Category Archives: Road to Glory

Need to Hire a Caregiver? Things to Consider

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45

From the multitude of “caregivers” I dealt with in taking care of Mama, I’ve come to define a caregiver as one who cares. That may seem obvious, but just because someone bills themself as a caregiver does not make them a caregiver. If that person doesn’t care or doesn’t give care, that person is not a “caregiver.” That person is a sitter.

Sitters sit. I learned that the hard way and share this hoping you won’t make the same mistake. In Mama’s case they were there to pull a paycheck, so they just sat and watched TV, or looked for something of value to steal, and when asked to help-out, chose to walk out instead.

If you’ve reached the point when you must hire a caregiver, consider these qualifications:

  • They must care.
  • They must love caring for people.
  • They must have loads of patience.
  • They must love serving others.

Finding a caring caregiver is worth the effort. First, ask for recommendations from within your own trusted extended family, circle of friends, and especially among your church family. Some may be willing to take turns on a limited basis.

When I had exhausted all those options, I ran an ad in the classifieds for Christian caregivers and found the most loving lady even though she had never had a job. For three years, she ran Mama’s household the same way she ran her own. When she turned in her notice, that’s when our troubles began.

Ask God to put your discerning spirit on high alert for red flags when contacting agencies and independent “caregivers.” The words they speak, and the attitude of their delivery will tell you all you need to know. Be sure to ask…

  • What makes you a good caregiver?
  • Do you have references?
  • What will they tell me when I call them?”
  • Do you mind if I run a background check?

If they become indignant, let them go. If your questions are welcomed, you might have a keeper.

Remember, when you are putting your loved one in the hands of someone you don’t know, you must be cautious, discerning good and evil.

Difficult Discussions and Decisions

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. (Joel 3:14)

When the parent/child relationship gets reversed, it’s time for some difficult discussions and decisions. And, it’s better to have them sooner rather than later when you or your loved one needs care. But, whenever those conversations occur, be sure to include your loved ones in the process as much as possible and as much as they are able.

I remember when someone talked over or around my mother, she became agitated and told them, “I may be blind, but I’m not stupid.” Like Mama, many older people are still fiercely independent and want to make their own decisions.

So, how did I handle the situation? When someone talked over Mama, I simply directed the conversation away from me and back to Mama. Then, the direction of the conversation was up to her, and Mama felt like she still had a modicum of control over her life. She could choose to answer or turn the conversation over to me.   

Key questions to ask:

Where do you want to live when you can no longer take care of yourself? That discussion will naturally lead to what finances are available. The money available to us came from selling Daddy’s car and his two small CD’s. When those ran out, my sister started paying the bills with the understanding that she would be repaid from the sale of Mama’s home. Initially, many parents like my mother want to stay in their own home; but when they can no longer take care of themselves, they would rather go to a nursing home than live with and be a burden to their children.

Do you have a living will? Talk to your parents about making a living will, a legal document that clearly states their wishes regarding medical treatments and decisions. That will lead to discussions about No Code and Do Not Resuscitate. No Code means not doing anything to prolong life, and when the patient passes, they will not be revived. DNR, do not resuscitate, means measures will be taken to prolong life but there will be no attempts to resuscitate them when they die.

Who has power of attorney? Power of Attorney grants authority for an appointed person they trust to act on their behalf when they are no longer able. This can get sticky when the main caregiver is not the one with the power to make decisions. For instance, I was the main caregiver for Mama, but my older sister had power of attorney.

The task of caregiving is easier when these questions are carefully thought out with a plan in place when the parent/child relationship is upended.

Prop Me Up

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Many times, I’ve heard a friend of mine pray, “Lord, prop me up on my leaning side.”

Propping us up is one of God’s specialties. He is faithful to those who choose to lean on Him and to answer His call. Look at the ways God propped me up and repeatedly created win-win situations for Mama and me.  

  • He prepared me for this journey with an education, work and life experiences, faith in Him, and the heart of an intercessor.
  • He let Daddy die in peace knowing that his wife, my mother, would be well cared for.
  • He gave me a friend who provided wise counsel throughout this journey.
  • He created a multitude of win-win situations. For instance:
    • Sandy, our first caregiver, needed us as much as we needed her.
    • The assisted living facility was new and needed other residents as much as we needed a place for Mama at that time.
    • Granny, who became our part-time caregiver, still needed her mama as much as my mama needed her, and both had the same first name: “Sadie.”
    • The nursing home provided friends for Mama when both needed good conversation.
    • And for me personally, God deepened my faith in Him, smoothed our path all along the way, and gave me great joy as He used me to restore Mama’s sense of well-being.

Our God is so faithful to all who choose to lean on Him. If you or a loved one are farther along on the road to glory, I hope you choose to lean on Him. He promised to straighten out your path.

To see what it looks like to lean on the Lord, read The Road to Glory: Walking Mama Home now available on Amazon.


At some point in our lives most of us will be called upon to care for a loved one. If you are called to be a caregiver, here are three surprises I faced that you might discover along the way, too.

  • The biggest surprise to me was the disconnect between the world’s view of caregiving and God’s view. From the world’s view, many people, even healthcare professionals, told me that I didn’t need to visit Mama in the nursing home every day. They even said, “Nobody does that.” But they do. So, you keep on visiting your loved one. Visit every day and pop in at different times other than your usual time. If the staff knows you’re coming, your loved one will look well cared for. But if you visit at random times, you’ll get the real story. When you find your loved one in a mess or in an uncomfortable position, be sure to call in the Charge Nurse and CNAs to see how you found them. Tell them you expect better care and hold them accountable. Of course, if they are doing a great job in caring for your loved one, be sure to thank them for that, too.
  • I think you might be surprised to know that the mandate to care for our aging parents came from God. He expects us to take care our aging parents and our grandparents as well, because they took care of us at the beginning of our lives when we couldn’t take care of ourselves. (1 Timothy 5:4)
  • But for me personally, it might surprise you to know that caregiving provided me with a season of tremendous Spiritual growth as I followed God’s lead, doing what He led me to do and setting myself aside for the benefit of my mother. If you lean on God and His wisdom during this difficult time in your life as a caregiver, you will grow in your relationship with God, too.

Because we live in a fallen world and must meet head-on the trouble Jesus promised we would have, remember: Jesus is the Way. He’s the Only One Who can lead us through that maze of eldercare with grace. He showed me how to set myself aside for the benefit of my mother, to put her needs before my own, and how to smooth the path before us, and lead Mama safely through the maze of eldercare. He’ll do the same for you if you ask.

For other surprises that may await you on the road to glory, be sure to read The Road to Glory: Walking Mama Home available on Amazon.

Called to Do Good Works

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

God had planned all along for me to take care of Mama. And in His good and perfect timing, He revealed His plan when my daddy, on his deathbed, told me it was time. I would have to take care of mama.

First Timothy 5:4 tells us it is pleasing to God if we take care of our parents and grandparents because they took care of us when we were growing up.

Now when your earthly daddy and your Heavenly Father are on the same page and tell you it’s time to do what we called you to do, you do it! You except the calling because it pleases them.

But what if you don’t accept the calling? What if you run from it instead? Well, remember Jonah? He ran from God, got thrown overboard, swallowed by a whale and then decided to follow God’s calling. Now, chances are you probably won’t get swallowed by a whale, but there are other consequences you will suffer for your disobedience. You see, you can run from God, but you cannot hide from Him. He knows where you are and what it will take to bring you back to His calling for you.

In general, the work we are called to do is to love and care for others as Jesus did. What does that look like in a nursing home setting?

We can take a minute to talk to the lonely voices calling out, “Take me now, Lord. When are you going to take me?” We can take the hand and walk with those walking aimlessly up and down the halls. We can glance into each room as we walk by and report any problems we see.

It’s our job to “Live a life worthy of the calling we received…to be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:1).

Ask God what He prepared in advance for you to do, then do it. You’ll experience the peace that passes all understanding as you follow God’s will for your life.

To see what it looks like to accept God’s calling and follow His will in the many situations Mama and I encountered on the last leg of her journey, read The Road to Glory: Walking Mama Home. It’s available on Amazon.

Perils and Pearls


As believers, we are all on the road to glory: a road that is littered with perils.

Jesus called the perils we face troubles or trials when He promised, “In this world you will have troubles. But take heart. I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Perils, troubles, trials, whatever you want to call them, are the devil’s playground. In Mama’s case they included some bad “caregivers” who just sat and watched TV, who were just pulling a paycheck or looking for something of value to steal; and those who, when asked to help out, chose to walk out instead.

Perils, troubles, and trials also come in the form of good people, sometimes professional people, who are simply having a bad day or not having a full understanding of the situation and all it entails. For instance, they didn’t know how to deal with Mama’s blindness. As a result, Mama lost 16 pounds in assisted living when no one fed her or put her breakfast or lunch within her reach or told her where it was; and in the nursing home, she became dehydrated because no one handed her a glass of water or told her where it was knowing that eight 8 ounce glasses of liquid is a daily living requirement.


Thankfully, the road to glory is also sprinkled with pearls of God’s wisdom, mercy, and grace. Pearls are spiritual truths that are available to those who ask for them.

Our all-knowing God knew all that we would face, and in His wisdom, He was the only One Who could guide us safely through the maze of eldercare.

God illustrated His mercy toward me so that when I made mistakes or didn’t think to ask for His help, the results were more humorous than disastrous.

And He extended His grace to me, His unmerited and undeserved favor, when He covered me with His calm assurance that in His strength appropriated to me, I would be able to handle whatever came our way because He was always present.

To see how God led the way in the many battles we faced, click the link below for your copy of The Road to Glory: Walking Mama Home.

Did you know?

Did you know that more than 1 in 5 adults — a total of 53 million adult Americans — are now unpaid family caregivers? 

Did you know that boomers, ages 55 to 75, who were once taking care of friends and loved ones are now the ones needing care?

Did you know that their children (Generation X-ers) and grandchildren (Millennials) are now stepping into the role of caregiver?

(The above information is from National Alliance for Caregiving).

So, what does it take to be a good caregiver?

First of all, to be a good caregiver we must care. That means we must be vigilant intercessors for our loved ones just like they were for us when we were growing up. That means putting their needs before our own, doing everything we can to keep them comfortable and safe, and loving them patiently through this challenging time in their lives.

What does that look like? Here’s a short list of things we can do.

  • As they downsize their lives, help them navigate and adjust to a variety of living conditions while always keeping their safety and comfort in mind.
  • Act as a buffer to protect and defend them at all times; even when dealing with healthcare professionals.
  • Keep a list of their medicines and make sure they follow your loved one through all levels of care.
  • Make sure your loved one stays hydrated. Eight, 8-ounce glasses of liquid daily.
  • Keep all snacks in sealed containers to avoid an army of ants.
  • If they are bed-ridden, inspect their bed to make sure they aren’t lying on sharp objects and help them adjust their position to be more comfortable.
  • Make sure they have on clean bedclothes at all times.

When Jesus told Peter, “Take care of my sheep” (John 21:16), Peter passed that message along to us. He wrote, “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be…eager to serve” (1 Peter 5:2).

For more information on what it looks like to be a vigilant intercessor, read The Road to Glory: Walking Mama Home available on Amazon.