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one day, caretaker

graphic: Martha G. Brady

Click this link for the other days in the 31 DAYS OF CARE TAKING: ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Today, I will take some time for the subtitle of our series …Caretaking: One Day at a Time. It definitely was not tacked on as an afterthought! We have spent a lot of time talking about caretaking. But today I want to spend some time on the “one day at a time” aspect of caretaking.

For many, caretaking comes on suddenly with the realization that a family member is needing extra help. Often the awareness comes in the form of a hospitalization. They get sick, sometimes with pneumonia or a complication of their diabetes. At times, they get very confused in the hospital and the family realizes that this family member has had a problem for longer than they thought. This hospitalization just brought everything to a head. Hospital personnel are observing signs that the family didn’t notice.

At other times, there was a fall resulting in a broken hip. As medications were being sorted through and you went into her home to get more information, you realized your mom was not doing as well as you thought. You knew some intervention was needed on your part.

For others, you knew something was wrong and the doctor was doing testing. You were called together and given a diagnosis of a form of dementia. Decisions had to be made, and you realized that he would not be going home to live alone anymore.

Now you are officially a caretaker. The timing isn’t great, but you know it is the right thing to do!

Now, this loved one lives with you. You and your spouse knew it was the right thing to do but honestly, you had no idea what you had taken on. As weeks went into months, you found yourself drowning at times in paperwork, lists of medications, trying to figure out his treatments and getting rattled by his many questions…yes, the same questions over and over and over.

You knew it was the right thing to do but honestly, you had no idea what you had taken on. #Caretaking Click To Tweet

It would be one thing if you had nothing else to do, but usually, you are dealing with a job, teenagers/college students/young marrieds and maybe even grandbabies. You feel torn by competing priorities. You want to spend time with your kids who are spending their final days at home or beginning days in their careers and starting out as adults. They don’t have much time to visit, but when they do, you want to be able to focus on them!

Your spouse is going through stresses and pressures at work. You want to be supportive of him as well. But it seems that your home is full of chaos. Personally, you would like one of those Calgon moments in the bathtub, but all you have is people who are grabbing at you for time and attention.

It feels like this will never end and will describe your life for the next forever years! That’s when you need to stop and pause. It is time to start living one day at a time! (Maybe less.)

If you think of this as a never-ending scenario, you will find yourself in the bottom of a very dark hole in no time! But it will not last forever. While it is true that you don’t know when it will end, it will end just the same!

This is part of GOD’s process of growing you. It rarely happens in areas you want to grow or at times you want to grow. But it is the way He works renewing your strength along the way as you become more aware of your weakness.

This is a time when GOD is growing you in ways you may not choose to grow. But this is how He does it. Growth takes place on His timetable. He doesn’t grow us in front of computers or sitting in classes. He grows us in times like this…when we need to struggle and stretch. When our questions are many. When we are pushed to the end of our energy and have to learn to go to Him! That is when we grow! I wish we could grow some other way.

Don't add to each day's troubles by being anxious about the next day. GOD will provide what I need then too Click To Tweet

But I love that verse in Matthew 6, there is enough in each day to be troubled about. Don’t add to each day’s troubles by being anxious about the next day. This verse refers to GOD’s provision for food and clothing and how we don’t need to be anxious about it. But it could just as easily refer to His provision for the strength, courage, and energy we need for our jobs as caretakers too! We don’t need to be anxious about whether He will provide it or for how long we will need it. He has it all figured out and His supply is enough!

The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
    when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
    for the Lord upholds his hand.

I have been young, and now am old,
    yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
    or his children begging for bread.
He is ever lending generously,
    and his children become a blessing.

Psalm 37:23-26

 But if God so clothes the grass of the field,
which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’
or ‘What shall we drink?’or ‘What shall we wear?’
  For the Gentiles seek after all these things,
and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:30-34

The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
 He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31