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Living While Caregiving

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
February 27, 2023 9:33 am

Living While Caregiving

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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February 27, 2023 9:33 am

How many caregivers put their lives on hold until their caregiving journey improves or ends? 

Is that a good idea?

I recently discussed something I am doing - while serving as a full-time caregiver, and invited fellow caregivers to do the same. 



Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

This is Peter Rosenberger, glad to have you with us. Healthy caregivers make better caregivers. Do you feel healthy? Do you feel healthier? How are you doing? How are you holding up?

What's going on with you? If you want some more information, if you want to contact the program, if you want to submit a question, comment, joke, whatever's on your heart, that's the place to do it. and I'd love to hear from you. I'm doing something this year. I've set out to do something. It's not a New Year's resolution because I don't really do those. I just decided it's time.

Time for what, you may ask. Well, I'm glad you asked. Let me tell you. When I moved to Nashville, Tennessee back in 1984, I transferred from a college in South Carolina where I was a junior and I moved there in 1984 to study music and to hopefully be a songwriter. I know it's an ambitious goal, but that's what I did there. I knew I was an okay musician, but to be a strong songwriter, though, was something else.

I didn't really know how it worked. Talent's a big part of it, but you've got to also get out there and hustle. Then I got married and we still did a lot of music together. We performed together, but the songwriting thing had to take a back seat. Gracie's surgeries started mounting and life happened, so I ended up going on a lot of different paths towards just staying above water. Sitting around in a writer's room writing songs, not so much, even though I kept writing. I knew a lot of people that did and I kept wanting to do that, but I didn't really quite know how to take it to the next level so that it could be something that I could actually make some money at and see some success at it. Gracie and others, people I've performed my songs, but not anything to really speak of, but they do okay.

Y'all have heard some of them and most people seem to like them and they don't come up and slap me after I play them, so they seem to be okay. I've written with a couple of wonderful writers that I enjoy writing with, particularly my friend Hank. We've written a couple of songs together and I really enjoyed that and my friend Greg. But I just felt like this was just one of those things that I'd left undone. And this year I've decided I'm going to change that and I'm starting to write more. Now, my fourth book comes out this spring, so I'm no stranger to writing and being published and so forth when it comes to that. But as a songwriter, to have a song cut by significant artists on their project and getting it out there, that's a dream that I have not yet seen come to fruition. And that's okay. Some dreams just don't.

But if it's not going to happen, I don't want the reason to be that I didn't try hard enough, that I didn't go for it. So I'm doing two things. One of them is I'm actually pursuing writing more. But the other thing is I'm telling you all about it, my fellow caregivers.

Okay? This is something that's important to me. I don't know if I'll be successful at it, but I know that I need to do it for me. I told our church this year that I plan on writing several songs for them and I've already done that with two and taught it to them and they love singing it. Again, nobody's come up and smacked me around and said, hey, you really need to find a different line of work.

They seem to like it. I'm working on putting together all the publishing nuances and I've got a friend of mine back east putting together all the tracks for the orchestration and so forth for one of them. And hopefully we can do more of that. And then I also reached out to a friend of mine who's a very, very, very successful songwriter in Nashville. They consider him one of the best veteran songwriters in the town and that's saying something. And I told him, I said, I've got an idea for a song and I would really welcome being able to collaborate with you on this.

Now, that took a little bit of courage on my part, but I did it. And you know what he said? He said, absolutely. And he said, I love the hook. So I've been writing it out. Now, interestingly enough, I majored in music. You all know that I'm a musician and a pianist, but on this particular country song that I'm doing, it's the lyrics. And I figured after four books and, you know, I don't know how many commentaries and op-eds and things that I've done over the years that, you know, I could at least take a stab at some lyrics. I think I'm doing okay with words, but I've pushed myself to do this.

I pushed myself to ask him, would he be willing to do it? I put myself out there because this is something that's important to me. And I'll keep you all posted, but now you know. And I felt like it was important for me to tell you this. This is one of the ways I'm taking care of me. I like to write. And I like to write music. I like to write lyrics.

What do you like to do? What's an unrealized dream of yours that you put on the back shelf because you just didn't think it was possible? Again, I have no guarantee that I'm going to be successful at this.

I have no guarantee of anything that's going to happen. You know, but I got a taste of it. My son did a short film a couple of years ago, and I wrote the screenplay for it and the story, and then I did the music to it. And I really enjoyed the process.

Well, then I did another one, and I wrote the theme for that, and he entered that into some Italian film festival, and I was awarded best original score for it, original song for it. So I've had taste of this enough that I thought, you know, I need to do this. I'm coming to the end of my fourth decade as a caregiver through serious, serious challenges. And yet I'm still pushing myself to tackle a dream. And so I'm asking you, what about you? What is something that's been important to you?

What's something that you almost dare not even think about because it's just no way? I got to tell you, it took a little bit of gumption on my part to pick up the phone and call this guy. And we have a mutual friend, and I called him up first. I said, do you think he would take my call? Do you think he would, you know, have this conversation with me?

He said, absolutely. And he was very gracious. And I appreciated that because I felt kind of nervous about it.

And I don't usually get nervous about things like, you know, making calls and things such as that. But this one had my heart attached to it. But I did it.

And it turns out this guy's becoming a friend. And it was an important thing for me to do. And if I may be so bold, there may be some important steps for you that are close by that maybe you're afraid to try. And so I wanted you to know that I get that. And here's what I'm doing about it. And I'm pushing myself to do it. And I'm going to keep you posted. And as soon as I get the orchestration from the song, I'll play it for you and see what you guys think of this first song.

And then if this country song comes to fruition, I'll play that one for you as well and see what you think. But I'm going to do it. I'm going to push myself to do this. And that's just part of my journey as a caregiver to say, you know what, I need to have a voice. Remember how we talk about all the time on this program where we lose our identity and we lose our voice?

We don't know how to speak in first person singular? Well, this is part of how I'm pushing back against that for myself and hopefully as a way to maybe inspire you to do the same in whatever that is for you. Whatever you've got sitting on a shelf that's collecting dust that you feel embarrassed or awkward or unsuited to put out there. Maybe that's worth a second look. What do you think? Maybe that's worth you taking a stab at this. Maybe God has put something in your heart that you've buried and now it's time to act on it. How about this? Why don't you pray about it?

Would you do that? And we're going to talk some more about it. I've got some tips for some of you that may want to be a writer. So we'll talk some more about that as well. We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hopeforthecaregiver.

This is Peter Roseburger. Glad to have you with us.

Healthy caregivers make better caregivers. I was talking in the last segment about songwriting but I want to talk a little bit more about writing for books, articles, whatever you're going to do. A lot of you are writers.

I get that a lot because you all send me things, poems, express to me things that you want to do. You want to write a book. And so I wanted to take just a few moments to give you a couple things I've learned along the way as a writer. I've been published now, I don't know, lots of different places., Fox News, US News World Report, Chicago Tribune, Gannett News Services, USA Today.

You just Google search. There's a lot of commentaries that I've written out there. Plus my first book that was published I did with Liberty University Press and that was Gracie Story. And that book is titled Gracie Standing with Hope.

We originally wrote Gracie Story. We had a pretty big book contract and we had a lady that helped us write it and it didn't turn out as well as we'd like. So we wrote the final manuscript and the publisher backed away from it and I was horrified.

I was like, I didn't know what to say. It was a real unpleasant time but it was what it was and I looked back at it and the story wasn't ready and the writing wasn't where it needed to be. So we put it on the shelf for a long time and then things started escalating with Gracie and she was out in the public eye more and a lot of people wanted to write a book. But we couldn't find that person to write it and finally the publisher told us, look, why don't you write it? We've seen some of your stuff and you seem to be capable.

And I looked at them aghast because I remember the student I was in high school and college and I graduated, thank you, Lawdy. That wasn't my skill set and I was still focused on being a songwriter. But I took a stab at it and I gave them some samples and the first draft came back with so much red ink on it I thought I'd been stabbed. But I started putting it together and lo and behold we wrote a book. It was 80,000 words. They wanted 60 and I gave them 80,000.

Actually I think maybe even 85,000. And they came back to me and they said, we don't know where to cut so we're going to take everything as is. Which was quite gratifying to hear and the book has done pretty well for Gracie and it's a powerful story. But that sparked an urge for me to continue writing more and I started writing and writing and I was not a trained writer. I didn't have any kind of skill set of writing but I had things I wanted to say and I started finding people that could help me say it better. And so that's when I wanted to spend a little time with some of you all may enjoy writing. Maybe you're just writing for yourself. Maybe just journaling. But expressing your thoughts on paper is an extremely valuable thing to do.

Even if nobody sees it but you because it allows you to organize your thoughts and I think that's at the heart of writing for me. Is what do I want to say and how do I organize my thoughts to say it? Now I will admit to you that I have made some really boneheaded decisions. I've fired off a commentary or an op-ed that I've written before I should have. I should have let it sit for a while and I had to go back and ask the publisher or the editor to make some changes in it and that's embarrassing.

I mean it's one thing to do that for some kind of paper that nobody's going to read but it's another thing when you're calling up Fox News and saying hey I got a typo or whatever. And so you want to give it some time but the first thing you want to do is just what do you want to say? What do you want to say to your kids as they've watched you serve as a caregiver? What do you want to say to family members? What's something you want them to know about you, about the things of God, about life? What are things that you want others to know about you and your insights and the wisdom you've gleaned? Have you gleaned anything as a caregiver?

I would suggest to you that you have so write it down. I got to know before I left Nashville, I got to know this guy, wonderful guy, he's passed away now but he wrote a series of one sentence things to give advice to his kid before he went off to college. His son went off to college, this was back in the 80s and he wanted to give him something to hang on to so give him some guidance. He said I put these together for you and they were little things like tip your waitress and hold the door open for people, just things you would want your kids to know. And a publisher picked this up, he never intended for anything to happen with it and a publisher picked it up and it started getting some traction and then another publisher picked it up from there and you may have heard of this little book. It was called Life's Little Instruction Book by a guy named H. Jackson Brown and I think it sold, correct me if I'm wrong, I think it sold more than 10 million copies and spent a couple of years at the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

He didn't set out to write a bestseller, he didn't set out to write something that sold 10 million copies. What he set out to do was help his son navigate through life to the best way he could and I got to know him before I left Nashville and just wonderful, wonderful individual. And we spent some time together and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him and seeing what God wove through this amazing journey of his of just wanting to do something for his son. What about you? What do you want to say to your son, to your daughter? What do you want to say to your spouse? What do you want to say? Write it down.

You never know, you just never know but what it does though is it gives you that opportunity to see your thoughts clarified. Go back and read them. Now one of the best pieces of advice, I'll give you two pieces of advice I got from an editor.

This may mean something to you, may not but to me it was a big deal. Actually three pieces of advice. One of them is try not to write in passive voice very much. That's always the mark of bad writing. He was very happy to go, you know, that's not good writing. First off, passive voice and the second, don't use the word very.

My friend Priscilla Stevens, and I'm going to call her out by name because she's such a great editor, lives in Nashville and she and her husband Mike had a huge impact on me as a writer. And she was told that her English professor back in school, I think it was at Vanderbilt, always said do not use the word very in any type of formal writing. It's weak. Come up with something different. Like instead of saying, you know, they were very excited, they felt great excitement. You see the difference?

And that's something that really stuck with me, to watch that passive voice. And the other thing is you don't have to be extremely verbose. In fact brevity is always better. But you want to add some texture to it and you don't want to say something like, okay, he is a funny guy. Don't tell, show it.

Tell a story where that humor comes out. So show, don't tell, if that makes sense. And that's where descriptive language comes in. Now there are a lot of tools that you can use out there online to help you with the editing process. Most of your word applications and any of your computer programs and applications will help you with some of that.

But there are others that you can use. But how do you get good at writing? You write. And you write a lot.

But it always starts with don't try to be profound. Just think about things that strike you. You write what you know. Write what you're feeling.

Write what you're struggling with. Go back and look at the Psalms. You want to see great writing? Look how David poured out his soul in these things. These Psalms, this is Scripture. So it's great writing, okay? It's great writing. Go back and look how honest he was with himself and with God. Jeremiah did the same thing. They would express their great frustration, their great angst, their great heartache.

But it was always in the context of then seeing God's provision in this as well. So these are important things to remember if you're going to write something down. Be honest with who you are and what's going on with you. Don't try to have opinions as much as insights.

Try not to give your, this is the way it should be kind of thing or whatever. But instead just write what your heart sees and write from your experience. And if you want to write fiction, you know, what's a story you want to hear?

What's a story you want to tell? What do you like to read? I've got a family member named Ethan Burroughs who has published spy thriller novels and you can check out his books and see what he's done. It's the Clayton Haley series.

You can get it on Amazon, Ethan Burroughs. Go out and take a look at his books and see how he writes fiction. I don't write fiction. Or at least I'm not very good at it if I do. I don't remember writing fiction. But that's not where I am. But some of you have expressed intensely that you want to write.

You want to write a book. And I get a lot of people pitching me a book because they want to come on the program and talk about their book. And I'm always willing, in fact I got one right here.

I just got it today. And I'm always willing to look at it. But I'm asking you what do you want to say?

What's burning on your heart? And somebody said well I want to help other caregivers. I get a lot of books like that. People say I want to help other caregivers. Okay. What do you want to say to them? I'm a caregiver.

How do you want to help me? Well I don't know what to say to you. Well then you need to revise your statement.

And I'm not being harsh. I'm trying to help you get down to the core of what's burning in your heart. That you want to say. That you feel like you need to say. That you feel like it has to be said.

And what is it that is driving that? And those are little things that you start off the writing process doing. What is burning in your heart? If it's important to you, write it. Don't try to write something that's going to sell a lot. Try to write something that's going to be authentic to who you are. If you try to write a best seller, you'll probably come up short. If you try to write something real, it's going to have an impact.

Okay. That's a good starting point. And then if you don't feel like your grammar is that strong or whatever, there are so many programs that will help you with that.

And that are easy to do. They'll help you edit it. Clean it up a little bit. And then maybe get somebody else to take a look at and read it. Brevity. Shakespeare said brevity is the soul of wit. If I'm writing a commentary for Fox or something like that, I usually write everything just stream of conscious and then I go back and cut it by 25% off the top.

Just right off the bat. Just cut it down 25%. So streamlining the process.

If it's authentic and real, that's what's going to grab people. Not how many words. Not what the word count is. Just write from your heart.

Write what you know. We'll talk more about this as this topic comes up. And if you have any questions, feel free to send me a note through This is Peter Rosenberg and we'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope For The Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberg. Glad to have you with us. All right, I want to pivot just a little bit.

I was in Denver last week and I appreciate your flexibility with me while I took a little bit of time off to do some caregiving. Of course, this audience understands that profoundly. While we're down there, we met with two different surgical groups. Last year, Gracie had several operations and one of them was the large one she had on her back, where they had to go in and reposition her spine because she had developed what they call flat back syndrome.

She didn't have any curvature to her spine and therefore she was bent over about 45 degrees. It was a big, big, big surgery. She also had to have a follow-up surgery to that because of a post-op infection.

Then we started the recovery process. She also had to have a screw taken out of her left femur, where she broke her leg. She fell and broke her leg a year and a half ago. Not the part I can fix with duct tape and pliers, but it was right above her knee, right above where her prosthesis hits. She twisted and fell.

