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Use Your Voice to Love

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Today, I’m giving you a little interlude so that you can hear a new voice on the blog. I connected with Isabel Tom months ago right before the release of her new book, The Value of Wrinkles. I was so taken with her message that advocates for the older generation that I promised her a spot on the blog. She has a tender heart for the elderly and a strong voice that speaks out for them. Enjoy her timely and lovely message!

Psst… and hang in there to the end so that you can enter to win a copy of her book.

Use Your Voice to Love

Over the past two years, I’ve spent every non-mommy minute stealing away to write a book about a generation I have such respect for. It seemed impossible at times. All too often, the devil whispered into my ear that as a mom of three little ones, I could excuse myself from the project. You don’t need to do it. In fact, you can’t do it, he seemed to say.

People have always told me how unique it is for a “young” person like myself to have such a passion for serving the older generation. From the time I was born, God has given me insight into the life of an older person. As a grandchild. As an adult child. As a senior care professional. God has stirred in me a passion to love the older generation. To be a voice for them. When God gives us insight into other’s needs, he gives it to us not just for knowledge sake, but so that we love others more effectively.

Today on our daily stroll, my kids and I approached an older woman walking her dog. Hearing the pattering of little feet coming her way, the women looked up and instead of smile, she snapped “STAY AWAY!” with hands motions and all. I was shocked. As she rushed away with her dog, I wasn’t offended. Her response was completely understandable considering the circumstances. Her plea, however, was a somber reminder of how fearful many older people are during this time.

And so my heart breaks for my friends who are immunocompromised, for my friends who live alone, and most of all, my heart breaks for the older generation. Since the coronavirus popped up, I have sensed their fear. I have sensed sadness of having to distance from family too. As we see others struggling during this time, let’s use our voices to boldly love another. Let’s use our voices to calm someone’s heart. To cheer someone’s souls. To remind someone they are not alone. Here are some ways you can use your voice to love during this time:

  • Call your aging parents/grandparents to ask how they’re feeling. Offer to help. Or just call to chat.
  • Call elderly neighbors and offer to help them pick up medications or groceries. 
  • Intentionally, step out to your deck or front step when you see a neighbor outside. Just bless them with “hello.”
  • Check in on your single friends to let them know you’re thinking of them. Bless them with conversation.
  • Call older church members and ask them if they need technical assistance so they can stream church service. Ask how you can pray for them.
  • Send a family a fun video you found to let them know you’re thinking of them.

Sometimes, we don’t want to bother others, so we wimp out. We don’t reach out. During this time, remember that people are home. They are picking up your phones. They are happy to hear a person’s voice. They are yearning for community. Knowing that, let’s listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading and no matter how unprecedented your actions may be, in obedience and boldness, let’s use our voices to calm, comfort, and love.

Enter to Win a Copy of Isobel’s Book:

Your comment today enters you to win a copy of Isabel’s book, The Value of Wrinkles. Simply leave the name of an elderly person in your life who you’d like for us to pray for.

About Isabel:

ISABEL TOM is the author of The Value of Wrinkles: A Young Perspective on How Loving the Old Will Change Your Life. Between growing up in an intergenerational household and working in the field of aging, Isabel has over 35 years of experience with older adults. Her grandparents, who lived until 98 and 102, had a profound impact on her life. Professionally, she has over 13 years experience working at reputable healthcare organizations. She holds an MPH from the University of Maryland, College-Park. She is also a wife and mom of three little ones who keep life fun. Connect with Isabel at www.isabeltom.com.

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87 Comments

  1. Kelly L Creyke says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog & signed up for your emails. I think of my 1st mother-in-law often & pray for her safety, health & prosperity. And also my aunt who is 83 & losing her sight on top of fears of this corona virus& loneliness and because she lost her sister (my mom) in April & grieving. God bless you more. Amen.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Thanks so much for subscribing, Kelly. I’m glad we’re journeying together!

  2. Julie Bergstrom says:

    My mother passed away 5 years ago at the age of 83. For two years she lived with my husband and I. Then, she had to live in a nursing home. My mom had Parkinson’s and it just broke our hearts to have to do this. Mom lived in a nice section with very adequate care. I became close to several Health Care Workers. I was working full time but managed to stop by 4-5 times a week. Sometimes I could stay for several hours and enjoyed every minute. I know how much my mom treasured our visits. There were many other residents that I would say hi too and give the hug they desperately needed. I never felt like It was a burden and I wish I could still be with mom. I’d do it all over again. I’m so thankful that mom did not have to live during this Covid season. I will keep praying for all of those sweet souls that don’t have families and for those of you that have a dear one in a place where then cannot be visited. Lord, please be with those that are in isolation. Touch them with your love and let them feel your presence! I ask all this in your Son’s Holy and Precious name. Amen

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Julie, it was wonderful to read your sweet memories with your mom. What a gift to have that time with her. Covid has been so difficult for older people, and I’m praying we can be with them again soon!

  3. Linda Previte says:

    Beautiful message. Please pray for my 95 year old aunt whom I love dearly. God bless you and have a good day. 😍

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I’m so glad it encouraged you, Linda. I just spent some time praying for your aunt. I feel sure you’re a huge blessing to her!

  4. I’m interested in learning more
    about the largest growing population in America, our sweet elderly folks!

  5. Please pray for our sister Donna, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, and taken a turn for the worse, both physically and mentally.
    Please pray that through all the testing and interaction with medical professionals, who she does not know, she will feel the Lord’s presence and peace, not confusion and fear. (I pray for her husband as well, who is going through this challenging season with her).
    Our father and mother passed away within 5 weeks of one another this year, and we rejoice and praise God that their faith, knowledge and assurance of their future with the Lord sustained them to the end of their physical life. I lift our sister Donna up to the Lord, the Great Physician and the God of all comfort. Thank you 🙏🙏

  6. My mom at almost 92 contracted COVID 19 in her residential care facility. in the weeks since the nursing homes changed from having a vibrant, interactive community of residents to the isolation of staying in her room it became very hard and lonely despite daily phone calls. 3 weeks ago she was hospitalized due to corona virus and she passed into the arms of her Lord and Savior on Monday afternoon. Not gonna lie, not being able to visit or talk on the phone those last 2 weeks was brutal. COVID pandemic restrictions are beyond weird for the patients and family and even her Hospice nurse couldn’t visit her. Please pray that we can use the story of her home going to share faith with elder family members and neighbors when they call on us. And if you know of someone who is now on lock down at a care facility check on them. Thank you.

    1. Isabel Tom says:

      Pamela, I can’t even imagine how hard it was and is for your mom and your entire family during this strange time. Praying for God’s peace, but also that your mom’s story will be used to draw people closer to Jesus.

  7. Edwina Cowgill says:

    This was a wonderful post for this time!

    I’ve always loved the senior generation. I spent a lot of time as a child and teenager with my grandmothers (my grandfathers died early) and then when my parents were unable to live on their own, I helped my sister take care of them in her home. I fully believe seniors have so much wisdom and knowledge to share with us.

  8. PLEASE PRAY FOR SALVATION, FOR MY 82 YEAR OLD MOM “MARIA”! THANK YOU! <3

  9. Laura J Hildebrand says:

    I love this excerpt. I have a passion for older people especially as I’ve gotten pretty old myself! Thank you for writing this excerpt. It’s a hard time for the elderly and people who are at high risk like me. Prayers!

  10. Alice Wong says:

    Thank you Isabel so much for your encouragement for us to care for the elderly, esp during the Shelter-at- home period.
    Please pray for my friend Cathy who is in her 70s who suffers physical & mental abuse from her husband. She was devastated when the husband continued to abuse her & threaten her life. She finally escaped to her son’s place & is taking legal action against him. Please pray for her safety, for God’s guidance & assistance to live a life in Christ.

