Saturday, March 11, 2023

Do Not Live in Fear

(The post below was oringinally posted at this blog site a few years ago.  It was written a few years after my first husband's death and before my Mom's graduation to Eternity and my sister's recent going to be with the Lord.  Before that it was the final chapter from my book published in 2014, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.)

Care-giving and watching my husband decline in his health and then his death in January of 2011 has been one of my life’s most difficult tests. Knowing I could trust that God loved me and was in control in the midst of the confusion and grief of it all made and continues to make all the difference in the world.

God is sovereign and in control. Nothing happens to a Christian caregiver or his or her loved one that is not filtered through His love. This is true even in the heartbreaking events which often accompany care-giving and sometimes their death. This is a difficult truth to accept. When this truth is accepted, however, it a soft place to land when one is overwhelmed with life’s difficulties.

God is good. Circumstances may be bad, but God is good. God is the very definition and essence of goodness. He proved that by sending His son on the cross. He can help caregivers who are struggling to keep emotional and spiritual equilibrium in the midst of the heartaches of seeing their loved ones decline in their health. He can also slowly emotionally heal caregivers, when and if their loved ones are not healed on this earth.

Joy can coexist in the midst of the heartaches and grief that often accompany care-giving and possibly losing our loved ones. This is because joy is not based on circumstances which are favorable or perfect. Rather it is based on a relationship with the Lord. If the Lord takes your loved one to Himself sooner than you would like, dear caregiver, He will be with you each step of the way then also. There is deep hurt and grief in the loss of a love one.  It involves a process that takes much time and deep crying out to the Lord and depending on Him.  There is a scar that never goes completely away. Yet, the Lord's faithfulness will be with you all the way, and the joy of the Lord will return. Do not live in fear of the future, dear Christian caregiver. Never forget that the Lord loves you, and He is good. He is in control.

(This post as stated above is a chapter from my book.  It is in fact the last chapter of my book.  In this blog I have often written new posts.  I also sometimes have included chapters from my book, as I did today.  If you are a family caregiver consider ordering my book.  If you know a family caregiver consider ordering my book for them.  Below is the link to ordering my book from Amazon. My book is also available through Barnes and Noble and elsewhere on the internet.  The Amazon site says there is only one in stock.  That is rather meaningless.  It just might take a day or so longer to come, if you order.  You can further get a book directly from me by contacting me at and asking me for specifics.)

Encouragement For Our Lives

When life becomes difficult,God's precious promises in His Word are so precious.   I found two encouraging pictures posted on Facebook a couple years ago.  This will be a short post, but a simple picture can convey much truth.  I hope you will be blessed and helped, as you view these pictures.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Lament and Hope

Recently our church had a service of lament and petition.  I was not able to be at that service, but found it a blessing when I watched it later.  I found this especially true, since I had just returned a couple days before from my sister's funeral.  

Lament is defined as "a passionate expression of grief or sorrow."  In the Psalms of the Old Testament lament is often expressed by the psalmists.  Laments like "How long, O Lord?" (Psalm 13:1), and pleas like "Come quickly to help me, O LORD my Savior" (Psalm 38:22) are often heard.  God welcomes our honest laments and prayers for help.  There is much to lament in this sin tinged world, be it the sickness or death of a loved one or the turmoil and immorality in our country and the world at large.

Yet as believers there is hope.  The biblical word for hope does not conote a wishful thinking type of hope with no basis in certainty.  Biblical hope conotes a certainty of promises made by the Lord which perhaps still has not been fulfilled,  It involves an attitude of waiting on the Lord.  Psalm 33:20-22 says, "We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield, for we trust in His holy name.  May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in You"

Hope is also a certainty of eternal life which comes to those who are his children.  The veil between this life and the next is so fragile, and that life is so very close.  In spite of lamenting the sorrows in this life, there are many joys in the Lord even in this life.  What is more important Eternity for a child of God will be free of all sorrow and tears.  Most importantly, we will be in the Lord's wonderful presence forever.  We shall behold Him face to face. 

Here are the lyrics to the beautiful song, "We Shall Behold Him."  (A recording of that song sung by my sister, Nancy, singing that in her own words at her funeral was a wonderful.)  Here are the words  for that song for your blessing as well, dear reader:  

The sky shall unfoldPreparing His entranceThe stars shall applaud HimWith thunders of praise
The sweet light in His eyes, shall enhance those awaitingAnd we shall behold Him, then face to face
O we shall behold Him, we shall behold HimFace to face in all of His gloryO we shall behold Him, yes we shall behold HimFace to face, our Savior and Lord
The angel will sound, the shout of His comingAnd the sleeping shall rise, from there slumbering placeAnd those remaining, shall be changed in a momentAnd we shall behold him, then face to face
We shall behold Him, o yes we shall behold HimFace to face in all of His gloryWe shall behold Him, face to faceOur Savior and LordWe shall behold Him, our Savior and LordSavior and Lord!


Saturday, February 11, 2023

Carried On His Shoulders


I pray that you will bear with me, as I  share some of thoughts concerning my sister's homegoing to Heaven on February 13th.  I tend to process grief and my faith thoughts through writing.  In my family, as most of you know, I had a sister who valiently fought her cancer for over three years 

Nancy not only valiently fought the cancer, but she was a wonderful testimony the entire time to her love for the Lord and her belief in His goodness.  She kept the faith even when she was enduring intense pain,  She was a wonderful example of patience and trust in the Lord to her children, grandchildren, and siblings.  So was and is Milo, her husband, who was a faithful husband and caregiver to Nancy those years that she was fighting cancer.  Her entire marriage to her husband, Milo, was a walk of faithfulness to the Lord.  Milo and Nancy also loved their music ministry behind prison walls.  Many prison inmates further learned to love them, their music, and their Lord.

