Vacation... Not According To Plan

"This was the worst vacation, EVER!"

That's a quote from my son--his reflections on our recent vacation that was cut short after two days when my Mom, who lives with us and was with us and was on our trip, had medical issues that sent her to a hospital. The complications are still ongoing weeks later. Oh, and did I mention the hospital she's been in is a couple hour drive from the house? Yes it's true, I wouldn't make this up. Maybe the kid is right.

"Normal" got redefined for my family a couple years ago, when we bought a house big enough to accommodate us and my mom. It's been great having her with us. It's been a real win-win situation. But now it's time to switch gears. She going to need more than she's giving. My wife and I knew that going into this. It was part of the deal we signed up for.

For my wife and I, we felt convicted to buy a larger home and have mom move in with after my dad passed away. My mom, being and introvert, would have probably survived on her own, but she wouldn't have thrived. Even introverts need community. This arrangement gives my mom not only a sense of community but also a sense of purpose. While this type of arrangement is not a command of Scripture, it's certainly is a gospel implication. This arrangement allows us practical ways to demonstrate to gospel in everyday ways. She gets to see how the gospel is lived out. Because of this arrangement, we've had many conversations about a wide range of topics that we wouldn't have had otherwise.

So now, "normal" around our house is about to change. More than likely, at least in the initial stages of her recovery, mom shouldn't be left alone. This means my wife and I will have to change our work schedules to ensure one of us is there all the time. We will accompany her to all doctor appointments and follow ups to make certain we understand how to care for her and help her take care of herself. Basically we are going to get "all up in her business". We've gone so far as to set up a temporary (we hope) bedroom on the first floor of our house to keep her on the main level. All of this to best care for her. While there may be easier ways, we wouldn't have it any other way because we know this God's plan and we trust him.

We've been blessed in many ways by having mom with us. Now, it's our turn to be a blessing to her. Because this is what family does, it's takes care of each other. Just like God taking care those he adopted into his family. Just like the family of God does for each other.

Pat Aldridge's 2017 Reading Plan

This is my reading plan for 2017 ... at least as far as I know it at this time

Soul Care

I'm reading this because I'm doing a lot more counseling than I ever thought I would. My hope is that this will help me do it better.




As a pastor, I lead. This book (written by friends) has the potential to grow my understanding of my calling.





Every year I read a least one book on discipleship. I do this because this is what believers are called to do.




Children's / Youth / Family Ministry

This is where my heart beats faster as far as ministry is concerned. I'm reading this a little selfishly because my kids are about to enter their teen years, I need wisdom in how to parent them.




I also read a least one book a year on marriage. Marriages need to be encouraged and strengthened. My hope is that this book will do both.




My daughter, who knows me all to well, bought me this for Christmas. Suffice to say, I'll enjoy working my way through this.




What are you reading this year? Leave a recommendation in the comment section.

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