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Showing posts from February, 2023

Waters of Caregiving

 I think about Isaiah 43 a lot. It's where God is promising that He will be with us through fires and floods. Not only is He with us - but He carries us through and brings us out! I liken the waters to the many aspects of caregiving. It can be so easy to be swept away in the "waters" of caregiving. We can find comfort and grace just in knowing that He doesn't abandon us to our very full days. Instead, He walks (or swims) through them with us! So, this morning, I found this verse in Psalm 18. In verse 16, David says, He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. (NKJV) I kind of pictured myself as a drowned rat being fished out of rapidly running water. Lol. I know; my imagination is on overdrive sometimes!  I began meditating on this verse and how He "drew me out" - That would mean that He didn't allow the waters to overtake me or to suck me under the violent flow. It would also mean that the flow of the waters no longer had control over

Midnights & Mornings

 Last night was one of those longer nights. The good thing was that there wasn't anything seriously wrong, but my son didn't sleep well and fussed a lot. It's just a little cough and some sinus stuff, thankfully. But it's those long nights that can get to us as caregivers - as if the daytime wasn't enough, right? When we get up in the morning after a long night, it makes for a longer day too. For many of us, it's far too frequent. So this morning, as I found myself reading through Psalm 63, I found a little comfort in the fact that David had some late nights, long nights, and early mornings too! I wonder if it's wrong to enjoy realizing someone else had it tough too. Lol. Let's dive into this short psalm. The subtitle lets us know that David was in the wilderness. He didn't have the comforts of home. Basically, he was camping, which can be fun if you're not being chased by the king's army. In verse 1, David says early will I seek You! I think

Just Dust

  I went in my son's room this morning to turn some music on for him. As I looked at his shriveled hands, withdrawn arms, and motionless legs, I thought about how much I love him even in his "broken" state. My life revolves around him, quite literally. My thoughts quickly moved to God and His love for us - even in our "broken" states. Maybe our lives are far less than what the norm would call "perfect." But God loves us - right where we are and just how we are. I picture my crippled soul continuing to look for and seek Him. And in my imagination - I see His heart well pleased. Psalm 103:13-14 says,  The Lord is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him. For  He understands  how weak we are;  He knows  we are only dust.  (NLT) Today, I'm just overwhelmed by His tender mercies. He sees my brokenness, my pain, and the tears I hide from everyone else. He sees the tears I refuse to let go of, and He just can't hel

Can't Deny or Explain!

 We have all been through many trials in our lives. We are either going through something, just coming out of something, or are headed right into a new "something." As caregivers, we live in a trial. It's not that caregiving isn't beautiful, because it is. But it's also trying, rigorous, and tiring. It's an always-on thing - many of us don't get breaks at all. Personally, I have to pay a sitter to get a break, and quite honestly, I can't afford what I need. Lol.  But here's the thing. No matter how difficult or easy a day may be - God walks through it with us. He never packs it all up and says, "I'm outa here." I'm crazy enough; I wouldn't blame Him if He did! Lol. His mercy can reach into those long, dark nights as well as sustain us through difficult days. There's no way for an honest person to deny His faithfulness, His mercy, His sustaining grace, and His ever-abiding presence. But that doesn't mean we can explain

The Practical Side of Caregiving

 This week, I've been reading the book of Acts. I am enjoying the journey of the early church. Can you imagine what it would be like if your church saw 5000 people saved in a day? Mass chaos would ensue as leadership tried to figure out how to serve that many people! It'd be great and difficult at the same time - kind of like caregiving. Lol. But yesterday, I got stuck in Acts 9 thinking about a practical caregiving issue. In verse 32, we read that Peter was traveling around and encouraging all the new believers. He came to the town of Lydda. Verse 33 says in the NLT, There he (Peter) met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. Now, the next verses talk about how Peter proclaimed healing, and the man just got up! That's so amazing. But my brain got stuck on some of the practical parts. Aeneas was paralyzed and bedridden. My mind compared the situation to my son, of course, even though he's not "paralyzed." I started wondering

Piece by Piece

 The road to caregiving looks different for each caregiver. For some, it involves watching an elderly loved one slowly slip into dementia. For others, it involved a frantic call in the middle of the night. No matter how we got "here," our world can feel fractured and anything but whole. Our BC (before caregiving) lives get left far behind, and many times we struggle to keep it together mentally and emotionally. It takes its toll. But then there is the coolest thing. God's not afraid of our brokenness. He's not afraid to work with every little piece. In my mind's eye, I see my life shattered and scattered all over the floor (at least the life I used to know). But God picks up each piece and holds it close as He carefully looks at it. I imagine Him thinking, Oh, I know where this piece goes. And He begins to put the puzzle together piece by piece. Turns out that it's my heart. I've been trying to "work the puzzle" without a view of what the final p

Some Things Never Change

 This afternoon, I was working through a bunch of emotional stuff. You'd think by 62 years of age, I'd have a few more things figured out. But here I am, sorting through the same ole stuff again and again. As caregivers, we deal with so many things that seem somewhat cyclical - loneliness, fear, overwhelm.... fill in the blank. I thought to myself, some things never change.  Usually, when we use or hear this phrase, it's referring to something somewhat negative. Many times, I've witnessed the shaking of the head as someone says  some things never change.  But after I heard that thought run through my brain, I erased the negative connotation immediately. Perhaps it's true that some of the day-to-days of caregiving don't get much better; maybe they don't change at all. But I began to run through quite an extensive list of some things that never change - and it's a good thing. I started with grace. God's grace never changes. It hasn't changed one io

Back to Basics Again

 I'm sorry for my absence; my son and I have both had Covid - and that included a nearly week-long stay in the hospital for him. That was "fun." Lol. But I think we are finally on the mend. You know, there isn't anything but adversity that can test our faith. Struggles have a way of forcing us into self-evaluation mode. At least, that's the effect they have on me. I start trying to figure out what is working and what's not working. My hope is that after each struggle (for there are many), I can emerge stronger and smarter, as well as with my faith intact. Isn't that what our Bible heroes did? I love reading the stories of how they overcame their struggles to fight through and continue trusting God. As caregivers, we do the same thing. We have enough "troubles for each day," as Jesus said. No one is going to argue with that! Then extra adversity on top of our caregiving can try to topple our faith. We've lived through some long, hard nights a