God continues to provide opportunities for our character growth.  One such opportunity for me was the involved care of my elderly parents these last 3 years.  Each day provided joys, challenges, education, and the stretching of the fruit of the Spirit.

Mom has full-time care now, and Dad is rejoicing in his final transition into the loving arms of Jesus.  His steady and difficult physical decline gave me opportunities to grow in understanding, patience, and advocacy.  Each day, I prayed that God would give me what I needed to provide the best service and love to one who had served and loved all his life.

God gave me viable, practical, spiritual food for the greatest of challenges.  Proverbs 31:8-9 guided me in moments of discouragement or weariness:  “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of the unfortunate.  Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.”  I learned that in some cases, if I hadn’t noticed, spoken, asked, and persevered, very important issues would have been missed.

How we speak is as important as what we speak.  Proverbs 31: 25-26 provides guidance by saying, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.  She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”  Wow, did that stretch me.  To strike the balance of communicating with urgency, kindness, and wisdom is priceless.  Good caretaking relationships were birthed through this mindset and through the associated actions.

If you are a caretaker, I’m praying for you.  You are doing a valuable and sometimes difficult job.  Psalm 81:10b documents where God says to His people, “I the Lord, am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide and I will fill it.”  I encourage you to ask God to fill your mouth with wisdom, balance, and kindness.  He never fails, and He teaches us as we go.

If you are in transition of any sort, I’m also praying for you.  God’s grace will strengthen you and help you.  Hebrews 4:16 encourages all of us:  “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  As always, you are welcome to respond to this post.  Feel free to explore the devotional book on this site.  Let it help you connect with God and hear from Him with increasing clarity.  Love and blessings to you.

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