‘Where the rubber meets the road,’ encouragement means truthful dialogue about how to keep traveling when the way is rutted, or the tires are worn. I’m not a caregiving expert, but I’ve been blessed with some real-world experience via parenting a special needs child, and working part-time as a healthcare provider. My PT role involves training and support of caregivers in the physical care of a loved one. I am repeatedly amazed at the impact of a small word of encouragement. Parenting – well, how many hats can one wear in a day????? Truthful for me has to do with honest takes on what one faces, and a belief that God’s word is the bottom line in navigating life. The name 4011 Caregiver Street comes from Isaiah 40:11, which states, “He tends his flock like a shepherd:He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; and gently leads those that have young.” NIV Caregiving appears in multiple forms, related to children, illness, aging, special needs, fostering, mentoring; being a spouse or friend, and the list goes on. It is rewarding, challenging, exhausting, at times sacrificial, and often unexpected either at onset(parenting a grandchild) or in practice. It regularly asks us to do that for which we feel ill-equipped , or unprepared(who knew children were so messy!!!). There may be other verses that more directly apply to caregiving as a whole, but God has consistently been gentle with me, as I continue down this unmapped road on worn treads. And He has been faithful to lead every, single step of the way. Always. and gently… Whether you are caring for a newly born, or a newly-young elder, my hope is that you will find refreshment, hope, encouragement, HELP(like a great idea), and scriptural truth as you sojourn here. I’m guessing that tomorrow’s ‘great idea’ might come from one of you; please feel free to share your insights and encouragements; they may be just what your fellow traveler needed to hear. jlf
You may have noticed (or not) that 4011caregiverstreet has a new writer. Whooppee! Caregiving involves such a broad scope of needs,skills, and settings, gathering providers from all walks of life. From outset, the hope was that caregivers serving in any of a variety of capacities could find encouragement, and/or contribute here. We’re thrilled to have a fresh, well- informed voice, to add perspective. Godspeed, Feg!