18 November 2012

Debbie Lynne Costello Interviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Debbie Lynne Costello


Debbie Lynne Costello is the administrator of the TheSword and Spirit and of Fiction Addiction Fix. She writes historical romance and is a member of ACFW.

Debbie Lynne, welcome to Overcoming Through Time – With God’s Help.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers.  
Hey Carrie! Thank you so much for having me on your blog.

Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help? (transparency appreciated!)
I think this time in my life is one of the hardest times I’ve faced. I had 5 miscarriages trying to have my 4 children and those were tough years and many tears, but today I’m watching my daughter experience some of the same heartbreak and that tears me up and leaves me feeling helpless. As a mom I want to fix things for her, but I can’t. All I can do is pray and leave it in the Lord’s hands and trust Him, knowing that He loves her even more than I do. 

Add to that worry for our parents—my father has lost most of his eyesight because of his brittle diabetes, my grandmother who was left in a wheelchair due to a stroke, my mother who is in her late 70’s carrying for them, and we are the caregivers for my mother-in-law who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It seems there is always a minor or major crisis in our lives making this seem like a deep valley we are walking through right now. It’s tough seeing the people you love lose their health. My first reaction is to worry and stress. And if I didn’t know the scripture in Malachi that says, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord, I think I’d feel like it so overwhelming I’d just want to shut down.

It’s hard for both my husband and I to watch his mother change to the point we feel at times we don’t know her. Being her caregiver, taking care of her needs and not being able to reason or explain things to an unhappy her is difficult to say the least. I always knew we’d care for her, but I never dreamed it would be her mind that went. I thought it’d be just her body where I could do things and she would be the same mom except for mobility. But that isn’t the way it turned out.

I feel spread thin at times as I try balancing my children still at home, babysitting a grandchild, caring for a parent, and working on a career. And you know what? I can’t do it all on my own. It’s only through God’s grace that I can do any of it.

I have to hold to the promise that God is in control and loves us all. I have to lay my burdens on Him when they are just too heavy to bear. As the scripture says, if we wait on Him, He will renew our strength. It comes down to trusting Him. He’s the light in darkness, hope for the hopeless. He’s the one who cares when no one else does. He’s my comforter. And I can do all things through Him.

What is your favorite bible verse and why? Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 
I know, not a very original favorite, but this verse has so much promise. And in this industry we do a lot of waiting! It gives me hope. I think there is so much in this verse and every word speaks to me personally. I love the symbolism of the eagle too. They are such strong, beautiful creatures and for God to liken us to them is uplifting. He sees us as strong and beautiful even when we feel weak and ugly. How encouraging is that!

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your blogs and why?
I do hope my readers will be encouraged by the books of authors I have as guests. I want them to get to know the authors better so they seem real rather than just a name on a cover of a book. I also hope they’ll find new authors they love and on Fiction Addiction Fix I want them to find free books!
Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina

As you researched your manuscripts, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
Yes. That Charleston has suffered many consecutive disasters in the late 1800’s and the love and sense of family and community warmed my heart. It made me wish for the days when people were less about themselves and more about each other.

In this latest work, do you have any topics that will be useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  
Both actually. There was abuse (before the story starts), a heroine with amnesia who must deal with the death of three family members, a hero who wants to control all situations, and unrequited love.

Thank you Debbie Lynne for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!
Thank you for having me, Carrie. It’s been fun. God Bless!

Giveaway:  We have a basket of goodies for one special reader who leaves a comment. It has candy, tea, frosty nail polish, a holiday ornament, books and more! (USA only for this giveaway.)  Extra counts (3) given for followers of Debbie Lynn's blogs (put S&S if you follow The Sword and Spirit) put FAF (1 extra count) for Fiction Addiction Fix.  Debbie Lynne can also be found on Facebook (click here) and on Twitter (click here.)



Question: Are you a caregiver for an adult family member or have you ever been? What has helped you most to cope with this role?






105 comments:

  1. Thank you Debbie for sharing.It is so very hard when our children has to go through heartbreaking things and there is nothing we can do.My sons has went through so much and I want to take their hurt away,but there is nothing I can do but pray.My daughter is having health problems and it hurts me to see her in pain.I would bear all their pain and heartaches if I could.My stepfather and mother in law both had alzheimers and I know what you are going through.This is such an heartbreaking disease.I pray for a cure.You will have tears,but then you will also have wonderful memories.And that is how I guess I cope and coped,just having those memories.And with God's grace and strength.Thanks again...jackie_tessnair@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. DEBBIE LYNNE welcome to OTT thank you so much for sharing your story of overcoming. You are centainly going through a lot right now and I know all of us ladies on here will be praying for God to give you strength to do all that you are doing. It is so sad when your parents go through so many things as they age. May God Bless you for your faithfulness.

    ReplyDelete
  3. JACKIE thank you for coming by and sharing with us. Isn't it wonderful that God gives us grace and strength just when we need it the most? We'll be praying for you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Debbie, it was great getting to know you better. Your story is an inspiring one, thanks for sharing. I have never had to care for anyone other than my children and I can't even imagine the exhaustion you face doing what you do. I did have a glimpse of what 'could have been' when my husband had a small stroke this past April. Praise God it wasn't too bad and he is doing just fine...God will reward you for all that you are doing and He will always give you the strength you need.
    I am a S&S follower, a FAF follower, I follow you on Facebook and Twitter. Please enter me into the contest: debsbunch5[at]jesusanswers[dot]com
    God bless and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Getting closer to God during that time of taking care of my mother was a big help. Also keeping a good sense of humor was a second help. sometimes things just seem to get so crazy that you have to have a release and you can either cry or laugh to let the tension out.

