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Showing posts from October, 2022

Ups and Downs

  Maybe it's just "that time of year" for me, but I've struggled a lot the last few weeks. I still affectionately  call it the caregiver's fog. Lol. Okay, maybe it's not-so-affectionately. I know I can share my true feelings with you guys because you get it. You understand the day-to-day grind of caregiving. The military has a saying about there being no easy day. I think we live in that reality. It's just not easy caring for another whole person, is it? Caregiving presents many difficulties. We can find ourselves alone, so very alone on this journey. It doesn't just go away. We don't just work through it. It seems to go on and on. There are lots of ups and downs - and that can be about every 90 seconds some days. Right? (smile!) As I've been working through this emotional maze the last few days, I turned my thoughts to Daniel. Let's take a realistic look at his circumstances because as we read his story in the Bible, we tend to glamorize i

True Coordinates

  Do you ever just feel like you got lost in life's shuffle? Everything, even non-caregiving stuff, can seem overwhelming at times. But we can't lay aside our caregiver responsibilities just to take care of other life needs. There's no "off" button for caregiving. Even if we get a break for a couple of hours or a day or two, we are so connected to our phones we can't relax. (Maybe it's just me.) On a daily basis, there are just so many things to take care of, and it seems like there are more of them all the time. I'm pretty sure that's just my imagination, but I'm not totally convinced! Lol. Life just goes on, whether we agree to it or not. And our proverbial plates just seem to get piled higher and higher. It's easy to wonder if God lost sight of us. In our hearts, we know  by faith that He sees all and knows all, right? But emotionally, it can sure feel like He doesn't see. Occasionally, I emerge out of the caregiver's fog and rem

Tidying Up the Cave

  Do you ever just feel alone? Social isolation is real for caregivers. Now that we are mostly post-pandemic and things are going back to something like normal, it reminds us that our lives are anything but normal. I've started taking Chris out more - mostly for stimulation. He acts differently when we are out - I think he's bored with our little 2-bedroom apartment. Lol. And while getting out is so good for both of us, pushing his chair around social settings and outings just serves to remind me how different we are. Most people have no idea what caregivers deal with on a daily basis. But what's worse is they don't want to get close enough to know. And having no one close is what seems to eat away at us many times. Now, I hope you have plenty of friends and family who are close and keep in touch with you. But sadly, too many caregivers feel stuck alone in their caves. That's where I have been this week. It's okay - I just have to adjust a little, so I don't

The Unnamed

It's easy to get lost in the maze of caregiving, isn't it? Sometimes, we can feel so unseen and non-existent in today's rushed world. Occasionally, we get a nod from a medical professional or someone who at least breathes a tiny bit of life back into us. But for the most part, we are pretty invisible to a world that doesn't know what to do with us. (And that includes the church world.) This morning, I was thinking about the widow and Elijah again. In I Kings 17, we have the story of how the prophet Elijah was pulled off his miracle existence, so God could do a miracle for the widow. She's only called "the widow" and "the woman." We never get her name. Yet she was "given a charge" or appointed by God for a miracle, even though she didn't have a clue. She spent the remainder of the famine with jars full of oil and flour. How did God do that? We have a similar scenario in John 4. Jesus was at the height of His ministry when He decided

Silent Touch

 Have you ever just had one of those days ? You know, I'm pretty sure.  Everything just crashes in on you, and the emotions are thinned out and raw. That's where I found myself yesterday. I was driving Chris to therapy and stopped to literally put gas in the van. It was literally my last $3! I was okay - I knew I had a client who would pay me this morning. So I wasn't worried, but it still hit me hard. As usual, I turned my multitude of thoughts into prayers, and I just let it all hang out. I even shed a few tears, and I don't cry often. I explained to God (like He doesn't know) how tired I am. I was worried about paying for therapy because it was coming out of my pocket. I'm so far behind in work; it's not even funny. I was explaining to God in my prayers how I just don't know what to do, how I'll make it, etc. Can anyone relate? All of a sudden, I was just literally out of words. I had nothing. My emotions and tears were dry, and I just shrugged my

No Dependency

 Do you ever have times in your life when it feels like God's not doing anything at all? You still pray, but it feels like each prayer only goes as far as your breath can carry it. During those seasons, and thank God they are only seasons, it's difficult to find a reason to praise. It seems like God has moved far away, isn't paying attention, or doesn't even care. While we know none of those are true, it's still hard to navigate. That's where faith comes in. Maybe it helps to know you are not alone. The Complete Jewish Bible says in Psalms 77:6-9, will Adonai reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his grace permanently disappeared? Is his word to all generations done away? Has God forgotten to be compassionate? Has he, in anger withheld his mercy? Y'all - that's in the Bible! That means these types of feelings have been around for a very long time; they are not unique to us.  While it provides me with a little bit of comfort to know othe

New Opportunities

  Perspectives are important. Maybe when you were in college or high school, you had to write various papers from different people's points of view. A story can look very different from another person's eyes. Think about the story of the three pigs. Someone wrote the story from the wolf's point of view. It was a funny take on an old tale. But the story looked much different. Our perspective on circumstances often dictates our steps, thoughts, and actions. We talked recently about seeing our giants from God's perspective, where they look much smaller and more manageable than from our own perspectives. If we could just figure out how to see our challenges from His point of view, we'd have more room to praise Him, I think. But no matter what we face and what degree of a challenge we assign it, each one is a new opportunity to trust God. As caregivers, every day can be a challenge, and we never know what's going to come up next. We are trying to manage our own lives

What's God Up To?

  Do you ever feel like you don't have a place to belong? Maybe it's just me - but I often feel like my life sticks out like a sore thumb. It's obvious that my life is different, but most don't get close enough to find out the true details. Now that the pandemic is mostly over, we're trying to get back out some. I'm still avoiding huge indoor crowds, but we are doing a few things, including weekly therapy sessions now. I just feel awkward. And just in case I forget, I've got my beautiful son in his chair to navigate through furnishings, store aisles, and small doorways that say they are "accessible."  I'm pretty sure I'm not alone - but I sure feel like it most days. Can anyone relate? I kinda hope not. But here we are, trying to navigate life. It's complex. It's complicated. It's consuming (body, soul, and spirit). And yet, caregiving is beautiful in its own way. What a wonderful demonstration of God's love toward us. No ma

Turning the Tides

  I know I have shared in recent devotions about how I've been trying to be more thankful. Throughout the days and long nights, too, I purposefully find something to be thankful for. I've been trying to shift my whole mentality over to thankfulness instead of complaining. Honestly, my situation hasn't changed since I started focusing on gratitude instead of attitude, but I have noticed a couple of other things. This morning, during my personal devotions, I found myself in Psalm 34. David, who was in a tough situation with King Abimelech, said, I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth. As I read that verse over two or three times, I wondered, honestly, if it was even possible. Can I really praise God all the time? Can His praises really be in my mouth continually? I was meditating on this phenomenon (tongue-in-cheek there) when I thought of a familiar verse out of Philippians. In the second chapter, verse 14, Paul urges the believers to