Showing posts with label change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label change. Show all posts

Another Day

 


Well, the end of 2020 is upon us. What a crazy year. On one hand, it was a little bit funny to watch the rest of the world trying to adjust to the social isolation we've been living in all along. I did feel a little sorry for them. There were so many twists and turns though, it seemed like the world went crazy this year. One thing is for sure - the world has changed.

I know at midnight tonight, when the new year begins, nothing will change in that instant. The pandemic will not just go away. The things we've lost this year will not return and the political scene won't suddenly calm down. However, we will continue providing care for our loved ones. We will simply continue trusting Him for one more day. One day at a time.

Even though the world around us has changed a lot this year in good ways and bad ways - God will not change. He will continue to be merciful, forgiving, and compassionate. His love for us is just as strong today as it was the day Jesus died for us. It will remain. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says three things will remain: faith, hope, love.

There's no way of knowing what changes 2021 may bring. Even if someone had told us in January 2020 how crazy of a year it was going to be we couldn't have comprehended it. lol. This year is going to bring changes too both good and bad I am sure. But we can continue trusting in the things about God that will never change.

Today, as I reflect on this last year and all it has brought and look forward to a new year, I will be thankful for God's continued faithfulness. I will rejoice that He was with each of us every step of 2020 - and this year will be no different. My meditations will be on His love that cannot be changed or diluted by time. He is passionate about us and He'll still be passionate in 2021! On this last day of the year, I will be thankful for another day to trust Him. And I will trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Some Things Never Change

Change is inevitable, whether you are a caregiver or not, it's just a part of life. But for the caregiver, change can be the only constant in our lives. Even though every day can seem like we do the same things over and over again, there's always a new wrench or kink thrown in to disrupt, it seems. Frequently (sometimes daily) I have to stop, take a deep breath, and get a grip before proceeding to make a move or decision of some kind. This weekend I was thinking about how much life changes with caregiving.

There have certainly been some times when I wanted to throw in the proverbial towel - and throw anything else in "there" with it....I am typically very routine and living in a state of constant change not knowing what the next second is going to bring, has been difficult. Period.

But this morning I started thinking of what hasn't changed over the last 8 years. I was reading in Isaiah 61 about rebuilding the ancient ruins, and I thought of how my faith walk had lain in shambles, or at least I had perceived it that way. Ultimately, it was simply being redefined and rebuilt.

My thoughts started running along the lines of how God had never left me during the hottest days of the furnace. Even when my faith was shaken down to its core - He didn't abandon ship and toss me aside. He stayed right there. Even though my whole life changed - He did not. I changed. A lot. But He didn't change one iota.

I came up with a few things that have not changed even in the furnace. These are things that are NEVER going to change no matter what we face - what we do without - what choices we make...somethings never change:

The sun rises and sets every day
Weather patterns continue
Nature still cries out to the glory of God
Babies are born
People die
Rainbows come out after a rain
Floods and droughts still exist
Grass is still green
Plants still grow
The sky is still blue..and has clouds sometimes...

His righteousness still covers my sin
Jesus still died on the cross
I'm still forgiven
I'm still righteous
I'm still hidden in Him 
I'm holy in Him
His Word is still the standard
He is still my provider
He is still ever present

This list could go on and on...and in my high octane Google mind it did! I'm just so thankful today that even though my world was shattered nearly 8 years ago, God did not change. I know we usually shake our heads and say some things never change and it's more of a negative. But today - when I say some things never change - I'm thinking of all the things that are constant, have always been constant and will always be constant! As I took my son out for a run in his racing chair the other night we saw a beautiful sunrise, a wonderful reminder that what God puts in motion - will continue in motion....until HE says.

Today I'm going to meditate on the things that won't change. I'm going to rejoice in the fact that His love, mercy, grace, compassion and care is FOREVER and ever, and ever, and ever.....Rather than grieving over the past and the changes life has brought, I'll turn my thoughts to the power of His righteousness and other attributes that cannot be altered by time. And I will be glad in Him, I'll stay hidden in Him and I will rest in Him and trust Him for one more day... Will you join me?

