Monday, November 10, 2008

Soli Deo Gloria

If all goes as promised, my book God, Mom, Alzheimer's, and Me will be published sometime next summer by Bridge-Logos. It is a book of devotions and practical advice for those who care for loved ones with dementia.

The book began when an editor saw this blog and encouraged me to write a book. Her Catholic publishing company did not accept the finished manuscript, dismissing it as being "too Protestant!" This did not upset me unduly--because you see, I am indeed Protestant! I listed the manuscript with an online Christian manuscript service, and Harvest House publishers expressed interest. But Bridge-Logos responded almost immediately with an offer of a contract, and so I signed. The editing process was painstaking and the publishing date has been postponed from fall 2008 to summer 2009; but until today I had confidence that the book would indeed be published.

However, the economic crisis has had far reaching effects. My editor wrote to me today and asked me to partner with Bridge-Logos by purchasing 500 copies of my book.

F i v e H u n d r e d copies. The UPS man will not be happy. And where will I put five hundred books? It is sure to be a little book, and just a paperback; but still. I was picturing them stacked to the ceiling in the garage until I remembered--we don't have a garage, only a carport!

What am I going to do???

I'm going to trust the Lord, that's what.

While I wrote God, Mom, Alzheimer's and Me a small printed sign hung above my word processor. It read, "Soli Deo Gloria." This is Latin for "to God alone be the Glory." I repeated this phrase as a daily prayer as I wrote of the struggles of caregiving and of God's faithfulness to my mother and me.

I wrote this book for Jesus, and it is true that my prayer is for it to help others who must fight the battles of resentment, grief, and weariness that caregiving brings. But even if no one ever reads my book, I've given the Lord a gift in its writing and that is blessing enough. To be able to give to Him! Yes!!

To God alone be the glory!
Oh. By the way. If you'd like to reserve an advance copy of a great little devotional entitled God, Mom, Alzheimer's, and Me, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to find one for you. Sometime next summer. Probably.

Scripture: "...
I said, 'I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with him'" (Isaiah 49:4).

Saturday, November 8, 2008


If you are an Alzheimer's caregiver, I urge you to frequent the Alzheimer's Association's web site at When Mom was first diagnosed I was able to use this site to locate a chapter of the Alzheimer's Association within 20 miles of my home. The information at the web site along with the meetings I attended provided me invaluable information as I began life as a caregiver.

One day I was scanning the articles at and found an offer of a free resource. I filled out the online form and a few weeks later received football coach Frank Broyles' Playbook for Alzheimer's Caregivers. The book came with a pocket sized flipbook entitled Pocket Book of Tips and Strategies.

Tonight I have been reviewing Coach Broyles' strategies and am convicted by one characteristic that shines through his words of advice--kindness. His love and respect for his wife expresses itself in a desire to protect her emotionally. "Pay attention to what she is trying to tell you," he says. "Give her lots of time to finish what she is trying to say...Don't argue with her...Tell her each car's seat belt is different if she is having trouble putting it on."

Tears of remorse come to my eyes as I quote these words, because when I contrast my own behaviors with the recommended strategies I fall so short. My mother always has difficulty fastening her seatbelt and I have let her struggle with it as I hurry to begin our trip. My disgusted silence is worse than unloving, it is cruel. Mom needs me to be her advocate and her helper. She needs my prayers and my support. So long as I nurture remnants of resentment over our role reversal, how can I be Christlike in my behavior toward her?

Well, I was a spoiled only child of a doting mother as opposed to being a strong and capable "take charge" kind of person like Coach Broyles, but I know that this whining complaint won't excuse my sins of disrespect toward Mom. "What can wash away my sin...nothing but the blood of Jesus."

Today, I took my mom to the beauty shop and as usual, she struggled to fasten her seatbelt. I looked over and said, "You know Mom, every car has a different kind of seatbelt and it can be a real puzzle to figure them all out." Thanks to the Lord and to Coach Broyles, maybe there's hope for me yet!

Scripture: "And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be to teach, not resentful" (2 Timothy 2:24).

Coach Broyle's playbook is available online at