  11. Margaret S. Lindsay says:

    Please pray for my friend Pat Priddy
    Thank you

  12. This is so awesome Isabel that you have such compassion for the elderly. My precious Daddy went to be with the Lord last summer due to the horrific disease of Dementia and also lost his eyesight due to a rare eye disease as well. I miss him so much. I am so thankful that he isn’t suffering anymore and that he is with his Lord and Savior….and oh so grateful that he is not in the nursing home any longer especially now that the world has completely changed. I really learned a lot while he was in the nursing home and my heart breaks for the ones that are still there. My prayer request is for my Precious Mama who has some health issues too and misses her beloved husband. Thank you Isabel. ~🦋Lisa🦋~

  13. Tini Brumfield says:

    Isabel – I really love your tender and loving heart for the older generation – that includes me, aged 73!😊

    I’m trying to put into practice the “voice of love” at this time, by doing just what you suggest: calling people (at least one phone call per day), and it’s SO rewarding to hear the surprise and joy in the voice at the other end of the line! Honestly, I sincerely believe that I’m more blessed than the person receiving my call.

    Would you pray for Donna, a fellow church member, who lives alone and whose kids just moved out West? Thanks!

    Blessings, Tini

  14. You are so sweet to do this. Please pray for my mother-in-law, Jackie. She’s 90 years old. She has arthritis pain in her hips, so it’s difficult for her to walk. Please pray for grace to manage the pain. She lives with one of her sons, so she has someone to look out for her, but I know that she also misses her other son and her grandkids. Please pray for her to find joy in the Lord each day.

  15. Rebecca Donahue says:

    Thank you for your words you share today and always. I work in an assisted living and more than ever I see the importance of a kind voice. Families that have a loved one in a facility please reach out and say hello. My face hides behind a mask but I know that my smile comes through. I will use my voice for love – thank you.

  16. So very true, thank you for the chance to win this book. Please pray for Glennis. She lives alone and has some big decisions to make about selling her house and where/how to move. Thank you.

  17. i WOULD JUST LOVE FOR US TO PRAY FOR EVERY SINGLE ELDERLY PERSON WE CAN THINK OF THE LONELY THE ONES WHO HAVE LOST
    LOVE ONES THOSE AFRAID THOSE WHO CANNOT SEE THOSE WHO CANNOT HEAR THOSE WHO CANNOT WALK THOSE WHO ARE IN PAIN
    THOSE WHO CAN STILL FIND JOY IN THEIR HEARTS EVERY DAY AND CAN LIFT UP OTHERS. OUR GREATEST GENERATION WHO ELSE CAN
    TEACH US ABOUT LIFE THROUGH THEIR EVERYDAY LIVING AND WISDOM? THE GODLINESS THEY SHOW TO US IF WE ARE WILLING TO OPEN OUR EYES TO SEE AND OUR EARS TO LISTEN AND OUR HEARTS TO LET THEM IN. MAY THEY BE BLESSED EACH AND EVERYONE EACH AND EVERY DAY WITH GOD’S MERCY AND GRACE!! MAY WE LOVE THEM ALL!!

  18. Debra Pruss says:

    I would like you to pray for my Mom, Margaret Fisher, my Dad, Dan Fisher and my husband, Larry Pruss. Thank you for taking time out to pray for my family.

  19. Please pray for Dorothy, a dear elderly friend in a nursing facility.

  20. Jennifer White says:

    Please pray for my inlaws Novie & Delores. They seem to always be so fearful of death. While they profess to know Christ, it is hard to see them almost obsessed with disease and death. They have so much to offer and are younger than a lot of seasoned saints who are serving in mighty ways.

  21. Lara Polk says:

    It is hard to pick just one elderly person for me because I am taking care of my Aunt Gerry – she will be 84 next month – she has stage 4 CKD, diabetes and HBP – I have been living with her for the past 2 years but in the last 3 weeks she has taken a turn for the worse. She has helped me so much in the last 2 years become a stronger woman – to love myself more and to dream big instead of settling for the OK. I know God placed me with her for many reasons and I know He is holding me together while this is going on. In addition to my Aunt I am going back and forth to help my parents Michael & Marilyn – both 79 – my dad has vascular dementia – so most of the time he does not know me – he thinks I am the lady that brings the groceries and shaves him – my heart breaks for my mom who is taking care of him and my sister Janet (58) who still lives at home – she has downs syndrome and dementia.

    I can relate to the value of wrinkles because in my lifetime – I have had so many amazing people who are not just wrinkled but blessed with wisdom that have touched my life and taught me so many things. Those wrinkles have been priceless to me and I know God placed each one of them in my life journey exactly when I needed them. I know I have many more wrinkles to encounter and I can only pray that one day my wrinkles of wisdom will touch many lives.

  22. Shelly McCasland says:

    Barbara McCasland

  23. Marie Schmidt says:

    Please pray for Betty. She is a dear friend with multiple health challenges. She was widowed a few years ago but continued to substitute teach into her 80’s. Once her health began to fail and could no longer teach, she has struggled. Thank you for your prayers

    1. Isabel Tom says:

      Lifting up Betty in prayer this morning. Thank you for sharing her needs, Marie!

  24. Mary and Mike need our prayers. During this Covid, Mike is recuperating from a stroke, confined to his room, in a nursing home lockdown. His wife Mary is home alone, dealing with aging pets, and finances. They just celebrated their wedding anniversary apart, but were together thru skype.

    1. Isabel Tom says:

      Privileged to pray for Mary and Mike during this time that God would be a very real comfort during this time.

  25. Thanks for giving me the “push” I needed to call my neighbors and older people from my church just to chat and offer help. I’ve put it off thinking they won’t want to hear from me but I know they will enjoy a friendly concerned voice.

  26. My mother who isn’t in the best health.

  27. Tamara Lammers says:

    love, kindness, serving…. the hands of Jesus

  28. Carol Hill says:

    We had 4 generations under one roof and my Mom just passed away. I will miss our talks and stories that she shred with her grandchildren and great granddaughter.

    1. Carol, praying for you and your family as you grieve the loss of your mom. And grateful that you had many sweet times together with your mom. =)

  29. Kimber cober says:

    I was a 38 year old caretaker of both my in laws. March 15 my 88 year old father in law passed away. My 76 year old mother in law is not dealing well with losing her companion of 53 years. Please pray for her. Her name is ellinor.

    1. Elinor, praying for Ellinor as she grieves the loss of her husband. I remember one of the seniors I used to work with told me that the hardest thing about aging was losing his spouse.

  30. I would love to have this book. Currently, I am responsible for our 30 yr old daughter w autism, my thrice-widowed mom w alzheimers and my 92 yr old ( HILARIOUS) mom in law. All in some level of care home, all locked in. My heart breaks. I try to send them some sort of treat or surprise weekly, and we got mom inlaw a Grandpad (check it out) which she loves as it keeps her visually connected. My own grannies were immensely influential in my life, and I thank God for that daily. God bless you. Love, Amy in CA

    1. A grandpad! Will definitely have to check it out! Praying for you and the ones you serve. Would love to hear the types of treats you surprise them with if you have time.=)

  31. I guess I am one of the eldery, lol I am 77, lost my dear husband of 57 years a year and a half ago. I’m a retired nurse and cared for many older people over the years. I cared for my husband for the last several years of his life as he had Frontal Temperal Dementia. I believe that God prepared me for that time through out my life. I have grown so much closer to my Savior during those years and during this time of sheltering in place. I am never really alone.

    1. Isabel Tom says:

      Patsy, I an so sorry to hear about your husband, whom I can tell was so special to you. You are such an encouragement. and I am privileged to pray for YOU this morning!

  32. Tonya Brier says:

    Pray for my mother who is 88 and lives across the country from me and my family.

    I love your passion for this generation and hope to have people like you around when if I am blessed to get to be that age.

  33. I want to enter the contest for the book The Value of Wrinkles. I myself will be 73 soon and still very young at heart. I would like for you to pray for 2 people I know in their in their late eighties – Cathy Murray and Gloria McCain

  34. Bonnie Columbia says:

    Wow…great message….Jacqueline.she lives 3000 miles from and has no family……thanks

  35. Elaine Diggs says:

    Could you please for my dear friend, Sandy. Such a blessing to me and everyone that meets her. She is in her 80’s and loves the Lord so much. She hasn’t been well these past couple of months.

