Friday, September 22, 2023

His Grace Will Lead us Through


I have been going through some issues and trials lately that makes me realize that I need to depend on God's grace and strength alone.  He alone is sufficient.  Through a book I'm reading and in other formats I have been reminded that I need to depend on the Lord to work His plan whatever it may be.  I need to surrender to Him; and I need to let go of  all my fears, anxieties, and my tendency to try to fix things and control things.  That only wears one down to a frazzle.  I further need to put my arms up with open hands each day and surrender to Him anew each day.  He alone can fill me with His living waters of comfort, satisfaction, strength, and joy.  His grace alone can carry me through this life with all it's trials and challenges.

Below is the words to a song we are practicing in our church choir.  I think it says it all.  

"Though the trials come, though the road seems long, it is in the valley His arms are strong.  When we lean on Jesus in all that we do, His grace will lead us through!  His grace is sufficient; He's merciful and true. Till all have heard, we will stand on His Word!  His grace will lead us through,  God's grace will lead us through.

Come with grateful hearts to the throne of grace and see our Savior face to face!  Our help through the ages; our hope to come; His grace will lead us through.  His grace is sufficient; He's merciful and true.  Till all have heard, we will stand on His Word!  His grace will lead us through.

O-grace, grace, God's grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within; O grace, grace, infinite grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin.   Till all have heard, we will stand on His Word!  His grace will lead us through, God's grace will lead us through,  God's grace!"  (words and music by Mary McDonald)

You can hear the the song above by clicking on the following link.  On this link it is sung by a group of young people (not our church choir).

Friday, September 15, 2023

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 the side our deck was full of roses in June. Right now the roses have all but disappeared for the season anticipating fall's arrival right around the corner.   Until a few days ago, however, there was one persevering and valiant big rose, which greeted me every morning when I sat in my sun room looking out on my deck having my devotions.  This rose was there in spite of the other roses' disappearance for the season.   

This rose reminded me that I need to persevere and be valiant in the Lord.  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.

(If you missed my blog post of  last week on trusting God's timing and plan you can read it by clicking on  the link below.)    


Saturday, September 9, 2023

Trusting God's Plan and Timing

God is good.  We can depend on that no matter what is going on around us in our world.  God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.  That is easy to see when we think about all our blessings and good gifts that the Lord gives us.  It is easy for me to see when I look around at God's creation when I am taking my daily walks.  It is less easy for all of us to see when our worlds become shaken and when our expectations are not met the way we hoped they would be met.  It is difficult to see when our lives are shattered and even ground to dust.  Lysa Ter Keurst talks about this in her book, It's Not Supposed to Be This Way.  Following is a rather lengthy quote from her book.  It is worthy of our meditation and contemplation when we have difficulty understanding God's timing and plan:

"When His timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention seems hurtful, and His promises seem doubtful, I  get afraid.  I get confused.  And left alone with those feelings, I can't help but feel disappointed that God isn't doing what I assume a good God should do.

There isn't any timing that seems like the right timing to be shattered into dust.  There isn't any plan God could present where I would willingly agree to be broken into unglueable pieces,  I just wouldn't.

And what a tragedy that would be.  My controlling things would prevent the dust required for God to make the new He desperately desires for me.  And isn't that what all His promises hinge on?  Old becoming new.  Dead things coming to life.  Good from evil.  Darkness turning to light. 

If I want His promises, I have to trust His process.  I have to trust that first comes the dust, and then comes the making of something even better with us.  God isn't going to forsake you, but He will go to great lengths to remake you.

What if disappointment is really the exact appointment your soul needs to radically encounter God?"

And yet in the here and now before God has finished His work in us, His recreating in us, life can be painful.  What are we supposed to do in the extremely painful emotional and physical moments, in the here and now?  What if it seems as if God is not answering our prayers?  Perhaps a family member has been diagnosed with a terrible disease in this past year.  Perhaps someone you love or you yourself have experienced physical pain of some sort this year.  Perhaps you have found yourself estranged from a family member in recent months.  Perhaps you have lost a family member to death in the recent past.  Perhaps some other difficult circumstance or all the circumstances above have hit your family this year.  All these things are very painful. 

In all these things, we need to consider that God sees the big picture which we can not see.  We need to trust God beyond what our physical eyes can see.  The pain will still be there, even if we trust Him.  It makes no sense to pretend that we do not feel pain, but in trusting Him we will feel much less fear and frustration.  In trusting Him we will find comfort in His love even when we do not always understand His ways.

We need to let go of our own rationalizations of why God does not always answer our prayers when and how we think He should do so.  We do not have to figure out the whys and wherefores of what occurs in our lives.  We just need to trust that God always acts at the right time and in the right way.  

Instead of trying to explain things and understand things in our own mind, we need to turn to Him.  We need to look to Jesus and fix our eyes on Him and not the circumstances.  That is how we endure the suffering in the here and now.  Also Jesus knew the ultimate in suffering and pain, so He does understand our pain.  Nothing we suffer compares to the suffering He experienced.   

In the process of suffering and trials the Lord is drawing us closer to Himself and into a sweeter relationship with Himself. In this process He is helping us to see the Lord with spiritual eyes and not just knowing about Him on a superficial intellectual level.  The pain process is also preparing us for Heaven.  To quote Lysa Ter Keurst once again, "God is powerfully at work in your life and situation.  What would it look like for you to rest in that truth today?"  

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Sing to the Lord a New Song

So much joy comes into our lives when we thank and praise the Lord, when we sing a new song of joy to Him each day.  We can find joy even in the midst of deep trials in our lives.  A thankful heart and singing helps to facilitate that joy.  The Psalms are a beautiful place to find expression to this kind of joy and thanks. I  have developed a great love for the Psalms.  For this post I will be quoting and paraphrasing Psalm 96 and 97 and the first verse of Psalm 98 in the following paragraphs.

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord; praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day. (Sing a new song of vibrant joyful worship each day, a song new in power and joy to us.)  Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among the peoples.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;---Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and glory are in His sanctuary.  Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations.  Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. (Submit to Him.)  Ascribe to the Lord  the glory due His name.---Say among the nations, "The Lord reigns."---He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His truth.

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.  Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.

Fire goes before Him and consumes His foes on every side. (God's presence does and will one day completely burn all that is twisted and sinful in the world and in our lives.  This is the fire of God's holy love, because He hates anything that is ruining our lives.)---

The heavens proclaim His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory.

All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols.  (An idol is anything or anyone we make more important to us than God.) Worship Him.  (Worship the Lord alone.)  Zion hears and rejoices and the villages of Judah are glad.  (God's people rejoice and are glad) because of Your judgments, O Lord.  For You, O Lord, are most High over all the earth.  Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for He guards the lives of His faithful ones---Light is shed upon the righteous and joy in the upright in heart (sown in by the Holy Spirit).  Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous and praise His holy name.  Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Name Change

As you may have noticed my blog has a new name.  It's name has been changed from "Dear Caregiver" to "God's Sufficient Grace."  I will tell you why I renamed my blog in a moment, but first I want to give a little history.    

In 2011 I started my blog.  I entitled my blog, "Dear Caregiver," and it was directed mainly to family caregivers.  I had lost my first, husband, Wayne, only a little over a month previously due to a serious neurological disease called, Multiple Systems Atrophy. I had been his caregiver for four and a half years before his death. Caregiving had been a difficult period in my life, as I saw him deteriorate in his health step by step.  Hence, a deep desire had blossomed in my heart to encourage current family caregivers.  Thus my blogsite was birthed.

Then in  2014 I published my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  This book also was meant to encourage family caregivers in their very important God-given but sometimes difficult and challenging roles.  You can order this book from me directly by emailing me and asking for specifics   You can also order this book at Amazon

During the time I published my book and afterwards I have continued my blog as well under the title of "Dear Caregiver."  Yet I know that there are many struggles that we all as believers encounter on this earth.  Hence, I have found that in my blog posts I am gradually broadening out God's message to both Christian caregivers and other believers as well.  

This is true even though I still have a deep love and concern for family caregivers in my heart.  It is also true even though in many ways, I am still a Christian caregiver.  No matter what the trial we are facing, however; God is always refining us, trying to make us more like Jesus, comforting us, and in the process bringing glory to Himself.  In whatever we face, His grace is sufficient, and His grace flows from His goodness.  Hence the new title for my blog is now "God's Sufficient Grace."  Other than the new title you should find the blog to be very much like it always been.  I hope you will continue to read and be blessed.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Chapters Of Our Lives

We have many moments and chapters in our lives.  Some of these chapters in our lives are joyful ones.  Some of the chapters are difficult and challenging.  We tend to look at special dates on the calendar and reflect about the past moments of our lives.  I especially tend to do this.

Seventy six years ago on August 24, 1947 a little baby girl was born.  Her parents named her Sharon Lynn.  She was her parents first child, and she was born two weeks earlier than expected. As you may have guessed this little girl is the author of this blog post.

The chapters in my life included my birth in IA and my growing up years in MN and SD.  I was a quiet introvert type child.  Later came the early adult chapter of my life.  I moved to WI, taught first grade for three years at a Christian school, met and married my first husband, Wayne, and raised a family of three sons.

Later chapters in my life included the marriages of my sons and wonderful grandchildren. One of the difficult chapters of my life was the diagnosis of my first husband's rare neurological disease (Multiple Systems Atrophy) in 2006, my breast cancer diagnosis in 2007, and my first husband's death in early 2011.  One of the more recent chapters of my life was my marriage to my current husband, Bob, a little over four years ago.  

All these chapters in my life were ordained by God.  Psalm 139:16 says, "All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be."  God has ordained all the days and chapters of your life as well, dear reader.  If I had been able to chose, I would have not chosen the care-giving chapter of my life or perhaps even difficult moments which occurred before that chapter in my life.  I certainly would not have chosen the chapter of widow or some more recent challenges and chapters.

Yet God truly does bring beauty from the ashes of the difficult chapters of our lives.  God says in John 16:33b, "In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart I have overcome the world."  He has overcome the world, and He will use our heartaches to advance His kingdom and for our spiritual growth and even joy.

Dear reader, the Lord is using your difficult experiences to stretch and grow you in dependence on Him and in love for Him.  He is using it to bring new spiritual fruit in your life.  Finally, He is using it in His kingdom both now and in the days ahead.  God wants you to walk with Him holding His hand during both the joyful and difficult chapters of your life.  He wants you to rest in Him trusting that He will lead you through these times in your life with purpose for now and the future.  If you belong to Him; He delights in you, dear reader!

Friday, August 11, 2023

God's Faithfulness

I am currently reading a devotional book authored by Robert J Morgan called Great is Thy Faithfulness.  In one of the chapters that I have already read the author discusses God's wonderful promises to us found in the Old Testament.  These promises include God walking beside us directing our steps each day, hearing our prayers, and being our shield and reward.  The promises include His vow to renew and restore us and to even be with us in old age.  These promises also include His covenant love for us, His blessings, His strength, and his healing each day.  The Lord further promises to be our refuge in times of trouble, to delight in us, and to actually rejoice and sing over us!

Promises are found all throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation even in what we might consider obscure parts of the Bible. For example, in Hosea 6:1, God promises to bind up our wounds, and in Nahum 1:7 the Lord God promises to be our refuge in times of trouble.  Hence, there are amazing promises in the New Testament, but there are also wonderful promises as well in the Old Testament where we may be tempted to believe they would not be found as readily.  

In a world where we often face trials and heartaches it is wonderful to know and treasure the multitude of God's promises to us.  He is always a faithful and loving God.  We can count on His faithfulness and presence in our lives.  We can count on His promises in His Word.

Below is a link to the wonderful hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness."  I have been listening to this hymn frequently in the past weeks, as I I contemplate God's faithfulness.  May this hymn bless you today, dear reader.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Summer Blessings and Trials

July is now past, and August has begun.  How fast the days of July flew past, as every month of the year tends to do.  I am going to take a moment to look back on July, however, and its significance to me.   On July 30, 1971, fifty-two years ago I became a blushing bride for the first time.  In spite of my remarriage eight and a half years after Wayne's homegoing to heaven, I will always remember that day.  I also remember with joy our 39 years of marriage.  On July 13, 2019, four years ago, Bob and I were married.  I look back on the joy each of us felt on that day.  We have faced some new outside challenges this past year, but we remain committed to each other.

These were joyful moments in July in the past, and now this year there were difficult moments in July.  I have had back issues for many years, but in July as in the months before July of this year I have had some more major back flare-up issues.  Through a series of events including contacting my regular doctor and her ordering an MRI, I saw a spine specialist on July 31rst.  I fully expected him to suggest surgery, but because of my scoliosis complicating things, surgery would involve a recovery period that was too long.  

Hence, the doctor recommended doing an epidural instead.  By God's grace I was able to receive that epidural only two days later on August 2nd.  By the morning of the next day I was beginning to notice a difference for the good.  My back is still feeling very vulnerable, and there still are issues, but I am very thankful for God's grace in all this.

There were and are also uncertainties in all this.  Epidurals, for example, are only a temporary solution at best.  Yet God is the God of the unknown.  The future is not unknown to Him and He will lead.  We all need to remember that we are blessed no matter what is going on in our lives at the time.

At this point I am going to quote a fairly long passage from Lysa Ter Keurst's book, Seeing Beautiful Again.  This is what Lysa writes I think it applies beautifully here to our discussion:

"I feel the most unsettled when I'm uncertain about the future.  I suspect many of you are also facing circumstances that have left you feeling caught off guard and unsure about what tomorrow holds---There are thousands of scenarios that evoke these feelings of uncertainty, fear, and exhaustion from life not being like you thought it should be.

Whatever your situation is, you probably feel like you can't change it, but you still have to live through the realities of what's happening right now.  Sometimes you just have to walk in your 'I don't know.'---All this trouble is exhausting.  Walking in the 'I don't know' is scary.---But what if life settling down and all your disappointments going away would be the worst thing that could happen to you?  What if your 'I don't know' is helping you, not hurting you?

The crucial detail for us to have peace in the middle of everything we face is to stay close to the Lord.  We think we want comfort in the I-don't know times of life.  But comfort isn't a solution to seek; rather it is a byproduct we'll reap when we stay close to the Lord.

I wish I could promise you that everything's going to turn out like you're hoping it will. I can't, of course.  But what I can promise you is that God is close to us even in our 'I don't knows.'  God has lessons for us that are crucially important for our future, and we are learning them in the middle of our 'I don't knows.'  God has a strength He must prepare us with, and the training ground is here in the 'I don't know.' This time isn't a waste, and it is definitely not pointless when we are walking with God.

Let's cry out to God, declaring that this hard time will be a holy time, a close-to God time.  And let's choose to believe that there is good happening, even in these places.  Because wherever God is, good is being worked."

(If you missed my post last week about God being the Potter and we being the clay, you can read it by cliking on this link:  )

Saturday, July 29, 2023

The Potter

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.  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 first husband. His disease was incurable. It was out of my control.  It was also true when I developed breast cancer during that time period, as I spoke about in my blog post last week.  It is further true as I now stuggle with serious back pain.  (I speak to a spine specialist on Monday  Pray for me.) God is also in control even in light of some other discouraging issues which have reared their heads in the past year.   The only recourse I had in the past and the only reource I have now is to seek to rely and trust in the Lord.

Difficulties in our lives further 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 and other life pressures.  These pressures 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 reader, trust you life and your life 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:

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Peparation for the valley

(On July 18th I became a 16 year cancer survivor, because that was the day that I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I will always remember that day, as it was also one of my local granddaughter's fifth birthday.  Following is a chapter from my book:  Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.  In that chapter I talked about my breast cancer experience while caring for my first husband.  It is also a repeat of  posts I have published in July in past years.)

"Seeking to provide for my first husband’s needs during my care-giving days could get emotionally heavy at times, but I feel my past experiences helped to prepare me somewhat for the care-giving challenges. One of these experiences actually coincided with the beginning stages of my care-giving days. That experience was my fight against breast cancer.

In July of 2007, about a year after my husband was diagnosed with his disease, I noticed a swelling in my right breast and under my arm. I was able to book an appointment with my physician’s assistant. She sent me for a mammogram and MRI the next day. A couple days later I received the devastating news that I did indeed have breast cancer and that the cancer had invaded my lymph nodes. The tumor in my breast was very large, and my doctor told me later that my lymph nodes were all gummed together.

A few days later I found myself at my oncologist’s office, and after a full body scan at the hospital I began chemo. I began chemo by the end of July of 2007. All together I had 8 chemo treatments in 3 week cycles, mastectomy surgery with all my lymph nodes under my arm removed, and 6 1/2 weeks of radiation daily. Side effects of chemo were fatigue, mild nausea sometimes, food tasting like cardboard, loss of all of my hair etc. Radiation caused some burning, but it was manageable. All treatment was completed in April of 2008!

During the time of my cancer treatments I had a host of people praying for me-even people across the ocean! We also had people from our church bringing in meals twice a week for a long time. I further had church people bringing me to all my chemo treatments and most of my radiation treatments. The medical people at my cancer care center were wonderful.

Cancer treatments would not be a time that I would want to go through again, but at the same time it was a time of blessing as well as hardship. It is hard to explain, but I became more free in my spirit and less concerned about other’s opinions as a result to this cancer experience. I experienced the love of other people, and most of all I experienced the love of my Lord and Savior in a new and fresh way. I learned dependence on the Lord God during those many months, and I grew in my faith. The Lord’s strength and His love to me demonstrated through others helped me through those months.

I still am miles away from having it altogether. Just perhaps, however, I will be able to face today and the days ahead with more of God’s strength, because of my cancer experience and my experiences with the heartaches of care-giving. The memory of those days will never go away. It has changed whom I am forever mostly for the good.

I know that there will always be problems in this life, but I am further certain that my Lord and Savior will be with me all through my life. I know He will give me the strength to handle anything I need to face in the future. Even in hard times God has promised to be with me and bless me and someday take me to live with Him eternally. Dear Christian caregiver, rest in Him."

(Look on the side of this home page for a link to the order page for my book on Amazon. The book is also available at Barnes and Noble and elsewhere online.  If you prefer a signed copy from me directly, just e-mail me at for specifics.)

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Deleting the Negative Emotions

I don't know how you as a reader feel, but I often become annoyed by the number of unwanted e-mails which come into my account on a daily basis.  Even though I have a seperate junk account versus my regular e-mail account, lately I have been receiving quite a bit of unwanted e-mails also slipping into my regular account.  If I did not delete these unwanted emails daily and sometimes many times a day my account would soon be overwhelmed by these numerous trash e-mails.

So it is with my life and the negative emotions such as fear, discouragement, and frustration.  If I do not daily spend time in God's Word and soothe these negative emotions, I would soon be overrun with them.  If I did not allow God to  penetrate my heart with his comfort and strength through His promises in His Word, I don't know where I would be or what I would do. 

 Sometimes life's physical and emotional pains can be very heavy. Serious back pain is one of my heavy life issues right now.  Yet the Lord wants me to delete the negative emotions connected with diffiuclt circumstnaces in my life through relying on His precious promises.  He also wants me to replace these negative emotions with trust in Him, courage because of His presence in my life, and with His joy in spite of circumstances.  He wants me to count my blessings.  He also wants me to remember that everything the Lord allows in my life whether pleasant or difficult is always for His glory and my ultimate good.

So dear reader, let's together reolve to delete the negative emotions through the promises of God's Word and His strength, and let's replace them with the joy of the Lord even if the difficult moments.  Remember the Lord delights in us and sings over us, if we are His child (Zepeniah 3:17)!  

Friday, June 30, 2023


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!

(There will be no new blog post next week.  Use this time to reread some of the older posts.)

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Wait on the Lord

I have a little plaque in our home that I recently bought at a local craft store in my town.  It says. "Pray. wait, trust."  I often look at this plaque and think about its sentiments when I am having my morning devotions.  I  don't know about you, but for me waiting on the Lord and trusting in His perfect timing and wisdom is sometimes very difficult.  Yet there is no better place we can be than in the care of the Lord.  It is a much safer place to reside than in depending on our own puny resources.  We can accomplish nothing depending on our own resources, but even in the deepest trials we can rest in the Lord.  I wrote about waiting on the Lord in one of my chapters from my book which I wrote in 2011, a few years after my first husband's death.  The following post is  is yet another chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.

