Psalm 121:1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Don’t we all need help? I know I do; I just don’t like asking for it. I think that’s a common problem.
We are raised to be independent, self-sufficient, and competent to live a productive life. Isn’t that a parent’s job? Preparing to launch. But even the best intentions can’t account for all of life’s challenges.
At some point, we’ll find ourselves in a spot. A spot that is uncomfortable, painful, lonely, or just empty. You’re going to need help.
Will you ask for it?
Who will you ask?
Help for Home
A while ago, I wrote a post providing several tips for caregivers; you can read it here. One of the tips is don’t’ be afraid to ask for help. That is so funny! I offered those tips to encourage others but hadn’t yet sought help for myself. I care for my mom and sister and really needed help.
We’ll God is even funnier. In my exhaustion, let’s say, He made it very clear that I did, and do, need help.
Since then, I’m following my own advice. With a little nudging from the Holy Spirit, I did ask for and received help. That’s when Amanda came into our lives. In my heart, I believe Amanda’s availability exactly when we needed her was divine intervention. In His perfect timing, the Lord always arranges His best for us.
Let me introduce the wonderful woman that helps take care of my sister, Michelle, four out of five weekdays so that I can go to work. For those of you who are new to the blog, my sister is a Down Syndrome adult with Alzheimer’s decease. Amanda is simply great with Michelle. I see a lot of smiles.
Help for Work
Then, after much encouragement from friends and family, I finally got brave enough to ask about working from home the one day that Amanda cannot be with Michelle. I work for a caring, albeit traditional, company and they agreed. Thank you, Jesus!
Help for Yourself
Last month, out of the blue, a longtime friend contacted me about an online class for caregivers starting in October. Assuming it was about taking care of my mom and sister, I signed up. Since my brother helps, he signed up too. Check your local Area Agency on Aging for these free classes.
Guess what? Another one of the tips showed up. It turns out the class is about taking care of yourself. My good health makes me a better caregiver. Yes, God sure has a good sense of humor.
Friend Caregivers, I’m smiling (and I hope you are, too), but caregiving is a serious business. Since I’m getting strong reminders to follow my own advice (well, probably the Lord’s advice), I’m sharing those few important tips with you again today.
Pray before you play (Proverbs 3:5-6) My son is a church organist, and after years at the piano, I still tell him to pray before he plays. This concept applies in so many areas, including caregiving. Pray before you leave home and before you enter their door. Ask God to give you His countenance, patience, and kindness when you can’t seem to find these qualities within yourself.
Plan your visit, but allow some flexibility (Proverbs 16:9)
For example, do not try to squeeze a visit in while your dinner is in the oven. That’s baking in disaster (yes, pun intended because we have to have fun sometime). You will be rushing, forget something, and have to go back. That’s a sure smile-killer. Please learn from my mistakes.
Smile until the rest of you catches up with your face (Proverbs 15:13, 30)
Caregiving can brew anger, resentment, and bitterness. It’s too late when bitterness starts bubbling over because it bubbles over on everyone in your path. Do not let it happen. Smile and remember that you love this person and they love you.
Take care of yourself so that you can care for your loved ones (Ephesians 5:29)
It’s ok to get professional help with the stress of it all. Set up boundaries with your loved one so that you both know what to expect and when. Sleep, eat right, exercise, and try to do something fun.
Help for Life
Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. Ps. 54:4
My help comes from the Lord. Do you know where your help comes from? If you don’t yet, I pray that you will seek the Lord and find him. He’s waiting for you.
Today, I’m writing for the Five-Minute Fridays link-up, we free-write to a one-word writing prompt. This week the word is HELP.
You might also find me on the following linkups:
Grace and Truth Link-up
Faith on Fire
Inspire Me Mondays
Let’s Have Coffee (on the Wild at Heart blog)
And on Instagram @myconcretedove