Tuesday, February 21, 2012

the power of words and song

Every morning I pick up a turquoise blue journal with the words, "With God Everything Is Possible" etched on the outside front cover. It is a journal I kept this time last year and it records the every day pithiness of my days as well as those last months and days of my Daddy's life. I am purposely each day reliving those times through the words I wrote over a year ago. It might sound peculiar to someone if they have never actually experienced the death of someone close, someone whom you are responsible for as the main caregiver. But for me it brings a certain realm of peace and surety. Not of completion necessarily, just the provision of the amazing surge of His grace and mercy.

My mother's behavior a year ago caused an anguish of soul that was very difficult for me to bear. I got to the point that even eating became difficult. Her illness along with her circumstances of change and medications had caused her to be very abusive with words. Even though it was necessary for her to live in a facility, due to her proximity I was responsible for her care and upon a daily visit I would leave crying with hurt and not knowing what to do. In the meantime I was also managing my home, my children including homeschooling and very occupied with the care of my bedridden father who was living upstairs dying of cancer. Now why am I recording all this now?  Because I want to convey with total abandon and truth that the thanksgiving, joy and peace that flows from Him is real and I am only made the richer from this seemingly hard thing my life. James 1:3 states, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." It is unexplainable to those who do not know the power of His Holy Spirit as the treasure it is living in these earthen vessels. His grace and mercy is as real to me as what I can clearly see with my eyes. It cups me and holds me close. It strengthens, encourages, and never lets go.

Now it is winter again and I am sitting here with my dear mother. No longer are her words abusive. She is at times as sweet as dripping honey thanking me with her upturned eyes looking into mine. There are  times of great confusion and talking incessantly without really communicating anything. Other times, which are getting more frequent, are bouts of hallucinations. These personally are the most difficult for me.

Yesterday, she was scared. Bringing her comfort with my words did not work, so I went to the piano and I played hymns. Those old hymns of the church, the ones I knew she knew and somewhere they must still be back there in her consciousness. I played those familiar tunes and as I sang those ageless words I could sense His peace pouring into me too. I got up from the piano and went to peek in on her. Her eyes were closed, for awhile anyway.

Joy is not gush; joy is not mere jolliness. 
Joy is perfect acquiescence, acceptance, and rest 
in God's will, whatever comes.
~Amy Carmichael~

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13


Pieces of Sunshine said...

How wonderful for you moth rot be in your home, she is so well loved and cared for. God's grace to you Cathy.

Claire Davis said...

I can't even imagine how much it would hurt if my mother said harsh things to me, even if she didn't really know what she was saying. I like how you mentioned earthen vessels, it reminded me of my favorite verse 2 Cor 4:7 and so on. Praying for you and for new peace every day.

The Barefoot Crofter said...

Hello Cathy.
Thank you for feeling able to leave me a comment.
What a loving and mindful way you are caring for your Mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you all
Jacqui xxx