"About a year after my husband was diagnosed with his disease, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Here are some of the thoughts and prayers that were running through my mind after my diagnosis of breast cancer on July 18, 2007: 

'I don't understand, Lord. You have been faithful to me in numerous times of difficulty in the past. This latest trial in my life seems a bit overwhelming, however, Lord. Was not dealing with the emotional stress of my husband's disabling neurological disease enough, Lord? Did I have to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer also?'

Of one thing I was certain, however. Even though I did not always understand His ways, I knew my Lord did not make mistakes. I could count on His promises in His Holy Word, His eternal love for me, and His infinite wisdom. I could count on these things even when feeling emotionally downcast.  I could count on the fact that God's compassion for me would never fail. He, in His faithfulness, would have new blessings for me every day. One other thing of which I was certain was that I had nothing or no one else I can cling to but the Lord. He alone was able to be my hope. I needed to wait on the Lord to work out His plan in my life. (Lamentations 3:20b-26) I also believed that somehow God would make a place of refreshment and joy out of the deep valleys of my life. He was indeed the only One but the capable One to help me proceed in His strength in facing life's huge hurdles (Psalm 84:6-7).

We have the certainty of the Lord's faithfulness and love even in the harshest of circumstances. In the Old Testament book of Lamentations, the author was lamenting or mourning the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Hence, he was feeling very discouraged and depressed. Have you ever felt like the author of Lamentations?  When we begin to feel like the author of Lamentations felt, we are beginning to focus on ourselves instead of on the Lord. The truth of the matter is that there is always the certainty of the Lord's presence, even in the worse of circumstances.  It is not necessary for our cirucmstances to change to experience the Lord's joy and peace in our hearts and lives.  We just need to take the focus off of ourselves and our problems and focus on the Lord.

When we are feeling discouraged by a difficult set of circumstances in our lives, we must remember the Lord's love for us and the Lord's awesome promises in His Holy Word. The Lord's river of mercy and love never runs dry. People, material possessions, and our own resources will often fail us. The Lord, however, will never fail us! His love and faithfulness is with us moment by moment and day by day. How precious it is to awaken each morning knowing that the Lord will be walking beside us each day, as we face the daily stresses and challenges. Wait on the Lord, dear caregiver. Waiting on the Lord means we are resting our entire trust in the Lord for time and eternity. We can trust completely in the Lord's unfailing love! Praise His name!"

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Father's Day

Sunday 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 his 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 husband to death.  His past example helps me in current struggles in my life as well.  Above is a digital picture of him that I snapped and edited from a printed pictue of him that I had in my possession.

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 four 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 further loves me.  

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

Friday, June 9, 2023

Things Too Wonderful for Me

The book of Job in the Old Testament of the Bible has many profound insights.  This is especially true of the last chapter, Job 42.  There is much we can glean from this book and chapter. 

Job said to God in verse one of chapter 42, "I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours is thwarted."  Accepting God's plan in all things is sometimes challenging when going through difficult circumstances.  I found this to be true in past difficult circumstances in my life and sometimes find that true in present circumstances.  God's plan is also being carried out, however, when He provides daily blessings in my life even in the stressful and sad moments.

Job did not know what God was doing in his life when he sent a whole series of very difficult trials.  Yet in the last chapter of the book of Job, Job came to the realization that it was not his place to question God.  He said in Job 42:3, "Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me."  God does not owe us explanations for what He allows in our lives.  All we need to know is that God knows what He is doing and that He is a God who is always good.

Later on in the last chapter in Job, Job came to realize that he had developed greater intimacy with God because of his trials.  Job said in Job 42:5, "My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen you."  In effect, Job was saying this, "In the past I knew things in my head about You, but now my heart knows You in an intimate way that I never experienced before.  This came about because of the trials You allowed in my life."

The same experience that Job had of growing in intimacy with God through trials can be our experience as well,  We can trust God, because He always provides for us even in times of trial.  He is a God who is always there for us in both our joys and our sorrows.

(Also if you have not already done so, check out last week's blog post on joy in all circumstances.  You will find that by clicking on this link:  )

Saturday, June 3, 2023


Joy is possible in even very difficult circumstances.  This is because joy and difficulty-and even joy and sorrow-can coeist.  Joy is also possible in the challenges and heartaches of care-giving for a loved one who has a long-term illness, in great physical and emotional pain ourselves, or in a host of other trials.  This is because joy is not dependent on circumstances.

True joy is experienced as a result of living in the presence of the Lord and through deep communication with Him.  True joy and peace are experienced when we know God is with us in those difficult situations.  It is knowing that He is keeping us, protecting us, and strengthening us in those circumstances.  Joy and peace is knowing the Lord is in control.

