Blessed Quietness

This past Thursday was Thanksgiving, a time when family gather and enjoy each other’s company and the spread of holiday food. For me I was thankful on this day  or being blessed with being quiet and alone. I had an invitation to have dinner at a friend’s home with her family, but I just wanted to be alone. Being a caregiver forces me to find those pockets of time to tune in on the contentment of being in an atmosphere of not being busy doing something, and being still in the solitude of quietness.

That was soon to be invaded by the busyness of life. My cousin wanted to visit, and the time could not have been worse, as I was trying to write a paper for school, and I wanted to continue to enjoy the quietness. But wanting to have her come, I said yes. That meant giving up my room, cooking meals and other things to accommodate a guest. The more the weekend went on, for me the worse it got.  My cousin and I are opposites in that she loves to talk. I am the quiet one. Eventually, the inevitable occurred, her and my mother (two strong-willed women) got into an argument, with my mother calling me being upset about being told what to do. Enter me, the mediator who told my cousin to stay at my place as I tried to calm my mother down. I still had dinner to cook, and I told her I would bring her dinner to her so she could have time to settle down.  I threw something together for dinner, and as it turned out, dinner was a hit, and we all sat at the same table enjoying the food and each other’s company.

Yesterday quiet returned as my cousin left but by that time, I was exhausted. My choir director texted me asking for a ride to church (I had intended not to go to finish my paper that had a submission deadline of midnight that evening). But in all the busyness, I managed to write the majority of the paper (after three rewrites), and there were only 400 of the required 1500 words to finish, so I thought it would good to go after all. Once I  got to church, I was glad I went, but finishing the paper was still in the back of my mind. God blessed me in that I mentally found some peace, like He was blessing me for finding time to spend with Him at His place.

At approximately 8:42pm my paper was submitted. It was my best work for sure, but at least it was done; I just hope my professor will grant me some mercy regarding its content.  Happy to once again be in my bed ( I would have hugged it if I could), I got into bed as Benny my cat joined me, both happy to fall asleep and have the television watch me.

11:30pm: got awakened with a phone call from my mother about something that could have waited until the next day….

 

 

Being a Refugee

Nowadays, the term refugee tends to be negative, as it usually refers to a person who is fleeing war torn countries to find an environment that is safe and life is protected. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines refugee as a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution.

From the same dictionary refuge is where one goes to escape danger or distress, a place that provides shelter or protection. I, like David, am a refugee.

David wrote often in the book of Psalms about being a refugee that sought refuge. Whether in Psalm 9:9, Psalm 18:2, Psalm 91:2 and other passages of scripture, there is One who is the refuge. Where the dictionary describes a place for refuge, the bible gives a source that is a person: it is God. Many run this way and that trying to get a break, a time out if you will, from life’s storms and difficulties. Others go to substances to get away from it all temporarily, and when the high has ceased, the refugee discovers that was no permanent solution. Experiencing retail therapy may be fun, but when the bills arrive which causes a lack of funds, there is yet another problem to solve: monetary deficit. But there is a place I have learned I can run to and hide. Actually there is Someone I run to and find solace, as described in Psalm 62:7 & 8:

In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

So take the time to think on these things. Should you be in a season of despair, and your umbrella of finding refuge has turned inside out and is no longer covering you, find God. Learn of his strength in a way that no one and nothing can provide. I may not have answers right now. I continue to be very tired, trying to do my best at being a caregiver, and the many calls I receive from my mother to fix this and do that, all the while wondering how I can get things completed for me and live my life. But then, I remember I am a refugee that has the availability of a get-away-from-it-all asylum. I have a Refuge that I can go to and find the grace I need to get through the next minute and hour, the evening and next day, the rest of the week…

For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. Isaiah 25:4

Be encouraged…

I am thankful, ’cause it could be a lot worse.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to hinge on the bad things in life. It is something I struggle with constantly, but am trying to change. In being a caregiver, today I realized some things:

  • This weekend I did not have to travel two hours to visit my mother in the nursing home; she came home this past Thursday to a familiar environment she calls home, and she is very happy to be there.
  • The issue I deal with is her memory and her constant forgetfulness and my constant reminding her and repeating the same things over and over, and over and over… It could be that she does not recognize  me, like the initial diagnosis I was given of dementia would do to her erase her memory.  I help her make sure she is taking her medication, took her to church this morning, we went out for dinner and had a good time together. Things could have been dealing with her being agitated angry, showing mistrust towards me, and the like: it was not.
  • My son got back home safely after flying in to spend the weekend visiting with his grandmother and me. I was thankful the planes he boarded operated properly and he was kept safe, texting me that he was home.

