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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One of a Kind

 

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Conclusion of Kingdom Assignment Series

Never-ever compare yourself to others. When we act as if there is only one path to fulfill God’s plan for our life we are missing it. That way of thinking is not wise. Each of us is unique. Each one of us needs to focus on who we are and allow God to lead us accordingly. While we all have the same purpose, which is to fulfill HIS purpose there are multiple ways to achieve our Kingdom Assignment.

God has called each of us and His will for us is that we live a Holy life. Paul writes in Romans 12: 1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Our service to God is one of dedication to His Word and His purpose. As believers we do not follow the world’s trends. We seek God’s plan and purpose through prayer and reading His Word.

Each of us are to use our strengths, gifts, and passions to represent the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom of God is best represented when we are ourselves and not trying to duplicate anyone else. The Kingdom of God is best represented when we are functioning and prospering in whatever season of life we are in at that moment. When you can embrace who God has made you to be individually, you are better able to be a blessing to others and be part of bringing His Kingdom to earth.

Not everyone will function in the ministry gifts that Paul writes about in Ephesians 4. Some will be used in areas of church ministry and others will not. Notice I used the term “church ministry” because real ministry takes place outside of the church. Do not get hung up on titles, God does not need you to have a title  in order for Him to use you.

In Eph 4: 11 The gifts that Paul writes about are gifts given to a particular person. They are what we  call concrete gifts, (they are what they are) They are not titles. In other words if God has not gifted me to be an apostle, I can’t give myself that title. These gifts are given to the church for: the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  The word perfecting speaks of being complete furnishing, equipping.  These gifted leaders are to equip others to minister. The word equip has its etymology in a word which deals with mending or restoring. On the journey to fulfilling your Kingdom Assignment there will be times when you need a gifted leader to assist in mending, repairing, and in some cases restoring you. Working for God will sometimes include harsh treatment from people you love. You maybe wounded in the battle, but have a gifted leader who can encourage and pour into you so that you can get right back into the fight.

You have a Kingdom Assignment. How God decides to use you in ministry many times is in direct reflection of what you have experienced in life. Whatever you are enduring now, it is part of the process to operating in your Kingdom Assignment. My ministry gift is teaching, and my areas of teaching usually deal directly with what I have experienced in some way or another.  In fact I strongly believe that before God releases me to teach something there is an experience. The experience bring clarity to the message so that I can share it with passion and understanding.

May you be blessed as you move forward. If I can assist you in anyway in fullfiling your Kingdom Assisgnment, please do not hestiate to reach out to me.

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor Ph.D.

 

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