Showing posts with label peace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peace. Show all posts

Irrevocable Trust

the guys carrying Chris in his chair down the stairs on the patio

 This morning, I found myself in Numbers 6. At the end of the chapter, God, seemingly out of the blue, just tells Moses to bless His people. He gave Moses exactly what the priests were to say to "put His name" on the Children of Israel. You've probably heard these few verses many times in various Christian gatherings. Many times, it's used by those in ministry to "bless" the people before they leave in a benedictory fashion.

But when God gave the blessing to Moses, He didn't give him a specific time for Aaron and his sons to speak the blessing. He just told them to use it to put His name on His people and bless them. (v.27) You are probably familiar with it, but it goes like this:

The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,

And give you peace.

That's a lot if you stop and think about it. He blesses us and keeps us AND gives us peace! 

As I thought about this verse early this morning, I thought about how there are none of those exclusionary statements. God didn't say to Moses to bless everyone except. The more I thought about it, the more it settled in my heart, and I thought - it's irrevocable. God's not going to take these words back. That got me to thinking, so I looked up an irrevocable trust. Here's the cool part - an irrevocable trust is set aside for a specific beneficiary. (That's us!!) And it cannot be changed or modified without our permission. We have a choice to let His name rest on us and accept all the parts of this blessing, but God is not going to change it, take it back, or cause it to stop.

Today, I will meditate on all that God does for me and how He patiently walks with me as I struggle with my emotions each day. My thoughts will be on how He blesses and keeps me and gives me peace - and He never takes it back or changes "the conditions." It's mine. It's yours. Period. What an awesome God! I think I can trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?


                                                                                                                                                           

No Recalls Issued!

Chris and his little ornery look

 Do you ever wonder why there are so many recalls? It seems like it used to pertain just to vehicles. Some little or big part wasn't functioning right and had caused or could potentially cause damage. So they recalled the part and replaced it for free. Over the years, other items were recalled. Things like car seats, blenders, cell phones, and who knows what else! Some sort of manufacturer's defect was discovered and a recall was issued in an attempt to prevent injuring innocent consumers, right?

This morning during my devotions, it hit me that heaven doesn't issue recalls! There's never been a recall on His peace. Jesus told us He was leaving it here for us - and He's not going to take that back! God's love hasn't been recalled. Romans 8 tells us it remains no matter what we walk through - there is literally absolutely nothing that can separate us from His love. And He's not taking that back!

I haven't seen a recall issued on His grace either. His grace remains. It carries us, sustains us, and helps us find Him when we are in trouble. There's never been a recall on mercy either. You see where I'm going, right? There has never been - nor will there ever be a recall issued from heaven. Everything God has ever given us - stands. It will remain throughout time. We can continue to trust His strength, mercy, grace, and love to get us through our days here on earth.

Now, look at this. In Isaiah 41:10 He says Do not be afraid, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you. I don't know about you - but that's a lot! And there will be no recalls - he will continue to strengthen us, help us, uphold us... even today!

So, today, I will remind myself that God is still right here with me. I will turn my thoughts to His ever-abiding presence - and He won't be issuing a recall! My meditations will be on how He sustains me right here, right now. I'll think about how He has "kept" me hidden in Himself and how He will continue to do it. I'll find that peace that comes from understanding that He won't give up, let up, or pull out when things get tough. I'll trust that today - He's right here with me and He's not going anywhere 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: My Bookshelf

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.


Under is Not All Bad

 

Chris in the standing frame

When we think of being under something it's usually in a bad connotation. We feel under the weather or we are under a heavy burden. But this weekend, I discovered that being under isn't all bad! We had some bad storms roll through. The tornadic activity was nowhere near me but in the same county. Since there was a tornado warning in the county, the tornado sirens were blaring. I ran outside to see if I could capture a photo of anything interesting from this side.

What I found was a huge feeder cloud looming overhead. I snapped a photo but it just did not compare. I took several photos and came back to the house to look at them. They seemed to lack something. It took me a few minutes to figure out what was missing. A picture just couldn't capture the feeling of being under that huge cloud formation.

Of course, my mind went to the scriptures. Psalm 91 talks about hiding under the shadow of the Almighty. In Psalm 57, the psalmist declares he will stay under the shadow of God's protection until the calamities were passed. Until we get under His protective wings, we just won't get it! 

What good is a refuge if we don't run to it? What good is a fortress if we don't hunker down for protection? God is our refuge - He is our strength - but we must hide in Him and run to Him first. Until we get under Him - we won't have a sense of His protection, power, majesty, and strength.

Today, I will purposefully hide my heart in His. I'll seek His protection, peace, and comfort. I'll remind myself that I need to let Him carry me when I feel like I cannot take one more step. I'll remind myself that it's okay (and preferred) to run to Him before I find myself in overwhelm mode. He's right there waiting for us - 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.



Download Poems for Caregivers for free! 

Poems for Caregivers bookcover


Picking and Choosing?


This morning, I spent my devotional time preparing for the Facebook live devotions I do each morning. I was reading in Matthew 6:2 -34. Jesus was telling those listening to the Sermon on the Mount that they shouldn't worry about anything. He said to seek the Kingdom first - and all these things will be added. God knows what we need. 

After I finished the live session, I sat down at the computer to write this morning's devotion for caregivers. I know I should probably write a few ahead but I really like writing it each morning. It helps me focus for the day! 

I started thinking about how we talk a lot in this devotional about how we are complete in Him. We discuss how we still have all of His promises with nothing lacking. There are no exclusionary statements to limit caregivers' access to all of the blessings of God. I love that.

But then, I started thinking that if there are no exclusions for caregivers on the good stuff, then there are no exclusions on the requirements either. Well, we might not want to talk about that. lol. We really can't pick and choose though, right? Jesus didn't say everyone except caregivers should not worry about life, what they will wear, or what they will eat. Did He? Nope. Just like there are no exclusionary statements on all His goodness and blessings - there are none on His requirements.

Surely He knows how much harder that might be for us, right? We have all the "normal" things people worry about plus at least one other whole person to care for. Maybe He just forgot to mention that we are the only ones allowed to worry. I guess not.

We still must seek His kingdom first in our lives - even if it doesn't quite look like others' lives. We still must bring Him all our cares and anxious thoughts (though they are many!). But His peace will still guard our hearts and minds too! There's the good stuff. He will still feed us. He will still clothe us - and our caregivee! 

Today, I will thank Him for including caregivers and not excluding us from all His promises AND responsibilities. I can thank Him for taking care of my needs and still continue to refrain from worrying since I know He's got me. He's got you. When worry tries to pop its ugly head up today, I will remind myself that God's still got this. He is my (our) provider and He still hasn't changed His mind! So, I can trust Him for one more day - will you join me?

Still Relevant

Chris looking at me while we were walking Bluff Creek Trails

 I'm a bit OCD about some things. (Don't laugh - it's not like you didn't know!) When I make a new post or publish a new video or website, I go back several times to see if anyone is looking. I've been watching the stats for this blog (because that's what I do!) for some time. It seems the blog gets about 200 or so hits every single day. However, on the day of a blog's posting, I usually get between 30 and 40. That's not much in the IoT (Internet of Things). Looking back at earlier posts reveals around 150 views since they were posted. When I scroll down a little further, posts have more like between 200 and 300 views. Scroll back a year and posts have around 1500 views. I like that!

My question was why people are not reading the ones I post each day and how they are getting to all those "older posts." At first, I thought maybe I should do a bit more research and try to figure out how to boost daily site visitors. Then, I thought - why? I trust that God will lead people to the post that is most relevant to them each day. I pray they find His answers, His peace, and His touch in any post they land on and read. Then I thought, they are all still relevant.

No matter what caregiving topic is covered in a post - it relates to the caregiver's relationship with God. That means they are all still relevant! I try to write posts centered on His word so that we are helped each day. I hope we can all focus on Him, His word, His promises, and His grace - rather than our circumstances. We all understand how overwhelming a caregiver's circumstances can be - right? But His grace is bigger than that. His peace is stronger than that. His word still applies to each of our "that." It's still relevant.

Don't you love that about God and His word? You can look at any verse and find hope for your situation. Take any passage, meditate on it until it fills your heart and mind - and then let it live in you. We don't get a pass because we are caregivers - it's all - every jot - every tittle - every verse, chapter, and book - still relevant for us. God didn't say His word is applicable and works on the behalf of most people. He didn't give us half-promises. You know, that only works for a few maybe half the population. His word excludes absolutely no one. We are - I am - the whosoever will.....He withholds nothing from us! Actually - we are almost the exception in His word. Think about it this way -

  • He draws near the brokenhearted.
  • He gives strength to the weary.
  • He comforts those who mourn.
  • He is with us in the struggles, fires, and floods.
  • He is a present help IN the time of trouble.
And that list could go on - perhaps you have a few promises you hold onto for yourself. His word is relevant no matter where we are or what we are facing. I love that about Him. Don't you?

Today, I'm going to let those promises roll over and over in my heart and mind. I will thank Him that he added no exclusionary statements like except caregivers. (Sounds silly doesn't it? But we often feel that way.) I'll meditate on truths like He still loves me - He still draws near to ME! - He comforts me - He gives me strength. I'll accept His strength and comfort and presence for today, it is still relevant after all. 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: My Bookshelf

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.

A Story to Tell

 

Chris and I standing at a park in OKC

This is my second attempt to do the blog post today! I had one about half-written. It was all about something that happened to me this week. It was a good thing - a great thing really. But I stopped. I thought I don't need to tell my story - I need to tell His story. As interesting as "my story" and your story may be, it really all comes down to His story - not ours.

