Sunday, November 10, 2019

Things You Should Never Say to a Caregiver

Sometimes people can say some rather insensitive things to family caregivers.  They may be trying to be helpful to the caregiver.  Because they have never experienced the heartache of caring for a loved one who is deteriorating in health, however, these comments may not only be not helpful but also hurtful to the caregiver.  Recently I ran across an article which talks about some things one should never say to a family caregiver.  This article also detailed ways that caregivers can respond to insensitive comments of others.  So this article is helpful to both current family caregivers and the other people who love them and are concerned about them.  Click on the link below to read the article.

Sunday, November 3, 2019


Have you known someone who likes to dump their frustrations on other people through unkind words or actions?  This was NOT true of my first husband, Wayne, and also is Not true of my new husband, Bob.   Wayne must have experienced much frustration; as he watched his body deteriorate step by step.  Yet whatever frustration he may have experienced, he did not use that as an excuse to dump on me.  Although lethargic at times, he was kind and gentle in his interactions with me to the end of his life.

This is not true of all care-giving situations, however.  Because of my interest in family care-giving, I have heard of situations where the loved one will dump on the very ones who are caring for them.  In some case this is caused by dementia.  The person is frightened by the changes that are going on in their bodies and/or minds and take it out on the people who loves them most.

Whether it is a care-giving situation, or another situation altogether; anger, hostility, or unjust criticism often is an overflow of that person's own hurt.  Their harshness is often due to their own insecurities, fears, and desperation for love; and it may have little to do with the person to whom it is directed.

It is difficult to accept this kind of angry words and actions.  Although I did not experience this in my former care-giving situation, I have experienced this kind of anger directed towards me in my life.  I am sure we all have from time to time.  If we think about the vulnerability of the other individual and remember that the person's anger has to do with their own hurts and disappointments and very little to do with us, however, perhaps we can deal with the situation with a more Christ-like understanding and attitude.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Do Not Live in Fear

(This post is again a chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers

Care-giving and watching my husband decline in his health and then his death in January of 2011 has been one of my life’s most difficult tests. Knowing I could trust that God loved me and was in control in the midst of the confusion and grief of it all made and continues to make all the difference in the world.

God is sovereign and in control. Nothing happens to a Christian caregiver or his or her loved one that is not filtered through His love. This is true even in the heartbreaking events which often accompany care-giving and sometimes their death. This is a difficult truth to accept. When this truth is accepted, however, it a soft place to land when one is overwhelmed with life’s difficulties.

God is good. Circumstances may be bad, but God is good. God is the very definition and essence of goodness. He proved that by sending His son on the cross. He can help caregivers who are struggling to keep emotional and spiritual equilibrium in the midst of the heartaches of seeing their loved ones decline in their health. He can also slowly emotionally heal caregivers, when and if their loved ones are not healed on this earth.

Joy can coexist in the midst of the heartaches and grief that often accompany care-giving and possibly losing our loved ones. This is because joy is not based on circumstances which are favorable or perfect. Rather it is based on a relationship with the Lord. If the Lord takes your loved one to Himself sooner than you would like, dear caregiver, He will be with you each step of the way then also. There is deep hurt and grief in the loss of a love one.  It involves a process that takes much time and deep crying out to the Lord and depending on Him.  There is a scar that never goes completely away. Yet, the Lord's faithfulness will be with you all the way, and the joy of the Lord will return. Do not live in fear of the future, dear Christian caregiver. Never forget that the Lord loves you, and He is good. He is in control.

(This post as stated above is a chapter from my book.  It is in fact the last chapter of my book.  In this blog I have often written new posts.  I also sometimes have included chapters from my book, as I did today.  If you are a family caregiver consider ordering my book.  If you know a family caregiver consider ordering my book for them.  Below is the link to ordering my book from Amazon.  Even though it says only one in stock, it should work for you to order there.  It will only take a day or two longer.  My book is also available through Barnes and Noble and elsewhere on the internet.  You can further get a book directly from me by contacting me at and asking me for specifics.)

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Hospice Care

When is Hospice Care appropriate for your loved one?  When I was a caregiver for my first husband, Wayne, I did not use Hospice Care.  I now see that as a mistake.  Both the person who is caring for a loved one with a serious illness and the person who is ill can gain much valuable help through Hospice.  Click on the article below to learn the value of Hospice.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Lord Delights in You

Yesterday my husband of three months brought in some beautiful roses from our flower garden.  He not only did that, but he also carefully arranged them in a lovely vase.  It was a love gift to me and a symbol of his delight in making me happy.  My husband's love for me is a also a picture of God showing His love to me and His delight in me in many ways every day.  Zephaniah 3:17 says, "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

The Lord has shown His love for me and His delight in me in many ways through the years.  I love the reference in the Bible of Jesus being the Rose of Sharon.  Sharon is the name of a place in the Bible.  Yet because my name is Sharon, I love to think of Jesus as being my Rose-my source of beauty, comfort, and love.  Sometimes the path the Lord has taken me on has been extremely difficult and sometimes it has been pleasant.  Yet through it all God's assurance of His love and delight in me has been the assurance I needed.  No matter what may be transpiring in your life right now, remember that Jesus is your Rose.  He loves you and delights in you as His child.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Joy in Sorrow

I recently read the following from a book by Nancy Guthrie called, The One Year Book of Hope:  "To experience sorrow does not eliminate joy.  In fact, I've come to think that sorrow actually deepens our capactity for joy-that as our lows are lower, so are our highs higher.  Deep sorrow expands our ability to feel deeply.  We feel sadder than we ever knew we could, sadder than we think we can survive.  But our sorrow prepares us to experience  a more solid joy than we ever known before.  When joy surfaces, it allows us to see that deep beneath the chaos and catastrophe is the strong current of confidence that we can be content in the sovereign hands of the God."

It is possible to have joy in the midst of and as a result of deep sorrow.  This comes from a deep relationship with the Lord and by the power of the Holy Spirit.  It certainly does not come from our own efforts or inclinations.  

I remember the deep sorrow of watching my first husband, Wayne, deteriorate in his health step by step.  I remember the anxiety and concerns of how best to address his needs during that time.  I remember the discouragement of knowing he would not be able to ultimately win the battle against his disease on this earth.  Yet I also remember this as a time when I drew very close to the Lord.  The intimacy of that relationship brought joy and comfort to me.  The same was true when I lost Wayne to death.  The Lord and the promises of His Word became increasingly precious to me.  Also opportunities for minister to other people came about because of the sorrows I had experienced.  This added much joy to my life.

As I have written before, I recently remarried after over eight and a half years of widowhood.  I can tell you that it is true that the joys of the highs and the thankfulness for God's blessings are better because of the past sorrows.  There are adjustments in a new marriage, but one looks at even these minor things in the light of God's love. There is also a family member who is currently going through some difficult struggles.  This family member is someone for whom I have deep concerns and for whom I sometimes grieve.   Yet in the Lord and His blessings, there is a deep joy that only He can give. 

Whether you are a caregiver or have lost a dear loved one or whether you are going through some other deep heartache and sorrow, run to the Lord.  He will give you a measure of His peace and joy even in the midst of the sorrow.  He will also use that sorrow to bring you great joys in the future.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

After Care-Giving Ends

For family caregivers care-giving will come to an end one day-either through the death of their loved one or through their loved one being healed.  I was reminded of this recently in the death of a brother-in-law.  His wife, my sister-in-law, had been a faithful and loving caregiver to him through many difficult days.  I wrote about the end of care-gving in a post earlier this year.  The link to that post is below.  That post in turn features a link to a Guidepost article done in October of 2015.  In the Guidepost article my experences after care-giving are discussed.  I hope it proves to be a blessing.