Hope for the Caregiver – Chapter Five

My late wife, Benita Kepler. The photo was taken after she had been diagnosed with two cancers, both Stage 4.

Introductory Point

Learning to care for a loved one with a chronic illness includes discovering how to laugh. Our attitude is crucial when caring for a person with a chronic disease. Our view is also contagious, infectious.

The cheerfulness of mind does good like a medicine for the body. Our attitude contributes to the restoration or preservation of bodily health and vigor. Medical science tells us the red blood cells, most white blood cells, and platelets are produced in the bone marrow, the soft fatty tissue inside bone cavities. A poor spirit/attitude ‘drieth the bones’ and remember it is the bones which produce the needed cells.

We can learn a lot if we read our Bible.

My Story

Anyone who saw or knew my late wife Benita in her last three to five years would almost always comment on her smile. Her attitude would match the smile.

The July before she passed away the next April was one of the few times when I saw her spirit nearly broken. She shared with me a visit she had with the dermatologist. The young dermatologist told Miss Benita she was surprised she was continuing to work her day job. 

The physician stood facing my wife, looking her directly in the eyes. She had placed a hand on each of my wife’s shoulders to make sure she had her attention. She commented, “We, that is me and the rest of your medical team (the managing oncologist, surgical oncologist, primary care physician, gastroenterologist and the radiologist are all concerned that you don’t understand that you have Stage 4 Melanoma Cancer and Stage 4 Neuroendocrine Carcinoid. One of the other of these cancers is going to kill you. They are incurable.”

Benita told me that upset her said she took the lady doctor’s hands off her shoulders and told her. “I know I have cancer. I know without Providential intervention they will kill me. I am not just going to sit on my couch in my living room and wait to die. I work because I need the medical insurance and because when I work, I don’t think about cancer.”

“That had to be tough to hear,” I replied.

“Don’t patronize me. You know it was hard to hear even when I knew it.”

I nodded.

She added, “I told her that God had my days numbered. I was going to smile and keep my trust in God. It was my hope in Jesus that allowed me to smile, to have hope, and keep going.”

She hugged me and then thanked me for supporting her approach to handling the illness.

She lived about eighteen months longer than the doctor’s original projection of life expectancy. I am sure attitude added to both the quality of her life and the length of her life.

The Bible Says

Proverbs 17:22 (KJV),  “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

The Meaning Of The Bible Verse

The attitude of the sick person is crucial when dealing with a chronic illness. Their cheerfulness of mind does good like a medicine for the body. Their mental approach contributes to the restoration or preservation of bodily health and vigor. Their outlook gives them hope. As caregivers, our attitude is equally critical. The one we’re caring for with catch our state of mind. Caregivers need more than a positive attitude. We need the joy of the Lord in our heart.

Pray Using the Bible Verse

  1. Heavenly Father, help us to enjoy the funny things that happen in life. Let our joyful attitude be caught by our loved one and other family members.
  2. Lord Jesus, help us to take life one day at a time. Allow us the ability to enjoy today instead of worrying about tomorrow.
  3. Almighty God, help our family and friends to not dwell on the seriousness of the illness, but rather help us to live life to the fullest as we know You hold the future of the loved one we are caring for and our future.

Applying the Verse to Receive God’s Hope for the Caregiver

  1. How’s your attitude? Being down is normal. Allow the joy of the Lord to fill your heart and lift your mood.
  2. How’s your outlook? Remember, that in the Lord’s strength you can care for your loved one.
  3. How do you get a merry heart? You get one by knowing Christ as Savior. You get one by spending time in reading the Bible, being in fellowship with Christians, and you just ask the Lord through prayer to make your heart merry. For the Believer in Jesus Christ there is the ultimate destination of heaven and being with Jesus. That knowledge alone should fill your heart with joy.

