Category Archives: Purposeful living

The Danger of Developing A “Forever Home” Mentality

We either need to break away from the idea of living in a forever home or we need to build a home we can live in forever. Depending on your family dynamics this notion can be an impossible accomplishment all in and of itself. Most of us don’t even consider the fact that we can have some down time between here and the grave we just believe we will have the same energy, stamina, ability, and mobility that we have today as we age. This is not a guarantee of life and as such we either need to allow for flexibility in our mind that at some point leaving what we consider home to be a possibility or we need to build a home that can accommodate whatever season of life we are blessed enough to enter. The greatest struggle I have faced with dealing with a loved one with cognitive deficits has been letting go of a home that they already had a vision in their minds that they would never have to leave. Their reasoning for keeping the home was to pass down to their kids but their kids no longer live in their state nor has an interest in the home. However, this being the case had no bearing on the attachment even when it was not feasible or functional for them to inhabit it.

The Lord revealed to me that if they do not let go of the home they will not live and the struggle to let go of that home has been the underlying root of every setback.  Whenever they would let it go they would begin to recover, but whenever their minds would send them back to it and they would try to recapture what is gone they would go down.  It is a real battle taking place in their mind as much as the battle the Israelites had with the Amalekites just before entering the promise land.  Like Moses when he was able to lift the rod the Israelites would win, but when his arms would drop the Amalekites would win. (Exodus 17)  It required two people to assist him to keep his arms up.  Likewise this battle for my family would be fought the same way, but the rod is prayer.  When prayer and intercession would go forth on their behalf the Lord would hear and they would get victory, but when prayer and intercession would cease they would lose.  Indeed God’s response to our prayer changes things.

Becoming comfortable can become disabling

What I find is we allow ourselves to become comfortable in whatever position we find ourselves in in life and our mindset can be our downfall. When it is feasible to do so keeping a home to pass down makes perfect sense, but when it is detrimental to your health and well-being you have to make room in your mind while you have your right mind that if circumstances dictated that the house you thought you would live forever in is no longer functional for you to do so it can be let go of.

Contentment with godliness is great gain, but attachment to structures can be devastating and lead to great pain.

The greatest legacy we leave our children is a relationship with the Messiah Yehoshua (Jesus the Christ). Because as long as we have him we have what we need in this life and we are prepared for eternity whenever it knocks at our door. Things come and go, homes can come and go the same way, we cannot put our trust in these things nor allow ourselves to get too attached. There is only one attachment man can have that will not lead to an unhealthy life and that is by design and that is an attachment to the Lord. We are told to meditate on His word day and night. (Joshua 1:8; 1 Thess. 5:17)  We are admonished to pray without ceasing, constant connection to the heavenly Father through our relationship with his son is a healthy habit we are encouraged to have. While too much water, food, and exercise are all things that are needed to live can lead to death or disease if done in excess, too much of Yah is not possible. We can never walk too close to the Lord, the closer we get to him the healthier we will be, the more we will accomplish in our lives and the more we will bless and love other people. A right relationship with Christ can only lead to a healthier, happier, more fulfilled life.  Disclaimer:  Don’t mistake what Christ gives us in Him with what the world gives us because they are against him, or what Satan will pull against us.  Remember the book of Job, Job went through a lot as a righteous man before the Lord, so don’t think that trials won’t come, sickness can’t come, and poverty is impossible, just know that if you walk with the Lord the peace He gives is irrespective of the things you own or don’t own, or the losses you suffer for righteousness sake.  He is the only healthy attachment, the home without limits that we can and should expect to live forever in and that no one can take away from us. Because once he is in us, he is there to stay.  The true forever home that can never be gone or go wrong.


The Real Expense of Our Baggage

Anyone who pays for luggage today to travel by plane, but has lived long enough to remember the days when luggage was a free commodity can understand just how much things have changed.   The days of 25 cents to mail a letter has now long since gone, for sure the transport of weight is at an all time high premium for those of us who travel or ship cargo. Today luggage is very costly to transport by plane and regardless of how valuable your things are to you, you will either have to pay the cost for your weight or lighten your load. Yah is the first one to encourage us to travel light, both physically and spiritually. Scripture is replete with encouragement to cast our spiritual weights upon him, to lay down every weight that so easily besets us, and to carry neither purse nor script when we are being led by him. (1 Pe 5:7; Heb. 12:1; Luk 10:4; Mar 6:8; Luk 22:35-36)

Messiah understood and walked in this weightless provision. When money was needed for taxes he paid from the mouth of a fish not from a wallet in his pocket. (Matt. 17:27) Weights not only cost you money, but it weighs you down. Those who have more then they can carry find themselves challenged with understanding what’s really important in life. They’ll fill their barns to the full with stuff that will out live their ability to use them. They’ll lie to themselves and others, cheat whomever they have to to hold on to what’s not important and in the process lose access to what is. We give more value to the things we possess in this life then the relationships we have. The man who can live his life not attached to these things will not only lighten his load but free himself up to care about the things that are important to God.

