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Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Would Do it All Over Again in a Heartbeat!

Well, yes, I would do the 31 Day Challenge all over again...

But what I really meant was the Grace Gift of being mom's daughter.  Growing up under her tender care, thriving under her love, knowing I was adored always... I would wind back the clock and be called daughter again in a heartbeat!

And that includes even the heart-wrenching pancreatic cancer journey that carved deep sorrow into our families story, and brought me into the unexpected role of caregiver.  Of course I would change it if I could, but knowing that our days are cherished and numbered in God's Sovereign Plan, I would do it over still...

For this was a journey of love and joy on so many levels... My heart agrees with D.G. Fulford and her sentiment about being at the right place at the right time doing the right thing.  There is boundless gratitude for the gift of being with mom through it all, and not one moment of regret.

Still, the heartache cannot be denied.  It is all part and parcel of the terrible privilege of caring for a loved one with a terminal illness.

It is a truly humbling privilege, fraught with shadow valley lows and mountaintop highs.

I miss mom. Every. Single. Day. There are moments when I can close my eyes and almost...almost feel her back in our world.  Her head tilted to the side, smile in her eyes, laugh on her lips.  I would run in for a hug and just breath in her sweet fragrance and sit for hours and hours catching up...




It was the most sacred honor to walk this journey with you mom...
God's Riches Poured out in Abundance to Cover our Greatest Need
Grace is bringing this weeping Caregiver through the Shadow Valley
into Blessing Overflowing...
We will always, always miss already know that...
But you loved us more than well enough to get us through.
And as our hearts turn towards Home
we can barely wait for the Sweetest Reunion of All Time...
All Together Again!
He is Faithful to Keep His Promises
and it will be Grace Amazing...
You have changed our sorrow into dancing.
You have taken away our sackcloth
and clothed us with joy.
You wanted us to praise you and not be silent.
LORD my God, We will praise you forever!
                                            ~ Psalm 30:11-12
Until that time, we carry on as you taught us...
Love you Always and Forever,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It is a Privilege...

Somewhere along in every journey, we are destined to meet kindred souls who make a difference in our story...

Glenn and Cheryl are two such friends who have touched me deeply.  Although we've never met in person, I have found an abiding inspiration in their journey.

As we near the end of our 31 Day Challenge on Grace for the Caregiver here are a few of his thoughts on Caregiving...

"I have found since we began this journey in Nov 2012, that the little things that inspire the soul are really important to the person fighting the battle. To Cheryl, sunsets and sunrises are gifts of beauty that raise the spirit for the next battle, the next day. A snow fall here makes everything pure and white, and she loves to look out over the fields to see the fresh little animal tracks that were made during the night. We have a little red fox that teases our dogs every day, and Cheryl actually gets a kick out of that. So the first day of her chemo in January, I found a little plush red fox at the gift centre and took it to her. It is her constant companion now both day and night. I firmly believe now that one of my jobs, no, one of my privileges as her care giver is to help her find these spirit and soul-lifting things... Glenn"

So beautifully said...and I believe it is the heart-song of Caregivers everywhere.

It is truly a privilege of immense proportions
to walk out our love every day along this journey.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Shadow Valley...

Perhaps the hardest post to write in this 31 Day Challenge is the one I have been composing for almost 3 years...

It was November, 2010 that our world changed forever when mom was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  I believe the journey of grief began when the doctor uttered those solemn words.

We fought the truth as hard as we fought the ruthless claws of cancer.  We lived in denial, we begged, we prayed... we experienced moments of extreme hope and horrible dark valleys of lost faith...we walked the path of grief during those twilight days of living.  With each failed treatment and painful setback, the sorrow wore ruts into our very souls.

I have learned that this anguish is called Anticipatory Grief.  And we were not alone in our struggle.  Many, many others have sojourned this same path.  We're not the first to stumble along its treacherous trail.

In our website, we share a little bit about this part of our journey with pancreatic cancer.  It is hard, even now, for me to look back on those 12 months with mom and not relive the horror of that grief.  As a Caregiver, it is doubly hard to tread a balance between offering comforting hope for our loved one while coping with the harsh reality of the disease progression.  Knowing that our miracle will be an eternal one means we will face the agony of loss here in this place...

Sometimes the grief just swamps.  The loss that is coming feels too heavy to bear.  Impossible to smile through the searing pain. 

And where do we find Grace in the midst of such anguish?

For us, it was found in mom's favorite scripture passage...and some sweet goat babies...

"The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me
in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."
                                                                    ~ Psalm 23

There is a beautiful picture in my mind of the Lord as our shepherd.  I know part of that comes from our life here on the farm... we too are shepherds of our very own flock...




We walk fences, protect from coyotes, feed and water no matter the weather, keep nanny-watch long into the midnight hour, and muck the stable daily.  We rejoice in the bleating baby arrivals and mourn over the losses beyond our control.  Our kids know our voices...come running joyful at the sound.  And we know the ones that love to be scratched behind the ears... and the ones that always catch their horns in the gate.
It's our job as shepherds to watch over the flock and lead them to green pastures and still waters.
And I know that the care and love and protection we give our herd is nothing compared to the Shepherd Love of our Heavenly Father. 
But in the beginning our Anticipatory Grief colored our world bleak.  It was more like a deep, bottomless abyss than a mere shadow valley...
Learning to trust in the Shepherd Grace did not come easy.  Through the mercy of time and a Gentle God, we began to notice a few things...
1.  It is in the valley that the pasture is most lush and the rivers flow abundant, snow melt from beautiful mountain high.  It was while we were in the valley with mom that we shared some of our most intimate and precious times.  The love flowed deep and hearts were soothed.  If not for this time in the valley, when all the inconsequential and trivial fell away, I fear we would never have experienced the Sweet Blessings of Living in the Moment with Mom...
2.  It is thru the valley that we must walk to reach higher ground.  For mom, she is there.  Living life complete on that Breathtaking Mountain High, safe with her Shepherd Father, and filled with a Peace that passes our understanding.  We are not there, quite yet.  But we can see it...that Place of Eternal Grace that beckons hard.  We can set our hearts at rest in the knowing that the shadow valley gives way to Life Everlasting in the Light of His Love...
3.   It is because of the valley that we learn to trust a Faithful Shepherd.  He is able to meet our needs, provide comfort and guide us unerringly through the dark days.  If we lived only and always on the mountaintop, we would never know the Strength of His Love as The Good Shepherd, nor would we truly understand the heartache of those traveling their own shadow valley.  Because of our own experiences we can come alongside and share Grace, and Comfort, and Encouragement... 
The Journey of Grief is different for each of us.  And so too the shadow valleys we must walk.
But Grace is there to meet us in the midst of the anguish.  Let Him hold you close and carry you a spell.  He will you know... He loves you that much...
Graced to walk the Shadow Valley with the Shepherd of the Mountain High.  His Light reaches even the darkest corners of our Grief, dispelling the fear and the pain of our worst nightmares.  Always.
May you find His Love Sufficient to Protect and Cover you with Peace this night,
You are so Precious to him. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Run...Don't the nearest Spa!

Do you have a Caregiver in your life?  A truly giving, compassionate, funny, selfless, amazing, wonderful person who loves you to pieces and does all they can to walk you thru this journey? 

You, the Cared-For, are in a precious position...I know the illness, the trauma, the path you walk is not easy, nor is it of your own choosing.  You feel blessed to have this loved one in your life, granting peace, companionship and hope to you no matter the cost to themselves.  And so, yes, despite the circumstances of your illness, you are in a precious place...

You can extend the most beautiful Grace to your Caregiver.

For it is within your power to leave sweet memories for them, moments they will treasure for ever.

Here's how...

Find something to do together that brings joy to you both, AND, has nothing to do with your illness.

Hard you say?  Not so!

It can be a baseball game, a concert, a trip to the zoo, movies and popcorn, a massage... a gift with no agenda but to spend time together enjoying, not caregiving.  Depending on your strength and particular situation it may take some pondering, but make it a priority to start Legacy Living.

My favorite example is Mom taking me (often) for the most soothing leg massage and pedicure at Cold Water Creek Spa... I absolutely loved the pampering and it was the perfect, non-stressful outing for mom as her strength ebbed.

We went together right up until the last month of her cancer journey.  And it was always her treat.  I think she was gratified to find a way to thank me... I was blessed beyond words to have the time with her to relax, laugh, and live life "normal" away from the harsh reality of the cancer treatment.

And massage is such a great antidote for the Caregiver Stress and Burnout that is inevitable when journeying with a terminal illness.

Run...Don't Walk... to the nearest Spa.  Make memories of peace and relaxation and laughter today with the one you love.  Let the pampering begin!

It is Extending Grace in the most Beautiful Way. 

P.S.  Friend Alert!  Do you know someone who is selflessly tending the needs of a loved one?  Are they becoming over-stressed, burdened-down, and neglecting themselves?  Give the Grace Gift yourself...take them out, treat them to "normal," pamper them special.  Be the Blessing. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Grace Break...Funny Style

Sometimes the best Grace Break is the comical kind.

These pictures of Dogs-Gone-Wrong just tickled my funny bone.  The creative dog owners decided to take their misbehaving canines to task on social media for some side-splitting shaming.  And what makes it all the more adorable is that these pups still love their humans to bits, no amount of shaming will ever change that!

Leave your worries behind for a few minutes of laughter relief and enjoy the Grace Break!





Happy Sunday Friends...
May your smiles be abundant this day,
Love Always, Jane

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Ungrateful, the Unthankful, the Unlovable...

Oh the conflict...

Ever been there?!
Even Caregivers (especially caregivers) can be on the receiving end of some mighty ugly attitudes.  From family members, "friends" and sometimes even the very ones we're caring for... It's hard, it's painful, it's heart-breaking, it's so very real.
And what do we do?  We might want to Walk Away... but for most that is just not an option.  We are in for the long haul, willing to turn the other cheek for the sake of our loved one.  Doesn't make it easy.
I know that many Caregivers are offering themselves to care for a mother, or father, a spouse or child.  There are as many reasons for the bad behavior as there are stories...
* the emotional weight of a terminal illness
* the effect of chemo...radiation...medications...
* the grumpiness, crankiness or otherwise grotchiness of certain personalities
* the fear of the unknown
* the spitefulness of the truly ungrateful
and on, and on it goes... sometimes there is really no explaining the why of it.
And as a Caregiver, you often bear the brunt.  How well we bear it is up for debate...depending on our emotional and physical well-being at the time.
I could make excuses for your loved ones, I could offer platitudes to buck up and bear it, or I could tell you my heart breaks for your situation...truly.  I have no answers to miraculously make it better.
But I can tell you that you are not alone.
I can tell you that your sacrificial work is of Godly merit.
I can tell you that at the end of this particular journey you will find deep peace in the fact that you were there, giving, loving, supporting, no matter the ugly.
I can tell you, even if your loved one can't, that you are valued, you are appreciated, you are so very loved.
I can tell you that God is smiling Grace all over you this day.
Don't Walk Away.  Be encouraged to continue to Live Generous.  It is Blessing Uncomparable to those in your tender care...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Grace Gift of Friendship...

"Friends are part of the glue that holds
life and faith together. Powerful stuff."
                                          ~ Jon Katz

Powerful Indeed.  In yesterday's essay,  D.G. shared a similar thought...

"My friends keep me sane - and I am surrounded by great ones. They hear when my voice sounds crazy and come to my rescue. We meet and we laugh, and I feel my dark clouds dissipate."

I've come to believe that Friends are one of the greatest Grace Gifts for the Caregiver.

And I don't take a bit of that for granted.  When I was younger and quite naive I never gave my good friends a second thought.  They just were, it just was.  Never doubted they had my back and I had theirs.  We laughed, we schemed (teenage girls y'all), we cried, we grew, we cheered each other on...and then we graduated...and each of us moved on... still friends, the best, but time and distance separates.

And I just assumed I would make friends like that anywhere I went.  (Remember ... young and naive...)

Farmer Husband took a job early in our marriage that relocated us to Memphis, Tennessee.  It. Was. Hard.

And we were surprised.  Never did we expect to feel so...alone...

For whatever reason (and we've analyzed it much over the years), we never did make good friends during our time in Memphis...and not for lack of trying...neighbor potlucks, church socials, ladies get-togethers, school functions... we did it all... and 3 years later we still felt...alone.

I can remember the time that our son needed some minor surgery (minor for the doctor, major for a little 5-year old!)  We sat in the waiting room at the hospital...alone... not a friend called, nor stopped by... It was an incredibly lonely, frightening time.  And those memories remind me, always, what a powerful gift friendship really is.

3 years in Memphis came to an end and the good Lord moved us to Texas. As the saying goes,  I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!  (Now, you know that I love Memphis too, just saying we had a kinda rough patch there...) And it wasn't just Texas (well, ok, Texas is pretty grand), it was the way we made friends almost before the moving van was unpacked.  Strangers who became like family overnight... perhaps it was the 3-year "drought" that made us so receptive!  But those friendships continue to this day, 20-some odd years later.

I cherish each and every one.

If you have a friend, or two or five like this then you know the power.  I have learned over these past years that friendships do just happen (magical) but that they also need tending (work).  Yes?!  And it is some of the most enjoyable work I have ever done!

As with my crazy, overgrown garden

the tending comes in two parts, and both will find my on my knees:
1.  The Praying: Prayers of Gratitude for a God who gives generously, a harvest that is plentiful.
2.  The Cultivating:  weeding, mulching, staking, watering, all of which require spending time in the garden.
Friendship is the same.  My prayers of Gratitude for His Gracious Gift of these friends simply spills from an overflowing heart.

But the Friendships also require my tending, cultivating.  Making time to spend with them is so crucial. 

And that's the best part!


When all gets crazy, topsy-turvy scary, Friends make it better somehow...

To my dearest friends... you are the icing on the cake of my life.  I adore you each and know that God placed you smack-dab in the middle of my journey to be the sweetest blessing.  May I in some small way honor you for the gift you have given.

You are Grace to me...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Right Place at the Right Time doing the Right Thing

Earlier this month in our 31 Day Challenge, we were privileged to "meet" Phyllis Greene and listen as she shared her perspective on being the "Cared-For."  She admitted her struggles and frustrations with aging and coping with a terminal illness, yet her story was one of uplifting encouragement as she graciously blessed her daughter for the gift of being her Caregiver.

Today I would love to share her Daughter's Perspective:

I am the Caregiver
by D.G. Fulford
The other day, I was thinking about William Butler Yeats, which was a shock because I'm usually thinking about The Real Housewives of Orange County.  A line from his poem "Easter 1916" kept running through my head:
 "All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born."
All has changed utterly in the past 12 years for my mother, my daughter and me.  What a terrible, beautiful limbo we're in, this intimate and temporary time, glimmering between Before and After.
For years, I lived in California, then in a ghost town in Nevada.  Twelve years ago, I picked up my life and moved it back to Ohio, leaving my daughter, Maggie, who was well on her own, way out west.  I became my mother's compatriot, then caregiver after my father died.
At first, I didn't understand what my mother meant when she called and said she needed me during Dad's illness.  If you needed help around the house, the last person you'd call would be me.  I am more bohemian than bountiful; not a cooker, not a cleaner.  "Why would she possibly need me?"  I asked a friend.  "Fresh air," my friend said.
Being a writer allowed me to stay with my parents during the long winter of Dad's death.  When it came time to leave, I didn't want to.  By then, I needed Mom as much as she needed me.  Having been through a divorce, a failed business and the usual frenetic life of a single working mother, being home felt safe and right.
Mom's health was fine for the first few years, but time took its toll.  By her side, I steadied an arm as we went to lunch and brunch and errands.  Slowly our outings turned into a mash-up of waiting rooms, doctors' appointments and hospitals.  Soon we were picking out canes, then a walker, and finally a folding wheelchair.  Now Mom is bedridden.  She suffers from congestive heart failure and her legs don't work like they did.  She is a hospice patient.
In her pink bed, in her pink bedroom, you'd swear that if she had a suit on instead of a nightgown, she could be presiding over a meeting with the Franklin University Board of Trustees.  When you see her hunched over her walker, though, attempting to wheel to the bathroom, the truth cannot be denied.  "I hate being an old woman," she says.  And who can blame her?
We keep up our routine, Mom and I.  I call her every morning at 9:30, then run out to her house to start the day.  She has 24-hour care now, which eases my hyper-vigilance.  Most of the time, we are free to just sit and talk.  Even at this hardest time, we have had a blast.  We laugh more than we cry as we face the unfaceable together.
She is ready.
I am not.
Over the past 12 years, I have not had a thought that did not contain my mother.  Her life so fills my own that I cannot even think about other relationships.  I doubt that this is healthy, and sometimes weigh the wisdom of my decision.  But as the years go by, I am more and more convinced that I have been at the right place at the right time doing the right thing.  How often in a life do we get to acknowledge that?
My friends keep me sane - and I am surrounded by great ones.  They hear when my voice sounds crazy and come to my rescue.  We meet and we laugh, and I feel my dark clouds dissipate.  I spend a lot of time alone, too, which soothes and sustains me.  At night, I put myself away for the day, nesting with my cuddly dog, a bunch of books, my laptop and good old Mr. Television.  The next morning when I speak to Mom, I am ready to go again.
In the years that I have been here, my daughter has gotten married and had two glorious sons - Zachary,6, and Nate, 3.  I cannot visit them as often as I like, which is hard - the push and pull of going and staying.  I am always conscious of what could happen, while never believing in a million years that it will.
For 12 years, like an anticipatory survivalist, I have been steeping in my mother's sun, absorbing all the light I can.  When our last day together comes, I will be lonely; I will be rocked and knocked to me knees.  When I am ready, I will get up.  My mother's light will guide me.  The terrible part will come to an end.  The beautiful will live on within.
D.G. Fulford and her mom, Phyllis Greene, have written a book about their experiences.
It is called Designated Daughter: The Bonus Years 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How Do I Choose to be Remembered?

