dove

Caregiving Monday: When Heaven Nears

When my grandmother, GG*, discovered her first cousin had passed, her response was “I’m the oldest now.” She has few first cousins left on either side of the family and is the oldest and next to oldest living on each side.

heaven               What GG did not voice, but the rest of us understood her saying was, “I’m next.” We know that she is ready, whenever the time comes.  She grows tired much easier now and has often told us in the last few years that she is ready.  Although we know she loves us, there are times when it is obvious that she is ready.

“I’ll be with God and the rest of my family,” she tells us.  Her faith in God is strong and she’s made it clear that she can’t wait to be with Him.   She also talks about her parents, siblings, and other loved ones with such longing that we know she’s ready.

When the time comes she will be missed by those she’s left behind, but we’ll know that she was ready and that we will see her again one day.

However, what happens when your loved one isn’t ready?  I sat with Mrs. W* and she wasn’t ready.  She was always afraid of death.  She was raised to believe that you got to heaven by good works and she felt that she was never good enough.

Thankfully she had family and caregivers that all believed in God.  We read to her from the Bible, sung hymns to her, watched church on TV and told her stories from the Bible.  At first she was not very receptive, but we never pushed her.  If she wasn’t interested we stopped, but we all continued to pray for her.            read bible

We noticed that she slowly grew more receptive and even asked for us to tell her more.  Finally someone asked if she’d like to accept Christ into her heart.  She said she would and was led in the sinners prayer.

dove           Even though she suffered from dementia, there were moments when she had great clarity and we could see the change in her attitude towards Christ.  When she passed away, we all had great peace because we knew that we would see her again one day.

Do you know where your loved one stands in view of eternity?  Do you take the opportunity to share Christ love with your loved one?

*Names altered

Tweetables:

When Heaven Nears

Preparing for your loved one for heaven

growing a business

Taking the Plunge into Being a Small Business Owner

rain falling    “Into everyone’s life a little rain must fall,” is an old saying we’ve all heard before.

Sometimes, that rain reveals the weeds in our lives and other times it helps us to grow.

Taking the leap into being a full or part-time entrepreneur isn’t easy.  After all, who wants to leave behind the comfort of their job knowing how much they will bring home at the end of each week.

Other times, circumstances may take the option out of your hands.   When you lose a job, start a family or even move are all stressful in themselves, but even more so when there is no one and nowhere to fall back on.

If you’ve dreamed of being an entrepreneur, this transition can be a real challenge, to want to prove yourself.  The question to ask is, “am I ready?”

  •             Are you ready for the responsibility?               growing a business
  •             Are you ready to do the work?
  •             Are you ready for the challenge?
  •             Do you have the emotional support necessary?
  •             Do you have the financial support necessary?
  •             Do you have an area designated just for work?
  •             Do you have a business plan and a game plan?
  •             Do you know what your focus is?

 

All of these are questions that you need to ask yourself in deciding, ‘am I ready?’

So are you ready?  Next week we will explore each of these questions in greater detail.

 

Tweetables:

Transitioning from the work force to work at home

Am I ready to work at home

When is it time to work at home

Enthusiasm quote

Enthusiasm Matters in Creative Pursuits

piano“I can’t wait to come to piano,” are words I love to hear from my student’s mouths.  As a teacher, I love to have students that want to be here and want to learn.

I have had students of every age, capability and enthusiasm over the years.  I have learned to easily read those that want to be there, compared with those that don’t.  Sometimes I wonder why some of my students are still taking.  Often, it is because their parents wanted them to take.  The problem is that they do not enjoy the lesson, do not want to be there and have not looked at their books since the last time we were together.  They don’t have to tell me this is the case, it is obvious and I’ve often come to expect it.  Sadly, I am just as happy when these students quit as they are.

Maybe I should be a better teacher and try to build up some enthusiasm in them.  Sometimes this technique does work, but more often than not, I’ve discovered it to be short lived.

Then I have students, that bounce in and plop down on the piano bench.  Before I can ask about their assignment, they have their books opened and are playing their piece.  I often discover that in their enthusiasm they have even worked ahead in their books.  These are students that want to learn and look forward to it.  I love these students and look forward to our time together.

I can see the progress these students have made and know that it’s because of their enthusiasm.    enthusiasm

Do they practice daily?  Usually not!

Do they practice?  Yes!

Is there performance perfect?  Usually not!

Is their performance showing an increase in skill?  Absolutely!

Are they enjoying music lessons and learning?  Yes!

How often do we give 100% in enthusiasm to our project?

When you are working at your creative best this week, how much enthusiasm are you giving?

O%, 20%, 50%, 75%, or 100%?

If you had/have a teacher or mentor suddenly show up, what would s/he say about your enthusiasm and effort?

Enthusiasm quote

Tweetables:

Finding enthusiasm in your craft

A creative dud or home run

Your enthusiasm shows in your creative outlet 

Caregiving hands

Caregiving: A Blessing or a Curse

plate of food    “Let me finish this,” I snapped in exasperation.  I was setting down my drink, but GG* was not willing to wait on me to put it down.  I could tell from the way she grabbed for her lunch there would be a spill to clean up.  I had no desire to see her food all over the kitchen floor, and knew that she didn’t either.

“Be thankful,” a small voice whispered inside my soul.   Just three days earlier, I’d been reminded of how much I had to be thankful for with GG.

We’d left early Thursday morning to drive to a neighboring town for the funeral of her first cousin.   GG and the sibling to the cousin were the only grandchildren that remained of fifty-five grandchildren to her maternal grandparents.

Following the funeral we stopped to check in on another dear cousin {on another side of the family}, only a month older than GG.  My heart broke to see our once vibrant and composed loved one, living in a body that was a shell of the woman we remembered and loved.

By the time we returned home, GG was exhausted and needed to rest, but just the fact that at two months shy of 90 years old, she could make this trip, I knew how blessed we were.

GG is far from perfect and has had her own string of health issues over the years, but she’s been an amazing fighter in bouncing back.  Then moments after tucking GG to bed on Thursday evening, the fire truck and ambulance pull up.  I look out the window, to discover they are there for a neighbor that fell.  Once again, as the day closes, I am reminded of what a blessing GG is and to cherish this time that I have with her.   Caregiving hands

I know that inevitably the day will come when things change and she is no longer here.  So I take a deep breath, pick her plate of food up and follow her to her chair.  “Thank you for GG and this time together,” I remind myself in a silent prayer.

Are you taking time to see the blessing in caring for your loved one?

*Name altered

 

Tweetables:

Caregiving, is it a blessing or a curse?

The joys and frustrations of caregiving

Why care giving is both a blessing and a curse