I’ve shared that I tend to be a checklist kind of gal. I think that comes from a career auditing quality systems for the automotive industry. We had an overarching standard, or rules, to audit against and a plethora of checklists to help us stay on track. It made me giddy.
In real caregiver life, the items on our checklists are different, but the goal is the same–Provide care that follows all the rules. But wait, there are rules?
Yes, there are always rules. For me, caregiving involves love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. That’s right! It’s the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. But I have a confession to make–the traits on that list aren’t always evident in my caregiving life.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!–Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
Yes, I love my sister, without question, but I’m not so consistent with the rest.
When we don’t see a whole basket of spiritual fruit, we might start asking questions like: How am I doing Lord? Why can’t I see your work in my heart? What am I doing wrong? These are snippets of my conversations with God. Maybe you can relate.
As I continue this caregiving journey, Alzheimer’s progresses, creating an ambiguous environment. It feels like fog rolling by, revealing and then concealing elements of the landscape in front of me. It hides one path forward and then unveils another. Finding the fruit of the Spirit on a foggy caregiving landscape can be exhausting. That’s because it’s not our job. It’s His.
Well, caregiving can be new and different every day (not always in a good way). And without peace, patience, kindness, and all the rest this foggy caregiving landscape can be nightmarish to navigate. But, all is not lost. This is the time to look beyond ourselves and trust the generosity of God to provide what we need when we need it.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, –Ephesians 1:3 (ESV)
Keep going, my caregiving friend. While it may feel like it at times, you are not alone on this journey. You may not see His fruit in your life right now but, chances are, someone else does. Trust God and let Him do His work.
I’d love to know if you are a family caregiver (past, present, or you see it in your future). Please, leave a comment to let me know. I’d love to pray for you.🙏🏻
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Most weeks I post on these blog linkups: Inspire Me Monday, Grace and Truth, and Five Minute Friday.
Thank you Suzette, the days are long most days. As I pause and take a breath tonight after working a 13 hour day, I know it is Him who gives me the fruit of the spirit everyday, to love and care for His people. I love what I do as a caregiver, I would not change a thing but maybe make the nights last a little long cause some days I am tired. Your words inspired by God have touched me. Know that I am praying for you always💗
You my friend, Amanda, are a caregiver extraordinaire! The way you have helped care for my sister is amazing. I hold you in prayer for rest and renewal this weekend. God has given you very special gifts to care for very special people. Thank you 💜
It looks like my web host’s name comes up with I reply from my phone. It was me. I think you are a wonderful caregiver.
interesting turn on the theme of being generous, caregiving… I have a boy! I can see it happening in the future with my hubby… I’ll need patience indeed! FMF21
Patience is one of the fruits I rarely see in myself, if ever. But, Annette, God does give us what we need, when we need it. Thanks so much for commenting. I’m praying for you.
Oh wow, well done. My husband’s parents have been care givers for his 96 year old grandmother for over ten years, though certainly she has needed a lot more care just even since her 90th birthday though she doesn’t have any ailment, just frailty and soreness and frustration that she can’t organise and be productive, and she has sadly lost too much of her eyesight to do any more of her beloved knitting. Every year she used to knit over 100 dolls to give away to children on the mission field.
It must be very frustrating to that little lady not to be serving others as she has in the past. And I can relate with your father-in-law, as my mom is 93 and her vision is fading as well. Saying a prayer for them, now.
Nice blog. Good thoughts. Love your photos. Blessings! (FMF#18)
Thanks, Rachel. Come back for another visit.
Caregiving requires such patience and there can be a loneliness in it. I’m praying for you.
Hi Tammy. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, loneliness and isolation are very real in caregiving life. Do you have firsthand experience?
Don’t want to be a caregiver,
that’s really not my thing,
but if called I do deliver
for I wear the golden ring,
goes with ‘for better or for worse’
all those years ago;
while sometimes it feels a curse,
the Lord wants me to know
that life’s not all pizza and beer,
and racing bikes down Deadman’s Hill;
no, it’s made of what we fear,
and following His will
through the dark and foggy night
to live in faith for coming light.
Andrew! This speaks directly at the heart of the matter. Especially for those of us who don’t necessarily have the gifts required for caregiving. But God still provides. Thank you for this very thoughtful comment.