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Caregivers and Rest - Is It Possible?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
April 11, 2022 3:30 am

Caregivers and Rest - Is It Possible?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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April 11, 2022 3:30 am

As a caregiver, what does rest look like to you? 

Admittedly, this is a challenge for me - and has been for the entire 35+ years I've been a caregiver.  From our nationally syndicated broadcast on 4/9/2022, I shared that struggle and what I've learned through this journey. 

Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Finishing Well
Hans Scheil
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger

Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Roseburger. This is the nation's number one program for you as a family caregiver and I am so glad that you're here. More than 65 million Americans right now are caring for a vulnerable loved one. For some it's an aging parent, for some it's a child with autism, for some it's somebody with autism. Others are dealing with a trauma in their life. Others have someone who just got a bad diagnosis and others are dealing with somebody with alcoholism or addiction, mental illness. Whatever the chronic impairment, there's always a caregiver. Now some caregivers are really up close and personal and others are hanging back. In the case of alcoholism and addiction, for example, you can't go into some of the places that that addict and that alcoholic is going to go. All you can do sometimes is just stand there and grieve, hoping that they will hit bottom hard enough to ask for help and be able to find a path from there into recovery.

But you've got to watch the carnage. How do you handle that? What's going on with you who are caring for somebody with this long persistent traumas and you've just got to watch the slow decline? How do you handle that?

These are issues that we delve into on this program and it's all about the heart of a caregiver that is usually a dumpster fire. But it doesn't have to be. We can settle ourselves down. We can journey through this a little calmer, a little healthier, and dare I say it, a little more joyfully.

But it's not easy and you can't do it alone. So we're glad you're with us. If you want to be a part of the program, go out there. There's a little form you can fill out.

Just send me a note. Whatever's on your heart, whatever's on your mind if you want us to call you from the program. We have been not doing the show live recently just simply because we're getting through this surgery with my wife and now she is home. I'm happy to report and it's been a very difficult journey for her.

I spent 10 weeks in Denver and what a marathon. It was kind of interesting because my journey, now that she's home, my journey as her caregiver gets exponentially harder. And so I'm having to kind of balance out some of those things. I've got to go back and read my own book. I have to listen to my own podcast and my own radio show because these are things that I easily can forget. I have caregiver amnesia. And just like I have gospel amnesia, I have to be reminded of the gospel every single day. How much more am I going to be reminded of other things if I have to be reminded of the gospel?

But I do. And I think that is the plight of us as human beings that we sometimes have to be reminded of the obvious. And we have to be reminded from people of a certain credibility that we'll listen to because as caregivers it's hard to listen to other people when they come alongside you and try to offer encouragement or comfort or whatever. But if they don't have any kind of street cred in our minds, sometimes we'll dismiss it. And that's unfortunate. That's often to our detriment because they could be speaking great words to us, but it's hard to hear that from others who have not walked down this kind of journey. Or maybe I'm the only one.

Maybe it's just me. But it's hard for me to hear it. So that's what has been the driving force for much of what I do here on this program is because I know what it was like to long to hear somebody speak about these things in a way that made sense to me from a place of experience. And a lot of people just didn't know what to say. And so that's why I do this program because I do speak fluent caregiver. It's not easy.

And people that will tell you that it is, they haven't done it long enough or they'll lie about other things because none of this is easy. But here we are. So how do we do this? What do we do?

How do we go from here? I was thinking about this topic that I wanted to get into today of rest. And I'll tell you a story. Years ago, I had an appendix that about ruptured and it was pretty painful. And I went to the hospital and they took my appendix out.

I thought, OK, we're dealing with that. Well, during the surgery, I about bled out. Evidently, there's some kind of nick they did when they were pulling the appendix out the way they did that kind of surgery.

And it was pretty dicey there for me. And then a couple of weeks later, I developed a post-op infection. So I had to go back to the hospital with this. You know, I was pretty sick. And I got down there and they, you know, they took care of me, did all the things they needed to do. And I'm down in the the one of the lower floors of this hospital where Gracie spent so much time. You know, I can look at all the quarters and everything else.

And just we had so many surgeries at this hospital. And I'm down there and I'm by myself in the room. It's quiet. There's no flowers, no cards, nothing.

It's just very quiet. And my pastor walked in. One of my pastors walked in. His name was Larry. I love Larry. I still talk to him today.

This has been some time ago. And he said, how are you doing? And I was laying there feeling kind of quiet and peaceful. And you know how some people say you can't rest in a hospital.

You just can't get any rest in the hospital. Well, you're actually listening to the one guy that can and did. And I was sitting there and I said, well, Larry, I'm trusting the Lord with all this. It's been a little bit of a challenge, but I'm resting and trusting him, just resting here. And Larry looked at me very thoughtfully and he said, well, as your pastor, I got to tell you, I'm very moved to hear that you're resting in the Lord in this and trusting him with all this. And then he added, but as your pastor, I'm concerned that you call this rest.

I was laying there with a hole in my gut and I'm in a hospital. He said, you're calling this rest. What is the rest of your life like that you call this rest?

And his point was not lost on me. And we started a conversation that has continued to this day. What does rest look like for a caregiver? I work full time. I am the music minister of the little church where we go here in Montana. They asked me to do that.

And I'm Gracie's full time caregiver. When do I get a day off? What does that look like? What is a Sabbath rest? People say, well, you need to know what a Sabbath rest is. I have no idea what it looks like to to rest.

I really don't even know what a vacation's like. I've been a caregiver now in my 36th year. So everywhere I go, I'm still working. And then I run my own business and I run our company Standing With Hope, the nonprofit that Gracie and I started.

And then I have my own business stuff. I mean, what does rest look like to somebody like me? And I've really struggled with this for many years.

And by the way, I'm open to thoughts that you might have on that, too, because maybe some of you have explored this and come up with a better path than I have. But I really don't know what rest is. I don't get a day off, but I do take hours off.

And that's, you know, for me, I get out here in Montana and I'll get out on the snowmobile in the wintertime and just go for a ride or ATVs in the summer or get on a horse and go for a walk and things such as that. It's hard for me to rest. But is there something else I'm missing, not just physical rest, but is there a spiritual rest that I'm missing?

Well, of course, the answer is yes. How do I rest spiritually and emotionally? How do I rest mentally? How do I cool my brain off and just let it, you know, Churchill used to paint. I don't know if you knew this, but I'm a big Churchill fan and I've read a lot of his stuff.

And he would paint just to cool his brain off from running the world. And so I thought, well, what do I do? And I go to the piano.

I play. That helps me kind of process things out. And there's some other things I thought about. OK, this is how I rest and dial it down a little bit. And it's hard to know these things, but I'm curious to how you do it. What do you do to rest? What is rest?

What does that look like to you? And I think this is something we as caregivers can explore together and figure out. We got to take a quick break.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver. We'll be right back. That's why I love you, Jesus. That's why I'm always good. You gave me love when nobody gave me a prayer.

Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. That is B.J. Thomas singing one of my all time favorite songs, You Gave Me Love When Nobody Gave Me a Prayer, written by my dear friend Archie Jordan. I had Archie on the program a couple of weeks ago. I hope you were able to hear it. If you want to hear it, you still go out to our podcast. It's out there. I put all the interviews and so forth we do on the program out on our podcast. And please take advantage of it. It's a free podcast. And share it with some others that you know are struggling and you don't know what to say to them. Well, you know what? I do.

So send them a veteran caregiver just to talk them through some things and to spend some time with it. Like I said, it's a free podcast. Take a listen to it. I was that song, You Gave Me Love When Nobody Gave Me a Prayer. I was in the hospital with Gracie about a month and a half ago. And I can't remember what the context was. She was in the ICU at the time. And I told her, I said I had to take off my shoes. And I was going to put on some slippers just to be there in the ICU, just to be comfortable. And she said, do you have the slippers that I gave you? Because she gave me some slippers for Christmas this year. And for whatever reason, I just lapsed into, you gave me slippers when nobody gave me a pair. I just pulled that out of the air somewhere.

And she kind of, even in ICU, she kind of chuckled. And I called up Archie to tell him that. He said, oh man, I would have never put that together.

You gave me slippers when nobody gave me a pair. And so anyway, that's the kind of mind that I have sometimes. I'm sorry about that. Welcome back to the show.

And we are thrilled to have you with us. We're talking about rest. What does rest look like for you? What does that mean to you? How do you rest as a caregiver? And I'm not asking that because I want to somehow put you on the spot.

I'm asking because I don't know sometimes what rest looks like. As I said in the last block, I play the piano. I do like to read. I like comedy. I love stand up comedy. And so I like to watch that.

It just kind of, I don't know, just something about laughter that helps me kind of bleed off the stress. Kind of think of what else that I do that, you know, horseback riding, all that kind of stuff. Yeah, I do like to do that. But when I skied and I used to ski, my knees aren't what they used to be, so I can't.

Well, I probably could ski, but I don't want to put myself in that kind of pain to do it. And I like movies. I like documentaries. I like historical documentaries, that kind of thing.

I like really good movies with a very intricate story that I kind of shut everything else down and do that. But I don't know that I, you know, people say, wouldn't you like to go on a cruise? And I'm like, are you out of your mind? You know, I've been on cruises before and I'm never going to do it again.

At least if I have to say so about it, because that's just to me, that's not rest. You're just, you're on a crowded ship with a bunch of people and there's food everywhere and it's just constant sensory bombardment. And so I don't particularly want to go on a cruise. And I do like going out on the boat. One of my favorite things to do is go out on the boat with my brother in law in Florida.

Would let us go out and take us out and on his boat and lived out on the water. And it was it was great. And there were times when I went out there and he let Gracie and I take the boat out a time or two. And, you know, we're just going along and dolphins are cresting and we're kind of swimming with the dolphins and we boat in there with them. And that was that was restful to me.

And and I enjoyed that. But it's hard. It's hard to know how to rest when you're a full time caregiver and you work full time and, you know, you you you own the company and or you're in charge of the company.

And, you know, it's hard to know how to do that. Yet it's important to do it. The Roman poet Ovid stated, take rest. A field that has rested gives a beautiful crop. You know, and that that harkens back to the way agriculturally God directed his people to let the ground rest every so often.

I think it's every seven years to let the ground rest so that it could replenish the nutrients and so forth. And the French philosopher Blaise Pascal, I thought he was a mathematician, too. Correct me if I'm wrong on that, but he said nothing gives rest, but the sincere search for truth. Well, that's an interesting statement, isn't it? And I think sometimes the things that keep us so turned up are the distractions to the truth. And I think for me, one of the biggest ways that I've been able to rest is to understand that God is sovereign, that I don't have to figure all these things out. And I really struggle with that.

I used to demand to know why God was allowing certain things and why would he do this? And then I got to a point where, you know, you can only do that for so long. Then you just run out of steam.

I mean, it takes a lot of energy to be hacked off all the time. You know, I mean, it does. It's exhausting to be angry.

It's exhausting to be, you know, just been out of shape all the time. And I got to the point where I was learning to say, OK, I don't know why. I don't know why. And I kind of got comfortable with that statement. I don't know why.

I mean, it's the truth. I don't. But then there was a shift for me. There was a really big shift where not only do I not know why, I can't know why. I cannot know why. And I don't know that I ever will. I don't know that I ever can. You see, I can know God truly, but I can't know him absolutely.

As a friend of mine told me, even when I've been with him in eternity for however you measure time in eternity, if there is such a measure, I will still never know him absolutely because he is God and I am not. I cannot know why. I do not have it in me to understand that.

I think there will be things that will be explained to us and revealed to us and shown to us, but he's still infinite. We are not. And so I kind of just landed in that place where I realized I can't know why. I don't know why. I can't know why.

And it's OK. And I rested in that. You know, people want to come up all the time when you deal with such difficult circumstances in your life. It goes back to when the disciples came to Jesus with a guy that was born blind. They said, who sinned?

This guy or his parents? You know, we have to somehow justify this horrific tragedy. We have to somehow make sense of the senseless. And a lot of times I think we're trying to wash God's hands of it. It's embarrassing to think that a good and loving God would allow such a thing. And so there's a lot of conversation that goes on about, you know, why God would allow this because he's a good and loving God. Therefore, these people did something wrong.

That's what happened. It's not because of God. It's because of them. And it's exhausting, particularly to those of us who live with a situation that doesn't improve with time. But then again, who of us lives with the situation that improves with time? You know, none of us are getting out of this thing alive. And time is the enemy. Death is the enemy for this mortal life.

But Christ defeated death. So do we rest in that or not? Does that comfort us? Does that strengthen us?

Does that give us the wherewithal to stop staying so angry and fretting and trying to figure out why and just rest in him? Since I can't do a conventional rest like some people do, it just doesn't seem to be available to me. So I've learned to rest in unconventional ways. Since the conventional seems to be elusive to me, and maybe to you, I've learned to rest in unconventional ways. And ease into circumstances differently than I certainly used to. In many of my earlier years as a caregiver, I would strain over these things.

I'd be living five years out in the future. And I kind of surprised myself over things when people would come to me recently, well, what are you going to do about this? How do you feel about this? What are you going to do about this?

What happens if this happens? And I kept getting peppered with questions like that from family and friends. And my answer has changed drastically, my reply. I don't have an answer.

My reply to them has changed drastically over the years. When I said, I don't know, I'm not there yet. I'm not there yet. We're not there.

We're just going to deal with today. And I think for me, I go back to that quote from Blaise Pascal, nothing gives rest but sincere desire for truth, the sincere search for truth. And in my case, I've sought out the truth in the matter of this craziness that Gracie and I live in. And the truth is God is sovereign in this. That is truth. God is working in this. That is truth.

God is working through this and is leading to something, weaving into something, redeeming all of it. That is truth. That is anchored in scripture. And I am unmoved on that. I will stand firm on that.

I will rest on that. So I'm not going to take a day off and go and do what necessarily other people do. I'm not going to certainly go on a cruise. I'm not going to do those things.

I'm not going to save up all year to go on a two week vacation and be exhausted when I come back. But I am going to go to the piano and I'm going to play hymns that mean something to me, that anchor me, that settle my heart down. I'm going to look at things differently than I used to look at. I've studied art lately. Fine art and paintings have been looking at things. It's fascinating to me.

I would have never taken the time to do that. And I've seen beauty that I would have missed otherwise. And so maybe resting for me is learning to stop, slow down, and maybe even smell a few roses. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver.

We'll be right back. 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.

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Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. That is Andre Crouch and the Gospel Disciples. That is his sister Sandra singing Tell Them. Boy, that takes me back a while.

That's why he back in the groove yard. I loved, I grew up playing Andre stuff and I just love it. First concert I ever saw was Andre Crouch and the Gospel Disciples.

It was at the Township Auditorium in Columbia, South Carolina back in 19, six, seven, eight, something. I don't know. I was just a kid. And I had the program.

Get this. I had the program with me. I don't know why I had it with me. But I went and saw Van Cliburn like within a year or so later, my piano teacher at the time. She's, I think, passed away since a long time ago and she had Alzheimer's. She's a wonderful pianist and wonderful teacher. And she took me to see Van Cliburn with a lot of other students. And I got to go backstage and meet him. And I had him give his autograph and he signed it on the program that I had from Andre Crouch's song bill, whatever it was that they had to advertise it. And I have Van Cliburn signature on that with Andre Crouch.

And I have no idea where it is. That's embarrassing. You know, that's Van Cliburn. And I don't know if you knew this or not, but he, when he was 23, you know, that's when he won the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow in 1958.

Well, until that point, you know, only the Russians could do that. And here comes this young 23-year-old American. I think he's from Texas. No, he died in Texas. I think he's from Louisiana.

Southern boy. And he comes out of, you know, nowhere and nails this thing. He's just an extraordinary pianist. And I got to meet him at a very impressionable time in my life as a musician. And, you know, I mean, I have no, I don't even want to sit at the piano with somebody like him.

I mean, I can't do that kind of stuff. I mean, the amount of skill and work it takes to be able to perform at that level. I knew a friend of mine who was a piano, he was a piano performance major at one of the finest music schools in the country. This guy was amazing. And he told me years later, you know, after he'd had all this stuff, but here he was, he was probably in his late 50s, early 60s when he told me this. He said, I don't play anymore.

I said, why not? He said, because I remember how good I used to be and I can't maintain that. And that was kind of heartbreaking to me, you know, because I came to a realization of what I could do and what I couldn't do. And to be a concert pianist, to be at that level, I understand it takes an enormous amount of commitment and extraordinary amount of practice. But I never want to walk away from the instrument. My piano professor at Belmont University in Nashville told me once that when he was about 78, he'd already retired from teaching. And he said, he said, I think I'm just now starting to get into the pocket of the song. He's a jazz pianist. I always thought that was great. Here he is at 78.

He's still learning and it still brings joy to him. And I think this is, for me, what I've learned to incorporate into my life is how I rest. And so I'm curious as to you, what do you do? How do you rest?

And we're talking about rest today as caregivers, and I think sometimes for us as caregivers, rest means acceptance, accepting for what is. You know, I got an article that's out in the Chicago Tribune and other Tribune media services this week, and I was really quite moved that they picked this one up. I have several editors that I send my things to based on what I think it would fit for. And I've been published in Fox News and, you know, Christian Post, WebMD, AARP, Guideposts. I've been published in a wide variety, USA Today, Washington Times.

And, you know, it's always kind of interesting who gravitates to one particular article, even though I try to be selective with who I'm going to pitch it to. But these guys picked it up, and I was kind of, I was in the hospital with Gracie when I wrote this, and I used the time there while I was going through this process, whether to write, as things hit me. And I saw on the news where the actor Bruce Willis stepped away from public life.

His family kind of pulled him aside, and he's having to leave the stage. And so I wrote about that, and the article is called Journey to the Sunset. And I talk about how so many families are struggling with a loved one who is facing encroaching cognitive impairments. And the decision points are, you know, they're heartbreaking reminders of how fragile we are, how fragile our life is. And in this particular case, more than just taking the keys away, because a lot of people say, okay, do we need to take the keys away?

We need to take the VCR away, or the DVD away. Some of these families have to preside over a really sad exit to an iconic life. You know, remember when Ronald Reagan, diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, he wrote his final thoughts and shared it with the world. He wrote this saying, this sentence in there, I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. And he rested on that.

He accepted it. You know, and as I look at the Willis family as they're struggling to care for Bruce Willis now, so many family caregivers are in that same place. They kind of formed ranks around him and pulled him out of the spotlight. But whether in, you know, Hollywood or politics, whatever, we got so many families that are facing that sort of thing right now.

When are the reigns surrendered or do you take the reigns? And sometimes the impaired loved one has this tenuous grasp on control that creates a rage that unleashes on family members and co-workers. I remember Glen Campbell's widow, Kim, told me that on her show that Glen would become very rageful because he couldn't hold on to a thought.

He couldn't do it. Sometimes the families will prop up or enable an impaired loved one to exploit them for their own gain. And we see this modeled out oftentimes.

And a lot of times in politics where these guys become institutions to themselves and there's so many people making money off of them that they prop them up and kind of cover for them. And I think that is just a very tragic scenario. And in some cases, fear erupts from caregivers. And conflict ensues in the family because real danger. It can be a play, you know, we get behind the wheel of a car or firearms or whatever, real danger is there.

And then you get confused about it. You know, sometimes the impaired loved one seems normal and those moments are very confusing to us as caregivers. Well, he seemed okay today or mom seemed to rally. But he's not okay.

And mom's not rallying. The valley of the shadow of death can be a very long and painful one for many and it's particularly heartbreaking to watch the decline of those who loomed large in your life. You know, and I remember meeting Michael Reagan and talk a little bit about his dad and watching Ronald Reagan, this iconic figure of American history.

And how I was on his show, Michael Reagan's show. And Gracie sang for an event with him and it was just really poignant to listen to him talk about that. But you know, not all is gloom and loss and that's what I'm talking about with resting today. The first part of resting is accepting. And that wave of sadness that initially causes many to fight, you feel like you're going to drown. And you panic on this and yet if you can get some help and work at this and with faith and sometimes a pretty good sense of humor. You know, we caregivers in these and similar circumstances can achieve what is often very elusive, which is peace of mind. And more than that, we may be able to even experience beauty in the heartache, as I was talking about in the last block. We may be able to see something we would never have seen before and find joy in it, even in the sadness. You know, Horatio Spafford understood this profoundly when he pinned him over the watery grave of his children who drowned when the ship carrying them sunk in the Atlantic Ocean.

And he wrote, when peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul. You know, so much of the angst that we endure stems from an unwillingness to accept what is. And we spend all this energy and self-deception fighting against the obvious. And I think for me, that's where rest is coming to a place where I'm stopped, where I hopefully reduce the fighting. I'm not going to say I stop it. I reduce the fighting against the obvious.

And you've heard me talk about this on the show recently. Fear and despair serve as impairments to mourning. We're not going to mourn if we're so busy being fearful and raging out and despair and everything else.

But in mourning, we accept what it is and receive the comfort that Jesus promised in Matthew 5-4, which he says, blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted, not blessed are those who rage. You know, Gracie went through that when she tried to salvage her legs for years and finally relinquished them to amputation. When she realized that the fear of losing them shouted down the whisper that they were already gone.

She had to accept the obvious. And sometimes we hold on to things that are destroying us, often killing us because our fear of the unknown overpowers the obvious. You know, so we see this step, this amazing step in public of this family that has kind of rallied around Bruce Willis and faced the fear and accepted it was time to leave the stage.

You know, and it's got to be a very painful decision for them. But, you know, leaving the stage doesn't mean defeat, nor does it end the zest for life and accomplishment. You know, Dylan Thomas tackled that theme, the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, when he wrote probably this most famous poem, Do not go gentle into that good night.

He was speaking to his father who was dying. I remember hearing that when I was in high school and I was just always captivated by that poem, as so many millions are. You know, we don't have to stop and acquiesce to whatever's happening.

That's not what resting means. We can fight until the end, but not to avoid death, because that's inevitable for all of us on this side of eternity. Not to avoid death, that's not what we're fighting, but we're fighting to instead fully embrace life.

Maybe that is a form of resting, is embracing life, just resting in it, knowing that God is working through all of these things. This is Peter Rosenberger, this is Hope for the Caregiver, we'll be right back. I want to tell you right now, I'm not afraid to say how, you put this love in my heart.

There are some times when I doubt, but you always find me out, you put this love in my heart. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver, this is Peter Rosenberger, this is the program for you as a family caregiver, we're so glad that you're with us., I hope you'll take a moment to go out there, look around and see what's available to help you in this journey or be a gift to someone else. I mean, maybe you know someone who's struggling, you just tuned into the show and said, oh my goodness, I know somebody's going through this. I've got podcasts out there that's free, I've got music, I've got books, I've got it all out there. Please don't let a caregiver go through this alone. Friends don't let friends care give alone, so please take advantage of this. We're talking about rest today, we've been spending some time on this and I'm just kind of exploring some ways.

I had rest as a caregiver, I'm 36 years into this now and it's quite a journey and it's hard to know what that looks like. Let me tell you about a guy named Cleland Boyd McAfee, you ever heard of him? You know who he is?

