Who Cares for the Caregiver?
Ezekiel 1:24 "When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty..."
Monday night I couldn't sleep. So many things were on my mind...Michael, my mom, my brother, my sons, my grandson Eli, the folks in Houston, those beginning a new school year, and me. I don't often dwell on my well-being but it was weighing heavy on me that evening. I was weary, I was exhausted, and very close to despair--the kind of despair that immobilizes you. It's that kind of hopeliness that overwhelmed me so I sat down to create a soul collage card.
Creating a Soul Collage Card When I Can't Sleep
I opened three magazines and just mindlessly pulled pages that caught my attention, for whatever reason. I looked at my blank card, said a Breath Prayer, "Jesus, help me!" I culled through the pictures I had torn out of the magazines and pulled the ones I knew I needed to pull. There was a blue sky with beautfiul clouds, an angel tern, a portal-looking structure, a woman looking through a veiled, almost translucent curtain, and an image of rushing water flowing down steps. I hastily cut the images without my glasses (which explains why they aren't neatly trimmed as they should be) and put them together. Truly, it came together in just a few minutes. That's what happens when you turn everything over to the Lord--He takes control of my mind and my hands to tell me exactly what I need to hear at that moment. When I looked at the finished card, the above scripture from Ezekiel came to my mind.
The Sound of Rushing Water
Anyone who knows me well, knows my love for the sound of rushing water. Perhaps it goes back to our trips to Gatlinburg when I was a child. I remember staying at a cabin right beside a rushing stream and I felt so safe. The sound of the water rolling over the smooth stones, well-worn by time lulled me to sleep. When I took my young sons back to Gatlinburg, we camped at a campground that was actually on an island, surrounded on both sides by a rushing stream. We loved that campground! What great memories it brought back. Michael knew of my love, perhaps my need, for the sound of moving water and he created a water feature in our garden. He ingeniously designed a fountain from a horse watering bucket and a vintage copper reflector we found in the bottom of our property in a stream that flows in to the Corotoman. Every moment spent in our garden three seasons of the year , I am surrounded by the relaxing song of moving water. It is comforting. It reminds me to listen to God's voice, actually it's more of an on-going conversation. I listen and He talks--I pray and He listens. It's really beautiful how that works!
The Sound of Rushing Water in Houston
It has been a devastating couple of weeks for the people in Houston, I doubt any of them would feel comforted by the sound of rushing water, for a very long time--if ever again. Associating tragic events with that sound that is so comforting to me would have the oppposite effect right now the victims of Harvey. However, watching the news and witnessing the heroic acts and miracles that brought all Americans closer together, the Lord can use a natural disaster to bring out His love. Like God who sees all of us as His children, people didn't see race, religion, socio-economic class, or even those who live on the fringes of society in the shadows as a barrier. Those in need were just people and we opened our arms to them as God opens his arms to us.
This Month's Dangerous Prayer
This month's Dangerous Prayer comes from Phil 2:1-18 and is very powerful, indeed.
Lord God, help me walk in the true humility of Christ today (who made Himself nothing, taking on the nature of a servant, even dying in my place). In my relationships, help me have the attitude as Jesus. Work in me to will and act in order to fufill YOUR good purpose. Let no grumbling or arguing proceed from my lips but let YOUR light shine through me as I hold firmly to you in this dark world. And let me walk in the same love being of one Sprit and mind as Jesus. In His name I pray. Amen.
Who Cares for the Caregiver?
So, being a caregiver can often be a dark place. Your best is never good enough. The burdens of simply exsisting fall on the caregiver's shoulders, like it or not. It is also a lonely place. There's a lot of guilt about the "grumblings" that were part of Paul's warning to the Phillipians. Yes, it is frustrating to feel unappreciated. It is frustrating to not be able to go out on my boat or kayak. It is frustrating not to go camping. It is frustrating not to see my family. Praying the Dangerous Prayer this month has already convicted me of "grumbling" so I need to turn to the One who can care for the Caregiver, the Lord God Almighty. I need to listen to His voice in the flutter of the wings of butterflies and birds and to His words of wisdom in the rushing water. It is vital to remember that it is God who is always there, holding the Caregiver in His loving arms and singing heavenly lullabies to me. I love how making a soul collage card in the middle of the night opens my eyes and ears to what the Lord wants me to hear!