Tuesday, 6 March 2012

CHOOSEDAY.....this one gets heavy!!!

Psalm 101:2
 2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life, when will you come to me?  I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart. 

"A sentence from Psalm 101 has been both challenging and convicting for me: 'I will walk in my house with blameless heart' (Psalm 101-2, NIV). When God speaks to me about being more loving, this verse reminds me to make application in my family first—and then to others. It forces me to ask, 'Am I more spiritual, more loving, or more fun somewhere else? Who gets my best—my family or others?'" -- Jean Fleming, A Mother’s Heart

I have been thinking and praying on this verse because well in all honesty things are tough at home.  In previous posts I have alluded to my circumstances but have not given many details.  I don’t know that I really intended to but the whole reason I started this blog was so that I could have a place vent, a place where I can give my emotions free range and feel safe to do so.  Plus I just really need to own (CHOOSE) my actions…..

My family circumstances are hard.  My dad is very sick and has more bad days than good.  When my dad’s health really became a problem I moved back home so that I could help my mom take care of him. Also I could contribute financially because I was able to cut down on my expenses.  Those of you who have ever had to care for a sick parent will know that things change….somewhere in the process you become the parent and they the child.  You find yourself fighting over eating, fighting over meds and fighting over stupid things. My folks have been married for 41 years in April and love each other dearly but when my dad is having a bad day my mom can do no right!!! This means that whatever needs he may have fall to me. 

Dad has heart failure and as a result his heart cannot pump fast enough to rid his body of fluid which means he ends up having fluid on his lungs and battles to breathe.  He also can’t walk very far and gets tired just talking. So every 4 – 6 weeks he has a central line put in and I administer meds through the line every 4 hours.  This is great because the meds work really well and he feels better within 12 hours however the negative side is that his kidneys have to work at a very rapid rate and this causes most of the minerals and vitamins in his body to be flushed out.  So he gets the most painful cramps in his legs.  The muscles bunch up and form a hard knot and the only thing that really works is prayer and rubbing tiger balm onto the muscles.  It’s not fun and mom tries but as I said the two of them end up arguing to the point that it is just not worth it.

Most nights I am lucky if I get about 3 hours sleep and since I am keeping it real it really is difficult not to lose my sense of humour and just run away.  I love my dad but he is so not an easy patient and the thing is that he is even worse when he can’t help himself.  He has always been this strong self-sufficient rock and now he battles to get out of bed most mornings.

Working in Human Resources I spend a lot of my day dealing with people.  Some need advice, some need counselling and some just need an ear.  At work I am friendly, caring even loving.  I make time for colleagues, work longer hours so that I can have time to get everything and everyone.

However, when I go home I am tired, I am not in the mood to talk or to listen.  I’m irritated and impatient and not always the loving and caring daughter I should be.  

We all know that it is in our homes that we reveal who we really are inside. People will walk around with suits and ties on when away from home, but the minute they step inside the door of their house, off comes the tie and coat! Out come the rags!

I guess if I am being honest then I have to say my employer and colleagues get the best of me. They get the friendly, caring and understanding Lisa while my family gets the tired and well bitchy, unsympathetic and irritated Lisa. That makes me feel so ashamed and embarrassed because jobs come and go but I only have one daddy.  Is it such a hardship for me to shoulder the responsibility he has always shouldered, is it such a big deal to have to get up every couple of hours to give him the meds.  The answer is a resounding NO!!!  My job is just that a job but my dad and the rest of my family are precious.  There can always be another job but there will never be another dad for me. 

When I was going over this with a friend of mine the other day she gave me the following task:

When I feel nasty, mean spirited things coming into my mouth I must sing: 
“What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear; What a privilege to carry Ev’rything to God in prayer.
O what peace we often forfeit,O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Ev’rything to God in prayer.”?

When I want to waste time being bitter I must sing: 
“Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness, Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves”
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves;
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves”?

And when I lie around letting guilt and sin capture me I must sing:
“I heard an old, old story, How a Savior came from glory, How He gave His life on Calvary To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning, Of His precious blood's atoning, Then I repented of my sins And won the victory. 
O victory in Jesus, My Savior, forever. He sought me and bought me With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him, And all my love is due Him, He plunged me to victory, Beneath the cleansing flood”?

When I CHOOSE to close my heart I must sing:
“O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, the glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!”?

When I want to skip saying Grace, or daily prayers because I am just to tired then I must sing: 
“Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! That calls me from a world of care, And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known. In seasons of distress and grief, My soul has often found relief, And oft escaped the tempter’s snare, By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!”?

When I want to sit in a corner, hiding I must sing:
“Standing on the promises of Christ my King, Through eternal ages let His praises ring, Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.  Standing, standing, Standing on the promises of God my Saviour; Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God”?

When I want to sleep in late and ignore God I must sing:
“Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee. Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity”?

When I want to blow my diet, or do things I have decided to stop I must sing: 
“Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin; each victory will help you some other to win; fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
look ever to Jesus, he'll carry you through.
Ask the Savior to help you, comfort, strengthen and keep you; He is willing to aid you, He will carry you through”?

So today I CHOOSE to change my attitude, I CHOOSE to value my family, I CHOOSE to give them my very best. I CHOOSE to be a better daughter and better sister.

I CHOOSE to conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart.  What do you CHOOSE!!!!

My daddy!!! He got all dressed up and was ready to leave for church......it was Saturday!!!!


Emily w/Amazing Grapes said...

I am certain this is hard for both you and your mom. My dad, I believe would be the exact same. he's a very strong, self sufficient person and when he had his heart attack, he became a bit of a bear and not the best patient for my mom.

But I know what you mean with giving 'your best' to your co workers. I think a lot of us do that, along with treating the ones we love most with less than kindness. I know I'm guilty.

So happy you choose to change that around. I wish you the best. What a comfort to have Jesus on your side to help with that. :)
Emily at Amazing Grapes

Marshall said...

Lisa, this is perhaps the best post i've ever read on a blog before. Thank you sister!!!!!

You are such a faithful and loving daughter and i know the Lord will bless you for it and continue to carry you through the tough days. He's right there with you in each one. I think especially in the rough ones.

You are such an example. Sending you love!