Thursday, November 30, 2017

When I Don't Understand

I am resolved that there are just some things I will never understand. The last three weeks have been very rough. Two friends have died and gone on to their eternal reward, my son's botched surgery, near death and hospital stay and Thanksgiving without family have all taken a toll on my emotions.

Last night I was reading a post by someone whose son suffered a brain injury just a few weeks ago and he's making a remarkable recovery. I'm very happy for the family. But I have all these whys? Why does one recover and get to go on with life and another doesn't? this just added to my frustrations and perplexities.

I saw phrases that kind of made me mad. People say God is good.  And then they say God was with him. Those phrases we tend to only use when things go our way or when we get what we wanted. Are they saying God wasn't with my son? I know they don't mean it - but since I didn't get the same wonderful results is God not good? Was he not with Chris that day?

The obvious answers are of course that He was also with my son, and He is still good. I'm not upset at the rejoicing for those who recover quickly - I rejoice too. I wouldn't want anyone to have to walk this walk, you know? But God is no less good when I don't see Him move on my behalf like I want and expect Him too. He did not abandon my son that day just because we got different results.

We cannot measure His goodness by what we see. He is good. Period. No matter what life throws at us, no matter what fire or flood we walk through - His goodness is forever. His presence never weakens, He never abandons whether life is good at the moment or bad at the moment. He is with us when we are happy and things look great, and He's with us when we are at our bottom and our emotions are spent.

Philippians 4 helps me in times like these.Verse 4 starts out with rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Wow. I cannot say I always exemplify a gentle spirit. Sometimes I think I'm more like a wild mustang tearing through fences and fields or an ugly bull tearing down the proverbial China shop. lol

But Paul goes on in the next verse to give us this tidbit: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God. And then what happens? We get what we wanted? All our problems are solved? Our emotions are no longer raw? Life's fire stops burning? The flood stops rolling? Nope. But.....

Then the peace of God which passes our understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. His peace is enough when I don't understand. He can guard my heart through the rough spots. I can always take it back to the comfort I find in the phrase in verse 5 - he is near. When I don't understand when I am running on high octane emotions; when my heart is broken, when I am too tired to be tired..... He is near.

Today I will rest in the truth that He is near, specifically near the brokenhearted - so I know He's near today. My thoughts will be on His nearness and His perpetual goodness. A goodness that doesn't wane and wax with the turns of the days. I'll think of His constant love and kindness today. And I will rest in that. I'll let Him carry me today - will you join me?


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Finding the Perfect Holiday Gifts for Caregivers

Finding the Perfect Holiday Gifts for Caregivers

Caregivers usually need to juggle a wide array of responsibilities. In addition to their caregiving responsibilities, they may hold down a full-time job and take care of young children. Mix in the daily anxieties associated with normal life, and the caregiver constantly juggles stressful situations where they rarely have time to relax. So how can you find the perfect gift for caregivers during the holiday season? Here are some tips to help!

Spa Treatment

Anyone who works hard each day taking care of an elderly parent will appreciate some pampering at a spa. Set up an appointment for the caregiver, and pick up the tab! At a spa, caregivers have the opportunity to recharge and relax through a variety of specialized services. Typical spa services include massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and body treatments.

Going Out

One gift that won’t cost you a penny is providing respite. Caregivers rarely get to go out to the movies or to a restaurant. Their lives revolve around taking care of the ailing family member. Give them the gift of time by offering to watch their elderly parents. Whether it’s going to the cinema, heading to the library or buying a cappuccino at the coffee shop, they’ll cherish their time away from their responsibilities.

Subscriptions

If the caregivers you know enjoy reading a particular magazine, buy them a subscription so they can enjoy it all year. Do they enjoy watching TV shows but don’t have time to watch them? Purchase a subscription to a company that streams movies and TV programs. They can catch up on their favorite shows, binge watching whenever they have a couple of free hours.

Maid Service

Caregivers have so much to do as they care for a family member with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s hard to keep the house neat and clean when you’re busy tending to the family member’s needs. If you really want to give a useful gift to caregivers, purchase house cleaning services for them. It’s a priceless gift that saves them time and energy.

Household Chores

Sure, it’s nice to have a professionally-cleaned house, but a caregiver will really appreciate your thoughtfulness if you offer to do chores around the house. Doing laundry, mowing the lawn or cooking a meal are just some of the household tasks you can do for them.

Gift Cards

Not sure what to buy caregivers who spend their days and nights caring for others? You can’t go wrong with a gift card to the caregiver’s favorite restaurant or store. But don’t just give them gift cards! Give them time to go shopping too. Offer to watch the elderly parent so that the caregiver can enjoy a stress-free day of shopping.

E-readers, iPads and Tablets

Caregivers love practical gifts that are also fun to use. Buy them an iPad, tablet or e-reader if they love to read books so they can use the devices to catch up on their favorite stories. They can also use them to conduct internet research, play games or do some online shopping.

Hobbies and Interests

When you’re a caregiver, your own hobbies often fall by the wayside. You don’t have time to pursue your favorite hobbies because you’re too busy taking care of sick loved ones. To encourage caregivers to take time for themselves, buy them gifts that relate to their interests. Do they love to sew? Pay for them to attend a sewing class once a week and offer to watch the elderly parent while they attend the class. Do they enjoy dancing? Sign them up for some dance classes. Again, make sure you arrange your schedule so you can take over the caregiving duties for the night or find someone who can do it for you.

Mental Health

Caregivers easily burn out if they don’t have time for themselves. Feeling depressed isn’t uncommon because they’re constantly dealing with an elderly loved one who needs round-the-clock care. It’s important to remind caregivers to take time for themselves and nurture their mental health. Help them find time for hobbies and rest so they feel refreshed despite the difficult job they have to do. Encouraging a beloved caregiver to focus on their own wellness for a change can truly be one of the best gifts they receive this holiday season.

Help the caregivers you know by giving them gifts that make their lives a little bit easier. By giving the gift of time and providing them with much-needed assistance, you’ll provide caregivers with opportunities to do the things that help them relax so they can return to their responsibilities with renewed vigor.

Photo via Pixabay

Recalculating

I think the only constant in life is the fact that change is constant. Just about the time we get where we are figured out and we settle in for the long haul, one little thing shifts. That catapults us into a new dimension it seems and we have to recalculate to proceed.

I think about the GPS and when we make a wrong turn or miss an exit it so nicely says recalculating route. Lol. Some days it feels like I do that every hour or so. I really thrive in structure, but that was one of the first things to go when I became a caregiver. Honestly, that may have been one of the biggest adjustments I have had to make. Each day brings totally different circumstances to be recalculated.

Although it's been difficult, I've found a way to adapt to the constant changes. Like now. I'm writing the blog a bit later today and allowing Chris to sleep. That's so hard for me, but I overslept. Since we've come home from the hospital last week we've both been exhausted. Maybe I'm just old, or plain tired,  but it seems to be harder to recover these days. Every day can be a series of recalculations. This is usually walked out through a series of thoughts that pretty much sound like this:


  • Where am I now?
  • What time is it?
  • What do I have to get done?
  • What can wait until tomorrow?
  • What's most pressing?
  • Do I have enough coffee? :-)
Caregiving days are made up of questions like these and many times have a different answer every time. We honestly do not know what a day may bring, as I found out so quickly last week. I thought I was watching my son breathe his last. Then when the EMT told me they were going lights and sirens, I knew it was life or death. My daughter and I had to face the decision of if we wanted life support as it was the next step. I didn't see that coming. We cannot take anything for granted, not even caregiving.

Now here's the thing. Our GPS may need to recalculate based on our actions. I may have to recalculate my days based on what is happening. But God never recalculates. He has seen in advance and already made preparations. I was reading in Psalm 139 this morning. It says he is intimately acquainted with all my ways. He doesn't recalculate His love - it is constant. As a matter of fact - he pre-calculated and decided we were worth His efforts! He made the way for us to get back to Him before the fall and He's not changing His mind. He's not recalculating that one. We are still worth it!

My eyes slipped on down to verse 4 - even before there is a word on my tongue, behold O Lord, You know it all. What? As fast as my mind can toss out questions, answers and ideas and He knows all that first? And He still loves me!

He knew we would be caregivers. He knew we would see rough days. He knew in advance we'd choose to trust Him through some very difficult decisions and circumstances. He knew we would always add it back up to trusting Him - no matter how we might calculate and recalculate. But He never has to recalculate His love for us or His mercy toward us. It stands through it all.

