Break of Dawn

“God is in the midst of her, she shall, not be moved; God shall help her just at the break of dawn.” Ps 46:5

These words were written in Psalms about the “City of God.” They aren’t about me, but I wish they were. Like a personal message from Heaven, I’d love to hear my text signal go off and look down to these words, with “you’s” in place of all the “her’s.”

That would be cool!

The truths are there. All through scripture God tells us He’s in our midst, reminding us again He will help and He does rescue. So what’s the crisis? I’m wearing out. Call me a wimp, but I’m just tired. How sad if I miss out on this last stretch; if I give up at the final mile. I’ve been warned again and again, care-givers can lose their compassion…

It hasn’t been consistent however. Somedays, I wakeup refreshed and ready, only to wear thin by noon or evening. Other days, it’s like dragging through oatmeal all day long, talking myself out of running away. Shocked? Don’t be. I’m told it’s quite normal and… I haven’t followed through, yet.

What we have chosen to do here (care for the elderly in-house) is not entirely revolutionary (it’s all there was for 1000s of years!), but non the less it’s hard, daily and in need of a lot of support. I certainly won’t be shy in sharing these struggles so others can make clearly informed choices about their own parent’s care. -Better? Maybe so. Easier? No way. Fore sure, without Crossroads Hospice, I would be sunk.

Hope For The Caregiver is still my favorite practical help-you book. Peter Rosenberger says to follow the “1,2,30” plan:

1 thing a week just for me

2 weeks a year of “vacation” (1 day a week OFF for a year=2 weeks).

30 minutes of laughing a day.

He also warns caregivers will get hit by FOG (Fear, Obligation & Guilt), but that God’s GPS will guide us: (Grace, Purpose & Stewardship)… and he explains it so well!

One thing I know for certain – it is grace that covers me, purpose pushes me to continue and it’s totally up to God how He will use the stewardship I offer Him today.

ForGlorySake! -Anna

Dawn

Dawn

 

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ME, MYSELF-ish I

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. (‭1 Peter‬ ‭4‬:‭8‬)

Sacrificial love, it’s killing ME!!!
No matter it’s coverage of sins.
“Agape” rubs against MY flesh
and all MY SELFish trends.

“Where’s the justice?”
“It’s not fair!”
…to God, MY grievances each are aired.

I wish for all
of MY concerns,
to be heard and answered in their turn.

But…

what about them? and what about their’s? …needs with which I can’t compare.

I look past and do not see. Blind is better than wrestling with ME.

Then HE says, “stop, and turn, and love, open your heart and see, that I gave you the Grace-of-Love

and now you love… for ME.”

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
We love each other because he loved us first. (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭11&19‬)

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. (‭1 John‬ ‭3‬:‭16‬)

Love -there’s no way around it :/ ForGlorySake!- Anna

Funny little nuts from our yard

Funny little nuts from our yard

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Disaster Mitigation

Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. (Romans 12:12 GNB)

Back in 2010 when my best friend was diagnosed with colon cancer, slammed is not a strong enough word to describe how I felt. Driving down the road soon after, I found myself ranting at God, “How could You let this happen? And to David -of all people! He’s already suffered so much in hospitals as a child… If it had to be someone, why not me? I’m not the bread-winner, and I don’t lose weight as easily as he does!” ...Tears, sighs, frustration.

Traffic was bumper to bumper as I headed into Atlanta to my parent’s home to cook & care for them. How could life just keep moving along on a day like this?!  Straight in front of me was a truck with a sign large and in my face:Disaster Mitigation… in a disaster your Response is everything”

I wasn’t sure what mitigation was but I got the message loud and clear! Was I going to totally lose it and freak out or trust the only One Who could bring good out of a time like this? I prayed right then, “Lord, if this is something You are asking us to walk through, then use it! Use it for all it’s worth. Don’t let anything be wasted of this whole experience. I want to see good somewhere in everyone.” It was a hard and awkward prayer I didn’t know how He was going to answer, but I wanted my response to be Hope that God could and would do something For His Glory.

More than anything else David and I have wanted our kids to find and know God for themselves. We taught them about Him when they were young, but we knew our personal lives were their living examples. Our response to little irritations and even big crisis would testify if we truly believed God was in the Mitigation business.

Mitigation – the action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something.

How does God do this? By taking troubles away? Not always. I think it’s by promising never to leave us alone, by sending others to bear our burdens, by comforting and even lessening our suffering sometimes…. And always by promising to bring good out of “all things.” 

I know now that God is actively working behind the scenes, even when I can’t see anything happening.  When I have felt hopeless, He has remained faithful. He waits for a response from me that trusts in His undying love and care. God did bring good to our family. His love never fails!

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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The Memorial

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” anonymous

Well, it finally happened. We had the memorial celebrating my Dad’s life and it was wonderful! The most amazing aspect was all the family that gathered together at our house. My 3 sisters with their crews arrived Friday. 1 extra cousin-clan joined us and we ALL ate pizza! I think I counted 25.

With threat of icy roads we headed to sleep (late!). Saturday was cold, but clear :) The funeral home filled up with familiar old faces. So many hugs, funny stories and sweet eulogies. Great visiting ended too soon! Dad would’ve loved it!

Back at our house I counted 40 for BBQ- cousins, cousins, cousins. The DVD slide-show played over and over as we caught up on too many lost years. Why does it take a death to bring family together? Before we realized, it was 12am.

Sunday, church on-line with coffee, quiche and quiet visits with Gma. Family gathered again for lunch out. Too fun. Too short. Too sad it had to end. If I could’ve- I would’ve done it years ago, before he got sick.

Throw a party, invite family, take lots of pictures and write down all the contact information you can gather! Even the clean up will be worth in the end.

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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The Greater Love

Sunday’s sermon topic …

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭6‬ NIV)

Funny how sermons and devotionals and verses for the day can pop up and string along on the same topic… when I see themes repeating again and again I try to take note. Hmmm, you think Someone could be trying to drive a point home?

Since my Dad passed it has been a whirlwind of activity and decisions.  Due to my Mom’s precarious health and her request for a specific  speaker, a date was chosen for us. We have 3 weeks to get it together. How do folks do it in 3 days?? I’m not sure if waiting is better or worse, but it has given me time to reflect and sort and think over the journey we’ve been on.

Grief is a strange invader. It effects each person differently. My grief came nearly 5 years ago when I could no longer go to my parents for help or share the gut-wrenching walk through my husband’s cancer. I realized then I had lost them as they had been. Caregiving changed my perspective too. I became the parent, they became the children. I’m thankful I was given the luxury of walking day by day through my Dad’s decline. I watched him slip further and further away so letting him go was not as hard. I wanted freedom for him.

My Mom’s path is different. I think her sorrow began when her husband of so many years could no longer carry on a conversation. She watched him grow more and more frail, yet denial over this being the end held strong. Her grief continues now each day as she sits without him in the den. There is anger and a lot of frustration and sadness. All very natural reactions after a loss. We grieve differently, trying to be patient with one another. Love is not always easy… red hearts and flowers. Love hurts. It also heals all wounds. What a challenge to love like Jesus did- to love to death.

Devotional:  “Yet God has called us to love even when we don’t want to, when we don’t feel like it, when we get nothing in return, when they don’t deserve it, when they’re not worth it, when they don’t even know it—when it makes no difference.” Excerpt From: Beth Moore, “Believing God Day by Day.”

Why do it? Because, He loved us first. And He promises the reward is great.

ForGlorySake! -Anna

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I’ll Fly Away- Oh Glory!

Rest and Peace

Rest and Peace

Sunday, Feb 1, 2015 8:02pm

But those who die in the LORD will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For your life-giving light will fall like dew on your people in the place of the dead! (‭Isaiah‬ ‭26‬:‭19‬ NLT)
Hallelujah! My Dad has graduated, and he lives!

I am full of joy to think of him escaping the confines of that hospital bed, stretching his legs and back and moving freely again.

No more confusion, no more worry.

His mom and dad and so many more welcoming him to heaven.

Best of all he’s first to see Jesus – after waiting on 5 women for so many years… he’s first!

Praise God with me, with us for His mercy and timing.

Thank you for so many prayers for our family… for my Mom ❤️

Blessings,

and as always ForGlorySake! -Anna

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Waiting poetry…

Guess where my mind is?

Dry is the flower that falls from the vine
Quick was it’s life of beauty divine
Touched and created by God’s gentle hand
All for His Glory,
all for His plan

Short is a life on the grandest scale
Only to us seems a very long tale
Moment by moment, days as sand
Time measured out
to every man.

Then to our Maker a soul returns
Accounting for even the smallest of words
Actions, thoughts, the slightest deed
Nothing escapes
The Scribe with the reed.

Who is worthy to stand before God?
For mankind is made of dusty sod
Only by Faith in One we are saved
Through Jesus’ blood
our debt paid
(2015)

LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. (‭Psalms‬ ‭39‬:‭4‬ NLT)

ForGlorySake!-Anna

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