Tag Archives: forgiveness

Rules for the caregiver…

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Being a caregiver is not an easy job.  It means putting someone else’s needs before your own.  It means becoming selfless.

Paul wrote in Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

I was a caregiver for 15 1/2 years with my son, Clay.  I remember (far too many times) doing things robotically, failing to really see him.  Hurrying to finish one task so I could finish more.  Sigh….

So, I’ve come up with some guidelines to be sure we are ‘looking to the interests of others’ and not just checking off a box on our To Do List.

1.  SHOW UP – Really be there. Are you listening to your child?  Start your day fresh.  Begin with prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to show you their needs.  Are you rushing through your duties?  Pay attention to what you are doing and drop your phone, in fact, drop everything.  Put your needs aside and remember you are on their schedule, not yours.  Watch their body language.  You, as their mother and caretaker, know them better than anyone.  You could possibly be their only mode of communication with others so you need to be ready to voice their concerns.  If you are texting, or checking what someone had for lunch on Instagram, you are going to miss a special time with your child.

2.  CHECK YOUR MIRRORS – I’m sure you’ve noticed on your car door mirrors the sign that reads, “Objects are closer than they appear”.  Let’s go with that for a minute.  Have you checked your mirrors?  What about your face…what about your body language? What does your face say when your little one needs you in the middle of the night….again? Are you walking into their room with anger because you’re not sleeping?  Guess what?  They aren’t sleeping either.  Don’t you think that a quality night of sleep is something they want too?? For children with special needs the difficulty is compounded by their limited control over their bodies and problems with communication.  Try to empathize.  They are looking to you, their mother, their caregiver for help.  Does your face show anger?  Stop. Is that the look you would want to see when you are in pain or afraid?  Pray with your little one and remind him that Jesus loves him and will never, ever leave him.  Let him feel the sense of peace that has overtaken your mind and spirit.  The way you relate to him will influence how well he can cope with his own fears.  In Luke 12:6 Jesus says that God doesn’t forget even a single sparrow – How much more does He care for us?  Our circumstances – our child – our life has been ordained by God.  God does nothing…or allows nothing…without a purpose.

3.  CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET  – Get rid of anger, impatience, and other respectable or subtle sins.  Worry is a sin.  I know, it doesn’t seem like a very big sin….but sin is sin.  I also know that as a mother of a special needs child, it is very easy to worry about their future and what would happen to them if you were not around.  I get it.  But there are ways to insure your child can have the best care if you were, let’s say, unavailable… It is going to take a bit of work, but trust me.  THIS is important.

Begin with a daily schedule.  Write down every single thing you do starting with  walking into their bedroom in the morning (do you sing to him when you see him?  Are you the mom that says, “Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey”??) Write it down!  That may be the little something that your child looks forward to each morning!  Do you open the blinds?  Write it down!  At bathtime, do you lay his clothes out on the bed or take them into the bathroom?  Does he help with his bath or brushing his teeth?  Does he like a little, tiny speck of toothpaste and  can he comb his own hair?  See?  These are little things that you do each day and probably do a bit robotically.  The point is that someone else needs to be able to walk into his room and do these things exactly as you do them.  These small things can be the difference between a good and bad day for your little one.  Keep his daily schedule in a folder to make it easy for someone to take your place in case you are sick or gone.  Yay!  One less worry!

4.  STORE UP SUPPLIES – Memorize scripture!  This is our ammunition against:

a) discouragementJohn 14:1, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me.”

b) worry  – 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

c) lonelinessPsalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

d) depression2 Corinthians 1:3-4, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Play Christian music.  Let God’s peace rule in their hearts!  There are beautiful CD’s of Scripture Lullabies that can be played throughout the day.  Where loud, chaotic music can excite and frustrate little ones, peaceful scripture music can soothe.  And you are putting God’s Word in their hearts!

Read your Bible out loud to your child.  Children love stories and Bible stories have such truth about God and how much He loves little children.  When you are filling your cup (which is almost always empty) you are filling theirs too.  Enjoy the nearness of God.

5.  TURN ON THE LIGHTS – Reflect Jesus!  Be an encourager because everyone loves praise!  Tell your special child how he has the sweetest smile and tell him why you love him so very much! Remind him that as much as you love him, Jesus loves him even more!  Read Psalm 139 and let him know he is “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

How much time does your little one spend in his room?  Open the curtains, clean up the room and make it a relaxing place to be.  Place all the little stuffed animals and bright toys where he can reach them.  Use a laundry basket on the floor so they can also be picked up easily and placed back inside.  Does your child love flowers?  Don’t wait for a special occasion.  Place colorful, happy flowers in a vase where they can be easily seen.  If you don’t have access to fresh flowers, cut them out of magazines to paste in a book or on the wall where he can see them.  The important thing is to have a clean, joyful room; a room where he feels safe, loved and protected.

6.  LIFT WEIGHTS – Get rid of anger and get rid of guilt.  As mothers, we are very prone to those guilty feelings of “its my fault”, or “if only” thoughts.  Don’t be paralyzed by your past.  It’s over.  It’s done.  Let’s move on.  Give thanks in all circumstances.  Ephesians 5:20 says, “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Guilt means you’ve done something wrong.  We all have some sort of guilt over something we did or didn’t do in our past.  That’s why we see so many people turn to alcohol, drugs or some other ‘numbing’ vice.  Our desire is to push it back and forget it somehow.

The effects of guilt are toxic.  The last thing we want to do, as mothers, is project any of our guilt onto our little ones.  Here are some examples of the effects:

  • feelings of rejection
  • projection of your feelings onto other people
  • inability to say no
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • blame shifting…etc.

Until we truly understand what Christ did for us 2000 years ago – we will never be set free!! Jesus paid the price for that sin and you don’t have to live under that condemnation!  (Read Romans 3:9-11, 24, and 27.)  Understand your wrongs and accept God’s forgiveness.  He is extending grace and mercy to you, and once you ask Him for forgiveness, in the spirit of Frozen, LET IT GO! When it comes back to mind, take it as an opportunity to thank God again for this gift of forgiveness.  Satan would love to keep throwing this back at you – but as Daughters of the King, we have His grace, His mercy and His forgiveness.  You don’t need to keep asking for forgiveness for the same sin over and over.  Have you ever been with someone that re-hashes the same old, tired story over and over?  Imagine what God is hearing when we keep bringing up our same old, tired story to Him!  One and done, people!!

When you realize the forgiveness that comes with being a Christian and accepting Him into your life, you can stand taller…..you can smile longer….and you will have a light about you that no one can put out!  THAT is what your child needs to see!!  THAT is what you want to see in your mirror each morning and that is something your family needs to see also.  When we pair our positive thoughts and ideas into our children about their importance and about God’s love and forgiveness, we will change.

Simple rules.  Undying love.

 

 

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Oh…mercy, mercy me…..

 

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Five thirty comes pretty early in the morning.  I barely opened my eyes to see the clock glaring at me with it’s big red numbers.  “It’s time to get up, sleepy-head” it screams…”I know, I know…”, I mumble.

It’s time to start the day.  No, I don’t have a paying job; however, I do have an important job!  This is the time that I have set up to read my Bible and have a quiet time with my Lord.  I would be lying if I said that I popped out of bed and ran to the office and began singing praises.

No, I shuffle to the kitchen and power up the Keurig for my morning jolt of coffee, splash in some milk and retreat to my little space where I meet with God.  And oh what a difference a day makes, when you meet with Him early.

There is a window in my office that looks out to my front porch (but not out onto the street…that would be too much of a distraction) and I raise the shade just enough to see the little birds playing in the grass and flowerbeds.  Here, I find Him.  Not that he wasn’t with me in the bedroom, or watching me in the kitchen…no, here is where I acknowledge His presence and thank Him again for all my blessings.

This morning I learned about mercy.  God extends His mercy and forgives sin even to someone as undeserving as myself.  And today…only a few hours after my devotion time, I was put to the test.

I got my feelings hurt.  I was made to feel unworthy and when this happened, as much as I wanted to lash out….I remembered my verse:

James 2:12-13   “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,  because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. 

Mercy triumphs over judgment”

 

There it was.  Mercy triumphs over judgment.

And yes, I had come up with so many snazzy (polite word for sarcastic) responses to throw back at my accuser.  But (praise God) I met with Him early and His Word was in my heart and still fresh in my mind.

Mercy triumphs over judgment.

The dictionary defines mercy as, compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence’.

I had a choice to make in those few seconds, after the hurt.  I could keep my sarcastic words and facial expressions to myself, thereby extending mercy, which is what Christ did/does for me, or I could let my actions show that I don’t put into practice what I just read only hours earlier.

I chose mercy.  I kept my mouth closed.  I kept my posture from conveying anger.  I quietly talked to God and thanked Him for His Word, ‘mercy triumphs over judgment’

Knowing His grace and kindness and mercy makes me eager to obey.

Meet with Him early, friends.  Store His Word in your heart.  Don’t let your feelings justify your decisions.  He is ready to display His greatness through our own inadequacies.

 

 

 

 

 

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forgiveness…

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December 16, 2012 · 9:06 am

what easter really, really, really means….

FIRST WATCH THIS….AND THEN READ…..

                                                                                           

It’s not just another holiday….
You see, Christ’s resurrection is more than just a cause for celebration or a special season
in the church calendar. It is the very foundation of our faith!

If Jesus does not live today, then we have not been saved and we will not have eternal life.

In 1 Corinthians 15:14 and 19, Paul put it this way:

“and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain . . . If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”

But Jesus did rise from the dead, He is alive, and His resurrection makes all the difference in the world for you today, and for all eternity!

Because Jesus Christ rose from the dead, you can be confident that:

God is real. Because He lives, we have the proof we need that the One we serve is God —unlike all the other deities in all the dead religions of the world.

Your sins are forgiven. Think about this: in most religions, forgiveness depends on your good works. But as a Christian, you are forgiven the moment you accept Him as your Savior, because He conquered death and paid the penalty for your sin.

He is at work in your life. The Bible teaches very clearly that Jesus is seated at the Father’s right hand, interceding on our behalf. He is a living God who answers our prayers, and He has sent His Holy Spirit to teach and guide us until He returns.

Your body will be resurrected. When you die, you won’t simply be a shapeless, faceless spirit. You will have a recognizable body just as Christ did when He rose again. In Philippians 3:20-21 we are told:

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”

To be resurrected into “conformity with the body of His glory” means that your body will be of the same substance as His risen body. You’ll be visible. You’ll be able to eat, walk and move from one place to another—yet in a way that is not limited by space and time.

• You will have a home in heaven. In John 14:3, Jesus tells us that “I go to prepare a place for you . . . that where I am you may be also.”

Forgiveness of sins, a relationship with a living Lord, a new home in heaven—it’s no wonder that we celebrate Easter!

(adapted from Charles Stanley)

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psalm 32…

FORGIVEN!!!  David shows us that the happiness of man consists only  in the FREE forgiveness of sins, for nothing can be more terrible than to have God for our enemy.

Psalm 32:1-7

How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,

Whose sin is covered!

How blesses is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,

And in whose spirit there is no deceit!

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away

Through my groaning all day long.

For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;

My vitality was drained away as with the fever het of summer.

I acknowledged my sin to You,

And my iniquity I did not hide;

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”;

And You forgave the guilt of my sin.

Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time

when You may be found;

Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.

You are my hiding place’  You preserve me from trouble;

You surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Joel 2:32 says , “And it shall come to pass that whosever call upon the name of Jehovah shall be delivered”.  God delivered David from his sins!  He reached the point where pain ended and joy began!  His “hiding place” in verse seven is one of comfort and security and it can only be found in the Lord.

Peace…comfort…deliverance…I want it all…

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a letter to King David…

Dear David,

I just found your letter.  Oh, David, I can feel your brokenness in each word that you penned.  I noticed that you don’t even mention your name.  I sense your shame and understand that you desire mercy and grace above all.  Do you mind if I quote your sacred psalm?

“Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your unfailing love;

according to your great compassion

blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash away all my iniquity

and cleanse me from my sin.


3 For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is always before me.


4 Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you are proved right when you speak

and justified when you judge.


5 Surely I was sinful at birth,

sinful from the time my mother conceived me.


6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts [a] ;

you teach [b] me wisdom in the inmost place.


7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.


8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones you have crushed rejoice.


9 Hide your face from my sins

and blot out all my iniquity.


10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.


11 Do not cast me from your presence

or take your Holy Spirit from me.


12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.


13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

and sinners will turn back to you.


14 Save me from bloodguilt, O God,

the God who saves me,

and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.


15 O Lord, open my lips,

and my mouth will declare your praise.


16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.


17 The sacrifices of God are [c] a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart,

O God, you will not despise.


18 In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;

build up the walls of Jerusalem.


19 Then there will be righteous sacrifices,

whole burnt offerings to delight you;

then bulls will be offered on your altar.”

Oh, David…I too have sinned.  We ALL have sinned! And  I can sense that your anxious heart longs to be cleansed and made right with God.  I, too, desire a clean heart!  I know that you mourned over your sin because you knew it was wrong and more than anything…you wanted to be right with God.  Truly you fell into the pit, but our gracious Lord lifted you out and because of your confession, He spared your life!  PRAISE GOD!

In His Love,

Sandi

And if you are wondering if you could ever be forgiven of your sins, the answer is YES!  Praise God for the sacrifice of Jesus that is sufficient to cover all of your sins. All of them! Even “small” sins like gossip or worry, “medium-size” sins like losing your temper, “large” sins like murder—all are covered equally by the blood of Jesus. You will never be held accountable for the guilt of your sin because Jesus has taken the punishment for you. The price for your redemption has been paid! The sacrifice for your sin has been made! You are forgiven! Eternal life is yours! Heaven is open!

You don’t have to do more good works than bad works.

You don’t have to go to church every time the door opens.

You don’t have to be religious.

You don’t even have to be good!

But you and I must confess our sin to Him personally, specifically and honestly if we want to receive forgiveness. God promises, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)  Ask Him today and let me know!

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