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Am I really a’Caregiver’? (and what does that mean?)

Do I really deserve a label?

Caregiver.

For years I never considered that this label belonged to me. It seemed too formal, to restrictive, too…important for what I did to help my chronically ill mum.

Hugs and housework and understanding.

Surely those didn’t deserve such a label?

Yet when my younger sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor and I spent every other day at the hospital and I cared for her in many physical ways from feeding to advocating for her with the pain team, I still didn’t feel this label belonged to me.

But I also felt that I needed the help a label brings. Without a label I did not have the words to share my story.

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We cannot be everything (We are Watchers, not…Master List)

We know what we are, but what are we NOT?

This is a blog about ‘Watching‘. That is, loving suffering people while not suffering yourself.

But what does that look like? It can (and does!) look like many things, but sometimes it’s helpful to look at what we are not.

Watchers, we are not…

Doctors

We just want them cured – is that so wrong?

Biographers

If only we could decipher the ‘meaning’ behind their suffering!

Saints

Of course we’re fine, after all, we’ve got this!

Delegates

What if I’m not explaining my Loved One properly to others?

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You cannot do it all (but what if you want to?)

How I stay sane when I want to do EVERYTHING

When I think of ambition, I see someone fighting tooth and nail to get to the top of their career ladder

… and to be honest, that’s not me.

When I think of ambition, I imagine an athlete, struggling to stay ahead of their peers, striving for Olympic gold

… and to be honest, that’s not me.

When I think of ambition, I picture a work-a-holic father, shutting out his family and surviving on toast and beans in his desire for success

… and to be honest, that’s not me.

And yet, I’ve come to realise over the years that ambition can take different forms. Or perhaps what I am about to describe is not ambition exactly – and yet ambition is the best word I’ve found so far to describe it.

Ambition.

What makes it wrong?

What makes it right?

Am I being called to give it up?

Am I okay with that?

read more. 

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LTCI 4: Why Illness is not everything

There is always a person behind an illness… can you find them?

I recently went to a conference where I met a lot of new people.

Which (necessarily) led to lot of introductions – and because this was a writing conference, it also led to a lot of answering the question: what do you write?

Which in turn led to explaining about this blog, and after that, about my Loved Ones – namely, my mum and my sister. After the first five times I got my ‘blurb’ down pat:
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Is it always right to ‘bear’ someone else’s ‘burden’?

How do you deal with the pressure to ‘choose right’?

Is there anyone in your life who is dependent on you?

Sooner or later most of us want to sit down and plan our future, or at least make a “five-year plan”. Yet if you are a caregiver, this can be difficult.

The Bible tells us to “bear each other’s burdens.” (Galatians 6:2) – But, when those burdens interfere with your personal goals, are you allowed to set them aside? Is it possible to love your sick family member, and at the same time plan a future for yourself?

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What I’ve been reading April 2018 (and what you’ve been reading too!)

Sore toes, struggling to read the Bible and writing letters to the loved ones in our life.

April is done and dusted. What did you get up to? I read several interesting posts – on topics ranging from the difficulty of waiting, what to do when you are not healthy enough to read the Bible, and the unexpected blessings of a mangled toenail!

Let me know what you think!

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What if they don’t understand? (Watchers we are not delegates!)

Is it always possible to represent someone else accurately?

How often have you stood ‘in the place’ of your ill Loved One?

Maybe you’ve attended an event,

answered a question,

or formed a relationship,

which they simply could not.

Delegates are people who represent someone else to a community. They go forth in their place and explain the other person’s views, character and position. Sometimes it’s easier to see ourselves, not as Watchers of our Loved One, but as their delegate to the outside world.

Continue reading “What if they don’t understand? (Watchers we are not delegates!)”