Hope for the Caregiver – Chapter Four

God’s Grace is Enough

How in the world am I ever going to care for my loved one? I can’t do this. I don’t know how. I don’t have the physical strength to help them to lift them in and out of bed. How will I ever get them on and off a potty chair? I’ll never keep the prescriptions straight. How will I ever give my loved one the right medications at the right time? There are so many prescriptions. What do I do when they don’t want to eat or drink?

Caring for a loved one with a chronic illness isn’t easy. You may be the only caregiver. You may have family help. If they offer, please consider accepting the help. You might have your church or Bible study class giving some assistance where you can go to the grocery store or just have a few hours for yourself.

Part of your education in caring for a loved one with a chronic illness is learning that God’s grace is enough. 

The Bible Says

2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV), “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

My Story

My wife had surgery within a week of her initial diagnosis of Melanoma Cancer. I was mentally prepared to provide her with world-class care and unconditional love. It was almost like I had put on my superhero uniform and was singlehandedly going to do it all.

While she was still in the hospital it was easy. I cared for her every need and the nurses and surgeon came in from time to time to check on her. This is a breeze, I thought. 

I brought her home. There was a challenge in getting her from the car to the bedroom. I wasn’t as easy as I had envisioned.

My Bible fellowship class brought in a few meals to help. I was so thankful for their assistance. They also provided several restaurant gift cards for food. The gifts cards were a challenge. They required me to be gone from the house which meant I was leaving my sweet wife alone as I drove to the Subway or another restaurant to get the food. 

On one trip I was greeted by a severe thunderstorm that pounded me, flooded the roadway, and contributed to a significant automobile accident that had the road blocked for over an hour. I was stuck. I tried calling my wife but her telephone was turned on vibrate where it wouldn’t disturb her rest. I had visions of her crying out needing help and no one responding.

By the time I returned home, I was soaking wet from the rain and exasperated from the delay. My thoughts were of the worst proved unfounded. However, the storm and accident had my wife having lunch almost two hours late. 

I discovered a hard lesson. I learned to be smart in using what God has provided. Going forward I wouldn’t go out for food during periods where my wife was recovering from surgery or treatments unless I had someone to sit with my wife.

My wife’s sisters offered to come from out of state to help. At first, I thought, I don’t need them. I can handle this. They need to wait until she is sicker and she requires more care. I was afraid they didn’t think I could care for their sister.

My oldest son was a voice of reason. He suggested to me that I welcome my sisters-in-law. He pointed out I was already tired. He was sure I could use the help where I maintained energy and strength for the extended challenge ahead. Besides, he said, the sisters needed each other. He added that God might even be prompting them to come.

I agreed. My wife’s sisters came. God’s grace and provision were sufficient for the challenge. 

I learned lessons then that prepared me for thirty months later when we needed all hands on deck to walk through the valley of her last five months before she ultimate passed away.

God’s grace is sufficient. He may provide you with the strength you need for a specific task. He may send the family to you to help. He may have meals delivered to meet your needs. Regardless of how He does it, God’s grace is sufficient.

The Meaning Of The Bible Verse

Suffering uncovers your heart’s weaknesses so that Christ is your strength.

Pray Using The Bible Verse

  1. Heavenly Father, help us to cry out to You in our weakness and claim Your promise that Your grace is sufficient for us, for Your power is made perfect in weakness. 
  2. Thank you, Lord, for providing your sufficient grace. 
  3. Teach us how to boast all the more gladly of our weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon us. We don’t understand how but trust in you for our strength to be made perfect in weakness.

Applying the Verse to Receive God’s Hope for the Caregiver

  1. Have you asked God to give you Grace for today? What challenges are you facing today? Have you turned it over to God? Turn it over to God now. Dear Lord, today I am facing [enter challenges here]. I ask for Your help.
  2. Have you prayed for the power of Christ to rest upon you?  If not, ask Him now.
  3. You need to acknowledge your weakness and pray for God’s sufficiency.  Are you trusting God to help you and then willing to accept the help He offers?

