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Showing posts from November, 2022

Hidden Crevices

 Over the last week, as I cared for my son, I've thought about several things. Taking care of another whole person means getting to know them in more intimate ways than you could have ever imagined. Some pleasant, some not-so-pleasant ways. As I tended to Chris, I thought about how God tends to me. Of course, there are some things I'd rather not have to do - those unmentionables. But they must be done in order to provide proper care. I wonder if God minds getting intimate with the parts of our hearts that no one else will ever see. As I care for my son's broken body, it brings up compassion I didn't even know about. It had been lying dormant in my emotions and was spurred only by caregiving. I've learned more about patience, growth, and love than I ever imagined possible. And all of those have led me to a deeper understanding of how God cares for us. This morning, in my devotions, I found myself in Job 6. Job is in the middle of the darkest night of his soul. (I kno

Raw and Real

 You know how raw and real you feel after not sleeping for three nights in a row? Yeah, I know many of you do! I'm sorry we understand one another and relate to some of the tougher issues caregivers face. Here it is, nearly Thanksgiving, and we're supposed  to be thankful. But wait - aren't we supposed to be thankful every day? Or has giving thanks become a day on our calendar?  I've been mostly up since 4 this morning, and it's looking like a long day ahead. But as I sat there watching my son's labored breathing, a lot of thoughts started going through my mind. Honestly, I wanted to have a pity party. I wanted to cancel my FaceBook live devotion "Peace Out" - because, for just a minute, I thought peace was missing. That's an easy thing to miss when emotions are raw and real in the moment. As I was contemplating how this day may roll out, wondering if we'd be headed to the hospital again or not, I pulled a David. In 1 Samuel 30, David was at on

But It Feels So Real!

  Last night was one of those long ones caregivers dread. Not only was I up with my son through the night, but I also wasn't feeling well either. Those nights and long days can also make us feel like there is no end in sight. Now that I am up and going (because I have no other choice, right?), I feel pretty good. Just a little tired, but I'm pretty sure I'm not going to die. Lol. During those long nights, we often feel so alone, so lost, so confused, and frustrated. There's a whole range of emotions that can run the gamut while you're up all night seeing to your loved one. Those long nights are often followed by days of exhaustion, concern, and wondering what's next. Tiredness lends itself to feelings of despair. And I'll be the first to tell you that it's a lot to try and fight off. But we do it over and over again. Am I right? This morning I spent my whole devotion in Philippians. I did my FaceBook Live about it too. (See video below!) Paul spent the w

Energizer Bunnies

  There's no doubt that caregiver burnout is real. But what are we supposed to do about it? I've read many posts about how to prevent it and how detrimental it can be. One of the best ways to avoid it is to take a break. To which I reply, yeah, right. Not only are many of us unable to take a break, but we are also on go 24/7. We don't get paid days off, no PTO, or paid leave. Vacation isn't even in our vocabularies. Right? We may get tired, worn out, worn down, fatigued, exhausted, and burned out - but we just keep going. Like the energizer bunny - we keep going and going and going, even to our own detriment sometimes. Most of the time, it's because we really don't have any other choice. Other times, we simply become comfortable with our discomfort. One morning, I woke up and wondered just how long it had been since I'd had a shower. That's when it's time to worry. Lol. All these thoughts, and many more, were running through my head. I was sorting o

The Help

I've spent a lot of time in Psalm 121 since the day it became my anchor while living in the ICU waiting room all those years ago. It was then that I realized the nurses and doctors were great - and doing a wonderful job, but they were not my help. I understood the only "help" I would get would be from the One who could sustain my soul.  This morning, I was reading Isaiah 41, and three times, God said through the prophet, I will help you. Three times is a good sign if you're into the numbers of things. Each time God promised to help - He prefaced it with Fear not. As I was reading, I thought, who is this talking to? Is it applicable to me? So I looked at where the discourse started in verse 8. God's speaking through the prophet Isaiah to His children. He calls out the Children of Israel, the descendants of Abraham. And there you go - that's us! We are the spiritual descendants of Abraham by faith. (Galatians 3:26-29) That gives me a free license to claim this p

Hectic Mornings

  First thing this morning, I dropped and broke my favorite coffee mug. Not a good start. Lol. I got it cleaned up, started the rug in the washer and grabbed a second favorite cup for my first cup of coffee. I sat and contemplated crying, but it wouldn't put my beloved cup back together. Wouldn't it be great if tears fixed things? I'll run that idea past God to see what He thinks. I have great ideas from time to time and I don't know why He doesn't jump on them! (Wink, wink!) I had already slept in a little, which was welcome since I don't seem to get good sleep much anymore. But it set my morning routine into chaos, and I'm still running behind. I need to get up earlier, but I've been working later at night to try and make the proverbial ends meet. I'm pretty sure I'd love a day to just sit in the recliner and sip tea and try to see air move. Or maybe a day out in the woods would do me good. Then, I think of this familiar verse. Trust in the Lor

