Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2022

The Journey Thus Far

Do you have a lot on your caregiving plate today? Maybe you have more than one platefuls to deal with today or even this morning. Too bad there isn't just a big checklist where we can check off items that are done when they are done. What a sense of accomplishment that would be - exhilarating and liberating! Well, we can at least imagine, can't we? I think it's more cyclical, and we are never really done. As I was letting my mind wander yesterday, I started thinking it sounded a lot like whining. I hate whining. It can be so easy to do though. It's kinda hard to distinguish when we are airing out our frustrations in a healthy way and when it turns to whining, don't you think? I'm certain that yesterday - I was whining. When I first started this caregiving journey and brought Chris home from rehab, I really didn't know what I was going to do other than trust God for the journey. I spent some time crying (and whining) to God about the life I lost and the fear

One More Breath

  Do you ever get overwhelmed? Are you ever lonely? Does the social isolation ever get to you? (Who am I talking to? lol) Today is one of those days that it feels like everything is caving in on me. I'm behind at work because of caregiving duties. Chris still isn't up and it's nearly noon. I'm just now getting to write this morning's devotion, and I'm sitting here shaking my head thinking that I'll never catch up today. I'll never get it all  done today. But I feel that way almost every day. lol. Most nights when I start getting ready for bed, I'm certainly at my end. I have learned to focus on all the things I did  accomplish during my waking hours, rather than all I failed to get done. And then, for 5 or 6 hours I try to rest. There's just no way to get it all done. I keep thinking I'll get caught up with housework, cooking, work, and all the other things I need to do. Once I get organized it'll be easy sailing. Then I wake up and reali

Behind the Clouds

 As I stepped outside this morning, I noticed the unusual coolness for this time of year. I glanced toward the sky and saw the grayish-blue clouds hovering overhead. For a few minutes, I just watched the clouds, and then I saw a break in them and a glow from the sun broke through. Even though I could not see the sun - it was hidden behind the clouds.  Sometimes, it just helps to know it's still there. We know we'll see it again soon, right? This past weekend became very dark for me as my son fell ill again. I opted to not run to the hospital, but to monitor his numbers closely (oxygen, heart rate, temperature) and go only if I had to. His body needs to fight off this crud he keeps getting. While I was content with my decision, it made for a long, dark weekend where I just sat and watched him breathe. Thankfully, he pulled through, and other than some extreme tiredness, he's doing well again.  It's those dark nights that get to you though, right? The heart and mind race

Who Planned This?

 This morning as I was getting around, I was praying for my son. I do this a lot! lol. His chronic breathing issues are troubling and the medical system seems to be tiring of us. So, I took my concerns to God. I was walking and praying and asking for wisdom to handle the situation in the best way. Of course, I was moaning, groaning, and fussing at God for "letting" this all happen. lol - I know you've never done that, but I do.  I took a brief few minutes to think about what like might have looked like. After all, none of us planned on him having a wreck at 24. There are many such unexpected things that happen to disrupt our plans, though. Am I right? My mind went to Job. He was wealthy and had no plans of losing all that wealth in a day. Job didn't plan on his kids all dying in a single tragic accident. He didn't plan on getting sick either. But what Job did plan was that he was going to worship and trust God in the no matter what s. Now that's a plan that ca

Never Runs Out

 This morning, as I was waking up, my mind seemed to already be racing. Some of it was all the stuff I need  to get done today - including those that needed to be done yesterday. I'm also dealing with a lot of emotional baggage right now. For some reason, I feel especially lonely. Like alone- alone. I hope you don't understand, but I'm pretty sure you do. As I was wiping the sleep out of my eyes, my mind was running through all this. Over and over and over. I had to take a couple of minutes to kind of shake myself and remind myself that His peace is still right here. He doesn't have an off switch for when we are sleeping, or not paying attention. His peace remains - it never runs out. Neither does His grace, mercy, and love. They all remain, even when my mind forgets. Then, I had this thought about how I set reminders on my phone. I have tons of them. lol. I have one for any out-of-the-normal meds for me and Chris. There's one for each of the Bible studies I do week

