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Cara Whitney Discusses Fields of Grace

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
June 14, 2021 3:00 am

Cara Whitney Discusses Fields of Grace

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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June 14, 2021 3:00 am

Author (and caregiver) Cara Whitney (wife of Dan Whitney - AKA LARRY THE CABLE GUY) discusses her deep faith and lessons she learns around her farm about herself, God's love, and sharing her faith. 

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Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the nation's largest show for you as a family caregiver. More than 65 million people right now are caring for a chronically impaired loved one. Maybe it's aging, Alzheimer's, maybe it's a child with special needs. Maybe somebody in your life has an addiction issue, an alcoholism issue. Maybe you're caring for somebody who is dealing with trauma, as in my case.

There's all kinds of different scenarios. And there's always a caregiver. How are you feeling? How are you doing?

What's going on with you? How are you staying healthy and strong while caring for someone who is not? And that's what this show is all about. Now in my 35th year as a caregiver, I've learned a few things along the way, most of it the hard way.

I am the Wile E. Coyote of caregivers. And I've learned though that we can live a calmer, healthier, and dare I say it, a more joyful life as we care for someone who is struggling. I'm always on the lookout for books and individuals who can bring some fresh air to some of the darker places of our hearts as we do this. And I came across this particular book from this author. It's Kara Whitney. And the book is called Fields of Grace, Sharing Faith from the Horse Farm.

It's in the Rockies of Montana. And Gracie and I, we have horses on the property here, dogs and cats and everything else, and moose and all kinds of things. And so she had me at Sharing Faith from the Horse Farm.

That's one of the ways that I get out and just kind of decompress my own heart. And I thought, what a wonderful title, what a wonderful concept she's doing. And then I thought where this book went was, how do we share our faith? How do we engage with the things of God through this environment of animals and farms and just the freshness of that?

And what can we learn from this? And as I explore this further, I just fell in love with this book and this whole concept she's doing. She also wrote a book called Unbridled Faith that has just amazing work. And so Kara, I'm glad you're here on the show. You had me at Horse Farm. And so thank you for being a part of the show with us today. Yeah, no problem, Peter. We have a lot in common. I also learn things the hard way. Those of you who don't know this, Kara's husband has been on the show before, but you may have heard the show we did.

But he's also known as Larry the Cable Guy. And we just had a marvelous time there. But Kara and what she's doing here is sharing her faith and exploring the things of God, seeing the poignant lessons that God allows us to see all around.

You know, scripture says all creation cries out to the glory of God. And I thought as caregivers, we sometimes get so wrapped up in the isolation. That's one of the toughest things we have. And it's important for us to connect to a little bit of fresh air. And so I think you will find this book and Kara's voice in her heart very meaningful.

Kara, I want to just jump right into this. Tell me about a barnyard horse brawl. And what in the world does that have to do with anything about our weaknesses? So the entire book, Peter, is about sharing our faith.

It makes people uncomfortable. But there are amazing ways we share our faith every day, some of which we might not even realize. That would be in the form of a caregiver, and we can get to that. I was mentoring a girl, a high school girl.

And, you know, I have teenage children myself, and so I can tell them something, but they don't listen. They can walk across the street to the neighbors, and she can tell them the same thing, and they'll listen to her. So I was mentoring the neighbor girl. And, of course, I'm a believer. She would come to me with problems that happened in her high school, you know, that whole drama that occurs there.

And, you know, I would help her walk through those things. The story is about my horse, Orlando, who, man, he's the sweetest horse. He is a caregiver. He takes care of people spiritually. Like, there was a little girl whose grandma passed away, and he was caring for her by letting her brush him.

He was repairing her heart. But the same horse cannot be around other horses, or he literally will try to kill them. And I tried to work that out of them, but as the chapter goes, ultimately, he tries to kill one of my other horses named Oaken. And being the rough and tumble farm girl that I am, of course, I get on the manure spreader. I have to separate these two horses. And my mouth reverts back to what it used to say before I knew the Lord, this tapestry of cuss words and, you know, this manure spreader's airborne. It was quite the scene. And I did end up able to separate them, but then realized that I was standing in front of this teenage girl that I was mentoring. Like, she saw this terrible sight of me, much like my horse Orlando.

It can be so sweet, but then also revert to this Jekyll and Hyde type personality. And so, but I'm still able to witness that I can't be discouraged by that. You know, you go back to learning the hard way. I'm going to apologize for this.

