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Showing posts from December, 2015

Points for Breathing

Do you ever wake up some mornings and think you should get some bonus points just for breathing? I did this morning, there's just so much to get done and a short time to do it. The caregiver's day is full already with our normal  stuff, but add in even a small bit of holiday planning and personally, I can go over the edge. When I'm on overload like that my response is to go into shut down mode. Today I will fight that since there really is a lot to do. Many don't realize how difficult it can be to plan holiday shopping even just for groceries for the caregiver. The aide will be here for about 3 hours today and I have to exchange a gift and get groceries for the holiday; plus stock up on a few things for the approaching winter storm. Later today everything will be closed - tomorrow is a holiday and Saturday we are having a family Christmas get together just before (hopefully) the winter storm hits. Honestly, I get all stressed out thinking about trying to get all t

Worth the Wait

When my son was first injured, it took awhile for emotions to settle down. I remember spending lots of energy grasping for answers as to why this tragedy had happened and just trying to pick up all the broken pieces of my life. Just picking them all up was enough for awhile without any thought as to how I might start putting them back together. There really are not words to describe the rush of emotions that occurred during those first few weeks, or for that matter the years to follow. I can't even begin to imagine what Job felt like when in a very short time he lost all of his children. He also lost all of his income and wealth and then of course eventually his health was also affected. Honestly, I can say I did not have a response like Job.  Oh, I wish I could say I feel to my knees in worship declaring Blessed be the name of the Lord, but I cannot. I was angry, frustrated and felt cheated out of life. And if I'm totally honest - those emotions still run around inside m

The Power of Singular

We ended last week in Psalm 34 and I want to start out this week with it. Last week I shared several points that stood out to me but one particular verse really stuck with me. The first part of verse 7 says this: the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him.... What really got my attention was that "angel" is singular and not plural. In my mind when I've seen, read or heard this verse I've interpreted it as the "angels of the Lord" were camped all around me. I actually had a visual of me sitting by a nice, cozy fire in the middle and thousands of angels surrounding me on all sides. So when I was reading this Psalm last week the fact that it is just the "angel of the Lord" really grabbed my attention. It honestly messed up my picture I had saved in my mind. Just one angel?  Is that because I am not important enough for a whole troop? (lol) Or is it because the angel is so powerful - we only have need of one? (Think about that for a

Just What I Needed to Hear!

In my personal devotions this morning I was just skipping around through the psalms. I love the psalms as they are open and honest about emotions and the psalmists have unique ways of expressing how they really feel. Today I was honestly looking for some sort of connection to try and sort through some of my own emotions and stumbled on Psalm 34. This particular psalm was written by King David. The background of Psalm 34 helps me remember that our Bible heroes did not have fairy tale lives. Most of them are our heroes because  of their situations and because of how they faced  their fears and foes. This one is no different. The history behind Psalm 34 is found in 1 Samuel 21. David is running from Saul and had been for some time. We can read about his flight from Saul in a matter of a few minutes without giving thought to the fact that this went on for years. He slept many nights in camps and caves before he ever made it to the castle. He runs to Achish the king of Gath only to be

Whatever You Do...

For my personal devotions this morning I was reading in Colossians and stopped in chapter three to ponder a few things. As usual, some things stood out and led me to start asking myself and God a lot of questions. (It's okay - He's used to it! lol) But eventually I worked my way through the whole chapter and began to focus on something that caught my attention for today. Verses 17 and 23 both start with the phrase: Whatever you do.  While verse 17 focuses on words and deeds, verse 23 focuses on work. If I think about these three things - they really cover a lot.  To me, Paul seems to be encouraging the believers to put a lot more effort and thought into every single thing they do - and to make sure it is all done for the Lord.  Now as a caregiver, I think we do what we do  for our loved ones because of our love for them - who they are in our lives - what they mean to us; and that's totally acceptable and applaudable. Nothing wrong with it - it comes from our hearts be

Handled with Grace

Sometimes I catch myself being very frustrated - at well, everything. For caregivers there's not usually a simple  or even what we might call a normal way to do the normal  things of life. It seems that everything is so much more complicated as we adjust to our new normals. Even the most basic of our everyday tasks are so much more complicated than anyone can imagine unless they've been there or done it. For me, and many of us, it's like having a 150 pound baby all.the.time. And recently, my mom who is in the early stages of dementia stayed with me and I had my son who has a TBI and can do nothing for himself, plus my mom who can still do things for herself, but is like having a small child around who has to be watched constantly. So I'm getting a glimpse into some of the other types of caregiving. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a pretty high strung individual - mostly high energy, hyper and probably ADD but never diagnosed. lol Think about it

Not What I Wanted to Hear!

