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Who Is a Caregiver? by Pamela Thorson


Until I wrote Out from the Shadows, I thought a caregiver was someone who took care of a person suffering from a disease or disability.

Then, as I thought and prayed about what to share in the book, it took on a life of its own. I originally imagined I would address the complaints suffered by caregivers and offer some encouragement. But as I mulled over devotions I had written over the span of several years and added new ones as God gave them to me, a very different picture emerged.

Yes, some of the devotions addressed predictable issues as burn-out and keeping our perspective. Then a golden thread emerged, one filled with the rich hues of majesty and loyalty and glory.

I realized that a message had emerged from the shadows.

Because caregiving is not gray. At times it is black with despair. Other times it is cloaked in the royal colors of surrender. It always runs blood-red with sacrifice. It is as white as the righteousness of the Savior who bought our freedom and as intense as the daily deliverance from our personal prisons. Sometimes it is hot with tears; other times it rests in the coolness of living waters.

But it is never gray, unless we have allowed our hearts to let go of hope.

Today I realize that caring for others is a universal calling. Caregivers are moms. Dads. Grandparents. Aunts, uncles, children, and spouses.

Caregivers are people who can’t walk away from someone who is hurting.

Our heartaches, struggles, and search for meaning are universal conditions. The golden thread is a common one, running through eternity. The colors of our lives connect us to each other and to the God who cared enough to risk it all for love.

He left His home in glory to walk in the dust with us. He gave away his life that we might live. He has never once left us alone in our hour of need.

God calls us to care in this same way for others. It’s a high calling, a blessed burden, an honor.

This is caregiving.

Out from the Shadows

In her new book, Out from the Shadows, Pam shares how God uses our life circumstances to form the qualities He wants to develop in us. It’s not just for caregivers, but for all who need uplifting encouragement, to continue on a daily basis in loving and serving others. Pick up a copy ($8.96 paperback; $2.99 kindle) today at http://www.amazon.com/Out-Shadows-Pamela-Thorson

Pam Thorson

 

Pam Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, speaker, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her newest book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), released March 28. Pam resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family. Contact her at www.pamthorson.com.

 

 

*A note from Amber:

In Pam’s post today, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 12, which teaches us about how we are all connected to each other, as one body, and how we need each other. God has given each of us a unique purpose and individual spirit, yet we are all a part of the same body.

I want to thank Pam for taking the time out of her busy schedule to share with us. God has truly blessed her with words of encouragement and hope. I know it has not been an easy journey for her and her family, and I feel very honored to be able to help in spreading the word about her work, and to call her a friend.

God bless you all! – Amber

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“It is Never for Nothing” by Pam Thorson


I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter, remembering in thankfulness, the sacrifice of love that Jesus gave to and for us.

As promised, my friend Pam Thorson, has graciously written a wonderful post for us. As I read her words, my heart was deeply moved, and I pray yours is too.

Pam Thorson 2

(Photo courtesy Grace Thorson/copyright2013)

 

Who knows how it grew out of the rock,
encased on all sides,
firmly supported,
and trapped.

Gnarled branches bore stunted needles,
solemn witness to the battles it had borne.
Its tortured trunk twisted toward heaven,
bowed against the merciless wind tearing at its roots.

Always, it fought to right itself,
to reach again toward the light;
silent witness to the power of life;
a thing of beauty because of its scars.

-Pam Thorson, “The Beautiful Broken”
Excerpted from Out from the Shadows

It is Never for Nothing

Have you ever done something you regretted? Have you been scarred emotionally or physically by events beyond your control? Did you feel helpless and alone?

You would hardly be human if you haven’t experienced brokenness. We all live with regret. Most of us look back upon our lives at some point and struggle to understand where God was when we were hurting.

I had wonderful parents as a child. But in school I experienced much heartache at the hands of bullies. I was small and timid. We moved a lot, and I always felt so lost and alone—the outsider on every school yard.

That feeling followed me into adulthood. Then God intervened. I can still remember the moment, as a young wife and mom, that I comprehended the message of the gospel. The relief and joy of receiving God’s forgiveness for my sins was indescribable. Receiving a new identity and a new life was incredible. I was sure I would never feel lost again.

