Tag Archive | Hope

A River of Hope

waterfall

On some days

the cold rains don’t stop

 

A stormy torrent 

of pains

colliding

with hard rocks.

 

I cling to Your grace

and Your cross

a little tighter

My knuckles are raw

I am a fighter

 

You are my sturdy boat

keeping my head held up

and my life afloat

I hear you gently say,

“Keep your eyes on me”

“Don’t be afraid”

 

And I do believe

that with You

I can be free

 

No matter the day

where or when,

I see….

 

Your saving hope

will always 

stay

with me.

“Walk on the Water”

You look around, staring back at you
Another wave of doubt, will it pull you under? You wonder
What if I’m overtaken? What if I never make it?
What if no one’s there? Will You hear my prayer?

When you take that first step into the unknown
You know that He won’t let you go

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities, they try to hold to you
But you know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water, too

So get out, and let your fear fall to the ground
No time to waste, don’t wait, and don’t you turn around and miss out
Everything you were made for, I know you’re not sure
So you play it safe, you try to run away

If you take that first step into the unknown
He won’t let you go

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities, they try to hold to you
But you know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water, too

Step out, even when it’s storming
Step out, even when you’re broken
Step out, even when your heart is telling you
Telling you to give up

Step out, when your hope is stolen
Step out, you can’t see where you’re going
You don’t have to be afraid
So what are you waiting, what are you waiting for?

So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities try to hold to you
You know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water
Walk on the water, too

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Carried by Grace

Veni Sancte Spiritus

I am limping on through,

trying to see

the forest for the trees.

 

It is dark and scary

and I am weary

from the journey.

 

I don’t run,

but I make noise,

praying to chase

the nightmares 

and bears away.

 

The phone calls come,

as I knew they would,

and have for so long.

 

“Mary…please, I am being eaten alive…the bugs,

Get me out of here…….”

 

You are my child now,

as I calmly tell you,

“No, mom, you are not ready to go home.”

 

She frantically yells out, “Why?! Don’t I have a home?

I am fine! I don’t belong here!”

 

“No, mom, you are not fine.”

I repeat the tired line,

as I have now, for most of my life.

 

I am making my way 

to the eye of the hurricane.

It’s turbulent and rough.

 

But I know I am

being gently carried,

and I won’t fall out of the sky.

 

Because it is on 

His steady and strong wings

that I fly……

“Carry Me”
By Audrey Assad

Pain is a forest we all get lost in
Between the branches hope can be so hard to see
And in the darkness we’ve all got questions
We’re all just trying to make sense out of suffering but

You say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, You’ll carry me
Help me believe it

Fear is a current we all get caught in
And in its motion faith can be so hard to find
And we all falter ’cause we’re all broken
We’re all just trying to turn the shadows into light but

You get glory in the midst of this
And You’re walking with me
And you say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, You’ll carry me

And I know Your promises are faithful
And God, I’ve seen Your goodness in my life
And oh, I’ve found Your mercy is a river
Your love is an ocean wide

You say I am blessed because of this
You get glory in the midst of this
And You’re walking with me

And You say I am blessed because of this
So, I choose to believe
As I carry this cross, as I carry this cross
‘Cause as I carry this cross, You’ll carry me

You’ll carry me, God
You’ll carry me
And Your love is an ocean wide

Risen Life

I wanted to share this poem awhile ago, but life got in the way. It’s message reminds me of when Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16: 33). He didn’t say, “You might have trouble”, or “If you try really hard, you can avoid trouble”. No, He said, you WILL have trouble.

I appreciate how Jesus always said it like it was. He never minced words. I often think of the term “tough love” when I think of His many teachings. He wanted us to take responsiblity for our sinfulness, and warn us of what would happen if we didn’t “feel” like listening or obeying. So, although we will suffer through both natural and man-made troubles in our lives, our Lord time and time again reassures us that He will give us the courage that we need to rise above it all.

Risen Life

When you see a forest ravaged by storms, and earthquakes blasting the land, and fire burning down your home, say to yourself: I believe that the forest will come to life again. That land will be calm again and I shall remake my home.

