The latest chapter in the book of my life is not a stay-up-late page-turner. Days filled with everyday life stuff, like making a casserole and driving my thirty-minute commute home are routine. Lots of pre-planning meals, appointments, and taxiing others around. The rhythm of life is simple but busy & full of blessings.
Maybe you have a similar lifestyle in your own home. After years of doting on little ones’ care, I’m now caring for my soon-to-be 97-year-old mama who came to live with us in Georgia. She is an amazing woman who has lived through much. One of her funniest daily comments is, “you have so many trees here!” Some of her not-so-funny daily comments are, “I will decide when I need help” (and variations on that theme). Did I say my life is full of blessings? Yes, you heard me right!
The changes brought from her living here are many and we are definitely past the honeymoon phase! Granted it was a bigger change for her picking up and moving into a house full of people she’s not used to. But we’ve all been working hard to accommodate each other and I’m proud of us all. Change is never easy, especially for an elderly person.
You may be thinking, wow that’s a big sacrifice for your family having your mom come to live with you. And you’d be right. There hasn’t been a day since she’s been here that something, some time, some opinion, some emotion hasn’t been sacrificed. And it’s ok. It’s good for me to offer this time of my life for her. I’m surrendering my need to be right moment by moment, even if she isn’t, even when she can’t. This makes it clearer: sacrifice defined is something offered in sacrifice and/ or surrender of something for the sake of something else. The apostle Paul said it this way:
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16 ESV).
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24 ESV).
I’m sharing what I have with someone who has given much but is now in need. How do I move past relational history with all its ups and downs? How do I choose to ignore the nuances of dementia- like behavior? How do I share myself with her and my family? First, I acknowledge and own outright I cannot love well without totally relying on God. Then I can praise Him through it and ultimately be given what I need to love well, love sacrificially. Finally, I live in peace knowing God is working His will out in my life.
Through each day, I have come to see once again that God puts before me a choice. I can choose life or death. I can choose to serve or be served. I can choose to love another who can be difficult or demand personal justification. I can be offended or apply much grace. My story being written with God can be a learning experience right now if I let it. The hard places can be the blessing when we surrender to what God is working in our lives.