Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Alzheimer's, a lesson in family values.

Caring for my mom has taught me the true meaning of family values! (I Timothy 3:4-5, I Timothy 5:8) My wife and I have learned sacrifice, as our lives have completely now been devoted to my mom who has Alzheimer's. And we are so limited to what we can do or where we go. We have learned devotion, as we care for her we are devoted to her, making sure she is taken care of properly.

We have learned more about being committed to family. The importance of spending time and the value of it. We have learned not to take anything for granted but savor each moment. When we talk to others about family it has become much more intimate for us! Family has become more valuable, more precious. I have learned more about patience and wow that is a big one!

It is hard at times to be patient, forgetting that mom has no clue as to what is happening around her. When I become frustrated with her, and yes I do, I find I have to slow down, back up and regroup. I am reminded by God she is still mom and deserves the utmost respect. Yes I have learned more about respect and how important that is!

I am reminded in scripture about the 5th commandment of God, honor your father and your mother. She deserves respect especially now when she is so confused and acts like a child most times! I have learned humility in many ways! One, especially when I am helping my wife clean her. Never was I prepared for that, to diaper my mom, to wash her and feed her!

One of the most important for me, she is still mom no matter what. She is the one who did all the above mentioned things for me. And I am sure it was just as hard for her at times, yet she remained committed, she sacrificed, she was devoted to giving her best. I am sure she felt like throwing in the towel, giving up and wanting to hide! But she did not she stood up to the task of giving her best.

The value of true sacrifice is not just what you give up, or do without. It is a willingness to stay in the trenches even when you are frightened and ready to give up. Even when you feel alone and no one out there cares. The rewards far out weigh what we are giving up for a moment.  I begin to think about how Jesus may have felt facing the Cross, when He was alone in those last moments. How He looked out at us and said they are worth the sacrifice, they are worth it to Me, giving my life for them! 

Though it has been hard, heartbreaking, and even times of wondering why. We stop and see the values and life's lessons. When I look out at my congregation on Sunday mornings. I understand better, how sacrificing for my mom has made me a better pastor. I have such a greater appreciation and love for them. I understand better the scripture in I Timothy 5:8 and why it is so important to God to care for family in the way He cares for us.