Showing posts with label complaining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label complaining. Show all posts

Life's Not Fair - But He Is

One of the things I prayed when I started this caregiving journey was that it would not make me bitter. I didn't want to grow old and angry at life. My prayer was that God would use the pressurized situation to make me a softer person and that it would temper me into a vessel He could use.

But let's face it, we have a lot we could complain about. After all, life has dealt us what many would call an unfair blow; our lives will never be considered "normal" again. But I can't complain; or can I?

Paul told the Philippians to do all things without grumbling or complaining. (Phil. 2:14) Why did he have to say "all"? There's not much leeway there - and absolutely no exceptions or disclaimers. But... the caregiver might argue - we have a lot to complain about:


  • we gave up our lives for our loved ones...and we miss it!
  • our helpers didn't show up today
  • medical professionals are not listening to us
  • we've called the doctor 3 times and they aren't returning our calls
  • we're tired
  • we're lonely
  • family isn't helping us like they promised
  • money is short
  • our friends disappeared......
All things Paul said. Why? Why aren't we as caregivers exempt from this one? Because we are the picture of the humility of Christ. We are not running this race to gain a thing; but just to get to the end. When we face our Lord in the end we will know we did not run in vain. We are running for Him; and not for what we can get out of life. Ultimately we live, run, work, and caregive to look like Him.

Isn't looking like Him the goal of every Christian? Remember Paul said we are predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29) We did not lose our religion when we became a caregiver and our goals as believers really didn't change. Our goal has always been to look like Him and to represent Him here on earth. The good news is that we can attain this goal!  The bad news is - it's really difficult and takes a lot of work on our part. 

Life may be not fair at times, but our goal of conforming to His image is fair. As believers we all have to do it. No matter what life throws at us, where we work, who we take care of, how rich or poor we are- ultimately our goal is to look like Him. No one is exempt and there are no exclusions. That's fair. God gave us an even playing field and it's the same for everyone. 

Today I will meditate on what it means to look like Him and what types of adjustments I might need to make in my attitude. My meditations will be on yielding to Him with my whole heart and letting Him shape me into His image. Will you join me?

What Did You Say?

Do the days all start to feel the same sometimes? Each day has the same list of tasks that the caregiver has to perform. I see people glad it's Friday, or can't wait until the weekend. But most of the time one day is just like another for the caregiver and the chores really do not change much from day to day. Weekends or holidays are pretty much the same except maybe there will be no aide to help. If we are not careful we can slip into this boring existence and can live on the edge (or in the middle of) burnout. That's when we must be extra careful about what we say.

I remember when I was younger I would go visit my grandmother in the nursing home and all she would do is gripe about how we didn't come to see her often enough. Although I knew that was true it always made for a very unpleasant experience and I dreaded going to see her and sadly even avoided it when I could. Personally, I do not want to become that person. If we are not careful we can get so caught up in our cave-dwelling existence that we do not make others visits or phone calls pleasant ones.We must guard our mouths and choose to speak about pleasant things even when our hearts are hurting or lonely.

Proverbs 21:23 says this: he who guards his mouth and his tongue guards his soul from troubles. For the caregiver who may not even get to visit with others too frequently this means that whether we do actually have a visitor or not we have to watch our mouths to protect our hearts. What we allow ourselves to say can determine if our heart becomes bitter or remains tender toward God and man.

Today I will find pleasant things to speak. I'll talk about His goodness rather than my pain. I'll speak thankful words for all He has done and is doing in our lives. My heart will guard my heart today as I determine to speak peaceful words of praise. While speaking "all the right words" may not help the painful situation to go away - it can mean my journey through life's turmoil is a much more pleasant one.Today let us speak words of peace. Find someone else to encourage today - it will change your own heart.

Any Given Day

For the caregiver we never know what types of situations may be presented to us, on any given day. But then of course, our regular day is filled with all sorts of stuff too. There are so many things that must be done in the course of a day that each day is already full. But then there are those times when any little thing can set the day on a totally different trek!

 It might be a delayed delivery, a cancelled doctor's appointment, an aide who did not show up, or any number of seemingly small or large difficulties that arise. Quite honestly, our days are difficult enough to handle physically, emotionally and even spiritually without any kind of unpleasant surprises. One thing I am finally learning is to not stress over the things that I cannot change. It's a difficult thing for me too - trust me.

 But as I was reading along the other morning I happened across a scripture that I use to quote a lot - especially in my youth pastoring days. It's Philippians 2:14 and is simply states: Do all things without grumbling and disputing. I did a reassessment of my previous two or three days and realized I was not doing too well in this department...it can be so easy to find things to complain about, can't it? But Paul says to do all things without it...all. He didn't say anything like, everyone except caregivers do your work without complaining... did he? No exclusionary statements whatsoever. (Does that seem fair to you?) lol...

 The way I am working to change this in my own world is that when something comes up that is certain to set me off - instead of complaining about it - I do a little Pollyanna thing. I find something in the situation to be thankful for. I also find a way around it. For instance if the expected delivery did not show up (like the thickened beverages I ordered) I figure out my best way to handle it and then I remember how thankful that I am that my son actually needs them now - because there was a time they were not needed. As I focus on his progress and how God has been providing - the problem becomes much smaller indeed! Then if I can find another way to manage the situation, good! But if there is no other way - why stress about something you cannot change? And complaining will not make it happen - why bother?

 So today - if something presents itself and is truly worthy of complaining about - find a way to be thankful instead. It will actually help the load seem lighter.

Just Like Everyone Else

The life of a caregiver is certainly not an easy one! Yet I am sure that there are far worse circumstances to have to deal with. But this can be a lonely and painful walk. Each day can present various situations that must be overcome; obstacles that seem insurmountable.But we are still breathing; and we are still caregiving - so we must still be learning to trust in Him to take us one more day! Challenging pretty much sums up our lives, doesn't it? lol!

 I have found that just because my life is lived in a cave of adversity, it does not exempt me from the requirements laid out in the Word. So far I have not found one time when there was a command given and special stipulations were given for caregivers; or any other sufferers for that matter. (but I am still looking! lol!) Jesus did not say give to those who ask and do not turn away from those who want to borrow - unless you are a caregiver in which case you don't have to worry about it! It does not read like that anywhere! We still have the same solid word, the same constant commands to follow as everyone else. But this is good - because it also means that we have His peace, comfort and joy accessible to us - just like everyone else!

 So when I read this scripture in Philipians this morning I knew that we do not get a "break" just because we are caregivers: In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. (Philippians 2:14) We do not get an exception on this command even though we live in adversity!

 If we are not careful (maybe I should just say if I am not careful) it is easy to complain about many things. We have lost many things in life that brought us to the journey of caregiving. It is so very important to train our minds to find the things to be thankful for each day. So today instead of letting the situation get us down - let us turn our focus onto the way He has provided for us in the situation. Let us concentrate and meditate on His peace, His love and His care for us even in the midst of life's ongoing storm.

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 ...