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Showing posts from May, 2019

Under the Shelter

I chose this picture today for our look at God being our shelter because we were taking shelter under a tree to avoid the hot sun! I'm still meditating in Psalm 62:5-6. I'm looking at how David said God is our rock, shelter, and fortress  and how each of these provides a different level of protection. Yesterday, we looked at the rock - which can be beneficial to hide behind or get on top to see what the enemy is up to and which way he's coming from. Today, we'll look at how God is our shelter. A shelter protects us differently than a rock or fortress can. Job 24:8 says this: they are wet with the mountain rains and hug the rock for want of a shelter. In other words, whoever "they" is in this reference didn't have a shelter and hugging a rock won't protect you from getting wet. lol It also won't protect you from the heat of the sun when it bears down on you. But a shelter will. A shelter is something you get up under. I've been in the woo

The Value of a Rock

This is not a rock in the picture - it's actually a stack of hay that was about 2-3 stories tall. I climbed it during an obstacle course run one weekend. I felt like I had conquered all from up there! Honestly, I'm just using it because I can't find a picture of me on a rock. :-) I'm going to break down the three positions in Him I pointed out in yesterday's devotion. After I posted it, I started thinking about each of the ways God protects us as listed in Psalm 62:6. He can be our rock - our shelter - our fortress. Let's think about a rock - a BIG rock first. I can hide behind it. If it's big enough I can crouch down and my enemy will never be able to see me. I am safely hidden from approaching harm. I can't really get under a rock - but I can position  myself behind it so that it is all my enemy sees as he approaches. We can hide behind Him - He protects us from direct onslaughts of the enemy. But here's a cool thing about a rock. I can al

Positionally Speaking

 So many things going through my mind. Maybe that’s totally normal for caregivers. Our proverbial plate is more than full with caregiving tasks, decisions, and life too. Some days I jump up and hit the ground running... others I’m almost too tired to turn over to reach my alarm. Tired but still busy are accurate descriptions I think- for all of us. Yet we keep going- like the energizer bunny. Sometimes people around us don’t know how tired we really are. These were some of my thoughts this morning as I opened Psalm 62. I am still meditating on this psalm. I keep going back, partially because I keep getting something out of it and partly because I keep seeing new stuff. That’s one of the coolest things about reading the Bible regularly. It doesn’t get tired...always something new even if you’ve read it before. That may be partly because of the changes life brings about in us and partly because He said His Word is alive! (Hebrews 4:12) As I sit in the doctor’s office this morning I

Same - But Different

As caregivers, I know you understand how difficult the days and nights can be. Even our best days can be filled with struggles. Each day seems to take all that we have to make it through emotionally and physically. Some days are darker than others, aren't they? We can be going along at a good speed with everything going well - supplies on time, meals delivered, our loved one has a good day, a friend calls... or we just have a moment to catch our breath! But there are those other days too, the topsy-turvy ones where it seems nothing goes right. Equipment breaks (usually the weekend too!), supplies didn't get ordered and now you're out, help doesn't show up. I know you know the drill all too well. Then there are those dark times. For me, it is usually the middle of the night. Chris isn't feeling well or he's running a high fever and I have exhausted my resources. Those times when I am not sure what to do and I do not have the capacity to just make it better

Behind and Before

This week I've continued my studies in Psalm 62 . I'm still meditating and writing out some things from this phrase in verse 5 let all that I am. It's more than "okay" to bring all that we are before Him, it's required for a whole relationship. While thinking about bringing all that I am (and all that I am not) before Him openly I found myself once again in Psalm 139. It seems David understood how intimately God knows us - whether we acknowledge it or not. I love this whole psalm, but as I was reading and rereading it this morning this phrase in verse 5 stood out to me - Behind and before. David is in the middle of a discourse about how God knows us through and through. He knows our thoughts, words, deeds, ways, movements... pretty much everything!  Then David says this You have hedged me behind and before  and laid Your hand on me. (NASB) I paused for a bit to think about that. God has hedged us - enclosed us. So I wondered, what did He enclose us in? 

Someone I Do Not Know

I'm sitting here crying for someone I do not know... Their story just came across my feed... An accident, an injury, a brain bleed... Terms I know too well on a path I've traveled too long.. My heart hurts and I don't even know their name... I'm crying with parents, loved ones and friends... Knowing that the pain and grief never ends... Now I'm praying for someone I don't even know... never knew before... My eyes turn loose of tears I'd held in from my own pain... As I remember the early parts of my own journey... I know what they can endure - what they may face... Those long days of hoping, praying, believing... Long nights just watching them keep breathing... Don't stop.... please don't stop... Then there's the waiting... Dark nights, warm tears, terrible coffee... Uncertainty abounds - so many ifs... If there's a future what does it look like now? If dreams are still valid... If there's life after this... If

What if I Break?

As I type this, I’m sitting in the hospital ER with my aunt. Unexpected disruptions are common occurrences and just part of the caregiving journey. It can certainly seem like just about the time you feel you can handle it and at least the most pressing is under control... something topples it all over and you’re pressing to get a Pandora’s box closed and everything re-contained. Sometimes we learn how to roll with the everyday punches and adapt. Other times, it’s not so easy. Sometimes I wonder if I will break. What if I do? What I’d I don’t? As is my custom, I turn to the Word for an answer to my question. Funny how He never disappoints. Since I’m using my phone (which btw is difficult for old ladies), I do a quick search for “shaken.” I want to think I’m unshakable, but I certainly know I’m not. Any of us can break or shake under pressure. That’s why we must rely on Him for our existence. Our breath. One second at a time. I found what I was looking for in Psalm 62. The first

Finding Contentment

I came across an interesting scripture this morning during my devotions. Since I wasn't sure where to start reading I let my Bible just fall open. It landed in Ezekiel 35. In the 5th verse, God is upset at a group of people because they attacked others  in the time of their calamity.  That sparked a short study on calamity and trouble. At first I saw a lot of scriptures talking about why and when the Lord brought calamity on groups of people in the Old Testament. I'll be honest. I got a bit worried that He had brought this calamity on me and my family. But like Job who faced calamity for no fault of his own, I found peace knowing in my heart I have not turned away from Him even in this calamity. So I continued my short study. I found a passage in Obadiah where God was condemning another group for mistreating their "brothers" in the day of trouble and calamity. I began to take heart again as it seemed God was upset with those who took advantage of those who were

Still in the Game

This weekend I went to Wichita, Kansas to run a half marathon. I had run one full marathon there in 2012. I haven't done another full 26.2 miles and probably won't! lol. I was surprised by the emotions of returning to the place I did accomplish my only marathon. My eyes got just a bit moist when I looked at the bridge coming into the start/finish line area and I was a bit proud that I had done at least one full. I hadn't trained enough for this half, but knowing I'd done a full (and 26 other half marathons) gave me the confidence to hit the course and shave 4 whole minutes off my last time. Sometimes as caregivers it feels like facing each day is like running a marathon and it can seem like it never ends. But by looking back at the things we have accomplished on the caregiving journey it encourages us to face another day. When we take a few minutes to look back at a few wins we know we can make it one more day. We are still in the game - and that's a great ach

How Seniors Can Maintain a Healthy Weight

All over America, senior populations continue to grow as older adults are living longer due to advances in medicine. A higher number of seniors are experiencing many of the problems that plague younger generations, including weight gain. Although obesity levels are much lower in seniors, there is a circular relationship between longevity and a healthy weight. As people live longer, their caloric needs change which can put them at risk for overeating. And the more seniors exercise, the longer they live. The key to balancing a healthy diet with exercise is to find programs that are enjoyable and sustainable.   Here are some tips for senior diets and exercise. Senior dieting requires more than just calorie restriction The general rule with dieting is that in order to lose weight, one must create a caloric deficiency. A pound of body fat roughly equates to 3,500 calories. Therefore, in order to lose a pound in a week—which is generally considered a healthy weight-loss goal—

Walking on Water

Just after I finished yesterday's devotion about how Jesus was sleeping in the boat and woke up to calm the waves, I thought of another story about Jesus and a storm . In Matthew 14, Jesus had just fed the 5000+ with two fish and five loaves of bread when He loaded up the disciples in a boat and sent them across the lake while He sent people home. After seeing that everyone was sent off safely, He retreated to a quiet place for prayer. While He was praying, a storm came up and started tossing His disciples to and fro.  In our last devotion, Jesus was asleep in the boat and woke up to calm the waves. This time, He sees His disciples in distress and just takes off walking across the top of the water to where they were. In both settings, the disciples were first afraid of the storm, then afraid of Jesus. This time they think a ghost is coming at them across the waters. Jesus calls out to them and says some powerful words. I am here! Don't be Afraid!  These words from the

Ups and Downs

One year ago I went and got my aunt. I knew I was bringing her up to Oklahoma for good. She did not. Over this year she has declined but is still doing pretty good. The day I went to get her I became a full-time caregiver for two. It was difficult and I would do it for several months before she would need more care than I could provide. It was a difficult decision but best for her safety. I remain a full-time caregiver for my son and provide long-distance caregiving for my aunt. It's definitely made for a rocky year - especially emotionally. But I know I'm singing to the choir! :-) I have been reflecting on this past difficult year over the last few days so the scriptures I found this morning were particularly relevant to my life. I had looked up a verse a friend shared with me yesterday so my Bible was opened to Psalm 107. I found myself reading verses 23 to 32 over a few times. the psalm is about giving God thanks for His works of deliverance according to the subtitle. Th

Thoughts of Peace

To be honest, I'd pretty much dismissed the promise so many claim out of Jeremiah 29:11. I'd wondered how that particular verse could possibly be applicable to the caregiving situation. When I'd see it or hear it quoted, I just didn't think I could apply it. It's easy to get tucked away in our caregiver's cave and seriously think there are a few scriptures or passages that do not apply to us. But this morning as I was reading through this chapter I realized something I'd been missing. I went back up to the first part of the chapter. Jeremiah starts out explaining who he was sending the letter to  the remainder of the elders who were carried away captive - to the priests, the prophets, and all the people Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon. So, I read the chapter again with new eyes. Jeremiah first offered some instruction for those in captivity. Sometimes, caregiving can seem like captivity. We cannot always go places we&#