Some years ago I was sent the following fromula for joy and strength:  Thankfulness= joy= strength.  If we can somehow thank God in all things, knowing and trusting that He is indeed in control and loves us deeply; we can experience joy.  Joy then turns into strength to face life's challenges (Nehemiah 8:10b)

Spend time in God's Word, dear reader.  Revel in and latch on to His promises in His Word.  Spend time in prayer.  Ask for His strength and joy.  Life's trials can be so overwhelmingly difficult and emotionally challenging.  However, even in those very difficult days, dear reader, you can find joy in the Lord.  He will see you through step by step.  Though you do not know what lies ahead, He will lead you.  He will give you strength and joy.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time for everything, and everything is beautiful in its time.  It does not always feel that way.  I know it has not and does not always feel that way to me, but through it all the Lord had been with me.  He is with you as well.  Rest in the joy of the Lord.  That is your strength.


Saturday, May 27, 2023

Choosing Gratitude

Some years ago I read a book by Nancy Leigh De Moss called Choosing Gratitude.  In one chapter she lists 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 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 like they can, gratitude to the Lord is the gateway to His presence.

Gratitude is further the only sure path to peace.  Life difficulties can 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, my sister, and other saints who have gone ahead of me to heaven are no longer suffering from disease or heartaches of any kind, but they are praising God before His throne right now!  I too can join in that praise by thanking and praising the Lord now.  Life is difficult at times.  I often find gratitude a difficult choice to make.  Yet in the measure that we walk with gratitude, peace will follow.  Resolve with me to to strive to walk that path.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Spring Blessings

When fighting discouragement, pain, or trials of any kind; it is wise to think about God's precious promises in His Word and also the beauty all around us in God's world.  I would like to share a few of those beauties today.   Most of these flowers are right from my back yard.  Enjoy and be blessed.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Mothers on Mother's Day

As I write this post, it is Mother's day weekend in the United States.  If  you are a Mother, may God bless you with a wonderful Mother's day.  May He bless you with sweet experiences and sweet memories.  May He fill your heart with thankfulness for the blessing of being a Mother and perhaps also a Grandmother.  

If you are a caregiver for a Mother who is ill or disabled, may God bless you and strengthen and give you joy in your care-giving task.  If you are a Mother of a a child who is ill or disabled, may the Lord also bless you in the same way.  May the Lord fill you with joy and fill the gap where the gap is wide and deep.   

If you are a Mother who has lost a child due to death or estrangment, may God comfort and bless you with His sufficient love.  If you recently lost a mother to death or even lost a mother many years ago, I pray the overflowing unbounding and comforting love of your Savior will overflow in Your heart.   Once again, may the Lord fill the gap where the gap is wide and deep.   

There is no love like the love of the Lord. Like a mother bird cares for her young, the Lord will care for and comfort His own. Psalm 91:4-5 says, "He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."   Wherever you are in life's pathways, revel in the Lord's love for you!

Saturday, May 6, 2023

The Tight-rope of Care-giving


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

On June 15, 2012 some of you may have seen televised Nik Wallenda’s dream come true, as he walked across Niagara Falls between the U.S. and Canada on a tightrope. He covered the 1,800 feet in approximately 25 minutes walking the two-inch wire in elkskin-soled shoes and using a balance beam.  Now I would not recommend viewing Niagara Falls in this fashion. One might even argue the wisdom and even rightness of taking such a risk. I think there are lessons we can learn from this incident, however.

Much of life-and certainly caregiving-is filled with challenges. Because of the uncertainties and constant changes and declines of care-giving, it can feel as if one is in imminent danger.  During care-giving days, one is not able to predict what the next year, let alone the next month or day will bring. It can feel like one is walking in a fog on a tightrope. As Wallenda made his walk across Niagara Falls he found the heavy mist to be very challenging. Also the winds hit him and were definitely more than he expected. After awhile his forearms started to tense up, and he began experiencing numbness. The steps and days as a caregiver can feel the same way. 

ABC televised the walk, but insisted Wallenda use a safety tether to prevent him from plunging into the roaring waters of Niagara Falls should he fall. I do not know how great a safety measure this was in reality, but I do know that Christian caregivers have a wonderful source of strength and safety in the Lord Jesus Christ. Care-giving can feel like walking over stormy waters, but the Lord is a reliable source of safety. Also Wallenda walked across that tightrope putting one foot in front of the other. That is what Christian caregivers and all believers need to do. They need to take life one step at a time focusing on the Lord and trusting Him.

When Wallenda stepped onto Canadian soil he was immediately asked for his passport, which he extracted from a protective pouch in his jacket. To me that passport is a picture of God’s Word and its promises. It is what helps us walk the tightrope and stormy situations of life like care-giving. 

Wallenda said that the prayers of others helped him immensely. He said it helped him reach the safety of the other side. So we too need to be willing to ask for and rely on the prayers of others when we are going through stormy times. Wallenda further said that in the middle of the wire he started thinking about his great-grandfather. His family’s legacy for performing daredevil stunts is what helped him persevere to the end. So we also can follow the examples of the Biblical saints and our godly ancestors who have gone before us. Their past faith can encourage us to be faithful and to trust God.

Christian caregiver, walk step by step focusing on the Lord as you experience the stormy waters of care-giving. Rely on God’s Word and prayer. Trust that God will get you to the other side. 

Sunday, April 30, 2023

A God Thing


"Most of us still rate the events of our lives as either a 'good' thing or a 'bad' thing. but when we're finally able to merge all the events of our lives into the category of a God thing, then we will be where He wants us."  Such was a quote I recently discovered in a devotional called The Twenty-Third Psalm for Caregivers by Carmen Leal.

