Sunday, December 19, 2021

God With Us

The Christmas presents are unwrapped for many of us, and the year 2021 is almost over.  Year 2020 and year 2021 certainly has had it's challenges, but there has also been huge blessings.  Now we look ahead to year 2022 with it's challenges and blessings.  

Psalm 62 talks about trusting the Lord at all times.  Psalm 62:8 says, "Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge."   Psalm 62 tells us that in God alone we find our rest, hope, and salvation.  He alone is our rock, refuge, and fortress which can not be shaken.  He is a strong and loving God.  

Circumstances may be difficult, and people may fail us, but God will always be with us.  We can always trust the Lord. The Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament calls Jesus, Immanuel, which means "God with us."  (Immanuel is also sometimes spelled Emmanuel.)  

God is with us because Jesus came to this earth as a baby.  He was God incarnate revealed to us.  He then lived a perfect life for us that we can't live and finally died to pay the penalty for our sins.  He rose again and is in now in heaven, but He is still present with us through the Holy Spirit.  So the book of Matthew begins with a promise that God is with us.  The Gospel of Matthew also ends with a promise that God will surely be with us "to the very end of the age."  What a precious promise! 

Let's carry that precious promise with us as we seek to live out the last days of 2021, and as God ushers in the new year, 2022.  Click on the link below and enjoy the song, "Emmanuel (Hollowed Manger Ground)

Friday, December 17, 2021



What kind of Christmas do you anticipate this year? Perhaps your Christmas will involve a lot of extra work for you in addition to the challenges and responsibilities of other life activities, or perhaps you are feeling isolated and ignored and all alone this Christmas in your daily burdens. Instead, however, perhaps you will experience Christmas this year as a reminder of your blessings and as a blessed respite from the drama of life's challenges.

Whatever we experience this Christmas and with every gift we receive at Christmas or at any time of year we have to open our hands to receive the gift; or the gift does not benefit us or give us any joy. The gifts we receive which are eternally precious, however, are the gifts which God wants to give us.

The Lord first offers us the gift of salvation which is what Christmas and walking with the Lord is all about. He further offers us the accompanying gifts of joy, peace, and hope. They are ours for the taking; and yes, they can coexist with the pain and heartache which often are present in life. Further, the Lord promises us a happy ending. That happy ending is eternal life. Christian reader, the heartaches that sometimes come in life are but a comma in your life story. They are not the end of your life’s story. They are not the end of your loved ones' life stories either.

We also can all receive other gifts. We can receive the gift of trust in God and letting Him control our lives. We receive this gift by resting in Him and by letting go of anything which we are holding onto too tightly or trying to control.

We further all have to let go of feelings of unforgiveness for people who have not been there for us. We further have to receive the gift of forgiveness for ourselves.  We have to bring to the Lord any true wrongs, and ask for His forgiveness. Further, we often carry around a lot of false guilt about things beyond our control. So whether false guilt or true guilt, we need to let it go. We need to give it to the Lord. Trust and letting go are great gifts to have in our lives.  Receive the gift of releasing it to the Lord.

One great gift we can give ourselves is the gift of acceptance of our situation. We often waste so much energy wishing circumstances were different, but we can rest assured that we are right where we are supposed to be in our lives. Dear Reader, your responsibilities may be emotionally overwhelming at times, but in the measure that you can accept where God has placed you now in your life you will find joy. It is a great gift you can give yourself.

Yet another wonderful gift we can give ourselves is the gift of being still in the presence of God. (Psalm 46:10) Doing this helps us grow in peace, wisdom, and insights. Finally, we can give ourselves the gift of gratitude. When we are grateful in spite of our circumstances our joy and blessings will multiply and resentments will flee.

Would not these be wonderful gifts to have in your life? These are wonderful gifts not just for Christmas but all year long!

Saturday, December 11, 2021



December is the month that we think of Christmas and hope.  Is your life weighed down with care and worry this Christmas season; or is it filled with hope?   Perhaps you have lost a job, or are caring for someone who has a serious illness. Perhaps you are fighting a serious illness yourself.

During the holiday season we are reminded of the birth of Jesus Christ. Over two thousand years ago before Jesus was born most of the people were living without very much hope.  Then in Luke chapter one of the Bible we read that an angel appeared to Mary and told her that she was being blessed by God's grace in becoming the mother of Jesus.  Jesus Christ was coming as the Savior of His people!

Mary's response to this was openhearted acceptance (Luke 1:38).  Not only did Mary show openhearted acceptance, but she praised the Lord.  Mary said, "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant---for the Mighty One has done great things for me-holy is His name" (Luke 1:45-49).  

Mary was blessed, because she believed.  She was blessed, because God had a wonderful purpose and plan for her life.  Mary rejoiced in who God was in His character and attributes. Her heart was in love with her faithful God, and she wanted to praise Him with all her heart.  She cherished her focused vision of God and His love and care for her.  She had moved from confusion and agitation to confidence and joy.  The same can be true for us as believers today.  This gives us hope.

Yet Mary would suffer many immediate problems being the mother of Jesus.  She would experience many heartaches in her future. Because Mary now had hope, however, she was willing to accept God's will for her life with joy.  A life secure in the Lord's hope can move with confidence through life in spite of difficulties and challenges.  We can have joy in following His plan for our life in spite of difficult obstacles and trials.

Life can be very heartbreaking and challenging.  There are times when the circumstances of life can be overwhelming.  But like Mary in the Bible we too can have hope no matter what our circumstances. Dear reader, rest your heartaches with the Lord. Know that He is the source of strength and hope.  His hope is not a wishful thinking type of hope, but it is a hope based on His certain promises in the Bible. His hope is secure and will never leave you.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Reliance on God


(The following blog post is another chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers)

Perhaps you have heard the popular saying, “God never gives us more than we can handle.” When I was a family caregiver, however, I discovered that I often felt overwhelmed and felt that God had given me much more than I could handle. I experienced these feelings even more strongly with each new decline in my husband’s disease, especially during the last months of my husband’s life when I could no longer physically take care of him on my own.

The truth is God never promised to NOT give us more trials and difficulties than we can handle on our OWN. In fact God often gives us much more struggles than we can handle. God does this, so that our eyes will be open to how desperate we are for Him and for His help and provision.

Rather than striving to be more self-reliant we need to seek to become more God-reliant. As a caregiver I learned that I just did not have the resources in myself to handle the challenges and heartaches of care-giving on my own, so I absolutely had no choice but to rely on the Lord.

As a caregiver I also learned that I had to have help from others. I learned that God sometimes used others to help me. They became His instruments in helping me and in His kingdom. I needed to begin to root out my desire to be in control. The truth was I never was in control of anything. God was in control, and I needed to learn to rely and trust in Him.

Dear Christian Caregiver, what change would it make in your outlook towards your caregiving challenges and struggles, if you saw them as valued lessons in learning dependence on God? When you are at the absolute end of you own spiritual, physical, and emotional resources you can then begin to more fully depend on God’s resources. (Check out II Corinthians 1:8-9!) Total reliance on God is a good place to be!

(As stated above this post is another chapter in my book Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  You can purchase it at Amazon.  The link to the order page on Amazon for my book is here:  You can purchase both a hard copy or Kindle version to my book there.  My book is also available at Barnes and Noble where you can purchase a hard copy or Nook version.  Finally, I have seen my book available elsewhere online as well, or you can purchase one directly from me by sending me an e-mail at and ask me for specifics.  It would make  wonderful Christmas present for yourself or someone you love.)

Saturday, November 27, 2021



We just celebrated Thanksgiving Day in the United States.  We are also entering the Christmas season.  It is a time of year when we think of God's blessings.  God's greatest blessing to us is that He sent Jesus into the world to pay for our sins and to pave the way for us to have a wonderful and intimate relationship with Him.

We also experience many other blessings from the Lord.  There are material blessings, and there are emotional and spiritual blessings.  Every day God provides good and wonderful blessings to our lives.  We just need to open our eyes to these blessings and to look for them.  

In a book called The One Year Book of Hope the author, Nancy Gutherie,  points out, however, that blessings do not always come in the form of things we consider good.  Sometimes blessings come in the form of hardship.  This is because trials and hardships can grant us perspective on what is important and meaningful in a way nothing else can do.  They often lead us on a pathway to the Lord.  As we surrender to the Lord in times of hardship, we find God in a new and vibrant way.  In times of trial God often reveals Himself to us.  He also often gives us a peace that we can find in no other way,

In times of hardship and trial God bends down to us.  He enters into our lives and meets our needs in a personal way.  He not only does that, but He reveals Himself and gives Himself to us in unique ways in those times.  It is because of this, in those times we receive God's blessings.  We receive God's blessings in and because of the trials.  We find the blessing in the Lord Himself and not in material outward things or in our own perceived achievements.  

So let's heed the words of Romans 12:12 which says, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, be faithful in prayer."  Let us rejoice in our hope that we have in an all powerful and loving God.  Let's be patient in trials and difficult times, for the Lord is there to encourage and comfort,  Finally, let us be steadfast and always be in prayer, for He has promised to hear and answer our prayers.  Let us thank God for His blessings.

Saturday, November 20, 2021


All of us have so many things for which we can  be thankful.  The Lord provides us with our daily needs which often involves things that we just take for granted, like health, safety, daily food, sunshine, warm homes and beds, loving families and a host of other good things.  We also can thank the Lord for church, His Word, and above all that we know Jesus as our personal Savior and the spiritual riches which come from knowing Him in a personal relationship.

Yet perhaps for many of you the holidays can be a discouraging time, if you or your family are going through difficult circumstances.  It may be difficult to find things for which to be thankful in such a scenario.  Yet a thankful heart opens up blessings from heaven and foretastes of heaven that cannot be attained in any other way. A thankful heart further revives hope and allows us to communicate on a more intimate level with the Lord. A thankful heart does not deny the reality of life's challenges, and life certainly presents a host of problems and heartaches. A thankful heart does, however, recognize the Lord's presence and joy in the midst of those problems.

So perhaps the best place to start is to thank the Lord each day for His presence and peace. Also as you go through the day look for even the Lord's tiny treasures which He has placed on your path. Look with spiritual eyes for His wonders in your life. I have mentioned this before but I remember as a family caregiver being challenged to write down each day at least three things for which I was thankful that day. That helped me immensely in persevering in the care-giving role.

It is said that a thankful heart takes the sting out of trials and adversity,  Life often facilitates many challenges and trials. Yet we are commanded in the Bible to give thanks in everything. We may not always FEEL like giving thanks, but when we offer a SACRIFICE of thanks in spite of our feelings, God gives us joy in spite of our circumstances.

That does not mean we always feel happy. Happiness and joy are not the same thing, but joy in the Lord and grief can coexist. It may seem nonsensical to thank God in and for difficult circumstances. Yet in the measure that we do so we will be blessed, even though the adversities may remain.  Thank the Lord for His blessings even while going through trials. 

Recently I read the following thoughts from some correspondence I received in the mail:  If you are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you, it is not the bump which caused you to spill coffee.  This is because if you had tea in your cup, you would spill tea instead.  Whatever is in your cup will spill out, when you are bumped and shaken.  So it is with life.  When you face circumstances that shake you in life, what is inside your heart will spill out.  What will spill out of you in such times?  Will it be peace, joy, gratitude, and humility that will spill out?  Or will it be bitterness and anger?   Again thank the Lord today for His blessings from a heart full of love for Him because of His grace!

In the United States we are celebrating Thanksgiving Day in a few days. It is a day when we especially try to remember to thank and praise God for the blessings of the past year.  Life is often challenging and difficult. Yet there are many blessings in our lives even in the most difficult of moments,  Thank the Lord for your blessings daily and not just on special occasions. It will lift your burdens and add joy to your life.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Through It All


Are you ever puzzled with God's plan for your life especially during difficult moments?  Do you ever wonder why a sovereign, all-powerful, and loving God allows hardships and grief in our lives?  Or can we sing songs of trust and confidence in God through all the trials and heartaches?   A couple years ago my husband, Bob, and I watched a  powerful and thought provoking DVD that I have in my possession called, "Through None Go With Me."  This movie addresses some of these questions.  The movie is also based on a song with that same title.

