Showing posts with label weariness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weariness. Show all posts

I Can Do Today

As I was taking a card to my aunt out to the mailbox this morning, I thought of all that was on my plate for just today. Taking care of Chris is more stressful right now as he has some type of upper respiratory situation going on. Now an x-ray has been ordered for today adding one more thing to my plate. That's okay as my primary responsibility is to care for him. Of course, at the same time, work started coming in (which is a good thing - you know?) and the day got complicated quickly. 

All this and more was weighing on my heart and mind as I made the short trip to the mailbox and back. I don't think I've felt this alone in a long time. I'm weary. I'm tired. And yes, those are two different things. I'm stressed - On top of all that are the growing fears of aging. How long will I be able to continue caring for him? I let out a huge sigh, and thought, I am okay today. I can do today... And for today - that is enough.

The caregiver's journey is not an easy one and all of our pictures look different, yet similar. But we can do today. Jesus told us that today is the only day we are to be concerned about. We know better than anyone that a day can bring many different things - tragedy or joy. In Matthew 6, Jesus addressed this issue. He told His disciples in verse 34 that each day has enough trouble for itself - don't borrow worry from tomorrow. (My loose translation.) 

He also told His disciples the Kingdom of God is our primary concern. As believers, that's already secured, right? 

Today, I will just focus on today without worrying about tomorrow. I will focus on how the kingdom of God doesn't change based on today's circumstances. I will wait on Him and trust Him to carry me through just today. With Him - I can do today! Will you join me?

Do Warriors Get Tired?

Lately, I've been studying about David. Specifically, I've been reading the story about how he took out Goliath. Then I continued that study with how his men ended up taking out the four brothers of Goliath. I have a suspicion that David would have really liked to have done that himself but it didn't work out that way.

The story of how Goliath's brothers were all taken down is in 2 Samuel 21. In verse 14, Saul and Jonathan were buried. Then in verse 15, it starts walking the reader through a series of battles. These four giants were not taken down in just one battle, like caregiving, it just went from one battle to the next, back-to-back.

But David didn't get to "play." In verse 15, it says they were all down fighting with the Philistines but David became weary. His men told him he could no longer go to battle with them because it was too risky. As I read it, I thought David was a mighty warrior. He was accustomed to the battle. He never lost!  Yet he grew tired and weary during this series of battles. Even a warrior gets tired sometimes.

This really got me to thinking. What I got from it was that it's okay to get tired. We do a tough job day in and day out. Some of us have help and some do not. But like the energizer bunny, we just keep going. There are times when we don't even know how tired we are because we can't stop long enough to think about it. There are things that simply have to get done. But I'm like, If David can get weary - it's okay if I do too!

Isaiah 40:30 says Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. I have to say there have been many times I was weary like David, but the Lord lifted me up. I've been called "Superwoman" but it seems I keep losing my cape! lol. We must press on, for most of us there just isn't any other option. But we also must not condemn ourselves when we get weary, or when we get tired. It's part of the battle. It's part of being a warrior.

David said in Psalm 119:92, If your law hadn't sustained me with joy, I would have died in my misery. (NLT) Earlier in that psalm, he stated Forever O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations. (NASB) It's so good to know that even if our strength runs out, He remains faithful. His word still carries us, sustains us. And He has no plans of stopping anytime soon. And His word continues to ring out into forever, far enough to reach our hearts in 2018. Strong enough to continue to carry us throughout our journeys.

Today, my meditations will be on His sustaining power that never wanes or grows weak. I will turn my thoughts to the power of His word to carry me through and sustain me so I do not give up. I'll think about His strength and how I can lean on it more. And I will trust Him to carry me through this day I've been given. Will you join me?

Grace for One More Day

This morning, I just woke up tired. I hate it when that happens, and I admit I've been burning the candle on both ends for quite some time now. One of my primary goals right now is to find a way to organize my time better. What am I thinking?  How in the world can caregivers organize anything? Even if we do get all organized, something will happen, right? Maybe it's just me.

