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Thursday, January 2, 2020

Welcome to 2020, New Beginnings, And the Joys of Caregiving

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Welcome to 2020. January begins a new month, a new year, and a new decade. 

It's January 3rd already? I started writing this blog post on the first. Ah, such is the life of a caregiver. It was a boring 3 days anyhow. Nothing special to write about unless, of course ... well, it is worth mentioning that I've set down some new rules, some guidelines ... um, I mean suggestions. Suggestion number one: We should start praying before our meals again. 

What? You say. Yes, I'm afraid I got spiritually lazy. In my defense, it takes hard work to get Dad to the table. Sad to say, but directions fall into that black hole of his mind after 3 seconds. Then just when Mom sits down, she decides that this is the perfect time to make her bed, gather clothes for laundry, and look for her cup of water. Oh, I'm telling you, this year I will remain joyful and calm even while breakfast gets cold and, alas, we forget to pray. No longer! No, Lord, we will remember to give thanks.

So Dad comes alive for a few seconds and prays—a short, sweet, simple prayer of thanksgiving. And we do have a lot to be thankful for. But sometimes, the praiseworthy things are lost in the "how are we going to manage this?" thing. 

2020 is a do-over for a lot of us. I see it as another second-chance, refreshed, redeemed, revived by Jesus. That's chance number gazillion for me—I'm living out life on borrowed time, my friends. Swimming in that ocean of Grace and Mercy. And he's glad to give me the extra days. How 'bout you? 

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. ~Isaiah 43:19 

This morning I was delighted to see that Mom and Dad had dressed themselves, ready to go at 6:30 a.m. to bring my daughter to the train station. The air was fresh, the sky was blue, no traffic on the freeway, everyone was in a great mood, and San Bernardino Train Station is beautiful. In my hurry to secure the dog, I forgot to take pictures. My daughter sent me one of Union Station in LA to let me know she made it safely. I always appreciate that. (btw, did I mention I now am the caregiver of three. Yes, it's true, our precious husky now has diabetes, and is blind. It happened so fast.)

Union Station in Los Angeles
In any case, on the way home I realized how much both Mom and Dad were enjoying this short road trip. They took in all the scenery as if they'd never been this way before. They had, but those memories fade. So I let them enjoy the new-ness of it all. If a trip down the freeway (Thank the Lord the drive on the 10 through Redlands and Beau-mont is quite pretty) brings them joy, then why can't I rest in that? Indeed, I think I will. 

“It is not settled happiness but momentary joy that glorifies the past.”C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life
Close to home now, we visited their most favorite place in all the world ... McDonald's. The simplicity of this astounds me. An Egg McMuffin, a cup of iced coffee, sometimes yogurt (I'll try fruit next time), and sneak in extra fries and joy comes in the morning. Blood pressure, perfect; blood  sugar, okay. We're good for the rest of the day. Wait, it's nap time. Thank God!! There are blessings in this everyday day of a caregiver. 

SidebarI asked Mom the other day in my attempt to bring good spiritual habits back, if she could still read? Her eyes are bad and I do need to get her tested for new glasses, but I suggested she read out loud the devotional I had read for 2019 by Joni Earickson Tada called More Precious Than Silver.
She hesitated at first, thinking she couldn't do it. Deciding the better choice she opened the book and lo and behold she got super excited ... and she was only reading the foreword and copyright pages. When she finally arrived at the devotional part both she and Dad began to smile, filled with joy that this was something they could still do. The Word of the Year is Joy!

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Happy New Year Everyone
Be Refreshed, Redeemed, Revived


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  3. I love your writing. Your experiences remind me of mine. I'm glad I'm not alone. Please know you are not alone! Have a wonderful day! --Sharon