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Circle of Determination

This photo may not look like much to you, but it means a lot to me. See the path that has been beaten along the outer edge? I've done that over the last few weeks. My treadmill malfunctioned and I was on a running streak (still am) and didn't want to give in. I measured the distance around my tiny backyard and it's .01 mile. That means running around it 100 times is a mile. I made it a tiny bit longer by adding the patio in the mix.

It may look like a silly path but I call it my "circle of determination." I am on a fitness journey here. As caregivers, our own health often gets laid to the side because of all the duties we need to complete each day. The reality is, even though I hate for people to remind me of it, that we have to be healthy for our loved ones, if not for ourselves. As much as I want to care for my loved ones, I also want to feel good while I do it as much as possible. So I laced up my running shoes and started putting some miles in - then my treadmill broke and the aide doesn't come in until it's way too late to get out there. So, I made a way. Isn't that one of the caregiver's finest qualities we develop? lol

My point is that I was determined to do whatever it took. When my caregiving journey started my first prayer was that I would not get bitter along the way. I remember crying out to God in the chapel at the hospital and asking Him to guide me in a way that I wouldn't get bitter. I prayed I'd become like heroes of faith I'd heard of who like Paul took their prison time and turned it into opportunities to share and spread the Truth of the gospel. I cannot yet say I've succeeded, but I can say I'm still determined... and that'll go a long way!

One of the main things I've determined is to stay in the Word, even when it doesn't make sense. And even when it makes me mad. Scriptures like Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 can bring a cloud of confusion and frustration along with a barrage of questions. How can He bring something good out of this? How are these good plans and hope? That's actually one reason I stay in Psalms where David and other psalmist are gut-level real about their emotions as well as the fears and struggles they are facing.

Our questions don't hurt God's feelings or frustrate Him. And they don't mean we don't trust Him either. Sometimes those heart-wrenching questions are our way of seeking Him more deeply as we try to find our way through caregiving. He continues to patiently reveal His heart toward us in the midst of the struggle. I love that He never throws up His hands and quits on me no matter how difficult the questions I ask. I do think He may shake his head and close His eyes from time to time though.... lol

Today, I'm going to meditate on keeping the faith in the midst of the struggle. I'll be thinking about my tiny little footpath and the determination it took to create it. And I'll apply that to my faith walk. My thoughts will turn toward staying in the word... (Thy word is a lamp unto my path and a light unto my path.) and a renewed determination to hold on to faith. And to hold on to Him as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?


  1. Jeanie, amazed by the circle of determination. God made you out the stuff of "Sheroes". <3

  2. Thanks for the kind words! and Thanks for reading!

  3. Wow! This sure hit home with me. I did a Google search for caregiver devotions and found your blog. I have been caring for my MIL since May, as she has pancreatic cancer. She had a major surgery to remove the tumor from her pancreas and has been recovering from the surgery at our house and will start chemo on Monday. My life is consumed with her care, and I have completely stopped exercising. I know I need to get back on the trail and run. My body and soul need it. I also need to get back into the Word. I've just been reading verses here and there, but you have encouraged me to open up the Bible and read a chapter in Psalms. I am going to get out the door and run today as well. Thank you for your blog. It is very encouraging and helpful!

    1. Hello fellow runner and Word lover! I love the psalms and live in them some days. Running has been my escape and tool for helping manage depression and moods that are so common with caregivers - it's how I stay sane.. most days! Enjoy your run - enjoy the word. Thanks for sharing and thanks for reading!


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