Hospitality to the Healing…

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{photo credit}

 

As many of you may know, my sweet husband is on bed rest….

This is something that neither one of us expected. But, I’m not sure why we didn’t expect it? We knew for months he was getting ankle reconstruction on his right foot… We knew that he would be out of commission and would have to take it easy…but for some reason, it did not register that he would not be able to get out of bed for 2 weeks.  Why wouldn’t we have realized this? Honestly, I truly believe its because we’ve taken our health for granted, never sinking in the reality of what our lives would be like without it.

As I take care of him, our home, and our 3 young children I am constantly reminding myself of the most important thing: 

I am thankful for the Word of the Lord. As caretakers, many times we feel slighted. We are the ones having to meet the needs of others…sometimes we get so exhausted serving others we feel as if we need someone to take care of us.  This way of thinking can make us bitter, make our loved one feel guilty, and it takes the joy out of the blessing of serving our family. Not only that, it gives our children a terrible example of what serving truly is. God’s word says:

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”                                   ~Acts 20:35

“When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet”                   ~John 13:12-14

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”              ~Galatians 6:9

“Serve as if you are serving the Lord, not men.”                                                                                                          ~Ephesians 6:7

Being in “meal ministry” I have seen the aftermath of patients who did not have caretakers that knew the word of the Lord. These situations break my heart…I have seen the sick and helpless alone, divorced, and abandoned because of the greed of our flesh. Again, as caretakers we can feel slighted. But this should not be. Can we even imagine how hard it would be to be the ones who are dependent? 

Jesus… our Creator, Father, Savior, Healer, Friend and Greatest Missionary who ever was and will be, did not come here to relax, enjoy life, and take it easy. And so it is for me.

May I just add this Ladies…. The women and men who are living this life of servitude for unknown and extended periods of time {this includes single parents, especially those with broken hearts} deserve more praise than my life could ever know at this time. These are the people who have no time for themselves, for fun, or for even enough sleep. As a blogger, I get people thanking me for my service online -but I have had the time to do this. Yes, my life is busy- but I have not had to live through a major crisis, yet. Let me say this with all seriousness…. It is the people who are out there giving their lives to their family and have NO time to do anything extra that get my most applause. This. Is. Hard.

Let me also add that I am not the moneymaker in the family. Add that to the mix and my mind gets even more boggled as to how these men and women do this…may I please shake your hand and bring you dinner as a token of my sincerest gratitude for your life of servitude? 

This is only day 3 for me. 

 Moving along to how I have been serving my husband and how others can be hospitable to the healing…

  • Cleaned sheets: When we got home from the hospital this is the first thing I did for him. I stripped the bed and washed the sheets. If he has to be in bed it might as well be clean… There’s something about a freshly laundered bed that makes a person sleep better. 
  • Cleaned up the room and the bathroom: I made sure his surroundings were comfortable and picked up anything that would get in his way on his way to the bathroom. He’s hobbling around on crutches so I don’t want him to fall and create another injury! I vacuumed and dusted our bedroom and deep cleaned the bathroom.  
  • Opened windows and turn on the fan: Fresh and moving air is healing.
  • I’m making sure he is cleaned up and has fresh clothing every day. This just makes him feel better.  
  • I’ve been keeping his pain medicine by him with a pen and paper: This is so he can write down when he takes his last dose {so he doesn’t over-dose}. These pain killers can make a person forget.   
  • I’ve been keep granola bars and bottled water by his bedside: In case I am not home for him if he’s hungry or thirsty. He needs to take his medicine with food. I don’t want him to feel helpless. 
  • Meals: I’ve been taking up 3 meals a day and eat them with him in our bedroom. I also take up additional snacks, hot coffee, smoothies, etc. 
  • Connected to the “real world”: I’ve laid the remote by him…made sure his phone is charged and iPad is next to him. Next week he will be working from bed so I will make sure he is up and running in that way as well.  
  •  Not forgotten! I’ve attended my son’s football game and kept him up to date via iPhone …those sweet football players even let me record them saying “Get better Coach Geoff!” That made him feel so good 🙂

 

As you can see, I have been one busy wife and mom. But, it is a blessing to have a healthy body that I can use to be of service to my family. I pray for all the people out there that are doing this very thing on a daily basis. May the Lord give you strength and may the people around you offer encouragement and help.

MUCH love to you. 

