Memorial Day carries so much emotion for me.
- a day to remember that there are many, this very day, who are wearing one of these uniforms and are in harm’s way…this very day!
“Mommy, please let me go to Suzie’s house to spend the night.”
“Daddy, can I have this toy?”
“Mr. Jones, I would like your permission to go on the field trip.”
How often have you heard questions such as these? How often have you, yourself, asked such questions? We ask permission throughout life. We are taught early to ask for permission rather than just assume that the world is ours…at least we are blessed if we have been taught so.
Many people today do not think that asking permission needs to be done. Many believe that they can have or take what they believe is rightfully theirs, no matter what that may be.
Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. Hebrew 6:1-3
to turn over (transfer), i.e. allow:—give leave (liberty, license), let, permit, suffer
And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him. Acts 28:16
He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. Matthew 19:8
To another He said, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Luke 9:59
But our God has taught us through His Word that receiving permission to do something, to have something, to say something, is very important.
And He said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Luke 11:2
He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done. Matthew 26:42
Through our LORD, we learn that asking the Father for permission is the way we are to come to Him. Our gratefulness and love is in the asking, in the humility, in the respect, and in the love we show to the One to Whom we ask. A child asking for permission to do something is showing respect to the parents. A student asking the teacher if they may share something with the class is done out of respect and courtesy to the teacher and to the class. A caregiver asking her mother if she is ready to allow her to change the bed sheets or a diaper is coming from a place of respect and love.
God’s will is what we should seek, want to seek, for He reigns over all. This is His world and we are His creations. To walk in His will, we must seek His will and walk in His way.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21
One of the definitions of “allow” is to suffer. Surely, I do not want to ask permission to suffer? Yet, times bring hardships and trials. God knows just what we need to grow in Christian maturity. Suffering may be a part of what I need.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5
Father, guide me, correct me in all that I am, in all that I do. I desire to be obedient to You and to all who have authority over me. Father, may I walk in faith as You call me in Your Name. Show me Your way in all things. Jesus taught and still teaches today. He shows, by example, the ways You called Him and now You call me. Thank You, LORD. May I walk in the way I should go. In the Name of Christ, my Savior, I pray. Amen.
Scrabble “Please:” http://www.photos-public-domain.com/2012/04/03/please/
“Asking Permission” graphic: http://lebarronpark.yisd.net/MediaGallery/tabid/1135/AlbumID/2447-143/Default.aspx
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in Him, and He will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:5-6
Playing with a ball brings to mind rolling. Lying at the top of a grassy knoll brings a delightful roll down the hill on one’s side. Playing marbles is about rolling. Using an exercise ball calls for a rolling action of the body upon the ball, whether standing up against it or lying atop of it. We roll.
Commit, in the verse above, is about rolling our cares off from ourselves and onto God. We are to…
remove from ourselves
throw off, give, cast off a burden
Roll unto Jehovah thy works, And established are thy purposes,… Proverbs 16:3 YLT
“Roll upon Jehovah thy way,”… i.e., commit all my concerns to God.
And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” And so the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day. Joshua 5:9
Jesus tells us, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Matthew 6:25
…casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
All of our cares, those anxious moments, those tender ones whom we love so…give them all to Him. Our job is just that.
Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD at Mizpah. Judges 11:11
Jephthah gave all his concerns to the LORD and trusted Him with the outcome for in verse 7, Jephthah asks, “And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?” He had reason for concern.
Naomi said to Ruth, “Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.” Ruth 3:18
In His time, God will roll away the reproach, bring forth righteousness and honor due to the one who is rolling away his cares onto the LORD. Just because God takes on our cares does not mean that we should stand far off, be afraid that these cares, concerns will be back in our own hands.
Yes, I do take them back all on my own, but God usually does not give them back. I tend to roll them over to Him time and time again, because I take them back time and time again.
BUT…I am to stay near to God…
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:10
Father God, You want me to roll my burdens to You, to “roll upon Jevovah thy ways.” I want to. I do. I forget and take them back. I am sorry. I am learning. I wish that I were a child and still rolling down those green hills with laughter bubbling out of my mouth and heart, never thinking once, let alone twice, about cares and concerns. I was a kid having fun “without a care in the world.” I want to roll down those green, lush hills, but I can no longer do that physically. You know that of me. But you also know that I can lighten my load by giving it to You. Teach me Your ways, O LORD. I want to learn to roll, to commit my burdens to the One Who can do something about them. I want to quit pretending that I can do things better than You. I want to lay down my pretenses of strength and allow You to be my Strength. I want to roll everything onto Your back for You can carry these loads. I cannot. Then when I finally let them go, Father, I can heart-fully roll down those green hills once again with the lightness and laughter of long ago when I did not even know “burdens.” O Father, I can be the child I miss so, sometimes. I can be Your child and run, walk, roll, and stay close because You love me so. I am Yours, Father. I pray these words in the Name of Your Son, my Brother. Amen.