Photo Source: Pixaby

Hope for the Caregiver – Chapter Three

Take Care of Yourself

Knowing that illness and disease ultimately destroy the body makes not losing hope difficult when caregiving for a loved one with a chronic illness. We cannot care for someone if we allow ourselves to become exhausted or sick. Our staying healthy is essential.

Our caregiving should include taking care of ourselves. This self-care comprises of eating correctly, exercising on a regular basis, and getting enough sleep. In addition to caring for our physical needs, there is an equally crucial fourth element. 

What is that fourth element? We must also make sure we renew our spiritual side daily. We need to do as Psalm 46:10a New Living Translation says, “Be still, and know that I am God!” We need to rest in the Lord.

In today’s verse, God is merely pointing out we should view all earthly adversity in comparison with our future heavenly glory. When we do this, we should be strengthened to endure our human trials.

My Story

My wife Benita and I shared the same cardiologist. I saw him because of blood pressure issues and having experienced two transient ischemic attacks or TIAs that put me in the hospital. What’s a TIA? A TIA is also commonly known as a mini-stroke. 

My wife saw him for heart testing. He every few months performed an electrocardiogram (EKG) on her to ensure her heart was healthy enough for the chemotherapy medications and radiation treatments she endured over her two years and ten months of treatments for her Melanoma Cancer.

Our cardiologist would tell me it was important to care for myself where I could care for my wife. He would also remind me of Benita’s next EKG appointment.

In March of 2017, I was diagnosed with Lichen Planus, both the oral and on other parts of the body types. It has an unknown cause and is not contagious. It is an autoimmune disorder. Some feel it is brought on from an injury to the mouth, having an oral infection, taking certain medications, or having an allergic reaction to something that came in contact with the mouth, like food or dental appliances. Almost all physicians agree Oral Lichen Planus happens most often when a person finds themselves under extreme stress and has not taken everyday stress reduction actions. 

In March 2018 I was diagnosed with colitis. It has an unknown cause and is not contagious. It is an autoimmune disorder. Again, the disease has multiple probable causes, and most doctors feel it is brought on or aggravated by extreme stress. 

I share the above to say my physicians feel the stress I was under caring for my wife, my father, and my mother and my failing to take care of myself may have contributed to me developing two chronic illnesses. The physicians felt I lacked balance in caring for others with taking care of myself.

In my mid-60s, I find exercise challenging. My activity of choice is walking. I monitor by walking with a smartwatch. I have a daily goal of walking at least 10,000 steps. My walking happens in the climate-controlled environment of the local shopping mall or giant box stores.

No, I don’t make the goal every day. However, I manage to reach the goal between five and six times a week. Does it help? Yes, it helps. My body notices when I miss a couple of days.

The Bible Says

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (KJV), “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 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.”

The Meaning of the Bible Verse

While our bodies (that is, the outward man) grow old and suffer from diseases, our spiritual side (that is, the inward man) is renewed daily. Too often we only focus on the things we see in this present life. Way back in the 1960’s there was a hit song that became an anthem for the baby boomer generation. Its title was “Live for Today.”

Sure, we have to live for today by exercising our daily responsibilities. We need to also focus on the spiritual, that is the things that are not seen but given to us by God as a future promise. 

These are only seen with our “spiritual eyes.” It takes faith. A part of faith is believing that what God has promised he will undoubtedly bring to pass. 

I believe.

Pray Using the Bible Verse

  1. Heavenly Father, help us to focus on you and not lose heart. 
  2. Lord Jesus, while our outer body is perishing, yet our inward man or body is being renewed daily.
  3. God, we realize the chronic illness we are facing won’t last forever but is working in us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Lord God, help us to not look at our circumstances which are temporary but to look at the things that are not now seen, but eternal.

Applying the Verse to Receive God’s Hope for the Caregiver

  1. Are you taking care of yourself physically? Do you have a regular exercise program? If not, see your physician before beginning one to make sure you are healthy enough for exercise. Are you getting enough rest and sleep?
  2. Are you taking care of yourself spiritually? This is done by knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior and spending time in prayer and Bible reading. It can be as simple as reading a chapter from the Book of Proverbs each day of the month.
  3. Does your patient or loved one know Christ as Savior? Have you ever talked to them about their spiritual condition? Their hope for the future is in Jesus Christ. Only through Jesus will they have heaven as their ultimate residence.

Photo Source: Pixabay

Hope for the Caregiver – Chapter Two

Thank you for reading. Here’s the next chapter! Are you coming in new? Start with Chapter One.

Chapter Two

It’s Okay To Cry

Learning to accept tears and crying as normal is part of the process of caring for a person with a chronic illness. When we care about, and for someone, it is normal to shed tears when they hurt, when they face sickness.

It’s okay to cry. The Heavenly Father cares about our tears. In this chapter, we look at what God’s word says about crying.

My Story

The door opened revealing the surgical oncologist in her light green colored scrubs and matching booties. As her eyes scanned the room looking for me, I stood and walked in her direction. There was a deathly serious, all business look on her ashen-face. 

“Dr. Kepler, we just finished your wife Benita’s surgery. She’ll be moving to recovery in the next fifteen to twenty minutes. You can see her then.”

I looked at the young woman’s now pallor face. She displayed tiredness from getting up early and then being in surgery for over three hours. I sensed a fear as she approached me.

She looked down at her feet for a brief moment and took a deep breath.

This can’t be good. Dr. Landry’s having to muster a lot of courage, I thought.

She looked up at me. “Let’s go somewhere private,” she said looking over my shoulder at my anxious family, friends, and coworkers seated behind me.

I nodded.

She leads me to a small private consultation room. She took my hands in hers.

“I’m so sorry,” she began. “It is Melanoma Cancer. The Melanoma has spread into the lymph nodes. I had to remove thirty-four of them.”

My eyes filled with tears instantly. They just as fast were flowing down my cheeks. I tried without success to not sob.

She went on to tell me the five-year survival rate for Melanoma Cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes. She expressed concern about the distance from the initial site that the Melanoma had already spread.

“Is the Melanoma Cancer going to kill her?” I asked. I needed to hear her say it.

“Probably. Yes, well, yes it will if Benita’s neuroendocrine carcinoid cancer doesn’t kill her first. Having two types of cancers makes the treatment very difficult. It removes most of the normal treatment options,” said the oncological surgeon.

I briefly thought back to December 2013 when Benita had surgery for a malrotated intestine. The surgeon was surprised when they found a malignant tumor. It had not shown on the CT Scans, MRIs, X-rays or any of the other tests they had performed before the surgery.

“I understand,” I said. Tears were now streaming down my face. 

But I didn’t understand. Why my wife?

“Are you going to be okay, Dr. Kepler? Do you want me to get someone to be with you? I could ask a family member or maybe someone from the chaplain’s office to be with you.”

I just looked at her and started crying uncontrollably for a couple of minutes. She hugged me until I quit sobbing.

“Thank you for everything,” I choked out. I thought about how hard it had to be for Dr. Landry to share this news with me. She was the same age as my oldest son. 

Yes, delivering bad news is hard. Receiving the life-altering message is harder.

“We’ll talk when I check on your wife in a few hours,” she said. The color was returning to her face now that she had transferred the information to me.

I nodded. I knew I needed to tell the family and friends in the waiting rooms, start calling people and get the prayer warriors praying. 

The oncological surgeon nodded, turned and left the room.

I moved slowly from the consultation back toward my entourage. With each step closer to the group I teared up more. Through teary eyes, I told the family and friends present but somehow kept my emotions under control. As I called my wife’s sisters, I became choked up and started crying.

A friend I had grown-up mentioned that God collects our tears in a bottle (Psalms 56:8-9) and that since God collects the tears, they must be important. 

