The Effect of the Bushfires

The effect of the bushfire

The effect of the bushfires on animals is a subject much posted about on Facebook. However, the sad truth is that if all the native animals survived the fires, they would still die. Their habitat is burning or burnt.

Kangaroos are herbivores… After these catastrophic fires there is not much grass, nor leaves and mosses left.

Koalas (are not bears by the way, they are marsupials) eat gum leaves. And not just any gum leaves… “Koalas are very fussy eaters and have strong preferences for different types of gum leaves. In Australia there are over 600 types of eucalypts, but Koalas will not eat a large proportion of these.”
https://www.savethekoala.com/about-koalas/koalas-diet-digestion

The effect of the bushfires

This can be seen from space…
https://nasaspxa.com/2020/01/04/satellite-images-show-australias-devastating-wildfires-from-space/?fbclid=IwAR39_Jv3iKrAubYI-MmTcZSVRmTNHMEHoDG6jtQ8FvaVvRsEulfiKIIeNq8

So people on two continents are suffering from the smoke, which makes life more difficult for people who suffer from asthma, lung or heart disease.

Power is ‘out’ for vast numbers of people, as is phone coverage.

Reports from people who successfully fled from the fires – “It was like Armageddon,” was a ‘common’ comment. Considering the sky, which had been orange then turned black at 9 am, the comments make sense.

Pray for the firefighters

The effect of the bushfire, show support
Shared on Facebiook

Some of the fires started in September 2019 and firefighters and voluntary firefighters have battled the blazes ever since. Now, however, the fires are raging in many of our States at once.

North American firefighters have been arriving in Australia since early December to assist in the country’s bushfire crisis with more to be deployed on Monday.

For the first time since 2010, the US is sending firefighters while Canada is sending fire experts to Australia for the first time.
https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/technology/us-canadian-firefighters-will-help-local-efforts-in-bushfire-crisis/news-story/b3682d095caacf22de608e1fb123a9d9
Western Australia has sent firefighters to help. But is it enough? Who knows, but we have to try.

Consider also…

The effect of the bushfires on the farmers who were already ‘doing it tough.’ Many have ‘walked off the land,’ while others have committed suicide. The ones who remain desperately need help. Then there are caravan park owners, holiday homes… and people. People who have lost everything they possess and desperately need hope, encouragement… life. Pray for them also, please.

Since so much of the country has already burned, recovery is going to be difficult.

I read in the press that our major Telcos are waving mobile phone fees for the volunteer firemen.
https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/optus-slashes-fireys-bills-to-zero-231102844.html

Plus,banks are offering not only immediate assistance to people but also the suspension of mortgage and personal loan payments.
https://www.theadviser.com.au/breaking-news/39526-banks-offer-relief-for-bushfire-victims

You can help...

There are many honest fundraisers around, as well as some dishonest ones. If you choose to donate, check out the details.

Here is a link to one which was sent to me… Check it out
https://www.facebook.com/donate/1010958179269977/

And remember the ‘face’ of a young volunteer firefighter who shared with me photos she took at the start and end of her ‘shift’ fighting fires here in WA.
https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/volunteer-firefighters-and-their-value/

You can also donate your prayers. I see some people are praying for rain… but it’s not a sprinkle we need, it is monsoon rain, lots of it.

Thank you

Susan

 

Volunteer firefighters and their value

volunteer firefighters at a bushfire

Volunteer firefighters are a necessary part of the community here in Australia.

Why?

Because bushfires in Australia are a part of life in the summer. They can be caused by

  • a lightning strike,
  • by peoples’ carelessness,
  • or by that most despicable of creatures… the firebug.

Lightning and firebugs

The first is unpredictable, and the second – I would prefer not to say anything other than what I called those people before… the most despicable of creatures.

There is a ‘profile ‘a serial firebug here… https://www.theage.com.au/national/profile-inside-the-mind-of-a-firebug-20080113-ge6lnh.html

Our part: If we see something suspicious, call the police

approach of bushfite
(c) Christy-Lee Williams, 2019; Used by permission

Carelessness

Are you a smoker? Have you ever thrown away a cigarette and stood on it to put it out? They don’t always go out.

On a city street, chances are they will only be litter.

Annoying but they probably do not cause damage. In the bush though the smallest bit of heat can smolder and start a fire.

Unchecked it could become an inferno.

See last week’s post on how far the embers travel in advance of a fire.
Australia Burns

What about camping in the bush?

Ever done that? If it is in the period of a total fire ban, do you obey it? Do you even know about total fire bans and what they mean?

Even if there is not a total fire ban in place, if you cook where you are camping do you make sure any fire, or BBQ is completely out before you move away?

There are many ways to be careless when walking in the bush, all of us need to be aware of our actions… and the possible consequences.

Our part: Learn the rules and keep them.

By the way, the bush can be a small patch of bushland between suburbs. I remember a few years ago when a college and the college residences were under threat from a bushfire. There was a patch of bushland one side of the road, burning. The fire jumped the road and came perilously close to some of the college residences. The cause? A homeless man had been camping in the patch of bush.

Another type of carelessness

The people who do not move out of the way of emergency vehicles. Do you know there are rules about giving way to emergency vehicles – and penalties for not keeping those rules?

https://roadrules.rsc.wa.gov.au/road-rules/emergency-vehicles

Then there is another kind… but is it carelessness or selfishness? The spectators who want to watch the drama unfold.

These people put themselves in the way of the firefighters, hampering them, and in many cases putting their own lives at risk. Watch it on TV. The media, who have permission to be there, know the rules and the conditions of the fire scene. They keep those rules, or if they don’t, will not be allowed at the next fire scene.

Our part: Keep out of the way, let the people do their jobs.

It is difficult enough for them without dealing with ignorance or selfishness.

One of the volunteer firefighters

Volunteer firefighter after her shift
(c) copyright. Christy-Lee Williams, 2019; Used by permission

What if this was your daughter?

Or son, boyfriend, father, mother, girlfriend, husband or wife. They risk their lives to save the properties of others. In some instances a firefighter has lost his/her own home while off saving the property of others. It has happened here in Western Australia… and, I guess, many other places.

From an article by the wife of a volunteer firefighter…

“I wonder if the Prime Minister has considered what would happen if the volunteers just decided not to go. Or what will happen when they are all exhausted, worn down, emotionally frayed and unable to go back. Of course they will have already gone back several times after they reach this point because there is nobody else to go.”
Used with permission. Full article here… https://smarterthancrows.wordpress.com/2019/12/10/no-scott-morrison-my-husband-does-not-want-to-be-fighting-fires-this-summer/?fbclid=IwAR2r_-Nj51JlLPXbfnqAzFmoCtinFVhDYDBDFHAVOXgnSfK_Cq9NKw9_qLs

She also mentions the reality all the family and friends of the firefighters face… the firefighter might not come home.

And that happened last week.

Two volunteer firefighters killed while fighting fires

This was in New South Wales, not here in Western Australia. However, most of us mourn over the cost they paid to be volunteers.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/two-firefighters-dead-bushfires-close-in-sydney-nsw-195445715.html?utm_source=Campaign_Monitor&utm_medium=Edm&utm_campaign=DailySnap_Newsletter&utm_term=DailySnap_Newsletter&ncid=dailysnapshotau_dailysnaps_yaptekbs7gs

They were men with young children.

And if it is true that the Prime Minister said that they could choose not to go…

All I want to say is there would be little of Australia left without volunteer firefighters. These people have a sense of responsibility and community that would put many of our politicians to shame.

Fire truck and approaching bush fire
(c) copyright Christy-Lee Williams 2019; Used by permission

When I asked Christy about the time of day the pictures were taken, here is her reply…

“i went out there the first day (2.30-11.30) and again the second day (8.30 am – 8.30pm) so its both night and day”

Christy is a nineteen year old girl, she’s been doing this for four years that I remember. Her brother is also a volunteer firefighter. They follow the path set by their parents.

These are the heroes we should respect. Allow them to do their jobs… it may be YOUR home they protect next.

Bushfires are again devastating several States, and firefighters are exhausted.

Our part: Pray for them, and their families.

Susan

Note: All images in this post are copyright photographs taken by Christy-Lee Williams 2019 and are used by permission.

Australia Burns

Bushfires in Australia

The fires in Australia started in New South Wales in the Eastern States in September. (Not quite summer time.) Then it was Queensland’s turn. Other States have had fire emergencies since, but New South Wales is still burning, and there is an active on-going fire emergency in Western Australia.

In both these States temperatures continue to climb, and in Western Australia wind changes pose a dangerous hazard.

List of States and their fires can be found here… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E2%80%9320_Australian_bushfire_season

In Western Australia

Aside from the fact I live there, (although not near the fire zones) the adult grandchildren of a friend are volunteer firefighters, and have been involved in fighting these blazes. So, for me, praying for the firefighters has a personal face. I know these young people, although I pray for all firefighters, but particularly Christy and her brother.

When this fire started I was in hospital and saw on the news about the petrol station exploding in the blaze. Roads were blocked by the police as the nearby housing estates were too much of a risk to access.

Some of the nurses had homes in the affected areas and unable to contact husbands/family members. Consequently they were able to leave their shifts and go.

Evacuation centres were set up, police went door to door in suburbs under threat, telling people to evacuate immediately.

There is another side to the fact Australia is burning

Facts:

  • Crops have burned,
  • There are animal losses,
  • Devastation for the already stretched and depressed farmers and their families.
Price rise for bread in Australia

We might complain about the increased costs, and we have already seen some price rises. The price of bread rose by 15cents a loaf last week but we might as well get used to it because grain products will only be one aspect of the shortages.

 

Some of the images from the fires in New South Wales and Queensland showed burned, or starving animals.

A report I read about the drought in the Eastern States (prior to the fires) told of a farmer having to perform a Caesarean section surgery on his cows who were too weak to give birth.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019-11-15/drought-affected-farmer-performing-caesarean-sections-on-cattle/11704744

I Am Fire

 This is the best ‘prepare for fire’ plan advertisement I have seen. A short version here…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=18&v=ygMJTQvmRyo&feature=emb_logo

The one I saw mentioned how far ahead of the actual blaze embers would travel and start new blazes.

The advert asks ‘Do you have a plan?” While I do not live in a bushfire zone, my home could lose power if a fire affected an electricity sub-station. Therefore, yes, I have a plan. I have to have a plan because a loss of power also means the loss of the oxygen machine that keeps me alive.

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/living-at-the-end-of-an-oxygen-tube/

Life in Australia is more than dangerous insects and animals… and snakes etc.

An Australian summer brings with it bushfires, and it seems each year is worse than the previous one.

It looks as if the fires in California are now contained or out, but yes., I am aware Australia is not the only place where there are annual, devastating fires.

So, we would all do well to be aware of the consequences of our actions.

Susan

Choice: It’s Not as Difficult as You Think

Choice and possibilities

Sometimes we blame others for a poor choice we have made. However, if we have the full information, the responsibility for the choices we make rest squarely on our own shoulders.

As someone who never had much in the way of physical ‘riches’ when I was young, I thought God was a bit unfair taking the ‘talent’ from the man who had been afraid to do anything with it, but kept it safe. (Matt 25: 14 – 30.)

Now, I am older, I can see the spiritual meaning. I took it literally before.

The man who had been given five talents, used those talents and was praised for the result – because he used his God-given talent, made some wise choices, and in this example, increased the money.

The man who had been given two talents also made a good choice; he also made a one hundred percent return on what he had been given.

Using a talent is a choice.

We all have at least one talent. Some have the talent of encouraging others. Do we choose to encourage where appropriate.

Others are talented singers, and I know some people with beautiful voices, though they would say otherwise.

One of my neighbours has such a talent. She joined a group of other singers who go around local old peoples’ homes and sing for the residents.

There are talented musicians, and then some people find it easy to teach others.

Many of us say, “I don’t have a talent,” but I doubt it is true. Even if the talent we have does not bring us the attention of others, we all are gifted in some way.

A former neighbour did not think she had a talent. But her grown-up family all queued up for her mince pies, her cakes and pastries.

She was truly talented in baking. 

Choice of baked goods

Another person I knew was brilliant at organizing the home, and another at budgeting.

We are all different and have need of each other’s talent, if we decide to share. That, too, is a choice.

Talents are not always obvious

But each is important and we have to make the choice to use it. To decide not to use it is also a choice each of us make.

You might be surprised what you can do that would be a great help or encouragement to others.

If you need some ideas, consider some of the things mentioned in this post…https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/the-lonely-life-of-a-carer/

God bless

Susan

Why I hated Silent Night

desert scene, reminds me of Silent Night

Silent Night was my favorite carol when I was young. I could sing the first verse in French and German as well as in English.

So what changed my opinion?

One year the police knocked on the door in the early hours of Christmas Eve.

Yes, it was the news parents most dread hearing. A child was dead. A teenager actually.

Why the connection to ‘Silent Night?’

I don’t know if the TV, radio and shops played that carol more than usual, but it seemed to be played everywhere, and my husband remarked, ‘yes, it is a silent night for our son.’

After that every year, when the first carols were played in the supermarkets, or on TV, it was a reminder that an anniversary we would rather not have was approaching.

Even yet, Silent Night is a carol that will have me reach for a mute button, or if in a shop… walk the other way.

Silent Night announces the approach of Christmas

Christmas is a sad time for many people.

Regardless of whether or not you celebrate it, Christmas is one of those fixed times when the focus is on the season.

However, for anyone who has suffered the loss of someone dear to them it is a reminder of the missing person in their lives.

teenager in cap, meme

Another December death

In a little less than two weeks will be the anniversary of the death of my husband. His death was no accident, it was the result of a long battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. Although he lost the battle, he lived longer than the usual prognosis for that condition. In fact, most people did not know he was terminally ill, and he touched many lives, encouraging them.

When we were told the end was fast approaching it was a shock. However, I didn’t want people sending me cards saying how much they loved him. Instead, I asked people to send him messages. I had them bound in a book and called it ‘Messages of Love.’ And they were, because he was well-loved.

No, December is not my favourite month, and I still dislike ‘Silent Night’ – in fact I do not like this time of year at all. It’s a month filled with lies, teaching our children to distrust us, and in a way showing them it is okay to lie.

I will see those two special people from my life again, and I miss them every month, not only December. But December is the time of the anniversaries of their deaths.

Susan

Half truth… is it a lie?

Well, half a truth is also half a lie.
Quite a confrontation if you have never thought of it before. 

Dictionary definition… “a statement that conveys only part of the truth, especially one used deliberately in order to mislead someone.”
Or, there is this … “Half the truth is often a whole lie. … If you do not tell the whole truth, you can mislead people just as if you tell them an outright lie.”

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/Half+the+truth+is+often+a+whole+lie

Does a half truth harm anyone?

Sometimes. The obvious reply is through ‘half truth advertising.’ But there is another way…

Even though the reason might be to spare someone, the whole truth is hidden. However, in most instances, a half truth is to protect the self. Other times it can be to avoid hurting someone else’s feelings.

With the latter – does it protect the other person in the long run? This is a question a friend confronted me with over the fact I was not fully being honest about how bad my health is. She had a point, and I will rectify the situation because I saw from what she said that it would be more hurtful when/if the full truth comes out.

The same applies to not telling the full truth to cover a fault, or something we have done that we don’t want known. There’s an old saying, ‘The truth will out.’ In this day and age there are more ways for the truth to come out than there were before.

A half truth can be dangerous when it covers depression…
https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/depression-is-not-always-seen/

What about ‘fake news?’

Is it the same?

I had to look this up to see what it really meant.

half truth and fake news

Fake news is written and published usually with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright fabricated headlines to increase readership.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news.

So, there may or may not be an element of truth in the ‘fake news.’

Half truths and lies

I will close with this quote from rhl school…
http://www.rhlschool.com/read8n1.htm

“Advertisers will sometimes use half-truths. It’s against the law to make false claims so they try to mislead you with the truth. An ad might boast, “Nine out of ten doctors recommend Yucky Pills to cure nose pimples.” It fails to mention that they only asked ten doctors and nine of them work for the Yucky Corporation.”

