Saturday, January 25, 2020


Below is a link to an article online about prayer.  Prayer is so essential to managing life's difficulties.  In fact, the Bible tells us to pray without ceasing.  What does that mean?  The article dives into that subject.  Although a bit long the article is well worth reading.

Here is a quote from that article to wet your appetite for reading it:  "If prayer is merely an activity to do, then 'pray without ceasing' will sound oppressive.  But if prayer is communion with God-communion with this Father, Son, and Spirit-then we will hear the command differently; 'Enjoy God without ceasing.  Gain strength from God without ceasing.  And find that He is ever near, always faithful'"

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sing to the Lord a New Song

As many of my readers know, I volunteer at social program called the Gathering Place which is held in a church in our county.  This program is for people with beginning to moderate dementia.  It is a wonderful program for the participants and adds joy to the lives of the volunteers like myself as well.  It also provides a wonderful day of respite for caregivers of loved ones affected by neurological diseases.

Recently I found the following post in my Facebook memories that I wrote a little over three years ago:

"As you know I volunteer at the Gathering place on Tuesdays. I went to one of the former participants of the Gathering place's funeral visitation today. Even though it is always sad when one of the participants pass, I have never gone to a visitation or funeral of one of them before. This lady was from my town, however, and she was a special lady. Makes me sad. She is with Jesus, but it is difficult for the family. The husband talked about my book which he had read. Nice interaction. It reminds us that life on this earth is so brief."

Remarkably, the man talked about in that Facebook post of three years ago is my current husband, Bob.  Bob lost his wife a little over three years ago.  My book to which I refer in the above post is my book. Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  I wrote that book after being my first husband's caregiver for about four and a half years and then losing him to death a little over nine years ago.  Bob was helped by that book in his care for his first wife.

It seems amazing to me that both Bob and I had no clue on that funeral day what God had planned for our futures.  Yet because of our common work at the Gathering Place and God speaking to our hearts, we became a couple.  I am overwhelmed with the grace and love of God in all of that.  I am overwhelmed with God's wisdom which is way above our wisdom.  I am amazed that even though we will always miss our first spouses, God has brought beauty from ashes.  The plaque on the wall below our wedding picture says, "Sing to the Lord a new song."  How appropriate.   There are adjustments in a second marriage, but it has been a very good thing.  Also our love keeps growing.

God's plan is not always easy especially when we go through very difficult times.  Yet let us always trust that He knows what He is doing.  Let's trust in that wonderful God.  Whatever the heartache, dear reader, trust Him.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Stretching Spiritual Muscles

I was reminded recently during a morning devotion that spiritual muscles like physical muscles can only grow through pain.  Physical muscles grow when pushed beyond their capacity and actually break down.  They then rebuild stronger and bigger.  The same is true of spiritual muscles.  If we want to grow spiritually we must at times go through trials and circumstances that are painful or at least challenging.

As I have mentioned before in previous posts, I have gone through the challenges of caring for my first husband and losing him.  I have gone through other deep challenges and trials as well.  Yet I have grown through those experiences.  My love for the Lord and trust in Him has expanded greatly with these experiences.

Because of my new marriage to my present husband, Bob, I closed on the sale of my condo a few days ago, a house I had grown to love.  I have begun a new chapter and adventure in my life.  New adventures mean leaving the old behind and moving forward to the new.  They involve a certain element of trust.  They involve stretching one's spiritual muscles.

Recently I read the following from a devotional called The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie:  "I don't want my greatest spiritual adventures to be all behind me!  I want to keep going, keep growing.  I want to know Him better and love Him better and love Him more next year than I do today.  I want to be like Him and do more for Him.  So I got to keep building my spiritual muscles."

Whether you are caring for a loved one who is ill or have recently lost such a loved one, whether a family member is going through very difficult times through their own choices or not, whether there is a host of other difficult circumstances in your life, or whether you are just starting an exciting new adventure in your life; trust God to see your through it all. Trust that God will stretch your spiritual muscles, and be willing to let Him do so in your life.  It will not only increase your strength in this life, but  it will also reap benefits in Eternity!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

A New Year

We have entered a new year. Are you worried and nervous about what this new year will bring, or instead of being anxious are you resting in the Lord and trusting and praising Him? Will you trust the Lord only if all your prayers are answered the way you desire for them to be answered, or will you trust the Lord even if He allows huge trials in your life? 

I read through the book of Psalms most every year as part of my daily devotions.  I was recently reminded of the fact that the book of Psalms in chapter one begins with reminding us of the importance of loving God's Word and building our lives on God and His Word.  In the Psalms following chapter one we find the Psalmists talking about every imaginable human experience from deep trials to immense joy.  The psalmists also talk about God's promises and their hopes and desires.

Yet when we foundation our lives on faith in God and on His Word praise and thanks always results no matter what our experience may entail.  While Psalm chapter one begins with instruction to build our lives on obedience to God, Psalm 150 ends with praise and thanks to God.  All the experiences of life then, both good and "bad,"can ultimately end in praise.  Confession ultimately can lead to the joy of forgiveness.  Our cries of need and grief can lead us to a deeper reliance and resting on the Lord.  Therefore both of these can ultimately lead to greater praise of Him.

I do not understand why God has allowed some of the things He has allowed in my life such as my first husband's devastating neurological disease and eventual death.  I do not know why another family member is currently going though some very difficult trials of another nature which affects many other people as well.  I must trust God, however, that He knew and knows what He is doing no matter how difficult life became and/ or becomes.  Not only that, but I must praise Him in the process.

He has and never will forsake us.  His ways are perfect even when we do not understand His ways.  He is our shield, and we can take refuge in Him.  We can trust in Him and not be afraid of what the future holds.  Even in difficult times, he is our strength and song.  Our lives can be a hymn of praise through it all.