These are just some of the many blessings God has bestowed. I realized the complaining I do needs to be curtailed, and instead to focus on the good:

  • Thank you God my vehicle is operating efficiently so I can take my mother to places she wants to go. It’s the little things we for which we take for granted and don’t acknowledge appreciation.
  • While I was saddened to hear of the passing of a friend of my mother’s who she knew for decades, the same announcement could have easily been about my mother. Thank you God for your grace and giving her long life.
  • Glory and honor, wisdom and power, unto our God, unto our God…Thanks for just being YOU!

So as we in the States enter into Thanksgiving Day later this week, let us mentally focus on not what has gone wrong, but what God has provided for us and our loved ones, and be thankful, ’cause you and I both know, life could be a whole lot worse, but thanks be to God whose mercies are new every morning, and great is his faithfulness to caregivers everywhere…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Travelling on the Journey Road Called Familiar Street…

Written November 19, 2015:

Today was the day. Get to the nursing home by  10am, pack everything up, sign the discharge papers, take my mother out to lunch, get her home, unpack, hopefully take a nap, then in early evening pick my son up from the airport. Things were going great; my mother happy to be on the outside and looking forward to going to the Chinese food buffet. She later said let’s just get things in and that’s it, not dealing with anything today. It can wait. Yeah, right.

She brought some food home and warmed it up. After doing that, it stayed on the table, because she had to clean. While she was doing that I was trying to fix the television so all the stations she could see if she wanted to watch something. Then we had to go over the clothes that were in the clothes basket, the plastic bags, the towels that weren’t put away, the chair that was not positioned properly and needed to be moved to the left then back then to the right then back, the walker (the old one though she got a new one this morning) and why it was in the bedroom and not in the living room. I never touched it while she was in the various medical facilities. Then the sheets on the bed weren’t right, there was pennies in a bag on the bed and why was that there and where did she keep it, and why was the closet the way it was. I could feel the familiar territory called Mistrust Street about to fill the atmosphere. I quietly got my coat telling her I was going to the airport and would be back later with her grandson…

The psychiatrist’s evaluation said mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This condition may lead to dementia or it may not. The symptoms are increased forgetfulness, not remembering names or losing a train of thought, feeling overwhelmed in decision-making and the steps to accomplish a task, to name a few, according to Mayo Clinic.  The good aspect of MCI is that it is not so severe that it interferes with daily living, and many who have this do not get worse while others get better.

About a couple of hours later I get a phone call, and I admit (knowing who the call was from) I did not want to answer it, but I did. My mother wanted to know if I had been to the airport, and I stated not yet. By her vocal tone it was as if what happened earlier did not happen, she did not sound agitated at all. As caregiver I have to go with flow, weaving in and out of Familiar Street like a car weaving in and out of traffic, and not getting frustrated in the process. And believe me, this is truly a process.  To caregivers everywhere let not your heart be troubled, nor your mind weighted with signs and lanes of Familiar Street. Like I, you will continuously be driving down this road. Just keep casting over to God, and let your faith be bigger than the situation.

 

 

Caring for self while being a caregiver…

Today I took time off from work, though I am still very much behind in everything.  Taking off initially made me feel guilty. But it appeared I got some rest last night in that I may have awakened once and got back to sleep quickly. when I awoke for good, I actually felt a little rested.

The night before I was checking my school email and noticed Andy Greenhow was scheduled to speak at Eastern University. Andy is the pastor at Broad Street Ministries (BSM) where I volunteer. I wrestled with going or staying home and getting other things done pertaining to my mother. After the should I or shouldn’t I back and forth stopped, the decision was made to go. I would make sure my mother had her medicine and leave in plenty of time to take the long route to lessen the chance of me getting lost (I am usually the one who makes one wrong turn and I am lost for three hours). My mother had something for me to do, so I hurried and got that done, and by the time I got in my car to drive to Eastern, I was leaving at the exact time I wanted to go; perhaps this will work after all.

