Wednesday, January 31, 2018

One Word

You know I've been studying and working/walking through Psalm 119 taking a section a day. Today I landed in verse 114. It says this: You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word. I tried to finish my daily reading, but thoughts were distracting me.There are so many nuggets to take away from this one verse.

My first thoughts were of hiding in Him, of staying nestled up close to Him during the storms of life and the struggles that can come along with caregiving. I thought about sometimes how He just holds my heart in His until mine syncs to the rhythm of His. I thought about those midnight hours when Chris has been sick or uncomfortable and I didn't know what to do - and He was the calm in the storm. I knew Him as my hiding place long before caregiving, but caregiving brought it home to me. There is a place in Him I can crawl up and let it all go. There's no condemnation, no rebuke, no misunderstanding - just His gentle touch.

Then I thought about how He is a shield to those of us who believe. David said in another psalm: You O Lord, are a shield about me, the glory and the One who lifts my head. (Psalm 3:3) Hindsight is 20/20 and there are so many instances where we can look back and see how He was a shield around us, how He covered us and kept us from even knowing what was going on the outer side of that shield.

I think for me, the shield is a quick, temporary protection from some sort of attack. Life throws darts at all of us, it just seems to caregivers that the darts are bigger. lol. I started to say when life gets hectic, but for caregivers, it just is hectic day in and day out. Emotions stay raw. Hurt is always on the surface and deeply rooted in us as well. There are daily grief and sorrow. Our life-related struggles are greatly multiplied and many days all we can do is gather the strength to make it through. That's what the hiding place is for - to crawl up in Him and live. The shield, to me is for those extras - the friends who abandon, the client who didn't pay on time, the sudden fever our loved one spikes or news of the death of a loved one. We live in the hiding place - and duck behind the shield when events get sticky. He does both well!

But then, that last little phrase really got to me. I wait for Your word.That helps us know what we should be doing while ducking behind His shield or resting in Him as our hiding place. We are waiting for that word from Him. It only takes one. A simple, peace be still calmed a raging storm one time, remember? A simple, take up your bed and walk gave the crippled man a new life. When we are hiding in Him, it doesn't take that much, really. Just I am with you calms, comforts and reassures us of His ever-abiding presence. You are mine reminds us that we are indeed His child and He cares, He knows, He sees, and He hears. He'll never leave us. It just takes one word to save our hearts, relieve our fears and change our day.

Today, I am going to listen for that one word. I'll crawl up in His hiding place, the one I know so well. I will listen for His gentle voice to speak to me - to calm the raging storm in my soul. I purpose to get to know that hiding place a little better, and stop trying to do it all on my own. I will hide in Him, listen for Him and let Him comfort me today. Will you join me in listening for that one word?

Monday, January 29, 2018

Eager Desire

Chris being pushed in his Ainsley's Angels chair
This weekend, the weather was beautiful so Chris and I signed up for a race. I was all set to push him but the two young men in the photo asked to push him for me. They were so eager, I nervously gave them my baby. I laugh, but in all honesty, it was difficult to allow him to be in someone else's hands for that little bit of time. It did, however, free me up to run the race.

I think what moved me about it all was that they were so eager to push my son. They wanted to and as you can see by their expressions when we passed on the course, they enjoyed it. They were not enduring it or doing it because they felt they had to. I have to say - it was a true blessing and it touched my heart in a way I've not even been able to describe with words yet.

It's far too often that caregivers and their loved ones are avoided. We can start to think we have the plague or something contagious. People tend to ignore us and avoid us. Or maybe it seems that way. Many times, it's because we are different and they don't know what to do with us. So this was refreshing - enjoyable. And honestly, a little bit weird for me. My emotions didn't know what to do with it. But I liked it.

Sometimes it's just as difficult to think how God eagerly desires to be with us. We want to project the feelings, or actions, of people on Him. It can be easy to think since we don't see people wanting to be with us - surely He doesn't want to either. But just like these two young men were eager to push Chris in order to allow him the experience of going through the course in under 20 minutes and coming in third overall - God is eager to be with us. He wants us to experience Him. He wants us to experience His power as He pushes us on this course of life.

