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We Can Adjust Our Sails

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2024 10:00 am

We Can Adjust Our Sails

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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April 14, 2024 10:00 am

Many caregivers struggle with decades-old promises to make sure to “never put Mom in a nursing home.” When making that promise, most recall healthier times when the thought of entering a facility seemed far on the horizon. Reality sneaks up on the best of us, and we find ourselves faced with uncomfortable circumstances. 

The promise’s tether can quickly transform into a noose around the neck of a family caregiver unable to meet the demands of a horrific condition. From personal safety to medical expertise, caregivers easily find themselves outmatched by an affliction—and overpowered by guilt.

Despite the promise’s sincerity, its roots often stem from ignorance about the peripheral havoc disease and injury can cause. Disparity and unsustainability quickly appear when a caregiver demands of herself what an entire paid staff of people in a memory care facility accomplishes. The promise must face honest scrutiny to reflect the commitment to caring for a loved one as best one can. When demands exceed ability, changes must occur—and help must be enlisted.

The challenge for caregivers is seeking counsel from objective, experienced, and trained individuals to regularly evaluate conditions and possible paths regularly. 
As we promise to care, let us also commit to caring well.
    
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. —Dolly Parton

FROM: A MINUTE FOR CAREGIVERS - WHEN EVERY DAY FEELS LIKE MONDAY

 

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This is Peter Rosenberger and one of the reasons I wrote my new book A Minute for Caregivers is because I remember the sinking, despairing feeling of struggling as a caregiver. No one knew what to say to me. I didn't understand and others didn't understand me.

For decades I foraged along and tried to find my path through this medical nightmare that Gracie and I have endured for nearly 40 years. And I've learned to speak the language of caregivers. I speak fluent caregiver. No pastor, no counselor, no medical provider, no friend should ever throw their hands up and say I don't know what to say to that caregiver.

Because I do. Give them a copy. This book is called A Minute for Caregivers when every day feels like Monday. They're easy to read, one minute chapters that speak directly to the heart of a caregiver and you can get them wherever books are sold. A Minute for Caregivers when every day feels like Monday. Friends don't let friends caregiver alone. Welcome to Hope of the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. Healthy caregivers make better caregivers. How do you feel today? You feel healthy? If so, what are you doing that's helping that?

And if not, what are you doing that's hurting that? And how about we explore that together and develop healthier ways for us to live as caregivers? What do you think? I think it's a worthwhile pursuit. Hope for the caregiver.

Hopeforthecaregiver.com. And again, we're glad to have you with us. I'm bringing a lifetime of experience to offer a lifeline to my fellow caregivers.

You know, I spent so much time foraging. I spent time and money talking to counselors and pastors and reading books and anything I could to find some nugget that I could hang on to as a caregiver. I didn't feel like anybody really understood me. I didn't feel like anybody really saw me and understood the magnitude of what I was carrying. People would say things and they would try, but it didn't really connect.

And I did not feel comfortable explaining to people what I was feeling and the struggles I was having. That I purposed when I launched this program and started writing books and all the other things that I do, I purposed that I would speak to fellow caregivers in a way that, number one, they understood. And number two, that they felt like they were understood. That somebody is delving into these places that they have not wanted to talk about, maybe didn't even have the words for. And not putting that burden on you to try to figure out all these things, but instead just feel understood, just feel heard, just feel seen.

These are things that I did not have. Nobody really quite knew what to say to me. But that's all changed now because somebody does know what to say to you. And that's why I do this program.

And that's why I'm so grateful that you're here and giving me a fair shake to be able to speak into the challenges that you deal with. And I thank you for trusting me with your pain. I didn't trust people with my pain. I still don't for a lot of folks.

I have some around me that I do, but I'm very careful with that. But you're trusting me with your time and your pain to listen to this program and it means a great deal. And I want you to know that my commitment is that when you finish listening to this program today, that I'm going to leave you a little better than I found you. With more encouragement, more insights on how you can navigate through this quagmire, how you can live a calmer, healthier, and dare I say it, a more joyful life while serving as a caregiver.

All right, that's my commitment. I want to start off with a quote. This is from Dolly Parton, from the very quotable Dolly Parton. And I love this quote she has, we cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. Too many of us spend so much time fighting over how to handle the wind or in our case, the challenges of life, the elements that are slamming us on a regular basis. Living out here in Montana has taught me a few things. I was talking to some friends of mine back East about, they were talking about this weather and everybody was kind of freaking about this. In Montana, I've noticed that there's not a lot of freak out about the weather from the folks that have lived here for a long time. The weather is just a part of life. You've got to deal with it. Sunny days, rainy days, windy days, cold days, hot days. It doesn't matter. Work goes on, life goes on and you just roll with it.

They don't try to fight it. They just adjust the sails. Okay, well it's rainy today. It's snowing today. Put on a jacket. There's no such thing as bad weather out here.

It's just bad clothing. I've tried to incorporate a lot of that mentality in the way I approach things as a caregiver. We're going to get hit with the unexpected. We make these determinations about what's going to happen to us. What are we going to do?

How are we going to do this? We made a promise that we're not going to do this and then here we are. Life changes.

Can we adjust the sails? This is one of the chapters from my book A Minute for Caregivers when every day feels like Monday and I talked about this. It's called The Promise. Many caregivers struggle with decades old promises to never put mom in a nursing home.

Are you familiar with that? Well, when we make that promise, most recall healthier times when the thought of entering a facility seemed far on the horizon. Reality sneaks up on the best of us and we face uncomfortable circumstances.

Can we adjust the sails? That promise's tether can quickly transform into a noose around the neck of a family caregiver unable to meet the demands of a horrific situation from personal safety to medical expertise caregivers can easily find themselves outmatched by an inflection and overpowered by guilt. Some of you are there today. You're outmatched by an affliction and you're overpowered by guilt. Despite the promise's sincerity, its roots often stem from ignorance about the peripheral havoc that disease and injury can cause. Disparity and unsustainability quickly appear when a caregiver demands more of herself than what an entire paid staff of people in a memory care facility accomplishes. The promise must face honest scrutiny to reflect the commitment of caring for a loved one as best as one can. When demand exceeds ability, changes must occur and help must be enlisted. You see though, the challenge for caregivers is seeking counsel from objective, experienced, and trained individuals to regularly evaluate conditions and possible paths. As we promise to care, let us also commit to caring well.

And that's where I love that quote from Dolly Parton. We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. And that requires a cool head. It requires level thinking. It requires flexibility. It requires awareness, situational awareness.

What's going on around you? You remember a couple months back when Colonel Oliver North was on my program and he talked about this very thing of situational awareness. He published my book. I had sent the manuscript over to his people and it got passed up the chain and he read it as he cared for his wife.

And obviously it meant a great deal to him and he wanted to get involved with it and I'm very grateful. And when he came on the program, he talked about as a soldier, situational awareness kept him alive on the battlefield. That's what soldiers develop. What's going on around you? Check your six. You ever heard of that on, you know, movies and TV shows when you see soldiers?

Check your six. What's behind you? Situational awareness. And he said, but when I became a caregiver, I had no situational awareness.

I was going blind at this. And that's what we as caregivers desperately need to cultivate so that we're aware when the wind changes, we're aware when things happen differently, we're aware when we need to adjust. And if we allow that promise we made 20, 30 years ago to be a noose around our neck, it's going to take down two lives, yours and the person you're caring for. It's not that we're going to abandon them.

It's not that we're going to stop caring for them, but the promise needs to reflect what the intent is, which is we are going to care for you to the absolute best of our abilities. And we will not stop. But we're going to have to make adjustments along the way. It's not always going to look the way we want it to look. And we're going to have to learn to be flexible. We're going to have to have an awareness of when those adjustments need to be made so that we can move on the fly so that we can deliver both our loved one and ourselves to the harbor.

Nobody told me this when I started this journey almost 40 years ago. I had to figure that out for myself. I had to understand what that meant. And we can unpack that as this program goes on and other things that we're going to do.

But I wanted to start off with that. You cannot control the wind. Dolly Parton said this, but you can adjust our sails. And that is what allows us to keep pressing forth.

And that is hope for the caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberg and we'll be right back. Peter Dolly Parton, that is Dolly singing back up on There Was Jesus with Zach Williams. It's a beautiful song. And it talks about him being there with you through all things.

You didn't even know. And I think, you know, you reach a certain point in life when you look back and you realize, oh, he really was there. And I wanted to circle back to what we talked about in the last block. When I say that you have to adjust your sails and you may have to make some changes. There's not an advocacy that you go back on a promise that you made. There's not a situation where you have to change.

No, but you've got to be flexible in this. And the greatest comfort to me is knowing that whatever decisions I face in the future, he's already there waiting for me. I tell this to so many of my fellow caregivers who are in great stress.

And I remember repeating this to Gracie numerous times as she prepared for this last operation when she would get very fearful. And I would tell her, we're not there yet, but he is. He's already there waiting for you.

It's going to be okay. Corrie Tenbone says, never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. And I think this is the lesson for us as caregivers that are we willing to trust that God is already there waiting for us as we're being good stewards now. And we may have to be flexible on the plans that we made. If you go back and look at what scripture says, God says, he knows the plans he makes, but the plans we make are subject to this fallen world, our lack of understanding, the things that others may do. There are a lot of different factors in our plans, but there's no outside factor in his plans. And that brings me great comfort and strengthens my resolve, stiffens my spine, knowing that I have a sovereign Lord, not fatalistic. This is not what people call his destiny and fate. This is God's decree. And I trust the ever-living one.

His wounds for me do plead, as the hymn writer said. Let me ask you something. Let me ask you something. How many of you all remember your due date? How many of you all remember the date you were due when the doctor told your mother when you were due? Do you celebrate that date every year? I doubt any of us remember our due date. Our mother may. I have to ask my mom if she remembers my due date.

Mom listens to this program. Mom, do you remember my due date? But we don't celebrate the due date.

We celebrate the birthday. But with God, there's no distinction between those two. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, that was the due date and the birth date, because that was when God decreed. And all the people there involved in his life along the way, all of these things, Scripture says repeatedly, he was at that time, at that time, at that time. The Greek word I believe is kairos, appointed time.

We get the word chronology from the Greek word chronos, which, you know, chronological time, the passage of time. Kairos is appointed time. And we serve a God who appoints time. And even Caiaphas was in place.

We just celebrated Easter. Caiaphas was in place. Pilate was in place. All of these things were in place. Scripture refers to all these things. And this just reinforces the confidence that we can have as believers, that we don't need to fear and live in fear, which is easy for us to do.

And I get that. We're always going to struggle with that on some level, because we are still battling our flesh. We are sanctified and being sanctified and not quite yet being sanctified. But we're still working towards that. And that's the work of the Holy Spirit in our life.

And that's great. That is Christ in us, the hope of glory. But when we have those moments when we're afraid, when we are thinking, what are we going to do? How are we going to deal with this? What's going to happen? How am I going to tell her?

How am I going to tell him? How are we going to take care of? All those kinds of things. We could go back to what Scripture says. That word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Well, it's very difficult to have a lamp that is the Word of God if you don't know the Word of God.

Do you know it? Do you spend time studying? Do you see the things that God talks about in His Word? Do you go back and memorize Scripture?

I bet you know more than you think you do. That's why I love doing songs. We memorize Scripture with music.

We keep it in our minds. How about this? Here's one that you may know. Do you know this one? My loving kindness is better than life. Psalm 63, 3. My lips shall praise Thee. Thus will I bless Thee while I lift.

I will lift up my hands in Your name. See, you knew that one. That's memorizing Scripture. Here's one.

Here's another one you may know this. Psalm 118, 24. That the Lord hath made a purchase. We will rejoice, and be glad in it.

I'll sing that with you. This is the day that the Lord hath made. We will rejoice, and be glad in it. For this is the day. This is the day that the Lord hath made. You see what happens when you memorize Scripture, particularly when you set it to music like this, is that all of a sudden you're anchoring yourself back. Wait a minute, wait a minute. If this is the day that He made, He knew about this day, He purposed this day, He decreed this day, can you rest in Him this day?

What do you think? If His loving kindness is indeed better than life, and your lips are gonna praise Him, and you're gonna lift up your hands to Him, can you trust Him? If His loving kindness is better than life, can you trust Him with whatever you're dealing with today as a caregiver?

And you can. But it doesn't matter what I say. My opinion is irrelevant. What Scripture says is the only thing that matters. That's what's gonna sustain you in these moments when you are terrified to realize this is the day that the Lord has made.

He made this day. This is what Scripture tells us. Now either we stand on this or we don't. What are the implications of this? And I ask this question a lot.

If you purport these things, if you say that you believe these things, then what are the implications of these things? What will change in your life? You know, so when life has handed you gut punches, and it has, and it does, and it will continue to, where do you fall back on? Do you scramble trying to figure it out yourself or do you go back to the fundamentals? You know, when a sports team is in trouble, you don't come up with a trick play. That's not gonna get you out of trouble.

You go back to the fundamentals. There's a great story about Lou Holtz. South Carolina women's just won the national championship in women's basketball, but there's another coach at South Carolina for a while, Lou Holtz.

He was down there for just a couple of years. On the first day of practice under him as a head coach, I heard this, I can't substantiate it, but I can't call up Lou and ask him this, but Coach Holtz, hey, you want to fact check this for me? But from what I understand, this is a true story that the offensive line kind of halfheartedly clapped after having a little huddle. They kind of sauntered to the line and he stopped, practiced, blew his whistle, stopped it, and made him go back to the huddle and learn to count and clap and walk to the line in unison over and over for what I understand the rest of the day until they had it down to a precision. As a team, he went back to the fundamentals, discipline, the basics. There's no trick play here. And so when we're faced with whatever we're faced with, we go back to the fundamentals.

And what are the fundamentals? Well, his loving kindness is better than life. That's one. This is the day that the Lord has made.

That's two. Just those two statements alone are enough to reshape everything we do. We can trust that He loves us, and we can trust that He's sovereign.

What more do you need? What more assurance do we require than the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Alpha and Omega, the Great I Am, Jehovah-Jireh, El Shaddai, El Adonai loves us and has decreed this day for His good pleasure and His purposes. Now let me put that in context. That same day Gracie had a car wreck, he made that day too. His loving kindness was not abated one iota on that very difficult day.

And we can go through every point in history all the way to the cross because that is the consummate day where we see His loving kindness and His sovereignty. And that is hope for the caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver.

We'll be right back. As caregivers, we have so many things that hit us all the time and we can't always nail these things down by ourselves. Who helps you?

What does that look like? I'm Peter Rosenberger and I want to tell you about a program I've been a part of now for almost 10 years, and that's Legal Shield. For less than $30 a month, I have access to a full law firm that can handle all kinds of things.

If I get a contract put in front of me, if I got a dispute with something, doesn't matter. I've got a full law firm that can help me navigate through all the sticky wickets that we as caregivers have to deal with. Power of attorney, medical power of attorney, I will.

Every bit of it. As a caregiver, we need someone who advocates for us and that's why I use Legal Shield. So go to caregiverlegal.com. Look on the left hand side where it says Legal Shield. Just select it.

It turns purple. It says pick a plan. It'll give you some options.

If you don't need any of those, don't select them. Check out and be protected starting today. That's caregiverlegal.com. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. Healthy caregivers make better caregivers and this program is designed and purpose to strengthen the family caregiver, to reach into whatever situation you're dealing with and help point you to safety where you could catch a breath, take a knee if you have to, and then let's start developing healthier strategies to make better decisions in your life and for the loved one that you are charged with. You know, you don't make good decisions when you're freaking out.

Do you know that? How many of you all make good decisions when you're just a hot mess? How many of you all make good financial, emotional, professional, spiritual, moral decisions when you are just coming unglued? A lady recently interviewed me for her podcast and we put a link out there on our Facebook group, Hope for the Caregiver, and we have a Facebook page and a Facebook group.

The Facebook group is a private group, but we put it all out there for you to go take a look at this. One of the quotes that she pulled out, I don't remember saying it, but evidently I said it. So she grabbed that quote and put it out there where I said, I'm not here to console fellow caregivers. I'm here to point fellow caregivers to a path that they can step into excitement and passion and success on all kinds of level they may never even dreamed of all while serving as a caregiver.

How do I know this? Because that's what I do. And I am bringing nearly 40 years of experience. I am still a full time caregiver, probably more now than I ever have been. And I am telling you, life is just getting teed up for me and I'm excited about where it's going. Yes, Gracie and I have hard challenges. We have very difficult things that we deal with, but this is the day that the Lord has made.

His loving kindness is better than life. Once these things get a hold of you, it's going to change your life. So take a listen to the interview. I hope you'll like it. Elizabeth Miller interviewed me for that, for her podcast, the happy, healthy podcast for happy, healthy caregiver podcast. And I think you'll find it to be enjoyable.

I enjoy doing it. She's been on this program for and I enjoyed her immensely. She, she brings a lot of good things to the conversation for caregivers.

And so I was very pleased and privileged to be able to be on her program. And we put it out there on all our social media. I hope you'll follow us on all the social media accounts, whatever you listen to, whether it's Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, it's all out there on Hope for the Caregiver. So you can find me out there if you want to follow along in any which way. I put a lot of different things out there. One of those is on my Substack page, a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago where I was referencing a chapter in my book, Hope for the Caregiver called why do faith healers wear glasses? I put this article out on my Substack page. And if you're familiar with Substack, it's my, my address is caregiver.substack.com caregiver.substack.com. And I put all kinds of things out there. Every Monday I put a section from the book, a minute for caregivers when every day feels like Monday, and that releases every Monday morning.

And please take it, there's a whole library of things out there, but I put this article out there if you want to go out and read it. And when I ask that question, sometimes if the conversation comes up about faith healing and so forth, and I'll say, well, you know, why do faith healers wear glasses? And invariably there's always somebody who'll look at me and say, well, well, why? They want me to tell them the answer. The, the, the, the question is the issue. And so I, I wanted to unpack that a little bit.

So caregivers can have somebody that's putting some vocabulary to some of the things that they may have felt very uneasy about. When you are desperate, when you are hurting, when you are struggling, you'll go to a Miracle Crusade, been there, done that. You know, Johnny Erickson, people used to take her to Kathryn Kuhlman. I, Gracie and I've been to Benny Hinn. One time he sent us fruit that y'all don't say anything. Okay.

I mean, really y'all, this is just twixt us. So y'all don't say anything, but we, she was in the hospital one time and we got a big old basket of fruit from Benny Hinn. And I was like, well, for once in my life, I was a bit speechless and I was very grateful. It was good.

It was great stuff. And I, I, I told Gracie, I said, you know, you know, you're having a bad day with the faith healer sends you fruit, you know, that that's a bad day. So I don't know what to say. Y'all here's some bananas.

No, I'm just kidding. I was very grateful. It was a very nice gift and I appreciated it very much, but I wanted to drive that point home of why we sometimes project on the people who suffer certain things.

And then there are people always willing to exploit them for whatever reason, for money, for power, for some people just love to manipulate. Who knows how many of you all have ever heard? Well, if you just had enough faith, you know, how many of you heard that? We've heard it plenty of times. Now I don't hear it as much anymore, partly because I've gotten a little bit older now and I, I'm not quite as patient and tolerant as I used to be.

I don't put up with it and I don't allow people who do that to inflict that on Gracie either. That's, that's inappropriate and it's, it is, it is cruel. It is quite literally cruel. And so I, I want to help people understand a higher view of God, to understand He has not abandoned you. And this is not some kind of punishment as He inflicted. You go back and look what those guys said to Jesus about the man born blind.

Hey, you know, who, who sinned, this man or his parents? And Jesus said, boys, y'all got it all wrong. Well, that's the Southern translation. I understand. Not many people have that, the new American Southern version, but boys, you got it all wrong? This was done for the glory of God.

Remember what I said earlier? This was purposed, the creed, and we can trust God with all of our afflictions. I've said this before, but Gracie went in for surgery in Denver on her back. I didn't go into the operating room. I went close to it and it was really quite meaningful because the anesthesiologist, well, he's the pain management specialist, who's been on this program. He happened to be in the OR that morning in the pre-op area. And I saw him and connected up with him and he said, let me take her to the OR for you. And I was so grateful because her surgeon was already scrubbing up and she was a little bit nervous.

And here's this wonderful man, Dr. Flores said, Peter, don't worry about it. I got her. I'll take her there. So he took her into the OR. So she had a friendly face to go and see the surgeon and everything else because everybody's garmed up, but they weren't just yet at the pre-op.

And in that OR, this man, her surgeon, an amazing guy. I really have nothing but respect for this guy, but I don't know a lot about him, quite frankly. I mean, I don't know his family. I don't know his kids.

I don't know a lot of where he went to school. I mean, I could go see a CV online and, and, but the state of Colorado has licensed him. The hospital there has given him all kinds of credentials.

Medical boards have, all these kinds of things have been in place before I ever got there. And I have confidence that this man could go into this room that I'm not allowed to go into and use horrific tools, to me they're horrific, to do ghastly things to my wife. I mean, I don't want to see this.

I don't want to know about it. In his hands, though, he knows what he's doing and he has straightened her back. But I trusted somebody I barely knew to do this simply because of the testimonials, the accreditation, if you will, of all the players involved. Now what about God? Do we barely know him? Do we hardly know him at all?

Are there any credentials? Well, I give you a few of them right now. All creation cries out to the glory of God.

That's right there. Scripture testifies. People say, well, you know, theology is the study of God. Well, how can you know God? That's not a science. Theology used to be called the queen of sciences and it's handmaiden philosophy.

Now we've relegated that down to just the study of religion, which is not even worth the time. Theology makes the assumption in the science of theology where so many of the people that founded this country, founded Harvard University for that reason alone, will say that it is possible to know God because he decreed how to do it in his word. And he's given us everything we need to know to study and learn about him. Now we will never know him absolutely, but we can know him truly.

Now what does that mean? What are the implications for that as caregivers that we can trust him? If I could trust a surgeon that I barely know, how much more so can I trust a savior who bore my sin, who redeemed me, who rose again from the dead, ascended to the father, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead, as the creed says. I'll tell you, one of the greatest quotes I saw over the Easter weekend was one from Chuck Colson. And here, listen to what he says, I know the resurrection is a fact and Watergate proved it to me. Charles Colson went to prison following the whole Watergate debacle. He said, I know the resurrection is a fact and Watergate proved it to me.

How? Because 12 men testified that they had seen Jesus raised from the dead. Then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Everyone was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren't true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world and they couldn't keep a lie for three weeks. You're telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years?

Absolutely impossible. That's, that's an amazing statement and you know it's true. I mean, you can't deny it.

There it is. So we have that assurance. We're not trusting an unknown future to an unknown God. We're trusting our unknown future to a known God who knows the future, who not only knows it, purposes it, decrees it. Even on the worst days, it is still the day that He has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it. And that is hope for the caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver.

We'll be right back. There's that voice that I love so much. That is my wife, Gracie, and I love that voice. By the way, I hear her working out vocally. She's trying to get her voice in shape because I've fussed at her. I told her, I said, baby, I got songs for you to sing.

And I've been working with my producer slash engineer in Nashville. We're working on some tracks, building it and I'm ready for her to get up and get to the microphone. And I told her she can't be laying around and gold breaking anymore. We got to get up. Come on, chop, chop, baby. I did not say that to her.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver, hopeforthecaregiver.com. And I'm so glad that you are with this hope for the caregiver.com. You know, Gracie is, she is improving. It's slow and she's got a ways to go. She has a hard life.

Being married to me is no picnic, but she's tough. And I tell her she's stronger than elevator rope and she's, she is making improvements. And I look forward to her getting up and getting that voice back into fighting shape because we do have some great songs waiting on her to sing. Speaking of Gracie, almost 20 years ago, we went on our first trip to West Africa to launch this prosthetic limb outreach that she envisioned while in the hospital. She was just recovering. She was less than a week out from a amputation on her left leg.

It was the remaining leg. So now she's a double amputee at this point. And I walk into the room and she had been watching a documentary on Princess Diana and the work she was doing with landmine victims in Southeast Asia.

And Gracie saw all these people on the screen that she now resembled. And I literally walked in, I was carrying a bunch of stuff and I walked in and she had her hands raised, laying there in bed. She's got a dressing and the cast still on her newly amputated leg. The other leg was, you know, been amputated four years early, so it was all healed up. And she's laying there without her prosthesis on it. And she looked over at me, hands are still raised.

She said, I know what I'm going to do. I was a little bit startled. I said, well, what would that be dear?

Our whole life is a bit of a, I love Lucy episode. You know, Gracie, you got a lot of splay to do. And I was a bit startled. She said, we're going to put legs on people and tell them about Jesus. And I said, well, do you suppose we could get out of the hospital first?

And that's a nice thought. Why don't you take another hit of morphine there, dear? And she wasn't on morphine. And she was like, no, this is what we're going to do. And she persisted and we did this. We set things in motion and I told her, and then we met with some folks at Johnny and Friends with their program Wheels for the World, and they provide wheelchairs all over the world, refurbished wheelchairs. And they said, well, look, if you're going to do this, you need to start in Ghana.

Cause if you can make it work there, you can make it work anywhere. And I looked at him. I said, well, I'm not taking Gracie to Africa.

You know, we dealt with infections with her and everything else. So I'm not doing this. And I kept repeating that. And as we got on the plane, we left Nashville, went to Memphis, got a plane from Memphis to Amsterdam. And I'm in the airport at Memphis. I'm getting on the plane in Memphis and I'm getting ready to go to Amsterdam, then go down to Accra. And the whole time I'm saying, I'm not going to Africa. I'm not taking Gracie to Africa. I'm on the plane.

And I'm like, this is, this was surreal. And we've been going back ever since and I'm trying to get there this summer. If I can get her a little further down the road I've got a prosthetist that works with her right now on her legs. And he said, he'd like to go over there with us. And I haven't been in some time because she's been so sick and COVID and everything else. I think it's about time I go back over there. And she says, she's going, I said, I didn't say, no, I'm not taking you to Africa because I learned my lesson with that.

But I did say, Hey, why don't you get a little stronger person? Let me go over there first. And let's, let's just take this a little bit step at a time here.

And so I told her, let's, let's just hold off. Her enthusiasm knows no bounds, but her enthusiasm has helped a lot of people walk. We have a online newsletter that goes out from Standing With Hope. And I would encourage you to go out to our website and sign up for it. Go out to hopeforthecaregiver.com.

You can sign up for it there. And this month we're featuring a patient who just received a leg. He's a young 14 year old boy, and he was born with a congenital limb defect. And, um, we put it above knee leg on him.

His name is Eqow, E-Q-O-W. And the picture I have of him is standing there next to Moses, who is the, uh, Moses Coho. And he's the clinic director for the National Prosthetic and Orthotic Center there in Accra, part of Ghana Health Service. And we partnered with him.

We have now for 19 years. He built this leg for this young boy who's got this big smile on his face and they're standing on a concrete ramp. And it's really important to note this because a team from Johnny and Friends built that ramp. When we first arrived there at this clinic, it was very disheveled and there were two pieces of lumber stretched across a drainage ditch. And that's how people with disabilities got into this clinic. Missing legs. I got a picture of a lady carrying her husband on her back. He's missing a leg and she's going up these rickety pieces of board.

