Living life beyond Cerebral Palsy for God's glory.

An Author

In January of this year my book, Living Beyond My Circumstances, was released. It was exciting to see years of hard work finally in print. It was so cool to have physical copies; there were many mornings when I would check the boxes in the office to see if the books were real. One day it hit me: I am a real author!

This April was crazy and busy. We had a book launch in London and one in Huntsville three weeks later. To my delight, many people came out to the launches. If you were able to be there, I would like to thank you.

Book launches take some planning. Where should I hold it? Who will speak? Any event is better with punch and cake—but no event can be successful without guests.

Each event was unique; London was like a great reunion. People were there from over the years, including my Grade 8 principal. Huntsville was special as well. Between the two launches, over 200 people came out. This still blows my mind. Steph was able to be at both and that was very special for me.

As exciting as it is to have a book to sell, it is even more thrilling to see what God is doing in the lives of others.

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way” (Psalm 37:23).

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 Signing a book at the Huntsville launch.

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My Rose

 

My younger sister is turning 50 this week. Sharon is a very caring person – even though she likes to hide that fact.

The Rose of Sharon is a common name that applies to several different species of flowering plant that are highly valued throughout the world. My sister is like a rose. Upon first meeting her, you might only see a rough, prickly person, but as you get to know her, you realize she is very hard-working, enjoys cooking for others, and loves to help people in need. Sharon is a highly valued person – even donating her left kidney. And she would donate the right one if she did not need it.

Sharon and I grew up in a time when it was not cool to have a “different” sister. She had to deal with much teasing at school. We had fun together sleeping in the same room (okay – talking more than sleeping). We worked well together. I had the ideas; she had the legs. Unfortunately for her, the legs got caught more than the ideas. She did not need my ideas, however, when it came to spreading butter on mom’s couch or climbing the cupboards to get baby aspirin.

Sharon, my little sister, thanks for 50 years of adventures and for being you. My life would not be the same without you. I’m so glad you married Ian. He brought your smile back – and I love your smile. Thank you for having three children and for being a great cook. (You make it hard to eat right.) I could not ask for a better sis.

Love you!  Happy 50th.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me

 

I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. ’

 

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

 

And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?   And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?

 

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’   Matt. 25:34-40

 

Castle Quay Books

On February 29, 2012, we drove to Vaughan Mills Mall to meet with Larry Willard. It was a dicey drive as the roads were icy and it was snowing. We made it and had a nice lunch at the Pickle Barrel. Larry left with my manuscript and only a promise to read it. Esther and I made our way home through the snowstorm. Was it worth the trip? Now almost two years later, my book is published.

It has been a long journey but so worth it. This journey with Castle Quay Books has been a pleasant one. Most people who publish have told me to be wary of editors who try to change too much in your publication, but working with Marina, my editor at Castle Quay, has been a great experience. She asked good questions so she could understand what I was trying to say. Marina did a great job putting the final touches on that shaped the book. I found myself a little disappointed when the editing was done.

As this book is now available in bookstores and online, I want to thank Larry and Marina for all their assistance in making this book a reality. It has been a privilege to work with them. They did a great job on the layout and cover; they even worked to get a note for the book from the Honourable David Onley. Check out Castle Quay’s web-site http://castlequaybooks.com/ they have published many good books.

Thank you, Larry and Marina and all those at Castle Quay, for your work on this book. May God bless you as He is glorified.

“He hath made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

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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?