Instead of giving you all the details of my life - I'd rather be talking about how He gives life. God is so good at it that He breathes life into so many circumstances, relationships, thoughts, dreams, visions, even ideas long thought dead. We've seen Him do it over and over again. Just when we think we cannot possibly take one.more.step. He breathes. He glances our way. He touches us with His strength, mercy, and love, and all of a sudden we have what we need for that part of our journies.

Instead of focusing on my shortcomings and failures, for they are many, I can shout out loud about the grace He's extended time and time again. He doesn't keep count on how many times we fall short, He focuses on our multiple returns to Him. That's the part He loves. And He accepts us into His presence no matter how angry we were at Him. He welcomes us with open arms no matter how long we gave Him the "silent treatment." He just loves it when we come back to Him and His embrace.

Instead of focusing on all the things that can go wrong in a day - I'd rather talk about how He intervenes on my behalf every.single.day. God has a way of taking the most difficult situations, the seemingly insurmountable circumstances, those between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place spots in our lives - and turning them into precious moments and great deliverances.

Let's talk about His story! One of great forgiveness and grace. His story is one of unfailing love and faithfulness. His story is one of great mercy and peace, provision, and direction. I love His story. 

Today, I will take my eyes of my story and focus on His story. Why? Because His story helps write the pages of my story. My meditations will be on His great mercy, grace, peace, and love. I'll turn my thoughts to how He's walked every line of my story with me, sometimes in spite of me. (smile) Knowing His story - helps me walk out one more day of my story. As I walk out my story - I'll keep my mind on His story and let it carry me today. Will you join me?

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31Days in Psalm 31 book previews

I have two bookstores of devotionals, Bible study guides, poetry, and more! You can get my downloadable eBooks (some are free!) from Dove's Fire Ministries Bookstore. A few of them are also available in print or for Kindle on Amazon!


Shepherd of My Soul

Chris at Bluff Creek

I almost didn't write a devotion this morning. I know I missed yesterday. My schedule is slowly returning to a weird sort of normal. Lol. I know you understand that it's normal for things to not be normal. As caregivers, we go on with our days trying to always be ready for those unexpected events. We just never know. I decided to give it all I had anyway - and so I sat down in front of a blank screen. I got nothing. 

So, I decided to take a small praise break. My guitar is always nearby, so I picked it up, and as soon as I strummed the strings, a psalm we used to sing in church years ago just sort of popped out. It's a familiar one. Psalm 95:6-7. It gives a call for all to Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. I like that it doesn't exclude anyone - the Lord made us all - caregivers to caregivees, prisoners to guards, parents to children, old and young alike, no one is exempt. He made us all! So the call to worship is all-inclusive no one is denied.

The next verse tells us the why. He is our God, we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. As I sang this over three or four times I thought about what it meant to be His sheep - His people. A shepherd is all in when it comes to His sheep. He lives, breathes, and dies for the sheep. His goal is to protect them, feed them, and care for them entirely. 

Psalm 23 says that the Shepherd - our Shepherd leads His sheep to still waters and causes them to lie down in green pastures. These are not just any pastures - they are hand-picked by the Shepherd because they are the best for His sheep.

As I sang and my mind ran away with the Shepherd of my soul, I literally felt my tension ease. I found myself basking in His peace. You know, that odd kind of don't-really-understand-it-but-I-like-it peace. gratefulness replaced tension as I focused on the Shepherd and how much He cares for me. My heart began to thank Him for watching out for us as caregivers and for staying with us for our journies. I have no doubt that I can trust my Shepherd.

Today, I purpose to focus on being grateful. I'll turn my thoughts to how He keeps watch over my soul and protects me especially when I am most vulnerable. My meditations will be on how He leads me to the still waters of His Spirit so I can take a refreshing drink, and how He brings me to the spiritual pastures so I can learn of Him and be fed. I will diligently trust Him with 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.


Coming soon to both bookstores: 21 Days with the Prince of Peace 


The Good, The Bad, & the Ugly

 


One of the things I love about God is that He never leaves us. I say it a lot, but life never overwhelms Him. It never gets too ugly for Him to continue walking with us. I think that's one of the things that stands out to me in the scriptures. You get the whole story. It's all there, the good, the bad, and the ugly. God never shied away from people who were on the edge. He was always right there with them in the midst of their darkest hours.

Now, I'm in a good place right now. I'm working, Chris is doing good, and I feel pretty good physically. But I still have "those moments." Recently, I've had a difficult time emotionally. It's not anything real bad, just missing Chris. I have to bury who he was every single day. I love who he is too - he's still my son. But my heart aches. I miss his humor, his music, his questions, his personality. You would think after 12 years, it would all go away, right? Nope.

So, I constantly find myself going back to God for strength, for healing, for His touch deep in my aching soul. And you know what? He's always right there. He never tells me that He clocked out at midnight, He doesn't work after dark, or that He's not on the clock. Instead, He walks into the cold, dark recesses of my painful heart. Then, He pours in His healing balm and somehow brings healing to the parts that hurt the most. And He does this day after day. As long as there is pain - there is healing.

I love that God is with us in the good, the bad, and the ugly. he is our strength. He is our song in the night. He is our constant companion who literally cannot leave us. (Where would He go - He's already everywhere!) He gives me the strength to make each day - and that brings me comfort. 

Today, I will encourage myself by reminding myself of how He has walked with me all of these weary miles. There hasn't been a point where it has gotten too rough for Him - or too steep - or too hazardous. He just keeps being with us - always. I will be thankful for His ever-abiding presence today. I'll thank Him for not leaving when the road got rocky or the storm gained strength. I'll be thankful that He's with me in the rocky places and the smooth places. And I will trust Him for 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.

The Great Exchange

 


This morning during my FaceBook live devotion "Peace Out!", I talked about 1 Peter 2:9 and how we can take all of our concerns to God. Nothing is too big for Him to handle, and nothing is too small for His attention. I mentioned that as a caregiver, I take care of all of my son's needs. I don't have a list of exclusions or things I am unwilling to do. I'm invested in him - and see to him from head to toe. God is the same way about us. He wants us to take our cares to Him - all of them.

Just like I take care of my son's whole being - God wants to take care of us wholely. There's no part of Chris I don't take care of. If I don't have the skills (which never happens with God!), then I find someone who does so they can help. 

God is our ultimate caregiver. He cares for us - and He can do the caring for us when we let Him. I love that I can bring Him every little thing that I am concerned about and He won't turn me away or turn me down. He doesn't have a list of cares that are exempt. He never says, really? Or you can't be serious. He takes each of my concerns from the smallest to the biggest. And when I give them to Him, He makes the great exchange. He takes my worry, my concern, and gives me His peace.

And on top of that, He gives wisdom freely - when I ask for it. So, He takes my concern, gives me peace, then fills me with godly wisdom to know how to move forward in each situation. You can't beat that kind of exchange, now, can you? 

Today, I'm going to give God my growing list of concerns. (I've let it build up quite awhile.) I'll give it to Him and then I will let it go. I'll turn my thoughts to how He is concerned with the things that trouble and concern me - and He does truly care about my whole being. My meditations will be on how He takes all my worries and replaces them with peace and wisdom. I'll embrace His peace and His wisdom and 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: 
My Bookshelf

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.

Cause and Effect

 


We learned about cause and effect in elementary school. As life progressed, we learned it from life lessons. If I don't pay my electric bill - they will shut it off. You know? In scripture, there are lots of examples too. But I want to look at the other side of this coin. 

When the king had Daniel thrown into the den of hungry lions, the effect was supposed to be his death. But God had other plans. He disrupted the cause-and-effect system of man with His own plan. In Jeremiah, God foretold the Babylonian captivity. Then He explained that He had thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. He explained that His cause and effect system works like this - you call on Me - I answer. Period. I like that. Sometimes we can get pushed so far back into the caregiver's cave that things like hope, a future, and peace are hardly discerned. The Enemy likes it that way. But God offers hope on top of hope.

Life can throw us some curveballs and caregiving isn't for the faint of heart. We can find ourselves comfortable in the back of the cave. But God's hope disrupts the "natural" flow of what life sets up. You see, the enemy of our soul would like for us to give up there. The devil would like for our caves to destroy us. But God has other plans.

What was supposed to destroy us - birthed us anew.

What was supposed to crush us - squeezed out hope.

What was supposed to steal our peace - brought great joy.

What was meant to be our tomb - has become a womb where we're being formed and birthed into His image.

So what life caused - hasn't had the expected effect. Here we are still seeking God. Still trusting Him. Still waiting on Him. Still getting our strength from Him. Still resting in Him. It's a great place to be. Life's crushing blows can cause His healing, peace, and anointing to flow when I yield it all to Him.

Today, I'll meditate on His plans for me. I'll turn my thoughts to the presence of His peace and how He has stayed in the cave with me until I was ready to come out. My meditation will be on His sustaining power and how He turns the things that were supposed to cause harm - into healing and joy. I will be grateful that God disrupts this world's cause and effect system and turns it to be for us a hope and a future. I'll crawl up in His lap today and let His peace reign even in the cave. 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: My Bookshelf

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.

The Strength I Need


 I spent my devotions in Psalm 138 this morning. If you have time today, take a minute to read through it. There are several nuggets that spoke to my heart. I want to pull out this verse for my day today. Verse 3 in the New Living Translation says this When I pray, You answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strength I need.

I thought about that for quite some time. Firstly, I think we do gain strength when we pray. It's especially true as we bring our burdens to Him in prayer and then leave them there!  Of course, this is written by the warrior-king David. If anyone knew how to take their troubles to God in prayer and leave them there- it was David! I try to follow his example a lot. He prayed. He praised. He declared! I like that combination.

What I really wondered about this morning though, was how much strength I might actually need for today. Just for today. To say our proverbial plates are full is an understatement for most caregivers, right? So many things that have to be done on any given day. But every day only has 24 hours in it - no matter how it's sliced up. Then I asked, how much energy is God prepared to provide for me today? 

I'm kind of a high-energy personality and it might take quite a lot. lol. 

As caregivers, we never know what a day is going to throw in our lap, right? But it seems that God will give us the strength we need no matter what the level of need is. I think the key must be to trust Him for it. You know, like He gives us peace -not like the world gives - (John 14:27) But it's up to us to accept that peace and then let it reign in our hearts. Maybe the strength I need for today is kind of the same.

No matter what, He will make sure we can make it through today. Besides offering the strength needed to get through today - He also provides comfort, peace, and direction. Plus, He walks through each day with us and never abandons us to deal with the hectic craziness caregiving can bring alone. He's right there whether we see, hear, or acknowledge His presence. Actually, His presence goes before us into the day and then walks with us through it, and provides the strength we need all along the way.

Today, I'm going to thank Him in advance for giving me the strength I'm going to need today. I'll meditate on how He stays right with me no matter how crazy a day may get. My thoughts will be on the comfort and peace He provides - and how they do not wane or weaken over time. I like that. My prayer today will be that I will learn to lean on Him with more of myself and that I'll let Him carry me more. And with that - I'll trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Dealing and Healing


The caregiver's world can be a traumatic place where you feel like you never get ahead. Many caregivers deal with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). No one doubts how stressful it can be. And I think how much easier it might be if everyone just did their jobs. Right? In the caregiver's dream world, supplies are delivered as ordered and on time. Aids show up for their scheduled times day after day. The days go without a hitch, so it's all about providing care for our loved ones. People call just to check-in. Someone gives you a hug or says, I love you. But maybe that's what dreams are made of. (smile)

I'm not complaining - but I am traumatized by what I see going on in the world. There's no peace out there, would you agree? It seems like lately, I've done a lot of reeling in of the emotions and talking myself back to a place of peace in Him. You know what? That's okay. It's part of dealing with it all and healing in the midst of the struggles and storms.

Sometimes I think it would be nice if we got an exemption card when we became caregivers. Alas, more dreams. Lol. No one would die. We wouldn't have to miss marriages, holidays, or other family events. And maybe the weather would be perfect year-round so that we could always get outside (as long as our loved one is feeling up to it.) 

Lots of dreams, huh? Well, at least I made myself smile and got a little chuckle out of it. (You can smile too.) Because even though I'm being a bit facetious,  we all know that caregiving isn't a bed of roses. There is beauty, but there are thorns too. And we are okay with that. It's part of the deal.

I'm learning to hide more in Him than ever before. To "deal and heal" while in the midst of the storm means I have to crawl up in Him to find peace, and sometimes to find myself. You know? Caregiving is a funny creature, and circumstances can change on a dime on any given day. But what we do have is the constancy of the Holy Spirit. He is our comforter. Jesus is still the Prince of Peace. These truths do not change when we become a caregiver. They remain. And some days, it's a constant fight to keep my mind stayed on these truths. But it's doable. And it's necessary if we want to live in peace and comfort. 

Today, I will shift my mind away from the craziness in the world and the loneliness in the cave and focus on His kingdom where peace reigns. I'll meditate on how He cares for me and carries me when needed. My thoughts will stay on His comforting power. I'll remind myself that I don't belong in this world - but I am part of the Kingdom of Peace where the Prince of Peace reigns. I'll accept His peace even though it goes against everything I see through my tiny cave windows. (Smile again!) And I will rest in Him - embrace His peace - and let it reign in my heart today as I trust Him for just one more day. Will you join me?

The Anchor Holds

This morning as I was meditating on Isaiah 26:3, I thought of an old song. It's called The Anchor Holds. One line says, though the ship is battered. Sometimes it can feel like life is a battering ram that keeps coming back to crush us over and over. Thankfully, this is not an everyday thing for most of us, but for some caregivers, it can feel that way.

As caregivers, we can just get tired. You know what I mean? It takes a lot to do everything for a day for two adults.  Dressing, bathing, feeding, entertaining all take energy, especially when it comes to another whole person no matter what their age or size. It can be exhausting.

I was preparing for my live devotions this morning and found my thoughts going around and around Isaiah 26:3. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You. Because He trusts in You. Underneath all the busy-ness of our minds and bodies there remains a peace we can count on. Even though our minds can chase a lot of thoughts in a day - we always reel it in and bring it back to Him. And that is where we find perfect peace. No matter how stormy it gets - we find our peace in Him. That's been an anchor that has held me securely all my life - and the last 12 years of caregiving too.

I was focusing on verse three, but when I looked it up to actually lay eyes on it, I grabbed the next verse too. Verse four says Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength. I'm so glad He is not selfish and shares His strength with us, aren't you?

Today, I will keep trusting Him - it's not the day to give up! My crazy, hurried thoughts I will turn into prayers to the God who sees, to God - who cares. I'll keep bringing my mind back to Him no matter how hectic the day becomes because I trust Him. And I will trust Him - for one more day. Will you join me?

The Calm in the Storm

I live in Oklahoma so storms are nothing new to me. Even today we have a high risk for severe storms. We just watch the weather a lot. lol. I know that if I'm going to get Chris out for his 20 minutes of vitamin D therapy I'll have to do it while the sun is shining and before the storms roll in.

As a child, I had a horrible fear of storms. I think it comes from when I was about 10 our neighbor's house was struck by lightning. I remember watching out the window from our couch in the living room while the firefighters worked to extinguish it. When I was a teen a house on our block had the same thing happen. I ran outside and watched as their house burned to the ground. In both instances, the people were fine. But I think it made me fear storms a bit.

As an adult, I've worked past all those fears. I am cautious, but not afraid during storms. Yesterday I was reading in Mark 4 where the disciples got in a boat to "go to the other side" with Jesus. In the middle of the water, a storm arose and they were frightened. They woke Jesus up and told Him they were all dying and asked if He even cared. Jesus said, "Peace, be still." And then asked them why they had such little faith. Jesus not only calmed the storm - He was the calm in the storm.

He had no fear even though it was raging all around their boat. Sometimes I wish the storms of life were that easy to tame, don't you? Every day of caregiving can be stormy weather no matter how well we've adjusted to our new norm. But just when we are sure we are going to die, Jesus speaks peace. Doesn't He?

Some days it's easier to find that peace - other days it seems to elude me. But He is always in the boat. He doesn't get out and go back to shore, He doesn't abandon when the waves start rocking our boats around. He is patient and gently commands peace. I appreciate that. You see, no matter how frazzled I am, no matter how antsy or anxious I become - He can calm the storms of my heart with a simple word. Sometimes, His presence is all it takes.

Today, I will meditate on the peace Jesus gives me. Even though my soul feels storm-tossed, I will focus on the underlying peace and the sense of security I have because I know He's in the boat with me. My prayer will be to experience His peace today - for me and for you.

Grandma's Poem

We've all had to make some adjustments during this pandemic. One thing I am grateful for is having my son home with me.  My aunt is in one nursing facility and my mom in another. Fortunately, both nursing homes have been proactive about connecting residents with their loved ones via technology. I can call and Facetime with my mom and I can send a message to skype with my aunt. I try to visit with each of them at least once a week. Monday, I talked with my aunt for a bit. Today, I got to visit with my mom. 

Mama doesn't talk much anymore. She will answer questions, mostly "yes" or "no" questions. She giggles a lot and cries when I call. The calls don't last too long as there isn't a whole lot to talk about with them. But today I decided to read mama one of my grandma's poems. (Her mother.) She seemed to really respond and acted like she enjoyed it. 

As I was reading it, I thought about how appropriate it is today. My grandmother wrote it years, decades, ago as a song. But I'll type it here as a poem - I hope you enjoy it!

Well my way was hedged and thorny
and I could not see outside.
I could not feel His presence
no matter how I tried.
So I raised my eyes to Jesus 
and though I could not see;
I held on to His promise
and claimed the victory.

Well He heard my feeble effort
tho He knew my faith was dim,
But He honored just that little
that He knew I had in Him.
And He lit my lamp in darkness,
and saved me from a fall 
We smashed a troup together
by faith, we leaped a wall.

Well I stumbled on a secret
and I think I learned it well
when you lift your voice in praises
you can shake the gates of hell.
It is the Lord's to battle, so when I found that out
I let Him do the fighting,
and I just cheer and shout.

There is a Place


It’s funny how some days I wake up and words just roll out of my heart and onto paper yet other days I sit and stare at a blank screen and have no clue what to write. Part of me feels that way too like I’m too tired to have emotions right now. I could easily spend the day staring at the wall drinking coffee. But alas, that’s not going to happen! Too many things are needed in a day. Such is the caregiver’s world, right?

We talk about how busy we are as caregivers and I hesitate using the word “busy.” It has the connotation that what’s being done is not important. Remember when you were in school and you knew the teacher had given you an assignment as busy-work so you’d stay busy so she could do something else? Our work is certainly not that! But the whole world is busy like that.

For caregivers, and many non-caregivers too, there are so many tasks that have to be done in a day, it’s overwhelming. Plus, many of us work either at a traditional job or online and have additional requirements and tasks to complete in a day. Does it sometimes feel so pressing you can’t even breathe? I know it does for me. I get up in the morning and the list of things I have to accomplish start running through my head.

Today, for me, it looks something like this: finish the four articles for client 1, Chris has to have range of motion today – don’t forget, watching the grands for a couple hours while my daughter is out, another client just sent an urgent task needing to be done by noon, oh yeah, appointment with a possible cleaning lady at 1, yikes! I’ve got to get my room clean, so she doesn’t see it like this…. And that’s how it begins and often how it ends too most days.

But even in the midst of the crazy-busy thoughts, there is a place I can go. If only for a few minutes I can quiet down my anxious thoughts, I can find peace. When I settle myself down and whisper, Lord, I love You. It’s like He sweeps me off my feet again and fills me with supernatural, non-comprehendible peace. And I love it! He never fails to meet me where I am, and He’s not afraid to come into my cra-cray world and scoop me up and provide grace for the moment.

Today, I will purpose to quiet my soul before Him and rest in Him. My meditations will be on how He carries me through these wild-and-crazy days, time after time. I’ll be thankful for His sustaining grace and for how He seemingly miraculously gives this busy heart and mind His peace. I’ll rest in that today and be grateful that He chose to walk this journey through time with me. Will you join me?

Where’d You Leave It?


me and my mama
Yesterday as I was driving up to see my mom in the nursing home, I spent some time praying. It was one of those times where I felt like I just upended my heart and dumped it all out at the foot of His throne. I handed Him all my pain and confusion, some with words – some without. As I was pouring my heart out before Him I began to get some answers. They just started popping up in my mind.

As I drove, I asked for wisdom. Then I asked for peace. When I asked for peace, I had this question come up in my head. Where’d you put it? It struck me a bit funny, but I let my heart and mind pursue it. Where’d I put what?  Peace. That’s what I was praying for, right?

Then the scripture came to mind – in John 14:27, Jesus told His disciples, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. In that moment, it seemed as though He was asking me a question. And of course, we know God doesn’t ask questions just for the sake of gathering information – He already knows!

It was more like he was asking me where did YOU put the peace I left for you?   I thought about that for quite some time. Jesus was preparing Himself for the crucifixion – He didn’t need peace on the other side of the cross. He is peace. He said He was leaving it for His disciples who were also instructed to not let their hearts be troubled. Well that’s easier said than done, especially for caregivers who have circumstances from all sides chipping away at their hearts, minds, and peace – day in and day out!

But somehow – just His question brought peace to my troubled soul. As I got lost in thought, peace began to flood my soul. I realized He left it here – His peace that is. He left it for us. What are we going to do with it? Where are we going to put it? Will we lay it aside and just go on walking in our confusion and fears? Or will we let ourselves be clothed and covered with His peace? Colossians 3:15 says to let the peace of God rule in your hearts… It’s an exercise in trust I presume! But it’s definitely a purposeful action.

Today, I will focus on letting His peace reign in my heart. I’ll be intent about leaning in to hear Him and drowning out the noise of the caregiving world with His voice. To “let” means to allow – I’ll allow His peace to reign in my heart – and in my mind today. In that way – I’ll trust Him with just this day and all that it may bring my way. Will you join me?

Thoughts of Peace

To be honest, I'd pretty much dismissed the promise so many claim out of Jeremiah 29:11. I'd wondered how that particular verse could possibly be applicable to the caregiving situation. When I'd see it or hear it quoted, I just didn't think I could apply it. It's easy to get tucked away in our caregiver's cave and seriously think there are a few scriptures or passages that do not apply to us. But this morning as I was reading through this chapter I realized something I'd been missing.

I went back up to the first part of the chapter. Jeremiah starts out explaining who he was sending the letter to the remainder of the elders who were carried away captive - to the priests, the prophets, and all the people Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon. So, I read the chapter again with new eyes.

Jeremiah first offered some instruction for those in captivity. Sometimes, caregiving can seem like captivity. We cannot always go places we'd like to go or do things we like to do. Even simple things like getting groceries, coffee with friends, or going to a movie just can't happen. If we are able to get out, it's not as simple or spontaneous as just jumping in the car. It can be pretty complicated. It's easy to feel confined.

Here's what Jeremiah told those who had been carried away into their captivity. He said:


  • take wives - get married
  • have children
  • let your kids get married
  • increase and not decrease 
  • seek the peace of the city
  • pray for your city
  • know the true word of the Lord
These sum up what Jeremiah told the captives in verses 5-9. I think these are great instructions for any situation that feels binding or constraining. One of my first prayers was that I would not become bitter. I could see myself writing books from life's prison cell. It can be so easy to withdraw and feel like we don't have a place or a piece. But we do - we should spiritually increase even in the midst of the storm. Let caregiving drive you to the throne and become more intimate with God. Spiritually, we can increase right where we are.

I must say now that I can hold on to the promise I once discarded. He does have good thoughts toward me. He still promises me a future and a hope - caregiving didn't steal that promise. It may look a LOT different than I thought it would - but His promises still stand. Increase is still possible even in the most difficult situations. 

Today, I will be thankful for this renewed promise. I'll meditate on His promise of hope and peace. My thoughts and prayers will be toward wisdom to know how to increase (spiritually) in the midst of the storm. I'll turn my thoughts to how I can pursue and maintain His peace in my heart no matter what is going on around me. And I will be content in Him as I trust Him for one more day. Will you join me?

Already in the Boat

STanding with chris
Yesterday I celebrated having Chris home for 8 years. While I celebrated I thought a lot about all the different things we've been through over this last decade. I didn't express it, but it took a lot just to get to that point 8 years ago.

I'd gotten rid of almost everything and was headed to the mission field when I got the call he'd been in a wreck. There were times I felt like such a failure because I couldn't just "take him home." I'd been living with families for several years focusing on ministry. I felt like I had failed him by not providing that even though he and my daughter were both adults.

When Chris got accepted into rehab in OKC, they wouldn't take him until I established a home so he'd have a place to go on discharge. When we moved him from New Orleans to Oklahoma, I started staying with some of my daughter's friends who generously gave me a place to stay while he was in the nursing home. Now it was time to get a place of my own... again.

The shorter version is - I got a small, single-bedroom apartment right before he went to rehab for 3 weeks. You know how the caregiving journey is - lots of ups and lots of downs with some interesting spots in between. It's full of opportunities to give up, give in or die of exhaustion. lol

This week as I was studying my Bible, I found myself in Mark 4. The last part of the chapter is talking about when a storm came up and Jesus commanded it to be still as they were going to the other side. 8-10 years ago I couldn't tell you what this "side" might look like. I was a mess and still continue to suffer from the traumatic experience. But there are those times when Jesus speaks peace to my soul. They are invaluable. But that's not what stood out in the story this time.

In verse 35, Jesus told His disciples, let's cross to the other side. Then in the NLT it says, He was already in the boat. I have meditated on that ever since I saw it again for the first time last week. He was already in the boat. Before they loaded up, before they launched, before they started across, before the storm hit, before they got to the other side. He was in the boat and ready for the bumpy journey.

To say caregiving is a bumpy journey is an understatement, as you well know. But wherever each of us finds ourselves today - He's already there and ready to take it on for us. He's pumped up and rested up enough to speak peace to any storm that might arise.

Today, I will thank Him that I do not have to walk this all alone. My thoughts will be on how He purposes for us to go to the other side - victorious through whatever life might throw. I'll meditate on His faithful provision, His unmeasurable peace, and His constant watch over my soul. And I'll trust Him for just one more trip across this day. Will you join me?



From time to time I'd like to give you the opportunity to give to Dove's Fire Ministries if God leads you to do so. You can donate at this link if you feel led. Dove's Fire Ministries.

Choosing Contentment

Life can change on a dime. I have no idea where that expression comes from, but I know it's true. This weekend I was made aware of some major changes coming my way. It's just life, right? I found out a long time ago as I'm sure you did too, life doesn't stop for caregivers. We just have to keep on caregiving and take on anything else life throws our way. Seems like there oughta be a "hold" button somewhere. I don't need it for long typically, but just a give me a second to catch my breath button would be nice.

So my heart and mind were full as I got up and started getting around. I usually get Chris' bolus together, start my coffee and then while it is making I take care of him. My mind was going through all the things I need to handle today, my work schedule and many other things. As usual, my thoughts became my prayers as I mentally walked through my responsibilities. I sighed. Then I made a choice.

I decided to be content with life right where I am, with what I have, with Him. The sense of peace that overcame me was amazing - I have no words to describe it really.

So, I grabbed my coffee and sat down with my Bible and turned to 1 Timothy 6:6. It's a familiar scripture and I remembered it as saying godliness with contentment is great gain. I read it a couple of times and thought about contentment. We seem to live in a world with lots of dis-contentment. We are not happy with anything, can't settle down, can't rest - restlessness abounds.

I turned my thoughts to my own situation and wondered if I could really just be content. Then I thought about what Paul had said in Philippians 4:11 - I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. And we know he wasn't always in the most pleasant circumstances.

As I continued exploring this choice of being content I realized I was sensing the peace beyond understanding that Paul mentioned earlier in Philippians 4:7. I read that scripture, then backed up to verse 6. Be anxious for nothing,  but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Those are some big superlatives right there - nothing and everything. And once again, there are no exclusionary statements. Maybe that is the key to contentment - giving it all to Him. Taking our hands off and waiting on Him. Doing what we must - and letting Him do the most. When we choose to be content, stop wrestling, stop arguing with life, stop whining (I do that a lot!), and choose to be content - He fills us up with this amazing peace. He really is wonderful - and I really am slow! lol

Today, I will make it my focus to be content in Him and with Him alone. My thoughts will be on how He amazingly fills me with peace when I bring it all to His feet and leave it there. I'll meditate on being able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. I will rest in Him, wait for Him and trust Him for one more day - will you join me?

God Created Hearts

I wonder if the caregiver heart is the fullest place on earth. We carry so much every single day. Our emotions and thoughts can literally be...