Saturday, July 19, 2008


Lately, I have been overwhelmed with this whole caregiver thing.

I am surprised that I am willing to admit that to you and to myself. But I don't feel guilty. Not at all. God knows my heart. He knows how thankful I am to have Ethan with us. He knows how thankful I am that we can take care of him. That he didn't die. That he doesn't have to live in a nursing facility.

God knows the joy He gives us through Ethan. God hears the laughter. He hears the discussions, the prayers. He hears the encouragement we try to give to one another. I hope what He hears blesses Him.

God also knows that we get tired. That we sometimes run out of time before we have finished all of Ethan's exercises. That we forget to have him practice his speech homework. God knows that sometimes it is just easier for us to feed Ethan than it is to let him do it himself. He knows that I would love for Ethan's dinners to be full of fresh vegetables and fruits but that some nights, Lean Cuisines will just have to do. He knows that though my intentions are great, most days my actions are not. Days where I do enough to get by.

God knows there's laundry. Dirty dishes. Sand on the floors. He knows there are days that I will go crazy if I don't get out of the house for a little while.

All I want for Ethan is the best. And usually, I feel like in the caregiving business, I'm not it.

You probably would like to tell me that I am just learning patience. I read today where our word patience comes from the word, pation. That means "to suffer." Well, according to that, Ethan is the one that will be developing all the patience. He's the one that's suffering from my lack of caregiving skills.

I've asked God, "Are you sure? You really want me to be doing this? If you did, wouldn't I be better at it? Wouldn't it be more natural for me? Can you be a princess and a caregiver at the same time?"

I keep thinking of 1 Corinthians 1 : 27-29:

"But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things that are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, THAT NO FLESH SHOULD GLORY IN HIS PRESENCE."

And that is the point.

He knows I am not a caregiver. He knows this is not natural for me. And everyone who knows me knows this is not me and that it is not natural for me.

So, there is no mistaking in who gets the glory when Cheri does it. When she does it right.

And He has told me that He gets the glory even when I don't do it right. When I mess it all up.

Because, He continues to take care of Ethan's needs. He continues to protect and to provide for Ethan. In spite of this caregiver.

I am working through Beth Moore's Bible study, Stepping Up, a journey through the Psalm
s of Ascent. Compliments of my aunt and her listening to God's prompting to order it for me!

Day three of the homework was on Psalms 121. Oh, my! One of my favorite Psalms! Sitting out side on my patio, early in the morning, God and I had a talk about this caregiving thing.

I am constantly amazed how alive His Word is. How it reaches me right where I am. How His Word addresses my doubts, my confusion. My failures. Sometimes there is not just a mountain standing in front of us. Sometimes the mountain has a message from the enemy carved in it. Every time we open our eyes we see it.

And the only way to get rid of a lie is with the truth.

And that is what God did the other morning.

He reminded me that He has appointed me and Ethan's dad as Ethan's caregivers. He has made no mistake. Yes, He is aware that Ethan's dad is a natural and that I am not. No one is pretending here.

I am Ethan's caregiver but God is Ethan's carekeeper. Ethan is His responsibility. Not mine. He gives to me and I give to Ethan. I am to trust Him to give me what I need to give Ethan. Ethan's care originates with God. Sometimes I just get to be the deliverer.

What a relief. What a burden lifter. What a lie-buster!

According to the Bible study, the words protect and keep used in Psalm 121 come from the Hebrew word shamar. It means to watch, protect, to preserve, to keep guard. That's exactly what I want to do for Ethan. But I can't. God can. And He does. Listen to what He told me...

"I will lift up my eyes to the hills-
From whence comes Ethan's help?
His help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow Ethan's foot to be moved;
He who keeps Ethan will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is Ethan's keeper.
The Lord is Ethan's shade at his right hand.
The sun shall not smite Ethan by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve Ethan from all evil;
He shall preserve his going out and his coming in.
From this time forth, and even forevermore."

Even forevermore. That sounds good.

Do you have someone you are trying to keep? You can't. But He can. Pray Psalm 121 for that person. He will do what He says. He can't lie. (Titus 1 : 2)

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