Category: Caregiving

Sunday morning

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“GOD made my life complete
       when I placed all the pieces before him.”

From Psalm 18, THE MESSAGE

I began praying the Psalms in the mid-1990s, in different English translations of the Bible.  My 60th birthday is later this month, and my 40th birthday was in the hospital.

I had earned tenure as a professor in special education earlier in 1993, at NEIU in Chicago.   I also taught Sunday School year-round for 12 years.  My life greatly changed from a public to a private role as a caregiver for my mother.  I could never have predicted how blogging would bring me back to the world.

The Psalms and the Bible as a whole bring all these chapters together.   I read with my heart most of all.   The things I experienced with a chronic illness, and many passings in the family over a decade and more, brought me to a place of deeper trust in God’s plan for my life.

I still ask many questions and wonder, of course, but somehow as I read and reread the Psalms – and usually aloud, sometimes in a whisper – the Peace beyond understanding brings me peace.

My life was broken and God made it complete again, in a brand new way.  My energy level changed and I need a slow pace, but life is good here in this simple world.   I don’t want “the world” but love sharing with all of you here.

This is really how this blog was born.  Blessings for all your hopes too, Ellen

The “Christmas rose” is courtesy of Reusable Art – Breathing New Life Into Old Art.  http://reusableart.com

The Mystery Of Poetry

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I have several past Winter issues of Time Of Singing by my comfortable chair in my little study.  The one I select today takes me back to my mother’s sunroom, when I was helping with her care.  There is a special blessing in rereading poems that supported me then.  Trust in God deepens.  Then too there are the poems that foreshadowed what was ahead, though I could not see, or was not ready to see.  Yet God was preparing me.  He is merciful and loves us.

In loving memory of Enola M. Borgh (1917 – 2004).

The floral pattern is courtesy of WPClipart.com.  In the spring, Mom often quoted Robert Frost: “Nature’s first green is gold . . .”

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one post at a time

It is amazing how our blogs grow, one post at a time.  I’m rereading old posts and grateful for how our collections of work grow over time.  I read a lot of educational research in college, and sometimes a lot of data would make the simple point that “time on task” means so much.

I’ve read books about faith, creativity, and writing by Madeleine L’Engle, Luci Shaw, Anne Lamott, Julia Cameron, Ann Voskamp, and many others.  I can’t follow all the recommendations at one time, but am always encouraged to be in their company – and yours.

And I admire how people of all ages simply begin a blog and make a commitment to practice their craft, and allow all of us to share in their growth.  There’s a wonderful spirit of both humility and courage.

The Psalms gave me my language back, along with great comfort and consolation, during a difficult time.  Reading again and again is my spiritual practice.  Yesterday on my first blog, I wrote:

rereading Psalms
colors of leaves
a deeper gold

(http://ellenolinger.wordpress.com)

Dimensions And Memories

This quote is from Dear Jesus by Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling.

“In addition to the three dimensions of space and the one of time, there is the dimension of openness to My Presence.  This one transcends the other four, giving you glimpses of heaven while you still reside on earth.”

Page 162.

The publisher is Thomas Nelson, Inc.; Nashville, Tennessee.
Author copyright 2007.

* * *

Sarah Young’s style of writing is warm and personal.  She often writes from God’s point of view, as she hears Him in prayer and constant reading of the Bible.  Caregiving was hard work, but as I spent time with my mother, at her home and in various medical settings, there were these transcendent moments.  I look at them as hidden beauties from God, and special gifts in the really hard places of life.  Now it is over nine years since my mother was called Home.  I don’t hardly ever think of the hard days.  It is these moments that stay and bless me.  We shall meet again.

Blessings to you and yours,

Ellen

* * *

“Blessed are the merciful” Matthew 5

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Yesterday, I bought a Mother’s Day bouquet.  I thought my mother would like that.

I remember when a penpal, the poet Jean Calkins, wished me a Happy Mother’s Day because I was a teacher.

These special days – and thinking ahead to Father’s Day next month – are for all who care, in my humble view!

So many people bless our lives.

Blessed are the merciful:
for they shall obtain mercy.

Matthew 5: 7

The image is from Owen Jones Decorative Borders, courtesy of Dover Publications.

Sarah Young “Learning to be content . . .”

“Learning to be content is both a discipline and an art: You train your mind to trust My Sovereign ways with you–bowing before my mysterious, infinite intelligence.  You search for Me in the details of your day, all the while looking for good to emerge from trouble and confusion.  You accept the way things are without losing hope for a better future.”

by Sarah Young
Jesus Today
Thomas Nelson

2012 Author Copyright

This selection is from the 94th devotion in this book, page 218.  As many of you know, I mentioned this book in a recent post.  If Sarah Young is a new author for you, you can see she writes from her expression of God’s point of view, from her life of prayer.  This gives the book a personal feeling.  Each devotion is on one page, and then on the page opposite the devotion, there are Bible verses to support and further encourage.  For this devotion, the Scriptures cited and reprinted are 1 Corinthians 7:17, Philippians 4:12, and Romans 11:33-36.

I like this book design very much.  The book is small with a royal blue cover.  I like that when I am resting, I don’t have to turn a page, in order to read one devotion.  These details matter, I found, for someone not feeling well, a tired caregiver, during a busy day – for all kinds of reasons.

So much thought went into Jesus Today.  I sense God’s love and friendship.

Sarah Young includes different translations of the Bible.  As I type this today, the entire Bible in the Message translation is on a shelf by my computer.  I love the King James Version, and am also reading in other translations.  I love to study – yet I find a small book with prayerful thoughts and Bible verses is exactly what I need often now.

Jesus Today by Sarah Young

Here and there, I’m reading Jesus Today, Experience Hope Through His Presence, by Sarah Young (2012, Author Copyright; Thomas Nelson, Nashville, Tennessee).  She is thoughtful and sensitive, and grounded in the Bible.  In her Introduction, she writes of her experience with illness, and says, “I am convinced that if I had been healthier, I would not have been able to write this book.”  God is so good, and He brings good out of everything.  Sometimes it takes years to see, at least for me.

On another topic, I learned from The Dover Design Sampler email that March 30 is Vincent van Gogh’s birthday.  This painting of his, from 1888, is a free sample from 120 Great Flower Paintings.

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