    Blessings can be found along the way when you keep your heart open and atuned to what God is doing in your situation. May you daily receive all He is giving.

    Janice jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. DEBBIE LYNNE, so glad to have you win us!!! I already loved you but now I love you more!!!

    JACKIE, my great aunt, who was like a Grandmother to me, developed Alzheimers and it was so difficult to watch her deteriorate. She did have to go into a facility to be cared for as symptoms progressed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. TERESA, I know it is hard for you to see your mom declining. But what a blessing that you have her someplace nearby and that she gets to see you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Music. A friend was caring full time at her mother's apartment, leaving her own. Friends invited her out for lunch. I went over to care for her mother. It was Christmas time. Her mother had Alzheimer’s disease. A little sprite of a woman with extreme strength, when I first went she did not like me at all and tried to open the door to tell me to leave. Over time I stayed the night with her once. Music was always the soother. This particular lunch outing time, a gift we gave her daughter was her singing with me, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Jesus Loves Me. It was a precious gift to give. I will always remember what God did. Kathleen

    ReplyDelete
  9. I receive e-mails of Debbie Lynne's blog posts. (I am the one with my own Debbie Lynn) Kathleen

    ReplyDelete
  10. DEBBIE, I am not at all surprised that you are a DEBBIE LYNNE follower! Because we love you here and over at CQ and you have that fun spirit like Debbie Lynne, does! I pray your hubby makes a complete recovery!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Debbie, thank you for your interview with Carrie. Carrie, thank you for interviewing Debbie.

    My heart aches for what you are going through Debbie. I am not currently a caregiver but I have been one twice in my life. I helped care for a previous husband that passed away from a brain tumor 9 1/2 years ago. I worked during the day and took care of him in the evenings and on week-ends. I had help during my time away at work. I had to keep working in order to have medical insurance. I drove Bob back and for early each morning for his radiation treatments and then off to work I would go. I was stretched thin and near the breaking point. I still had to keep up on all the house hold chores as well as mow our lawn. I didn't sleep in a real bed for months. I slept near where my husband was in his hospital bed. I felt I would scream if I heard one my person say to me, God won't put on you more than what you can handle. Trust me...those are not the words a caregiver wants or need to hear! Bob died almost 5 months after being diagnosed with his brain tumor. My second time as a caregiver was for my Mother. My Sister and my Brother helped out, yet the burden was heavy. My Mother had COPD as well as advancing Dementia. She could no longer do the easiest things for herself. We totally took over her waking moments. It was hard to watch Mom being robbed of her mind. Where oh where did Mom go to? Mom passed away on January 27, 2012. This will be the first Thanksgiving and Christmas without her. I won't lie. It is going to be hard. My emotions are going to take a big hit. Without God in my life, I don't know how I could have made it through these trials. I clung to Him literally. He was there and never left me once.
    I will keep you in my prayers Debbie. Praise God we have prayer warriors!

    Blessings!
    Judy
    sweetpea.judy(at)yahoo(dot)com

    I am a follower of, S&S and also FAF.



    ReplyDelete
  12. I am a new Member, #233, of your blog here, Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help; that's my little window up there with the hearts hanging down! I have been an e-mail receiver of your blog for a long time!

    I also am a FAF and S&S Google friend connect friend of Debbie's.

    Kathleen

    ReplyDelete
  13. JANICE, God bless you for sharing. I have heard those same words from others, esp. about having the sense of humor about things. And what a blessing for that time--it is something you cherish.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks Carrie and I am SOOO enjoying your MS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. THANKS DEBBIE!!! I really appreciate you being a beta reader! I had one reader, a well respected reviewer, tell me that is was as good or better than any of the top CBA selling books from last summer, when she read it! I am not saying that to brag, just repeating her kind words. God made that MS happen and I give Him the glory for people liking it! Hugs!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am in awe of Debbie Lynne's determination to do the right thing and serve the Lord by serving her mother-in-law. She is a model of God's grace and tenacity and I am blessed to count her a dear friend.
    Thanks for this terrific interview, ladies. May the Lord come alongside and bear your burdens.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow! That's some serious stretching of your faith, Debbie Lynne. I know that through Christ you are being enabled! Thank you for sharing your struggles with us and for your transparency. Often times, the nitty gritty of another's life is eye opening. I will try and remember to pray for you and your family on a regular basis. Just keepin' it real here. My mind is not what it used to be and I forget things ;) Maybe I should write this down. Grief has a way of putting the mind in a fog, and mine has sure been foggy.

    The ladies here know my story, so I will keep it short. My adult daughter, Amy, passed away in May at age 28. I was her main caregiver for 20 yrs. The last few yrs she was cared for in an ICF because her medical needs had become so great that I couldn't meet them here at home. She was severely disabled, both mentally and physically, but such a sweetheart. It is difficult to have hopes and dreams dashed from day 1, but with Christ as my strength and the Holy Spirit as my constant companion, I cared for her and loved her intensely!

