Caring for the Caregiver

 

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Caregivers must be intentional about caring for their own health. In the process of caring for someone else, it’s easy to neglect yourself. Just as you make a schedule for your loved ones, make a schedule for yourself. Schedule down time for yourself even if it’s sitting outside in the fresh air.  You are valuable, if you do not take care of yourself how will you care for others?

My husband has an aide that comes three days a week, it’s only for an hour or so but that an hour that I can use to get out of the house. She will call and let me know when she is on her way and I immediately begin to gather what I need so that I can walk out the door as soon as she walks in. I usually use that time to get in some form of exercise.

Exercise has several benefits, one of which is that it improves your mood while also decreasing anxiety and stress.  During exercise your body releases chemicals that improve your mood. As little as 30 minutes of exercise can have  positive results on an individual.

I know from personal experience that I am happier when I exercise. I walk away from a workout with a feeling of accomplishment that I have done something good for myself.  While we as caregivers are busy doing for others, do not overlook yourself. If you want to have something to give to the one you care for be sure to nourish yourself, otherwise you will be empty. You will have nothing for yourself and certainly nothing to give others.

Caregivers start moving.

 

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Evelyn Johnson Taylor

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Caring for the Caregiver

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My book See Me Hear Me Know Me from The Heart of a Caregiver I share my journey of being a caregiver for my husband. Next month will be 10 years that I have been his caregiver. It has been quite an interesting journey to say the least. With the fluctuation of his condition you would think it would make my job easier.  Well, sometimes it does but to be honest most of the time it does not. It’s the not knowing what to expect that has been one of the great challenges for me. One day he is quite independent than the next day he is dependent.

Scott, my husband has just come home from nearly a one-month stay in the hospital. With this new discharge brings new challenges. When I wrote this book, my goal was to give a voice to caregivers. To add validation their emotions and let them know that they are not alone.

 It has been one of my great joys to hear from caregivers who have read the book and to learn how much it helped them. Sharing our story has opened doors for me to speak to Caregiver Support Group where I have met some amazing individuals. Caregivers work hard doing a job that no one really asks for.

2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 

The answer that Apostle Paul received in this Scripture is not the answer we seek when we go to God with an issue, but it was a good answer. The Apostle was assured that God’s grace was sufficient for all his needs. Even in his infirmity that could have hindered his effectiveness, the grace of God was sufficient. As caregivers, know that whatever demands your role as a caregiver puts on you, the grace of God will see you through. His grace is often in the form of tools and resources that come to assist caregivers.  Be wise and take advantage of every opportunity to receive the help you need. Caregivers must take care of themselves so that they can continue to care for the most vulnerable among us.

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Evelyn Johnson-Taylor PhD

Grace

 

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Have you ever had a day when you thoughts, “I’m not going to make it?” There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for the grace of God.  I see His grace upon my life daily. The ultimate gift of grace is demonstrated to us when we remember the sacrifice of God giving His Son and the sacrifice of the Son giving His life for the sins of the human race. Grace speaks of God’s divine favor and influence upon the heart of mankind. Grace is not only His favor but grace is God doing for me what I could not do for myself.

I grew up in a Christian home with parents who loved us and loved God. We were taught the principles of the Scripture from a very young age.  But the truth is the love of Christian parents would not redeem me from the curse of sin.  It would take the grace of God to do for me what no one else could do. I deserved the penalty that accompanied sin but He who was sinless took my place.  The sins of mankind were placed on Jesus and in exchanges we can become the righteousness of God if we believe and accept Jesus Christ as Lord.  “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21(NKJV)

Grace is continually being extended today, not only for salvation but for daily living. In those times when I walk outside of God’s plan for my life, His grace is available to forgive and restore.  When I totally mess up big time, His grace is not taken away but it remains.  In the midst of life’s challenges when I feel like throwing both hands up in walking in another direction, God is there, doing for me what I cannot do for myself. He is encouraging me, strengthening me, and empowering me for the journey. That’s the grace of God.

