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NO is a complete sentence

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

NO is a complete sentence

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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November 3, 2022 3:30 am

Boundaries can be troublesome for anyone - but many caregivers seem to struggle with boundaries daily. 

In this special monologue from the broadcast, I delve into this issue - and more. 

The Charlie Kirk Show
Charlie Kirk

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

What does that look like? I'm Peter Rosenberger, and I want to tell you about a program I've been a part of now for almost 10 years, and that's Legal Shield. For less than $30 a month, I have access to a full law firm that can handle all kinds of things. If I get a contract put in front of me, if I get a dispute with something, doesn't matter. I've got a full law firm that can help me navigate through all the sticky wickets that we as caregivers have to deal with, power of attorney, medical power of attorney. I will.

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

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

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

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver,

We're glad that you are with us. I talk with friends throughout the week, and I have one particular friend. I told her I was going to do this on the air, and I won't mention any names, and I will not in any way give any pertinent details to her life so that you all know who she is or that anybody listening that knows her will know you.

But I would be very vague on this, but I want to talk about a principle that she and I talked about. I've been a long-time friend, great friend of the family, and she's been caring for her husband and deals with a lot of, you know, physical stuff she has to take care of. And somebody came to the house recently, and they stayed with them. But this person required a lot of assistance. They came, and my friend was in a position where she had to basically do double duty on this. And she was not only tired, but you could tell, and she said it.

She felt conflicting feelings of resentment, guilt, you know, fatigue, everything. And I said, you know, no is a complete sentence. You could say no to these things. You don't have to invite people into your home that are going to require you to care for them as well.

And I could tell the cultural guilt sometimes that we put on ourselves, you know, whether from the South, you know, with the hospitality and so forth. And I get that, you know, and I felt obligated. But anytime you feel obligated or you feel guilty about something like that, give yourself a moment's pause to say no.

What you deal with this as a caregiver, what you deal with is so difficult, most of you, that bringing something else into the mix is just more than you need at this point and more you can do. And I understand the guilt of saying, well, I felt like I should do this and I feel guilty if I don't do it. I would like to offer to each of you and myself that we don't have to do this. It's one thing if a guest comes into your home that is self-sufficient, that doesn't require anything additional, but it's a whole different thing when they come with a bunch of needs. And there are hotels that, you know, have handicap accessible accommodations and you can refer them to those hotels. You can excuse yourself from having to take care of people outside of your scope simply because your resources are limited.

And I'm not talking about just financial resources. Your emotional and physical resources are stretched as a caregiver and it's okay for you to say no. Now, why is that difficult for us? Boundaries are a hard thing for us as caregivers, for us as human beings.

I think that's, you know, basically the plight of humankind is that boundaries are hard for us. Goes all the way back to the garden. Adam knew what was right. He heard God's commandment and he sat there silently while Eve did this. There's, I think there's a whole book out there called The Silence of Adam.

And he watched it happen and then he participated. He didn't say no, he didn't give a boundary. It's hard to have boundaries. That's one of the biggest issues that trouble us as human beings. There are libraries of books filled with them.

It's a great one out there called Boundaries written by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townes has been around for 30 something years. Get a copy of it. Why do we struggle with this? And I'm not just picking on my friend. I told her though, I mean, I laugh with her and cut up and I told her though, I said, it's okay for you to say no.

You all know my story with Gracie. I mean, what would you say if I made a practice of inviting people that I had to care for into our home? It's one thing to have people come to our home. It's another thing that I have to care for them if they're not family.

Just because they didn't want to stay in a hotel. What would you say to me? Peter, are you out of your mind? Well, yes, I am. And I have documentation on that. I'm just kidding.

You would look at me like, you know, why aren't you practicing what you preach? And I would suggest to you, my fellow caregivers, that it's okay for us to all say no to things that are not our responsibility. It's not that we're not being charitable. It's one thing if they were in desperate need and they weren't, but they're traveling. They just didn't want to stay in a hotel.

Well, then don't travel. But that doesn't mean that you're the bed and breakfast and that you've got to, you know, do the sheets afterwards. You got to clean the room, you got to clean the bathroom. You've got to probably make meals and entertain them or, you know, engage. Are these things that you have the time and the wherewithal to do?

And if not, why are you doing it? And if it's out of guilt and out of obligation, how long do you think that'll turn into resentment? Either resenting yourself for not standing up for yourself or resenting them for not being considerate, being clueless.

This is the trap we get into. And then we ended up just festering on resentment. And I don't know about you, but I don't want any more resentment. I struggled with that for a long time with a lot of different reasons at myself, at some others. It has just got me nowhere but miserable. I don't want to do it anymore. And so I set boundaries. No, I'm not going to do that. Thank you.

But no, here's a hotel right down there. And I just don't feel the need to in any way deplete the precious ecosystem that I have with Gracie just because somebody doesn't want to stay in a hotel or they want to do such and such. I appreciate that.

Thank you. But my situation is such that this just doesn't work out for me. And I have to be a good steward of where I am. And see, this is the word that I keep going back to as a caregiver. Stewardship. Are you being a good steward of you? Are you being a good steward of you? And I'm going to say a third time, are you being a good steward of you? Because think about you as a caregiver. You are all that your loved one has. Gracie depends upon me to do quite a few things.

If I'm not being a good steward of me, I'm actually hurting her. She doesn't have feet. She depends on my feet.

You've heard me talk about my feet on the show and I've got this budget. I am getting it worked on. I'm doing some things with it, but she depends on me. So she depends on me to make good decisions with my feet, with my mind, with my hands, with my wallet, with everything that I have. She depends on me to make good stewardship decisions. And if I don't, I'm hurting her. How about you? Is your loved one depending on you for those kinds of decisions?

Yes, they are. Good stewardship. And part of good stewardship is having good boundaries to say, that is just not something I can do at this time. I'd like to. Sorry I can't, but this is where we are. No.

No is a complete sentence. And you don't have to say it mean, but you have to mean what you say. Okay. And let it be. And if they can't handle that, and if you get blowback from that, I got to ask you, how important is that relationship then? Because if you're serving as a caregiver and you are stretched, I know the journey. I know how uncomfortable this is. And if I have people in my life who are demanding that I meet their needs and accommodate them without consideration of how this may affect Gracie, how important is it for me to have that relationship with that individual?

How about you? How important is it for you to maintain a relationship that is so one-sided? Accommodate me.

You're not asking them to take care of your loved one or you, but are they asking that of you? And if so, is that something you can sustain? Is that something you can pull off? And if not, why are you doing it? If not, why are you in that kind of relationship? It's okay for you to have buffers to get to you. It's okay for you to not go out there and just pour out your soul to everybody you see and have people give access to into your life and all that stuff. It's okay to have boundaries. As caregivers, we often find ourselves so needy and so starving for connection that we will deplete ourselves recklessly just to get a tiny bit of connection and affirmation. And I would suggest to you that that is a destructive way to live.

Can you settle yourself down? Can you trust that God will bring the affirmation to you and already has and will continue to do so through healthy relationships if you'll follow these principles that He's laid out in Scripture? I can show you Scripture after Scripture where the people of God, individuals and groups of people use boundaries. Jesus Himself did this. He would pull away from people. They were just pressing on Him at all sides and He would just pull away from them to go spend time with His Father.

He was all man and He had all the needs that we have as human beings. And in those times when He felt besieged and pressed upon and wanted to be, I mean people wanted to pull Him in all kinds of different directions, He would remove Himself from them and go and spend time in solitude, not in isolation, but in solitude with His Father. Isolation is when we're cut off.

Solitude is when we distance ourselves, detach, not cut off, detach in order to retake, to rejuvenate our spirits, to be refilled, to rest, to go to the source of our strength and our comfort. And it's okay for you to detach from people that pull on you. You've got enough going on as a caregiver, but if you have relationships on the periphery that are pulling on you but not pouring into you, I got to ask you, how important are those relationships? Remember what we talked about last week on the program with my ongoing problem with shoes and feet? If the shoe doesn't fit, it's not much good.

If the shoe is uncomfortable and painful, it's not much good to you. What about the relationship? If it's uncomfortable and painful, how good is this relationship for you? Can you detach from this?

You don't have to amputate, you don't have to sever, but can you detach from it? And I would say, yeah, we can. And I'd go one step further to say, yeah, at times we must.

Part of the journey of caregivers, part of hope for the caregivers is learning to establish healthy boundaries. This is Peter Rosenberger, we'll be right back. You've heard me talk about standing with hope over the years. This is the prosthetic limb ministry that Gracie envisioned after losing both of her legs. Part of that outreach is our prosthetic limb recycling program. Did you know that prosthetic limbs can be recycled?

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

And it got to be too much for me. And so I was very grateful that CoreCivic stepped up and said, look, we are always looking for faith-based programs that are interesting and that give inmates a sense of satisfaction, and we'd love to be a part of this. And that's what they're doing. And you can see more about that at slash recycle. So please help us get the word out that we do recycle prosthetic limbs. We do arms as well, but the majority of amputations are lower limb, and that's where the focus of standing with hope is. That's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prosthesis. And she's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. I mean, she's been an amputee for over 30 years. So you go through a lot of legs and parts and other types of materials, and you can reuse prosthetic socks and liners if they're in good shape. All of this helps give the gift that keeps on walking, and it goes to this prison in Arizona, where it's such an extraordinary ministry.

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

We're purchasing material in Ghana that they have to use that can't be recycled. We're shipping over stuff that can be, and we're doing all of this to lift others up and to point them to a savior. And that's the whole point of all this, and that's why we are standing with hope.

Thanks so much. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio. This is Peter Rosenberger, I recently did an interview with Mary Tutterow, a long-time friend of mine from South Carolina. Some years ago, she wrote a book called The Heart of the Caregiver and has since written The Peaceful Caregiver.

It has a wonderful teaching ministry. And for the podcast, I sat down with a long-form interview. I just wanted to let her take her time to share her thoughts and hearts. We're going to do some more of this with her as well because she brings such insights, and I'll let you hear her story. I apologize in advance for some of the audio. When you do these things on Zoom, it's not quite as clear as you'd like it to be.

Bear with me on that. Her website is, and here's part of my interview with Mary Tutterow. Mary, you have quite a journey.

Give, bring us up to speed kind of where you guys are so that people know your background. Mary Addison is now 30. She was born having a seizure disorder. She was having about 500 seizures a day. And, you know, we've been caring for her for 30 years, and she's had seizures almost every single day of her life. And as people who deal with people who have seizures know, you know, that also means lots of falls and breaks and busted heads and, you know, all kinds of stuff. And we, she goes into status and we go to the hospital. So, you know, it's, it's, it's real different from just having a child who's mentally and physically challenged.

It's like waiting for bombs to go off all the time. And then during caring for her and caring for William, our typical son, my mother-in-law developed cancer and then dementia and my husband's an only child. So we were taking care of her on top of taking care of Mary Addison. And like I tell people, I lost myself. I just disappeared. I, you know, I gave up my career and gave up all my hobbies and we gave up our social life. Well, I had been an anchor woman, believe it or not.

And then after that, it morphed into kind of an international public relations firm. So I was, were you, were you angry down in South Carolina? All right. Let me hear you say, we'll be right back.

Oh, please. Come on now. Can't you hear the high quality of my Midwestern voice when I've been raised in the South?

I don't pop my peas. Well, you're, you're further along this than I do. I just barely muddled through it. I gave up a whole lot and it felt like I was stripped and somewhere in the middle of the journey, I finally cried out to God for help, which I had been a pew sitter, a frozen chosen, but I had never really been a follower of Jesus at all. The first time I ever cried out to him, I said, how did Mary the mother of Jesus watch her son suffer and die? Like I'm having to watch my daughter suffer and die because at the time they'd sent her home as a baby to die in our arms.

She was having so many seizures. And I heard him say, let her suffering be for my glory. And that just launched me on this.

