Blog  /  Uncategorized  /  THANKFULNESS in Caregiving – A Moment to Remember

Thanksgiving, family Matters, Grace Based Parenting

There really is so much for which to be thankful. But I also admit, there are times when we’ve had times of exhaustion in care-giving; emotional exhaustion and physical demands that led to being drained in all areas including spiritually. We wish we had sure-fire ways of finding answers that work every time to eliminate or totally resolve this, but we don’t; but we do realize that we must be even more intentional about praising God and finding thankfulness in the little things when so many things in life seem to be the big things that could totally overwhelm us.

When the children were little I remember how hard it was caring for our son with special needs and his newborn sister. At almost 3 he was trying to stand to walk, but his mind couldn’t understand “how” to catch himself to fall. I remember nursing my little infant daughter, walking behind little Joey, cupping my right hand to catch him if he started to fall….which was in almost every step he took. I can’t imagine it was a great feeding for that little new-born. I wasn’t relaxed or comfortable…but I remember thanking God that He gave me the energy to do this.

Years later following that scenario, we began the downhill spiral of caring for each of our 4 parents in varying degrees during their illnesses and declining health until death. Watching over the course of months for some and years for others we began to learn to be thankful for every minute of time we had with them even while we were exhausted. We learned to find the thankfulness and humor along the way.

I recall my dad sitting in his wheelchair, eyes usually closed, and barely able to speak due to being in the later stages of dementia. It was noontime and the children and I had stopped by to visit and have lunch. Like we often do, we had a big bowl of popcorn as a snack in the middle of the table. I kept filling up my plate, and found myself to be dropping a number of puffed kernels on the floor. I figured no one noticed so I’d just pick them up when we got to cleaning up. As we began to clear the table, I rolled my dad backwards in his wheelchair, away from the table to pick up the kernels and move him to the other room. He looked up at me with a smirk and said, “And don’t think I didn’t see that YOU dropped all those!” We just burst out laughing. In the midst of nearly 100% care for him and with few moments of being lucid, this moment was “in the moment” and allowed for us to have a hearty laugh in the midst of challenge. We were thankful for that moment.

How easy it would have been to miss recognizing the energy God gave me to care for 2 little ones “on the move” as a young mom or to miss that chuckle and just move dad to the other room. Instead, we were given a moment to remember.

The more we give thanks, the easier it is to find other things for which to be thankful. How about you? Let’s thank Him for his provisions. Make a list of 5 things for which you can be thankful and take a few moments to be thankful for how God has taught you through each of your points.

 

Joe and Cindi Ferrini

Joe and Cindi have been married since 1979, live in Cleveland, OH, have 3 grown children (one with special needs), grandchildren, and enjoy speaking and writing together on topics related to marriage and family (FAMILYLIFE’S “WEEKEND TO REMEMBER Get-A-Ways” as well as for organizations pertaining to special needs), leadership, and time/life management. Joe has practiced dentistry since 1978; Cindi enjoys writing (books, blogs, articles, etc.), speaking, radio, and social media. Together they have written articles and blogs for Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, http://specialneedsparenting.net and here at FamilyMatters, and authored UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: When Special Needs Change our Course. They’d love to connect with you at: www.joeferrini.com or www.cindiferrini.com

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