That Lovely Word, Yes

Butterfly among summer flowers

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.—PROVERBS 16:24 (NASB)

My husband Kevin paused the player and grabbed his ringing phone. “Oh, dear. Yes, I understand. Thanks for calling.”

“What’s going on?” I said.

“That was a CNA at Brookstone. Your mom is resisting all their attempts to help her. She keeps saying ‘no’ to everything they try to do. They think one of us needs to stay with her tonight.”

I sighed. “I don’t think I should, with this horrible cough. I barely slept last night, worrying over Mom.”

Not only was I sick and exhausted, I was also preparing to speak at a retreat in three days.

The previous week, Mom’s doctor had discovered she needed a pacemaker. We stayed with her for most of five days while she was in the hospital. She was the model patient. Sweet. Cooperative. Easy to please. Today she’d apparently returned to her own assisted-living facility with plenty of oxygen in her brain for arguing.

Kevin and I settled on a three-way plan. I stayed with Mom until 9 p.m., when our daughter Esther took over for the night. Then Kevin showed up at 6:30 the next morning and stayed until 11:30, when I returned to a surprise: Either Mom was embarrassed to act cantankerous to the nursing staff in front of her family or God took pity on us. Mom began to say yes again.

Today's Prayer:

God of mercy, please give us an extra measure of grace when our loved ones don’t want to cooperate.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts