Today's daily devotion

Watching Out and Watching Over

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.—EPHESIANS 2:10 [NIV]

A month after my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, my grandfather died of a heart attack. I heard the adults around me suggesting that Grandpa’s heart wasn’t strong enough to care for Grandma anymore. As a child, I thought Grandpa died of a broken heart because Grandma didn’t remember him. Now I understand that Grandpa died because his heart was broken down by fatigue and sorrow.

So when my mom fell victim to Alzheimer’s, one of my biggest concerns was my dad’s health. I watched over him, searching for any sign that he, like Grandpa, might be wearing out. Then came the day when Mom’s memory and health began rapidly declining. I saw exhaustion in Dad’s eyes and knew I needed to help out more. After I discussed Mom’s condition with my husband and teenage daughters, we decided I would spend two days a week with my parents, giving my dad the chance to leave the house and relax.

Because I had witnessed what my grandparents went through years earlier, I was able to recognize my dad’s needs. I learned that as a family of someone who is terminally ill, we need to watch out for each other and give each other breaks from the stress and fatigue caused by caregiving.

Lord, thank you for allowing the painful lessons of the past to inform my caregiving journey.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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