She focused on a statement that really got my attention. It simply said: You're doing a good job! It wasn't even directed at me, but it made me feel good anyway. Sometimes as caregivers it's nice to hear that we are doing a good job. It's no easy task taking care of another whole person or having to make decisions on their behalf.
Maybe one reason we don't hear it more is some people really don't understand what we do all day long. I've heard "it's nice you get to stay home all day." Haven't you? I'm like - I'll trade you one day... just for a day. (smile) And some of it is that we can't talk about some of the most difficult things we do. Our daily tasks may be very different depending on our loved one's needs. For my mom, I've had to start dealing with her as a child in many ways, but she doesn't need to be fed or bathed. But for my son, I have to feed him every single bite, transfer him, bathe him and change his briefs. But we don't talk about those things and when on those rare occasions someone comes to our house, or we go out - most people can't process those nitty gritty chores we get to do for those we love and care for. So how would they even know we need to hear You're doing a good job!?
Then I started thinking about if God ever told anyone they were doing a good job or not. The first scripture that came to mind was when John the Baptist was baptizing Jesus and the Spirit of God descended on Him and said, This is my beloved Son, in Him I am well pleased. And then I went blank. I did a little searching and found the story of the ten talents. The ones who acted responsibly with their talents were told they did a good job.
I branched out to look at some different translations and found this one in the Message:
[Make the most of what God gives] After looking at the
way things are on this earth, here's what I've decided is the
best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time,
and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life.
And that's about it. That's the human lot.
Yes, we should make the most out of what God gives,
both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it,
accepting what's given and delighting in the work.
It's God's gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now.
I thought about that for awhile. I like the "take care of yourself and have a good time" part. But I had some trouble with the finding joy in what I'm doing part. I'd like to ask the writer, do you know what I do? Some aspects of caregiving are anything but joyous; things we can't talk about like changing catheter bags, changing adult-poop filled pants, for example. But I can choose to take joy in my "job" if you want to call it that.
It's my pleasure to help and take care of my son - and quite honestly - no one can do it better! And no one can do your caregiving "job" better than you either. So smile today and listen as the Father tells you, "You're doing a good job!" Oh - and believe Him.
Today I am going to rejoice in the fact that God is pleased that I chose to be a caregiver. I'm going to envision Him looking down on me and smiling as He sees me being his hands and heart to my son. I'm going to receive this "You're doing a great job!" as if it was directly from Him this morning. And then? I'm just going to smile.....because I look like Him. Will you join me?
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