Consider “forever homes”, the issue I have with forever homes is the mental block it sets up resident in a persons mind to accept. We will give power to a house that’s sole purpose for existing is to accommodate the needs that our families have into some sort of unholy shrine that we must defend and preserve at all cost. A home fulfills a purpose like clothes fulfill a purpose if that home fulfills that purpose for you until you die you keep it, but if like clothes that become too small you pass it down to someone else, when homes outlive there purpose in your life you should not allow the home that blessed you to become the house that buries you.

To die for a friend is noble to die for a cause is admirable, to die for things is foolish. Father Abraham understood that what God gives you; you don’t have to fight to hold on to. While he was given much, nothing he was given had him. Thus it is said of him that he was looking for a city whose builder and Maker is God. (Heb. 11:10) What exactly are we looking for? Do we set ourselves up for failure when we look for those things in the things we possess, including our home? Sure we do and many of us will drive ourselves mad trying to hold on to something that God is trying to pry from our hands. Not because God hates us, but because He has something else for us. He is exposing the unholy attachments that we have placed in our lives so that we can free our resources, our minds, and ourselves to fulfill His purpose for our lives.

What is the fascination with things anyway? Think about it, the things that we struggle to acquire in life rob us of valuable time doing and spending with the people that we say matter most. This is why we have to be reminded that life doesn’t consist of the abundance of things that we possess, but it does consist of something are we missing that something that life does consist of? (Luke 12:15) He who puts his trust in riches will be shamed, but he who puts his trust in the Lord will never be ashamed. We are so weighed down in this world with so many things that even airplanes have to extract money from us to carry it, which should tell us something?

What are you worrying about today? Or more appropriately put what load are you carrying that is weighing you down? You may not be struggling with sin, but you have so much baggage that you can’t see the forest amidst the trees? There is a call that the Lord is giving us, and that call is to lay down our burdens at his feet, if we say we trust God in any area of our life we are called to stand by that trust regardless of what it looks like or feels like. If we are suffering from unbelief, then He doesn’t mind us asking Him to help us with our unbelief. Consider this what do we have to lose trusting him with our baggage? Is worrying, anxiety, and the distractions of daily living getting us closer to where we want to be in life? If it isn’t then clearly we are doing something wrong, and perhaps Yah is allowing it to consume us so that we can see that we aren’t able to bear it and we will finally give it to him before He has to pry it from our closed fists.

Consider the complexity of the universe we have inherited. How seasons come and go regardless of any preparation by us, yet like clockwork we know what to expect in winter and what to expect in the summer. Now, if God can handle the complexities of the universe causing the cycles of seasons to continue to evolve from one side of heaven to another why do we have problems giving him the stress of our mess to place in order? He is finite we are not, the one weight that we must contend with is the weight of the limited seconds, minutes, hours, and days we have on this earth, and while every year we commemorate our birth we simultaneously are made aware of the reality of our death which is to come. Question is, when that day comes will we be found faithful and will we be ready? I myself endeavor to be ready, and naked I came into this world, and naked shall I return into the loving arms of my Creator. Let’s not let our end be the only time that we lighten our load. Let’s endeavor to lighten our load today and experience the freedom that living footloose and fancy free can bring.

The Apostolic Family

Traveling is more affordable then you think. So often when considering raising money for college for our children we neglect the importance of having a vacation fund. Between school, work, extra curricular activities and the like we often consider vacations optional. Travel where few have gone before! Don’t think of traveling as just a vacation, but be on a mission as you go. Father Abraham paved the way for us concerning how we should look at traveling.  Abraham was given an amazing promise because he was willing to obey God and move from that which was familiar to him to look for a city whose builder and maker is God. (Heb. 11:10)  I would venture to say if where we are is not that place for us, then traveling is in your future.

There are so many benefits to traveling that we often take for granted.  We have such a, work yourself to death mentality that we develop vices that take our money to escape the slavery and drudgery work has become.  I don’t believe when Yah created man he intended for work to be drudgery but rather to be rewarding.  I believe he intended for couples to enjoy each other, enjoy family, enjoy work, and enjoy rest.  However, rest has become synonymous in the minds of most to laziness and this train of thinking comes from having a slave mentality.  A belief that you have to be busy every second of the day so much so that your mind and your body is on constant overload and in constant go mode which doesn’t surprise me ends in exhaustion and many brain disorders.  We do to ourselves what we don’t even do to computers.  Leave a computer on 24/7 without allowing it to be shut off and notice how much slower it moves, and how quickly you will have to replace it.  Yet, we think we are so sophisticated that we can just go and go without ever taking a moment to rest and we can just catch up some mysterious day in the future.  Life unfortunately doesn’t work that way.  Lost sleep can’t be regained on a later date it is simply lost and with each loss we depreciate the life of the battery put in by the Father for us.   While we are fearfully and wonderfully made as we are able to go and function up to12 + hours a day 6 days a week by design without malfunctioning we too have been given a mandate by our Creator to rest one day a week, and he didn’t stop there he gave us 7 separate vacations of rest every year.  Talk about a benefits package?  Straight from heaven!

Yah intended for you to spread out and fill the earth, his name was to be heard around the world and one of the best ways to take a city is to rescue a family.  To rescue a family you need a family to do that.  The world is seeking models of peace and a loving family walking in the fear of the Lord and the keeping of His Word sets the proper model for reflecting the manifold wisdom of Yah and changing lives for his kingdom.  It’s the sort of work one can rest in.  If we keep the weekly Sabbath and the 7 Holy Feasts of the Lord then we would naturally find ourselves in a position to receive and partake of God’s wisdom and understand what true vacations are made of.  Living by his precepts, judgments, statutes, and commandments allows us to live the life the world desires but have never seen with their own eyes.  It also allows for families to enjoy the benefits of travel as these feasts were not simply vacations, but they were saved up vacations, as a portion of your tithes was used to get you to the set apart place that Yah has established for His people. (Deut. 14)  Like the day of rest was set, so was the place where 3 of these feasts were to be kept.  It is the place he said he would make his name to abide. (Deut 16:16)

How to travel otherwise to distant lands spreading the Gospel of peace!  Having those days set and that place set doesn’t mean that Yah won’t make it possible for you to see other lands and spread the gospel other places.  One should always consider their travel a two fold blessing; time to connect with the family away from the distractions of daily living, and customary work that keeps your body and mind occupied as well as an opportunity to witness of the faithfulness and goodness of the King of Kings that has made it possible for you to do what you are doing.  The natural outcome of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving is the desire to share the goodness of what the Lord has done for you with others, and to encourage them that what he did for you, he desires to do great things for them as well.  While God’s plan for everyone is not the same, God has a plan for everyone and his desires and thoughts for them are only good and never evil, to give them a hope and a future.  Families need to hear and see the witness of that.  Our prosperity should be used to provoke unbelievers to jealousy for our God.  For them to want to serve the Daddy that has been so gracious to us to provide what we have need of, give us such great and awesome instructions that are truly the keys to a fulfilling life, and the freedom that comes from being set free from the bondage of sin that binds our hearts, and minds because we walk in shame instead of the liberty that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection made possible for us.  A world bound in its sin don’t you think they need to hear that important message?  Well, if we don’t tell it then how will they know?  How will they hear if we don’t preach it?

Cultivating a shepherd’s heart in your children.  It’s no coincidence that the man after God’s own heart was a shepherd, and more then a shepherd, a vigilant one.  He took his responsibility to take care of his Father’s sheep serious enough that he didn’t consider his own life when protecting theirs.  Think about it, not just for a young boy but for a grown man taking out a lion and a bear is no small feat.  He revealed the Source of his strength to Saul, as he was humble enough to recognize that it was Yah who gave him the victory, which tells you that he was in communion with him. (1 Sam. 17:36) He was operating the way Adam should have operated in the beginning and this was revealed even when David was King.  He didn’t presumptuously go to war but he inquired of the Lord whether or not he should go up or not.  This wasn’t something that just started when he became the man of war, but when he was the ruddy boy tending to his father’s sheep.