It was actually easier when I first brought my son home because he slept a lot. Part of the recovery process though is constant changes. I've said before that change is about the only thing that is constant in the caregiver's life! Right? Just about the time we get a "schedule" ironed out and in place, thinking it will work perfect for our needs as well as for our loved ones, what happens? Something. Anything. We can be catapulted into chaos at any moment of any day or night. I have not-so-quietly tried to give in to it and just work with whatever life and Chris gives me each day. All of this within a very modifiable-as-we-go type of schedule. It drives the orderly part of me crazy! But I adjust, figure out the next step and proceed. Don't we all? Caregivers are resilient! We just keep going kinda like the energizer bunny! (Mostly because we have to - no one else is going to do it and I haven't had any volunteers to take anything off my plate.)

So upon rising this morning, I found myself exhausted. Again. I worked a bit but then fell back asleep only to be awakened by my alarm that tells me it's time for the morning devotions I lead in a Facebook group. Oh how I wanted to sleep. But I got up and tried to get my body and my mind dressed for the occasion. My honest thought was what do I need to hear?

My thoughts went immediately to Isaiah 40. I thought I'm so tired, but He never gets weary. There's a difference between tired and weary. Weary is tired to the bone - to the soul. I looked up the chapter and looked down to verse 28:

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
the Everlasting God, the Lord,
the Creator of the ends of the earth
does not become weary or tired.

I wondered why He made us have a need for sleep - when He never sleeps. But I thought about how I run to Him all.the.time. And He doesn't even get tired of that. He doesn't grow weary of us coming to Him with all our stuff. He picks us up, dusts us off, and gives us strength and grace. Grace to make another day.

Today, I will be thankful that He doesn't get tired of me coming to Him. My thoughts will be on how He gives us grace - all sufficient grace. I'll make grace my meditation today. Will you join me?


Did you find it?

Did you find it? I did. What were we looking for? Grace to help in time of need. Can you tell I'm still in Hebrews 4? This chapter has really grabbed my attention this week and I've pretty much camped there.

The last verse of this power packed chapter in Hebrews tells us to Come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There  we will receive mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it. (NLT) When we need it? That is probably all the time for the caregiver. This verse starts out with an understood subject, "you." It's understood to be saying "You Come..." and when we come look at what we get!

While I am a caregiver, and on any given day I may need to go to the throne for grace at any given time, this is an open invitation to every believer to take action, get before His throne and obtain His mercy and grace. I don't know about you, but personally I need extra measures of both to make it through some days. And honestly, today I'm just tired. Maybe weary offers a better description. It can seem like we are pushing ourselves all the time with no place to let up and eventually, we get tired. Or at some point - we just stay tired. That's where I am anyway - it may just be me.

There's so much to keep up with. Caregiving is not for the faint of heart! lol. Taking care of another person's needs (all of them) is tiring. And not only does it take its toll on our bodies, we can become emotionally strung out too. It's a tired that runs through your entire being. When I am like this - I just want to sit, drink coffee, stare at the wall; and think. Seriously.  But instead, I will boldly (because it takes courage) get up and take my burdens to the throne room of God. We were invited, after all; and He has an open door policy - we can come anytime we want.

I'm going to take my tired body, weary mind and exhausted soul before Him this morning and I'll lay it all out at His feet. And in exchange, He will fill me back up with His mercy and grace. And I'll make it one more day.

Today I will meditate on how His grace carries me. I will turn my thoughts off my weariness and consider His grace, mercy and truth. I'll trust Him for the strength to make it today. And I will leave all my cares at His feet - and let Him care for me. He is our caregiver, you know. I'll trust in that truth today. Will you join me?

When We Wake Up Tired

Some mornings I just wake up tired. Perhaps it's because I overdid it yesterday, or maybe it's because I'm looking ahead at what I have to do today. Either way there are these mornings when I feel like I am scraping myself off the bed to get about the day.

I've heard people say that it is so nice you can stay home. I try not to laugh too loudly. I think they have no idea what that actually looks like. Just today I have the nurse coming at 10 for her monthly visit, then I have to get my son fed, changed and loaded to go to therapy by 1:30. That takes the whole afternoon (not at all a complaint - just a fact!), then I'll have to get him back home and fed and in bed for a short rest before we start our evening schedule and then hopefully at some point back to bed late tonight. AND somewhere in all that I have clients who are waiting on work and of course they all need it right now!  whew! No wonder I was tired when I woke up this morning.

It is very hard for me, and many caregivers, to admit to being tired. If we acknowledge its presence, we might succumb to it; and we really don't have time for that!