If They Knew

 Overall, I think I'm a pretty positive person. I try to find something good in every situation. But some mornings, I'm just too tired. Caregivers can bring a whole new meaning to an entirely new level of tired. Am I right? If I'm honest, there are mornings when I get up, and I just don't want to do a FaceBook live devotion for everyone else. I really don't want to write this blog sometimes. Lol. I'll admit that most of the time, when I push through in an attempt to encourage others, I find encouragement for myself as well. Caregiving is very rewarding, but it can wear you out! Many times we don't have physical help, either. I can say, it's a good thing our help comes from the Lord! Psalm 121 has been a source of encouragement for me since I read it in the ICU waiting room during my 3-week stay. I lived there. I wrote a song out of Psalm 121 because my son's friend knew I was a musician, and he loaned me one of his old guitars. I lugged that thing ar

Digging Deep

  I don't want to get up. That was what was running through my mind this morning. My morning routine is to get up and make coffee. While the coffee is making, it's the perfect time to change Chris, turn him in the bed, and give him a little water in his tube to start the day. Then, I grab my coffee and my Bible and go sit up in my bed. By the time I finish my coffee and devotions, it's time to hit the ground running. But this morning, I  just didn't want to. But then I remembered, oh yeah, I have to do everything.  Ever felt that way? Sometimes, my biggest struggle is between taking care of Chris and getting all his stretches, standing, dressing, feeding, etc., in for a day - and trying to get work done for my clients. It can be draining and I always feel like I have to choose one or the other. This morning, it was just too much. So, I sipped some more coffee and prayed. (That's a novel idea!) I asked God for wisdom on all sides. I asked Him to guide me into the mos

This Journey We're On

 Sometimes, it can be good to take some time to reflect on our journey. This week marks the 14th year since my son's tragic wreck. I try to fight back the memories of the nightmare that unfolded over those first few days, weeks, and months, but they tend to flow freely. As the memories play like a slide show in my head, I look for all the gentle reminders that God is on the journey too. The chaplain at Shreveport hospital who took time to encourage me and pray for us day after day, the nursing home that actually let me stay in the room with him for the six months he was there, and countless other ways God has provided for us and shown He was in the mix. Even though our caregiving journeys are different, God is the common thread that runs through them all. We could probably share stories for hours about times we thought we'd "lose it." But in those midnight hours of the soul, somehow, God was able to reach past our circumstances to rescue our hearts. I don't know a

The Abandoned Soul

Does it ever feel like everyone has abandoned you? It seems that they adjust to your new caregiving "normal" and then just go on with their lives, and you are not a part of it. Sometimes, not often, I get a little help, but I feel like my son was abandoned. His friends all got to go on with their lives - and they should have, but he's left alone and only dances through their memories from time to time. These are some of the things running through my mind yesterday as we met with yet another therapist who doesn't see my son as worth their time. I should be used to it by now, right? In those moments, I feel abandoned and weak. As I was driving away, tears filling my eyes, I glanced at him through the rearview mirror. I thought he's still my son. He doesn't look, act, or move like he used to, and I miss that! But he's still in there, and I refuse to give up. In that moment, it was like I got a sense that God looks at us that way sometimes too. When life leave

It's Complicated

 Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Lol - who am I kidding? Maybe a better question would be if you ever have a moment when you don't feel overwhelmed. There are so many elements to caregiving, it's easy to be swept away just trying to organize them. Sometimes, it can feel like there's not even room to breathe. Even now, as I am typing up this devotion, the nurse calls with questions. Lol. There's no end - and it is complicated. Here's the good news, we don't have to figure everything out. At some point, we'll have to be content and realize some questions won't ever have an answer. We have to stay focused on our day-to-days, right? Dressing, feeding, transferring, standing, and bathing are just a few of our duties. Then, there are doctor appointments, therapy visits, and tons of other surprises. And don't forget to read your Bible every day. Sigh. Why do we feel like a failure when we can't get every single thing in every single day? We are still huma

Seasons Are Temporary

  This morning, I found myself reading in Isaiah 28. I ended up there because I was looking for something in particular, and even though I didn't find what I was looking for, I found what I needed. God's so cool like that, isn't He? My eyes first fell on verse 29, which says in the NKJ: This also comes from the Lord of hosts, Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. I rolled that over in my mind and heart a few times and spent a few minutes thinking about how I'd seen His counsel in action in my own life. We've all had those times when we weren't sure what to do or where to go, and suddenly, an idea drops into our thoughts. There are many ways He provides direction for us. He may direct our steps through a passage of scripture, a trusted spiritual leader such as a pastor, a YouTube teacher, and maybe even a lowly blog writer. Lol. No matter how He chooses to deliver His counsel, it comes - but we must listen. After I had rolled these thoughts and t