Sunday, April 10, 2016


We often associate gifts with special occasions like birthdays and Christmas, but there are gifts that we are able to receive any time of year.  As with every gift, however, we have to open our hands to receive it; otherwise, the gift does not benefit us or give us any joy. The best gifts we can receive, however, are the gifts God desires for us!
The Lord offers us the gift of salvation.  He further offers us the accompanying gifts of joy, peace, and hope. They are ours for the taking; and yes, dear Christian caregiver, they can coexist with the pain and heartache which often are present in family care-giving. Further, the Lord promises us a happy ending. That happy ending is eternal life. Christian caregiver, the heartaches that sometimes accompany care-giving are but a comma in your life story. They are not the end. They are not the end of your loved one’s life story, either. 
Further, we are able to receive the gift of trust in God.  We receive this gift by resting in Him and by letting go of anything we are holding on to too tightly or trying to control. As a former caregiver, I know how much we want to stop the progress of our love one’s disease, but much of this is beyond our control. 
Forgiving others who have not been there for us is a great gift we can give ourselves, as well as them. We are further able to receive the gift of forgiveness for ourselves.  We must give the Lord any true wrongs and ask for His forgiveness.  We often carry around a lot of false guilt about things beyond our control, however. So whether false guilt or true guilt, we need to let it go and give it to the Lord. Dear caregiver, receive the gift of releasing it to the Lord. 
One great gift we can give ourselves is the gift of acceptance of our situation. We often waste so much energy wishing circumstances were different, but we can rest assured that we are right where we are supposed to be in our lives. Dear Christian caregiver, your responsibilities are emotionally overwhelming at times; but in the measure that you are able to accept where God has placed you now in your life, you will find joy. It is a great gift to give yourself.  Yet another wonderful gift we can give ourselves is the gift of being still in the presence of God (Psalm 46:10). Doing this helps us grow in peace, wisdom, and insights. Finally, we can give ourselves the gift of gratitude. When we are grateful in spite of our circumstances, our joy and blessings will multiply and resentments will flee.  
Christian caregiver, you have many challenges and sometimes you experience much emotional upheaval as a caregiver for your loved one. Would not these be wonderful gifts to have in your life?  

(The above post is a chapter in my book Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers. This book contains over one hundred short chapters or meditations to encourage family caregivers. Interspersed in these meditations in my book is my own story. I share my thoughts and emotions that I experienced while caring for my husband. My book can be ordered online. A link to the order page for my book on Amazon is found on the right side of this page.  If you receive this by e-mail just click on the link at the bottom of the page.  That will get you to the home page from which you can click on the Amazon link.  If you prefer to receive a signed copy from me directly feel free to contact me as for specifics.)

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