This kind of deception happens too often. It’s a sad fact of life: Lies are lies, and sometimes the truth can lie as well.

Therefore, we must be on guard, and monitor ourselves as well as watching what we read, see, and checking ‘facts’ carefully.

Half truth+half truth ≠ truth

Sharing some thoughts

Susan

Judgement, good and bad

Make judgement from facts

Making a judgement is something we humans do without thinking, most of the time.

It is when we decide on a course of action.

In the background, our mind has made a judgement. Unless, of course, we are affected by drugs, alcohol, or totally set on what we want to do and refuse to listen to that ‘inner voice.’

Judgement is good when…

It is used to work out if it is safe to do something, or go somewhere.

judgement based ib facts

Line up any known facts

Gather information

Recall experiences of similar situations, or people

Ask yourself – “how might this end?”

Judgement is bad when…

Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you lavish attention on the man in fine clothes and say, “Here is a seat of honor,” but say to the poor man “You must stand,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Jas 2: 2, 3 Berean Study Bible

judging by appearance

Common forms of judgement

We have to use wisdom, and caution. Apart from the number of unprovoked ‘rage’ attacks, there are also many ‘scams’ so it is wise to hone those ‘good judgement’ skills.

judgement comes by knowledge

I have been judged many times and for many reasons, but never before for this. I was ‘gob smacked’ LOL

It happened when I was invited to join a group of nine others at the preview of Downton Abbey at a Gold Class cinema event.

The person who took me knew some of the others and as part of her introduction said, “Susan is an author.”

I would never have mentioned this, but I guess with five books, four novellas and a non-fiction book I suppose I fit the term.

“What do you write?” was the question from several people.

Well, I started with the Biblical fiction category because those books have been the award-winners. Therefore, my response was, “Biblical fiction…”

“There is no such thing as Biblical fiction!” said the strident voice of one of the women. “Everything in the Bible is true! I am a Christian!”

I was judged and found wanting I guess.

OOPS!

My judgement in this situation was to say, “I agree.”

Our judgments are based on what we hear, what we see, what we read… basically what we allow into our minds.

Guard those minds!

Guard your minds

Here’s to your good judgement!

God bless

Susan

P.S.

I did a search on Amazon…

It is a category.

Hidden Feelings

hidden feelings

Hidden feelings about ourselves can color the way we live our lives. This is why I chose the image for this blog. It is not about hidden feelings for someone else, it is about those secret fears and doubts about ourselves, the ones that can shape our lives.

Hidden feelings? In the 1st century AD

There is nothing new under the sun.

(Last line of Ecc 1:9)

Elizabeth lived with the belief she was not good enough. By the time she found out what had really happened, she was a grandmother.

She was ambivalent about her decision to find out the truth. Did she want to know? Or did she not want to know?

That is as much as I am going to say about Shadow of the Past, which is Elizabeth’s story. What it does bring to my mind is the fact there are so many people in our day and age who have been emotionally crippled by something in their past.

Oh, I should mention that before this novella began, Elizabeth had lost some family members when she converted to Christianity from Judaism. Her upbringing had been Jewish. (That is not the Shadow of the Past.)

Fast forward to the 21st century AD

How many people have secret insecurities or hidden feelings about their worth, fears that they are not good enough?

I am talking about people who have somewhere in their lives a secret lack of confidence, a hidden belief that he or she was counted unworthy in the past and has internalized it. This colors relationships, but at the same time it can be hidden so deeply that the person functions so well, no one else knows.

That is loneliness because it is a secret. Much of the time, the feelings are hidden so deep inside it is unnoticed, part of the persons life. Then comes a challenge which awakens it with all the power it once had. Sometimes more powerful.

Speak about it!

If you cannot speak about it, write about it. Write out your feelings, even if you delete it, or tear the paper up afterwards. Or you can publish it, like Susan Scott did. She describes her book as a ‘diary of discovery.’ They are letters to God.

