Monday, November 26, 2018

Hard to Breathe

Some days it's all a caregiver can do to just keep breathing. I tease a lot about trying to remember to breathe and keeping that a top priority. But sometimes it really does feel like the life is being sucked out of you. Of course, there are many blessings that go with caregiving, but some days they are harder to find than others. No matter what our caregiving story - it's filled with difficulties. I try to keep a positive attitude but that's a fight at times.

This morning, in an attempt to protect my sanity I decided to start trying to journal again. I am glad I did as I hadn't made an entry since June. (I used to write in my journal everyday BC.) I found this poem I had penned. I hope you get a little something out of it.

Who am I to catch the King's gaze?
To know...
    He sees
   He Knows
   He hears
The deepest sighs from the place where no words live
The part of me that carries it all... with nothing left to give.

The part of me where no human wants to go
The Place that makes me - me
The part of me that no one sees
   No one knows
   Where no one goes

And He touches it
He makes me whole
A place where He is enough
His is the only voice I hear calling in my ear
"Peace be still."

   He sees
   He knows
   He hears
   He touches me
That part of me no soul wants to see
The place too deep for tears...
         but He catches them all...
                  before they fall

The part of me that knows - He is enough for me

His sight goes beyond the facade I live behind
 He sees
   my fears
   my heart
And He says...I am enough for Him - and He is enough for me

I can rest in this intimate place
Covered by His grace
Lifted by His gaze
Engulfed in His embrace

To others I am shut-in and shut out
But I landed in His arms
and that's enough for me.



Thank you for coming on this journey with me as I discover He is enough for me - and I am enough for Him. I continue to trust Him for one more day and pray you'll join me.


If He leads: paypal.me/dovesfireministries



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Purpose of the Press

Caregivers are not the only ones in the press of life. I've been watching the horrific stories emerging out of the raging fires in California. My prayers have been many for those who are suffering during this time. Suffering has a unique impact on us, no matter what the source. It lets us know what's really inside.

In James chapter 1, it says to count it all joy when you encounter trials and tribulations. JOY? To be totally honest, joy isn't the first emotion I usually feel when things get tough. Joy may eventually come - but certainly not at the onset of trials and tribulations.

As a caregiver, we live in a rough spot. Nothing is easy. Literally everything can feel like a struggle. Life has a way of pressing, pressing, and pressing in on us until it's a struggle some days to just breathe. But as life presses in on us - no matter what the struggle, it presses out what is really inside. When life turns up the heat, we find out how much we really trust Him, how much we really believe His word, and how strong our grasp is on His promise and His word.

I've said before that when my son was first injured, I learned so much about faith. It's been totally redefined for me - and it's nothing like I'd been taught or believed. Hindsight lets me know that this is just one of the things that are better in my life even though life didn't get "better."

The purpose of the press is to press out whatever is inside. As life presses in, we'll begin to see what we are really made of. Perhaps it's just because we don't have the energy to keep up a facade of faith. Maybe it's due to our spirit of survival that we cut off what isn't working and what's hanging us up. Getting rid of the "fluff and stuff" is the only way we can continue to do what we do - caregiving takes up a lot, we don't have time, room, or energy for unnecessary extras.

Today, I'm going to rest in the press of life. I want to know how much I trust Him. I want to know if I really hear Him - and if I'll obey when it gets hard. My thoughts will be on how He has carried me these last 10 years. And today, I'm going to continue to follow His lead and let Him carry me into the next 10 years - whatever they look like. I'll let the press get rid of the gook, stuff, and fluff so I can see Him more clearly and trust Him more fully. Will you join me?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Broken Pieces Tell A Beautiful Story

This weekend I used some respite days for Chris and got out for the weekend. We took my grandson to Fort Worth for his birthday. While we were in Cowtown Saturday afternoon, we stopped by one of our favorite little shops. It has a variety of teas and teapots. We were standing around admiring the beautiful shapes, colors, and designs when my grandson tried to remove the lid from this little green leafy pot. The lid fell to the floor and shattered into several pieces. It was a sickening sound and of course, my daughter immediately told the store manager that she would purchase it.

Even though we liked it, we didn't plan on buying it. Once we got it home, Ronella glued the lid together and sat it on the shelf with some of our decorative teapots. When I saw the repaired container, I thought you can't even tell it's broken from here. I let my imagination run away a bit as I thought of this pot's story.

It sat in the store - beautiful, but unpurchased. Even though many people are in and out of the store daily, it was not chosen. By chance, the lid slipped out of a child's hand and then it was on its way to Oklahoma City to its new home. now it has a story, one that almost didn't get told. But the beauty and the story came from its brokenness.

As a caregiver, I often feel broken. My life is lived in a state of brokenness and I feel so undone. We caregivers are not the norm. Nothing is normal when we compare our lives to those of others (which isn't wise by the way). But I look at where the brokenness has taken me. It's changed me - for the better I hope. Over the last 10 years my faith has been totally redefined, although my passion to serve Him remains the same. I've learned He is near the brokenhearted. We "chose" this teapot because it was broken, He chooses us in our brokenness. He pulls us closer because of it - never distancing Himself from the broken areas of our lives. We each have a story that stems from that brokenness - and it's a story of grace, favor, mercy, and love.

Today, I will consider how He draws me close because of the brokenness. I won't try to hide the broken pieces from His sight - He sees them anyway. My prayer today is that the broken pieces of my life will tell the story of His grace. I'll turn my thoughts to how He carries me and holds me close to hide me in His heart. I'll rest right there as I trust Him for one more day.

Monday, November 12, 2018

A Little Behind

Please forgive my absence. If anyone understands, I know it's my fellow caregivers. I know you understand the more than busy mode we live in. Each day brings with it a long must-do list and an even longer still-need-to-do-when-there-is-time list. In the busy-ness of caregiving and fulfilling all our responsibilities we often feel overwhelmed. It's not always anything anyone can help with, and sometimes we can't even list it... it just hangs there overshadowing our days. The feelings of never getting done and simply surviving leave us looking for a satisfaction that may or may not ever be found.

Somehow in the midst of the hectic life we learn to call normal, we learn what can be let go and what cannot. It's easy to feel like our time is stolen from us as we get wrapped up in our daily tasks Maybe it's just me, but no matter how much I do get done, I still feel behind. Attempts to sort through and find the important things to get done leave you with a list of just-as-important things that didn't get accomplished. Overwhelmed.

Most nights as I tuck myself in, I feel like I failed. The list of things I didn't get done run through my mind until I simply shut it off and stop listening. There's always tomorrow. That's what I think - but I know from experience - that's not always true.

So as I run behind and try to get done the things topping my list, I stop. Seems like the opposite of what needs to be done. But I stop. I think. I become thankful as I look around at the last few months and realize all that has been accomplished. God is still working on my behalf. He hasn't left me to drown in my lists. We haven't missed a meal and there's a roof over our heads. The world doesn't come to a screeching halt if something is left unmarked on the list at the end of the day. We can just do what we can do.. and no more. There's no condemnation for being overwhelmed. Absolutely no condemnation in Him.

So if you feel like you never quite measure up (it may just be me....),  don't worry. He's the One measuring - and He has no condemnation. Just a warm, welcoming hug when we take time to visit with Him.

Today, I will stop my busy mind for a few minutes and be thankful. I'll thank Him for not giving up on me even when I feel like a total loss. I'll thank Him that He pulls me close when it feels the world is distant. I'll thank Him for hearing the faintest and loudest cries of my heart without condemning me - without judging me - without telling me I can do better. He just loves. He just cares. He just holds us - and in that, I will rest. And I'll trust Him for one more day - will you join me?