Monday, November 26, 2012


I journeled the following words in late November of 2010 while caring for my husband. Perhaps you can relate, dear caregiver.
“Yesterday I was awestruck by the beautiful sunrise. First, there were the beautiful pinks coming forth all across the sky and then the gradual yellows; as the early morning sun rose into view. Waves of joy and gratitude for God’s faithfulness surfaced in my heart.

Other kinds of waves hit me at times also, however. These are waves of sadness. I really believe my caregiving life has meaning, and I believe there is a purpose and a definite plan for my life through the struggles of caregiving. There are also definite blessings that have come as a direct result of the whole caregiving experience. This does not erase the fact, however, that I am slowly losing the life I once had with my husband. I am slowly losing my best friend. Also there are so many physical challenges and other emotional challenges with the whole caregiving experience.

Hence, I sometimes have these waves of sadness that hit me. Sometimes it is right in the middle of joyful or pleasant moments and experiences. Recently it hit me when I was ready to enter a church service. I think that may be because I miss the fact that we used to be able to attend church together. Today though my son volunteered to give me some time away while he took care of my husband’s needs. I enjoyed that very much, but there was a moment or so even then that I felt this wave of sadness come over me. Sometimes I feel it when I first wake up in the morning.  I am really struggling for acceptance and gratitude. I believe I have grown some in this area. It is a strange thing, however, this coexistence of waves of joy with waves of sadness.”

Know dear Christian caregiver, that the Lord is with you in the waves of joy and in the waves of sadness. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. Rest in that dear caregiver.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Thanksgiving day is nearly upon us in the United States. Dear caregiver, perhaps you are not feeling very thankful this year. Perhaps the discouragement and overwhelming circumstances of your loved one’s illness is sinking you into a pit of despair.

Never forget, however, dear Christian caregiver, that the Lord has promised to always be with you and never forsake you. He is with you every step of the way. Also He is giving you blessings every day in spite of the trials and heartaches. When I was a caregiver I was challenged at one point to write down three things each day for which I was thankful. That exercise alone helped me realize that God was indeed with me. It also helped to lift my spirits during the disheartening days of caregiving.

I challenge you, dear caregiver, to also list a few of your blessings each day. Do this until Thanksgiving day and into December and into the new year. May God bless your Thanksgiving day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

You Have Done Well

November is National Family Caregivers Month. If you are reading this post you are most likely a family caregiver. As my faithful readers know I was a caregiver for my husband for four and a half years. In honor of National Family Caregiver’s Month you will find a “Prayer for the Caregiver” poem below. During my caregiving days this poem was given to me. I now share it with you, dear caregiver. May it be a blessing to you, as it was to me. I have posted this poem here before on my Christian Caregiving blog site. I hope this poem will prove a blessing to you, as you read it again. God bless you as you do this work which God has assigned you, dear caregiver!

Prayer for the Caregiver
by Bruce McIntyre

Unknown and often unnoticed, you are a hero nonetheless.
For your love, sacrificial, is God at his best.
You walk by faith in the darkness of the great unknown,
And your courage, even in weakness, gives life to your beloved.

You hold shaking hands and provide the ultimate care:
Your presence, the knowing, that you are simply there.
You rise to face the giant of disease and despair,
It is your finest hour, though you may be unaware.

You are resilient, amazing, and beauty unexcelled,
You are the caregiver and you have done well!

Monday, November 5, 2012

“Never Been This Way Before."

Dear caregiver, do you weary of the constant changes in your loved one’s health? If one’s loved ones faces a disease from which there is a possible cure one continues to hope for their recovery. It is difficult going through those days, but there is hope for better days ahead. When one’s loved one’s disease is incurable and the declines are persistent one enters an even more difficult sphere. As a caregiver I so remember dreading and sometimes fearing the next decline in my husband‘s health. Would I be able to handle his next decline physically and emotionally?

In the book of Joshua in the Old Testament God's Old Testament people, the Israelites, were about to enter the land that God had promised them many years ago before. To be able to enter this new land, however, they needed to cross the Jordan River. The Jordan River was at flood stage at this time. A huge assembly of God's people had to cross the Jordan River. It would take a miracle for God's people to safely cross the Jordan River, but our Lord God specializes in the impossible.

The officers of God's people told them, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before." (Joshua 3:b-4a) The ark of the covenant was a symbol of the Lord's presence among them. Only if God's people did this would they "know which way to go," for this was new and foreign territory to them.

As a caregiver I too had “never been this way before." It was a scary place to be. So I also had to keep my eyes focused on the Lord, and I had to follow His leading. Each new day is a new day given to us by the hand of the Lord. When we awaken in the morning we do not know what new experiences or circumstances we may face that day. This is especially true for family caregivers. They too “have never been this way before."

Every day and moment of our lives is known and planned by the Lord, however. He knows and understands the joys and heartaches caregivers face today and in all the tomorrows which may lie ahead. Caregivers must trust that the Lord will safely lead them each and every day, as they keep their eyes focused on Him and follow Him. Before they crossed the Jordan River their leader Joshua told God’s Old Testament people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." (Joshua 3:5)

The Lord will do "amazing things" in our lives also, if we trust and follow Him. In Joshua 3 the waters did not divide while God's people were still in camp or even as they were marching towards the Jordan River. (Joshua 3:15b-16a) Only when the leaders and people stepped out into the water in faith were God's people able to safely cross the Jordan River! (Joshua 3:15b-16a)

As a caregiver I sometimes faced seemingly hopeless situations. Dear Caregiver, you too may sometimes feel hopeless and even desperate in your caregivng experience. At times like these commit your needs and desperate situations to the Lord. Like God’s Old Testament people step out in faith. Trust that the Lord will see you through the seemingly impossible Jordan Rivers of your life. The Lord has our lives in His control, and we can trust and follow His leading!