Friday, March 26, 2021

Who Really Knows?

 


I was a bit chilly a while ago, so I went to my closet to grab a hoodie. I chose one to put on and glanced at the totes that contain my writing. Honestly, my first thought was what would happen once I die. I'm not being morbid, but I am getting older, so lighten up. lol. Then I wondered if people would read my writings and if they would know me a little better. Will people be able to understand my heart and see past my caregiving status? 

Some of my writings rolled around in my head and I wondered what people who think they know me might think after reading them. When I write, my tendency is to put my whole heart into it. Especially in my journal - I don't hold anything back. Then I had this wonderful thought. My writings reveal who I am, what I think, how I feel. And the Word does the same thing. It reveals Who God is, what He thinks, how He feels. All I have to do is read it.

This makes me think of Psalm 103. It says He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. His acts are of course, what He does. But His ways are who He is. A lot of people know what we do. Most people tend to look at us only as caregivers - they forget that we are real people with real dreams, desires, and needs. Do we sometimes look at God and consider only what He does - and not who He is? 

The children of Israel only knew what God could do. He parted the Red Sea, made the bitter water sweet, and kept them alive in the desert all those years. And you know what? He does that for us too! He makes the bitter water of caregiving sweet with His presence and care. He parts Red Seas for us every day. He keeps us alive both naturally and spiritually as we walk through our day-to-day. It's wonderful to know Him as the One who acts on our behalf, strengthens us, and often carries us through our journies.

While Moses was very aware of all the things God did (His acts) - he also knew Who He was. Moses knew the character of God, His likes and dislikes, His mercies, and the why behind His actions. Moses knew that God was passionate about a relationship with His people. (Exodus 34:14 NLT) He knew more than just what He could do - even though His works were (and are) mighty! 

When we read the word, we learn so much more about God and His ways - we'll see His deeds too, of course. But just like you would learn more about me and what makes me tick by reading my writings, we learn more about God and what makes Him tick by reading the word.

Today, I will take a  few extra minutes to get lost in the Word. I'll think about what it means to know God's ways and not just His deeds. I'll be thankful for His kindness, patience, grace, and mercy. I'll thank Him that even when I don't see what He's doing - I know He's still present in my day. And I'll trust Him with my today - will you join me?


                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore! 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.


Coming soon to both bookstores: 21 Days with the Prince of Peace 



Thursday, March 25, 2021

Day by Day


 I'm sorry for not keeping up with the blog better than I have. Once again, I'm working on redoing my schedule so that it's a regular part of my mornings. If anyone understands how quickly days get out of hand and are gone, I know it's you guys, my fellow caregivers. My schedule has been rather messed up with this new aid. He keeps changing his time and it drives me batty. lol - I'm a bit OCD like that. If you say you're going to be here at 8 - I rearrange my morning to accommodate. But then he comes at 8:15 or even 8:30. Honestly, it's very frustrating. It's sad too that I actually feel like I have more time to get things done when he's not here. So, I'm back to taking everything day by day. But then, we live like that don't we?

It's okay because God is a day-by-day God too. He says that His mercies are new each morning. Yet it is always day for Him - He knows no "morning" except for ours. He must create new mercies on a day by day basis just for us. Isn't that a beautiful thought? Whenever I can drag myself out of bed - His mercies are there waiting on me and ready to carry me through the day. 

I love it that He is never confused by the crazy twists and turns the caregiver's day can make. God never asks, "What just happened?" He's already in the change and making a way for us to navigate through it. Nothing surprises Him or catches Him off guard. He truly is the ever-present help in trouble that the psalmist wrote about in Psalm 46. He doesn't take days off - and never dozes off on the job. He's right here with us in our day to day, hour by hour, minute by minute, ever-changing days. 

You know what else? He isn't thrown off by my crazy emotional roller coaster rides either. Maybe it's just me - but I can be happy and feeling great one second and overcome with living grief the next. (It's just me - right?) It never surprises Him. He doesn't need to stop to catch His breath or try to figure out which way our emotions turned. Even if they take a dive, He is there to catch us, to hold us, to comfort us, and help us work through them. 

Today, I will think about how God is right here and very present in my day to day. I'll thank Him for not running away from this crazy loopy ride life has me on. My meditations will be on His ever-abiding presence no matter what I face. I'll embrace His mercies for today - will you join me?




                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore! 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.


Coming soon to both bookstores: 21 Days with the Prince of Peace 



Monday, March 15, 2021

But I Have Today


Do you ever have days that are just heavier than others? Of course, you do - who am I talking to? Saturday was Chris' 37th birthday. For some reason, it was unusually hard as I thought of where all his friends are today. You know, married, having kids, and enjoying their careers. I cried more than once that day. I grieved over what should have been, what could have been. 

I hugged him a little tighter and thought about the progress he's made recently. The other night, I am certain he "sang" to me after I got him in bed. It was the sweetest thing and I posted it in his Facebook group where I share things I don't feel I can share as "publicly." He's moving more and initiating more of his movement on his own. There are many things to rejoice about.

At the same time, I am getting older. My joints hurt and I wonder how much longer I can take care of him. I fear the day that I won't be able to. This is the way the rest of my life looks, and I am okay with that. But before I let the fears settle in, I started thinking about what we have right now. Who knows what the future will bring for any of us, right? I certainly didn't dream of being here taking care of my adult son with a TBI years ago. It wasn't in my plans. 

So, I shifted my thinking before my thoughts betrayed me and dragged me down into the dark, caregiver's cave. I began to think about what I have with Chris today. As I shifted my focus to how far he's come - and all he's doing now. I maybe can't manage the future since it's not here yet. But I can manage today. Just today, I can handle that.

Jesus said in Matthew 6, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. I do not know what the future may hold for me or for my son - but I do know that I have today. 

