Some days I feel resentful being stuck at home. Everything I do seems to revolve around Mom’s needs. She’s napping in her chair so I need to move quietly. I need to work on laundry in the basement but must come upstairs frequently to check on her. A friend calls and wants to go out to lunch but I can’t leave Mom alone. It’s our anniversary and we plan to go out for a nice dinner, but Mom has an event and needs to go to the emergency room and ends up spending the night in the hospital. I just realized I’ve been here before–as a new mother!
Looking back in my journal during the time we were deciding Mom should move in with us, I reread my concerns about my life changing, asking God for forgiveness for a selfish heart, wondering how I would be able to be Mom’s caregiver 24/7 if necessary. I didn’t know what would be required and I had a lot of trepidation. I sensed God speaking to my heart though and this is what I wrote: “Karen, you do not have to do this on your strength. I will bring others along side of you to help you. I will be with you. I love your mother. She is my dear child and faithful servant. I want her to have a place of peace and rest and safety until I bring her home. Will you let me use you as part of my plan for her life? I will be with you and you will see Me work in your life if you will be obedient.”
And that is what I remind myself of when I get to feeling frustrated about being “stuck” at home. My mother deserves kindness, respect and honor. She has spent her life serving God, her family and others, making sacrifices about which I most likely will never know. I don’t want to have any regrets about the way I care for my mother. Easy to say, often hard to live. I’ve had to learn to take one day at a time. One routine I adopted from the first day Mom was with us was to “tuck her in” each night, kneel by her bed and pray with her. Then I kiss her good night, tell her I love her and I will see her in the morning. By this I can end each day on a note of grace.
God’s grace–that holy stuff that bestows peace and strength and even contentment. I need it every day.