Our church home for many years, we watched with great sorrow to see the unspeakable tragedy at Covenant Presbyterian Church
I often encounter fellow caregivers struggling in horrific circumstances. And, I just as often unexpectedly encounter folks from all sorts of backgrounds who fight to find solid ground as caregivers. In this episode, I share some of those encounters and ask what your thoughts are about their circumstances - and what I offered.
Author John Eldredge. wildatheart.org
All too often, caregivers fly under the radar and are often overlooked. Even when seen, many don't know what to say. Sometimes, it's not about what you say, but how long you stay.
My friend Kathy Harris, ( www.divinedetours.com ) talks about her books and the writing process, the long career she's had in the Nashville music business, and her journey as a caregiver.
American Family Radio's Jim Stanley shares his thoughts on grief, sorrow, and ministry.
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.
We can always live in the wreckage of our past and wonder what could have been - but is that helpful? Hoping for a better past is futile. C.S. Lewis stated, “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” www.hopeforthecaregiver.com
ROLL WITH IT Discussing the impact of his wife getting the flu, I heard a man commiserate, "The whole system shut down." He lamented his plight by referring to housekeeping, meals, laundry, the children and missed time from work, and their physical relationship. Asking how long her sickness lasted, he exasperatedly replied, "Four days!" Calculating internally, I considered that I'd logged more than twelve thousand days caring for a wife with significant medical challenges. In a moment of uncharacteristic graciousness, I quietly exited that conversation because I didn't trust my judgment to avoid sarcasm – which would not have been helpful to either of us. The unfair job description placed on his poor wife notwithstanding, a medical event can indeed derail plans and routines instantly. After recovering from the flu, a family can usually return to the familiar, but with a chronic impairment, "getting back on track" can often prove impossible. One must create a new normal within the abnormal. After nearly four decades as a caregiver through a medical nightmare that has soared to eighty-five operations, I'm learning to shake hands with ambiguity. Caregiving, like inclement weather, requires flexibility and creativity. Routines remain essential, but peace of mind requires cannot be tethered to rigidity. "When life is too much, roll with it, baby!" -
From our broadcast 02/11/2023. Sometimes, law enforcement is required to help with caregiving challenges. Drugs, alcohol, mental illness, cognitive impairment - whatever the challenge, sometimes the cry for help is a 9/11 call. My friend Lance (*30 years as a police officer in Seattle) called the program to share some advice and insights for family caregivers facing those circumstances.
Ever feel like a plate spinner as a caregiver?
Mary Tutterow, author of , shares her insights gleaned from 30+ years as a caregiving mom. https://theheartofthecaregiver.com/ From our broadcast 2/4/2022
From Hope for the Caregiver 01/28/2023 www.hopeforthecaregiver.com
From our broadcast 1/21/2023 with special guest Hans Scheil, host of the FINISHING WELL podcast.
From our broadcast 01/14/2023
Many caregivers are in a relationship with an alcoholic or addict - and spend enormous energy trying to "fix" or just contain the drama and challenges of that loved one. We eventually discover we're powerless over their condition - sometimes after causing or experiencing great harm ourselves. Can we accept that - and if so, what do we do about it?
From the 1/7/23 broadcast. Plus, a preview discussion of my new book hitting stores in May.
Looking at 2022, I take time for an assessment - and the opportunities for us as caregivers to improve.
"If we didn't need a cross, we wouldn't need a manger. This fresh, engaging look at the beginning of Jesus's life and ministry will change the way you comprehend Christ's early years. With unique, thought-provoking insights and commentaries from many of Christianity's leading theologians interspersed throughout, Epperson unwraps, layer by layer, a new understanding of the young boy who was the Son of Man." -
My wife, Gracie, joined me for this special Christmas interview and discussed why she loves the snow so much.
How are those four things connected? Take a listen to my opening monologue from the broadcast 12/17/2022
Colleen Swindoll Thompson's caregiving journey has included abuse, sexual trauma, and physical, emotional, and cognitive disabilities. Through it all, she's learned to run to Christ and anchor herself in God's faithfulness and provision - while helping her family and others do the same. See more at her website: Reframingministries.com
From Our December 3rd broadcast.
Tips on reducing the drama when flying or dealing with doctors.
Our special Thanksgiving program and also a special monologue regarding my op-ed in the Washington Times. See Text Below. Happy Thanksgiving! Peter Rosenberger HopefortheCaregiver.com Resentment can lead even the best of hearts into poor judgment, malice, and even self-destruction. While life provides ample opportunities to hold a grudge, the resistance to do so remains a triumph of the human soul. Sadly, that triumph can be elusive - and seems to be the plight of the 45th President. From barbed comments against those in his party and the pulpit-pounding of outrage, Trump's resentment oozes through each insult since the 2020 election (and prior). Although an honest media and objective law enforcement might possibly prove his election misconduct claims, Trump's well-being remains in his hands – not theirs. In the play, (1697), William Congreve penned the immortal phrase, "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." Clearly, Congreve had yet to meet a spurned politician while writing that line. Artists possess a rare gift that turns personal misery into gold. People such as Sam Kinison, Denis Leary, Lewis Black, and others proved that with solid material, rancor and bitterness could even launch stellar comedy careers. With politicians, however, the audience needs more. Wit, comedy, and talent help, but the oratory must primarily raise – not descend to vindictiveness. Outrage motivates but fails to inspire. Although living with quadriplegia for more than 55 years, Joni Eareckson Tada states, "Life becomes inspiring, not in spite of the problems and the hard hits, but because of them." The ability to see beyond the injuries and even injustices elevates one to greatness. Trump's accomplishments will speak for generations – maybe further. His policies of America first, a secure border, firm boundaries with trade partners and economic growth for the American people created a prosperous and healthy America in record time. Those things deserve recognition and should echo through the corridors of time. Due largely to Trump, the Supreme Court finally rectified a national disgrace and reversed While the political capital spent proved costly in the midterm elections, what better way to expend that capital than promoting life? These accomplishments and more serve as towering achievements for Trump that eclipse many other Presidents. All of these things and more certainly qualify him for another term. Yet, while wrecking balls are essential in tearing down the dilapidated, they make poor tools to erect new construction. Can Trump pivot to a “kinder, gentler” candidate? Should he? Despite exposing the media's bias and the extensive dysfunction in Washington DC, the transition to uniter has remain outside Trump's grasp. Relentless fighting on multiple fronts allows little time for building - and turning adversaries into allies requires a graciousness that is rare with the bloody sword of warfare. As the nation enters this uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving, President Trump would not only serve himself, the country, and even the world better by using his unique platform to promote personal and national gratitude – to the exclusion of grievances. In doing so, he (and others) would discover that under quality leadership, mistakes – and even misdeeds by others – become opportunities for growth and improvement. America does not crave a monarchy but most cry for nobility. The invitation to nobleness bids takers to step into the rare air of authentic leadership and greatness that can heal a nation and inspire beyond its flaws and limitations. If, as Trump states in every rally, we are a nation that only bows to God, then modeling that humility before God becomes paramount – and presidential. Are the gains for one man, for the nation, or for God? Katharine Lee Bates answered this when penning, "…Till all success be nobleness and every gain divine."
On Friday, November 18, 1983, Gracie suffered the terrible car accident that permanently changed her life - and made a mark on so many others. In this episode, she recounts that day - and joins me to share her thoughts about her 39-year journey. www.standingwithhope.cm/about
At Walter Reed ArmyMedical Center years ago, I listened to a man who, although missing both legs, cracked jokes with a contagious sense of humor. The soldier’s face quickly clouded over, however, when I pointedly asked him how things were back home. Looking down at his new prosthetic legs, he whispered, “My marriage is on the rocks, and it doesn’t look good.” The loss of his legs didn’t keep him from joking, but the wounds of his heart silenced the laughter. In that same PT room, Gracie, walked over to a soldier missing his right leg and lying on a table working with a physical therapist. Greeting him, the soldier rudely snarled at her. The physical therapist awkwardly tried to smooth things over and told the soldier that he might want to listen to Gracie. Swearing, he brusquely communicated his aversion. Although stunned, Gracie quickly composed herself and, holding a nearby railing, propped her right prosthetic foot (encased in a beautiful shoe, I might add) next to his head. He'd only seen her from the waist up, but his eyes turned to witness Gracie balancing on her left prosthetic leg. "You're not the only amputee in here, big guy," she said while staring at him. As the two of them locked eyes, the soldier in him nodded, and they talked for a while. He shared with her that he lost his leg from friendly fire, and his resentment from being hurt by his team remained apparent. Showing her own weaknesses and demonstrating the courage to overcome them, Gracie confronted someone drowning in resentment over wounds that should not have happened. In the process, they both walked further down the path of recovery.
For a special Veterans Day episode, I interviewed Fernando Arroyo. Fernando considers himself privileged to serve those who served our country, with the goal of ending veteran suicide. He works as the Veterans Program Director at Step Forward Academy as a coach and mentor for veterans transitioning to civilian life. He helps them develop a career path to a living wage and connects them to a healthy community. www.paratrooperarroyo.com
"LET ME BE BRUTALLY HONEST." A recent article listed annoying phrases permeating our culture's conversation. Statements like, "I'm sorry if I offended you" or "At the end of the day," were, of course, included – but an additional phrase buried in the list captured my attention: "Let me be brutally honest." Most at the receiving end of that phrase can affirm that what follows leans more towards brutal rather than honest. Like a fighter adjusting an opponent's chin to deliver a knockout punch, "let me be brutally honest" is often a setup to a haymaker. Those who lead with that phrase are not asking for consent. And it's doubtful they will accept "no" before charging ahead. Furthermore, while honesty often requires discretion, it does not need permission. And who wants to allow brutal treatment? Hearing that phrase from others is bad enough, but how many caregivers speak 'brutally honest" with themselves? Not with the intent to reform but rather to rebuke. Candid conversations offer clarity of circumstances without the berating. "Despite my mistakes, here's what's working– and what can improve." Constructive words and a softer tone (with others and ourselves) won't absolve failures and missteps but can promote a more honest evaluation – minus the brutality. THE BRUTALLY HONEST PERSON ENJOYS THE BRUTALITY QUITE AS MUCH AS THE HONESTY. POSSIBLY MORE. – RICHARD J. NEEDHAM
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. www.hopeforthecaregiver.com