    S&S, FAF, and I sent a friend request to Debbie Lynne :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. JUDY, you are such an inspiration and an overcomer. I know God will continue to give you an awesome testimony of how He has brought you through. I totally agree that these awful situations are akin to clinging to the life raft directly from God! Without Him I just dk how people manage. Actually, um, I do, because I walked away from Him, but the loving God He is, He drew me back and welcomed me with open arms. I am grateful I didn't go any longer without Him as Lord of my life!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Dear Debbie, I am a 24/7 caregiver for my 39 years old son who had a subarachnoid hemorrhage and aneurysm 3 years ago. Due to his surgery he also was paralyzed on his left side and has very little short-term memory and cannot live a lone.
    It is the hardest job I've ever had! God said he would walk beside me every day...He didn't say my walk would be easy. I can go to God 24 hours a day and He never gets tired or sends me away. Believe me when I say He is my best friend. I have hope that one day Rodd will be healed. Thank you for having this contest.
    Sandi Borgens
    anchored@swbell.net

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ohhhh, KATHLEEN, that is such a great memory and story to share! I love that. It is amazing how music is something remembered and that brings comfort even to those with failing memories. A blessing!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I was a caregiver for my sister and my mother. The thing that helped me cope was my Faith in God and prayer. angelachesnut246@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for coming by Debbie!! I've never been a caregiver to an adult.
    FAF
    S&S

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. KATHY, I am amazed what God does through Debbie Lynne, too! She is a great example of vessel living--emptying self of contents and allowing God to fill her with what He wants her to do. Yes, we do need to share each other's burdens! That is a huge reason why we have this blog ministry!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I was a care giver for my grandmother years ago before she passed. I was so close to her as a child. I knew I wanted to be there for her when she became so ill. She was there for me when I needed it. It gave my older boys a chance to know her better.
    it is a gift and privlage to take cate of those we love in times of need. Life is too short. Take every moment you can with someone you love.

    CherylB1987@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. DEBBIE LYNNE, I was touched by your testimony--thanks for sharing!

    I'm not a caregiver. I've been on the receiving end for a while when I couldn't move my limbs without crying out in pain, so I needed someone to care for me and do my housekeeping. I was on my way to a wheelchair, but God did a great work in my body. I am able to care for myself and husband again--not without pain, but happy and thankful nonetheless.

    ReplyDelete
  26. When my mother was dying, my father sister and I rotated taking care of her so she could stay at home. It was hard and tiring but I'm thankful for those last days with her. I know where she is now, so that keeps me in peace. I'll see her again. :O)

    ReplyDelete
  27. My Mother passed away in 2000 from lung cancer she never smoked a day in her life .She got it from working in a school that had asbestos .While I was helping my dad take care of her I was also taking care of my family and myself .After She went to Heaven I got sick for 18 months during those 18 months God taught me many lessons .I made a promise to my Heavenly Father that I would help,pray ,minister to those who needed to be encourage or lifted up in Him .I have found out people just need to know that God loves them and wants the best for them.Would love to win a copy of your book please .Blessings ,Dana Spille
    jashbk@earthlink.net

    ReplyDelete
  28. ANNE, I pray that God will soothe you during this holiday season as you have your first Christmas without your beloved Amy. I know you had to have been an AWESOME caregiver! Big hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  29. would so much love to win. thanks for doing this.

    ReplyDelete
  30. SANDI, praying for divine healing. And thanking God that He holds you up each day! Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am so sorry Debbie that you have things piling up on you it seems. Think you need octopus arms. LOL It's as if I can still hear my mom say 'when it rains it pours." I enjoy thinking of her sayings Like, "good gravy, what's going on?" It is true, it takes GOD to get us through these times. I was caregiver for my husband before he passed away from cancer 15 years ago. Before that I helped as a caregiver for an elderly gentleman for about 3 years. He was a sweetheart but it got hard in the last 18 months. He was one of the true gentlemen that you don't find too often anymore. (He was always concerned for me). He passed away just a few weeks before his 100th birthday. Think he would have made it if the feeding tube hadn't been removed. He was completely bedridden, and I know wouldn't have wanted that , but I'm sure GOD had HIS reason for not taking him home sooner. I follow Debbie on S&S And also FAF. Maxie ( mac262@me.com ) The gift basket sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
  32. By the way Carrie, you did great with the interview, Always nice viviting with you girls! Maxie

    ReplyDelete
  33. ANGELA, Faith is the theme I am reading here! Thanks for sharing!

    MARISSA, I believe you are really young. I hope you can learn from these other ladies' experiences should you ever be in such a situation. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  34. MARIAN, I am so glad God is bringing healing and that He put helpers around you!

    DIANE, That is great you were able to help. And I agree-knowing our parents are in heaven gives comfort to know there will be a reunion one day!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Beautiful, honest post. Love your verse about the eagles...it may be popular, but it's also very encouraging!

    And sign me up for that luscious basket! Would LOVE to win me some chocolate! heatherdaygilbert(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Oh, and I will follow both blogs and your twitter, if I'm not already following.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Kinda sorta, lol. My husband is now in a wheel chair and uses a walker, he had back surgery and was in and out of the hospital four times over a 2 1/2 month period with some serious complications from the surgery, and he woke up with drop foot after the surgery besides. I get through by leaning on God with prayer, and asking for friends to pray for us, and patience.

    Also, when I was little my Mom, brother and I lived with my Grandpa so my Mom could take care of him after my Grandma died. Unfortunately when my Mom had alzheimer's I was not living close enough to care for her.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  37. OOPS! Forgot,

    S&S and
    FAF

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I am caregiver for my hubby. He has M.S. as well as several other disabilities and needs help.