Some events in life are very difficult.  The illness of my first husband was very difficult.  The diffiuclties of caring for him and His subsequent death was very diffiuclt,.  My cancer diagnosis during that time was very difficult.  Watching my sister struggle for years with her cancer and then her death in February of this year was very difficult.  My chronic back and other issues are difficult at times.  Other unnamed issues which are going on in my life right now are also difficult at times.

Yet through all these things God has been with me step by step.  I have seen that over and over.  Even when I fret and worry, God is always there.  Very recently God has used people in my life to greatly step up and help in situations that seem overwhelming or even unresovable. This has also brought a closer relationship with these special people.  That is a God thing.  I have seen how life's trials have also been an avenue for me to help others as well.  That is a God thing.  Further, as weary as I get with life's trials, I have grown in my love for my Lord and dependence on Him through the trials.  I have also grown in my love of His Word.  That is a God thing.

What are the trials going on in your life right now?  What are the "bad" things?  How is God using even these things to become a "God" thing?

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Anniversary of My book


It was in April of 2014 that I published my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers. Writing and promoting the book nine years ago stirred up emotions about my own difficult days of seeing my first husband decline in his body and then losing him to death.  I also had some fears.  Satan would have liked me to feel like no one was going to read the book, but I also knew it was in God's hands.  I further felt a passion to help current caregivers.  That is the reason I originally started this blog, and that is the reason I wrote my book.

In spite of the emotions I was excited  about the new book.  This book and other events in those nine years since the publication of this book has helped other family caregivers including my current husband who read the book while taking care of his wife at that time.  For that I am very thankful to the Lord.

If you are a family caregiver or know someone who is a family caregiver consider reading this book.  It is available at the Amazon link below, but it also available at Barnes and Noble and elsewhere online.  It is further available from me directly at  Just contact me there for details.

Once again here is the Amazon link to the order page for my book:

Saturday, April 15, 2023

God's Plan A

I ran across a devotional a few years ago which reminded me of a truth which God has laid on my heart in the past several years.  Nancy Guthrie writes this in her book, The One Year Book of Hope, "God's plan for your life is unfolding, and nothing and nobody can hinder it---Whatever is happening in your life, you can welcome it as God's sovereign Plan A.  God carries out His own good purposes without mistakes or regrets, and His plan is never thwarted."

Nancy also says that Satan tries to scheme and destroy, and many things in this life are difficult and sometimes tragic.  God doesn't run behind Satan, however, frantically trying to clean up his messes.  God is not forced to go to Plan B.  Satan's schemes do not catch God off guard.

God, even in the tragedies and sad moments of life, always has a good plan for our lives.  He is always working for His glory and for our spiritual good.  It was God's Plan A that I was a caregiver for my first husband, Wayne.  It  was God's plan A that I became a widow.   God's plan A was in operation for my life in the years and events that have followed in both the times of joy and heartache.  What is transpiring in my life right now in both the trials and joys is still God's plan A for me even in moments when it does not feel that way. 

God's Plan A is always in place for you as well, dear reader.  This is true in all the events of your life.  He is rejoicing with you in your joys and is always there to comfort you in your sorrows.  In this post Easter period let us join the believers of old and today and sing "Hosanna to the King of Kings."

(P.S.  If your missed the Easter post of last week, you can read it by clicking on the following link:

Saturday, April 8, 2023



I love Easter best of all the holidays.  I love it for its deep spiritual significance.  Yet how does Easter relate to us?

Easter means that the Lord Jesus came to this earth and lived a perfect life for you and me.  He later died on the cross to pay the price for our sins, and then He arose again on the third day to prove that He had won over sin and death and Satan. If you and I have accepted his gift of salvation by repentance and faith, we are His child now and for eternity.

Easter also means that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, identifies with our pain and the pain of our loved ones. As we struggle in our own needs or to help our loved ones, Jesus Christ identifies with us. Having suffered the worst possible pain for us on the cross He is able to sympathize with our heartaches and weaknesses. He is also an all-powerful Savior to whom we can freely go for grace in our moments of sadness and overwhelming and crushing needs.  (Check out Hebrews 4:15-16 in the New Testament.)

Because of Easter and Christ's sacrifice, we can freely approach God the Father Himself with both our needs and our loved one's needs. We can cry out to Him for help and call Him our “Abba Father,” because He considers us His special children (Romans 8:15). Easter also means that when our hearts are so weighed down with the heartaches and overwhelming circumstances of life that we do not even know how to pray, the Holy Spirit will intercede and pray for us! (Romans 8:26)

Easter means that although we will always face trials and troubles in this world, the Lord Jesus Christ has overcome the world.  He is also our source of peace even in the most challenging of times (John 16:33).  Even in overwhelming circumstances and even when we do not understand God's ways in allowing certain things in our lives, God is working for our ultimate good. We are victors in Him! (Romans 8:28 & 37)

No matter what happens in our life situations we will slowly heal emotionally and spiritually. God will always be with us, and joy will return one day. His love for us will never fail. He proved that love for us on the cross. That is the meaning of Easter for all of us.

