Wednesday, November 26, 2014

30 Thoughts of Thankfulness To Caregivers

Trying to think of an article for this Thanksgiving, I was inspired to create this "30 Thoughts of Thankfulness To Caregivers." Why? I wrote it to thank the Caregivers in my own life, but also included it in ways to speak to you. I felt the need to offer this encouragement to you today. You deserve every thank you mentioned here - all 30 of them! Of course, I could never thank a Caregiver enough. Their work is without borders, but I pray this article praises them in a humble sense.

I dedicate this post of thankfulness to my parents, my grandma, and to my friends who find themselves wearing this honorable title. Without further ado, here are my 30 Thoughts of Thankfulness To Caregivers:

1. Thank you for the energy you take to care for the needs of someone else - which is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Your job is full-time, and I thank you for every minute of it.

2. Thank you for managing to cook meals every day for your family. Your vigor to keep us fed is one of your top to-do's on your list, and my stomach internally thanks you, as well!

3. Thank you for remembering fellow Caregivers everywhere and for offering support and encouragement to them. The help you give them is appreciated and much needed.

4. Thank you for standing up for life and for waving the banner of truth. This will never change, because the battle of life and death will forever be waged, but I say, fight on soldier!

5. Thank you for writing books to draw Caregivers and families closer to God. I've been inspired by your stories of triumph, and am encouraged to pen my own story on Caregivers.

6. Thank you for being strong among the storms of trial and heartache. You're my superheroes!

7. Thank you for juggling the mundane chores and activities that come your way. They may not seem important, but God sees your every move. One by one, all service counts in His eyes.

8. Thank you for making birthdays, and the holidays so special. You don't forget our day of birth, and you're always able to assemble a mighty celebration. Memories are our best gifts!

9. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your stories with us. Each tale from your life is a piece of treasure to dig up and carefully analyze. I promise, I will forever cherish them.

10. Thank you for your compassionate spirit in assisting the needy within your community. If we had more servant-minded folks like you, this world would be a better place for all of us.

11. Thank you for lending a shoulder to cry on - which all tears flow.

12. Thank you for instilling the Bible into the lives of your family members, especially your children. Standing up for God's Word is first and foremost in my faith, and your teachings on it are precious.

13. Thank you for the precise and loving care that you give to the disabled in your home. They wholly depend on your life to see them through theirs. Your sacrifice is utmost!

14. Thank you for the wisdom you carry in the area of health and medicine. Your brain is like a walking medical encyclopedia, which I am allowed to search through for assistance.

15. Thank you for your constant vigil - whether it's early in the morning or late at night. Most would describe you as being both an early bird and a night owl, because your guard duty never ends.

16. Thank you for smiling through the extreme hardships and for also keeping an optimistic view on them. The hope you carry in your heart touches the lives of everyone who yearns for it.

17. Thank you for your tireless prayers to God for healing and peace. Your Father hears every tear-streaked word in the middle of the night, and quiet utterance during the day.

18. Thank you for doing your best every single day of the year - which is giving your all. Mind, body, spirit - you fully provide these three to the one you care for. May your heart be refreshed!

19. Thank you for your humble attitude and unwavering soul. Most don't know what you do at home, and you'd like to keep it that way. Your solid determination and humility is invigorating.

20. Thank you for trying to keep the house clean. I know this is no easy feat!

21. Thank you for accomplishing the chores around the house, and for not forgetting one, single, solitary detail. Where would we be without you? Your memory is like an elephant.

22. Thank you for listening to people with disabilities, and for treating them with respect. You see them with the heart of a parent, and you offer them the same treatment as one of your own.

23. Thank you for being a fixer - your need to make things better is contagious. The drive you exceed at in getting things done is miraculous. I hope to be so alive in spirit and fire!

24. Thank you for either doing school with us or for making sure we got to school on time. Being homeschooled, you taught me what public school couldn't: compassion, and an open mind.

25. Thank you for your healing hands. They're rough and strong from constant use, but on the other side, gentle and fragile. When we fall down, and can't get back up - your hands are what hold us up,

26. Thank you for your unbroken love and devotion - both speak of a faithful servant. In the end, you will garner a trophy for finishing an amazing race, and I will be honored to stand by you all.

27. Thank you for being a Florence Nightingale, watching over us with the expert care of a nurse. I can imagine you with an oil lamp of light, but instead of the lamp, your heart is what would shine.

28. Thank you for wearing the title of Caregiver. The word is fitting for one who is two things: a giver, and a person who cares. Yup. Caregiver couldn't be more perfect!

29. Thank you for finding a way to celebrate Thanksgiving, whether it's a large or small event. It doesn't matter what size it is, your heart is dedicated to creating a day for family and friends. This is the most important aspect of any holiday!

30. Thank you for not giving up on hope, and for this, I am especially thankful.

To close this article, I would like to say... may you all enjoy a tremendous Thanksgiving with the people you care most about! <3 Caregivers, you are forever loved and held in our arms of protection! I pray your holidays are deeply blessed!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

There's Always Room for Hope

© Jules315 | - Superman Photo

I love these kinds of surprises.

"I think he can do much more than he's doing now," the physical therapist said as she helped my thirty-six-year-old son through a series of exercises. "I've seen people with a lot less do a lot more."

Music to my ears.

It's been over seventeen years since my son Kevin suffered a spinal injury in a fall. He was originally paralyzed from the neck down and was on life support for two years.

Today he can walk with help, run a computer, feed himself some foods, and feel or move nearly every part of his body.

Not paralyzed, just really tired.

His older brother Erik likes to joke that Kevin's not actually paralyzed, just "really tired."

He worked very hard during the first years to wean off the vent during his sleeping hours, move his body again in small ways, and fight off the regular complications of a high-level spinal cord injury.

Then his progress seemed to plateau. He and the family, now full-time caregivers, got too tired and discouraged to keep on fighting for a return to a normal body.

Kevin turned his attention to building a new life. We fell into a new kind of normal, accepting and enjoying the life we have. We've just been thankful to have each other and the good health to be home together.

Then a recent succession of injuries in the family forced us to reconsider transfer options. The Hoyler lift was out. Kevin can sit and walk to and from the wheelchair with help. An online search revealed that a lot has changed since Kevin was first injured in 1997. There's some awesome adaptive equipment out there.

A different kind of super man.

So Kevin has been traveling to an outpatient facility in a nearby city. There, we've been encouraged to believe again in what we've suspected all along: Kevin can do more. What amazing news for a man who was dubbed by one of his original surgeons as "another Christopher Reeve." For those of you who don't know who that is, Christopher Reeve was an actor who played the part of the comic book hero Superman in the movies. In 1995, Reeve was thrown from a horse and suffered a spinal cord injury that nearly killed him. He was totally paralyzed from the neck down and spent the rest of his life on life support. He died in 2004 from complications of his injury.

Today, Kevin is healthy and working hard on his exercises to awaken the old muscles and strengthen the ones he uses now. We're cautiously optimistic. The physical therapists want to try out the Rifton Tram in a couple of weeks and see if it will work for transfers and increased ambulation. We'll let you know how it goes.

Here's the link for the company.

Don't you love surprises?

As a caregiver, have you found that it's easy to fall into a routine and forget to push for new progress with your loved one?

What adaptive equipment have you found that makes your life easier as a caregiver?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

20 Encouraging Bible Verses For Caregivers: Part 4

  • "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you." {Hebrews 13:5}

  • "The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him. The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him." {Lamentations 3:24-25}

  • "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." {Galatians 6:9-10}

  • "I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed." {Psalm 34:4-5}

  • "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!" {Psalm 34:8}

    Part 1 of 20 Encouraging Bible Verses For Caregivers
    Part 2 of 20 Encouraging Bible Verses For Caregivers
    Part 3 of 20 Encouraging Bible Verses For Caregivers

Thursday, November 6, 2014

20 Encouraging Bible Verses For Caregivers: Part 3

  • "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." {1 Corinthians 15:58}
  • "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose." {Romans 8:28}
  • "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." {Romans 8:37-39}
  • "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." {Lamentations 3:21-23}
  • "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." {Colossians 3:16-17}

    Part 1 of 20 Encouraging Bible Verses For Caregivers
    Part 2 of 20 Encouraging Bible Verses For Caregivers
    Part 4 of 20 Encouraging Bible Verses For Caregivers