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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Scirptures About Christmas

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(Merry Christmas. All Scripture is taken from King James Version)

It is good to pause during this season and remember why we celebrate. We probably have the wrong season, date, and time, but I don't think that matters. Celebrate that He came and, by the way, he chose Mary and Joseph to be his caregivers.

From the Old Testament
Prophecy


  • I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. ~Numbers 24:17


  • But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting. ~Micah 5:2

  • Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. ~Isaiah 7:14

  • For unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given: And the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ~Isaiah 9:6

  • And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. ~Isaiah 11



See more Christmas Scriptures from Shutterfly ... 


From the New Testament
Prophecy fulfilled


  • Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. ~Matthew 1:23

  • Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east and come to worship him. ~Matthew 2:1, 2

  • When they had heard the king (Herod), they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. ~ Matthew 2:9-11

  • And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: For thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father, David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end. ~Luke 1:30-33

  • And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them (the shepherds), and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. ~Luke 2:11:14




Sunday, December 1, 2019

How to Beat the Christmas Blues

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And the angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone about them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ~Luke 2:9-11



I'm one to rush through the holidays, how 'bout you? Wanting to enjoy the season, but secretly wishing it would peacefully pass me by. Too many presents to buy with a budget of zero; holiday food to buy, prepare, and everyone, it seems, has legitimate food issues. 

Ah, but I may have a few tricks up my cozy coffee-stained sleeve this year, and it fits quite well into my caregiver kind of lifestyle. My first big revelation is to not worry about the finances. Going into debt to buy presents? Nope, I just can't afford that.

Therefore, it's going to be a homemade Christmas. I'm hoping my family doesn't read this blog. I mean, seriously, who has family who reads your blog? Please let me know how you've accomplished that if you do.

Nonetheless, it's going to be a very Pinterest kind of homemade Christmas. You might be amazed to learn that being creative is an awesome Blues Beater; Lots of canning, jam-making, sauce experiments, my specialslightly spicysecret crackers recipe, and Friendship Tea, chocolate loaded with sugary goodness, and some without sugar at all. 

Every ingredient is in my pantry already, I've received donations of Christmas material, craft paints, pretty paper, brown gifts bags without logos or images, a cupboard full of tin cans, and a whole bunch of other items I need to make gifts for Christmas. Yarn, pretty yarn, however, is still absent from my list. No worries, we'll just move on to something else.

It has brought Christmas joy in my house, even before Thanksgiving because that's another way to beat the Christmas blues. Start early, take your time, make it easy. By the way, some of the presents, my pretty tin-can-table decor to be precise, has already been swiped by Mom. Okay, back to the drawing board, so to speak.

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I call them Tin Can Softies ... or just Softies.


Will the recipients like their homemade gifts? I don't know. But it comes from my heart and I made them with love; sappy, I know ... but it's true.


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I like to use them for my glasses and the remote since I'm constantly losing them. We'll add candy and chocolate later.


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The garage is turning into a lovely winter wonder land. We're adding lights, too.

Creating things has lifted my spirits this season; not worrying about whether they'll be appreciated has given me freedom and a sense of peace. 

I've used apples  from our back yard to make jam and apple sauce; orange peels to make candy; persimmons for salads (will try making cookies); pomegranates for puddings, fresh juice (adding the apples as well); and lemons to add flavor to all of the above. Furthermore, putting apples, cinnamon, a dash of lemon, and agave in the slow cooker makes the house smell very Christmassy ... and that's how you make apple sauce.

I've also learned that decorating the house and the outside of the house can be done over the course of a few days, maybe weeks if you start early. And even the process of decorating is calming and enjoyed by Mom and Dad (both suffering from dementia). If you never get to the outside, just let it go. 

And maybe we as caregivers shouldn't make such a fuss about Christmas dinner, especially if you're hosting it. Stick to the menu that's easiest for you. I make a great Dutch Mac & Cheese. I'm just saying. Ask your friends and family to do it potluck-style this year. Mine's pretty good about that.  

