Friday, November 16, 2012

Am I Dead Yet?

Did you ever have one of those days that when you thought it couldn't possibly get any worse, it did? Yesterday it was like that around here. I do not have to explain the wide range of horrible emotions that go through the caregiver's heart when they feel even for an instant that they missed something. We can feel like we do a very poor job - it does not matter if it's true or not. You see a sore, miss a feeding; it could be anything that just happens because even though caregivers are awesome - we must admit we are not perfect.

On one hand we get this superman mentality like, if I can do this (caregiving), I must be able to do anything! This is accompanied by emotions from the other end of the spectrum that are associated with feeling like life is over for us. This is most likely the way it will be from here on out for many of us. Life as we knew it BC (before caregiving) is no more. The lifestyle we had may have slowly oozed away with the declining health of a loved one; or it may have been stripped away in an instant by a tragedy.

When we are down this can weigh on us very heavily. We cannot just jump up and go to the movie, to have coffee with a friend or to the store. Even if our loved one is mobile it's not always as easy as it sounds.  I did not die when I became a caregiver. I still love, laugh, cry, work and play like I did before; it just looks a lot different and is in a different setting than it used to be.

While I was thinking about life BC yesterday and dealing with pressing issues I had this wonderful epiphany. I am not dead. And immediately my mind went to Romans 8:11 which says:  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. The Old KJV says He will quicken - put life into my body. I held on to that scripture yesterday as it got tougher the longer the day went. I meditated on the truth that His Spirit lives inside of me to give me strength.

Today, I will continue to meditate on this truth. He lives inside me...and I am not dead yet! In Him no matter what my life looks like, I am alive! I will move out of the way today and let His life live this life through me! (Galatians 2:20)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

He's Got This!

Things can pile up very quickly in the day of a caregiver; an aide cancels, your loved one is ill. There are tons of things that seem to need to be done just this instant and by noon you are already exhausted and have an entire day of chores that still need to be completed. When you realize you actually don't have time to attend an online Time Management seminar, you know it's pretty bad! Well that is just the tip of the iceberg for how the morning was here today.

As I sipped the fresh coffee, I began praying and asking the Lord to carry me. For caregivers the day can just look too long sometimes. A brief mental search of scriptures brought nothing up so I fired up the computer after finishing a few important chores and didn't find one about Him carrying (although I am certain that He does because there are times like today when there is no strength...I know you understand.) The search then turned to Him catching me when I fall. The caregiver does not have to worry about falling away from Him because we need Him too much! But we can certainly fall beneath the load even on the best of days. For those days I need Him to catch me!

While I was looking for a scripture that talked about Him catching me I found this one in the Message. It says:  If your heart is broken, you’ll find GOD right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.(Psalm 34:18) That's where I am right now. I feel like I have been kicked in the gut and caregivers can just simply live with a broken heart! There is a grief over the loss of what was as well as what our future (which is now a present) was supposed  to look like. He can deal with all of that!

Today I will rest in the fact that He is going to help me catch my breath so I can adequately finish out this day. I need His right here presence today so I will embrace Him as I square my shoulders back and prepare to face the rest of today. Tell yourself: He's got this!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Can He Afford That?

After yesterday's thoughts about how the Lord gives us patience, hope, peace and encouragement I looked at a few more scriptures along that line. (We may stay on this thought for awhile!) I ended up in John 14:27 where Jesus tells us I am leaving you with a gift; peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives, so don't be troubled or afraid.(NLT)

In this world today I am not sure we are aware of what it really feels to have peace of mind and heart. The world is in turmoil all around us and our lives as caregivers can be full of it. We can get up in the morning, have ourselves all together (emotions included) and something will occur to try and remove our peace. Perhaps an aide does not show up or there's a confrontation with a health provider who really does not want to do their job (or so it seems), or maybe it's just that our loved one is not having the best day - which means we do not either. But all of a sudden it can be a crazy day when we were so geared for a peaceful one. So since He can give  us His peace - I'd say let's take it! But can He afford that? What will He do for peace?

I am really kind of kidding here obviously He will still have plenty of peace of His own - He is  peace! But somehow I find comfort in the King of all creation who has unwavering peace of mind and heart  thinking about me...considering that I may run low today and He generously offers His peace to calm my heart and mind. Somehow that is a very comforting picture.

Today I will rest in His peace and the fact that the timeless One took some time to share His soul peace with me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

God Who Gives...

To be honest, many times because of my work load (which is in addition to caregiving) I do not always take the time to do a proper "devotion" in the mornings. I am sure other caregivers totally understand! And sometimes I do not write one here everyday although that was my intention when the blog was first setup. Some days I feel more like I need to find one than share one...but then comes the day I can crawl out of that all too familiar caregiver's fog we discussed before and scramble up some small bit of hope or encouragement that could be beneficial.

This morning when I first woke up I had Romans 15:13 on my mind for some reason so I turned to it in my Bible and reread it. It says this: I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace... I do not have to go around looking for hope since He gave it to me! But then, if you look at verse 5 of the same chapter, you will read this: May God, who gives you this patience and encouragement help you live in harmony...Further on down in the chapter in verse 33 we read this: and now may God, who gives us his peace be with you all. That's quite a bundle of gifts if you ask me. He gives us hope, encouragement and peace! I believe with that thought I can make it through today.

As a caregiver, these are four essential resources that help us be able to carry the daily load. I need  hope just to believe that everything is going to be okay, and that He is still with me and helping me through each moment. I need patience just to keep walking on this extremely long (seemingly unending) journey. And I need encouragement to have the strength to continue on; I need God to tell me it's going to be okay and that I can do this because I am not doing it alone - even if I feel like it sometimes. I need peace - in my mind, my heart and my body; peace is so important and because of the turmoil of each day it can seem so far away...

I am thankful today and will meditate on the truth that He gives me peace, encouragement, patience and hope to live today.