Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Do you love Him?

5:16 p.m. Today's project was to sit down to my weekly journal research for my book on a Christian response to the trial we have been experiencing since we met almost 32 years ago: Steve's long- term debilitating fear and anxiety, and now Alzheimer's. I noted 70 separate incidents and prayers for healing just today, in the 2007-2008 journal (my fourth journal so far) and I'm not even halfway through the volume. I don't even try to imagine how this will all come together as a book. But God knows what He intends to include, so I'll do my part each week, and He will do His, right now in the preparation and later in the writing.

Of that I am sure!

As a Christian, I have the hope, the expectation, of being with Jesus in heaven one day. I also have an expectation that God will always do what He has promised to do in my life in the here and now. Hebrews 10:23 says,

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

I admit that I was a bit "wavery" this morning at 6:35, when I brought Steve downstairs for his meds and vitamins, and his caregiver hadn't arrived yet. The minutes went by, Steve ate his banana, and there was no help for me: I had to get him showered and dressed, something I hadn't done previously, because of course he took care of his own needs until this year, and we've had a male caregiver with him each morning now that he needs the help.

I would have just had him wash up at the sink but for the fact that he was due to catch his bus at 7:45 to go to Care Connexxus, his adult daycare center. So he had to be clean, clean shaven, and dressed in the nice clothes I had (thank you, Lord) set out for him last night. It's tough for an untrained person to help an adult in and out of their clothes, especially if they are stiff, disoriented, and can't help you by bending their elbows and knees appropriately. He also had no concept of the necessity of moving somewhat quickly this morning because of the scheduled pickup time.

By the grace of God , we got it done, with minimal arthritic twinges in my fingers from helping pull on snug socks!  I had him finish his breakfast and brush his teeth, but left shaving for last, figuring that if the bus came early, the essentials would be covered. Steve then sat on the front couch by the window, waiting for his bus while I finished my devotions. He looks forward to boarding it now. He jumped up yelling "It's here!" and ran to the door, with me grabbing $2 in coins for his ride, unlocking the door as the bus honked.

I kissed him goodbye, turned back to finish my devotions, have breakfast and dress for the day. What a hectic morning! But my notations went smoothly and very productively upstairs at the roll top desk.

Funny that the chaos should occur on a day dedicated to the Lord, isn't it? It seems pretty obvious to me that the devil had a hand in making my caregiver forget to come here, oversleep, or whatever happened to him.   I Peter 5:8 says that "the devil, like a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour;" Ephesians 6:11 tells us to "stand against the wiles of the devil;" II Corinthians 2:11 tells us that "we are not ignorant of Satan's devices." He'll use any trick to knock me off balance, distract me from my purpose, or even doubt that it's God's will for me to write this book! Well, sorry, devil, but I choose to believe God!

When God gives us an assignment, whether far-reaching or immediate, personal or public, a command to act upon, or a regeneration of heart and mind, we need to obey. It doesn't "make sense" to remove 4-5 hours of a work day for quiet study and reflection on the development of Steve's disease and the effect it's had on our lives, but that is what God told me to do, and cleared a way for me to have that time by Steve spending a day at daycare.  It doesn't "make sense" for multiplied millions of Christians worldwide to get up at least an hour earlier than necessary for their day's duties at work or home (or both) to read the Bible, pray, journal their reflections on the verses they've read, or fill in portions of a Bible study lesson. But we do, out of love and obedience to our Lord Jesus, who said in John 14:15,

If you love Me, keep My commandments.

Some commandments are universal, such as to love and care for one another, pray in Jesus' name, study the Bible and witness of our salvation to others. Other commandments are for you and you alone.

Do both! 


  1. Good post, Dana. I am going to pray for you and Steve every Friday in 2012, starting with tomorrow. I am praying that your love for Steve increases, and that he can feel you WITH him in his journey into Alzheimer's.

    Pray that for my husband also, that he feels my love, and that this models love for the LORD in my life.

    Hugs and of course prayers,

  2. Thank you, Carol, I will pray for you as well, because each day is a new and surprising adventure, and shows how much God has entrusted to us as spouses of Alzheimer's victims.

    Much love,

  3. Dearest gracious Heavenly Father,

    Thanks for all you are doing in the lives of Dana and Steve. May Dana have extra patience today and the next week for whatever comes her way, be it Steve, customers, computer problems or whatever. We both have a lot of stress, Lord, but you are bigger than all that stress. Please tenderly enfold Steve in your arms and protect him this next week.

    In your Holy name. Amen.