|A place of grace and peace in our Memorial Garden|
Right now I am being tested in the area of "Serving with Grace". I won't go into all the details, but let me just say that being a caregiver for loved ones and/or friends with physical and/or emotional issues can be very trying and draining. The one thing I am realizing the most is that if I don't maintain my own physical/emotional/spiritual stamina, it doesn't take much to throw me over the limit of my endurance.
How can one maintain her physical/emotional/spiritual stamina when circumstances beyond her control keep pulling away at her reserves faster than she can refuel? Here are some ideas on this:
- Recognize the signs of exhaustion.
- Look for opportunities to rest...take a quick nap, short walk, read a book, go outside and get some fresh air. Look at or tend to flowers/plants.
- Ask others to take over for a few minutes while you do something for yourself.
- If other helpers aren't readily available, then take advantage of the moments when the one you are caring for is napping or quiet. Put on some pleasant music that is soothing for them and you and let it soothe you both.
- Start the day spending time in God's Word and prayer. It doesn't have to be long periods of time or reading. Read a daily devotional, a psalm, something from the Gospels or Epistles...or Proverbs. Words that uplift, encourage and comfort.
- Whisper prayers throughout the day...for yourself, your patient, your family, others around you.
- When you get the opportunity, do things you enjoy...a hobby, cooking, writing, reading, photography, sewing, knitting, whatever relaxes you.This is being written for my benefit as well as yours. In order to serve with grace, I must first be full of grace. This can only come from being tuned into the grace of the Lord...by being filled with His Spirit, and by resting in Him.