Wednesday, December 24, 2014

How I Have Seen God at Work in my Writing

photo taken in Northern California by Jean Ann Williams

Blessed day to you!

If you have a moment, would you stop by The Journey and read my article on how I've seen God at work in my writing?

You'll learn how God would not allow me to stay comfortable, but has stretched me to reach out to an audience I would never have dreamed I'd be writing for.

Until next time . . . let's read and pray.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Psalm 37:23, 24~The Lord Upholdeth Him with His Hand

photo by Jean Ann Williams

The Psalmist writes:
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighted in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. Psalm 37:23, 24

I’ve often wondered what would have pushed my son, Joshua, so far that he resorted to suicide. I understand there were problems with his medications for the type he took can and did cause suicidal thoughts. But before that. Before Joshua ever took the prescription drugs, he had suffered all his life with a weakened immune system. This made him ill all his life.

I know Joshua was discouraged with his broken body. For twenty-five years he suffered with pain. Did he feel as I do at times when my body grows weak and in need of healing?

Over the last few months, I haven’t felt well. After a while, it wears thin, I’m sure you would agree when you’ve felt not your best. I don’t know about you, but my aches and pains that go on and on soon make me feel unchristian. I get cranky. I battle impatience. I forget my blessings, and have to make an effort to praise God for the grace He has given to me each day.

Recently, I read the above verses and knew I should share my story so as to encourage others not to give up when poor health strikes. Keep believing in Lord God. Keep trusting in His powerful ways.
If we’re walking in a way that delights our Lord, as the scripture teaches, God knows we’re struggling. He will hold us up in ways we may not understand until we look back and go, “Aha!”

And don’t be afraid to ask the Lord to guide our decisions to help ease our discomforts and pains, for our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and God wants to guide us along the path of illness. All to the Glory of His name.

Father God, please continue to encourage us through Your Holy Spirit and Your written Word. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Until next time . . . continue to lean on the Lord in all kinds of trouble.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Lord Looked Down from Heaven~Psalm 14:2~They're Handed Out Like Candy

Shell Beach, CA~photo taken by Jean Ann Williams

King David wrote:

The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. Psalm 14:2 KJV

I love this image of our Lord. He's up there in Heaven. He peers down upon His beautiful world that He created by His own hands. He's asking, "Are there any that understand and seek Me?"

What do I do when I'm lonely, sad, scared? My first reaction falls short of what gives God the glory. It takes me a while, and often I do seek God. Not always, but I'm still a work in process and will be until the day I go to the Great Beyond.

What does our medical society today want us to do? Seek pills. If you don't believe me, go to a doctor and tell them you are depressed or sad, or filled with anxiety. They will most often be writing a prescription that they claim will help you.

Where does God fit in with this route?

Please read this article They're Handed Out Like Candy by Dr. Mercola. Know up front he has had problems with depression and used antidepressants for years, so he knows what he's talking about.

Please comment and let me know what you think. If I can pray for you, please let me know.

Until next time . . . seek God and not man.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Psalm 119:87~They Had Almost Consumed Me Upon Earth

Waterfalls in Oregon, photo by Jean Ann Williams

The Psalmist says in verse 119:87~
They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

What is a precept you may ask? I had to look this up to be sure, but in short anything in God's Word is a precept. The Latin claims it means to teach, instruct, or order intended as an authoritative rule of action.

When God says to do this or that it's a precept.

I write this to bring up the topic of Robin Williams's suicide. In the first part of Psalms 119:87, they can mean anything of the world that is wrong and not of our loving Heavenly Father.

The world when it is wrong can consume us unto death.

What if a victim of suicide was taking prescription medications like SSRIs? I don't know if Robin Williams was taking SSRIs, but my son was. Now Joshua is no longer here with us.

When I heard Robin Williams died by suicide I cried. I enjoyed how he was able to make me laugh, especially when I needed to laugh after my own child died as Robin had. Robin blessed me in a tiny way amidst a horrific tidal wave of grief.

