Saturday, December 29, 2012

I'm Amazed...let me tell you what's up!

Certain events become "milestones" in our lives.  You know... like the birth of a child, death of a loved one, marriage, etc. Then there are other events that, while on the surface, may be only be mildly interesting, but the "back story" reveals their deep significance.  I have been SO EXCITED to tell this story but had to wait until this weekend.  You'll see why if you read on.

To tell it right I have to back up a couple of years and explain.

In 2007 Gary was diagnosed with Dementia due to Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease.  Over the next few years, as his disease progressed, and we learned more of the typical path ahead of us, big decisions were made.  In 2009 we decided it was best to sell our Sunland home and "downsize" to a more manageable place that would suit our coming needs.  The next summer, we moved to our new home, a condo in a 55+ community in Santa Clarita.  That was in May of 2010.

Moving Day - May 2010
From the beginning of our journey, in 2007, my heart's desire was that I could keep Gary with me for as long as possible, and hopefully all the way to the end of his earthly life.  I wanted to be the one to manage his care and this is much easier with him at home.  As his body and mind would decline, I knew I would need more help (see related post), and so when I knew we would be moving, I began to look for something very specific.  A condo so I'd have no yard work, one story for obvious reasons, and most extra bedroom and full bathroom to eventually be used for a live-in caregiver when things got beyond my physical abilities.  Many of you have been here and know what a nice home God provided for us which fulfilled these needs, and has a beautiful view to boot!

Our Condo since May 2010
So, since we've been here, I've been asking God for just the right person at just the right time to move in to that room.   Several months ago it became apparent that I needed much more help and so I began adding to our "team" of caregivers.  They are here at specific blocks of time on 3 days a week.  On 2 days I run errands and have appointments, and on Sunday I go to church.  That works out perfectly, BUT, what about the sporadic help I need throughout the other days.  I don't need help 24/7 because 90% of the time, Gary is content to sit in his recliner and listen to music or work with his "projects."   But when I DO need to move Gary to the restroom, or in or out of the car, or getting ready for bed, or up in the morning, my 59 year old body is getting hurt.  My back and shoulders tell me that I am doing too much; the wheel chair is too heavy to load and unload from the car, Gary's "scissor stepping" and balance issues cause ongoing shoulder pain, and dressing/undressing makes my hands hurt because of his upper body strength which he uses to grip the fabric, and resist bending or straightening his arms. 

I know... lots of detail here...but you'll see on.

Tightly gripping hands
At a family strategy meeting in July, as we were figuring out how much additional care giving we'd need, I was asked, "What would be your perfect scenario, Mom?"  I said,  "What we really need is a young man with a strong back who can help with sporadic physical and personal needs throughout the day...10-15 minute segments and then go.  It doesn't make financial sense to hire someone to be here all the time, since caregivers need a 3 hour minimum and they'd be sitting twiddling their thumbs 90% of the time."  Well of course that seemed impossible.  The timing seemed right for a live-in helper, but we couldn't even think of the right type of person.  A student would be gone too much.  A retired person likely lacks strength.  The Lord had provided the room, but who could fill the bill?  We ended the discussion with "We'll just have to keep praying about it, and see if the Lord will work it out."  About that time, our friend, Gretchen, suggested we look for someone who worked from home.  I continued to pray for this as well. It probably goes without saying, but in order for someone to live with us in our home, they need to be trustworthy. 

Support Needed

Ever since God saved me I have loved talking to Him.  He hears me.  He cares.  I tell him everything.  I ask forgiveness when I sin and I praise Him for His wonderful doings.  I ask Him for things that arise up from my desires, but I don't expect Him to provide them if they are not good for me.  I may not see the specific results, but I am convinced that He is attentive and doing thousands of seen and unseen things all the time everywhere.  He is particularly attentive to our cries for help when we entrust the results to His wise, kind, just and loving care.

The family strategy session was in mid-July.  4 days later, I got a call from our daughter in Florida. It went something like this:

April:  "Mom I want to tell you something.  Do you remember meeting Jason?" 
Me:  "Yes, I've met him on one of our visits there, but don't really know him."  (He was one of the young men in their church and a good friend of our son-in-law.) 
April: "You know, he follows your blog, he's been praying for you and Dad, and he told us that he would really like to come out to California to help you both.  He wondered if you'd like him to do that?"
Me:  Stunned Silence.  
Me:  "He wants to WHAT?
April:  "You should talk to him.  You'd really like him and he's so responsible and loves the Lord.  He's a really neat guy."
Me:  "Did he know we were praying for someone like him?"
April: "No."

Gary's interestd in  the garden, but can't get back up.

So since July, Jason and I have been shooting emails back and forth, working out the details of how things will work, but to get to the point, he is on his way RIGHT NOW, from Florida to move in with us this weekend.  I have been waiting to share this amazing news until he's on the road since things can always change, but as of now, he's in Texas, and on a course, set by the Lord to be our help and encouragement.  

If you think God is vague and generally disinterested, or too busy to notice the specifics, get this:

Jason has been a CNA. (Certified Nursing Assistant)
Jason has a full-time job which he does FROM HOME!
Jason loves Jesus.
Jason has is considerate and responsible.
Jason is young and strong.
Jason is willing to exchange rent for care.
AND...most amazingly...It was our dear Lord that prompted Jason to want to come and serve us!  Not me or anyone else!

Of course things may change.  I don't know how long a time Jason is going to be a part of our home and lives.  But God is sovereignHe is Large and In Charge.  This is God's story, not mine.  He can do as He pleases, and I trust Him.   Whether long or short, the HUGE lesson I have learned and will NEVER forget,  is that "God is intimately acquainted with all my ways." as He says in Psalm 139.

"The Lord will accomplish what concerns me..." Ps 138:8

"In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God for help;  He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears." Ps. 18:6

"Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.  He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;  I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.  With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation."
Ps. 91:14-16

God is REAL folks. Take Him at his word.  

Gary at Descanso Gardens


  1. I am so thankful for your blog and am elated with this answer to prayer.. God is absolutely AMAZING! How he cares for our every need, no matter how big or small it may seem. This is a colossal praise!!
    Thank you

  2. BTW.. The last post was me...Traci Evans

  3. Oh Laurie, I feel like jumping, dancing and singing with joy for each of you. Instead, I'm saying a prayer of thanks to our almighty God for answering prayers even better than ask for.
    This is a wonderful story, I'm so happy for you!!!!!
    God is good!!

  4. I love how God's goodness and kindness is affirmed again and again, not only to me in my circumstances, but to brothers and sisters in their times of need as well! Thank you for sharing the encouragement. All praise and glory be to Him!

  5. As usual, Laurie, I am touched, really touched, tears to my eyes, as I read the part about how God works in ones lives and how he is such a personal God, attentive to our needs because He has also done wondrous things for me. Many, many are the times that God has answered prayer for strength and sustaining and patience... I am glad to be a part of your story and watch how the Lord continues to answer in such specific ways. ...And why should we be surprised? The promises are many. Hugs.

  6. Absolutely wonderful! Praise God!

  7. Now can add Jason to my prayers for you all. Praise our LORD for his providental provision for you all. Love your condo and the fact you could sell and move several years ago.

    Hugs and prayers,

  8. Jason arrived safely at 2 pm today. We are all rejoicing and praising God. When he greeted Gary, and I gave a little introduction, Gary gave a nod. It was a good reception. Many thanks for all your prayers.