Lady Violinist

Lady Violinist

Golden hair frames the picture
Of a countenance with a gilded gleam,
Her eyes are the clear windows
Through which the hurt is seldom seen.

Sweet melodies fluidly flow
Methodically from her fingers and bow,
A zest for life is apparent and yet
The quest for personal fulfillment isn’t always met.

Ethical philosophies as a millstone weigh
Attempting defeat in battles won yesterday,
Old things now past and yet, old weaknesses now a new
Regretting judgment lapses when remembered that make us blue.

Simple and complex contradictions describe
The roles she confronts each succeeding day,
With a symmetrical smile hiding the pains
Encountered along life’s highways.

© 1991
Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

“Lady Violinist” was selected for inclusion in the “Torrid Literature Journal,” Volume VI (electronically and print editions). April 2013.

Photo Credits: Title: Market Violinist. This photo was taken at the Kansas City Market, otherwise known as City Market. This young lady was playing the violin for tips. We talked for a few moments, and she reminded me a lot of Jewel Staite (Kaylee from Firefly). Honestly, she was a real trooper because it was scorching in the sunlight and she was sitting on the bare asphalt. This photographer: Russ Matthews The photograph is available to use under the Creative Commons License. It is available for non-commercial use as long as proper attribution is given.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/eatingmywords/1000640352/. The photographer is Russ Matthews.


Meet the Poets: Sylvia Plath

 

Poet Sylvia Plath’s grave at St.Thomas’ Churchyard, Heptonstall, Yorkshire, England, UK

Sylvia Plath
1982 Pulitzer Prize Poetry

Mad Girl’s Love Song”

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

by Sylvia Plath
Source of Poem: Hello & Poetry

Smith College and Newnham College, Cambridge

Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963) was an American poet, novelist and short-story writer. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, she studied at Smith College and Newnham College, Cambridge before receiving acclaim as a professional poet and writer. She married fellow poet Ted Hughes in 1956 and they lived together first in the United States and then England, having two children together: Frieda and Nicholas. Following a long struggle with depression and a marital separation, Plath committed suicide in 1963. Controversy continues to surround the events of her life and death, as well as her writing and legacy.

The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel

Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry and is best known for her two published collections: The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel.

Won Pulitzer Prize Posthumously

In 1982, she became the first poet to win a Pulitzer Prize posthumously, for The Collected Poems. She also wrote The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel published shortly before her death.

For more information about Sylvia Plath: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Plath

Photo Source: Photo Used Under a Creative Commons 2.0 License from the Photographer

Books

Books

Books take you places
You hope someday to go.
They transport you to times
In the future or long, long ago.

The words paint the pictures
The author’s canvas is your mind.
Surreal images greet you
Where people aren’t always kind.

You don’t have to dress up to read one.
They’ve got a special texture, smell, and feel.
Some tales make you laugh
While others make you squeal.

© 2009 Jimmie A. Kepler

Originally published in
WORDS…RHYMES…POETRY & PROSE!

Photo Source: Image by Iván Tamás from Pixabay

Meet the Poets: W.S. Merwin

W.S. Merwin
1971, 2009 Pulitzer Prize Poetry
2010 United States Poet Laureate

“Any work of art makes one very simple demand on anyone who genuinely wants to get in touch with it. And that is to stop. You’ve got to stop what you’re doing, what you’re thinking, and what you’re expecting and just be there for the poem for however long it takes.” — W.S. Merwin.

30+ books of Poetry, Translation, and Prose

William Stanley Merwin (September 30, 1927 – March 15, 2019) is an American poet, credited with over 30 books of poetry, translation and prose. During the 1960s anti-war movement, Merwin’s unique craft was thematically characterized by indirect, unpunctuated narration.

Buddhist philosophy and Deep Ecology Influences

In the 1980s and 1990s, Merwin’s writing influence derived from his interest in Buddhist philosophy and deep ecology. Residing in Hawaii, he writes prolifically and is dedicated to the restoration of the islands’ rainforests.

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1971 and 2009)

Merwin has received many honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (in both 1971 and 2009) and the Tanning Prize, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Academy of American Poets, as well as the Golden Wreath of the Struga Poetry Evenings.

United States Poet Laureate 2010

In 2010, the Library of Congress named Merwin the seventeenth United States Poet Laureate to replace the outgoing Kay Ryan. Note: Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress—commonly referred to as the United States Poet Laureate or Poet Laureate of the United States.

More information can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._S._Merwin

Photo Source: Fair use of book cover of ” W.S. Merwin: Selected Poems.”

Little Squirrel



Little Squirrel

Little squirrel
In the tree
I see you
Looking at me

Your color is red
In your furry coat
You look at me
Sitting in the boat

You’re eating the acorns
Found in the tree
A smile on your face
Dropping the shells on me!

© 2009 Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.


Originally published in:
WORDS…RHYMES…POETRY & PROSE
May 2011


Image by Erik Lyngsøe from Pixabay

Meet the Poets: Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg NYWTS

Carl Sandburg
1919, 1951 Pulitzer Prize Poetry
1940 Pulitzer Prize History

His Own Style

“I make it clear why I write as I do and why other poets write as they do. After hundreds of experiments, I decided to go my own way in style and see what would happen.” – Carl Sandburg

Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967) was an American writer and editor, best known for his poetry. He received three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and another for his history, a biography of Abraham Lincoln.

Influence of Poetry Magazine

Sandburg was almost unknown to the literary world when, in 1914, a group of his poems appeared in the nationally circulated Poetry magazine.

Chicago Poems, Cornhuskers, and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Two years later his book Chicago Poems was published, and the thirty-eight-year-old author found himself on the brink of a career that would bring him international acclaim.

Sandburg published another volume of poems, Cornhuskers, in 1918, and wrote a searching analysis of the 1919 Chicago race riots. These collections lead to the 1919 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Rootabaga Stories

More poetry followed, along with Rootabaga Stories (1922), a book of fanciful children’s tales.

The Rootabaga Stories prompted Sandburg’s publisher, Alfred Harcourt, to suggest a biography of Abraham Lincoln for children.

The success of Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years

Sandburg researched and wrote for three years, producing not a children’s book, but a two-volume biography for adults. His Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, published in 1926, was Sandburg’s first financial success.

Abraham Lincoln: The War Years and the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1940

With the financial success, he moved to a new home on the Michigan dunes and devoted the next several years to complete four more volumes, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940.

Sandburg continued his prolific writing, publishing more poems, a novel, Remembrance Rock, the second volume of folk songs, and an autobiography, Always the Young Strangers.

In 1945 the Sandburg family moved with their herd of prize-winning goats and thousands of books to Flat Rock, North Carolina.

Complete Poems and the Second Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1951

Sandburg’s Complete Poems won him a second Pulitzer Prize in 1951. Sandburg died at his North Carolina home on July 22, 1967. His ashes were returned, as he had requested, to his Galesburg birthplace. In the small Carl Sandburg Park behind the house, his ashes were placed beneath Remembrance Rock, a red granite boulder. Ten years later the ashes of his wife were placed there.


Photo Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carl_Sandburg_NYWTS.jpg
Articles Sources:  Pulitzer Awards 1919, Pulitzer Awards 1940, and Pulitzer Awards 1951

For more on Carl Sandburg see: http://carl-sandburg.com/biography.htm

How to Hang On

How to Hang On

23.1 My Story

The date was April 11, 2018. The day of the week was Wednesday. I had awoken at the usual time of 5 AM. I stepped into the master bedroom where my wife was resting. I took her hand and held it. I leaned over the hospital bed and kissed her forehead first. I said I love you. She squeezed my hand, and her lips moved mouthing I love you. I softly kissed her lips. I could feel their warmth and her returning the kiss.