But I soon discovered that being a Christian didn’t exempt me from sorrow. I learned that walking with God is often a hard journey, and though He makes our paths straight, they’re still rocky. I realized that disappointment is often the companion to miracles.

Over the years, I learned to praise God for His deliverance through each trial. But I wondered how to live with the battle scars.

It never occurred to me to embrace them.

Now, years later, I’m beginning to understand. Nothing that has happened to me is without purpose. Everything I’ve experienced, good or bad, before and after the moment of my salvation, has made me who I am today.

In the same way that a tree is shaped by the elements as it grows toward the light, I am being shaped by the elements of adversity and blessing. All things work for my good, we are told in Romans 8:28. That means I can trust God to turn everything I experience into growth for His glory as I reach upward toward Him.

In the past, I was ashamed of the scars I bore from the twists and turns in my life. But I see now that God looks upon my heart and knows I’m shaping up just fine. I am the Creator’s masterpiece: the beautiful broken.

In her new book, Out from the Shadows, Pam shares how God uses our life circumstances to form the qualities He wants to develop in us. “Never for Nothing” and thirty other devotions lift back the veil on the struggles and joys of caring for others to reveal God’s great love for us. Pick up a copy ($8.96 paperback; $2.99 kindle) today at http://www.amazon.com/Out-Shadows-Pamela-Thorson

Pam Thorson

Pam Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, speaker, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her newest book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), released March 28. Pam resides in the Pacific Northwest with her family. Contact her at www.pamthorson.com.

What a wonderful God we serve! Make sure to check out Pam’s wonderful book, Out from the Shadows, and visit her website. She will also have another guest post for us later this week, so be sure to check back here as well.

May God cover you all with many blessings this week. – Amber

 

An Interview with Author Pam Thorson


 

Well, my friend, Pam Thorson’s launched her newest book a couple of weeks ago, and it looks to be doing well. In the meantime, she has been gracious enough to do a short interview with me, as I wanted a way to let the readers have a chance to get to know her better. Her strength and courage are truly an inspiration to all who know her.

Amber’s interview with Pam Thorson:

“Thanks, Amber for this opportunity to share with your readers. I’m constantly blessed by your sacrificial spirit and gentle heart.”

1. What inspired you to write “Out from the Shadows”?

Out from the Shadows actually began as a series of devotions I wrote for our church bulletins. I shared them at various times with my critique group. One day the group leader suggested I compile the devotions into a manuscript and present a proposal to an editor at the next writer’s conference. That editor was interested, and Out from the Shadows was born.

This book has been crafted to encourage those who care for others. It addresses such topics as envy, burnout, loyalty, and forgiveness—issues that affect us all.

2. What was the hardest challenge in writing it?

I think the biggest challenge was getting the time and energy to write. It takes all my strength just to get through some days without the added work of writing. But I’ve discovered that any calling takes discipline and determination. I have two jobs that I love, and I lean hard on the grace of God every day.

3. Tell us about becoming a caregiver and nurse, and why you did it.

I became a full-time caregiver in 1997 when our middle son Kevin suffered a spinal cord injury in a fall. He was initially paralyzed from the neck down and on a ventilator. He eventually gained back some feeling and ability to move, and now he only goes back on the vent at night to sleep. From the first moment we received the call of his accident in Canada, there was no doubt we would bring him back home if at all possible.

I became a licensed practical nurse in 2011 at the age of fifty-eight to satisfy the certified family home regulations regarding our reimbursement with the state of Idaho. Because Kevin is an adult and needs nursing home level care, I contract with the state to care for him in our home—which is great because it’s his home, too. This pays the bills and allows our family to stay together.

Why do I care for him? I can’t imagine doing anything else, as long as I’m needed. Every day I awaken knowing that the life of another person depends upon me. That is powerful motivation. Along the way, I’ve discovered just how much I need him, too. I thank God for sparing Kevin’s life and returning him to us.

4. What advice would you give to someone considering caregiving?

Prepare for a marathon and be kind to yourself. On the hard days, remember that you are following in large footsteps. Our Savior gave up everything to serve a dying world. Any sacrifice we make on this earth pales in comparison. Any loss we experience in caring for others will be more than repaid by a just Creator on that glorious day when eternity dawns and every tear is dried.