Rolling Ball Clipart: http://imgarcade.com/1/rolling-ball-clipart/
Children rolling down hill: https://beingwoven27.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/290a7-rollingdown.jpg
(I am blessed to be a guest devotional writer today over at Granola Bar Devotional.)
I would cry out, “How long, O Lord? How long” as I would leave the nursing home where my mother spent the last five years of her life. Due to a terrible fall and surgery, Mama would never be able to fully walk again. Previously, her mind had slipped into a roller coaster of dementia-ridden fear, repetition, accusation, jealousy, confusion, and hallucinations. Diabetes turned to Type 1 at age 85, making her insulin-dependent until the day she died at age 98. Then in her last year of life, she got an extremely painful, odd cancer.
I loved my Mama dearly and she loved her family. I loved to see her smile, hear her laughter, feel her motherly arms around me. She lived near me the last fifteen years of her life where I watched and lived her life daily so also watched the hard side to aging.
Mama was one of those 1940s gals who went to work for the war effort. She married a Navy doctor. She owned a dress shop. She raised three daughters alone after Daddy died from Pancreatic cancer. We were only 12, 10, and 7. She had her hands full raising us in the 1960s and 70s, but she did. She loved us through the hard places, never giving up on any of us. She took care of herself. She was just an amazing lady.
As her body and mind deteriorated in her aged years, I saw my proud, strong mother become dependent, confused, in pain. Mama could be so afraid over something imaginary, be so angry or jealous with those who cared for her; her blood sugar would drop so low that she required hand-feeding, or the pain of the cancer would be intense. Anguish built up in me. I would hold on, quietly praying for Him to calm us both. As I left her in the care of others, I would cry out to God, “How long, O LORD?” Not that I wanted her to die for I would (and now do) miss her terribly, but watching her go through so much for so long, I just wondered if God had forgotten her.
He had not. God never left either of us. The number of Mama’s days were in God’s hands. He is the LORD Who sees, Yahweh Roi. God was drawing Mama closer to Himself all along through beautiful avenues. He drew me into His arms of peace, of hope, of gentleness. I can sing with joy for He, indeed, dealt with me bountifully.
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”
– Psalm 13:5-6 (ESV)
“Father God, I rejoice and sing to You. You truly have dealt with me bountifully and lovingly….”
Originally published @ @ Granola Bar Devotional…
This post has been linked up through Granola Bar Devotional FaceBook as well @ https://www.facebook.com/GBDevotional
commemorated every year on November 11 to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.
Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem In Flanders Fields. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red color became a symbol for the blood spilled in the war.
When I was a girl, we wore the poppies on our dress or blouse, men in the buttonhole of their shirt or suit jacket. The graves were marked with a paper poppy also. People sold them on the street corners on November 11.
Most countries changed the name of the holiday after World War II, to honor veterans of that and subsequent conflicts. Most member states of the Commonwealth of Nations adopted the name Remembrance Day, while the United States chose All Veterans Day (later shortened to ‘Veterans Day‘) to explicitly honor military veterans, including those participating in other conflicts. “Armistice Day” remains the name of the holiday in France, Belgium, and New Zealand.
No matter what this day is called, it is in honor of all of the military veterans (and their families).
You have joined our Armed Services to uphold this country’s freedom and honor. You are a hero to me, no matter what job the military gave you to do or which war you fought or whether you even fought in a war. You are my hero because you are a veteran of the United States Armed Services. I am forever grateful.
My heart is heavy with such thoughts of war upon war, men and women giving their lives, bodies and minds may be less than whole after conflicts, the return home to find that the world looks different after serving in combat. BUT…I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done, are doing, and will be doing.
And I also thank the families, the wives, the children of all of those who served and are serving right now. You have sacrificed much and I thank you.
Can I tell you that “I love you?” I do.
I understand. My Daddy was a career Navy doctor who took doctoring seriously as he served in the Pacific theater in World War II. He became a part of the post-WWII Manhattan Project as the United States continued to test atomic and hydrogen bombs (Daddy served @ Bikini and Eniwetok Islands.) He became Chief of Medicine and later a physician for the Surgeon General and Secretary of the Navy when they traveled. He wrote curricula for the internship and residency programs for new Navy doctors. There is so much more to my father’s military history, yet much will never be known by me as he died of Pancreatic cancer when I was twelve. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
My mother served alongside Daddy, but on the home front. She worked for the Naval Supply Depot in San Diego and Los Angeles, California, during WWII. She served as a Navy doctor’s wife at the various bases we lived. She was the President of the Navy Doctor’s Wives Club in San Diego. Mama was proud to be in the Navy with her mate. She never remarried, raising us three girls alone after Daddy died, and lived to be 98. The Navy and the friends she made were lifelong. Mama is now buried with Daddy at Arlington.
I am a proud daughter of them both and am honored to have them buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
My husband is a Vietnam Veteran who served in combat with the United States Army, 101st Airborne, 1968-69. I am blessed to have this man by my side now although I was not married to him at the time he served.
I stand proud of my heritage and my husband.
And I stand proud of each and every Veteran in this country.
Veterans Day poster @ http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/gallery.asp
“In Flanders Field”: http://highgate-rsl.org.au/remembrance_day.html
And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant. And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second order and the keepers of the threshold to bring out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel. 2 Kings 23:3-4
And he broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes who were in the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah. 2 Kings 23:7
King Josiah took down anything and everything related to idol worship upon making the covenant with the LORD. He desired to walk in the ways of His God which meant a lot of cleaning, both of the people and their ways. One aspect of this problem was that the women spent time weaving for an idol (which brings the topic to weaving).
The houses King Josiah broke down were “not solid houses, but tents, called elsewhere [2 Kings 17:30] Succoth-benoth, “the booths of the young women,” who were devoted to the service of Asherah, for which they made embroidered hangings, and in which they gave themselves to unbridled revelry and lust. Or the hangings might be for Asherah itself, as it is a popular superstition in the East to hang pieces of cloth on trees.” Asherah is…
Ashera(h) = “groves (for idol worship)”
a Babylonian (Astarte)-Canaanite goddess (of fortune and happiness), the supposed consort of Baal, her images
the goddess, goddesses
sacred trees or poles set up near an altar
I know that I have been drawn into places that were not of God. I know I have allowed satan to lead me along paths where I knew I should not have been. How easily I was drawn into things that are worldly, calling me into disobedience to God. In reading this (and in other books of the Bible) I take a moment to discern whether I have done this creative hobby in any kind of disobedience to God. I believe not. But I want to discern any wayward ways and then to make sure I am staying firm in my walk with the LORD. Prayer, honor, respect and reverence for the LORD, time with Him, walking in faith are where I find my obedience and love for the LORD.
Father, I pray for the ability to stay on the path that You direct for me. I ask Your forgiveness for those places along my lifelong journey where I have strayed. I know I have when it comes to idol worship when I wandered into uncharted religions that I would call “New Age” today. I did not know then what I know now. I am sorry. I ask to have a tight hold upon me that I would walk close and straight with You. I thank You for Your love and care for me. You loved me first. I am blessed. I pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
To catch up on the previous days of this 31 day challenge, you can find them listed here.
I write because I follow God and this is what He is having me do these days. I share my life here on this new kind of paper. As God weaves my life, He has given me beautiful God-Woven Moments, experiences that He wants me to share with you. I cared for my Mama for fifteen years and I am blessed to be able to write about giving care. Please join me today…
Dignity: the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed
Weaving dignity into a tightly woven piece of art called caregiving is of vast importance. Care recipients depend upon caregivers for the physical aspect of their care, but we far too often forget that emotional and psychological wellbeing is vital to one’s wholeness. Many things can sever an adult’s self-respect and dignity. It can happen slowly over time or quickly through a stroke, heart attack or accident. Loss of abilities, such as driving, walking, talking, doing basic care for themselves, or losing the ability to make decisions often means loss of independence. That loss is usually what eats away at one’s dignity. Independence is an asset that lends value to life.
Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4
As a caregiver, what can you do? First, learn to see your care recipient through the eyes of God’s unconditional love. God sees them as His beautiful creation. So should we. This should cause the preservation of dignity to be central in our caring. We should be empathetic, aware of and sensitive to their feelings and thoughts. Try slipping into their shoes for a better understanding of what they might be going through. A relationship based on dignity and respect is key to the way we give care.
We can show respect of privacy by closing a door while you help them dress or use the bathroom. Knock before opening any closed door. Get their permission before sharing any confidential information, whether it is to family, staff, or friends. Respect their right to make choices, if they are able, so they can feel some sense of control over their life. By treating them with dignity, we are listening to their concerns, asking for their opinions, including them in conversations. Never talk to others as though they are not even there, and try to speak to them as an adult whether they understand or not.
