December 21, 2021

1 Example: Staying Strong Through Continual Challenges


Image Courtesy of Karen Arnold at

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”—James 1:12


Life is rarely simple, or fair, for most of us. Have you noticed no scripture promises an easy life? Not one. Instead, we’re given promises of help from God, boosted strength, and future glory.

The purpose of this blog is to temporarily uplift struggling people. None of us have a perfect life with flawless long-term solutions.

“Taking in the good is not about putting a happy shiny face on everything, nor is it about turning away from the hard things in life. It’s about nourishing well-being, contentment, and peace inside that are refuges you can always come from and return to.”—Rick Hanson

Some people have a cute mountain stream of opposition. That hardly sounds intimidating. Others have a tsunami of trials brought about by the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates. Now, that’s an official national disaster. And then, there are those who are completely overwhelmed. They get hit by multiple hurricanes or tornadoes.

Some breakthroughs take years. Reconstruction after natural catastrophes takes a long time. There are no quick fixes.  One pill doesn’t cure anything immediately. One celebrity-endorsed lotion doesn’t instantly erase 25 years from the face.

Let’s move on to a top example of someone who rode out countless natural disasters (metaphorically speaking). She continually lived in a natural disaster zone. No, wait.  She lived near Yellowstone National Park, a 2.222 million acre site in the U.S. The entire area is a supervolcano, which could erupt sometime within the next three decades:

Yoshi Minoshima Lawrence (December 3, 1929-October 12, 2021)

My late mother-in-law is as strong as they come. (I say “is” because her spirit is still alive.) Here’s a brief overview of her life:

  • Born into poverty on a farm in Japan
  • Saw friends die of starvation during World War II.
  • Married a military man from the US within fifteen years of the war’s end.
  • Disowned by family for years because she married “the enemy.”
  • Moved to the U.S. Not familiar with language or customs.
  • Had very little education. Needed to help with the family income. Worked as a housekeeper. Also did freelance sewing and baking jobs.
  • Divorced after almost two decades of a difficult marriage.
  • Never remarried. Did household repairs alone. Financially supported herself on low wages. 

Yoshi didn’t always have to struggle. She lived her last five years comfortable and nurtured in our basement. She still had many health challenges. Her heart stopped beating in the end. My mother-in-law passed away peacefully at home.

That’s not the end of the story.  Yoshi’s spirit has moved on to a new life free of pain and trauma.

My Conclusion


 “Breathe. This is just a chapter, not the whole story.”—Author Unknown


“What cannot be removed becomes lighter through patience.”—Horace


Laughter and smiles can brighten up anyone’s day. I’ll take some of that!

Please prepare for a cuteness overload. Dogs, cats, rabbits…this video has them all:

Do you believe in a better life after this one? Isn’t that how we all survive the storms of life?


  1. What a beautiful tribute to your mom-in-law. Thank you for sharing this snippet into your personal life. You said, "Have you noticed no scripture promises an easy life?" That is so true and I understand some of your personal struggles as you understand some of mine. But I would like to add, the scripture does promise us joy and peace through all the strife. I thank God I have been able to come to that place and I hope your readers can as well.

  2. Carol Graham, I'm always honored by your wise and selfless support. You make a good point: scripture does promise us joy and peace under all circumstances. That's different from living in a constant state of bliss. Joy and peace are worth much more.