|You Can Find This on iTunes|
Do I have verbal abuse from an Alzheimer's husband? Yes, I do at times. I let it roll off my back because I have learned what is happening to his brain. His anger is the disease talking. Then he forgets what he said to me and is very loving. His reality has changed. Some wives in the Alzheimer's Association Support Group do have very abusive husbands and have had to put them in locked-down nursing homes. I desire for my husband to be home all his days and I realize that my loving my husband is a way I show my world and my Plant City Lady and Friends blogging world what a Christian marriage is.
Back to the book, Housewife Theologian, and the eleventh chapter. The Journaling Questions from pp. 225-226 are in red and my answers are in black.
- Though the source is actually debatable, a quote often attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi says, "Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary use words." What is wrong with this quote? We need to be ready at all times to give a defense.
- Do you struggle with what it looks like to be a Christian in your vocation? I guess my faith shows. I was asked if I am a Christian rapper. I answered, "I am a rapper who happens to be Christian." Now mind you, this rapping thing just happened. I perform one of my wholesome raps at the end of good classes when I substitute teach. How can you glorify God in your daily work? Through prayer and doing quality work, but then also accepting my limitations when I can't do quality work. What are some of your struggles? I am so not perfect and at times I really get on my own nerves.
- How are you personally humbled as a Christian living your daily life? All the time I am humbled. Think about your daily tasks, relationships, and goals. I so miss the mark, but am learning to deal with imperfection and will be until I see Jesus in His Holiness in heaven or the new earth.
- Jesus tells us that we are the salt and the light of the earth (Matt. 5:13-16). What does that say about the world? There is so much depravity out in the world. What properties do salt and light have? Salt brings out flavor and light illuminates.
- Think back to the first nine chapters of this book and the first nine months of your study. What privileges have stood out to you that we have as women to give that taste of Christianity to the watching world? I blog about my caregiving responsibilities and I also gently share my faith when I substitute teach or teach an occasional class for DUI offenders. What have been your biggest challenges? Last week I mentioned not being politically correct in public school and a bright young woman said there is not such a thing as "being politically correct" and that it is OK to mention God's Word which I did briefly in a rap I give at the end of the class. Here is the ending of my rap I often deliver in public school when I substitute:
So use your mindBe careful with emotionGet your educationGet your heart rightHeed God’s WordYour future will be brightYou all have our prayersYou all have our devotionFirst use your mindBut not your emotionThis is, young friend,Life’s magic potion.My rap is really rooted in Romans 12:2--to be renewed in your mind. I am not ashamed of the gospel, as Paul writes in Romans 1:16, because it is the power of God.
- Do you find a lot of "holy prefixes" in your community's activities? Yes. There are probably more Baptist churches per square mile here in Plant City than any other town. But I haven't done the statistical research on it, but they can do things like drop Easter eggs from a helicopter on Easter. What can be some good responses that we can give to some of these invitation? I don't have time to run to every gospel concert or egg dropping.
- How is a Christian plumber different from a good, upstanding, unbelieving plumber? I can ask this about the man who volunteers around our house--mowing the yard and fixing things. He may be thinking he is winning his way to heaven, but this is not the case. He is anti-church and yet says he prays and believes in Jesus Christ. Should there be any differences in their abilities? There may not be on the surface, but there would be in the obedience to God's Word. How about their code of conduct? Our gardener shows much moral responsibility and charity; we have bartered for his services my giving him equipment. Is it the responsibility of the Christian plumber to share the gospel with every customer before leaving his or her house? No, but the Christian needs to be aware of opportunities and also be a good steward of her working hours.*
- What differences are there between worldly success and how the Christian would define success? Is it difficult for you not to get caught up in worldly ambitions? Personally, I have really struggled in the area of ambition. . . . Aimee continues this with some of her struggle being a mom and finishing Housewife Theologian. When I ambitiously wrote my book in 2009, Getting Off the Niceness Treadmill, my husband was more cognitively aware at that stage of his dementia and he helped me by listening to me read it to him and offering suggestions. Now with the stress of being a caregiver I find that I am not caught up in worldly ambitions to my knowledge. Many times I wish I had more motivation and ambition, but do see that it is okay to accept my senior years the way they are now. Aimee writes: As I strive to live a life according to the gospel, my message to others is not "look at me." My life is not the gospel. Rather, my aim is to point others to Christ. (p. 212) Amen, Aimee! I think that even in the church there can be worldly ambitions and some churches are "seeker friendly" and driven by numbers.
- What challenges do you find in selecting the best education for your children? What are you doing to combat the difficulties in the decisions you have made? Do you find yourself being judgmental of other Christians who make different decisions in this area? Since I am not a mom, I will just have to share my perspective. I do see Christian moms being torn up about educational decisions--whether to home school or to choose public school. Not all woman may have the ability to teach or be organized enough to homeschool. Not all families can afford private Christian education, probably the next best. The family may need the mother to work. As a public school substitute teacher and retired public school teacher, I can see problems of public school from the inside--namely what is taught and peer influence. Yet I see Christian students thriving and sharing their faith in a public school while I see students homeschooled in a Christian home not picking up the faith.
- Are there any other areas of our common culture for which you find a Christian adjective to be somewhat helpful? Maybe not. As Aimee wrote: we need to participate in humility in the place God has called us while he faithfully brings the full number of believers into his redemptive kingdom. Hopefully, I have already made my case that the gospel message challenges us to much more than slapping a Christian prefix in front of our daily activities. . . . Our cultural engagement is significant as Christians. It is something we should all wrestle with. But I don't think it's by "redeeming" yoga, plumbing, or politics in such a superficial way. (p. 208) Now in my case, I am trying to apply Christian principles to being a caregiver.
*Incidentally, we are going to receive the free gift of a Christian plumber from our local Baptist church where the Alzheimer's Association Support Group meets. He will be here next month to install grab bars to help with my husband's mobility in the bathroom. The staff member who called to set this up with me asked point blank if I am a Christian, taking advantage of that church's community outreach to senior citizens. Had I not been able to tell him about my faith, I am certain that he could have given out the gospel message. Thank God for the Southern Baptists!