    S&S follower
    FAF follower

    Blessings,
    Jo
    azladijo(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Just sent Debbie a friend request on FB

    Blessings,
    Jo
    azladijo(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Enjoyed knowing more about you, Debbie! I follow S&S and FAF.....very much appreciate your providing us with FAF!
    I have "been there", Debbie, with my Mom having Alzheimer's before she died.....a sad disease and overwhelming for caregivers. Scriptures/prayer were my comfort, which you have already found!
    Blessings~~
    Jackie Smith
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great interview. I had three miscarriages. So hard.

    I was a caregiver to my mom for 2 years after she had a severe stroke and went from active to wheelchair bound and unable to talk. :( They were hard days, but I would do it over again if I could. I miss my mom.

    She's been gone almost 10 years.

    Coping -- I played praise & worship music or southern gospel all the time to keep the spirit of worship front and foremost, even in the difficult times.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I forgot my email - vernetlh (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  43. So good to see you here, Debbie. I follow S&S and FAF and they're both great blogs. When my divorced parents were both ill at the same time on opposite sides of town, 4 1/2 hours away, my sister and I took turns with them. She took care of their needs during the week, and my husband and I drove up to Dallas to take care of them on weekends. Splitting time between them and trying to find a place for Dad when he left the hospital was the most difficult time of my life. Dad had a heart attack and was taken to the emergency room on the same day as my mother's birthday in another hospital on the opposite side of Dallas. My sister and I were exhausted and at our wit's end on what to do for them. I can certainly sympathize with those who are doing this now and pray our sons won't be faced with this in the future.

    Thanks for offering such a great prize and for new insight into the life of Debbie.

    Martha
    marthalrogers(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  44. JACKIE TESSNAIR thank you for sharing that with me. We just went visiting a nursing home and brought baskets with our church small group today and it just made me more determined to keep my mother-in-law home. It was heartbreaking. Alzeheimers is a terrible disease that hurts everyone involved. The memories are so very dear to us even now. At times we must laugh at the things that take place to keep the tears from falling. There are times I see the woman I know and love so dearly and those are wonderful times.

    ReplyDelete
  45. TERESA MATHEWS, thank you for having me and allowing me to share! It's so encouraging to read these comments. And thank you so much for your prayers. I truly believe that it is the prayers of friends and family that are getting us through all this.

    ReplyDelete
  46. CHAPLAIN DEBBIE, It's so good to see you here. Praise the Lord that your hubby came through it with no long term issues. That's a scary thing, especially when it is a spouse. I can't imagine. This is all new to me too, as we have only been caring for children. My mother-in-law started going down when my youngest son was still in HS. We never thought it would be like this.

    ReplyDelete
  47. We have been fortunate enough that no has need to have care yet. makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. JANICE SMITH thank you for your encouragement. We've found the same thing. Many times you have to laugh or you cry. Because there are things that happen that are funny but sad. You have to choose which emotion will rule you. If I didn't have a close walk with the Lord I couldn't do this! I don't know how people who don't know Christ personally do this.

    CARRIE FANCETT PAGELS I'm thrilled to be here with all of you! Thank you for having me. You are such a sweetheart and always doing things for everyone else. You're an amazing woman!

    LANE HILL HOUSE (KATHLEEN) I'm so glad you came by to see me. My mother-in-law has been legally deaf since she was a child. But when she married my FIL he bought her a hearing aid and she could hear some out of the one ear. The other an aid wouldn't help. But with the alzeheimers her hearing has gone again. She does love music and her hearing was cycling but lately it seems to have just gone.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Enjoyed this interview as I do all of them. Plan on following Debbie Lynne on FB and her blog. We have the same favorite Bible verse. My husband and I are actually one another's caretakers. He became disabled in 2004 and I unexpectedly became disabled in 2008 with dementia and COPD (though I've never smoked). God sees us through this all. He's so merciful to us because when one is failing the other is in good enough health to fill in the gaps and vica versa. Please don't enter me in the drawing as I recently won a book and would prefer to give someone else a chance. Blessings. Susan Fryman

    ReplyDelete
  50. DEBBIE, thanks so much for sharing from your heart. I know that 'overwhelmingingness' and with the combined grief for your daughter and other family member's health that you are experiencing... it can be pretty full-on! I'm SO glad you have God in your life for strength and comfort!

    What I find is that we need to keep laying things in His lap and giving things over to Him! Sometimes it's just human nature to try and fix everything ourselves, but God really WANTS to help us and to ease our burdens.

    My husband and I cared for my elderly Uncle for quite some years, the hardest time was when he had a double bypass & needed care afterwards, and because he is 'mentally challenged', I had to deal with everyone involved. The phone never stopped ringing for a week! Having Chronic Fatigue and children (one with Aspergers) also increased the stress.
    If I could go back now, I'd take out more time to rest in and seek God instead of carrying too much. Bless you DEBBIE, and I'll be praying. x

    ReplyDelete
  51. KATHY MAHER, you are such a sweetheart! Thank you for your kind words. I will have to tell everyone that Kathy is my crit partner and also one of the best friends a person could have.

    ANNE PAYNE You are an amazing woman! Your story was so touching. It goes to show that no matter how bad one thinks one has it there is someone else has been through worse. Your words are such an encouragement to me. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Debbie Lynne, what an encouragment you are to me and to the others who have commented here. I took care of my mom until she passed away 10 years ago. Lots of times in families, it seems to fall on one person to be a caretaker, but I wouldn't trade one minute of the time I spent with mom. I learned how to give her insulin shots when she couldn't do it any more. And when she lost most of her sight, I was welcomed into her "mature" (people in their 70s and 80s) Sunday school class as their "mascot." What a joy to escort Mom to those classes. The wisdom and the maturity of faith that surrounded me enriched my faith, and the friendships I made are my treasures.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi Carrie and Debbie--

    As usual you have a post that knocks the socks off a person, Carrie--WOW!! Very thoughtful issue here; and thank you so much for your words of wisdom Debbie.

    I was a care-taker for my mother before she passed in '02 and I have to say that at the time I didn't think of those things--only after. I know the Lord was with us every step of the way though, through a stressful three years.

    My mother made a public confession of faith to our Pastor two weeks before she passed! I went along physically caring for her, never realizing I was in bad straits with health issues of my own and found out only after she passed--(the blind leading the blind I guess). To me it was an example of the Lord's taking her home in His perfect timing.

    Blessings on you both....

    ReplyDelete
  54. DEBBIE, welcome and thank you for being our guest this week on OTT! Sorry, I'm so late getting here -- was writing a review and tweaking another one!

    I have never been a caregiver for anyone elderly, but I DO understand what it's like to feel that pain and helplessness for my grown children as you mentioned. And God said He wouldn't put any more on us than we can bear so you must be a very strong woman, DEBBIE! Thank you for the encouraging scriptures and for reminding me to STOP complaining. There are others going through much worse things than I. Blessings and prayers from all of us here at OTT, Debbie!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Ohmygoodnessgracious PAT!!! Your mom made her profession of faith only two weeks before she went to be home with the Lord. That is amazing! Thank God that she answered His call. And thank you for your kind words.

    ReplyDelete
  56. DIANA, Thanks for all you do and glad you are getting your reviews in--you do such a great job. I found my Kindle, yay! So I can do a review myself, soon.

    ReplyDelete
  57. WENDY, I never realized about your husband. You are such a positive, upbeat person, that I can see God at work in your life. Praying for you.

    ReplyDelete
  58. SUSAN, that is so SWEET about your mother's Sunday School class members! I bet your mom was just as delightful as you are! So glad to spend time with you in SC recently! Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  59. JUDY. Wow! I am so encouraged by your words. I don't know when I cried so much. It seems like everyday the tears fall. It doesnt take much. After visiting the nursing home today with our church I drove home and cried. It is tough! It's just a heart breaking thing to watch someone you love slip away in their mind but their body is still there. Since this interview with Carrie, my mother in law took a fall. She was in the hospital for a week where I spent every day up there with her and she is now in a physical rehab. But the worst part about it is that being out of her environment has thrown her into a tailspin and she is even more confused. It's a feeling that leaves us feeling helpless. Thank you again for the encouragement.

    SANDI BORGENS your story is so touching. What a wonderful mom you are. I join you in your prayer that your son will be healed. It's hard enough when it's our aging parents but to see your spouse or child go through things like this is so sad. My prayers are with you.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I have never been a caregiver but I plan to be for my parents. Sometimes I wonder how long I'll have them with me and hope it's for a long, long time! S & S, FAF, OTT followers
    shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  61. ANGELA CHESTNUT I agree 100% God is my strength in all this and I couldn't do it without Him.

    CHERYL B. Cherishing each memory is something we don't about doing until we realize how short life is and we watch as a loved one fades away. Thanks for reminding all of us what an honor it is to care for our love ones.

    MARIAN BAAY Praise the Lord! I'm so happy you are able to care for your family. Living with daily pain is tough and God knows that. He is a God of miracles. :o)

    DIANE ESTRELLA That is wonderful that you had help and could rotate the care. It has to give a person a sense of support.

    ReplyDelete
  62. DANA SPILLE What a wonderful testimony of your love for others. I know that is so true that people need to know others care. It's sad about your mother. It always seems so unfair when an non-smoker gets lung cancer. Thanks so much for sharing.

    MAXIE I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. That had to be hard to watch your husband fade away. When you mentioned there aren't gentlemen like that anymore, it made me think of my father in law. He was 94 when he died and my husband and I were dating. I was 16. Old Joe was dying of cancer but when I walked in the house he would stand up until I sat down. That left a lasting impression on me. He made a deal on a handshake and he said a man was only as good as his word. Even though my husband was only 19 when his dad died his dad instilled those same wonderful traits in his son. I'm blessed. And no that was not a mistake, his father was 94. ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  63. HEATHER DAY GILBERT thanks for coming by. I'm glad you enjoyed my thoughts of the scripture.

    WENDY NEWCOMB How terrible that the surgery went bad, Wendy. I'm so sorry. That has to be really tough on both of you. Thankfully we have the Lord to lean on. That was very good of your mother to move in with your grandpa to take care of him. She must have been a special lady.

    JO MS is another sad disease. I have a cousin who is a doctor and was healed of MS. God can do it! Thanks for the follows.

    ReplyDelete
  64. JACKIE SMITH So glad you enjoy FAF!! I'm sorry to hear about your mother. Your right the prayers are what get us through.

    LOLLIPOPS I know we are going to really miss my MIL. She has always been a loving and generous lady. Music does the same for me. It is so uplifting and encouraging.

    MARTHA ROGERS Oh my goodness, Martha. that wore me out just reading about it! How did you ever do it and keep sane! BTW everyone, Martha is on my blog today and doing a giveaway! Stop by. I won't be drawing until tomorrow morning.

    ReplyDelete
  65. MEGAN PARSONS that's wonderful you haven't had to be a caregiver. I read recently that 80% of people needing care are cared for by family.

    SUSAN FRYMAN that is precious how you care for one another. Isn't it amazing how God does that. It seems like when we were younger and struggled financially when one was down the other was up and could encourage the other. God thinks of everything!

    NOELA NANCARROW It sounds like you really had your hands full! I'm a lot like you, I have to keep putting things back at the lords feet. I have a tendency to keep wanting to pick the burden back up. Thank you for your prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  66. SUSAN CRAFT Ten years is a long time and had to have been so hard at times. Many people don't realize that beside caring for your love one you give up a good portion of your life. Vacations are a thing of the past unless you can afford to hire help while you're gone. and in many cases one can't leave their house. I commend you, Susan and all of you ladies who have blessed another life by caring for them in their time of need. How awesome that these ladies welcomed you into their class.

    PAT IACUZZI Praise the Lord that your mother found her savior before she died. I hope your health has improved.

    DIANA FLOWERS Thank you for having me here! I love Carrie. Such a sweetie as you know. I came in late, too! My MIL is coming home tomorrow so I've been busy getting ready for that, the nursing home and I have my grandbabby tonight and tomorrow. I kept trying to get to my computer but there were so many interruptions!

    ReplyDelete
  67. I was the primary caregiver for my dear mother when she developed cancer. We moved her into our home and she lived with us until the very end. My husband was so supportive. I couldn't have done this without him as our children were young. Prayer is what kept me going throughout those difficult days. My prayers go with you, Debbie, as you walk through these difficult valleys. God is near and He loves you!
    S&S
    FAF
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

    ReplyDelete
  68. VERONICA STERNBERG That's sweet of you to plan to take care of your parents. We had always planned on taking care of ours, too. The thing is my MIL has always been frail and we thought we would be caring for her because of physical things but that isn't the way God let it play out. We weren't prepared for Alzeheimers.

    ReplyDelete
  69. NANCEE Thank you for your prayers. They are much appreciated. I think it is such a wonderful support when your spouse stands besides you. I know if I fought my husband on this it would make the whole ordeal so much more painful. I'm thankful that we are in one accord.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Bless your heart, Debbie! I see you are from Mesick, MI! I've lived in West Michigan all my life.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Yes my childhood was in Michigan. I've lived my whole adult life in SC except while hubby was stationed in Missouri. We still have family there.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi! Really enjoyed the interview. I read about folks like you with so much on your plate and your faith strengthens me for the comparatively small problems I am facing!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Sorry, I got interrupted and forgot to answer the question! Last year, I went back east for the Greater Phili Christian Writers Conference, but spent a few days in NY with my mom and sister first.

    When I got there, mom was in the hospital. Long story short, she was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that causes acute shortness of breath. My sister had already lost several days work without pay, and I wasn't about to leave my mom in the state she was in anyway. I cancelled the conference, and over the next several days, we tried to make plans for mom to come home and continue to live in her apartment with assistance.

    Since she lives in a rural area, we discovered through a process of elimination that there just wasn't an option other than assisted living. I cared for mom for several days during that transition time.

    It was difficult because mom was used to being very active and she really had to slow down. That was hard because she was trying to get an apartment she had lived in for the past 24 years cleaned out.

    All in all, my sister and I were both grateful for the assisted living facility where mom is now. She is happy there and lives only thirty miles from my sister. (Unfortunately, I'm across the country, so I only get to see her once a year or so.)

    I'm sure my experience isn't near as stressful as many others. I have the highest admiration for people who can be full time caregivers of an elderly family member.

    patgonzales(at)arivk(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  74. Wow, Deb, all the times I connect with my good friend Debbie Lynne, the bouncy, happy, do-anything-for-you sweetheart who I've come to love, I had NO idea the extent of demands and stress in your life, girl. Uh, which means you are obviously not the complainer that I am ... ;|

    It is heartbreaking to watch those we love get sick or go through trials like miscarriage. But like you said, the one positive is that it keeps us clinging to God, and that's a good thing, as we all know.

    Can hardly believe you had five miscarriages, my friend, and I thought my brush with infertility was bad -- YIKES!!

    Your book is set in Charleston??? Ooooo, that's the city I was planning to place my next series in, so I'm already intrigued!!

    What I want to know is ... with four kids, a grandbaby to watch, extended family to care for and your career ... just when in the heck do you have time to personalize beautiful bags for people?????!!!

    Love you and am saying some for extra grace and blessing for your daughter and YOU right now.

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  75. I haven't at this point in my life had to care for a parent or loved one, but I expect it will happen and hope that I am up to the task. I have an uncle who is an invalid, and see it as being so hard on my aunt.

    I see in the above comments that Debbie was raised in MI and lives in SC, sounds just like me! Moved to SC at age 19 and my adult life has been spent here.

    I follow both of Debbie's blogs already!

