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Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Infamous Cereal Caper

DRUM ROLL! The winner of Write for Him is Nicci. Congratulations!! Nicki, please send me your mailing address to kathycollardmiller AT gmail DOT com.  I'll pass along your address to Hillary who will send you the book.

For two-and-a-half years, Larry’s mother, Audrey, lived with us and God used that time to purify our motives and develop greater selflessness. Audrey suffered from Lewy-Body Dementia, which caused her to be paranoid and have delusions and hallucinations. It was a difficult time where we learned to slow down our reactions and work through what was really motivating us.
I, Kathy, remember one morning Audrey was eating her bran cereal. Every morning I had to soak the cereal in milk for at least thirty minutes to make it soft. But this morning the delusion of her Lewy Body Dementia was “alive.”
She said to me, “There're rocks in my cereal. I know you're trying to kill me.”
I could feel the hair on the back of my neck begin to rise. But I prayed quickly, “Lord, this is my old pattern of wanting to be approved and not wanting to be seen as undependable. I'm going to pause because I know in Christ I am dependable, loved, and approved.” 
Audrey mumbled something else and then said, “And I wish you'd do a better job of it.”
Of course, she meant that I should make her cereal without rocks. But the juxtaposition was funny. I should do a better job of killing her? I stifled a laugh and wasn't upset—for once! 
Another morning she shuffled down the hall toward me exclaiming, “Don't lie to me, you attacked me last night!” 
Oh! That is one of my hot buttons of being called a liar. I so wanted to be mean in return, but I again slowed down my reaction and prayed, asking God to help me see myself as he sees me—as a daughter of the King. The Lord gave me compassion for Audrey who was also a daughter of the King, yet was mentally influenced by dementia. Her words didn't bother me in the least. God was doing a work within me of “small things” and although I still reacted in unloving ways at times, those reactions diminished over time. The rock in the whirlpool was being chipped off.
And now I'm the primary caregiver for my mother, even though she doesn't live in our home. The truth God revealed about my Wounds, Messages, Vows, and Strategies during the time I cared for my mother-in-law now empower me to love my own mother better. At times, I'm tempted in the “old ways” because there are still rocks in the whirlpool, but I'm not getting Hooked as much as I was with Audrey.

James 4:1-3 gives us a warning about those “rocks”: “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” 
Those verses refer to the underlying motives of sinful reactions: wanting, coveting and wrong-asking because we demand our desires be fulfilled. What we think we need for happiness, security and love are being withheld and we believe we must fight to have them. 
But the more we surrender to making God our Source, the less the rocks bother us.

(This is an excerpt from our book Never Ever Be the Same http://amzn.to/1ITmLfy)

5 comments:

  1. Thank you, Kathy! This is encouraging as I anticipate similar situations.

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  2. God bless and reward your love and care of these moms!

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  3. Cathy, I'm so glad this post was meaningful. I praise God for you!

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  4. Kudos to keeping up with your mother, no matter where she is, and no matter how far she is from home. You should always ensure that you will be there whenever she needs you, and to provide at least a presence that she can lean on, then build good caregiving from there. That is quite a journey you are on, and I'm sure you can get through and get by. Thanks for sharing that! All the best!

    Michelle Simmons @ Comfort Keepers

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    1. Michelle, thank you so much for your encouraging words. Caregiving can be difficult. I"m so glad there are companies like yours, Comfort Keepers, that help the rest of us. Keep up the great work!

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