Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Caregiver Chronicles: The Gift of a Day Out

Yesterday was the kind of day I've missed. Because Sam's so unsteady on his feet, I haven't left him alone for more than a few minutes. He's not a burden at all, but the responsibility is a heavy load. 

Friends have been wonderful about staying with Sam when I need to be out, but, yesterday, I needed a chunk of time.

I missed my last hair appointment and my bangs were in my eyes constantly. I do have scissors and thinning shears, but Lorie (my hairdresser) has warned me off them. I hate to admit it, but the thinning shears were already out. It was all I could do not to start chopping on those bangs.

Since I already had an eye appointment on Tuesday and a missionary I wanted to meet coming in to the office that day, we sandwiched a hair appointment in between. "We'll have to pray for God to send someone to volunteer with Sam," I messaged her. And we did. 

God sent Diane.

My friend, Diane, was in town visiting family for a week, and offered me a chunk of time to get some things done. I was able to make all my appointments and go by the office to do a few things. There was just enough time to go by the feed store to get horse feed, stop by the gas station to fill up my truck, and still get home.

For a few hours, I did what needed to be done to keep my life on track without worrying about anyone else. It was a mini-vacation that gave me more rest than I could have imagined. 

When I returned home, my caregiver mindset was firmly in place again. My sense of humor was back. 

As I moved furniture in preparation for moving Sam's TV and connecting his satellite service, I realized an unexpected truth. I can go the distance, and breaks are an important part of the process.

People have told me, "Even Jesus took breaks," many times, and it's true. Knowing that and being able to do it are two different things. Yesterday, the generous gift of a friend made it possible. 

In the world of caregivers, stepping aside from caregiving isn't always one of the options. Stepping aside for most of a day is rare. If you're not a caregiver, you likely know someone who is. Why not look at your schedule and find a few hours to give in the name of Jesus to the one who is literally being His hands and feet? 

Who in your church or community is giving long-term care to someone in their home? Why not offer a few hours once a month to give them a much-needed break? 

Those 5 1/2 hours yesterday were a gift of incalculable value because I was able to set my burden aside and let someone else carry it for a while. 

Bear one another's burdens. It's what the body of Christ is supposed to do and, when we all do our part, something wonderful happens. The world stands in awe.

Late yesterday, the new social worker stopped by. She encouraged me to take breaks. I tried hard not to laugh as I explained about all the help God has sent me. "The body of Christ has been wonderful," I told her and described some of the things they've done.

"That's what church is supposed to be," she said with admiration in her voice. And she's right. 

"Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Playful Pig and His Contemptuous Carelessness 

If this is your first time to read about the Sam adventures and the Caregiver Chronicles, you might want to read this post to see how it started: When the Time to Move Finally Comes

If you feel led to partner with this ministry (US, Middle East, the digital world), here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

Or you can mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line

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