Monday, August 23, 2010

Counting your blessings.....

"Oh no. Please don't tell me this is going to be one of those happy blog posts about "counting your blessings". Seriously? Don't you understand my life???"

Believe me, I do understand your life. But you know what I have discovered about humankind? I have discovered that we all have different blessings.

Yes, we do. As caregivers, our blessings, when listed, would look completely different from what I'll call "normals". Those of us who are caring for our loved ones have many blessings that we overlook each day.

I've talked about finding contentment before, but just maybe contentment is also found along the road of counting our blessings.

So this week, I'm going to try to focus on counting my blessings, as difficult as that may be at times.

I am blessed.....

  • because I get to be at home with my husband and my last remaining minor child. We can enjoy one anothers company.

  • in that I have very reliable air conditioning in this oppressive heat wave. Our city has had temps in the 100's for several weeks now, and we've been under heat advisories. No one can handle temps this high, and certainly not my Dear Hubby with his MS. It would kill him, literally.

  • to have people in my life who care deeply for me. We have friends from our past visiting us, and friends who have made a deep connection with us. I know of 6 women that I could call right now and I know that they would pray with me and for me. I know these women would run an errand for me or just come here to sit with me and hold my hand. I am loved.

  • that my husband while almost completely bedridden, is able to communicate, visit and share with me. Many caregivers don't have that, and I know that I may not always have that either.

  • with medical equipment, which makes caring for my husband less physically demanding that it once was. A hospital type bed, a Hoyer lift, medical supplies and consults with nurses, aides and doctors when we hit a rough spot.
  • to be able to share my heart with others, to be heard.

  • to finally understand in a small way how my Father in heaven sees me. This is a recent development as we've begun to understand the grace of God. Understanding who I am in Christ has removed a lot of condemnation that I've felt the past ten years when I've failed at being a "good wife" or a "sacrificial caregiver". I am growing in grace and in the knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  • because I am mentally healthy. No longer do I struggle with depression or thoughts of suicide. My life is demanding and challenging, for sure, but my mind is strong and healthy. God has done a remarkable work in my life.

  • to have little moments of quiet in my life, where I can reflect and remember.

  • in having memories. I can remember the good times our family has had together. I can remember the painful and burdensome times and can recall the ways God has moved on our behalf. I can cry over the loss of children through miscarriage and rejoice in knowing I will see them again.
  • in having met some wonderful people through the internet.

Those of you who have contacted me through this blog have had a profound influence in my life. As you share your story with me, I remember all the things I have been through. I see myself in your story. And, through you, I am feeling a calling on my life. I anticipate that God is going to use me in a way I NEVER would have dreamed. My life may only affect one person, but I am willing to be used. I have nothing to give. All I can do is point to the One who has done a work and to share this: If God can change my heart, if He can heal my mind, if He can provide for me, He can do the same for you.

I am proof positive that God is still working miracles, large and small......

I am a blessed woman.

3 comments:

WhiteStone said...

Isn't it amazing how we consider ourselves blessed in what some would consider the worst of circumstances!?

Last year I was the caregivee... dealing with ovarian cancer. Now, suddenly, my hubby and I have switched roles. He has been diagnosed with an exceedingly rare kidney disease and is receiving chemo himself. Hopefully the chemo will slow the disease but it will not cure.

Through this all, we thank God for His goodness towards us and know that He continues to work in our lives to conform us to the image of Christ.

God bless you and your Hubby.

Living on Less Money said...

I believe that only a believer can truly know gratitude in the face of suffering or watching a loved one suffer. Don't you?

Very encouraging post. Thank you!

I am 'practicing' gratitude and contentment in my life daily... I don't do it perfectly but I am 'looking' for things to be grateful for! It' amazing how our emotions will follow our thoughts. I immediately feel better when I place my thoughts on happy things.

mamageese said...

Paula,
Don't know where I found this blog, I was just linking from one to another and found you here! What an amazing journey you are on. I have enjoyed Amy Carmichael's daily devotion books for these last several years, and as I read your post, something she encouraged me with came to mind. About the "count it all joy" phrase in James 1:2. That we need to look beyond the present through the present, to the things that are not seen, and our prayers for one another and in our faith for one another, we rise to the highest! My dear one, looks like you have mastered this, and beyond. Bless You! and Bless Forrest!
Peggy Giese