It's just one of those kind of things. Gracie has lived a pretty active life as an amputee. She's been snow skiing and horseback riding and four-wheeling and snowmobiling and everything else, but this is one of those kind of freak things.

They flew her to Billings. They fixed this, but the screw they put in there to anchor that rod in the femur was too long. When she wore her prosthesis, it was too tight. It was pinching her. It was stabbing her.

It was pretty uncomfortable, so she couldn't walk very well. So we had that taken out in Denver from an ortho group down there, and everything was good. I told Gracie, I said, we've got to fix that flat tire. So we fixed that.

Well, I didn't fix it, but I got her down there. They signed off and said, look, it's all healed up. Now, the recovery process, you still have to kind of work it, physical therapy and so forth.

We understand that. The neurosurgeon, however, looking at her back, the disc above where the fusion stopped is collapsing, and it's causing quite a bit of pain. The technical term is called PJK, proximal junctional kyphosis. And what they're going to do is go up over the curve that she now has in her back and fuse more, I mean, anchor it more with rods and so forth to the thoracic area. And then that should straighten her back all the way. She's still been over enough that it's a problem. And then six months after that surgery is completed, then the ortho surgeons will go back in and do what they call a hip flexor release, because she's been sitting in a wheelchair, been over, hasn't been able to stand up straight, and her hip flexors got really tight. OK, that's the bad news. All of that is happening.

And I wanted to give you all that update because that's going to involve me being in and out quite a bit over the next several months. The good news is the neurosurgeon told us, look, this is a complication that comes for about 20% of the patients that have the kind of surgery that Gracie did last January. And we know exactly what to do with it. Now, why is that important? Well, certainly it's important so somebody knows what they're doing. This is not one of those unexpected things, but for so much of Gracie's journey, we heard, we've never seen this before, or this is a first, or all those kinds of things. And the vast majority of her surgeries that she's had were done to save her legs following her wreck. They were done to try to, you know, nobody wanted this 17-year-old girl to wake up and find her legs gone.

And this was back in 83. And then the subsequent surgeries after that, trying to save these legs. Well, prosthetics took a huge turn in the 90s and really started becoming the state-of-the-art things that we see today. When she lost her right leg, she started off with this thing called a flex foot.

It was, you know, brand new where you had this energy storing carbon fiber feet and so forth. Nowadays, that protocol would probably be a lot different. The advancements in prosthetics are such that removing a terribly damaged limb that really is beyond repair doesn't have quite the same impact because of prosthetics. You can get back up and start living a pretty functional life. But we didn't have that opportunity at the time. And nobody really knows the pain you're saved from.

They only know the pain you have. And the thought of giving up her legs was horrific to Gracie and everyone involved. And we've talked about that on this program.

But there was this mindset, a philosophical mindset, of let's try this, let's try this, let's try this, let's try this. And in the process, Gracie is in the shape she's in today because of a lot of that. I'm not placing blame on surgeons, Gracie, me, or anybody else. I'm just saying this is what it is. Hindsight is always 20-20. So what have we learned from this? Well, I've come to understand that when it comes to caring for Gracie, the plan of care has to be partnered with the philosophy of care.

Now let me explain. Gracie is in chronic pain. She has severe pain all the time.

Not a day without it since 1983. She can get out of pain today, right now. But she would be so sedated or so anesthetized or so numb that she couldn't function. So you have to have a philosophy, okay, what is the goal here? Is the goal to get her out of pain?

Well that's not possible. And to have any kind of meaningful life. So she has to learn to cope with the pain and deal with it. That's the philosophy part of this.

How do I do this? Well the same thing with surgical approach with her. And she's had so many of them and we've been to this well. She's an orthopedic train wreck. And that's not my words, she's at the far end of complex orthopedic trauma. And so you have to have a philosophical approach to this.

Okay, what is the best thing to do overall for Gracie? The wholeness of the person. So when I had this conversation with the neurosurgeon I was very encouraged that he was thinking the same way. That we don't just try something. That we have this thing mapped out before she ever shows up at the hospital. Okay, so that's as much as possible. I mean there's always something that can go awry.

But you're not just hoping for the best. You're going in there with a very detailed plan of this is exactly what we're going to do. So when they took that screw out of her femur. They knew exactly what to do and how to get it done and what to expect. It was all laid out. This was not, you know, we're going to try this. So that's the approach we're taking with this. Now we can look back over our life and I think this is where we as caregivers can identify.

And we spend a lot of time here quite truthfully. We're hoping for a better past, you know. You ever felt like that, that you're hoping for a better past? But the past is what it is. It's happened. Here's where we are.

Here's what's happened. Now what are we going to do about it? And we can sit there and commiserate over the trauma. We can sit there and just weep and gnash our teeth and by the waters of Babylon we sit down and wept kind of thing. We can do that.

Or we can set our face forward like flint and just say, you know, this is where we are going. We know where we've been. We know what's happened. And we see it for what it is. We accept it for what it is. We don't agree with it. We don't have to like it. We're not required to like it. But accepting it is the hardest part for us sometimes as human beings.

I think that's part of the human condition. And we're going to have tears about this. You and I both know this.

Alright. We've got tears aplenty. And it will be hard and it will be difficult and painful. Certainly for Gracie. And for me as well. She's really making me brush up on a lot of my nursing skills.

And that's just the way it is. Now what are our options? She cannot not do this. There are dire consequences if she doesn't do it.

And there are challenging events if she does. This is the life of so many of you all. As caregivers.

What do you do? And this is not a moral decision. Where we're going to sin one way or the other.

We are getting the best advice and we're making the decision. Even if the decision proves something unexpected happens or whatever. It's not a sin issue.

It's really important for me to understand that. For Gracie to understand that. And for the rest of us to have that conversation.

Because I think that sometimes so many people want to put pressure on us when we make these kinds of decisions. Well if you had enough faith. Or if you would just do this. Or if you would go to this preacher.

Or if you would send money to this guy. Whatever. And that kind of stuff is really bondage. That's not faith. That's ritual. That's legalism. That's dysfunction. Faith is saying I trust that God is already waiting for Gracie in the hospital in Denver for that surgery.

He's already there. That's faith. I trust the ever living one. His wounds for me does plead. As the hymn says. And this did not come easily to either one of us. But this is our life. And we're not going to ok we'll get through this surgery and then we'll get on with our life.

No this is our life. And I can resent it. I can rail against it. I can cuss fuss and holler cry scream everything else. Been there done that.

It's not going to change anything. So I turn into it. And accept it. Gracie turns into it and accepts this is where I am.

This is what I have to live with. And I will trust him in it. Corrie ten Boon once said. About trusting an unknown future. To a known God.

There is no way that Gracie and I could stand firm in this. If we didn't know God. Not as much as we'd like to know him.

But we know him a lot more than we did back in the 1980's. Through many dangers. Toils and snares. We have already come. That's what the hymn says.

Finish it with me. Twas grace that brought us thus far. And grace will lead Gracie home. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver. We'll be right back.

Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is my wife Gracie singing one of the songs that I wrote.

Actually you know what? Mr. Producer would you mind turning up a little bit? I just love listening to her do this. Listen to this.

We will stand. Thank you for indulging me on that. I do love listening to that voice of hers. So I have written a few songs. And I enjoy doing it more as we talked about in the first block. And I'm going to do that even as we head down to Denver.

And more surgeries and everything else. You don't stop writing songs. Just when things that you don't like happen to you. You don't stop writing. You don't stop thinking thoughts. So I'm going to work at it. And I'm asking a couple of things of you.

One of them is I want you all to identify something in your life. That you really enjoy doing. Maybe you haven't told anybody else. Just do it. Don't try to make money at it. Don't try to make a production about it. Just do it. And see what happens.

Maybe you've wanted to try building a project in your backyard. Whatever. I don't know. Whatever comes to your mind of something that satisfies something in your soul. Something that is there.

It may not be able to be done on big stages. And maybe nobody else will know about it. But you and God.

But you and God will know about it. And that's enough. So I'm asking you to consider that for yourself. I think that's very healthy for us as caregivers. To not just squelch everything down. Okay, well we'll just get through this and then I'll maybe, you know.

No, let's just go ahead and do it now. I remember writing this piece in the emergency room. I had my laptop there and they're treating Grace. I think I told you all this. And I'm sitting there writing. I'm right beside her. I'm doing my job.

I'm not letting her go. I'm watching everything that's going on. But I'm also writing a column that's in.

It's published right now. LifeWay did it in one of their magazines. But two are living. That's the kind of thing I think as caregivers we have to do. We can't just put our life on hold. We need to live life today.

Even while serving as a caregiver. Now I don't know what that looks like for you. I'm just telling you what it looks like for me. And I'm hoping that it sparks something in you. That you can say, you know what, if Peter can do this after nearly 40 years of this, maybe I can too. And I'm listening to, I'm going through systematic theology. On a whole series that I'm doing right now with R.C.

Sproul and Ligonier Ministry. I told you guys this. I'm on lesson about 24.

And there's like 60 of them. It's an overview of systematic theology. And I'm enjoying it immensely. I listen to it on my earpiece. Because I'm cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry. All the things that we do as caregivers. And instead of just running around the house doing stuff, I'm actually listening to something that's improving my life and my understanding of God. What about you? What are you doing? What can you do?

Technology has given us amazing resources to be able to do this. What are you doing? Can you do something today that's going to improve your life? Your spiritual life, your financial life, your emotional life, your physical life.

All those kinds of things. You cannot put it on hold. Gracie's had 85 operations that I can count. I cannot put my life on hold until all of this is done. How do you do that for four decades?

You can't. You have to live life. You have to be creative. And that's what this program is about. You and I are being creative together. We're figuring out things together. We're not doing it in isolation. We're not doing this in a vacuum. We're working together to say, okay, here's what I've tried. What do you think?

I want to hear what you've tried. And you can send a note to me and tell me. And by the way, I want to thank one of the listeners to this program in Kentucky sent me a great funny story about red velvet cakes and helicopters.

It was pretty funny. And I love red velvet cupcakes. And I love red velvet cupcakes. Because I asked that in our Facebook group, which you can go out and join. It's Facebook. It's Hope for the Caregiver. Now I have a page for Hope for the Caregiver. And then I have a private group for Hope for the Caregiver. And you can join that group. There's some questions you have to answer. Please do.

And I want to make sure that everybody in it is singing from the same hymnal kind of thing. That we're not getting weirdos and people promulgating all kinds of stuff. I'm the administrator of this. But I asked for funny stories and so forth. And she sent one and it was very funny.

I've got a guy in Jackson, Mississippi who sends me notes of encouragement. And listens to this program. And he never signs it with his name. It's all anonymous. I don't even know who this individual is. And just says, a friend in Jackson, Mississippi.

It's very meaningful to me to get these things. And I respect the fact that he just wants to remain anonymous. He just wants to encourage. And I have another friend that I've gotten to know through writing letters. And he's incarcerated in Texas who listens to this program. And sends me beautiful notes and scriptures and so forth. This is a great community of individuals listening to this program who want to come and be strengthened in the journey.

Who are not interested in sitting around and commiserating on this. But to say, okay, we're going to get healthier. We're going to get better. We're going to get stronger.

We don't know what all that's going to look like. But we know that we'll be able to face it better when we are stronger. Spiritually, emotionally, physically, fiscally, all of the above. And so that's what I'm asking you all to do today is just to find that something today. Just something right now that you can say, okay, I can do this.

I can take this on. I picked up the phone and called a very successful songwriter. And took a chance that he wouldn't hang up on me.

And he didn't. And I don't know what's going to come of it. I put myself out there and said, I'm going to do this. I don't plan on winning Grammys or anything else. I just want to write songs that are reflective of the musical and emotional and spiritual journey that I've had in my life. And I want to be a good steward of the talent that God has given me to do so. What talents do you have that you can be a better steward of today?

Your intellect, your musical abilities, your craft ability, your artistic abilities. There's so many different things that we have that we squelch in caregiving. Well, we just can't do that right now. Yes, you can't. Just don't put standards on it of what it's got to look like.

Just do it. Some of you all are very good at reworking a car. That's one of the most fascinating things. I went over. I had to get Gracie's wheelchair worked on a while back. The crossbar broke.

We finally got another wheelchair. It welded too many times, but it's aluminum welding. And I went over there to a local welding shop over there and I asked him, Can I watch you do it? Because I was fascinated to watch him weld.

And aluminum welding is a lot different than other types of welding from what I understand. And I really appreciate Mike Rowe and what he's doing to help promote these types of skills in our young people today. He's got scholarships that he's offering. It's amazing how he's transforming the lives of so many young people who would be caught up in this craziness that is our university and college system now.

And I love what he's doing. And some of you all know how to weld and are really good at it. So what are you doing with that skill? Can you do something with that?

Have you put that on hold? Some of you know how to take apart an engine. Some of you know how to build a table. Are great with carpentry. Know how to do things with woodworking. Some of you are phenomenal gardeners.

And by the way, if you have great tips on those skills that you have, post them in the Facebook thing or send them to me off the website. I'll read them out if you think this is something for fellow gardeners that they might want to know. You know, I don't have a green thumb. I have a black thumb. I pretty much kill anything I try to plant. But I'm getting better at it and Gracie helps me with some things. Her dad sent some Christmas bulbs to us and they're blooming. I don't know what they're even called. But they're beautiful and they're blooming.

And Gracie makes sure to tell me to turn the thing this way. Because in Montana, in the wintertime, getting things to bloom can be a bit of a challenge. But I admire people. And you know, one of the shows she loves to watch is the Homestead Rescue show.

Those people from Alaska that go in there. And the ingenuity that they have. There's ingenuity in you.

Let's coax it out a little bit. You don't have to wait for your caregiving journey to stop. You don't have to listen to the voices in your head that says you're not good enough. You're not smart enough. You're not this. You're not this. You've done this.

You've done this. The past is better. We talked about that last block. Let's don't hope for a better past. Let's make a better today.

Alright? That's what faith looks like. Recognize that the past is in Christ. Bring that to the cross. And allow Him to open your heart today. Allow the Holy Spirit to put all that in perspective.

And go back to that verse in Galatians. I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God. The life I live as a caregiver. The life I live while washing dishes. The life I live while trying to be a songwriter. The life I live while gardening. All of these things run to Christ. Isn't that a better way to live today than to sit around and bang your head against the wall and berate yourself for this and that and whatever. And to harbor resentments.

Gracie and I can't undo what has happened to her. But we have a bright future. Strength for today. Bright hope for tomorrow. As the great hymn says, because of the redemptive work of Christ. And that is what keeps us standing with hope.

So that's what I got today. Oh by the way, speaking of standing with hope, we're putting a leg on a guy named Cyril. He's in Cameroon.

It's our first leg that we've ever put on somebody in Cameroon. We're working with it. If you want to be a part of that, go to slash giving. slash giving. This is the prosthetic limb outreach Gracie envisioned after giving up both of her legs. And she is changing lives, one leg at a time. You can be a part of that too if you wish. slash giving. This is Peter Rosenberg and this is Hope for the Caregiver. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-27 10:34:51 / 2023-02-27 10:53:09 / 18

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