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”.

Joy

James 1:2 paraphrased states, "Count it all JOY when you meet trials of various kinds."  As a caregiver we are facing trials daily, usually something different every day! It may be time for a doctor's appointment for either your loved one or maybe for yourself. Yes, make time for your personal appointments! It may be time to take your loved one for a haircut or just meet the desire for a ride in the car.  My response would sometimes be, "I don't have time for this, I could do it much faster on my own" but other times I was much more patient and enjoyed the company.  If I believe God's Word (and I do), I need to 'count it ALL joy'.  I think of caregiving in terms of raising children.  When you are in the midst of it, you think it will never end but when it is over, you may wish you had more time!  

Our world is changing faster and faster around us but we as caregivers may feel isolated and 'stuck'.  Remember, this is November, a month of Thanksgiving but also an opportunity to 'Count it all JOY' because we are coming closer and closer to heaven.  Treasure every moment, give thanks for even the trials, God is ever present and abundantly able to sustain us.  This is a busy month, I challenge all who read this to pray for each other and encourage every caregiver you know in their journey!