Caregivers walk their own unique path through chronic illness – a role that is both exhausting and rewarding, difficult and joy-filled, confusing and meaningful, frustrating and worthwhile, isolating and inspiring.
Caregiving is probably the hardest work you will ever do. Yet it can also change your heart and transform your life. Experienced caregiver Beach offers practical help and spiritual insights to those facing the challenges of caregiving.
Being There: How to Love Those Who Are Hurting, Dave Furman
We all know people suffering from sickness, disability, depression, or grief. Oftentimes, we who love and support the hurting suffer in our own unique ways. What’s more, our own struggles to cope with stress and pain often go unnoticed. Where are we to find strength in such circumstances? Writing out of his own experience of needing care on a daily basis, Dave Furman offers support, encouragement, and wisdom for those called to care for others in need – equipping us to effectively care for the hurting and pointing us to the strength that God provides.
Caregiver’s Survival Guide: How to Stay Healthy When Your Loved One is Sick, Kay Marshall Strom
When you are responsible for another person’s physical needs, your own needs are often neglected. After caring for her spouse, who for ten years suffered from a rare, debilitating disease, Kay Marshall Strom is able to bring a voice of experience and compassion to this important topic.
Whether you are caring for an elderly parent, a spouse, an adult child or another family member or close friend, Strom’s stories, drawn from her own and others’ experiences, will encourage and comfort you. And her practical ideas for how to meet your own needs for energy, patience, strength, wisdom, peace and creativity will carry you through many difficult days.
Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart: How to Relate to Those Who are Suffering, Kenneth C. Haugk, PhD
The words or actions we use in our attempts to help hurting people may unintentionally add to their burdens instead of easing their pain. This book provides a healing remedy. Forged in the crucible of Kenneth Haugk’s own suffering, this book was then shaped through careful research with more than four thousands individuals who had also knows suffering in their lives. Built on a solid Biblical foundation and brimming with God’s grace, Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart overflows with practical examples and specific suggestions about what to say or do and what not to say or do. It will touch your heart, expand your thinking, and guide you in bringing Christ’s loving care to hurting people when they need it most.
Invisible Illness, Visible God, Merry Marinello
Caregivers struggle right along with the one being cared for and wonder, “Is there hope? Does God care about what we’re going through? What does God promise us?” Are you ready to find something more than just a lesson to learn from painful experiences? Are you ready to meet God in a deeper, more meaningful way? In the package of suffering, God wraps a most surprising, precious gift: Himself. If you find yourself struggling to see God, may the meditations in this award-winning book carry you to his arms of love and his throne of grace.
Not Alone: Encouragement for Caregivers, Nell Noonan
Caregivers have a front-row seat to suffering. Helping someone (most likely a close loved one) through disease, pain, frailty and death exacts a tremendous toll. We don’t want to think about it, feel inadequate and overwhelmed with despair in the midst of it. Yet we must somehow pull it together and press on. With so much time and energy devoted to someone else, we sometimes feel isolated in the sadness of our labor of love. Welcome these honest and authentic daily devotions that will help you through another day of profound frustration, wonder, empathy and devotion. Noonan describes the caregiving experience as a spiritual pilgrimage and invites us to look for God’s embrace along the way: “God is with us in the tears and the laughter, the brokenness and the holiness, the exhaustion and the whispers of resurrection.”
A Spirituality of Caregiving, Henri Nouwen
If you provide care for another person, whether you are a family member or a professional caregiver, you know that caregiving is hard, sometimes unappreciated work. But have you ever considered that it isn t easy to be the care receiver?
The role of the family caregiver is very rewarding, but being a caregiver can also be physically and emotionally exhausting. Caregivers often feel overwhelmed by their work and the demands of those receiving their care, and these demands touch every aspect of their lives. Strength for the Moment responds to the needs of these special people who give of themselves to help their loved ones maintain quality of life in the home. Combining inspiring stories, prayer and scripture, and practical advice, this book provides much needed encouragement, emotional nourishment, and affirmation.”
I’m fine, don’t worry about me!”
There is nothing easy about watching others struggle with chronic illness. In watching, we suffer too. There are two answers, one is community, the other is God. Watchers, we are not Saints “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… Read more…
Field Notes of Pain – The Art of Life
This is part one in a two-part series.
Jayden and Brooklyn are fine, not sleeping, but fine. As fine as two dying kids can be. In fact, most days, I fear they are doing a better job of living than me. Justin says I am too hard on myself. Perhaps. Read more…
Please Don’t Say It
How do you truly relate to others’ pain if you’ve never walked their path? And how do you express your concern in a way that comforts while avoiding platitudes or filling empty space with hollow syllables that help no one?
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21
Five Minutes at a Time – A Letter to the Mamas
To the Mama whose child is newly diagnosed,
To the Mama who is sleeping tonight (again) in her child’s hospital room,
To the Mama learning to balance appointments, laundry, lunch, dinner, school and medications,
To the Mama wondering how she will possibly survive if this never gets better, never gets easier this side of eternity, Read more…
Sure Sign of Life
Gayle awoke yesterday his good hand reaching for his temple, pressing fingertips lightly against the skin above the eyebrow in a vain attempt to corral the dreaded electric shocks of trigeminal neuralgia, an afterthought of the multiple sclerosis he’s had for forty years. As kids on the farm we knew the difference between the electric… Read more…
Time to Recover
For some time, I have started several columns without ever finishing them. The ideas were there, but the energy was lacking. Last year during our magazine’s (Just Between Us) 20th anniversary, I was able to pull favorite columns from the last several decades. In God’s goodness, He gave me a break. I was empty and… Read more…
Grace for Caregivers
Ken Tada knows what it means to be a caregiver. For the last 34 years he has been taking care of his quadriplegic wife, Joni Eaerckson Tada, who has not only been bound to a wheelchair for the last 49 years, but who has suffered from terrible chronic pain in the only part of her… Read more…
Who Takes Care of You?
“Who takes care of you?” my husband asked. My first thought was, “I’m fine, I don’t need anything.” But I know that thought isn’t true. A caregiver’s strength does not come from self—it comes from the Lord. Read more…
When the Needy One is You
I was always the one helping the needy one. Now the needy one was me! Over the past three months as our family has faced three hospitalizations, I have had to come to grips with my neediness. It’s an uncomfortable place, an unfamiliar place. It’s so much easier to help others. Read more…
Where Do Butterflies Go At Night?
People with chronic illnesses can simply be overlooked. They are sometimes people with invisible diseases so it can easily slip your mind that they are suffering in some way – emotionally, physically, or mentally. When they were first diagnosed it got your attention – like the colorful butterfly on the flower. Read more…
Joy is a Matter of the Heart
There wasn’t a bad vibe leading up to our daughter Hannah’s TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). It just happened like the flick of a light switch on a regular mid-summer day when my husband was called to pick up our daughter from cheer practice early. He called me when they were in the car, and we decided to meet at the hospital. Read more…
My Journey to Acceptance
When he was first diagnosed, there was hope, but once realization of his rare chronic illness called achalasia started setting in, I experienced a faith crisis. I prayed and wondered why in the world this was happening. It wasn’t part of my plan for our lives. The future seemed filled with question marks and uncertainty of the future. Read more…
THE POWER OF PRAYER
When I first heard the words, “Your baby’s heart is not normal,” my world was turned upside down. I was scared, angry and confused. I questioned God. How could He allow this innocent, unborn baby be to be brought into this world to suffer through repeated surgeries, procedures and pain?
Why would He give her this journey? Read more…
A GRATEFUL HEART
“It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy.” If we take a moment to stop, be mindful of the given moment, and be thankful for life’s opportunities, we hold the key to happiness in our own hands. In his words: “Stop, Look and Go.” Read more…
Caregivers with Hope exists with the goal of offering caregivers the tools and empowerment to be better. Drawing upon founder Peter Rosenberger’s 30 years of experience as a caregiver, Caregivers with Hope offers clear, proven, strategies and tools to guide caregivers towards a healthier lifestyle in every facet of their life. In addition, Caregivers with Hope provides invaluable tools to counselors, clergy, medical practitioners, employers and businesses faced with addressing the needs of the caregiver.
Because only another caregiver can understand…
Not everyone has friends who understand or will even listen; that’s why we’re here. We provide a safe and open space—at no cost to you—where you can be real about what it’s like to care for someone dealing with a serious disability or illness.
Stephen Ministry is a one-to-one lay caring ministry that equips congregations and empowers lay caregivers to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting. Stephen Ministries offers many caregiving books and resources.
For the family members, friends, spouses, neighbors and co-workers of individuals with chronic physical or mental illness. There is nothing easy about watching others struggle with chronic illness. In watching, we suffer too. There are two answers, one is community , the other is God. This blog points watchers to both.
A blog site with the goal of recognizing and helping family caregivers.
Jeanie Olinger was thrust into caregiving when her son was in a tragic accident, but she soon discovered that there is “a whole world of ‘us’ out there! Many times we find ourselves alone. Even the church can disappear quickly and good friends distance themselves because our world has changed. But God does not change with circumstance. My faith is what has carried me through and these devotions will hopefully help us all make one more day – encouraged in Him.”
Devotions to inspire hope and victory. “As I have watched my father and so many friends become full-time caregivers, I realized that there was a need to tell their stories. I hope the stories, Scripture verses, and prayers on these blogs will inspire you as you care for others, and that the stories of others in similar situations will be a source of encouragement to you.” – Nancy Bowen Brown