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I have been taking care of my mother, Trudy. She was in hospital for six days last month. She had delirium. She seemed to come out of it okay, was starting to get back into normal routine. On Easter Sunday, she fell. Now I am spending time taking care of her, taking care of my job, and trying to take care of our house. My sister and I live with my mother. It's a long story. My sister has problems of her own, and she is unwilling to contribute more than she is to this situation. I do have help coming in so I can go to work. But in the meantime, I am so tired out and stressed out because Mother is so demanding, I am losing myself. I try to spend time in prayer and in devotional reading. But I'm not having much time for either right now. It is something I am starting to feel bad about. I haven't even been able to go to church since Mother's fall happened.
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I was a caregiver for 5 years. Before my husband became ill, I was active in my church plus doing volunteer work with children 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. I worked with children because I believed that was what Christ wished. I cared for my husband full time because I believed that was what Christ wished. I discovered that Christ heard and answered my prayers felt toward him as I hurried across a room to do for others just as much or more so than when I was spending quiet time with him. The important thing I believe is that I was intentionally trying to do his will.
Time spent quietly away from others with him was for "me", for my health and relaxation. God's mind is swift and attentive and does not need this time. And his Spirit within us can give us guidance in the blink of an eye.
Also, I learned a long time ago that a lot of the time spent at my local church was for my health. People need other people and I was more comfortable among people with values that were the same as mine. True, much of the local church work is to spread the gospel. I think God calls and supports the education of those he wishes to do this full time. He also calls and provides necessary support to do it part time. I believe, however, that he also calls some to be Christian mothers and homemakers and supports them. And, JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE OTHER JOBS, I believe he calls and supports individuals who have to care for the elderly and other loved ones. In my experience, God does not always still the storm, but he supports us through it.
I know he is smiling down on you right now for answering his call to the fullest extent that he gives you the ability to answer it.
I am asking him to continue to bless your efforts.

Hello BeeBee

and good to see you Nina.. I hope things are falling into place for you.....

BeeBee, what Nina has written is beautifully said... and I agree with her so much.

One thing, that you need to check in with in your own inner silence is are you becoming resentful of having to care for your mother has you are? Are you helping her too much? Do you encourage her to be independent? Are you afraid to say "no" to her? These and more questions come up from me as well in order to clarify your intentions... so try to get in touch with all of this.

If you are having some resentments then you mnay want to set some boundaries with your mother. Communicate lovingly to her, your needs and that you are needing to take a certain amount of time throughout the day in between your working and caring for her for yourself... and that you are needing to perhaps go to church and that you need her to be mindful of your needs as well. Also remind her that if something serious were to happen to you who would care for her? This might help her to put it all in to the proper perspective...

Keep us posted...

I am new here, but I cannot resist the temptation to talk to you: I am an active Christian as well, God is my strength and hope and everything, but I can well relate to your worries. There were and will be times when I just could not pray, when I felt there was no point - nobody listened, or when I was so exhausted that I had no energy to pray and read the Bible...You know, I believe, these are the times when we need others' prayers the most. When we need to turn to our church friends and ASK for prayer. My spiritual experience is very complex - I am still learning, but one thing I have learned well: our Creator knows our hearts and will in no way judge or forsaken us. I read a lot about Saints' lives: they ALL had times when they could not pray, when they walked in the dark. These are the days when we cannot see God for different reasons - He always wants to teach us something through these dark nights of the soul. It's a time of spiritual growth and learning too... When we do God's will, we will have enough energy and other resources for that, but when we do OUR will, God might withdraw to warn us - STOP! You are on the wrong way! When you get burned out-it's a sign that you are overdoing things. God does not ask us to attend to everybody's needs and to let others suck all our mental and physical energy...Yes, He asks us to honor our parents BUT it does not mean we must do everything our parents ask us to do. If you read the Bible, you know that our priorities after God are our immediate FAMILY members - husband and children in the first place...Gail talks really well about boundaries - what she advised you is actually what I would too and I am sure God does not provide more enrgy for you just because this is the only way He can stop you from overworking and force you to reassess your values and priorities. We can love each other while maintaining healthy boundaries. Your mother will be more and more demanding, she will never be happy enough - which is part of her health condition and age. You can set boundaries to your relationship in a very gentle, loving way, without hurting her. Is it possible to engage her in some activities outside home where she can socialise with other people of her age? She might be angry and frustrated because of her health problems and because of isolation from other people...this anger will make her more and more demanding but still unhappy, because what she needs is not more of your time and work but more contact with the outside world.

I hope I could help a bit. Let me know what's happening, I will pray for you now and ask God to guide you...

I am glad I found this site. My name is Judy and I am co-caregiver to my mother and grandmother. Mom suffers from a combination of chronic illness and my 91 yr old grandmother came to live with us a year and a half ago. I'm 34 and I live with my parents and grandmother. I assist my stepfather in the caregiving tasks. The reason that I am replying is that I see there are other Christians on this forum and I really want some feedback. I love Jesus with all my heart, but have noticed a hardness developing within my spirit toward my caregiving situation. I would like this to go away, I don't want to be angry about things, because I know God has allowed me to be in this situation for His glory and my growth. Does anyone else feel this way from time to time( or over a period of time?) This thread hasn't been answered in over a year, so I hope people still are reading it. Thanks
If God is omniscient and just, and merciful, don't you think that He'd understand about you not quite managing to be perfect at the moment? The main thing is that you try.

Attending church is more IMHO for community - God is anywhere & everywhere.

Just had an idea - would it be possible to ask somebody from the church to come and pray with you or do a bit of bible study for half an hour a week? At least then, you'd have a better chance of setting that time aside, and it'd help you cope better with the rest of the week.

[This message has been edited by Magratte (edited 08-01-2004).]
Hello Judy and Welcome~
We all have those moments. Feelings of despair, resentment, bitterness. We lose ourselves because we forget about setting boundaries. We allow ourselves to be controlled by others. When we are controlled we feel like victims, and then this process continues. We neglect ourselves to the point of burning out. No one can keep up the pace of giving, and doing for our loved one, and neglecting ourselves.
Take care of yourself angel. Make time for prayer, church, or whatever it is that allows you to take back your power. Empower yourself. Spirtuality is in and around us all. We just need to reach for it. You are doing great work Angel. Keep posting. You will find much strength and support here.
Hugs and Blessings,
Hi Judy~
I too am a caregiver to my father and mother. Just recently sent my father back to his home with my mom, and now he is going into a home. BIG changes in my journey as a caregiver. Been taking care of them for as long as I can remember. If you scan the boards you will see that caregiving to a parent isn't all that unique. I too posted when I first became a member here, that the rolls seem to reverse. I cannot remember the exact response, however, I believe it was something like we can reason and excuse a childs behavior but when caring for a parent, they are already adults acting like children, and being cared for by their child. The dynamics of caring for them are complicated by the type of relationship you had with your parents, your childhood. So many things fall into play while caregiving to a parent(s). God does not ask us to be perfect in doing his work. We are his Angels who were chosen. Not everyone can be a caregiver. Obviously Angel, you are a chosen one. You are doing a great job~
Yes, I do believe I was chosen. And I want to glorify Him with my life. But my humanity wants to move to Seattle! LOL! I am in Florida, btw. Mom and I have always had a hot and cold relationship. Complicated further by her chronic pain and my desire to be on my own( at least, as of lately). I know God has me where I am supposed to be, but I don't always rejoice in it. Thanks for being here, everybody.
Hi Judy,

Your feelings of wanting this to go away are not against God. Those are normal feelings. We want our lives to be happy and we want everything to go our way. Feeling that way does not make you a "bad" Christian. Remember, God knows our heart and understands our wants.

It is so difficult to let Him lead our lives because we can't understand why the bad happens. I found a wonderful poem, I think on this web-site - In The Valley I Grow.

The last verse is - Thank you for the valleys, Lord, for this one thing I know, The mountain tops are glorious, but it's in the valleys I grow. Your life in the valley does give God the glory because He is with you every way and your contact with Him is glorious. He will lead you in the right direction. You are His child and He will never, ever let you go.

Don't give up on your faith. It's the only thing in this life that will get you through.

In His love and mine,
Hello Judy

Welcome.. I am so enamored of the support everyone has given to you.. you have come to a safe haven...remember that Jesus, nor God, nor any higher power would beat us up or judge us as we at times may judge ourselves.. Perhaps you were even guided here to understand this.. it doesn't mean you aren't a good Chrisitan.. it means that you are here in this physical body and you have mixed emotions that surface.

Remember you are in the prime of your life, living at home with your parents, your grandmother.. not having your own life, or doing what you want when you want, without everyone in front of you... so take some time to let go, breathe and enjoy the beauty that is surrounding you.... keep us posted... take care angel..


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