There's no other way to get the clinic. And Johnny and Friends built that concrete ramp and Moses is standing there. And then right next to it, you see a little bit of the flowers in the picture. This is why it meant so much to me because one of our prosthetists, uh, who went with us many times, he passed away. His name was Craig and he passed away, uh, just before we were going on a trip some years ago. His wife sent over some of his ashes and we had a service there and they are buried right there by this beautiful, uh, I don't know the type of bush tree. There's beautiful blooms on it. And it's right there in the little alcove of the clinic.

Craig loved being there so much. We have such a lengthy history there and it's, um, it's such a joy to do this. I've got a bunch of supplies that I'm getting ready to send over. And if you want to help us with this, let me tell you what we're doing. We're sending over rolls of carbon fiber. And what we do with this is there, it's like a, it's a tube, like a, like a tube socket, but it's, but you cut it in pieces that you need to put over the socket that you're making for that patient.

And it reinforces it so it could be lightweight, but incredibly durable and it's kevlar basically. And we're sitting over different sizes that you do one for above knee and you would do one for below knee. And as you can imagine, you need a little bit more for the above knee, but the below knee ones, um, this one roll alone, I think we can make, I'd have to get Moses to help me do the math. Don't hold me to this, but I think we make just 50 legs alone just with that roll.

I'll get back to you on if I'm wrong on that with the math, but if you want to help with that, we'd welcome it. We also buy resin. We can get resin locally down in Ghana. We used to buy it by the 55 gallon drum here in the States, then ship it over, but it was hazardous material. It was very cumbersome to do, but now there's a resin distributor.

They can get it there and we fund it. We pay for it, uh, because that's what they use to help make the socket. And then we have limbs that are recycled. You can go out to the website again and donate a used limb.

Uh, and it, what happens, it goes to a prison down in Arizona run by friends of ours at CoreCivic and inmates volunteer to disassemble these legs for us so that we can use the parts like, you know, the adapters, the screw, the feet. So this little boy, he's got a brand new socket and the knee that he's using is recycled. The pylon that connects the knee to the foot recycle, the foot is recycled. So if he has a problem with the foot, we just put another foot on him. If he has a problem with the knee, we get him another knee, but the socket is custom fitted to him. And then we also provide them hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of prosthetic socks and liners and sleeve.

You put a, Gracie wears the same system. You put a silicone or gel liner over the amputated limb, put that into the socket. And then you have a sleeve that, that goes from the socket over the liner into the skin of the thigh and that suction holds it on there. So you don't have to wear a belt with your prosthesis. When Gracie first became an amputee back in 91, her first leg, she had a belt around her knee.

They don't do that anymore. And these suspension sleeves are called are wonderful. And we provide that as well. So these are things that we're doing at Standing With Hope. Standing With Hope is the ministry that Gracie envisioned that day in the hospital with her hands lifted up. She said, I know what I'm going to do.

That was what she envisioned. And then it's gone on to include this ministry now to caregivers. And so we have two program areas is for the wounded and those who care for them.

And if you want to be a part of that, go out to hopeforthecaregiver.com. You can see where you can give to Standing With Hope through online or you can donate by mail, whatever, whatever you want to do or find the way to donate a limb. If you know somebody that had a family member that was an amputee that they passed away, we'll take that leg. We'll take the arm. We don't do a lot of arms, but we do some. And we always need the parts. If you know a prosthetist, you could ask them if they got extra stuff and we'll take it. We'll have it picked up right from their prosthetic office and shipped over to God.

I've got a great shipping group that helps us with all this stuff out of Nashville and they're just wonderful. So it's a great work that started with Gracie being in a hospital bed. That's extraordinary to me that God reaches into all these things in our life that we look at as horrific tragedies and He brings out something that gives Him glory because He has decreed it. And that is Hope for the Caregiver. Follow us on all our social media platforms. We look forward to every time with you. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver.

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 standingwithhope.com 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 working. 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 standingwithhope.com 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 standingwithhope.com 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. StandingWithHope.com
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-14 12:07:22 / 2024-04-14 12:26:03 / 19

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