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Fret Not

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2022 3:30 am

Fret Not

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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May 10, 2022 3:30 am

Fretting Is Exhausting

My high school chemistry teacher’s name was, no kidding, Mr. Faile. While a hilarious and exceptional teacher, he made the dreaded (for some) class even more daunting by posting a sign over the chalkboard that read, “Flunk Now and Avoid The Rush.”

For those born after 1980, a chalkboard was an ancient education device that doubled as a screeching torture machine.

That sign still sticks with me, and I’ve appropriated the message into other areas of my life – particularly as a caregiver. Accepting reality and not delaying the inevitable becomes a path of wisdom rather than a depressing conclusion. As caregivers, we place unreasonable demands on ourselves to achieve or alter things we cannot change.

Despite extensive striving and colossal anxiety, caregivers will inevitably “flunk” at changing most of what we worry about. Embracing that premise allows greater peace of mind today.

I passed high school chemistry (barely), but Mr. Faile’s most important lesson to me had nothing to do with formulas and equations. A simple sign meant in jest communicated a greater truth that still helps bleed off stress – a lifetime later.

Rest now and avoid the crash. We face challenges better when not exhausted by fretting.

“The pitcher has got only a ball. I've got a bat. So the percentage in weapons is in my favor and I let the fellow with the ball do the fretting.” – Hank Aaron

 

If you find our podcast and broadcast meaningful, please help us do more at www.hopeforthecaregiver.com/giving

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Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberg and this is the nation's number one program for you as a family caregiver. How are you doing? How are you holding up? What's going on with you? More than 65 million Americans right now are serving as a family caregiver.

Are you one of them? You're in the right place. And if you want to be a part of the program, if you've got something you want to share, comment or whatever, go to hopeforthecaregiver.com.

There's a little form there. And whatever's on your heart. If you want me to email you back, I'll try to do that. If you want me to call you from the program, I'll try to do that. Whatever is on your heart, I encourage you to reach out. You know, we caregivers struggle with isolation. That's one of the biggest issues we face. And the disease of our loved one or the impairment of our loved one often lends itself to isolation for a lot of reasons.

Some of it because of logistics, others because behavior can be very embarrassing. A friend of mine is a mother of two children with autism. And taking her small child to go get a haircut was difficult.

I mean, imagine that putting scissors around a kid with autism around his face. You know, people don't know and people can be difficult when they see things that they don't understand. And so sometimes we caregivers isolate ourselves just to avoid that. But none of those are good things. If you go back and look at Genesis, the first thing that God's eye, Milton said this, the first thing that God's eye said that was not good was that man was alone.

That was before man fell. And, you know, being alone, God himself said that's not good. And yet we caregivers try to do this alone. And that's not good.

So what can we do about it? Well, we can reach out to one another. We have these conversations. That's why I do this program. And I'm very grateful for all of the networks and affiliates that carry this program, American Family Radio, Truth Network, His Radio, and some of the other affiliates around the country that run this program. For the vast majority of my journey as a caregiver, now in my 36th year, I didn't have any kind of support system like what we're offering here. And quite truthfully, there really is no other support system like what we're offering here on this program. A lifetime of experience to offer a lifeline to fellow caregivers to learn concepts and precepts and strategies and biblical principles on how to navigate this a little calmer, a little healthier. And there I say it a little more joyfully. And so if this is where you are, we are glad to have you as part of the program. If you're struggling in this area, you're in the right place. So thank you for being a part of what we're doing. I want to talk a little bit about two words today.

You can find in scripture, Psalm 37. The first two words of that sentence. Fret not. Fret not. Fret.

Isn't that a great word? Fret. Fret not over evildoers. That's what he says in Psalm.

I believe it was David that wrote that. Fret not. How much fretting do we do as caregivers?

What's our life like on a daily basis when it comes to stress and anxiety and angst and all those things? And I'm reminded of a teacher I had in high school. Now, I was not the best student.

I freely admit this. I graduated. Thank you, Laude. And chemistry was a daunting subject for me on a good day. And my teacher's name, and I really liked this guy personally. I actually would sometimes on lunch break would play chess and I was learning to play chess and I beat him a time or two. My chemistry teacher there in high school, but his name was Mr. Fail.

I kid you not. His name was Mr. Fail. How sad for a teacher's name.

And you go into his classroom and he had great sense of humor, wonderful teacher, wonderful human being. I just was not a good pupil. For chemistry.

That was just not my subject. I did well in history and things such as that in English, but not in chemistry or physics. And he taught physics, too. But he had a sign over the chalkboard. Now, by the way, for those of you who don't know what chalkboard is, it's an ancient teaching device that was used many, many, many, many years ago. Also, if you run your fingernails down it, it would provide a suitable torture device as well for many. Mr. Fail had this sign over his chalkboard as he walked in the room and said, Flunk now and avoid the rush.

Flunk now and avoid the rush. And I thought it was particularly funny, but it stuck with me all these years, that sign. I know it was meant to be funny, and I know this got a comical message, but it stuck with me. And I think that for me, that sign just becomes increasingly relevant in my life as a caregiver. Because accepting reality and not delaying the inevitable can become a path of wisdom rather than a depressing conclusion. I'm not advocating that students go out and flunk classes early, but the principle of it is, as caregivers, we place unreasonable demands on ourselves to achieve or alter things that we can't change. And despite extensive striving, and we do a lot of that, I do, I don't know about you, but I do, and colossal anxiety, and I do a lot of that too, caregivers will inevitably flunk at changing most of the things that we worry about. We're going to flunk this. We're not going to change these things. But that doesn't stop us from fretting.

We fret, fret, fret. And embracing that premise of flunk now and avoid the rush, accept reality now, it does allow a greater peace of mind today to realize we're not going to change this. I passed high school chemistry, barely. But Mr. Fail's most important lesson to me decades later had really nothing to do with formulas in education.

I don't think I can remember any chemistry formulas. Nothing comes to my mind. You try it.

I can't think of any. But a simple sign that he had in his classroom, it was men in jest, communicated a greater truth that still helps me bleed off stress a lifetime later. Rest now and avoid the crash. That's what that sign says to me, rest now and avoid the crash. We face challenges better when we're not exhausted by fretting.

Don't you agree? Fretting is exhausting. It is truly exhausting to fret and to stay torqued up. Try it for an hour and you'll want to take a nap. I mean, it is exhausting.

And yet we constantly do this to ourselves. I'm a Hall of Famer, baseball great, Hank Aaron. He said a quote that I really like. He said, the pitcher has got only a ball. He said, but I got a bat.

So the percentage in weapons is in my favor. And I let the fellow with the ball do all the fretting. Now they say that hitting a fastball in major league is one of the toughest things in all of sports to be able to do. But here's Hank Aaron, home run king Hank Aaron, just an amazing, towering individual on the national landscape. And he's not fretting when he gets into the batter's box, accomplishing the hardest thing that you can do in sports, which is to hit a fastball, a major league fastball.

He said, I let that guy do all the fretting. I think Hank Aaron was onto something. Maybe we don't have to get into the batter's box and face the things that a lot of people say would be very daunting.

Maybe we don't have to fret on those things. Maybe we can just relax into it and swing away. Put the bat on the ball. You know, you put the bat on the ball. Speaking of baseball, you put the bat on the ball three times out of 10. I mean, they'll put you in the Hall of Fame.

Three out of 10. Putting this unreasonable pressure on us to achieve perfection or to achieve some kind of result that is beyond our abilities. It cripples us and it compromises our ability to live a healthier life. And it's always healthy caregivers that make better caregivers. We're going to talk about this a little bit more. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver. Let us know what you think at Hope for the caregiver dot com. We'll be right back.

I'm Peter Rosenberger. And many years ago, when my wife, Gracie, became a double amputee, she saw the importance of quality prosthetics. She saw the importance of a support team and people that could help her regain her life after losing both legs. And she had this vision of creating an organization that would help others do the very same thing while pointing them to Christ.

And for more than 17 years, we've been doing just that. We purchase supplies, we send equipment and we train and we send teams over to West Africa. We've been working with the country of Ghana, several clinics over there now. And each week, more people walk because of Gracie's vision. In 2011, we launched a new program outreach to family caregivers.

Drawing on my now 36 plus years as Gracie's caregiver through a medical nightmare, I offer insights I've learned all of it the hard way to fellow caregivers to help them stay strong and healthy while taking care of someone who is not. If you want to be a part of this, go out to standingwithhope.com slash giving, standingwithhope.com slash giving to help us do more. At Standing With Hope, we're reaching the wounded and those who care for them.