Check out Pinterest (Here's my account) for 100's of different and creative ways to have yourself a Very Merry, Frugal, and Creative Christmas. There's wisdom when women share their expertise, Godly advise, and creativity.

As a caregiver we tend to work toward making the season a happy one for the ones receiving our care. But if we don't take care of ourselves first we won't accomplish that in the slightest. And though it's definitely a season to put our own interests aside it may only be for a season ... it's just a pause, I think. God is always up to something, He is our joy, peace, and rest. I'm pretty sure He will redeem the time for us.





Take Care of Yourself
Eat Right; Eat Fresh
Exercise
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Stay Healthy
Read a Good Book
Write Poetry
Doodle
Buy Deborah flowers and chocolate (IJS)
Watch an Uplifting Movie

Thursday, November 28, 2019

How To Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Image

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As I write this post it's pouring outside. I'm watching the Lions and Bears battle out on the football field. I'm picking the Lions since they're down to their 3rd string QB. Football always makes me get into that happy Thanksgiving spirit. Having the fireplace flame on is like the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie. That's not my favorite kind of pie by the way. How 'bout you?

Mom and Dad are trying to learn the game, which is quite hilarious. They would like to know why we call it football when no one is allowed to contact the ball with their feet. We protest that the kickers do. They also complain that they can't see the ball. I confess I'm not the one to be teaching them. Both of them have decided to make their own rules and we'll just let them. It brings a whole lot of happy


Pilgrim, Girl, Thanksgiving, Holiday, CelebrationFor me the happy in my Thanksgiving starts in the car. Around 2:30 p.m. today we'll head out to my brother's house hoping that my little red, four-wheel drive Jeep Renegade also known as R2DQ will keep us safe. I've got precious cargo on board. Nonetheless, asking the Lord for travelling mercies would probably be better. 

So I pray for God's mercies on the road today as we travel from here to there. I try to keep it happy in the car. Nice music, the heater on, drive slowly, and get them (Mom and Dad) a nice cup of hot coffee. Can you say Toasted White Chocolate Mocha?

Remember to take plenty of whiffs of that turkey in the oven, the pies, and all the trimmings. Say aah and ooh a lot when you see that Thanksgiving table and say thank you. Make the host feel appreciated. It takes hours to prepare that meal and only a few minutes to devour it. Give thanks! 

This is a chance to make wonderful happy memories. Leave the politics far from this gathering. Make Jesus always the center of the conversation (or how you behave)center on His goodness, lovingkindness, and mercy especially when beloved non-believers are present. You are the bridge to Jesus not the gavel. 

So I pray for the one (my amazing sister-in-law) who's preparing the meal and her home for her guests for strength especially, patience with us, joy in her heart, and rest.

Right now I'm looking out the window and that rain is falling down hard. My friend is questioning whether we should go at all. It's true, but I can't imagine not showing up. Good thing we kept her reversible umbrella. It's easy to get into the car and the raindrops are contained inside the umbrella. I know, it's wonderful. I'll get it back to her soon. 

Well, my clothes are in the wash because I decided to be comfortable in my very flowery LulaRoe pants, which needed a good washing. Dress comfortably, I say, presentable yes, but I'm gonna be me. 

This was a quick post to ride out the storm, to remind myself to celebrate, to bring happiness to the table, and to wish everyone a most awesome and blessed Thanksgiving. 


I read somewhere that Sharing is Caring


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Faith & Family Movies

Friday, November 8, 2019

My Mom's Super Easy Dutch Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

What every caregiver needs--quick, easy, and yummy recipes. I'll get right to the recipe but will include the story behind this deliciousness at the end for anyone interested. 




