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Showing posts from March, 2019

Personal Journal Pages

There is so much on my heart this morning, I thought I'd just share my personal journal with you today. March 28, 2019 So many stories I've heard of late of lives changes by tragedy. A girl injured in a wreck another child died in as they were T-boned by a truck. Her injuries are similar to Chris'. Last night a local boy with a broken back while on a dirt bike ride. I relive my days in the ICU waiting room. All those emotions of fearing the unknown rehearse themselves once again... the scenes running through my mind...  I pray for the families with an understanding of their life-altering situation. Life will never be the same even if their child gets "better." I think now of hope - & true faith - trusting Him in the midst - not just as a way out or a way to avoid bad things.  I pray His grace sustains their souls and that they run to Him in the storm instead of away from Him. I pray they learn more about Him in a more intimate way. It's almost

Search Again

I love the Psalms. Maybe it's the way David and the other psalmists are so open and honest with their feelings. They say things we are taught not to say. Their openness and vulnerability help remind me that God doesn't get mad at us when we speak our mind. He may shake His head a bit or roll His eyes, lol. But He gets us. It's Psalm 103:14 that tells us, He remembers we are but dust (or flesh).   He knows us - He knows our frailty. He understands our humanness, even in the midst of caregiving. I don't think there's anything wrong with expressing our weaknesses to Him - telling Him how we feel. It's not like He doesn't know if we don't tell Him. Sometimes, though, I wonder how my babbling could make sense to Him. But then I remind myself that He understood it before  I said it. That's right. Psalm 139:4 says You know what I am going to say even before I say it.   That lets me know he knows my heart's intent and the words are not as important.

Can I Call You?

Today is a whirlwind. I have things that must get done. It's late. I haven't even gotten Chris up. He's sleeping and that's okay since he's been improving his brain requires more sleep. But it throws my groove off. On top of the caregiving tasks the day-to-day stuff, I have totally taken on too much work. Maybe I should hire someone to help! lol It feels like everything is spiraling out of control including my head and my emotions. My thoughts are going 90 to nothing and my to-do list is growing longer with no break in sight. What are we to do when life takes these rapid turns? I was reading in Psalm and found this nugget for today. The Lord is close to all  who call on Him, yes to all who call on Him sincerely. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cries for help and He rescues them.    (Psalm 145:18, 19 NLT) I may not need a physical rescue today - but my soul certainly could use a rescue from this whirlwind. I kind of hope no one ide

Far From Home

Isn't it funny how you can read the Bible through and still find hidden nuggets? Maybe that's because YOU are in a different spot in life each time you read. I don't know. But I found this verse this morning, even though I'm sure I've read it before. It's in Micah 4:6-7. God is speaking through the prophet to encourage His people. They were in a bind and He is assuring and comforting them. The NLT reads, I will gather my people who are lame, who have been exiles, filled with grief. They are weak and far from home, but I will make them strong again, a mighty nation. Then I, the Lord, will rule from Jerusalem as their king forever. As caregivers, we may not be in the exact situation Micah's audience was in, but I think we can relate. Maybe it's just me - I can relate. lol. One thing that stands out is that God is speaking directly to three types (not sure what other word to use here) of people. The hyper faithers try to make it sound like the world

Surrounded Inside and Out

I started out my reading this morning in Hebrews 12. Verse 28 caught my attention. It says,  since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be destroyed, let us be thankful and please God by worshipping Him with holy fear and awe. ( NLT) I just rolled that around a bit in my head - two things actually. The first being that we have "a kingdom that can't be destroyed" and secondly we should be thankful. Maintaining an attitude of thankfulness can go a long way to help keep our emotions above water. Some days are more difficult than others, but there's always something we can find to be thankful for. Today, I'll be thankful that the Kingdom of God cannot be destroyed.  God did not get up off His throne and throw in the proverbial towel when my life fell apart. He didn't quit. He didn't say it's not worth it, I can't do this anymore.  He never gives up - never gives in - never quits. What happens in our lives good or bad cannot destroy the Kingdom of

A Barren Life

This morning during my devotions, my readings and thoughts were all over the place as usual. I read for a while in Isaiah and meditated on some of the verses in chapter 54. I may not be barren in the natural sense, but sometimes it feels like I live a fruitless and barren life. My heart argues with that and says I bear fruit - but my eyes just don't see it most of the time. The prophet Isaiah is encouraging the barren to sing and shout for joy. I'm like, why?   The Lord promised enlargement and spreading out to resettle desolate lands. Verse 4 says fear not for you will not be put to shame, and do not feel humiliated for you will not be disgraced, but you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. Sometimes it feels like life has disgraced us - stripped us of walking gracefully through. Life can be humiliating. Caregiving can be daunting and downright ugly at times. But it always  yields fruit. We are not barren - we

Forgotten

Have you ever felt forgotten? I have. We can easily get sucked into the caregiver's fog and the rest of the world goes on without us. Today is my son's 35th birthday. These days are difficult. I opened up his facebook to read him his greetings only to be flooded with his friend's who have "gone on" with their lives, and they should. They stopped visiting and calling long ago when he couldn't answer them. I don't blame them, they were all so young when he was injured. But it still hurts my heart that he is forgotten and left to just deal. Then some caregivers have to deal with another side of being forgotten. It can yield a host of emotions from a totally different angle. That is when we care for loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer's. They forget us. My mom hasn't quite forgotten me yet, but most of the time it takes her a few minutes to figure out I'm not just someone who works there. Mid-conversation she'll look up and go, "OH