Finally, Easter means that there are those whom we have loved in the past who are now celebrating with their Lord in Eternity this Easter.  I personally think of my grandparents, parents, my first husband, Wayne, and also very recently my dear sister, Nancy.  I love to think of them now free from all pain and trials rejoicing and singing before the Lord's throne.  They have the joy of being in the Lord's precious presence.  They were saved by His grace and their life's race is now completed.  

This Easter let's rejoice with both those who have gone on ahead of us and with those of us who still walk this life's path,  One day because of Easter we too with joy shall behold our Lord face to face.  Furthermore, on the glorious final ressurection day when Jesus returns, we will have new glorified bodies.  Praise the name of the Lord for his salvation and grace to us!

Saturday, April 1, 2023

The Names for God

I have found much encouragement in the names for God and in their rich meanings.  There are many names for God in the Bible, because God has so many wonderful characterisitics.  

The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew, and the New Testament was written in Greek. ELOHIM in Hebrew means the all powerful, all mighty, creator God. YAHWEH is the personal name for God. YAHWEH ELOHIM is your God, dear child of God! The all powerful God of the universe cares about you, and He is with you in the difficulties and challenges be it care-giving for a loved one, a difficult marriage, a financial sitatution, or a host of other trials!

He is also YAHWEH-jireh, which means the Lord will provide. He will provide for you, dear child of God, in all the uncertainties and stresses of life. You do not know the future, but He already has the future under His sovereign control. I remember as a caregiver for my fist husband, Wayne, and in other diffiuclt life situations often succumbing to fear and worry. It was difficult to see my first husband’s health deteriorating before my eyes. As I look back, however, I know he was with me each step of the way.  It is easy to sucumb to fear in present difficulties as well. Yet the Lord is with me now as well.

I read somewhere that worrying is trying to carry tomorrow’s load with today’s strength. It is trying to carry two days at once. Worrying will not empty tomorrow of it’s heartaches and challenges. Instead it empties today of it’s strength. The truth of the matter is that we have no strength in ourselves at all, but we have unlimited strength in God.  He is in control. He will provide strength as we need it. Trust in YAHWEH-yireh which means the Lord will provide. He is also your YAHWEH-nissi which means the Lord is my banner or miracle. Trust in Him to provide, dear child of God.

Dear child of God, the Lord is also YAHWEH-sabaoth which means the Lord of Hosts or the Lord Almighty or the Sovereign Lord. He is Lord over everything. We can not box God in and tell Him what to do. If we submit to Him, however, He who is all powerful and Lord over everything will go before us. He will pave the way for you on every difficult path of life.  This is easy to say, but also so easy to forget in the stresses and challenges of life.  I know it is for me.

When you recognize that you can’t do life on your own, He-the Lord Almighty-is with you, dear child of God. Trust that He is in control. Rest it with the Lord God, for He also alone is YAHWEH-shalom which means the Lord of peace.

Friday, March 24, 2023

The Prayer Helper for the Child of God

(This post is yet another chapter from my book that I published in 2014.  The book was written to encourage family caregivers and is entitled, 

Dear Cargiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.)

As we have said numerous times, care-giving for a loved one with a serious disease is one of life’s greatest challenges. Only those who have been or currently are family caregivers truly understand the emotional and physical difficulties associated with care-giving.

In the midst of care-giving responsibilities, it is important to focus on the Lord and to turn to Him in prayer. Sometimes in the overwhelming moments we do not know how to pray about our situations, however. At such times, the Holy Spirit helps us in our prayer life. Romans 8:26 promises us that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. We often do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us in a way that words cannot express.

Have you ever tried to pray about your care-giving situation and felt so overwhelmed with some heartache that you did not know how to pray? Have you ever felt that you could not find the words to express in prayer the depths of your feelings and needs in your heart? God understands our weaknesses and has provided us a helper in our prayer lives. That helper is the Holy Spirit Himself!

The Holy Spirit prays in and through us. He also prays for us, especially during those times when we are too overwhelmed with heartache to find the right words to express our pain to the Lord in prayer. The Holy Spirit understands our sorrows and is our prayer helper. The Holy Spirit Himself pleads and intercedes for us before the Heavenly Father! The Holy Spirit is our perfect intercessor before the Heavenly Father,  because He intercedes for God's people in accordance with God's will (Romans 8:27b).

Praise the Lord for His infinite blessings! He is our salvation. He is our source of strength, promise, and hope. He provides for every need in our lives for time and eternity. The Lord provides us the Holy Spirit to help us to live for the Lord and to help us in our weaknesses. Finally, the Lord even provides the Holy Spirit as our prayer helper and advocate! What a glorious God we serve! Praise His name!

(This post as stated above is a chapter from my book.  In this blog I have often written new posts.  I also sometimes have included chapters from my book, as I did today.  If you are a family caregiver consider ordering my book.  If you know a family caregiver consider ordering my book for them.  Below is the link to ordering my book from Amazon. My book is also available through Barnes and Noble and elsewhere on the internet.  The Amazon site says there is only two left in stock.  That is rather meaningless.  It just might take a day or so longer to come, if you order.  You can further get a book directly from me by contacting me at and asking me for specifics.)

If you did not read my post of last week speaking of not living in fear, you can read it by clicking on the following link: