Recent Articles

122+ Ways To Care Well
I Will Go With You
read more

Call Her. Call Him.


Pick up that 200 pound phone and call her!

Recently, I was causally reading Anne Lamott’s new book, Help Thanks Wow—and the following words jumped off the page, confronting me. Here are those words:

“God must love to hear us calling our meth-head cousin just to check in because no one else in the family speaks to him.”

So, Ann says,” I picked up the two-hundred pound phone, dialed his number, and said, “How are you?”

I am a real person!


I was born legally blind and became functionally blind at age thrity-two. I have a very supportive husband, two children , and a leader dog. I function very well as director of disabled students at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Although I have obviously become sensitized to people with disabilities, I still make mistakes in dealing with my students. I have learned caregiving in an area that takes constant correction. I have found that it is important to give myself permission to make mistakes.

How can we care for a person with cancer?


How can we care for a person with cancer? Ask Important Questions! Ask, “How are you, today?” and also ask, “What’s going to be the hard part for you?” Be sincere and show them that what they are going through is important to you. Tell them you’re coming over …. Then visit them. Be creative with special treats and conversations that will brighten their days. Even if they say they don’t need anything, that’s when they will most appreciate that you are there.

Did I Make a Difference?


One of the most important issues for older people is wondering, “Did my life make a difference?”

In preparing mom’s 85th birthday party, we asked all the members of the family to write her a note or letter sharing a special memory and describing what they especially admired or liked about her. We saved these letters in a photo album filled with pictures of her life.

Son, Harold: “You’ve always been the kind of mother on whom I could depend, to help me and encourage me . . . and be my trusted friend. I warmly think about you as the best mother anywhere!” Love, Harold

With Hope the Odds Don’t Matter


I recently received this email from Cameron who was suddenly thrust into the role of caregiver for his wife, Heather, just after becoming a new father. Cameron tells his story of compassion and hope, then provides a link to a 3 minute video that further describes their journey.

Dear Karen:

I came across your blog and really identified with a lot of your writing. My name is Cameron and I was thrown into the role of caregiver when my wife, Heather, was diagnosed with a very rare and deadly cancer called mesothelioma, just three months after the birth of our only child.

What Dying of Breast Cancer is Teaching Me About How To Live

In a lot of ways, I’m like many 26-year-old women. I’ve been married for about a year. I have a job that I love at a nonprofit fund-raising organization. I want kids and a dog (not necessarily in that order). But there is one big difference between me and you: I know how I’m going to die.

Caring for Ourselves


It is extremely important for the caregiver to take good care of him or herself as well as the care-receivers. CareGiving can be a thankless, exhausting job and it may seem selfish to take care of oneself when the care-receivers require so much attention. To fail to do so, however, can be destructive. Jesus said, “Love God . . . Love Neighbor . . . Love Self.”