What does that mean? And drove me deep into the Bible. And that's where I started hearing things like the first will be last and the last will be first and God uses the foolish to shame the wise and he uses the weak to shame the strong. And I heard all kinds of wonderful things about serving. The Jesus stepped down from glory to serve. And I thought, I haven't known this Jesus.

Who is this? And I went deep in his word and the comfort that I got over the years, I journaled. And then I started seeing other people in waiting rooms and on the floor in hospitals and at therapy and all the different places. And everyone was so burnt out and sad by this caregiving experience. And we were learning how to love supernaturally and what it truly means to be human and the love that's available to us that we just need to learn to receive. And all these marvelous messages through this incredibly deep and difficult journey. We were hearing a whole nother story and it was being brought to light in us and we clearly heard share it with others. And that's how it all started. How did this affect the network of friends and so forth that you had at the time, colleagues, everything else when you started down this particular path or had Mary Addison's disability already kind of isolated you from them or what?

How did that morph into? Well, Peter, as you and I've talked about a lot, there's so many loving people who want to help and just don't know how, right? And they don't know what to say and they don't know how to help.

And that's something. And that's what happened with my social life is that people loved us and wanted to help, but a probably number one is we wouldn't let them help. It was so chaotic and so confusing and so embarrassing. And we were full of so much shame and guilt over how we'd fallen apart. I mean, because our finances were falling apart, our marriage was falling apart, you know, we were a mess. And so there were people who tried to love us, but we wouldn't let them.

And we didn't know how to tell people to help us at all. So yeah, we kind of already pushed our social circles away. But then when we went down the, we're going to choose to serve. We're going to choose to love. We're going to choose to see Christ in this. We're going to choose simplicity of life and give up all the hustle and bustle of job and keeping up with the Joneses in order to make loving Mary Addison no longer a burden or a problem.

It was the focus and center of our life because it was where we saw Christ the most that blew a lot of people's minds that we would choose that. It sounds like you just got off, you just got off this freeway. You just found the exit ramp and you just said, we're going over here. Exactly. That's exactly what we did. And so that was the toughest.

Yeah. As hard as that was. Any regrets?

No, not regrets, but you and I both know it's a tough road. I mean, it's like you're swimming upstream constantly. When you choose to hang in there with someone and live as intimately as we do, as you do with suffering and the suffering of another person, people are always telling us, why don't you get more caregivers? Why don't you put her in a home?

You know, why isn't she in programs all day? And it's hard to explain the lessons that choosing to love sacrificially have taught us. What happens to me, and I think it happens to you too, from what you tell me, from what I'm gleaning, is that people want to come up.

It's not that they're toxic people in the sense of, yeah, there are always those who criticize and tell you what you should be doing. But then there are those who come up and want to whiteboard the whole thing. Have you tried this? Have you tried this? Have you thought about this?

Have you thought it? And then I have to explain to them why I am so far beyond this. And it's not that I don't appreciate good counsel from folks.

I seek it out all the time. But until you've spent some time on the field, you're going to always want to interject your opinion from the cheap seats or not you. But I mean, people seem to want to do that. And this is one of those things, unless you've actually done this or spent time in this world, it's very difficult to process what it's like to deal with relentless crises.

This is not a situation where where Mary Addison, your family, me, Gracie, reach a homeostasis, if you will. It's every day is a new crisis. Absolutely. And you get learned.

It's like you never come into port. You're always in a storm. And you have to learn to make peace with the storm.

Absolutely. And you can't freak out. And some people come into that ancillary that they may swerve into our lives. And all of a sudden, the storm, they just hit it full frontal. And they're like, you know, what about what do we do?

But they were just like, just settle down. Because as I was taking Gracie, the emergency room, everybody was just, I was talking, they were just kind of panicky. But I was, I was writing an article while she was in the emergency room right there. I'm just sitting right there.

I got one of the bed trays. I raised it up on my laptop and I was finishing an article. I was writing because this is my life. And if I stopped my life, every time we had a crisis, I would have no life.

You guys in the same way you, you, and you, you just learned to just, you know, blessed are the flexible for they shall not be been out of shape. You know, you just have to learn that you'd write that down, Mary. I didn't come up with it, but I'll take credit.

I love it. But what it is, Peter, that I went on a two year journey to write the second book, the peaceful caregiver with God was the pieces of choice. You know, God is always extending it. And so many people feel like with bombs going off and with crisis is happening with people when you, you know, when, when your caregivers, most of us are taking care of people who are getting worse every day, you know, the Alzheimer's is getting worse. The cancer is getting worse. The dementia is getting worse.

Parkinson's is getting worse. You're usually not dealing with situations that are getting better. And the crisis, the disease, the disability seems to have taken over everything and you start feeling powerless. But when you realize that peace is a choice, that nothing can steal your piece, regardless of your circumstances. If you learn how to practice peace the way our Lord teaches us, now you feel that power again.

You have that power back because you realize it's all up to me. You know, Mary Addison, we went on a family vacation and with a bunch of other families and Mary Addison went into status one morning and we're miles away from any hospital and no rescue meds, no nothing. And she was seizing so badly that we couldn't even pick her up and carry her down the stairs and get her out to the car. So four men had to pick up the mattress she was on while she's flapping and seizing, bringing her down the stairs, putting her in the car and us taking off and getting to the hospital. And what all the other families still to this day comment on is, but y'all were so calm, but y'all were so calm.

And, you know, my husband said, well, what would getting hysterical have added to this at all? But most people say, but how do you, how do you maintain that level of peace and calmness? And, you know, that's what the peaceful caregivers all about is how do you really learn to shift your perspective to know that everything really is okay, and that you can choose peace and that you can take a deep breath and let the Holy Spirit guide you and that God can bring something really wonderful out of something that the rest of the world is freaking out about. And it's a fact it, and it's just taken hold of our lives. And so when you talk about the storm, we've gotten to the point where we can actually go, oh, yay, hold on tight, because we're getting somewhere with this one, you know, that we're going to, we're going to learn something and we've realized it's just not chaos.

There's treasure there. If you can just maintain that peace about it and trust, you've been listening to a portion of my interview with Mary Tutterow. Her organization is called the heart of the caregiver, heart of the You can hear the whole interview out at my podcast, hope for the It's all out there. I hope you'll check it out.

We'll be right back. I've spent my share of nights in a hospital trying to sleep on the hospital furniture. You ever done that?

Oh yeah. Hospital furniture for the family is not known to be comfortable. Well, there's an economic reason for that.

Well, there is. And I've done it in waiting rooms, fold out cots, chairs, and even the floor. And as caregivers, we've got to sleep in some uncomfortable places, but we don't have to be miserable. And so I want you to think about what we're doing in my home with pillows. Pillows. Now, pillows. And don't think pillows aren't important because they are.

When Jacob left to flee Esau, he ended up on the way and he stopped it. I think it was Bethel and he used a rock as a pillow, but we don't have to. We don't have to use a rock as a pillow. We use pillows from These are wonderful pillows. Oh, okay.

And they are great. They got this patented interlocking field that adjusts to your sleep needs. And for caregivers, we have individual sleep needs and they get ramped up significantly when you're sitting in a hospital recliner or chair in a waiting room and so forth. You know, I never liked taking my pillows to the hospital.

Never. Because I thought, you know, I'm going to bring it home and I'm thinking, how do you get the clean? How do you get the hospital out of the pillow? But with MyPillow, you could throw them in the washer and dryer. Hey, right on.

Okay. And so it takes care of that. 10 year warranty, not to go flat. 10 year warranty.

They're guaranteed not to go flat and there's 60 day money back guarantee. And they are made in the USA. That is a wonderful thing. And if you go to right now, type in the promo code, guess what it is, John? Caregiver.

Oh, I thought it was going to be Rosenberger. No, it's not. It's caregiver. Type in the promo code caregiver at Get 50% off the four pack, which includes two premium pillows and two go anywhere.

And guess what? We caregivers, we go anywhere. And you'll also receive a discount on everything else on the website, promo code caregiver, or write this down. 800-946-2379. 800-946-2379 promo code caregiver. Come on, let's get a good night's rest. That's important for us as caregivers.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-08 20:06:13 / 2022-11-08 20:13:20 / 7

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