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Caregiving Monday: Cherishing the Moments

Caregiving can be very taxing and trying at times.   There are times when you just need to get away and have “me” time.

There are numerous times when sacrifices have to be made and we as caregivers have to give up things we really want to do.

Take time to Cherish the moments
Take time to Cherish the moments

When these moments come, I remind myself to cherish the moments I have with my loved one.  I remind myself that she is getting older and we will not have her forever.

This was driven home this past week with the passing of a very dear individual in my life.  I thought about the times we spent together and how I wish I had more of those moments to just sit with him or to sing another song together.

I strive to remind myself to cherish these moments when I am with my grandmother and other loved ones.   I find that I have more appreciation and gratitude when I use this reminder.   This is the time to enjoy the small moments together, as well as to ask questions and listen to stories from their younger days.

When our loved ones are gone all of these opportunities will also be gone.  Usually, we don’t know how much longer we have together.  We can either take advantage of them now or regret the missed chances later on.

How do you cherish the moments together?

give thanks

Transitional Friday: Home is where Heart is

home where heart isFor years I was unhappy with where I was living.  I did not want to be there.  I was fighting a spiritual battle, between what I wanted and what God wanted for my life.

There were times when the situation weighted so heavily on my heart that it gnawed away at me and I became angry.

Then a few months ago, God opened amazing doors for a new job in a new city an hour away.

I realized during this time that the place I’d been fighting living, had become more of a home than I ever expected or anticipated.give thanks

Only once I had left, did I realize how much this town and place had become home.

Often we don’t realize how important a place or person is until they are gone.

We are told to be “thankful in all things.”

This isn’t always easy, especially in trying circumstance.  I’ve really struggled with this lesson at times.

However, that is exactly what God wants for us.

What have you been thankful in?

discouragement quote

Transitional Friday: 7 Lessons Learned from Discouragement

discouragement

 

 

 

There have been times when I wondered if anything was going my way.

No matter how hard I tried or how much effort I put into the endeavor nothing seemed to work.

This led to great disappointment and discouragement.  There were days when depression hit and I nothing could lift my mood.

When discouraged, I have to remind myself that:discouragement quote

  1. This too shall pass
  2. God is preparing me for something better
  3. God has a better plan
  4. There is a reason for this
  5. I need to spend more time in God’s word and in prayer seeking His will
  6. I need to work off the depression
  7. My circumstances don’t identify me as a person

What has discouragement taught you?

prayer

Transitional Friday: Thinking Positively Through the Transition

When life gets us down, it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The devil pounces on the darkness and insecurities to bring us down.  In order to see the good and move forward, we need to see the positive.

This has often been a personal struggle for me, but each day I work to have a better attitude and move forward.

  1. Write your goalsgoal
  2. Write stepping stones towards your goals—what steps are necessary to reach the goals made.
  3. Reward yourself—find a way to reward ourselves for each small accomplishment we’ve made.  This could be a book or CD, massage, favorite restaurant, etc.
  4. Write positive affirmations and repeat them—I find that writing and repeating positive affirmations helps me to begin to believe them in time.  I heard one speaker {I wish I could remember who at the moment} state that they state these right before bedtime every night.
  5. Reflect on your situation, what brought you here and how far you’ve already come—I find it difficult at times not to dwell on how far I still have to go, but I have to look at how far I’ve come.
  6. Replace negative thoughts—don’t allow the dark places to crowd in and bring me down to where I’m useless.  The positive affirmations really help. prayer
  7. Pray and ask for God’s guidance and peace
  8. Listen to uplifting music and watch heartwarming movies—these lift the mind and help me to change perspective.  I have to remind myself I deserve this also.
  9. Find a peaceful place {ex. Lake, mountains, meadow, etc.} and remind yourself this too shall pass

What do you do to think positively?

 

Tweetables:

Thinking Positively Through the Transition

time to be born

Transitional Friday: For Everything There Is A Season

In Ecclesiastes 3, we are told that for everything there is a season.  There are seasons of life that we love and seasons that we can’t wait to get finished with.  While we wait for the next transition, the waiting is often the most difficult aspect of our situation.  In our humanness we wonder what God is doing, why it’s taking so long and when He’ll be finished and life will be better.  At least, that’s what I wonder.

So what does God say about this.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven {v.1}: everything has a purpose under heaven.  God has ordained a season for each part of our life.  time to be born

A time to be born: at some point we were all born from our mother’s womb.

A time to die: one day we will all die.  You’ve heard the old saying the only two certainties in life are death and taxes.

A time to plant: in all of the waiting, we may be planting and sewing seeds.

A time to pluck up that which is planted {v.2}—eventually we will reap what we have planted.

A time to kill—we could take this literally, but it also can mean to end the things that aren’t good for us.  This could be a relationship, friendship, job situation or even selling a house.  Are there things in your life that are bringing you down or need to be left behind?

A time to heal—sometimes we just need to heal and work through the process of what we’ve dealt with.  This can be anything from a divorce, to losing a job, to damaged friendship or a sickness.

A time to break down—I’ve discovered the hard way that sometimes God needs to break us or situations in our lives to get us to the point we need to be so that he can build us back up.

A time to build up {v.3}—once we’ve been broken, God wants to build us back up. He wants to set us on the path He has in stores for us.

A time to weep—weeping is good for the soul, it releases the pent up emotions we keep buried.  I often cry easily, while I have family members that seldom cry.  I’m not saying one is right or wrong, I just know that I feel cleansed after a good cry.laughter

A time to laugh—laughter is good for the body.  After her heart attack, a friend had her doctor prescribe for her to laugh each day.  We all need to laugh more {at least I know I do}.

A time to mourn—we will all mourn at some point, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a friendship, a job, a relationship, our dream house, our independence or the pain over decisions our children are making there will be a point at which we mourn.

A time to dance {v.4}—God wants us to be joyful and to express our joy.  King David danced before God in the Old Testament.  Would you be willing to dance before God?

A time to cast stones—no one wants to have stones cast at them.  Sometimes we watch the media and are so thankful that we are not the one that has made a major mistake broadcast around the nation or world.  Also, this could go back to the passage that says, “we reap what we sew.” We could be casting out stones for a new job, to build a house, buy a car, etc.

A time to gather stones—often we want to call people out on something they’ve done wrong.  Just as we do not want to have stones cast on us, we need to tread carefully when we are gathering stones.  We need to check our facts, search our hearts and pray before accusing or confronting another individual.  Gathering stones also relates to showing passion or affection for people and events in our lives.

A time to embrace—there are moments when life gets difficult and we just need a hug and the reassurance that everything will be alright.  As stated above, at times we need to just accept that we are going through and that it cannot be changed at the moment.

A time to refrain from embracing {v. 5}—there are other situations when it is best to refrain from embracing someone, no matter how much comfort you long to provide.

What season of life are you in right now?  What seasons have you struggled with?

Next week: Ecclesiastes 3: 6-10

 

 

Tweetables:

For Everything There Is a Season

Probing the Seasons of Life mentioned in Ecclesiastes 3

 

hope quote

12 Ways Not to Lose Hope

Are you going through a transition?  Does life seem uncertain?  Are you unsure of what the future holds?

Whether you are battling a disease, working through a divorce, searching for a new job or dealing with other life struggles in this chapter of your life, don’t give up hope.

Here are 12 ways to keep hope alive:

  1. Read your Bible—this is the best place to start.  There are plenty examples of individuals that have struggled and been blessed by God.    read Bible
  2. Keep a hope journal—write in your journal every day, sharing your heart and feelings.  This is a journal just between you and God.
  3. List of gratitude’s—make a list of things to be thankful for each morning.  I like to list at least three things, but you can list any number you want.
  4. Art journaling—this is simply drawing your feelings and heart.
  5. Uplifting Music—listen to music that lifts your spirit.  While you listen you can sing along or even dance to it.
  6. Inspirational Movies—find an inspirational movie that relates to your circumstances or just lifts your spirit and makes you feel good.
  7. Place your name in the Bible Verse—when you read a verse put your name in that verse.  For example: “cast not your movie realburdens upon the Lord.”  I would say, “Leagh, cast not your burdens upon the Lord.”
  8. Cast Your Cares Away—write your burden out and then burn it.  As the ashes burn, lift that burden and prayer up to God and allow Him to lift it from your shoulders.
  9. Say Goodbye to the past—if your house burned down go back to that site and say goodbye.  If you hurt someone, meet with them and apologize.  If it is impossible to meet in person then write that person a letter.  Even if you never send it, you’ve released those feelings and said goodbye.
  10. Speak with someone else that has overcome that situation—find someone else that has overcome the same situation and share your stories with one another.  Just knowing that someone else has been there and understand helps.   help homeless
  11. Help the less fortunate—often doing something for someone else is the best medicine.  You get your mind off of yourself and onto others.  Doing this provides you with a new perspective of how much worse your own situation could be.
  12. Life Coaching—this is a great tool that will allow you to set goals and keep you accountable as you move forward.

How do you keep hope alive?  What struggles have you overcome?

 

hope quote

gratitude

Writing a Gratitude Journal

I’ve struggled at times with being grateful for things in my life.  This has been especially true when things were not going my way.  I had a friend suggest that I start a gratitude journal.  Each morning I would list three things for which I am grateful.  I decided that I would not list anything on my list more than once a month.   greatful

I discovered that the more I wrote in my gratitude journal the better my outlook and attitude became.  I’m more grateful for the small things around me.   When my outlook begins to look bleak, I’ll ask myself if I wrote in my gratitude journal that morning.  Often I’ll discover that I did not and will take the time to sit down and write in my journal.

I’ve also discovered that I will write in anticipation of something for that day.  Regardless of the outcome of that event, my attitude is much more positive.

Have you ever thought about keeping a gratitude journal?  What positive insights did you find?

gratitude