Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Handled with Grace

Sometimes I catch myself being very frustrated - at well, everything. For caregivers there's not usually a simple or even what we might call a normal way to do the normal things of life. It seems that everything is so much more complicated as we adjust to our new normals.

Even the most basic of our everyday tasks are so much more complicated than anyone can imagine unless they've been there or done it. For me, and many of us, it's like having a 150 pound baby all.the.time. And recently, my mom who is in the early stages of dementia stayed with me and I had my son who has a TBI and can do nothing for himself, plus my mom who can still do things for herself, but is like having a small child around who has to be watched constantly. So I'm getting a glimpse into some of the other types of caregiving.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a pretty high strung individual - mostly high energy, hyper and probably ADD but never diagnosed. lol Think about it - on my day "off" I run races - that's my "away" time. Being high strung just means I have to deal with high levels of frustration too. It's easy to get irritated at small stuff. On a personal note, I am working right now on settling down and not stressing out at the small stuff....I have a long ways to go.

One example (and only one of many) is the handicap parking space the apartment manager created in the front of our apartment. I won't even talk about how ugly I get when someone who doesn't have a placard parks in it - and I'm thinking about trying to find repentance for some of the things I've done to the poor souls. (smile) But what I am working on is this. As I approach the complex I find myself getting tense not knowing what I'm going to find. Now most of the time my neighbors won't park in the spot- and for the most part they won't even park in the spot next to the van giving me plenty of room for the lift. But sometimes there is either someone in the handicap spot or someone parked next to it - it's a free spot and nothing at all wrong with parking in it - it just makes it very inconvenient for loading or unloading.

I share this to say I'm working on not getting all out of sorts over these "little" things we have to deal with. There's always a way to get it done- it's not always easy, not always convenient, not always fun..but there's always a way to get it done. On my end- I'm working on trying to relax and not take those things personal.

It can be easy to feel deprived as a caregiver because even all the simple things many people take for granted can be super complicated for us to pull off. It can feel like everything is a struggle; hence the higher frustration level with even the small things in life. So here is where I am on all this - working on my own attitude and how I handle unpleasant (for me) situations with grace, kindness and truth.

I really do see why caregivers develop a hard shell as we age and continue to carry on. But this morning as I was meditating and studying I thought of this verse in Proverbs 3:3-4 - Don't let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.

We are not exempt from the requirements God has on every single believer. We may have more to work through to find and generate peace - but He still requires us to live in and share His peace with others. We still have to guard our tongues and not speak evil of others (doesn't seem fair does it? lol). We still need to embrace kindness and truth and share it with others. You see - it's easy to rejoice in the fact that we are still partakers of His nature - still children of God with all the benefits He has bestowed and caregiving didn't change a thing in the spiritual realm. We still have everything He's given us. But on the other side of that coin are all the requirements He has for His kids - and we still have to live up to those as well.

Today my meditations will be on how He has given us grace for the journey. I will turn my thoughts to His kindness toward me - so I can show kindness to others (even if they take my spot!). I'm going to look for someone to be kind to on purpose - just for practice. My prayer will be that He teaches me to handle this life of caregiving with grace and gentleness - just like He handles me. Will you join me?











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