Saturday, October 31, 2020

My Book Is Still Available

 A little over two years ago I found myself selling my books at a vendor fair.  I have done this several times since the publication of my book.  Because of a new marriage in the summer of 2019 and the Covid 19 virus, I have not done that in recent months, however.  Perhaps I will be able to sell books at a vendor fair in the months ahead once again.

I wrote the following on my Facebook status a little over two years ago, "This is a photo of me today selling my books.  It was a great day.  I sold eight books.  More importantly, I had great conversations with people.  Thanks everyone who prayed for me today.  I am amazed how God can use our past sad experiences to help others.  God is good."

As most of you know, I wrote my book, Dear Caregiver, Reflections for Family Caregivers by Sharon Vander Waal (my name before remarriage) after my experience of caring for and then eventually losing to death my first husband, Wayne.  After that experience I developed a passion to help family caregivers.  In the section below is a synopsis of my book.

 "Family care-giving for a loved one with a serious illness is a very noble and important role. It is also often a challenging and emotionally and physically draining endeavor. DEAR CAREGIVER is a book written to encourage caregivers in this all consuming but vital ministry for which many caregivers feel ill equipped. This book points to the Lord as the caregiver's source of strength. The book further seeks to provide practical and spiritual encouragement to family caregivers who have lovingly taken on a role which they did not anticipate or perhaps desire. 

The author is a mother and grandmother, and she was married to her husband, Wayne, for over thirty-nine years. In 2006 Wayne was diagnosed with a serious neurological disease. The author was Wayne's caregiver for four and a half years until his death in early 2011. She knows the heartache and physical and emotional stress of being a caregiver for a loved one. 

Hence, her passion is to encourage family caregivers in their struggles. The book starts with a brief synopsis of the author's personal care-giving story followed by over one hundred brief meditations written to encourage current caregivers. The author seeks to stay connected to her readers by relevant examples from her own care-giving experiences in order to drive home messages in the text and to enable the readers to persevere in the challenges of family care-giving. It is the author's desire to facilitate this goal through her willingness to be vulnerable and honest about the feelings and emotions she experienced as a caregiver for her husband. She explores both the blessings and challenges of care-giving and the blessing of drawing closer to the Lord through the experience."

Although you can not presently buy my book at a vendor fair, you can buy it online or directly from me.  Consider this as a wonderful gift for a family member, friend, or yourself who is caring for a loved one.  You can find my book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and elsewhere online.  I have even seen it at!  Amazon says there is only one in stock, but if you order it, that just means it may take a day or two longer to get sent out.  You can also buy new and used from other sellers there.  The Amazon link is:   Further, you can order from me directly by writing to me at for specifics.  

Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Valiant Rose

possessing or showing courage or determination.


The dictionary defines the word valiant, as possessing or showing courage or determination.  Our rose bush arbor along side our deck was full of roses in June. Right now the roses have all but disappeared for the season being replaced by God's beauties of the fall season.  There is one persevering and valiant rose, however, who greets me every morning when I sit in my sunroom looking out on my deck having my devotions.  This rose is there in spite of the other roses' disappearance and in spite of the cold weather.   

This rose reminds me that I need to persevere and be valiant in the Lord.  It reminds us all of that.  Life can be and is often difficult.  Yet there is blessing in perseverance (James 5:11).  Whatever you or I are experiencing in this life, let us trust and rest in the Lord and persevere in the faith.     

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Carried On His Shoulders

There are many of you who may be going through some deep trials.  Some of you are going through cancer or other serious illnesses.  In my family I have a sister  and a sister-in-law who are undergoing cancer treatment.  Others of you may be caregivers for a love one who is sick.  This too is a difficult path to tread.  Others are weary of Covid 19 related circumstances.  I know a family from another state and who are near and dear to me who were recently affected by that virus.  Some of you are weary of all the unrest in our country.  Some of you may be suffering financial issues or family break-up.  Perhaps you are homeless or know someone who is homeless.  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!

Above is a song that my sister, Nancy, and her husband, Milo sing about those very things we just talked about.  The name of the song is "Shoulders."  Nancy is fighting a battle against colon cancer.  Yet through it all she gives a wonderful testimony of her faith.  So does her husband, as he walks the difficult path of  being her caregiver and her support in this cancer walk  Listen to the song above, and be blessed and encouraged.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Deeper Joy As a Result of Sorrow

 About a year ago I read the following from a book by Nancy Guthrie called, The One Year Book of Hope:  "To experience sorrow does not eliminate joy.  In fact, I've come to think that sorrow actually deepens our capacity for joy-that as our lows are lower, so are our highs higher.  Deep sorrow expands our ability to feel deeply.  We feel sadder than we ever knew we could, sadder than we think we can survive.  But our sorrow prepares us to experience  a more solid joy than we ever known before.  When joy surfaces, it allows us to see that deep beneath the chaos and catastrophe is the strong current of confidence that we can be content in the sovereign hands of the God."