This story reveals that it is never too early to begin teaching your children how to have the heart of a shepherd.  While David’s lesson came in tending sheep, traveling can open up the same opportunities as well.  Families reaching families for the glory of God, on one accord can change the way children interact with other children their age.  Rather then them, your children being led by the snare of the enemy, they can be used to conquer the control the enemy has over the entire world.  Making disciples of children while the parents make disciples of the parents.  As David learned the voice of the Father tending sheep so do your children learn how to tend the Father’s sheep by the voice of their parents.  As freely as you reveal in word and deed the character of Christ, it becomes a natural expression for your children.

A prophet is not without honor save in his own country and within his own home. (Matt. 13:57)   For this reason one should not be surprised that they will have less inhibitions, and much greater success when they leave from home.  At home everyone already has made up in their mind what your potential is and they close themselves off to the blessing you were intended to be.  Whereas, when you leave you will witness more fruit because people will more easily be able to see past you to see the God in you and be blessed by Him.  We too will be less stigmatized when we leave.  The bottom line is it is easy to take people for granted that you see everyday.  You become dull to hearing them and therefore it will take someone from outside to reach them.  To me this is the greatest argument I could ever consider for why families should travel.  You enlarge your territory and your area of influence simply by being in a different space because strangers are intrigued.  We tend to love to hear the stories of other people’s lives we don’t know and likewise does this occur for the people who we talk too.  This gives you an awesome opportunity to witness to them the love of God.

The Apostolic Vacation Fund

I have spent a great deal of time sharing why you should go on vacations, but now I want to pick up on the first thing I said concerning how to do this affordably.  The first thing I would say is put aside money for a vacation fund, whether that is a savings account that money goes in but can’t come out until that time arise or if self restraint is that big of an issue consider starting an investment fund in a CD or some other program that penalizes taking money out.  Make sure the money that you set to come out for your fund comes out before your bill money and after your tithes.  This is like paying yourself first.  If you don’t have any children or if you have very young children this will be even easier without the temptation of spending as your child should be the central focus for the first few years of their life anyway.  Traveling should be minimized because its not convenient and it exposes them to issues that could be medically conflicting.  A stable environment is what is needed at the formidable years of their life and there really is no incentive to travel with babies other then they travel free, but they won’t remember any of it, which makes the experience a waste of time for them.  Having you is the most important thing they can have at first.  However, consider where they are right now and you basically have a Ten to Twelve year span that you can begin saving money for travel.  Small trips within 60 to 200 miles can be done without even touching the vacation fund and check out my website for some great ideas for traveling local. The travel fund should be for big trips beyond the borders of your country.

Are you ready for God to enlarge your territory?  Set realistic goals and start reaching out right where you are.  Even though Jesus (YeHoshua) said he couldn’t do much in his area because of unbelief he did do the little he could do when he was there.  We are to do the same.  Begin sharing what Yah puts in your heart concerning outreach beyond the borders of your home.  Explain the benefits of stretching your family beyond your comfort zone so that your children will be well rounded people and develop the character of Christ by having a heart for people who they haven’t even met, and may be completely different from.   Much of the issue we have in schools with children bullying other children come from ignorance and lack of proper exposure to different people.  First and foremost make sure you have shared the gospel and your children have received the Gospel in their hearts before reaching others.  This is the hallmark for knowing when it is time to travel and get your feet wet in areas beyond your borders.  Like Father Abraham he commanded his children and household after him, we must do the same before we can be ready to experience the nomadic life of traveling in the footsteps of Christ. (Gen. 18:19)  The world have enough of itself being replicated, they don’t need any more people doing that.  What they need is biblical examples to imitate.  We need to know what Christ did and do the same.

Finally, we need to be balanced in our approach, because our God is balanced in his.  Vacations are simply that a means of vacating the premises, surroundings, and circumstances that we are used to and exploring areas beyond our surroundings.  As much as traveling should be relaxing and rejuvenating, it too should be about more then just us site seeing and having fun.  We should observe and immerse ourselves in the culture and not see ourselves as being separate from the pain and problems we see in the places we go.  Giving money is not necessarily the answer to solving these deep seeded issues, and if it were we would see more examples of Christ doing that if it was. Instead we see that he met their physical and mental deficiencies that prevented them from meeting their own needs.  If not being able to walk was the problem, he didn’t give money he gave the ability to walk.  If there was an issue of blood he didn’t pay for the surgery to correct it, he healed it.  I believe our obedience to step out in faith towards God will bring about fruit in diverse places and recapture the family our Savior died to save.

