September 11, 2014
Yesterday evening and night were difficult. My brother Joe and I were drained. My mom was very active and did not fall asleep until 4am. She was sure intruders were trying to come into the house. Then she was sure they had gained access to the kitchen and were cooking up everything in the fridge and pantry. She was upset that we could not see them or stop them. She wanted to call the police and was getting loud. Finally, she listened to my brother.
She was upset with me again. As the primary caregiver 24/7, she is the most unreasonable with me. I can tell her something 100 times, then one of my siblings comes along, and maybe on the 5th try she will listen, although I might say that my siblings are losing ground with her too.
This morning, I sought the Lord as my spirit was troubled. How am I a help to my mother? What can I do and say for her? Is anything I do for her worthwhile? What am I not learning? So many questions. I am weary and feeling off-course. I want her to feel safe here at home. I want her to feel loved. I want her to feel respect and dignity. Yet, I lost my cool, and I spoke to her harshly (again).
Our mother needs help with everything. I cut her food into small bites and bits so she can swallow easily. I have to try to have her food be soft. Someone must sit with her while she eats and remind her to drink slowly and take small bites. Sometimes she chokes on her own saliva and needs help getting all that out. She needs help in changing and doing hygiene tasks. She needs help to get toothpaste on her toothbrush. She can’t comb the back of her head. She cannot stand at the sink for long periods of time. Thank God for the hospice nurse who is so lovely and sweet with her and towards her and comes twice a week for full showers. The other days I gave her sponge baths. She needs help to reposition in bed or in her chair. She shuffles her feet to walk on most days and is aided by the walker and someone at her side or back, (most of the time it’s just me and her at home).
As much as she has trouble walking or moving, there are times that she is spry for a minute or two. For instance, I forgot to mention that yesterday, early evening, my mother was unruly and unmanageable. She wanted to sit out on the porch for a “bit” (2 hours), which meant that I had to sit out on the porch too! Well, as it usually turns out she “sees” someone or something that only she can see. She becomes upset that I do nothing to correct that situation or person(s). Well, she got upset with me and tried to climb down the stairs, which turned into a physical “yes I will” and “oh no, you don’t”. She finally sat down tired out, and asked me for a drink, so I went to get it, after she promised (with a smile), “I promise not to stand-up.” So I go in the house, (short walk to the kitchen, right), well, as I come back to the front door she has lodged the garden chair in which she was sitting, under the knob, blocking me from getting to her. As I call out to her, she declares not to worry as it is only a small jump off the stairs to her destination. (What?????) Did I tell you I am having trouble with the soles of my feet? Well, I am and I hobble through the house and out the back door as fast as I can and then through the back yard and side yard, until I get to the porch where my mother is trying to get a good stance so that she can jump. Needless to say, I gave my mother a long loud speech “as to what are you thinking…” and of course, she looks at me like big deal, what’s all your excitement and going on about? I called my sister to tell her of this impossible feat which my mother was intent on achieving. I passed her the phone, and she feigned innocence.
Well, today, as I talked to the Lord and as I went about my chores, I got the word “lazar” as noted below. I wrote it down until I could sit down and study the word. When I got a chance to sit at the computer, I found this:
sick person; diseased person; sufferer; ill[ClasseHyper.]
(faint; feeble; flaccid; weak)[Caract.]
unfortunate, unfortunate person[Hyper.]
ache, hurt, pain, suffer — לְהַכאִיב, לְהַרְגִיש כְּאֵבִים, לִכְאוֹב, מַכאִיב, סוֹבֵל – get, have, suffer, sustain — לספוג – ache, hurt, suffer[Dérivé]
diseased person, sick person, sufferer[Hyper.]
I felt the Lord was speaking to me about my mother. Then I went to one of the devotionals I go to daily for spiritual support. Again, I find the Lord teaching me. Yes Lord, help me to see things through your eyes and with your selflessness and lovingkindness. Amen.
Missionary Weapons (2)
09 / 11 2014
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet —John 13:14
Ministering in Everyday Opportunities. Ministering in everyday opportunities that surround us does not mean that we select our own surroundings— it means being God’s very special choice to be available for use in any of the seemingly random surroundings which He has engineered for us. The very character we exhibit in our present surroundings is an indication of what we will be like in other surroundings.
The things Jesus did were the most menial of everyday tasks, and this is an indication that it takes all of God’s power in me to accomplish even the most common tasks in His way. Can I use a towel as He did? Towels, dishes, sandals, and all the other ordinary things in our lives reveal what we are made of more quickly than anything else. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the most menial duty as it ought to be done.
Jesus said, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (13:15). Notice the kind of people that God brings around you, and you will be humiliated once you realize that this is actually His way of revealing to you the kind of person you have been to Him. Now He says we should exhibit to those around us exactly what He has exhibited to us.
Do you find yourself responding by saying, “Oh, I will do all that once I’m out on the mission field”? Talking in this way is like trying to produce the weapons of war while in the trenches of the battlefield–you will be killed while trying to do it.
We have to go the “second mile” with God (see Matthew 5:41). Yet some of us become worn out in the first ten steps. Then we say, “Well, I’ll just wait until I get closer to the next big crisis in my life.” But if we do not steadily minister in everyday opportunities, we will do nothing when the crisis comes.
Wash Me Lord from Trina Feliciano
Rebecca St. James – Speak To Me from goedgelukt1
September 10, 2014
I had to post again, twice in one day, but when you see the Lord working and leading you, you cannot help but to exclaim!
So, I am exclaiming – it is of no coincidence that my afternoon devotional was about worship. Here it is:
Worshiping in Everyday Occasions. We presume that we would be ready for battle if confronted with a great crisis, but it is not the crisis that builds something within us— it simply reveals what we are made of already. Do you find yourself saying, “If God calls me to battle, of course I will rise to the occasion”? Yet you won’t rise to the occasion unless you have done so on God’s training ground. If you are not doing the task that is closest to you now, which God has engineered into your life, when the crisis comes, instead of being fit for battle, you will be revealed as being unfit. Crises always reveal a person’s true character.
A private relationship of worshiping God is the greatest essential element of spiritual fitness. The time will come, as Nathanael experienced in this passage, that a private “fig-tree” life will no longer be possible. Everything will be out in the open, and you will find yourself to be of no value there if you have not been worshiping in everyday occasions in your own home. If your worship is right in your private relationship with God, then when He sets you free, you will be ready. It is in the unseen life, which only God saw, that you have become perfectly fit. And when the strain of the crisis comes, you can be relied upon by God.
Are you saying, “But I can’t be expected to live a sanctified life in my present circumstances; I have no time for prayer or Bible study right now; besides, my opportunity for battle hasn’t come yet, but when it does, of course I will be ready”? No, you will not. If you have not been worshiping in everyday occasions, when you get involved in God’s work, you will not only be useless yourself but also a hindrance to those around you.
God’s training ground, where the missionary weapons are found, is the hidden, personal, worshiping life of the saint.
Offering – Paul Baloche – Worship Video – with lyrics from brotherearl1944
As I sat here and sought God as to what to post, my heart felt it necessary to first worship before asking, asking, asking all the time.
A word came into my spirit which I thought was weird spelling, but indeed it is a Hebrew word – Shahhah.
Here is link to a study on “Worship”:
So, I was on the right track, worship. It reminded me of a verse in scripture which I saved once I came across it in one of my daily readings. It is found in the book of Psalms 29:2 – “Give unto the Lord the glory due His Name, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” It was a day when once reading it, I had looked up and my mom was worshiping the Lord.
Although my mom has dementia, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease, she still knows who she is in Christ. My mother’s heart still beats for her God. She can hardly see, yet she is determined every day to seek the Lord in scripture. Clarity of mind comes and goes throughout her day, but when her mind is not fogged in by dementia, she goes to her scriptures and always lifts her hands in praise. She prays for family, friends and her “list.” Her heart is pure love, agape love, and her prayers spoken out loud, followed by worship and praise in the silence is indeed, “the beauty of holiness” spoken about in Psalms 29:2. She is surrounded by God’s pure love. She is held and uplifted in that pure love.
I am blessed to witness such intimate moments between my mom and the Lord. I have written about this before, one such instance is dated June 29, 2009 and titled “A Witness in the Silence”, (when you have a chance look up that post for that date). Here is a link:
God’s Word (Isaiah 46:4 – NIV) is relevant to my mom, me and you and it reads:
Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Here is a worship video to share:
I Worship You, Almighty God (There is none like you)- Sondra Corbett with Lyrics from mi2ok02’s channel
September 9, 2014
As many of you know, my mother has Dementia. Her form of dementia is primarily paranoia and hallucinations, and some memory loss, but not of people, rather her personal history, or family life or situations.
I have found that not many Christian families talk openly about dementia. Almost everyone knows someone with dementia. People seem to shy away from the topic. People seem to shy away from the person suffering from dementia. I know it is uncomfortable to see your loved one or friend act differently and speak things that are not comprehensible or unable to hold a full conversation without some aspect of dementia present.
I will delve more into the topic of dementia from a Christian perspective. I do not claim to be an expert just an observer, an eye witness of sorts.
My mom has her good days and her not so good days. Yesterday was one of her not-so-good days. I was at my wit’s end. I called my brother Jesse as I often do, and asked him to take time from his busy schedule to talk to my mom, which he did.
After he spoke to her she calmed down a bit but was still struggling. I stopped what I was doing, and told her we would seek answers and comfort in God’s Word. This seemed to calm her and give her some peace, although she kept declaring that the evil people were trying to come in and were mad at us for taking authority in Christ, to which I answered and declared that “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” and that the enemy could not touch us by the cross of Jesus, by the Blood of Jesus, and in the Name of Jesus. As I prayed, this word “Tsar” came into my mind, so I looked it up.
The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon
Strong’s Number: 06862
TWOT – 1973a,1973b,1974a,1975a
Parts of Speech
- narrow, tight
- straits, distress
- adversary, foe, enemy, oppressor
- hard pebble, flint
King James Word Usage – Total: 105
enemy 37, adversary 26, trouble 17, distress 5, affliction 3, foes 2, narrow 2, strait 2, flint 1, sorrow 1, miscellaneous 9
Indeed, distress, affliction, and all of the above definitions applied to our present situation. You know, there is a very strong spiritual struggle component with our Mother’s Dementia. As I studied God’s Word, I went to one of my devotionals for the day, and it spoke to me and to my mom’s situation. I attached it here so that you too could rejoice for and in God’s Word.
I am also attaching a link to a “you tube” song that is encouraging.
Here is that timely devotional…
09 / 08 / 14
. . . casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God . . . —2 Corinthians 10:5
Determinedly Demolish Some Things. Deliverance from sin is not the same as deliverance from human nature. There are things in human nature, such as prejudices, that the saint can only destroy through sheer neglect. But there are other things that have to be destroyed through violence, that is, through God’s divine strength imparted by His Spirit. There are some things over which we are not to fight, but only to “stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord . . .” (see Exodus 14:13). But every theory or thought that raises itself up as a fortified barrier “against the knowledge of God” is to be determinedly demolished by drawing on God’s power, not through human effort or by compromise (see 2 Corinthians 10:4).
It is only when God has transformed our nature and we have entered into the experience of sanctification that the fight begins. The warfare is not against sin; we can never fight against sin— Jesus Christ conquered that in His redemption of us. The conflict is waged over turning our natural life into a spiritual life. This is never done easily, nor does God intend that it be so. It is accomplished only through a series of moral choices. God does not make us holy in the sense that He makes our character holy. He makes us holy in the sense that He has made us innocent before Him. And then we have to turn that innocence into holy character through the moral choices we make. These choices are continually opposed and hostile to the things of our natural life which have become so deeply entrenched— the very things that raise themselves up as fortified barriers “against the knowledge of God.” We can either turn back, making ourselves of no value to the kingdom of God, or we can determinedly demolish these things, allowing Jesus to bring another son to glory (see Hebrews 2:10).
September 8, 2014
My cousin Liz, sends out devotionals daily during the work week. God’s Word is always effective and timely.
I am sharing this as I embark on writing and posting again. This devotional is a good place to begin as I share “the Power of my mom’s story”. The coming days and weeks will bring new postings.
Blessings and love, Alma
The Power of Your Story by Sharon Jaynes
Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story,” (Psalm 107:2 NIV)
Friend to Friend
Like the spine of a good book, scars—by their very nature—imply there’s a story to tell. They represent a wrinkle in time in which a person’s life is changed forever, and serve as permanent reminders of an incident that, in one way or another, has made a lasting impression on one’s life.
Calvin pulls up his pant leg to reveal where two bullets pierced his flesh during the Korean War. Melanie wears a gold chain just below where an incision was made across her delicate neck to save her life from thyroid cancer. Peeking just below the hem of Gayle’s capri pants lies a reminder of a knee surgery where a tumor was removed.
Each scar represents a moment in time or a passage of time when something happened to us or through us, which we will never forget.
I have plenty of scar stories. There’s one on my lip that I got when I was six years old. I disobeyed my mom and crossed a busy street to see my best friend…only to promptly fall on a nail, which poked through my lip.
There’s one on my knee where I ran into a parked car while riding my bicycle and not paying attention. There’s another one on my forehead where I accidentally stuck a pencil in my noggin in the first grade and broke the lead off trying to get it out. And then there’s the one on my shin I got when I disobeyed my mom again and shaved my legs after she told me I couldn’t.
But some scars on my body aren’t so humorous. For example, two crescent shaped scars just below my belly button remind me of laparoscopic surgeries to try and discover why I was unable to conceive. They remind me of the years my husband, Steve, and I struggled with infertility and the loss of a child.
Then there’s the scar on my right breast that reminds me of the weeks of waiting and wondering whether or not the lump was malignant or benign. No, not all scars are humorous.
Perhaps the most painful scars that I bear are the ones you cannot see. You know the ones I’m talking about. We all have them. They are the scars on our hearts and in our souls.
The scar of rejection from a father who didn’t know how to love me. The scar of growing up in a home riddled with alcohol and physical abuse. The scar of disappointment at the loss of a child. The scar of broken dreams.
We receive scars in one of two ways: what has been done to us by other people or what has been done through us by our own mistakes and failures. Either way, I believe that scars are not something that we need to hide or be ashamed of, but rather an invitation to share the healing power of Jesus Christ with a hurting world. For a scar, by its very definition, implies healing.
Jesus had scars—one on each hand, on each foot, and on His side. Those scars were precious to Him. That’s one way His disciples recognized Him when He returned.
And it could be that people will recognize Jesus when you aren’t ashamed of your scars—when you tell your story of emotional, physical, spiritual, and relational healing.
I’d love to hear your story! You can email me at Sharon@sharonjaynes.com. While I may not be able to reply to each email, I will read and cherish each of your stories.
Dear Lord, thank You for the scars in my life. Each one reminds me of a wound that You have healed. Show me with whom I should share my story. Lead me to the person who needs to know what You have done in my life.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Today, share your story with at least one person. It could be a co-worker, a friend, or even me.
January 2, 2014
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.
Click here to see the complete report.
March 31, 2013
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning – Psalm 30:5
March 29, 2013
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Strong’s # 3806 – Pathos – Affliction
January 2, 2013
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 9,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 16 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
April 8, 2012
Some of my family gathered yesterday and we sang, and one of my nieces sang and one of my nephews played guitar and one of the songs we sang was “ I Can Only Imagine”. It was a sweet time. As they departed, we prayed together, and something in my nephew’s prayer stayed with me, as he said “you are not only King Jesus on Easter, or on Christmas Day, but to those who serve you are King Jesus everyday.” Amen.
King Jesus it just sounds like words of worship. My King Jesus suffered and died for me. He paid the penalty of sin. He did that for me. He did it for you too!
“You Are My King” Newsboys from MusicforHISMission
Majesty – King of Kings and Lord of Lords! – Delirious? From bondservant007
Jesus Messiah – Chris Tomlin from fanofcanucks
Easter Song – Keith Green from wiredfortravel