Today I am going rejoice in His constant mercy, love, and watchfulness over us as His children. He won't recalculate and decide we are not worth it. We will always be worth it to Him. My thoughts will be on how He walked through this moment in time before I got here - and He placed His grace here to carry me through it. I will be thankful for His constant watching, and His pre-watching. I'll be grateful for His lack of desire to recalculate His love. Today I will rest in the truth that He never changes His mind about us. And I will trust Him for one more day - will you join me?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Because He Is

A conversation I had with some people yesterday turned my thoughts toward prayer, so I was looking at the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples. It starts out with Our Father, in heaven. And that's where I stopped. For a few minutes, my thoughts tried to wrap around just that seemingly little point. Just think about it for a bit - our God, our Father - is in heaven. He exists. He is.

I flipped over to Psalm 95. In verse six, the psalmist says, come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our God our maker, for He is our God. We are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. He is. And He is our God. That's a good reason to take a posture of worship at His throne - in the heavenlies.

If we back up to the first of that psalm, David says this:

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God
And a great King above all gods.
In His hands are the depths of the earth.
the peaks of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for it was He who made it.
And His hands formed the dry land.

He made the sea - and the land. He holds both the depths of the earth and the heights of the earth in His hand. And you know what? He holds us in His hand as well. Again - He is.

Hebrews 11:6 says - without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is. When we come to Him - it's because we truly believe He is. Sometimes, we come to Him and bring our frustrations, our concerns, hopes, and fears. But it is powerful to come to Him just because He is. And because He is our God. We come, not because we need anything, just open-handed and open-hearted to say He is our God.

Today, I'm going to move my thoughts from myself and my situation. I'll meditate on His existence. I'll think about how He is and how that is simply enough. I'll worship Him because He is today. And I'll come to Him - not because I want or need a thing - but just because He is. And I will trust Him for one more day - will you join me?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Some Things Never Change - And that's a Good Thing!

This morning I kept thinking about an old song. I like to hear my sister, Kenella sing it. It's called The Anchor Holds. It talks about a ship that is battered and torn but that it's held sure by the anchor. No matter what the storm does to the ship - the anchor holds secure.

Since I had the anchor on my mind, I decided to look it up in a concordance. One scripture stood out to me. It's Hebrews 6:19 and it says this hope we have as an anchor for the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast. I like to read verses in context, so I backed up and read the entire chapter.

It's talking about Abraham and how he hoped against hope and held to the promise of God.If you back up a couple of verses, you'll see that God simply wants to show us the promise of the unchangeableness of His purpose. It can be so easy for His purpose to get lost in caregiving. However, it's only lost to us - we just can't see it. But His purpose is never lost, never wasted and remains even in caregiving.

God wants to draw us to Himself. He wants to be up-close-and-personal with each of us - and His desire to walk life out with us (in us) doesn't change just because we became a caregiver. His promises still hold true - they never change. He still promises us peace - in the midst of the storm. He still promises us joy. He still promises to provide. These never change - neither does His purpose for us.

Philippians 1:6 reminds us that He who began a good work in you  - will complete it! He never abandons ship because life got difficult. It never takes a turn He did not expect. This is our anchor - that He is both sure and steadfast. He never lets us go. He never changes His mind. His purpose for us is still the same. He still lives in us - and didn't move out because we hit a rough spot.

Today I will be thankful that His purpose still stands. I'll meditate on the truth that He longs for fellowship with us - no matter what the circumstances are in our lives. I will give thanks that life doesn't get too complicated for Him - He is not perplexed and He will not change His mind. And so today, I will rest in the truth that the hope of His purpose is still the anchor that holds my soul. And I will trust Him for one more day - will you join me?

Friday, November 24, 2017

So I make you uncomfortable?

Forgive me for my absence once again but we spent almost all of last week in two different hospitals. I know many of you know that drill! But we are home and I don't doze off every time I sit down now, so maybe I am almost caught up.

I think hospitals are just part of the journey, but I still don't like them. Since my son is nonverbal I feel like I have to be right there every second. This time, my daughter stayed the first couple of nights too so we both got 2-3 hours sleep here and there. Thankfully we are all back home and back to a caregiver's normal.

The home health nurse came by after Chris and I were back home. She asked if family helped. I told her my daughter helped immensely but no one else seemed to care. It's like they get used to it and figure we don't need anything. As caregivers we get used to living in crisis mode. It becomes the norm for us - and the norm for them. She explained it this way.

At first, for us that was Chris' accident 9 years ago, everyone wants to come, even though they can't do anything. But then when it goes on they start trying to avoid because of the internal pain. Then after they avoid us so long, they feel guilty so they avoid us even more to avoid the mixed up emotions and uncomfortableness of the combined guilt and pain.I get that. But I'm still alone.

To be honest (and I usually am) it made me kind of mad beyond the hurt that people avoid my situation so they can avoid their pain. It drives me deeper into that caregiver's cave. I want to withdraw completely, it's easier. But then I started thinking of the flip side. All these scriptures started running through my mind.

Psalm 34:18 says the Lord is near the brokenhearted. He doesn't have an aversion to our pain or loneliness. Psalm 46:1 says He is a present help in time of trouble. He doesn't avoid us - we don't make Him uncomfortable. As a matter of fact, He pulls in closer when we are hurting or rejected.

I am so thankful that He will never avoid us - our lives are not ugly to Him.  Our hearts are beautiful - they look like His. We are full of compassion, just like Him. We are servants just like Jesus - He came to serve not be served. Our situations are never too much for Him. He is near to those who call on Him in truth (Pslam 148:14). He doesn't wring His hands wondering what to do with us now. He draws near. He loves us. He even loves being with us!

Today, I will shift my focus from the loneliness to His faithfulness. My meditations will be on how He longs to be with me - by choice. He does not draw near out of obligation - but because He wants to. And I will give thanks for that today. I'll acknowledge Him in all my tasks today - and rejoice because he ain't going nowhere! Will you join me?

Monday, November 13, 2017

It is Enough

This week promises to be a busy week, and by that I mean a busier than usual week. My mind and heart are all over the place and I woke up this morning trying to sort through how I will adjust and rearrange to make everything happen that needs to happen. Sometimes it can feel like I always fall short, like no matter what I do, it's never enough.

With tons of frantic thoughts running through my mind this morning I forced myself to consider where God told Paul, My grace is sufficient for you. But I translated that to My grace is enough.

I started thinking about that one word, enough. I did a Bible Gateway search for enough and found several interesting things. That was all I needed to get my mind going in the "right" direction. I thought about the woman in 2 Kings 4. She owed a huge debt and had no way to pay. Her sons were going to have to become slaves to pay off the debt, but the prophet stopped by. He told her to collect all the empty vessels she could and then started pouring oil. There wasn't an empty vessel anywhere near as oil continued to pour until every vessel was full. She had enough to sell and pay off all her debts.

The other story I thought about I found in 1 Kings 17. Another widow and another prophet. He asked her for a cake because he was hungry and she explained she only had enough oil and flour to make one cake and then she and her son would eat... then die. The prophet told her to make him a little cake and one for herself and her son too. When she obeyed then he told her that as long as the famine lasted she would have oil and flour. For the rest of the famine she had enough flour and oil. It lasted until the next harvest.

What's cool to me about this is that these two stories were two different prophets, Elijah and Elisha, and two different women in dire circumstances. But each one of them had enough to meet their needs. As caregivers we stay in a tough spot on many levels. Emotions run high and it can be tense. Finances can be tough and government programs fail. Friends disappear. Many of us walk a lonely walk because others are not quite sure what to do with us - so they stay away. Lately for me, it seems I am watching everyone else "have a life" and I sit on the sidelines watching life go by. Some   days a a notice and a nod would make my day! lol. We can deal with a lonely journey. But I have to say that He is enough.

No matter what crazy things come up today, this week or next - He is enough. He won't run out on us, and He won't fail us. His grace is like that oil that continued to pour. His mercies are new every morning and He never gets tired of picking us back up and setting us back on the right road. His gentleness is enough. His patience is enough. Whatever I need today - whatever you need today - He has enough to help us work through it.

Today I will meditate on this word enough. My thoughts will be on the many ways He is enough in my life. When I don't feel like I am enough - I'll look to Him and let Him be my enough. I will thank Him for being with me and for being like the widow's flask that is always full of oil. I'll rest in the fact that He is enough.... more than enough. And I will trust Him for one more day - will you join me?

Friday, November 10, 2017

That's so Ambivalent of You!

If you know me much at all, you know I love the psalms, and coffee of course. Growing up, I missed a lot of the deepness of the psalms because I read them through religious eyes and failed to see the psalmist's humanity. There's nothing like real life and some time to help you see life with your eyes wide open. When we become real and raw with God - we start to see His work more clearly.

One thing I appreciate about the psalms is the honesty. David, who wrote most of them, was open and real about how he felt whether he was elated or deflated. In a few psalms he sounds like me - very ambivalent in his emotions. On one hand, we trust God fully. On the other, we're angry with Him and trying to sort life out. But then there's the flip-flop back to absolute trust. Crazy ain't it? (I know you understand!)

Sometimes I just look at one psalm at a time. David was usually pretty good about covering it all. He poured out his heart in amazing honesty, told God just how he felt. Then he would ask God questions and usually end it all with a declaration lik. I will trust You.

Earlier this week, I found myself in Psalm 13. Boy, how I've prayed this one. David wrote it, it's included in the Bible so it's "legal," right? Listen to David's heart:

How long O Lord?
Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Of  course, as usual, David goes on to talk about how he will trust the Lord. Sometimes, we do that on a daily basis. (Maybe it's just me.) But as I was rereading this psalm this week I was like, hey wait a minute! David is also the author of psalm 139. Remember that one? It goes something like this:

Where can I go from Your spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven You are there, 
If I make my bed in Sheol behold - You are there

In this same psalm, David talks about God knowing our thoughts from far off and knowing our words before we speak them. He mentions that God is intimately acquainted with all our ways. And yet, he prayed the prayer in Psalm 13 too. I thought - "wow, David was really ambivalent, wasn't he?" But aren't we as well?

One minute we are declaring how we trust Him and singing 'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus... and the next asking Him where He went and if He knows what He's doing with our lives. You know what? God gets that. He sees the real struggle we have between our flesh and our faith.  And He waits for us there to fill in the gap.

Today, I'm giving it all to Him. All my crazy thoughts and out there questions, and all my trust knowing that He can handle it. I will trust that He looks past my crazy words into my heart and He knows ultimately, I'm going to trust Him with everything, every,single.time. My meditations will be on how He loves me and won't abandon me no matter how all over the place my thoughts and emotions are. I'll turn my thoughts to His faithfulness, and I'll be grateful that He hasn't asked me to walk this path alone. And with that, I will trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Beyond Words

This morning during my devotions, my eyes fell on the last verse of Psalm 19. It's a simple prayer at the end of a beautiful psalm. David prays, Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. David has just written about the majesty of God and the wonders of creation. He follows that with the power of the word to change a life and then follows it all with  this simple prayer.

When my kids were growing up we had a rule. They could say anything they wanted to me - as long as they didn't have an attitude. I valued their honesty, and their feelings but explained there was a right time and a wrong time to say the exact same thing. They did well with it and we had some rewarding conversations. As they grew into their teen years, they were able to be honest with me, and I with them. We grew close.

I think God feels somewhat the same way about His kids too. He values conversation. He values our thoughts and wants us to "share words." I have to say though, that I've not always had the right attitude when talking to God. I've exploded on Him lots of times. And He's always loved me through it. I've sat with coffee cup and Bible in hand and poured my heart out before Him and said it just the way I felt it. And He still loves me.

When I get through the rough spots though, I want David's prayer to be mine as well. I really do want the many things that run through my heart and mind to be acceptable to Him. Ultimately, I want to please Him. Don't we all want that?

Now here's the catch. James 3 talks about the tongue. He says no man can tame the tongue. He could say no caregiver can tame that tongue! lol. But we don't really have to. Why not? Because the mouth speaks from the abundance of the heart. (Matthew 12:34) So our true job here is to guard the heart.

Guarding the heart is tough for the caregiver, I think. Emotions can stay raw. We can feel open and bare much of the time. But I'm finding that He's always right there with the balm we need. He's willing and ready to comfort us in our affliction, to hold us in our pain and to carry us in our weariness. He never turns me away even when I'm ranting. He patiently waits until I run out of rant... until I collapse into His arms. And He gently carries me. He understands me beyond my words, and He holds me.

Today I will think about how He waits for me to settle down much of the time and then He holds me. I'll think about how He's not put off with my pain, my worries or concerns. Today, I'll remind myself to take them all to Him before they get the best of me. And I'll trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Forgiving God

There's just nothing easy about caregiving, is there? Maybe the choice to do it is the easiest part because it is made based on love, at least for most of us. But the actual walking it out is so difficult. I'm talking more than just the daily chores here. There's the emotional strain, financial strain, worrying over making decisions for a whole other person, who in my situation and many others can't tell you what they want or need. It's like playing a life-size game of guess-and-check. I guess this is what I need to do... check. Was it right or wrong?

Sometimes, taking on a caregiver's role can feel like it's because something went wrong with life. It's certainly not the picture perfect life we envisioned, is it? I taught public school for several years and not one time did a student have a life goal of being a caregiver. Pretty sure that one's not on the list. But we are here. One thing I prayed early on was that I would not let it make me bitter toward life, or God.

Let me be honest and say, God and I have had some talks. I've certainly given Him an ear full from time to time. But there was this one day.....after a series of days that I had to come to the point where I forgave Him. Sounds kinda funny doesn't it. Us forgive God? Yup. If we want to move on with Him we must.

I heard a wonderful preacher teaching about worship and she was using the story of Lazarus. She was at the point in the story where Mary came out to meet Jesus. She told Him if You had been here....

The preacher said so many people are living disappointed with God. I realized that was me. My heart was torn and I fell to my knees and wept as God restored my heart in that moment. At that point I wanted to be close to Him more than anything. I felt like He had failed me. I lost total trust in Him. After all, I was headed to Africa and I was trusting my adult kid's care to Him.

But that day as I was on my living room floor, I realized I had to forgive God for disappointing me. From that point on, restoration continued. Until we can get over being disappointed because He did or didn't do something we expected, we can't move forward. We'll become bitter and hardened. If we face the pain - and take it to Him, and forgive Him, He will heal and restore.

Today, I'm going to reflect on the day He touched and healed my broken heart. My meditations will be on how He met me in that place of disappointment and resurrected my joy, my peace, and my trust in Him. I'll think about how He has not abandoned me on this journey and He hasn't forced Himself on me either. My thoughts will be on how He patiently waits for us to return. And then He picks us up, dusts us off and continues the journey with us. I'll walk this day out with my heart resting in His. Will you join me?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

No Erasers

I make no apologies for the old picture! It's my favorite of my mom and me. Rumor has it that it was the last time I owned a dress! I'm so thankful that my mom is here this week, even though she continues to forget so many things we used to enjoy. For now, I keep her comfortable and happy, knowing our time is short.

Emotions can be strung tight for the caregiver no matter what type of situation we are in. Our days are full of so many necessary activities we can barely have time to breathe. But breathing is good. If we are still breathing, then there is hope. We can still breathe a prayer to Him bringing Him every concern.

It is an understatement to say my life changed drastically when I became a caregiver. And for some, it wasn't a sudden shock. But no matter what type of situation brought about a caregiver's role in your life, I want you to know you didn't lose a thing. Naturally? Maybe. But not one spiritual blessing is diminished for the caregiver. Every precious and magnificent promise  is still ours! (2 Peter1:4)

See, God has a huge eraser when it comes to wiping away our sins. Sins and their effect were all washed away at the cross. But He wrote His law on our hearts. Hebrews 10:16 says this:

This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws upon their heart,
and on their mind I will write them

The writer of Hebrews is quoting from Jeremiah who had prophesied that God would write His law on our hearts - on this side of the cross. And you know what? He ain't gonna erase it either! He uses His eraser to make our sins disappear - not His word! He has written it on our hearts, and He has given us the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16) These are solid and sure and He's not taking them back! We do not lose a thing in the Kingdom of God because we are caregivers.

It's a full package deal. We get His peace. He still loves us. We can still take our cares to Him and He will carry them for us. And His word is still written on our hearts. We still have the mind of Christ. We are not excluded from benefits provided the body of Christ because of our caregiving status. 

His word doesn't fade over time. His word will not go away. His word is just as strong as it ever was - He wrote it on our hearts and He ain't taking it back! 

Today I will turn my thoughts to His word. And I will  let His word have free course in my heart and life. My meditations will be on the power of His word, I'll also think about what it means to have it written on my heart. I'll express my thankfulness that He doesn't make any exclusions for caregivers. That He is still with me, still loves me and still values me as His child. Will you join me?