Ingredients

1 large pkg. of elbow macaroni (I used Barilla Gluten Free 12 oz box)

8 oz can of DAK ham

4 Tbsp. of butter (try Kerrygold Naturally Salted Pure Irish Butter)

1 cup milk (I used Lactaid 100 percent lactose free)

2 cubes chicken bouillon

1 cup (I used way more) Gouda Cheese and/or Old Amsterdam, grated (I added Sharp Cheddar) ... The amount of cheese is your preference. Just keep tasting I say.


4 eggs, beaten

Nutmeg to taste

And a pinch of pepper



Directions

Cook macaroni in boiling water. Remove from heat and drain. Return to pot. Chop ham into bite-size pieces and add. Stir in butter, milk, bouillon, then cheese, beaten eggs, and nutmeg.

Place macaroni mixture in glass baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top if you like. Bake for half an hour at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Smaakelek eeten!

ps: My cousin from Holland says I need to add creme fraiche. Sounds expensive, maybe its just sour cream.


*****

I've never been a great cook or ever wanted to be. However, life changed when I became a caregiver. Preparing 3 meals plus healthy snacks per day requires creativity, endurance, patience, and a love for cooking. Yuck. This routine can really get you into a downer, as most caregivers know. 

So I began a hunt for quick and easy recipes and learned that some of mom's creations are way simpler than I thought especially her mac & cheese. She's been deceiving me all these years. Just kidding. She's forever told me cooking can be fun and simple, and I'm afraid I'm turning into Susie Homemaker. It's wonderfully disturbing. File it under "How to Enjoy the Caregiver's Journey." 

pps: My potatoes are growing. And I harvested two pumpkins from our backyard. I'm making apple jam with apples from our tree, and planning to pick clean both our pomegranate trees to attempt a gourmet jam recipe. I wish I lived on a farm.

So a little advice for caregivers: Bloom where God plants you. Find the joy, His joy, in the everyday things. Blessings my friends. 


Noodle Mansion

"Oh no!" said the cook
"We've got nothing to eat
Spaghetti again
with basil too sweet

There's noodles with salmon
And sausages baked
In sauces too spicy
with  red chili flakes

Alfredo with garlic
Did not sit well
Linguine with pesto
Was a hard sell

But today in the mansion
It's Macaroni and Cheese
With Amsterdam, Gouda
And ham if you please."

  






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  • Tuesday, October 22, 2019

    Lessons from Grandma's Autumn Stories

    Yes, Fall is here. In SoCal we're kind of on a seasonal roller coaster. The weather is not totally prepared to put on a coat of many colors just yet. Summer days keep springing up on us. Nonetheless, some leaves have un-sprouted their greens for golden feathers. Dad enjoys the cooler evenings and sits in the front garden among withering branches and pretty sunsets. He likes to wave to the neighbors and graciously they wave back. 

    My friend and fellow writer (we are patiently waiting for her first book) has much to say about Autumn and wisely finds those nuggets of wisdom in our everyday lives. Here's one such story. 

    From Guest Blogger, Marianne Croonquist


    This morning as I left home, there were a few crunchy leaves greeting me as I groggily walked from my apartment to my car. I like Fall.

    Well this morning’s experience launches yet another Grandma story.  

    I was on pick-up duty last Monday, after Trevor’s first official band class. While loading 9-year-old Trevor, his rented trumpet and new music stand into the car, he wonders aloud, “Why is there Fall  Grandma?” 

    “You mean the season called Autumn or Fall, Trevor?”

    “Uh huh.” He nodded.  

    Grateful he wasn’t asking for a theological treatise on mankind’s fall from grace. I grinned in the rear-view mirror as I buckled myself in. “OK, let me think a minute.” 

    Well, I love science! I recall the joy I had when I really understood how this whole seasonal thing worked. My 6th grade Science teacher, Miss Galloway, had this intricate moving model of the solar system, and she used a flashlight as sunlight to show us the ways seasons occurred. 

    So, without much hesitation I excitedly launched into a way-too-scientific explanation of the earth’s rotation on an axis, the angle of the sun, and different hemispheres. In my forward view from the driver’s seat I could not see, only feel, the glaze-over happening in the back seat. Once I again, I learned, too much information—pay attention to your listener. Life lesson #92.