    S&S
    FAF

    Patty
    pattymh200(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  76. I had to oversee the care of my husband's mother after a stroke. It was difficult due to her mental condition and even tho she was in a care facility. I hear Debbie's pain about her miscarriages altho I haven't experienced that. Please add me to the drawing. Blessings! Darlene
    spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

    S&S
    FAF

    ReplyDelete
  77. PATTIE SHENE Even if it isn't daily stress it is hard when you have to go through this kind of thing with a parent or loved one. Unfortunate for us Assisted Living isn't an option. I'm so glad your mother loves her arrangement!

    ReplyDelete
  78. Wow, Debbie Lynne!!! 77 comments! That's amazing! And so was your story! You are coping with so much right now. I am always amazed at all you do for other people, your kindness and energy. And yet you are definitely going through a lot in your family right now. I love you and I'll be praying for you.
    My grandfather suffered a long time with Alzheimers so I know how awful that is, to see your loved one change until you don't even know them, always confused and/or angry, saying things they would never say if they were in their right mind. It is so difficult to deal with, and to make sure they are taken care of. I really empathize with you, but I know God will bless you for being so good to her. Even when you feel like nobody appreciates what you're doing, God does! Love you.

    ReplyDelete
  79. JULIE LESSMAN Hey girlfriend!!! I am so glad you came by to say hello. You are such a sweetie and an encourager! You are one of those people who light up any room you walk into! Even a blogroom. ;o) And JFYI I don't believe for a minute you are a complainer.

    I'm just one of those people who has to stay busy. If I'm not I create something to do. 'sigh' Not always a good thing. But when I find spare time I think, I could do... heehee

    I have a praise report. My daughter just got her test reports back and EVERYTHING is normal! Praise the Lord. God is so good. I was praying she wouldn't carry the antibody I do. So you had a brush with infertility. That's scary too. I know they put me on infertility drugs to try to get me to carry. I kept praying for twins and Joe was praying we wouldn't have multiples. guess his prayers were stronger. lol.

    I LOVE Charleston. We go there all the time. All my stories are set there or right next door. Gives me reasons to go back. Research and all. LOL So now I'm going to be dying for your new stories to come out!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Hey Patty! Thanks for coming by. I think the majority of us are going to face this. Some just younger than others. I thought I'd have a little more time in between raising my kids and taking care of parents but God had other plans.

    ReplyDelete
  81. SPANGLE LADY Even when a parent is in an institution much of the responsibility falls to the children. I understand how hard that can be. Thanks for coming by.

    ReplyDelete
  82. MELANIE DICKERSON Hey girlfriend! Thank you for all your kind words. Melanie, is a good friend and she is a great encourager. It is so hard when they say things that you know they never would say. I am always praying that God will keep her mind from going anymore until he takes her home because to watch the fear, paranoia, anger, and confusion is just heartbreaking.

    ReplyDelete
  83. My sisters and I took care of our mother for 2 years. She is living in a home for people with Alzheimer's.
    She is in the very last stages and we're not sure if she will even be here at Christmas.
    I can very much relate to what Debbie is going through and my prayers are with her.
    Janet Estridge
    von1janet@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  84. Forgot to put I am a follower of S&S.
    CherylB1987@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  85. DEBBIE LYNNE!!! I love seeing all our mutual friends here, too! Wonderful! I know I did not really touch on your miscarriages in the question, but I do feel for you and all you and your husband went through to get your family. We had discussions about miscarriages and loss of children last month on the blog and I know that you are going through difficult times right now with caregiving. Sometimes it is harder to discuss the now because we are in it and dealing with our situations and talking about it makes it seem too real. But I think it is good people are getting to share and encourage! Big hugs!!!

    ReplyDelete
  86. I was a caregiver for both of my grandparents before they passed. Grandma was 6 months shy of 100 when she passed. It was really trying at times but I kept in mind that I was blessed to have them both in my life and they won't be around much longer. I miss them dearly.
    Amy C
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com
    S&S
    FAF
    Follow on twitter

    ReplyDelete
  87. Yes, I'm a caregiver now to both of my elderly parents. My father has heart trouble and had a five-way bypass and is a bad diabetic and my mother has heart trouble and her arteries are partially clogged in her neck causing mini strokes. It’s so hard sometimes and I can definitely relate to having some type of crisis each week. We go to the emergency room so often that the staff recognizes us and we know them by first name. I too have to remind myself that having them is a blessing and I know once they are gone they will be missed very much.
    Bonnie (taskczar@thebelgiumco.com)

    ReplyDelete
  88. God Bless you JANET ESTRIDGE. I pray God's peace will surround you at this hard time. I know that day is coming for us too someday. And with Alzeheimers it comes fast.

    ReplyDelete
  89. AMY C. 100 years old! that is really amazing! And so kind of you, a granddaughter to care for them. A testiment to you.

    BONNIE Oh I can so relate. There is always something that needs attention. My mother is caregiver for my father who is a brittle diabetic, by-pass surgery and legally blind and caregiver for my grandmother who is 95 and is in a wheelchair from a stroke. But through all this I think we grow stronger not only in Him but in away that will make future trials easier to cope with.

    ReplyDelete
  90. No I'm not caregiver of adult family member, but I know many that are. and they are held in high esteem in my eyes. thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  91. Hey APPLE BLOSSOM. Thanks for coming by. I know I sure to respect my mother for all the hard works she does. She makes mine look like a piece of cake!

    ReplyDelete
  92. DEBBIE LYNNE, when my mother had cancer she went out to California where my sister lives, because there was a special diagnostic center that could pinpoint the cancer. And it did. Unfortunately, the surgeon still decided to go forward with a horrid procedure that resulted in Mom being hospitalized far longer than he told her. And she still died from cancer after she went home to begin chemo. We were planning an 80th birthday party for her so you can imagine how shocked we were when, after 19 days home, she died.

    ReplyDelete
  93. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  94. OH Carrie, that is so sad. Your poor mother to have to suffer such terrible procedures only to have them shorten her life. And how awful for you kid to have that shock hit you.

    ReplyDelete
  95. It was, DL. For her to have suffered what she went through with that whipple procedure and the aftermath seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me. Just horrid. And then to have them fail to have caught that she had metastasized cancer throughout despite follow up visits! Thank God my older brother got her home to Michigan. There is an example of someone obeying God's directive to get her where she needed to be before she passed on. So very glad she got home and got to say goodbye to her friends and her sister.

    ReplyDelete
  96. I have never had to be a caregiver. I am a follower of S&S and FAF.

    deamundy(at)gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  97. S&S
    FAF
    Thank you for the wonderful interview. Debbie Lynne, you have so much to deal with right now. I love your chosen verse. I'm glad it gives you strength.
    I have had partial responsibility for caring for my mom, since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1996. It has been a long journey. The one thing that has helped me the most is that I know that she is a child of God. Without that knowledge, I don't know how I would have been able to see her deteriorate over the years. Just 2 weeks ago, we started getting additional help through hospice.
    may_dayzee[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  98. KAY Wow that is amazing that she was diagnosed 16 years ago! Most patients don't live that long after being diagnosed. I think I read the average is like 3 to 5 years. But that's because very few get diagnosed early. My MIL was in the middle stages when we realized something was wrong. Knowing where our parents will be after this life if they are saved is a great comfort.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know it is an unusually long time to live after diagnosis. My mom was probably diagnosed earlier than many, as she, herself, was the one who sought answers for her headaches and forgetfulness. She suspected Alzheimer's. Her GP referred her to a neurologist. She had a good attitude. That was a blessing.

      Delete
  99. Enjoyed reading the comments. I help take care of my 95 year old Mother and at times it gets to be a bit frustrating. However; we have become stronger in our relationship by learning to work together.
    I de-stress by reading. i read all kinds of books and can really relax by spending time with other characters than those in my house! Love to read
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING
    JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  100. Hey JOYE! That is awesome that your mother is still alive and going at 95! My mom is taking care of my 95 year old grandmother. I love to hear about her youth. It's so interesting. I love to destress by writing. I relax by reading. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Debbie, I hate to think it, but I may become a full time caregiver for my sweet husband in the future. He is 10 yrs older than I, will turn 72 next month.

    We spent last Thanksgiving at the hospital because hubby had open heart surgery the day before. He recovered remarkably rapidly from that. There were other medical problems that followed into 2012.

    The other day, we were speculating about the election in 2016 and he said, "Well," he said, "I won't have to worry about that. I'm sure I won't be around to see it."

    I got choked up with tears!

    BTW, I follow your S&S blog!

    ReplyDelete
  102. Oh Patty! How sad. That makes me want to cry. Encourage your hubby that only God knows the number of our days. About 20 years ago a doctor told my dad (who has been a brittle diabetic type 1 for 50 years) that he thought my father would have died 10 years earlier. Well its been 30 years since what the doctors thought he'd live til I'm happy to report. I'll say a prayer for you and your hubby. BTW my father also had by-pass surgery 4 years ago and we questioned then if he could make it as he went through problem after problem, but he is still here! Blessings to you!

    ReplyDelete
  103. PAT IACUZZI is the person selected by random.org as our winner this week. I even did a count twice because Pat is a CQ contributor and I wanted to be careful. CONGRATS, PAT, you have been selected to win a gift basket for DEBBIE LYNN's interview. And thanks for answering the question! Many blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  104. My heart goes out to you, Debbie, during this multi-task period of your life. I relate with you in many ways. I have suffered 4 miscarriages myself and it truly does cause you to empathize with those who go through this grief or struggle with being able to conceive or being barren. I have had to be the major care-giver 3 times now: for my father, my mother, and joint care for my mother-in-law. My father suffered a massive stroke which caused him to go blind and threw him into major dementia. My mother has had heart issues, spinal fusion, fell and broke her hip and had to have a hip replacement, and this past summer fell and broke both of her wrists at the same time!!! My mother-in-law suffers from severe alzheimer's. In the past year my husband & I have had double duty caring for both mothers, as well as sorting, purging & emptying both of their homes of over 40 years worth of contents, over-hauling/repairing the homes to put them on the market to sell, and selling them. All of this and taking care of our own family as well. It has truly been daunting and exhausting. I don't know how I would have made it without the love, prayers, support and help of my husband, daughters, some very dear friends, and most importantly - the enabling strength of Jesus, when many times I had nothing left to give. Debbie, I pray for the Lord's all-encompassing strength and peace for you now and in the days ahead. ~ Alison Boss

    Thanks Debbie and Carrie for this GREAT interview and giveaway!!!

    I am a follower of S&S, FAF; I follow this blog: Overcoming With God; and I follow Debbie and Carrie on Facebook

    nj(dot)bossman(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

Google Analytics