"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

May 10, 2012

Giving honor where honor is due

Our latest caring-giving mission is almost completed. On Saturday, my brother-in-law will head to California to stay with my hubby's other brother/family for the next 6 months...

I have to say that I am ever more impressed with the man I married 20+ years ago.
Dealing with brain damage from a stroke is not an easy thing we've found out, and my hubby was always seeking God for wisdom on how to deal with the various situations that would come up. My hubby may be the youngest brother but he had the help of a big God, (Amen!) and he prayed for us for an hour before he left for work each day which was such a blessing. He listened to me for hours on end when I needed 'therapy' because he's sweet like that. : ) He saw the big picture when I only saw the small one. He made sure that we had boundaries to keep us all 'OK.' -Loving boundaries that were necessary and he always tried to protect our hearts from pain.  He also did the yucky care-giving jobs without ever one complaint.
This was just another season of life that has reminded me that I have the best hubby there is.

We are both so proud of our kids. We could not have done this without them. They gave their uncle love, honor, respect, service, laughs and physical therapy for 6 months (even in the hard times). Here are just a few sentiments to each one of them:

Dear Nathan,
You have done an excellent job of putting yourself in your uncle shoes. You've tried to understand what he is feeling and to lighten his load. Thank you for the times when you helped me to understand him better.You have found ways to make his exercise time more enjoyable by adding the Monty Python (via You Tube) time to the E-stem segment. You've also been his help with anything techy that he's not been able to do. (you are the reason he can purchase songs off iTunes now and not get the karaoke versions : ) and access his pictures on his iPad) You always insert a quote into daily life, that will make him chuckle and it blesses him more than we know. Your eukelee playing is always a big hit with him and he likes to tease you about your "random singing" which is just who you are and we love it.

Dear Joy,
As the only girl in the entire extended family, you bring your uncle special JOY. I know he likes all the attention you've given him. -There isn't anything he likes more than watching you play sports! He looks forward to your softball games all week. I'll always remember how you gave up your free time at lunch, to teach him how to cook pasta by himself. It was so sweet of you and he felt so accomplished. I know those exercises you helped him do weren't easy for you when his nails scratched you and his effected arm didn't always smell great.Your grace and kindness were such a blessing and always are.

Dear Zac,
As the guy whose is busy working, saving and going to college, you've been exempt from any duties relating to helping your uncle, but you have helped him. You have blessed him more than you know. Sometimes when I am rushing off to pick you up or drop you off at work, he'll get all choked up thinking about your life, and tell me how proud he is of you. When you take the time out of your busy days to talk about 'econ' with him or oil, he's so thrilled, it makes his week. He'll talk about how he enjoyed that one conversation for days. The other night you bought a VERY cool air-soft gun and you wanted to show it to him before he went to sleep because he collected guns before his stroke. I know that none of us can know how much including him in things like that means to him. Proud of you!

Dear Andrew,
When the Lord hands out rewards, your crown is going to have some especially bigger gems in it than the rest of us for this season of life. You've not only served your uncle, you've been his best friend. When he thinks something is funny or interesting, you are the one he tells. When he needs help, you are the one he calls. When he goes outside, you are the one he tells. When he's thinking about donuts, you are the one who hears about it. (which is quite often) ; )  And I'm sure it wasn't always easy to be you. I am so very proud of your patience and kindness. You are the MVP of our care-giving team. May the Lord mightily bless you for it, all of your days.

And to my brother-in-law,
I know that I can never understand the pain and confusion you've been through. To be a successful, single businessman out skiing with friends one day, and in a stroke patient's body the next...I'm sure there are no words to describe it. One time you said "This is really hard, I have a 4 bedroom house with a view of the Rockies, $500 cowboy boots at home and I have to listen to you guys tell me not to walk down the street by myself." I'd say that sort of sums up how crazy-hard all this is. I know it could not have been easy to be thrust into another life that included a small house full of people and no cable TV. ; ) But you handled it well! Our prayer is that God would restore your health and your life and walk beside you and assure you of what He said in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Remember that you are loved.

I don't know what things will look like 6 months from now for my family or my brother-in-law. Maybe we'll be doing another round of caring-giving. But right now, I'm thankful I don't have to know. God does, and I gave up control of my life to Him a long time ago. For now, it is time to do a bunch of packing and get him ready for his trip. Then our family is headed off on a mini-vacation to relax, regroup and play.


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