and asked me to spell it. I said "R  a  z  o r" and he said, "Razor." Then I a gave him rock to identify. I spelled it and he said, "rock." Then I gave him his recorder and he blew on it and just repeated after me.

Dean took this photo of his right hand several years ago. 



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