Monday, November 19, 2012

Wishful Thinking

Last  week I got to visit my mother who is in a nursing home for a whole week.   Everyday I  ate with her and others ladies who live there.  Every day I  sang with mother as a different church does a sing along.  Three times a week there is bingo, a favorite of Mom's, I did not win a thing.  All in all the nursing home staff does a great job and deserve to be thanked more often.  It's a low paying job with a lot of hard work dealing with the difficulty that comes with aging. 

One day we were singing the song, "How Beautiful Heaven Must Be", when God highlighting part of a verse to my heart, in heaven there be "no wishing for else where to be".  What perfect song for those dear folks who long to be back in their homes, cooking their own meals, driving, raking their yards, washing their own clothes, taking a bath when they want too. If my mother said it once she said it 20 times or more each time I was with her.  Oh I wish I could go back and live in my little apartment and cook you a dinner.    I wish with all my heart she could too but her  medical needs require round the clock nursing. 

Mom sits at table with four other women and one day they were complaining about the dressing that went with the turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, pie they had for  lunch.  I said, Mom just be thankful for the things you did like, she said well Jo, nobody else  liked it either.  A little frustrated I said, well Mom, you don't have to be like everyone else.  Easy for me to say, I can come and go as I please, go out to eat every day if I want to.  The Holy Spirit said, soften your tone Betty.  Gently I said, Mom what did you like about your meal, which  I should have said in the first place. She was able to tell me she liked it all EXCEPT  the dressing.   I begin to go around to each lady and asking them, what did you like about your meal?   One even like everything on her plate. 

There is always something to be thankful for.  But you know life here on earth can be so hard it  blinds us  sometimes to what we can be thankful for.  Wishful thinking can lead to a downward spiral where depression lives.  I seen it in the eyes of those women sitting at the table, I have seen it in myself. 
Wishful thinking does not change anything, thankfulness for what we have changes us.  We see out of new eyes, hear out of new ears, feel out of a new heart.   

I flew back a couple days, sadness flew right along with me.  Sad cause I was wishing I was rich enough to provide a home and full time nurses for my Mom.  Wishful thinking  invaded me as I deal with the grief I feel everytime I leave my mother.   It will stay with me till I make the choice to be thankful I got to see her every day for a week.  Giving thanks for a brother and sister in law that visited her every day too helps.   Gratefulness there is nursing care for my Mom will drive out the wishful thinking.  Above all I am grateful my mother will live someday in heaven where there is no "wishful thinking."  Faith and hope will become sight. 

                                  Ever found yourself down in the wishful thinking pit?  
                          Give thanks for even one thing and you will slowly climb out. 


  1. When my mom was dying in 2004, i would drive the 4 1/2 hours every week for 6 weeks to see her and spend some time with her. I never begrudged it, but like you, hated to leave. I am thankful I did that. I am also thankful for God's goodness and grace today. It is a choice I choose to make.

    BTW: Your post on divorce finally came up. Saw it this morning. You know my thoughts. :)

  2. Thousands of miles separated my siblings and I when both of our parents were dying at one point. Wishful thinking like what you said was not helpful at all as it just made our hearts grew with heaviness. Looking back, I became thankful. Thankful for those wonderful, loving people who selflessly cared for our parents as if their own while we were not there physically. Ahh...God is truly good and it's a shame if we are not thankful nor grateful even for little things because His blessings abound!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  3. Bill, thanks for stopping by, glad you got to see the divorce post. Just writing it out as I did the one on "wishful thinking" helps to deal with the toll grief takes on me.

    Thankful for the tools of forgiveness and thankfulness laid out along Calvarys road. You are so right, it is our choice whether we use them or not.

    Happy Thanksgiving brother, glad your family will all be together.

  4. Rosel...thanks for stopping by. Your post encouraged me this morning. He is good isn't He even when we are in the pit of disappointment, that never changes.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you also.

  5. I can relate to your story coz i work in a nursing home in the activity center here and it is my job to find different activities with them we have bingo twice a week, exercise among othet activities too.
    And you are right. We must always find something yo be thankful :)
    Thanks for visiting:)

  6. Joy, had no idea it was a nursing home you worked in. You are a special courageous wise hearted woman then. It's a tough job and like I said am so grateful for good nurses and workers who are willing to help my Mom.
    Bless you...Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. Oh, Betty, I can't imagine the pain of the goodbyes. I understand fully. But, your post is so true. We need to find something - even the smallest thing in a very negative situation - to give thanks to God about.

    And the hope that is set before you, dear Betty, is that one day "in Heaven there be no wishing for else where to be". That in itself can bring comfort.

    You, Courgeous, Wise-hearted Betty, are blessed because you honor your mother.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I give thanks that God brought you into my life! And I will say a special prayer for your mom and the others. God bless you!

  8. On second though most of it was good - - I liked your approach to ask each lady what they enjoyed about their dinner. We need to back up when we begin to complain, and think again - perhaps there is something we missed the first time. After all God Gives good gifts, so we must examine our attitudes. Thank you for sharing at Tell me a Story. I am so happy you were able to visit your mother for a week. She is being cared for and that is good.

  9. Diane, I appreciate your prayers for my Mom...and I am so grateful you and I have become friends. Your strong prayer life is a comfort to me. Enjoy the Thanksgiving season I hope with some of your family.

  10.'s always an honor to post on your site. You give us all a chance to share our stories in hopes it will encouraged others. Have a blessed Holiday. Blessings my wise sister.

  11. What a moving post, Betty! My mom spent her last year on earth in an assisted living facility, and my mother-in-law is now there also. We are thankful for the caring people there. It is easy to take our blessings for granted until we are reminded of how blessed we truly are.
    Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on Saved by Grace!
    Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I invite you to follow mine, Saved by Grace:
    Love in Him,
    Laurie Collett

  12. Thanks Laurie for stopping by...I was just sitting here thinking of all the turkeys my Mom cook for us through the years. She was a great cook.

    I'll be stopping by your post often also. I usually only do a post every week.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. This was my story last year, Betty, when I flew to Chicago to visit my mom in the nursing home. I can feel every one of your sentences in my own heart. Wishing you and your mom peace this Thanksgiving - Christmas season.

  14. "Thankfulness for what we have changes us." That is a very wise truth. It is all about perception. I've flown and drove with sadness as my companion too. When we begin to think more of the worlds mammon will fix or solve our problems we become more lost. That whole of our flesh can never be satisfied by the things of this world. Our God isn't short of anything... It is our short sightedness that can't see with the eyes of wisdom.

    Glad you got to see your mom, Betty. I too got to see my mom for Thanksgiving. I had no reception and my air card for my computer didn't pick up a strong enough signal to use my computer. It was the first time I missed posting a story in almost two and a half years... Some things are worth the sacrifice...

  15. Thanks Mary for stopping glad the post touched your heart. It's good to hear from others who have went through the same thing or going through. It takes me about three to four days after I leave my Mom to get on top of my grief. Thankful I have a man who will listen to me. Blessings my wise hearted sister

  16. You are so right my brother...people are always worth the sacrifice. Good to hear you got to see you Mom. Blessings

  17. Wonderful post to teach our hearts about true thankfulness. We choose our joy.

  18. Thanks Beth for stopping on my site. Your post encouraged my heart. Blessings

  19. dear betty..i can feel the breaking of your heart when you had to leave your mother but then i read about your being thankful that she will be in heaven some day, i just thought to myself that her being in that nursing home, the lord has planned it because her being a christian, well she just might lead a few to the lord while she dwells there..i worked in nursing homes before i was married and there is such a need for those dear folks who are relying on their good works to get them to heaven...they need the lord...your mother will show some i just know it!
    how grand it is that your brother and your sister in law are able to visit every day.
    bernie and i go every evening to mom and dad goldens, preparing their supper and spending a couple hours talking...
    there are eight children in the family but they are all very busy.
    bernie and i go because we CAN...of that i am very thankful and so i don't resent my brothers and sisters who are one brother, gary goes every monday and does their laundry and spends two hours visiting and my mom is so sister, grace takes mom golden out every friday to guess where?..ha! my mom's favourite store, the "good will"! sisters, sandra and gail who live outside of toronto about 100 miles way will come every two months at least to visit mom and dad golden for a day and also every special occasion like birthdays and fathers and mothers brother, teddy and his wife, lois who are hundreds of miles away in iowa come twice a year for a week or so and last time they were here, they visited mom and dad golden about five my sister, betty who is so busy does take out time when she can and quite often buys mom golden really pretty hats for church!...and so we all do for mom what we can...
    you know betty ,when you said it hurts you to leave your mom behind, i must tell you that in my working for the elderly, it takes more love to make the choice for leaving them in a nursing takes a whole lot of love!
    so keep up your thankfulness dear terry are a tender soul betty!

  20. Thank you Terry for your encouraging is people such as you who have been through a lot that understand perfectly how much grief there in watching your parents age and become totally dependant on others. They were so strong and endured so much for us...Thank you my sister

  21. Betty,
    Thank you for this post, it brought tears to my eyes. My mother-in-law has been in a nursing home now for about 6 months. My wife goes to see her mother every day and I try to get by there 2 or 3 times a week. It is difficult to place someone in that situation but we have to remember to be thankful for all the time with her that we do have. Thank you for reminding me of that.