Learning to Live Inside Out

Pastor Taylor continues his Lenten Sermon Series: Learning To Live Inside Out with a message entitled “Give Me Water”

Due to technical issues, there is no livestream broadcast for our March 12, 2023, worship service, either here or on our Facebook page.



Self-Care is Vital III

Caregiving For All:  March 1, 2023, Del Larson, Certified Lay Minister

Sweat the small stuff

° Give yourself credit for what you do.

You probably hear often what an angel, or loving soul you are for taking care of a loved one. We politely say thank you.  Yes, you are all of those and more.  You make God smile and others wonder how you do it all.  Do not let these comments slide by without including a very important wish.  I wish that I had the strength of an angel, and could feel my soul at peace.  I realize that is not possible because God only gives you enough strength for that moment.  So let go of your worries, and your soul is at peace.   That is tough to do.  We lack the faith to trust God will get us through each day’s new situations.  We go to sleep at night believing we have done our best and we give thanks.   Now it is time to find joy and happiness in your life.


° Include joy and happiness in your life.

Being a caregiver is the most difficult job I have ever done in my life.   I like to laugh and make others laugh.  My poor wife thinks I laugh too often, although I hear her trying to cover up a snicker a few times each day.  I’m not sure that I would survive this role without using humor.  Yes, I get frustrated often, but I don’t like the feeling of being down, and not under control.  When we feel the pressure and start to melt down, we make mistakes.  We say things we wish we hadn’t.  When you give up, and doubts start to creep in, you are at the end of your rope.  Find joy and laughter.  Watch a funny movie; have coffee (or beer for me) with some friends; and do something you enjoy that brings satisfaction.  Lastly, journal about your experiences.  Buy a notebook, and try to write in it every two days.  You will find that it gives you a release from your frustrations when you write down what is happening.  You can see patterns about both you and your patient that could be helpful in their care.  If you continue to struggle, seek help.  Your care receiver needs you, and so do others in your life.  You are the sunshine on a cloudy day.  For me joking and laughing make a difference.


Here are some of the best traits that every caregiver should have:

  • Patience: Those who provide home care to others need to be patient.  When I feel I’m starting to lose it, and I’m about to say something I shouldn’t, I zip my mouth shut, smile, and thank God. This is a great release for me.  Sometimes my wife sees me do this and smiles.  She understands.
  • Compassion: When someone has compassion for another they have an understanding of what the person is going through.  Be a person of compassion.  Have a heart that opens for others.  Practice compassion with all.  Let them see what compassion looks like so they understand how to share when the time arises.
  • Attentiveness:  It is easy to get distracted in the business of a caregiver.  Try to be tuned in not only to the person receiving your care but also yourself.  You have to protect yourself just as much as you do your loved one.  DO NOT feel guilty if your patient criticizes you. Listen and acknowledge their concerns, then evaluate what you need to do.
  • Dependability:  Your plate is overfilled.  You don’t use a plate, but rather the whole table.  There is so much for you to do.  Ask for help.  Be organized, but ask for help.  Be a manager, not the whole team.
  • Trustworthiness: This is important because you are dealing with a vulnerable person.  You need the support of the whole caring team.  Journaling is very helpful.

What is the golden rule in caregiving?  Any ideas?

I appreciate hearing from you.  Positive or negative. My email is attached, or you can call the church and they will give you my number.

Feel free to respond, ask questions, or tell me what you think.

I hope that you can find one thing that will be helpful to you.  Email: larsondel@gmail.com

Self-Care is Vital Part II

Caregiving For All:  February 20, 2023, Del Larson, Certified Lay Minister 

° Eat healthy meals and get plenty of exercise.

I am doing all the cooking now, and sometimes it is easier to just make Mac & Cheese.  However, both you and your patient must eat healthy meals.  There are quick and easy healthy meals you can get, but make sure you are getting what you need.  As we age, we eat less, and it can become easier to just do a simple meal. Check with your doctor about seeing a nutritionist.  Don’t slip into snack foods all the time.   FYI: You had better sell any stock you have in Hershey’s, as I have stopped eating their dark chocolate bars because of the high levels of lead and cadmium.  I know, I’ve been eating it since I had teeth.  At your next blood draw, check your levels of these two hard metals.  Exercise is important until the very end.  If you are not ambulatory,  you can do many exercises from your chair or bed.  Check with your doctor or therapist about which are best for you.

°  Accept offers, or reach out to friends to reconnect.