Do you sometimes find that hard to believe? I do. Sometimes, life looks ugly and I wonder why God keeps showing up. He keeps trying to be involved. He longs to be with us, to carry us, to hold us. Will we let Him?

Today, I'm going to turn my thoughts to how God wants to be with me. There's no obligation on His part - it's just His simple, yet eager, desire. My meditations will be on how He continues to walk this journey with me and will not abandon me before we cross life's finish line. No matter what the course looks like or feels like - He's in it with me until the end. I'll spend some time today just being grateful for His presence, being thankful for His want to. And I'll relax and enjoy the ride as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Friday, January 26, 2018

Do Warriors Get Tired?

Lately, I've been studying about David. Specifically, I've been reading the story about how he took out Goliath. Then I continued that study with how his men ended up taking out the four brothers of Goliath. I have a suspicion that David would have really liked to have done that himself but it didn't work out that way.

The story of how Goliath's brothers were all taken down is in 2 Samuel 21. In verse 14, Saul and Jonathan were buried. Then in verse 15, it starts walking the reader through a series of battles. These four giants were not taken down in just one battle, like caregiving, it just went from one battle to the next, back-to-back.

But David didn't get to "play." In verse 15, it says they were all down fighting with the Philistines but David became weary. His men told him he could no longer go to battle with them because it was too risky. As I read it, I thought David was a mighty warrior. He was accustomed to the battle. He never lost!  Yet he grew tired and weary during this series of battles. Even a warrior gets tired sometimes.

This really got me to thinking. What I got from it was that it's okay to get tired. We do a tough job day in and day out. Some of us have help and some do not. But like the energizer bunny, we just keep going. There are times when we don't even know how tired we are because we can't stop long enough to think about it. There are things that simply have to get done. But I'm like, If David can get weary - it's okay if I do too!

Isaiah 40:30 says Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. I have to say there have been many times I was weary like David, but the Lord lifted me up. I've been called "Superwoman" but it seems I keep losing my cape! lol. We must press on, for most of us there just isn't any other option. But we also must not condemn ourselves when we get weary, or when we get tired. It's part of the battle. It's part of being a warrior.

David said in Psalm 119:92, If your law hadn't sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery. (NLT) Earlier in that psalm, he stated Forever O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations. (NASB) It's so good to know that even if our strength runs out, He remains faithful. His word still carries us, sustains us. And He has no plans of stopping anytime soon. And His word continues to ring out into forever, far enough to reach our hearts in 2018. Strong enough to continue to carry us throughout our journeys.

Today, my meditations will be on His sustaining power that never wanes or grows weak. I will turn my thoughts to the power of His word to carry me through and sustain me so I do not give up. I'll think about His strength and how I can lean on it more. And I will trust Him to carry me through this day I've been given. Will you join me?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wineskin in the Smoke

Chris in the standing frame - alert!
I've been going through Psalm 119 while leading an online group devotion each morning. Today's reading included verse 83 which says I am shriveled like a wineskin in the smoke, exhausted with waiting, but I cling to Your principles and obey them. (NLT 1996) Now to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what a wineskin does in the smoke. But after asking google, I have determined that they shrivel up, dry out and become useless. That was pretty much my guess anyway.

Do you ever feel dried up and useless? I do sometimes. It seems there's not a lot of social interaction and during those long, drawn-out alone times, it can start to feel like we are separated from the normalcy of life. Because of the trauma which launched me into caregiving, oftentimes I feel like I have lived two lives, now and BC (before caregiving). They look very different. If I don't keep my mind on the word and the truth that God doesn't change even when life does, I can become depressed, upset, worried, and feel like I'm dried up and useless.

Isn't it interesting that this King of Israel, this highly feared and revered warrior - felt useless? I mean come on. He took out bears and lions bare-handedly. He killed Goliath for crying out loud! He ruled as king. Yet somehow he felt useless? Like a wineskin in the smoke.

Maybe it's not about us. Maybe it's a multi-generational attack of the enemy to try to devalue us. Perhaps it's a very well used (and effective) tool of the enemy used to distract us and slowly conquer us. Because, if David felt it, I feel that way sometimes, and a few others perhaps do too - it's not us.

And that's why the last part of this verse becomes more important.But I cling to Your principles and obey them. I believe we could easily substitute "Your word" for "Your principles." No matter how we feel, good or bad, we can cling to His word. It is His word that has revived me, rejuvenated me, comforted me, refilled me, and continues to keep me moving toward His heart. It's not about how we feel, it's about the constancy of His word through what we feel.

Today, I am going to ignore how I feel. I'm going to turn my thoughts to His word and away from my situation and feelings. My meditations will be on His faithfulness and how His word still works in my heart - no matter what I feel, or what situation I find myself in. Instead of thinking about me today - I'm going to keep my thoughts in his word, and trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Find it!

chris looking at himself in the mirror
No one likes suffering. At all. Actually, we spend a lot of our lives trying to avoid it altogether. We avoid relationships that might be hurtful, as well as circumstances that might cause us internal pain. Then caregiving happens and it can feel like everything is painful all the time. While it is the most rewarding "job" on the planet, the suffering endures, pain and grief are real and constant for many of us. Sometimes we might ask what good could possibly come from all this. It's a fair question.

This morning as I was preparing my video devotional for a FB group, I came across verse 71 in Psalm 119. I'm taking it a chunk at a time each morning - and boy has it been a great study! Well, at least I've enjoyed it. lol.

Verse 71 says this It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.(NASB) The New Living Translation (1996) says it this way The suffering you sent was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your principles.There's nothing like a little suffering, a little pain or bump in the road to get us to turn our attention back to God. All of a sudden, we are searching the word for answers. Or we are reading through verses looking for specifics like hope, courage, peace or a present help in time of need.

Here's the thing though, if we wait for those rough spots, those bumps in the road to get familiar with the word, we are going to be lost. When we hide the word in our hearts, then something happens we start mentally thumbing through scriptures trying to find one that fits the situation. If we've stored it in our hearts - it's there when we need it.

Do you need hope today? Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom.15:13)
Do you need peace today? Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. (1 Peter1:2)
Are you anxious today? When my anxious thoughts multiply in me, Your consolations delight my soul. (Psalm 94:19)
Are you fearful? Do not fear for I am with you, do not anxiously look about you for I am your God.I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

No matter what we face from day to day - or moment to moment, God has an answer. He may not make it all go away and come riding in on a white horse to rescue us. But He will always, always, always ride through the storm with us and providing what we need to make it through. Take time to find what you need in the word today - there's always an answer there.

Today, I'm going to meditate on how the word has carried me through the tough times. I'll think about the scriptures I learned as a child and how they bring me comfort even in the trials of life. I will take time to thank Him for walking through time with me - for not abandoning me. I'll express gratitude for the way the word brings comfort and peace and reminds me that He is indeed always with me. And I will trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Floating Away to Lala Land?

I found this nugget this morning, I just wanted to share with you all. Sometimes it's so easy to get wrapped up in being a caregiver we forget about simple stuff out of the word. For me, I stay in survival mode so much, there's not always room for much else. It takes everything we have, every ounce of strength to make it through the day sometimes, who can think of anything else, right?

Few can understand how full our proverbial plate really is. From daylight to dark, there is something, someone, some situation making a demand on us - on our energy. Lately, with both of us taking our rounds being sick, sleep has been lacking. That makes for long days and nights. But there is something (someone) in the midst of the storm holding it all together - and it's not me. lol.