Behind the Wheelchair

There were a lot of things that changed about my life when I became a caregiver. I used to run on "go" all the time, loved to be in a crowd, and enjoyed hiking, a lot.

The social isolation has been one of the most difficult aspects of caregiving for me. But I didn't really change that much as "me" - I just had to change a lot of what I did. I was still the same person who loved the same things I did before caregiving became my lot in life. I just had to stop many of the things I was doing because something more important needed to be taken care of, my son.

Even though I've always been a very (and I mean very) social and personable person, it's more difficult to develop relationships now for me. I know one reason is that we can't do some of the things others do to build relationships. You know, there's no meeting up for a movie, a cup of coffee or a walk in the park. Even if we do schedule it we have to be willing to drop our plans at the last minute because our loved one is not up to it, they (or we) become sick or any number of crazy things that can happen.

And sometimes it's because people don't see anything past our caregiving. They forget we are a real person behind the wheelchair. Maybe they don't think about getting past the caregiving to the person we are inside, maybe they don't know how. And maybe we don't know how to get out of the box either.

Even though caregiving has brought about many character and lifestyle changes in me, I'm still me. I still like music, I love a good game, I'm all up into sports and I still like my coffee, a good funny movie and my guitar. Sometimes I feel very alone because people don't look past the wheelchair at this person....a caregiver is still a person. It can be a very lonely place.

I'm so thankful that God is intimately acquainted  with me. He knows me inside and out - and he's not afraid of the wheelchair. Psalm 139 gives us a glimpse of how closely He lives to us. He knows my thoughts (cuss words included) and He's not scared away. He feels me and still presses in to be intimately acquainted with me. I love this verse in Exodus 34:14 it says:

You must worship no other gods,
but only the Lord,
For He is a God who is 
passionate about His relationship with you. (NLT)

So even though it feels like those around us don't "push past" who we are and the role we play as caregivers, God is not too scared to be passionate about a relationship. He still wants to know us inside and out. He didn't put any disclaimers on this or any other verse that says, unless you are a caregiver. He still loves us, cares for us, and wants to be in a close relationship with us.

Today I am going to purposefully rejoice that He wants to be with me, even when I can't understand why. I will turn my thoughts to the truth that He passionately pursues me... me.. the caregiver. And I will bask in the fact that He isn't looking for a way out of an "uncomfortable" situation. He doesn't feel awkward talking to me or being with me. I will turn my heart to Him to welcome Him into my world today. Will you join me?

Running the Caregiver's Rat Race

Today I am reminded just how hectic the life of a caregiver can be. We might ought to apply for a juggling gig with all the things we have to do some days. We have to make and keep doctor appointments, work with aides and therapists, order supplies, stock supplies, pick up medications from the pharmacy; and that's all on top of the "normal" daily chores that have to be done like bathing, feeding, cooking, pureeing foods and just taking care of another whole adult body. Add to that some of the "normal" activities like babysitting grand-kids or shopping for groceries and you can have a pretty hectic rat race going on.

Thankfully even though our days are typically full, they are not always all that busy and full. Change is a constant friend. Psalm 46 describes some physical changes in the earth like mountains moving and shaking, and the earth being removed. Even though our physical world is not undergoing changes that drastic, as caregivers we live in a changing world where there is always "stuff to do." There's always something that needs our attention.

It's so important for us to take time to "be still." In Psalm 46, the psalmist describes world changing events but then ends it with God's words: Be still and know I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"  What a beautiful reminder to not only take time to be still and acknowledge the presence of the Almighty; but also a reminder that He will be exalted in our tumultuous situations. Even in a world that is hectic and changing, God is present, The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jakob is our refuge. 

Sometimes we just need to quiet our hearts and minds and say, "I remember that You are God." Our situations do not change Him or anything about Him. He is still the same all-powerful God He was before tragedy or trouble struck. Sometimes we must settle ourselves down and just be thankful that our situations are not strong enough to change anything about Him.