Dealing with Disappointment

Maybe we have all had those moments where we were disappointed with God. I know I have had my times for sure. I always thought He was going to come riding in on His white horse and whisk me out of my stress and pain. When it didn't happen like I imagined, I often thought He'd abandoned me. Sure, He sees. Of course, He hears. But what good is it if He doesn't act? Mary and Martha were disappointed with Jesus. They told Him that if He had been there, then Lazarus, their brother, would not have died. Jesus' reply was that He was the resurrection and the Life. Then, He demonstrated it by bringing Lazarus back from the dead. I can certainly say I've never seen Him do that! But I still believe it. The day I realized that I was disappointed in Him, after all, He didn't come when I thought I needed Him most. It can be frustrating to feel like He's not acting on our behalf. Right now, I'm in that spot. It seems  like He's not doing anything. Now, I know He

The Source of Life

Recently, I had some interactions where I felt like others didn't have a clue what it meant to be a caregiver. Maybe they don't understand how demanding it is 24-7. Their request involved traveling, and it's something I wanted to do with all my heart. But as is often the case, it's just not always easy to travel when you are caring for someone else. I felt like they didn't quite "get" my situation.  With the airlines canceling flights left and right, seemingly on a whim, I can't take a chance of getting stuck in another location. As I was working through my dilemma mentally, I realized that most of the time, it's the other way around. People only see us as caregivers and forget that there is a person inside dying to be recognized. As I was thinking about all of these things, I became very thankful. Why you ask? Because I realized that God sees us fully. He doesn't dish out blessings and spiritual benefits to others and decide we don't get a

He Remains Faithful

  I don't know about you, but it does seem like the world is getting crazier. Maybe it's just that there is so much going on in every arena from politics to schools, churches, and even in our homes. There are so many things to deal with on an emotional level and it can easily become overwhelming. As if caregiving wasn't already overwhelming enough, right? This weekend was one of those weekends when I began to feel overwhelmed past the normal overwhelm. As I was taking my concerns and friends to God in prayer, I was reminded of something that happened to me several years ago. I was standing in my son's room and I was frustrated, emotional, and overwhelmed. I looked up at the ceiling (as if God lives in the sky - and isn't right here right now), and said, I cannot handle one more thing... Immediately, I had a thought. Now, since it was smarter than me - I assumed it was God. It was or what?  That thought, simple as it was, sobered me right up and made me think. I thou

Where No One Dares to Follow

  I don't know how long you've been on your caregiving journey, but I've been on mine for almost 14 years. One of my friends is the caregiver for her son who is now in his 40s. Some of you just started on this journey. I'm still a newbie compared to many others!  There's no doubt that the caregiver's journey is a lonely one. The social isolation is often unbearable. Yet, we adjust. BC (before caregiving) I was super social. I went a lot. I fellowshipped a lot. I traveled miles and miles. But for the last 14 years, all of that has been limited.  Others often try to encourage us or cheer us up. But very few are willing to go where we go.  Recently, I had a long-time friend who wanted to take me out. At first, it was just for a date. Then he decided he wanted us to spend the day together. I enjoyed our day together, but he has no idea all the hoops I had to jump through. lol. I get other invites from time to time, but I don't answer many of them.  What I don


  My mind is still hanging out in Matthew 14! I guess I've really been rolling it over and over in my meditations. Today, I want to just look at Peter. He is the only one who stepped out of the boat. He gets a bad rap for sinking. But no one else jumped out onto the water, not even after seeing him walk on the water. How far he walked or how long he walked don't really matter, do they? It was still miraculous that he simply walked on the water.  Peter did something no one else had the guts to do - even if it was for just a few steps...a few seconds. But like many of us, Peter got distracted by the storm. As long as he focused on Jesus and working his way to Him, he walked across the water. But when he looked at the storm , it distracted him. Do you ever have one of those days? We start out with a great attitude determined to work it all out. Then out of nowhere BAM! We get blindsided by something - it could be anything. A bill we didn't expect. Supplies that are not on time

In the Experience

Today, I'm still in the story in Matthew 14. Here's my question for today. After Jesus scraped Peter off the water and put him back in the boat, then the storm calmed. NKJV says  the winds ceased.  Then, the next verse says they worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God." Was it Jesus' dramatic rescue of Peter? Or was it that the storm stopped once Jesus got in the boat with them? He is the Prince of Peace after all.  Either way, now all of a sudden they see Him for who He is. That's interesting to me because if you thumb back through the previous chapters you'll see he's already fed 5000 with a few loaves of bread, healed a man with a withered hand, made a mute man speak, healed two blind men, and set to demon-possessed men free from their torment. None of those times did the disciples worship Him and recognize Him for who He was.  Why do you think that was? Hadn't they seen all these miracles? Or at least heard about some of them? Yet

Does God's Timing Stink?

