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A New Year's Assessment

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
December 31, 2022 3:30 am

A New Year's Assessment

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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December 31, 2022 3:30 am

Looking at 2022, I take time for an assessment - and the opportunities for us as caregivers to improve. 

If Not For God
Mike Zwick

Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. There's no other program like this program where we deal with the challenges, the heartache, the fear, the obligation, the guilt, the resentment, the train wreck that isn't a caregiver's heart. It's not about caregiving.

That's important. We can learn those kinds of tips and techniques and how to be a better caregiver in that sense. Provide care. It's about you in your heart. How are you doing? What's going on with you in your heart right now? Now, here we are at the end of the year, getting ready to take on this new year, and that's when a lot of self-reflection comes into play. We start reevaluating, evaluating, criticizing, critiquing. All of those kinds of words seem to crash upon us at this time of year. We want to squint our eyes really tight, and we're going to do better.

We're going to do better. With your indulgence, I'd like to come at this a little differently for us as caregivers. If we're going to be self-reflective, okay, let's do that, but let's do it in this context. Number one, let's respect the trauma. I say this to myself and to so many caregivers on a regular basis.

Respect the trauma. Please take a moment to look at the massive things that are weighing on you. Maybe it's taking care of that aging parent, and you know that the time is getting close. Maybe it's a spouse, and your marriage is struggling to keep up with the onslaught of all the challenges you have. Maybe you've got a special needs child, and it just never seems to end. Maybe you've got an alcoholic in your life or an addict in your life who has depleted so many of the family's resources, not just financially, but emotionally, physically, all of the above.

The relentless onslaught of what you deal with can be crushing, but all too many caregivers want to somehow box it all up and stack it over in a corner without really giving it the respect that it deserves. Trauma is trauma, and I've learned this over the years with Gracie and watching what has happened to her body and to her spirit, her heart. Everything about her has been so damaged by this horrific wreck in the decades and decades now of medical assaults of trying to repair what that wreck did, and then you've got the emotional upheaval and all these kinds of things. These things take a lot of time to not only recover, but to even assess. For example, when I first met Gracie, I heard about the wreck, of course, and all the stuff that went on, and I was told by Gracie and others I had 52 broken bones, which is staggering.

Years later, her prosthetist, the guy that makes her legs and has for a lifetime, told me that he talked to the surgeon who was the resident at the time she was brought in, when he was evaluating Gracie at the beginning when she first lost her leg, and he talked to the resident, and the resident said, we stopped counting at 200 breaks. Well, we didn't know that piece of information until much later. Now, you think about that. That's an evil kind of wreck. That level of trauma has to be assessed, inventoried, and respected. Well, what about yours? Think about the issues that hit you without mercy on a regular basis. Are you assessing what's going on with you physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually?

How it affects your job, how it affects your relationships, how it affects everything about you. This is the time to do that. If we're going to be self-reflective, this is the starting point, not to criticize our job performance. I have talked about that so many times on this program.

Let's put the self-criticism aside for just a moment, and let's just assess everything in an objective manner. What has happened to you? How much weight have you gained? What is your blood pressure?

How's your budget? What's your job like? What is your spiritual life like? Are you in church? Are you going to church?

Are you involved in a church that even sees you? These are all things that are worthy of assessing, not with the idea of being bitter about it, but to be honest about it. So here we are starting a new year. Let's start there. Respect the trauma of what has happened to you, because you cannot tackle these things. You cannot improve these things if you don't even know what has happened, if you don't understand what has happened to you.

When Gracie had her wreck, there was a lengthy process of even getting her stabilized so that she would live, much less get up out of bed. How bad is your wreck? What's happened to your marriage? Did you know that almost 90% of marriages with a disability in it collapse? I'm not saying that to put any kind of guilt or embarrassment or shame or burden on any of you all who are struggling with that. You show me somebody that's walked with a disability in their life, whether it's a child or spouse, parent, brother, sister, whatever, a marriage in proximity to an immediate family member with a disability, a chronic impairment, that's a marriage that's in trouble. It's going to face brutal challenges.

How's yours doing? Marriage is hard enough on a good day. You throw in a chronic impairment that has no end in sight, and even the best of marriages is going to suffer. That's just the way it is. Anybody that tells you different ... How can I say this diplomatically? I would give them a wide berth because they're not seeing this for what it is. That's just too diplomatic.

That's too nice. Look, anybody tells you different, anybody that tells you that marriage is not going to be affected by this, you need to give those people so much space because they're just nuts and they're either lying or they're stupid. Get away from them. Avoid listening to people who have no credible experience at dealing with the things that you deal with in your life.

Maybe not the same scenario, but at least the principle of it. Part of respecting the trauma, part of assessing what's going on with you and what has gone on with you is also assessing the kind of relationships you have around you of people that are speaking into your life. Do you need people that are giving you Pollyanna stuff? Does that help you? Does it help you to have people put pressure on you? Well, if you would just do this better and you just need to do this, you just need to do this, you should do this. Does that help you?

I don't think so. Assess what's happened to you. Respect the trauma by being careful who you allow to speak into your situation. I remember a guy that came to visit Gracie after she became an amputee for the first time and she was very nervous. A young woman and Gracie, everything with her is well sculpted.

I mean, she doesn't go out in public unless she has the right matching this and that and she's just a beautiful, beautiful lady. And here she is, a young 25 year old mother and this guy comes to the hospital. I don't even know how he knew about her and he wanted to kind of be there to support her and he showed her his own prosthetic foot. Well, his foot looked like it had been shot and then drug behind a car and she was horrified.

She didn't want a foot like that. You know, you're going to have to realize that sometimes people may have good intentions, but they're not necessarily the best people to be there in your life at that point. They may have a great story, but it's helpful when you have people who have a great story, who are able to see beyond their own story and see your story and speak clearly into it with the hope of the gospel, with strength for today, bright hope for tomorrow. All of these things are part of respecting the trauma. And that's a good way to start as we look to the new year.

We're going to come back with more just after this break. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver. We'll be right back. Go back to hope for the caregiver.

I am Peter Rosenberger. Glad that you are with us. Hope for the

Hope for the We're talking about end of year assessment, new year assessment, all the things that we torture ourselves with sometimes at this time of year. And most of it involves self criticism for us as caregivers.

I mean, let's be honest. We tend to be pretty brutal on ourselves. So last block, we talked about respecting the trauma. We're doing an assessment. We're going to respect the trauma. This is not meant to be a criticism.

This is meant to be an assessment. What's happened to us? As we look back over this year, as we evaluate what we think is going to happen in the new year, what does that look like? What's happened to us? How has it affected all of our lives?

Our wallets, our jobs, our relationships, our waist size, all of these things, our blood pressure, what's happened to us? Okay. And we're going to respect the trauma and realize we didn't get here overnight. We're not going to get through this overnight.

We're going to start chipping away at these things. The next step that we want to look at, I believe if again, if you'll indulge me, I believe that we need to talk about guilt. I'm going to hammer guilt on a regular basis on this program. And I'm not talking about guilt over big sins that get great press.

Okay. I'm talking about just the wear and tear guilt of allowing yourself to make decisions based upon guilt. I feel guilty, so therefore I must. And that guilt usually involves you pushing yourself recklessly to extremes that you will take things. You'll take shots.

You'll take arrows. You'll take all these things because you feel guilty if you don't. You feel guilty because of what has happened to a loved one. You feel guilty because they can't get out and you can. You feel guilty because they can't stand in a shower and you can. You feel guilty for, who knows?

There's so many different ways that we torture ourselves with guilt and I get it. We make mistakes. We mess up. We do things wrong. We lose our cool. All of that and then some.

Okay. So I'm not here to absolve any of us, including myself of any of these things, but I think it's important, particularly this time of year, for us to have an honest conversation about it. We are all guilty of all that we think about and more. But how do we allow that to dictate our lives? What do we do with that guilt? And what happens is, for the most part, we just double up our efforts that we push ourselves even harder.

Okay. We're not going to do that. We're going to be better.

We're going to be, we overcompensated other areas. We, there's so many different things that we drive ourselves. Like somehow if we perform in such a way, it'll balance out the guilt. Now, how's that working for you? I mean, do you like that method? I don't. I don't like that at all. And I've spent a lifetime doing it and all it does is just turn my hair white. Have you seen me lately?

My hair is brilliantly white. All it does is create stress. All it does is make your blood pressure go up. All it does is to make you miserable.

And there's no point in this. What does the gospel say? People say, well, that was just for the collective sins of mankind.

And why did Jesus die? Behold, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. That I have been crucified with Christ.

I no longer live. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, Paul said. I love that verse.

So what does all this mean? Well, if you start in scripture all the way at the beginning, go all the way to the end, when you had an individual sin or you had a collective sin, like a nation, or in our case as a species, there was a twofold path. Repent, restitution. Repent, restitution.

So you turn from it and then you make amends. You make restitution. Now when it comes to our sin nature, we have no way of making restitution for this. The wages of sin are death. The penalty of sin is death. The only thing you can do to make restitution for this is die. For sin.

That's the reality of it. There has to be a death. That's why we place our faith in Christ. Because his death covers all of this. We identify with him in his death. And by the way, in his resurrection. But we belong to him. We are found in Christ. So as we still battle our sin nature, justice has been satisfied because of what Christ did on the cross. We're now into the sanctification process where he is chiseling these things like barnacles on a boat that attach themselves to us.

But we are no longer under the eternal penalty of sin because our faith is in Christ and his atonement that is once and for all. Let me ask you, are you wiser today than you were ten years ago? Five years ago? Of course you are. You've learned things. You wouldn't do certain things if you knew better. And you've tried to adjust your life accordingly.

That's what we're talking about here. You're going to keep making mistakes. Even people without caregiving responsibilities make mistakes.

Everybody does. In the caregiving world, we just have these unyielding pressures that push on us and then we see our mistakes maybe a little bit more glaringly because we have more opportunity to fail than we would if we weren't a caregiver. But we also have ample opportunity to repent and to learn and to turn and to make amends. And part of that process is our sanctification journey.

We're seeing it now. We're gaining wisdom. We own our failures. But we recognize that we are found in Christ. Behold if any man is in Christ, he's a new creature. Do you feel like you're a new creature?

If not, why not? As you are a caregiver, do you realize that the life you live as a caregiver, you live by faith in the Son of God? And so when you have these mistakes by faith, you will come to God and say, look, I've really messed this up. And you will have the grace and the strength and the clarity of mind to make restitution, to make amends. That's what happens. And you trust him and his salvation, his sanctification, his work in you, Christ in us, the hope of glory.

You trust him in this. Self whipping and flagellating doesn't get us anywhere. It doesn't accomplish anything. We cannot punish ourselves into holiness.

Who's ever done that? And so we confuse righteousness and holiness with model behavior. Thinking somehow that if we do this, then we are righteous. If we act this way, then we are holy or we are in good standing. We're not in good standing because of anything we've done.

We're in good standing because everything he's done. And that gives us the confidence then to look at our day-to-day behavior and say, does this line up with what scripture tells me? And if it doesn't, why not?

And if it does give glory to God, let's move on. All of this works to create clarity of thought. So we're not pulled into the weeds and we're not easily ensnared by these feelings of guilt that we've got to do this. We feel obligated to do this. We must do this. I feel guilty because of this.

That stuff's just a trap. That's a quagmire. So here we are starting this new year.

How about we let go of some of that? How about we run to this Jesus and say, okay, Lord, what do you say? It really doesn't matter what I say. It doesn't matter what you say. It matters what he says. And so let's go back and take a look.

What does he say? Come unto me. All you are weary and heavy laden. I will give you rest. Well, first off, do you feel guilty about taking rest? Do you feel guilty about taking some time off? If you're saying anything other than yes, then you're lying. As caregivers, we always feel guilty about that.

But now let's flip this. Do you feel guilty about getting your loved one to the doctor? No, because that's what's necessary for their health. You know what else is necessary for your loved one's health? Arrested caregiver.

Just as necessary as going to the doctor. So why are we feeling guilty about it? Why do we feel guilty about going to the doctor, taking some time off? Why do we feel guilty about those things? What is our guilt accomplishing? That there is some kind of standard that we're not meeting? Once you understand that there is a great standard that we can never meet and that has been satisfied in Christ, then it has a cascading effect, a rippling effect throughout all of our lives to realize, oh, he's the standard.

And I can't do this on my own. Therefore, I will lean on him. What does he have to say about this? You say, well, Peter, he's not at the hospital.

Yes, he is. He's right there with you. His spirit is right there with you. And he's teaching you, instructing you, equipping you, preserving you, fortifying you in this process. Because through this, you're seeing his redemptive work being played out in front of you.

You may not see it very fast. It may take a lifetime. But you are experiencing what he has decreed, what he is working through. And he is causing all these things to work together for good. That may take the rest of our lives before we even see that.

We may not even see it in this lifetime. But we have the promise that he's doing it. And how do we know we can trust him? Because of what he's done on the cross.

You see how this all plays together? Once you understand the magnificence of the cross, it cascades down into everything. The big sins that you and I have done, and the awkward feelings that we carry because we feel guilty about such and such. All of that stuff becomes subject to the cross.

And it gives us the courage to take these steps towards being at peace with where we are. If we've made a mistake, not if, you know better than that, when we make mistakes, then we rely on that same grace that extended from the cross to give us the courage to make amends, to make restitution, to repent. But if we try to repent on our own strength, we're going to get that wrong too. Martin Luther used to say, we have to repent of our repenting. We don't even know how to repent properly. So we go back again to the cross over and over and over until it's all Christ.

And then we breathe. Now does that make more sense about what Paul did? Because he recognizes that he was guilty and he pled guilty. He went straight to execution and trusted in the resurrection of Christ. I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live the life I live in the body.

And you know what? The life we live as caregivers, we live by faith in the Son of God. And that is hope for the caregiver.

This is Peter Rozenberger. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

Glad that you're with us. I am Peter Rozenberger and this program is designed to strengthen the family caregiver. By the way, I hope you'll take advantage of all the things available on our website, I have books, I have music, I have the podcast, our Facebook group, which is all called Hope for the Caregiver. The group, we have a group and a page and the group is something I moderate and nobody else does.

I'm the one that's making sure it doesn't go off the rails. And if you've got things you want to post, it's a good community of people who really want to help strengthen other caregivers. You know, as we strengthen others, we ourselves get stronger. The more we export these principles, the healthier we become.

That is a fact. Watch and see how that doesn't change in your life. It's not that we're giving advice, it's we're sharing of our own experiences and being vulnerable, transparent, but with the purpose of lifting others. And in the process, we find that others are lifting us and it just becomes an amazing strengthening opportunity.

So please take advantage of those things. All right, we're here at the end of the year, the first of the new year, and we're talking about things that we as caregivers can reflect on because everybody does that. We have new year's resolutions, we have all these kinds of things that we do at the beginning of the year. Okay, we're going to do this better, but I'm asking for us to take a different approach here as caregivers. Now, the first block, we talked about respecting the trauma. The second block, we talked about guilt. And now we're going to talk about letting go of some things. You know, the past is the past. It is what it is.

People are going to disappoint us. But as you look around the news, and let's just step out of the caregiving world for a minute. As you look around the news, watch the media. How much resentment do you see? If I said that our culture was eaten up with resentment, would you agree or disagree with that statement?

Would you think that I was, no, you're just missing it, Peter. I look at all of these things playing out every night on the news and so forth. I look at political figures and I don't mean to single out just one and say this, but I think there's a teachable moment.

I watched this thing with Trump, for example. Would you say that Trump struggles with resentment? Now, he may have legitimate reasons to do so, but I'm just asking the question, would you say that?

I think it's a fair question to ask. Would you say that Hillary Clinton struggles with resentment? Now, these are just two of the well-known individuals out there, but I could go down the list of more. But they seem to be working out their human frailties on a worldwide stage. What would it be like if any of these people came and said, you know what?

There's been some uncomfortable things that have happened, things that I didn't like, things that I wish had gone differently, but here's what I've learned through it about myself, about God, about the country. How would that affect you if you saw one of these political leaders that seem to be eaten up with the injustices done to them or whatever? But how would you feel if they came out and said something to that effect? Would you change your vote?

Now, these are valid questions, so let's take it down to our level. Picture somebody that you know who every time you see them, they seem to be complaining about injustices done to them by their family or by their loved one or whatever. Would they be any more attractive to you than Trump or Hillary Clinton or Chuck Schumer or any of these people we see on the news that constantly are railing my stuff? Does anybody think that Bernie Sanders looks happy?

Does he look optimistic about anything in life? If you had somebody like that that you saw that was regularly complaining about all this stuff, what would you say to them? How would you read them?

How would you diagnose that? How would you describe them? If you had the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with Trump and he started railing on the DOJ, the FBI, the rate of Mar-a-Lago, election malfeasance, all those things, what would you say to him? What would you want to say to him? If you had the conversation with Hillary Clinton the same way or any of these other people that you see that constantly are just lambasting the country and talking about how they've been the victim of this or victim of that, what would you want to say to them? And what would you want to say to someone that you encountered in your daily life who seems to be struggling with bitterness and resentment towards the way they've been treated?

Now I'm going to ask you an uncomfortable question. Do you talk about those things? Do you struggle with those things? Do you feel bitterness and resentment?

And do you make that a regular part of your conversations with others and with yourself? And if so, could those same things that you would say to Trump or Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden or this person or whatever about the way they conduct themselves on a worldwide stage, would those same principles apply to you, apply to me? And I'd suggest to you that they would because we're all human beings. The human condition is such that we are all at any point prone to gripe and complain and air our bitterness to whoever would listen. These people that we see on the news every night are no different than us, DNA wise or susceptibility to sin wise. We are all part of the flawed human race. And you're seeing a crash course in this in the 24 hour news cycle, social media and everything else.

It's like people cannot post quickly enough. They cannot race to the microphone or to the video or the tweet to air out their angst, their resentment, their hard feelings, their cry for justice for themselves, to be vindicated, to be relevant, all of those kind of things. How many people do you see across the stages that are, you know, just almost hell bent on airing out the worst parts of their souls? The cancerous, corrosive resentment that's eating them.

Now, how many of us as caregivers do the same thing? We don't necessarily have the stage or the platform that some of these people do, but make no mistake, the same rancor is there. We all see it in one another and sadly in ourselves. I do.

I struggle with this all the time. What good does it do us? I mean, I don't mean to go into politics. I'm just looking at famous people that we see regularly in the news. And would any of you all plant a flag that Hillary Clinton is at peace with herself and with others? Do you all believe that? Does she give that impression to you that she is at peace with herself and others and with God and God's work in her life?

What about Trump? I mean, these people have enormous amounts of wealth and fame and everything else. Do they in any way convince you that they are at peace with themselves, with others, with God?

If not, how do you know? What is tipping you off? Is it their tone? Is it what they speak about? Is it the manner of their speech? Is it the look on their face? What tips us off?

What communicates to us as human beings that someone is at peace with themselves, with God and with others? I think a lot of it has to do with what comes out of their mouth. Do you want to be around people like that?

UFC and mixed martial arts, cage matches, all those kinds of things are enormously popular. But how many people actually want to get in the cage and be up close and personal with these people? You know, that's not exactly a desirable place. Who do you want to be around? Who do you find settledness when you're around them? Well, I would suggest to you that it's the same for all of us. We want to be around people who are settled in themselves, who are at peace with themselves, with others and with God. That doesn't mean those individuals don't have problems or challenges.

It just means that the approach that they have for them is different. I've said this to Jeff Foxworthy many times, and I don't think Jeff will mind me sharing this. We've been friends for over 20 years. And one of the things I love about Jeff's comedy as opposed to many other comedians is that Jeff, when he walks out on stage, that's who he is. I've gotten to know him up close and personal. I can say with great amount of confidence, this is who he is. He is at peace up there.

He is not up there grinding in acts against this person or that person or this issue, whatever. I mean, he's funny without being acerbic. I've known a lot of comedians over my life and I've watched a lot of them.

Some of them are working out painful issues in their lives. And yeah, there's some comedy in there, but it's also a bit uncomfortable. But when I leave an event with Jeff, I leave just relaxed, realizing it's okay to laugh. We're just having a good time.

It's okay. Let's just, we're united in this. We could kind of poke fun at ourselves and have a pretty good laugh about it. And watch his comedy.

You'll see it. But then there's others that don't do that. One of the things I always liked about Reagan was that when Reagan spoke, there was a soaring component to the things that he said.

You don't have to agree with him or like him, but he didn't grind in acts every time he spoke. We've lost a little bit of that, haven't we? In our national discourse. But what about us as caregivers?

Maybe this end of the year, this first of the year time is an opportunity for us to reflect, okay, are we grinding an axe every time we open our mouth? We have challenges. We have real things. We have real injustices that have been done to us. But are those things dominating our existence? Or are we surrendering that to a sovereign God who, like I said in the last block, who says, I got you.

I got you. Just breathe. It's going to be all right. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not onto your own understanding, but all your ways acknowledge Him. He'll direct your paths. We direct our own paths when we focus on resentment. I don't want to do that anymore. I've done plenty of that.

I'd rather Him direct my past. I've seen the path I go down when I focus on resentment. So at the start of a new year, it's a perfect time to reevaluate. How are we speaking to ourselves, to one another, to others? How are we doing this? And if we come across as resentful or with an axe to grind, what do you think? Is this a good time to maybe reevaluate and change the way we conduct ourselves and speak to ourselves and to others?

This is Peter Rosenberg and this is Hope for the Caregiver. We'll be right back. We are here at the beginning of a new year.

So what are we going to do about it? We've talked about the first section. We talked about respect the trauma. Second one, we talked about dealing with our guilt.

The third one, letting go of the resentment. Now I've got something I'd like to challenge each of you on. See what you think about this.

Okay. I've been doing something for a while. Haven't told you this, at least I don't think I have.

If I have, sorry for the repeat, but I have been pushing myself to learn some things, to do something different. Now as a full-time caregiver, I can't go to school. I can't even do really online classes where I'm sitting in front of a computer. I never even sit. I don't even have a chair in my office.

I have a standing desk. I'm always moving and I'm always on my Bluetooth earpiece so I can listen to a lot of things, but I can't sit down and necessarily read and study like some can. I just don't have that kind of time to be able to do it.

I work full-time and I'm a full-time caregiver, but I'm doing laundry, cleaning and running errands and in the car when you're in Montana, when you go to the grocery store, it's 17 miles away, so you're in the car and I can listen to things. Did you know there are all kinds of free or very affordable courses that you could take? Now you won't necessarily get college credits. Some of you can if you want, but in my case, I just want the knowledge base. Now I'm not endorsing anybody else. I'm not being paid to say these things. I'm just telling you what I'm doing. This is my experience. So I started taking some online classes and I'm going through a whole series right now at Hillsdale College on C.S.

Lewis. I find it fascinating and you get these lectures and there's a little quiz at the end, so I'd like to see how I'm doing. And I'm taking these courses and just learning. I do a lot of audio books, so when I'm out working, mowing the grass or whatever, I am listening to an audio book. I had to go out and dig up our septic tank out here in Montana. Not something I learned in music school, but it was important to get this because I did not want to be dealing with it in February when it was 20 below and there's three feet of snow on the ground. And I was somewhat worried. My father-in-law couldn't remember where it was on this little cabin here on his property and couldn't remember the last time it was emptied. So I was getting a little bit anxious about that, but I was out there working on it and I wanted to find it. I actually uncovered the whole top of it. The septic removal people were very impressed and I said, I wanted to take no chances whatsoever.

We have a little riser thing now, a tower on it so that we can always know where it is, but I wanted absolutely zero chance that I would find this thing. And while I'm doing this, I'm listening to this course on Lewis and enjoying it immensely. I was telling a pastor friend of mine who's just a great mentor to me, I said, I would imagine I'm the only guy in Montana looking for a septic tank while I listen to a class on CS Lewis.

I may not be, but you know, I'm going to go ahead and claim that title right now. But I do this because I want to push myself to learn. I don't want to just be a prisoner of my own thoughts or listening to drivel.

I really want to learn. I recently downloaded a whole series of lectures on systematic theology because I wanted to learn and I'm enjoying working through it. I do it while I clean the kitchen and you know what I do? I hook it up to my Alexa device.

So my Bluetooth from my phone is playing it, but it's playing through that speaker so I could listen to it while I clean the kitchen and mop and do laundry or whatever. Haven't missed a beat of what I'm doing. It's just what I'm listening to while I do it. And I'm pushing myself to learn, to go through audio books. I don't know if you like to listen to audio books, but I do. And I enjoy those things.

That's what I'm doing. I'm going to ask you, what do you enjoy? What would be engaging, stimulating, meaningful to you to take on while you serve as a caregiver? Not to, you know, in any way disrupt you, because this doesn't disrupt me at all.

People say, well, how do you find time to do it? Well, I'm moving anyway. I might as well listen to something. All I'm doing is listening. There's a lot of stuff out there. And I mean, a lot of course is video, but I can't sit there and watch video. So I listen.

Now that's just me. But what are you doing to move you a little further down the road, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally? What are you doing to improve? There's no wrong answer. If you're doing anything that improves you spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, professionally, then you're moving in the right direction. What does that look like for you? Can you take that on?

Technology has afforded us a lot of great opportunities to be able to improve ourselves without having to sacrifice our responsibilities, particularly as caregivers. I mean, I can't go to seminary. I can't go get my masters or my doctorate. But am I required to?

No. But I can improve my education. And that's what I'm doing. And the more we stimulate our minds and our hearts, the better we handle the things that come our way. I mean, think about all the studies out there about, you know, puzzles and things like that, that help sharpen our mind. Do you work brain teasers? Do you like to work a puzzle? Do you, you know, I don't know what works for you. And I'm asking you at the beginning of this year to consider ways that you can learn something new, that you can engage your mind, push yourself mentally.

The more you have to think about, particularly when it comes to the things of God, the less time you have to grind an axe, like we talked about in the last block. Are you a particularly good cook or gardener? Is there a craft that you like to do? Can you do it better?

Yeah. We can always improve. The moment we stop improving, we don't reach a plateau.

We start going backwards. I play the piano pretty well, but I can't rest on the way I played yesterday. I have to keep pushing myself musically. Not so that I'm going to go play at Carnegie Hall because I don't have that kind of path in front of me.

You know that old joke, how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. No, that's not the path I'm on, but I want to be a good steward of the musical skills that God gave me and aptitude and the training that I've invested in and then taken and studied.

And I keep pushing myself musically. I also want to be a good steward of my mind. As we look around our society, do you see a lot of people in the media, on television and so forth, that exhibit good stewardship of their minds? I don't, but I want to be and I want to push myself so that I have higher thoughts to consider. I'm telling you, I'm loving this class on systematic theology and I've got a friend of mine who's a pastor who tutors me one-on-one and he was a professor and he's a retired minister and he tutors me and he says I'm not a bad student.

I think he said worse. I'm enjoying it immensely because I'm thinking on the things of God. I've lifted my thoughts. And as I take this class, for example, on Lewis, it's a lengthy class and it is fascinating and I hope to be able to take more. And there are organizations out there that offer these things for free. I think MIT and Harvard offer all kinds of courses for free that you can download. You're not going to get college credit for it, but is that what you're looking for? Do you just want to improve yourself?

There are all kinds of things that you can take. Do you want to be a writer? There's courses on writing you could take out there. Do you want to be a speaker?

There are courses on speaking. There's so much you can do. Are you doing it? And if you use caregiving as an excuse not to, then I'm going to tell you as one caregiver to another, that's a poor excuse.

I've been a caregiver now for 37 years. I have no excuse not to improve myself. I have no excuse not to push myself to learn and to be better at what I do and to think higher thoughts, to educate myself. What about you?

And if you say, well, I'm going to just wait till mama goes to be with Jesus and then I'll look at... Why wait? You're not even promised tomorrow. Today is the day to start improving you, your life. Find something that you enjoy and challenge yourself to be better at it.

Find something that stirs your heart and then set out to do it better, to enjoy it more, not at the expense of caregiving. Gracie will tell you, I'm not shirking any of my responsibilities here. Now I do tell her to, hey, listen, I'm trying to hear this lecture, so hang on just a second.

But she listens too. Find something that pushes you, that excites you, that invigorates you, that animates you, that infuses you with life and then take it on. You can do it.

If I can do it, you can do it. All right. So we respect our trauma. We let go of the guilt. We let go of the resentment and we grab hold of life. And we're going to live life right in the midst of this as a caregiver because healthy caregivers make better caregivers.

And this is part of being healthy. Happy new year. This is Peter Rosenberger, We'll see you next time. You've heard me talk about standing with hope over the years. This is the prosthetic limb ministry that Gracie envisioned after losing both of her legs. Part of that outreach is our prosthetic limb recycling program. Did you know that prosthetic limbs can be recycled?

No kidding. There is a correctional facility in Arizona that helps us recycle prosthetic limbs. And this facility is run by a group out of Nashville called CoreCivic. We met them over 11 years ago and they stepped in to help us with this recycling program of taking prostheses and you disassemble them. You take the knee, the foot, the pylon, the tube clamps, the adapters, the screws, the liners, the prosthetic socks, all these things we can reuse and inmates help us do it. Before CoreCivic came along, I was sitting on the floor at our house or out in the garage when we lived in Nashville and I had tools everywhere, limbs everywhere and feet, boxes of them and so forth. And I was doing all this myself and I'd make the kids help me.

And it got to be too much for me. And so I was very grateful that CoreCivic stepped up and said, look, we are always looking for faith-based programs that are interesting and that give inmates a sense of satisfaction. And we'd love to be a part of this.

And that's what they're doing. And you can see more about that at slash recycle. So please help us get the word out that we do recycle prosthetic limbs. We do arms as well, but the majority of amputations are lower limb.

And that's where the focus of standing with hope is. That's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prosthesis. And she's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. I mean, she's been an amputee for over 30 years.

So you go through a lot of legs and parts and other types of materials and you can reuse prosthetic socks and liners if they're in good shape. All of this helps give the gift that keeps on walking. And it goes to this prison in Arizona where it's such an extraordinary ministry.

Think with that. Inmates volunteering for this. They want to do it.

And they've had amazing times with it. And I've had very moving conversation with the inmates that work in this program. And you can see, again, all of that at slash recycle. They're putting together a big shipment right now for us to ship over. We do this pretty regularly throughout the year as inventory rises and they need it badly in Ghana. So please go out to slash recycle and get the word out and help us do more. If you want to offset some of the shipping, you can always go to the giving page and be a part of what we're doing there.

We're purchasing material in Ghana that they have to use that can't be recycled. We're shipping over stuff that can be. And we're doing all of this to lift others up and to point them to Christ. And that's the whole purpose of everything that we do. And that is why Gracie and I continue to be standing with hope. take my hand. Lean on me. We will stay.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-31 04:16:30 / 2022-12-31 04:34:30 / 18

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