Switching Gears

Field of flowers

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.—PROVERBS 16:9 [NIV]

It is not unusual for folks with dementia to have fluctuating good and bad days, which usually translate into the same for their caregivers. I arose at my usual 4:30 a.m. that day to enjoy my early quiet time for praying and contemplating ways to make my husband’s day the best it could be.

When I heard Jerry stirring, I greeted him with plenty of sunshine and enthusiasm. “Dear, it’s going to be a beautiful day. How about a little drive in the country to our favorite restaurant for lunch?”

He seemed genuinely excited about the prospect of an outing and change of scenery. But as often happened, three miles from home he announced, “I don’t think I can do this.” While I was disappointed, I also was not surprised, and glad that he’d shared his feelings early in our adventure. Accustomed to switching gears quickly, I replied, “That’s okay. How about we go back home and I’ll fix us a little picnic, and we’ll have lunch together on the patio?” And we did!

A reminder that our plan is not always God’s plan. We had a lovely day together in our beautiful backyard, finding unexpected joy in the gifts of nature all around us. And in each other. Memories to cherish!

Today's Prayer:

Lord, continue to grant us peace and joy in each moment, even when things don’t go as we planned.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts