Say “I Do!” Often


The winter in Michigan this year has been harsh, with lots of snow and ice. On a particularly wintery day, my granddaughter Ashlee posted a photo on Facebook of her husband Nick clearing snow. Ashlee wrote, “That’s my man out there. He is clearing our driveway and sidewalks, and did our neighbor’s without hesitation.” She […]

Grief is Like a Wave in the Ocean


Years ago, my husband Larry and I set off on a grand adventure: we spent 14 months on a 32-foot sailboat, traveling the open ocean. (With our two small children aboard, I might add!) It certainly was an exciting time. When I started my ministry, I realized that life on the water helped me understand […]

Is Your Pastor Running on Empty?


A friend of mine recommended Wayne Cordeiro’s book Leading on Empty, which talks about the important topic of pastor burnout. The title really grabbed me. I wonder: is a pastor you know running on empty . . . or maybe even walking (or crawling!) on empty? My friends Jan and Craig Hoffman are retired pastors. […]

Caregiving Basic: Respect the Grief Journey


Editor’s Note: In any caregiving situation, we remind our readers to remember the Caregiving Basics: Pray, Listen, Respect the Grief Journey and Preserve the Dignity of the Person. This post is an overview of Respect the Grief Journey. Grief is a normal and natural experience by which a person makes a healthy adjustment to any significant […]

The Gift of Music


By Christine MacLean A note from Karen Mulder: Christine shared this story with me during one of my speaking engagements at my home church, Hope Church in Holland, Michigan. It’s a lovely story about how one man’s love of music united a group of people to engage in a generous act of caregiving. My dad […]

My Loved One Has Aphasia. How Can I Help?


Guest post by Ted Baxter If your loved one has aphasia, your means of communication with them has been drastically altered.  It can be very frustrating (indeed, heartbreaking in some cases) to watch as a family member or friend tries valiantly to communicate even the simplest of messages. As a stroke survivor (which occurred when […]

I Had a Stroke at Age 41. Here’s How My Friends and Family Helped Me Recover

Guest Post by Ted Baxter In 2005, I was at the top of my game-a successful business man in peak physical condition. I spent my workdays traveling the globe as a financial services executive. Then, at age 41, with no warning signs whatsoever, I had a massive ischemic stroke. The doctors feared I wouldn’t survive. […]

Bring a Touch of Home to Someone in the Hospital


How can you make someone’s hospital stay more pleasant? Ted Baxter was 41 years old when he suffered a massive stroke. During his long recuperation Ted grew weary of the hospital’s antiseptic surroundings. One day, Ted’s wife Kelly brought some shampoo from home and helped Ted wash his hair. [Related: Caregiving Tips for Visiting a […]

How to Help Your Teen Cope with Grief


Tears spilled gently from my eyes as I watched my 19-year-old daughter triumphantly cross the finish line of her first marathon. The emotions that whirled around in my head were so mixed: proud of her accomplishment but sad by what had prompted it and what it had come to mean. Six months earlier my husband […]

How to Communicate with a Friend Who Has Had a Stroke


How does one communicate with a friend who has had a stroke and has limited conversational ability? That’s been on my mind ever since my good friend Ginger had a stroke three months ago. Ginger has Wernicke’s Aphasia which means she has damage in the areas of her brain that processes the meaning of words […]

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