Thursday, April 23, 2015

Reachin' for those Bootstraps!

Did you ever hear the saying pull yourself up by your own bootstraps? In essence, it means to grab hold and get yourself out of where you are. For the caregiver there are many days we feel like we have to pull ourselves up out of the fog that surrounds us. Because we can be socially isolated, it can be difficult to find the encouragement we need on those days when life weighs in too heavily. On these days we may find ourselves trying to find our proverbial bootstraps so we can pull ourselves up enough to function. We don't always have another choice.

Some days I find myself reaching for those bootstraps to get my attitude and outlook to a point where I can face the day. That doesn't count making it through the day, just facing it can wear us out at times. Where is your go-to spot? What does your bootstrap look like? My bootstraps (what I use to get out of the caregiver's fog) is usually Psalms. I've always enjoyed the Psalms because David and the other writers are so upfront and honest with their feelings. They don't sugar coat it but instead they lay it out there like they see it at the time.

Today my thoughts go to Psalm 13 where the psalmist empties his soul by saying:
How long O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long will I take counsel in my soul
Having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

We get the picture that David was feeling on the bottom and that he was in a position where he felt he needed to pull himself up by his own bootstraps! He asks God to keep him from being overcome by the enemy and for Him to hear his cries for help. I can pray that a lot of mornings, can't you?

But I love David's style because he never leaves it hanging. He goes right into his own solution - and demonstrates what it looks like to get a good hold on his bootstraps! It might be that he is simply reminding himself of the fact that he has trusted in the Lord's lovingkindness. Then he makes a statement of what he intends to do with that My heart will rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord.

It can be easy to focus on the negatives and the heaviness of the load the caregiver carries. But no one can carry it for us, even if we have tons of helpers along the way. We must get to the point where we can declare our part - I will trust. I will rejoice. I will sing. I'm going to find my I will's.

Today I will trust the Lord for strength to face my tasks. I will meditate on His mercy and the truth that He is carrying me and strengthening me for the journey. I will trust in His strength rather than in my own. I will rejoice in His never failing love; and I will sing of His heart which is always turned toward me and never away. Will you join me?

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