The greatest book in the world teaches us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Yet, many of us continue to rely upon our strength to move mountains. And, when mountains are moved we take the glory and the credit as if we had no help.
How many times do we have to hit those same walls, fall into those same old traps and pitfalls before we finally realize we can do nothing without God? He is the source of all life, health and strength. There is no level of human intelligence that outweighs the cross of calvary.
Far too often I hear business people declare salvation, but in the same breath decide that they cannot speak of HIM in certain settings. I do not understand being embarrassed or bashful when it comes to Jesus and what He did for me. It is a personal story, that I gladly make public.
I have seen far too many people pass away with only one thing on their mind, and that is “where am I going.” I watched my mom, my sister and others pass into the arms of Jesus with sweet assurance that Jesus would be the next face they would see.
It is for certain that we all will close our eyes here one day, and the most important thing we must know is where we will open them.
That being the said, where will you open your eyes?
I realize life can throw you some “curve balls” that you must walk out. There are times you asked the questions and seem to get no answers. But, this one thing you can be sure of, God heard you in the beginning and He certainly hears you now.
When you feel you have tried everything and feel as though your life is not moving forward, it is now time to press forward with everything within you. Press into the Word. Keep your Bible open before your face daily and read it aloud to get your mind on God and keep it there.
The other thing I like to tell people is to surround yourself with people who are clear about their course in life. Amos 3:3 ” How can two walk together except they be agreed.” Find people who you admire, respect and appreciate and hold on to them. Do NOT let them get away! They will be your greatest fans and your honest critics. They may not always agree with your methods, but they will support your willingness to grow.
Step back from a crisis and take a deep breath. Realize that the last storm you went through passed, and this one will to. Remember that storms do not come to last. they come to pass.
Read books that are geared toward your destiny and keep your eyes on the thing you want the most. Do not listen to people who tell you “YOU CAN”T” find those who say “YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS YOU!”
I am sure there is much more I can write on this subject, but for now, let’s get you started by realizing you have got to push past your doubts and doubters and move into faith from within to allow God to show you how His Strength, His Wisdom, and His Power will work wonders for the man or woman who will dare believe.
Credit: Dr. Faye (DrFaye) Wilson, Author, Speaker,Radio and Television Talk Show Host.
The Brain is an organ that serves as the center of the central nervous center. Let’s just say it is the headquarters for our souls. The brain receives information from the rest of the body and interprets that information and sends the signals to the organs and extremities to operate. The brain helps control vital operations such as breathing, blood pressure and the release of hormones to control certain chemicals in our body.
Thus, making the brain the most vital organ in our bodies.
Most of us have heard the term “Brain Dead”, well it is true once the brain stops performing its duties, the rest of the body will soon follow. This makes it extremely important for us to address the study and use of the brain to empower you to do more with your BRAIN.
Since the inception of the computer age; we have been bombarded with more and more gadgets and gizmos to use our brains. Daily we are engaged in online meetings, conferences and submits. We are connecting with people from around the world via social media. We praise the inventors of the phones that keep us engaged and our minds are now flooded with information that will forever change our DNA and RNA,
What have we done to our Brain!?
The question arise what will happen in the next few years to those who do not understand what it will take to keep our brains from “freezing” or exploding? Should be have a plan of action when we set down to the computer? Should be have restrictions for our children as to how much time is healthy?
Rather than waiting on scientific evidence to reach a conclusion; what about common sense?
The things we learned in Sunday School? The snippets of wisdom passed on to us by our parents and grand-parents? Those little “Ah-Ha” moments that transformed our thinking into substance? Those are the true common sense approaches to life.
I remember the first time I used a GPS. It was one more amazing tool. I had purchased one of those handheld systems from a local electronic store and I thought it was the very best thing in the world!
And then one day as I was driving; the system instructed me to turn left. I looked and saw it was a one way street going right. I knew I could not completely depend on the GPS to keep me safe. Had I done so, I would have been in a lot of trouble.
As I learned to become more and more dependant upon the GPS, I lost my sense of direction. My rights became left and my lefts right. Before GPS, I would remember landmarks and street names. Since GPS, I lost that ability or that side of my brain became frozen.
I use to drive long distances across country. One time on a trip from Arkansas back to Pennsylvania, I was using the GPS and it went black. I had programmed it to get me back to my home. It was a dark road and late at night with limited traffic. I was frantic!
I called one of my brother-in-laws for assistance. I forgot I could have used roadside assistance. Anyway, my brother-in-law got out of bed and got out his maps and begin to talk me down the highway until my GPS finally came back on.
I never traveled again using only GPS. I now carry as a backup, an old fashion map!
Due to the lack of adequate signs in the South, I am now using landmarks again. I remember trees, houses and just about anything that stands out. Someone may give you directions by saying “go down yonder, and hand a left.” I better understand the language because that is the GPS of rural America!
It may sound a bit crude, but at least my brain is engaged.
The New Appendage
An appendage is a term used to refer to our external body parts. We are not a new human with our cell phones.
How many of us panic when we cannot locate our cell phones? How many times have you turned around to go back home or to the office because you left your cell phone behind? We are so use to having our phones with us that when we do not have it, it feels as though something is missing. We feel detached from the world. We panic!
Why has this happened? How did it happen?
We were seduced into thinking we had it under control. We gladly spent our precious earned dollars to buy the latest phone or laptop and now we are sleeping with the enemy. Our devices are rapidly becoming our number one external enemy.
We wake up on the phone, we go to sleep with the phones tuned into social media and we miss out on living life the way God intended. We have become the machine. It is time to rethink our social schedules and begin enjoying everyday life by spending some time with people off line.
Plan To Detach
Freedom begins with the realization that we are addicted.
I have been on dozens of interviews asking me the same questions:
* How has the digital world become an addiction within our society?
* Is excessive use becoming more common with every passing year?
* What are some ways people can remove themselves from technology?
* Are there any unwritten rules or limitations to use of technology?
We will take a closer look at each of these questions below:
1. How has the digital world become an addiction within our society
Everyone I know including my 86 year old dad has a cell phone. People are are more attached to people online than they are to their next door neighbors.
Think about the last time you were out at a restaurant, walk through the mall or sitting at the airport; how many people were on their phones?
With over 3 billion users in Facebook, most people spend more than than 100 million hours watching video on Facebook and 80 million users on Facebook Lite, there is no doubt we are using our devices.
The problem is no one ever taught us to use them wisely. We took off running with our phones and before we new it, we had a new normal. A normal that included cell phones, tablets, laptops, gaming devices and readers.
2.Is excessive use of technology becoming more common with every passing year?
The answer is as more and more people enjoy the convenience of technology; the result is more and more addictive techies.
How many of us have left home for a drive to the store or a walk and forgot our phones only to turn around in a panic to get them? We felt at a loss and disconnect from our world with our cell phone.
Most people are too embarrassed or unaware of this addiction to admit this flaw. Unless we admit we are attached to our devices we will probably not be free. I have returned home far too many times to pick up my phone. I thought this problem was only for everyone else, until I learned I too was a addicted to technology.
The data on how many people use cell phones cannot keep up with the number of people actually using the them. With families having packages, and corporations having employee phones it is exploding!
In 2015 nearly two-thirds of Americans were noted to be on cell phones.
Most of Americans are talking electronically. Families are sitting at the table chatting but not to each other. The conversations are mixed with Facebook, Twitter and texts.
Children are passed off to their gadgets rather than parental nurturing. Our babies are being lulled to sleep my some video on Youtube rather than mother’s soothing voice. Where are you Mommie? Bedtime stories are now left to cartoons and unrealistic characters instead of mom and dad.
Parents have such a blessed responsibility to raise children with the nurture and love they deserve, but this cannot be done when technology spends more time with our children than we do. When the voice of online characters are more real than our own.
The American Academy of Pediatrics states children should not be exposed to technology before the age of 2 years. We can walk through the marketplace and see babies holding a gadgets. We assume something is good for our children simply because the commercials.
Parents are so busy providing for children, they sometimes forget the greatest gift you can give your child is your “time.”
3. What are some ways people can remove themselves from technology?
The critical thing to remember is to know when you are addicted.
Signs of tech addiction can include anything from sleeping with your phone, having it on all of the time even when you should turn it off, wearing your bluetooth to church, talking to your spouse on the phone when they are in the same house, calling your child when they are in another room, texting your friends during dinner time, texting while talking to someone else (rude), and any others you might consider signs of tech addiction.
How do we detached from our gadgets? Is there therapy available? Can we do some simple things to curve our addictive behavior?
One of the first things I recommend is to turn off your phone for at least one (1) hour per day.
Spend dinner time with your family and not with social media. Consider this option of leaving your phone at home when you are out with family. A good idea may be to choose one person to have a phone and leave the other’s behind.
Think of better ways to connect with the real people in your life everyday. Be creative and develop a working plan to get your addiction to technology under control.
4. Are there any unwritten rules or limitations to use of technology?
You write the rules. You know your routine and your life. You know what works for you and how available you need to be for work, and family. Make choices that provide space for human connectedness. Do it everyday.
Give yourself the gift of detaching from technology and rediscover the kind, loving and generous person God made you to be.
In the early years of our life cycle we are taught social interactions. We are trained to be respectful of the differences we find in other people. Somewhere along the way from Kindergarten to adulthood; we shift from respecting those differences to becoming critical of anyone who does think or look like us.
Have you noticed how children regardless of race or gender get into the same sandbox and play? Watch how they compete for and then share the same toys. While it is true that some children tend to more territorial than others; most children give way to their counterparts rather quickly and easily.
The bible has references to becoming as a child in order to enter the Kingdom. It seems many of us lose that tenderness and warmth that comes along with being born. Even though we most often judge ourselves to be “freedom thinkers” that is not what is always projected.
More and more we see and hear of people who tend to think they are somehow better or more superior to others. The tendency to see an advanced degree, more money, better clothing, house, car or skin color defines an individual remains prevalent in the western world.
If we were to stop and do a little thinking, we would indeed come to the realization that everyone will go by way of the grave. Death has no special friends. I have been to far too many funerals to believe otherwise.
While we are busy criticising and analyzing each other; time continues to make a statement. The statement that reads ” Time is passing and no one can slow it down or stop it!”
Regardless of your financial status or who you think you are; death will come and there is no time for criticism or judgement against another fellow human being.
Spending your time being critical or demeaning does not serve you and will ultimately yield a harvest that you will not wish to reap. Looking down your nose at anyone is a statement that you are not feeling positive about your own life. In order to reverse this is to reverse what you are saying and doing that will cause hurt or harm to any fellow human being.
Looking down your nose at someone is a sign of your own insecurity. Speaking evil of another person reveals one’s own character. As long as you see evil, evil pursues.
Allow yourself to see the good in everyone even those people who have behaved badly. We do not shift our thinking to change the other person; we shift our thinking to change ourselves.
Be respectful toward everyone you meet. Respond in unexpected ways and surprise everyone even yourself with a positive outlook on everything.
What happens when you say something you did not mean to say? How many times have you said something to later regret?
Every word we speak has meaning. There is literally no such thing as “empty words.” The Bible teaches us that a man is snared by the words of his mouth (Proverbs 6:2). What we say can trap, bind and slay us. What we say can either help us get a position or destroy ever opportunity for promotion .
Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Blessings and cursing are created by the words we speak (James 3:10). The words we speak are the creative force which directs our path in life.
There is no such thing as “joking” about one’s life. The enemy of the mind hears those words and uses them aganist us. Anyone who doubts this is certainly caught in the great web of deception in “Opening Their Big Mouth!”
The power of our words is not a new thought. It has been around since the beginning of time. When God created the Heavens and the Earth; He spoke them into existence. The Bible teaches us that the worlds were formed by the Word of God. This my friends, is our pattern. When we speak our “world” is formed. The everyday walking, waking, talking, living world is formed around us. We are powerful!
The thing we have to learn, is how to use this power for our good and not for our destruction.
Let’s begin with the book of James.
James Chapter 3 is a remarkable ancient text found in the Bible. I like reading the Bible it holds great wisdom and understanding Anyone who has come acquainted with the Bible will understand the principals I am about to outline here.
First let’s look at this scripture in James Chapter 3
Taming the Tongue
1My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 3Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Translated into 21st Century English
The tongue is wild and unruly and anyone who can tame it is genius. The tongue guides are life like the rudder on ship it will take us places we may not want to go. We must be careful what we say or we will end up someplace we do not want to be.
If we use our tongue to build our lives, our tongue will be the instrument to assist us is building our destiny and purpose.
James seems to have a revelation on the tongue and its power. Since God spoke the worlds into existence we can begin today to speak the world we want into existence.
What are you saying about your life? What are you speaking over others? Do you speak negative words about your life? Think about the results you are getting.
You are truly having what you say.
Mark 11:22 -24
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
If you don’t like what you are having, change what you are saying.
Shutting your BIG mouth is not safe. Changing what you say is.
Start practicing positive words over your life and over others. Always speak what you want and not what you don’t want.
Your life will begin to take on the shape God intended for it to.
Understand the power of your words and begin to use them daily to transform your life one positive word at a time.
True Wisdom from Above
13Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
When we are speaking words of peace and comfort to ourselves we can do the same for others. Remember this, we cannot give away what we do not possess. We must become responsible citizens of our own words. Executing goodness everywhere at all times.
We can change our world with our words. When we open our mouths to speak let it be because we truly have something amazing coming out of it.
“Loving From A Caring Place”
The article you are about to read is an ongoing message of hope and inspiration for everyone who has or will ever find themselves in the position of caring for a family member or friend. Care-giving is part of my everyday life and I will add to this article for you to follow me in the journey. The story is true. My family like yours is not perfect but it the one God gave us.
No one expects to in the position of Care-Taker. More often than not, we subconsciously think someone else will do it. We are too busy. We have our own lives to live. There are people who do “that’ for a living. They are more professional than we are and know more about “these” things. As you will sooner or later discover, “those” people are you and me.
Our family had always depended upon the sisters who stayed home. Those who lived either in the same city or within an hour or two to cover our end of the care for parents and family members. The trouble with that is they see those of us who lived away to be more attentive, to come home more often to send more money and to be a part of the family rather than being the long distant advisors we had become.
I didn’t mind sending money or coming back for a visit, but I never dreamed I would ultimately move back to my hometown.
The one sister who lived in my hometown had exhausted herself. She too, had become ill and required medical care. What now? Who would take care of Momma and my special needs sister?
As I thought about writing this article it became apparent that my personal journey of caretaking began with my sister, Sharon. This is where it really all began for me to learn that family was much more than Holidays and Barbeques. It was also being supportive and engaging.
In 2009, I found myself on the phone with my sister Sharon telling me a large mass was found inside her stomach and she was being transferred to another hospital for further evaluation.
I immediately went into prayer. Prayer is always my “go-to” for any and everything in life whether there is a crisis or I am wanting to have my daily conversations with God.
When I was around 6 years old my paternal grandmother laid a foundation of prayer inside of me. She was a daily prayer. My mother was a daily prayer. Every night at 9 PM was my Momma’s prayer time.
Sharon lived for 6 months after her surgery.
In that moment, I thought of all of the things I could have done. I did what I could but I was still over a 1000 miles away from her. I was able to spend some quality time with her, but she was so weak and sick, she could not sit for long. I never dreamed that she would leave us so soon.
In the months ahead, I was not prepared to discover Momma would lose one of her legs, and be wheelchair bound. My heart ached. Momma was an independent woman being the full nurturer and caregiver herself for her entire household as well as for the community.
Momma was the one who delivered plates to the sick and disabled every day. She did not wait until Sunday, as she felt and was correct, people had to eat every day.
It was Summer 2013. I received a phone call from my dad stating he could no longer manage Momma’s care alone. He asked (although there was no need to) if I could come. I told him to give me time to take care of a few things and I would come to stay.
The next few weeks would prove to be something I could not have ever imagined. I watched the woman who was once outspoken and sometimes witty become vulnerable, helpless and submissive to anyone who would offer a cup of water or food.
It hurt to see my Momma in this place for she had been the true strength of our family. It was she who had been there when we arrived home from school with a big pot of homemade soup. It was she who had awaken in the middle of the night and checked to see if the fever was still there. It was she who attended school events, meetings and watched me get water baptised. It was Momma who always watched as we boarded the school bus and handed out the chore list as we arrived home safely. Momma, who now needed and depended on me and my sisters to care for her.
There were nights she would cry out in pain all night and I did not understand why. I discovered she was missing a few essentials. I did my best to get her everything she was missing and fought with family members along the way. Yes, that too is a part of being a Care-Taker. Not everyone will agree with your approach.
I remember my Momma making this statement “Y’all do all you can for me.” I also remember the Saturday night in the hospital when she told me that she was “not going to make it.” She described in detail how she wanted to be dressed. That was hard to hear. I cried between my “Yes, Mommas.” I knew no other way to hear such things.
While I thought the pain of my sister Sharon would never go away, I knew innately, that God would wash away all tears and He alone would bring peace, the pain of Momma leaving was deeper than that of any I had ever known.
As a Christian Counselor, a former therapist and Behavior Specialist; I had come to know that the part of us that hurts the most; is the part that no one can see. That part of me was being hurt so deeply I was losing strength to make good choices for my own life.
As I look back during the period between my sister’s illness and passing to my Momma’s passing ; I made some of the worst business decisions in my life. My business suffered.
After weeks of both mom and I living in ICU South at Baptist Hospital on September 21, 2013 Momma said good bye to this world. As I sat there alone in her room during that long night of listening to “Take Me To The King” I talked to her and loved on her. I knew she could hear me. The nurse told me that hearing is the last to go, and I wanted her to know what a great mom she was and how she would be missed. I thank God so much for allowing me this gift of being with my Momma. I could have been anywhere else in the world, but He let me be right there with the love of my life, my Momma.
After the services I decided I needed to take a break and reflect on what was next for me.
It seemed life had to began again. I was not sure what that meant. My entire reason for being in Arkansas was for my Momma. At least, that is what I thought.
It was about a month later that I received another knock at the door. An elderly cousin was in trouble.
She was described as “losing her memory and being taken advantage of.” I rushed to her home and discovered yes, indeed she was in crisis. She had not been to a doctor in over 60 years and did not want to go. She was nearing 90 and I did not think that was a major concern but she did need an evaluation to determine what could medically be done for her apparent dementia.
It took a few weeks, but finally I was able to get her to a doctor. Yes, she had dementia but was physically extremely healthy.
Cousin, had one daughter who lived out of state and could not get there. We arranged for me to act in her stead until her arrival. That means, be what her Mother needed me to be for her, and that is a Care-Taker. She lived in deplorable conditions and refused to move in with me. I was there sometimes several times per day to make sure she was okay and was eating. I took her out often and listen to all of the stories, and there were many.
In Spring of 2014 my cousin arrived. It was time to relocate her mother. We knew this would probably be the last time we would see our elder cousin, and we all gathered to show our appreciation in a special church banquet.
As I drove them to the airport I felt a sense of peace that all was well and I had done what I could as a Care-Taker.
In May of 2014 my sister who has special needs called crying. She wanted to move out of the family home snd live on her own. I listened and responded with action.
Although, there was opposition, by June of 2014 she was in her own apartment. I have continued to monitor and support her decision and to make sure she is safe.
Today she is happy and attends a wonderful church where she urshers and has made friends and built a life that will last a lifetime.
Jesus gave His Life for me, and I seem to find myself giving my life to others. While I never lost confidence in God’s Love for me, I was beginning to lose caring for myself.
While Momma was in ICU another sister was preparing to have her foot amputated. I ran up and down those elevators daily. Whenever the shift changed in ICU; I went to the 6th floor to spend time with my sister. I have spent more time in the hospital with this sister. As a matter of fact, at the time of this writing she was just discharged again from being in critical condition.
The hospital is an hour away and we drive back and forth daily when she is there. If you have ever had anyone in the hospital you will understand how important it is for them to have family members around for procedures and anything else that may be going on there.
Care-Taking is not an art it is a heart.
I have and continue to learn that being a Care-Taker is a sacrifice of your days and schedule for someone else in need. I have to learn to work around everything as I monitor my two sisters. I know no one ask me to, but are you really suppose to be asked?
The original intent of this article was to care for the Care-Taker; however I could not express how important it is to care for someone who is caring for others without speaking a little on the subject of caretaking.
I can not tell you what I am learning about caring for myself during and after caring for someone.
This is what I know:
- Take daily walks or go bike riding (my favorite)
- Eat healthy and drink plenty of water and herbal teas
- Plan a get-away monthly. Even for a day/night
- Talk about your experiences even if you have to blog it
- See everything you do as an act of God’s Love in the earth
- Pray and Read your Bible Daily (www.theglobalchurchlive.com)
- Be a part of a strong Christian Fellowship even virtual is good. (www.theglobalchurchlive.com)
- Listen to music that soothe the soul.
- Laugh often
- Add your own here…
I have discovered once you decide that care-giving is a calling; you will soon discover everything you need will be within your reach. You will soon discover the time to do all that is required. Granted, you will be ready for bed earlier and will understand the purpose of planning your time well in advance.
For years, it has been only my schedule and my plans. Now, that I am a consistent care-giver; I find that my schedule includes the schedule of those with whom you are assigned to care.
So weekly, I have to check doctor appointments, social engagements and shopping schedules to make sure that things are covered on all fronts.
We recently spent 9 days in the hospital due to another medical error. We were daily making the drive to the hospital to spend time with my sister who was extremely sick and in crisis. The doctors were in and out all day and night. The nurses were attentive and working around the clock in an effort to save her life! It was painful to watch them stick, prode and probe her frail body time and time again, she wanted to cry, but did everything she could to remain strong.
You know the type of strength that is unreal.
I believe the time to cry is, when you want to cry. Whether y9u are the Care-Taker or the one being cared for; never feel you need to hold your tears. Tears have a way of giving us he freeing, and cleansing we need to start-over the next day.
I remember feeling that I could not stop to cry when my mom was in her last days. I felt as though I was still in the “fight for her life’ mode and would not let anyone interrupt or disturb that space. I needed to save my Momma! All I could hear was here words asking me to “do what yall can.”
My sister ongoing need for either a recreative miracle or a kidney transplant leaves me with a constant need to make sure you has the maternal support that is always required in care-taking. The reason we need that “maternal instinct” is that the emotions that go with the care will involved waking up in the middle of the night to run to the hospital or to make adjustment to medication etc.
I needed to meet the needs of my sisters before they could ask. For instance, by the Grace of God, I was able to create a hair care routine for my sister who is a dialysis patient. The medication had dried her hair out and it was falling out. I went on a rescue mission for hair.
I had done some research on what it takes to care for African American Natural Hair. It was easy for me to get the products, mixed them and take them to my sister. The plan was to create a daily regimen for her hair. Although we have a ways to go; as of today her hair is growing thinker and longer.
Caring for ever area of your patient’s life is the true Care-Taker’s journey.
My sister’s hair is just as important as my hair. I think of her body as an extension of my own. I think of her home as an extension of my own without taking complete control, but seeing what needs to be done and doing it. When out shopping if I see something she could use, I buy it. I take the time to to check in daily regardless of how things may seem to be going. The patient not always know what they need and it takes a caring heart to see, perceive and minister to the needs of people whose physical and mental needs are compromised.
I know what time my sister is ready for her hair treatments. I know what time she needs to be at dialysis. I know when she needs to rest. I know when she is overworking and pushing too hard to be “normal.” I have discovered when a person’s health has been compromised; they become fearful. It seems disease brings the fear of the unknown with it to further paralyze an individual.
Maybe I should explain why I Care-Take.
I do it because it is my nature to love in anyway that will benefit mankind. The Bible teaches us that “Love Begins At Home And Spreads Abroad.” Love begins with loving yourself. You cannot give away what you do not possess. In order to love others, you must first and foremost recognize what it means to love yourself.
The one thing I have come to understand is that God always put us in the places He needs the Love He is to manifest the most. When people are sick and week, they are also vulnerable.
I have cared for people who were either physically or mentally ill, and sometimes both. At this point in my journey; I think , in most cases the physically ill requires more physical strength and the mentally ill requires both.
For instance, in caring for my great-cousin who was diagnosed with Dementia, was extremely challenging. She would not come home with me and I could not stay-over at her house. She tended to treat mice as pets, and later I found out snakes were also welcomed. As you can see, I did not have faith to spend the night there. However, her safety became a main issue.
She began to have visitors that were never there. She would leave the gas on and fall asleep. I was constantly going over to her house and could not get very much done due to my concerns for her safetly.I was elated when her daughter arrived to move her back to Michigan where her mind took over to tell her she was full when you in reality had stopped eating.
On the other hand, I am a member of a community where everything is celebrated or mourned with food. fried food, sweets and as much of it as possible. A diet consist of talking about dieting, we don’t really mean to follow a special meal plan:)
Whether you can cook or not, as a Care-Taker; you will learn. There are times you may have to help with personal care without any compensation. The rewards for being a Care-Taker far outweighs what monetary compensations may be available.
As we continue this blog; you will learn how you too can become an indispensable part of someone else’s life by being a caring person.
Patient And Family Conflict
It has been a while since I have updated this blog post. The reason being is my dad was hospitalized with a stroke. This is a man who has worked since age 12 and who is now 87 years old. He has been active every day of his life and has only been hospitalized for a day or two in his life due to dehydration and over heating.
Today my brother David is the executor and Power of Attorney for my dad while he lives with my oldest sister. The situation is not ideal as it has taken him from the only place he has known for all of his life.
The picture to your left is that of my paternal grand-mother and her family. She is the youngest girl at the bottom. I love that lady!
He lives about 30 miles from the home place and frequently visits but is dependant upon my sister to transport him. The second oldest sister is his medical care coordinator and has always been there to take my dad to his doctor’s appointments. Linda is caring and supportive of the family in everyway possible, but her limitations of trying to keep the peace sometimes hinder her from always making the best judgement calls.
As you can see like most families, ours is no exception to having chaos and confusion. We try to get along for dad’s aake but the turbulance is always there waiting to errupt. The truth is most famlies never admit that there are strains and stressors when in comes to taking care of loved ones. Especially a family member who has been independant all of his life. Now as my dad approaches 88 years, we can tell he is not the tower of strength he thought himself to once be.
His walk is unsteady even with therapy he still requires support to step up and down. His speech is uncetain and you can tell he is afraid. I never saw my dad afraid until I saw him lying in that hospital bed. My first response was to pray with him.
He spoke of turning everything over to my brother and not being able to do things he use to do.
It is hard seeing your parent become weak and dependant.
As my mother’s health began to fail, she became another person. She was so vulnerable and helpless, I fought to hold back the tears. I do the same with my dad as I watch him struggle with his walk and his speech.
How do you care when others in your family have taken the role as the power to make choices without your input?
I have found the best thing for me to do is to make sure my dad knows I am available. To call and let heim hear my voice from time to time, and to be present at his church when he attends just to keep an eye on him.
My brother seems to think dad has resigned to being cared for and living away from his home. But , I am not certain that is the case. I will continue to monitor from a distance and pray for the entire family as this strain of watching what the majority of the family believe is not a good choice for him.
Left to Right is DAD
Are you one of those people who freeze up when it comes time to deal with difficult issues?
Having difficult conversations is like asking some people to eat poison. They would rather avoid confrontations all together.
There have been times in my life I wish people would have just known what I was thinking. That way, I would not have to say anything to them about whatever was troubling me. Once I would finally get the nerve to say something it would not sound like I wanted it to, and I would feel just plain silly.
What I decided to do was to realize I was doing both that person and myself a disservice by not speaking up. They would assume our relationship was one place when it was actually another. I would be a hypocrite as a “friend” by not sharing what I really thought.
Those days are long gone, and I learned that I owed it to my friends, family and acquaintances to be honest and forthcoming in my dealings. Granted, when I first started this new found form of communication; I broke a lot of rules of engagement. I would say things at the wrong time and would feel horrible afterwards. I would quickly come under condemnation and would wrestle with that demon all night.
I kept reading the Bible and praying that God would help me to break free of things that seem to have me so bound, like fear and anxiety issues that would keep me from speaking up and out. I wanted to be at peace with “me.” I wanted to be at peace with everyone else and discover what it feel like to truly let love flow through me even when I had to confront someone in difficult times.
There is something so powerful in being transparent and authentic. It is the place many people wish they could move into and envy those who have. When we become transparent and authentic we open the windows of Heaven to meet us at the point of our need for peace and joy. The world begins to look at our lives through different lenses because our lives represent the one they wished for.
Who do you need to confront? What areas of your life do you think will change once you confront them? Are you willing to be laughed at? Are you prepared to be rejected? You may very well be, and that too is part of your being able to be free. You will finally learn what it mean to “Care Enough To Confront.”