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Feb 28, 2024


This is the program for you as a family caregiver.

Healthy caregivers make better caregivers.

You know about that last block, I ought to have a thing where you guys, y'all send us some lyrics for the song.

Maybe we'll figure out which one's the best one, and I'll get Gracie to sing it when she starts getting better.

What do you think?

Because she said, Gracie was very worried.

She said, look, I've got to get my voice into shape.

I said, well, you've got time, darling.

You're just now three months out of surgery, so give yourself a little bit of grace here.

And yet, it would be kind of fun to have her sing this song.

This is the theme for Peter's show.

All right, enough of that frivolity and jocularity.

I've been having a conversation ongoing with several different caregivers in the midst of their caregiving and I've challenged them and I'm going to challenge you because I've challenged myself.

I do not subscribe to this belief that we as caregivers wait until the circumstances of our loved ones change before we start changing.

You all know that.

If you've listened to this show for any amount of time, you're going to know that the point is that we change no matter what's going on around us.

That we can improve.

We can get healthier.

And I recognize that we are constrained

by Our Journey As Caregivers.

I get that.

I really get that.

Now, let me give you some context.

I've been a caregiver since I was 22.

I asked Gracie to marry me when I was 22 years old.

Bless her heart for her lack of judgment.

But here we are, 38 years later.

During that entire time, I have been her caregiver.

Now, some days have not been quite as dire as others.

And then some days have been extremely dire.

I mean, when you have the kind of journey we've had.

So at some point, and I can't remember exactly when, but I had to make a pivotal decision that this is not going to change.

So therefore I must.

I kept thinking if we could just get around that corner, if we could just get over that hill, then...

I can be settled and content and learn to be productive.

This is what's holding me back.

And so we've got to get through this.

And I would strive towards this.

I'm not by any means proud of these things.

I mean, I'm horrifically embarrassed by it.

But I'm sharing these things with you because I believe that so many of you have those same kind of feelings.

If we could just get through this, if he would just stop doing this, if she would just stop doing this, if we could just get mama onto Jesus, if we could just, if, if, if, if, if, then I could be productive, then I could be at peace, then I could be successful, all of those things.

Now, if I'm the only one that has had this internal conversation

So be it.

But I don't think I am.

All right?

So if you've had this internal conversation, then I'm talking to you.


This is for you.

This is just you and me now.

Two people who have had these types of thoughts that have weighed heavy on us and it's changed our behavior.

It's forced us into a pattern of

striving and and unsettledness unrest angst that is at times overpowering okay so just so we're on the same page just you and me all right here's what happened with me once I made that decision that this is my life this is the way it is it's not going to change anytime soon

I cannot affect what has happened to Gracie.

I didn't cause it.

I can't change it.

All I can do is care for her in this.

And the best way to care for her is to make sure that I am productive, healthy, spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, professionally, all of the above.

You've heard me say it now hundreds of times.

Healthy caregivers

Make better caregivers.

I am no good to Gracie if I am fat, broken, miserable.

I am no good to Gracie if I stroke out.

I cannot guarantee that things won't happen to me, but I live my life in a way to protect that so that I don't take unnecessary risk.

The other day I went out on a snowmobile after feeding the horses.

I feed the horses on, I have a little sled that I pull behind the snowmobile and I feed the horses, pull the hay out there and it's great.

Quite enjoyable, I must say.

And then I decided to take a ride around just to check out all the new snow and everything else here on the place.

I texted our son and I said, look, if you don't hear from me in an hour, call the guy down the road.

His name is Kevin.

He'll come out and he'll come find me.

But I told him where I was going.

Well, now, a lot of people don't think that way, but I have to.

Gracie can't

Take care of yourself right now.

And she needs to know where I am.

Somebody needs to know where I am in case something happens.

Things can happen out here in Montana on the frozen tundra.

There's no lifeguard on duty.

So I don't take stupid chances.

This Mental Shift Changed My Journey As Caregiver

But the purpose of this conversation right now is not to say that I am constrained because I don't feel like I am.

I am tethered.

I am tethered to this situation with Gracie and I have been since I was 22.

That's not going to change until one of us steps into glory.


Those are the facts.

We're just going to deal with facts.

I am tethered to this, but I'm not hostage to it.

I'm not prisoner to it.

And I think this is the mindset that I would like for my fellow caregivers to understand is that we can accept that we're tethered, that this is part of it, but we're not hostage.

And within the arc of that tether, whatever that looks like for you and me, we can be productive.

So if you think about it is I have a tether to my ankle that's tethered to Gracie's wheelchair.

I will stretch that thing out as far as I can to be as productive within that circle around her.

And sometimes I have to move her so that I can have a bigger circle.

And I've done that and that's okay.

But I'm not hostage.

I don't spend my time trying to figure out how to cut the tether.

What I spend my time doing is how do I be productive given these particular realities in my life?

That was a huge mental shift for me.

Some people don't want to make that shift, and I get it.

Some people don't want to do that.

That's fine.

But I believe that there are many of you who are seeking something like that, who recognize that you're in a situation that is unchangeable,

And again, I've said this, I don't know how many times, I would love to tell you that I'm wise.

I would love to tell you that I'm spiritually mature, but we all know better.

I'm just tired.

It is exhausting to strive like this.

And when you get tired enough, you will be open to look at this from a different perspective.

Well, maybe this might be a better way to look at this.

You know, whatever that looks like.

And for me, that's exactly what happened.

And I realized that my invitation was to be productive where I was.

I love Jeremiah 29.

Everybody talks about Jeremiah 29 11.

This Mental Shift Changed My Journey As Caregiver

In Jeremiah 29, if you go back and read it, God is saying through Jeremiah, hey, look, I put you here.

The Israelites were in captivity in Babylon, and he said, you're not here to sit there and lament about this.

Build your house, plant your vineyards, get married, have kids, have grandkids.

I know where you are.

I know the plans I have for you, but you're going to stay right here until I'm ready to move you.

Preachers don't want to talk about that particular aspect unless they're having overcrowding problems at the church, because that's when people start to leave.

Nobody wants to hear that.

They want to hear God's going to get me out and give me my victory, give me my breakthrough.

He's already given you your breakthrough.

That was at the cross.

Now we're going to have some more understanding about this and that you can be productive right where you are, even as a caregiver.

And I will give you proof.

I've been a caregiver again since I was 22.

I have written four books, published books.

I have written hundreds of commentaries that have been published in Fox News, WebMD, USA Today, AARP, all kinds of stuff.

I have the nation's largest podcast for caregivers.

I think, from what I understand, the world's largest podcast.

I have the world's largest broadcast here on this network for family caregivers.

I have managed a medical nightmare that is well over now $15 million.

with a hundred plus doctors, 13 different hospitals, seven different insurance companies.

And it's ongoing.

It's relentless.

I cook, I clean, I do the laundry.

I can, I iron, you know, y'all know I love to iron.

I love to iron.

I ironed a shirt this morning just to be able to come here to do this program.

I have produced two full length CDs.

I've written songs that not only have Gracie and I performed, but other people have recorded.

I have performed on stages with Gracie all over the country, on national television, all the above.

And I've done all of that while a caregiver.

Now, is it because I'm so special?

Well, I don't think so.

It's because I choose to believe the principle we discussed in the last block when that guy said at the caregiver support group, he's got this, answer the question.

Deal with the reality in front of us knowing that he's got this.

and it frees me up.

I don't have to strive over figuring out how this is going to all make sense.

I don't have to figure out how to solve Gracie's amputation problem or chronic pain problem or surgery problem.

I don't have to figure that out.

I can be productive today.

I don't have to wait to get over to the next hill.

I can do something today that has value.

Trusting that God's got this and it's okay.

Do you realize the burden that takes off of all of us?

And so I challenge you.

Many of you feel constrained and I get that feeling.

I truly get it.

I truly get it.

But what would happen if you just shifted that thought process just a little and thought, maybe I'm not constrained, maybe I'm just tethered, but inside this ark, God knows where I am and I could be productive and trust Him with all the other.

I can be obedient right where I am.

I can bloom where I'm planted.

That is hope for the caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger.

We'll be right back.