Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Be the Way Sunlit or Dark...

I'm blessed to live in rural Kansas.  You read that right!  I love the ever-changing sky, the shape of the land, and the changing seasons (as the joke goes, we sometimes experience all four seasons in the course of one day).  My drive home from town includes a stretch I call "the straightaway," and over the years I've used this one-mile section of road as a place to decompress, pray, inhale deeply, and relax just a bit from the stresses of caregiving.

On my drive home early yesterday afternoon, I was fascinated by changing light patterns caused by gaps in the clouds above. The wind created swiftly moving sunlit patches, always just ahead of me.  I wanted badly to drive right into one of those bright places, but I couldn't catch up.

One of these days I will arrive at a sunlit place that is free of the darkness of my mom's Alzheimer's disease. She will be released, and I will be in grief because of the loss of her living presence in my life.  Even now, after these many years of living under the cloud of this wretched disease, I have trouble with the thought of that final release.  But, as Mom has said, "It is sad that we humans so often view death with sadness and dread—the actuality is that it is a blessed doorway into God’s continual presence."  

I'm grateful today for the Lord's abiding presence through every portion of my road home.  

Friday, March 16, 2018

Look to the Lord First

As caregivers, we need to release our loved ones from the responsibility for our emotional welfare. We can't provide support to others if we are needy toward them.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


This morning I wrote the date at the top of my journal page, and felt shock to realize that it has been nearly 14 years since my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

  Alzheimer's disease brings difficult challenges, and caregiving can be like a marathon that stretches over years of time.  Apart from the Lord, we would be overwhelmed by the dual grief of losing the support of someone we love while simultaneously facing the necessity of becoming a support to that person. Blessedly, we don't have to live our lives apart from the Lord.

  When I got past my amazement over that fast-approaching anniversary of my anointing as a caregiver, I felt relief as I was reminded--again--that I haven't been alone on this journey.

  Our lives will include times of sorrow whether or not we accept the assignments God provides.  It is better to go in obedience with Him into rough terrain than to choose an easier-looking road apart from His sustenance and strength.  I don't regret my decision to become my mother's caregiver.  

  God heals the wounds He allows us to receive, encourages us with His presence, and sustains us through trials that would otherwise destroy us.  He is the Lord, and His presence brings light to darkness, peace to turmoil, and the promise of better days ahead.

"...I am the Lord, your healer" (Exodus 15:26 ESV).   
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6). 
"Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me" (Psalm 54:4).  

Sunday, March 11, 2018


"...once we entrust into God's hands the sorrows of what cannot be undone and our fears about what is yet to be done, we are left with the only point of time that is actually ours: the present."*

*From One Hundred Days to Freedom: Release From the Condemnation of Overweight, day 88.  The meme quote is from day 49.  

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Fearing What Others Think

Sometimes we quench the Holy Spirit’s flow in an attempt to keep control of how we are perceived by other human beings.  Whether we fret about the opinions others have of our appearance, housekeeping, or caregiving, we can have peace if we give up the effort to please other people and take on the challenge of living lives that are pleasing to Christ.  

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


My daughter is the homeschooling mom of three little boys, and I am the caregiving daughter of a 93-year-old mom who has Alzheimer's. Both my daughter and I are weary, and the winter storm blanketing the midwest with freezing rain is not helping.

This morning I attempted to write an encouraging email for my daughter:

"I think we both need to wait on the Lord just awhile longer. We know He is at work on your behalf and mine. This is an in-between place where we are, by our faith in His faithfulness, enabled to abide in Him and trust Him.  When we hound Him for quick solutions to the situations that cause us discontent, we block our ability to partake of His comfort and encouragement right now, right where we are, in the midst of all that is causing us the discomfort of stress. This time of each of our lives is temporary.  If we can deal with the challenges of this season with grace, we can positively impact the timbre of seasons to come. Lord we pray for strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow!"*

These thoughts came with understanding that the Holy Spirit-fueled virtues we are able to walk in today will bear positive fruit for seasons to come.  It is worth the effort it takes to energetically exhibit kindness, patience, and love even as we walk the tightrope of disciplining, advocating, and exhorting according to the Holy Spirit's lead.  And, we need to maintain the disciplines and joys of praise and thanksgiving, because these practices form the groundwork of our ability to exhibit the fruits of the Holy Spirit. 

Well, as my mama says, "It ain't easy, Breezy!"

No, it isn't easy, and there will be days when patience wears thin, tempers become frayed, and our hearts can't muster a single word of gratitude to our Lord. Another quote from my mom comes to mind: "There have been times when I let go of Him, but He never let go of me."

Thank You Lord, for Your abiding presence with us through every season of our lives.


*From the classic hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness