Saturday, September 15, 2012


4:35 p.m. Today's project was to reorganize the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs for the Homestay student who will be arriving next Wednesday. I was up until 1 a.m., due to a late afternoon cup of coffee,no doubt! So I began moving clothes, switching desk lamps and nightstands, toiletries, shoes, books, and drawersful of hand towels and  costume jewelry. After a week of airing and germicide spray being fanned through the room and out an open window, I was ready to move back in. Even our super comfy foam pad had aired completely after a week in the garage. I was disappointed at a Mary Kay party cancellation today, but the time saved in travel alone allowed me to spend an entire hour visiting with Steve, and get the four rooms cleared and "repurposed."

When God moves, as He points out to us in Isaiah 43:19a:--"Behold, I do a new thing"--there is no sense sittiing around moping and wishing. It's time to get up and move on with Jesus, into one's new stage of life.  The vegetables above are the last fruit of my 2012 garden. They will be tasty and full of organic nutrients, but don't have the brilliant color or size that their predecessors had last month and the month before.The summer gardening season, at least at my house, is just about at an end. The next stage will be clearing out, chopping and composting the stalks, leaves and roots in preparation for next year.

After 31 years of marriage, the Lord has allowed me to be  alone in Steve's and my home of 24 years. As I told friends Laurie and Cara yesterday, I'm still not sure how I feel about this, even after a week. Evenings are almost like normal, because they find me blogging, with only my dog (now two) inside for company, because Steve used to go to bed thoroughly sleepy by 7:00 p.m. Steve and I would spend time in the early evening after dinner relaxing on the couch. Missing that time made my visit with him last night just before his bedtime very nice as we rocked on the porch swing together.

It's definitely a new season of my life, but the line is somewhat blurry. I'm not a widow, but I have  very limited time with my husband because of the late stage of his dementia. I no longer cook for him or do his laundry, nor do I feed and care for him as I had to do for the last several months, until that night and day care regimen became physically impossible for me to continue. And the cost of 24-hour private home care is exorbitant, and nowhere near as effective in any way as the Raincross dementia program, with individually tailored activities and group socialization. The more physically able residents like Steve can go about and visit others, but the more verbally and mentally capable ones keep the conversation going during meals and take the lead in table games. I find Steve, at any time of the day, well groomed and cheerful. And more important, he doesn't rush for the door when I need to leave. That's the evidence that I need that he's content and adjusting well!

As for me, God fills my days at home with manually watering all of the stations of the sprinkler system in this 100 degree+ weather; dog care and cleanup; all house and yard work; setting out the dumpsters, and keeping the property in order. (I miss Steve's caregivers in that regard, because as their duties as CNAs included housekeeping and yard work as needed, as part of keeping Steve actively occupied). And I'm still paying the bills, maintaining the Jeep and running my business. Helping my very ill father occupies part of each week as well. Certainly, there's no time to sit staring into space!

Regarding this trial, my selection today from Charles Spurgeon's Morning & Evening said very powerfully,

If you give way to fear when you hear of evil tidings, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure that nerves for duty and sustains under adversity. How can you glorify God if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God's high praises in the fires, but will your doubting and desponding, as if you had none to help you, magnify the Most High? Then take courage, and relying in sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, [Jesus said, John 14:28] "let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." 

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