Monday, August 26, 2013

Thanks Ruth! It was a perfect seat!

(Some names/churches have been changed to protect most of the guilty.)

"Save me a seat," I yelled at Ruth as she left to go get breakfast, "I'll be there in a few minutes."  Ruth is a sweet lady from church and I've enjoyed getting to know her over the last couple of years. We were both attending a ladies retreat together and having a good time of fellowship and growing in the Lord.  At bedtime the night before, I shared a devotion with our little ladies group on friendship, emphasizing the importance of having spiritual friends that would pray, strengthen, and encourage and the importance of being that same kind of friend to others.  Little did I know........

Breakfast was still a few minutes away from being served and Ruth was waiting for me when I reached the cafeteria.  She was saving the seat beside her especially for me.  I sat down and started visiting with her when the lady on my right starting talking to me.   She was an older lady and immediately asked me what church I was from.  I told her Southwest Baptist Church.  "Oh," she said, "I know the pastor, Dav, Davi, Davison, what's his name?"  I told her our pastor used to be Sam Davison.  "Oh yes, Sam Davison.  And his wife, what's her name?"  I told her Sandy.  "Well my name is Sue, S-U-E.  Sue Jacobs. S-U-E  J-A-C-O-B-S.  Would you please tell Bro. Sam I said hello.  He will remember me.  Well, my last name wasn't Jacobs then.  It was Roberts.  Tell Bro. Sam Sue Roberts said hello. S-U-E  R-O-B-E-R-T-S.  Of course, Sue is my middle name.  He would probably know me more by my first name, Evelyn. E-V-E-L-Y-N.  Tell him Evelyn Roberts said hello.  And tell his sweet wife also.  I used to be married to my first husband, Charles, until he passed away.  Then I met Richard about 7 years ago and we got married.  That's why my name is different now.  They wouldn't know Richard but Charles and I used to go hear Bro. Sam preached and he preached several revivals at our church.   I go to Bible Baptist Church and I play the piano.  Well I used to play the piano for them.  I play the piano for them on Wednesday nights and I play the piano over at First Baptist Church on Sundays.  That Bible Baptist Church likes to play canned music so they're squeezing me out of playing.  I used to play on Sundays for them but not anymore.   They're not very friendly over at that church.  But that First Baptist Church, they just act like they're always glad to see me.  Do you ever feel that way?  You can just walk into a church and you know right away if someone is glad to see you or not!" 

And so it went.

Sue was quite the character.  I honestly don't think I've ever met someone who could talk as much as Sue, S-U-E,  Jacobs.  She didn't even need to breathe.  I think she was just circular breathing.   At one point, I leaned to my friend, Ruth, and simply stated, "Thanks alot!"  "You're welcome," she stated ever so innocently.

After what seemed like an eternity, we were allowed to get in line for breakfast.  I stood and sweetly told Sue we needed to get in line.  She kept talking and I kept taking a few steps in the other direction trying to politely leave the one-sided conversation.  After I returned to our table, I tried to switch seats with Ruth.  Let Ruth sit by Crazy, C-R-A-Z-Y, Sue.  She's the one that saved the seat!  Let me be very clear on this-- for a little woman, Ruth is very perceptive, agile, and strong.  I'm pretty sure she pushed me.  Yep!  Now that I think back, she pushed me.  As a matter of fact,  I probably have a bruise because of it!  I think I need a new friend.  Wait a minute......S-U-E.........I better keep Ruth!

