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Is It All Broke?

  Do you ever have those times when you feel like everything is broken? Maybe it starts with an essential appliance, like the air conditioner or a dryer. Or, for some, it's a less-than-perfect primary vehicle. Other times, it can feel like it's the whole "system" that's broken and leaving caregivers stranded. Sometimes, it's our emotions that seem to be broken beyond repair. And on occasion - it can seem like everything has spiraled down to being broken all at one time. Beyond frustrating, right? What are we supposed to do with all those crazy thoughts? How do we handle negative emotions that stem from stuff that's just not right? Let's see. We can file complaints that get lost or ignored, even ADA complaints. Talking to supervisors is useless. It can seem like no one wants to work anymore, they just want to get a check without expending much, if any, effort. We are left stranded in every sense of the word. Does God have a cubby hole for all that? Lol.
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The Right Answer

 When you first start out on your caregiving journey, there are tons (like millions) of questions. I had absolutely zero background in even basic nursing and caregiving. I knew some first aid and CPR since my mom was a nurse. Hearing her talk about her job and working with patients at least gave me a sense of what to do and not do during emergencies and certain situations. But caregiving? I knew nothing. I had tons of questions .  As I began to walk out the days, I found some answers. I also found out that the answers given in institutions of care, like nursing homes and hospitals, weren't always right or practical. It took a lot of stumbling and what I call playing guess-and-check to get answers to many of my questions. But guess what! I still have tons of questions. Every time Chris has an asthma attack or gets sick, I start looking for answers. What did I do wrong? What can I change to make things better? How can I change up our routine to help him? Lots of questions about thos

All the Gory Details

 You know I love the psalms, and this morning I found myself reading and rereading Psalm 37. There is a lot to hold onto in these few verses, but my mind got stuck on this one little phrase. Verse 23 says  the steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives. (NLT, 1995) My first thought was how precious that God is that involved in our lives that He walks with us through each day observing all we say and do. He is that ever-abiding presence who sees the tears and joys as they unfold every day. But then, I was like, wait. I'm a caregiver. Does God really involve Himself with all the gory details of the caregiver? It can get pretty weird around here. We never know what a day may bring. But it always brings some things like feeding, transferring, bathing, dressing, and yes - changing the unmentionables. God sees all that? And still sticks around? The stuff we do every day for our loved ones is what scares most people away! But there stands God.

Dare to Hope

 Over the weekend, my son and I traveled to Missouri for the funeral of my daddy's last of 6 brothers. It was a nice trip and wonderful to reconnect with family. But the time out of our "norm" was really good for my head. Sometimes, it takes breaking that day-to-day grind to help see more clearly. Of course, I packed the whole house for just a one-night stay. Lol. It's a lot of work to travel with a loved one you have to provide care for - I won't deny that. But the break from the normal was still wonderful. The 4-hour drive allowed me to gather my thoughts, get some of them lined out, and toss a few that were negative. The out-of-normal setting gave me time to assess where I am, what I'm doing, and how to proceed. However, there is a thought I've been toying with for some time, and it started taking shape during the trip. I've been trying to rearrange my mornings, so they are more productive. Finally, I started a devotional called, Command the Morning

Worth the Wait

 As caregivers, our days provide many opportunities to make decisions. Some of them are simple, and others are often life-changing. It's never easy to make decisions that directly affect another person. Yet day after day, we are faced with decision-making necessities. At any given time, we can have a list of decisions that need to be made. Hopefully, most of them are non-pressure decisions, so that we have plenty of time to consider every aspect. But for me, given too much time to think can suck me into a horrible place mentally and emotionally until I am totally overwhelmed and nearly rendered unable to make a good choice. This week, I've been suddenly faced with a big decision to make. I've been toying with some ideas, but it has become more of a necessity at this point. I was almost to the point of being overwhelmed and frustrated when it dawned on me that I can literally give it to God and wait for Him to answer. Novel idea, right?! My mind started rehearsing several sc

Precious Memories

  Today is my son's 39th birthday. I can't help but think  this is not the way it was supposed to be. He should have finished college (he lacked one semester), gotten married, traveled the world, and had kids by now. Life doesn't always play out on the roads our dreams make. I find memories both haunting and precious. I have wonderful memories of watching my kids in the marching band. I recall teaching Chris to drive, do laundry, and cook mac & cheese, like other parents. We spent time playing catch and served on worship teams together. He played the drums, and I was either on the keyboard or guitar. Countless hours were spent making music. We read together and did crazy stuff together. Once he was an adult, we'd sit around and discuss lots of philosophical matters while downing a couple of pots between us. One time, we were sitting on the porch, just finishing up a deep conversation and the last drop of coffee. We sat in silence for a minute, then I asked him if he

Still Trusting

 I woke up this morning to realize that I am still trusting God. How do I know it? Because the long list of to-dos and concerns running through my head were each one turned into a prayer. As I was praying through my mental list, I realized I was still trusting Him for answers. Even though they may not come immediately, by noon or in a way that I recognize them at all - the answers will come. Situations will be resolved. I'll get through. And in its most basic state - that is trust. That is faith. I'll share my FaceBook Live video at the bottom of this post. In it, I shared that Jesus calmed the storm and said those beautiful words that we need to be spoken to our souls every day. Peace, be still. And then, He turned to the disciples and told them they had no faith. But He still calmed the storm. They were learning to trust Him from the inside out. I dare say that, as caregivers, that is what we do every single day. Are you still reaching for Him? Do you still pray for answers?