It is possible to have joy in the midst of and as a result of deep sorrow.  This comes from a deep relationship with the Lord and by the power of the Holy Spirit.  It certainly does not come from our own efforts or inclinations.  

I remember the deep sorrow of watching my first husband, Wayne, deteriorate in his health step by step.  I remember the anxiety and concerns of how best to address his needs during that time.  I remember the discouragement of knowing he would not be able to ultimately win the battle against his disease on this earth.  Yet I also remember this as a time when I drew very close to the Lord.  The intimacy of that relationship brought joy and comfort to me.  The same was true when I lost Wayne to death.  The Lord and the promises of His Word became increasingly precious to me.  Also opportunities for minister to other people came about because of the sorrows I had experienced.  This added much joy to my life.

As I have written before, almost 15 months ago I remarried after over eight and a half years of widowhood.  I can tell you that it is true that the joys of the highs and the thankfulness for God's blessings are better because of the past sorrows.  There are adjustments in a new marriage, but one looks at even these minor things in the light of God's love.  My new husband, Bob, has been a wonderful rock and support to me.  I love and appreciate him more because of his support for me now, but also because of past trials that I have experienced in my life.

There are several family members in my life who are currently going through some difficult struggles.  These family members are people for whom I have deep concerns and for whom I sometimes grieve.  Yet in the Lord and His blessings, there is a deep joy that only He can give even in these situations.  There are also many prayers that God has answered and is answering in regards to these family members. God is always good, and for that reason alone we can always be joyful.

Whether you are a caregiver or have lost a dear loved one or whether you are going through some other deep heartache and sorrow, run to the Lord.  He will give you a measure of His peace and joy even in the midst of the sorrow.  He will also use that sorrow to bring you great joys in the future.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Never Separated From His Love

 (This post is yet another chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers and ties in with our post of last week)  

Sometimes the future can seem so uncertain and fearful to a caregiver of a loved one with a terminal illness. As a caregiver I remember having such fears. As children of God, however, we have victory in Christ Jesus, our Lord! We need to fear nothing, for the Lord is on our side! Nothing can separate us from the love of God! What an awesome thought, and what an awesome promise! In light of all this there can be overflowing joy in our hearts!

We are secure in Christ for time and for eternity. Sometimes we may feel as if everything is against us, but the Word of God teaches us that the great God of the universe is always for us and is always with us! Romans 8:31-32) God proved His love for us by sending His only Son to die for our sins. Surely we can trust Him to provide us with everything we need for time and eternity. In the uncertainties of life Christian caregivers can rest in the Lord. They have the Lord God on their side, and they are victors in Him!

Nothing will happen to us that is not in God's plan for our lives, so we need not fear. Finally, Christ is always interceding for His children before God the Father! He is interceding for you dear Christian caregiver! He knows your heartaches, your challenges, and your fears; and He is praying for you! What a blessed promise!

In light of all this, what set of circumstances can ever separate you from the love of Christ, dear, Christian caregiver? (Romans 8:35a) The answer is that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ! No matter what hardship, trials or heartaches you may be experiencing in your life at the moment, dear caregiver, you are never separated from the love of Christ.

In fact, trials in our lives are part of God's plan and purpose for our lives to mold us to become more like Jesus in our character and attitudes. You are not separated from God’s love by the heartaches of care-giving. Rather the Lord is with you in a special way guiding and comforting you.

What is more Romans 8:37 teaches you that you are more than a conqueror! You become a conqueror through the trials of care-giving by patiently enduring these trials and by being submissive to the Lord's will. You become more than a conqueror by using these experiences to grow in your love and service for the Lord.

God always see us through difficult times and brings us to ultimate victory. He will do the same for you, dear Christian caregiver. Victory is always assured for the Christian-if not in this life, then in eternity. Your loved one may be healed on this earth, or he or she may be healed in eternity. There will be victory for your loved one either way. There will be victory for you too, dear caregiver. If your loved one goes to live with the Lord, you may feel as if your life has been shattered in a million pieces, but God will bring ultimate victory and peace for you also.

Absolutely nothing will ever separate us from the love of God and the victory we have in the Lord Jesus Christ! (Romans 8:38-39) Praise the name of the Lord for our victory in Him!

(If you would like to order my book for yourself or someone you love, you can find it at Amazon.  The name of the book is Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  The address for the Amazon link to my book is found on the right hand side and about half way down on my blog page.  Just click on it.

My book is also available at Barnes and Noble online and elsewhere online.  I have even seen it on Wal-mart online!  You can also email me at for specifics of ordering directly from me.)