This morning I did my usual morning routine (after scraping myself up at 6:30 which is late for me!). It goes like this: prepare Chris' meds and bolus, start the coffee pot, change Chris and get him comfortable, bolus him and then grab a fresh cup and head for the recliner for my devotions. all the while the day before me is running through my mind: call the apartment office at 9 - the air still isn't working, have Chris bathed and up by about 9:30, the nurse will be here at 10 or 10:30 (she wasn't sure), after she leaves he has to be fed and dry by 12:15 to load in the van and head to OKC......And then I start running through the clients who want work TODAY! I've been up for an hour - and I really wish I could go back to bed!

But as caregivers we really don't have that option. We will push through the day functioning as well as possible and hope nothing falls apart! There's no time to stop, rest, recover or put broken things back together.

As I am rehearsing and organizing my day in my head (yes - I'm a type A - it is ALL  rehearsed and scheduled!) for a brief moment I allow myself to think I'm really tired.  And immediately I think of the familiar passage in Isaiah 40. It's as if God showed me a snapshot of that page in my Bible. almost like He was asking me the question:

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired, 
and vigorous young men stumble badly
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

I let out a huge sigh as I found it comforting somehow that God acknowledged my weariness. It's not like He doesn't know. So today while I am scurrying about getting done as much as I can - and letting go of the rest (we are only human you know!) I will on purpose - wait for Him. I'll trust Him for strength today and smile because He never gets tired. He's always there to lift me up and strengthen me.

Today I will purposefully acknowledge that I need His strength and I will let Him carry me. My meditation will be on waiting on Him instead of relying on myself. I will wait for Him. I will rest in Him. And I will make it! Will you join me?

Who's Waiting on Who?

Caregivers often wake up tired, do you ever do that? It seems that if we are in bed for any length of time we should wake up refreshed and ready to go. 

We deal with so many different areas and are pulled in numerous directions everyday that it's easy to get and stay tired. Just because we became a caregiver doesn't mean that we stopped being everything else. Besides caregivers we are often also: grandparents, teachers, parents, sisters, children, siblings, athletes, homemakers, writers, and the list could go on. To be a caregiver we didn't have to stop being in all these other roles because as we learned real quick - life does go on.


Besides all the tasks associated with a normal life, we have caregiving chores too. And to be totally honest sometimes I get tired. Sometimes I stay tired too! (smile) I get tired of dealing with politics and health care stuff. 

...tired of dealing with social workers
...tired of dealing with aides that don't want to work
...tired of dealing with paperwork 
(the same paperwork over and over and over)
...tired of dealing with the system 
...tired of dealing with doctors who don't call back

I'm sure we each have our own items to add and our own lists. Sometimes it's not the actual caregiving that wears us out - it's all the stuff we have to put up with to do it. 

This morning I got up thankful that God does not get tired. I love the passage in Isaiah 40 that says this:
Have you never heard or understood?
Don't you know that the Lord is the everlasting God,
the creator of all the earth?
He never grows faint or weary.
No one can measure the depths of His understanding.
He gives power to those who are tired and worn out
He offers strength to the weak. (NLT)

That's just what I needed to hear this morning. He does not get tired. That means He doesn't get tired or weary of me getting tired and weary. He doesn't roll His eyes when I start whining again, or pouting. He just waits for me to come back around. He's not tired of me - He's not tired of my situation, He's not tired of me being tired. He gives me power when I an tired and worn out!


Today my meditation will be on His never ending strength and the fact that He waits for me to wait on Him so He can pour it into me. My thoughts will be on how He is the everlasting God  who does not get tired but gives strength and power to me. I will admit my weakness, and focus on His strength. Will you join me?


When the Caregiver Needs a Caregiver

Have you ever felt terribly alone and hopeless? I think those feelings come with the caregiving package as a general rule and perhaps everyone has felt them at one time or another. But when stuff starts to pile up on you it can make an already difficult situation even harder to deal with. The aide doesn't come in, the van broke down, or you, the caregiver doesn't feel well. Any of these can make for difficult days but then there are times they all happen at the same time. Even though we'd like to we just can't give up. What would we give up to? Where would we go? Despair can easily set in when situations are overwhelming. But one look at our loved one and we remember why we are doing this "job" to begin with. Somehow they help us keep it in perspective.

We can think of their vulnerability, their needs and just the fact that we love them and want to protect them and it helps us adjust our own attitude. That's when we seem to reach down a little further and dig out a better attitude and strength we didn't even know we had to face one more day. Are there ever days when you wonder if someone would have that kind of stick-to-it-iveness for you? Maybe we wonder that but we don't have time to dwell there - there's too much to get done to spend time thinking about that.

I'm thinking that God is the only one who is really sticking to it for the caregiver. We get weary, people who help us get weary - but God never gets weary. Some days I can feel like the energizer bunny and I keep going and going. Other days, I wind down and it takes all my energy and strength to just get out of the bed in the morning. God never feels that way. As a matter of fact, in Isaiah 40, verse 28 states that He never gets weary or tired. And the next verse says He gives strength to the weary. Days like today I have to raise my hand and say, "Me! I need strength to make it today!" And He always equips and encourages me from the inside out.

I am amazed at how He can encourage when there is no hope and strengthen when there is no might. So far I haven't seen an intake valve - but He puts it in there somewhere. Knowing He is with me and hasn't abandoned me along the way encourages me to take one more step. This morning I was reading in Psalm 95 where it says we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. I wondered why the psalmist says people of His pasture and not the sheep of His pasture. Then I thought, it really covers everything. By being the sheep of His hand  puts us in His hands, where we are near His heart. And the people of His pasture puts us where our needs are met- we are well taken care of by the Master Caregiver.

Caregivers need to be reminded that as much care and love we put into taking care of our loved ones - God matches it in taking care of us. He watches us more closely and covers us more fully. I take comfort in the fact that He is my caregiver today. And for today - I can rest in that.

Today as I care for my son - I will look at each act of kindness and love and think about how God does that for me. My thoughts will be on His tender, loving care for me as I care for His child. And I will rest content in His arms as a small sheep trusts and relies on the shepherd. Will you join me?

Quick Change of Clothes

I don't know about you but lately my days seem overly busy and downright crazy at times. It can be so easy to get carried away in the details of caring for another. And try making one simple change to something as basic as a meal plan, changing a supply order or going with a new company for an aide and a snowball effect of crazy events can begin. There's a reason we can feel like we have too many irons in the fire. We do. But they are all necessary in order to take care of ourselves and our loved ones.

Caregivers have days where we are just tired. It does not change the long list of chores we have to accomplish for the day, but we can be tired before we even begin.

It can be easy to get caught up in the world of caregiving and forget about ourselves. We sort of wear this caregiver's mantle because we need to. We can be that take-charge-kind-of-person it takes to get things done. Who else is going to do it, right?

This morning when I arose I thought about how tired I was before the day even got started. In my daily devotions, I found myself in Isaiah 61. There were several phrases that caught my eye today.

comfort all who mourn
giving a garland instead of ashes
oil of gladness instead of mourning
mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting

I paused and thought about just these phrases in the first three verses. Honestly, I wondered if I could have some insteads. Garlands, gladness and praise sounds good to me! My thoughts sort of landed on that last one, a mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. 

We are the same person we were before we became a caregiver; but it's important to remember that before we are a caregiver, we are a child of God. Today, I decided to take off my caregiver mantle for a little bit and put on a mantle of praise.

It's as easy as it is difficult to praise God. If you don't know where or how to begin, just think about the things He's done and tell Him "good job!" Even in our crazy lives there is something to be thankful for - I like to start there. Just take a moment or two to express your thanks to Him. It will change your perspective and lighten your heart.

Today I will meditate on Him and His great works in my life and in the lives of others. I will intentionally find ways to praise and thank God. My thoughts will be on His greatness rather than my weakness. I will imagine I have on a mantle of praise today. Will you join me?

What are you Waiting for?

Yesterday my mind kept going back to a very familiar passage in Isaiah 40. As a runner, I wish this scripture could be more literal. (smile) Verse 31 says They that wait on the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. (NASB)

We are all waiting on God for something. Perhaps we are waiting to have peace over a situation, wisdom for a decision, answers to our questions or hope to arise in our hearts. Waiting is the hard part once we've put it out there before God. Maybe it's because we don't know when the answer will come, or how He's going to answer us. But we can be assured, that He will answer - even if we miss it when it comes.