    1. Isabel Tom says:

      Definitely am glad to pray for her. Sandy sounds like a special person!

  36. Kathy Presswood says:

    My heart is so happy that someone is being an advocate for our elderly. Thank you!

  37. Please pray for my father & his wife during this time.

  38. I would love to receive your book. I have worked with the elderly for 30+ years and would live to hear your perspective on caring, loving those a generation or two ahead of you. Thank you for your wisdom.

  39. I’m upset at the constant reminders that I am a senior. At 69 I’m considered “vulnerable ” just because of my birth year even though I have no underlying health issues. The constant reminders of my aging are depressing!

    1. Linda, I pray this morning that you are beautiful, however young or old you are! Some of the most beautiful people I know have been over 100. And that is the truth!

  40. Prayers for dolores who is alone in a nursing
    Home, no visitors allowed, and she is on the second floor so we cannot even do a “window visit”. She eats all meals aline due to the virus threats, and her dementia is progressing as she has no contact, except for phone calls, with others. Thank you

    1. Isabel Tom says:

      Praying for Dolores this morning.

  41. Linda sims says:

    Please pray for my step father who is 79 years young. We lost my mom a week before all of this coronavirus stuff started and he is basically in the house he shared with mom alone. I call him daily but sometimes that doesn’t seem like enough. His name is Wayne Kindig. Thank you

  42. I absolutely love this. There has been such a break in connection of the younger generation and the older. But we as the younger generation can learn so much from those who are older. I loved being a caregiver for this reason! Great post and call to action!

  43. Love this perspective!

  44. Rhonda Leate says:

    I’d like to win a copy of your wrinkle book..I’m a wrinkled person w 3 daughters & 4 grandchildren – 3 of whom I raised & am still the caretaker for one of them who’s handicapped. As a retired emt I had many blessings come from my work w the elderly..and now, I’m one of them! Although I still have the mind of a teenager lol Thank you:-)

    1. Rhonda, it is a privilege for me (and my daughter) to pray for you this morning. May God give you strength and joy as you care for your daughter and as you age. Your wrinkles symbolize a full life!

  45. Joyce W. Slade says:

    Please pray for Trisha Watson, who was just diagnosed with bone cancer and started treatment 29 April 2020; and pray for Iva Rigby, who has just gone into her second remission for bone cancer. both ladies are from Wiggins Mississippi, and both sisters in Christ. Thank you and God bless you.

    1. Praying for Trisha and Iva by name. Thank you, Joyce, for sharing their names so I can lift them up in prayer. A true privilege.

  46. Shawnna Ross says:

    I am a nurse and have been making home visits to the elderly and immune compromised patients. I too have sensed their fear and loneliness. I can’t wait to read your book. I have always been drawn to the elderly as well. They are full of knowledge and would love nothing more than to visit and share stories with someone who will listen. I have learned so much from them. Thank you for caring and loving the elderly.

    1. Patsy, I an so sorry to hear about your husband, whom I can tell was so special to you. You are such an encouragement. and I am privileged to pray for YOU this morning!

  47. I meant to write a soft spot in my heart. Oops!

  48. I, too, have a soft spit in my heart for the elderly. Since I was a little girl, I always enjoyed being with my grandmas and their friends more than I did people my own age. One of my grandmas passed at the age of 95. The other passed away at 97 1/2. She had looked forward to celebrating her 100th birthday. My mom and I both were with her when she took her final breath on earth. I was so sad. I was also thankful because I had her in my life for almost 48 years. And those years are filled with volumes of sweet, wonderful memories. Older people have such a wealth of wisdom to share if only more people would take time to listen. I have so many elderly people I care so much about, and I try to invest in their lives as much as I can. I’d enjoy reading your book. Thank you.

  49. Irene Minehart says:

    Please pray for my long time friends Nino and Brenda Stabile.Brenda Has some memory problems.

  50. My mom is 85 and lives alone in senior apartments. I call her every day to check in and take her groceries and visit with her a couple times a week to make sure everything is okay. It helps us both.

    I grew up with my grandmother living with us and those were very special times. We can learn so much from our elders. Unfortunately, we too often take them for granted.

    Thank you for this lovely reminder to hold them close.

  51. In my Ladies Bible Study, I have several widows who have such a rich background of knowing the Lord and serving Him throughout their lives. I love their stories! One of my favorites, Janet Richardson, has given me such kindness, love and humor! I pray for her precious heart in the loneliness she faces each day without her husband.

  52. I love this and love your heart for the older population, of which I am one 😉 The older generation has been on my heart during this quarantine, so I can relate. Thank you for your words!

  53. Jackie Yongue says:

    Thank you, Amy, for sharing this. Please pray for my StepDad, Bill, who just turned 84. He is in a retirement community and they are on lockdown. Thank you <3

  54. My Mom Peggy is 76 and has dementia, lung disease and heart disease. Her day program has been closed since mid-March and I don’t know when it will reopen. My sister and I are caring for her daily and we are praying for God’s protection for all of us from this virus.

  55. Please pray for my father-in-law, age 95.

  56. Everyone in our church is elderly . Pray for Riverdale Methodist church in St Augustine lol

  57. I remember the first time I heard on the news about an “elderly “ person that was my age then. I had to laugh that I am now elderly . Everyone in our church is elderly . Pray for Riverdale Methodist church in St Augustine lol

  58. I remember the first time I heard on the news about an “elderly “ person that was my age then. I had to laugh that I am now elderly . Everyone in our church is elderly . Pray for Riverdale Methodist church in St Augustine’Fl

  59. Darnell Barber says:

    Thanks for the tips on how we can love on our elderly neighbors!

  60. A family friend who, at 93, is still spry and with it and caring lovingly for his wife in their home.

  61. Candace Mallard says:

    Please pray for my 89 year old mother, Virginia who has been in the ER 2 x in the last three weeks – She is frail. She is discouraged and she wants to be with family. We are discussing with Dr. & Palliative care nurse (so grateful) for her to leave skilled nursing asap to join us. My husband has said, you want something to do that is rewarding, fulfilling & hard work? This is it! Thank you for your post today. God’s timing was perfect.

  62. Sharon Cason says:

    Please pray for my 83 year old mom, Rosemarie, who is now in a long term care facility. Separation is so very difficult for both of us at this time. I cared for her for 20 years after she suffered from three brain aneurysms at the age of 50, which left her with both physical and cognitive impairments. Now I live with my 85 year old father, Ralph, and am caring for him in his declining years. We all, like so many others, are struggling during this difficult time.

  63. Pray for our grandparents, Lois and Marie. They don’t really know what to think. They sit inside and hear media all day and this makes it even more scary and confusing.

  64. My grandfather and grandmother and my parents all are feeling lonely and scared through this. I never knew how much conversation with these people were as now.

    I’m only 35 and I’m scared through this, I react like the older lady because I’m immune compromised. Today I go for my monthly immunosuppressant infusion and I’m scared. My son is 11 and he won’t leave the house in fear he will bring something home that would put me in jeopardy.

  65. My Mom, Madeline, is 90 and my Dad, Jake, is 93. They live in their own home and it’s lonely for them. Please lift up praise that they have each other!
    Please also pray for my Aunt Anna (Daddy’s youngest sister and only living sibling) who is a widow – her cancer returned and she has doing weekly cancer treatments. Yesterday she recieved her mid-treatment test results which indicated that her cancer is not diminishing. Please praise God for her strong and enduring faith and her oncology doctors, nurses, and medical staff. Thank you!!

  66. Debra Patton says:

    I would like to request prayer for my friend Carlene. She lost her husband 5 months ago and is struggling with being alone during this pandemic.

  67. Dion Hunt says:

    Please pray for my 92 year old Mom living alone during this pandemic.

  68. Please pray with me for my 92 y.o. Dad who has dementia & lives in a memory care unit of an Assisted Living Facility. I haven’t been able to visit my Dad since middle March. 😢 I write notes weekly & include pictures, hoping that when I see him again, he will remember me.

  69. I would like prayer for “D” A friend who recently lost her only daughter then her grandson tragically right afterwards. She has went through so much pain then to go into her later years alone.