Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2022

Refocusing

 Is it just me or does it seem like each day gives way to millions of thoughts? They aren't all bad - and that's a good thing, right? It just seems sometimes that there are so many things that happen over the course of 24 hours. My mind sometimes races from one thought to the next. Sometimes, it's dangerous. lol - Sometimes, it's calming.  Last night, for instance, my son had a mild asthma attack. My mind and emotions went a million directions all at one time as I packed Chris' tube feeding supplies and my coffee pot with coffee pods. (The two essentials for hospital stays!) He was able to kick it, and soon settled into a good night's sleep.  I wish I could say that I'm in a place where those seemingly little things don't trip me up or send me off the emotional cliff. Maybe you've got it all together, but I'll gladly admit my lack. I wish I had it all together - whatever "it" is. But I do not. What I do know, though, is that each time m

Small Things

  Sometimes, it's the smallest things that make the biggest impact. There's no doubt that our days are tough, even though we chose this walk. Of course, I didn't choose for my son to have a wreck, but I did choose to care for him at home. My aunt, I cared for but I had to have the help of a facility. No matter what our circumstances are, it's still no easy road. But sometimes, there are these tiny little happenings that make it "all better" if only for a moment. This morning, I went out and looked at my little $12 flowers. I smile each morning as I pull off the dried blooms and look for all the new ones. There is something so refreshing about it, that I can't explain it. Growth and beauty change the way they look each day. I have to wonder if God tends to us the same way.  Don't you think He looks on and enjoys our progress as we grow in trusting Him? He waters His garden and cares for the things He sees blooming in our lives. Maybe it's faith. May

Flowers Die when Fruit Grows

I have a bunch of indoor plants, and with spring came a new burst of outdoor plants. They are on my front patio. One of the plants is a pepper plant. Over the last few days, I noticed a new bloom. I was so excited! This morning as I was out tending my plants, I noticed the bloom was dying, and there is another bloom! I looked at the dying flower with a little sadness, since I'd enjoyed its brief burst of color. But then I had this thought if the flower is dying - that means a habanero pepper is coming! My short sadness turned into elation as I realized I will get some fruit for my labor. I just stood and stared at the two flowers. One brand new this morning and the other fading away. As I looked at the two blooms, I wondered how many times we grieve over things we perceive as dying - when it's something God has designed to bring fruit? caregivers often live with lots of grief. We can sense huge losses every single day. Many of us live with what is called "living grief.&quo

The Dream of an 8-Hour Day

 I'm starting to wonder what it's like to work an 8-hour shift - then just go home. lol. Many caregivers work an outside job plus caring for their loved ones. For others, their "8-hour job" is  caring for their loved ones. But in today's world, it seems like just a far-off dream. But occasionally, I let my mind wander about what it would be like to just go to work - then come home. I vaguely remember something about it, but it seems so far away. A caregiver's day is usually full of all sorts of stuff. Many of you, like myself, work online while caring for your loved ones. But it is certainly a juggling act most days. Trying to get everything done for my son plus keeping my clients happy is a huge chore. Additionally, I need to eat right (I plan his  meals, right?), get adequate amounts of sleep, and drink enough water. Oh, and don't forget to get at least 20-30 minutes of exercise each day. We need 15-20 minutes of sunshine too... I'm tired and overwhe

And God Waits

In yesterday's post , I talked about how God is not scared of our circumstances. Well, this morning, I awakened a bit later than I planned after an up and down night. (I know you know about those nights...) All the things I need to get done today started running through my mind. I have an urgent project that must be completed today, a meeting with a new client (yay for more work!) at 9 this morning, my regular daily devotions, and beautiful grandchildren I'll watch for a couple of hours. Did I even mention all the regular caregiving duties in there? lol My mind seemed chaotic as I grabbed my first cup of coffee and my laptop to get started working on the urgent project. While I was working, my mind was running through the day's planned activities. I told Chris he'd get to sleep in a little later since I have a meeting at the time I normally get him up. I started adjusting all my tasks last night actually because I knew this morning would be hectic. As I turned my though

God Ain't Skeered

I got up early this morning and had my private devotions, then worked on my latest devotional, "Peace Out! It's in the Bible!" Hopefully, I'll get it done and released in the next couple of weeks. As I was working through some of the scripture passages, I began to realize all the things that have been lingering on my heart. There's a lot, really. Lots of questions. Lots of thoughts. Lots of wonderings. Lots of doubts, and a few fears mixed in here and there. To put it mildly, I was overwhelmed with lots of "what-ifs." Following my own devotionals, I started listing them to God. It felt like I was handing Him each and every one. I handed Him all the good stuff, bad stuff, funny stuff, hard stuff, questionable stuff, and more. I didn't realize how much I'd been packaging "stuff" up in my heart. Then, I followed my own advice and just let His peace take over the reign of my heart. I felt so much better. The whole process got me to thinking

Solid!

  This morning for my live Facebook devotions, I shared out of 2 Timothy 2. (See video below!) I talked some about all the crazy stuff going on in the world today. Who knew gas would be nearly $5 a gallon, and more in some regions!?! I'm pretty sure we didn't anticipate baby formula shortages. These and other things going on around the world are enough to shake us all. While I do have a lot of compassion - I'm also a little bit like welcome to our world. For caregivers, our world is rocky all the time. For me, supplies may come regularly for a while, and then just disappear with me scrambling to fill the gap out of my own pocket. Don't even get me talking about the irregularity of aids who may or may not show up and who may or may not work even if they do! Am I right? lol Our lives are often topsy-turvey, and we never know what a day is going to bring. The only "constant" in our lives is change. Yet, we adjust. And one reason we can just adjust and keep movin

Short Days

  Are the days getting shorter? They must be because I keep running out of time and energy before I'm done! Can you relate? When Chris came home from the hospital a couple of weeks ago, he had to have IV antibiotics three times a day for 10 days. Man, did that stretch my scheduling and organizing abilities! lol But we got it done and yesterday, the nurse removed the med line. I was so relieved! (I'm sure he was too!) I didn't realize how much hooking up an IV and removing it three times a day would take out of me. Sounds a little bit silly to those who don't understand, right? As caregivers, our days (and nights) are already packed full of tasks and responsibilities. Adding one more might not seem like much, but it is when you are already on overload. (I know you understand!) Most nights I go to bed feeling like I failed because there is still so much left to do. I've had to change the way I talk to myself though. Instead of beating myself up, I started saying- You

Even in this Place

 I don't know about your day-to-days, but I know mine can be hectic. Sometimes, even our calmest days can't compare to the "norm." Caregiving is not for the faint of heart! But that doesn't mean we don't have our moments of full-blown breakdowns. No judgment here! Every once in a while, a good cry releases pent-up emotions. It's healthy, actually.  We may feel like we are in a desert place, a wilderness, or secluded from society. Sometimes, we feel surrounded by loving people, but the struggle remains. And honestly, some days I can go from a desert to an oasis, and back to the desert again emotionally - just in a matter of a few minutes, or even seconds. lol. Do you relate? Here's the thing - no matter where we are - or where we feel we are - God is still working in and for us. Yesterday, I sat with my guitar and sang for a few minutes. I poured out my heart to Him, and He answered. It was like I was feeling Him bringing restoration, healing, and refre

No Recalls Issued!

 Do you ever wonder why there are so many recalls? It seems like it used to pertain just to vehicles. Some little or big part wasn't functioning right and had caused or could potentially cause damage. So they recalled the part and replaced it for free. Over the years, other items were recalled. Things like car seats, blenders, cell phones, and who knows what else! Some sort of manufacturer's defect was discovered and a recall was issued in an attempt to prevent injuring innocent consumers, right? This morning during my devotions, it hit me that heaven doesn't issue recalls! There's never been a recall on His peace. Jesus told us He was leaving it here for us - and He's not going to take that back! God's love hasn't been recalled. Romans 8 tells us it remains no matter what we walk through - there is literally absolutely nothing that can separate us from His love. And He's not taking that back! I haven't seen a recall issued on His grace either. His g

The Smallest Things

 I realized a few years ago that I was turning my thoughts into prayers. As thoughts came across my mind, I began to phrase them as questions for God. I turned to asking Him for wisdom, desiring direction, or pursuing answers from His word. When you spend day after day alone with your own thoughts and no one to talk to - it can get a little interesting, can't it? I talk to God about the littlest and silliest things sometimes. Like how the intricacies of a flower petal are so perfect yet unique. Or how silly a bug looks. But I talk to Him about the big stuff too - like finances, caregiving, and the heavier things on my heart, and the things that trouble my mind. And you know what? He likes it that way! He really does want to hear what's on our hearts. I believe He enjoys us sharing all the little details and big prayer requests as well. Why? It's open communication - relationship. Sometimes, I wonder if God should be "bothered" with my mental mumblings. But then I

Emotional Roller Coaster Rides

  This morning, I was talking to a friend about emotional health. We were rolling lots of thoughts and strategies around. The topic came up because during my Facebook live devotions (video below), I mentioned I wasn't bragging, but I can go from the apex of wonderful to the valley of despair in as fast las two seconds. I think all caregivers may have those moments. We talk a lot about how difficult caregiving can be logistically and physically. But we often forget how often we deal with emotional roller coasters. In a given day, hour, or minute even, we can swing from elation to weeping, from crying to joy. Back and forth it goes all day some days. If we are lucky, we land somewhere on solid ground in between. Over the years, I've learned some personal strategies that have started to help me balance emotions out more quickly so that I don't end up in the valley of weeping all day long. Managing my day as much as possible helps me keep some of the in check. Identifying the b

Constants vs Variables

  I love algebra, maybe because I like a good challenge! As a matter of fact, I loved algebra so much, that I became a math teacher. This morning, I was thinking about how far behind I am with work and how demanding caregiving can be when it comes to organizing time. My mind wandered off to the bills I need to pay, dealing with Chris' health issues, and how to juggle my clients most effectively.  Then I thought about how our lives can be in a constant state of flux. We never know what a day will bring and how fast our circumstances can change. I say this after a week-long unexpected stay in the hospital with my son. What does that have to do with math? I am so glad you asked!!! Things change - that's the variable. An example of an algebraic equation might be 2x + 4 = 24. (Don't worry- I won't ask you to solve it!) The numbers are constants. That means they will not change, but that little "x"? He is a variable, meaning he could be anything. Variables change. T

The Unexpected

Well, we ended up spending this last week in the hospital. As caregivers, we can be forced to deal with the unexpected  a lot, right? No matter how organized we are, how detailed we get, or how carefully we plan - we just never know what a day will bring. Sometimes we trust Him as we fly by the seat of our pants and hold on to the proverbial last strand of the rope. Then things settle back down and we begin to see how He orchestrated everything for our good. But it's not always easy to see it when we are in  it. Afterward, we see how He sustained us, helped us, and even carried us. That's the beauty of hindsight, right? I don't know how long you've been on your caregiving journey, but I'm working on 14 years now. I must say as I look over this last decade and a half, I see God's sustaining power. Through the times I felt like I couldn't make it - to the times when I thought I had  made it - but soon fell apart at His feet once again - He's been there all

Voided Warranty

This morning I was thinking about how we can feel the effect of God's peace, love, grace, and mercy even if we don't see Him. I shared in my Facebook live devotion this morning about being able to see the sun's effect without actually being able to see the sun. (See video below!) While I was talking about that I had this brief thought that has been my meditation since I finished the devotion. I said that there's no way to void God's "warranty." Ever buy something and if you open it wrongly or do something they deem "wrong" it will void the warranty and the company will no longer cover or service it? I'm so thankful that God isn't like that. His peace, grace, mercy, love, and everything else can't be "voided" by our negligent or purposeful actions. He doesn't take any of these or His many other attributes and blessings back because of our actions. We may choose to ignore His peace (like I do sometimes when I am mad at lif

Where is "HERE"?

Do you ever just assess your life? As caregivers, we can have such a sense of loss. Caregiving puts so many demands on us. Many have to change occupations or quit their jobs altogether to have the time to invest in caring for a loved one. We may grieve the loss of a lifestyle we enjoyed before caregiving. Sometimes, we feel the loss of freedom as we may not be able to just jump and run when we want to or hang out with friends freely. We may live with grief that stems from losing a person - while they are still here. This is the case with my son and with caregivers of loved ones with dementia. The sense of loss and feelings of grief can come from so many different areas in our lives, that they are often overlooked, or at best difficult to identify. After I did this morning's Facebook Live devotional "Peace Out!", I took my own personal assessment. (See video below!) I walked through my apartment and every few steps, I told myself "God is right here!" I'd take