When you hear rumors of war and people everywhere are dying of terror, when “nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 27:7), say bravely to yourself, “Jesus warned me of this and he added: ‘Look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28)

When sin has you in its grip and you feel utterly defeated, say to yourself, “Christ is risen from the dead and I shall rise from my sin.”

When old age or illness embitters your life, say, “Christ is risen from the dead and has made a new heaven on a new earth.”

When you see your son running away from home in search of adventure and your cherished dream as father or mother crumbles around you, say, “My son will not run away from God; he will come back because God loves him.”

When charity seems to have vanished forever and you see others sunk in sin and drunk with treachery, say to yourself, “They will touch the depths but they will return because no on can live away from God.”

When the world seems a defeat for God and you are sick with the disorder, the violence, the terror, the war on the streets; when the earth seems to be chaos, say to yourself, “Jesus died and rose again on purpose to save, and his salvation is already with us.”

When your father or mother, your son or your daughter, your spouse or your friend are on their deathbed, and you are looking at the in the pain of parting, say, “We shall see each other again in the kingdom. Courage.”

This is what it means to believe in the resurrection. But there is more. Belief in the risen Christ means something else.

For Mother Teresa of Calcutta it means comforting the dying, and for you it means doing the same.

For Martin Luther King it meant facing death, and for you it means being unafraid to die for your brothers and sisters.

For Abbe Schultz, prior to Taize, it means opening his convent to hope, and for you opening your house to hope.

Every departing missionary is an act of faith in the resurrection.

Every newly opened leper hospital is an act of faith in the resurrection.

Every peace treaty, is an act of faith in the resurrection.

Every agreed commitment is an act of faith in the resurrection.

When you forgive your enemy

When you feed the hungry

When you defend the weak you believe in the resurrection.

When you have the courage to marry

When you welcome the newly born child

When you build your home you believe in the resurrection.

When you wake at peace in the morning

When you sing to the rising sun

When you go to work with joy you believe in the resurrection.

Last Things ~Carlo Carretto

Risen Life

I wanted to share this poem awhile ago, but life got in the way. It’s message reminds me of when Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16: 33). He didn’t say, “You might have trouble”, or “If you try really hard, you can avoid trouble”. No, He said, you WILL have trouble.

I appreciate how Jesus always said it like it was. He never minced words. I often think of the term “tough love” when I think of His many teachings. He wanted us to take responsiblity for our sinfulness, and warn us of what would happen if we didn’t “feel” like listening or obeying. So, although we will suffer through both natural and man-made troubles in our lives, our Lord time and time again reassures us that He will give us the courage that we need to rise above it all.

Risen Life

When you see a forest ravaged by storms, and earthquakes blasting the land, and fire burning down your home, say to yourself: I believe that the forest will come to life again. That land will be calm again and I shall remake my home.

When you hear rumors of war and people everywhere are dying of terror, when “nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 27:7), say bravely to yourself, “Jesus warned me of this and he added: ‘Look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28)

When sin has you in its grip and you feel utterly defeated, say to yourself, “Christ is risen from the dead and I shall rise from my sin.”

When old age or illness embitters your life, say, “Christ is risen from the dead and has made a new heaven on a new earth.”

When you see your son running away from home in search of adventure and your cherished dream as father or mother crumbles around you, say, “My son will not run away from God; he will come back because God loves him.”

When charity seems to have vanished forever and you see others sunk in sin and drunk with treachery, say to yourself, “They will touch the depths but they will return because no on can live away from God.”

When the world seems a defeat for God and you are sick with the disorder, the violence, the terror, the war on the streets; when the earth seems to be chaos, say to yourself, “Jesus died and rose again on purpose to save, and his salvation is already with us.”

When your father or mother, your son or your daughter, your spouse or your friend are on their deathbed, and you are looking at the in the pain of parting, say, “We shall see each other again in the kingdom. Courage.”

This is what it means to believe in the resurrection. But there is more. Belief in the risen Christ means something else.

For Mother Teresa of Calcutta it means comforting the dying, and for you it means doing the same.

For Martin Luther King it meant facing death, and for you it means being unafraid to die for your brothers and sisters.