I'm not going to lose my witness over it by apologizing, talking to her about it by, wow, I can't believe I reverted back to that. So that's that first chapter opening up. And I correlate it with the word evangelism, how we hear the word evangelism and we just were kind of taken back by it. Because we've been hurt by Christians, too, that, you know, try to stump us up upside the head with Bibles and use, you know, God's word as a weapon against us. When really we should be reaching out in loving ways. We should be admitting our shortcomings and saying, I can do better than this because Jesus. So that, Peter, is what that chapter is about.

Well, I love that. And we have, you know, I think all of us and so many of my audience has struggled with this because people will come up and use the word of God like a sledgehammer on them. And, you know, if you had enough faith, then God would heal your loved one or what, you know, all that kind of stuff.

Gracie and I've heard all of that kind of stuff. My audience has heard that. And so I thought, how do we speak clearly into this and just be with people, let them know that, you know, God is moving in this all around.

And by the way, this is total separate there. Do you work any at all with therapy horses? You know, I work, we work real close with a therapy barn out in Hickman, Nebraska.

It's the Morning Star. Our foundation, which is the Gidder-Dunn Foundation, actually funded, built the barn, helped to start the program. You know, caregiving is sort of like that, too. If you think about it, you know, you don't know this, Peter, but my mother-in-law lives with us. She's 85. She has memory, some memory issues going on, header checks for, you know, Alzheimer's and things.

And she does have some narrowing of the blood vessels. You know, you get the same questions over and over again. What time is Dan going to be home?

What time does the dance recital start? And you'll get the same question every five minutes. And I think sometimes we just want to go, I already told you, you know, but we don't. You know, so caregivers, you know, but sometimes we do. Sometimes we lose it, Peter.

And it's sort of like I lost it with Orlando, you know, and you just have to apologize and not let that get to you because you're doing the best you can. How does your mother-in-law deal with being around the animals? Does she engage with them a lot? You know, she fell down and dislocated her shoulder. That's actually when she started coming to stay with us. And then we realized more than anything that those three months, especially during the beginning of COVID, she was really declining because we didn't see her every day. We weren't super aware of that. Well, then she fell, dislocated her shoulder, and she came to live with us. And we saw that, you know, maybe some food in the fridge needed to be thrown out and be sort of red flag. So we said, you know what? If she asked us, she said, can I live with you? Which had to be very brave of her to do that. That is. We've got to go to a quick break here, Kara. Hang on, hold on to that thought just a second here. We're talking with Kara Whitney. Her new book is called Fields of Grace, sharing faith from the horse farm. We'll be right back. Peter Rosenberg.

He's not a preacher, but he's got great hair. Hey, this is Peter Rosenberg and in my three and a half decades as a caregiver, I have spent my share of nights in a hospital, sleeping in waiting rooms, on fold out cots, chairs, even the floor. Sometimes on sofas and a few times in the doghouse.

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That's MyPillow.com promo code CAREGIVER. He'll give you hope for tomorrow, joy for your sorrow, strength for everything you go through. Remember he knows, he knows the plans he has for you. Oh yes he does, he knows. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger.

This is the show for you as a family caregiver. You know he does know the plans he has for you and we can trust him with this. And there are things that we look at that are very painful, that are heartbreaking. And yet if we look deeper we can see his hand of provision and go even deeper to that and see that he has assured us of things beyond our comprehension. And we can trust him.

How do we know we can trust him? Because he stretched out his arms. He gave his life for us on the cross. That's where it all is anchored.

And we're grateful to have you with us. We're talking with Kara Whitney. She is the author of the new book, Fields of Grace Sharing Faith from the Horse Farm. Kara comes from a farming family up in Wisconsin. She lives in Nebraska now. I just love this whole concept of what she's been doing of learning to see the things of God in the midst of taking care of a whole lot of animals. She takes care of her mother-in-law.

There are no strangers. She and her husband Dan are no stranger to the difficult things in this world. And they are learning to trust God in them as well. And I think it's so important for us as caregivers to get perspective from folks who are in their own spiritual journey seeing things that God is showing.

Let's get together, compare some ideas. Hey, can I learn from this? Yeah, I can. And she talked about in the last segment what a barnyard horse brawl shows of our own weaknesses. And I was asking her about her mother-in-law because she's having memory issues and dementia. Is she able to engage with the farm at all? And Kara, I'm sorry we had to cut off and go to the break, but tell me about that. Does that connect with her?

Is she able to connect with the farm life there? Yeah, you know, so when she came to live with us, she's just depressed. I mean, even when I've had an injury and you're just sitting in it, it can be depressing.

You just feel like you're never going to dig out. And so I would take her on walks, she'd go down and spend some time with my Shetland pony, Tucker, and feed him grass. And he's kind of a character anyway, so it just seemed to pepper up. I call it pony therapy. So I do use my animals a lot. Yeah, I have two little mini highland calves that I got around December and they required bottle feeding. And so first for my mother-in-law, Shirley, it was it was great for her to go down and help bottle feed. But then also have people come out who have had just some things going on in their life at the time.

And they just needed a break from it, you know, to to rest your mind and to just spend time with these little animals is just so so different and refreshing. Right. Well, it is. There's some folks down there. We live 10 miles from the paved road where we are. So we're in a pretty rural area. And some friends of ours down the road have a pretty large ranch. And they got a lot of sheep down there. And we just came through lambing season and all these little tiny lambs.

And I like to stop there. And Gracie will get out. And Gracie lives with pain all the time. You haven't met her. Your husband's met her.

But you haven't met her. But Gracie had a horrible wreck 38 years ago that left her pretty banged up. And so she's an orthopedic train wreck and she lives with a lot of pain. And it's not that her pain goes away. But I watch her with these lambs and with the animals around and, of course, with the horses here. And it transcends it.

There's something that happens for her that transcends her pain and transcends her injuries. And it's, you know, Churchill used to say there's nothing wrong with the inside of a man that the outside of a horse can't fix. And I love that quote. Will Rogers said it.

Reagan said that a lot. And, you know, for my own journey, when I just feel like I'm just kind of, you know, a little bit stressed out, I go saddle up the horse. And one of them sat down on me. I mean, he just sat down. I was riding it. His name is Rocket. And he wasn't very Rocket like that day, Kara. And he just sat down on me.

I stayed on him. And I was like, what the heck are you doing? You know, and and but they they come up to me and they they are just magnificent creatures of comfort to me. You know, and there's something about that. And I know that that that's happening for you. And that's why you've been writing. I love what you said in Unbridled Faith, your previous book, and that so many things that you're learning around this.

And and you said something about and I just wanted to draw on this and then tie it back to your book now. But almost every situation that produces fruit in us is one we'd rather not go through. And that's a great quote, Kara. It is, you know, almost every situation that produces fruit in us. And we don't like these things. But when we see what God is doing in them, we're like, oh, OK. All right.

All right. And you've seen this in your own life and you're able to communicate this in such a beautiful way that maybe people didn't expect. Go back to the baby calves for a moment. You were bottle feeding. So you have in this book how that teaches us the value of letting go.

Talk about that a little bit. When I was a kid, of course, it was it was a working farm. You know, we have a farm here, but it doesn't pay our bills.

You know, Larry pays our bills. But, you know, when I was a kid, you're you're bottle feeding these calves. Typically it would be a fair baby like a twin.

The mom can't take care of both. Well, so I would get one and bottle feed it. And then if I if a cow would come along and her baby would die for whatever reason, I mean, it happens, then she would adopt one from my pen. And so it was always hard because, you know, as a kid, you get attached to these babies, but you know, it's good. You know, you let go. It's OK to let go of good things because then that mother gets her baby. It's actually better for the calf to be raised by a cow than than some 12 year old kid. But the other side of that, too, is that, you know, by fall, they would be grown enough. They'd have to go down into the feedlot. And, you know, I know the fate of where those years are going to end up at some point, but it's just the cycle of life.

Sometimes you just have to let go, you know, and it's for the best and it's hard and it is what it is. Right. So, well, one rancher said here cows have a great life and one really bad day.

That was pretty good. You guys got dogs on this place, I assume. And we just got we just got a rescue dog.

Another one. Our Aussie is a little bit older and he's starting to be pretty crippled up and he is her support animal. He really takes very good care of her.

But he's getting a little bit old. So we got us a rescue dog and she is a bundle of energy. Tell me some things you've learned about dogs through this process, because we're big dog lovers out here. Well, the one that comes to mind that is in the book is on the barking dog, which I actually only have one dog right now.

And she's a rescue dog. But the story that comes to mind is every time I get my manure spreader. That dog bark and bark and bark. And it is so obnoxious.

Like it's just it literally makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up because it's frustrating. But I compare it to people who get on social media and things and they just, you know, they might say they might say the truth. They might say, look, unless you repent, you're going to burn in hell. But it's how they say it. It's the delivery of how they say it.

It just makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up because you're like you're not winning souls. And so you have to wonder why they say it like that if they're thinking they're earning some points with God by being that way. But there's a gentle way to say the same thing. And also, too, is it from the heart?

Like, are you telling a person, you know, there is a better way. Jesus made a better way for you. And if you don't repent, then you will be separated from God. You know, it's so much easier to take than this barking at somebody and saying you need to repent. You're a sinner. You're going to burn in hell type of a delivery when it comes to talking to somebody about Jesus. Well, I love I love that because, you know, we all know what a barking dog sounds like that doesn't stop.

You know, a loud clanging bell. And, you know, look at what Jesus said. Come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I'll give you rest. And he's close to the broken heart. The Lord is near to the broken heart and the poor of spirit.

And blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted. These are things that he is seeing the human condition that people are broken. And we can speak into that without just yelling at them. And I know for this audience here that listens to this show, we're watching somebody we love decline or suffer.

And we don't need anybody to yell at us. We need somebody to help us understand the gospel in that context that, yes, this is broken. Have you been watching The Chosen at all? Have you seen that?

You know what? I haven't watched season two yet, but I haven't watched season one. Well, in season two, there's a scene where they've done a great job of casting and writing for Jesus in this because usually they have Jesus just kind of walking around with looking white Anglo-Saxon and pensive all the time. But this character, when they've done this one, it is just amazing. He's very Jewish.

He's got a sense of humor, but he's very passionate. And one time he's looking at this guy and he says, you know, I come from a kingdom where all of this is okay. There's no suffering. There's no tears.

There's no sorrow. But in this kingdom that we're in now, hearts break, bones break. And so I think that we can be tender with this, like you said, that we don't have to just yell. We can be tender and recognize and respect the trauma that people are going through and offer comfort to them.

You know, Paul says we comfort one another with the same comfort that we ourselves have received. And do you think your kids are embracing, I mean, you grew up on a working cattle farm. You know, do you think that they're going to embrace this as they continue? They're in their teenage years now, right? Yeah.

No, I don't. I think, you know, I hope they have a relationship with Jesus. And I've done everything that I can to foster that without being legalistic or overbearing. But, you know, they're different people.

And all I'm trying to do is get them to the point where they're self-sustaining as far as, you know, they have their own life and they're going to make their own choices. But I think that we need to respect that as well as respecting that non-believers aren't believers. And so we shouldn't expect them to act that way. We can only make the introduction to Jesus and hope for the best, right? Indeed. And it's the law of attraction. And we don't know.

We put the stuff in them and we let God sort it all out. But we're faithful to share it. We're talking with Kara Whitney and she's the author of Fields of Grace.

We'll be right back. Have you ever struggled to trust God when lousy things happen to you? I have. I'm Gracie Rosenberger. And in 1983, I experienced a horrific car accident leading to 80 surgeries and both legs amputated. I questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me.

But over time, my questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God. That understanding, along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs, led me to establish Standing with Hope. For more than a dozen years, we've been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people. On a regular basis, we purchase and ship equipment and supplies.

And with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison, we also recycle parts from donated limbs. All of this is to point others to Christ, the source of my hope and strength. Please visit standingwithhope.com to learn more and participate in lifting others up. That's standingwithhope.com. I'm Gracie, and I am standing with hope. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the show for you as a family caregiver, and we're glad that you are with us. Hopeforthecaregiver.com if you want to see more information about what we're doing and why we're doing it. How do you help a family caregiver? Why should you help a family caregiver? Because healthy caregivers make better caregivers.

And if the caregiver goes down, what happens to the loved one? Those of you who listen to the show regularly, you know I take care of my wife. She's been hurt for a long time, since Reagan was president. If I go down, what happens to her? 80 surgeries, both legs amputated, 100 doctors have treated her. How is she going to function if I'm not in a good place spiritually, emotionally, physically, fiscally?

All those kinds of things. We have a stake in staying healthy. And part of that healthiness is to glean from others who are maybe participating in things that we can't do, but we can learn from them and we can borrow a little bit of their oxygen that they're able to breathe and take it into those places when we feel like we are just lonely and isolated and in the dark.

We don't know what we're going, and we can hear maybe the gospel in a way that we haven't heard before. It's like Kara was telling us in the last segment that she was mentoring her neighbor's child. Her own children may not listen to her, but her neighbor's child is Child Swap. I think that's the new reality TV series.

And sometimes we can just hear it from somebody else in a different context. Maybe it's like she said, pony therapy, where she's able to take someone down, her mother-in-law with dementia, and let her just spend time with her pony and comfort her heart and so forth. But maybe we need pony therapy. And her new book is called Fields of Grace, and I'm so glad that she's with us. Kara, she's taken her life experiences on the farm throughout her journey with this and her love of animals and being able to engage. I love how you keep reference to the fact that you get on the manure spreader. And they say that you could tell a lot about a person by their first job. And mine was cleaning horse stalls when I was 14 years old. And I said, I'm not so sure sometimes that my job description hasn't changed, but I've been there.

And some people may say, oh, that's kind of gross. No, it's not. It's not. It's all good. It's all good. So tell me, do your kids enjoy the farm life as much as you do?

No. So like I said, they're their own people. My daughter, our daughter wants to go to New York City. She wants to perform on Broadway. And then our son wants to, he's learning Japanese.

He's growing fluent in that, and his dream is to move to Japan. So probably couldn't get further from the farm than those two. But their lives are their own, and God has them here. You know, we're made to know God and to make it known.

And so, you know, I hope they stay in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and He can take it to Broadway, New York, and He can take it to Japan. So I can't get in the way of that. And, you know, there's no money in farming.

No, sadly there's not. But you've invested into your children, you've given them an education, you've shared the things of God, shared your own life, you've modeled it in front of them, and you trusted the Lord with all your heart and leaned on it under your own understanding. And in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. And I hold on to that scripture in a very difficult and dark time in my life. A mutual friend of ours gave me that verse, shared with me, and I'd heard it before, but it just came at such a time and he was so gentle with it and that was Jeff Foxworthy. And he just said that to me.

I remember where I was standing when he told me that. And I hang on to those moments. And I think that's what it is with your kids. You put it in there and you trust that they have a Savior and we're not that Savior. Yeah, you know, the hardest prayer you can pray for your kids is, and I hope they get a good job and they have great friends.

The hardest prayer, but probably the most effective prayer you can pray over your kids is, whatever it takes to get them to you, Lord. And man, that's uncomfortable, you know. I'm working on a new book and one of the things I was actually writing today was what I learned in COVID is basically that I did all these things for a year to try to orchestrate my own comfort by doing that. I realize that's an idol for me. And by doing that, I was not the hands and feet of Jesus for other people, you know.

And so I was not producing that fruit that we were talking about earlier in the show, you know. And I just want my kids to know the Lord, you know, whatever that takes. And that means they're going to be uncomfortable. When people read this book, when they put this down, Fields of Grace, Sharing Faith with a Horse Farm, what is something that you really hope that takes root in them, that they walk away from this with something that they're hanging on to?

What would be that thing? Well, my hope is that they'll see that talking to people about Jesus isn't as hard as they probably feel that it is. You know, it's intimidating. You know, you'll go to talk about Jesus.

You get all sweaty. You hope you say the right thing. But Jesus is just calling us to make an introduction. So we don't have saving power.

Pressure's off there. But we can make the introduction. And it looks differently depending on who you're talking to. It's all relational. And isn't that what caregivers do? It's this relationship, you know. You can't fix your mother-in-law's dementia. I can't fix Gracie. But we can be in relationship with them, and I love that.

Yeah, you're exactly right. Yeah, and you know too, you know, marriage. You know, what's the best way I can tell my husband how much I love him? I can take care of his mom.

You know, so I can do this. I've learned to the point right now Shirley's so easy. She's great. She actually helps me out. I give her jobs. She feels so useful here. It's been wonderful for the kids.

So it's been just wonderful. And you know, you have to see the bright spots in it. And also the hope we have as followers of Jesus Christ that everything here, the hard things, they're going to be redeemed on the other side. You know, you're going to see Gracie walk. She's probably going to outrun you. You know, like all those things that we've lost, those things will be redeemed on the other side. And that's the hope we have.

And it's so amazing. She was at the grocery store one time and she started wearing her legs uncovered years ago because it was just she wanted to get in the water and so forth with them. And that's a longer story. But she was she was wearing shorts and she has robotic looking legs. And some kid was just following her around the grocery store. And Gracie can't walk as well now. She's did not because of her legs, because of her back.

And we're dealing with that reality. But it's she was just following around, just looking at her, just looking at her. And finally, Gracie was trying to just kind of move away, move away.

And finally, the little kid just tugged at her at her sleeves. He said, are your legs in heaven? And Gracie said, yes, they are. And one day I'm going to get them back. And I thought that's that is that is our hope in the gospel, knowing that, you know, he is redeeming all of these things. And there are glimmers of that redemption that we see every day around us. And I think that is so marvelous that you see it. What is what is what is something else that you want to just leave this audience? I mean, the people that that listen to this show and the people that I'm engaged with, they have to watch heartache, heartache on a level for some that is just excruciating. And I just when I saw your book and your story and I just knew that you're out there breathing some fresh air, even on a manure spreader and some of the things that you can to insights that we may not have been able to see.

We may not be able to touch it. A lot of times I had to go out and bring sunshine back into a hospital room with Gracie. And that's the way caregivers are sometimes. Is that what that's what we have to do.

Jeff told me when I started doing the show, he said, Peter, make them laugh. You know more than most how important it is. And so I tried to do that to bring some light heartedness, some some encouragement, some fresh air.

What are some things that you would just like to just deposit for someone right now who you know is looking at some tough stuff? Find those those moments. One of my friends started journaling and actually has been able to look back at some of these good things that maybe don't last. They're going to come and go. But, you know, it's almost like they tease us and go away. But they're glimpses of heaven. So, you know, the heaven and the new earth are going to be this place where these moments are going to last. They're going to be deeply fulfilling. And it's going to be everything that we're longing for. Right.

And more. I mean, we just know because God gives in abundance, you know. So, you know, maybe journaling is something, you know, in my writing. That's how I started.

I didn't set out to be an author or anything like that. I just started writing down what I was discovering about God and his character. And and then I would share them on social media. And someone just asked me if I would correlate those with horses. And I was able to do that because that's where I was learning the lessons, what the horse is, what God was revealing to me through the horses. And and so when I go back and, you know, look at these books or whatever, some of it I go, well, I've moved past this part or I just look at it differently. And sometimes I'm like, it's just a good reminder of what I've been through and how in the goodness is in it. Because when you read these chapters, Peter, usually it's me learning a hard lesson in them.

So it's really refreshing to see that worked out. So journaling, I think, is it's not just for chicks, right? It's my friend who journals as a guy. I mean, I think people think that's for the ladies, but I think you'd be surprised to journal how much goodness you see in that. Well, and journaling doesn't have to be Dear Diary kind of thing. Journaling can be just writing down a thought that you have and keeping it to reflect back on.

I've got things like that little post-it notes that I've got around my office with that kind of thing. And for me, one day I was there was a hymn, praise you, the Lord, the Almighty. And there's a line in there says, ponder anew what the Almighty can do. And I put that on a post-it note and that is on the doorpost of my office when I go in and I'm never taking it down. And Gracie actually made a beautiful thing for me that I hang on the wall of that phrase, ponder anew what the Almighty can do.

And I think that's what journaling gives you a chance to do. We're going to take one more break and we're back here with Kara Whitney, the author of the new book, Fields of Grace. Fields of Grace, sharing faith from the horse farm.

And I really appreciate her taking the time just to spend a little time with me to talk about this. So it builds up my heart and I hope it's building up your heart as well of strengthening us that we can share our faith. We can discover greater faith even in the midst of these difficult things. And we can see God's hand moving all around us. And I've got something else I want to ask when we come back.

We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberg and this is the show for you as a family caregiver. That is my wife Gracie with Russ Taft off of her new CD, Resilient. If you want a copy of that, go out to Hopeforthecaregiver.com.

You get involved in what we're doing, we'll send you a copy of that as our gift to you. I think you'll be very moved by it. She's the real deal and a no kidding singer and I love listening to that voice. Even during some of the very difficult times we've had to go and there were times I would go into a hospital room and she was struggling so intensely. And she would just sing a hymn, just Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him, how I've proved Him over and over.

And she would say, oh, for Gracie to trust Him more, not just oh, for Grace to trust Him, oh, for Gracie to trust Him more. And I've always been quite moved by her enormous faith and her passion to worship God in the midst of her difficult times. We're talking with Kara Whitney and her new book, Fields of Grace, and I wanted to circle back to a previous book that she had called Unbridled Faith. She has learned so many lessons just being around horses and the farm. I mean, I see that myself out here where we are in Montana and all creation cries out to the glory of God, Scripture says.

But she said something in Unbridled Faith that connected what she said in the last segment and I want to just spend a little time with this before we let her go. When God teaches us patience through trials, and we're caregivers, okay, we need, everybody's paying attention with this, okay? When God teaches us patience through trials, it feels like we're running in circles in a round pen. However, God does not corral us to be cruel. He holds us in place to teach us to walk in His ways, not to stray and to trust in Him.

We're not putting horses in corrals to be cruel, but we're helping teach them. And you know what? That's the way it is with us sometimes and it seems like that we're just in a tiny pen and we're going around in circles.

But that's not the case. Talk about that a little bit, Kara. Well, the waiting, the not knowing. I believe that when I wrote that I was going through some health struggles of my own. And you know, you take a couple steps forward and you see like a bright spot.

I wouldn't say you see the end of the tunnel, but you get that bright spot, but then you have to take four steps back. And man, in that time period, I was so dependent on God. My ears were both open. It was like I just was so dependent on Him. So much so that I didn't ask Him to take it away, because I was so worried that if He did, that I wouldn't hear from Him anymore. So that's how well I was trained up in that. And then I watched somebody talking about going through brain cancer, and essentially a nurse came in and said to him, because he was like me, you know, when God has given you so much, you don't want to ask for more. But this nurse said to this man, she said, but yes, if your children were hurting, wouldn't you want them to come to you and tell you to take it away? And so I did eventually ask God to take it away. And you know what?

He did, for the most part. At least we figured out what was going on. But I was in that round pen for a while. And sometimes on this earth, we may not get out of it. It's just kind of a strange, I don't know, there's so much to unpack there, right, Peter? Well, I think that we have this... To be completely dependent on God. Well, I love what you said there.

You used the word, and I think it's an intentional word we need to look at. We think God is cruel. And I've watched God allow Gracie to suffer in ways that I just, I've never seen another human being suffer like this for so long. And I think, gosh, God, are you being cruel? And I was looking at Psalm 77 the other day. God, have you forgotten to be gracious? The psalmist says.

Right. And I realized that, no, he has, because the psalmist goes back and says, I remember what you've done of old, and I go back to that hymn, O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come. And even Jesus from the cross cried out, my God, my God, why have you forgotten me? And I think that wells up in us, and it's okay to yell that out.

It's okay to lament that. He wants us to yell that out. He doubts, because he yelled it out. He wants to hear from us. Yeah, he wants to hear from us. He wants us to cry out.

He wants us to pendant. And you know, he doesn't do these things to us. He can't be cruel. It's just not his character.

He is good. He's love. There are actually things God can't do. He can't go back on his promises. He can't lie to us. Everything he says is true.

He's so good. But with that being said, we know that he's powerful enough to get us out of it. But he chooses not to do that sometimes. And I think it's okay, Peter, cry out.

Say why. Well, we do. Yeah, at the same time, though, the benefit of that is that you know he's there.

You know that he's got this situation. Whereas some people have nothing going on in their life, and there's nothing to cry out for. And you have to wonder, what part does Satan have in that? Because if you're going about your life and everything is great, why would you think you needed God?

Right? It wasn't until I had these health struggles. My biggest thing was trusting God. The thought that I was in control of everything. And when something came into my life that I was not in control of, I had no choice but to say, you know what, I'm not in control, I'm aware of that now, and how about you take this from me, and by the way, in it, I'm going to bring glory to you, Lord.

Because now I understand that however this health crisis turns out, and at that time in my life, it was looking like cancer. So I said, if that is your will, then I will bring glory to you in that storm. And that was when I really connected my faith to my heart, because up until that point, it was like my brain believed.

Because I studied the resurrection, I found out to be true, I was like, okay. But I could not make an emotional connection to Jesus without Him putting me on the ground with something that was completely out of my control. Well, I heard a great quote that says, from a pastor friend of mine says, it's difficult to cry out to a savior that you don't think you need. And that's where suffering becomes a teacher for us, and it is painful, and sometimes it lasts for a lifetime.

And in our case, it's that way, and so many of the listeners of this show are dealing with this, where this will go on and on and on, and doesn't show any signs of letting up. How do we speak that gospel into it? And I think this is where we do, by having a forum like we're having in this show, where we come together and we listen to each other. And as each other's cry out, that we stand with each other, and we mourn with those who mourn, we grieve with those who grieve, and we build each other up through that. We comfort one another with the same comfort that we ourselves have received from the God of all comfort. And that is a driving scripture for me, is to understand that people have spoken that comfort into my life over these many years, and to Gracie's life, and we have the opportunity to do the same thing.

Karen, it's the same way. Somebody spoke this word of comfort to you. Somebody spoke this life to you, and you're reciprocating it now with the same passion and zeal that you were able to receive it. And so it's a beautiful thing, and this is a beautiful book, and what you've done, and the series of things that you've been writing about. If people want to find out more, I mean, the book is available now, right? Yes, the book's out. Both books are out. There's also a kid's version of Unbridled Faith. Fields of Grace is the new one.

Amazon, anywhere books are sold. And if people want to find out more about you, what's the best way to do that? You know what, Peter? There isn't. There's not. This isn't a career for me. I don't look to find glory for myself. My main mission is to bring glory to Jesus. That's it. Yeah, I love that.

It might be a little blurb in there or something, but I can tell you I live in Nebraska. I'm married to a couple kids. Man, I just love Jesus. I'm so in love with him. I think that's just marvelous. All right, now look. I'm going to do something I don't normally do, but I want to see how good my invitation is of Larry.

All right, go for it. Do you feel like judging? You want to know something funny? Dan actually, just to be funny, got into a Larry the Cable Guy look-alike contest and took third place. I saw a guy at the grocery store out where we are, and he was walking to the store, and I actually texted this to Jeff because it looked so much like him. The torn-off sleeves, the whole thing.

It was like, dang, I had no idea he was out here. All right, let's see if I can do this. This book feels great. It's a good book. I'll tell you, it's a good book.

I don't read much, but it's a good book. Get her done. No, that's the best I got. I think I'd actually do Jeff better.

The get her done, I could maybe, but yeah, it's pretty weak, Peter. Well, I do know that I could say there was a man with no legs selling boots because that one was forever blazing on us when Gracie did the show with him. I could do Jeff when I need to. Jeff did a thing one time. He and I did a PSA. On the outtakes of it, we were doing, you might be a caregiver if, and he just busted me up. He says, if anybody's ever seriously asks you, baby, have you seen my left leg? You're probably good. I just, I fell out laughing.

Even Gracie just fell out on that one, too. Kara, you've been a delight, and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. You're always welcome, and just have a great time up on the manure spreader or whatever else you're doing around the farm. Keep telling people about Jesus, and thank you for being a part of the show.

This is Hope for the Caregiver, Hopeforthecaregiver.com, Peter Rosenberger. We'll see you next time. Gracie, when you envisioned doing a prosthetic limb outreach, did you ever think that inmates would help you do that?

Not in a million years. When you go to the facility run by CoreCivic and you see the faces of these inmates that are working on prosthetic limbs that you have helped collect from all over the country, that you put out the plea for, and they're disassembling, you see all these legs, like what you have, your own prosthetic legs. And arms, too.

And arms. When you see all this, what does that do to you? It makes me cry, because I see the smiles on their faces, and I know what it is to be locked someplace where you can't get out without somebody else allowing you to get out. Of course, being in the hospital so much and so long.

And so, these men are so glad that they get to be doing, as one band said, something good finally with my hands. Did you know before you became an amputee that parts of prosthetic limbs could be recycled? No, I had no idea. You know, I thought of peg leg. I thought of wooden legs. I never thought of titanium and carbon legs and flex feet and sea legs and all that.

I never thought about that. As you watch these inmates participate in something like this, knowing that they're helping other people now walk, they're providing the means for these supplies to get over there, what does that do to you, just on a heart level? I wish I could explain to the world what I see in there. And I wish that I could be able to go and say, this guy right here, he needs to go to Africa with us. I never not feel that way.

Every time, you know, you always make me have to leave, I don't want to leave them. I feel like I'm at home with them. And I feel like that we have a common bond that I would have never expected that only God could put together. Now that you've had an experience with it, what do you think of the faith-based programs that CoreCivic offers? I think they're just absolutely awesome. And I think every prison out there should have faith-based programs like this because the return rate of the men that are involved in this particular faith-based program and the other ones like it, but I know about this one, is just an amazingly low rate. Compared to those who don't have them. And I think that that says so much.

That doesn't have anything to do with me. It just has something to do with God using somebody broken to help other broken people. If people want to donate a used prosthetic limbs, whether from a loved one who passed away or, you know, somebody who outgrew them, you've donated some of your own for them to do. How do they do that? Oh, please go to standingwithhope.com slash recycle. Standingwithhope.com slash recycle. Thanks, Gracie.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-04 19:51:03 / 2023-11-04 20:11:37 / 21

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