I love to blog. Really I do. Lately, however, life has really gotten in the way! And to add to that, much of what wants to come out of my brain doesn’t need to be said to or read by anyone!! So, I wait until I can get it all in order in my brain so I don’t bring shame on someone, especially my Lord. He’s so good to walk me through my junky brain and heart, showing me what needs to go and what needs to replace it.
Recent example – Hall of Shame Warning!!!!! – Jeanne was confessing to Bill and I a bad reaction she had toward Daddy, and how she had gone to the Lord just that morning, confessed it, and asked for strength to be kind and have patience with Daddy. Bill answered her, “Yeah, I’ve meant to speak to Nina about the way she’s talked to your Dad a couple of times, too.”
I was [almost] speechless! I have NOT been ugly to Daddy. I mean, I’ve been frustrated, but never ugly! Have I? The questions and excuses began to flow! (Let me insert here that you always need to beware when you have a monitor in your home to listen for issues in another room. Sometimes YOU are not the one listening – you are the one being listened TO!) I was so ashamed, when I finally admitted to myself that I really did let bad attitude spill out on Daddy sometimes. I was thankful, though, that my sweet hubby cared enough to speak to me about it, and so grateful to the Lord that He immediately showed me some answers.
The first answer was from Pastor’s sermon Sunday morning. It was my turn to go to church, and I also got to spend the night with Bill and Dan at Dan’s house. We even went out to my dear friend Lori’s house for dinner, and had such a great time! Anyway, back to the sermon: He has been preaching through Galations, and was in chapter 5 – the Fruit of the Spirit. Guess which portion of the Fruit he was on this past Sunday? Gentleness and Goodness.
Gentleness – kindness; showing sympathy, mercy, empathy, or understanding; “useful for others” versus “working against others.” I was so convicted, and so grateful that my Lord not only shows me my fault, but shows me what to replace that fault with. I was unkind and selfish – which is usually the root of all sin issues – so kindness, mercy, etc. needs to fill my heart. It is precious to me that Jesus IS kindness and mercy, and fellowship with Him fills me with those qualities! I’m working on my fellowship with Him straightway!
A second answer was today’s doctor visit. My irritated, frustrated, and even angry attitudes usually happen when Daddy becomes especially needy. It might be anything from not getting up on his own to not pulling up his own throw blanket when he gets cold, or anything in between! Is he really that helpless? Can he really not put on his socks, set his cup on the table right there, pull up the lever on his recliner? It’s so difficult to determine whether he is trying but can’t, or if he is being a whiny-baby!
Well, after seeing Dr. S today, we have a much better understanding of where Dad actually is. Although Dr. S was pleased with Dad’s attitude – he was smiling and joking a little – he was concerned about our report of his behavior at home, his swollen ankles, and his great fatigue. He ordered bloodwork and chest X-rays, which will tell him a bit more of the story. He is looking for kidney function problems, possible anaemia, and any fluid in/around the lungs. As far as we can tell, he is not losing any blood, but Dr. S said it could be a hidden loss.
As we were leaving, I let Jeanne and Daddy get a little ahead of me so I could ask the question – how much can we expect from Dad, that is, how bad is he, really? Dr. S simply told me that the disease (congestive heart failure) is quite advanced, and Daddy is not going to get better. We are not yet at the “call hospice” phase at all. He still can make Dad more comfortable and even feel some better at times. He might need an occasional transfusion, which makes him feel much better for a little bit of time. Getting the fluid off helps him breath a little easier. Monitoring his blood sugar and making necessary adjustments can also help him feel better. And we have seen that getting out a bit – a very little bit at this stage of the game – gives Daddy a better outlook on life! Even today’s doctor visit and lunch at Sonic gave Daddy something new to talk and think about! Besides that, he loves onion rings!
I guess what I’m getting at is that our expectations of Daddy’s abilities are too high, and we need to be in the mindset that he needs our help for many, many things. Knowing the truth of Daddy’s condition is difficult to accept, but we now know what is actually helpful, whereas before we were always wondering if we were crippling him by doing everything for him. Before, we were getting aggravated that he didn’t seem to want to try, and he was getting aggravated at us for not believing his limitations! [Another insert – gentleness and kindness should have been flowing from me whether Daddy was trying or not! The knowledge of his current condition simply tells us to stop expecting so much!]
God is so good to show His children gentleness and kindness – in spite of our behavior, which very often leaves a lot to be desired! I am so grateful to Him for that!
A few photos….
God bless your day!