The Downward Spiral

I'm not sure what I'm dealing with more today - aloneness or grief. Some days I can shuck my emotions down to one or the other. Other days it just seems to suck me into a downward spiral that can be difficult to recover from. This week is Chris' birthday. He'll be 35. I get stuck wondering where he might have gone, what he'd be doing IF.  The if's are a time and emotion sucker because they really are meaningless. I can't change what could have or would have happened. I can only deal with what is on my plate today. Jesus mentioned that in Matthew 6:34. He said, do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Caregivers can get sucked into the downward spiral by measuring and comparing everyone else's life with their own. The caregiver's fog can overtake us when we don't stay focused on the present. Or even if we get too lost in the present. Taking a good look in His word or spending

The Caregiver's Armor

This morning I was reading in Ephesians 6 about the armor of God. In verse 11, Paul tells the believers to put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm.  As I read through his brief descriptions of the armor and the benefits, I thought how applicable it is to us as believers and caregivers. I think it's safe to say we live in the thick of the battle - furnace walkers. The fire is always reaching toward us. Every day can be a battle. Sometimes, every second of the day is spent trying to catch our breath. Breathe. As I read over the familiar pieces I realized how relevant each piece is to our struggles. Also, at the front of my mind was the truth that we are not disqualified from wearing the armor just because we are caregivers. As a matter of truth, we were not stripped of any of our promises when caregiving came along. We are still just as much of a believer and still covered by His righteousness and filled up with Him as we ever were. Actually, sometime

Passing the Test

Come let us worship and bow down... let us kneel before the Lord our God our maker. For He is our God.  I think it's always time to worship. Job is of course, our great example. In the last part of chapter 1, a then a fourth messenger arrived with yet more bad news. You know the saying, just when you think it couldn't get any worse.  No matter how difficult the days of the caregiver can be - it really can get worse. (God forbid!!) Job's response to bad news getting worse was to shave his head as a sign of mourning and fell to the ground and worshipped.  The heading in one of my Bibles says, Job's Testing.  Well, our friend Job who endured much hardship passed his test - his response was perfect. Verse 22 of chapter 1 says in all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.  I wish I could say that in my trial I didn't sin by blaming God. I cannot. I've often wondered why. What did I do wrong? Where did I not trust Him? etc. In those midnight hours when Chris w

What About That White Horse?

After a couple of weeks, I was comfortable in the ICU waiting room. There was a certain sense of community there as we were all there for our loved ones. It was a horrible place really. I wouldn't leave because a doctor might bring word out about Chris at any time. Whoever had been there the longest sort of ruled their roost and I was the designated sleeper in a particular recliner. I recall sleeping and waking up hoping it was all a dream. But it wasn't. Somehow I kept thinking God was going to come riding through on His white horse and rescue me. But He didn't. And thus, began my walk of redefining faith. God never promised He'd rescue us out of life's fiery trials, but He did promise He'd walk through them with us. He said He'd never abandon us, never leave us. In Isaiah 43, God tells the prophet I have called you by name, you are mine.  I like that I am His and not one thing life can throw at me changes that. Think about that for a second. My kids ca

No Hours of Operation

In the natural, I'm a runner. I started running way back when Chris was first in the hospital. I am slower and fatter - but I still love it. It's a large part of how I manage my health both mentally and physically. Usually, a good run clears my mind and gets me back on track. One of my favorite songs to listen to while I'm running is "I'm running - running after You - You've  become my heart's desire." I think about running to Him both of us with arms open wide - and I can run for miles. Proverbs 18:10 reminds us that we can run to Him, and I use "run" loosely. The name of the Lord is a strong fortress, the godly run to Him and are safe. As I thought on this scripture this morning and how often I have to run to Him for safety, I thought of an old hymn: A Mighty Fortress is Our God. So I looked up the lyrics. It's old English so it's a bit hard to understand. So, I'll focus on just the last verse since it's the one that sto

Everything is Everything

Do you ever feel like life has sort of passed you by? I talked about how I sometimes feel politely ignored  in another post. Maybe you feel like you drew the proverbial short stick. Maybe it's just me - but I had so many dreams and plans that were jerked out from under me with that one phone call. It can feel like no one really understands what we are going through, not that they are expected to. The caregiver's cave becomes an alone place - but a safe place for us. I was thinking along these lines this morning and a verse came to mind. It took me a few minutes to find it as it's not really a super familiar one, to me anyway. It's in Exodus12:40-42. The New Living Translation reads this way:   The people of Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years. In fact, it was on the last day  of the 430th year that all the Lord's forces left the land. This night has been reserved  by the Lord to bring his people out of the land of Egypt... What stood out to me was that the

A Comforting Presence in a Dark Time: Helping Seniors Cope with the Loss of a Spouse

Profoundly painful. Disorienting. Emotionally devastating. Those are just some of the ways elderly people describe what it’s like to lose a spouse. Helping a senior cope with such a loss can be extraordinarily difficult. For those who have never had the experience, it’s impossible to appreciate how different losing a spouse is from losing a parent , a sibling or close friend. The bereaved person may experience confusion, indecision , or a total lack of motivation. Suddenly bereft of a helpmate and lifetime partner, they need help but may not know how to ask for it. So what can you do? Listen unconditionally One of the greatest kindnesses you can perform is to listen . Listen unconditionally and with empathy. Sometimes, encouraging a grieving individual just to talk about their spouse and letting them know you’re there to listen can be therapeutic. Simply allowing a loved one to share thoughts or vent pent-up emotions can be a valuable service. But it does require patience and