shutterstock_247460536Raising a child or children with chronic illness requires more strength, resolve, perseverance and courage than we likely ever dreamed possible, yet it also blesses us with the gifts of compassion, perspective, presence, and profound love as we are daily drawn closer to God.

Blog Posts:

The Hidden Labor of Disability

Image of cacti with Colossians 3:12Do your best to offer to help do some of that work if you can. The hidden labor is real and exhausting, despite being hidden. … Understand if they cancel plans at the last minute. Empty their dishwasher or fold their laundry while they’re on the phone. Read more…

In the Marrow of Depression and Anxiety 

Falling leaves with the words of Mark 9:24By the time you read this, I’ll be feeling much better. Therapy will have commenced, medications will have been adjusted, and clinging to the One who clings to the brokenhearted will have kept me affixed to a drip line of peace. I can say this with some confidence, for it’s not my first time off… Read more...

Notes of Pain – The Art of Life

Field Notes of Pain - Art of LifeThis is part one in a two-part series.

Jayden and Brooklyn are fine, not sleeping, but fine. As fine as two dying kids can be. In fact, most days, I fear they are doing a better job of living than me. Justin says I am too hard on myself. Perhaps. Read more…

Please Don’t Say It
Please Don't Say It

How do you truly relate to others’ pain if you’ve never walked their path? And how do you express your concern in a way that comforts while avoiding platitudes or filling  empty space with hollow syllables that help no one?

“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21

 Read more…

Five Minutes at a Time – A Letter to the Mamas

CJBreatheSingleStep2To the Mama whose child is newly diagnosed,

To the Mama who is sleeping tonight (again) in her child’s hospital room,

To the Mama learning to balance appointments, laundry, lunch, dinner, school and medications,

To the Mama wondering how she will possibly survive if this never gets better, never gets easier this side of eternity,   Read more…


CJFruitfulInAfflictionRecently my 17-year-old daughter, Anna, sat down at the piano before a room full of onlookers. She sat there so gracefully, so beautiful that no one would have ever guessed the huge medical challenges she was facing in her life – the chronic pain that had kept her from the piano over the last month. Read more…

Story of Hope

CJRejoiceInOurSufferingsMy son had gotten sick with what we thought was the stomach flu on his brother’s 17th birthday and never got well. He’d lost 22 pounds in eight weeks and wound up on the acute care floor of Children’s Hospital. Five days into his stay, very late one evening, Sam’s surgeon walked slowly into the waiting room, sat down across from my husband and I, and said, “I owe you an apology. Your son is far sicker than he presents.” Read more…

Making the Good Days Count

CJGoodDaysGoodHoursIt’s easy to get caught up in the pain and emotions that come with the bad days. They’re overwhelming. But what I’ve learned while dealing with a chronic illness is that you’ve got to appreciate the good days. You have to make the good days count. Read more…

A Time to Recover

CJBesideQuietWatersFor some time, I have started several columns without ever finishing them. The ideas were there, but the energy was lacking. Last year during our magazine’s (Just Between Us) 20th anniversary, I was able to pull favorite columns from the last several decades. In God’s goodness, He gave me a break. I was empty and… Read more…

How Long O’ Lord

CJSingToTheLordWhat if he doesn’t get a job? What if he can’t support himself? What if he doesn’t get married and experience the joy of having a spouse and companion to do life with? These are the questions I don’t like to think about. And when I do, I find my heart crying out, how long, O Lord? How long will his days be difficult for him? How long will he struggle with control? How long will he be hurting? How long will he be lonely? Read more…

Joy is A Matter of the Heart

CJJoyOfTheLord2There wasn’t a bad vibe leading up to our daughter Hannah’s TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). It just happened like the flick of a light switch on a regular mid-summer day when my husband was called to pick up our daughter from cheer practice early. He called me when they were in the car, and we decided to meet at the hospital. Read more…

Ready for Spring

CJNewGrowthOh…it’s hard in this space between diagnoses and trying one more medication, test, procedure, surgery, hoping one more time that things will change, that he’ll get well, feel good again. Read more…

The “Ugly’s” of Chronic Illness

CJHopeInPromisesOfGodPeople would ask about my pregnancy and I would share happy details. When asked how I was, I would focus on something positive then change the subject. On the outside, I appeared resilient, strong and unbroken. Inside, I was broken, scared and beaten down. Read more…

Refusing to be Offended

cjfaiththatmovesforwardHave you ever felt offended by God? Glancing heavenward with a look of disbelief thinking, “How could this be happening to me and my family, my ministry? How could You allow this, God?” Read more…

A Thousand Tiny Paper Cuts

CJStoryQuestion1Back-to-back doctor’s appointments brought a new diagnosis and the worsening of an existing one. Neither have a cure. Possible treatments were handed out to my child, who is not really a child, but one far too young to have to deal with so much.