Earlier this week I mentioned that Paul was in the darkest place of his life when he wrote 2 Corinthians. He gives a rather detailed list in chapter 11 of the many things he suffered as well as the load of his responsibilities concerning the church. Moving on to chapter 12 we get a small glimpse of some type of physical ailment he was suffering. He says he had a thorn in the flesh  most historians agree it was some sort of physical difficulty. It must have been lingering and nagging as Paul says he asked God three times to be relieved of it. I'm like, three times? That's it?  Maybe he gave up on asking and maybe he was content with the answer he shares with his readers in the verses following. As caregivers it's tricky emotionally asking God for relief. It's not that we mind taking care of our loved ones - we are honored to do so and we are fueled by love for them much the same way as the force of love held Jesus to the cross for us our love holds us by their sides

When Life Conflicts with Faith

Do you ever feel like your life is in direct conflict with your faith? I have had those times when it sure seemed like it. I wonder if Paul felt that way when he was held captive because of his faith. Early on this caregiving journey I had to sort through a lot of those feelings and came to realize that my faith had to be redefined. I've talked about it a lot - how faith doesn't prevent "bad" things from happening - it's what carries us through.  I think Paul was in one of those conflicting moments as he penned 2 Corinthians. Some days I totally relate to chapter 7 where he says they experienced conflicts without and fears within.  Actually, that sums up many days as a caregiver. I have battled so many fears in my thoughts. We've discussed some of them like what does the future look like? Will I be able to care for my loved one as I get older? How long can I physically provide for my son? What happens if I get sick, hurt, ect.? These thoughts can run ramp

Just Keepin' it Honest

We seem to get used to the way the psalms are frank and honest about emotions and feelings. Somehow it's perfectly okay for a psalmist to say they were overwhelmed, feeling oppressed or forgotten and generally without hope. I find myself in the psalms a lot just because of the openness about emotions. But I really didn't expect it from Paul! Over the weekend I read 2 Corinthians and just let it soak in. One thing that really stuck out this time was how open and honest Paul was about his feelings. In the eighth verse of chapter one, Paul uses three phrases to describe their "affliction" while they were in Asia: burdened excessively beyond our strength despaired even of life While our days as caregivers are challenging, and that's putting it mildly - I don't normally have all three of these feelings at one time. Oh, trust me, there are those times when we are totally overwhelmed and we feel these three and can add some more to the list!  I gu

Living in the Land of Giants

One thing I try to guard against is negativity. We know as caregivers, some days are more difficult than others - but every day is a challenge. It's like we don't have just one Goliath story - we have several of them and sometimes more than one giant to take out every single day - as if we were living in the land of giants.  After 7 years I have grown somewhat accustomed to this new normal. I'm not so self conscious about taking Chris out - even feeding him in public is becoming easier. I hate to admit it - but I will to you - but I have all these pre-prepared speeches ready to go if anyone dares to say a word! lol Even though we can battle constantly with "negative" emotions like frustrations or depression - it's not like we are all wallowing around crying and moaning about our situations all the time. Yes, we have a very different  life than most others. And for those of us who can take our loved ones and get out more - it's just not the same. It&#

Good Morning!

Today was one of those mornings when I woke up tired. I sat with coffee cup in hand and became even more tired just thinking about all that has to be done today and over the next few days. Caregiving alone can tax a body, you know? And then add in other issues that go along with life and it can be double overwhelming. This morning I came across an old time favorite scripture found in Lamentations 3:22-23 which says: The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. One of my recurring thoughts about this scripture is that it's never morning  for God. He lives in a perpetual state of day.  There is no darkness in Him - no night. So how could His mercies be new every morning ? We are the ones waking up to a new day - He remains constant. This can only mean that they are new for us - on purpose.  On His purpose. He purposefully pushes the "refresh" key and holds it down so it'

He Knows

So much can happen in the day of a caregiver. Not only do we have all our regular  tasks and chores necessary to taking care of our loved ones - we have life too. In some ways we are just like everybody else . We have bills to pay, errands to run, houses to clean, family situations to deal with and occasionally a friend or two to catch up with. But let one little thing get outta kilter and boy is it more than chaotic. (Maybe that's just me! smile) The thing is for caregivers that many of the "normal" occurrences of life are on top of an already heavy load. Aging parents, sick relatives, other tragedies and stuff.... life...still happens. It doesn't stop just because we are caregivers. It can be overwhelming sometimes. It is important to note though - that good things happen too - we still have grandchildren, a phone call from an old friend, unexpected gifts or even the kindness of a stranger - can brighten our day too. The point is that life simply does not pause