At the same time I was a bit stressed. My mind was spinning about things that I needed to do: grocery shopping for my mother and myself, getting her prescriptions filled, finding the over-the-counter medicine, making a list of the medicine for her to keep track of, making an extra set of keys for my son and myself, preparing lunch for my mother when I got back. As I was thinking about all this, my chest started to hurt – actually it was my heart was I in pain. I knew I needed to pull back and de-stress. So I began to pray to God for my chest to stop hurting. Next I started just thinking about God, what he had already worked out. And as Tye Tribbett says in one of his songs, “if he did it before, he can do it again.” Eventually, I started to feel better and excited about going to see Andy.

I got to the location in plenty of time, and I was proud of myself for not getting lost. I got a quiet place to sit down and start the medicine list to complete later. I got to see some people I knew who came to see Andy, and I admit, it was nice to be involved in the simple art of conversation.

Andy’s speech was on point, full of his comedic personality yet showing his passion for addressing the concerns of the disenfranchised through communion entitled The Lord’s Supper Beyond Sunday: The Sacramental Approach to Hunger Relief at Broad Street Ministry.” 

After the presentation, a student came to me (I had asked a question earlier and Andy said my name and that I sang in the choir at BSM), and we discussed the ministry and how her daughters would benefit through the volunteering of serving meals…it was so nice to talk about something else for a change.

Keeping a close watch on time, and knowing lunchtime was on the horizon, I left and got home. I-95 was not congested and I quickly got home, prepared lunch for my mother, who, at the time of this writing (which began in early evening) is just getting around to eating.

The bottom line is this: I learned that a caregiver needs to care for him/herself, and one of the ways of dong that is to do something different, like what I did today. There have been so many times in the past that I talk myself out of doing something different and later wonder the “what if” – if I had gone. Today the what if did not occur. As I walked away from the auditorium and sat in my car, a smile came across my face; I was proud of myself. I had achieved the goal of doing something different. And in that doing a discovery was re-introduced: the caregiver needs to take care of self while taking care of others. What I did today recharged me to continue caregiving. So to caregivers everywhere, as you are doing the mundane and day to day living of caregiving, take the time and dare to do something different: by yourself and with friends. Get away from the responsibility of caregiving and experience a time of refreshing, if only for a few hours. Be a caregiver of yourself…

Friday the 13th Was A Good Day…

Warning: This post is a long one…

Talked to the social worker yesterday, and she confirmed that my mother would be coming home next week – good news. Now I could tell my mother she is definitely coming home. But there was something else more prevalent, something that needed to be done. It was a request both my mother and I needed: a psychiatric evaluation.

At the hospital (medical facility #1) I was  verbally told my mother was in advanced stage of dementia, and needed long term care at a nursing home. But first she needed physical therapy to strengthen her legs and make her more mobile for two weeks before going to a nursing home. Trusting their judgment, we agreed to go to the rehab facility (medical facility #2). While at facility #2, my mother was still confused and agitated at everything that was going on, while I was at a loss of what to do. In talking to friends, I was surprised at how many were either former or were present caregivers with relatives with dementia. When I told them what behavior was going on, the usual response was “Oh, that’s just the dementia talking….you have to make the decision to keep her at the nursing home…it will be hard, but it has to be done…” Well-meaning words from those who experienced making decisions (and I am sure that was based on having received a written diagnosis), they wanted to help me through a very difficult time, but it just seemed their solutions weren’t fitting the situation. Then I was gifted with a conversation I had with a dear friend. When I told her facility #1 ran a battery of tests that all came back negative, and describing that horrific Tuesday evening when my mother was exhibiting what appeared to be classic dementia behavior, she said “dehydration has devastating effects on people. Believe me, I know.” My friend had been a caregiver of at least five or six family members who had dementia, and she was presently caring for her sister on a full-time basis with the same disease. I placed her comments in my mental memory bank for safe-keeping to do some research on later. This morning I discovered that among other things, dehydration can reek havoc on the body, causing fever, headaches, and it could cause confusion and dementia-like behavior. I knew my mother was on medications that had her constantly going to the bathroom, something she did not like. Could it be she did not hydrate as much as she should in an attempt to lessen going to the bathroom, and because of that all this happened? I may never know the answer to that question, but it’s a consideration…but back to the goings on of today.