Dear God it’s me again. Hope I am not being a nuisance

Hidden feelings need permission

hidden feelings and fears are buried

They need permission – they can stay hidden, buried in the deep caverns, or they can be acknowledged. The stairs work both ways. Leave the feelings and fears down in the depths, or bring them up to the light.

It is not easy, but it can be done.

Victims do not need to stay victims

I realize in this post I have mainly focused on emotional factors… emotional abuse. However, there are many other abuse issues. They are not new either. But they hurt, and physical and sexual abuse have an emotional component.

If you have been a victim of abuse…

I can recommend Brenda Hammon’s writings. I met her and talked with her at the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards in Florida three years ago, and again the next year.

One of her books you might want to start with is… 

Sacred Hearts Rising: Breaking the Silence One Story at a Time

Part of the blurb…

It takes courage to share our stories, and there are 25 brave women sharing their journeys with you, some have told their secrets for the first time, and some are retelling their past, but every author tells you how they made it through. The stories vary from abuse, mental illness, suicide to cancer survival. 
You will find inside:
– Inspiration
– Honesty
– Courage
– The silent voices of women who decide that being silent was not their answer to a better life.

You can find it here, as well as on the Canadian site, which is her home site.

Sacred Hearts Rising: Breaking the Silence One Story at a Time

Nothing new under the sun?

No. However, today we have opportunities to deal with hidden feelings that were not available in the 1st Century AD.

I hope you find help in one or both of the books mentioned.

Susan

P.S.

Still on pre-order… just, Elizabeth’s story, Shadow of the Past was the most difficult to write. I too had hidden feelings and, although different from Elizabeth’s secret belief, mine hovered in the background during the writing.

You might like to read a previous post on bitterness and resentment. What you choose does affect our lives and choices. Let us all choose life, and hope.

Depression is not always seen

man suffering depression

Depression is most dangerous when ‘hidden.’
Why hide it?
Pride?
Perhaps so, especially if it is a man who is depressed.
Feeling worthless?
Possibly, if the person is in a ‘toxic’ situation, at work, at home, or both.

Sometimes depression is the result of something that happened in a person’s childhood.  Whatever the cause depression is dangerous. Suicides among Australian males have been escalating in the last few years.

Depression does not always lead to suicide

But many times it does. 

An article on news.com.au headlines “TODAY in Australia, six men will take their own lives.” It says later, “But the one thing they have in common is that almost all will leave behind grief-struck family, friends and colleagues who had no idea they were struggling.”

.

Did you see the last phrase in the previous sentence?  “Who had no idea they were struggling.”

Why?

The article answers that too… “That’s because men who die by suicide are significantly less likely to have sought help.”

Find the rest of the article click here to read it

depression, man hiding behind help sign

Why this subject?

Because I was pondering the intense trials and problems so many of my friends are going through.

There are people with cancer, others with extreme pain, and many mourning the loss of a spouse, a baby, or other family member. Or one of the many who care for someone who has forgotten them. Mourning the Living
In addition there are the ‘emotional’ stresses… being ‘dumped’ by a boy or girlfriend, being bullied, serious health problems, not to mention a whole host of other reasons.

Then, when having a quick look at the family Facebook page, I noticed this ‘meme,’ and it brought to mind the fact that perhaps the reason that men do not admit to suffering from depression is the ‘man up’ phrase.

Men get depression, meme

Depression is a thief

Even if it does not result in suicide, it robs people of…

  • Self-confidence
  • Motivation
  • Self-esteem
  • Interest in daily activities.

It can cause

  • Appetite or weight changes. …
  • Sleep changes.
  • Anger or irritability.
  • Self-loathing.
  • Reckless behavior.

In exchange, it gives feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, often made worse by anything on the foregoing lists.

Talking to someone with depression

Do you want to? I mean really want to.

A greeting here in Australia often used, is ‘how ‘r’ u mate?’ Most times it is not a question, just a greeting, and the response is supposed to be ‘good, thanks.’

If you do not have the time, or are not sure you could handle what the person says… don’t ask. You could make the person feel even worse.

  • Be ready – do you have the time?
  • Be prepared – are you ready for a difficult conversation when you might not have the answers?
  • Pick your moment – have you chosen somewhere comfortable to talk, and an appropriate time? (There is no use asking when you, or the other person is rushing to leave for work, or trying to complete a task.)