So I wept and cried out to God, “Not my child.”  Read more…

Treasures in Darkness

cjtreasuresindarknessWe never think, especially at the time, of treasures or riches coming out of the dark places in our lives, but they do. God uniquely desires to use the darkness in our lives to make something extraordinarily beautiful. In fact, it is in these various dark places of brokenness, heartbreak, and loss that God brings forth His light so that even the darkness is illuminated. And it’s not only illuminated, it’s full of treasures and riches – in abundance. Read more…

I Will Not Be Shaken

cj1john44aWhat happens when healing doesn’t come, or a medical condition resurfaces, or the pain doesn’t subside, or our circumstances continue for years? Each day is a new day to respond faithfully to God because faith that moves forward triumphs. Read more…

The Power of Prayer

CJPrayerHasPurposeWhen I first heard the words, “Your baby’s heart is not normal,” my world was turned upside down. I was scared, angry and confused. I questioned God. How could He allow this innocent, unborn baby be to be brought into this world to suffer through repeated surgeries, procedures and pain?

Why would He give her this journey? Read more…

Sustaining Grace

cjpsalm271314Your loving Father knows all about your present circumstances and need, and is waiting to hand you the ticket. His supply never runs dry; it is never overburdened. He is never surprised. Interestingly, He doesn’t promise help before help is needed. No ─ when we are on the edge of our need ─ His hand is stretched out. Read more…

A Boy Named Job

22439219347_4456660059_oLast year I was in the waiting room of Children’s Hospital as my daughter was whisked off for yet another test. I had come in that day with a heavy heart feeling like we were back to square one after years of fighting this stubborn health battle. Read more…

A Grateful Heart

CJGratitudeCharlesStanleyIt is not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy.”  If we take a moment to stop, be mindful of the given moment, and be thankful for life’s opportunities, we hold the key to happiness in our own hands. In his words: “Stop, Look and Go.” Read more…


Comfort: Inspirations for Parents of Chronically Ill Children, Kathy Hardy

51SO4O+NS8L._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_This sensitive, honest, and heartfelt devotional doesn’t pull any punches. It encounters all aspects of raising a chronically ill child and helps others understand the day-to-day struggles and joys. It is eight weeks of reality: the good, the bad, and the ugly. At the end of each week of devotions, you’ll find a short chapter of Kathy’s family’s continuing story of raising their eight children, three of whom have Cystic Fibrosis (CF). This book will touch you. It will make you laugh, cry, and feel less alone. You will feel understood and know that your journey is shared by others who experience similar emotions. You can give this book to family members and friends whom you feel lack understanding of your family’s dynamics. You will feel comforted to know that God and others walk this difficult path along with you.


To Those Caring for Sick Children, Lexi Behrndt

You are heroes. You are angels. You get to see miracles happen daily at your job. You get to see little lives come back after catastrophe and devastation, and you watch as they heal and grow and smile again.

And then sometimes you don’t.”

To the Momma of a Critically and Chronically Ill Child, Lexi Behrndt

“You are brave. You are strong. You are loving. You fight for your children when they can’t fight for themselves. You hope for them and you stay positive for them, and then run to the bathroom just to cry in the stall where they can’t see. You research and talk to doctors and talk to other parents to find the best possible treatment plans and solutions to give the best life to your child…You go to the places no one wants to go. You know a side of the world that most would like to pretend doesn’t exist.”

Parenting Through Chronic IllnessRachelle Wiggins

“For the past decade, God has allowed me the gracious trial of raising my children from the bed of chronic illness.  The learning curve was steep: I battled against the desire to be more and do more while living within the limitations of a broken body. Over time, I recognized a few principles that helped me survive — and still be a good parent — during the storm of ongoing illness.”



Diane Bailey from the The Consilium Lakeside graciously hosted Chronic Joy Founders, Cindee Snider Re and Pamela Piquette in this podcast.


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