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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 385 - Caregiver, Grow A Thick Skin {#write31days}

One of the roughest things about caregiving is that you've got a target painted on your back.

If your terminally ill husband or wife has a family, you can never be as good a caregiver as they could. They may not have seen the dying family member in ten years and don't do more than send a Christmas email newsletter, but hey...blood is thicker than water, and how can an outsider do a better job than family?

Granted, this doesn't always happen; many families are tremendously supportive, and can offer the primary caregiver much-needed respite with a cheerful and uncritical heart...and they'll even clean the bathroom. Such folk deserve a seat at God's right hand...no, not just a seat...a top-of-the-line La-Z-Boy.

But when the criticism does roll in, it's tough. You don't have the energy to respond, and without giving them a full briefing and 'guided tour', you have no chance of convincing them anyway. The dice are loaded; you lose.

So you've got to grow a thick skin. Not armour, that deflects the hurt back onto he or she who sent it. They do mean well, you see; someone they love is dying, and they are hurting, too.

The skin you develop has to be like that of Jesus, to take in the hurt, absorb it as compassion, and give it up to the Lord.

Your thick skin, however hard it becomes to bear, becomes the seamless garment you wear in imitation of Christ.

Wear it well, wear it with love, and wear it in the knowledge that it was God who thus dressed you.

Our musical theme is from Clemency, with My Heart Is The Eastern Horizon.

My #write31days posts so far are:

October 2 - Talk To A Caregiver
October 3 -  Create A Caregiver Haven

Write 31 Days prompts - 2017

I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.


  1. I love this, Andrew: "The skin you develop has to be like that of Jesus, to take in the hurt, absorb it as compassion, and give it up to the Lord." It's easy when we face criticism to develop a thick skin but to lose compassion as a result. Jesus is a great example of how to respond.

    1. Thank you so much, Lesley! Too ill this evening to comment at length, but so glad you are here.

  2. You have some pretty incredible thick skin, my friend!

    1. Tara, that's why they call me God's Rhino! :)

      Well, my nose may have something to do with it.

  3. Oh yeah, the last thing we need at times like this is someone with an ax to grind, a critical spirit. God give us grace and mercy to deal with people like this ... somehow in a way that would make Him smile.

    Superb series, man ...

    1. Linda, you're so right, that grace and mercy are the tools He's placed in our hands. Love this!

  4. Hey Andrew, my neighbor over at the messy marriage linkup! I love what you've written here. How beautiful. I see that God has gifted your writing. I'm looking forward to hanging around your site to read up more on care-giving. I really appreciate your perspective. Love your musical selection as well! Consider one thing though - don't feel compelled to reply to everyone's comments. It's not always possible and stifles our creative energy. People will still feel your love and heart for them. A long time ago, Anne Voskamp of A Holy Experience blog came to realize that she would not be able to reply to the hundreds of people who were commenting. She eventually shut down the comments. People still visited - in droves. It's OK. And whatever you do - don't reply to this. LOL! :-) Blessings to you.

    1. Tiffiney, sorry...but I couldn't resist responding to this lovely comment! Thank you so much.

      This is actually one of the only means of conversation I have. Speaking is very difficult, and painful now. Don't even have a phone.

      But yes, you're right...and circumstances will eventually force me away from responding every time, as illness progresses.

      Thank you so much for being here.

  5. I agree that you're not obligated to reply. But it's nice to know you've seen our posts. Perhaps just a check mark would be enough.

    1. Jan, it's always such a pleasure to read these comment...and to reply as I am able. Very nearly the only social contact I have, now.