Cleland McAfee. He was born in 1866 in Missouri and he ended up becoming a theologian, a Presbyterian minister and a hymn writer. He wrote a lot of hymns. He had one hymn that he wrote in particular that was his signature hymn and the tune is named McAfee. He wrote the music and the lyrics of this. The guy was a very accomplished man. He ended up becoming a moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church back in the early 1900s, I think before the war, World War II, and just an extraordinarily accomplished man. But here's what happened. He had two nieces that they had a disease, I think diphtheria, and they died and they died like within a very short amount of time of each other.

It was extremely tragic for the family, these young girls, their lives were just snuffed out. And here's this wonderful man, this very educated man, struggling to wrap his mind around this heartbreaking tragedy. And he wrote, this hymn, there is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God, a place where sin cannot molest near to the heart of God. O Jesus, blessed Redeemer, sent from the heart of God, hold us who wait before thee near to the heart of God. There is a place of comfort sweet near to the heart of God, a place where we, our Savior, meet near to the heart of God. There is a place of full release near to the heart of God, a place where all is joy and peace near to the heart of God. That's one of my all-time favorite hymns and I led off with that on my CD, Songs for the Caregiver, and I've played that countless times at funerals and I have found that family members would come up to me over that particular hymn, my mother loves that hymn. And it's, I can't stress enough how these hymns can provide such solace for us, for those of us who don't know what rest looks like at times.

And I count myself as one of those. Y'all, I'm 36 years into this and I can't put my finger on, okay, here's what rest is. I have found rest in certain things and changing certain beliefs in my life where I can accept even the harsh realities and trust that God is moving in them and that causes my heart to settle down. But rest is very elusive for me.

I freely admit this. When I sit down at the piano and I play these hymns written by extraordinary people who were facing heartbreaking things, I rest. When I go out and speak, can't do that as much as I used to with COVID and everything else. You know, a lot of people get nervous when they get out on stage and speak and so forth, but to me that's pure oxygen for me. And I love that. I love to be able to do that. I love to interact with the audience. I don't sequester myself from the audience.

I walk out there in the audience and I have a good time. Because I'm engaging with people and I'm doing what I was built to do. And that's restful to me, to do what I was built to do. And I don't know what rest looks like for you, but I encourage you to explore this more, as a caregiver particularly. Because as I said earlier in the, I think the B Block, you know, Ovid, the Roman poet said, A field that has rested gives a beautiful crop.

And I think we all can say that we want to give a beautiful crop with our lives. But if we don't rest, that's not going to happen. And yes, I've had to learn to be creative in my resting. And resting to me looks different than it maybe does to some others.

But ultimately, resting for me is trusting that God is already there, wherever there is that I'm going. I had to stop at the surgical suite when taking Gracie to this surgery. And I wheeled with them, all the folks there, nurses and techs and everything else. And I could only go so far that I had to say goodbye. But God didn't have to stop.

He was already there waiting. That's resting to me, knowing that I don't have to come up with all the answers. I don't have to figure this out. I don't have to explain God's decisions in this. I don't have to know everything.

I can't know it. And that takes an enormous amount of pressure off of me and allows me just to kind of be. I told a lot of the surgeons, you know, as we went through the surgery with Gracie, I said, look, I'm in this raft with you on this river. I got a helmet and I got a life jacket, but I ain't got a paddle. Now, I know where all the big rocks are.

And if we capsize, I'll see you all downstream. But I'm not going to drive this train in the past. And you may say, well, Peter, of course you're not. You're not a doctor.

But you, those of you who've been doing this long enough to know, we caregivers get into this moment where somehow we think we've got to be in there in the mix trying to figure this thing out. And I didn't. I rested knowing that he who began a good work is faithful to complete it. Not only me, but in Gracie. So can you rest today?

That's my question. I'm going to end the show with something that I don't normally do. I normally play a song from Gracie, but I'm going to do one from me. And this is the first song on my CD, Songs for the Caregiver. You can go out to our website,, to see how to get it.

Or you can stream it wherever records are sold. There is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God. We'll see you next time. Thank you. You're welcome. You're welcome. You're welcome. You're welcome. You're welcome.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-08 17:42:59 / 2023-05-08 17:59:42 / 17

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