Actually, I lose it easily. I may look like I have it all together, but on the inside, I'm a big mess. My emotions are all over the place, I have fears, anxiety, self-doubt and the whole nine yards. But just like Jesus promised, He fills me with a peace that is beyond my understanding. I do not understand how we make it sometimes, you know? There is so much making demands on our energy, mindfulness, faith, strength, etc... every.single.day. And we somehow keep going. Day after day. Night after long night.

He is faithful.

So this morning when I found this verse in the New Living Translation (1996) I had the missing piece of the picture. Psalm 119:61 says this: Evil people try to drag me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to Your law. It's not so much that there are "evil people" dragging me into sin, but circumstances are always digging at me, trying to separate me (us) from the truth of His word. Our situations can be a constant soul-pain forever chipping away at our faith - if we let it. That's where the second part of this comes in - I am firmly anchored to Your law - or I'd like to say to Your word. 

When we are anchored at the heart to His word, circumstance can't drag us under. When we hide His word in our hearts, it will come up and hold us, ground us, when we need it most. Those long nights when our loved ones are feverish and uncomfortable, the long days with no human interaction, the long evenings when it feels like there was so much more we needed to get done but didn't. When we are anchored to His word - it will sustain us. Ground us. Hold us down when our emotions are ready to float us away to lala land. (Maybe it's just me?)

Today, I will meditate on what it means to be firmly anchored to His word, and to Him. My thoughts will be about how He makes us immovable, grounds us in Himself and is faithful. I will look up the song, The Anchor Holds. And I will keep my thoughts on being anchored in His strength - rather than mine. My meditations will be on being anchored in His faithfulness and being grounded in His word. I'll be grateful for the word today as I trust Him for one more day anchored in Him. Will you join me?

Friday, January 19, 2018

Simple Act of Reflection

I'm still studying and sharing out of Psalm 119 in a Facebook group I work with. I had forgotten how much I loved this psalm.This morning, one verse, in particular,  stood out. Verse 55 says I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord, and I obey your law because of this. (NLT)

What I got out of that was reflecting, or thinking about who He is, keeps me on the straight and narrow. Because of who He is I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. When I think about His power, His greatness, His majesty, His Lordship, His Kingship... and I could go on - I can't help but worship Him and obey Him. (These two are inseparable btw.)

Where my thoughts went with this verse was to the fact (truth) that nothing here on earth changes Him one iota. Whether we face good days or bad - He's still King on the throne. His throne was not moved by my tragedy. His power was not weakened by my battle. His position on the throne did not shift in any manner because of anything I may have faced. No matter how good - or how bad life may be, it does not change Him. Nothing on earth affects who He is. He remains unchanged. And this keeps me on the straight and narrow.

Today, I'm going to meditate on this verse and reflect on who He is. My meditations will be on how He remains. He stays the same. He is still faithful. He is still all-knowing and all-powerful and life doesn't have the power to change Him or diminish Him in any way. He's still the God I trusted in my youth and as I face older ages He will remain the same. I'll be thankful for that today. Will you join me?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

I Trust God

If you've read this devotion much you know I love the Psalms. Lately, I've been in Psalm 119. Sometimes, it's nice to read it slow and just digest it. This psalm is of course long, but it's broken up into little bite-size pieces. I've been taking it a chunk at a time. It's easy to tell David had a love for the word of God.

As the psalm unfolds, David continues to talk about the word and how he meditates on it, thinks about it, searches for it, and just generally loves it. Today I focused on verses 41 to 48. But my mind settled on the first two verses this morning.

May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O Lord,
Your salvation according to Your word;
So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word. (vs 41-42)

These two stood out because they stirred up some memories of my past. I recalled a time I was reproached for being ill. A woman literally sat by my bed telling me all the things I was doing wrong. She told me my sin held me in the sick bed and until I repented, I would not be well. I was so weak. I could barely speak. But I would whisper, I trust God.

During that time I held on to Psalm 57:1 and to His promise in Psalm 103 that He would renew my youth like the eagle. I clung to those two verses. I confessed them. Meditated on them and made them my focus. And just like He promised, He raised me up from the deathbed. My mom had planned my funeral - it looked like there was no hope. But He chose to take away my reproach. I had no answer but that I was trusting in God.

Recently, my son's situation, my situation, my family's situation as caregivers was a reproach to some. Later, they said it was just a misunderstanding and they tried to dismiss it as such. But some hurtful things were said to my daughter. A friend's son suffered a brain injury in a terrible accident. My daughter was told to not contact them. The implication was that we obviously didn't have the faith for Chris to be healed so don't contact them or we might make them doubt or cause them fear. Once again I felt that reproach. The emotions of that moment I do not want to relive. Yet, I will still say I trust God. 

Some reproach caregivers. They have no idea. It's been an amazing journey. Of faith. Of hope. Of love. Of self-discovery and God-discovery. But it's not a reproach. I trust He continues to give me answers to those who would bring reproach, those who look down on our situations as if there is no hope. Really. We are filled with hope - His hope carries us through each moment of each day. After nearly 10 years of disappointments, trials, struggles.. I can still say I trust God.

Today, I make that my declaration again - I trust God. No matter what today brings - I will continue to trust Him. I'll meditate on his faithfulness as I continue to trust. I trust God - today and every day. Will you join me?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

4 More Rocks

As we gradually get better, the fog clears a bit. lol - Who am I kidding? The caregiver's fog is a forever thing, I think. Some days are better than others, yet even what seems to be a simple thing can be complex for caregivers. I will say the last couple of weeks have been very challenging, first with my own illness and then with Chris' Sigh. I think (hope) we are through the worst of it now and can start the recovery process.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been discouraged. I've been way down... trying to dig out of the deep, dark fog... down. I'm not sure discouraged can even describe the way I felt, especially last week. But it'll have to do for now.

One of the scriptures that came to mind as I was trying to crawl out of the foggy pit, is 1 Samuel 30:6. It says David encouraged himself in the Lord. David was in a very difficult spot. He and his warriors had just returned from battle to find Ziklag plundered and burned to the ground. Their stuff, their wives, their kids - all gone. The city was destroyed.

Verse four describes their heartbreak by saying, Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. I can honestly say I've been in that emotional spot where there literally wasn't strength to weep anymore. It's rare for me - but it happens.

So, I wondered just how David encouraged himself in the Lord. Did he think back about Goliath? Did he consider how God led him to take down that giant with a single stone? He knew it had been God's hand that delivered Goliath into his hand. In 1 Samuel 17:37, David stated that the Lord who had delivered him from bears and lions - would also deliver him from the hand of the Philistine. There was no doubt. I wonder, is this what David was thinking about as he encouraged himself in the Lord?

When David went out to face Goliath, he stopped at the spring and picked up 5 smooth stones. Did you ever wonder why? It may have been one of any number of reasons - but I heard one time that it was because Goliath had 4 brothers and maybe David thought - if I take out one - the other four are gonna show up too. Maybe he was preparing for an onslaught. He knew if God gave him one - He could give him the other four too.

Caregiving seems to be like that sometimes. It's not just one thing. It's a whole lot of things stacked one on top of the other over and over again. We have to face each day, not with just one stone to take out a single giant, but with many stones as there are many giants in the land. It wars at our souls, and digs at our emotions. Caregiving can be discouraging, disheartening and debilitating. But there is hope.

How can we encourage ourselves in the Lord even in the midst of an unchanging situation? It might take four more stones on top of four more stones and then just four more stones. That's really not an exaggeration. We have to remind ourselves that God is still in the business of felling giants. And He knows we have many of them to deal with. But, He let us take out one - so He'll equip us to take out the rest.

Ziklag was just one dark moment in David's journey. He'd had many before, He'd have more after. Today is not our end-all either. There have been good and bad moments- and there will continue to be good and bad moments. We just need to remember that God is there to help us overcome each and everyone. He always makes a way to escape.

Today I'm going to think about those other four stones in David's pouch. My thoughts will be on how he took out Goliath with one stone - and how one solid word of truth can take out any giant I face today. But then, I'm going to think about how there are still four more in reserve. My meditations will be on how there will always be enough to take out Goliath and his four brothers. I'll remind myself that God will always make a way. Just like David recovered from Ziklag God has a recovery plan for me too. I'll lean in to Him today so I can hear Him more clearly. I'll wait for Him and trust Him to deliver me from the giants of today. Will you join me?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Crazy Days of Caregiving

Forgive me for my absence. Chris and I have both been sick with whatever viruses are running rampant right now. It's no fun being sick yourself, or watching your loved one feel ill. But I know you understand how difficult it is to care for someone else when you are not feeling up to par. As caregivers, we don't even get time to be sick. What can you do, right? Our loved one still needs to be bathed, changed, fed, gotten up, etc. Who has time to lay in bed and recover? lol

Add to that this frustration. I get up. I'm tired. I'm sick. I can barely get myself out of bed. I think, the aid will be here at 9. He can help me get Chris up. Guess who doesn't show up? And guess who hasn't shown up for nearly 2 weeks now? Yup. A glimpse at the life of a caregiver. We have to laugh to keep from crying.

Well, no matter what, I am upright once again and the doctor is coming to check Chris out today. Maybe we are on the mend, finally. As I get back around and try to get back to the normal crazy days of caregiving, I'm reminded of a scripture from Psalm 119. Verse 50 says this This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me. The old KJV says that your word has quickened me. Put life in me - made me feel something again. And that is where I am right now in life.

The word continues to quicken me, put life in my tired old body. I can be as tired as all get out, exhausted from either being sick or taking care of Chris, and the right word at the right time can rejuvenate me. One verse can just pop out at me and change my perspective about my day. May it always be that His word puts life in me like that! As long as His word quickens me - pours supernatural energy in my soul - touches my heart... I will be comforted. I'll know I'm okay. If the word no longer touches our hearts  - it's time to do some deep soul searching to find out why.

It's amazing to me how the entrance of His word brings light into the dark night of the soul. His word can just march right into the depths of my hurting heart and touch just the right spot, add a spark of life and bring comfort to my soul. It's amazing to watch it work. My part is to always position myself so that His word has room to change me. May caregiving ever become a distraction to His word. May my heart never be so burdened with the cares of caregiving that I can't be touched by His presence. May I always be tender enough toward Him that just reading His word quickens my soul.

Today, I will meditate on His word and I will purposefully position myself to hear Him. My thoughts will be on how I can keep myself in a place of humility - ready to receive from Him. I'll remind myself He is still here, He hasn't left, He hasn't moved, He isn't going to. And I'll rest in that today as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Friday, January 5, 2018

No Response

What's on my mind this morning is not something new, I've talked about it a lot. You know as caregivers, we learn so much about caregiving, about life, about ourselves on this journey. I'm still learning about the depth of the love of God.

I've said it before, but it bears saying again that I understand just a small piece of God's unfailing love for us. I remember standing by my son's bed one day and realizing it was a deep, intense love that held me there. I understood that it was that same love that held Christ on the cross for me, for you.

Some may question it - and I don't think it will ever be understood. I'm talking about how we can love someone who cannot reciprocate openly. Maybe they cannot express it, but you know they love you. In some cases, those who have dementia or other issues like my mom become different. Often they are combative or very NOT loving. But we love anyway.

I think about the way God loves us even when we can't reciprocate. Even if we act out - He loves us. If we can't express a love for Him - or don't even know we love Him - He still loves. He loves not to get something back - but because it's true love.

May we take today and meditate on His great love for us - whether life is ugly or pretty, we are acting out, depressed, unsure of the future... or anything else that can be on the caregiver's emotional plate. He continues to love beyond our lack of response - or even through an inadequate or inappropriate response - He just loves.

Today I will make His love for us my meditation. I'll continue to think about how much He loves me even when I act ugly, or life gets ugly. I'll take some time today to be grateful for His unending unwaning love for me - for us. Will you join me?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Total Dependence

Some nights when I get Chris to bed, I crawl up next to him to snuggle and tell him "good night." Sometimes he pushes on me like I'm in his space and he wants me to go away. lol Other times, like last night, he looks me directly in the eyes as if to communicate he loves me. At least that's what my imagination says, and I'm not going to argue.

After I posted this picture in his group page on Facebook last night, I sat and looked at it for awhile. I've learned so much about love, self-denial, God's love and myself on this caregiving journey. But that's not where my mind went this time.

This time, I thought about how Chris is dependent on me. For everything. His food. His safety. His comfort. His therapy. Literally everything. He can't do anything without my help, except complain about my help. That's okay though, it means I'm doing my job.

As I thought about my son's utter dependence on me, I wondered what it might be like if I was utterly dependent on God. What if I relied on Him for my every move? What if I trusted Him for every bite of food, my clothes, my care, my safety, my soul, my health?

My son was an adult when his accident occurred and he was taking care of himself. But with the head injury, he became dependent. It's normal to refrain from being dependent on something, or someone unless we just have to - but what if we just decided to become totally dependent on Him? What would that look like?

What if we waited for Him for our breath?
What if we waited for Him for our sustenance?
What if we waited for Him for our provision?
What if we waited on Him......period?

David must have had a clue. He gave us glimpses into waiting on Him in several psalms.

Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. (Ps. 33:20)
My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation. (Ps. 62:1)
My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed more than the watchmen for the morning. (Ps. 130:6)

Today, I declare my total dependence on Him. I will command my soul to wait on Him. I'll let Him fill in the gaps. My meditations will be on waiting on Him in silence. (That's the hard part.) I'll think about being less independent - and much more dependent on His word and His way in my life. I'll wait for Him for direction, for provision, for comfort. And I will trust Him for one more day. Will you join me in becoming totally dependent on Him?


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

He Really Will

Sometimes in caregiving it's easy to lose sight of the simplest things.Maybe it's all the tasks we have to do just to get through the day that sidetracks us. Perhaps it's just the day and time we live in. There are many nights when I look up and it seems I've been busy all day, but I still have so many things to accomplish before I can call it a day. It's true I think even for non-caregivers.

As I am writing this devotion this morning I've got a full itemized list of the things I need to get done today going through my head. They are spilling out onto paper as I make my "to-do" list for today. As I write things down, I put an asterisk beside the ones that simply cannot wait until tomorrow. I'm already wondering how I'm going to get it all done. And of course, on top of that, the aid comes from 9 to noon so I can run errands (that isn't even on the list). But today the pulmonologist is coming. I guess that's a good thing, but it sucks some of that time away.

This morning as I got up and around early, I had a scripture running around in my head. I sat down with my Bible and my coffee and read Philippians 1:6. It's familiar to anyone who's been in church circles for any amount of time. It simply says He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ. It can be so easy to be distracted by caregiving, but He really is still working on us and in us. And He really will continue working in us until He is done.

He doesn't look at our busy lives and say not today. lol. He's not perplexed by our crazy by-the-seat-of-our-pants schedules. He doesn't worry about whether or not He will be able to finish what He started in us. And again, there is no exclusionary statement saying this verse doesn't apply to caregivers. He will finish what He started in us. His work is never unfinished or undone. He continues to breathe His life into us. We are still His workmanship. We are still the apple of His eye. We are still His child. We are still hidden safely in Him. He won't give up or walk away. He won't wring His hands in worry. He just continues to work in us, through us, and for us. Even in caregiving.

Today I am going to meditate on this scripture with a heart of gratitude. I'll turn my thoughts to His work, and away from mine. My meditations will be directed to considering His work in me and on His faithfulness. I'll work hard at getting in step with Him and walking alongside what He is doing. And I'll wait for Him to continue working in me, through me, and sometimes in spite of me. :-) I'll trust Him for one more day - will you join me?