Living life beyond Cerebral Palsy for God's glory.

Steph

We met in October 2007 in London, Ontario. Steph was introduced to me through a family friend. For many years, I felt God wanted me to write a book about my life, but I knew I could not do it myself. Typing with a mouth stick is slow going at times, so I started looking for a Christian woman with whom I could work. Steph was a great fit and I believe God brought us together.

 

I felt a good connection with Steph. We were around the same age, so many things I talked about, she knew what I meant. I started by dictating on tapes and sending them to her. After a few years, this book was taking shape, but we still had a long way to go. It was time to seriously work together on the book, so Steph came up for a week in the summer. We talked, wrote, talked, ate, and wrote. It was a great week.

 

Dr. Jerry E. White from the Navigators was speaking at M.B.C. and we asked him if he would read a draft of the first chapter. He graciously took the time then met with us over lunch and gave us many pointers and ideas that helped shape the book.

 

The next summer, Steph spent another week with me, again talking and eating, more writing and editing. She spent time with my parents and siblings, asking questions and at times, just watching us interact. I know this helped Steph write better because some stories she wrote like she had been there! Email and Facebook have made our communication easier and by January 2012, we had a completed manuscript.

 

Thank you, Steph, for seeing a story and putting up with all my questions, phone calls, emails, my ups, and my downs. I could not have done this without your expertise. Thanks for your friendship. This is a great bonus to working with you.

See Steph’s web-site to learn more about my friend.  http://stephbethnickel.com

 

Living Beyond My Circumstances is being released in December 2013. This is not just my book. It’s about my family and about a great God who cares for each life and how He can use anyone for His glory if you are willing to trust Him.

 

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 ESV).

 

 

I have been busy working on finishing up things for my book that is scheduled to be released in January 2014.cover

Here is a brief tidbit from one of the endorsements.

“Those who endure greater conflict always have something powerful to

say to those who face lesser conflict – and that’s how I look at Deb

Willows. This woman is a rare jewel in Christ’s kingdom, inspiring and

encouraging all those who know her. And I trust you will come to know

her well through her new book, Living beyond My Circumstances. The

book you hold in your hand is filled with nuggets of biblical insight and

wisdom, honed and shaped from years of living with a significant

disability. So be encouraged. Be blessed. And see what wonderful things

the Holy Spirit has to say to you through Deb’s story!” – Joni Eareckson

Tada, the Joni And Friends International Disability Center.

 

For more about my book check the Book & Contact page.

Mom

“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 one year. It has not been an easy year. She has lived through much pain.

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)

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?

Marilou

“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38 NLT).

My friend Marilou loves Jesus. The verse above was one of her favourites. This past June, Marilou’s life on earth ended. Her last year on this planet was full of pain as cancer was growing throughout her body. When you asked her how she was, she would quickly turn the question around to ask about you or someone else.

Marilou loved to have a good laugh. She loved Mr. Big chocolate bars. And she loved to sing. But helping others gave her joy. Many people had food dropped at their door when their cupboards were bare.

On May 13, 2012 I went to see Marilou. She was in the hospital in palliative care. I knew it would be my last chance to see her on this earth, so I took her something special. Yes, you guessed it; I took her a Mr Big. She had a huge smile on her face and asked how my mom was coping with her chemo treatments. As we held hands before leaving, I said, “We’ll see you soon.”

On June 14, I received the phone call. Jesus had taken Marilou home. Her battle was over. I was sad. I took my dog for a long walk that day, talking to God through tears, telling Him it was hard to say goodbye to friends. (He knows that already but it helped me.) By the time I got home, He had brought this verse to mind, assuring me Marilou was safe at home with Him. What joy filled my heart as I know someday I will see Marilou again.

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV).

 

Faithfulness

            Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me.

            My only hope is in your unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 40:11 (NLT)

             March 5th my friend and I were singing “Great is thy Faithfulness” from my hospital bed. The nurses would pop in wondering it was after 11pm and had been a long day.

             Earlier that day I had gone to the E.R. I was not feeling well and I was pretty sure I knew why. The doctors confirmed my thoughts, I had diabetes.  What I did not expect was to be kept in over night.

 These questions kept haunting me. Why now? Why me?  But then the question “Why not me?” would echo back. The God who controls the world was still in control and still faithful. 

It took weeks to get things under control and many trips to the doctor and diabetic clinic but I am feeling better. Great is His faithfulness.

        For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.

            Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.   Psalm 108:4 (NLT)

What is Love?

 

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 KJV) .

 

February is the month of “Love”. We buy heart-shaped chocolates, flowers, and cards with hearts on them. Some people even have hearts on their underwear. We all need love: love from our parents, siblings, friends, and husband or wife if we are married. Many look for love in the wrong places.

 

The greatest man to love us was Jesus. He left heaven to come and live as a man on the earth. Why would the king of heaven come to earth? He came because He loved us. We were helpless in our sin, and the only way for us to be forgiven was for Him to die in our place.

 

This Valentine ’s Day take time to think about who you would lay down your life for? More importantly who would lay down their life for you?

 

If you would like to know more about the love Jesus has for you, I encourage you to read the Gospel of John.

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NLT

 

January

This month has been a busy one with my mom having had surgery and I was with her during this time and also I was busy doing T4’s and year end stuff for  businesses.  In addition to all this, I have been working on the final details on my book because we are meeting with a publisher soon.

 All this to say, I will be back at my blog postings in February – thanks for checking in –  see you soon.

 Eccles. 3:1 (NLT)  There is a time for everything,

                                      a season for every activity under heaven.

Christmas

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favours.”

[15] When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” Luke 2:14-15 (NLT)

It’s Christmas 2011, our world is crazy busy: we have to get gifts, food and decorations to prepare for the big day. These things are not bad but if we let them take our focus off baby Jesus then Christmas is just another day.

Without the baby Jesus in the manger and Jesus the man on the cross we have no hope. Take some time this Christmas between the gifts, food and family gatherings to reflect on the gift of God’s son. He is the hope for the world!

What will you do with God’s gift this Christmas?

God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 1 John 4:9 (NLT)

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. 1 John 1:9 (NLT)

Anxiousness

    Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Philip. 4:6 (NLT) 

 This week I was anxious. It has been a tough autumn and I did not need another problem or expense. I was not trusting my God.

 My service dog Tate was not eating like he should for about three weeks so finally I booked him an appointment with the vet, then I booked my staff to drive us. It snowed overnight. Not being a fan of snow I was not sure we would be able to go.  The drive was better then I thought and most of the snow had melted. This was great because it is hard to get through the snow in my wheelchair. Once on the road I began to relax and enjoyed the scenery. It was beautiful, the fresh snow had decorated the trees, each branch was laced with snow.

 With anxiousness we met with the vet; I was sure Tate needed a $300 to $400 procedure. Ten minutes later we were leaving the vet and the cost was under twenty dollars!

God knows what we can handle and supplies what we need when we need it. I have been rejoicing ever since, I had taken my eyes off Jesus my savour and king and focused on the problem. Worry shows lack of faith and understanding in God.  I have seen His faithfulness over and over in my life; I needed this reminder in this small thing in order that I trust Him in the bigger things that we are dealing with.

    And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philip. 4:19 (NLT)