Thursday, August 23, 2012

Are You"Two" Tired?

 Take a second and think about all the things you did yesterday... Now think about all the things you have to complete yet today... Does it make you tired just thinking about it? Caregiving can be physically draining; and we can easily just be physically tired. But the trouble is that it is also emotionally draining.Then we are "two" tired. Our body feels like we are dragging ourselves around to complete all the necessary tasks that must be accomplished in a day...and then we have to handle the entire situation emotionally as well. There may be better days where things go smoothly, aides show up and supplies arrive on time...but there are always those times where decisions have to be made for someone else and it can wear us down...and we become two tired- body and soul.

And then the real trouble begins when we get three tired: body, soul and spirit. Not only do we have to take care of a whole other person while trying to maintain our own health and well being we can wonder where God is in all this. (or at least I do...) And if He is here with us - why isn't He doing anything? Does it ever feel that way?

It may be time to exchange strength with Him.We know according to Isaiah that God never gets tired. And we know by our own experiences that we do!  Psalm 29 is one of my long time favorite passages because it starts in verse one with us giving God our strength. And it ends in verse eleven with Him giving us His strength. I think it works better after we complete verse one first. We must give Him our strength- as small as it may feel - and as difficult as it may be to find right now - when we gather up or muster up what little we can find and pour it out before Him in praise and thanksgiving - we will get His strength in return.

Now take a minute and find something to be thankful for - no matter how small it may seem. Once you find the first thing to be thankful for another will follow...and another...

It's all about perspective. No, we do not live in an ideal situation. It's tiring, emotional and draining and we can be two tired or we can even be three tired. (body, soul and spirit) Even though we may feel we have no control over our circumstances we can still control our hearts and minds.Today let us take time to turn our thoughts to His greatness (Isaiah 40 is a great place to start; or Genesis 1); and put our effort into purposefully finding things to thank Him for...(breath, food, children, our minds) and as we pour this out before His throne we will find that He will make a great exchange by giving us His strength instead of ours to walk through today.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sharing Grace

One of the things caregivers can miss the most is just living. That spontaneity of being able to decide on a moment's notice that you want to go to a movie, or run to the mall. The caregiver most times really does not have that option. We can miss the things we used to enjoy, like hiking or shopping; or just going to church. For the most part we finally get used to just staying home - but that doesn't mean our freedom isn't missed.

Somehow for me, when I can find someone in scripture who I at least think understands in some measure it can bring peace. Paul made what I feel is a very interesting statement in Acts 20:22-24. He said that Holy Spirit had told him that he was going to face afflictions and imprisonment in every city. He didn't hang his head and cry about all his losses (like I do!); he said this instead: But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 

Now most of us did not know what was coming - and some have an idea. It can be difficult in the struggle to figure out why He called us to begin with and some who were in ministry before can feel as though they have been stripped and a lot of it does not make sense anymore. But God doesn't change His mind. It may just look a lot different than it did BC (before caregiving).

Paul continued to share the grace of God even though he found himself in prison. What better way to share how His grace is carrying us through - than right here from the midst of the fiery storm? It can be so easy to get underneath the heavy load and lose our focus. But what if we saw every phone call, every person who comes to help, or to visit as an opportunity to share His grace? Today that will be my focus, I will look at every encounter as an opportunity...will you?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Deep Breath for My Soul

Did you ever turn around in the middle of the afternoon and wonder where the day has gone so fast? When everything works like it should, a day can be hectic. Supplies come in, meals get delivered, aides actually show up; the front door just keeps swinging some days. It's a good thing, but it can sure be like a whirlwind sometimes, especially if you factor in all the other daily caregiving that is not optional. If we are not careful a day can get away from us and we are left scratching our heads wondering which way it went.

Yesterday was like that around here and so when I found Psalm 131:2 this morning during my morning devotions it brought a quiet in my soul that was much needed. The psalmist said, But I have stilled and quieted myself just as a small child is quiet with his mother... And then he goes on in the last verse to say his hope is in the Lord.

What stood out to me here was that the psalmist said he quieted himself...he quieted his own soul before the Lord by reminding himself that his hope was in Him. For today I will keep my soul at ease by meditating on the Lord who is my hope, my help and my strength. Funny, when I stop to think about that for just a minute it's like a deep breath for the soul...