A current TV set of ads shows a depressed man,  and then someone who is concerned and asks, ‘Are you okay?’ The reply is a weak, “Yeah, mate.” In one of the set of ads the other person assures the depressed man that he is ‘here for you if you ever want to talk.’ There is nothing ‘pushy’ just an offer.

Identifying a problem

An interesting website is https://www.ruok.org.au/ There is a short video with little ‘scenarios’ showing changes of behavior.

As it said earlier, do you have the time? Another question could be, ‘are you interested in the answer?’

Don’t present the person you are concerned about with a long list of reasons why you are concerned. Ask a simple question… Do you want (need) to talk?

“I am here. I will listen.”

If you do listen, and have no idea how to help, it is okay to say so. You could always offer to help the person find a solution. Or it may be that all the person needs is a ‘listening ear,’ someone who WILL listen.

If you have the time, and interest you could offer to be…”here for you again if you want to talk.”

listen too hear

The gift of your time and your concern is no small thing,

Susan

For Better, For Worse

For better for worse, start in hope

For better for worse used to be part of the promises made when a couple married. With the ‘fluid’ attitudes to relationships these days, I am not sure this applies anymore, but I am going to look at some instances where it does, and not only in marriage commitments.

‘For Better, for Worse’

It is easy to keep a relationship puttering along when all is going well, when we are ‘in tune’ with each other. We agree, we plan, we do things. However, this does not always last… we are human.

Have you ever considered the parable of the wise and foolish man? The wise man built his house upon the rock.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
Matt 7: 24, 25

I remember as a child singing the chorus, with actions like these boys.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAjEjxX-DhA

But I want to focus on one section…  ‘The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house;’

Even though the builder was wise, it did not protect him or her from the rain and the wind beating against the house. This is when a relationship is tested.

‘For Worse’ Has Arrived

How will it be handled? All of us have experienced some of the ‘for worse’ in our lives. However, what about the people for whom the ‘for worse’ does not improve?

Many of these are ‘Carers’ – the men, women, and even children, who help a key adult in his or her life.

In the image the climber looks as if he will be successful. A great deal of effort has been put in to reach this point, but effort does not always change things.

The Life of a Carer

A Carer sees what others do not see. A Carer feels the helplessness of not being able to ‘fix’ the problem. It is not that they do not want to ‘fix’ what the other is suffering, it is that they cannot. Oh, there are little things that can be done to alleviate some things, or symptoms, but the underlying cause of the problem remains.

Sometimes the problem is definable and the sufferer and the Carer know the problem.

  • It could be pain so ongoing it affects every part of both their lives. I talk here about the relentless pain that disturbs sleep, and limits daytime activities.
  • For some, it might be caring for someone with a debilitating chronic illness that slowly worsens.
  • Perhaps it is caring for someone with cancer.

And what about those for whom there is no ‘diagnosis?’ Only debilitating symptoms. The Carer sees but there is no ‘label’ for whatever is wrong.

Each one of these, and many others could be a blog on its own.

Over the years I have written on some of the ‘for worse’ aspects of relationships. However, I could keep writing and never cover all of them.

Links to previous blogs

Dementia… https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/mourning-the-living/

Trials https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/trials-have-a-purpose/

And surviving loss https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/grieving-what-no-one-is-talking-about/

And many more writings dealing with the difficulties  of living, loving and caring.

Still, they only scratched the surface. How is it possible to put into words the pain, the exhaustion, the frustration, and even the guilt when you are a Carer, and choose to stay through the ‘for Worse?’

It is not possible, although sometimes the words can ‘touch’ the heart of someone going through the ‘for worse’ season.

Many of my experiences, my training, as a Mental Health Community Sister, a computer trainer and assessor, and my years of experience as a Carer, have gone into the books I have written.

If you know a Carer, reach out. It might not be possible to visit, but how about sending an email, make a phone call, send a card. This is how we love one another. If you have suffered you will know that THIS is when you most appreciate love.

Forget me not flowers

Susan

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