love my flowers…. and books

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I have to share a couple of pictures of my yard. I am blessed with beautiful flower beds, thanks to the previous owners who were avid gardeners. Lucky for me there are many perennials and flowering bushes, saving me from having to figure out what to fill the beds with each spring, and a bonus, their flower choices still grace the yard each summer.

I would share more pictures, more often, but photography is not my strong point. There is a good reason for that, aside from the fact I have a smart phone and no camera. I’m an introvert, someone might see me, standing about, looking for the perfect angle. That would be a tragedy of epic proportions. I check to see if anyone is out and about, or has their curtains open, then take my flower pictures as quickly and discreetly as possible. Once in a while it works out. This next picture isn’t one of those times. 🙂

I had a visitor last night. Don’t know who he belongs to but he decided this was a good place to groom and settle in for a nap. I could have taken my time setting this up, it was a long nap.20170715_191327.jpg


I haven’t mentioned books read in the last few posts, so this is catch up time.

A Story of Second Chances – The Heart Mender – Andy Andrews…. This is one of my favorites this week, from one of my new favorite authors. It’s a story of life, loss, and reconciliation. Unlike any other story I’ve read, I like that.

Out of Egypt Series – Counted With the Stars book 1 – Connilyn Cossette … Another favorite this week, the story of Moses and the Red Sea from a different perspective. The protagonist is a beautiful young Egyptian girl, used to a privileged life style, suddenly sold into slavery to satisfy her father’s debts.

Life Unexpected Series – Safe in His Arms book 1- Melanie D Snitker…..  a beautiful girl running for her life, I expected it to be a rerun of a familiar theme, I took a chance and it wasn’t. I liked this book a lot too.

Sunriver Dreams Series – A Love to Treasure book 1 – Kimberly Rose Johnson …  another familiar theme, the protagonist’s grandmother passes leaving a last request. This book also didn’t meet my low expectations of a rerun. It turned out to be an adventure, with twists and turns to keep things interesting until the end.

Southern Hearts Series – Blown Together book 4 – Janet W Ferguson …. two main characters, each with issues, blown together when a tropical storm rages through. This was a good read, a book I would read again and enjoy.

Ray Elkins Thriller Series – Shelf Ice book 4 – Aaron Stander ….. this book has excellent reviews and I agree with them, it definitely held my attention. I’ve never read anything  with shelf ice before, an interesting touch.

Courage to Dream Series – Irish Meadows book 1 – Susan Anne Mason …. this was my least favorite book this time but it was still worth reading. It didn’t flow well at times and was frustrating in spots, I did make it to the end though and was glad I did.

Windswept Bay Series – With This Ring book 6 – Debra Clopton …. this was a fun book. A little boy is determined to have the father he asked Santa for. Makes for some interesting twists and delightfully embarrassing moments.

Elite Guardians Series – Always Watching book 1 – Lynette Eason …. a psychiatrist and radio show host has a stalker, his concerned father hires an agency to supply a body guard, an agency made up of strong, well trained, women.  A thriller.

Cowboy Fairytales Series – Once Upon a Cowboy – Lacy Williams …. I’m not a big fan of contemporary retelling of fairy tales but this one worked for me. It was well done and interesting. I wish it had been longer, with a chance to more fully develop the last part of the story, the ending felt hurried and cut short. It was a good read though.

I am currently reading Once in a Blue Year by Michael Durkota, it was a book reviewed by the RedheaderBooklover   her glowing review enticed me to check it out to see if I would agree. So far, I am agreeing but will wait for the end to say for sure. 🙂

Hopefully you will find treasures too, in some of these suggestions.

Happy reading! Until next time.

Those of us who don’t believe in divorce…..should.

I think, those of us who don’t believe in divorce should believe…. there is no accountability or consequence without the possibility of divorce.

It seems to me, in this world of no divorce, we live in a bubble outside of reality.  Our lives have to look perfect to prove we are real. We have to live behind masks to prove we are not phonies. Appearances matter and we become experts at keeping them up.

The truth of the matter is; not one of us is as perfect as our image leads others to believe.

We need to allow ourselves, and each other, to come out from behind our masks and let truth be known. It is possible to love God desperately but stumble and fall, get sick, go bankrupt, or have unruly kids. It is also possible to give the appearance of loving God, with a put together life, while not loving Him at all.

I think, we end up behind a mask because we are afraid of what people will think, we are afraid of being judged and ostracized, we put unfair pressure on ourselves and each other.

Sometimes our masks cover destructive behaviours;  some that affect our families, some that happen to our families. While all of us are good at keeping secrets, some of us keep secrets that would have us sent to jail in the real world. The wearing, and the acceptance, of masks makes it possible for this behaviour to continue unchecked.

Consequences may or may not cause the offender to change their behaviour but it would be worth a try.

I think God is sad when He sees divorce for frivolous reasons, but His heart is broken when He see abuse.

 

Married & Alone: a review, and a story

Last week the book review was for Intimacy Anorexic, this week it is for Married & Alone, the companion book by Doug Weiss PhD. The truth of these books will turn your world upside down, as new understanding dawns.

Several posts ago, in regard to my life’s journey, I mentioned that although great strides had been made, there were still areas in my life needing answers. Many decades into the process, sadly, the end was not yet here.

No matter the number of contacts made, books read, or the time invested in understanding dynamics, things were still unclear for me.

One possible reason for his lack of interest in me; could he be gay? I entertained this possibility more than once through the years but was never convinced it could be true. Too many indicators to prove otherwise.

I knew he had thick, high walls of protection I’d never been allowed behind. He had  a passive way of deflecting so the walls were not a blatant issue. He had a passive/dismissive way about most things, which meant it was hard to grasp hold of what was really going on. It was hard to get an exploratory discussion going because it was like smoke and mirrors, it isn’t solid so how can it be discussed.

I knew for sure there was no connection between us, living with him was beyond lonely.

Occasionally, other questions cropped up. Like, why is there a sense of competition between us, why would he feel threatened by me, even though I make sure to stay away from those areas he claims as his.

Or, why would he throw me under the bus, in front of other people, wasn’t he supposed to be my protector? If he loved me, wouldn’t he stand up for me?

I was frustrated because we were pretending to have this perfect happy marriage.

I was frustrated because of the deep inexplicable pain no one, including me, seemed to understand.

Eventually, I heard about this book, Married & Alone, and I thought, THAT’S ME.

I wish I had read it when I first heard about it but things sometimes happen only when the time is right. Reading the book now has filled in the blanks and answered  the questions.

Here are some of the treasures found in this book:

  • Clear definitions of  the Intimacy Anorexic and the effect on the spouse of such a person.

It is validating to know I’m not crazy, it isn’t my imagination, it isn’t my fault, and, I couldn’t fix any of it – no matter how hard I would try.

  • Clear descriptions of what the recovery process should look like, and what it looks like if it isn’t happening.

Believe actions, not words. Know the signs to show actions are happening.

  • Clear information regarding credentials and qualifications of professional help, and questions to ask in determining your needs.

I’ve never seen this information laid out as clearly and concisely. This section alone makes the book worthwhile.

  • Clearly shows the path from discovery point to the end question,  what now – stay or leave?

Rather than offer opinions or directions, Dr. Weiss offers questions to ask and truths to consider. His purpose is to help guide us through the murky and confusing world that is our life, helping us come to a place of understanding. With understanding, we have the tools to make a decision about the right course of action for our unique situation.

For me; it was wonderful to get to the end of the book and realize that, with God’s help, I had done everything Dr. Weiss laid out as steps toward healing. I had no previous idea about any of this but earnestly prayed for wisdom and direction, then when things occurred to me, and seemed logical, I did them.  Therapists, books, and knowledge, may not always be available to you, even then, help is still available from the One who never leaves us or forsakes us, the One who can teach us, and guide us to all the help we need.

I now have a clear picture of what was going on, I know everything that could be done has been done. There is a feeling of closure as this part of my healing journey is finally complete.

I hope you will read both books, the understanding gained will change your life and the lives of those around you.

The take away in regard to recovery: no more secrets; and each one must be willing to do the hard work.

These, and other helpful books, can be found at dougweiss.com or on Amazon

There is also a dedicated site   intimacyanorexia.com


There will be more posts in regard to this subject, I feel sure. The last step in the twelve step program charges us with the responsibility of helping others reach this place in the journey. Everyone needs someone to come alongside. We don’t journey alone, we are in this together.

 

 

 

 

 

Intimacy Anorexia: a review

Intimacy Anorexia: Healing the Hidden Addiction in Your Marriage by Douglas Weiss PHD.

Up until recently I knew of this book only by quotes I’d read. They were helpful but for some reason I never did read the whole book. Now I am wishing I had, much sooner.   Questions that have plagued me for years, and questions I hadn’t thought to ask, have been answered. At the start of the book I had questions in mind about one relationship, at the end, there were answers about 4 or 5 relationships.

Pondering  my new discoveries, I realize; this is not a new dilemma in families and relationships. This is an ancient generational issue.

In the introduction, Dr. Weiss mentions how he and his colleagues began to notice, in their practices of treating sex addicts, a type of client they couldn’t clinically explain.

This person, usually but not always, a male, was addicted to sex but was not having sex with his spouse.

Eventually, Dr. Weiss and his colleagues realized this practise had more to do with avoiding intimacy than it had to do with avoiding sex.

In case you think this is something that couldn’t be affecting you, Dr. Weiss mentions 25% and higher, as the number of people living with this.

You might be wondering, too, how this situation could fit so many relationships in my life. It turns out, avoidance of emotional intimacy affects not just the spouse but the whole family, in varying degrees.

Most statistics are based on information gathered. Many of us keep the family secrets,  what would stats be like if we didn’t?

In this book, the author will give a definition, characteristics, causes, patterns and strategies, and much more. This information will be helpful to both the addict and the spouse. There is also a companion workbook with exercises and a twelve step program to help with recovery.

If you read the book and need more help than it provides, they have phone in counselling sessions that can arranged. They also have three day, intensives, on site at their counselling center.

As Dr. Weiss says, their goal is to promote healing of this unique addiction process that is devastating so many marriages.

This book, and many of his other books, can be found on Amazon.com  Amazon.ca and probably other Amazon sites as well.

Books can also be ordered directly from his website  drdougweiss.com

A companion book to Intimacy Anorexia is Married and Alone and focuses on the spouseI hope to read it soon and post another review.

If any of this strikes a chord in your heart and mind, I hope you will pursue this information more quickly than I have.

Also, if anyone wants to talk about this, the best place is probably on my Facebook page Janette McCormack-Blogger. Either a comment or a message. Keep in mind though, it is a public site.

May you find needed healing, and blessings, in these resources.

 

 

 

Should we care what people think?

Is this a question you ask yourself when you write? I have been asking myself this question, again, the last few days, partly because of my own up and down emotions, partly  because of recent bloggers comments. It seems we all wrestle with this recurring question in one form or another.

I can remember the turmoil, before taking the plunge into blogging. I worried about  how, or even if, I could handle opposition and nasty comments. The comments on Facebook and news sites were nasty, I assumed this was a universal reaction to blogs everywhere. Happily, it seems the opposite is true, judging by the comments, or lack of comments, on this site. We are polite and kind to one another, which is a pleasant surprise. Or maybe it’s the filters built into this site protecting us. Either way, it seems to be a safe place.

The question of honesty and openness is big enough to be left for another day. But, in regard to the aspect of caring what others think when we share honestly- I am coming to  recognize that people are free to choose when to read and when not to read.  If this is the case, we can stop beating ourselves up over possibly offending our readers. If they don’t like how we think they will move on. The circle of people surrounding us will appreciate our thoughts…. unless they are simply there to build up their own numbers, in which case they probably don’t read our blog anyway, so it’s all good. At least that’s what I tell myself.

The plus side of sharing honestly, whether anyone reads it or not, is the self discovery that comes by laying things out in a logical and clear fashion. Moments of realization.

I’ve had a few of those recently, they would account for the up and down emotions of the last few days.

A time of sharing will come after a time of processing these new discoveries. Preceded by a time of thinking about who will be offended by the sharing.

The self discovery is worth it, I can tell you that, no matter what anyone thinks.

If you, too, are struggling with this question, I hope you will forge ahead with writing honestly, to experience more of your own moments of realization and the freedom it brings. Chains falling off.


 

Check out some of the good books read this last week or so.

An Avery Black Mystery – Cause to Kill book 1 – Blake Pierce ….. a strong female protagonist with a broken and scandal ridden past tracks down a serial killer. I enjoy Blake Pierce mysteries.

Detective Madison Knight Series – Sacrifice book 3 – Carolyn Arnold … a young man washes up on the shore, there are forces at work to hinder the investigation.

Called to Serve Series – Deployed book 1 – Mel Odom….  a strong female protagonist

Deborah Jones Crime Thriller Series – Miami Requiem book 1 – J B Turner ….. a determined reporter trying to track down the truth about a murder before the death penalty is carried out.

A Nuts About Nuts cozy mystery – A Tough Case to Crack – Cindy Bell…… a move, to a new life, only to find things are not as expected

Sullivan and Broderick Murder Investigation – The Rock book 1 – Robert Daws

False Identity – Jennifer Youngblood and Sandra Poole…..   romance

The Sweethaven Circle Series – A Sweethaven Summer book 1 – Courtney Walsh….. four inseparable friends are drawn back together as adults, after many years of separation.

Montana Skies Series – Cry of My Heart book 1 – Linda Ford …. adults faced with brokenness, a result of their childhood loses, and how it is crippling their adult lives and a love that started in their preteen years.

Here’s to discovering Good books to read!

Lyrics with something to say

Well, Facebook is off to a good start, I think, 4 of my friends have signed up as followers and have given some glowing reviews , so I am encouraged. It’s hard to decide where to spend my time, I have great ideas for both here and there.

In regard to content, I’ve decided to go with what my inner voice is telling me to write/post, which is a little conflicting sometimes because I know not everyone likes the things I do, like Southern Gospel Music for example. I have this inner need to please, that’s where the conflict comes in, it’s impossible to please everyone, and when you try, you please no one, so, without apology, I think I will go with whatever my heart is wanting to say and trust it will be the right thing for the moment.

There have been some songs playing nonstop in my head the last couple of days and I have shared them on Facebook. Like I said, I know not everyone gets excited about Southern Gospel Music, and to be honest it is not my favorite genre of music either, having said that though, I can’t name a favorite, because I like things from every genre… except Rap, I am not a fan of Rap.

The thing I love so much about Southern Gospel is, the lyrics, they are real and deep, touching my heart in ways I cannot put words to. Specifically, I like all things Gaither, Bill and Gloria Gaither have such an upbeat way of expressing deep truths. My kids mock me for my Gaither collection, well over 100 of his videos, videos I have played non stop, for days sometimes, letting the melodies take the lyrics way down deep in my soul and spirit. Donnie McGuire,  http://www.rambomcguire.com , a prolific producer/songwriter, says music has a way of changing us when it has a chance to work it’s way inside, he is right. These songs have been with me in the dark valleys, and they have been with me on the mountain tops. These songs have kept me sane, and in a good place.

I’m hoping that some of you will listen to the songs shared, enough times that they settle in your spirit, to make a difference, changing you in positive healthy ways. And I hope listening to well written songs will inspire you to produce your own well written songs, songs that will settle in someone’s spirit to make a difference.

Well, this post didn’t go the way I envisioned at the start, but that’s okay. This actually started out as an update, and an invite to check out Facebook , Janette McCormack-Blogger. I hope you will visit, on an ongoing basis, because I plan to share more well written songs over there every week.

Wishing you all a great day, filled with music.


More books on the next post.

Now on Facebook too

I’ve just started a Facebook page, Janette McCormack-Blogger , that’s the big news for today. There’s not much there yet but at least it is started and I will work on filling it out.

If you like to follow on Facebook I look forward to seeing you there.


This week has been a time of heavy thinking and I’ve needed a little distraction; some of these books have done it for me,  a couple of lighter reads along with.. a not so light read.

It has been a good week for downloads too. Some weeks are slimmer than others so a week with lots of good choices feels like Christmas!


Books Read

A Bradford Sisters Novella  – Then Came You – Becky Wade

Modern Conveniences Series – Lost in Love book 3 – Leah Atwood

The Mystery: Finding True Love in a World of Broken Lovers – Lacey Sturm…..  this is non-fiction, the poignant story of  a life of struggle.

Christmas Mysteries Book Series – Christmas Mystery – James Kipling

New page added….. Relationships-Resources

A new page has been added for non fiction books helpful on my journey. Also added on my profile is a link to a site I’ve followed for a number of years. Heart to Heart Counseling Center, with Doug Weiss Ph.D, it has been a major contributor to my healing journey and I want to share it for anyone who could benefit from this site. They have a large selection of helpful books and DVDs.

Two of the books quoted regularly in the weekly emails were Married and Alone, and  Intimacy Anorexia: Healing the Hidden Addiction in Your Marriage. The quotes were life changing for me, I think it’s time to read the books, so I’ve downloaded them.

I will share my thoughts on these two books in a later post.

In the meantime, check out the new page, if it would be helpful to you on your journey.

Blessings!

Janette

Is there a common thread?

I believe there is.

This blog seems to have fallen into two different areas, with different audiences. My mind even puts them in separate camps when I write.

I’ve spent considerable time today thinking about the relationship between Life Story and Books …. not by design, it just happened. Maybe all this thinking was triggered by the few pages read while investigating a book to download –  “The Mystery – Finding True Love in a World of Broken Lovers” by Lacey Sturm. (a book I am very much looking forward to reading)

At the end of the day I’ve had to admit, while not everyone is wanting to think about both, the subjects of life and books are intertwined,

The reason I think this is:

  • We all have a story, we all face good times and bad, age has very little bearing on when either will happen.
  • Many of us find reading to be a refuge in our troubled places, our love of reading becomes deeper than ever.
  • We may seek help by reading books related to our situations, other times a character in a story will say or do something that strikes a chord and changes our perspective, a little.
  • However it goes, in good times and bad, books are a major part of a readers life. Books and life, intertwined.

I will admit, writing about books is much easier – and more fun. Writing about my story –  definitely harder. I do it because there is someone out there needing to know they aren’t alone in the their struggle. And….for those who have yet to face hard places,……. maybe they will remember something helpful when they do.

“Into every life a little rain must fall” I’m not sure who said it but it’s true. Another truth, “this too shall pass”. Both the good and the bad. Just hold on. And read a good book!


Several more books

The Gin Palace Trilogy – The Bone Orchard book 2, The Gin Palace book 3 – Daniel Judson   I liked the first two books the best, the third one felt like he was just trying to get it done.

Beastly Charm: a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast – Jennifer Youngblood, and Sandra Poole …  an enjoyable read

Happy Reading!

Be an avid reader, to become an excellent writer

This is my advice to aspiring writers with a promising story inside.

Read really good books, and only good books. You time is valuable and in short supply, don’t spend it on a book that is less than excellent. I know excellence by the way it captures my interest. Genre doesn’t matter, nor does the reputation of the author. The only thing that matters is the way the story draws you in.

Avidly reading excellent books will impact your writing. It’s like eating gourmet food, it spoils you for anything less.

As you experience phrases like “the blue and red colours of the neon sign bled into the wet street”, from The Poisoned Rose by Daniel Judson, they will stick in your mind and you will automatically know a better way to say things.

Don’t spend too much time over-thinking the choice of  book to read. Some of my best finds have been when there was little thought at all, just the seizing of an opportunity.

BookBub, Amazon, Instafreebie, and Gospel eBooks, have become my best friends, I’ve found so many treasures paying attention to their offerings.

Read anything and everything, and then read more of the authors you want to be like, spend enough time with them and you will begin to write like them.

That’s what I am doing…. all of the above, and it is changing me.


Currently reading “The Bone Orchard” sequel to “The Poisoned Rose” by Daniel Judson

To good reading!