We were blessed with a critical care registered nurse in our home twenty-four hours a day. I looked at the nurse and said I was going to Starbucks for a couple of hours to have morning coffee and write. I would be back home by 8 AM. I reminded her two of my adult children, and my wife’s sisters were in the house if needed. I would only be ten to fifteen minutes away. I made sure the nurse had my contact info.

I then read Psalm 23 to my wife, prayed with her, and feed her a container of flavored shaved ice before I stole another kiss and then headed to Starbucks. As I drove to the coffeehouse, my heart was heavy. Death was near.

Around 7:30 AM, I had a telephone call from the hospice supervising nurse. She was at my house, checking on the situation. She had arrived at the shift change to speak to the overnight nurse and brief the incoming nurse. She told me she felt death was imminent. She encouraged me to get home as soon as possible to say any final goodbyes.

Miss Benita and I had already said our goodbyes. I never left her side without saying a final farewell, just in case she died when I wasn’t there. I wanted to be present with her, holding her hand when the time came for her to depart to heaven, so I hastily retreated to my house.

When I arrived, I could see a marked change in my wife. In only two hours, she had moved much closer to death’s doorway.

No, she didn’t die on April 11. Benita Kepler passed away at 3:54 pm on April 12, 2018. I wrote that day, “She is in Jesus’ loving arms in heaven. She was surrounded by her husband, children, sisters, and friends when she went to be with Jesus in heaven.”

23.2 Hang On

Part of caring for a person with a chronic illness understands the value of hanging on to God.

You will get to the point in caregiving that only with God’s help can you make it through the next few minutes or day. You are exhausted mentally, physically, and spiritually

All you can do is grab hold of and hang on to God. Holding on to God allows you to finish strong.

23.3 Bible Verse

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (KJV), “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;”

23.4 What the Verse Means

The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible itself. Here are Biblical principles that explain the verse. These seven principles give the Biblical alternative of how to hang on when you feel like you’re at the end of your rope.

  • Principle One: I must not forget God loves me. Don’t lose heart!

2 Corinthians 4:1(KJV), “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;”

1 Corinthians 15:10 (KJV), “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

It’s not who we are. It’s whose we are!

Remember, our performance does not give us our worth. God’s grace provides us with the power to start over.

Romans 8:37 (KJV), “Nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

  • Principle Two: I must keep a clear conscience.

2 Corinthians 4:2 (KJV), “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

We must have integrity. We must have character.

  • Principle Three: It is not about me.

2 Corinthians 4:5 (KJV), “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

Your ego will only take you so far.

  • Principle Four: I cannot do it all.

2 Corinthians 4:7 (KJV), “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

We must pace ourselves. Life is a journey, not a sprint.

  • Principle Five: Love, love, love.

2 Corinthians 4:15 (KJV), “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.”

  • Principle Six: Take time to refresh, renew, and revive.

2 Corinthians 4:16 (KJV), “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”

  • Principle Seven: I must keep my eye on the goal.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (KJV), “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Remember, you cannot do your best at caregiving if you do not face your troubles and hang on until you reach your goal.

23.5 Pray Using Scripture

  • Heavenly Father help me to cling to You.
  • Lord Jesus, help me to ask Your help daily as I keep on keeping on.
  • God Almighty help my eyes to be fixed on the unseen.

23.6 Responding to God’s Hope

  1. Do you remember God loves you? 
  2. Is your conscience clear? Maybe you feel bitter about having to care for your loved ones. If so, ask God’s forgiveness. 
  3. Are you seeking God’s help and guidance? Ask God for his help. 

23.7 Takeaway

Holding on to God allows you to finish strong.


If you are not a Christian, accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior is a prerequisite to obtaining God’s peace.
Click HERE to find out how to become a Christian. You can trust Jesus Christ and become a Christian now.

Photo Source: Image by Zdeněk Chalupský from Pixabay 2017.

This blog is from the forthcoming book, “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

To receive a notification when “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D. is available and to get occasional updates on the writing of Jimmie Aaron Kepler, please complete the “Email Sign-up” found in the far left column of the blog.

How To Be Comforted During Times of Hardships and Trials

How To Be Comforted During Times of Hardships and Trials

22.1 My Story

I thought I knew how to minister to hurting families and person’s facing death. My hubris said I was an expert. After all. I was a seminary trained minister and an ordained minister as well as an ordained deacon. I had made thousands of hospital visits, nursing home visits, and been with numerous persons and their families when death visited. I also had cared for my mother-in-law, and both my parents.

It wasn’t until I was holding my wife’s hand, praying as she took her last breath and hearing the hospice registered nurse pronounce “the time of death was 3:54 PM, April 12, 2018,” did I understand the sacrifice in time, emotion, and love that a family member makes in caring for someone they love more than they love themselves.

During the time of my wife’s cancer journey, I had with her permission started a Facebook secret group. The group’s description was, “A place for those that unconditionally love and care about Benita as she battles Neuroendocrine Carcinoma and Melanoma Cancer. A family of friends, coworkers, and prayer warriors.”

As I posted daily updates on her condition, shared how the group members could pray for her and wrote a short daily devotional thought to encourage both my wife and those praying for her something magical and mystical happened. My wife Benita and I began ministering to those who were praying and ministering to her.

I was surprised when I received the first request for permission to share my daily devotion. The reader asked if it would be okay to copy and send it to a friend that was battling cancer. I had several cousins fighting cancer. A couple of them told me how they looked forward to my posting of the devotion every day. One cousin committed that the short devotional post ministered to her because she knew we were living what she was experiencing. The devotion was a real, first-person experience and prayer instead of just words on a page.

It was with her words that I realized how God was using the bad in our life for good to others. My wife would write and send cards to others up until about ten days before she died. Miss Benita would share encouragement and how God was sustaining her during her cancer experience. She was able to comfort others in spite of her tribulation.

22.2 Developing Compassion for Others

Part of caring for a person with a chronic illness is developing compassion for others. Caring for a person with a long-lasting disease affects people in different ways. Depression may come to reside with some people. Other persons can become bitter. Withdrawal from friends and family can occur with some. You will find yourself tired, more tired than you thought you could ever become.

For the Believer in Jesus Christ, the chronic illness often mellows our heart to make us more compassionate. The persistent disease allows us empathy. It often becomes the point of rapport where we can care for and minister to not only our loved one but others now walking down the pathway we have recently or are currently helping our loved navigate.

22.3 Today’s Bible Verses

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV), “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

22.4 What the Verses Mean

The verses are a reminder of what a wonderful God we have. He is the one who comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials.

Why does He do this? He does this where we can help others.

When family, friends, or coworkers are troubled, needing our support, sympathy, and encouragement, we can pass on to them the help and comfort God has given us.

22.5 Pray Using Scripture

  • Heavenly Father, I praise You for how wonderful you are.
  • I acknowledge You are the Father of the Lord Jesus.
  • I proclaim You as the one who wonderfully comforts and strengthens me in hardships and trials.
  • Thank you for teaching me how to soothe others by your example to me where I can give sympathy and encouragement.

22.6 Responding to God’s Hope

  1. Who do you know that could use a word of support today? 
  2. How can you prove that supportive word? A card, a phone call, an email or text? 
  3. Name two things you learned in your journey as a caregiver that help you comfort others. 

22.7 Takeaway

As a caregiver, we can pass on to others the help and comfort God has given us.


If you are not a Christian, accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior is a prerequisite to obtaining God’s peace.
Click HERE to find out how to become a Christian. You can trust Jesus Christ and become a Christian now.

Photo Source: Image by Goran Horvat from Pixabayr 20, 2017.

This blog is from the forthcoming book, “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

To receive a notification when “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D. is available and to get occasional updates on the writing of Jimmie Aaron Kepler, please complete the “Email Sign-up” found in the far left column of the blog.