“Crying must be okay if God collects our tears,” he said. He gave me that much-needed reminder that God cares for us.

As an ordained minister and ordained deacon, I had visited hospitals hundreds of times over the previous thirty-five years as I provided pastoral care to church members, their family, and friends. While many people were uncomfortable in a hospital setting, I wasn’t. I had held their hands, prayed with them, watched them cry when the physician would deliver bad news or when their loved one passed into eternity. During all these visits I never once wept.

When the patient was my wife, I cried in public and bawled in private. 

I want you to know it is okay for you to cry.

The Bible Says

Psalm 56:8-9 (KJV), “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.”

The Meaning Of The Bible Verse

Why would one keep tears in a bottle? The idea behind the keeping of “tears in a bottle” is a remembrance. King David, the writer of these verses, is expressing a deep trust in God. He knows that God will remember his sorrow. He knows God will remember his tears. He also is sure the God will not forget about him. David is confident that God is on his side. As Believers in Jesus Christ, we have that same confidence.

Pray Using The Bible Verse

  1. Heavenly Father, thank you for tears. We acknowledge that our tears help us identify and deal with our feelings. 
  2. Lord Jesus, thank you for letting us know crying is okay by collecting our tears in a bottle. We admit we don’t understand how this is done.
  3. We confess that it is comforting to know that our tears are noticed by God, that He keeps track of our tears and is here with us when we are crying as He collects the tears.

Applying the Verse to Receive God’s Hope for the Caregiver

  1. Are you holding your emotions in check or are you letting go and trusting in God to comfort you? Remember a time when you felt overwhelmed with the news of your loved one’s chronic illness. Did you suppress your emotions or did you allow yourself to cry and tell God how you were feeling? Explain. 
  2. Have you given your loved one permission to cry? Sometimes the mere ministry of your presence and telling them it is okay to cry will provide a needed release for them and you. Say out loud, “[Enter loved one’s name], I just want you to know, it is okay to cry. Sometimes I weep and let the tears flow too.” 
  3. List two times you have been in sorrow concerning your loved one’s illness. Have you cried out to God with your concerns? Read  2 Samuel 22:7. The verse is a reminder that when we cry out to God in our distress, our cries are heard by the Lord. The passage tells us our cries “enter His ears.” 

Hope for the Caregiver – Chapter One

Chapter One

It’s Okay To Be Afraid

Learning to accept the fear of the unknown and fear of the journey you are on is part of the process of caring for a person with a chronic illness. You also need to learn to embrace the hope for the caregiver that’s available through Jesus Christ.

My Story

My eyes locked on to the bloody spot on the lower left front of my wife Benita’s blouse.

“What’s going on? What’s with the blood?” I asked. My heart was aching. The stain looked terrible, scary. I knew this couldn’t be good.

Benita gazed down toward the damp crimson. Her eyes looked tired, sad. She said, “It’s my mole.”

I recalled the small mole I had first noticed over forty years earlier on our wedding night. I had playfully kidded her about it calling it her beauty mark. I immediately found out that was the wrong thing to do. She was sensitive about the mole.

“Talk to me. What’s going on?” I said. 

She lifted her eyes meeting mine. I could see the tears forming. “I think I must have scratched or irritated it, maybe at work. It started bleeding a couple of weeks ago. It scabbed over a couple of time but each time I thought it was healing I did something to cause the scab to start bleeding again. I thought it would heal. Instead, I think it may be getting infected. It’s getting worse,” she said.

Melanoma Cancer, I thought. “Has the doctor looked at it?”

She shook her head, “Not yet. I didn’t want to mess up our vacation to Colorado and your writer’s conference. Now that we’re back home I guess I need to call her.” She forced a smile then lowered her eyes.

I took her hand, lovingly squeezed it, and hugged her pulling her close. We then walked to the car ending our shopping and drove home in silence. Once home, I led her to the bedroom, closed the door, had her unbutton the blouse, removed a blood-soaked gauze bandage, and looked at the mole. It was oozing blood through a cracked black scab. The mole had grown to about the size of a quarter since I last remembered seeing it.

“Let’s call the dermatologist and get you an appointment. I think that’s Melanoma Cancer. If it is, fast treatment is critical,” I said with a seriousness that scared even me.

The dermatologist did a biopsy during Benita’s visit. The physician had the test expedited. She called the same day with the biopsy’s results. 

“It’s malignant. It is a type of cancer called Melanoma, and stage 3,” said the young dermatologist with a quivering voice. 

The dermatologist obtained for us an appointment with a surgical oncologist. The urgency of the situation was shown by the dermatologist finding us an appointment the next morning. My wife Benita had surgery at the next availability of the operating room. 

The surgery’s findings were terrible. It was Melanoma Cancer. The cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. The surgeon removed thirty-four lymph nodes. The physician told me the five-year survival rate for these findings. 

She told us some treatment options and that when, not if, cancer recurred it would be restaged to Melanoma – Stage 4 and would be terminal. She told us this would kill Benita barring Providential intervention or a medical breakthrough.

I knew Melanoma – Stage 3 was too big for me to handle. I didn’t realize it at the time but I had already moved into a new role as a caregiver. I also understood the future Benita and I had planned together had suddenly changed. It was gone. We faced a different future, one we hadn’t planned for and did not want.

Our hopes and dreams were erased and replaced by feelings of fear and hopelessness. I was overwhelmed just thinking about the day to day struggles of caregiving. I faced the fear of the unknown. 

Questions flooded my mind. How long would my wife live? How would she hold up to facing treatments to extend life? What would be her quality of life? How would we handle the knowledge that death was coming sooner than expected? How would we pay the medical bills? How much help was she going to need from me daily? How could I be strong and help her? How was this going to affect our jobs? I also was concerned for our three grown children and granddaughter. I wondered if I could do this. 

What I needed was hope.

The purpose of this book is to share the hope we have and exercised through Jesus Christ. 

Hope for the Caregiver offers Biblical guidance and support helping the man or woman accepting the role as a caregiver with guidance and encouragement from God’s Word. It will help the caregiver connect with the perfect love which casts out all fear, the love of Jesus Christ.

The day I noticed the bloody spot on her blouse, Benita and I prayed together. We shared saying I love you and claimed, Psalm 56:3 King James Version (KJV), “What time I am afraid I will trust in thee” and 1 Peter 5:7 (KJV) “Cast all your cares on the Lord for He careth for you.”

Benita lived 1001 days from the first surgery. The faith we both had through Jesus Christ allowed us to face each day with hope. Yes, we still were afraid. However, out trust in Jesus Christ leads us through the process with a calmness that could only come from God.

The Bible Says

1 John 4:18 (KJV), “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

The meaning of the Bible Verse

John says that perfect love produces courage in the face of fears. Why? Perfect love produces the likeness to Christ. 

There is another way in which love produces boldness. It does this by casting out fear. The entrance of perfect love through Jesus Christ is for fear a “cease and desist letter” to quit. 

A person cannot both love and fear the same person or thing at the same time. When perfect love comes in, the darker fear exists. 

When God’s love arrives, it brings hand in hand with itself courage. Boldness is the companion of love, only when love is the perfect love of Jesus Christ. Only professing Christians can experience this perfect love of God, a love that casts out fear. 

As Believers in Jesus Christ, we can face the future, including a future with a chronic illness, and even death with the peace that only comes from Christ’s perfect love.

Are you a Believer in Jesus Christ? If not, see Appendix A for the simple steps of how to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Pray Using The Bible Verse

  1. Heavenly Father, help me to keep my mind focused on you and your love. Let me receive and experience Your perfect love that casts out fear.
  2. Lord Jesus, remove any fears I may have as I look to the future. Replace my fears with an unwavering trust in You and to know.
  3. May Your Holy Spirit provide and fill me with Your grace to meet the challenges I encounter daily. Give me the right vocal tone and words to say to provide comfort to my loved one.