If traveling is something of interest to you and you would like to begin this amazing adventure then feel free to subscribe to The Critique where I will be sharing tips on how to travel affordably, comfortably, and safely.  If visiting the Holy Land is of interest to you be sure to invest in my upcoming documentary where I share with you how my husband and I traveled to Israel on round trip tickets for less then $500.  Also find out how to avoid some of the tourist traps.



Watch “An Attitude of Gratitude” on YouTube

Inspirational message for those battling depression.  A biblical look at the benefits of having a Thankful heart


A Return To Respectable Femininity

In our politically correct culture there has been an assault on gender roles. Somehow it has become passe or a curse word to discuss gender roles and mostly pronounced by women then men.  For some reason both men and women have inadvertently diminished the prominent position women play in the family.  

Having an appropriate and biblically ordered family where the man is the head of the wife is associated with dishonor and is fought against with ill repute.  But for those of us on a rampage to erase these roles their seems to be a lack of thought concerning who will accomplish these very important tasks that still need to be done if we as women abandon them.  We sacrifice our children’s development on the table of institutional education which says career should come before love, being able to be “independent” is more desirable then trusting God.  Because it’s dependent on you to create wealth, although scripture reveals it is Yah who gives us power to create wealth. (Deut. 8:18) 

Yet all the women in our lives who we hold dear, albeit a grandma who raised us or an aunt who rescued us, or a mother who nurtured us, we respect and hold them dear not because of their education, but because of their presence, their sacrifices, and their love.  They didn’t give us lots of stuff but they gave us what they had.  However, we abandon their wisdom to follow our own path, make our own name, or to place the untested knowledge of book scholarship against the proven experience of a humbled life, then we’re surprised when scholarship failed us and our families suffer.  Marriages broken and children destroyed, we can’t figure out where we went wrong because our children received all the stuff our parents or grandparents couldn’t afford, but at the expense of the one thing that made a difference in our lives, relationship. 

Respectable femininity doesn’t have the new world perspective of success.  Its not quick to sacrifice its true assets for the paper substitute, nor the things that it can buy. It rejoices over teaching their children about God, sharing the importance of keeping their home, being there to share what’s important in life and willing to share both our failures and successes to protect and prepare children for life.  All of which can only be done by being present. 

This is the wife husbands should seek, a family man should be the husband a wife should want.  False understandings of security lead women to believe fat bank accounts will make them more secure, when the opposite is true.  In many cases more money attracts more women for men which usually result in infidelity and may end with you having some of the money, but no husband, thus no father in your home.  Interesting scripture doesn’t say a house is taken by freezing bank accounts, but by binding the strong man. (Matt. 12:29)  We foolishly believe we win in divorce if we get half of their assets, think nothing about how we’ve sacrificed our children’s security and how they lose their identity.

A virtuous bride, who desires to be a faithful and present mother is of greater value then riches. The world may never appreciate her, but the future is secure because of her.  She trains her children in the things of the Lord, and her reward continues even after she gets older.


Family Restructuring

While death has been as constant as life always, the older I get it seems as though funerals unite us more than weddings.  Times of mourning more than times of rejoicing.  Often many of us asking the question that scripture has already provided an answer for.  Why? From the time we enter this world we enter the race for the grave. Some choose to accelerate the race through suicide or suicidal choices that lead to homicide.  Others full of age having had the pleasure of experiencing all seasons of life give up the ghost to enter into either a place where time and aging doesn’t collide with aches and pains.  Others, in a place a thousand times worse then what this life could give.  Both wherever they are based on the choice they made while in this life.  To receive or not to receive the gift of eternal life made possible by Jesus Christ (Yehoshua Ha Machiach). 

The bottomline whatever their fate we feel the effects of their loss and our family’s must go on with the hole of that missing life within us. Many of us never asking the specific why question that is important, not why they died, for we all must walk this path, but why now? To which scripture also answers this question.  In the book of Isaiah Yah questions what we haven’t pondered through the process, the why now at least for the righteous

“The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” Isa. 57:1

Most of us however will agree that things are getting worse in this world.  We are experiencing the shift scripture has told us about, understanding the blood of Jesus (Yehoshua) is greater then the umbilical chord of biology that connects us.  

