A couple of months ago, my friend, Gwen, sent me a message through Facebook. She had been keeping up with Preston’s journey. She had a brand new bread machine and wanted to know if he’d be interested in having.
My friend had no idea that Preston was lonely and struggling with many things. He had recently lost his daily sidekick due to Hunter, our only kid still at home, starting an internship that is out of town and normally from sun-up to sun-down. Preston’s phone can go a full two weeks without a text message or a phone call, outside of the nightly “Goodnight, I love you” texts that one kid sends the entire family. Preston gets more calls from a Jamaican speaking John, who is with the Social Security Administration and has a warrant for his arrest than anyone else…. outside of John’s cousin Steve, who works for the IRS, and also has warrants for Preston. I apparently am married to a real bad to the bone rebel.
The point is, Preston struggles daily with his brain injury. He’s cried out to God for years questioning what his purpose is here on earth. I can only reassure and encourage him so much. One thing is for sure…. I am the one that catches his wrath on his bad days. Just last week, I cried at the neurologist’s appointment. I told the doctor that the struggle is real and my patience is wearing thin at the fact I am the only one that catches it. The doctor reassured me that it’s like a 2 year old’s tantrum…. Johnny can be ugly with mama, becuase he knows mama will never leave him. Mama is his safe place. Something deep inside Preston’s brain reminds and gives him comfort in knowing that I’m his safe place. It’s a double sided demon, I’m telling you! It takes empathy and a strong discipline on my part to not lash back lately. Sometimes I think I literally feel God’s hand over my mouth. That’s a main reason why I blog. It’s a release for me. My extended family has battled one storm after another over the last 6 months.
Getting back to the point of this blog…. the bread maker.
We accepted her gracious gift… with not much expectation. We’ve searched a long time for Preston’s “Outlet”. The Cricut machine got him so frustrated it now sits unused in a spare office at my workplace. Preston was once a talented graphic artist and we’ve invested much money in materials that now sit unused behind his chair. He loves to cook, but has restrictions placed on his unattended stove/grill usage. Feel free to read my previous blogs that will enlighten you of some nightmares we’ve had.
Preston was excited about the bread maker. I figured 2 weeks into it, it would end up on the shelf. Over 2 months later, he’s baking bread from not one machine, but from two. Another dear friend, Jackie, hooked him up with the second machine.
You’re probably scratching your head and wondering why.
A ministry was birthed. Preston now spends his Wednesdays baking bread. If you’ve ever made bread, you know that it takes several hours to get that one loaf. 2 machines allow him to get double the loaves and one for himself. He takes the remaining loaves, wraps them, adds a card, and randomly blesses people within our church and family with his delicious bread.
My gentle giant has always measured at a strapping 6’5, but I swear it seems lately that he’s walking even taller. Maybe he has found purpose here. God can and does use anyone that will allow Him.
I do know that this Bread Ministry has had ripple effect in our home. Preston seems more happy and content. The more bread he makes, the less anxiety and tension build up. The happier Preston is, the happier the home is.
My friend Gwen, if you’re reading this, we still need to get you your promised loaf. Thank you for thinking of Preston and being obedient in blessing him with the first machine. You’ll never understand my gratitude.
Until next time,