Hidden Crevices

Eli walking beside Chris' chair on a paved trail at Draper Lake in OKC

 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 know we can relate to that.) He has lost all of his children. He lost all of his riches. His health is gone. He has three troublesome friends and a nagging wife left. In Job 6:1, he says this: Oh, that my grief were fully weighed, and my calamity laid with it on the scales! (NKJV) He wasn't afraid to put it all out there before God and his friends. His grief was great. 

I think grief is a part of caregiving. We grieve over the person our parent was. Or we grieve over what was to never be. Or maybe we grieve over what was and is now lost forever. And that grief - weighs a LOT! 

If we skip on down to verse 10 in Job's discourse, we'll see that he says, ...I have not concealed the words of the Holy One. I think that is our key - we must continue to keep God's word in our hearts and mouths. We must keep speaking His peace over our hearts and lives. Our words should be shaped by His words. He loves us - and we can never let that go. Otherwise, we will lose heart. May we remind ourselves today that God protects our hearts and keeps our minds. Our part is to keep our minds on Him and give Him our hearts - even those hidden crevices of grief that we don't want anyone else to see.

Today, I'll remind myself that God has me. He's watching over my heart, and He's got my soul tucked away in His own heart. I will trust Him with today, no matter what it brings. Will you join me?



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31 Days in Psalm 31 devotional book cover


Check out my bookstores. I have eBook devotionals, Bible study guides, poetry, and more in my Dove's Fire Ministries bookstore. My Amazon bookshelf has a couple of those in print or on Kindle.



Raw and Real

Chris in the standing frame out on the front patio

 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 one of the many low points of his life. He could have wallowed in self-pity and sorrow, but instead, it says David encouraged himself in the Lord. And you know what? Absolutely nothing changed - at first. But maybe David was what changed in the process.

I wondered how he did it. What did David say, think, or do? What real actions did he take when his emotions were raw and real? Sometimes, I wish these types of passages gave us a few more details. But then, we would make some pattern out of it and fail to experience the relationship, right? 

Since I didn't know quite where David started, I just started where I was. (That's a novel thought.) I reminded myself of the words God spoke to Paul when he was discouraged. Paul asked three times for God to rescue him out of his distress. But God's answer was My grace is enough. And that's where I started. I reminded myself that God's grace was enough for one more day - today. He didn't unplug it overnight. It didn't run out or expire. No matter what today brings - His grace is still enough for my today.

I began to thank Him for grace enough. I thanked God that He gave us peace and didn't take it back. I still have everything I need for life and godliness through a relationship with Christ. (2 Peter 1:3) And the funniest thing happened. I was okay. I still don't know what this day will bring - how it will turn out. But I do know that God has not left me to walk it alone. 

Today, I'll remind myself to be gentle with others while my emotions are raw and real. I will meditate God's patience with me, His grace toward me, and His peace inside me. As I turn my concerns into prayers of thanksgiving, I'll let Him lighten my load today and I'll take His peace instead. Will you join me?


                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.


But It Feels So Real!

 

chris seeming to enjoy being outside

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 whole letter encouraging the Philippians while he himself was sitting in a prison cell. Maybe he was just telling them the things he needed to hear to keep going. (Lol - I do that a lot!)

We may feel alone - but God is with us. We may feel weak - but God fills us with His strength. We can feel like failures - but God always leads us to victory. He doesn't disqualify anyone from His blessings, peace, guidance, strength, compassion, love, or grace because of circumstances. He just bids us to come and find rest for our souls. Even if our bodies feel tired and worn out, He pours His strength into our souls and revives us. Just about the time we feel like we can't keep going - He'll grab hold of our hand and pull us close to His heart, where our strength, joy, and outlook are all renewed in an instant. 

Today, I plan on leaning into Him just a little more closely while I trust Him to carry me. I'll remind myself that God loves me and I am His - so I should be kind to myself. :-) My meditations will be on waiting on Him for His strength and relying on Him to carry me through this long day. I'll remind myself that He's done it time and time again and today is NOT the day He's going to stop being my strength, joy, comfort, or peace. I'll trust Him for one more day - will you join me?



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 out my work responsibilities and caregiving tasks for the day. I really wanted to justify watching my football games this afternoon. (smile) I thought, man, my thoughts are running crazy this morning as I sipped my coffee. Then I thought, there's a scripture for that! 

Sure enough, I looked it up and found it in Psalm 94:19. I remember the old KJV saying, in the multitude of my thoughts but newer translations use anxieties (NKJV) and doubts (NLT). So, I looked it up in the handy dandy Strong's Concordance. It literally means thoughts. A lot of thoughts don't mean we are doubting, anxious, or worrying about things. We're just thinking them through! But in the middle of those thoughts - God brings comfort, hope, and peace. He waits for our energizer bunny mind to stop or slow down for a minute, then He extends His grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

He's not afraid of my multitude of thoughts - whether they are founded in fear, doubt, or just having too much on my plate. Remember, Jesus walked right out into the storm to His disciples. He didn't wait for the storm to pass. We don't "need" peace after the storm; we need His peace, grace, mercy, hope, and comfort to make it through the storms.

Today, I'll remind myself that God is not too scared of my thoughts to hang out with me. I'll think about how He stays... and stays, and stays with me - no matter what. I'll be thankful that my crazy thoughts and cave-like life isn't too much for Him to handle. In fact, He reaches in - when I reach my end, and He brings me out of the fog. I'll turn my thoughts today away from the craziness of caregiving and to His grace and peace. Will you join me?



_________________________________________________________

31 Days in Psalm 31 devotional book cover


Check out my bookstores. I have eBook devotionals, Bible study guides, poetry, and more in my Dove's Fire Ministries bookstore. My Amazon bookshelf has a couple of those in print or on Kindle.



The Help

Chris looking at himself in the mirror

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 passage, right?

God is reaffirming that He's got everything under control and that He is stepping in to help His kids. That's saying a lot because, for many caregivers, there is little to no help. Some of us work pretty much 24/7 without relief. Hiring help to sit with our loved ones or to help with chores around the house is sometimes out of reach. Even ordering groceries and necessities through today's apps (which are wonderful!) gets expensive. Physical help is something most of us are short on. But spiritually, we have all the help we need.

As I continue reading in this 41st chapter of Isaiah, God repeats several things to His children. It's comforting to know that He knows where our hearts are and speaks to that. Here are a few of this chapter's repeats:

  • Fear not
  • I am with you
  • I will hold your right hand
  • I will help you
He sees that His children were afraid. He sees they felt alone. He sees that they needed to be lifted up. He sees they need help. He sees us. He feels us. He gets us.

Today, I will continue to remind myself that when it seems no one else gets me - God does. I'll remind myself that He sees all the frustration, the grief, the torment, and the load we carry as caregivers. And He extends His hand toward us. I'll listen for Him to whisper I will help you to my soul today. Will you join me?



                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.


Hectic Mornings

 

Chris buckled in the van

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 Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths. (NLT)

You know what stood out to me today? The very last word. "Paths." It's plural. I've never noticed that before even though I've probably read and quoted this verse hundreds of times. Paths - not path. As caregivers, we can be on many paths. We are mothers or fathers, sisters or brothers, a sibling, an aunt or uncle. We wear many hats and not just our mornings are hectic, our whole lives can be hectic. But He directs each path we are on. 

He doesn't skip over our caregiving status and only care for the parent or child part of us. God knows we are human and there are many areas we deal with daily. He doesn't isolate one area to care for and leave the rest of them to us. Also, He doesn't watch over all the areas of our lives, except one that He won't touch. He'll direct every path we are on in our lives. We just have to listen and lean in to Him for that direction.

Today, I'll remind myself that He is on every single path with me. I'm not alone. You're not alone. We may share the caregiving path with each other, but God shares every path with you and every path with me. He's got us covered no matter how hectic, chaotic, or otherwise stressful it seems. I will trust His leadership in my life today and as I recognize a path in my life (finances, relationships, work), I'll wait for His direction before I step. Why? He's smarter than me. So, I know I can trust Him for one more day - will you join me?



                                                                                                                                           


If you enjoy these devotionals, I have others! I've expanded my bookstore on Amazon. My devotionals are available in Kindle or print format. The new Bible study guides are now available on Kindle and in print! Check out my growing bookstore: 

I also recently opened my own bookstore. I'm presently filling it up with my books - check out the ones I have available in eBook format. You can download them and read them on your phone! Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore.

 

 

 

 

If They Knew

chris in his batman hat

 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 around wherever we moved in the hospital. What a blessing. That's the guitar and the Psalm! :-)

I can read and quote that my help comes from God. But so far, He hasn't stepped in to do laundry, clean house, turn Chris, or take out the garbage in the snow. lol. While all that kind of help would be very welcomed and appreciated, His help goes much deeper than physical tasks. He touches and helps that part of us that no one sees.

People often compliment caregivers by telling them they are "so strong." If they knew that I still cry myself to sleep now and then or that I wake up as tired as I was when I went to bed, they might think otherwise. If "they" knew that we often push through extreme fatigue and caregiver burnout to take care of our daily caregiving duties, they might not think we were so strong.

If "they" knew there are days when I just want to sit, stare at the wall, and drink coffee, they might think otherwise. I'd love to binge-watch something - what's on these days? Things don't get done if we don't do them, right? So we push through our own fatigue, mental tiredness, and brain fog to make sure our loved ones are cared for. If they only knew, our smile often masks a broken heart, our laughter holds back tears, and our silence is because we are just out of words. Maybe "they" would think differently.

But in the middle of the trouble - our God continues to be our help. He sends in the troops of angels to make sure we do make it one more day - one day at a time. One thing I have learned on this caregiving journey is what it feels like to have God carry me. When I literally cannot do it myself, there He is to uplift my soul and encourage my heart to keep beating one more beat. One more step. One more day. 

My plan for today is to lean into Him just a little closer and let His peace overtake my soul. I'll remind myself of the promises in Psalm 121.

  • He is my help. (v.2)
  • He will not let me fall. (v.3)
  • He will watch over me without sleeping. (v.3)
  • He stands beside me as my protective shade. (v.4)
  • He keeps me from evil. (v.7)
  • He preserves my life. (v.7)
  • He keeps watch over me as I come and go. (v.8)
Today, I'll trust God is watching over my heart and soul. I'll remind myself that He sees it all, every thought, every emotion, every move. I'll trust Him today to gather my tears, calm my fears, and strengthen my heart. I will think about how He has me covered and surrounded by His grace and His grace is enough to sustain me today. So, I will choose to trust Him for one more day - will you join me?

Digging Deep

me helping chris stand

 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 most productive paths. I asked Him to help me. Well, it wasn't long until I was up and going and before I knew it, I had Chris bolused, my breakfast eaten and a second cup of coffee in hand. Here I sit. Feeling like the day is falling into place around me. Wow. How does God do that? 

Somehow, when we roll our cares over on Him (that's scriptural - 1 Peter 5:7) the things that matter begin to align. But I had to dig deep to get there. You know what I mean? There are times when I run to Him and I'm like - okay God, here's all my stuff - help me sort it out! Then there are other times when I try to sort and sort to no avail. Finally, I have the grand idea to take it all to Him. Lol. Anyone relate?

You know what the coolest part is? It doesn't matter if I run to Him as soon as something crosses my mind or emotions, or I wait until I am crushed under the load. God always answers. He fills me up so I can make another day. His peace overwhelms my overwhelmed heart. It's almost like He pushes a button that turns overwhelm off - just so I can think, and breathe.

Today, I will continue to remind myself to roll all my cares over to Him - even if it means digging deep into my soul. And even if it means doing it over and over again until it sticks. I'll let Him care for me (be my caregiver) today. And I'll trust His loving, patient care for one more day. Will you join me?


                                                                                                                                                                

This Journey We're On

Chris in his standing frame outside

 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 about you - but He's done it over and over and over again for me.

What's even more amazing to me is that even when I feel on the brink of despair and I really want to throw in the proverbial towel, He somehow steps in and rights all my wrong thoughts and emotions. Our journeys are all different, but God has handled us all with grace, mercy, and His unending love. I remember the day I realized that absolutely nothing in the Kingdom of God changed when my son's friend pulled out in front of that truck on November 8, 2008. Not one iota of anything God had ever said, not one word in the Bible got dropped because my world was ripped out from under me. And that was where I began the journey to redefining and rebuilding faith.

We've all had many losses on the caregiving journey, but God wasn't one of them. We can feel alone, forgotten, abandoned, and even left for dead (so to speak). But when we gather the strength to look up, we will see Him with His outstretched hand, ready to pull us in for a soul-embrace we'll never forget.

