Ten years ago I began providing care to my mom, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in the spring of 2004. During that time I recorded heartfelt prayers along with the Lord's answering solace here at this blog. The blog was seen by an editor who asked me to write a book for her company. The publisher named that book My Mom Has Alzheimer's: Inspiration and Help for Caregivers. I did not like this title at first, but then I realized: my mom does have Alzheimer's and the book does contain inspiration and help for caregivers!
Almost as soon as that book was published in September of 2009, I felt the Lord's strong push to write a book of devotions for my mother and others who struggle with dementia. It is too easy to forget the spiritual needs of those precious care recipients whose physical needs overwhelm us while our own hearts are aching with grief of loss and burden of care. And so I began rewriting devotions from My Mom Has Alzheimer's, this time from the patient's perspective. This was a valuable exercise for me as a caregiver, because it forced me to put myself in Mom's place as I attempted to view the world through her eyes.
It is with a profound sense of having completed a task the Lord wanted done that I announce the publication of Beautiful in Each Season: Devotions for You. The book is available as of today in both softcover (large print for patients who are still able to read independently) and as an eBook for the Kindle format. I was able to hand the proof copy of the book to Mom today, and I just can't describe the blessing and relief I felt as she opened it and began to read aloud. I am so grateful I accomplished this task while Mom is still able to benefit, and it is my prayer that others are blessed as well.
The first few devotions in the book are available for preview at Amazon using the "Look Inside This Book" feature. Please pray with me that this book reaches those who can be helped by it! I've included the back cover copy below:
“People with Alzheimer’s aren’t dumb, they just have trouble remembering!”Anna Ruth Williamson, Alzheimer patient since 2004.The devotions in Beautiful in Each Season were written with respect for the intellect and spirits of those with dementia. The readings are straightforward but not childish in content, and are appropriate for independent or caregiver supported use. Because music transcends language and speaks directly to the heart, a few lines from familiar hymns are included with each devotion.Many of the conflicts that arise between people with dementia and their caregivers occur because two completely different perspectives must come together in order for harmony to exist. When the patient is a loved one, the caregiver faces not only an increased workload, but also new financial worries and the loss of emotional support as the relationship of the past is redefined. On the patient’s part, dementia has narrowed perceptions to the degree that there is little awareness or empathy for the struggles of the caregiver. The confusion and disorientation of cognitive dysfunction may result in suspicion and fear-based anger. When both patient and caregiver know and love the Lord, reminders of His steadfast love provide a common ground through which empathy and love can flow.This book can be used either alone or in tandem with the caregivers’ devotional, My Mom Has Alzheimer’s: Inspiration and Help for Caregivers (Bridge-Logos Foundation, 2009).“As caregivers we must not allow our loved ones to forget God’s love”Linda Born