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Showing posts from January, 2021

Made it!

 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 ren

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 l

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

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.

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 shie

No Get Out of Jail Free Cards?

  Do you ever feel like life just doesn't let up? Sometimes it seems like caregivers should get some sort of exempt card. You know? Something that lets us stay in the cave without having to deal with all the craziness that's going on in the world. Well, it was just a thought. I guess there are no "get out of jail free cards" in life. A pandemic rages on and we didn't get an exempt card, did we? Political and civil unrest didn't qualify us for one either. We have to deal with all the craziness in the world plus our caregiving responsibilities. Isn't caregiving enough? Dealing with aids who don't show, people and family who do not know how to help so they avoid us, and the traffic of health care professionals of all sorts is enough for any given day. Yet it happens over and over again. How do we stay sane?  Caregivers are resilient - we just keep going. Every night I go to bed feeling like I failed. I didn't get enough done. It's easy to focus on

Who am I?

  I know you guys understand when I say that some days are better than others. Emotions can dip on a dime and it often takes a big shovel and lots of effort to get them back up where they need to be. This morning was one of those times for me. Who knows what the reason was, I just felt myself sliding down the slippery slope as depression tried to suck me in.  In my devotions this morning, I read Psalm 121. I had written it into a song when my son was in isolation in the hospital. I picked up my guitar to play it and thought about sharing it here. But there is something going on with my wrist and it just wasn't going to happen. I'm so glad as this psalm says, my help comes from the Lord.   Since I refused to give in - I went to the piano and began to just praise Him. Well, it didn't take long once my focus was on Him instead of me. I began to feel the load of the day shift off my shoulders and onto His. I will look to the Lord, my help comes from the Lord - the Maker of heav

Permission to Believe

  I found myself in a very familiar story this morning as I was preparing for live devotions on Facebook. It's in Matthew 14:22-33. We know this story as the time Jesus came walking on the water. It's also familiar because Peter jumped out of the boat and walked on the water to get to Jesus. Have you ever been in a place where it felt like it would take a miracle for you to get to God?  There were several things that stood out in this story. I hope you take a minute to read it again today. I like that Jesus took time for solitude and prayer. What an example for us. If He needed it - we certainly do!  I like that Jesus stepped out into the storm  to get to his weary, frightened disciples who were still trying to row the boat. (That's us - huh?) They were frightened at first. But then they recognized Him. He told them to not be afraid. They knew His voice because He simply said, I am here. (NLT) Then Peter who is known to be a bit impulsive calls out. He said, If it's rea

A Great Replacement

  I don't have to tell you that caregivers have a lot on their plates. We are taking care of another whole person, right? Some of us are caregivers for more than one loved one too! Each day has the potential of totally stressing us out. There are so many I's that have to be dotted and t's to get crossed, and we cannot leave one of them undone. Perhaps you've spent the same amount of time as I have sitting, sipping coffee, and worrying about how it was all going to come together. (Maybe not?) As I type this, a client just sent me a message asking where the article for this week is and if it's done. It's not. Work is secondary to caregiving, but boy is it important too! When Chris doesn't feel well, I almost always fall behind on work. It's quite the juggling act - I'm sure you are well acquainted with it. So this morning as I was studying I found myself in Philippians 4 again. I really enjoy reading different versions of the Bible. I always choose a t

Dealing and Healing

The caregiver's world can be a traumatic place where you feel like you never get ahead. Many caregivers deal with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). No one doubts how stressful it can be. And I think how much easier it might be if everyone just did their jobs. Right? In the caregiver's dream world, supplies are delivered as ordered and on time. Aids show up for their scheduled times day after day. The days go without a hitch, so it's all about providing care for our loved ones. People call just to check-in. Someone gives you a hug or says, I love you. But maybe that's what dreams are made of. (smile) I'm not complaining - but I am traumatized by what I see going on in the world. There's no peace out there, would you agree? It seems like lately, I've done a lot of reeling in of the emotions and talking myself back to a place of peace in Him. You know what? That's okay. It's part of dealing with it all and healing  in the midst of the struggles and

It's All the Same to Me

  My thoughts were scattered this morning during my devotions until I finally settled into reading a few more chapters in Isaiah. It wasn't a bad thing, really. I was trying to prepare for my devotions for Facebook live - and had too many to choose from. lol. That's one of the most amazing things about God and His word. No matter what I am dealing with or going through, He has me covered. His Word renews my mind (the reason it's so important to read it!), He has my heart in His, and He keeps my soul. (Psalm 121:7) He really is our All in All. He's got us covered from one end to the other and throughout all eternity. Think about it a bit. He knew man would fall. So He planned a way for us to get back to Him before  He said, Let there be light. He made sure we would never be at a spot in time where we would be separated from Him.  Even now He has everything under control even when we feel out of control. Just His armor alone has us covered. (Pun intended.) Of course, it&#

The Encourager

  It happens to the best of us. No matter how strong we are - or think we are. No matter how long we've been caregiving. No matter how mature we are in the Lord. No matter how faithful we are to pray and study the word. Some day, some time, discouragement will visit. It may even try to disguise itself as tiredness or weariness. It's at those moments when we are tired and fatigued that we are the most vulnerable. It's not a matter of if it's a matter of when discouragement will come knocking on our door. For me - it's like today. I know I'm okay. But I also know Chris hasn't slept well in over a week and that begins to wear away at my strength and my soul. I get weary. Who wouldn't? I know you understand. I'm not weak in my faith. My trust in Him is still intact. The word is still rich and alive and I enjoy every moment I can soak it up. But I am tired. Well, it's actually a very good spot to be! Why? You ask. Because I read last week in 2 Corint

It's Waiting for You

Do you ever get tired? Who am I talking to? Right? If you are reading this you are probably a caregiver. We live tired. lol. Our "normal" day schedules contain more activity and tasks than a lot of people do in a week. There's no doubt we get tired. And of course, there's always those cute little add-ins like my son coughing all night for the last three nights to make that tiredness dig in just a little bit deeper. Of course, there are a few things I've learned in the natural that can help with that a bit. Like, if   I get a chance, I'll take a nap. Maybe I'll try to go to bed a little earlier tonight. Tiredness leads to fatigue and if we are not careful to caregiver burnout. Having some help is great even if it comes from a bad aid. Lol. I try to exercise a little every day to combat fatigue. And I try to get some fresh air and sunshine if it's only taking the trash out. But this tired can be deep and it needs some relief from the spiritual side. That

In With the New

  Happy New Year to everyone who reads and keeps up with this devotional. I pray this year is one of immense blessings, peace, and restoration. I seriously only want to look back on 2020. It's been quite the year for everyone. I have to say that I have learned a lot, grown some, and changed a lot over the last 12 months. But you know that nothing actually changed from 11:59:59 on December 31, 2020, to 12:00:00 am on January 1, 2021. Right? We are still in the midst of a pandemic. The political climate is chaotic at best. And most of the world seems to have gone stark raving mad. lol. Nothing is really too new except the date today. lol. Thinking about all of this led me to think about the things about God that don't change with the date. You know? He doesn't have a timer that goes off on New Year's Day. Which New Year's Day would He choose? The Jewish calendar is different from ours. The Chinese New Year won't happen for a few more days. There isn't a "