Here’s another thought that I believe was given by God to me when I visited my mother last night. It was as if God was saying “have you noticed it is evening and she is acting like herself, not agitated like she was previously?” In researching dementia, I read that those with dementia are most lucid during the day (when there’s light), but as evening approaches and darkness envelopes the atmosphere, dementia behavior rears its ugly head – called ‘sun downing’. With so many things I needed to do, I admit I did not realize this until that very moment. One of the reasons I dreaded going to visit her was I did not know what mother I would see: the one I am used to talking to, or one that was upset at and distrusting of me. In the past couple of weeks, that seemed to have disappeared…

I visited an adult day care center which appeared to be clean and the staff was nice. It may be a good place for my mother to attend, and I told the director I would get back to him. Next stop was the nursing home as I needed to drop off some papers to the admission office. During the course of the morning I asked God for wisdom on what to do next. My mother was due to  come home next week, and I needed to know who to hire to care for her at home, and if the day care center would be a good fit for her. My main concern for the day was if the psychiatrist would be impartial and conduct a fair evaluation, and I hoped by the time I got to the nursing home that would be done. I met my mother who was surprised to see me (I had told her I would come on Saturday initially), but she needed to do some more evaluations with the staff, so I left her room while the evaluations continued. This next thing is the favor of God. I didn’t have a chance to approach the nurses, as they approached me first. One of the nurses asked if I was Debra and I told her yes, and she told me what I hoped had happened: the psychiatric evaluation had been completed. Another nurse joined in the conversation and both let me know the psychiatrist’s conclusion was that my mother did not have dementia, but it could be cognitive communication deficit, or CCD. Uhhhh, W-H-A-A-T!!!??? Research for later…

I felt overjoyed, and told them the diagnosis changes everything. There were so many inner responses to what they were saying, that was jumping within my brain instantaneously:

  • and to think I almost kept her here, in a place that was not the best fit for her
  • to think I almost shut her apartment down
  • to think I almost financially changed everything… to think… but God.

I went to the main floor and just stared into space. I came so close to making wrong decisions. But God, when I was about to do something, it just seemed it was not the right thing to do at the time, and I stopped the process, though I didn’t know what to do next. All the while God would give me music in my head entitled “Thank You Lord“, or “Already Done“; scripture with phrases of I trust you Lord and  When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 91, Ephesians 3:20, Mark 9:23, Isaiah 43:19 were other texts that kept leaping off the page. I understood them, and believed them, but didn’t see the manifestation of them…but then again, maybe I did. Sermons encouraged and challenged me like the one entitled “It’s Only a Test” , which gave me faith fuel to try living life for another hour, another day, another week of going to work and make an attempt to get something completed, and be faithful and obedient to God by visiting my mother, washing her clothes, buying her favorite Mr. Goodbar chocolate bars and personal supplies she requested, though it felt like my eyes were only a quarter open I was so tired. But God brought us to these moments of getting a confirmed discharge date, having long conversations and actually laughing together while telling each other our concerns, frustrations and fears and praying together before I left to drive home.

For a change I saw a beautiful smile on my mother’s face instead of the usual frown as we continued our conversation today. She told me some things she noticed about herself that she knows need to be worked on. And as for me I felt no angst from within for a change.

I can tell you this journey is chock full of fear and faith, weakness and strength, frustration and determination, questions and (finally) answers that are ever getting closer to conclusions, and a deepened awareness of how grateful I am to have Someone who, when life appears to be impossible, He assures me with Him anything’s possible. And to think this happened on Friday the 13th…

Back To Reality But Not Alone…

Happy Veterans Day to all who serve and have served in the Armed Forces…

Because of the above federal holiday which gave me time off from work, I looked forward to use today to go to class. I am enrolled in an online graduate program called OpenSeminary at Palmer Theological Seminary, and this term is my last one. Because of caring for my mother, I did not have leave to take for this week of classes called residency, but was glad to at least get one day in.

