Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? (Luke 14:28)

A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO we faced the “what to do with Mother” dilemma. Even under the watchful eyes of our daughter who lived nearby, it was no longer wise or safe for Mother to live alone. We removed the dials from her stove. Sharon came every evening to make her a microwave dinner and the next morning to get her ready for “school,” as Mother called it. The van for the adult daycare picked her up weekday mornings at the corner.

But Mother was confused. Worried that she would miss the bus, she’d get up in the middle of the night, put on her coat (over her nightgown), and walk down to the corner. When the bus didn’t come, she’d begin frantically knocking on doors because she couldn’t remember where she lived.

We didn’t want to put Mother in a nursing home. But what alternative did we have? “God,” I prayed, “I’d move her in with us, but there is no room.”

I knew the idea to build an addition on our home came from Him, but I also knew home improvements would be costly. Beyond the financial cost, there would also be the emotional cost my husband and I and our two teens would pay. Mother’s dementia made caring for her challenging.

Counting the cost wasn’t a quick or easy process, but it was a necessary one.

Is there a decision you’re avoiding because of the cost? Ask God for guidance.

Marlene Bagnull celebrated fifty-one years of marriage. She and Paul have three grown children and three grandchildren. She directs two Christian writers’ conferences.