Thursday, January 5, 2017

LCMSU

Went to the LCMSU Campus Ministry Conference this week with some college students from my church. It was a well-done conference and close enough to us (Univ. of Maryland) that it was easy for us to attend this year. I was also able to make some new contacts and so maybe have the chance to help some summer interns who will be in this area this summer.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmastime

With Advent being as long as it can be this year, I was able to not stress too much the week before Christmas. That was a nice change. :-)  Had some hospital calls, shut-in visit and communions, classes, and the usual, along with a dentist visit to have a crown put on the tooth I broke, but all in all it was a good week and we had a good Christmas. My brother and sister will be with us this week, rounding out the festivities.

Attendance was a bit better than I expected at our Christmas services. You see, most of my folks leave the area for the holidays, so our services are smaller than usual. But we had a good turnout for both, along with some visitors and some annual visitors it was a joy to see again.

Here are some pictures for you . . .



Peasant family Christmas photo.



My greatest Christmas gift after my Saviour. :-)



Family selfie! [Sorry a little blurry :-( ]



My girls!



Mrs. and daughter Peasant playing Christmas music for Grandpa and the other folks at the memory care where he lives.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

Updates

So things are moving forward. The first few weeks of December are always the busiest for me. Lots of folks think Lent is the busiest time of year for Pastors, but I think this time of year is busier because it has nearly as many services plus all the extra stuff the holidays brings - family stuff, school concerts, church caroling and annual meeting, open house, gifts, decorations, cards. During Lent and especially during Holy Week, I can kind of hole myself up and spend a lot of time in the Word. That is harder to do at this time of year. I enjoy it, though!

So now we are approaching the time I can relax a bit and enjoy Christmas. Most of the busyness will be over this weekend. Plus, my son is coming home from college today (on the train) and I am going to pick-up my daughter, so the whole family will be home tonight. :-)  My brother and sister will be here the week after Christmas, so a full house! It will be fun.

A couple pictures for you . . .


Everyday either my wife or I or both of us (together or separately) go to see Grandpa Peasant and we have devotions with him. Sometimes the cat, Danny Boy, joins us. On this day, he jumped up on the bed and as you can see, closed his eyes and folded his paws. :-)


Yesterday was a special treat for my father as one of his former pastors, Charles St-Onge, was in town and got to visit a bit. Pastor St-Onge will always have a special place in our hearts as he was the pastor who escorted my mother from this world to the next. 

A blessed remainder of Advent to you all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Decision

About two months ago we moved my father into a Memory Care Home. It was not an easy decision. Ever since we discovered that he could no longer take care of himself or his house in Pennsylvania by himself, he had been living with us. We purchased a house with a suite on the main floor so he would not have to walk up and down steps. It was a pretty good arrangement and we were happy to have him with us, even if he often wished he were still on his own.

Grandpa Peasant with Danny Boy, the floor cat.
However, earlier this year his one working kidney failed and he went on hospice care. We though he had only days to live. But then his kidney started working again, he regained his health, and was taken off hospice. But he did not recover completely. He was weaker, his memory got decidedly worse, and so he needed more care, especially people to watch him during the night. For a while, we hired aides to come in and watch him while we slept, but he didn’t really like that, and we still had the burden of watching him during the day. He didn’t always need help, but we needed to be there and available, just in case.

After several months, we began to realize the impact this was having on us and our family. Still, shouldn’t a son be able to care for his father in his old age? So while my brother and sister began encouraging us to consider other care options, there was a level of uncertainy with me. He should be my responsibility.

What helped me think through this decision was the fact that while yes, I am his son and he my father, and that is a precious vocation and relationship, it is not the only one I have been given. I also have the vocation of father, and husband, and pastor. These people need my help, attention, and care as well. How can I balance all that? How can I care for my father and not shortchange the others? Those are not easy questions to answer. It is also difficult being a son when you’re also a caretaker.

So my brother, sister, wife, and I investigated a place close by and decided that the best way we could care for and love my father was to move him there. We approached him about it (for we would not have done it against his will) and he was okay with it. Of course, there was a period of adjustment for him, but he has settled into the routine there and is comfortable. Either my wife and I (or both of us) go to see him everyday and make sure we stay in close contact with him. We have devotions with him and make sure he knows he is loved. He doesn’t always remember our visits from one day to the next, but we live in the moment and enjoy them when we have them.

It has definitely taken a big stress off of us. I think we actually feel closer to him now that he is not in our home with us! That sounds weird, I know. 

So while it was not an easy decision, it was the right one. I know many people are probably struggling with the same decision. Know that you are in my prayers. And I hope that if you are and read this, maybe this will help you a little.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving

We had Thanksgiving dinner with my father in his memory care home. My wife's year-end holiday to work this year was Thanksgiving, so she couldn't be with us - she worked both Wednesday and Thursday nights and so was home sleeping. So we'll have our big feast on Friday and instead spent Thursday with my father, so it all worked out good. Two kids home from college and my sister came down to be with us, too. Here a picture . . .



Monday, November 21, 2016

Our Weekend Guest

We were privileged to have Pastor Martin Orende of the Lutheran Church of Kenya with us this weekend. He is in St. Louis studying for his STM. Since I preached at one of his congregations when I was in Kenya, I invited him to come and preach at my congregation here. Perhaps we'll be able to have him back next year as well. Here are a few pictures from the weekend . . .


At the foot of the Washington monument.


In front of the White House.


At the Smithsonian Air and Space museum.


In front of the US Capitol.


Presenting an icon of St. Athanasius after the Divine Service.