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.

Continue reading “Am I really a’Caregiver’? (and what does that mean?)”

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?

Continue reading “We cannot be everything (We are Watchers, not…Master List)”

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!)”

Can Joy be ‘chronic’ too? (I’m a resource!)

Here’s why we all need a devotion book written for someone with a chronic illness…

Something exciting has happened.

Indeed, it happened a while ago, but this seems as good a time as any to announce it!

Chronic Joy devotion books

There’s an organisation called Chronic Joy.

Continue reading “Can Joy be ‘chronic’ too? (I’m a resource!)”

“I’m fine, don’t worry about me!” (Watchers, we are not Saints)

We’re not doing the gospel any favours by trying to be perfect

“I’m okay.”

“I’ve got this.”

“Honestly, it’s fine, I promise.”

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are only a Watcher, and instead begin to think that we are (or should be) a “saint”.

This is what it looks like:

Continue reading ““I’m fine, don’t worry about me!” (Watchers, we are not Saints)”

How to love children with chronically ill parents

How often do we remember the children?

Most of us know someone who struggles with their health. Perhaps they’ve been diagnosed with a physical chronic illness, or they struggle daily with their mental health. As their friend, we seek to love and serve them in their suffering.

But how often do we remember their children?

Helen recently shared her story of caring for her chronically ill daughter – and now it’s time to think about what it’s like when the situation is reversed…

What about the children whose parents are chronically ill?

Three ways children can suffer when their parent is chronically ill:

READ MORE (first published on the Glorious Table as a guest post)

Don’t have time to read right now? Pin for later!:

//Do you know what it’s like to be a child of a chronically ill parent? If so, I’d love to hear your story!

Why my blog will never go viral (reflecting on 2017 as a Watcher)

There is joy in the midst of sorrow, and so I write..

At the moment, even as I’m preparing to look forward to Christmas, 2018, and the future – I’m also looking back.

What I’ve learnt from blogging about chronic illness on Called to Watch:

1. I have everything to gain and nothing to lose

Blogging over the past year has taught me that Watching is a ‘thing’. By this, I mean, loving someone with a chronic illness is a state of being worth talking about. It’s a relationship worth sharing. It’s actually an important part of who I am – just as it’s a crucial element to who a lot of people are!

Continue reading “Why my blog will never go viral (reflecting on 2017 as a Watcher)”