September, 2019 Labor

Labor Day!  Caregivers thank you so much for your labor of love you give day in and day out!  Caregivers never get a day, or night, off unless they hire other caregivers to take their place.  How do you ask or hire other people to take your place so you can have a day or more off from your caregiving duties?  There are more and more licensed caregiver groups who are able to give care at a moments notice.  Be sure to check their references and online reviews.  Friends are preferable, but many do not feel up to the task of caring for an elderly person no matter how often they visit.  Family members may not be able to help either.  Be careful to maintain an attitude of hope and avoid resentment if none of these options are available.  Caregiving will not last forever although it may seem to last a lifetime!  Take joy in knowing your labor will not be in vain as God, himself, will reward your faithful service!

2019!

Relatives!

Happy New Year, 2019!  The holidays are over, and I wonder… did you survive the relatives?

Many times, the family arrives and your loved one is so excited to see them.  The adrenaline kicks in and it is amazing how well they communicate, walk and function while the visiting family members are in town.  I used to be amazed and also a bit annoyed at this ‘amazing recovery’.  Some family members who see this for a day or two, may question why there is a problem with caring for their loved one.  Understand…this is a temporary (adrenaline induced) behavior and as soon as the visiting family members leave, your loved one will probably take to the bed or chair for several days.  Their appetite will also be decreased!  This is normal for you but hard to make others understand and accept. 

You are doing what is best on a 24/7 basis!  Stay strong and patient. 

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God” is a great verse to claim this new year!

Changing MY Heart

There are heart shaped boxes of chocolates, heart cards, heart shaped balloons, confetti, even food shaped as hearts this time of year.  These all are great reminders to us as we allow God to change our hearts.  We are not responsible for changing the heart (or attitude) of anyone else.  I believe God can and will do a much better job than we ever could try to do ourselves!  The purpose of caregiving is “showing love to everyone else, while giving God the work of changing My heart”. 

Speaking of “hearts”, have you, the caregiver, taken time to have your physical heart checked? Do not forget to have a physical once a year and ladies a mammogram once a year.  Keep your heart strong and healthy by exercising regularly, thirty minutes a day, even if you have to break it up into three-ten minute sessions.  Walking is just as good as running and is easier on your joints.  Keep both your hearts, physical and spiritual, strong!

Scripture for meditation

Hebrews 6:10   “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”

Trials

December, Christmas, Family, No Family, Joy, Anger, Loneliness, Chaos...which one of these describes your situation right now?  I Thessalonians 5:18 states "In everything give thanks!" 

Christmas can be a time of sadness and loneliness even when you are surrounded by family, friends, or 'singers' who come once a year to carol.   It can be hard to 'find yourself' when family comes in and takes over for you the 'primary caregiver'.  It is during this time of change we have a choice to make:  Enjoy the break, or be upset because they are not doing it 'my' way.  James 1:2-4 "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience."  Christmas and all that goes with it is sometimes a trial.  What can we do with the trial?  Count it all joy and ask ourselves: "In light of eternity, what does it matter?"  

I see the silver and gold decorations on the Christmas tree (yes, I had my niece and nephews decorate the tree the day after Thanksgiving) and I am reminded of Psalm 66:10 "For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined." and Job 23:10, "But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold".  I want to be as shiny as the gold and silver ornaments on my tree and reflect God in all I do this season.    

y prayer for all caregivers as we end another year - some of us have finished our course for now - others are just beginning - may we rest in the promise that God knows our frame and He will sustain us!  Let us again desire to:  "Focus not on our circumstances, but rather focus on the God of our circumstances”.

Attitudes

Wow, 2012 is here!  Has anything changed for you?  Are you choosing to make right decisions, choosing to have the right attitudes, choosing to keep the peace, choosing to love as God would have you love, choosing to be the Caregiver God wants you to be for as long as He wishes you to be a caregiver?  Notice the emphasis on choosing.  I keep coming back to this word.  The dictionary definition is "to select freely".  I like that definition. I do not make New Year's Resolutions but if I did it would be in the area of choosing the right over the wrong.  

Negative attitudes - MY way:  Don't tell me what to do!  Why can't you remember!  Don't come into 'my' space!  Do it yourself, I am not your waiter!  I hate cleaning up after you!  You are such a messy eater!  You don't listen! 

Positive Attitudes - GOD'S way

Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."

Proverbs 10:19 "When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."

James 3:17 "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."

My father, at age 85, learned this last verse and would quote it frequently to me...I am sure he was hoping I would learn it's meaning and practice it with him!