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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Help! We're Bored or ... How to Find Hidden Treasures of Summer

Everything smaller than Heaven bores us because only Heaven is bigger than our hearts. ~Peter Kreeft

Heaven must be amazing—beyond a man's imagination and words fall short. And I know for sure you won't hear, “Mom, I’m bored!" If only each child, or an aging parent, could see the Hope of Heaven has treasures for us here on Earth. It seems hidden, but He gave us the map.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. ~Psalm 119:105

Nonetheless, “What can I do today?” has become the never-ending-hardly-ever answered question in our household.

The task of providing entertainment, or how to keep Mom and Dad occupied, has landed in my very frail lap. The adult children … I mean parents, having to relearn so many skills, have that constant question mark, especially Dad, plastered on their furrowed foreheads: “I’m bored, what can I do?”

Mom has opened her treasure chest, and it’s hers to open. Blessings come when I let her explore and discover, instead of me telling her what might benefit her. She enjoys cooking again (breakfast mainly), finds satisfaction in cleaning dishes, tackles garden chores like watering and pulling weeds, and I must say she’s quite the wiz with coloring books.

Dad, on the other hand, hasn’t a clue how to entertain himself or what even interests him anymore. This coming from a man who thought 24 hours was not enough to accomplish everything. No matter, the hunt to entertain continues. We’ve introduced puzzles (24 pieces max), writing, a little light reading (10 minutes max, 4th grade level or thereabouts), exercise—stationary bikes rule, and sitting outside watching his garden grow.

But what about us, the caregivers? Creativity, fun, and relaxation is possible and necessary. I’ve learned to turn doctors’ appointments into field trips, noticing something or someone new in our neighborhood, waving to neighbors, and finishing it off with a quick drive through McDonald’s. Mom and Dad love McDonald’s. It brings them great joy and if happiness is a trip to McDonald’s then who’s to argue with that wisdom?

A garden can also yield treasures. Find out what grows in your region. For us it’s tomatoes, grapes, and anything citrus. Mom is proud of every blossom, green leaf, and bountiful crop. Dad’s happy when he gets to eat it. My part of the garden is a total fluke or perhaps I’m more of an expert gardener than I know. 

This is my gardening tip: Take Halloween pumpkins and smash them into the ground—shell, stem, seeds, flesh, everything goes into the soil and voila, instant pumpkins. This is also true for the geraniums (I think they’re geraniums). I took the poor dead plants and with a shovel shredded them into the ground. Their lovely orange petals now take refuge under my tomato plants—the same tomatoes that spewed above ground after I tossed a few over-ripe cherry tomatoes next to the roses. 

The fruit trees—white peach, apricot, apple, pomegranate, lime, persimmondidn’t come that easy. Thank goodness that Mom and Dad were avid gardeners back in the day and we are enjoying the fruit of their labor.

Gardening is great therapy as are my parakeets by the way, all 14 of them. They’re beautiful and extremely entertaining. My daughter named one Tickles because he would scratch around on her neck and then nestle underneath her armpits. We also got to watch a baby parakeet hatch from its egg. This one doesn't have a name yet. Maybe we'll call her Treasure. 

All that to say: Find a hobby, start a creative project, celebrate you. What is your passion? What brings a smile to your face; a reason to get up in the morning? Don’t give up on that.

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. ~3 John 1-2 (ESV)

I came across a blog called Put the Kettle On (bloggers are so creative) where the blogger shared 10 ideas about how to go out on a date with yourself. Take a look, it will encourage and delight you.

Do you need to find hidden treasures this summer? Do you need to make life as a caregiver a little easier on your aches and pains and emotional well-being?

Remember Jesus is never far off. Take a walk under His stars and say "Wow, You're amazing." He loves to share the treasures he has for us. It was never his intention that we should go through our days like rusty robots with emotional issues. He called us to be caregivers therefore he has also equipped us. There are blessings for us to find. Start the treasure hunt today.

A Caregiver’s Prayer

Lord remind me to take care of myself and find treasures of blessings amongst the chaos life has thrown at me. Thank you for your grace and unconditional love. Replenish me, revive me, give me strength and joy to pursue my passion even if it’s in small doses for now. You are my hope, my inspiration, my future, and my treasure.

My Beloved Caregiver


Take time to pick roses
In gardens of grace
This moment is yours
In a sea of praise

You are my love
A bride in white
You are my treasure
A star so bright


(copyright 2018 by Deborah L. Alten)


  1. Thank you for posting this! It is just what I needed to hear in my season of caregiving for my mom.

  2. Oh you are so welcome. I pray for my fellow caregivers every day. Hang in there, I'm sure you're doing awesome. Don't forget to take care of yourself too.