Sunday, October 4, 2015

Guideposts Magazine Article

Guideposts Magazine has been publishing stories this past year about family caregivers.  I find this to be an exciting development.  Last summer I was contacted and then later interviewed by Guideposts Magazine concerning my care-giving experiences and my experiences since my husband's death.  It is my joy to announce that the story they did on me was published in the October issue of Guideposts Magazine.

Then recently the story was also put on their web page.  They don't include as many pictures on the web page, and the title is "Never Forsaken" in the magazine; but the article is the same.  The link to the article on the web is below.

Those days of caring for my husband were very difficult, but God has used that time in my life and in the lives of others in many ways.  I stand amazed at the Lord's workings.  Wayne, my husband, is free of the limitations of his body, and God is using our story in ways I could never have imagined.  God will do the same for you someday, dear caregiver.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Losses of Care-giving

If your loved one has suffered with a terminal disease or with a disease which has caused a severe disability, your loved one has experienced serious losses in his or her life.  You as his or her caregiver have also suffered serious losses. You have most likely suffered the loss of a relationship as it once existed and the loss of time doing fun things together with your loved one.  Dear Christian caregiver, those losses can really hurt. I think the loss or change in a relationship that one once had with one’s love one is the most difficult of all losses. 

You have also suffered a loss of dreams for the future. As a caregiver you may have further lost the help of your ill loved one with duties around the house.  Finally because of the expenses of care-giving you may have lost possessions and financial security.
In September of 2009 I wrote about yet another loss.  This loss was the loss of my husband’s leadership in decision making due to his illness. I wrote the following words: 

I do weary of being responsible for so many decisions. When we bought a different vehicle this summer, I did all the talking and dealing. When there are telephone calls to be made or problems to be solved it is I who has to take charge. Soon we will have some major insurance issues to consider. That will be mainly my responsibility. We may have a chance to move from our apartment to a condo. There is a condo in our price range available, but all the things to think about in regards to such a possibility are a bit overwhelming.
I love the good times my husband and I still have together, but I miss the way things used to be. I miss the times when my husband took more responsibility for these type things and decisions. I miss the person my husband used to be.”
The losses and the stresses of care-giving can be overwhelming at times. Always remember that the Lord God is with you in the losses, dear Christian caregiver. His plans for your future are also good. He can turn the chaos and heartaches of care-giving into something beautiful in your character and in your future. Rest in Him.  

(This blog post can be found as a meditation in my book: Dear Caregiver (subtitled Reflections for Family Caregivers.) My book can be ordered at Xulon, my publisher and also at Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. The amazon link is here: If you want a copy directly from me e-mail me at for details.)

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Care-giving not only involves the tasks of caring for one’s loved one, but there is also much emotional turmoil which can accompany the family care-giving process. I found this especially true in the later months of my husband’s illness. Transfers to the bathroom, bed, and car were becoming increasingly difficult; and I was finding myself fearfully anticipating each next transfer.

God wants us to do everything in dependence on Him. Care-giving began to teach me that self-sufficiency would not work. Apart from God we can do nothing of eternal value. God’s deepest desire for you, dear Christian caregiver, is that you depend on Him in every situation. There is no other way to travel through the challenges and sometimes grief of care-giving. Rely on the Lord constantly. Let Him fill you moment by moment with His strength. You do not have enough strength on your own, dear caregiver, but He will give you enough strength for the day.

As I think back on my days as caregiver for my husband, I remember those days as being very difficult days. My husband’s disease was a terrible disease which made him completely dependent on others especially near the end of his life. Through it all as I look back, however, I can see how God provided step by step. I clung tightly to God during those days. Perhaps my emotional stress would have been lighter, however, if I would not have tried to anticipate the future. I needed to rely moment by moment on God alone.

The Lord wants to give you His peace in the midst of the chaos of care-giving, dear Christian caregiver. Take time each morning to sit quietly in His presence through prayer and Bible reading. Then walk through the day constantly reminding yourself of His presence. The peace which will come from remembering His presence in your life is a rare and beautiful treasure.  That peace will help you stand up under the struggles of the day. Wear God’s peace throughout the day.

He will refresh you when you are weary, dear caregiver. He will give you what you need when you feel as if you cannot persevere for even one more moment in your care-giving duties. Also do not become discouraged when your emotions so overwhelm you that you do not feel that peace, dear Christian caregiver. God understands our weakness. On those days just turn back once again to the Lord.  

(This blog post on peace can be found as a meditation in my book: Dear Caregiver (subtitled Reflections for Family Caregivers.) My book can be ordered at Xulon, my publisher and also at Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. The amazon link is here: If you want a copy directly from me e-mail me at for details.)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Light and Momentary Troubles

A week ago tomorrow it was Labor Day in the United States.  I wrote some thoughts that day, and they are written below:

Today is Labor Day.  Today I am spending the day alone.  I do remember past Labor Days, however, which were spent with family.  Every year over Labor Day week-end there is a county fair in my area.  For many years my husband, Wayne, and I took our three young sons to the fair over Labor Day week-end. They loved seeing the farm animals and other exciting things at the fair.  When Wayne and I became empty-nesters we went to the fair as a couple.  The fair is basically the same thing every year, but we enjoyed walking over the grounds hand in hand.

According to my Facebook memories six years ago today some family members helped me take Wayne to the fair using his mobility scooter.  By even that time Wayne was having serious mobility and other issues.

