Archive for July, 2010

A Caregiver’s Walk

The soothing voice wafted through the family room, up into the dining room. I knew what time it was and decided to join them. I entered the room and heard Paula, Mom’s companion, reading out of Hebrews 12: 1-3:

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so daily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself , so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Paula continued reading in The Upper Room devotional. She read about a man who’d been beaten down with words and accusations. I listened intently. I was beaten down–not with words, with my circumstances. I was discouraged because I’d taken my eyes off of Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.

Then, Paula looked at my 90-year-old Mama, and Mom gestured for her to pray. As she began, it was if God Almighty lifted our family up with her prayers. The music of them played in my ears like a magnificent melody.

Isn’t that like Jehovah to minister to us in unexpected ways.

I am blessed to have a helper for my mom that is part of our eternal family. We don’t share blood, but through the blood of Christ, we will share eternity.

After Paula finished, I prayed. I lifted her up. I lifted her invalid mother up. Her concerns, her circumstances, her cares.

And all God’s people said, “Amen!”

Monday’s Musings on Tuesday-My Refrigerator I Have Loved, My Dishwasher I Have Hated…

“I hate you!” I scream into the cavern of my brushed-steel dishwasher. “What do you do around here but take up space, drink gallons of vinegar and eat literally loads of dishwashing detergent! And what do I have to show for it? Cloudy, soap-caked dishes, that’s what! Why don’t you grow up?” I heave the door into the upright position as the microwave gently reminds me that I’m warming up my coffee for the 4th time.

“Okay, okay, I hear you!”

Opening the door to my refrigerator to grab the half in half, I feel an overwhelming urge to hug my boxy friend. “I love you. You store more food than I can possibly let go bad in a month AND you give me fresh drinking water whenever I’m thirsty. PLUS, I don’t have to feed you anything!”

What can I say but, ‘My refrigerator I have loved, my dishwasher I have hated.’ It’s then that the microwave reminds me again. This time the beeping seems sterner. I extract my 5-hour-old coffee while still in my PJ’s and head toward my office with determination. Then I hear it. The beep beep beeping of the 20-plus-year old dryer. It prompts me for the 5th time that my clothes are really, really, dry now and please take them out since I’m tired of reminding you.

“I know, I know, stop nagging me!” I retrieve the clothes and begin to fold. The phone rings and I answer “Charter Boat Gypsy.” Yes, we have an opening. Yes, my husband is a great fisherman, and yes we want and need your money. It’s then that I perceive strangers conversing in my bedroom. It’s the weather radio, warning me of a storm. Balancing the calendar for the boat in one hand, while cradling the phone under my chin, I turn off the radio and pencil in the customer.

“Mom, do you have my lunch?”

“Of course,” I lie. Gong back to my first love, I remove two pieces of store-bought fried chicken and grapes, throw them into a plastic bag with chips. I need a note. Wandering into my bedroom, I find the verse of the day, scribbling in on a big post-it, I wrap it around two pieces of dark chocolate.

“Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again I say rejoice!” Philippians 4: 4.

“I am rejoicing, Lord, but do you know what I did with my cold coffee?”

Monday’s Musings on Thursday-Food From Heaven

Can’t seem to get the hang of that Monday Musing thing. Okay, though. Blogs happen all week, don’t they?

Right now, I’m sitting with my feet propped up on a retro chaise lounge in the most famous coffee shop in the world. Big Band music plays in the background while a plethora of people order $4 cups of coffee as if that were normal. So what am I doing here? I haven’t ordered my $4 coffee,… yet. For now, I’m cashing in on the Christmas gift card that I’ve milked (no pun intended) until almost the 4th of July.

Sometimes, a person (that’s me) has to go away from home to really think. That is exactly what I’m doing today. It’s a think-write day.

My thinking has led to writing. So for today’s blog, I’d like to share with you how I spent my Monday Musing night. I’ve been meeting with a group of young women between the ages of 18-26. We plan a vague menu the week before and then spend time together cooking. This past Monday, we chose Chimichangas, Mexican rice, salsa and cake. Nicole, a newly-married woman, demonstrated the chimis and rice, while Shannon, the almost-college-graduate brought a small cake and iced it with buttercream frosting. She pulled out several metal tools from a tote that resembled a Martha Stewart original and constructed pink frosting roses.

I drooled.

I love the cooking part, but I love the part of the evening that we spend together after we cook, eat, and clean up the best. We talk about the Lord—Jesus, that is. We share how He is working in our lives, and how we want to know Him better. We pray together and hold each other accountable.

The young women share their successes and struggles. I share too, but my sharing is different. I can look back on 51 years of struggles. I testify to God’s grace and I’m transparent about my sin. I recount the amazing way that God took my sin and mistakes and turned them into His victories.

I love to interact with these young women who are passionate about the Lord. It’s an encouragement to me and I hope that I’m a blessing to them. It’s an eternal investment for all of us. Kind of like, food from heaven.

The meal was great and the cake with the pink roses tasty, but the fellowship was the sweetest of all.