Living life beyond Cerebral Palsy for God's glory.

Archive for the ‘Thankfulness’ Category

Mother’s Day

For Mother’s day I thought I should re-post this.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised” (Proverbs 31:30 NLT).

We met when she was 21. She was an ordinary person, but her warm smile would warm up the coldest day. She loved chocolate, ice cream, black coffee, and making things with her hands. She always made time to listen or help others. She knew nothing about Cerebral Palsy, but she was willing to learn. She pushed me to work hard, but at the same time, she accepted my limitations and loved me for who I was.  When the world told me I could not succeed, she told me to try.

This person is my mother. She looked after me every day for the first 25 years of my life: getting me up and dressed every morning, bathing me, feeding me, getting me ready for bed. She could not call in sick. The doctors told her to give me up and put me in an institution, but she did not.

In 2012 Mom went through a different battle. She had ovarian cancer. Mom went through surgery and chemo. This May she has been done chemo for five years. It has not been an easy five years. She has lived through much pain and the chemo has given her many other issues to deal with.

I want to thank Mom for her dedication to Jesus, her husband, her children, grandchildren, and life.

Thanks, Mom, I love you, you’re the best!

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” (Proverbs 31:28-29 NLT)

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Fifty Six Years

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV).

Wedding Day 1959

Wedding Day 1959

Today we celebrate my mom and dad as they have been married for 56 years. In today’s world, this is a big accomplishment.

 

Fifty-six years ago they were young, nervous, happy, and in love. They had no idea where this journey would take them, but they made the commitment to put God first in their marriage. They have lived in three homes, raised four children, opened their home to other children in need, always had a dog or two, built cottages, and expanded their home, taught, traveled, and lived through a kidney transplant, diabetes and cancer.

 

They enjoy being retired, spending their winters in the south, watching their ten grandchildren grow up, helping at church, and renting their cottages in the summers. Life is still full of ups and downs, health issues, and just plain aging concerns, but they keep going, being there for each other and their family.

 

I want to thank you, Mom and Dad, for your commitment to God, each other, and your family.

June 2015

June 2015

We love you.

The Word Guild Award

Paralympian Deb Willows and her coauthor, Steph Beth Nickel, are thrilled to announce that Living Beyond My Circumstances, available from Castle Quay Books and other suppliers, has won after being shortlisted in The Word Awards 2014 Life Stories category. Though born with cerebral palsy and faced with numerous challenges over the years, Deb has had many dreams come true, the nomination and subsequent win of her memoir being the most recent. She and Steph are honoured and overjoyed.

book award

Winners in each category were from across Canada and recognized on Saturday, June 13, 2015, at The Word Awards Gala held at the Novotel Hotel in Toronto, ON. If you would like to see the complete list of winners, please check out The Word Guild website

 

Deb is available to speak in schools, churches, and other venues. If you are interested, please contact her at contact-Deb@bell.net

 

Steph is a freelance editor and writer and a regular contributor to HopeStreamRadio She is also available to speak and teach. You can contact her at stephbethnickel@gmail.com

 

Deb and Steph trust that this honour will open even more doors for them to point others to the Lord Jesus, the Source of their hope, strength, and salvation.

 

Living Beyond My Circumstances is for anyone who is facing life’s challenges and desires to “go for the gold.”

 

As Deb said in her speech on June 13th,

“This book and award is dedicated to Jesus Christ, my Saviour and Lord. Without Him, my life and this book would be meaningless.

I would like to thank Steph helped put my ideas into words, my parents who have encouraged me to live life and to Larry & Marina for getting this story published.”

For His Glory.

Steph, Larry & Marnia with Deb

Steph, Larry & Marnia with Deb.

Do you see what I see?

This is the account of the first Christmas: God gave His Son Jesus, the greatest gift of all, to mankind.

 

We read in Luke 2:1-7 …

 

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn”ESV

 

 

Christmas is a special time. It is mixed with emotions from excitement to depression and everything in between. We get wrapped up in gift giving and receiving, trying to find the perfect gift—but the perfect gift has already been given. The real meaning of Christmas is Jesus coming to live with the very people He made. He came to live a spotless life so He could give His life for you and me.

 

Do you see what I see? If you know Jesus, then thank Him for giving you His life. If you are not sure of what to do with Jesus, I invite you to explore His story. Read the book of John in the Bible or find a friend who knows Jesus and ask questions. Do not assume what the world tells you is right. If I did that, I would have not done anything with my life.

 

It is my prayer that you see Jesus, God’s gift for you in the manger and upon the cross. If you find Him, you will have the greatest gift of all.

 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:16-18 ESV)

 

My Gentle Giant

He was big, black and beautiful. He arrived in my life the day the For Sale sign was hammered into our front lawn. He was as stressed as I was. We were both in transition. He had a new home and a new master, and I was moving from the home I had lived in for 40 years.

Tate, my third service dog, had such a gentle spirit and a great desire to work. He spent six weeks with me in London: watching people pack boxes, seeing them come and go, and learning how to help me. Then we helped each other transition to a new community. Tate picked up his tasks quickly and we were soon working like a well-oiled machine. He knew things I needed before I would ask.

He also was full of mischief. One day I thought he was in my room with the door shut while I was at my brother’s, only to look down the hall and see him standing there wagging his tail. He seemed very proud that he could open the door without me asking.

Tate and I had fun, and though he loved to work, he did not like his working harness. He was very ticklish, and for the first few minutes, it would bug him. But after he got over that, he was ready to go were his job led him.

 

Two years ago, I retired Tate. Yet, he stayed with me. He was happy being at home more but would still want to go with me wherever I went. I would take him in the car for a ride if it was not too cold or too hot, but it got too hard for him to get in and out of the car. After that, he took it upon himself to be at the door to welcome me home with great vitality. Even in retirement, he was a blessing to others by visiting our local hospice, giving hope to those at the end of life.

Last May at Tate’s checkup, the vet found cancer and told me he had about six months to live. That dog loved life and had fun with my new service dog. They became close buddies.

In April I traveled to London for my book launch. Tate came with me and stayed with a friend. On April 23, five days before my second book launch, it was apparent that Tate’s life was ending and the heartbreaking phone call to the vet was made. My brother Dan and his youngest son, Malcolm, dug the hole for Tate to be placed in later that evening.

Life must go on, but there will always be a big hole in my heart for the gentle giant who served me so well.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1:17 ESV).

 

Tate

My favourite picture of Tate he loved snow.

THANKSGIVING

            Enter his gates with thanksgiving;

            go into his courts with praise.

            Give thanks to him and bless his name.    Psalm 100:4

            This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada; if you lived were I live you would know it was Thanksgiving because of the beautiful leaves on the trees and because of all the people up here enjoying the long weekend.

            These are a few things I am thankful for:

  • That Jesus died in my place
  • God made me for a purpose
  • Life
  • My parents, siblings, nieces & nephews,
  • Eyes to see God’s beauty
  • A wheelchair to get around in
  • Wonderful staff who take care of my daily needs
  • Dogs who help me & make me laugh
  • Insulin
  • Friends
  • A place to live
  • A computer
  • Food & clothing
  • The freedom we have in Canada

      Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it. We may receive it gladly, with thankful hearts.  1 Tim. 4:4

      What are you thankful for?