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When Caregivers Rob Themselves

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
February 3, 2024 1:50 pm

When Caregivers Rob Themselves

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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February 3, 2024 1:50 pm

One of the greatest thefts to family caregivers comes from our own hearts. We often steal from the moment to regret the past—or fear the future. Although yesterday’s events may have arrived with tears and trauma, today remains an opportunity to calm our hearts and deal with current circumstances. As caregivers, we all know our tomorrows most likely show up with challenges—but unexpected joys may also arrive.

Surprising beauty awaits us along the way, yet we are sure to miss it when our focus extends behind or in front of us. None of this eliminates the grief we carry. However, healthily living in the present allows us to mourn while simultaneously resisting the fear, rage, and despair that often erupt during caregiving.

Although our independence, relationships, career paths, and even dreams inevitably suffer in our caregiving journey, peace of mind remains solidly in our hands. No one has the power to rob us of that composure—except ourselves.

We know what we are but know not what we may be.

—William Shakespeare

From:  A Minute For Caregivers - When Every Day Feels Like Monday

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Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger

Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger.

This is the program for you as a family caregiver. One of the things I talk a lot about on this program is living in the moment, learning to deal with right now. Now why do I talk about that so much? Because, well, that's what I have struggled with for a lifetime. If there's one word that describes my life, it seems like when I look back, it's cringe.

When we get to heaven, however time passes in heaven, I don't know what that even means, but the first 10,000 units of that time will all be smacking our foreheads going, oh, that's what God meant. Because we look back and we see so many things that we jumped the gun with. I have ample experience at this. I have messed this thing up so many ways. But I'm still here, and I've lived to laugh about it.

I've lived to tell about it. One of the things I put in the book, A Minute for Caregivers, when every day feels like Monday, this is my new book. It would be just a tremendous resource for you as you go through, because they're just literally one minute chapters.

I timed them all. But chapter 21 is called When We Rob Ourselves. That's the name of the chapter. I thought I'd share that with you in this block here. The greatest thefts to family caregivers comes from our own hearts. See, so many caregivers think that things are being taken from us by other people because we're caregiving, so we lose out on everything else. But really, the greatest theft comes from our own hearts. We're stealing from ourselves. We often steal from the moment that we're in to regret the past or fear the future. We're having that struggle in our hearts.

Now, normally, I wouldn't speak in second person plural, okay, saying we, our, us. But in this case, I'm going to go ahead and jump on this because I've talked to so many caregivers that I know this is where so many of us live. In fact, I haven't met a caregiver yet who doesn't live in this place of regretting the past or fearing the future instead of in the moment. As we all know, our tomorrows may have arrived with tears and trauma. Today remains an opportunity to calm our hearts and deal with current circumstances.

As caregivers, we all know our tomorrows most likely show up with challenges. Okay, we get that. I talked about that right after the first of the year. You know, what does January 1st mean to a family caregiver? Same thing January 2nd, same thing.

It doesn't mean anything. That's why I wrote the book. Like Monday. I mean, that's the whole point. I mean, what is, what is a holiday?

What is a day off? We know that challenges are going to be here tomorrow that we're dealing with today. We know that.

Okay. But do we also know that unexpected joys may arrive? Are we just as convinced of that? Now, I'm finishing up a almost eight-week stretch of the hospital with Gracie.

There's no word of when she's going to leave. My question is, and that's difficult. We get it. But am I prepared to find joy and things of beauty and things of encouragement in the hospital? Or is this something we just got to get through this and we can get back with our life? Or is this our life?

See, these are questions I ask myself a lot. You know, are we trying to strive to get through something so that we get on to do what we feel like we want to do? Or is this our life? And if it is our life, what are the implications of that? Is it a bad life?

I don't think so. Gracie and I don't have a bad life. We have a hard life, but not a bad life. Do we get to see beauty and joy, unexpected beauty and joy?

Yeah, we do all the time. Back to my book. Surprising beauty awaits us along the way, yet we are sure to miss it when our focus extends behind us or in front of us. None of this eliminates the grief we carry. However, healthily living in the present allows us to mourn while simultaneously resisting the fear, rage and despair that often erupts during caregiving. Now, why is it important that we mourn? Before I finish this, let me take a break on this chapter here. There are only one minute chapters, I'm just adding a lot more to it.

I'm sorry for that. But I felt like we could have this conversation today. And use this as an opportunity to unpack some of these things I address in the book. Why do we mourn? Why is it important to mourn? What did Jesus say about mourning?

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Mourning is something that's going to happen to us in this lifetime. And part of mourning is accepting what is happening. Recognizing this is really happening. And grieving over it as opposed to denying it, raging against it, or despairing over it. But to recognize this is happening. And once we shake hands with reality, however painful that is, the comfort can come. We can grieve it out.

And the comfort can come. Scripture says that. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

And it gives us the opportunity to see the greater truth of what's going on. And we also share, I think, more in the heart of Christ. If you notice, He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, Scripture says in Isaiah.

And this is who He is. He's a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. We have a Savior who mourns.

Who understands that. And as He looks out over Jerusalem, there's a spot where He says, He's mourning over how messed up this is. Wouldn't it stand to reason if we are becoming more like Him through our sanctification process, through our Christian walk? That we would also mourn over the things that we see in this world. Sometimes the older we get, the sadder we become as we see all the hurt, all the heartache, all the sin, all the devastation, all the brokenness. It doesn't mean that we're going to go around just, you know, falling apart. That's despair. We can mourn without going into despair. Because we know that there is a Redeemer.

I love that from Keith Green. There is a Redeemer, Jesus God's own Son. But you get to the chorus, it says, Thank you, O my Father, for giving us your Son and leaving your spirit to the work on earth is done. Well that's kind of the whole point, to recognize there's still work to be done. But now whose work is it? Ultimately, is it our work?

It's His work. And we align ourselves into His work. And that's where the freedom comes in, even in our mourning. That's where the comfort comes in, even in our mourning, knowing that He is responsible for this. We are responsible to Him. And that frees us up to live today. Not with reckless abandon, but to live freely. To realize that all of a sudden those scriptures make a lot of sense when it says the steps of a righteous man are guided by the Lord. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee. All of a sudden we realize, oh, that's what this means.

And we can live right here, right now. All of a sudden these scriptures make sense. Consider the lilies of the field.

Consider the birds of the air. Tomorrow will take care of itself. All of a sudden these things start making sense. Give us this day, our daily bread.

Well why is that? Do those things make sense in your life today? And if not, why not?

And if so, why? Again, you've heard me say this many times. I have blundered and stumbled along this road for four decades. And I've got to tell you, it's one thing to suffer.

It's another thing to suffer and be stupid. And I just don't want to be stupid anymore. I don't want to keep banging my head up against a brick wall. I want to learn from this. And the way I've learned through this process is to go back to what scripture teaches on this. You're welcome to try it for four decades, see if that works for you. But it didn't work for me.

And I don't want to do it anymore. I would rather embrace these precepts, hang on to this, and stop stealing from myself the joy that is available to me right now, here, today, in this place, even at this hospital. There is beauty and joy and excitement and the spectacular right here today.

Probably not going to look the way I thought it would. But if I am so busy regretting and cringing over all the things that I've messed up in the past, and there have been plenty of them, or if I'm so busy living in fear about what's waiting around the next corner, what is happening to right now? And then back to the book, although our independence, relationships, career paths, and even dreams inevitably suffer in our caregiving journey, and they do, as caregivers, every one of those things are going to be hit hard. Okay? Career paths, dreams, relationships, independence, all of that will take a beating. Okay? Anybody tells you different hasn't done it long enough.

Okay? It's all going to take a hit. And a lot of it is just out of our control. But peace of mind is solidly in our hands. We are the ones to decide how we're going to react to this. Are we going to stand firm in knowing what we believe and why we believe it, and trust Christ through these things? Or are we going to freak out? No one has the power to rob us of that composure, except ourselves.

We're the only ones that can do that to us. You remember what Martin Luther wrote in A Mighty Fortress? Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also, the body they may kill, God's truth about it still. Do we believe this or not? And that's one of the chapters from my book, A Minute for Caregivers, What Every Day Feels Like Money.

At the end of that chapter, I always have a quote, and there's one from Shakespeare. We know what we are, but know not what we may be. Think through that a little bit.

We know what we are, but know not what we may be. It's not about feeling better, it's about being better. And that is a different path. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver.

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. 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. I had tools everywhere, limbs everywhere, and feet, boxes of them and so forth. I was doing all this myself, and I'd make the kids help me.

It got to be too much for me. 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. We'd love to be a part of this, and that's what they're doing. You can see more about that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. 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 prostheses. She's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. She's been an amputee for over 30 years. 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 conversations with the inmates that work in this program. And you can see, again, all of that at standingwithhope.com 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 standingwithhope.com 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 Christ. And that's the whole purpose of everything that we do, and that is why Gracie and I continue to be standing with hope. standingwithhope.com
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-09 13:01:54 / 2024-02-09 13:07:52 / 6

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