Sunday, November 24, 2013


People are focusing on things for which to be thankful this time of year.  While I don't disagree that it is a good thing to set aside time to focus on the blessings and to be thankful, I do think we would all benefit from keeping that more of a continual practice than simply an annual event.

For me, the past several months have been just that -- a time to focus on and be thankful for the blessings.  I believe the Lord started that work in my heart before Trent's surgery.  When I wrote my original post about this journey that we've been on, I told how I had thanked God for His Love, Care, and Total Control the night before the surgery and how I felt impressed to do the same the night following surgery.  (New Path)

All along this journey, God has shown me His Goodness.  Focusing on the blessings allows me to have that Peace that passes our human understanding, and then my spirit can rest in His Care.  This has been a continual exercise.

My dear friend Valerie visited with me today, and we talked about this.  I had mentioned that I have to continually surrender to God's plan and His timing in all of this.  She asked me what process I go through in doing that.  I'm not very good at putting things into words, but the best way I can explain it is to say that I have to turn my issues (worries and stresses and concerns) into thankfulness. 

~When I am feeling crushed by the weight of something I have to deal with, then I thank God for His Strength and Grace for each situation.

~When I become overwhelmed thinking about the future (near or far), I have to stop and thank God for today - for that moment.  I also thank Him for having a plan for our lives - individually as well as collectively.

~When I struggle with the fact that I can't meet everyone's needs all of the time and I feel so inadequate and when my youngest tells me he wishes I were more than one person so I could be two places at once, I have to thank God.  I thank Him that He IS enough and that He IS everywhere all at the same time.  I thank Him for the people that He has placed in our lives to walk along side us and meet some of those needs.

~There are too many aspects to mention here, but so many of the burdens I have are lifted when I thank God for His Total Control over all of the details in our lives, and I ask Him to help me to rest in His Care.

I could never name them all, but here are a few of the things for which I am incredibly thankful:

  • God, who Loves us, Cares for us, and Controls all of those things which we cannot control -- and Who never changes

  • People who have cared for our children, provided them with a diversion from the weightiness of life right now, or given them stability and a sense of normalcy when life is anything but normal

  • People who have brought food for our family and who have helped with yard work

  • Friends and family, both near and far away who love us and who pray for us

  • People we've never met who are praying for us

  • Doctors, nurses, and staff who genuinely care

  • Needs that have been met

  • Good counsel

  • Encouragement

  • Peace

  • Grace

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Time Like No Other

Little by little, I am seeing the confusion return. 

Trent sleeps more and more and, at times, is harder to wake from sleep to give him his meds.

Some days, the increasing weakness is very noticeable.

Some of the staff are concerned at what they see, but then they don't know what to think when I tell them that we've been through worse before . . . .

These are the things that are hard to watch.  I never know if I am seeing a temporary low or if this is a true decline.

I have no choice but to trust that God has a plan and that He will work it in His time.

As uncertain as each day may feel, it is comforting to know that God holds each moment in His control.

Each day truly is a gift. 

There were changes for the kids this week.  My sister needed to go home to her own family.  I chose to split the kids and put them in homes where I felt they would have the best fit.  They weren't sure about my choices when I told them initially, but they are doing well.  I miss them.  Seeing them for a few minutes each day is not the same as being home with them.  I know this is not forever, but it is still hard.

As hard as this phase of life has been, it has also provided opportunities for reflection that I would have been otherwise too busy to take.  I don't know if words will ever be able to adequately describe all that life is and has been over the past few months.  As I sit here next to Trent, I can focus on the blessings that we often take for granted. 

No matter the circumstances, it is beyond any doubt that we are blessed; and I am thankful.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Shifting Steps

This has been quite a week, once again.

Our transition to the hospice was not easy.  Almost immediately, we lost all pain and nausea control.  The staff there really didn't seem concerned with what was best for Trent.  They had their schedules and routines.  I had absolutely no trust or confidence in the 'care' they were providing.

Their spiritual care director got involved and the social worker got involved.  There were some changes made, but not enough to make me feel comfortable.  When Trent voiced his desire to go elsewhere, that made the decision clear.  On Tuesday, I had my sister come and sit with Trent for a couple of hours so I could go and see another facility.  The difference in setting and philosophy could not have been greater.  At the Lodge, they were amazed at some of the questions I asked and horrified that our experiences had made me feel it necessary to ask.

Jackie, the director at The Lodge, is all about getting things done, and - as promised - things were ready to move him within an hour.  Trent was, of course, exhausted by the move; and Jackie's first priority was to get him into his bed and comfortable.  After that was settled, then we focused on the paperwork.  We are back under Methodist Home Hospice - just as we were before Trent was admitted; and that means we are back with the doctors and nurses that are already familiar with Trent.  They sent a nurse out right away Tuesday night for a 'tuck-in check' to make sure that we had everything we needed for the night.  The intake team came first thing Wednesday morning.  Trent's doctor and his new nurse each came on Friday.

Trent has been so much more at ease here, and the pain is much better controlled.  The nausea is much better, but not yet where we'd like it to be.  Dr. Duane and I talked at length on Friday.  We are going to watch closely for a couple more days and then re-evaluate.  It feels so good to be working with people again who genuinely have Trent's comfort as their primary concern!

As far as the other facility, the social worker promises that changes will be made and that, as much as she hates what we have been through, our experience will enable them to force some changes that would have otherwise taken longer to make.  I hope that is true.

We had a dear friend drive several hours to visit this week.  It was a great blessing and encouragement.

There will be changes with the kids this week.  My sister has been here staying with them, but she has her own family who miss her and need her.  I know the kids will still be well cared for, but I see how all these things are affecting them.  So many times, I wish I could be two places at once, but I can't.

Through all of the changes and difficulties, we still feel blessed.  God has provided for all of our needs.  He encourages us and strengthens us.  He guides us and provides us with good counsel.  He blesses us with good friends and family - both far and near.  He gives us assurance that He is in control, that He has a plan, and that His way is best.  He gives his grace for each moment that we face.