There is an article written by Jessica Firger of CBS News that I've linked below that talks about SSRIs on paragraph eleven. Part of that quote talks about treating severe depression with medications: "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns consumers that people who take SSRIs may have an increased risk for attempting suicide." is the link to the Robin Williams article and SSRIs.

What columnist Jessica Firger is saying about SSRIs is what I've read in many articles and some books. It is also what a doctor that was an acquaintance of my husband's said ten years ago after our son died: SSRIs can and do kill.

In the article above, Robin Williams mentions his inability to cope with disappointments. None of us can cope well without our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I've seen the difference in my own life, but of course I'll be challenged to grow spiritually all my life.

It is my prayer that the CBS News article will help those suffering with depression to make informed decisions. It is a sad fact that Joshua and we his parents were not informed.

But there is hope.

God's Word has many, many scriptures that can help us focus on our Heavenly Father and get us through disappointing times. Take for example Philippians 4: 7-9, for which I memorized verse 8 to help me in the early grief years after Joshua's suicide.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Until next time . . . read God's Word the Bible, open your heart, and be blessed.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Psalm 85:11~Truth Shall Spring out of the Earth~The Cord, a poem

Our family in 1993 when Joshua was fifteen

The Palmist wrote:  

Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Psalm 85:11

I've taken a sabbatical from Love Truth. The well of creativity drove me to finish my two books. They are now professionally edited. That means I had to work beside the editor to bring forth stories hopefully worthy for the eyes of readers. The one book is based on my Love Truth blog and my many posts here over the years.

That book's title is God's Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother's Heart.

Now the book is making the rounds to agents and publishers, and if no one decides to take in on, I'll self- publish God's Mercies. I'm unsure of how long to give before I self-publish, but I'll know if and when the time comes. I'm thinking, though, of during the winter, because I have extra time available for bigger projects.

I chose the above verse, because my book is full of truth. It includes the truth of my account of what happened when Joshua died by suicide and how God blessed this mother through it, the Scriptures I used for each chapter, and the memories I included of my son. That truth sprung out of the earth--from Joshua's mother--and God our righteousness will bless this fruit. People will read this book, and it is my hope that they will be uplifted and drawn closer to our Lord.

I discovered this poem in my local chapter's newsletter of The Compassionate Friends:

The Cord
We are connected, my child and I,
By an invisible cord, not seen by the eye.

It's not like the cord that connects 'til birth.
This cord can't be seen by any on Earth.

This cord does its work right from the start.
It binds us together attached to my heart. 

I know that it's there though no one can see,
The invisible cord from my child to me.

The strength of this cord is hard to describe.
It can't be destroyed. It can't be denied.

It is stronger than any cord man could create.
It withstands the test, can hold any weight.

And though you are gone, though you're not here with me,
The cord is still there but no one can see.

It pulls at my heart, I'm bruised, I'm sore.
But this cord is my lifeline as never before.

I'm thankful that God connects us this way.
A mother and child, death can't take it away.

Author unknown, lifted from Portland Chapter TCF January-February 2014

Until next time . . . give someone your time when they weep from their losses

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Proverbs~Quiet From Fear of Evil

Me and Dad at the only book signing of mine he was able to attend

Two months ago, my dad was put on Hospice. Dad died on April 5. His funeral was April 12. You may read Dad's obituary.

I miss my dad.

Proverbs 1:33 says, "But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil."

This verse has proven true over the last days after Dad passed away. I sense a quiet in my spirit. A quiet that proves I did my best to reach out to Dad and love him even though we saw life a bit differently. A quiet that also proved he did his best to love his stubborn first-born.

During the Hospice period, we talked about Jesus.

I sang to him the traditional Gaelic hymn "Morning Has Broken," by Eleanor Farjeon. You may listen to the hymn here by Cat Stevens. I then sang the song with my daughter Jami at Dad's funeral.

The next day after I sang that hymn to Dad, he asked for me.

The following day Dad died.

To give history of our relationship, Dad and I took care of our large family after my mother became ill when I was ten years old. Dad would get me up even before the sun rose, so I could get us breakfast and to the bus on time.

My dad was a fun daddy. He played the harmonica as we danced about in the living room. We rode on his back as he bucked about to us off. We always fell off playing Bucking Bronco.

The song "Daddy's Hands", by Holly Dunn, is a near perfect song about my dad.

I married young and left home. Dad wasn't too happy about that, and I believe he carried the hurt with him for the rest of his life. These last five years, living close to him since my marriage at age 17, has been a healing time for both of us.

I miss my dad.

When my sister called to say Dad was leaving us, we jumped in the car and drove the hour to his home. I missed his last breath by twenty minutes. That shook me. I wanted to be there when his spirit left and went to the great beyond. God had other plans, and so I accepted that.

Our large family of siblings gathered together that morning, streaming in one by one. We prayed together. Sang together. We anointed our dad's body with oil and said our goodbyes.

I have no regrets. I grieved with a passion as the coroners carried Dad from the house. I didn't want to take the grief home with me. You know what I mean. The inconsolable grief that tears at your heart until you feel as though you may faint.

I still miss my dad.

Both of my parents are gone now. Us children are the elders. How odd.

I pray each day before I rise that God will continue to hold my hand, as my dad once held mine. Seeing me through this time of grief and loss.

I love my dad and he loved me.

Until next time . . . maybe you, too, can make right relationships that need righting.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ecclesiastes 11:8~Let Him Rejoice

Jean playing with her goats

Dear Readers,

The Preacher says:

"So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity." Ecclesiastes 11:8 ESV

This verse speaks plainly of my outlook these past years. What is that you may ask? To count the many richest of blessings the Lord has given to me and my family, and to understand dark days will always come.

Of course it was hard to always look at the good those first four years after Joshua died by suicide. Even in my greatest sorrowing in the early grieving years, I worked at remembering my blessings. I understood that as a healthy response to an otherwise horrific challenge of losing my son.

Did I count my blessings that my son was gone. No. I did not. The mind, though, can only take on so much grief. We have to give ourselves a rest from the continuous weeping and grieving of the heart.

What I believe the Preacher means is we need to live in the realization that our days will be clothed in some darkness. We can still rejoice, though, that our life has a purpose and meaning within the protection of God our Father.

Let us remember the best of what God has given to us.

I'd like to suggest a song by Wayne Watson, "Such A Time As This." It fits with today's scripture.

Until next time . . . live for Lord God.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Proverbs 27:27~Thou Shalt Have Goats' Milk

My best milker's kids, Glow and Moon

Dear readers,

Some of you may know that I have goats. I drink my goats' milk and make cheese and butter.

God knows the wonderful properties of goat milk for He mentions it in Proverbs 27:27:

"And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens."

That about covers it for a family, doesn't it? God is saying there will be an abundance of goats' milk.

What does this have to do with the loss of my son? Or the loss of your loved one?

When Joshua died by suicide, I craved dairy foods. I felt guilty for indulging in them, but looking back I understand the foods gave me comfort. It helped me to not resort to stronger drink.

Four years after Joshua died, my baby brother Eric died as a direct result of the Iraq war. Joshua had favored Uncle Eric in every way. I grew closer to Eric after Joshua died, for Eric and Joshua thought a lot alike. So when Eric died suddenly, it was more than I thought I could bear.

After Eric's funeral service, I came back home and found a source of goats' milk. I drank it morning, noon and night. I made hot cocoa with my goats' milk. I drank it plain. I made cheese. Not only did this comfort me as I grieved over the loss of Eric, but I decided to buy my own goats and start a farm.

Fast forward to six years. I have had as many as six goats at a time. I enjoy them for all their curious natures and how they enjoy my pats and hugs. I laugh out loud when a goat kid twirls in the air like a ballerina.

Ah, and the milk. It is delicious here on my Nana's Goat Farm.

Thank You, Father, for making the perfect food of goats' milk. You knew it could also be a comfort in our time of sorrows. In Jesus' holy name, I'm grateful. Amen.

Until next time . . . look for the simple blessings.