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New Coffeemaker

My dad had a very nice big coffeemaker that he used to make his drinks just the way he likes. He even made fancy cappuccinos. A few months ago it started making unnecessary loud sounds and parts weren’t moving the way they should. We brought the machine to the repair company that my parents have used for years. The serviceman called a few weeks later with the bad news. It would cost almost as much to fix the coffeemaker as it would to replace it. My dad sadly told him he would not be putting the money into the repair. By this time, he had learned to make a good cup of coffee with the pour over gadget and decided he would stick to that. However, using the pour over is time consuming and my dad has talked about wanting to get another kind of coffeemaker. We asked the family for input and they answered overwhelming that we should get a Keurig. Today we made it happen. I looked up the options and found a store where I could order what we wanted and pick it up. That is just what we did. We were happy to be out and have a nice drive. Once back home, we set up the machine. It was pretty straight forward and easy. My mom and I watched in anticipation as my dad tried his first cup. He said it was a little different from what he had been making, but it was good. The machine has several different options and I’m sure my dad will be playing with them until he figures out how to get his perfect cup. I remembered that he had a chemistry set in his room as a child and would play around with the different chemicals to see what he could create. I think this is the same kind of thing.

I Found God today getting my dad set up with a new coffeemaker.

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The Peace Love Rock

My parents were awake early this morning with sore arms from their 2nd COVID-19 vaccines. They took a Tylenol and headed back to bed. They got up a few hours later and had breakfast. They were still a little achy and very tired. So they took another Tylenol and laid back down. They rested another couple of hours before getting up. We had lunch and I was so happy that my parents felt pretty good. I had anticipated that they might not feel well for a couple of days after the vaccine, but prayed that they would not have severe reactions. Later, my dad even did some laundry and my mom and I went for a short walk. On our way back, I noticed a red heart-shaped rock sitting on the ledge of a pillar on the edge of the sidewalk. It had a yellow peace sign painted on it. To me, it was a reminder to be peaceful and trust in God’s love.

I Found God today as my parents fared very well after their 2nd COVID-19 vaccine.

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The 2nd Vaccine

Yes, that’s right. Today my parents received their 2nd COVID-19 vaccine. They were scheduled to go after lunch, but we got a phone call a few hours earlier saying they could go at any time. So, we got ready and headed out. On the way, we said a prayer thanking God for the opportunity and for the medical people, and asking for a good result with little side effects. Everything there went just as smooth as the first time. Neither parent even felt the shot. It’s been almost 12 hours now and so far, so good.

I Found God today in the opportunity for my parents to get vaccinated.

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Not an Emergency

I talked with a friend today who is a spiritual director/life coach also. She has been such a help to me as I do my best to navigate COVID and caring for my parents. One thing we talked about recently is the idea to not let my thoughts, worries, and fears of the future get the best of me. When I find my mind wandering to places that make me anxious, I have to tell myself the truth of the day. Breath . . . It’s OK, we are home safe, we are warm and have food. It’s OK. Breath . . . Everything may not be “fine”, but at the same time, there is no emergency right now. It’s OK. I then thank God for how He is taking care of us in that moment. I may have to talk to myself this way more than once during the day, and will continue to practice, but it has been a tremendous help to maintain some kind of peace and hope.

I Found God today remembering that each day is not an emergency and that God is caring for us.

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Wisdom on the Path

I participated in an online caregivers group today. I so appreciate getting to know the people more and listening to them. They all have different stories and their loved ones are in different stages of illness. Today I realized that is one of the blessings of the group. I don’t feel as alone in caregiving, I am able to share openly with people who understand, and I learn much from them. I always walk away with renewed hope, energy, and encouragement.

I Found God today in the wisdom of others walking a similar path.

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How She Loves Him

After my mom did her Parkinson’s exercise class online, the group had a social time. The leader asked how everyone celebrated Valentine’s day. My mom told them about the family getting together on Zoom and opening funny cards. One of the men said his wife of 44 years wrote a list of all the reasons she loves him. Everybody responded with a collective “Awww…” When asked what the #1 answer was, he said it was that he made her laugh. Very sweet.

I Found God today hearing about loving.

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Peaceful Fresh Snow

After a frigid couple of days, it was wonderful to open the blinds and feel the warmth of the sunshine. Once the temperature increased to 20 degrees, I decided it was time to shovel. When I had my dog, I was used to putting on all my layers and venturing out in the cold, but now it is only for “special occasions” like shoveling. After bundling up, I went out and discovered that our neighbor had already cleared our mutual sidewalk. I shoveled our porch and in front of the garage door. The snow was so light and fluffy, it didn’t take very long. Not wanting to waste all my bundling time, I decided to take a little walk. There wasn’t much activity and much of my path was untrodden. The sky was blue, the snow was white, the mountains were gorgeous, and the air was crisp. It was a peaceful, beautiful few minutes.

I Found God today in the peace of crisp air and fresh snow.

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Enjoyed Valentines

Usually on Valentine’s day I make red heart pancakes. This year my sister sent me a different idea. So we started the day with a breakfast of eggs topped with bacon twisted and baked into a heart shape. I figured nothing says “love” like heart shaped meat. At church (online) the priest prayed especially for married couples. My parents raised their hands as the priest was looking for the couple who had been married the longest. It’s too bad we weren’t present as they have been married 13 years longer than the couple in church. We exchanged cards and ate truffles. In the afternoon we got on Zoom with the rest of the family. We sent them all humorous valentines and they waited until today to open them. It was pretty funny as my parents chose the perfect card for each one. Later, one of our neighbors stopped by and gave us a bottle of sparkling cherry juice. I poured it in fancy glasses and served it to my parents with a candlelight dinner for the two of them, complete with ice cream dessert. Then we played a game. My mom said it was the best day she has had in a long time. That made me pretty happy.

I Found God today in a very enjoyable Valentine’s Day.

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A Frigid Day

It was a super frigid day today, so we stayed in and took note of anything that was moving outside – 1 person walking very quickly, 1 other person walking their dog, a crazy squirrel that would jump straight up in the air after being on the ground for a few seconds, a couple of birds. My dad was concerned about my brother and wondering how he was doing in his camper. He’s not in the state, but it looked like the cold snap had a pretty big perimeter. My dad gave him a call. It was colder there – it had dropped into the 60’s. We laughed a little and my dad was put at ease. We just hunkered down for the rest of the day in sweaters and occasional blankets.

I Found God today in a new frigid day.

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Creating Joy

It is difficult to keep up a positive attitude – especially when we are still unable to move about and visit as we want. I read a short reflection this morning, “Surround yourself as often as possible with joyful people. Spend your time in places that encourage your own joyfulness.” by Allen Hunt from the book Nine Words. I realized that I am actually reading this book – slowly. But that in itself made me smile. I thought about how we are trying to follow this advice under the current circumstances and I think we are doing what we can. We connect Facetime and Zoom with the immediate family. We make occasional phone calls with other friends and family. At least once a week we have a visitor in person. We have outings – just drives to get out and see something enjoyable. Even though we are very careful and visits aren’t exactly how we want them to be, we still make the most of them. And that brings us all joy.

I Found God today reflecting on creating joy.