Times and seasons
It has been so evident since we moved here to Arizona two years ago that we began a whole new life season, other than the obvious geographic relocation.
Back in Colorado, nearly my whole life was absorbed in the many facets of homeschooling and all things children—teaching in my own homeschool and our church Sunday School, curriculum planning, support and youth group activities, etc. Moving here drew us fully into the larger picture of extended family life, and simultaneously ended my season of homeschooling.
Now, as this new year begins, I find myself in the season of care-giving. My father-in-law’s passing eight months ago created a new and very challenging situation for the family—not only helping my mother-in-law with all facets of her daily life and health issues, but trying to bring real encouragement and comfort to her sorrowing heart. I’m afraid we’ve not been very successful as there are no shortcuts in the grief process.
I’ve really never been much around elderly folk; I never knew my grandparents or older extended relatives, and have largely been unaware of the incredible challenges seniors can face. Where once they were strong, productive and independent, now they deal with tiredness, forgetfulness, health troubles, grief, loss of independence, loss of purpose. They have to let others call the shots and be gracious at the same time.
Care-giving is similar to homeschooling—very much a walk of faith. Every day I need the Lord’s practical wisdom and help. Each day it’s just doing the next thing, trusting that our efforts will bear fruit. And, like homeschooling, it’s all about someone else—a good refining process for the soul!
My prayer is that the Lord will help me be faithful in this season and learn all the lessons He has for me. It’s not easy, but then I guess nothing worthwhile ever is, right?
Isn't this the truth? But, being faithful to walk forward every day...the Lord will open your next door or give you the wisdom you need for that particular situation. Even though being around my Mama is more long-distance than your front-lines ministry, they all require our own unique faith walk, as you stated. Know you're not alone. So many of us are in this with you. Love you, my friend. ~KReplyDelete
So good to hear from you! Yes, seasons come and go. It has to be a huge blessing to your mother-in-law to have her family so close and so involved. May God strengthen you for this journey.ReplyDelete
Special for you:ReplyDelete
Romans 8:26-28 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.”
His Grace is sufficient, isn't it? A tough time in life -- no breaks in caregiving really, going right from childcare (albeit older) to senior care. I think "me" time is a myth, :). I'm going through that a bit too now, not as much as you, but with my 87 yr. old mother -- driving to her home 1+ hrs. each way and getting her groceries and whatever she needs almost weekly. The toughest part of it is she is a very difficult person and seems to be getting more disagreeable with age (no shock). A very draining time for us both (hugs).ReplyDelete
Interesting to hear you're in the same season, Jane. May the Lord give you abundant grace and patience--I know how hard some days can be. Wonderful you're able to help her.Delete
Wendy, we entered into this season three years ago and it has been a challenge for our family. My husband is an only child, so when my FIL died, my MIL became very dependent on my husband. Since there's only one of him, this has created stress and tension at times. My MIL has always loved having others take care of her and it's been a struggle to get my husband to understand that the best thing he can do for his mom is encourage her to grow and become independent in some aspects. I've learned a lot during this time, because I've seen the importance of building a life for yourself - such as a hobby and friends - so that when you find yourself alone, you aren't sitting on the couch in the dark, day and night.ReplyDelete
Every situation is different and hopefully your MIL will thrive and grow, in due time.
Debbie, you are so right about have hobbies and interests that will carry you to the end of your life. My MIL has none, but thankfully she enjoys reading, so I've been plying her with lots of good biographies and fiction from our homeschool library. :-) They help her get her focus outside herself and unhappiness. May the Lord help you all in this challenging time.Delete