Category - Alzheimer’s

Spiritual Dementia
The One Thing My Mom Did
The Getaway Ship!

Spiritual Dementia

Today I’m waiting for a thunderstorm to come while sitting on the back porch of Rocky Top.  I hear claps of thunder and lightning is striking in the distance. The clouds are quickly rolling in over the lake.   The impending storm is reflective of my mood.

My heart is heavy because some things just didn’t happen the way they were supposed to. Life didn’t go as I planned. Life didn’t happen like lots of people planned in this situation.   People I love dearly are hurting and the world just seems to continue to spin out of control. Judges in Washington are telling us how to live. Floods are ravaging states. Children are missing. Godly people are dying too young.  And political candidates are making way too many promises in loud voices.

And I am fighting spiritual dementia. I just keep forgetting a very important truth.

My mom, who does have Alzheimer’s, tends to ask me the same question over and over. I calmly will answer her. Yet, after about the sixth time she repeats the same question I want to just say, “Mom, I have answered you! You know the answer to that question!”

Sadly, I am afraid the Lord is sitting up in heaven saying, “Really, Donna? I have answered that question for you before. You know the answer.”

In I Timothy, Paul is writing to a young pastor named Timothy. Timothy does not have an easy job. He is pastoring a church in Ephesus during the reign of Nero. Christians are being persecuted. Many of the people in Timothy’s church are immature believers……lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of having things their own way.

At the beginning of this letter, Paul reminds Timothy of a very important truth (the one I keep forgetting). Paul knows that in order to lead this church in Ephesus, Timothy can’t afford to have spiritual dementia. Timothy will need to keep this truth in front of him at all times.

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever Amen.” I Timothy 1:17

Paul reminds Timothy of who God is. He reminds of him of God’s character.

My God is King! Nero is not King. No president is King! No Supreme Court Justice is King.

My God is eternal!   He has always been and will always be! He never ceases to be!

My God is immortal! The Greek word “immortal” here means incorruptible. My God has no corruption in Him! He is without flaw. People will fail me. God will not.

My God is invisible. My God is in all and through all. He is not limited by a physical body.

My God is the only wise God. The Greek word for “wise” means “watchman”. My God sits on top of the mountain and can see all around. Nothing catches Him by surprise. My God is Sovereign.

Today if you are struggling with life not going as planned, take I Timothy 1:17 and put it where you can see it on a regular basis. I have it written on my office wall and on my desk.

It is a truth that must be kept in front of me at all times. When life doesn’t go as planned and I begin to question life and just who God is, I return to this passage. When I do ask God this question over and over, He gently reminds me of just who He is. His character is steadfast.

The storm is upon me and I must leave my rocking chair on the back porch.

Just like life, the storms will come and go but………….

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever Amen.” I Timothy 1:17


The One Thing My Mom Did

This time of the year always brings mixed emotions in my heart. I see many pictures and tributes on social media of women with their moms. It just makes me sad. However, it is not because my mom isn’t here on this earth. She is alive but she isn’t. Mom has Alzheimer’s. This horrible disease has robbed her of her memory and is beginning to shut down her basic bodily functions. As I sit on the back porch of Rocky Top today, I want to be totally transparent.   Even if my mom did not have this awful sickness, she was just not a good mom. Ouch, kind of cruel to say on Mother’s Day weekend. Please know my Mom is receiving flowers today, beautiful red roses in a gorgeous vase, along with a card that expresses my love to her. I will also travel this week hundreds of miles to sit with her as I listen to her tell me the same thing over and over. My hope is that as I walk in the door she will smile as she recognizes my face.

But I’m not one to play games and pretend. I have no memories of her brushing my hair, showing me how to apply makeup or giving me wise counsel concerning boys. There are no bedtime stories, songs of Jesus, or times we just acted silly in the back of my mind. She wasn’t even present at any of my children’s graduations or weddings by her own choice.

I do not share this to cause you to feel sorry for me or to dishonor my mom in anyway. I share it because there is ONE THING my mom did that changed the course of my life!

This ONE THING changed my life forever. It is a gift any mom can give her child.   As I have grown older I realize how blessed I am that my mom did this ONE THING.

My mom took me to church. Notice I didn’t say she brought me to church. That would imply that she always came with me, which she didn’t. Mom took me nearly every Sunday to a church where God’s word was taught passionately, preached with authority and Jesus was worshipped as if He really was alive.

So, MOM, thank you for taking me to a place where I heard about Jesus. Every good gift I have is because of one decision you made. You might have failed at many things as a mom but at least you were wise enough to know that there was a place you could take me every week that would introduce me to the ONE who is perfect and has blessed me with a life that is above and beyond anything I could have daydreamed about as a child.

So on this Mother’s Day weekend as I reflect on being a mom, I also celebrate the three children He has blessed me with. They are all adults now, married to three wonderful spouses and I now have two grandkids and one on the way!   Please know I failed my children many, many times. I was not the perfect mom. I yelled way too much and placed too much emphasis on things that really didn’t matter like perfectly cleaned rooms and perfect  grades. However, I did repeat the ONE THING and hopefully improved on it a little: I BROUGHT them to church and wanted them to meet Jesus. He was and is a REAL person in our home. I see them now BRINGING their children to church and Jesus is a very REAL person in their homes.

Mom, you were not a perfect mom. I am not a perfect mom.   But I did learn from you there is ONE who is perfect and HE will enable me to live the life He has called me to live. Thank you MOM for taking me to church!

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for HE who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25



The Getaway Ship!

I’ve been away from Rocky Top this last week. Been floating on the wide open sea in a ship named Getaway. I needed to get away…..from people, Alzheimer’s, critics and such. But once I got away I realized I needed to get away from me.

Right before I boarded the getaway boat, I went to see a movie, WAR ROOM.   See all I wanted to get away from was battles I thought I was fighting. The battle of hoping others will accept me and like me; the battle of the disease that is slowly killing my mother and controlling much of my time; the battle of unsolicited negative opinions. Sounds pretty awful doesn’t it?

Yet, my life is so rich and full……full of a husband that loves me, children who love me and are contributing to society and actually loving Jesus, grandchildren, who are perfect (don’t argue this one); friends who know me and still love me,  abundant opportunities to serve others, and a wonderful church family!

I do have an enemy that I do constant battle with…His name is Satan. BUT what I realized this week is that my biggest enemy is myself……my pride, my fear, my disobedience, my selfishness.   My first strategy in battle was to confront ME……quit making excuses for the lack of prayer, the selfishness, and the lack of grace for everyone but me and mine.

So on the floor of the getaway boat; I spent time confessing and repenting. Then I stood up ready to see others through eyes…eyes of grace. I also stood up to realize that my encounter with Alzheimer’s could be an opportunity and not a curse. A very wise friend once told me that when God interrupted her life, she met people she never would have met,  went places she never thought she would go and experienced things she never would have otherwise.

We think we want our life to be on a cruise ship……someone making our bed every day, making cute little animals with towels, cooking for us, spraying us with cool water when we are hot and bringing us a glass of lemon water every few hours. Cruise ship living is nice for a week or so and we all need a vacation but after five or so days of cruise ship living I’m ready for REAL life.

God created us and died for us so that we can glorify Him and increase His kingdom. He receives glory when we are in battle and have to rely on His strength to face difficult people and difficult circumstances.

Somehow in the American church we have come to believe that if we are on a cruise ship and all is well that we must be living our life right before God. Yet, according to God’s word we are most like Christ when we are suffering. Elisabeth Elliot’s definition of suffering is “having something you don’t want or wanting something you don’t have.”

Paul said “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings becoming like him in his death…”  Philippians 3:10-11   This is not cruise ship living. This is War Room, Battleship living!! How exciting!

So with a repentant heart, a new perspective of the battles in front of me and a refreshed spirit, I left the Getaway ship to come home and live on Rocky Top, excited to fight the battles on my knees that He so graciously allows in my life so that I can experience Him in a new way,

And by the way…………THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME! Good ol’ Rocky Top!

Copyright © 2015. Website design by Girl on the Roof.