Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. In all your ways acknowledge HIM and He will make your paths straight.
— Proverbs 5:3
— Proverbs 5:3
Recognizing God’s Best When Facing Life’s Worst
Discovery House 2013
This newly published book is full of scriptural truths about the character of God in our suffering. In the introductions she says “Times of suffering can be times of tremendous darkness of soul. It is my prayer that these pages will help poke holes in the darkness and bring God’s light and encouragement to those who are in the midst of the dark night of suffering.” She uses example in her life of various difficulties she has experienced showing us how God’s love has brought light into those times through ways such as His voice, His care, His comfort, His shared suffering, His grace and hope.
Her examples may differ from your experience but the words that she shares help bring out a response that can only come by the help of God. She pulls together stories from throughout the Bible for us to see the way God speaks and can be present in the rough days that come with caregiving. Some days you may not look at your caregiving as suffering but other days may feel like misery. Drawing on the writing of Lovejoy may help you to lean on your heavenly Father in dark times to sweeten the bitterness of life’s struggles.
Guest Review by Sue Brettmann
Each week I select articles that I feel might be on interest to my readers and post them on my web site tab called, "Weekly News" I list about 10-12 news worthy tips, stories, resources and other blogs on caregiving. I filter out stories about criminal activity by caregivers who take advantage of their care-receiver because most of those stories are about professional or hired caregivers. Some are stories about relatives taking advantage of relatives. I warn my readers to be very careful in handling assets and posessions of thoser you are caring for. Christian Caregivers are called to a loving service. Honoring the one we care for with our love and integrity is a God given responsibility. May the stories and resources I list in weekly news help us to be mindful in providing our Christian care.
2004 Thomas Nelson
What a wonderful devotional book inspired by an older book called God Calling edited by A.J. Russell and published by the Berkley Publishing Group in 1978. God Calling was given to me in 1973 by Sharon Patton writting to me in the cover, “the simple love in serving God in these passages have helped guide my daily path.” Thanks Sharon for your gift years ago.
Now those words are made anew in Sarah Young’s book that I highly recommend for the Christian caregiver. The medications are short and personal. Written as if god had a special word to us for the day. Karen, my wife, and I read these daily among other devotional books. Each meditation references scripture to be read with the devotion and we read them. Many we know and have memorized. The scriptures are made new in the context of Sarah’s meditation. I have referred to one of them in a previous blog.
It is important to start the day with the Word and Sarah make the Word accessible. The thoughts are not complicated theological expositions. They are directive from the one who is our source and strength to get through the day.
The book is not expensive. It is nicely bound with a cloth book marker to keep place in the book. Each day has its own devotion and can be used year after year. The reader will not grow tired of this devotional book. The message is always just what is needed for the caregiver, just what Jesus would say to you directly.
Letters From the Land of Cancer
by Walter Wangerin, Jr
Grand Rapids, Mi.
On December 26, 2005 Professor and Pastor Wangerin of Valparaiso University, husband and father of four, was diagnosed with cancer. This book is a collection of letters he wrote to family and friends over about a two year period. Through these letters the reader journeys with him through hope, fear, suffering, love, faith and infirmity.
A caregiver for one with cancer might get insight into some un-expressed thoughts that their loved one might be thinking. He eloquently reflects on end of life issues and what it means to live and die well. The reader joins Walter Wangerin through the many procedures and many doctors that take a toll on his body and the resultant mood swings. His Biblical understanding of being called and named by Christ gives meaning to his life here and in the hereafter. This is a book about facing mortality. Letter #19 is more of a Bible study put in letter form to one of his students and a worthwhile read.
Professor Wangerin is my age. We are both adoptive parents. He wrote a book with Matthew, one of his adopted sons, called, “Father & Son, Finding Freedom.” This second book (of many he has written) was published the year following the letters written from the land of cancer. Cancer is difficult. But I picture healing and blessings coming in the midst of difficult times.
We have never met, but we share a common savior. I am happy to report that he is scheduled to preach at the Valpo chapel this Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013.
I highly recommend all his books, this one especially for one caring for a loved one with cancer.
Love in the Land of Dementia
Finding Hope in the Caregiver’s Journey
by Deborah Shouse
2006 Creativity Connection Press
613 W. 61 St
Kansas City, MO 64113
This is Deborah’s story of caring for her mother who making the journey into the land of Dementia. I made this same journey with my mother. Reading her book I laughed and cried as I remembered my mother. She talks about the progressive changes both physically and relationally that needed to be grieved by her, her dad, brother and her mother. Deborah’s dad lived with her through many of these experiences. But she lost him before she lost her mother.
As the dementia progresses Deborah described the efforts she makes to try to connect. Some are silly. I recall doing the same thing with my mother. She describes helping her mother move past anxiety, anger and confusion and find a smile of happiness to share becomes priceless. Working to stay connected is important.
The family celebrated their Jewish faith and customs. I respect putting faith into practice as she tells her story.
I can highly recommend this book as a helpful story to anyone moving through the land of Dementia and Alzheimer disease with a loved one. The behavior changes, moods, dis-connect and humorous situations are not unique to this book, but those changes are very well described by Deborah Shouse.
Sue Brettmann RN has been devoted to Caregiving both in her career as an RN, Parish Nurse and caring for her aging parents through the last 40 plus years. She has experience in trauma, home care and hospice. Her strong faith walk and relationship with Christ has always been a part of her care and she is committed to helping others see the gift of Christ in their personal journey's.