Why, oh Why?

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A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.  Isaiah 42:3 (+ Matthew 12:20)

He will tend His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs in His arms;
He will carry them in His bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.  Isaiah 40:11

He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.  Isaiah 40:21

Jesus cares about me. He loves me more than I can even fathom.  He does not break me.  He gathers me into His arms.  He leads me into the way I should go.  He gives me strength and power.  

YET…I doubt…I worry…I fear…I mistrust.  WHY?  Why do I doubt Him?  Why do I question whether He will provide for me?  Why do I lack the trust to know that He is always…ALWAYS…with me?  WHY?  

As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him.  Psalm 103:13

He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.  Psalm 147:3

“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”  Jeremiah 31:25

He heals me and rains compassion upon me.  He refreshes me. 

Over and over again, the Bible tells me that I can place my trust in Him completely.  I do not need to feel the scars and holes in His body to know Who He is.  I know Jesus gave His all as the most beautiful Gift possible for me, for us all and each.  I know this, yet I doubt. 

I fall by the wayside and wonder why I feel so alone.  Yet, I am not.  I am held in the Savior’s arms and know that He will never leave me nor forsake me.  He will not drop me on my head or tail. 

I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy.  I will feed them in justice.  Ezekiel 34:16

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28

He gives me rest.  He gives me justice.  He carries my heavy burdens and looks for me when I am lost.  So much Jesus does for me.  He cares for me. 

I seek Your forgiveness, LORD, for my doubt, my lack of trust, my faithless spine.  I am sorry, my LORD.  I have fed myself so much self-doubt that I forget just Whose I am.  I have allowed my ears to hear lies about myself.  I shout to satan to get behind me and he does because You are with me.  I want to trust You in Your care for me.  Precious Jesus, I love You.  May my walk be along the straight and narrow pathway with You…and You alone.   Jesus, You prayed for Simon Peter and You have given the Holy Spirit to be my Intercessor.  He knows the prayers I want to utter but cannot.  He prays for me. 

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  Luke 22:31-32

I read the many ways that God cares for me, all of the time, in so many ways, in every kind of way.  Where do I read this?  In His Word.  The Word of God is the pivotal place from which I know.  I KNOW that He loves me and cares for me because He tells me through His Word.  I KNOW His care because I feel it in my heart.  I can see it too.  I KNOW it in my head.  His Truth speaks volumes to me when I doubt…when I fall…when I mistrust…when I feel alone. 

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16-17

And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the Word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you believers.  1 Thessalonians 2:13

LORD, I thank You for loving me so perfectly.  I want the hard places in me to soften and know that You are LORD.  That this body of mine is Yours and made perfectly.  That this mind was woven by Your hands in my mother’s womb and continues to function well.  That this heart is knit with the Love of Your heart for You loved me first.  That trust, faith, love, hope all come from You.  I believe.  I truly do know that just in this one heartfelt acknowledgment…belief in You…I am so filled with all of Your gifts.  Can I trust and walk in faith?  Can I love without conditions and be loved without conditions?  Can I be filled with hope?

“It is the LORD who goes before you.  He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

You are my Hope, my Peace, my Love.  May the hard and broken parts of me open up to You for Your loving touch, for Your gentle and tough molding so that I know that I am the one You created me to be.  I want to be a gift to those I encounter as You were and are for me.  For me!  You love me and care for me.  The Bible tells me so.  Thank You.  No more whys, LORD.  I believe and I trust in You.  In the loving Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.  

befuschiasig

We Need Laughter

Mom- feb 2009 003_zpsfddathxaMoments to Lighten Up While Caregiving

“…And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Are you a caregiver of one whom is losing their mental abilities, maybe slowly, maybe rapidly? Are you caring for one who is confused often? who gets angry, who can no longer tie their shoelaces, who hides things and then accuses another of stealing? Or are you a giver of care for one with such physical needs that you, yourself, are physically exhausted much of the time? Are you caring for one who…? …and the list goes on and on.

Caring for my mother for fifteen years tested my patience sometimes. I loved her no less. It was not Mama that I lost patience over, but it was the disease of dementia that shortened my fuse. Dementia was taking my parent away from me gradually and, sometimes, in harsh, ever-changing ways. Some days, Mama was clear-minded and in such a sweet place. Other days, she was confused, or angry, or short- tempered. She was usually not upset with me, but upset with her condition, her world. I could not care for her at home as my health, my back, would not allow it. I could not lift her. So she had to live where others would be caring for her more than I would, although I was with her most every day. Mama wore diapers. Mama slept a lot; she was vibrantly alert; she acted A.D.H.D.; she confused people, rooms, times; she used words she NEVER would use before and said things that I could not believe she said … OUTLOUD! I never knew who I was going to find when I arrived to see her.

Caregiving is exhausting, can be filled with love, is stressful, demands room for patience, and has plenty of room for impatience.  Caregiving NEEDS space for laughter!  Yes, I said LAUGHTER!  When Mama needed help and I would almost fall upon her, she would say, “Wow! sister, be careful. You almost fell on me. I wonder what would happen if you did?” And then I cuddled her and we both laughed. She would burp loudly and say, “I never used to do that so much, but I guess I can since I am 97!” And we laughed together! Moments like these would make the giving of care lighter, sweeter, even more loving. People with dementia can be funny as themselves, providing just the words or actions for laughter. Or one with autism may make a cute or funny face, giving a sweet second for laughter to erupt. Comments are often made that are so out of context by the one being cared for and when said aside from the actual incident, situation, or even television program, laughter just may be the answer. Whatever the incident, try to use it to be a laughable moment. No one may even know why they are laughing but it doesn’t and shouldn’t matter.

Did you know that laughter reduces stress? increases circulation? decreases blood pressure? relaxes muscles? reduces pain by increasing the endorphins in the bloodstream? Laughter has many more wonderful qualities, giving our bodies and our minds moments of relief, pleasure, and time out.

Absurdity changes the moment from arduously serious into life bursting anew:
“You find your car keys in the freezer.”

“Your wife tries to pay for groceries by pulling out a sanitary pad from her purse.”

“Your husband spends his afternoons “debating” the man in the hall mirror (the “nice fella” who happens to look exactly like him).”

A woman, standing in her doorway, hollering at the Medication Aide for some ‘Viagra’ when she meant ‘Allegra’ for her runny nose! (This one actually was my mother!! Yes MY Mother! My dear mother gave the staff a moment of laughter too!…along with any family members who happened to be in the hallway at that moment!! Mama had been watching far too many ads on television.)  Of course, the staff had to tell me this great story too which I continue to pass along!

You’ve gotta LAUGH! Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects. ~ Arnold Glasow

Laughter helps us walk through those tough times. Laughing with the one we care for and about also helps.

Loretta, a precious woman, would spend a couple of hours twice a week with Mama, as a caregiver, giving me those evenings with my husband. Some nights, Mama loved having her there, introducing her to everyone as “my friend.” Other nights, Mama just wanted to sleep. On those nights, Mama would tell Loretta, “If you are going to talk, I am leaving this room!” Loretta would chuckle to herself and say, “Then I will follow you wherever you go!” Mama would just close her eyes as a grin began to take shape knowing that her “friend, Loretta” would do just that!

The one who is now living in diapers who felt dignity has all but walked out the door, or the one who fell again, or the one who cannot speak words that once flowed easily from their mouth needs laughter and love. Watch a funny movie together, or call a friend who can make laughter erupt, or bring a child into the room who loves to make others smile. Laughter is a key to taking a hard situation and turning it around for even just moments. It is vital for the one being cared for, the giver of care, as well as some of the staff who happen to be in hearing range.

A laugh is a smile that bursts. ~ Mary H. Waldrip

In the assisted living facility, Mr. H. wanted the blinds up at mealtime so he could look outside. Mama faced the window and wanted them down because the sun was too bright. Rather than move around the table, she got up and lowered the blinds. Mr. H. raised them back, and Mama lowered them. This went on a few more times before Mama hauled off and hit Mr. H. She did not hurt him but both daughters had to be called like a parent is called to school. A meeting was held with the director, Mama, and me where Mama was told the rules and scolded. We also were told that this could not happen again as they could not keep her at this facility. As we walked out of the meeting, Mama quickly got ahead of me by about ten feet and said, under her breath, but loud enough, “Your mother’s Italian got the better of her.” I had to smile and thought to myself, “And your Irish too!”

Laughter is an instant vacation. ~ Milton Berle

Sometimes, taking every moment seriously just wore me down so I needed these breaks! Now, two years after Mama has gone to be with the LORD, I am still chuckling at some of the moments that brought laughter. I still hold onto our preciously sweet moments too. God is gracious as He allows a caregiver’s memory of the hard stuff to recede further from the surface as He brings the sweet and laughable memories to the top. I am so thankful to our God for that.

“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations,The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.”  Psalm 126:2-3

Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!  Psalm 126:5

Father God, You gave me the miracle of seeing You in ALL–in the small, everyday moments, and in the huge, mountaintop moments. I give thanks for the moment-by-moment love I had for my Mama and the love she had for me. Thank You for the laughter we shared, for the combing of her hair to calm her down, for the kiss on her forehead, and for the big hug she’d give me with such an “I love you, my firstborn.” You are restoring the years that wore me down by giving me a harvest of memories of the love and joy my mother brought to me, by reminding me of my dear parents and how much they wanted me. You satisfy me and I praise the Name of the Lord, my God. You have dealt wondrously with me, Father. Thank You. I lift each one here today who needs Your hand in their life. They may be caring for someone with dementia or cancer or autism. You know, Father. They need the joy of the LORD. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

befuschiasig

With Healing in Its Wings

malachi4_2But for you who fear My Name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.  Malachi 4:2

מַרְפֵּא

marpe’

health, healing, cure

health, as of sound mind

refreshing of the body, of the mind

deliverance

remedy

relaxed, tranquility of mind, meekness

This is where I am today.  Surgery…knee arthroscopy: torn meniscus, arthritis rubbing on bone.  A week ago, that surgery.  Yesterday, doctor appointment.  I am walking without Mama’s walker, weight-bearing on the right knee and leg.  I am not quite ready to leap out of those stalls with the calves, but soon!  I begin outpatient physical therapy this week to gain strength, better mobility.  God is so good and so gracious to this one.  I am so grateful to my Healer.

Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.  Jeremiah 33:6

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.  Proverbs 14:30

A sound heart, a heart of meekness, a tranquil heart, a peaceful heart…gives life to this flesh.  LORD, You alone have given me this calmness throughout this time.  The trust in my surgeon comes from You.  The staff that took care of me from pre-op to post-op and all of those in between were just so kind and caring.  You sent me to this small hospital that is doctor owned two years ago for a hip replacement that first time.  It was just as fine in an outpatient setting as it was when I spent nights after surgery.  You know my every need and You held my heart and mind in Your mighty hands.  Your heart melded around mine and kept all systems running perfectly as I underwent this surgery.  Oh, God, I praise You.  My heart tonight still feels the peace of a week ago.  You have walked every step with me this week.  With all the love I have to give You back, I hand my heart overflowing with love to You, O Father.  In the Name of Your Son, I pray.  Amen.   

your daughter sig

 

Photo:  http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/113.html

Home from Hospital

Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; 
Save me and I will be saved, 
For You are my praise.
Jeremiah 17:14

 

 יְהֹוָה רָפָא

 

Jehovah Rapha
YHWH Ropecha
“….for I, the LORD, and your healer.” 
“…for I am the LORD who heals you.”  Exodus 15:26b
 
Precious friends, I am home from the hospital after almost six days: two and two-thirds days in ICU (I had to lay on my back to allow the spinal fluid leak surgery to take, to heal), and then two and one-half days on the neurology recovery floor for further healing, but upright.  It was not an easy stay, but I am home and recovering further, doing better because of my God. 
 
I continue to request your prayers as the leak needs to fully heal.  They had to reopen me where the lumbar surgery just had been in late January so that needs to re-heal.  The good news there is that the pain level is far less and I do not have to be on anything other than Tylenol for that.  
God is my Healer and He wholly heals.  I believe and know that He is Who He says He is.  Praise Him. 
Let us all praise Him. 

From “The Treasury of David” by C. H. Spurgeon:

Notice the order in Psalm 103:3 – pardoning precedes healing:
 Who pardons all your iniquities, Who [Jehovah] heals (rapha) all your diseases.”
 Spurgeon commenting on this verse notes that…
When the cause is gone, namely, iniquity, the effect ceases. Sicknesses of body and soul came into the world by sin, and as sin is eradicated, diseases bodily, mental, and spiritual will vanish, till “the inhabitant shall no more say, I am sick.”  Many-sided is the character of our heavenly Father, for, having forgiven as a judge, he then cures as a physician. He is all things to us, as our needs call for him, and our infirmities do but reveal him in new characters. 

“In him is only good,
In me is only ill,
My ill but draws his goodness forth,
And me he loveth still.” 
 

God gives efficacy to medicine for the body, and his grace sanctifies the soul. Spiritually we are daily under his care, and he visits us, as the surgeon does his patient; healing still (for that is the exact word) each malady as it arises. No disease of our soul baffles his skill, he goes on healing all, and he will do so till the last trace of taint has gone from our nature. The two alls of this verse are further reasons for all that is within us praising the Lord. 
(Treasury of David)

 Jehovah Rapha
 
Graphic:  slhtyme03 @ PhotoBucket

Jehovah Rapha – יְהֹוָה רָפָא

 יְהֹוָה רָפָא
Jehovah Rapha
 

And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD
your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His
commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases
on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your
healer.

Exodus 15:26 

He is my Jehovah-Rapha, my Healer. 

The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, You *restore him to health.
Psalm 41:3     
 * Hebrew: you turn all his bed 

He will change my bed from sickness into health.  He will overturn the condition of my bed, my illness.  He will transform my condition.  
…that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”*    Matthew 8:17
* Isaiah 53:4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.


He took all upon Himself. For me.  For you.

 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and
let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 
Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one
another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a
righteous man avails much.
  James 5:14-16

How can I pray?  His Word is the Truth. 
from the Blue Letter Bible:  Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” The chief meaning of Jehovah is derived from the Hebrew word Havah meaning “to be” or “to exist.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known” – this denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly.  Rapha (râpâ’) means “to restore”, “to heal” or “to make healthful” in Hebrew.  When the two words are combined — Jehovah Rapha — it can be translated as “Jehovah Who Heals.”  Jehovah is the Great Physician who heals the physical and emotional needs of His people.”
I live in this body.  Jesus cares about me and heals me as to the will of God.  I seek His face and know, that no matter what the outcome, I shall be His for I am His now.  I shall not be afraid.  When the fears envelop me, I shall call upon His Name. 

 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
“For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 
‘Do not fear, I will help you.’  “Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; 
I will help you,”
declares the LORD, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” 
 
Isaiah 41:10,13-14 

I believe. 
The Word  –  Reassurance 
The LORD –  Faithful
Jesus  –  my Saviour, my LORD 
The Truth  –  Power
Guidance  –  Steadfast
Love  –  Fearlessness
 
Abba Father, You are my All in all.  You have created me and loved me and made me new.  You have forgiven me.  You hold my every cell in Your hands.  You lift me to Yourself.  You love me for You have made me in Your image and are molding me continually so I may mature spiritually.  Heal me as You will, giving me the strength to obey, to kneel before You, and love You unconditionally.  I believe.  I stand firm in You and love You dearly, my LORD.  I thank You for my precious husband who has cared for me so lovingly and sweetly these months of recovery; these many years of marriage.  Give him the strength for all that he needs to do for us.  Build my strength each day that I may help a bit more as time passes.  Give the doctors and their physician’s assistants wisdom for treatment and for when to not treat.   As the back surgery heals, please heal the Cerebrospinal Fluid leak with Your healing Touch for You are Jehovah-Rapha.  Make me whole, please.  I love You, LORD, and I will not be afraid for You are with me.  Amen.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; 
For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.   
Psalm 23:4
 
 
graphic:  slhtyme03 @ PhotoBucket