Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dare to be Dory

In the wake of my book's publication, I'm experiencing a bit of attention that is the nearest thing I'll see in my lifetime to "15 minutes of fame."

It's excruciatingly uncomfortable, and for reasons I can't fully analyze but are probably not noble; it makes me nervous. In an effort to change my attitude my daughter cited an illustration from the movie "Finding Nemo." Marlin and Dory are trapped in the belly of a whale. Dory's found it great fun to slide down a portion of the whale's internal anatomy and as she rushes down she yells "Wheeeeee!" Marlin, by contrast, is fruitlessly butting his head against the wall of the whale's stomach in an effort to escape. Melinda said, "Be like Dory, Mom. Just relax and enjoy this ride."

I did not point out to her that Dory quite obviously has Alzheimer's disease.

The Lord has issued warnings to me. I am to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified, and its ok if I feel fear (See 1 Corinthians 2:2-3). And, I am to guard myself against pride. The Lord's teaching on this subject is this: if I do not seek glory for myself, then I will not be ashamed. And yet He's also made clear to me that I have been set in charge of the distribution of a gift that He has provided to others through me, and that I must not turn away from this Holy charge.

The important element in any Kingdom endeavor is not the person God uses to spread the message, but the message itself. The central messages in My Mom Has Alzheimer's are twofold: 1) There is no obstacle we can encounter in life over which God is not sovereign, and 2) We must give attention to the ways in which we respond to our loved ones who become elderly and infirm. Raising emotional barriers in an attempt to protect ourselves from impending loss results in an impoverishment of our own hearts and those of our loved ones. A refusal to remain emotionally connected to those who are in the process of leaving us makes the final separation more difficult rather than easier.

This morning I wrote the following in an email to a friend:

I get so worried about the wrong things--this morning it is a little money matter that shouldn't really cause me a second thought. There's sin behind this worriment; pray that I am able to rest in the Lord's Sovereign control over my book, my children, and my life. All of those "my's" are suspect; there can be sin lurking in a "my." If all I have and am are His, then I shouldn't have much occasion to use the word "my." If I am His instrument, then I need to think carefully before I blow my own horn!

Please pray for me. Pray that I don't fall to fear of what people think, but keep the Lord firmly in my sights. Pray that I don't fall to the sin of pride. Pray that I fearlessly speak the message with which God has entrusted me on behalf of the elderly who can no longer speak for themselves, and for the caregivers who are battling grief and weariness.

Scripture: "Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should" (Colossians 4:4).


  1. I will pray for you. God Bless and Good Luck.


  2. Linda, the title of your book, and the thoughts that you share, show that you are not prideful. You give credit to God for all that you do, including the wonderful job you did in writing your book and sharing yours and your mom's story. God does want us to do the best job that we can in all that we do, and I know he must be well pleased with what you have done.

    You are such an inspiration!


  3. Linda,

    Glad that you posted. It has been awhile. I was starting to wonder if everything was okay with you and your family.

    I will pray for you; that God will guard your heart and mind against being prideful.

    Enjoy the blessings that God gives you.

    Jenny K

  4. Jenny K, I've thanked Karen and I know dear Merry Lu personally, but I've no way to thank you but through this comment. So God bless you and thank you for your much needed prayer and your good advice. Linda

  5. a. out of the mouths of babes (if Melinda does not mind being in the "babe" role here)
    b. funny--as in the fact that you did not mention Dory no doubt had Alzheimer's--you have a well-hidden, but absolutely delicious sense of humor
    c. the Lord speaks and you have listened; continue not only to listen but obey, and He will reward you with peace--not ease, not painlessness, not freedom from any stresses--but His presence and peace.
    d. love you
    e. praying
    f. the book is wonderful and no one can TRUTHFULLY say anything differently about it

  6. Most powerful thoughts that remind me of my own sin and weakness. In all that I do I want to please Him. Pray for me as I pray for you. Thanks agsin.