Above is a song that my sister, Nancy, and her husband, Milo, sang about their walk of faith that we just talked about.  I first posted this song more than two years ago.  Recently I ran across this song that they sang again.  It can be found on Youtube. The name of the song is "Shoulders."   Listen to the song above, and be blessed and encouraged.  It talks about their trust in the Lord to carry them on His shoulders through the struggles.  

The struggles were indeed difficult for them at the time that they sang the song.  Those trials became even more intense as the days and years progressed throughout Nancy's disease.  Yet God did carry them both on His shoulders the whole time,  And now I picture Nancy cuddled in the Lord's arms and singing her heart out with the saints in heaven.

Nancy and I had some wonderful faith talks in the last years.  In the last days I have thought that it would be so wonderful, if Nancy and I could talk one more time.  I would say to her, "Tell me, what is Heaven like?"  I imagine she would say that is is much more wonderful than she can share with me, and that I need to just walk by faith until my day arrives to go home to Heaven to be with Jesus and all the saints.

There are many of you readers who may be going through some deep trials.  Some of you are going through cancer or other serious illnesses. Others of you may be caregivers for a love one who is sick.  This too is a difficult path to tread.  Some of you may be suffering financial issues or family break-up.    Perhaps there is another trial you are enduring.

If you are a child of God, however, you know that the Lord is with you and even carrying you through it all.  He carries us through weakness, sickness, and brokenness.  He carries us on His shoulders like a Daddy might carry a young child who is weak and weary.  Your help comes from the Lord.

Sometimes when the trials are overwhelming and many, it is difficult to see that the Lord is with us and helping us.  At those moments we must learn to not listen to our emotions which don't always tell us the truth.  We need to listen instead to the truth of God's Word which promises that the Lord is always our help and will never forsake us.  We don't always have to see it immediately to believe it, because it is true that God is with us.  Our help comes from Him in His perfect timing!

 If you have not already done so, listen to the song above, and be blessed and encouraged.

Your Divine Valentine

 (Forgive me for once again republishing a post from the past in a slightly edited version.  I think it is a message worth repeating again, as Tuesday will be Valentine's Day.)

Dear caregiver, do you ever feel the sorrow of things lost?  Do you ever miss the way things were in the past with your loved one for whom you are caring?  Does the approach of holidays such as Valentine's day make you feel melancholy and sad? Or perhaps did your loved one pass on to Eternity?  Even though new love has entered my life, I remember those feelings.

During those moments of sadness remember that the Lord loves you with an infinite love.  He in effect is your Divine Valentine.  He is sufficient.  He alone can give you all that you need.  Below is a poem called Your Divine Valentine:

Your Divine Valentine

A Valentine may play a love song for you, but God sings you the sweetest love song in the universe.  (Zephaniah 3:17)

A Valentine may give you flowers, but God sent you the most beautiful rose of all, Jesus.
(Song of Solomon 2:1)

A Valentine may bring you chocolate, but God provides you with something even sweeter, His Word.  (Psalm 119:103)

A Valentine may love you for a lifetime,but God loved you before you were born and will love you for all eternity,
(Jeremiah 31:3)

Saturday, January 28, 2023

After Caregiving Ends


If you are caring for a loved one or friend, some day that will end.  It may end with your loved one being cured,  It may also end in the death of your loved one.  In that eventuality, you will then have to begin the process of picking up the pieces of your life and finding new purpose in your life.  This is something we do not wish to talk about, but it is often a part of the care-giving process.  Hence, we need to discuss it.

Today I am posting a link to an article that was published in Guideposts magazine over seven years ago about my experiences the first months after my husband's death.  I had cared for him for over four and a half years, and that time period was a huge transition for me.  This article documents my journey to finding purpose in my life again.  It is written in first person, but was actually written by a Guideposts author (even though I am a published author myself) after an extensive hour and a half interview with me.  I also suggested changes and had input in the final copy.  Although I would have changed the wording a few places, it certainly reflects my emotions and feelings at the time.  Click on the link below to read it.

What is Our Vision of God?


A few years ago I read a book called  NOT God Enough  by JD Greer.  The premise of the book is that our understanding of God affects everything in our life.  The author also contends that in our minds we often do not see God in all of His greatness.  We often do not see how big is God.  We do not remember that His thoughts and ways are not like our thoughts and ways.

Following is an excerpt from that book, "What we think about God determines everything else in our lives; what we value, what we pursue, and how we pursue it.  Our vision of God also determines whether our beliefs will make it through the inevitable storms of doubt, temptation, and suffering that life brings.  The real God is not a god who simply completes us and makes us feel sentimental during worship; He is a God who humbles us and transforms us from the inside out."

It is so easy to question God or become weary when difficult times come in our lives.  I remember times like these when caring for my first husband and after his death.  I remember times like this when I have had to tread life's path and face day to day problems alone as a widow.  I remember times like that since those days as well.  Yet if we remember what a great God we serve, we can trust God in these times.  He is using these times in our lives to transform us and humble us.  This in turn makes us more useful servants for Him and also eventually adds more joy to our lives.  I think this also adds gratitude to our lives for even the little blessings.  I know it has for me.

Even in what we consider "good" things in our lives, our vision of God determines how we use these gifts and in how we enjoy these gifts.  It is also a walk of faith, as we sometimes walk in new and good life-changing directions in our lives.  Walking life with joy even in "good" times requires trusting our great God especially when we can't see for sure what is around the next corner.  It is trusting our great and loving God to lead step by step.  It involves trusting that our great and awesome God knows what He is doing.  What is your and my vision of God?

(If you missed last week's blog post, "God Lives and is Good,"  you can find it here: