Welcome, once again! It’s Friday, which means I write for Five Minute Friday and 31 Days. On Friday’s this month I am doing my best to combine both into Kate’s Friday Prompt. =) Kate is definitely making it easy for me so far! If you’d like to join the 1000s, yes, I said THOUSANDS of writers participating in these Writing Challenges simply follow the buttons displayed at the end of this (and all the 31) post(s).
Today’s Prompt is Care. Something I am VERY familiar with.
A religion that is pure and stainless according to God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows who are suffering, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. – James 1:27
I am a natural born caretaker, God built me for it; and for many years I actually resented it. Particularly when I was called to care for family members, a few at the same time!
Care-taking is very stressful, tiring, draining …. and on and on. Yet when it’s a calling, a vocation, it can also be VERY fulfilling. If we let it, if we understand it, but only if we take all the measure necessary to care for ourselves at the same time.
I began caring for others at a very young age. My mother was, let’s say ill when I was a child, and I had to grow up. She still struggles and suffers today. I cared for her, my siblings and our home. And I was VERY young to be that old, but there was really no other option.
Caring for others came naturally to me.
Since then I’ve cared for many. In my late teens I became a CNA and worked on the “crazy” floor; I loved it. I went on from there to become a social worker working with low income families, their children, and the developmentally disabled, until I retired. Burnt out.
But God …. He was just preparing me for the most difficult jobs of my vocation.
My family has been a difficult relationship for me over the years. I know, boohoo, everyone’s had issues in their families. But some familial relationships are most definitely more difficult and forgive me, more damaging, than others. I HAD to spend years getting over trying to please the un-pleasable, see and love them as God does, and just simply set boundaries that kept me, and my immediate family, safe from the chaos … I can’t even venture to explain this in 5 short minutes.
If a widow has family members to take care of her, let them learn that religion begins at their own doorstep and that they should pay back with gratitude some of what they have received. This pleases God immensely. – 1 Timothy 5:4
This scripture includes: fathers and grandparents and sisters and brothers!
Currently I have charge of my grandmother, who now lives in a nursing facility, and she’s very unhappy; my dad who has lived alone by choice, since I was 4; and I help my sister who is the closest in proximity to my mother who continues to live with, let’s say, many health issues.
Let me not forget who I care for here in Hutchland … The Hubs of course, but we are a working team. I just have to see to it that he takes care of himself – not an easy thing! Right ladies? Even when healthy some of our men need us to straighten out the crooked things sometimes.
And my youngest, who battles addiction. He’s a hard one sometimes. Tough love and support goes on daily here in Hutchland, but he’s overcoming! Praise God.
Forgive me the indulgence as I finish this post? I’ll be as short as this heart allows me!
Care-taking takes a LOT out of a person. Therefore we must “keep oneself unstained by the world.” (James1:)
I had to set those boundaries I spoke about. I had to learn that “pure religion”. I had to come to the knowledge that this is one of my God required callings. Therefore I had to learn to care for myself. The alternative was to begin thinking like the world, and asking what was in this for me! Yes, be honest, we all do this at times and if we are deeply rooted in our faith we correct ourselves quickly … but we think these things, even ask God “WHY Me?!” when we forget to care for ourselves. We care-takers must learn this so that we can continue to care for our loved ones.
I battled. I truly did, with the resentment that the people (not the Hubs or the kiddo) God was, obviously, requiring that I care for, were the very people who did not care for me as a child. Who, sometimes still, do not know me until they need me. And as of today they pretty much need me all the time. I had to put that resentment aside and love them like God loves them; see them like Father sees them.
See them like Father sees ME! Oh my, that was a humbling experience. A God Lesson!
OM goodness! SEE THEM LIKE HE SEES ME! That was a true revelation. That was that relationship, that unconditional relationship of love. I had to do that!
Well, by His Grace alone, He showed me how. Because HONESTLY I was completely incapable of those unconditional relationships without Him! We all are, actually, but I was I had some serious, and not unreasonable (in a worldly way), conditions!
Thank goodness He is faithful to this girl.
I said all this to get across that “Pure Religion” isn’t religion at all; it’s RELATIONSHIP. It’s love that forgives and cares for others, always and no matter what.
Because of these lessons I enjoy relationships with those family members that is unique in our family. At a time that is crucial in their lives. And my life is richer for it.
As the Word says … Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. (Psalm 55:22).
He did it for me … how much more will He do it for you?
So what are your cares today? Share them with us … Thanks for reading. =)