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.