July 5, 2013

Beautiful in the Ugly

There's beautiful in the ugly, but sometimes you have to look for it.  I find it often, but this morning in these wee hours, unable to sleep, I'm not finding it so easy.  At 1:30 a.m. I wrestle with the pillow and lose, partly because I took a long nap on Independence Day, but mostly because I'm also wrestling with troubles that tangle up my mind.  I toss the blankets back and shuffle to the kitchen.  I shuffle not because I'm tired, but because I'm heavy laden.  Lord, show me the beautiful in all of this one more time.  I open the fridge and stare into the light, looking for a chocolate something. Not finding it, I shut the door and come to this space and write.

The demands of caring for a father with Alzheimer's and a mother with Parkinson's are great enough, but when your confidence in where you've placed them for care begins to wain, it lays heavy on your chest.  Who keeps dropping the ball?  Why are expectations not met?  Why do I have to call another dreaded meeting?  Why are we paying so much money for me to stay awake at night? I think I'm on the losing end of that deal! I feel I've grown ugly with anger, but I've been assured that it's righteous anger by those who think I'm justified.  I don't know. It feels ugly. So, I lay it at the feet of Jesus. With tears wetting my cheeks, exhaustion eases from my bones as I cry out His beautiful name.

I don't want to let the joy of yesterday's celebration become marred  ugly by disgust and dread so I pray, and I think about the beautiful of a July 4th parade, family and friends, harmonica music, fireworks, and strawberry ice cream. I shuffle back to the kitchen, open the freezer this time, pull out that carton of Braum's Premium strawberry, and dip another bowl.

Sharing with Lisa Jo Baker at Five Minute Fridays where she gives us a word prompt and we write for five minutes without worrying about making it perfect.  Today's prompt is BEAUTIFUL.  I'm also sharing with Laura for Faith Filled Friday and Missional Women.

17 comments:

  1. I was my mommas caregiver until her death in april 2006, totally understand your heart. Praying for you.

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  2. hi, am here from 5 min Friday.I say amen to"Lord, show me the beautiful in all of this one more time". As we cry out His Beautiful name, may beauty be all that we see. Beautiful post!

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    1. Thanks Toyin. Yes, the beauty of Jesus can certainly wash away all the ugliness, and one day it truly will!

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  3. Oh, Stephani, I so know exactly what you are feeling. So, so frustrating and you ask yourself, why in the world can't these folks just do their jobs and I always want them to love my Dad like I do. And, that's not going to happen, it's wishful thinking. Since Dad has been in the assisted living facility, things have been so much better and I have enjoyed the break. But, I know that at any time his situation could change. Prayers for you as you continue on one of life's most difficult journeys, caring for parents. Sweetest blessings to you!

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    1. Thanks Lea! I know you have been on this journey as well. Since my parents have been in assisted living, there isn't as much demand on my time, but there seems to be more demand on me emotionally. Truly no-one can care for them as I would so I have to constantly be on top of things!

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  4. I'm so sorry. It's not so easy to let it go, though, is it? Even when it feels ugly.
    My prayer for you is that you find the good in the carers. That you find carer's that you can pray with.
    That you can pray wisdom into the lives of the carers so they can care better for your family.
    God works all things for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. He's got it.

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    1. Thanks so much for your words. There are many staff members at this facility who individually are superb at their jobs, who love and care for Mom and Dad. They do an amazing and tough job. I recognize that, and I try to let them know. My issue is not really with the caregivers themselves. There seems to be a breakdown at the management level and these caregivers do their jobs, often unrecognized, in spite of what may go on around (or above)them. The management team has dropped the ball on many occasions at many levels by not following through, and by saying one thing and doing another. It's very frustrating to say the least. But, I'm an advocate for my parents and will continue to be as long as they are on this earth. I'm praying about the situation and weighing my options. Prayers are appreciated!

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  5. I'm sorry you're still carrying such heavy loads. But it's okay to cry out about it. It IS hard, what you're doing. One day at a time. Continuing to pray for you...

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    1. Thanks Lisa! Godd to see your smiling face here!

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  6. I HATE that you're going through this. It's hard to trust someone with the care of a loved one, and you want to make sure they are being cared for the way that they cared for you.

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    1. It is tough Mary, but God is getting me through. He's the only explanation for why I haven't been swallowed up by the waves of sadness, guilt, exhaustion. He continually puts things in perspective and continually allows me to see the beauty in the midst of all of it.

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  7. I understand.
    I truly do.

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    1. Sometimes simply being understood goes a long, long way. Thanks for your kind words.

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  8. The burdens we carry with loved ones with heart wrenching diseases definitely causes many a night wandering and less sleep.

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    1. I know you're going through it too Deanna, especially as you find a new place to move your husband. Trusting him to give us wisdom.

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  9. This breaks my heart Stephani. We have been down a similar road with my mother in law...she is 87 and failing. We question the choices she made long ago and the ones we are making for her now. She recently dislocated her shoulder and they have tried unsuccessfully to get it back in place. Surgery is too risky, so they are managing her pain as best they can with medication. She remains sweet and soft spoken...we are thankful that she loves Jesus and will be healed in heaven one day. You have written so beautifully about your dad, your love and care for him is so evident and it is exhausting. You are in my prayers....

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