Standingwithhope.com slash giving. Take my hand, lean on me, we will stand. I know this love you've faced in my heart is a love that will never depart. Stand with me here through the end of my road. But now you've given me a brand new home.

I'm forgiven. 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 are with us here on American Family Radio, as well as the Truth Network, His Radio and all of our other affiliates. We're glad to have you a part of the journey of helping caregivers stay strong and healthy while taking care of someone who is not. Hopeforthecaregiver.com.

And while you're out at Hopeforthecaregiver.com, take a look around. I've put out some of the recent articles that I've written. I'm very grateful that a lot of different folks choose to publish my stuff and I like to write and they seem to be willing to keep publishing it. So there's a couple things out there. Tribune Media has picked up and put in a bunch of their family of publications, New York Daily News and so forth.

They're part of that family and they carry some of my things. The Washington Times. I don't really go into the political world too much as a writer. I feel like there's plenty of people doing that. They don't need my two cents.

But I do try to speak to things in that world from a caregiver's point of view and there's one out there that I think that you'll find meaningful. It's about elected officials who just refuse to retire. Have you noticed that?

And they're serving way past their abilities. And this is not new. We see this a lot in today's 24 News cycle, but this actually started many, many, many years ago. One glaring example is Woodrow Wilson, who was basically incapacitated for the latter part of his presidency, but nobody knew it except the inner circle. I'm sure it was an open secret to a lot of the folks in Washington, but his wife, Edith, pretty much ran the show. And she admits it. And I wrote about this in this column that the Washington Times published. And in fact, Woodrow Wilson is one of the reasons we have the 25th Amendment.

But as a caregiver, you understand the trap that we can fall into with enabling. You know, this is something we've talked about on this program a lot, and a lot of people are propped up way beyond their capabilities. Strom Thurmond, I'm from South Carolina, and Strom Thurmond was seen at a reception pocketing buffalo wings into his suit jacket pocket. And the barbecue sauce or the sauce whatever was dripping out of his jacket pocket at a big reception. At the time, he was fourth in line to the presidency. Another guy from Georgia, I don't know if you remember this, back in 2010, but he was at a congressional hearing, and they were talking about building up a number of Marines on the island of Guam.

And this representative, who is still in Congress, may I remind you of this, you know, interjected, and he was concerned that the surplus population in the island of Guam would cause the island to tip over. I kid you not. Look it up.

I kid you not. And so we see these kinds of things happening, and there's this enabling component. Now we know the stories of drug addicted rock stars who went out on stage and all kinds of stuff, and there's always this bunch of people, seems to be around them, that's fueling this on because they're making money off these people. They sent them out there to do it, but they're making money off of it. They're in power because of it. And they're reticent to have an intervention and say it's time to step off the stage.

And it'd be like killing the goose that laid the golden egg. And so these poor folks are sent out there to continue doing this. You can look at the news today and see it for yourself.

See the ones who are being propped up. And it's not limited to politics. You see it in churches. You see it in universities.

You see it in every walk of life. The difference is in politics, when you have elected officials, particularly national figures, they have an impact on the nation's security and economic health. And they make decisions or their staffers are making decisions for them. You know, and Edith Wilson said in her biography, my memoir is called, she said, I made sure that, you know, I didn't do anything.

I didn't sign anything or I didn't do anything. But I was the one that was vetting what went to the president. Well, by vetting what goes to the president, she's already changing things. She's deciding. And nobody voted for Edith Wilson to be president.

They voted for Woodrow Wilson. And so that's the kind of thing that we as caregivers can spot a little easier than some because we live in that world. We have folks that are impaired. We've had the conversation of taking away the keys.

Sometimes we even take away the remote control to the DVD. And yet there are people with that level of cognitive impairment that are in our nation's corridors of power. You know, so much of what goes on in our country, 90 percent of this, Milton Friedman said this years ago, 90 percent of this could be solved by term limits. But how do you get people to vote themselves out of a job? And that's not going to happen. And I don't know the answer to this.

I could just illuminate the issue from a caregiver standpoint. And I think the people who are family members of these elected officials really are the most culpable. They know they know their loved one is impaired, but they're propping them up, sending them out there in front of the lights and doing all this stuff just so they can stay in power or further their agenda. You go read your papers, look at the evening news. You don't have to do more than five minutes on a Google search and you'll start seeing who these individuals are. And there's no way to hold them accountable at this point. I mean, there's nobody out there clamoring for this to stop with any kind of teeth to it.

It's just partisan whatever. But I felt the need to write about it, so I did. And see if you like the article, right next to that one is another one I write for an organization called the Aquila Reports, a publication. And it deals with a lot of doctrinal theology stuff that goes out into the PCA and the Reformed theology world.

And the editor there, Dominic Aquila, who's been on this program, he's very gracious to publish my stuff, and I've got one that was prompted by a call to this show. You know, because I always ask callers, how are you feeling? And I remember this caller, she started off with, I'm blessed, but, and then she lost into this real diatribe against her mother. And I'm not so sure, I'd have to go back and listen to the call, but I'm not so sure she didn't say, I'm blessed, but I hate my mom, you know, kind of thing. And it was visible, I mean, visible because it was radio, it was palpable.

Even through the radio lights, I just used a $5 word from the $5 word box. You know, but you could tell her demeanor changed, but the issue was not the feelings she had towards her mother, this is why I wrote the article, it's the fact that she leads off with this spiritual God talk. And I don't think that we, in our bifurcated society, which is, hey, how about that word, which is straining already to have any kind of, you know, peaceful conversations, that we need to have this God talk.

I think people need and want and deserve, quite truthfully, just plain speech. I mean, I think about all the doctors that have helped me with Gracie over the years, well over a hundred physicians that I could go through and just list. And then all the ones that were on call or whatever. And I always appreciated the doctors who didn't try to talk over my head. You know, they just talked to me like normal and they didn't use a lot of fancy words to put me in my place or to sound more whatever. They just helped me understand what was going on.

And I, you know, for those of you with chronic medical conditions, I know you've been in that situation and how much do you appreciate that? You know, when somebody does talk over your head or when you get a bureaucrat that's trying to tell you all the forms you got assigned and they just, did you feel like this, do you feel like this, this, the D22932, you know, and all this stuff. And I'm like, come on, just talk like a normal person. Well, do we do that with our faith? Do we do that with matters of the heart?

If not, why not? Let's just talk like a normal person. And so I wrote about this in the Aquila Report, and then you could see other things that I've written there. I put a link to see all the other things. And I've got several things in The Washington Times, several things at Tribune, lots of things at Fox News and various things that just kind of hit me. And I write from the perspective of caregivers, you know, and I see these things differently. We talk about our government being 30 trillion dollars in debt. And so I often write about things like stewardship, which is a word that we don't use a lot in our society, but we as caregivers understand that concept. We have to be good stewards of our resources, including ourselves, because we are the primary resource for somebody who is impaired or is extremely needy.

Are we being good stewards? And if we have a mountain of debt, how do we care for someone else? Well, think about that from a political point, from our nation.

If we have a mountain of debt, how can we care for ourselves? Let's look at the southern border, national security. If we have no boundaries, how can we be a healthy nation?

I mean, think about it. It's not a political issue. It's a stewardship issue. Now, it's made into a political issue because people have agendas that they want to compromise stuff.

They want to alter this. But you and I know as caregivers that the healthiest way to take care of someone is to incorporate appropriate boundaries in our life. And when we don't, we're overrun by the needs of the loved one we're caring for. Sometimes we have to take a step back. Sometimes we have to secure a border, a boundary.

Well, what's so hard about that? And so those are things that apply in the political world that we as caregivers understand. Healthy caregivers make better caregivers.

We talked about that in the last blog. You know, when we're fretting all the time, when we're getting all torqued up about stuff. Well, our country right now is just this toxic brew of fret. I mean, everybody is just dealing with high levels of anxiety.

And how is that going to help us be a healthy nation? We're just mountains in debt. Everybody's at each other's throat. We are we are split down the middle.

We've got this now this thing with Roe versus Wade. We've got all these things that are just clawing at us. How in the world are we going to be a healthy nation? And I think that we look to the principles that help us become healthy caregivers.

It's the same way. We need more grace. We need a sense of purpose and direction that unites us. Oh, these are things we talk about in this show. And we need good stewardship.

A GPS, if you will. This is Peter Rosenberg. We've got more to go. We've got a great interview in the next block. We'll be right back.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-21 08:01:21 / 2023-04-21 08:10:12 / 9

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