Scripture speaks consistently of brother turning against brother, the enemies of a man being the members of their own household. (Matt. 10:21; Matt. 10:36)  We are living in that time where the righteous are entering into rest and the offspring are undergoing the test.  Whether they will continue to walk in what they were taught by their parents or depart.  Will we stand in truth or fall in disbelief?  While there is nothing new under the sun there is an intensity of the evil in this hour then the one before.  

The enemy of our God is getting closer to earth as he is falling from the second heaven with great wrath, and we find ourselves in the tremors of this growing storm. (Rev. 12:12)  Yet the Lord has told us how we will overcome, and should we take heed we’ll fair well. (Rev. 12:11)  

Expect betrayal

We have already been forewarned that a restructuring in our family will take place close siblings will betray one another being hateful instead of loving, having been seduced by this world they will betray their own blood.  Make up in your mind right now no matter what happens to stay with the Lord.  Let NOTHING separate you from the love of God.  (Rom. 8:39) As the family members you love more than life will be brought home in this hour and God won’t be asking your permission, nor will you necessarily have time to brace yourself for the blow. Have your heart and mind on one accord that you will follow Him no matter what happens.  

Despite the prosperity message we are getting from the Western church the scripture reveals entering into the day of the Lord is marked by judgment and persecution.  In fact joy will come through persecution, and not in our blessings or our college degrees will we boast but rather in our weaknesses and infirmities. (2 Cor. 12:6) The hour where the body decreases that the head of the body (Yehoshua) should increase in His glory through his body.  

Entering into this time can separate even that which Yah has joined together.  Scripture teaches us that forsaking for Yehoshua’s sake be it houses, brothers, sisters, or even spouses shall receive a hefty reward, even everlasting life. (Matt. 19:29) 

Hopefully it doesn’t come to that but we have seen in scripture in fact the book of Job is the greatest example of a wife who attempted to turn the heart of her husband against God because of the persecution they were facing.  Yet Job made up in his mind he would NOT turn on God no matter what he lost.  This is what Messiah was telling us when he said, 

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (luke 14:26)

This is the point, if we put anything or anyone before him that thing or person will be what we will betray him for.  Consider Judas who betrayed Jesus for money, or Peter who when faced with the fear of losing his own life denied Christ three times.  We mustnt only conquer the fear of losing our loved ones, but we may have to consider losing our own life. Bringing new meaning to my life is not my own.  

So the real question considering the earlier scripture in Isaiah as a Believer should not be why was our loved one taken, but rather why were we spared?  Why am I still here? What is my assignment?  For the spirit we should have is that of Paul, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil. 1:21)  Submission to Yah dictates who my sister, my brother, and who my mother is, and according to scripture these designations are based on those who have the same will as our heavenly Father. (Matt. 12:47-50)  

Don’t get too attached

The moral of this article is this don’t get too attached. Be ready to move with Yah, wear this world like a cheap garment and be ready for the restructuring. Ask not why this person but rather always consider why not you? Meaning why have I been spared? What is my assignment?  Because you are still here for a reason and if you are in the family of God recognizing he gets to decide when that family should be restructured whether through physical death or a death of a relationship. 

Allowing God to structure your family means you don’t have to be afraid of being hurt because your trust isn’t in man, but in God.  

Saints, it’s time to trust God to put our lives and our families together as He sees fit. To mature in our faith so that we can rejoice in the Lord, counting it all joy no matter what befalls us, because life does consist of more than the abundance of things we possess and the horizontal relationships we have been blessed by the Most High to enjoy.  Love family while you have them and continue to love God who allowed your life to be blessed by your loved one. Recognizing we lose nothing in Him.


TimeShare or Senior Continuum Care Communities

The current model of healthcare services provided for our elderly who require assisted living or skilled nursing is not only passe but depressing.  Anyone who loves their loved one who is faced with having to make a decision concerning where they will spend their golden years understands the heartbreaking options that await them.  Our current Medicaid system needs a revamp and Capitol hill is far behind on making the changes that are necessary to meet the growing need of care.  If you haven’t done any shopping in what the cost is for getting skilled nursing I would highly encourage you to begin shopping.  One of the major changes that need to take place is the choke hold that skilled nursing facilities has on medicaid provision as well as long term care insurance options.  Today, there are better options available to those who fall between the areas of skilled nursing and assisted living and quite frankly the cost for services of the better option comes with a much more reasonable price tag.

