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Caregiving Is A Gift // Guest Post by Barbara London

CaregivingGift

The past few months I have been searching for the gifts that God blesses us with each and every day. It has been amazing to intentionally look — and find — God’s gifts…right in front of us!

Thanks to Ann Voskamp and her book, “One Thousand Gifts — A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are“, I have been following this practice of searching for God’s gifts every day for eight months. Nothing has surprised me –

or has it?

Recently, in my morning devotion from the Upper Room, the “Thought for the Day” was “Caregiving is a gift from God” using Deuteronomy 31:8. The Message Bible says, “God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t leave you. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t worry.”

So, what does this verse have to do with caregiving? I continued reading and found this one in Acts 20:35, also from the Message:

In everything I’ve done, I have demonstrated to you how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You’re far happier giving than getting.’

It is “necessary to work on behalf of the weak. How is “working on behalf of the weak” a gift? How is it even considered caregiving?

As a caregiver to my husband who has Vascular dementia, I never thought about caregiving as a gift.

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts”, and the journey I have been on discovering the gifts I have received. There have been so many gifts found on my journey, I don’t think I could name them all in one post!

But, here are some of the gifts I have found:

God’s Creatures: birds, my cat
Music, Song, Instruments
Family – Togetherness
A verse at the right moment
Children, Grandchildren
Support, Encouragement,
Generosity, Understanding
Connecting with Friends
God’s World: the sky, clouds, rain

I could go on and on and on to list all of the awesome gifts that God has blessed me with in these past months.

Yet, caregiving as a gift? No, I have never considered that to be a gift. A gift is something good, isn’t it? A gift is something you need; even something you may want, right? How can caregiving be good? Who really wants or needs to be a caregiver?

Maybe I need to look at this “gift” from another angle.

Perhaps I should look at this “gift” from the perspective of the care-receiver rather than the caregiver?

Our purpose on earth.2

As a caregiver, I am helping someone else. Yes, it is my husband, and I am suppose to be there for him, to help him when he is unable to do so, right?

Didn’t I take a vow – over 30 years ago – that we would be together “in sickness and in health…’til death do us part”? That vow is a promise to my husband that I will not leave him. Just as God promises He will not leave us:

Hebrews 13:1-6 in the Message Bible says:

…Since God assured us, ‘I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,’ we can boldly quote, ‘God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?’

And, what about how the care-receiver feels? He (or she) may feel blessed to have someone take care of them…Even if it is their spouse! Perhaps they even feel their spouse is a gift received from God, someone who will be there for them and provide the caregiving needed.

God cares for the caregiver as well as the care-receiver; and assures us He will be with us through whatever lies ahead:

Romans 8:26-28 (MSG):

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

So, yes! As a caregiver, we can be a blessing – a gift! – to those whom receive the care we give; and we receive so many blessings ourselves from the care-receiver.


 

BarbaraLondonBarbara London is a wife, mother to three adult children and grandmother to six. She is retired but busier than ever! She enjoys spending time with family and friends; hobbies and traveling (limited) and just being relaxed and flexible. As a caregiver to her husband, she is still learning how that all plays out in her life. She writes to get the words out and allow her voice to be heard. Visit Barbara at her blog, where she shares her journey of being a caregiver to her husband and other uplifting tidbits, or stop by and visit her on Facebook.

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Barbara
    November 18, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Barbie, you honor me greatly with this invitation, your kinds words, and this bio…is this REALLY me?!

    Thank you…once again!!
    Barbara recently posted..Caregiving is a Gift {Guest Post for Barbie Swihart}

  • Reply
    Helen Tisdale
    November 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Barbara! Beautiful post! Your scriptures given are absolute life giving! I admire you so, in all you do! Especially your diligence to write continually! You are a beautiful light! So thankful for your inspiration and your friendship!

    • Reply
      Barbara
      November 18, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you, Helen! I appreciate your sweet words! I am honored AND humbled to be writing on others’ blogs and sharing my words. Sometimes they come easily; other times, not so easy. But, I keep persevering! Thanks for reading!
      Barbara recently posted..Caregiving is a Gift {Guest Post for Barbie Swihart}

  • Reply
    Jeanie Olinger
    November 18, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Barbara,
    Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful thoughts with us!!

    Jeanie

  • Reply
    Carrie
    November 18, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Caregiving is one of the most sacrificial gifts. Your husband is blessed to have you by his side. Thank you for sharing!
    Carrie recently posted..A Late Bloomer

  • Reply
    Robin Duncan
    November 18, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Beautiful post. What a blessing this reminder is to me.
    Robin Duncan recently posted..In The Light

  • Reply
    Amanda
    November 19, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    I always think, oh I’m not a caregiver, but then in the end when you were talking bout the vow you took and how it is your responsibility to take care of your husband I realized my role of being a mom to a crazy two year old is also a responsibility, gift and blessing. Though some days I may want to rip my hair out or go find a place where i can be alone. There are so many blessings in this gift of caregiving. Thanks for the encouragement.
    Amanda recently posted..Why I Would Choose Pain for Childbirth

    • Reply
      Barbara
      November 20, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      Oh, Amanda, you are indeed a caregiver to your little one!! I have been “care-giving” ever since I first became a mother, over 40 years ago!! Now, I find that I am caregiver to my husband; and though I AM finding it hard, I do realize it IS a gift, a blessing; yet, it is HARD…much as raising a child is HARD. But, oh the blessings we receive. Can I continue to look at it that way? I’m not sure; but I can try!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      Barbara recently posted..Five Minute Friday – DWELL

  • Reply
    ~ linda
    November 21, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Oh, Yes, Barbara, caring for another is a beautiful gift…to the receiver of your care as well as to you for you are doing the work that God calls us to do sometimes. I cared for my mother for 15 years and found that this giving of myself was a gift. No, I did not always think it to be so, but I came to know that God never left me and was using me to care for Mama as well as love the others in the places she lived.
    I have written many posts on caregiving myself and found that through this writing space, God used my experience to encourage others as well as myself.
    Caring through Christ,~ linda
    ~ linda recently posted..A Different Perspective ~ Linda’s Story … [As a Guest Poster @ m2m]

    • Reply
      Barbara
      November 22, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Linda! I am not always a “good” caregiver; nor a “good” wife…the stress and pressures get to me so easily…and I KNOW that He is with me, is with US through this journey…ALL THE TIME!

      Appreciate your reading and commenting.
      Barbara recently posted..Five Minute Friday – DWELL

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