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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Assistant to the Caregiver

Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. ~Exodus 18:16, 17

Was Moses the ultimate caregiver? He must have been awfully tired, and probably losing his mind. Nonetheless, he was trying to take care of two million people who needed his advice, coveted his problem-solving abilities, and respected his direct line to Yahweh. Luckily it was God who provided daily manna (no need for Moses to do the meal planning), a plethora of quail, and a supply of clean drinking water. Moses received the Ten Commandments, therefore the burden was on his shoulder to teach the Israelites God’s everlasting morals, and he also  dished out justice on a daily basis.

His wise father-in-law observed Moses’ day-to-day activities and counseled his son-in-law that he needed help. “You’re not doing this right, Mo,” Jethro said. “You need help.”

No kidding! Don’t we all? Yes, we do. I only have two people to care for, not a whole nation, but I recognize the need for assistance. Every caregiver, to keep his or her sanity, strength, stamina, and mental health in check, co-caregivers are needed and greatly appreciated.

My daughter, bless her heart, is my great helper and Dad is a happy camper when she hangs out with him. They do love to laugh together. Mom and I laugh at them, or with them, even though we don’t understand what they’re laughing at or why it's even remotely funny. They’re just hilarious together. (As I write this they are making faces at each other.)

Speaking of Daughter, she’s always available to pick up the groceries. Our personal shopper at Walmart receives our order online and when Daughter gets the “Order Ready” message on her phone she follows the yellow brick road to where our personal shopper loads the groceries into the trunk of the car. We have got to remember to bring our own bags.

She's also comic relief, and plays nurse once in a while, and much to my relief and Mom's, Daughter has cut and manicured Dad's toenails and cleaned off dead skin. I know, TMI. 

My son is always on standby in case we need him. He forever responds with a yes, no matter what the request. This could be, “Can you go get dinner I’m just too tired to cook?” or "I could use some help with building a roof" (okay, it’s only for the bird aviary). He takes out the trash and does the heavy lifting around the house. It’s very helpful to have a “Yes Man on the Spot,” kind of son.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. ~Galatians 6:9
May the Lord bless both my children as they will eventually, probably sooner than I would like, leave us … as they should. For now, I am grateful I have them.

Keep an open invitation for family to visit. My brother and his family do their best to make the long journey here. Both Mom and Dad make a fuss before they even get here. The house needs to be cleaned, the back yard swept, and food on the table.

I chuckle at our attempts—we try—but it’s really not necessary to have a spotless house and my wonderful brother and family don’t mind. And for that matter they always bring yummy food, wonderful entertainment via great-grandchildren (another on the way), laughter, and fellowship. It lifts Dad’s spirit which stays with him for days to come.

All this to say: As caregivers we need to learn self-care, which means cherishing and asking help from others. If you don’t have family, call on helpful friends; ask your doctor for resources that will help you on this journey. Check out my page for tips on SelfCare.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hill, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. ~Psalm 121:1,2

Need more inspiration and resources check out Lori Hogan’s (co-founder of Home Instead Senior Care) website. I've included her book, Strength for the Moment, below. 

A Caregiver's Prayer

Thank you Lord that you never leave or forsake us. Soften hearts and bless those who offer help. Renew their spirit and give them joy beyond understanding. Let us never grow weary of doing good and remind us that you are our constant companion on this journey.

Beloved Caregiver

A song births
A sunrise bright
Come early dew
Reflect His light

Each note of joy
Creator sings
As dawn arrives
His glory brings

A whisper soft
"I'm always near
Never alone
No need to fear."

(Copyright, © 2019 by Deborah L. Alten)


  1. Such an upbeat read. Love how your two kids pitch in and assist you and find ways to add joy to their grandparents world. You raised two thoughtful kids!

  2. Such beautiful truths here! Thank you for the personal examples and scripture encouragement. Much needed!

    1. Ah thank you Melissa. We're not perfect but life is pretty good in the DeQ/Alten home.

  3. Awesome Post. Thanks for sharing this information!

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