It makes more economic sense and common sense, especially if Medicaid is supposed to serve the people rather then the industry to encourage elderly people in need of assistance to stay in an assistant living facility as long as it is possible.  By leveling the playing field and widening the market as far as options the competition would actually push more skilled nursing facilities to provide higher levels of service recognizing that families get to not only choose between skilled nursing, but also assisted living and memory care facilities.  This provides a greater incentive for nursing homes to fix their own internal problems and fine tune their services.  Those who have persevered in working to build this country and make it what it is today deserve better then a place to hold them until they die.  A place that neither our loved ones want to be and their families want to visit them in.  After years of toiling and turning, making a way for your children and sacrificing to meet their needs it seems unfitting that the end game would lead to seclusion in a skilled nursing facility where your basic needs of health are neglected unless micromanaged by your family.

We who are in the working class need to have a shift in our priorities.  Rather then spending our money on a timeshare that gives you one week a year to escape the hustle and bustle of life we need to begin shifting our extravagant vacation fund into retirement property.  Obviously setting aside funds that can’t be touched such as a funeral trust or funeral insurance that would need to be at least $10,000 if you plan to be buried underground with a tombstone and as low as perhaps $6000 if your goal is to be cremated.  Whichever one you decide this needs to take high priority because you are not guaranteed to live long enough to be old and enjoy retirement living, but death is almost a certainty for most of us and having funds set aside to accommodate that need is key to having your wishes honored.  However, if you do live long enough to make it to old age, or even if you find yourself falling prey to a debilitating illness it is important that you be prepared for what the cost of living is for aided care.  This is a topic that many of you know I have been passionate about ever since my loved one suffered a debilitating sickness.  The options out there are few and far between and the compromises you have to make especially if you are not financially prepared for such a catastrophe is quite limiting.

The baby boomer generation are all reaching a point in their life where retirement services of some sort on some level are almost guaranteed to be a must.  Driving may become taxing or due to vision and reflexes could be completely out the question so being in a community that has other transportation options available will be very important.  Cooking and cleaning is another chore that many of our elderly people are less able to do, whether vertigo becomes a problem making looking up or down a challenge, or energy levels fluctuating causing the chores of doing daily tasks difficult, but you’re still able to use the bathroom, bathe yourself adequately, and the like then a senior community is an ideal situation to be in.  Having had to look for out of the box answers to meet caring for my loved one who lives hundreds of miles away, while meeting their desire to stay out of skilled nursing we had to  consider every possibility within his budget to provide for his care.  What I have found is that many places are heading in the right direction, with of course the most important ingredient to success being having quality workers who desire to provide quality care.  However, probably the perfect marriage between this rental based living is a full continuum care community that extends its reach to not just providing rental property, for assisted living and memory care residents but providing purchasable real estate property for self sustaining seniors who can still live independently or with their families in a 2 or 3 bedroom home.

Let’s face it many of us who are in the working class now live a certain lifestyle that we are accustomed to and certainly we aren’t working ourselves as hard as we are to end in the corner somewhere at a institutionalized nursing home if we can help it.  Thus, the next wise development would really be to provide senior living communities that incorporate short term rehab, nursing home, assisted living, and memory care within a housing community that also extends itself by providing cottage style housing options.  While assisted living apartments and memory care apartments would not be purchasable real estate property, many seniors would enjoy the amenities and environment of being in a senior community, but a steak they can actually buy not just sink their teeth into.  Which is where patio homes or cottages around the enclosed community would be an ideal situation.   This housing would require that selling of the property must be only provided to residents who meet the age criteria, but otherwise is a place that their children could inherit as they get older or as they require senior care needs.

As stated one thing is for sure we will get older and our ability to go up twenty stairs everyday will change, these luxurious garden tubs will become a pain, and cooking and cleaning well that will become as old to us as we are.  Having the ability to have a retirement community that extends its housekeeping, therapy plans, dining options, and community resources to those who own homes within the community is a major plus.

After selling your home nobody wants to find themselves in a rental situation again, and should your health decline the advantage of a senior living continuum care community is that your one time community fee paid when you first entered the community provides for you to transition to whatever level of care your physical state requires without having to pay a hefty fee when you are least financially prepared to do so.  By being proactive in your downsizing you have made it possible to be exactly where you need to be when changes occur and membership has its privileges as you would be able to easily transition to the next level of care at a membership rate, and because entrance is both limited and exclusive you have access to the most prime property which means that should you not financially be able to afford the next level of care, selling your home on site provides financial security for your transitional level.