How to Let the Lord Be Your Helper

How to Let the Lord Be Your Helper

21.1 My Story

My wife’s diagnosis of Melanoma Cancer broke my heart. I promised myself I would be there for her. I would be there in good times. I would be there in bad times. I would care for her and celebrate every time we received good news. I would be there to hold, comfort, and pray for her when the diagnosis was terrible, and when she had a bad day.

My ego initially got in the way as I wanted to prove I was the super, best husband ever. I tried to model for the world how to love your wife and care for her.

If I were sincere, I wanted the pat on the back and acclaim of family, coworkers, and friends for being the gold-standard in caregiving. I know I also wanted a well done from Jesus.

After her initial surgery, many people offered help. I took off a couple of weeks from work to care for her. Her sisters flew into town to see how she was doing and help.

All this time, I declined more help than I accepted. My Bible fellowship class provided meals and gift cards. They were a blessing.

Over time we adjusted to the treatments, a new life routine, and we received fewer offers of help. My stubbornness to accept help continued.

As time passed, I grew weary and had caregiving start to consume most of my waking hours. My saying no to offers for assistance and help was especially true when Miss Benita had follow-up surgeries. Through this time, I found myself feeling guilty when someone else helped. I felt like a failure. It was as if I wasn’t doing it all myself that I wasn’t the man or husband I was supposed to be.

During her 1001 days after the initial surgery, I was faithful in spending time with the Lord. However, the caregiving took a toll. I developed oral lichen planus, lichen planus, and irritable bowel disease while caring for my spouse. All are autoimmune diseases, and the physicians think stress can contribute to the illnesses. I handled the situation so poorly I made myself sick.

I wonder how much more challenging it would have been if I hadn’t spent time with the Lord daily and asked him for his help?

In the last five months of my wife’s life, I had someone with me daily helping. I know God touched my wife’s sisters’ heart to be with her. Family surrounded my wife when she passed away. I was holding my wife’s hand and talking with her as she passed into eternity. Her sisters were present. All three of our children were there. Her best girlfriend from high school was frequently at our home. Only God could have brought all together.

In the last months, I sometimes let the family take my wife to the doctor and radiation treatments from time to time without me. It allowed them to help and see what she was going through. I let her sisters go to the oncologist and hear the reports first hand. Allowing this improved their engagement in caregiving.

21.2 The Lord is My Helper

Part of caring for a person with a chronic illness is allowing the Lord to be your helper.

When you or our loved one faces a chronic or severe illness, you need the Lord’s help as our helper. You also need the courage to face the next hour and the challenges of everyday living. With Christ, you can meet each day without fear.

21.3 Bible Verse

Hebrews 13:6 (KJV), “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

21.4 What the Verse Means

Without any hesitation or doubt, in all times of difficulty when we don’t know how to pray or how we will make it even through the night, we have an assurance that God will not leave us to suffer.

What can we fear if we have the assurance that the Lord is on our side, and that he will help us?

We fear nothing. Man can do no more to us than God permits, and no more than will be for our good.

We know under whatever trials we may face, we need to be under no extreme anxiety, for God will be our protector and our friend.

21.5 Pray Using Scripture

  • Heavenly Father, help me to cling to You and keep our total trust in You.
  • Lord Jesus, give us the courage to say, You are our helper.
  • We pray for fear to flee from us. We will not fear what man or disease shall do unto us.

21.6 Responding to God’s Hope

  1. Are you trying to do it all yourself? Be honest.
  2. Do your friends and family that have offered to help with the caregiving? List them by name. Consider allowing them to assist. 
  3. You are not a failure or letting your loved one down if you need to have help. Do you belong to a Bible fellowship class that can help? Maybe there is a ladies Bible study group that would help. How about friends or family? For example, make them aware that you could use someone for sitting with your loved one when you go buy groceries. 

21.7 Takeaway

With Christ, you can meet each day without fear.


