The last several nights I’ve had the privilege of taking care of daddy. And I can say that and really mean it!
When I was pregnant with the twins I developed Chronic Insomnia. I was so sick/uncomfortable during the pregnancy that I never slept. My body just began to adjust itself and now unless I take my prescribed medication I can truly go days without an ounce of sleep.
For those of you who’ve been following along my blog for the last several years – I know I don’t have to tell you about the pregnancy. In fact if I could – I’d go back and delete half the entries since all I ever said was how sick and miserable I was!! I’m not sure during that whole process if I ever shard about my early mornings with dad.
My parents have a hot tub in their back yard. We turned down the temperature and for the last few months of my pregnancy (when I wasn’t in the hospital) – I was the big whale floating out back! 😀 My dad’s office was on the back patio. Every morning at 4am – he would come down for his quiet prayer time. He’d often slide the glass window open and laugh that I am always up before he was. As the pregnancy got closer to the end – I would worry non-stop about the c-section and all these hospital visits. Worry, worry, worry.
My dad always could tell and after he had about 45 minutes of his quiet time, he would tell me something that God laid on his heart. Often times he’d quote me something from Proverbs or read to me a devotional thought. Then he’d try to help get this whale out of the hot tub without falling!
It’s been two years now and I haven’t thought about those precious times until this past week. My dad has a lot of anxiety in the evenings. They told us that panic attacks are somewhat normal and that hot flashes or being too cold is par for the course the first few weeks.
My nights are filled with —
Jody, I’m so hot. Put the fan on my face. Followed by 25 minutes later – Jody, I’m freezing. Move the fan. (repeat 10 times)
Jody, I am very anxious. I’m having trouble breathing. I don’t think I can do this. Followed by – silence where he finally fell asleep for 30 minutes. (repeat 5 times)
Then it’s about 8 trips to the bathroom and trying to get him tucked back in bed with all his pillows just like he needs them.
When I say it’s been a privilege taking care of daddy – it’s not because it’s glamorous and fun! It’s definitely not that. But I go back to those days in the hot tub when I was SO anxious and he NEVER missed a night praying for me and talking me off the ledge.
God has truly used me the last 4 nights and allowed me to spend the night praying for him and talking him off the ledge. Dad told me he has more peace and confidence just knowing I’m in the same room. When he starts to feel anxiety – I slowly reason with him and help him breathe through it.
Over the past 10 days I have had my own personal issue that has kept me frustrated and angry on top of everything else going on with my dad. If I wasn’t taking care of dad I wouldn’t be sleeping anyways – just because I have such a hard time letting it go.
So I’m sitting in a chair around 3am just thinking. We moved dad’s bed to the living room so he doesn’t have to go up and down the steps. I thought he was asleep and out of nowhere I hear, “Martha, Martha, Martha – thou art worried and troubled about many things: But only one thing is needed”.
I can honestly tell you from the weakest little voice laying in a bed about 6 feet away from me – it was Jesus. Certainly Jesus speaking through my dad as He has done time and time again……even though I’m the one who is here to encourage him.