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Saturday, July 28, 2012

When My Parent Ages

 

Bible Verse:

Proverbs 23:22 (ESV) – Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.


Additional Bible Reading:

Exodus 20:12 (ESV) – Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.


Devotion:

The doctor’s assessment read, “Global dementia, likely vascular dementia, cannot rule out concomitant Alzheimer’s type dementia.” The medical report confirmed our haunting suspicion as my siblings and I had begun to witness the gradual loss of cognitive function of our intelligent mother, who had earned a doctorate degree in education. The troublesome diagnosis thrust us on a formidable journey with a growing group as “the number of Americans living in the United States as caregivers to someone with Alzheimer’s or a different type of dementia is fifteen million,” according to Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., with the Alzheimer’s Association. God is allowing my siblings and me to assume new responsibilities in the care of our mother, and he will not forsake us.

Prayer:

Dear Father, I ask for your wisdom to make decisions for my parents that honor them and glorify you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Challenge:

Examine choices for your aging parent. Consult with professionals and Christian friends who can walk the difficult journey with you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A New School Year Begins


As a new school year is about to begin, teachers, students, and parents are all busily preparing for a new term. Parents and students are shopping for school supplies and perhaps a new school wardrobe to accommodate the summer growth spurt. Teachers are busily studying the year’s curriculum, planning lessons, and decorating their classroom. Anxiety is rampant for each in different ways. Students are anxious about who their teacher is and if their teacher will “like” them; they worry about getting bullied by classmates. Teachers hope that their students will be respectful and attentive to instruction, that the relationships with their students’ parents will be beneficial to the learning process. Parents worry about their child’s teacher, the quality of instruction, and the classroom setting in which they hope their child will thrive. The following poem is from the perspective of a parent:

We held their hands the first day of school.
Our hearts were filled with pride.
There was an aura of fear and apprehension
As we stood close to their side.
We deposited our children at your door,
Our most precious and prized possessions.
We trusted that you would give them more
Then Reading and Writing lessons.
Our unspoken words were, give them self worth.
They are little children, respect their rights.
Teach them with love and remember compassion.
Use a firm hand to break up their fights.
As the years went by, you did us proud
With your guiding hand and understanding smile.
You gave much more than we expected.
That was your way, your undeniable style.
What higher tribute can we pay a teacher?
To what greater heights can he ascend?
Than to have his students praise his work,
And to say "He is my friend."
- Myrna Beth Lambert


This next poem, A Classroom, which I wrote, is a Noticing Poem that utilizes the refrain, I Know. A Noticing Poem focuses on sounds, smells, and words that use imagery so that the reader can picture something in his or her mind. As students, parents, and teachers all get ready to begin another school year, perhaps this Noticing Poem will help prepare you for that special first day.


I Know a Classroom... (sounds)
+ The quiet chatter of students conferring on a team project
+ The clicking of computer keys as students compose individual essays on their keyboards
+ The startling, piercing ring of the school bell announcing the end of class

I Know a Classroom... (smells)
+ The allergy-afflicting suffocation of airborne chalk dust
+ The gagging perspiration odors following afternoon recess
+ The heady intoxicating smell of permanent markers

I Know a Classroom... (words)
+ "Students, please take your seats."
+ "I forgot my homework."
+ "Great job, class."

I Know a Classroom...