5. What is most rewarding to you as an author?

My greatest reward is when someone contacts me to say something I’ve written has encouraged them. That makes it all worthwhile.

6. Do you have plans or ideas for any future books?

Oh, yes! I can’t imagine not writing. Most of my other ideas are for more non-fiction books, but Kevin and I are conspiring to write a novel in the future.

7. What advice would you give to a new author?

Submit to the process and learn the craft. Writing is like giving birth. It’s hard to let our babies out into the cold, cruel world. But if God is speaking through us, the truth will withstand scrutiny. Develop a thick skin, give God your best work, and be prepared for a long (and sometimes lonely) journey.

8. What is the number one thing you would most like to be remembered for, and why?

In Acts 13:22, King David was called a man after God’s own heart. This is my longing: to be known as a woman who ran hard after God. I want others to see His heart when they read my words. It’s the very least I can give.

9. Any message or comment that you would like the readers to know?

There is one quote from the book that says it all for me: No place is so dark, no shadow so deep, that God can’t find us. If we can let that one thing soak into our spirits, we will be okay, no matter what happens to us on this side of heaven. After nearly four decades of serving the Lord Jesus, I can declare with the Psalmist, “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.” Psalm 37:25 (NASB)

 

(Thanks Pam, for taking the time to do this interview. I wish you much success and many blessings. – Amber)

 

Pam Thorson

 

 

Pam Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, speaker, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her newest book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), pulls back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Pam resides with her family in the Northwest.

Visit her here:
http://www.pamthorson.com
http://www.twitter.com/PamelaThorson
http://www.facebook.com/officialpamthorson
http://www.pinterest.com/pamthorson

Make sure to check out Pam’s new book, Out from the Shadows, and stop by for a visit at one or more of her sites above. And don’t forget to check back here, as Pam will be writing a guest post for us soon.

Have a great day, and God bless! – Amber

It’s a party, and you’re invited!


Last week I wrote a post announcing the release of my friend, Pam Thorson’s new book, “Out from the Shadows”. She is celebrating with a launch party on Facebook on March 28, 2014 from 7 am to 7 pm and everyone is invited! Click here to join.There will be prizes given away each hour, but you must join the party to enter for a chance to win.

Let’s help Pam celebrate, and show our support by spreading the word.

Pam Thorson
Author Bio:

Pam Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, speaker, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her newest book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), pulls back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Pam resides with her family in the Northwest. Visit her here:
http://www.pamthorson.com
http://www.twitter.com/PamelaThorson
http://www.facebook.com/officialpamthorson

New Book Release: Out from the Shadows by Pam Thorson


Yesterday I shared a post about upcoming promotions, guest blogs and other events that will be going on over the next few weeks for some author friends of mine.

One such friend is Pam Thorson. I am very excited to share her upcoming book launch for her new book, “Out from the Shadows”! It is set to be released on March 28, 2014, and there will be a launch party. Please join me in supporting Pam’s new release by helping me spread the word!

Out from the Shadows

Synopsis:
No place is so dark, no shadow so deep, that God can’t find us.
Does the suffering you witness or experience seem pointless? Do you feel like your problems are endless? Do you wonder if God cares about you?

Caregivers live in the daily shadows of death, countless duties, and shattered dreams. But they don t have to exist in the shadows of their faith.

Nurse and veteran caregiver Pam Thorson offers weary families hope and insights gained from her own struggles. Out from the Shadows is a collection of thirty-one stories that pull back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Each devotion draws from the author s own experiences to reveal a fresh understanding of Jesus call upon our lives as we care for others.

I heartily recommend this book for anyone and everyone who deals with disability in the family”! – Joni Eareckson Tada, best selling author, and founder and CEO of Joni and Friends.

Pam Thorson

Author Bio:
Pam Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, speaker, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her newest book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), pulls back the veil on the unique joys and challenges of caregiving. Pam resides with her family in the Northwest. Visit her here:
http://www.pamthorson.com
http://www.twitter.com/PamelaThorson
http://www.facebook.com/officialpamthorson

Book Link & Info:
You can pre-order “Out from the Shadows” here.
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

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