Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Caregiving is a Privilege

Once again I've been struggling with resentment toward my mother. This is just an ongoing battle. I thought that after awhile I'd adapt to the fact that she is oblivious to all of my services for her. In fact, although she is usually polite, her raised eyebrows when I flounce through with a garbage bag or a load of laundry makes it clear that she feels that the service in this hotel she's staying in isn't quite up to par.

This morning I was in the shower when a disquieting thought came.

"You could be out of a job."

Just that. And the meaning was clear to me. God loves my mother. He cares for her and as Mom's caregiver I am to represent the Lord's love to her. God has blessed me so richly through my mother's presence in our home...there are trials, to be sure, but he strengthens me for them. And as a direct result of my mother's Alzheiemer's disease I've been able to cut my work schedule as a teacher to half time (which was a desire of my heart), I was able to build a lovely addition to our home that for now serves as my mother's living quarters, and I am soon to be a published author as the devotional I wrote for caregivers will be in print sometime this year. God brings blessings from ashes and He has provided for me abundantly as I have walked through the Valley of the Shadow of the time when I will have to tell my mother goodbye.

The movie "The Bishop's Wife" came to mind; the original version with Loretta Young, David Niven, and Cary Grant. In this movie there a scene wherein the angel questions the bishop, saying, "The cathedral must be built? Or, your wife must be happy. Which is it?"

The cathedral of my hopes and dreams for ministry and achievement doesn't mean very much to the Lord. He loves my mother and His desire is for her to be happy. If I don't align myself with His love in my service to my mother, I could well lose my job. I am not irreplaceable.
And it is a job that, unexpectedly, I've come to treasure because I do love my mother and I love the Lord Whose kindness to both my mother and to me during this time has been so abundantly rich.

I need to watch my attitude because I don't want to be out of a job!