Do you know a caregiver – a person who pours themselves into the wellbeing of another in a way that invites and demands TLC above and beyond?
Do you see their commitment? Their exhaustion? Their love and resolve? Is that person you?
I have been caregiving for many years. My most recent round is going on 7 years and I have become aware of the toll it is taking. 24 / 7 / 365 is intense. It adds layers to life that is often already complex.
- A layer of grief – an alteration of the life you had always imagined.
- A layer of increased workload – physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally.
- A layer of ache. Exhaustion. Guilt. But also layers of joy. Purpose. Connection and provision.
To examine and explore these layers, I am setting up an Ebenezer.
An Ebenezer is a large rock that reminds us, “thus far the Lord has helped us.” It comes from 1 Samuel 7:12. The whole story is worth the read.
God’s provision through this caregiving season has been miraculous, but the road is steep and the pace relentless.
This Ebenezer is inviting me to sit – to find a resting place in its shade and do a little inventory. I am leaning in hard … taking a look at my heart and my hope.
I need to confess, I live what I teach. Run Hard. Rest Well. is encoded into my DNA: Sabbath – Sleep – Stillness – Solitude (The 4 S’s). I am still alive by the grace of God and this message of hope and help.
We teach 4 S’s, but there is a 5th.
Sometimes I call it Radical Sabbatical. Other times I think of it as Industrial Strength Rest.
No matter what it is called, I need it.
I need this now.
The journey of “Industrial Strength Rest” has begun.
As the Lord gives me nuggets, gems, and treasures, I will be sharing.
To start, there is a 4 ½ minute video clip.
It will give you a glimpse of my journey … the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I am being considered (1 of 22 people) for a keynote presentation for a National Caregiving Conference. If you choose to vote for me, it will open the door for the Run Hard. Rest Well. message to be shared with a lot of people, and it will give me a bucket-filling getaway this coming November.
Watch the video here. The list is in alphabetical order. Look for Brenda Jank. The voting will end at midnight on Friday July 26 EST.
More to come! In the last 3 weeks I have gone on 2 personal retreats and am prayerfully and carefully mapping out what God has for me and my family in this season of sitting in the shade of my Ebenezer. Right now I am doing a word study on Shepherd. Treasure chest!
A Yiddish Proverb reminds us, The Lord gives burden, but he also gives shoulders.
Psalm 28:9 reminds me of the One whose shoulders are safe and secure.
EXTRA …for another time
- I have been blessed by an exploration of The 6 Stages of Caregiving. This short article is a great read. I pray it blesses you.