Thursday, July 14, 2016

But First I'll Have Coffee

For quite some time now I've said I have attention deficit problems. I'm a very high strung, energetic, gotta-keep-going type of person. So much so that more than one doctor wants to medicate me to help me "settle down." I kindly refuse as I don't think I need to be like everyone else. There's nothing wrong with having loads of energy in my opinion. However, it does come with some areas that have to be dealt with or they get out of hand. One of these is dealing with distractions, partly because everything can be a distraction.

A friend and I were talking about distractions over the weekend and so my thoughts have been on this topic this week. As an individual, everything is distracting. I can go in the kitchen for something specific but make coffee because that sounds good and then totally forget why I went in there to begin with. On my way to the bathroom I can stop to fold laundry, check the mail or do any number of other things that grab my attention along the way. And cleaning house is a nightmare because I start in one place and end up doing 12 other things.

Caregiving can be its own distraction from life. It commands and deserves the bulk of our time. There's nothing wrong with that at all, it's just a fact that it is time consuming. For many of us who are full-time caregivers we have to do double everything. For those who are part-time caregivers, it still takes large portions of time. We have to be creative in how we get other things done sometimes because a chunk of our day is spent tending to other's needs. That's not a problem - this is when we look the most like Him!

The challenge is in keeping our eyes focused on God and His kingdom in the midst of caregiving. For me, at first it was really hard to even think about the Kingdom of God and how it related to life after caregiving. So much appeared to be less applicable than it was BC (before caregiving). But this is not true. Everything in the Kingdom of God that was true and pertinent BC is just as applicable as a caregiver. Actually, that is what brings me peace many days. That's realizing that His kingdom did not change one iota when my life situation was rearranged. Everything He promised me BC was and is still mine after. His love did not weaken and His purpose for me did not change. I've had some adapting to do - but not one of His promises have changed - caregiving did not distract God and it should not distract me.

Proverbs 4: 25-27 says this: Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay safe. Don't get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil. (NLT) It can be so difficult to focus while taking care of another whole person. We can quickly be overcome by daily tasks that quite frankly have to be completed.

Over the last few weeks, I've purposefully been taking time to refocus on Him and the Word. No matter how cluttered and crazy my world has been, I've taken a few minutes each day to refocus on Him; and it's made a huge difference. I'd like to encourage you today to take just 5 minutes to slow down, put aside everything in your mind, let your task list wait and meditate on His love or anything else that didn't change when you became a caregiver.

Today I'm going to turn my thoughts to all the things that did not change with my situation. His love. His patience. His longing for me. The hope of salvation. The truth that He is my righteousness. I'll be meditating on these types of things today - as a matter of fact I might just start a list of the things that did not change. And then - I'll rest in His unchanging love. Will you turn off the distractions for a day and join me?

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