Count to 10 . . . . . . . . .

Good advice when you're losing you patience...for some people.  I guess I'm weird.  Counting to 10 just really gets me aggravated.  And I never could figure out why.

Until I took a part-time job during a daycare.

Turns out that while I was counting to 10, the children were continuing their mini-meltdowns unabated.  Sweet children, really, just, you know, having some issues now and then.  And, I, being of the adult persuasion at that time (college-age counts right?), assumed that I should act more mature, and like, well, I had it all together.  (Our secret...I did not have it together.  But let a room full of 2-years old know that and you're dead meat!) 

So, when my patience was tried, I started counting to 10. 

Did. Not. Work.

When I got to ten I still had to figure out a way to deal with the situation that was trying my patience when I started counting.

Maybe I didn't do it right.  Like I probably should have been taking deep, cleansing breaths or something.  Or perhaps coming up with a workable plan while I was counting... regardless, I was not a good counter.  And the children seemed to relish the fact.

One day, I watched the owner of the daycare get down at eye-level and calmly talk a hysterical 3-year old off the ledge.  Ok, it wasn't that dramatic.  She was just on top of the itty-bitty toy box, but... it could have ended badly.

Anyway, while I was counting to 10 and all, Connie looked that little diva in the eye and in a heartbeat had her playing dress-up with the other little girls across the room, resolving the toy box hostage situation with ease.

A-Mazing!  I had to know more...

Connie said it's not that difficult.  You have to choose how you want to be remembered?


She explained.  I could have yelled at her and sent her to time-out.  She would have remembered me as a tyrant. 


I could have sympathesized with her plight and found something else more intriguing for her to do.  She will remember me with fondness not bitterness.  And when she has calmed down, then I can talk with her about her behavior...

Ah... I'm liking this plan.  (Child psychologists might call this redirection, I call it brilliant.)

I began putting her method into practice and found it worked every time.  Not just the redirection, although that was a major part of it.  But asking the question How do I choose to be remembered in this situation?

So much better than counting to 10! (For me anyway!)

Whenever I found myself in a circumstance that was trying my patience.  I stopped and reordered my thoughts.  Put the focus on the other person in the equation and asked How do I choose to be remembered by this person right now, in this situation?

The situation might involve a distracted doctor... or a harried receptionist... or an overworked lab technician... or a distraught loved one.

As a Caregiver we find ourselves in so many situations like these.  We have the choice in how we respond. 

There were days that mom just could not eat.  As the pancreatic cancer progressed, we tried everything.  Soups, smoothies, favorite dishes, new dishes... and there were times we all found ourselves frustrated and impatient with the situation... Mom the most.  I know she agonized over causing us distress.  And that just pained us all the more.  Such a vicious dilemma the cancer caused.  The last thing mom needed was for us to lose our patience...And more than anything our deepest desire was to communicate our love for her, irregardless of the situation.

We chose over and over again to respond in love.  That is how we all wanted her to remember us. 

Tom Barber shares a similar experience as he faced losing his mother:

"I recall my father asking me how I wanted my mother to remember me just before I stepped into her ICU room to say goodbye. It was gently instructive and made me gather my courage and put a loving and peaceful look on my face as I approached my dear mother for the last time.

It has given me peace many times that she saw me filled with love for her and positive in my countenance to the end.
As my journey has taught me, you get to pick the memory and vision for your loved one. What you project is what your loved one or patient will wear that day or week or month. So, go into your loved one's ICU - whatever or wherever it may be -- prepared and strong.

No matter how bad circumstances might be during treatment, there is always a way to express love, hope, sympathy, admiration for courage, thankfulness for each moment and the possibility of life, if not in this world, then life everlasting."

So well said... We get to pick the memory and vision for our loved one.  What we project is what our loved one will wear that day or week or month...

There is a humble sweetness in this.  For we have the power to offer Grace always.  By our actions, by our words, by our expression, by our very presence...

Let us Always Choose to be Remembered with Love...

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Mighty Acorn...

I want to be more patient...and I want it right now!

We might laugh, but it's just really hard to wait for the virtue of patience to be matured in us.  Something, or someone, always seems to be "trying our patience."  True? 

Mothers, is it not a hard thing sometimes to listen to Sponge Bob Squarepants for the thirteenth time, or to play Chutes and Ladders...over and over again?  Or referee one more squabble between siblings... Or how about potty training trips to the bathroom every 30 minutes...just to try?

Patience.  We need it every day, all day, for all the little things that make us wait...  Even when we love those little ones to pieces.  It. Takes. Patience.

And so it is with Caregiving.  How many times have we struggled with Patience?

Patience as we wait for the doctor to call back.

Patience as we wait for the lab test results.

Patience as we file yet another insurance claim.

Patience as we run interference with nosy, rude or otherwise irritating neighbors.

Patience as we figure out the plethora of new medicines, dosages and timing.

Patience as we keep encouraging our loved one through the ravages of chemo and radiation.

Patience as we clean the bathroom floor...again.

Patience as we gently wait for our loved one to decide a course of treatment when we think we alone know what's best.

Patience as we make 5 different dishes and turn the kitchen into a shambles trying to tempt them to eat something, anything.

Patience as the disease devastates and we can no longer deny the journeys end, nor change one painful minute of it.

Patience as our anger at the unfairness erupts, overflowing bitter.

Patience as we learn to let go and trust a Sovereign God when all around is grief and sorrow.


How I have struggled with Patience.

Our pastor shared the story of the farmer who went to town to buy seed for his fields.  On the way home, 2 seeds fell out of his sack onto fertile soil.  Within days, one of the seeds sprouted and began growing, but not the other.  As the days passed, the one seed grew and grew, sprouting leaves and curling tendrils, but not the other.  Soon the one seed had large leaves and tiny yellow blossoms, the other had not even cracked open its shell.  Finally, the one seed matured and produced beautiful squash, which the farmer harvested and gladly shared with his family.  The other seed remained in the ground, alone and forgotten.

Over time, the forgotten seed softened and ripened, splitting the tough outer coat and began its journey toward the sun.  Over days and months and years, the seed grew and grew, but so very, very slowly.  After many years, the farmer was finally able to walk under its broad and mighty limbs, and relish the cool shade the tree provided and marvel at all the birds and animals that called its lush canopy home.  He gathered his family under the comforting shelter and together they admired the beauty and faith of the Mighty Oak Tree.


Would that I could remember the patience of that little acorn.  For Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow... It takes time.  It takes endurance.  It takes faith. 

It takes Patience.

Never forget that the work we do as Caregivers so often travels the course of the little acorn.  Perhaps we feel alone in the burden, or forgotten by others.  Maybe the work seems never-ending with no possible good in sight.

Let Grace weave Patience into the story.  Each small task you do for the sake of your loved one bears much fruit as you trust in His Hand to bless the offering.   It is a sacrificial ministry born out of love.  We may not see the answer we pray for in this life, but know that, as with the little acorn, God promises to see us through until we stand in Faith before Him .  He will see that our work accomplishes His purposes, offering Hope, Encouragement and Comfort to all gathered under the shelter of our Love and Care.

"And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
                                                                ~ Galatians 6:9
You, my friend, are a Mighty Acorn... just wait and see what Patience and Faith grow you into!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Grace Break...Friend-Style!

A weekend spent camping with friends...a Get-Away to savor some Grace Moments...



Savoring the Magnificence of His Creation...
My heart sits down in His Presence!