In the natural, we do get tired; and we do become weary. It's just part of the caregiving package. There are nights with little or no sleep, big decisions that have to be made concerning someone else's health and comfort, and endless chores that have to be done when taking care of another whole person. We can get tired just thinking about the things that have to be done before noon! Weariness is no fun, and it's often not easy to crawl out of, especially without help. I would define being tired as needing to rest; it's where getting a quick nap or sitting down for a bit helps you regain some strength and energy. But weariness is a tougher critter to beat. It's when you are tired and busted body, soul and even spirit. It's bound to happen at some point when you are a caregiver.

Over the last few years, I've learned to adjust the load of caregiving so that I don't wear  out as easily. And over time we can adjust to what many call the "new normal" of caregiving. Our crazy daily routines become easier to bear as we make the necessary adjustments. It's no different than any other situation in that in time we learn coping skills and strategies to make days run more smoothly. (Of course that's not counting the surprises that have to be dealt with.)

It gets easier the sooner we learn to wait on the One who does not get tired (v.28) for our strength. Most of the time - we know very well we cannot carry the load on our own. We have to wait on Him - the only One Who can help us with it. The One who does not get tired will help us keep from becoming weary as we wait for His strength, comfort and hope. When we wait for Him or "hope in Him" as some versions interpret "waiting on Him;" then we learn to trust Him more. He gives us the strength to take one more step and make it one more day.

Today I will meditate on trusting Him more fully. I'll turn my thoughts to resting in Him and waiting for Him. And I will think about the hope, comfort and strength He gives me. I'll concentrate on accepting His hope for today; and I'll let Him carry me through it. Will you join me?

Wisdom, Peace and Coffee

Caregiviving can mean some very long nights; sometimes it seems like they won't ever end! That's how I felt this morning as I went in my son's room after a long night of listening to him cough. It's not that parents aren't used to it - it's just that you can get so tired, so weary. I had already started his breathing treatment just a little after 5, made my coffee and was getting his bolus together. While trying to decide what medicine to try to see if it would make him feel better, and trying to decide if we need to make yet another trip to the ER, I heard myself utter this simple prayer: Lord, today I really need wisdom...and your peace...and my coffee of course!

It's difficult when you are making choices that affect another person's life and well being and sometimes it weighs on you heavily. Not only can He give His wisdom and offer our hearts His peace - He can make sure the coffee doesn't run out! (lol)

This has been a long year with lots and lots of struggles so far. Sometimes I just get tired - no weary and at times it's so difficult to keep your head up. I keep reminding myself that Isaiah tells us that God never gets weary. (Isaiah 40:28) I'm so glad that He does not get tired of walking this through with me. Sometimes I feel the weariness of others too. Weary days mean high coffee days for me! So I just tagged that on to the end of my simple prayer today.

Proverbs 2:6 tells me that God gives wisdom. So does James 1 for that matter. It's something He has a large supply of and He's not selfish. Today I pray that we have His wisdom for making it through today. He is the God of Peace (Romans 15:33) and I really need Him to fill me up to the rim of my coffee-cup heart with His peace today!

Now may the God of hope fill you 
with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you will abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans15:13)

Today my meditation will be on pursuing Him as the God of MY peace and asking Him to supply the wisdom needed to make one more day. Will you join me?

Run and Not Grow Weary

As a runner I view this commonly used scripture differently. I have run just enough miles (only about 500 this year so far) to know that there are certain spots that weariness can set in an stop you if you let it. Well, as a caregiver this morning I became weary and this scripture came to mind.

But as I thought about how weary I was and what it means to wait on the Lord so that He could renew my strength my mind went to the preceding verses so I decided to look it up and read it once again. The verses just before this most quoted one talk about young people growing weary and tired; of vigourous young men falling terribly. That's in verse 30. And back up one more verse to Isaiah 40:29 and it says that He  gives strength to the weary. and that He increases power to him who lacks might.

When we were younger we thought we were invincible. We drove fast and took all sorts of crazy chances because "bad" things were not going to happen to us. And maybe sometimes we still try to live our lives in high gear. Maybe until we come to the end of our own strength we do not think to ask for His...to wait for His. Until we lack might - He can offer no power. Until we become weary - He can offer no strength. Perhaps this is because as caregivers what must happen in a day just has to happen we cannot stop because we are tired, frustrated or want to quit. So we press on...and on...and on...

Will you join me today as I just take some time to wait? An old song says, "I am tired, I am weary I am worn." Indeed. Once we can stop and admit we have no might - we have no strength - He will fill us up. This is when we gain new strength. Let us wait on Him yet again...

Inseparable

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