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

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It’s Okay To Be Selfish

 

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The road of the caregiver brings lots of challenges and many opportunities for sadness, but keep your eyes on Jesus and maintain a heart of gratitude. Remember, it could always be worst and the best is yet to come. I tell myself almost daily that “my best days are ahead of me and not behind me” and that puts a smile on my face and joy in my heart. No, I am not happy about my 10 year journey as a caregiver and the many situations that come up. But once I cast my eyes beyond the present, my strength is renewed because I know in who I trust.

Caregivers must learn to take care of themselves. In my book See Me Hear Me Know Me, from The Heart of a Caregiver, I shared what has been helpful to me over the past decade as a caregiver for my husband.

 

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To contact Evelyn click here she would love to share with your group regarding care for the caregiver.

 

Sending love to caregivers everywhere! You are a special person.

Happy New Year

 

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I love beginnings, new life, new ideas, new focus, new energy, and the list goes on and on.  At the beginning of each new year, I like to take some time to focus on the old before moving into the new. While 2017 brought many new things I am ready to embrace the newness of a new year.

So what am I looking forward to most. I am looking forward to the new people I will meet in 2018 and the new opportunities God will give me to share His love with those I meet.  I want to share with you the Scriptures that  have affected my thought process for the new year. 

1 Corinthians 2:9

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Philippians 1:6

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your path straight.

 

Happy New Year

 

Dr. Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

 

Accountability

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There will always be those who will tell you what you want to hear. Webster’s definition of accountability refers to “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” Everyone needs to be accountable to someone, even when it comes to spiritual matters.

Yes, we are responsible for our own actions and must give an account to God for our deeds. But God has also placed ministry leaders in the church in part for this purpose.  Pastors have a responsible to teach the truth to the people God has given them to shepherd. Not to lord over the people but to be an example. (1 Peter 5:2-3 NIV) “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” A true shepherd will nurture, lead, and protect God’s people.

It is important to have someone in your life who will tell you the truth.  Everyone needs someone in their life who will be honest and not feed the ego. It maybe necessary to give people permission to speak truth into our lives. Scripture teaches in Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Just as the shepherd has a responsibility to the people, the people have a responsibility to submit to God’s designated authority. (Hebrews 13:17 NIV) “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” Christians are to obey their leaders and submit to them, and the leader is accountable to God for how they care for God’s people.

It is important that we stay humble at the feet of Jesus. Correction may come through your spiritual leader, or a trusted friend depending on the situation you maybe dealing with. If someone really loves you they are willing to speak the truth in love even if it hurts. Correction given in love is better than insincere acts of affection.

Has anyone ever corrected you in love and it proved beneficial to you?

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

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Enjoy the Journey

 

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Part III  Kingdom Assignment Series

As you go through life, learn to use your experiences as a teaching tool. Don’t look at them as wasted time rather consider them a time of information gathering.  While you are waiting get busy with Kingdom work. Don’t sit around waiting for the glamour and the lights. Some of your most effective Kingdom work will be done away from the eyes of the public.

As you go about functioning in your daily life, God will use you. The obstacles you encounter along the way will bring you to the place God is taking you. There are valuable lessons to be learned in the process. Learn to use every experience good or bad to proclaim the message of the Gospel.

Our experiences can sometimes be our best teachings, not only for us but for those we share them with. You are called to fulfill His purpose in the earth. We are called to a place of service in His Kingdom. God sees you as who He has destiny you to be. You’re not just an anything; you are the righteousness of God, called to be holy. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV) Our sins were placed on the One who knew no sin. In return the righteousness of God is credited to all who receive Him.

The road that leads to fulfilling our purposes maybe different but the end result is the same.  Our assignment is to fulfill His purpose in the earth. Each of us have been uniquely crafted by God to impact the lives of others.

Whether you find yourself in the place of a stay at home mom, do it to the glory of God. If you can train your children to love Jesus you have accomplished something that is eternal. If you are head of a corporation, lead as unto the Lord. The focus of our calling is to God first and everything else follows. Seek God in prayer, asking Him how He can best use you to fulfill your Kingdom Assignment?

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor Ph.D.

 

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