Today, I will shift my thinking over to being thankful that I can take care of my son. I'll thank God for giving me the strength - just for today. My thoughts will be on how He has strengthened and carried me this far - and He's not going to abandon me here. He has proven Himself faithful in the most difficult circumstances - and He will not be changing that today! So, I will trust Him just for today. Will you join me?


                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.


Coming soon to both bookstores: 21 Days with the Prince of Peace 


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Self-Reminders

 


Are there days you get lost in the shuffle? Who am I talking to? lol - As caregivers, it can feel like we are always lost in the shuffle. We can get lost in taking care of our loved ones and forget who we are. It took me a long time to be able to figure out things I liked - and just as long to allow myself to enjoy them. It was quite a while after the tragedy and trauma of Chris' wreck that I was able to feel okay about laughing and smiling. Eventually, I learned it was okay for me to live too - even while being a caregiver.

But it's so easy to get caught up in their care that it becomes our identity. Right? Or is it just me? Before the pandemic, I tried going to a local church. I enjoyed it - even though I had a little attitude about it. It was very difficult to get both of us ready and out the door to be on time. Sometimes I heard myself think, boy, this better be worth it. lol. I'm sure I'm the only one. But what troubled me is that they couldn't see past me being a caregiver. While it was touching that they had compassion and genuine care for our situation, they couldn't see the teacher, the worshiper, the prophet inside. 

Caregiving changes us. There's no argument about that. I'm thankful for most of the changes I've seen in myself. A few I'm a little worried about. (smile!) But ultimately, I'm still me. I still like to be outside more than I like to be indoors. I like hiking, biking, running, and plain old walking. And boy, what I wouldn't give for someone to play catch or football with right now! Ha. For real, y'all! I like to play board games and cards, hang out with friends (don't have many of those anymore), and watch good movies. But I realize all too often that all of that got lost in caregiving. Maybe it's not lost, just set aside or misplaced.

While I was thinking about all of this, and writing in my journal this morning, I realized it's easy for me to forget who I am. So, I certainly can't blame others for doing it, right? After I had poured out my heart and emotions on the pages, I concluded my journal entry with this prayer this morning.


Ephesians 2:6 was my reminder to myself that caregiver or not - I have been raised with Christ and I sit in heavenly places in Him. I must remind myself that He thought I was worth dying for. That He loves me before, after, and during caregiving. I tell myself He came for me. What a beautiful love story that unfolds for us. When we feel the rest of the world doesn't understand us - so they distance themselves from us - He came. He continues to come to us every single day - He walks this journey with us all the way.

Today, I will remind myself of His love, grace, acceptance, and presence. I may need to tell myself the same things over and over all day - but I'll repeat them until my heart gets it. Will you join me?


                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.


Coming soon to both bookstores: 21 Days with the Prince of Peace 


Monday, March 1, 2021

Sometimes

 


Most of the time, I hold it together well. At least to the point that no one knows what's really going on in my heart and mind. You, my dear readers, know more about my internal workings than pretty much anyone anywhere. :-)  But sometimes, it seems like I fall apart from the inside out. Sadness can come on randomly, or so it seems.

Like this morning. I woke up and remembered a dream. In the dream, Chris was sitting beside me on a couch and he turned his head and looked me eye-to-eye, and smiled. But it wasn't his brain injury half-smile that I've come to love. It was his full-on natural smile that I have missed. When I thought about the dream it brought a sense of great sadness to my heart. They (whoever they are) call it living grief. You experience a sense of loss for a person - but they are still here. They haven't died - even though the person they were is no longer with you. Many people who are caregivers for aging parents experience living grief too. Their parents suffer from dementia and are no longer the person they were. It's a difficult emotional set to deal with. You can't really move on, yet you must. That's where I am.

I was flooded with thoughts and memories of Chris BC (before caregiving). I recall who he was and how he was and it makes my heart smile. But it also brings sadness and a great sense of loss sometimes. How are we supposed to deal with this overflow of emotions as Christians? 

Start by taking a deep breath. Then go back to the basics. I make my mind run back through several truths.

  • God loves me. God loves Chris.
  • God has not abandoned us.
  • God sees.
  • God hears.
  • God is as close as my breath.
  • God's Spirit is my comforter.
I already feel better. The Sometimes are bound to happen on this type of road. But God is always there to pick me up, I love that about Him. It makes me think of a very weird scripture out of Ezekiel 16. In verse 6, it says when I passed by you, I saw you struggling in your own blood, - and I said, LIVE!

I'm so glad God sees fit to speak life into us when we feel the most lifeless. On those days the load feels so heavy, the road seems so long, we feel the most abandoned and alone... He says Live!

Today, I will shift my focus from my pain to His grace. For it is His grace that will carry me - and will carry you. My thoughts will be on His mercies that were new for me today - just so I could make it today. I'll get past this sometime and I'm sure there will be plenty more. But for today, I'll be grateful that He is in my today, in my sometimes, just to say, Live.  And live I shall - will you join me?


                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.


Coming soon to both bookstores: 21 Days with the Prince of Peace 


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Covering


This morning, memories began running through my mind. I was thinking about all those tough spots I've found myself in over the last 12 years or so. Of course, that's just the caregiving years. I've been in lots of tight spots in my 60 years. Some of them were unavoidable, and a few I could have avoided with my own choices. As I let my memory run for a little while, I thought of how God has been so faithful. I was thankful.

David mentions how God was his rock. He talks about it a lot throughout the Psalms. God is a rock we can hide behind. He is a rock we can stand on. He's got us covered no matter what life throws at us. He's solid. He's secure. He's immovable. I love all that about Him. We can trust Him with today.

