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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks for Caregivers!

You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. 2 Corinthians 1:11

Treasured Friend

Here in the U.S., we're getting ready to celebrate the national holiday, Thanksgiving. As every chef and one-day-a-year cook knows, it's coming up tomorrow. (I realize and cherish the fact that we have regular readers of this blog in dozens of countries on at least 5 continents--but please do allow me the privilege today of commenting on my culture--I promise if you read on, you'll find something useful for your journey, as well.)

While we may seem to have turned it into the national celebration of gluttony (I just pulled the pumpkin pies out of the oven, as evidence!), the deeper meaning hasn't gotten lost on most of us--that of treasuring and honoring God for His abundant provision on our behalf.

It may not always seem abundant -- but it is. It may show itself in the abundance of love in our households -- or in our greater households of faith. It may show itself in the abundance of strength He provides in His grace and mercy as we work diligently to fulfill our challenging callings.

I'm most thankful this season for the abundant number of people He provides to surround us on the caregiving journey. People who encourage, who uplift, who send messages of comfort and peace, and most importantly who carry this ministry and our little family to God's throne room in prayer regularly.

Just yesterday I received a FB message from a dear friend and colleague who regularly holds us up in prayer. I was hard at work writing my new book, and a little message appeared in the lower corner of my screen -- a lovingly worded reminder that she was praying, right then. Oh, what a blessing that message is--one to keep and cherish and re-read any day I feel alone on the journey. And what a powerful reminder it gave me of the close connection we can establish with each other (even across long distances and many miles) through the power of prayer.

That's what caused me to choose as my Scripture of Thanksgiving this year, the one from 2 Corinthians 1 that you read above. It talks about the help prayer provides to the recipient, and the blessing it reflects back on the pray-ers. All of this because of the One to Whom the prayers are directed--our loving God and Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ.

So, whether you're the caregivee or the caregiver -- or someone on the margins, holding up those doing the hard work of caring for aging loved ones, I challenge you to take Paul's strong request to heart. Choose at least one caregiver whom you know and hold her regularly -- early and often (like we're said to vote here in Chicago) -- before God's throne in meaningful prayer. She won't be the only one sharing in the blessings as God sees fit to answer your prayer. You'll be the recipient of more blessings than you could even imagine.

Oh, and if you're looking for other ways to support and encourage your favorite caregiver, check out my practical article, Priceless Gifts for Caregivers: http://issuu.com/julie-allysonieron/docs/priceless_gifts_for_caregivers.

A blessed and happy Thanksgiving to all. I thank my God every time I pray for you.


Blessings and prayers, Julie

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