Then five years ago today was my mother-in-law's funeral.  She had lived a healthy life until about two years before her death, but the last couple years she had ovarian cancer which finally took her life.  She was 88 years old when she passed, but we still grieved her passing.  Some of the grief that I felt at the time over her decline and death were mixed with my feelings of grief over Wayne's continual decline.  I remember feeling so stressed the day of her funeral wondering if Wayne would be able to attend. The day before the funeral he had had a very difficult day.  As it was Wayne was able to attend the funeral, and he had a relatively good day the day of his Mom's funeral.

Four months after his Mom's death, however, on January 2, 2011 Wayne also  passed into eternity. So today I have some sad feelings.  I am sad about the heartaches of seeing Wayne deteriorate in his body during the four and a half years since his diagnosis.  I am sad about what we both went through.  I am sad that he is no longer in my life.

Yet I am glad that Wayne, his mom, my dad, and other loved ones who have gone on ahead are with the Lord.  I am sure Wayne is saying that his "light and momentary troubles" have achieved for him "an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." ( II Corinthians 4:17)

So whatever your care-giving heartaches may be today, dear caregiver, trust your Heavenly Caregiver to be with you each step of the way.  I still feel heartache about those difficult care-giving days.  I still feel loneliness without Wayne in my life.  Yet I also feel the Lord's presence in a rich and fuller way.  My faith has never been sweeter; nor has my love for the Lord been stronger.  God has used our story in awesome ways.  Persevere in the faith and in your noble calling of care-giving, dear caregiver.  God is already using YOUR story as well.  He will be with you each step of the way.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

God's Sure Love

It is so difficult in our human minds to reconcile two truths. One truth is that God loves us. The other truth is that God allows us to face very difficult challenges and even suffering in this life. Sometimes the challenges and suffering we face tempts us to doubt God’s love for us.
Care-giving by definition is challenging at best. If a caregiver is put into the position of witnessing his or her loved one’s health continue to deteriorate step by step; that caregiver might also experience discouragement, grief, and a host of other negative emotions.  Though God’s ways are difficult to understand sometimes, one truth to which Christian caregivers can cling is the truth of God’s overflowing and certain love for them.
God is the very definition of love. We tend to think that when life is easy and comfortable God must love us. Conversely, if things are difficult and challenging in our lives; we may be tempted to think God no longer cares for us. If we begin to see things from God’s perspective, however, we realize that suffering and challenges have purpose and meaning.
Christian caregivers know that the emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges of care-giving are molding their characters. They know that somehow God is going to bring good out of the chaos, heartache, and overwhelming challenges of care-giving. They know that God will be with them each step of the way supporting them and sustaining them with His love and power.
Dear Christian caregiver. Rest in the truth of God’s love for you in the midst of all the negative emotions that care-giving can produce. Trust that He in His love will lead you through this difficult process. Trust that good will come out of all of the heartaches and challenges of care-giving. Just rest in trust in His love.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015


(Today's post is from a chapter in my book Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers. Links to the order page for my book at Amazon and Xulon can be found on the right hand side of this page.)

I happen to enjoy reading novels with an Amish setting and Amish characters. I also enjoy reading Christian historical novels. I think I like these kind of novels because they portray a simpler way of life. In spite of this, however, the characters often have similar struggles and emotions; as we all do as human beings. 
Some time back I completed a novel trilogy in which the main character, Hannah, undergoes a number of very difficult trials and struggles. In spite of all these difficulties, she struggles through the bitterness and hurt, and she comes to the realization through her faith that there always is a “nevertheless” in every overwhelming and sad circumstance in her life. I thought that was such a wonderful concept that I made a picture with the word “nevertheless” on it. I then framed it and put it on my kitchen counter. 
As my husband’s caregiver, there were many emotional struggles as I saw my husband’s health deteriorate step by step before my eyes. Also, about a year after my husband was diagnosed with his disease, I went through eight months of treatment for breast cancer. 
Nevertheless, I grew in character during this time.   

Sometimes during those difficult  care-giving days and after my husband’s death on January 2, 2011, I have felt all alone. Nevertheless, the Lord has been with me through it all, and His presence in my life has become increasingly real to me in a new way. During the years I was a caregiver for my husband, the Lord supplied love and help to me through others and through His presence, and He continues to do so today after my husband's passing to Glory. 

 “Nevertheless” is such a powerful word. It is such a liberating word. Dear Christian caregiver, there is always a “nevertheless” phrase that can be added to every heartache and challenge you face as a caregiver, and in life in general. Based on your own care-giving experience, I challenge you to complete the following sentence for yourself, dear caregiver: Care-giving is often so discouraging and heartbreaking, nevertheless…."

Sunday, August 23, 2015

There Are No Accidents With God

As most of you readers know, I was my husband's caregiver for four and a half years.  I lost him to a devastating neurological disease in early 2011.  Recently I read a statement which has stuck in my mind.  The statement was this:  "Widowhood is not God's plan B for your life."  Care-giving with all it's challenges and heartaches also was not God's plan B for my life.   I was chosen by God for both care-giving and then later widowhood.  They were both God perfect will and plan for my life.  God's plan for my life is not what I would have chosen for myself, but it is God's first and best plan for my life.

God has chosen you as well for the noble task of care-giving, dear caregiver.  I know it can be overwhelmingly discouraging at times, but God has chosen you for this.  He has chosen you for this job to refine you and to grow you in your faith.  He chosen you for this task to make you fall more and more in love with the Lord.  Finally he has chosen you for this, so you can be a blessing to your loved one.

Recently I read a wonderful article online entitled "There are NO Accidents with God." This is difficult truth to accept at times, but it is a blessed and soft place to land when we do accept it.  Read that wonderful article by clicking the link below.