Saturday, March 26, 2022

God's Plan Versus Your Plan

We all have had hopes and dreams.  We all have had plans about how our lives should unfold.  Yet God's plan is often very different than our own.  We dream of a life that is a smooth path free of troubles and challenges until we reach the finish line.

Yet God says that we will face challenges and trials.  Our lives will not be a straight smooth line.  It will include many joyful moments, but will also include moments that are very difficult.  All the moments, but especially the difficult moments, God uses to stretch us and make us more like Him.  He builds Godly character in us, if we submit to Him even in the challenging moments.

In my own life I remember difficult moments even in childhood.  There certainly have been challenges in my adult life.  What have been the heartaches and trials of your life, dear reader?  Is it caring for a loved one who is slowly deteriorating in health?  Is it the loss of a job?  Has a loved one strayed off the path?  Are you worried about the current world-wide virus which seems to just linger on?  Are you troubled by the war issues in Europe?  Are you like me, just suffering through a temporary illness or infection which has slowed you down for a few days from normal activities?  Is there yet another heartache or trial?  Whatever the heartache, God is faithful and will be with you.  Consider it a joy, count it as joy, let it be an opportunity for joy when trials come.  God is with you.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Encouragement for Our Lives

Has life been difficult for you lately, dear reader?   Do you feel constantly challenged by family caregiving issues, financial issues, or other trials?  Have you even perhaps been burdened with a certain heartache for years on end?   I found these two encouraging pictures posted on Facebook a couple years ago.  This is a short post, but a simple picture can convey much truth.  I hope you will be blessed and helped, as you view these pictures.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Fighting Discouragement


(This is a chapter in my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.

Satan loves to try to discourage us and rob us of our joy as believers. Satan can never snatch us out of the hand of our Lord God, for we are safe in the hands of the Lord forever. So Satan tries to do the next best thing in his eyes. Satan tries to rob us of our joy and effectiveness as Christians.

As a caregiver, it is so easy to become discouraged. The heartaches of seeing one’s loved one suffer and deteriorate in his or her body can be very overwhelming. Even the psalmists in the book of Psalms in the Old Testament often expressed feelings of discouragement. In some cases they were experiencing deep trials in spite of their present faithfulness to the Lord God. Hence, they sometimes felt abandoned, crushed, and devalued by God.

One strategy for fighting discouragement demonstrated in the Psalms is prayer. Prayer should be our first recourse for help, deliverance, and restoration in times of trouble and challenge. Prayer should also be our first recourse in fighting the discouragement which sometimes accompanies difficult times. Through the avenue of prayer we can gain peace, joy, and relief from discouragement in facing life’s challenges.

Another strategy for fighting Satan’s attempts to discourage us is a firm confidence in the Lord’s directing and unfailing love, kindness, and faithfulness. We must also pray with the psalmists of old for the Lord God’s guiding and directing light and truth on our paths throughout this life. If we saturate our lives with prayer and the truths of God’s Word, we will have the confidence of the Lord’s presence in our lives. We will also have His joy in full and a song in our hearts (Psalm 42:8).

Remembering and praising God for His past mercies among His people and in our own personal lives is another great way to fight Satan’s attempts to discourage us. A powerful deterrent to discouragement in present trials and in future challenges is remembering how the Lord God has helped us in the past (Psalm 77:11-12).

Yet another strategy for fighting discouragement is God-directed self-talk (Psalm 42:5 & 11 & Psalm 43:5). Saturating one’s mind with God’s Holy Word and then verbally reminding oneself of the awesome truths and promises of God’s Holy Word is one of the best prescriptions against Satan’s discouraging lies.

One final strategy in fighting discouragement is to vow to praise God during our trials and in excited anticipation of the Lord’s answers to our prayers and wonders in our lives (Psalm 43:4). May the Lord God’s song and joy (not Satan’s discouraging lies) reside in you, dear caregiver, and in all of us!

If this blog post was a blessing to you, you can order my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  It can be ordered on Amazon here:    You can also order it directly from me by contacting me at  Consider ordering it for yourself or someone you love.

Friday, March 4, 2022


This past Friday on March fourth it was five years ago since my Mom passed away.  This was a few days after having suffered a severe stroke.  I was with my Mom the last few minutes of her life.  It was a sad but wonderful experience.  That day it felt like I was given the honor of ushering my Mom into Heaven.

A few days after my Mom's death five years ago I wrote about my experiences the day of her death and the days following in my weekly blog post.  In that blog post I talked about Eternity and also care-giving for a loved one.  Bear with me, as I bring back today the words and sentiments of that blog post.  Below is what I wrote five years ago.  It is addressed to family caregivers for whom this blog was originally started.  Yet I hope it is a blessing to others as well: 

"My Mom passed into eternity a few days ago on Saturday, March 4.  One might think this has nothing to do with family caregivers.  Yet really all of life is about eternity.  This life is merely a preparation for eternity. All the struggles the loved one for whom you are caring is enduring and all the struggles you also endure will be nothing when you begin experiencing the glories of Eternity some day.  In that future day you will experience these glories which are beyond our ability to fully comprehend now, if you are the Lord's child. Therefore II Corinthians 4:18 reminds us to fix our eyes on the Lord and on what is yet unseen and not on the temporary and on what our eyes can see now.

Will you then indulge me, as I share a little of my experiences of these recent past days?  As of Thursday I am home again in WI back from my trip to MN.  I was physically and emotionally tired upon arriving home and still am in many ways.  Yet my experiences while away from home though sad were also rich and sweet. Saturday morning, March 4, I was the only one of my siblings with my Mom at the moment.  I had the privilege of talking to my Mom, singing songs to her, and reading Scripture to her.  There was no outward response, but I believe she heard me.  Very shortly after she passed into Glory.  I marvel at God's timing in this in so many ways.  I will always consider it a special gift.

Visitation night on the following Tuesday and the funeral day on Wednesday were also special moments.  There were moments of weeping, shared hugs, and shared memories.  We were also reminded not only of the fact that my Mom is with the Lord, but we were reminded of our shared precious faith and Godly heritage that we have in my family.

My Mom was a caregiver for my Dad for a few years in the same way as I was a caregiver for my husband, Wayne.  We both had to rely on the Lord during those years.  We both had to release our husbands to Eternity at a certain point.  I lived five hundred miles away from my Mom; so I was not able to be directly involved with her care-giving in the same "hands-on" way, as I had for my husband. Yet I am thankful that I may have been her caregiver in those last moments of her life. 

When I spoke to my Mom I reminded her of Eternity and the glories of eternity just ahead.  I encourage you to do that for yourself and for your loved one as well, dear caregiver.  Whether death is imminent for your loved one or not, life on this earth is so short.  Concentrate on Eternity, as you walk your life with purpose, dear caregiver!"

In conclusion I would like to share a quote that I came across five years ago about the time of my mother's death:  "We just think we are in the land of the living, and that we are going to die, but if we believe in God the opposite is true.  We're in the land of the dying, and because of Jesus we're going to the land of the living-the land where there is no more pain, no more tears, and where we'll be with Christ for eternity."

 This is my Mom with two of my great nieces and great nephew.