When people ask you how your spouse is doing, be honest.  Sometimes when I am frustrated, I will say she is doing great, but I’m not worth a dime.  This will get their attention.   At this moment, my spouse is doing well in her situation, because we are well-planned.  However, I miss the interaction with old friends and people whom I spent time with.  We MUST be honest.  If they volunteer to help, accept it.  Have them run errands for you.  Have them sit with your care recipient, or just visit them so you have a break.  Go out to eat with old friends, while someone cooks for your patient.  Go to a game, or a movie, or visit friends.  I have noticed that I hear less from old friends that we were close to before the pandemic.  I try to call them, but it doesn’t usually work to meet up.  There are three reasons for that:

  1. We are all getting older and it is harder to get out.
  2. Covid threatened us, so we stay home.
  3. For some it is hard to visit someone who needs special care. Don’t be upset.  Deal with it. Educate them.  Make plans, invite them over, go yourself and visit them.  Many are great Facebook friends.  These are great relationships that can help both of you. Encourage any help you can get.  Don’t just say we are OK.  Accept the offers. Otherwise, put out a sign on Facebook.  Help needed!  I’m feeling overwhelmed and need someone who has time to visit my wife so I can go out to a game for some renewal. If your care recipient can be alone for a few hours, find someone to take you fishing.  It will get more difficult later to have time for yourself, so thank them and tell them how much you appreciate the encouragement.   Give credit to those who help you (family, friends, neighbors).  Remember, that God plays a  big hand in our success as a caregiver. We sometimes struggle with God, and why God is giving us this burden or causing this terrible disease.  Find someone you can talk to about your faith.  It is easy to blame God and turn away from God.   Message or call me.  I’ve battled God.  I have been angry as Hell with God.  There are many great books to read.  I have a great list of resources.   

I will have on this important topic shortly.  Take the time to digest these tips.  Put reminders on your calendar to call someone.  Plan to attend a concert, a movie, or a game even if it is by yourself.  Take the time for your healing.   In my next blog, I will share why it is good to Give Yourself Credit and Include Joy and Laughter in your life.

I appreciate hearing from you.  Positive or negative. My email is attached, or you can call the church and they will give you my number.

Feel free to respond, ask questions, or tell me what you think.

I hope that you can find one thing that will be helpful to you.  Email: larsondel@gmail.com

Self-Care is Vital Part I

Caregiving For All:  February 20, 2023, Del Larson, Certified Lay Minister

Self-Care Is Very Important. Since I began caregiving, I have heard these five words probably 100 times. At the beginning of my caring journey, I was reading articles in different magazines on Caregiving. Most of those lessons have been repeated time and time again. Being a Caregiver adds much more to what is Love.

° Self-care is just as important as the care you give your loved one. To love someone else, you have to first love yourself, so that you not only know what love is but also how it feels. You will hear care leaders say if you don’t take care of yourself, who will take care of your loved one as you do? Sixty percent of caregivers die or become unable to care for their loved ones. Each group is 30%

. ° Self-care helps the care-recipient learn to be under the care of others and still be well. Many helpful aids can make the life of a caregiver less hectic and worrisome. Ask your doctor, and find an online, or in-person support groups to meet with. I’m part of the Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota (LSS) online caregiver group. There are many resources available. Get a fall detection device; security camera for when you are out of the home; and create a schedule of helpers that can give you a break when you need it.

° Set limits for what you can do. When you start as a caregiver, your ability to help is probably much easier. However, as you and your care-receiver age, abilities will change and become more difficult. I had major back surgery two years ago. Although my surgery was a success, I have noticed that I don’t have the strength or durability to do the same amount of caregiving. I am learning to adapt. I wear a back brace and use a belt to move or transition my wife. She doesn’t like it, but can’t take the risk, nor should I. Ask for more help. I am creating an outline for an Emergency Plan that I use for my wife’s care that originated with LSS. If something happens to me, or I am unavailable to care for her the plan is ready to implement. Emergency Plans will be addressed in a later blog.

° Take time to get away from your caregiving and do things you enjoy. In January, I took a respite trip to Tucson, AZ. for six days. It was time that I practice what I was preaching. I have taken half-day trips for hunting, and even a couple of weekends for fishing. My Emergency Plan was initially created for my back surgery when I would be in rehab for two weeks. It worked perfectly when needed. We made some changes and improved it for my Arizona trip. We never know what can happen. We should never live on “what ifs.” These are top tips to help you during your self-care.

° You will find God is your best help. There is no doubt in my mind that I could never be a caregiver without having God as my partner. There are so many examples of how God is helping me be successful, as both a caregiver and in sharing these topics. In our recent caregivers’ online meeting, I was the only one to share how the church should reach out to help those in caregivers. This is what got me on this topic, and also got me thinking about how can I get other churches to do what God expects us to do; helping and loving those who need help. It was one of those “lightbulb moments.” It felt like God rapped me over the head with a 2×4, to get me moving. I’m excited about the project. I will share more as it develops. God bless you.

I appreciate hearing from you.  Positive or negative. My email is attached, or you can call the church and they will give you my number.

Feel free to respond, ask questions, or tell me what you think.

I hope that you can find one thing that will be helpful to you.  Email: larsondel@gmail.com