In this movie the main character, Elizabeth, went through a series of heartbreaking circumstances that could have destroyed her faith.  In her young adulthood she had vowed to always follow Jesus no matter where He lead.  Yet in the course of her life she lost her first love, her father died unexpectedly, and her son and his wife were killed in a car accident.  Later her husband, Will, developed dementia, and she eventually lost him to death.

Perhaps you are questioning why God has allowed certain trials and hardships in your life.  We all face deep trials and hardships at times.  There is no easy answer to this question, but we can know that God is a wise God, and He sometimes allows and appoints suffering in our lives both for our good and to encourage others.  When we trust God in times of hardship God is glorified and others are encouraged in their faith.  Elizabeth, in the movie to which I referred, was able to better serve and help others because of her suffering.  She was able to relate to others better and thus help them in a more productive and loving way.

Suffering helps us run to God more quickly and can help us to love Him and His Word, the Bible, more intensely.  His promises in His Word can become very precious to us during those times  Throughout the years that I was my first husband's caregiver, saw him deteriorate step by step. and then die; I clung very tightly to God and His Word.  I also did so when fighting breast cancer some years back.  I further do that as I face current trials.   During trials like these we can say to God, "---in faithfulness You have afflicted me." (Psalm 119:75)  In times like these we can see that God is good.

During times of hardship we also learn patience and humility.  We further ironically grow in our joy.  This joy in turn causes our hearts and mouths to sing.  This joy increases in times of trial when we respond to trials with submission.  This is because we learn during these times that only Jesus is our ultimate joy.

What is your heartache or hardship today?  Run to Jesus.  Remember and make the words of the song mentioned above be your theme for life.  "I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.  Through none go with me, still I will follow, no turning back, no turning back." Then yet another song flows through my mind.  It is a song sung at my wedding to my new husband, Bob, now over two years ago.  That song says, "Through it all I've learn to trust in Jesus.  I've learn to trust in God.  Through it all I've learn to depend upon His Word."  (The picture above is of this writer singing this song at her wedding.) 

Here is the link to the song, "Through It All":

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Will We Serve Him Even If---"


Have you ever prayed for something for a long time without any visible evidence of God granting your greatest desires?  Have you ever prayed for a very long time for someone to be healed or another trial to pass without any visual answer to prayer?  Will you continue to serve the Lord in spite of this? 

In the book of Daniel in the Old Testament the wicked kings made a law that everyone had to fall down in worship to a huge golden image he had made.  If the people did not do so, they would be thrown into a fiery furnace.  Three godly young men refused to follow the king's command.  They said to the king, "The God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king.  But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."

The three men in the Biblical story above were rescued in a miraculous way.  Read this exciting story of rescue in the Old Testament book of Daniel chapter three.  Yet these men would have been willing to die in the fiery furnace and suffer the consequences of obedience to God even if God did not rescue them from that happening.   

Sometimes God answers our prayers as well as these three men in wonderful ways. Sometimes he makes us wait or says "no" to our prayers as well.  There are times when God wants to walk with us through deep trials, so that we learn deep dependence on Him.  He desires that we cling to Him and remain faithful to Him even in those moments.  He wants us to do that even if our prayers are not answered the way we would like them to be answered.  Will we trust Him even when our loved one is not healed, even if life does not get easier, or even if another trial does not go away?  Will we trust Him with our "even ifs"?     

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Giving It All to God


If you are caring for a loved one or friend, some day that will end.  It may end with your loved one being cured of his or her disease.  It may also end in the death of that loved one.  When this happens it will begin a 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 would like to link to an article in the recent October/ November Guideposts magazine.  It features a a man who after 76 years of marriage lost his wife to Alzheimer's.  It also touchingly portrays his ability to give  all his grief and emotions to the Lord.  Although he struggled at first after his wife's death, he seemed to eventually have found a place of peace.  When his granddaughter asked him about the reason for the changes he said, "I give it all up to God.  He takes care of me.  I just gotta trust Him."  Read his story by clicking the link below:

Then I am again also posting a link to an article that was published in Guideposts magazine a few years ago about my experiences the first months after my first husband's death.  I had cared for Wayne 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.

How about you and I?  It has been said that grief always will be with us to a certain degree in the loss of a loved one.  We especially feel more grief in times of stress.  Years later we will still maintain elements of grief, even if we establish new relationships.  Yet can we give it all to God in trust, although we do not always understand His ways?  

Whether we are a current family caregiver, have lost a loved one for whom we cared for many years, or are facing another trial; we need to give it all to God.  He can be trusted.  He is the great God of the universe, and He cares for His children.  There is a song which says, "I've got peace like a river."  We can have that kind of peace no matter the severity of the trial.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Hospice Care

When is Hospice Care appropriate for your loved one?  When I was a caregiver for my first husband, Wayne, I did not use Hospice Care.  I now see that as a mistake.  Both the person who is caring for a loved one with a serious illness and the person who is ill can gain much valuable help through Hospice.  Click on the article below to learn the value of Hospice Care.  ( I apologize for any ads that may pop up in the middle of the article for which I gave you a link.  It is still worth reading.)

Saturday, October 16, 2021



A little over three years ago our area was struck with an unexpected storm.  Television reports and the blowing of the sirens alerted us to it's imminent arrival.  Yet the intensity of the winds and the torrential downpour of rain left me in awe.  I should have been in the basement, as the weather reporters advised.  Yet then I would have missed seeing the power of this storm.

As it turns out this storm uprooted some big old trees and broke off many, many big branches in our village. (I posted one picture of an uprooted tree by the village park above.)   It caused many people to lose electrical power-some for thirty-six hours or more.  I never lost power, but I lost internet and phone service for awhile.  

Life is filled with other kinds of storms as well.  I remember the storm of caring for my first husband and watching as his body became more and more disabled over a period of about four and a half years.  The care-giving storm is a difficult storm.  I remember the storm of grief after losing my husband and becoming a widow.  I remember the storm of all the secondary losses as well, and of having to build an entirely new life.

I also  remember other storms since those days.  Sometimes the storms have been very intense and painful emotionally and physically.  Sometimes they have been minor storms which can collectively wear on an individual.  Storms of one degree of intensity or another continue to seem to come.

This is what Nancy Guthrie says in one of her devotions in her book, The One Year Book of  Hope:  "Perhaps you find yourself watching the storm clouds gather in the distance, or maybe you are swirling in the center of a storm.  Or perhaps the storm has come and gone and you are picking up the pieces of your life.  God often speaks to us through the storms of our lives.---if we listen, in the midst of the most violent storm we can detect the still, small voice of God, calling us to greater faith in Him."

Often it takes a storm for us to see our need for the Lord and to cry out to Him.  It is often in the storms that our complacency is replaced with a sense of His presence. We then hear His still small voice.  We recognize that He is with us in the storm.  Having the Lord with us in the storm makes all the difference, no matter how tumultuous the storm.

When I was watching that storm of three years ago in our village from my living room window, I felt remarkably calm in the moment.  I was relatively safe in the "ark" of my home.  Imagine how Noah in the Old Testament of the Bible felt when he was in that ark in the great flood, however.  Imagine how fearful the disciples in the New Testament felt when they were in their boat in very stormy weather.  Yet the Lord Jesus is our ark of safety in all the kinds of storms that God allows in our lives.  We may not like the storms, but He is always our place of safety.

Sometimes it is easy to tire of the storms that keep coming and to dread the next one which perhaps can not yet be seen on the horizon.  It is easy to also imagine storms that never will occur.  That only uses up emotional energy unnecessarily.  Instead of looking at the waves in current storms, reliving regrets about past storms, or imagining future storms; the Lord wants us to look to Him.  He wants us to focus on Him and embrace Him, and when storms do come he wants us to step out faith.  He wants us to trust His sustaining power and love.

The only way we can prepare for unexpected storms in our lives is by living close to the Lord and by immersing God's Word into our lives.  We need to obediently build our lives on the foundation of obedience to God's Word and on His precious promises to always be with us.  Yes, we will falter and become afraid at times, but the Lord and the promises of His Word will see us through.  He will always carry us on our shoulders and remain faithful to us.  (If you missed my post of a couple weeks ago concerning that click on the following link to read that:  It ties in with what we are discussing this week.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

The Lord Delights in You


Recently I picked some roses from our rose garden in front of our house.  They are beautiful and still flourishing even at this late date this year.  I like to think of these flowers and other things in creation as God's love gifts to me.   God shows His love to me and His delight in me in many ways every day.  Zephaniah 3:17 says, "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

The Lord has shown His love for me and His delight in me in many ways through the years.  I love the reference in the Bible of Jesus being the Rose of Sharon.  Sharon is the name of a place in the Bible.  Yet because my name is Sharon, I love to think of Jesus as being my Rose-my source of beauty, comfort, and love.  Sometimes the path the Lord has taken me on has been extremely difficult and sometimes it has been pleasant.  Yet through it all God's assurance of His love and delight in me has been the assurance I needed.  No matter what may be transpiring in your life right now, remember that Jesus is your Rose.  He loves you and delights in you as His child.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Carried On His Shoulders


Recently I read Psalm 90 as part of my devotions.  I was reminded of the uncertainty and mortality of life.  We like to know exactly how things are going to turn out in the next step of our lives.  We know we are going to face trials, because God has said that will happen in our lives.  Yet we think we will somehow feel better, if we know exactly how God will lead us through that trial.  We hate the uncertainty of a difficult diagnosis or that of a loved one who is struggling.  

Our own weaknesses and mortality reminds us that our lives are very brief (Psalm 90:5-6 and 9-10).  Yet we have an eternal home in the Lord (Psalm 90:1).  So we need to number our days, make wise decisions, and make what we do for the Lord count  (Psalm 90:12 & 17).  Our ultimate hope is in our everlasting God (Psalm 90:2).

God is guiding the course of our life.  We don't need to know all the details of our lives ahead of time, and we need not fear.  He will provide in His providential love and care.  He will not forget us.  He has also placed us in a certain place for a certain time period and for a purpose.  That place could be as a caregiver for a loved one, as a person going through a uncertain disease, or someone who is going through another difficult struggle.  We have to trust Him as we go through the uncertain time.  We need to let Him carry us on our shoulders.

The weekend of September 17th my husband and I, my siblings and spouses, and a niece and daughter were together for a wonderful weekend.  We met at a halfway point for all of us.  The laughter and joking of that weekend were so special, the tears over burdens expressed were so cathartic, and the sharing of prayer and wonderful moments in God's creation were so calming and awe inspiring at the same time.  I think the richness of our fellowship together was made more precious by our awareness of the truths spoken about above, as we each face our own struggles.  We ended our wonderful weekend with a circle of song and prayer.  The song we sang was "Great is Thy Faithfulness."  We do have a faithful God. 

I would like to leave you with a link to a song that I posted about a year ago.  It was sung by my sister and her husband.  My sister has been fighting serious cancer for over a year now.   Just click on the link below to hear the song.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Potter


(This post is a chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Refelctions for Family Caregivers.)

The Bible teaches us that the Lord God is the Potter in our lives, and we are the clay in His hands. He is in sovereign control of our lives, and He controls all the events of our lives. All the events of our lives are used to make us more like Jesus. God especially uses problems, difficulties, and trials in our lives to mold us into the kind of people who truly reflect the Lord Jesus. The Lord wants to bring us ever closer to the center of His will. This is also true about the difficult challenges and trials of family care-giving. Difficulties teach us to not rely on our own self-effort and devices. Difficult times in our lives teach us to rely and trust only on the Lord. This became abundantly clear to me when I was a caregiver for my husband. His disease was incurable. It was out of my control. The only recourse was to seek to rely and trust in the Lord.

Difficulties in our lives also help to remove the impurities of sin from our lives, and they help us to grow in our love relationship with the Lord. When spiritual impurities come into our lives the Lord God recreates and molds our lives to be more in tune with His will. Our prayer to God should be that He will make us into beautiful vessels of purpose for Him. When we fail and allow spiritual impurities into our lives, we need to pray that the Lord will take us back to His Potter’s wheel. We need to pray that the Lord will then reshape us and form us into something more beautiful for Him. From the broken fragments of our lives, the Lord can make us into beautiful vessels for Him!

From experience, I know the pressure of family care-giving can feel overwhelming and unbearable at times. We must not fight against or question the Lord’s molding of our lives, however. We need to pray that each touch of the Lord’s hand on our lives will help us to become whom He wants us to become. The Lord knows just the right amount of pressure to put on our lives. We must also remain thankful for how He has made us and thankful for how He is working and leading in our lives! We must persevere in our willingness to submit to the Lord's will. We must be submissive to the Lord even in trials and difficult times in our lives. The Lord has promised to be with us all the way.