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Comments

  1. Amanda Chamberlin says:

    I can really relate to your post today! Eighteen days before we were married, my husband was in a serious accident at work, which left him permanently disabled & with very limited use of his left arm. Then 4 months ago, he had a stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed on the right side, with speech & memory problems. It has been hard, but rewarding, work caring for him. We have been so blessed by our friends who have helped out in ways I would never even have imagined to ask for.

    • Oh, my Amanda…I am so sorry to hear this. No one knows what this is like until they go through it {me included}. Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” comes to my mind. Prayers to you and encouragement to keep on serving, God will most definitely bless you abundantly – Matt 20:16 . Your husband must know how fortunate he is to have a woman who loves him and is by his side. This is an example of what a “help meet” is meant to be!!!! Thank you.

  2. It is SO true we take our health for granted. I’m so glad you wrote this because I know that so many women are caretakers – it is such a hard and humble role and they are not alone! Thank you for applauding them and for your humility. Keep shining Janelle!
    Courtney

  3. Really enjoyed this Janelle. I know as a Momma I feel this way. Having a husband who is in the military can be trying at times, I’m working on staying positive and counting my blessings instead if becoming bitter. Thankful for you!

  4. I am sending- prayers, healing thoughts and patience to all of you. I understand how it is. 2 years ago I had my 2nd daughter (Big sister is now 7) a few months later I was not feeling well. I couldn’t breath. I went to the ER and found out I was having Congestive Heart Failure and Ulcerative Colitis – where your immune attack your colon. I was in the Er for 10 days. I had an Angio gram. Every one was surprised to see I was 38 at the time. They expected a much older patient. My husband had to do every thing. He stayed home- I was working part time now and planned on staying home for my family. We have no family, so we relied on each other as always. I am doing better. I had my Gall Bladder removed- it seems to help with my colitis. I am on an immune suppressant medication and taking meds for my heart. Each day I am grateful that I am able to wake up. When I was away my 3 month old did not recognize me when I came home. I didn’t it personal. We didn’t bring the kids to the hospital. I don’t know if your husband has to take steriods medication, but let me tell you that does wonders for healing but awful because I was hungry every 2 hrs. I ate fruits and graham crackers. It also made me bloated and fluffy. I hated it. The doctors said they think I had postpartum cardio mythopathy. Sorry this is long, but I have been there and hang in there. If I was your neighbor and we were friends I would help you, take your kids outside so you and your husband can have some time together, bring food over, books or magazines. I hope he is feeling better each day as the anesthesia wares off and he won’t need the pain meds so much. You also take care of yourself too Janelle.

    • Thank you so much….yes, he’s on those steroids and yes..he is very hungry all the time! He also has been dealing with the side effects as you mentioned. I am so glad to hear you are feeling better….what a hard time that must have been. Coming home with a new baby, then having health problems…oh my- I cannot imagine how hard that must have been for you and your family. I wish I was there to help YOU!

      • Thanks Janelle. I am so thankful that I found your website and Courtney’s. (Along with Good Morning Girls too.) I signed up before and got confused. I took my name off and I figured it out a few days later because I keep seeing all of your blogs. I thought let me try again and here I am stalking all your blogs since May and it has been a blessing. I told my husband just now that I wanted those hot curling rolls since I saw your hair blog a while ago and I am trying to get my hair longer again. It’s down my back.
        I hope everyone is feeling well.
        Once your husband will be off steriods it will be a taper dose if you are not familiar. (If he takes 50 mg then he will go to 45mg for a week, then 40mg for a week and then 35 mg— just an example.) I don’t miss eating every hour because I was hungry and I didn’t crave junk food which was good. Peanut butter and graham crackers helped me alot.

  5. *Correction not ER I was in ICU for 10 days

  6. Oh Janelle, my heart hurt for you when I read this! The tears welled up in my eyes as a reminder of what I went through, although our roles were reversed. My Beloved was my caretaker for several years as I lived with one chronic illness after another. Our boys were babies and toddlers at the time too. Thank you for sharing your struggles as well as urging the women to serve others with a heart of gratitude. I was young (30) when my health started to decline. In fact, I hardly remember any of those so-called good times through that decade. BUT God had a purpose in what I went through and He has one for you and your man as well. “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:4

  7. Wonderful post….I got tears reading it. I grew up watching my mom care for others, the elderly in our church, patients in the hospital where she was an RN, my great-grandmother, all while taking care of 3 young girls. She is now retired, but still takes care of Ms. Gertrude and any other that needs it. She has been such an inspiration to me and my sisters and countless others. I know her belief in God and unshakeable faith in Him is the reason she is a servant for Him.
    Thank you for the reminder that we are all called to serve!
    Nicole

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