Living Free - August 5, 2011

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Caregiving Joys

Today's Scripture

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces." Psalm 34:4-5 NLT

Thoughts for Today

Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so the emotional impact of caregiving can be a matter of perspective. Even when the task is challenging, caregivers can enjoy times of wonderfully positive emotions.

One of those positive emotions is joy. Allow yourself to experience joy from being able to provide care and assistance to someone who gave much of their life, time, and treasure to raise you. Celebrate your parents' lives with them as you listen to them share their memories. Receive joy from those special moments when honest communication and love flow between you and your parents. Enjoy laughing together over some silly thing.

Consider this …

You can also experience joy from the companionship of God, who never leaves your side on this journey into forever. As your life is centered on this relationship, you will be able to keep everything in proper perspective—your frustrations from lack of being able to control circumstances, your feelings of guilt for things not your fault, and the other emotions that threaten to overwhelm you.

Can I handle this responsibility? What if the care needed is more than I can provide? What if I have to make choices that don't please the care receiver? What if there is not enough money to provide the care needed?

These are all valid questions. And the only answer that can put these anxieties to rest is to remember your heavenly Father holds your hand. Only he can free you from your fears. As you look to him for help, you can be "radiant with joy." He makes the difference. The way may still be difficult, but he makes it possible.

Prayer

Father, help me get my eyes off the problems of caregiving enough to enjoy special memories and moments with my loved one. And help me trust you more. Free me from my fears and fill me with the joy of the Lord. In Jesus' name . . .

These thoughts were drawn from …

Caregiving: Caring for Aging Parents by Charles Puchta. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide hope and direction to those concerned about the health and well-being of aging parents or an ill spouse or relative. We address predominate issues most families face. Each session is designed to discuss a specific area of concern such as the purpose of a caregiver or end-of-life planning. It will become clear to participants that the Bible provides encouragement and direction to help them through this caregiving journey. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.

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