Applying the Verse to Receive God’s Hope for the Caregiver

  1. List two examples of times you have been afraid for yourself and your loved one since the illness diagnosis. (Psalm 56:3 [KJV] and 1 Peter 5:7). Did you tell God and turn over the fears to Him?
  2. Remember two times you have trusted in God since your loved one was diagnosed with a chronic illness (read Psalm 56:3 and 1 Peter 5:7). Thank God for His faithfulness.
  3. List two cares or concerns you are facing. Cast (or give, turn over) those cares to the Lord remembering that, “He careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7). After listing the cares and concerns, turn them over to God, trusting Him with them.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Hope for the Caregiver – Introduction



Hello, everyone. I give you greetings from North Texas. 2018 has kept me very busy.

The year started off on a somber note. My sweet wife Benita passed away from cancer in April. Nothing has been more life-altering for me than her death. January through April 2018 was all caregiving, all the time, as in twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. She had two types of cancer. Benita had been fighting Melanoma Cancer since June 2015 and neuroendocrine carcinoid since 2013. From 2013 she had required daily caregiving. We were married over 43 years. I miss her every day.

In May 2018 I visited my brother in Destin, Florida followed by a brief visit to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law in Sevierville, Tennessee. Both visits were during my en route travels to the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference. The conference was held at the Ridgecrest Conference Center near Ashville, North Carolina. I attended the meeting May 20 – 24. By the way, it was the best writer’s conference ever!

June 2018 included a trip to northern Arizona. There I rested, relaxed, and researched a new science fiction book I’ve started writing by visiting some places you’ll find in the book.

You probably know authors just can’t keep from jumping on those shiny new projects. I’ve decided to post a new nonfiction book on my blog starting this July before publishing it. By doing this, you can try the new book and see if it ministers to you before spending any money. The book’s working title is “Hope for the Caregiver.” The below introduction tells its purpose.

I know you’ll want to give it a try. Go ahead, try it. I’ll post a new chapter every Monday on my blog JimmieKepler.com, and then repeats the same chapter on Thursdays on my blog Prayers for the Chronically Ill. They’re not quite polished yet as I haven’t hired an editor for this project. He or she will get it when the completed draft of the book is finished. Until then, you can help. How? If you catch a typographical error, let me know in the comments. Thanks!



Designed For The Caregiver

Hope for the Caregiver is a book designed specifically for the caregiver of the chronically ill. For the caregiver to keep caring for others long-term, they need to take care of themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. 

The focus of this book is to help the caregiver to replenish themselves spiritually. It will assist them in avoiding burn out and running on empty.

Who Is a Caregiver?

I define a caregiver as a man or woman providing direct care for a person chronically ill. The person with the long-term health problem may be an infant, child, teenager, young or middle-aged adult as well as the elderly. It may be the caregiver’s child, spouse, parent or friend. The caregiver may be an unpaid family member though sometimes they are a paid professional or sitter.

What Is a Chronic Illness?

A chronic illness is one lasting three months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear. Examples of a chronic condition where a patient may require care include persons with Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson disease. 

The disease or a related disorder can be a physical, emotional and financial drain on the family caregiver. The illness may or may not be terminal.

A Book Designed For You

When you learn your loved one has a chronic illness, your hopes and dreams may be erased and replaced by feelings of hopelessness. You may feel overwhelmed or even afraid as you look ahead at the day-to-day struggles of caregiving. 

Hope for the Caregiver offers Biblical guidance and support for helping persons connect with the perfect love which casts out all fear, the love of Jesus Christ.

Using a devotion format, each chapter contains a verse of Scripture from the Holy Bible, an explanation of the verse, application of the verse to daily living, a prayer using the verse, and three directed questions for journaling.

Photo Credit: Pixabay