As I approached the classroom, I saw classmate Marlize, and when our eyes met our arms started waving through the air with excitement as we ran towards each other and hugged, happy to see each other. Tears of happiness freely flowed out of me, I was so happy to be there. A few seconds later I saw her husband Pierre, and on and on it went, happy to see my wonderful and talented classmates and my dear Professor Wynand. As the day quickly progressed, I inwardly fought thoughts that this day like the ones earlier this would come to a swift close, but I did not want this particular day to end. One reason was my mind was on something else, which was a welcome change. The other reason was what I define as returning back to reality at day’s end, which included going back to work tomorrow, making calls I needed to make, touring the adult day care center on Friday and hoping it would be a good fit for my mother, going by my mother’s home to pick some things she requested, driving over an hour to see my mother tomorrow, just to name a few of the many things I needed to do. As I wrote in an earlier blog the real work is about to begin…

So when class was over, I didn’t want to leave. About ten minutes before class ended I started fighting with myself, desperately trying to hold back the tears that were quickly filling up. These tears were for different reasons than the ones from this morning. I was about to return to my reality, and frankly I didn’t want to leave. It was at the moment when I had my jacket on and keys in hand another classmate noticed me, took me by my hand and asked everyone to pray for me. The fight was over: the tears and the accompanying angst won. But it was also then that I realized I was not alone.

So thanks Lisa Monique for your powerful prayer and to my classmates who thought it not robbery to take the time to pray for me, to hug me, and to give me words of encouragement. I told the class I was in new territory, not knowing what to do, feeling guilty for having the inner battle, and feeling so tired, and I wanted the day to continue because I did not want to return to my reality of caring for my mother. The caring I felt at that moment from others of different ethnicities, representing cities from all over the world was overwhelming for me yet comforting at the same time, and for that I hope they read this blog so they will know I truly appreciated their show of the love of Christ.

 “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

I say all that to encourage caregivers to solicit support of others, those that will listen to your voice that may be laced with anger, fear, and weariness of heart. Go to a support group, talk to your pastor, priests, rabbis, friends, whoever is willing to create a space to hear your voice. Today God reminded me I was not alone, and you need to know the same…

The Work Has Just Begun…

I knew today should have been a day that I stayed home and stayed in the bed and slept, because the night before I didn’t get much sleep. But I plowed my way through to work, only to sleep the majority of the day away.

I called the social worker at the nursing home to see if I could get any update regarding the release date for my mother to come home. I started to feel like I was being put off as I called more than once and left messages, but toward the end of my work day, I got a response: a date has been set, and it looks like my mother will be coming home within the week. I was soooooo happy to hear those words, while at the same time too tired to fully react to the news. What came to mind was this thought: the real work is about to begin.

Earlier in the day I called and spoke to a director of an adult day care center not far from where I live. A friend highly recommended it as she takes her sister (who has dementia) there. I had an informative and pleasant conversation with the director,  and made an appointment to take a tour later in the week. Another friend gave me phone numbers of aides that I could interview who do home care. Much work to be done within a week.

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

So what are the new things? To caregivers everywhere know this:

  • As caregivers we are so close to those we care for that we are immersed emotionally, and oftentimes act and react based on that emotion. When this happens, the sleep doesn’t come, because we are full of worry. That inner turmoil takes a chokehold deep within to the point we can’t make effective decisions for our loved ones and ourselves. We should instead act on what we know.  Be in the situation while at the same time not letting the situation get a hold of you. I admit this is easier said than done, and I’m learning this and the next point, which is
  • Take everything a step at a time, a day at a time, and one goal at a time. Being a caregiver does not mean everything has to be rushed: rushing to make a decision that others want you to make quickly. There is nothing wrong with taking the time to think about what you are doing before doing it, one way or another. And let us not forget
  • You are the caregiver, not the social worker, not the family member that is not involved, not the medical staff that verbally gives a diagnosis (not in writing), but you. Purpose to make the best decisions that you and your loved one can live with.
These and many more new things will be birthed in you, but remember, what appears to be the impossible is possible with the involvement of God in yours and your loved one’s situation…

The Praxis of Caring

According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary, praxis is derived from medieval Latin and Greek languages. The word prassein means action, to do, practice. Being a caregiver definitely involves such action. In the praxis of caring I have learned some definitions I have not previously considered:

  • Praxis of caring does not include only the person being cared for.  At the point one becomes a caregiver, there are two people being cared for: the person you are caring for, and the caregiver: you. I believe caregivers the world over miss caring for themselves, and in the praxis of caring for another they grind themselves in the grind of daily activities in the life of the cared person, losing their life in the process. The caregiver must be aware to not only make decisions for the cared person, but also for the one doing the caring, which is you, the caregiver, the one who cares enough to give of oneself to another.
  • Learning the true essence of love, that puts by the wayside the issue of being selfish. I am learning daily that the love I have for my mother helps me to choose to care for her. At the opposite end of the spectrum I have realized how selfish I was with my time, wanting to hoard it all for myself, being involved with my agenda only. When you get a chance look up the lyrics of Cat Stevens’ song Cats in the Cradle. The song came up in conversation at work today, and when I told the person what the song was about, he was genuinely surprised at how much I knew about the song and what it said. Google the lyrics; you don’t have to know how the music goes, just read the lyrics. At the beginning, the boy wanted to spend time with his father, and wanted to be just like him, but his father always said he was busy but at some point they would spend time together. Toward the end of the song when the boy was an adult and the father had retired, the roles were reversed, and now the father was asking to spend time with the son, who gave the same response he always heard from his father. I love the song, but it is a sad but true commentary on relationships. My coworker didn’t know, but I wanted to cry as I thought about the song…
  • Within the praxis of caring is the continuing process of patience, a determination which developed into habit. The habit of making sure your loved one is at peace, the habit of making sure there is nothing done that would cause him or her to become agitated, while at the same time fighting as much as possible to hide that inner turmoil of asking yourself continually, “can all this (bringing my mother home and caring for her) really work?” If you can’t say that out loud, I will be the first to say that is my inner war, and I don’t have a definitive answer right now.

And so I have purposed that everything regarding the praxis of caring must be accomplished one day at a time, and one goal at a time. That does not only include the affairs of my mother’s life but my own as well. I still work full-time, and I have been reminded I still have a job to do, not to mention paying bills and attempting to live life.

This past weekend I was introduced of other things that need to be changed, and that will be in the next blog posting, so please keep reading and I’ll keep writing…

Energized Faith

In the book of James the 2nd chapter, there is a statement that speaks of faith without works is dead. What does it mean? I am learning that if one says faith is evident, but there is no energy to back it up, then faith has a problem. Here is what I mean.

I may say I have faith that a chair will sustain me by sitting in it, but if I never exercise my faith by actually sitting in the chair, how is faith working? In this example, faith is dead as it is alone with no energy to back it up. Thus by not sitting in the chair I will never experience the knowledge of knowing what the chair can do for me by sitting in it.

Likewise faith needs a similar action plan. From a Christian perspective, the action plan in essence is more than just being verbal and saying you have faith, it is the act of doing that coincides with that faith. It is instituting verbs (action) that enables faith to be energized. Saying you have faith is one thing, but stepping out on faith by doing is quite another. Here’s another example.

I had until this Friday to make one huge decision. As stated in an earlier post this week, it was either keeping my mother in the nursing home, putting her somewhere else or taking her home. I kept saying God you said you would instruct me and teach me in the way I should go. So please, show me what needs to be done. I acted by on my faith by asking for help. To caregivers everywhere, this will be challenging, particularly when you  don’t know to what road the journey will lead. But God has a way to (if you keep silent and be open to new possibilities of obtaining answers) illuminate the path in which way you should go. He will put people in your path that can help you find answers, and give you bits of information that you can use in making the final decision. And here is the best part. When the decision is made, you know it’s the right one because the peace that overflows from within is such a lovely thing. Faith has been exercised, and its muscles have become stronger. So what was my decision regarding my mother? It is to bring her home… 

Yesterday the closer I got driving to the nursing home, the more excited I became (no more angst, no more “I don’t want to go” feelings). I wanted to talk to her and tell her everything that had been going on for the past month (this journey started October 4th). And so we had a very long talk, and being she was clear-headed made it all the better. I could not have asked for a better conversation. She admitted there have been some things mentally going on for a while, but she just surmised it had to do with her getting older. I mapped out the plan I have for the next year, and told her it would be challenging, but it can work, and she agreed.

But with this decision come many more issues. I have to hire an aide to come out daily. I have to be there for the evening to take care of her. It is not that I have had an abundant social life, but what little bit I did have will be no more, as I will truly be a caregiver for my mother. I have purposed to make the sacrifice. This is my definition of faith with works, not without it.

“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works,         and I will shew thee my faith by my works. For as the body without the spirit is dead,                         so faith without works is dead also.”  James 2: 18, 26

Be encouraged…