I was thrust into caregiving when my son was in a tragic accident but soon found that there's a whole world of "us" out there! Many times we find ourselves alone. Even the church can disappear quickly and good friends distance themselves because our world has changed. But God does not change with circumstance. My faith is what has carried me through and these devotions will hopefully help us all make one more day - encouraged in Him.
I've run a few races where certain actions can disqualify you. For instance, if you are not lined up at the start line when the gun goes off - you are disqualified. One race course in OKC goes through an affluent neighborhood and if you step on the grass you get disqualified. Sometimes it can feel like we got disqualified from living our lives when we became a caregiver. For me and many others lives not only changed drastically - they changed completely. It can take years to feel like you are "living" again.
Thankfully when it comes to God and His presence caregivers are not counted out!
This morning I was reading in Psalm 24 and verse three is taken right out of Psalm 15. It says:
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His Holy Place?
The psalmist answers his own question in verse 4:He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol.
We do not get cast away because we are caregivers even if our life doesn't quite look like others.We have the same criteria as everyone else who is living and breathing on this earth: clean hands, pure heart and no idols. Even though we live on uneven ground it seems we are all the same before God. He doesn't give us a break because we are caregivers, nor does He remove His requirements for caregivers. We still have to keep our hearts pure and our hands clean. We cannot have any idols in our lives but must live lives dedicated solely to Him.
It can feel like the church DQs us - because we don't fit in their box. It can seem like life DQs us since we live much differently than most. But God does not DQ us - we have the same access to His presence as everyone else. He welcomes us to come to Him, and to rest in Him.
Today I will meditate on the truth that I am welcome in His presence - even with all my "baggage"! I'll yield my thoughts to His acceptance of me and the fact that He chooses to be with me right here in this mess!
Maybe it's just "that time of year" for me, but I've struggled a lot the last few weeks. I still affectionately call it the caregiver's fog. Lol. Okay, maybe it's not-so-affectionately. I know I can share my true feelings with you guys because you get it. You understand the day-to-day grind of caregiving. The military has a saying about there being no easy day. I think we live in that reality. It's just not easy caring for another whole person, is it? Caregiving presents many difficulties. We can find ourselves alone, so very alone on this journey. It doesn't just go away. We don't just work through it. It seems to go on and on. There are lots of ups and downs - and that can be about every 90 seconds some days. Right? (smile!) As I've been working through this emotional maze the last few days, I turned my thoughts to Daniel. Let's take a realistic look at his circumstances because as we read his story in the Bible, we tend to glamorize i
This morning, I found myself reading in Isaiah 28. I ended up there because I was looking for something in particular, and even though I didn't find what I was looking for, I found what I needed. God's so cool like that, isn't He? My eyes first fell on verse 29, which says in the NKJ: This also comes from the Lord of hosts, Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. I rolled that over in my mind and heart a few times and spent a few minutes thinking about how I'd seen His counsel in action in my own life. We've all had those times when we weren't sure what to do or where to go, and suddenly, an idea drops into our thoughts. There are many ways He provides direction for us. He may direct our steps through a passage of scripture, a trusted spiritual leader such as a pastor, a YouTube teacher, and maybe even a lowly blog writer. Lol. No matter how He chooses to deliver His counsel, it comes - but we must listen. After I had rolled these thoughts and t
This week, I've been reading the book of Acts. I am enjoying the journey of the early church. Can you imagine what it would be like if your church saw 5000 people saved in a day? Mass chaos would ensue as leadership tried to figure out how to serve that many people! It'd be great and difficult at the same time - kind of like caregiving. Lol. But yesterday, I got stuck in Acts 9 thinking about a practical caregiving issue. In verse 32, we read that Peter was traveling around and encouraging all the new believers. He came to the town of Lydda. Verse 33 says in the NLT, There he (Peter) met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. Now, the next verses talk about how Peter proclaimed healing, and the man just got up! That's so amazing. But my brain got stuck on some of the practical parts. Aeneas was paralyzed and bedridden. My mind compared the situation to my son, of course, even though he's not "paralyzed." I started wondering