Have you ever just wondered about God's timing? I know His ways are perfect, but I have some questions. lol. This morning I was reading the story of Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14. There are so many truths to extract from these few verses. We've talked before about how Jesus told them to get into the boat and go to the other side - knowing full well they would face a storm. Of course, He also knew He'd be walking out to them in the middle of the night - in the middle of the storm. Why didn't He calm the storm before it even started? So, here they are struggling and trying to navigate a boat full of folks in the middle of the sea. They look up to see Jesus coming toward them at about 3 in the morning. Why didn't He calm the storm before He took off across the top of the water? Of course, this frightened them. So, He called out and told them that He was there with them  in the storm. Peter, who is known for his sporadic behaviors, calls back over the sound o

Common vs Normal

Facing each day with gratitude goes a long way. Over the years, I've learned that there's always something to be thankful for. Of course, that doesn't make caregiving any easier, but it keeps our hearts softer. Am I right? Ultimately, I'm thankful that I can show my love for my son by being his caregiver. There's really nothing like it. What we do day-to-day is not normal, but it is common. There are lots of caregivers. The baby boomers are aging and taking on the roles of caring for elderly parents and loved ones. But unless a person is a caregiver, they really don't get it. Sometimes, it can seem like it's so common no one hears what we say anymore. We can talk about our journey, but all they hear is blah, blah, blah. They don't really lose compassion, but it can feel like it. It can feel like no one hears us, sees us, or cares anymore. Sometimes - probably most times, it's because they don't really know what to say or do. And of course, there


I had a "funny" during my devotions this morning. I was reading randomly through Proverbs when I found these verses in chapter 23. The NKJV reads this way Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has complaints? who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? I was like - man, this is going to be good, the writer nailed caregiving 101! Right? Then, I read on through the next few verses and realized Solomon was talking about those who drink too much. I had a good laugh. But it also made me think a little as I turned to self-reflection. Caregiving isn't all  bad. Is it hard? Absolutely? Is it challenging? Absolutely? Is it doable? Absolutely. There are some good things about caregiving too. For instance, we have a chance to love and give freely to our loved ones. We have the opportunity to walk out God's love - right here in flesh and blood. Sometimes, we get the opportunity to see and feel others be moved by compassion as they gaze at our lives even from a distance.  In

Prisons and Palaces

  Do you find it hard to listen to some people? I would be nearly rich if I had $5 for every time someone told me to take care of myself too. A buck or two for every time someone told me I need "to get out more" would go a long way toward reducing my debts. Sad enough, most of these people don't get it. They have no idea what it looks like to try to "get out more" or take a break. Presently, I am canceling a trip I wanted to go on because I just don't have enough people I can pay to do what I do for a weekend. lol. It's just part of our lives, right? It's hard to listen to even well-meaning, caring people who try to help - because they really don't have a clue. These are a few of my thoughts this morning as I read over and over 2 Thessalonians 3:16. The 1995 NLT says this: May the Lord of peace himself always give you peace no matter what happens.  Why did that catch my attention? Because Paul was writing it while sitting in a prison cell, not en

That Running List

  Do you have a running list? I'm playing a bit with words because I do have a traditional running list of all my concerns and prayers. But I also have a running list - it's the same one - but I am always running to Him with it. That pretty much sums up my morning. I woke up with lots of things on my heart. Not just caregiving stuff either. The world is in a tough spot. There are so many things to be concerned about. I was praying about all of those and carrying all my personal stuff to Him too. The list of things to pray about seems to be getting longer and longer. But in the back of my mind, I kept thinking of a verse from a Psalm I read often. Verse 5 of Psalm 13 says yet I will trust in His unfailing love.  After a while, I stopped praying about all the concerns, not necessarily because I ran out of them. lol. And I began to think about this phrase - yet I will trust. If we look back at the first few verses of this Psalm, David was in a difficult place and he didn't try