Also, by being proactive by buying property onsite and paying your one time community fee at closing or at an age when you are receiving steady income versus a fixed income you forgo the community cost that is sure to go up over time to make the shift.

This model allows for greater affordability for even the middle class savvy senior to get in. By downsizing on a home that you may have paid off or come extremely close to paying off your equity plus your principal travels with you which will put you at a major advantage when starting fresh in our new community.  You could easily find yourself in a position where your new home could be bought out right or at least completely paid for before you are 65 if you move in at 55.

Resort style living in safer locations.  Smart shopping for property would require looking for land that allowed for turning a forest into a goldmine with natural water features, and fertile land, being a plus situated in an area that is not prone to natural disasters being more ideal.  Let’s face it as beautiful as Florida is the constant threat of hurricanes and other natural calamities make it a recipe for disaster when you mix that in with seniors and especially senior citizens with disabilities.  So, the ideal spot for this senior continuum care community would require paying close attention to safe locations.

Everyone should have choices and a senior care continuum community ought to be able to offer that and that should extend beyond the walls of the assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing unit.  For this cause the next level of senior continuum care communities should include the following:

  1. Home Ownership for independent structures.
  2. A sliding scale association fee based on the amenities you choose to partake in. A base fee which covers the cost of the common area grounds, as well as your personal property, and in and outside home maintenance warranty, as well as supplemental services that can be added on for an additional fee.  This service can be added on a monthly or yearly basis.  Monthly services being able to be cancelled at any time and yearly services at a discount but nonrefundable.  Supplemental services such as:
    1. Weekly housecleaning
    2. Meal Plans (both dining in and carry out services)
    3. Personal Fitness Programs
    4. Club Activities (i.e. bridge club, golf club, pool club, etc…)
    5. Utility package – (Pay a one size fit all fee monthly for electricity, water, internet, landline phone service, and water)

Again the grounds should also offer some form of recreation, as we age we become less mobile so having things available at arms reach is key to keeping our baby boomers, booming with active, vibrant, and healthy lives.  For this reason these communities should offer shopping options, recreational options, and services.

  1. Shopping Options
    1. Dollar store
    2. Gift store
    3. Fresh market
    4. Bakery
    5. Clothing boutiques
    6. Video Store
  2. Recreational Options
    1. Pond for fishing
    2. Golf course
    3. Miniature golf
    4. Botanical garden
    5. Walking trail
    6. Park
    7. Movie Theatre
    8. Library
  3. Services
    1. Medical services on site (vision, hearing, dental, general practitioner, chiropractic, naturopathic doctors, o.t.,p.t., s.t., therapy)
    2. Spa & Beauty Salons
    3. Personal Fitness Services

These options are optional and should be based on the interest of the seniors of that area and should be considered on the front end of construction. The more rural the area the more likely you will have to provide services in house, the more centrally located the less amount of services you would need to provide onsite.  Consideration of location and the interests of the people in your area should always be the priority when planning.

The baby boomer generation has a much greater appreciation of home ownership and having something to pass down to their children, even if their children aren’t particularly interested in what they would like to pass down.  Nevertheless, this is a noble thing, and one thing for sure if their children keep living they will live long enough to appreciate the benefits of functional housing that is handicap accessible especially when in combination with a luxurious touch.  If children are too young to take advantage of living in a senior community then renting out the property to other seniors in need of the space is also an option.  Which in the end still makes this property a worthwhile investment attractive to anyone who fits the age criteria.  By having the amenities that are available at arms length they can decide whether or not at any given time if they would like to add on services, and those services will be billed to them beginning that next month for those still independent they still will enjoy the basic services of carefree living, not having to concern themselves with mowing, or major maintenance issues.  Either way this way of thinking and investment in Senior continuum care living is simply a wise choice offering amenities and options for both the independent senior and the assisted needs senior.

If you would like to continue to receive correspondence on this topic and dream with me just a little while longer in aging with dignity follow my blog.  I will be posting more food for thought on this topic as well as reviews of facilities that I have visited.  If you would be interested in investing in building a senior continuum care community also join in on the conversation, at some point it will be time to take what is being written on a blog and see it come to life on land.  The first phase being to invest in land, and the second phase being to invest in architecture and landscaping.  Finally, if financial investment is not something you can do you can begin changing legislation.  Start making your voice heard concerning widening the use of medicaid to include assisted living and memory care as viable placement options or some sort of voucher program for Seniors requiring 24 hour care to be made available for assisted living and memory care facilities.