Today, I'll turn my thoughts from my journey to His constant care. My meditations will be shifted to His grace that is sufficient for today, and it is given specifically to "help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16) I'll remind myself of those days I know He carried me when my strength was gone. I'll just lean into Him a little more this morning, hoping to get close enough to hear His heart still beating for me. Will you join me?


eBook cover for 101 Gift Ideas for Caregivers

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The Abandoned Soul

chris in the recliner looking back at mom

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 leaves us crippled emotionally and drained physically. He looks at us with so much love and compassion and says, she (or he) is still mine. People may walk in and out of our lives, but God continues to tend to our abandoned souls.

I know you understand how complicated emotions, living grief, and crazy thoughts can be! And God sees each and every one, and still chooses to stick around! He knows who we were BC (before caregiving). He really does get us. Those crazy emotions and unbridled thoughts don't scare Him away for even one second. Instead, He gently swoops up each tear before it escapes and treasures it - as if it is a silent plea for help. He quietly and carefully tends to the abandoned soul bringing peace, comfort, direction, grace, and love. 

Today, I will remind myself that He can carry it all for me. I'll roll every concern, no matter how big or how small, over into His lap. I'll let God take care of them for me today; I have a lot to do anyway! :-)
My thoughts will be on how His grace is sufficient for this day - and I will refuse to worry about tomorrow as I trust Him for just one more day - will you join me?



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Book cover of poems for caregivers

It's Complicated

chris enjoying being outside

 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 human, after all. It's complicated being a human.

Yet, we tend to condemn ourselves if we can't get everything in. You know what? God's not sitting up in the heavens on His golden throne holding a golden timer to see how long we read our Bibles or devotions this morning. His promises don't end if we don't read enough or pray enough by man's standards. How much would be enough anyway? He's not turning us away with our unanswered requests because we didn't pray or study for an allotted time this morning. He gets us. Even God knows life is complicated.

I am a Word person, and I do lessons on how to study the Bible. I wrote a whole devotional to help people create the habit of daily Bible reading. But our promises don't expire if we hit the ground running in the morning and there isn't any time to carve out. God won't tell us to come back later after we've read 3 chapters or prayed 5 minutes. Lol. He just bids us to come and bring our complicated, messy lives with us. Then, He gives us peace. He reminds us that His grace is enough to carry us through. He doesn't have a limit on how much He can handle - because He can handle it all, from what seems tiny and insignificant to one person to the biggest, baddest, hardest details of our complicated lives! He wants it all. He'll trade us His peace for our worries and concerns. Every.Single.Time.

Today, I will rest in His promises and trust that He knows how to navigate the crazy emotions and thoughts I work through each day. I'll trust that His peace can wiggle right through all the worries, pains, griefs, and struggles of my day. And I'll shift my focus off all the complicated messiness, and toward His peace that passes understanding. I will take a deep breath and trust Him for one more crazy day! Will you join me?

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 this verse over in my mind a few times, I looked back up and read the preceding verses. Isaiah is talking about how a farmer plows, then he stops plowing so he can sew seed. But then he stops planting seeds to wait for the harvest. After he harvests and processes his crop, the farmer starts all over again. The process does not include just plowing over and over again. It's not just sewing seeds. It's not just harvesting. To complete the process, the farmer does these actions repeatedly, but he doesn't just do one of them all the time.

I thought about the seasons of life and, specifically, caregiving. It's definitely doing the same things over and over again every day. Oh sure, there are certain aspects of the day that can be different and lots of surprises along the way - like lost supplies or emergency hospital visits. But we kind of do the same things over and over in a broad sense. In the midst of the mundane and not-so-mundane - God provides His wisdom. His counsel and guidance lead us each day as we lean in to trust Him. 

I love that He didn't abandon us when we became caregivers. He didn't unplug His grace or take back His promises. Instead, the great Caregiver of our souls extends more grace and mercy to carry us on this road. He never wrings His hands and tells us He hasn't got a clue what to do. His counsel is still wonderful, and His guidance is still excellent, no matter where we are in the caregiving processes.

Today, I'll remind myself that He has wisdom for the caregiver. My prayer will be that I can handle each situation through His wisdom and counsel instead of trying to forge ahead in my own strength. I will purpose to quiet my heart and soul today, so I can hear what He has to say, as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?


                                                                                                                                                                

Emotionally Stranded

  I was up late last night - and it wasn't to study my Bible. Lol. I was watching a dumb show. But each episode ended with things up in ...