In His Hands

 There's a song we used to sing as a child, He's Got the Whole World in His Hands.  Remember singing that song and doing hand motions with it when we were little? This little song came to mind this morning as I was reading my Bible. I continued reading in Isaiah for my personal devotions. I love how we can read even familiar passages and find new nuggets He's hidden for us there, don't you? I read over through chapter 49 and this phrase in verse 16 stood out. It says, See, I have written your name on my hand. God was reminding Israel that He had not forgotten them even though bad things were happening all around them. He was telling them that a mother can't forget her nursing child. Those of you who are mothers understand the discomfort of skipping a feeding - you ain't gonna forget that child! But God goes on to say - but if that were possible, I would not forget you! (NLT)  What a great reminder that no matter how good or bad life gets, how difficult the day-t

Why do I Wait?

  This morning I felt things starting to pile up on me. I'm sure you know those types of mornings, right? Or maybe it's evenings, or afternoons, or anything in between. The duties of the day seemed to be coming for me before I ever got started. After not sleeping well, I woke up tired and just didn't feel like taking on another day. But like all my fellow caregivers, I stood up and stared this day in the face without backing down. Finally, I had an intelligent thought emerging from the emotional wreckage. I began to pray. I told God exactly how I felt, how heavy the load was, and that I wanted to just give up. I must admit that my prayers were birthed from sheer frustration, but nonetheless, in a few minutes, the funniest thing began to happen... My day started feeling lighter. Worry seemed to disappear and my heart and mind had order again. As I began to feel better, I wondered why I wait until I am at my wit's end to give it all to Him. Why do I wait until I can't

3-Fold Strand of Grace

 I found myself in Nahum 1:7 this morning during my personal devotions. I talked mostly about the last portion of the verse in my Facebook Live devotions (Peace Out!) and I'll share that video below. But the more I thought about this little verse in one of the smallest books of the Bible, the more it exploded inside me! The verse simply says The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who trust in Him. ( NKJV) The little verse is nestled right smack dab in the middle of Nahum the prophet's declaration of God's vengeance on His enemies. Thankfully, we are believers and Jesus' blood covers us so we are saved from His wrath!  Here Nahum is declaring the justice of God against evil and yet we find a 3-fold strand of grace. Strand 1. The Lord is Good. God is good, and His goodness doesn't fluctuate. He is good when things go our way and everything is smooth. But He is just as good when things are not going our way and we find ourselves in dif

Time for a Trim?

  This morning, I was tending to my plants out on my front patio. I always go out in the mornings to move them around so they get optimal sunshine, and I water them. I noticed they had some dead leaves and stems, so I grabbed my scissors and started cutting away. When I finished, I stepped back and thought man, they look so fresh and pretty now! I thought of the scripture where Jesus says that the master gardener prunes the branches so the plant bears more fruit. (John 15) As I gathered the dead bits and pieces I'd cut away, I wondered what things God might want to take out of my life - so that I can be more fruitful for His Kingdom. While I am very willing - I am also a bit hesitant. As caregivers, we often feel such a sense of loss it's hard to cope with the extra knocks of life. Early on in my caregiving years, I discovered this after I'd racked up a large amount of credit card debt. Once I realized I was buying anything and everything I had an unction for to try and mak


  Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling like you have an extra 9 million things to do on top of the regular 9 million things you do every day anyway? As if caregiving wasn't enough for a day, right? It's easy to feel like we are pulling in so many directions. And, of course, there'll be someone standing off in the distance reminding us to take time for yourself - the caregiver needs care too.   Smh. We sure do - but when? Am I right? It can be so easy to feel overwhelmed. It's an overwhelm that doesn't go away while you're sleeping at night. It just sits there waiting until you get up, then boom. I think it never really goes away on most days. However, there are a few brief reprieves here and there.  Does it ever feel like there are many things vying for your attention? The internet. My clients. My phone. Another text. eMails. Sometimes, even the things we use to cope and get through our days play into our emotional overwhelm.  But there's this one scri