Wanda’s Journal

Antidote for Depression

In my co-authored novel, The Blended Quilt, Sadie’s friend, Mandy, suffered a miscarriage and sank into depression. There are many things in life that can cause us to feel depressed–ill health, loss of a job, family issues, financial struggles–to name a few. For some people depression might be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and some people, due to their circumstances, are just more prone to feelings of depression. If the depression is caused from a chemical imbalance or other physical problem, sometimes medication or supplements may be needed.

Have you or someone you know ever felt so depressed that you could barely function? In addition to medication or supplements, when needed, what are some other things a person can do when depression due to circumstances takes hold?

Here is what the Bible says about feeling sad, disappointed or depressed: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” Psalm 43:5.

During the uncertain days each of us is living in now, it would be easy to become depressed and allow our minds to become filled with negative thoughts that can tear us down. I’m reminded that in John 16:33, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.'”


In my co-authored novel, The Blended Quilt, Sadie Kuhns witnessed an older woman’s purse being snatched in the parking lot outside of a bulk food store. Sadie came to the woman’s rescue and got the purse back from the girl who had taken it. She was then offered a reward for her good deed.

Have you ever been faced with something similar–either having something stolen from you or been on the scene to rescue and return an item for someone else? How did you feel about the situation? Would you have accepted or given a reward for the good deed?

What does the Bible say about good deeds?

What Anger Can Do

In my novel, The Mockingbird’s Song, the main character, Sylvia, and her younger brother, Henry, were angry at God, even after a year, because of the accident that took three of their family members. This affected their faith. Why do you think Sylvia and Henry’s reactions were so different from their mother’s or other siblings? Some family members went to God for comfort, while others turned their backs on Him.

Is it a good idea to talk to someone about it when we feel angry. Or is it better to say nothing and hold our anger inside?

So let’s talk about what anger can do. From a health standpoint–mentally and physically, most doctors and counselors will tell you that anger held in and never dealt with in a healthy manner can be destructive to our well-being. Angry feelings towards others hurts us more than it does them. And what justification is there to be angry at God? After all, He created us with a will of our own, and it was man’s disobedience, not God’s, that brought sin and painful situations into our world. In addition to affecting our health, anger can weaken our faith. Some people who have chosen to be angry at God, slip further and further from Him as they cling to their anger and resentment.

When a tragedy occurs, like it did in The Mockingbird’s Song, it’s normal to feel some anger at first. However, in order to move on it’s necessary to give our angry feelings to God and allow Him to heal our hurting soul. Once we release our anger and resentment, our faith can grow and we can begin to see things from a new perspective. I have always believed that God can take, even a tragedy, and use it for His good if we allow Him to. Going through the trials we face here on earth can make us stronger. Having gone through difficulties and come through them with God’s help, we are then able to minister to someone else who is struggling in their faith after dealing with a tragedy, or because someone has said or done something hurtful to them. If you are dealing with unresolved anger towards someone right now, please send me an email at wanda@wandabrunstetter.com so I can pray for you.

How can we help?

In my newest novel, The Mockingbird’s Song, Sylvia and her family were faced with some difficult situations that could have weakened their faith if they had not continued to pray and sought God’s will.

Have you ever suffered a loss that could have weakened your faith? What are some things we can do to strengthen our faith when it becomes weak due to a hardship or loss we have faced? How can we help someone who has suffered a loss and seems to have lost their faith in God?

I truly believe that when we ask the Lord for help during difficult times, He sends someone to minister to us. Likewise, we should be ready to help others who might need ministering to when they are dealing with something painful that is out of their control. When we bless others, we too will feel blessed.

A Question of Faith

In my upcoming novel, The Mockingbird’s Song, Sylvia and her family are faced with some difficult situations that involve threatening messages and vandalism to their property.

Like the King family in this Amish Greenhouse Mystery series, everyone is faced at some time or the other with hardships that often involve physical, emotional or spiritual battles.

What are some things we can do to strengthen our faith when it becomes weak because of a hardship or loss we have faced? How can we help someone who has suffered an ordeal and seems to be struggling with depression or a loss of their faith?

A Joyful Heart

The first novel I had published is called “A Merry Heart.” It’s about an Amish schoolteacher who has become negative and lost her faith in God. Some people lose faith when going through difficulties, like many of us are dealing with right now.

Do you have any favorite Bible verses that have helped you during times of sadness, depression, or a weakened faith? One of my favorite scriptures is found in Proverbs 17:22 — “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” What this verse means is that a joyful heart is like medicine to our soul — making us feel better physically and emotionally. Whereas, a broken spirit (or a depressed state) can cause is to feel unwell.

The need to find joy in life. even while going through hardships, is emphasized in my novel, “A Merry Heart.” What are the benefits of having a joyful heart? Why does God want us to find joy in life?

Some Things to Ponder

In my novel, The Crow’s Call, the King family suffered a great loss when three of their family members were killed in the same accident.

Have you ever suffered a catastrophic loss like the King family did? If you have read The Crow’s Call, how did each of the main characters in the story cope with their loss? Which character handled it the way you would?

Belinda, the mother of the family and owner of the Kings’ greenhouse, was unsure of who could be vandalizing them and wondered if it might be her own son, acting out his frustrations. If someone caused vandalism on your property, what would you do? Would you get a watch dog, an alarm system, or call the sheriff? Do you think Belinda did right by not notifying law officials, or even telling her eldest son about it?

According to God’s Word, it’s important to ask for His guidance when going through difficult times. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye,” saith the Lord.. Psalm 32:8.

Complete Trust

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress:
my God; in him will I trust.
Psalms 91:2

The Amish are some of the most trusting people I know. They trust their horses to pull their buggies. They trust their older children to care for the younger ones. They trust God to provide for all of their needs.
When my husband and I visited an Amish schoolhouse for the first time, even though the teachers had never met us, they trusted us to come in peace. In fact, we were welcomed into their classroom.
God wants us to trust Him in all things. He is our fortress, our shelter in the time of storm. Are you able to lay your worries and cares aside and trust that the Lord will see you through anything life throws at you? In Numbers 6:25 we are told that the Lord makes His face shine upon us. Knowing that God is always with us, and that His face is actually shining on us, should give a sense of security and trust, even in the most frightening circumstances. A calm mind and a confident heart are available to every believer. Ask God to teach you to trust Him more and help you to relax in Him.

Heavenly Father:
When my world seems to be crashing in,
I feel frightened and insecure.
Give me a gentle reminder that
I need to put my trust in You,
and not focus on my circumstances.
Give me a calm mind and confident heart.
Teach me to trust you more. Amen.

Twelve Remedies to Counteract Stress

During difficult times like our world is facing now, it’s important for us to find some ways to relax and de-stress. Here is a list I have compiled that helps me when I’m dealing with worry or stress.

1. Pray (listed as number 1 because it’s the most important.) “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.” (I Peter 3:12). “Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
2. Read the Bible and meditate on God’s Word. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16) “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
3. Read a good book that includes inspirational thoughts, and it will take your mind someplace else.
4. Take a walk, run, or ride a bike. Exercise is good for us physically and mentally.
5. Listen to uplifting/relaxing music.
6. Talk with a friend or relative on the phone or in person if possible.
7. Go outside or sit near an open window while you watch and listen to the birds’ uplifting melodies.
8. Pick a flower—smell it—enjoy the fragrance.
9. Feast your eyes on a sunrise or sunset and remember that God is the creator of all things.
10. Take a warm shower or bath.
11. Watch an uplifting or humorous movie on your TV or some other electronic device.
12. Eat your favorite comfort food. Indulging in chocolate is comforting for some people. I personally find that drinking certain kinds of herbal tea can help me relax.

Above all else, don’t give in to fear or extreme worry. Those emotions will make you feel more stressed. I am reminding myself daily to replace “Fear” with “FAITH.” One of my favorite verses is Psalm 34:4: “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

How are you coping with our situation right now? Have you found some ways to relax and de-stress?

The Importance of Family

In my novel, The Crow’s Call, the King family was faced with a serious trial they never expected would happen. It was a time when they had to work closely with each other in order to survive. The emotional and physical support they received from one another was what held the family together. In many ways the trials they faced brought the family closer, despite the discord that sometimes occurred.

Has you family ever been faced with a difficult challenge, and because of it, you were brought closer? Or did the traumatic event seem to pull you apart?

When a family experiences a tragedy, how can they come through it with a stronger bond and greater faith in God?