Finally, we must also ask the Lord for the filling of the Holy Spirit’s power and the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must yearn for the Lord to control our lives completely every hour and every day!  Dear caregiver, trust you life and your care-giving journey to the hand of the great Potter. He know what He is doing even when the path becomes very difficult.

Here is a link to song about God being the Potter and we being the clay in His hands:

Friday, September 17, 2021

Story Behind My Wall Photo


In late July I purchased this wall photo at a craft show.  It is now hanging in my home.  When I first entered the booth of the man selling his wall photos, I thought they were paintings.  His pictures which are scenes from nature all have that paintbrush sort of abstract look.  I soon found out they are photos beautifully mounted on a metal surface with a lovely hanger on the back. 

The story behind this photo and all this man's photos are amazing, however.  When young this man was exposed to a chemical which resulted in involuntary tremors.  For many years this was a source of frustration and even bitterness in various areas of his life.

The man was especially frustrated that he could not take a clear picture with his camera because of his tremors.  He asked his Lord many times, "Why?"  Finally the Lord told his spirit that he had been given a gift.  He consulted other artists, photographers, and designers.  They all thought his pictures were beautiful just as they are.  God uses what is outwardly a terrible disability to make something beautiful and wonderful.

In the same way God uses our weaknesses and make something wonderful and beautiful from them.  When the apostle Paul repeatedly asked God to remove some "thorn" in his life God said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness."  Paul response was "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.---For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (II Corinthians 12 9-10 in the New Testament of the Bible.)  Beautiful things come from our weaknesses submitted to God, so He can fill us with His strength and beauty.

(P.S  The photographer is Ken Voigt, and his business is called Freedom INK of WI LLC, if you want to research his work some more.  He has not asked me to promote his work.  I just had to share this wonderful story.  

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Caregiver PTSD?


Recently my new husband of two years, Bob, had what started out to be a viral head cold type illness and which developed into a bacterial infection resulting in an ER visit and being put on antibiotics.  Although that week or two of illness was not fun, it was nothing compared to my years of caring for my first husband, Wayne.

Yet those few days of caring for Bob brought back memories of those difficult years of care-giving for Wayne, my first husband.  I am glad I had the opportunity to care for Wayne, but those years definitely taxed my endurance.  I am happy for the way my faith and love for my Lord grew during those times.  Yet they were difficult days watching my husband deteriorate step by step before my eyes.  I am thrilled by how good things came from that care-giving experience like my book, my blog, and my testimony to others.  Yet those years of watching my husband deteriorate step by step and then pass away, I would prefer to not relive.  (The picture above shows one of Wayne's last weeks on earth when all his children and grandchildren happened to be together at our house for a holiday, and tucked him in bed for the night.  Yet many times I felt very alone in this care-giving job.)

So when Bob was sick for a few days some of those old emotions of anxiety, fear, sadness, loneliness, and hypervigilance resurfaced again.  Were these feelings a type of caregiver PTSD perhaps?  I think that is a distinct possibility.  When the negative emotions surface it is important that we take care of ourselves with enough exercise, sleep, and good food.  Because our disordered emotions come from sin's curse on the world and sometimes from within ourselves, however, we need something much more fundamental.  Even children of God vitally need the Holy Spirit's comfort, and we need to feed on the promises of God's Word.  Then we need to live our lives in trust and obedience to His Word even when our unreliable emotions tell us to do otherwise.      

So I spend each morning in a time with my Lord in reading Scripture, with devotion books, and prayer.  In this way I am continually reminded that God will never leave me or forsake me.  Verses like these verses in Psalm 94 assure me each morning:  "When I said, “My foot is slipping, Your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul---But the Lord has become my fortress and my God the rock in whom I take refuge."

I thank caregivers everywhere for what you do for your loved ones.  I understand your emotions.  So does the Lord.  Turn to Him for strength for each new day.  You also might find the following short three to four minute message from John Piper on fear that I ran across recently very helpful.  Just click on the following link to hear it:

Saturday, August 28, 2021


A few days ago on August 24th it was my birthday.  The days surrounding  my birthday were not what my husband and I had planned, but it was still a good day. We had planned on the days surrounding my birthday to be involved in a trip to see the replica of the ark in Kentucky.  We also had planned to see the Creation Museum and go on a river cruise one evening. This did not happen, because Bob contracted some kind of virus head cold which developed into a more bacterial infection.  But antibiotics are finally slowly taking care of that, and he is doing at least some better again.  

Yet, as I said, in spite of not being able to leave on our planned trip; my birthday was a quiet but good  day.  I received many wonderful greetings on my birthday through Facebook messages and cards.  I also received some beautiful roses from my stepdaughters a couple days before my birthday.  (A picture of them is at the bottom of this post.)  I further received calls from all three of my sons and a birthday card from my husband the next day.  I am thankful for my Lord being with me and being faithful to me these 74 years in the valleys, mountaintop experiences, and in the in between times in my life.

I am reminded of another thing which happened seven years ago in August.  On that day my local newspaper published a story about my years as a caregiver for my first husband, Wayne.  That article talked about the struggles I experienced as a caregiver, but it also talked about how my faith helped me through that time in my life.  Finally, the newspaper article talked about my book to encourage family caregivers.  Here is the link to that newspaper article that was published seven years ago:

I probably posted a link to that newspaper story seven years ago when it was just published, but I thought it was worth giving you the link to it again.  It gives a good rendering of my story (or rather the Lord's story) and portrays my passion to encourage family caregivers.

If you have not ordered my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers, yet, you might want to consider ordering it for yourself or for someone you love.  It contains over 100 short chapters or meditations to encourage family caregivers.  My story as a caregiver for my first husband, Wayne, is intertwined in the chapters as well.  Here is the link to the Amazon order page for my book:

It is also available elsewhere online as well.  Finally, you can get it directly from me by e-mailing me at for specifics.

I know the challenges of family care-giving, dear caregiver, and I care about you.  Thank you for all that you do for your loved one!

(PS:  There will not be a new blog post once again next week.  I am sorry about that.  The next blog post should be on or around 11th or 12th of September.  Use this time to once again read some of my old posts by clicking on this link:   Finally, enjoy the picture of the roses my stepdaughters gave me for my birthday.)

Saturday, August 14, 2021

God's Love Gifts


As we discussed last week, God primarily speaks to us through His Word, the Bible, and through prayer.  That is where we most often sense His presence and hear His voice.  We call that His special revelation to us.  God also speaks to us through creation, however.  Sometimes at my lowest points in life, I have been blessed by what I call God's "love gifts" to me in creation.  May you be blessed as well today, as I share with you a few of these love gifts.

(If you missed my blog post last week about the importance of God's special revelation through prayer and Bible reading, you can click on the following link.  I talk about my prayer bench there:   

Also there will NOT be a new blog post next week.  Use next week, as a time to reread some old posts.  The next post should be on or around August 28 or 29.)

Saturday, August 7, 2021

My Prayer Bench and God's Presence


Spending time in the presence of the Lord is one of the most valuable and joyful activities in which we can engage.  I love Sundays when we can go to church, fellowship with other believers, sing in worship to God, and hear God's Word proclaimed.  Yet we can do that daily as well through personal devotions.

Psalm 84 is a beautiful Psalm which talks about a deep longing to spend time in God's presence.  The later part of verse two says, "---my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."  Above is a picture of my prayer bench.  Inside are kept all my devotion books and notebooks.  I also have a gratitude journal or two stored there.  

Each morning I take out the materials I am going to use for the day and grab my Bible.  I like to get up early in the morning before my husband does and spend time in the Word of God and prayer.  In addition I  like to write in my gratitude journal.  I love looking out the window soaking in the wonders of God's creation and a new day, as I do this.  This is my way of being in the presence of God in a special way.

Nothing in this life truly and ultimately satisfies like a deep personal relationship with the Lord.  I really know of no other way to face each new day with its joys and  sometimes deep problems without first having spent time with the Lord.  This has always been important to me; but it became even more important to me during those years of caring for my first husband, my time of fighting breast cancer, and my years as a widow.  It still is vitally important to me in the new phase in my life; and as I grieve over certain family members' circumstances.  

The Psalmist says this to the Lord in Psalm 84:5-7, "Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.  As they pass through the Valley of Baca (valley of weepings, times of dryness and difficulty), they make it a place of springs---They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion."  As I pilgrim through this life, I find this Scripture passage helpful and a blessing.  

I also find a host of other Scripture passages and promises a source of strength and blessing.  God had brought me through many valleys which required His strength and the assurance of His promise to be with me.  Being in God's Word each day helps me focus on the presence of the Lord and helps me walk with strength and even joy through this life until I reach my heavenly home.

Being in the service of the Lord and in His presence one day is better "than and thousand elsewhere" (Psalm 84:10).  This is because He is my light, my protection, my strength, and my joy.  Psalm 84:11 b promises me that "no good thing does He withhold"  from those who trust, love, and seek to obey Him.

All God's blessings and promises and His presence in my life become richer, as I spend time with Him each morning.  I thank God for that blessing in my life.  I thank Him for my prayer bench waiting for me in the quietness of each new morning.  

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Will Not Slumber or Sleep


In my devotions recently I reread Psalm 121.  What a beautiful Psalm of assurance for the day to day struggles and for the major struggles.  Let the words of this Psalm wash over your spirit today, as I share it for this week's blog post.  Forgive me as I insert some word of commentary in parenthesis, as we go along.

"I will lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and earth.  He will NOT let your foot slip-He who watches over you will neither slumber or sleep.  (He guards my footsteps.  He guards and keeps me and is never off guard or sleepy.)  The Lord watches over you (is your keeper)-The Lord is your shade at your right hand (is your spiritual refreshment through His presence); the sun will not harm you by day nor the moon by night (protects day and night).  The Lord will keep you (guard you) from all harm (evil)-He will watch over your life (preserve your body and soul); the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more."  

You and I often struggle with fear and anxiety, but the truth of the matter is that the Lord never takes His eyes off of us.  Even in the midst of life's toughest trials and struggles He is there protecting us.  He never promises us a life free from trials.  In fact, He says they will come.  He does promise to be with us in the middle of the trials, however, and to somehow in His mysterious ways use even trials for our ultimate good.  Our powerful, all-knowing, and loving God never loses sight of us or sleeps.  Therefore we can live with confident faith.  

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Fifty Years Ago and It's Blessings

As we talked about last week, God places us in different situations and circumstances for a certain period of time to accomplish His will.  It was in God's plan that Bob and I were married to Gloria and Wayne respectively before we married each other.  Our caring for our first spouses made us the people we are today and the people we can be for each other and our families today.  As I said before, I talked about this in my blog post last week which you can read by clicking on the link below; if you did not get chance to read it last week:

Fifty years ago on July 30, 1971, I became a blushing bride for the first time.  I married my first love that day.  I really only had one boyfriend before that time, and that dating relationship only lasted a few months.  Wayne and I had a good marriage, and it resulted in three sons and nine grandchildren two of whom were born after Wayne's death.  I have a picture above of grandchildren that are a result of that marriage.  (This picture ironically was taken on Bob's and my wedding day.)

The last years of that marriage were difficult because of Wayne's neurological disease, and I lost him to death in early 2011.  Those were difficult years, but once again, I praise God for the awesome things that came from that experience including my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  Later Bob, my new husband of two years, read my book while he was caring for his wife, and that is partly why we are together today. 

Praise God for strength and blessing in both the difficult moments and joyful moments.  He is a good and faithful God.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Chosen For Such a Time As This

Have you ever wondered why you are at the place and position you are in your life?  The answer is that God has sovereignly placed you where you are today.  You also had choices along the way to follow or disobey God's leading.  God's plan will be accomplished with or without us, but it is amazing to watch God use insignificant weak, fearful human beings in awesome ways when they trust in His strength and guidance. 

In my church we are currently studying the book of Easter in the Old Testament of the Bible.  God used Esther in this way.  She was really a nobody who was elevated to queen.  God later used her to save His Old Testament people, the Jews, from annihilation.  When she was afraid to approach the king to accomplish this, her cousin, Mordecai said to her, "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise form another place."  Mordecai goes on to say, "And who knows but that you have come to royal position for a time such as this."   

As I look back on my life I am amazed how God has placed me in various roles and situations for a certain time for His purposes.  I was very unqualified to be my first husband's caregiver for four and a half years.  It was painful to see him decline step by step and eventually die.  Yet God gave me the strength to do this, and I drew closer to Him in the process.  I was His chosen instrument for that time.  It was difficult navigating the role of widow for over eight years as well, but God also gave me strength, comfort, and joy during that time as well.  My love for Him further grew by leaps and bounds during that time.

Many unexpected God moments came during those years.  After my first husband's death I started a blog to encourage caregivers.  I also wrote my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers for the same reason.  During those years I had three interviews for various publications.  In a million years I would not have guessed this would happen in my life and that God would use me this way.  Ephesians 3:20 says, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to to His power that is at work within us."  God had placed me in a certain time and place for a time such as that.  He delights to use insignificant weak human beings, so He can better show His power and strength.

A little over two years ago I remarried.  (If you have not already read it, you can read my post of last week about that by clicking on the link here: ) The story of how that came about is also a remarkable story of God's sovereign working in my life.  Being married especially in a second marriage has put me in an entirely different place again from my life as a single widow.  But who knows but that I have not come to this position "for such a time as this?"  I am absolutely convinced that I am where God wants me to be now in my life.

God's timing in my second marriage also was perfect.  I had to have been married to Wayne first and Bob had to have been married to Gloria first.  That part of our lives with the wonderful moments and the heartbreaking moments of watching our loved ones decline and die made us the people we are today.  Also the children and grandchildren which came from those first marriages were part of God's perfect timing.  We made the right choices then, but after the tragedies of the last years we made the right choices now.  God lead us to those choices in His perfect timing.

Life on this earth is never a life of ease for a child of God.  There may even be adverse or difficult  consequences in living for Him in the place where He has placed us.  Yet in His strength we can find courage for the tasks He has given us, and we can find joy in being used by Him.     

Where are you in your life, dear reader?  God had placed you in the place you are now for "such an time as this."  Will you follow His lead and be used of Him?  Will you rest in His strength and guidance, and will you praise Him along the way through the difficult and wonderful moments?


Saturday, July 10, 2021

Second Year Anniversary

There is a verse in the Bible which speaks of beauty coming from ashes.  Those who read my blog posts know that I have found that to be true in my life and in my walk of faith.  I was my first husband's caregiver for a few years.  I eventually lost him to death.  Yet God used that difficult time in my life in awesome ways.  

Two years ago on July 13, 2019,  I remarried. God places us where we belong in our life in His perfect timing.  Next week in my blog post I will discuss that very thing.  I have also learned that marriage or any other endeavor in life is about service to others and God.  Marriage is not about perfection in the other person, but accepting each other as we are and building each other up.  Sometimes we have to work hard at that, and it does not come easily.  Further marriage is about two people finding purpose and fulfillment in the Lord and not expecting one's mate to meet our every need.  Only God can do that.   Godly marriage involves serving the Lord and finding joyful companionship, love, and even romance together.   

So as I publish this blog post this week, I am reminded once again of the verse from Isaiah 6I:3 which speaks of beauty coming from ashes.  I will end with some thoughts that I read at the end of a fictional novel I just read.  This novel featured two mature people who already had grandchildren and who also found second love.  The main character basically said that in spite of all the heartaches which she had experienced that she would not wish on anyone, "out of the ashes of heartache came something new."  She said out of all that came something wonderful, namely a second chance at love.  I will enclose a couple pictures of Bob and I at our wedding two years ago.


Saturday, July 3, 2021


July 4th is Independence Day in the United States.  It is the birthday of our country, and it represents freedom.  I am thankful for the freedom of speech and worship that I have as a United States citizen.  What is even more important, however, is my freedom in Christ that I experience as His child.

Freedom in Christ includes freedom from the penalty and power of our sins.

Freedom in Christ includes freedom from fear in spite of adverse circumstances.

Freedom in Christ is freedom from self and selfish willful ways when we are trusting in the Lord.

Freedom in Christ involves joyful service to others.

Freedom in Christ involves knowing the truth of God's Word which sets one free.

Freedom in Christ means serving the Lord.

Freedom in Christ means I can come to Him anytime with my needs.

Freedom in Christ means the ability to live in a joyful relationship with the Lord.   

Psalm 18:19 says,  "He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me."   What a wonderful freedom we find in the Lord!  Praise Him name for that!

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Choosing Gratitude


As I publish this blog post this week, I woke up with a headache.   I am therefore not feeling particularly cheerful this Saturday morning.  Do you ever feel this way in the day to day struggles?  Yet gratitude is one of the most important attitudes that we should cultivate. 

When I was a family caregiver for my first husband, Wayne, it was difficult to be thankful in the chaos and drama of watching my husband's body deteriorate step by step.  Life became so very overwhelming at times. Life as a widow also involved moments of grief and challenge for me.  Although happily remarried, life continues to have struggles and challenges.  That is the nature of life on this earth.

One of the things that began to help me in this area, I learned as a caregiver for my first husband. The course of action that helped me was to write down a few things each day for which I was thankful like the beauty of flowers, other beauties in creation, or more importantly my salvation and relationship with the Lord. This simple practice did much to open my eyes to the little wonders and love gifts of God which were still in my life.  It is a practice I still carry on today.  I now often write down things for which I am thankful that day based on the promises I find in the Bible in my morning devotions.

I think gratitude has to go even further than writing down a few things for which I am thankful each day, however.  It has to be a heart attitude.  In the measure I  experience this heart attitude in spite of difficult circumstances, there will be joy and peace.

A few years ago I read a book by Nancy Leigh De Moss called Choosing Gratitude.  It is a book I would like to relocate and read again.  In one chapter she listed eight reasons for a grateful heart in spite of circumstances.  One reason is that gratitude is a matter of obedience.  It is commanded by God throughout His Word especially in the Psalms and the New Testament Epistles.  Gratitude also draws us closer to God. When we long for a greater sense of God's nearness or life's stresses pile up, gratitude to the Lord is the gateway to the Lord's presence.

Gratitude is further the only sure path to peace.  Life difficulties can pile up and become overwhelming. Prayer is a good avenue of release, but it must be accompanied with gratitude (Philippians 4:6-7.) When gratitude combines with prayer and we open our eyes to God's blessings and mercies even in the midst of heartaches, peace follows. When we thank God even when we can't understand what He is doing in our lives, there is peace.

Gratitude is also a gauge to our heart.  It is often easy to be thankful for the obvious blessings.  It is less easy to be thankful for the more difficult and hard to understand blessings.  If one is thankful in all things, it shows a heart which believes that God is always faithful and good and can be trusted. Giving thanks in all things is not acquired in a moment.  It is the result of many choices to be thankful even in difficult moments.

Gratitude is the will of God.  Choosing it is more important than choices we make about any other of life's decisions.  All other life decisions pale in comparison to choosing gratitude.  Gratitude is proof of being filled with the Holy Spirit.  It is evidence that we are yielding to His control. Gratitude further reflects Jesus' heart.  Even the night before Jesus was put on the cross He showed gratitude to the Heavenly Father in His prayers at the Last Supper.  He gratefully and willingly submitted to the Father's will in spite of the horrors of the cross just before Him.

Finally, gratitude prepares us for heaven.  Think of all the saints in heaven praising God before His throne.  My first husband is no longer suffering from his neurological disease, but he is praising God before His throne right now! So are other loved ones who have gone on before me.  I too can join in that praise by thanking and praising the Lord now.  Life is often difficult.  Yet in the measure we thank God in and even for the difficulties peace will follow.  Resolve with me to walk that path, dear reader.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Father's Day

This week-end is Father's Day in the United States, so I am taking a bit of a break from my regular format.  I am thankful today for my Dad who showed an immense amount of patience and perseverance in his life.  He patiently endured the struggles that most farmers endure.  He always put his trust in the Lord during those moments.  I also saw my Dad's patience, perseverance, and trust in the Lord during those years of major health problems.  I still have a postcard that he sent me while he was in the hospital.  He wrote this that day, "I feel a little blue, but there is One Almighty above who loves and cares."  My Dad always read Scripture and prayed at the table as well.  His example helped me to persevere during some very difficult moments in my life like caring for my first husband, fighting breast cancer, and losing my first husband to death.

Today I also am thankful for my first husband, Wayne, who was the father to my sons and now lives in Heaven.  His Godly example to his sons and his gentle and loving nature were wonderful examples to all who knew him.  He was a hard worker, and loved his family very much.  He also persevered until his death though some very difficult health problems.  In many ways he reminded me of my Dad.

Finally, I am thankful for Bob who became my husband two years ago this coming July.  He is a loving and concerned father to his daughters and also grandpa to his grandchildren.  He is very concerned about their welfare.  He also cares about my children and their welfare.  He further loves me.  He often reminds me of God's blessings to us.

Today, dear reader, thank God for the blessing of Godly men in your life as well.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The Deep Deep Love of Jesus

Are you going through a difficult time right now?  Are you overwhelmed with a family care-giving issue, with another family issue, a job issue, spiritual dryness, or some other overwhelming issue?  I suggest you read Ephesians 3:14-21.  In doing so, you will become overwhelmed with the love of God instead of the current trial you are facing.  This passage has always been a blessing to me.  Hearing it preached from recently in my church made it come alive for me once again.  Listen to the words of this passage and revel in them:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.

The psalmist in Psalm 119:68 says this to the Lord, "You are good and what You do is good."  If we truly begin to understand the goodness of God and the width, length, height, and depth of His love; we can accept both the bitter and sweet experiences that He allows in our lives.  The more and more we understand how vast is His love for us, the more we trust Him in all things.  

Then we also grow in the fullness of God talked about in this passage.  By growing in the fullness of God we learn of His sufficiency in our weakness.  We also grow in our intimacy with the Lord, and we long for greater intimacy.  We grow in our enjoyment of our relationship with Christ in our heart.  We do not just possess head knowledge, but become people with a heart aflame for the Lord.

We are strengthened in our inner being through the Holy Spirit in this relationship with the Lord, and it enables us  to experience a wonderful security and confidence in our identity and purpose.  Run to the Lord daily for that kind of relationship!  To Him be the glory!

I have included links to two wonderful hymns which speak of the depth of God's love for us who believe.  Just click on the links below.

Oh The Deep, Deep Love of God is one of these hymns:

Another great song is The Love of God :

(There will be no new post next week.  Use that at an opportunity to read some older posts.  The next post, Lord willing, will be on or around June 19 or 20.)

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Toxic Behavior

This week I am going to discuss a topic that strays a bit from family care-giving which was the original focus and continues to be the main focus of this blog.  Yet the topic we are going to discuss is something that affects families and individuals.  It involves people who know and are influenced and perhaps abused by toxic people.  In many cases they think they need to cater to the "needs" of this toxic person and hope they can "fix" the toxic person.

Toxic people are wrapped up in their own agenda.  They seldom see their own faults and sins, and often blame others for all their problems. They may appear to be really nice at times, and may consider themselves spiritually and intellectually superior.  Yet they are usually unstable emotionally, mentally and/or spiritually.  They are often angry people and show it in their cruel words and actions. Sometimes it is blatant and sometimes it is more subtle.  Yet it tends to leave their loved ones and friends around them feeling inadequate and sad.

Now we all say hurtful things at times, or perhaps we do something that hurts the feelings of another individual.  Our spouses or friends may hurt us also sometimes by their words or actions.  The Bible talks about not using our tongues in a sinful way, and in one sense there is toxicity in us all.  In fact, Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it."   What I am talking about above, however, is something much more destructive than that.  

Do you recognize someone you know in the description I gave of a toxic person?  I do.  How does one deal with such a person in one's life, especially if they are a family member?  There are no easy answers.  However, we must remember three things.  We can't fix or change such a person.  Often we can only pray for them.  Only God can change them, and they have to want to change.  Secondly, sometimes the only thing to do is to remove oneself from that person's presence and influence.  Thirdly, if things ever become abusively dangerous; outside help and intervention should be sought.  

Finally, there are a number of internet articles on toxic people.  If you know someone who you suspect is having a toxic effect on your personally, you may wish to read some of these articles.  They may give valuable insight into what is involved with this kind of toxicity and insight into how to deal with toxic situations and people.