During breakfast, I really don't know how Sue ate anything.  I tried introducing her to people across the table.  She was quite friendly and cordial but she kept coming back to me.  All I could do was nod my head like a bobble doll and utter a few "hmm" "ahmm" or however affirmations are written!  By the time I was able to excuse myself from the table, I was weighed down with a boatload of prayer requests.  Sue asked me to pray for her.....and pray for her husband, Richard, R-I-C-H-A-R-D (I can remember that, Richard is my husband's name also)  he has cancer and doesn't feel well plus pray for the insurance that doesn't want to pay for his treatments.....he didn't go to church and wasn't always happy about how involved she wanted to be in church....and her bowel troubles with diverticulitis (I'll spare you the details.  After all, I just ate breakfast!).......pray for her eyes, she has a eye appointment because her retina is detaching and she might not be able to see out of her eye.....pray for Bible Baptist Church that they would quit using canned music so she could play the piano....pray for her strength that she would be able to continue doing the things she wants to do.......

What do you do when someone, not to mention a virtual stranger,  piles a bunch of prayer requests on you like that?  I thought about my pastor's wife and wondered what she does as people walk by and she hugs them and they ask her to pray for....fill-in-the-blank.  I thought about the times that even I have asked her to pray with me about.....fill-in-the-blank.  I bet her prayer request book is H-U-G-E!!!

Several years ago, I went on a mission trip with a group of people that I did not know.  One lady, Ruby, was "sharing" with me about a woman in her church that was a thorn in her flesh.  She did not care one whit about this gossiping, backbiting, and spiteful woman.  In an attempt to help her, I gently suggested that she pray for this woman.  Her reply?  "I ain't got room in my prayer life to squeeze in this woman!!!"  I laughed really hard when she said that but for the first time since that story was told, I could kind of understand what Ruby meant. 

I have to admit (head hung), at that time, I never did agree to pray for Sue.  That's something I take very seriously!  If I agree to pray for Sue then I better mean it!  I'm obligated before God.  Right!?!  Plus that was ALOT of prayer requests!   I thought about the friend devotion the night before and was reminded (by Ruth aka Miss C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N) that I had been asking God to help me be a friend to someone who needs a friend.  Again....thanks Ruth!   The psalmist in Psalms 142:4b said No man cared for my soul.  In Luke 5:17-20 the paralytic man had friends carry him to Jesus.  Did Sue have any friends who cared?  Did Sue have any friends to carry her cot of burdens to Jesus?  Was God asking ME to be Sue's spiritual friend? Was I willing to be used of God to show His love to her? Was I willing to be Sue's friend EVEN IF our friendship was limited to a saved seat during breakfast?

In the end, all that really mattered was Sue asked for prayer.  She had burdens that she needed someone to bear with her.  I don't know that I'll ever see Sue, S-U-E, Jacobs again this side of Heaven.  BUT since meeting her, I have made room to  "squeezed her into my prayer life."   Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone reading this would take a moment to pray for Sue and her husband, Richard.   Maybe today, she'll be encouraged in her walk with the Lord.  I hope today you will be a friend to someone you love.  I also hope today you will allow God to use you to be a friend to someone HE loves.

John 15:13-14  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Just want to say "thank you" Ruth for saving me a seat at breakfast.  It was perfect place to sit!  Give me call sometime, friend.  I have a few prayer requests I'd like to share.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Can We Forgive and Forget?

At the Southwest Baptist Church Ladies LIFT meetings, this years theme has been:  LIVE IT, LEARN IT, PASS IT ON.  At last night's meeting, we were encouraged to write down something that we have lived and learned so we could pass it on.  This is my story.

As an adult, and after I received Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour, I struggled with preaching dealing with forgiving and forgetting.  Using God as our ultimate example (and He is), I was admonished to forgive and forget because according to Isaiah 43:25  I, even I, am he that blotted out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.  Or this verse Jeremiah 31:34b For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.  I personally had some deep hurts in my childhood and was constantly asking God to forgive the people in my life that had inflicted those hurts on me.  I can honestly say that forgiving was NOT the difficult part of the "FORGIVING AND FORGETTING" equation.  It was the forgetting.    Because I could not forget the hurtful situation, I was going back to God and once again asking Him to forgive those of their wrongdoing. My heart was rested in knowing that I personally had forgiven the wrongdoers.  BUT...Was I really forgiving if I could not forget?  Finally, I decided to search the scriptures for myself (hmmm what a concept!) and this is what I found about forgiveness.

I am a sinner in need of forgivenessRomans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.  

In order to receive forgiveness, I must ask.  Mark 1:15b Repent ye, and believe the gospel.  Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 

As a believer in Lord Jesus, I must now forgive those who wrong me.  Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive.  Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

As a believer, asking God's forgiveness is ongoing.  I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Luke 11:4  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.

As a believer, forgiveness to others is ongoing.  Matthew 18:21-22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven.  Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

As a believer, forgiveness from others is necessary.  Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

Let's do a little mind exercise.  If you are a child of God, do you remember what your life was like without God?  Do you rejoice in all that God has forgiven?  Can you recall something last year, last month, last week, or even today for which you had to ask God's forgiveness?  If you remembered some sin against God that is now forgiven, why have you not forgotten it?

We need to remember what we have been forgiven.  In Matthew 18:21-36 an indebted servant found mercy at the feet of the King who had compassion on him and forgave him all his debt.  This same servant then turned around and without compassion put in prison one who owed him debt.  The servant had already forgotten the forgiveness that was bestowed upon him.  Memory helps us to remember what we were before God saved us.  It helps us to appreciate and be thankful to God for saving us out of a life of condemnation. It helps us to be more compassionate and forgiving toward others when we remember what God did to forgive us our sins.

The Apostle Paul remembered who he was before Christ saved him.  In I Timothy 1:13,  Paul states Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  In Philippians 3:13-14, the word forgetting has a meaning of "escaping notice."  The Apostle Paul says Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Paul could remember his earlier sins, yet he boldly stating that he would not take notice of those things behind him but reach forward to those things ahead.

James 1:23-24 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 
God is the Almighty and Final Judge. He has the final memory of every work  For believers, II Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 

I am finding that "forgive and forget" do not necessarily go hand in hand.  Sometimes there is protection in remembering a hurt so that you do not put yourself in the same situation again. Forgetting is not a prequisite to forgiving.  Because a memory remains, does not mean that there is not total and complete forgiveness.  If you find that there is a situation you have forgiven and have asked God to forgive that person of some offense but you cannot seem to forget it, do this:

It that small phrase, my friend, I have found great freedom and rest!

I'll close with this story from Corrie Ten Boom's "The Hiding Place." 

It was a church service in Munich that I saw him, the former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the  processing center at Ravensbruck.  He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time.  And suddenly it was all  there - the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing,  Betsie's pain-blanched face. He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. "How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein," he said. "To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!"  His hand was thrust out to shake mine.  And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side. Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going  to ask for more?  Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him.  I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity.  And so again I breathed a silent prayer.  Jesus, I cannot forgive him.  Give me Your forgiveness.  I then took his hand and the most incredible thing happened.  From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.  And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

SWBC Missionary Letter

November 12, 2012

Dear Missionary Ladies:

Just thought I’d share with you some of the journaling I have done this past year in regards to caring for my in-laws who have severe dementia. Being a caregiver is sometimes a difficult job but perspective can make all the difference. I hope some of the following posts will be an encouragement to you in whatever difficult circumstance you find yourself in as you walk this road of life.
** My mom in law has dementia. I would say most of the time she doesn't know who I am but she knows I am friend and not foe. Last night after I tucked her in bed and gave her a hug, I went in the living room but could hear her talking. When I went to check on her she was praying out loud calling her family and her children before the Lord. It was a precious moment that her mind still remembers our God.
**I help mom take a shower every day because of her broken hip. Can I just say, it's not the same when she offers to help me. NOTE TO SELF: Employ the lock mechanism located on the bathroom door when taking a shower. MORE NOTES TO SELF: Never ask alz father in law to watch alz mom in law while showering.

** With ALZ, you can have the same conversation over and over and over again--And often only mere minutes have passed since the last time you had that conversation. What I call "The Quest for Missing Hearing Aids" is an everyday event. We never know where mom hides her hearing aids and we spend quite a bit of time looking for those pesky things. Mom's explanation is always the same...."I lay them right here every time (pats whatever table is closest) but those kids always come along and pick 'em up and then they're gone. They're always messing with my stuff!" The other night, mom changed it up a bit. When I asked her where her hearing aids were, she stated, "I probably put them up and forgot where I put them. I do that sometimes." Dad, sitting in his recliner, leaned back, slung his leg over the arm of the chair and with a twinkle in his eye and a sly grin on his face, casually stated, "Nope! It was those fool kids come over and pick them up! That's what happened!" Well Mom was off and running with that one! NOTE TO SELF: Dad still has his sense of humor! Thank you for the chuckle!

** Rich (my husband) and I spent about an hour tonight searching for mom's hearing aids and bottom dentures (because after all, "those kids come in here and just pick up my hearing aids and off they go with them"). Well - I'll just let you guess where we found them...... Give up? When I said "check your pants pocket, I forgot the "ies" on the pant. Apparently there are places to store things in THOSE pockets.

**Recently, Rich and I took his Mom to a dr. appt. Of course there were 50 gazillion pieces of paperwork to fill out. Mom can't do it - just doesn't even know her birth date. Dad didn't want to do it coz' he's barely moving himself. So Rich was elected. I was sitting beside him supervising his astute ability to complete all the necessary medical history (you know, being a good wife).... Thyroid Disease - No; Heart Disease - No; Lung Disease - No; Sexually Active - No; Pregnant - No. WAIT A MINUTE! Sexually Active - No? I asked my husband "How do you know this information?" He replied (just a little indignantly), "I just know!" "Well," I says, "Perhaps you should ask them, they're sitting right here." "That's not funny, Lori!" he said in a restrained voice. NOTE TO SELF: To keep from inheriting all the paperwork, sit quietly and enjoy the AARP magazine.

** After a recent one night stay in rehab, we had to bring mom home (that's another story for another day). Dad had to stay with us because of the unexpected return of mom to the house and our work schedules. After several stressful hours, I was finally able to get mom settled down and into bed for the night. It took another 30 minutes or so before dad was ready to go to bed. As he got ready to climb into bed with mom, this is what we heard from mom: "Excuse me! EXCUUUSSEE me! What is your room number? This is Room 229. You don't belong in here! HEELLLLLOOOOO!!! I ordered a single room! Can somebody please help me. I ordered a single room and that is what I want!" NOTE TO SELF: Always turn on light and introduce husband to wife before putting them in bed together.

**In the 6 years Rich and I have been married and during our dating period, my mom in law has never called me by my name. You wouldn't think that would be such a big deal, but I have to admit, it would be nice to hear her call me Lori. She called me Gloria once early in our getting to know each other but now just refers to me as "that nice lady". Today we went on a walk together and just visited as we looked at flowers, trees, and bashed the neighbor with the overgrown yard. When we got back to the house, she sat down in a chair and looked at me and said, "I sure enjoyed going outside today. Thank you for taking me on a walk............Lori!" Well, Gloria be! I needed a towel paper after that to wipe my sweaty eyes coz' that just blessed my soul! NOTE TO SELF: Today - She called me Lori!

** ALZ Insights: Some evenings can be pleasant and some can be filled with tears and yelling (not by me). I'd rather have the pleasant ones that go without a hitch, where going to bed is not a fight, taking meds is not a fight, even just one evening without the everlasting search for the hearing aids. But still I remind myself, loving your aging parents should be a devotion and not a duty. NOTE TO SELF: When yelling and crying will be your evening, Hugs always speaks louder than words!

** A recent trip to the Dr. that included a long office wait time did not do anything to help mom who cannot handle crowds or waiting. She bucked up on me in the parking lot and was putting up quite a fight with her wheelchair after she decided she was not going home with me. To spare you the details, just know that 3 different people came up to me in the parking lot to see if I needed assistance. After a hug and a kiss, I assured Mom that she was getting in my vehicle either the hard way or the easy way. She then looked at me and stated "Well, do I at least get a milkshake out of the deal?" We went straight to Sonic! NOTE TO SELF: When encountering difficult public situations, a milkshake bribe is perfectly OK!
**Our daughter-in-law, Amy, recently attended church with us during a family visit. 18 month old Allie was not very happy about sitting in church and is at that stage where she isn't too keen about being put in a church nursery. Amy stood out in the foyer with Allie during the service so she wouldn't be a distraction to others. I told Amy I was sorry that she wasn't able to be in the service that day and she stated, "That's alright, it's just our season of life right now. It will pass." It made me think about Rich's parents and what we are doing to care for them. It is incredibly frustrating dealing with memory loss, stubborn attitudes, uncooperative spirits, unpredictable angry outbursts, and actions that can create an unsafe living environment. Sometimes I feel like I'm out walking the hallways with them and missing out on all the services. But Amy reminded me that this is just our season of life. It will pass. We'll be deeply grieved when our help is no longer required. Until then, we'll continue caring for them, loving them, protecting them, and helping them to have the best quality of life they can. Wouldn't you want your children to do the same? NOTE TO SELF: Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

**Mom is convinced that she still does all the housework at her house. She normally yells at me if I vacuum, do the laundry, wash dishes, etc., telling me that she does that work and for me to leave it alone. About 6 weeks ago, we added a new medication to her regimen that helps with her "uncooperative outbursts". The other day I went over to clean the house. As I went in to change the sheets on the bed, she followed me and started yelling at me to leave it alone, don't touch anything in the bedroom, yadda yadda yadda. I just calmly told her I change the sheets all the time. I'm the only one that does it. She stopped, looked at me quizzically, and said "Does Richard (Dad) let you do this?" "Yes," I said, "whenever it needs done." "Ok then. But if he gets mad, it's on you." Then she went and sat down and she didn't say anything more about the rest of the housecleaning. Really? That is all I get? Just 30 seconds of resistance? NOTE TO SELF: Sometimes it is OK to love drugs!.

** Sometimes it is difficult to write about the daily struggles of caring for someone with ALZ. Most of our days are dark and dreary and not very upbeat or fun. Mom has been medication free for approximately 7 weeks now. Not because that is our care plan for her or even that it is the best thing for her – quite the opposite. She refuses to take her meds now or even let us check her sugar levels. She throws the pills at us if we get them close to her. Her doctor is aware and simply states “if she doesn’t want to take them, you can’t force her.” It’s funny that she can’t remember one day to the next but she can remember that she doesn’t want to take her meds anymore. Now I’m trying to juggle caring for the parents and caring for my husband who was hurt in work accident. Which one do I leave to care for themselves while I care for the other? On the way home from my husband’s hospital stay, I swung by the parents to give Dad his meds and make sure they ate something that day. Also, Dad was very upset about Rich being hurt and I thought it would be good for him to see him in person. For the first time in about 2 months Mom was in a great mood and welcomed me with a hug and seemed happy to see me. The last time she spoke to me was 5 weeks ago (remember I see her every day), and she called me a piece of trash and ordered me out of the house. Dad and Mom both came out to the car to see Rich. Mom didn’t know who Rich was but told him he looked good! It was comical watching Mom. Dad went into the house to get Rich a cane to use for walking while at home. They have two – a black one and a brown one. Mom doesn’t use a cane but Dad does. Dad brought out the black one. Mom grabbed it from Rich and said “Oh no, that’s mine. I use it ALL the time.” Dad took it back into the house and brought out the brown one. Mom grabbed that one and said “Oh no, that’s mine. I use it ALL the time.” I go in the house and bring the black one out again and ask Mom to pick her favorite. She looks at me and says, “Those aren’t mine, he can take them both.” Oh brother! Dad was frustrated, Rich was saying that’s OK, I’ll get my own, and I am laughing (of course). Before we left, Mom grabbed me and gave me another big hug and told me and Rich to come back anytime and not to stay away so long. I assured her I’d come back and visit reeaaalll soon! And so it goes….NOTE TO SELF: Sometimes you don’t realize how bad you need a hug until God uses the most unlikely source. Keep singing that song that is stuck in your head “when the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Saviour cares”!

** Rich's Dad is just one the sweetest guys you'll ever meet. Dad also has ALZ but his deficits and struggles are different than Mom's. He has terrible short term memory but he stills knows how to drive to: church, our house, and the store. His shopping list at the store is always 1/2 gallon of milk, bananas, carton of ice cream, package of cookies, and bag of chips. He might vary the cookies for a pie and will buy bologna - because he LOVES bologna sandwiches. One day while cleaning his house, I sent him to the store (with a list), to get milk, laundry soap, and clorox bleach. He came back with milk, bananas, ice cream, cookies, and chips. Oh well.... Since neither parent cooks anymore, I work diligently to prepare healthy, balanced meals everyday for them. Here's this week's menu so far: Sunday: Lasagna and all the fixins' (thank you SWBC); Monday: Chef Salad; Tuesday: Baked Flounder, Rice, Peas; Wednesday: Chicken Breast, Mash Potatoes/Gravy, Green Beans, Biscuit; Thursday: Ham/Cheese Omelette, Oatmeal, Toast, and Fruit. So yesterday morning when I went to check on them and give Dad his meds and deliver the meal of the day, I checked the fridge and the Lasagna, Fish, Chef Salad, and Chicken dinners were still in the fridge. There was also a new apple pie and 3 cartons of ice cream in the freezer. Today when I delivered the "breakfast for lunch" meal, the others meals were still there but the apple pie and two cartons of ice cream were gone, along with a bag of chips. And the bologna is slowly disappearing. (Should I wonder why they have been too full to eat the meals???) They do sometimes eat the meals we bring everyday or at least Mom will eat hers but when you ask Dad what he had for lunch, he always says, "I ate a sandwich." We'll keep fixing food and have it available for them to eat whenever they get hungry. It's just another one of the areas we constantly deal with and struggle to find a balance of helping them with their daily care. NOTE TO SELF: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! Menu for Friday: Bologna Sandwiches, Chips, Fruit, Chocolate Pudding! Bon Appetit!!!

**I have to say, the last few weeks have been extra special to me. My mom-in-law has been very kind and sweet when I go over to her house. She has been thankful for the lunches, her clean clothes, for all that I do to help her, and she continually tells me that I look like I'm losing weight. How great is that!!!! (BTW, I'm not losing weight but I strike a pose for her anyway!). One morning was particularly touching to me. As I walked into her house, she grabbed my hands in hers and dolefully asked, "You aren't going away, are you?" Wow! It was a heart-melt moment for me. I hugged her right good and assured her that I was there for the long haul. When Rich went over a couple of days ago, she asked him where his sidekick, Loretta, was. Loretta??? Ok -close enough -- Loretta it is. Today she told me that she is having a hard time remembering things, that something isn't right in her head, and that the trouble started about two weeks ago. Man, those two weeks seem like two years to me! It's been a bit weird to see her understand that something isn't right. Don't get me wrong - she is still putting my father-in-law through the wringer and turning the house upside down packing and hoarding away the strangest things. But for the moment, I think I'll cherish the sweetness. NOTE TO SELF: I Thess 5:18 tells us "In everything, give thanks." It is because of ALZ that I have been able to develop a close relationship with my mom-in-law: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I love her and I know she loves me - and for that, I am thankful!!!

I could share so many stories with you but space will not allow it. I do hope that you have a thankful heart and a rejoicing spirit in all that God brings your way. May you continue to be faithful in your walk and “in everything, give thanks.”

Lori Anderson