    “Let me try a different way to explain it, Trevor. Remember when we cleaned out your drawers?” 

    “What does that have to do with the leaves falling?”

    “Give me a minute to get there.  We figured out the pants that were too short, and the t-shirts that showed your tummy if you raised your hands.”

    “You always tickle me when my tummy shows.”  

    We both smiled knowingly.

    “And then, once you became a 4th grader, I sorted through all your school papers from 3rd grade, keeping only the most memorable essays and artwork.”
      
    “You said you have a special box for my best things.” 

    “Yep, sure do.  One for Eevee too.”

    “We took out of the house many clothes and old papers we didn’t need anymore.  That’s what happens to trees in the Fall.  They get rid of parts of themselves that were once useful but not anymore.”

    “Yeah, I don’t need my multiplication chart anymore.”

    “Just like that, the trees don’t need the leaves to carry the energy from the sun anymore.”

    “So, the new leaves can’t come unless the old ones drop off, right?”

    “Yes, but remember, there is resting time for trees in Winter, before the new leaves come in Spring.” 

    We stopped at the daycare center and picked up five-year-old Eevee who jumped into the ongoing conversation.

    “So crunchy leaves are dead, Grandma?” She matter of factly asked and answered simultaneously.

    “Yes, they are dead.  In order for things to grow bigger and stronger, there has to be some ending to the growth that’s happened.”

    “Do you think it hurts the tree when the leaves fall off, Grandma?”

    “Probably not, Eevee.  It probably notices the loss and empty space, but it doesn’t hurt.”

    After a quiet moment, she pronounces, “God must have made trees with hope inside.  I think God is smart to think of Fall, Grandma.” 

    “Me too.”

    “Me three,” quipped Trevor.

    May we willingly drop the no longer needed leaves in our lives. May we notice loss and empty space without much pain. May we realize because of Jesus we have hope inside.  



    An emerging writer, Marianne Croonquist, MS MFT spends her days as a Marriage and Family Therapist in a private practice in San Dimas, CA. She teaches classes at her church and edits other writers' projects.  Invited to be a healthy Mom to a single mother, Arlene, 6 years ago, she cherishes time now as family to Arlene, Trevor, and Eevee. 

    Please Stop by The Caregiver's Workshop

    From the Caregiver's Workshop

    Take a look at our Autumn/Fall Mugs collection.


    Thursday, July 11, 2019

    Finding Time for Oneself and What to do with It

    To the new mom, the seasoned mom, to the single mom, the soccer/baseball etc. mom, to the busy homemaker, and, of course, the Caregiver ... Take care of yourself. This is a must. Pencil it into your busy schedule right now. I know, so much easier said than done. It's complicated, right? It doesn't have to be. Some of us just need to chill with a book, others need to go skydiving. I come under the chill-with-a-book 

    Nevertheless, we need rest, we need fun, or looking after others will become a burden. God sees, He's aware, and He allows us to be selfish, for lack of a better word, with our time once in a while ... Refresh, Renew, Redeem, Revive



    Forevermore: Poetry, Prayers, and Scriptures for the Caregiver

    Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
    He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
    Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. ~Isaiah 40:28-31

    A little side-note kind of story happened when I was preparing lunch one day. I was feeling rather chipper (my new word for happy) and lost track of time. Dad must have been hungrier than I thought and all of a sudden I hear this huffing and puffing from around the corner.

    Panic struck as I watched Dad pumping his arms and walking like a young man and woo hooting as he went along. I was sure he was going to fall but he was fine. Maybe it was the orange essential oil steaming from the diffuser, or the coffee he drank. Or maybe it was God sending a care package of strong bones and a healthy mind ... even for only a couple of days.

    Dad thanked the Lord many times that day and cried like a baby, reminding himself that God, Emmanuel, is still with him.

    For me I heard the praises: Good job; you're a great caregiver, well done, keep it up, you're doing something right. A caregiver can never get enough of that. But I don't know. It was God showing up, and He shows up all the time. Count your blessings, my friend.

    We want to take care of them well; we'll have to take care of ourselves. Click here for a few Life Hacks or as we call it: How To Stay Emotionally Healthy.




    In my spare time I love writing. It's not easy when creativity is constantly interrupted by a wheelchair ride to the bathroom, cooking 3 meals a day and finding healthy snacks, doctors' appointments, and you're probably familiar with the list. But I schedule those minutes when I can read and write ... and do social media.

    I did manage to complete my book, Forevermore: Poetry, Prayers, and Scriptures for the Caregiver. It's not the usual stuff I write (Christian science fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, yeah Horror) but God has given me another writing task. And I love it. And He inspired me to write poetry, because inspiration comes hard these day ... and I'm not a poet.

    What has God given you in those quiet moments? Maybe it's not what you expected, but with God, it's always better, amazing, and purposeful.

    Things I Try to Make Time For
    1. Swimming with my friend Julie (She keeps me sane and laughing)
    2. Grab a cup of coffee and a cake pop
    3. Read a book
    4. Church (I guess that should be number 1)
    5. Visit and walk through model homes and dream (Thy will be done, Lord)
    6.My garden (My inheritance. I need a whole lot of help with this, the fruit abounds)
    7. Look at the stars
    8. Visit family
    9. Celebrate Holidays
    10. Go to the beach (haven't made it yet this summer but will get there)
    11. Write a book ... Did I mention I wrote a book?

    Send me your list, I'd love to see it.


    A Caregiver's Prayer
    When I can't find a moment to breathe, Lord, will You be the breath in my lungs? Lead me to rest, to waters so still. And thank you for breezes on hot summer days when jasmine releases its fragrance in praise.


    Beloved Caregiver
    In Morning Sunlight

    Did you hear my voice this morning?
    I called out your name

    When you watered the garden
    I did the same

    You will grow like a mustard seed
    With branches so strong

    As I planted you close
    To the waters falls

    As you rest and you marvel
    At what we have done
    All your worries and burdens
    Fade into the sun







    Thursday, June 20, 2019

    Remembering Dad's Childhood: Part 1 WW2 POW





    Even to your old age and gray hairs
        I am he, I am he who will sustain you.

    I have made you and I will carry you;
        I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
    ~Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)~




    What does an old man see when he looks into the mirror? What does he remember? Does he see what he once was? Do we? Do we honor what he once was? Are we grateful for what our elders did for us? 

    My dad spent a good part of his childhood as a POW in WW2. Then, even as a young adult, his homeland, Indonesia, remained at war—civil war.

    From the book Forevermore
    When this care-giving life gets a little frustrating, I imagine how hard it must be for Dad. He's told me the war stories, the escape-war drama, and the island romance tale. He's built homes with his bare hands carved out of the jungle in New Guinea. Okay, I might be over-dramatizing that. But he did built his own house, and the house for his parents, in the jungle with his pregnant wife (my mom). 

    It's become obvious to me that Dad has a story to tell. I'm trying to dig deep into his mind and scoop out all those good memories. Because he was young once; because he was a real person with awesome experiences; because he can't leave this world until he knows his family, his grandchildren, love God. 








    The following is an article I wrote many moons ago for our local newspaper, The Mid Valley News. The article tells a small portion of Dad's WW2 experience. I titled "Paradise Interrupted."  


    Paradise Interrupted


    There’s a little church in El Monte, California, tucked safely away at the corner of Peck and Hemlock. The pastor, Reverend Willy de Quilettes, is a humble man by nature, the quiet sort, unless he’s preaching. The small, family-oriented congregation simply calls him Oom Willy. Uncle Willy, that is. But I call him Papa.

    His passion for God came from hearing the song “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” at his sister’s funeral. He found peace while men with guns walked all around him. He found joy and never lost it. Many times I’ve wondered what made him tick. Why does he enjoy such a simple life? One morning, I got the chance to reach into my father’s heart as we shared a few giggles, some painful tears, and stories from his war-filled childhood.

    Born in Makassar, Indonesia, Papa and his family moved to Jokjakarta on the island of Java when he was ten years old. His father, Leo, was a Sergeant Major in the Royal Dutch-Indonesian Army or KNIL in Dutch. At the time, Papa had three younger brothers and a sister. One brother died in his sleep at age two, and his sister died during the war from food contamination.

    They were a wealthy family. Pap's opa (grandfather) owned 150 acres of land, where they hunted wild pigs, fruit bats, and pigeons. The wide variety of mango trees provided hours of climbing adventures for the boys.

    “It was a tropical paradise,” Papa said with a smile. “We used to spend warm summer afternoons swimming and fishing for catfish.”

    Papa especially loved the crystal-clear-fresh-water lakes and rivers that flowed endlessly throughout their island. They would build rafts and float to the middle of the lake.

    But paradise was interrupted when sirens blared one afternoon in 1942, and in the distance came the sounds of Japanese fighter planes.


    The Japanese invaded Jokjakarta when Papa was twelve. For the next two months, the boys and their mother, Juliana, lived in a bomb shelter in their backyard. As bombs fell dangerously close, it became necessary to use rubber mouthpieces for protection. The explosions threw everyone violently against walls and to the ground.

    Surprisingly, the many island people Papa knew as friends were actually Japanese spies. They had disguised themselves as store owners and local merchants all the while drawing maps of the island and stocking weapons in their stores.

    At first, Leo, Papa's father had permission to walk about freely. A special armband ensured the Japanese soldiers he was a friend. However, when darkness fell over the island Leo bombed bridges to cut off access for Japanese trucks. He fought the war mostly at night. Sadly,
     Papa, remembers vividly the day his father was taken prisoner. They herded him onto a train at gunpoint with hundreds of other men. Leo disappeared for two years.


    At age twelve, the Japanese army captured my papa. They placed him with the women POW's and put him to  work—hard labor.

    For next few years he lowered his bucket into a well twenty feet deep as thousands of prisoners stood in line for their daily ration. His work started at sunrise and ended with nightfall. He drew his strength and hope from God.

    The first American rescue mission was unsuccessful, but in 1945 US General Douglas MacArthur and his troops freed the Indonesian people. Papa and his family were reunited with Leo, who had been rescued by the British and Indian armies. But as World War II came to an end, Indonesia was headed for civil war.

    It was then that Leo decided to send Papa and his younger brother, Fritz to an island named Doom, mostly inhabited by members of their family, to start a new life.

    “It’s an extremely small island,” Papa remembers. “I spent two years on Doom. It was a fun place.” 




    Papa eventually moved across the bay to New Guinea, where he met and married a beautiful Indonesian girl, Helaene.

    But in 1961, they again had to flee the country as rumors of yet another war between Indonesia and Holland surfaced. With their families packed into a Dutch Dakota Airliner, they headed for the Netherlands.

    In 1976, Willy came to the USA, where he found that cozy corner in El Monte. It’s far from paradise.

    “But paradise on Earth is a temporary thing,” Papa says. “Life and your very soul on the other hand are something to be treasured and saved.”

    The corner in El Monte boasts a little church filled with a small family of believers led by my papa, who in the midst of bombs and debris heard a simple song called “Safe in the Arms of Jesus.”






    Dad moved the congregation to another corner of El Monte and didn't retire until he suffered a stroke in 2017. These stories he told me is my reminder that life is fleeting, this world is broken, we suffer, we overcome but only by the grace of God. 

    *****

    We hope you come visit us at The Caregiver's Workshop ... we have prayer journals inspired by the soon-to-be released book Forevermore: Poetry, Prayers, and Scriptures for the Caregiver.