Today I will meditate on the fact that He is God all by Himself. He did not change the day I became a caregiver, but remains one constant in my life. I will turn my thoughts to His ever-abiding presence and be thankful that He is with me on this journey called life. Will you join me?

His Unchanging Promise

If we are breathing we have experienced change. The caregiver has no doubt seen many changes in their lives that have brought them into the position of providing care for their loved one(s). As we age, things change. Our children grow older, they have children, our jobs change and in general our lives are lived on a platform of change.

 The only thing that doesn't change is God; and His attributes. He remains the same as do His promises concerning us, His children. Ephesians 3:14-19 reminds us of some of these precious, unchanging promises. Holy Spirit lives in us. That is something that will not change for the believer. Paul prays in verse 16 that his readers would be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man. That is my prayer for caregivers, and His children today. May we realize His strength in us to carry out our daily tasks today - simply because He lives in us.

 Verse 17 reminds us that Christ dwells in our heart. Do you see the common theme? He is with us. No matter what tasks today brings, what challenges or triumphs...He is walking through it with us - better than that - He is walking through it in us.

 Take some time today to acknowledge His presence; whether you feel Him or not. In those darkest times of our lives when we cannot feel Him - it's not because He is not there - but because we grow numb. Rest assured today that His promises concerning you have not changed due to your circumstances. They do not change if you are unable to attend "church," His promises are sure and steadfast. You are His; and He is with you today in whatever life brings your way.

It's Still A Waiting Game

This morning my insides are singing. It's a scripture song and I had some friends that had great harmony and boy could they sing it! It was beautiful - and I can remember just like they used to sing it! It's found in Psalm 27:14 and it says:

 wait on the lord and be of good courage
and He will strengthen your heart
Sometimes the waiting seems like the hard part. I'm a mom and I want to fix things; get them back up and going. But in caregiving situations it does not always work like that which can cause great anxiety for us fixers! I have to take myself back to this scripture and remind myself that the only way I can find the strength for today is to wait on Him.

 Waiting sounds so easy - but in actuality it is so difficult. I want life to return to some sort of what I used to call normal and it just isn't going to happen. Even if there was a miracle and God touched my son today and made him whole... there's still no way life could be like it was. I have changed, relationships have changed and how I handle many things have changed so it would not be the same.
Today as we learn how to wait on Him for the strength to carry on, remember that we are constantly changing. We are learning what life is really about from a whole new perspective in Him. Take some time to wait on His strength to carry you today...

It's Just Part of Living

There is no escape from pain in this world. I hear of people every day who are in situations like ours - caregiving. But I also hear of all sorts of other painful situations that are being endured. It's all just part of living. There is no way to get away from the pain; the trick is finding out how to deal with it appropriately. No amount of crying, moaning, screaming or cussing brings any real relief does it?
 
Pain is not foreign to our Bible heroes either. Check out how the Psalmist described his painful situation in Psalm 102:4-8.

 My heart is sick, withered like grass...
and I have lost my appetite.
Because of my groaning I am reduced to skin and bones.
I am like an owl in the desert,
like a lonely owl in a far-off wilderness.
I lie awake lonely as a solitary bird on the roof.
My enemies taunt me day after day.
They mock and curse me. 

I think this is an accurate description of some days for me. I feel cut off, not "normal" and all alone. And in the midst of the pain sometimes there is this continual nagging: you don't have faith, you are not trusting God. Those thoughts are my enemies. Don't let the enemy use your situation to defeat you. You are not defeated! Our soul is preserved in Him no matter what the body does!

 After the psalmist pours out his woes to the Lord he turns in verse 12 and says, but You O Lord....
It's something that is just in us...as believers...to call out to Him no matter what level of pain we are living in or dealing with. Don't let anyone tell you that you lack faith because you are in a situation that you do not have the power to change! Walking through it - is faith. So today - hold your head up - every time our enemy comes at us today just whisper His name and say...but You O lord.... live forever, You O Lord reign forever, You O Lord are always the same....

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