I don't think there's one caregiving soul out there who would disagree with me if I said that caregiving is hard. No matter what our situations are, and there's really no way to compare and rank them, being a caregiver presents many challenges. Some days those challenges are spaced out as we've adjusted to our "new normals." Other days, it seems like they stack up one on top of another, and we just sit, watch, and wait for our lives to topple one more time.
Yesterday, I was able to put into practice some things I've been "preaching" on my Facebook Live devotions and here on Daily Devotions for Caregivers. Gratitude is a common topic, and we talk about it a lot. Honestly, some days it is easy to be grateful. Other days when we are scraping our way to survival, it's slightly (tongue in cheek) more difficult to even find something to be grateful for - let alone express it.
But yesterday, I had two moments where gratitude just welled up inside me. I was almost caught completely off guard. I was swimming with my grandkids, and just so thankful for more time with them this summer. Thankful that it literally worked out perfectly that I have them on the days the respite aid comes, so we can walk down to the pool. Secondly, the kids (their parents - yes, I'm old! lol) came and stayed for supper. It was just so nice to sit and have a pleasant conversation and share a meal together. Since I eat most of my meals alone, it was a real treat. Again, gratitude welled up in my heart.
I noticed I felt better - physically and emotionally.
I tried to embrace this gratitude. It felt so good that I didn't want it or the great moment to go away. Somehow, it changed my attitude, my thought patterns, my emotions, and my altitude! It seems to be getting easier to find moments of gratitude in the middle of the long, difficult caregiving days. It's easier because my attitude and perspective changed first.
Today, I will intentionally look for things to thank God for. It may be for 10 extra seconds to breathe before the next timer goes off, or a phone call from a friend, or even 5 minutes to sit and sip my tea uninterrupted. I'm pretty sure that God will meet me there - even if for a few seconds. I'll purposefully look for His peace today since He's already given it to me. I'll embrace gratitude, grace, and His peace and let those reign in my heart no matter what my eyes see or my body feels. I'll be thankful that He continues to walk with me through this thing called "time" and that He carries me as needed. So, I know I can trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?