We do the same caregiving tasks over and over, day after day. Today, though I have the promise of an aide. And now that I have settled in to an aide-less routine, that means changing it all up again. It sounds silly and like it wouldn't matter, but it really does change a lot.
For instance, I want to make sure our laundry is sorted out because when aides are not coming regularly I do some of it together. I also have to get Chris fed, bathed or up (depending on his sleeping schedule) before the aide comes - or figure out when it fits in. I pretty much have to change the way I do my mornings since I have word he's really going to come. (His boss told him if he didn't show up today, she'd restaff him. Why she didn't say that to the one who is supposed to come 3 days a week I have no idea.) I'm trying not to get too excited about maybe getting to run outside or go grab a few groceries because you never really know.
I'm thinking it would be really nice if people just did their jobs. But today I'm wondering if that's just a bit much to ask. I really feel like aides, and maybe even others, don't really know their value. Maybe they think it's just a "job." They don't understand the break they can give us or how much it helps for them to tackle some of our daily chores. They just want to get their paycheck. But that is not in any way a demonstration of their true value.
When it comes to relieving the caregiver, a good aide is invaluable. They don't seem to get that. Even doing a couple loads of laundry, vacuuming or sitting with my son for a few minutes so I can run is worth more than anyone can pay. Especially if I get to run out and be free for a few minutes! They are not here long and I have to balance it all with work so I often have to choose between getting some errands done or going for a run. I also have to do everything with one eye on the watch because I have to be time conscious. But it can make or break my day. They don't understand the value in that.
As I am thinking about aides and how they can really make a difference for caregivers if they put just a little heart into it, I wonder if we underestimate our value to God, and to others for that matter. We can feel cut off and separate from society like we live in a cave with no real value to give. Ah, yes the caregiver's cave. It can be a humble, but safe place to be. It can also be lonely and dark sometimes. And when we do dare to peek out - it looks so different out there.
Our days, our jobs, our lives can look so different, in fact that it's much easier to stay tucked inside rather than venture out to see what our lives appear to be lacking. I have to guard my attitude sometimes because I hear people outside my cave whining about what I consider a simple matter - an outside the cave matter. Looking at life out there can make me feel more alone - more separated, and of less value. But this is simply not true.
We are the apple of His eye - of great value. God didn't take anything back from us as His children because we became caregivers. Every single promise still holds true. We are still in the beloved, His son still died for us, we are still the righteousness of God in Christ. He still calls us His own. And the list could go on and on. We are still part of His greatest treasure.
Today, I am going to think about how valuable I am to God, even if I don't feel like it. Life may discard us - but He does not. I'll turn my thoughts to His great love for us - even caregivers - and aides. I'll meditate on the value He must place on us. I'll think about what it means to be His prized possession or to be precious in His sight. And that should fill my mind up today - as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?