Friday, March 6, 2015

The Sandwich Generation

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        As I walked the beach with my friend Ellen she shared how difficult this season of her life is.  Ellen and her husband have three children, each at a crossroads in their lives.  Their older son is in his mid twenties, their youngest is a blossoming teenage daughter and their middle child is severely autistic.
         One can imagine all that is entailed in caring for her children.  Greg once spoke of our children when they were high school, middle school and elementary as the makings of the “perfect storm.”
         In this particular season, added to her parenting responsibilities is the somber reality of her dad’s cancer diagnosis.  As we walked in the surf and discussed each scenario, I listened as Ellen shared how she was juggling and caring for those God had entrusted to her.
         Ellen is blessed to have a very involved husband as well as some extra help to care for their middle child.  As she shared what she thought needed to be done for each of her children, it occurred to me the resources she had at this juncture.
         She asked my opinion about what was going on in her life.  I told her with the help the Lord had given her and with the ages of her children it was time to call in help for her children and focus on her father’s care.
         Now fast-forward five months.
         Ellen’s father has spent the last three weeks in the hospital fighting the complications of his cancer.  Ellen has been by her father’s bedside or has helped her mother make her pilgrimage to the hospital daily.
         Ellen has made arrangements for her husband and children.  They are well cared for.  Ellen has been an amazing wife, mother and daughter.
         She will never regret the time she is spending with her father and mother.  Her children are watching their mother care for their grandfather that is setting an example for how they will treat her one day.
         Sometimes being the best mom means demonstrating what it means to be the best child. Living out a life of integrity through care, humility and thoughtfulness will be a life lesson her children will not only learn but will one day demonstrate.
         As a spectator to this very hard season in my friend’s life, I too am learning from her example. 

Questions to Ponder:
·      How am I being an example to our children?
·      What life lessons are our children learning from my daily behavior?
·      How am I juggling the care of our children and other significant relationships?

·      How can I thank someone who is being an example to me?

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