My Daly Outreach Ministries

My Daly Outreach Ministries

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Coffee Time

    Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. Proverbs 17:17
There are times in a caregivers day when we stop and sometimes wonder if anyone ever thinks about our needs or how we are feeling.  Rarely ever do others sincerely ask a caregiver how they are feeling.  When a caregiver finds a special friend who does, it can mean all the difference in the world.  Caregivers need to have at least one confidant they can talk with and trust.  Caregivers need to vent and express all the emotions they keep bottled up inside.

I also encourage caregivers to express to those you trust when you need an outing or a break.  They may think you appear to be doing fine when all the while you are breaking down on the inside.  Text or call that person and tell them you need some time to just grab some coffee or talk for a while.  This can be so important to your mental health which enables you to be a greater caregiver in the end.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

No Answer

Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”

As a caregiver I have faced countless amounts of fear.  Along my journey, I have learned to depend upon God and trust Him in such a richer way.  I worried anytime my husband was out of sight.  I would even panic if he didn’t answer me right away when we were in the same house.  I always feared he had passed out, that his pacemaker had gone off, or imagined even the worst.  When I would leave the house I made sure I could reach him and talk with him at all times.  I would have the house phone beside him along with his cell phone in his pocket, just in case he needed to reach me. 

Over time the fear began to lesson as his health improved.  It was a gradual process for me but I have come a long way.  First, just leaving the house was torture for me, yet at the same time I had to go back to work.  Next, came leaving Brian alone with our daughter, which was challenging as well.  I always envisioned him collapsing in front of her or dying while they were alone.  These are things caregivers think about that no one else even fathoms.   

I am now at a point where I am able to leave him each day in order to go to work and don’t think about all the morbid things I used to.  I also don’t worry when he picks our daughter up from school each afternoon before I get off of work.  I know that she knows what to do in case of emergency and I just don’t worry about those things happening to my husband as I used to for so many years. 

But… then come days like today when he doesn’t answer my text messages for over three hours.  By hour three I could feel those old fears rising up inside and me allowing the enemy to attack my thoughts.  I pictured Brian collapsed in our home or Taylor sitting at school because no one had picked her up.  I finally had to leave the group I was working with and go to my office in order to call my husband.  After several rings I heard his voice.  I was relieved but then came the frustration and even a sense of anger.  He explained he was busy and was talking with Taylor’s teacher and didn’t want to be rude and answer his text messages.  I totally understand but at the same time he has never been on my end of the phone.  If I didn’t answer his message he would think my phone was dead or on vibrate.  That is much different from the thoughts I have had in the past and that even continue to resurface now.

I have realizations when things like today happen about being a caregiver.  No matter how well my husband is doing, my mind remembers where we have been.  I find it amazing how quickly those hidden fears can rise to the surface and overcome me in only a moment.  I continually pray for caregivers and my heart breaks for all who are attached to your phone waiting for a call 24/7.  God is there and He doesn’t want your fears to take over your life.  Fear is not of God.  God’s peace and comfort can wash over you like a blanket to ease your mind and heart.  Call out to Him in your moments of fear.  I promise He hears you and will answer.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wonderfully Made

Psalm 139:14
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Recently, I had a heart wrenching talk with my ten year old daughter who suffers from mild ticks.  This means, for those who aren’t familiar, that she does small, usually unnoticeable, motions with her head, neck, or even her eyes, like blinking.  She cannot control these movements and they are hereditary.  I remember when I first became friends with my husband, he would blink his eyes several times quickly and one day I asked him about it.  He explained that it was a tick and he couldn’t help it.  His brother and other family members also suffer from these ticks, some more severe than others. 

Taylor’s ticks were sometimes very noticeable last school year and she encountered other students questioning her and many times making fun of her actions.  As you can imagine this destroyed me as her mother and I suddenly had the urge to beat up small children!  I knew this would have been frowned upon especially since I was an elementary school teacher!  God gave me the heart and patience to keep control but I did gain an understanding of why mama dogs bite! 

Our family did much research and found that there were things we could do to help control the ticks like her getting plenty of sleep, limiting caffeine intake, and keeping our daughter’s stress level low.  Another key is to NOT draw attention to the ticks, which only make them worsen.  Another issue we had to educate others on was trying to get her to stop the ticks, which is impossible and only escalated her ticks. 

Since our move, Taylor has not had a problem with them at school, but since Thanksgiving break and getting out of her regular routine, we have noticed the ticks bothering her this week.  Last night before she went to sleep, my daughter looked into my eyes and said, “Mommy, why did God let me has ticks?  They make me weird.”  She then went on to explain that a little girl had made fun of her at school that day and even mocked her tick.  It broke my heart.

I explained to Taylor that God didn’t make mistakes.  I explained that people born without legs, or sight, or without hearing ask that same questions.  I told her that each person God creates is special and that what people see as different or weird, God sees as an opportunity to set you apart from the crowd.  I shared with her a personal story of being made fun of when I was her age and how everyone has something different about them.  I also told her that I believed with all my heart that she had been called out from the crowd and she wasn’t “just like everyone else” because God had amazing plans for her life.  I’ll never forget her response.  She smiled and said, “Mommy, you really believe those things about me, don’t you?”  I answered with tears in my eyes, “Oh, yes my sweetheart, I sure do.” 

None of us are perfect.  Each of us have flaws the world see and calls attention to, but I continue to believe it is God’s way of setting you apart from others.  We long to belong and fit in only to learn as we draw closer to our Savior that all the while God is calling us out from the crowd to stand for Him so that people will notice that “something different” which only comes from following Him.  

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Change of Plans

If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile,’

It’s Sunday morning and I wake to find my husband, who I care for, not feeling well.  The bad cold he has been fighting for over a week is hanging on and has now given him a terrible cough.  He cannot take any type of cold medication because of his heart failure and other medications, which means he deals with even a common cold for much longer.  We decide together that missing church will be the best decision today due to our circumstances.

This is a common occurrence for most caregivers.  You may have waited for weeks to attend a specific event to only find out hours or moments before that you will have to cancel and stay with the one you care for.  This can become very frustrating and cause bitterness within the heart of the caregiver.  It does NOT mean that you are not compassionate, understanding, or loving when you have these thoughts.  It means that you are HUMAN and continue to have your own desires and needs even though they now seem secondary to the needs of others. 

My advice to you is to express these feelings to the Lord!  Tell Him how disappointed you are and how much you wanted to do something that you were not able to do.  Share your heart with Him!  He wants that so much.  I also encourage you to plan ahead and have someone scheduled to stay with the person you care for just in case you are not able to leave them alone to attend your event.  This won’t always work but may help in some cases.  Caregivers must think ahead to what could go wrong when planning even to the store for groceries.