For Abbe Schultz, prior to Taize, it means opening his convent to hope, and for you opening your house to hope.

Every departing missionary is an act of faith in the resurrection.

Every newly opened leper hospital is an act of faith in the resurrection.

Every peace treaty, is an act of faith in the resurrection.

Every agreed commitment is an act of faith in the resurrection.

When you forgive your enemy

When you feed the hungry

When you defend the weak you believe in the resurrection.

When you have the courage to marry

When you welcome the newly born child

When you build your home you believe in the resurrection.

When you wake at peace in the morning

When you sing to the rising sun

When you go to work with joy you believe in the resurrection.

Last Things ~Carlo Carretto

Shine On

I have unpleasant visions of my mom’s thick, gnarled, ultra long toenails that are just waiting for me to attend to. The nurses don’t tackle toes. Apparently, toes are above and beyond the call of duty. I really can’t say that I blame them. But, there is something very sincere and intimate about caring for someone’s feet. Whenever I do mom’s toes, I feel humbled, and glad that I can help her in this way. Although, I think the salon would do a much better job. And almost every woman loves to have her “toes done”.

Changing adult sized diapers would be my deal breaker. The committed, caring, and compassionate aides and nurses are saints, in my eyes. Changing a confused, sometimes angry, depressed adult who sometimes resents you and hates you would be very tough work. I am so eternally grateful for those angels caring for my mother day after day. She keeps them on their toes, and they keep her on hers! I can sleep soundly now, after many years of worry, knowing that she is safe and well taken care of. For that, we are all blessed.

I think of what it means to lovingly sacrifice for those who are defenseless, vulnerable, alone, and without a clear voice to say what their true desires are. I think of the frail elderly, the physically & mentally challenged, the unborn, the under-appreciated, the unaccepted and the unwanted. Who is willing to be their voice…their helping hand…their advocate and Christ like friend? We are all called to be God’s hands and feet in this painful and broken world. When Jesus rose again His wounds were still visible, helping us to see that with His help we can survive our brokeness. We have our scars and wounds, like the risen Christ, to remind us what He has brought us through, and what He has lovingly sacrificed in order to make us His forever.

I think that it is a comfort to know Jesus’ wounds remain visible in His risen body. Just as our wounds are not taken away, but become a source of hope to others. And underneath our scars, we bear His light, for the whole world to see. During the Easter season, we summon the courage to let that light shine on through us for now and for always!

“Christ has no body now on earth but yours;

no hands but yours;

no feet but yours.

Yours are the eyes through which

He is to go about doing good;

yours are the hands

with which He is to bless people now.”

~St. Teresa of Avila

Somebody’s Baby

I wait for weeks,

months,

to fill out your annual guardianship renewal forms.

Almost to the point

where I’m forced back to court

for you.

Avoiding the hurt and the official proof

of just where

all of your dark desires

have brought us to.

 

I don’t give you a copy.

Maybe I should, but I don’t.

Because I know you won’t understand.

 

Somedays I feel stuck in this mud

of thick, dark

suffocating despair.

Wondering where we would be

if you had just held on

to the hands

reaching out to help.

 

But then I crawl up

and remember all that I have gained

despite all of the darkness.

 

I cling to His promises of

Hope

Comfort

Love

Mercy

All of which can never be taken from me…….for they are eternal……

“Do not abandon yourself to despair.

 We are an Easter people,

and Hallelujah is our song!”

~Blessed John Paul II

]

 

Groundhog Day and My Mom’s Birthday

Last week was Groundhog Day, which always falls on the day before my mother’s birthday. Dealing with Dementia feels a lot like you have stepped into the movie,”Groundhog Day”, which is a funny movie about a guy who repeats the same day over and over again. Sometimes I try new lines in the old conversations with my mom just to mix things up a little. But most of the time I repeat the old lines, because I know familiarity brings comfort to her. I wanted to give you a glimpse into a day of what dealing with Dementia looks like. This was my visit with my mom today, and some of what we talked about are among the top 3 conversations that we have on a regular basis. The words in parentheses were things that I thought out in my head, and were not actually said. Although, believe me,I would like to say them at times!

Conversation # 1.

Mom:  “When am I going to get out of here?”

Me: “Well, mom, you know we need to wait until your legs get stronger so that you can walk on your own.”

Mom: “Well, I was doing physical therapy and now they don’t give me that anymore, do you know why?”

Me: “Well, they seem to think that if you would practice walking with the walker more often to meal times, that this could greatly improve your walking. So why don’t you give that a try more?” “Physical therapy is $100 a week (on top of the $8,000 a month that it costs for you to live here) and they don’t seem to think that it does anything positive to get you closer to being able to walk again.”

Mom: “Did you tell them to cancel that?” Because that was none of your business, and I want you to tell them to start it again because I want to walk again someday.”(I am strongly tempted here to tell her that, actually, IT IS MY BUSINESS BECAUSE I AM YOUR LEGAL GUARDIAN and YOUR DAUGHTER, WHO HAS LOVINGLY CARED FOR YOU FOR MOST OF YOUR ADULT LIFE)

Me: “OK, mom, I will talk with them, OK? (therapeutic fibbing here, which is a dementia term that means you tell them what they want to hear, so you can “meet them where they are at”)

Conversation #2

Mom: “Aren’t those flowers just gorgeous over there?”

Me: “Yes, they are! I gave them to you last week for your birthday!”

Mom: “Oh, that’s right, it was my birthday, wasn’t it? Those flowers are beautiful, and your brother gave me the most beautiful outfit that he said he picked out himself!” (yes, I know you have told me and shown it to me 5 times already!) I think that he is making up for his father’s behavior.”

Me: “Well, maybe, but I think that it’s just because that he loves you a lot.”

Conversation # 3

Mom: “Did you know that your father left me? Can you believe that?”

Me:. “Yes, mom, he left about 5 years ago now.”

Mom: “No….it hasn’t been that long, it’s only been about 2 years”

Me: “No, mom, actually it has been about 5 years or so since dad left. Do you know why he left?”

Mom: “If you say it is because of my drinking, then I am going to bop you one.” (well, then I guess you can bop me one then) (I am silent here, and just stare at her) Because, you know I remember the day that I decided to stop, and it was one day I was doing the dishes (interesting, I haven’t heard this one before), and I thought to myself, “I just don’t need to do that anymore, so I just won’t do it. It wasn’t because I went to AA (because you never actually did?) or Hazleton or anything, I just knew I didn’t need it anymore.” (UH HUH….and pigs can fly now?)

With this tired conversation, I usually switch the subject, because typically my kids around, and it’s just not “kid friendly conversation” you know what I mean?

Conversation # 4

Me: “So I have been thinking I want to surprise Eric and get a dog this spring.” (I tell her all about a breed I talked to a pet shop worker about and how much the kids want one)

Mom: “Oh, that would be so fun for the kids! We had Benny (our awesome St. Bernard) before you were born! And we loved having dogs with young kids!

(Here, we have a great conversation about the past with our old dog Benny, who was the best dog in the world.)

Mom (5 minutes later): “So, when are you going to get a dog?” (SIGH) (I pretty much repeat the whole last 5 minutes) (my experience with working with young kids comes in handy with this disease!)

Conversation #5

Me: “Well, mom, I need to get going…I have a therapist appointment (where we mostly talk about you over and over and over again)

Mom: “Oh…does that help you?” Tell your therapist that your dad left your mom and she would like to know what she can do about it.”

Me: “Well, She (me) TRIED to get you to go to Mass with me today, down your hall in the chapel, and you wouldn’t go…so she (me) is working on it!” (this is where I think, “God, you sure want me to persevere don’t you?….oh, and develop my patience!” I’m workin’ on it!)

Mom: “Oh…I know, I just didn’t want to, I just don’t feel good! But, thanks so much for coming…and next time bring the kids. You know, most grand parents don’t enjoy their young grand children as much as I do.”

Me: “I know, mom, you adore them, and they adore you, and so do I (I kiss her and give her a hug) “Good bye, love you, I will see you in a few days!” (Which will be on Sunday)