If you are not a Christian, accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior is a prerequisite to obtaining God’s peace.
Click HERE to find out how to become a Christian. You can trust Jesus Christ and become a Christian now.

Photo Source: Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay.

This blog is from the forthcoming book, “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

To receive a notification when “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D. is available and to get occasional updates on the writing of Jimmie Aaron Kepler, please complete the “Email Sign-up” found in the far left column of the blog.

Faith Frees Me From Fearing Death

Faith Frees Me From Fearing Death

20.1 My Story

As death was imminent for my wife, for some reason I did not feel sorry for the brevity of her life. Oh sure, I would have preferred her being healed and having another thirty plus years with me. After all, dying at sixty-one years old is dying too young.

However, I understood that God has our days numbered. From the beginning of time, he knew when you would be born and when you will die.

Psalm 139:16 King James Version (KJV) says, “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” In modern English, the verse means that God has ordained or predetermined for me the numbers of days a person will have in their life. He knew when I would be born and knows when I will die. God has this information already written in His book of life.

I found great comfort and security in knowing that God has my life so ordered that I will neither die a day sooner nor live a day longer than what has already been recorded in his book. You see, life and death are far above my pay grade, so I will happily let Father God take care of that department, thank you very much.

Without a doubt I know I clearly understand this divine principle. Because of my understanding, I am freed from fearing death. My faith which frees me from this fear allows me to live the life God had designed for me.

Knowing and trusting that God knows best allowed both my wife and me to enjoy the time we had. Instead of weeping over her upcoming death we were able to reflect and reminisce. We looked at old pictures remembering the wonderful shared events of our family, thankful for our time together.

I still recall Miss Benita thanking me for loving her and staying with her until “death do we part.” I know it was I who was the real lucky one. I give thanks to the Lord for the forty-three plus years we were married. I thank God for what we had.

When I miss her and feel sad, I focus on the memories, ask God’s forgiveness for my failures and regrets, and look forward to the Heavenly reunion I’ll have one day with late wife, Miss Benita.

I am thankful for the assurance of Heaven for the Believer in Jesus Christ.

20.2 The Value of Giving Thanks

Part of caring for a person with a chronic illness understands the value of giving thanks for what you have.

When you care for a person with a chronic illness, too often you focus on the negative and the bad. Instead of focusing on the adversity of the situation you are living through, you should give thanks for what you have. 

For the caregiver and their charge who are Believers in Jesus Christ, this includes being thankful knowing that death is not the end. That separation is temporary. You know you will again see each other in Heaven.

20.3 Bible Verse

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV), “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

20.4 What the Verse Means

The verse reminds us that Christians should not only to pray to God but also give thanks to Him. We should thank him for everything, in every circumstance, in joy as well as in sorrow. 

20.5 Pray Using Scripture

  • Heavenly Father help me always show gratitude to family and friends who aid and support us.
  • Lord Jesus, help me to praise God daily for who He is and for His love and care.
  • God Almighty, I thank You for a loving church, Bible fellowship class, our brothers and sisters-in-Christ who help and support me.
  • I give thanks for the quality medical care and counsel I have as well as the health insurance that pays for so much of the treatment and prescriptions.

20.6 Responding to God’s Hope

  1. Are you thankful for the days you have with your loved one? 
  2. Are you grateful for the memories you have? I am amazed God created us with the ability to have remembrances. 
  3. Have you told your caregiving charge that your thankful for them and the opportunity to serve them? 

20.7 Takeaway

We should thank God for everything, in every circumstance, in joy as well as in sorrow. 


If you are not a Christian, accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior is a prerequisite to obtaining God’s peace.
Click HERE to find out how to become a Christian. You can trust Jesus Christ and become a Christian now.

Photo Source: Image by Axel Schäfer from Pixabay.

This blog is from the forthcoming book, “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

To receive a notification when “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D. is available and to get occasional updates on the writing of Jimmie Aaron Kepler, please complete the “Email Sign-up” found in the far left column of the blog.