The care recipient usually knows us and we know them. We know their likes and dislikes, their strengths and weaknesses, and their needs and desires. I needed to let my mother make some of her own decisions. Some of her wishes were dementia-driven. Rather than tell her “no” or argue with her, I walked gently, working around her decisions to keep her calm. There were times when she wanted “2 eggs over-easy, bacon, toast with strawberry jam” and she wanted it now. Now was 8:00 P.M. The nursing home kitchen was closed; we had no IHOP then. I found a little cafe that cooked breakfast 24 hours a day. I could drive there, order a Mama-breakfast and she would be thrilled, eating it like there was no tomorrow. Yes, it was hard on me, but it was worth it to see the pleasure she had eating her favorite meal. It can prove to be more important to let them make decisions for themselves (or think they have) than to try to control each issue. Decision-making is hard to give up after they have done it for many years, but when we want the best for them, we, too, must be willing to relearn. Dignity can easily be lost in our overprotectiveness or always knowing what is best.
Our tasks may start as simple, but they usually change over time. I never imagined I would be cleaning my mother’s bottom, helping her put on a dry diaper, or feeding her. There were times when her inappropriate actions caused her to be treated like a child by administrative staff. Many of her inhibitions were loosed with dementia. My mother, Italian and Irish, was a feisty woman, a proud one, but some situations really took a toll on Mama’s dignity. My mother did not like to be told what to do, nor to be put down. As she aged, it became part of my job to restore her self-esteem. I learned to slough off indignities by talking about how she took care of my sisters and me. I talked about the dress shop she owned and all that entailed being an entrepreneur, or about her WWII experience at the Naval Supply Depot typing up supply orders for all the ships at sea. She also loved to talk about her life as a Navy doctor’s wife. On her silly side, she loved to tell me how “gorgeous” or “beautiful” she was as I gave her a bed bath, or how “cute” her own bottom was, always with a twinkle in her eye. She made light of those hard moments and I joined her with laughter. These were our ways of coping with indignities. To find the best ways to get through these hard moments is your task. Caregivers who enter into the world of the person they’re caring for can accomplish more for that person’s dignity and respect than almost anything else. Listen to them. Encourage their telling you about the life they once led, their passions, their daily routines, and their memories. All of this still matters. Be a good listener. It does not matter if they repeat the same story. Respond so they know you are interested.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. Proverbs 31:25
Doing what a caregiver must for the physical comfort of your care recipient is extremely important, but do everything with compassion and empathy. You will feel so much better because you provided dignity and happiness in the midst of having to do the tough stuff. You will also create your own enjoyment in the caregiving process.
Something else I found that brought respect for my mother was to frame many of her photographs, beginning with her childhood on up through her 80s. I placed them around her room. When staff members would come in, they could ask Mama about a certain photo, “Who is that beautiful lady?” “When and where was this?” “What were you doing here?” These conversations became protracted because Mama’s longterm memory was excellent; she loved to tell her stories. Making an album or wall collage of grandchildren also gives them pride to share. The staff began to see my mother as a woman who had a childhood, who had been a professional, who had parents, siblings, a husband and children. They no longer saw Mama as just an old person who, one day, might be angry and demanding, or happy and loving on another. Mama became real and respect grew. The loss of independence takes so much away from a person, yet knowing that they are being heard, cared for from the heart makes such a difference in the way the one being cared for handles their own inabilities.
Caring for someone of the opposite sex can be difficult. They need to be treated in the same manner as I have shared here, but when a person has never had his daughter see him privately, it is hard. As the caregiver, ask how they would like you to handle the situation giving them choices. Be calm, bring humor if possible, and be dignified in the way you approach this. If they know you are lovingly caring for them, they will adjust with time.
You are God’s gift to His creation. You are His hands on earth. Be delighted. What you are giving is better than any other gift you could ever give. Yes, it may be tough. Caregiving may test you to your limits, but often those tough things can bring rewards so great that you will feel wonderfully blessed. I know that I can still feel the hugs and the kisses on my cheek, and hear Mama’s laughter as well as her words of endearment and gratitude to this very moment. Yes, fifteen years was long and hard, but there were so many precious moments. I would never exchange those years for the freedom of not caring for my mother.
And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40
Father, I lift up each giver of care whom You have placed with one who needs that care. I pray for patience and tender love as they care for another. May we always remember that dignity and strength and respect are from You and that we would look to You for guidance as we take each step in Your will. Teach us how to laugh and love in the hard moments, to bring joy and delight to those we care for, to do all we must by wrapping those tasks up in dignity and respect so that the recipient feels special, and to listen with empathy as though we are right there in their shoes (or slippers). Father, we want to love as You love, feel as You feel, and be Your hands, voice and heart here on earth. I ask for Your hand upon us as we walk this walk. In the strong Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.