Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wrapping as the Lord leads

3:54 Today's project was to begin wrapping up the Mary Kay Mint Bliss foot lotion our unit is giving to each participant at Care Connexxus, the adult daycare where Steve spends each Wednesday. This is our Christmas charitable project, and I am super proud of our Sales Director Laurie for inspiring us all to meet our goal of 80 wrapped gifts. Cara has also been a blessing, heading up the effort by keeping us stirred up as well as keeping a record of our progress in selling the lotion to customers, whose retail purchase buys two wholesale gifts. (Consultants buy at half price).

Cara came over this morning to get us started wrapping with cellophane, gift shred, tinsel and netting. Frankly, I needed someone to make up a couple so I could "get it." I love to cook, bake, cross stitch, and decorate anything that isn't moving, but the gift wrapping gene just wasn't given to me by the Lord!You know who used to do the best wrapping each year for birthdays and Christmas? Steve! Being so precise, his packages were just amazing. Same with our wallpapering projects. No one could match tiny flowers along a seam like my guy! We were such a great team for these things--the Lord would give me a vision for the entire concept, and he would engineer the details. As Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 states,

Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward
   for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his
But woe to him who is alone
  when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.

And I definitely "fall down" on gift wrapping!

The two of us, she a "Director in Qualification,' and I, a "Star Team Builder," discussed our goals, and I have the same one as she: Sales Director. The only thing about my situation is not that Steve is seriously disabled, because people have succeeded in every field of endeavor there is with serious issues at home. I just do not know if in the next year I will have less time to do my business, if Steve needs much more hands-on attention and even medical involvement; or if for the same reason, I could more time because I may not be able to have much effective impact if he doesn't recognize me, or the family, or his home, and if he needs 24-hour skilled nursing care. So while I pray and wait to see what god would have me do for my husband, I might as well do the work which is currently providing cash for Steve's medications and household expenditures, plus providing uplifting Christian fellowship and fine benefits to customers.

If you think that my description of Steve's potentially poor condition is an exaggeration, there is certainly precedent in his family. Towards the end of his life, Steve's dad Lorenz demanded of his oldest daughter, "Who's this old woman?!" while glaring at his wife of 40 years...This disease is completely individual, so I do not know how Steve's condition will progress, or what kinds of things or people he won't recognize by this time next year, or even by next spring. We, and that includes researchers, just do not know. Nevertheless, in our home we live to serve God and others as we always have, but in surprising new venues. "Not my will, but thine be done!"

One thing each Christ follower does know in a life of unknowns, is that God graces us with gifts, talents and provisions to bless others with. Project leader Cara and other consultants will be present to  watch the participants open their gifts at the center's Christmas party on the 23rd. I'll be there too, in somewhat of a dual role. Steve will get a surprise when I arrive! And most of all, the two of us will be looking back on a year when we lived with Alzheimer's and even found ways to thrive and reach out to others.

Our God is awesome! 

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