You know, I usually end each blog with a statement about trusting Him for today, and I always ask you to join me. It's a legit question. He is trustworthy. 

As caregivers, we never know what a day is going to bring. Our normal days have more fluctuations and uncertainties than other people's normal days, you know? In the midst of uncertainties and unknowns, there is a rock Who stands. He's there waiting for us to hide in Him. He wants to provide shelter for us. He wants us to stand on the firm foundation He provides. 

The more I think about it, the more I realize He has truly given us everything we need for life and for godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) What I notice about this scripture is that He has given "everything" we need for life - for living, what we need to survive in the natural realm. But He's also given everything we need to survive and serve Him spiritually. He's got us covered both naturally and spiritually.  

Our natural lives may have shifted a lot in response to caregiving, but our spiritual being stayed put in Him. It may have not felt like that early on. lol. There are times when it feels like everything is shaking - but He remains. He is still our rock to hide behind and to stand on when we are ready.

Today, I will express my thankfulness to God for being that solid rock. I'll thank Him for letting me hide when I need to and letting me climb up high above situations when I can. My meditations will be on how He has been a constant source of comfort, healing, and protection. I'll think about how He (THE God of the nations, God our creator) is my covering. And I will lean into Him with more purpose today as I trust Him to carry me through one more day. Will you join me?


                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.


Coming soon to both bookstores: 21 Days with the Prince of Peace 


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Shepherd of My Soul

Chris at Bluff Creek

I almost didn't write a devotion this morning. I know I missed yesterday. My schedule is slowly returning to a weird sort of normal. Lol. I know you understand that it's normal for things to not be normal. As caregivers, we go on with our days trying to always be ready for those unexpected events. We just never know. I decided to give it all I had anyway - and so I sat down in front of a blank screen. I got nothing. 

So, I decided to take a small praise break. My guitar is always nearby, so I picked it up, and as soon as I strummed the strings, a psalm we used to sing in church years ago just sort of popped out. It's a familiar one. Psalm 95:6-7. It gives a call for all to Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. I like that it doesn't exclude anyone - the Lord made us all - caregivers to caregivees, prisoners to guards, parents to children, old and young alike, no one is exempt. He made us all! So the call to worship is all-inclusive no one is denied.

The next verse tells us the why. He is our God, we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. As I sang this over three or four times I thought about what it meant to be His sheep - His people. A shepherd is all in when it comes to His sheep. He lives, breathes, and dies for the sheep. His goal is to protect them, feed them, and care for them entirely. 

Psalm 23 says that the Shepherd - our Shepherd leads His sheep to still waters and causes them to lie down in green pastures. These are not just any pastures - they are hand-picked by the Shepherd because they are the best for His sheep.

As I sang and my mind ran away with the Shepherd of my soul, I literally felt my tension ease. I found myself basking in His peace. You know, that odd kind of don't-really-understand-it-but-I-like-it peace. gratefulness replaced tension as I focused on the Shepherd and how much He cares for me. My heart began to thank Him for watching out for us as caregivers and for staying with us for our journies. I have no doubt that I can trust my Shepherd.

Today, I purpose to focus on being grateful. I'll turn my thoughts to how He keeps watch over my soul and protects me especially when I am most vulnerable. My meditations will be on how He leads me to the still waters of His Spirit so I can take a refreshing drink, and how He brings me to the spiritual pastures so I can learn of Him and be fed. I will diligently trust Him with my soul today. Will you join me?


                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.


Coming soon to both bookstores: 21 Days with the Prince of Peace 


Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Good, The Bad, & the Ugly

 


One of the things I love about God is that He never leaves us. I say it a lot, but life never overwhelms Him. It never gets too ugly for Him to continue walking with us. I think that's one of the things that stands out to me in the scriptures. You get the whole story. It's all there, the good, the bad, and the ugly. God never shied away from people who were on the edge. He was always right there with them in the midst of their darkest hours.

Now, I'm in a good place right now. I'm working, Chris is doing good, and I feel pretty good physically. But I still have "those moments." Recently, I've had a difficult time emotionally. It's not anything real bad, just missing Chris. I have to bury who he was every single day. I love who he is too - he's still my son. But my heart aches. I miss his humor, his music, his questions, his personality. You would think after 12 years, it would all go away, right? Nope.

So, I constantly find myself going back to God for strength, for healing, for His touch deep in my aching soul. And you know what? He's always right there. He never tells me that He clocked out at midnight, He doesn't work after dark, or that He's not on the clock. Instead, He walks into the cold, dark recesses of my painful heart. Then, He pours in His healing balm and somehow brings healing to the parts that hurt the most. And He does this day after day. As long as there is pain - there is healing.

I love that God is with us in the good, the bad, and the ugly. he is our strength. He is our song in the night. He is our constant companion who literally cannot leave us. (Where would He go - He's already everywhere!) He gives me the strength to make each day - and that brings me comfort. 

Today, I will encourage myself by reminding myself of how He has walked with me all of these weary miles. There hasn't been a point where it has gotten too rough for Him - or too steep - or too hazardous. He just keeps being with us - always. I will be thankful for His ever-abiding presence today. I'll thank Him for not leaving when the road got rocky or the storm gained strength. I'll be thankful that He's with me in the rocky places and the smooth places. And I will trust Him for today - will you join me?


                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.

Friday, February 19, 2021

The Great Exchange

 


This morning during my FaceBook live devotion "Peace Out!", I talked about 1 Peter 2:9 and how we can take all of our concerns to God. Nothing is too big for Him to handle, and nothing is too small for His attention. I mentioned that as a caregiver, I take care of all of my son's needs. I don't have a list of exclusions or things I am unwilling to do. I'm invested in him - and see to him from head to toe. God is the same way about us. He wants us to take our cares to Him - all of them.

Just like I take care of my son's whole being - God wants to take care of us wholely. There's no part of Chris I don't take care of. If I don't have the skills (which never happens with God!), then I find someone who does so they can help. 

God is our ultimate caregiver. He cares for us - and He can do the caring for us when we let Him. I love that I can bring Him every little thing that I am concerned about and He won't turn me away or turn me down. He doesn't have a list of cares that are exempt. He never says, really? Or you can't be serious. He takes each of my concerns from the smallest to the biggest. And when I give them to Him, He makes the great exchange. He takes my worry, my concern, and gives me His peace.

And on top of that, He gives wisdom freely - when I ask for it. So, He takes my concern, gives me peace, then fills me with godly wisdom to know how to move forward in each situation. You can't beat that kind of exchange, now, can you? 

Today, I'm going to give God my growing list of concerns. (I've let it build up quite awhile.) I'll give it to Him and then I will let it go. I'll turn my thoughts to how He is concerned with the things that trouble and concern me - and He does truly care about my whole being. My meditations will be on how He takes all my worries and replaces them with peace and wisdom. I'll embrace His peace and His wisdom and trust Him for one more day - will you join me?


                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: 
My Bookshelf

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Cause and Effect

 


We learned about cause and effect in elementary school. As life progressed, we learned it from life lessons. If I don't pay my electric bill - they will shut it off. You know? In scripture, there are lots of examples too. But I want to look at the other side of this coin. 

When the king had Daniel thrown into the den of hungry lions, the effect was supposed to be his death. But God had other plans. He disrupted the cause-and-effect system of man with His own plan. In Jeremiah, God foretold the Babylonian captivity. Then He explained that He had thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. He explained that His cause and effect system works like this - you call on Me - I answer. Period. I like that. Sometimes we can get pushed so far back into the caregiver's cave that things like hope, a future, and peace are hardly discerned. The Enemy likes it that way. But God offers hope on top of hope.

Life can throw us some curveballs and caregiving isn't for the faint of heart. We can find ourselves comfortable in the back of the cave. But God's hope disrupts the "natural" flow of what life sets up. You see, the enemy of our soul would like for us to give up there. The devil would like for our caves to destroy us. But God has other plans.

What was supposed to destroy us - birthed us anew.

What was supposed to crush us - squeezed out hope.

What was supposed to steal our peace - brought great joy.

What was meant to be our tomb - has become a womb where we're being formed and birthed into His image.

So what life caused - hasn't had the expected effect. Here we are still seeking God. Still trusting Him. Still waiting on Him. Still getting our strength from Him. Still resting in Him. It's a great place to be. Life's crushing blows can cause His healing, peace, and anointing to flow when I yield it all to Him.

Today, I'll meditate on His plans for me. I'll turn my thoughts to the presence of His peace and how He has stayed in the cave with me until I was ready to come out. My meditation will be on His sustaining power and how He turns the things that were supposed to cause harm - into healing and joy. I will be grateful that God disrupts this world's cause and effect system and turns it to be for us a hope and a future. I'll crawl up in His lap today and let His peace reign even in the cave. Will you join me?


                                                                                                                                                                 



If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: My Bookshelf

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Right Now


 As if caregiving wasn't enough, we've found ourselves working through a historic pandemic. They can be difficult enough to navigate for families but made even more challenging by caregiving. Now, on top of all that was already going on in our nation and world, a large portion of the US is suffering through brutally cold and bitter temperatures. Utility companies were ill-prepared to handle a severe winter storm of this magnitude. Personally, I've stressed quite a bit over how I would take care of Chris if the electricity would go out. It's frightening to think about.

It can be easy to get sucked into a spiraling cycle of worry right now. And that can be a difficult vacuum for anyone to get out of. When I begin to feel the overwhelm, I go back to basics. I try to stop all the crazy thoughts and focus on truth from the Word. This is why it's so important to read the word. If we are hiding it in our hearts like David said, Holy Spirit will help us recall it when we need it.

This morning as my mind began turning toward spinning out of control, I stopped all the noise. That's not always easy, is it?  I reminded myself that I needed to go back to the basics. Those things that don't change with the weather or in response to a pandemic. They didn't change when my son had a wreck and I was thrust into caregiving over 12 years ago either!

I landed in a familiar go-to scripture. Of course, it's in Psalms! lol. Psalm 46:1 is one of my go-tos. God is our refuge and our strength a very present help in trouble. That's where I started. I reminded myself that no matter what life throws at us - God is present. He doesn't avoid issues. Instead - He marches right into them. We talked about how He went out to "find" Hagar in her despair. He walked right into the fiery furnace with the three Hebrew children. He traipsed across the water to His frightened disciples in the middle of a storm. And He is not afraid or hesitant to walk right into our mess today. Acknowledging that He is with us and that He hasn't abandoned us helps shift our thinking. He is present. Now. 

Today, I'll remind myself that He doesn't shy away from the difficulties. He doesn't disappear when things get tough. My meditation will be on how He chooses to walk right into the mess. I'll let my heart rest in these truths today. I will think about how He goes to the extremes and through extremes to get to us no matter where we are. I'll let His peace reign in my heart as I trust Him for my right now. Will you join me?

                                                                                                                                         



If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: 
My Bookshelf

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

No Waiting

Me helping Chris stand at the park

This morning, during my private prayer and study time, I began to let thanksgiving have its way in my heart. With this Siberian front coming through it's cold and I am so tired of being cold. But I was so thankful to wake up under a warm electric blanket this morning. And the apartment was bearable but cool. I don't know where it came from, but I just began to thank God for food, clothing, warmth, and plenty of blankets to cover windows to slow down the cold drafts.

Something happened in those moments as I got lost in thankfulness. My perspective changed for one thing. But gratefulness gave way to peace. Peace led me down a path that led to a sense of knowing that He sees. He knows.

I have read, reread, meditated, thought about, hashed, and rehashed the story of Hagar found in Genesis 16. I wish I could have seen the visual difference of her demeanor as she realized God saw her. She was in a rough spot, interestingly enough. Yet what peace must have flooded her heart and mind as she realized God had walked right up to her in the dark and dry place. And He saw her. And she knew it. It's that knowing that warms the heart and lightens the load, isn't it? 

God did not wait until she "got it all together" or was in a better state of mind. He didn't wait until she could think clearly. He didn't tell her he'd come back later when she wasn't having such a difficult time. Her life picture was looking pretty ugly to her at that moment. She was in despair. Sarah has mistreated her. (Genesis 16:6) so Hagar was broken, alone, had no direction, no home, no income....and she was pregnant! 

I love the picture I get in my mind of God just marching right up to Hagar in the midst of the mess. It's similar to the picture my imagination paints of Jesus walking out on the water to His disciples - in the middle of the storm.

God is moved with compassion when we are in tough spots, He isn't put off by it. Jesus waited until the storm was just right - then marched right out on the water to His trembling disciples. The Angel of the Lord waited until Hagar was just alone enough - just desperate enough before He walked right into her situation. This gives me so much hope and peace. I understand I don't have to get it all together for God to visit. He comes when life is the ugliest and brings peace and grace.

Today,, I will be thankful that God seems to like the stormy weather. It's a good thing too! lol. He's not confused, dismayed, perplexed, or put off by our circumstances. Maybe it's the most difficult storms and darkest situations that draw Him to us. My meditations will be on His presence in my storm. I'll welcome a fireside chat with Him today as I ponder about my own circumstances. I'll remind myself that He sees - and He comes anyway. I'll rest right there in the peace that comes with that thought. Will you join me?


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Continuous Delivery


 I got on one of my shopping apps this morning to order a few things for the upcoming blizzard. This is an app I use a lot and order from it almost weekly. I started down through the list I made and ordered each item. When I got done, a notice popped up stating they no longer deliver fire starters. I'll spare you the details, but I was quite upset. Here we are in horribly frigid weather, with dangerous conditions getting worse over the next few days and for some unknown reason (they NEVER give a reason), they decided firestarters could not be delivered. I've ordered them numerous times before. I believe at this point - I will cancel my subscription since this is not the first time it's happened on items I order frequently.

The good thing is that over the last few months as I've prepared morning devotions on peace - I've absorbed some of my own teachings! lol. As upset as I was it only took me a few seconds to settle myself down and let His peace reign in my heart once again. As I reclaimed the peace He gave us all those years ago, I whispered a simple prayer followed by thanksgiving. I said I'm glad You don't stop your deliveries.

That simple thought that turned into a prayer began a deluge of thoughts that took me back to this morning's devotions. I saw Psalm 23 with new eyes as I've been walking this journey of embracing His peace. But what stood out to me as I lifted my concerns over the impending weather conditions was this. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.

I'm so glad that God's peace, mercy, goodness, faithfulness, provision, love.... and more - are not regulated by a spout that He turns off at will. He continues to chase us down with mercy, goodness, and more. He doesn't love us until He just doesn't want to deliver anymore, His love has no end - the spout is always open it's up to us to get under it and receive His blessings!

Today, I'm going to picture myself standing under a spout that has a continuous stream of mercy, love, grace, forgiveness, help, faithfulness, peace, and more. I'll thank Him for being my provider, not just for my natural needs but for my soul and spirit needs too. My meditations will be on how He doesn't hold any part of Himself back but continues to give us freely all things. I'll rejoice in His abundant goodness and trust Him for today. Will you join me?

                                                                                                                                            



If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: My Bookshelf

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

True Confidence

 


Do you ever have those mornings where you know you have a ton of things lined out to do but you just want to stay under the warm covers a little while longer? Most days, we just can't. Personally, I always regret it later in the day when I don't get as much done as I wanted to. But that is nonetheless where I was this morning. 

Usually, I get up and put on coffee and let it make while I change Chris and bolus him some water. Then, I crawl back into bed with my coffee cup and Bible in hand. Sometimes, I wish I had the choice to sit there all day. But my coffee would run out. And then there's that there is just too much that has to be done - and I'm the only one to do it. lol

While sitting there this morning, I felt my emotions try to take the dive into the caregiver's abyss. The fog was trying to overtake me. But I just don't have time for it today. Like you - I probably just need a day off. But of course, they don't happen. And their rarity is even rarer since the pandemic.

So I sat with my Bible and my coffee looking for a bit of comfort and some scriptures on peace to share in my Facebook live morning devotions. You know, when I purpose to dive into the Word, I am never disappointed. That's one thing I love about God and His Word - He meets me where I am. He is not afraid to walk right into my chaos and infuse His peace. He doesn't give me a checklist to complete before He does it either. I'm afraid I'd never get there if He did that! lol

I ended up my studies this morning in a favorite passage. It's Isaiah 30:15-18. The first part is what stood out to me because it's what I needed most. The prophet Isaiah says, In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength. Well, immediately I knew this confidence was not in myself. It's a confidence that is put in God that gives us the strength to face one more day. 

I'm fairly confident I'm going to make it through today - I've made it through many other days that looked a lot rougher than today, that's for sure. But I have not - and will not- make it through in my own strength. I'm very aware that He carries me at least half the time. That's where my quiet confidence rests.

Today, I will quietly trust Him to get me from daylight to dark with emotions, mental health, and body intact. As I move through this day, I will remind myself that He is my confidence. He is my strength. My thoughts will be on how I can trust Him with even more of the pieces of my heart. I'll let Him carry me through today. I know He will - that's confidence! Will you be in His arms with me today?


Monday, February 8, 2021

Something Like a Monday

 

Chris and me at the park in Norman

It's Monday. I know for myself and many other caregivers, the day of the week doesn't make much difference at all. It doesn't matter, we do the same things every day with a few variations on days with appointments or days we either do or do not have the help. Actually, I was hoping to have something like a Monday to blame this funk on. lol. I hope you can't relate, but I'm pretty sure you do. :-)

It's just one of those days where everything feels out of kilter, but there's no way to get it all back in place. We all have these days, and we all have to just keep putting one foot in front of another and keep on moving. Our loved ones have things that cannot be skipped just because we are in a weird mood. Today (Monday or not) is just like other days with laundry to be done, meals to be prepared, transfers, baths, and you know the list goes on and on. All.Day.Long.

On days like this, I grab an extra cup of coffee. Then, I take a long, deep breath. I sit for a second and go back to the basics. God loves me. I whisper to myself. He hasn't abandoned me. I say a little louder. God cares for me and Chris. Now my eyes begin to sweat as I can finally begin to release the things that are troubling my heart. There are many and they begin to pile up after a while mostly because I forget to pour them out in prayer. 

Days like this are why I encourage daily Bible reading. As I was preparing for my devotions I do on Facebook live every morning, I read in Haggai this morning. It's a short book, but it has a lot of those basics I needed to remind myself of today. In just two short chapters, the prophet Haggai reminds God's people of these basic (but encouraging) truths:

  • Be strong - for I am with you. (2:4)
  • My Spirit remains among you, do not fear. (2:5)
  • I will give peace. (2:9)
  • I will receive you. (2:23)
  • I have chosen you. (2:23)
I am comforted when I remember that God wants to be with me - even when life's picture gets ugly or a storm blows across the sea of life. He still gives me peace, receives me, and even chases me down sometimes. And suddenly, I'm okay. Just to know that He didn't abandon me and He certainly isn't the author of those feelings. Now - I can face today - even if it's something like a Monday.

Today, when I feel overwhelmed, I will turn my thoughts back to these truths. I'll remind myself that He is with me, He comes for me, accepts me, and wants to be with me. I'll take a deep breath and express my thankfulness to Him for being right here - even on a Monday. Will you join me?

Sunday, February 7, 2021

It's ALL Ours

 

Chris standing with my help

This week, I went back and read about the armor of God in Ephesians 6. I'm working on a new study guide about the armor. If you look at each piece it basically boils down to the Word of God. We need the word of God to cover us for our battles. 

Paul was writing to the church at Ephesus and coming to the conclusion of his letter. He says, finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (NASB) As a caregiver, what I like about this is that there are absolutely no exclusions. Not one phrase indicated any of the believers were left out of the discussion. Thankfully, Paul didn't say, everyone but caregivers put on the armor of God. He didn't say, all of you but caregivers can wear the armor and defeat the devil.  It sounds silly, doesn't it? But it's easy to get caught up in our day-to-day and forget the entire Bible is still ours to claim. Every jot and tittle is applicable to the caregiver's life too - we are never left out!

Paul encourages the Ephesian believers to put on the whole armor of God - it covers from head to toe. Now, as caregivers, we are not left out of scripture, not excluded from any blessing. But we are also not excused from any responsibility. Paul says to put on the armor of God. We still have to do that - God isn't going to dress us with His armor, we have a part to do, actions to take. We are not excluded from the protection God's armor provides, but we are also not excluded from the putting on part.

Nowhere does scripture give instructions and say, unless you are a caregiver. That kind of hurt my feelings early on, you know? I wanted to be coddled just a little bit. :-) But He's got us covered anyway - because repeatedly the word reminds us that He is our strength. So on those days when we really are not sure how we are going to put one foot in front of the other, He's got us covered. He gives us the strength to breathe somedays. You know? (I know you do!) 

Today, I will turn my thoughts to the armor of God and how He uses His word to protect all believers, caregivers included. My meditations will be on how His word protects my whole being and how He gives me the strength to wear His armor when I feel like I am at my weakest. I trust Him to have my front, my back, and everything in between. And I will trust Him for today. Will you armor up and join me?


Monday, February 1, 2021

Strength from Weakness

 

car ride wiwth aunt polly

Have you ever had someone say to you, I don't know how you do it? As a caregiver, I think I'm supposed to take it as a compliment. I usually mutter something like, Oh, we all do what we need to do. Or some other blow-it-off phrase. But what I'd really like to do is yell - I don't know either!  Lol - maybe it's just me.

Caregivers just keep giving and doing day in and day out. We kind of get used to a new normal and get into a groove that makes everything happen. But of course, there are those little kinks. My kink usually starts with a cough. When I hear Chris cough I start making a plan. Do I have all his prescriptions on hand? Is the battery charged on the oxygen thingy? 

Other times it's less worrisome things like this week I ran out of gloves. They were delivered to the office on Saturday - but 1 - I couldn't go get them anyway. And 2 - I didn't know until after office hours. Not having supplies, aids not showing up, delivery services that have no available time slots before the time you need an item or two... these all wear us down!  

So, when someone says I don't know how you do it  (perhaps they should say - without breaking down.) I think - me either. Most days I don't feel like I "do it" well enough. But here's the thing I am learning. There is power in realizing our weaknesses. This morning I was reading in 2 Corinthians 4 where Paul is talking about the Light shining in our hearts and how we have this treasure in an earthen vessel. We are just a clay pot holding the very glory of God.

But Paul goes on to talk about how he was 

  • hard-pressed on every side but not crushed
  • perplexed but not in despair
  • persecuted but not forsaken
  • struck down but not destroyed
We talk a lot about how David poured out his honest, raw emotions before God too. What I like about David and Paul is that they were honest and transparent about their feelings. They weren't afraid to tell God the truth. That open and real expression is an act of worship. It's in those moments of weakness, that we realize His strength. As we pour out our souls and empty ourselves before Him - He fills us back up with His strength. Pauls says in my weakness You are strong.

Today, I will meditate on how God puts His strength in this weak, old clay pot. My thoughts will be on how He takes time to hear my deepest heartfelt cries and listens intently to them as He begins to pour new strength for a new day in. I'll rest right there - and trust Him for just today. Will you join me?

                                                                                                                                                                

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Made it!

Chris standing by me!

 Do you ever have days where it feels like life is just dragging on? I do. I wake up and think, how long has it been like this? How far do I have to go? My BC (before caregiving) life becomes foggy memories. Maybe it's just me, but that's how I felt this morning. Navigating caregiving isn't easy - but it's do-able. There are far too many of us doing it to refute that fact! 

When my son and I moved to this apartment over four months ago I will admit I was nervous. Probably more like downright scared, but we'll call it nervous. The rent is higher than any I've ever paid. I know how my work can fluctuate - it can be feast or famine sometimes. I'll have lots of work - then none. I have built up a small bookstore by writing study guides and devotionals, but I keep the prices so low so people like me can afford them, it doesn't bring in much that I can count on. So, I was a bit nervous.

Here were are at the beginning of February I can say I already paid my rent for the month. I was kind of in awe just thinking about how God has provided. After I hit "send" I thought,  I made it! whew! But for us caregivers, it's like that most every day, isn't it?

Today, we can all say - I've made it this far. God has carried us this - far and today is NOT the day He's going to stop. We've all seen bad days, better days - and some good days; and God has been there through every single one of them. He has not - and will not abandon us on our caregiving journey. He never wrings His hands in my worry - and never says to me, well, I'm not sure what you're going to do. (Sorry - that's a funny image in my mind. lol) It's funny because it's so impossible. 

He always has a plan. His goal is always to get us to the other side of what we are facing so we can say with Him - We made it! I was reading Jeremiah 31:3 this morning. It's where God told Israel through the prophet - I have loved you with an everlasting love. They were in the midst of captivity. Yet God was extending His love and mercy to them still. Every once in a while, honestly, caregiving feels a little like being a captive. I'm a captive of love - a bond slave to the situation since I choose to care for my son and my aunt. But God's love and mercy transcend the circumstances and still reaches out to our hearts to express His deep love.

Today, I will meditate on what it's like to rest in His love. I will let His unending love wrap my heart and my wounds and I will rest in that. My thoughts will be on how He reaches past circumstances of all sorts to extend His love to us. He is ruthless in His pursuit of us. That truth will carry me through today. I will rejoice in it - will you join me?

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Help I Need


Some mornings I read through a book of the Bible, others I look at one topic, or I follow a Bible study guide if I have one. This morning was one of those mornings I was all over the place but ended up in the right place. I had started reading in Psalm 138 where I left off yesterday, but then I started scanning back through the Psalms and found myself in Psalm 124. the last verse says this Our help is from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth. (NLT) 

Of course, this is a familiar verse for me. I even wrote a song to it when my son was first injured. I fell in love with Psalm 121 while living at the hospital with him. I put it to music with an old guitar one of his friends loaned me. Sure enough, I look back at Psalm 121 and it says the same thing. My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth! (NLT)

I put little arrows by those two verses - they are across from each other on the same page in my NLT. Then, I continued to read back through the Psalms. I really love how the psalmist are open, real, and raw about their fears and emotions. They didn't sugarcoat anything so their readers would feel better. They are down, dirty, and real. I can hang out with this kind of people. lol

As I continued over the pages I somehow ended up in Psalm 25. Guess what I found! Not the exact phrase, but one similar. Verse 15 says My eyes are always looking to the Lord for help, for He alone can rescue me from the traps of my enemies. (NLT) I was like - Wow! It's everywhere this morning so I must need to hear this - my help comes from the Lord.

I went back and forth reading these three verses. In my meditations I focused on how this Creator - of the ends of the earth - the One who breathed into Adam to make him a living soul and we are all still being sustained by that one breath - the One who measured the waters of the earth in a single palm and used a hand span to measure the heavens.....helps me. 

I don't know about you - but just that thought overwhelmed my emotions this morning. I know I run close to the edge lol - but my eyes sweated just a little bit as I let those thoughts roll out of my mind and onto the keyboard. I think I need an aid, a nurse, a doctor, another person and another set of hands would be nice too.... but God is all the help I need.

He can put that fire in my soul and give me the wisdom for making decisions, and the strength to carry on. While we are caring for another whole person (or more) as caregivers - He is caring for us. He's the ultimate caregiver! 

Today, I will meditate on how He is my help - and He is all the help I need. (But He does send help in flesh and blood sometimes too - and that's nice!) My thoughts will be on His greatness yet His careful watch over my heart. I'll set my thoughts on His overflowing mercy, peace, and grace. And I will thank Him and rejoice in Him today - will you join me?

Monday, January 25, 2021

The Strength I Need


 I spent my devotions in Psalm 138 this morning. If you have time today, take a minute to read through it. There are several nuggets that spoke to my heart. I want to pull out this verse for my day today. Verse 3 in the New Living Translation says this When I pray, You answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strength I need.

I thought about that for quite some time. Firstly, I think we do gain strength when we pray. It's especially true as we bring our burdens to Him in prayer and then leave them there!  Of course, this is written by the warrior-king David. If anyone knew how to take their troubles to God in prayer and leave them there- it was David! I try to follow his example a lot. He prayed. He praised. He declared! I like that combination.

What I really wondered about this morning though, was how much strength I might actually need for today. Just for today. To say our proverbial plates are full is an understatement for most caregivers, right? So many things that have to be done on any given day. But every day only has 24 hours in it - no matter how it's sliced up. Then I asked, how much energy is God prepared to provide for me today? 

I'm kind of a high-energy personality and it might take quite a lot. lol. 

As caregivers, we never know what a day is going to throw in our lap, right? But it seems that God will give us the strength we need no matter what the level of need is. I think the key must be to trust Him for it. You know, like He gives us peace -not like the world gives - (John 14:27) But it's up to us to accept that peace and then let it reign in our hearts. Maybe the strength I need for today is kind of the same.

No matter what, He will make sure we can make it through today. Besides offering the strength needed to get through today - He also provides comfort, peace, and direction. Plus, He walks through each day with us and never abandons us to deal with the hectic craziness caregiving can bring alone. He's right there whether we see, hear, or acknowledge His presence. Actually, His presence goes before us into the day and then walks with us through it, and provides the strength we need all along the way.

Today, I'm going to thank Him in advance for giving me the strength I'm going to need today. I'll meditate on how He stays right with me no matter how crazy a day may get. My thoughts will be on the comfort and peace He provides - and how they do not wane or weaken over time. I like that. My prayer today will be that I will learn to lean on Him with more of myself and that I'll let Him carry me more. And with that - I'll trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Friday, January 22, 2021

Every Straw

 


Do you find yourself getting upset at the little things? I think as caregivers we run on high all the time that our emotions can stay on edge. We program ourselves to handle the big stuff, but those little things nag away sometimes. The big stuff, we just suck it up and handle it on the spot - call 911, call the nurse, or transport. It's the bigger stuff that we are able to kick into high-octane mode and push through. But those little things...

Sometimes, it's the littlest, even dumbest things it seems. Like I get angry because I didn't push the button on my coffee maker hard enough and it didn't start brewing. (Don't kid yourself - that's big stuff! lol) I was trying to reach around the handle on my bowl while eating oatmeal this morning and my sleeve got caught. I didn't even spill anything, but it made me mad that it was in my way. It doesn't take much to reach a max, does it?

Now, maybe this is just me - and you guys are always calm and collected. I know I'm high-strung. lol. But as caregivers, it's easy to live on the edge. For some, we live on the edge but can't express it for fear someone will think we are not able to perform our duties as caregivers. We treat aches and pains and avoid doctor's offices because we are afraid they will tell us to quit. And that's just not going to happen, is it?

But these things wear away at our emotions and drag us through mucky days. And you know what? I think it's just part of the caregiver's life. What's so cool about it all is that God is big enough for the big stuff - yet still concerned about the small stuff. That blows me away. Does He really care that my coffee pot didn't come on this morning? Does He know the company took a payment out of my account after I returned the equipment? Does He know my fears concerning Covid? Or that isolation is eating away at my soul? He does. He knows it all - the big and the "little." And He cares. 

God doesn't turn His eyes and ears away from us just because others think they are small, unimportant matters. He understands the burden we carry - and He sees every straw whether it's the one that will break the proverbial camel's back or the first one in the bag. Paul told us in 1 Peter 5:7 that we can cast ALL our cares on Him and we can let Him do the caring for us.

Now, God doesn't stand up there with a list of categories for things He will not carry. He doesn't toss things back and tell us that it's not on His responsibility list. He takes them all - big, small, and everything in between. Why? He cares for us - as a whole person.

Today, I will be thankful that God cares. I will be grateful that He listens to me offload all the things that are on my heart. He doesn't discriminate. He won't belittle. He won't tell me to suck it up and get stronger. He just cares about every straw on this camel's back. And just like that - a little gratitude and thankfulness go a long way to lighten the load. Today, as I trust Him with my soul  - my mind, my will, and my emotions - I'll thank Him for always being right there when I need Him. Will you join me?


Thursday, January 21, 2021

3-Point Patterns


One of the many things I like about King David is his transparency before God. In a lot of the psalms he wrote, he poured his heart out in pure honesty. I love how he explains his emotions and feelings so vividly. He says things like he cried all night, or like in Psalm 3, he says his enemies have greatly increased. In Psalm 61 he talks about how his heart and emotions are overwhelmed. 

I think there is a parallel for us as caregivers. I've said it before that it's quite alright to tell God how we really feel. If you could hide it from Him, where would you put it? My point, of course, is that He knows anyway. God is fully aware of my fears, thoughts, and the full spectrum of emotions I cycle through pretty much every day. It's okay to be like David and lay it all out on the table before God. It's not like He doesn't know.

But David does two things after baring His soul. First, he reminds himself of what God has done in the past. In Psalm 3, David says You are a shield for me - the One who lifts my head. The Lord sustains me. In Psalm 61 he reminds himself - You have been a shelter for me - a strong tower from the enemy. 

The last thing David does consistently throughout the Psalms is to make a declaration. In Psalm 3 he declares I will not be afraid. In psalm 61 his declaration is I will abide in Your tabernacle - I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.

You'll find this 3-point pattern all through the psalms that are attributed to David. I'm learning to live it out myself. We can come to God with all - every single thing we are feeling and trying to sort through. He is big enough (and smart enough) to handle it. Then, we can help ourselves out by reminding ourselves of what God has done in the past. Thirdly, we can make our own declarations of trust and faith to trust Him for one more battle - one more struggle - one more day.

Today, I'm going to focus on two things. I will remind myself of all the things God has done in my past. I'll spend time thinking about the times I know he spared my life. My thoughts will be on how He has kept me these six decades. And then - I will declare that I will continue to trust Him. I will keep on praising Him and I'll keep on lifting my soul up to Him because I trust Him. And that is how I will trust Him with one more day. Will you join me?