Things I learned…

Several days ago I shared the helpful video I had the good fortune to run across. It was an interview with Jennifer Kolari and can be found here.

I’m still thinking about some things she shared that impacted me most.

I did take notes but they are in the form of phrases, just enough to remind me of the thoughts I didn’t want to forget. I won’t be able to share the clear or complete explanations contained in the video. I refer you back to the video for that wealth of information. (This is my disclaimer: much hereafter is on me, the author can’t be blamed for any issues or misunderstandings. I do want to give her credit for the good parts though.)

One of the first significant phrases was “your body keeps the score”. There are many reasons why our brains do not retain memories, especially of traumatic events, but our bodies remember everything Jennifer says. I have never thought about it quite like that before (stored in the body rather than in the brain) but I have always been convinced that some part of me does remember all the things I don’t or won’t.

Another point, in regard to the out of proportion reactions we often have to people, situations, comments etc. — we need to find healing before we can learn how to respond rather than react. I totally get this. I’ve been working on it in my life for quite some time and lately have seen positive changes in my thoughts and actions. I appreciate what she is about to say on how to go about doing this.

Jennifer says “to heal it you’ve got to feel it.” I agree, and to do that we have to give ourselves permission to feel our emotions. Most of us have learned to push down and bottle up our feelings. Typically, over time the feelings fester and eventually erupt into something much worse than they were originally.

So here’s the part I’ve not heard expressed quite this way. She says we feel love with our heart and we feel fear with our gut. I guess I haven’t really thought about the heart response because the feelings there would be positive and pleasant. I have definitely noticed negative changes in the gut though. When I’m feeling anxious things definitely do not feel pleasant in my digestive area.

She says one of the reasons for this concept to be plausible is due to neurons.

Apparently both the heart and the gut have neurons, who knew. I did a little internet research and here’s what I found.

According to several sources, including sciencemag.org the gut contains millions of neurons and is directly connected to the brain. The vagus nerve is one of the largest nerves carrying messages back and forth at a dizzying rate. The site linked above is as recent as 2018. If we feel fear or anxiety there will be a reaction in the gut. For some of us it morphs into painful intestinal disorders and other similar diseases.

The heart similarly has a large number of neurons but it also has it’s own nervous system and brain. Sometimes called the little brain according to heartmath.org. In 1991 a scientist made this discovery. The heart and the head brain are also sending a dizzying number of message back and forth.

Wow! I have to say this little bit of exploration done in order to speak intelligently to Jennifer’s comments regarding the gut and the heart, has opened up a whole new world of information. It’s calling out to me, to look into it more and more thoroughly.

Bottom line for the original subject of this post; to be emotionally healthy it helps to understand how the heart and gut are tied to our thoughts and memories. We feel love in our heart, we feel fear in our gut. When we react to people rather than respond, which part of our body is involved? Most often it will be fear, the gut. The next question is what happened to us to cause this reaction? How is it tied to our early life, what traumatized us. A dog? Lost? Abused? What?

Jennifer’s point is that if we can figure out the originating event and allow ourselves to feel the irrational fear it will lose it’s power over us and we can move on. Feel the fear of the dog, the bully, the dark, whatever it is.

Here’s a little teaser about the heart brain.

I’m not sure if I have been able to stay on subject well enough to make sense but I hope so.

I think the main take away is that our emotional well being affects our physical well being. After that, it becomes a vicious cycle. Learning to read the signs and figuring out what to do to alleviate/repair issues and memories, can be life changing.

Check out the interview and the other links to learn more about this fascinating subject.

A helpful resource – professional counselling in book form

The level of professional counselling we need is sometimes not easily found. That was the case for me a decade or two ago and this book was a life saver. It was written as a joint effort by the Minirth/Meir group, both of them psychiatrists, joined by a third person, a psychologist.

The book starts off talking about codependency. That’s not the way I remember it from my first reading. It’s funny how that goes. The parts I remember are the ones explaining what happened to me, how it has affected me, and the broken way I do life as a result. Understanding opened many life changing doors in my thinking.

Of all of the many books I’ve read this one was the most comprehensive and impacting. It was written to be a counselor to those without access to one. It covers the subject well enough to be a textbook written in layman’s terms.

I’ve shared this book here before but feel inspired to share it again.

I was speaking with a long time friend today, catching up on our lives and families. Stuff happens in our families and sometimes there is brokenness left undiscovered for decades.

I’ve been thinking about our conversation for most of the day and tonight remembered about this book that could be helpful in their situation. So, this is for my friend, to share as she sees fit.

It’s for you too (as reader) if this would be helpful in your life.

One more comment. I remember interpreting the title and certain phrases in the synopsis in a negative way.

Reality was nothing like my expectations. Supportive, kind, understanding, helpful; these are all words I would use to describe the experience. And, validation.

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Love Is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships

Amazon quote:

Let go of unhealthy relationships with the book that more than 850K people have trusted.

Best-selling doctors, Hemfelt, Minirth, and Meier, walk you through their ten proven stages to recovery from codependency that results from external circumstances.

Humans are susceptible to codependency because of our sinful tendency to use defense mechanisms to fool ourselves. In codependent relationships, deceitful games are played, and important Christian principles are often taken out of context and abused.

God wants us to have healthy relationships with a balance between being dependent and independent. The doctors describe how the most effective means of overcoming codependent relationships is to establish or deepen a relationship with Christ Himself.

They describe the causes of codependency, pointing out the factors that perpetuate it, and lead readers through their ten stages of recovery.

Continue a deeper study with the Love Is a Choice workbook, available separately.

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Read this prayerfully with a surrendered heart and mind. I say this because our defense mechanisms can have us locked up so tight that helpful thoughts cannot penetrate the armor we have going on. Work on wanting to know. Work on believing there is hope, and that you are worth so much more than what you’ve been told.

A little This and That

Today’s edition of a little more of this and that.

A couple of thoughts have been rolling around in my head, provoking me for the last few days. Both of them raised in books I’ve been reading this week, and they aren’t letting go.

The loudest thought was expressed by a character in Charles Martin’s Water Keeper. A young woman exposed to drugs had been through rehabilitation a number of times and knew what was in store. Not fun. This time, because of a severe injury she was addicted to opioid pain killers and was desperate to find some way to make withdrawal survivable. Many years after the fact she shared with a friend how she did it.

She had become addicted to a new book series and as a distraction spent her time reading, desperately by the sounds of it. By the time she was past withdrawal she had re-read the first three books. in the series… twenty seven times.

I guess when she was finished she would just start all over again. In the end they were what helped keep her sanity.

That’s an amazing concept and I can totally see it working. It wouldn’t be easy, or a miraculous quick fix, but it could work.

Reading is my pain killer of choice, too, if I’m honest about why I read. That’s why I’m always on the look out for stories with the ability to transport me to another place. Whatever I’m struggling with is often forgotten, or at very least, in the rear view mirror, by the time the story I’m vicariously living is done.

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The next expressed thought to grab my attention will be with me for a very long time to come, I think. Probably because it is touching me on a deeply personal level.

I don’t remember which book I was reading but I remember the experience of those words.

One of the characters had an aging parent with dementia. As the disease progressed there was an ever increasing issue with displays of anger and it was causing problems in the care facility. They were threatening to expel the patient if the threat to other patients and staff couldn’t be addressed.

Discussing the issue with her friend, she couldn’t understand how a gentle loving man had become this difficult person.

Here’s the thought that arrested me. It’s not a direct quote, it’s what I can remember of the interaction.

All our lives we were taught manners and self-restraint. We could be angry with someone but it would be impolite to express the way we felt and so we were gracious.

When we fall into dementia those learned filters are no longer in place and unresolved anger comes out freely.

This is distressing food for thought, I don’t want to be that angry person if I fall into dementia. For now my filters are firmly in place and there are no temper flare ups, with people.

With inanimate objects it’s another story. Like with tangled hangers in the closet or with plants catching at my rake as I’m trying to gather up fallen leaves. The rage always surprises me and I am worried about where it’s coming from.

I can’t remember enough of the buried details of my abusive early life to have a meaningful conversation with a counselor, at least that is my opinion. On the other hand the root of this anger would be a good reason for a discussion with someone, while I still have filters.

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So those are the thoughts rolling around in my head these days.

There is an idea from a third book giving me pause but I’ll save that for another day.

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Our cold weather has become more than warm in the last few days. It was 27c yesterday and is supposed to reach 30c today.

Everything is growing like crazy. Tree leaves have been popping out fast enough to make my head spin. We are loving it.

Remember to read. It has great side benefits.

Free book May 16, 2021

BookRunes has a FREE suggestion that looks interesting. It seems pretty clear that there is baggage involved. Lots of it.

Baggage Claim (Hope Again Book 1)

Amazon quote:

There had to be at least one healthy branch on his family tree…

Who can he trust?
When Ben Taylor, widower and father of four lively children, decides to track down his biological parents, he discovers a family tree with tangled roots and broken branches. The deeper he digs, the more Ben would rather cover it all up again and pretend he never met them.

Things grow exponentially more complicated when he discovers shady dealings at his job at Great Lakes Therapy. Piece by piece, his comfortable life crumbles as he becomes caught up in a dangerous network of fraud and deception. Anxious to protect his children, he convinces their nanny – who isn’t quite what she appears to be – to take them to safety while he wrestles with just how much he can trust his “new” relatives to help. When everything is unraveled, and there is no one else to lean on, will Ben find the courage he needs to see it through and the wisdom to lean on the One who can save them all?

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That’s all I have for the moment.
I’m heading outside to work in the garden for a while. I have a This & That post rolling around in my mind so maybe it will happen a little later.

Happy Sunday Reading

Bargain books April 25, 2021

It’s casual browsing day today and it’s been fun. By the look of the first treasures found (I’m needing some light reading) I thought today was going to be a Cowboy – Marriage of Convenience theme. Several books are like that but then I came across something interesting with a darker side to it. There went my lighter theme. Oh well, variety is nice.

A Marriage of Convenience in the Show Me State (Cowboy Crossing Western Sweet Romance Book 5) 

Amazon quote:

Zane Hudson just got custody of his four young children. Only problem is, he can’t watch his kids and run his farm, too. He needs a permanent housekeeper. He has every intention of hiring someone until…

Waverley Madris is two months behind on her rent and about to lose her house and her children. Getting stuck with handsome Zane Hudson and his four kids in the Diner bathroom seems like just the type of thing that was just her luck.

Except she emerges from that bathroom an engaged woman.

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Show Me a Marriage of Convenience: Small-Town Single-Father Cowboy Romance (Cowboy Crossing Romances Book 1) 

Amazon quote:

An ex-player cowboy with a little son, the boy’s shy plus-size aunt, and a reluctant modern marriage of convenience only the boy is excited about… A sweet, clean, wholesome romance with a happily-ever-after!


Kade agrees to a crazy proposal from the woman his child adores. But as a former foster kid, Kade learned to walk away before getting hurt. Can he now learn to stay and love?


Heather Johnson dreams of a real marriage with the man her sister abandoned. But the rumor is Kade might leave their small town again and take her darling nephew with him. She’s reluctant to trust a womanizer, husband or not. If she allows love for him to ignite her heart, will her marshmallow-soft heart become roasted and burned?

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This next one is in the serious category. There are many forms of abuse in our world today and this is one of them.

Shattered Dream (Prisoners of Hope Book 1)

Amazon quote:

Cassie True dreams of the day she can resume her music career. Only one thing stands in her way, a court-ordered rehab program sponsored by a religious cult determined to steal her soul.

Singer/songwriter Cassie True enters a rehab program that promises to change her life. And it does…in ways she never expected. Caught in a religious cult’s ever-constricting web, she fights not only for her sanity but for the freedom to form real friendships. She longs to put alcoholism behind her, finish the program and return to her career. But when her friend is forcibly separated from her husband by the cult leader and a young boy is abused at the cult’s elementary school, she can’t stand by and do nothing.

Bucking the system is dangerous and could result in dismissal from the program—and a return to jail. Can Cassie and her coworker, Corban Dahlstrom, toe the party line yet work together behind the scenes to help others escape the cult’s clutches? Will they be able to withstand the fiery backlash that’s sure to come? Does their budding romance have a chance in a world where an iron-fisted leader controls all relationships?

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One more in the serious category. This is a second look for me, at this suggestion. In many ways it will be a tough read but the topic is timely. The reviews tell me I should take a chance on this. The writer’s treatment of the subject makes all the difference and reviews suggest this has been treated well.

More Than Us by Dawn Barker

Amazon quote:

When parents disagree on how to care for their child, is it justifiable to take extreme measures?

Emily and Paul have a glorious home, money in the bank and two beautiful children. Since leaving Scotland for Paul to play football for an Australian team they have been blessed. But sadness lies behind the picture-perfect family – sixteen-year-old Cameron has battled with health troubles his entire life. There’s no name for what he has, but his disruptive behaviour, OCD and difficulty in social situations is a constant source of worry.

When Paul’s career comes to a shuddering halt, he descends into a spiral of addiction, gambling away the family’s future. By the time he seeks help, it’s his new boss Damien who recommends and pays for a rehab facility.

While Paul is away, Emily has to make a tough decision about their son. She keeps it from Paul knowing he’ll disapprove. And when a terrible accident reveals the truth, Paul takes his son and goes on the run, leaving Emily to care for fourteen-year-old Tilly, who unbeknown to her parents is fighting battles of her own.

Can the family join together for the sake of their loved ones, or will their troubles tear them apart?

What people are saying about More than Us:

Dawn Barker has the reader enthralled and reading as quickly as possible to find out what happens to the complex, flawed, yet endearing main characters.’ Reader review

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Of the four, the book I’m looking forward to most at this moment is the first one, I’m in need of a lighter read to brighter my day. I’m not sure why that is exactly, it just is. Moods seem to be like the weather, unpredictable and change at a moments notice.

Before I can get to the new read I must finish the current one…

I think this one isn’t helping my mood. Probably because the villain reminds me of someone in my past. I think maybe I’d better speed read through this one.

Other than all that it has been a good weekend. I enjoyed a fun visit with my family and a pleasant sunshiny drive to get there yesterday.

I hope the weekend has gone well for you too.

Happy Reading

How do I do it?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

A commenter, Sheri Dye from ReadBetwixtWords , after my last post with read and enjoyed asks “You read all of these? In April?.. I’m so jealous! 😂”

The answer popping into my head would be much too long for the comment box so I promised a post.

Normally I would read while eating my breakfast but this subject was much too engaging. Every second was spent thinking of all the things I wanted to say in reply.

So, how do I do it? Well, it’s complicated but not a bad thing. I have to say that because my first response to the question puts a big smile on my face, I think it’s pretty funny and I LOVE reading. When I think about it from the listener’s perspective, though, it sounds pathetic.

I am, for the most part, happy with my life. Even if I could do things differently I probably wouldn’t.

There are two major contributing factors to my lifestyle. I’m an introvert and I’m a survivor with hermit tendencies. Translated that means I have major trust issues. Home is safe so I stay home. A lot. I venture out several times a month, maybe. It’s covid, where would I go anyway? lol To be honest, life looks about the same for me now as it did pre-covid. Really, there’s nothing new to see here.

So, we’ve established, I have no life and it’s just me. My life can be ordered however I like and if I choose reading over housework no one complains.

On the realistic side though, I do still have a job and I’m grateful. It adds purpose to my life and gives me contact with the outside world, limited though it may be. I work remotely and spend all of my working time online.

Aside from my job and must-do things to keep myself alive and comfortable, I can do pretty much whatever I want.

So, how do I read so many books?

First of all, no TV. I didn’t watch it anyway and let the subscription go.

I read every second I’m not compelled to be doing something else. I’m addicted, what can I say.

On average I read a book a day. Some don’t really take all that long. For others I’ve developed some habits and learned some tricks.

I try to keep moving. It’s easy to drop back to a stroll when it should be a quick-step. If a book turns out to be the one where every word needs to be read, I give it the respect it deserves and slow down to savor the experience. Not many books are like that though.

Then there are the choices of speed reading or skimming.

Speed reading, I try but don’t use it much as it’s not often that I need to remember everything I’ve just read.

Skimming, I let my eyes quickly run down the middle of the page and at the bottom ask myself “Did I miss anything important?” If no then I keep going like that until a page shows up that deserves a closer look. Practice makes this an effective tool.

There are some things I flat out do not read.

Detailed descriptions of all kinds. What people are wearing. Surroundings. Some scenes between characters. Now and then a description sets the stage for future actions but mostly they do not. It takes more effort than I care to give for me to visualize whatever it is.

I avoid thought patterns and conversations. Sometimes the story is fixated on internal struggles and the same narrative happens over and over. Not worth my time to read it over and over.

Hop, skipping, jumping.

If the story moves slowly, I’ll skip paragraphs, pages and finally chapters. I’ll hop ahead a chapter, or two or three, at a time, stopping long enough to see what’s happening. Not much? Move on. Something? Stay awhile. If things are really bad I’ll jump to the last chapter or two where there is generally a story summary.

I love to read slowly and savor a book, if it deserves that kind of treatment. Honestly, most often they do not. There’s nothing wrong with giving it time if that’s what you want and at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with hurrying on through.

To read a book a day, I have to remind myself I don’t have time to sit and chat, I have to keep moving.

In a way this has become like a job to me. If I want to have something to say on this blog everyday I have to put in the time. If I download books and want to know about authors I’ve not read I have to find ways to keep up.

To summarize, if you want to read like I do: have no life and do not read every word.

It’s not perfect by any means but I love my life.

So, that’s how I do it!

And that picture? Totally me, sitting at my table for hours on end 🙂

Read and enjoyed April 12, 2021

Lots of meat to chew on with this read. T.D. Jakes always has many thought provoking things to add to any story and this was no exception. He gives us an in-depth look at four woman types and the hardest one for me to read was the one most like me. All of the women were hurting in one way or another, that’s the way life is. Difficult patches in life are inevitable. It’s what we do with them that will make or break us.

T.D. Jakes doesn’t hold back, he tells it raw and real. He doesn’t expose us and then leave us hanging out to dry. He leaves us with answers (not always the ones we want to hear but answers nevertheless) and points us to hope. Some people will tear us all apart pointing out the broken places then walking away. He doesn’t ever tear us apart, rather he sheds a light in the dark places to help us see the important things we are missing. His goal is to help us choose a better way.

The broken among us have bought into lies we’ve been told over and over. His novel is one more tool in the arsenal to help us break out of our prison of lies.

He is a great story teller. Everything he is trying to share is woven into the fabric of the story making it strong. The best kind.

Cover Girls by T.D. Jakes

This compelling novel follows four women as they learn to balance children, estranged husbands, boyfriends, and problems at work through their faith in God.

Michelle, Tonya, Mrs. Judson, and Miz Ida. African-American, white, rich, poor — they seemingly have nothing in common. Yet every day they face the complex realities of twenty-first-century urban life as they try to balance their needs with their belief in God. Through the course of a year, these women must come to terms with the past, discover their true identities, and recognize the unexpected miracles that reveal God’s all-encompassing love.

These four women entertain us and invite us to join in their lives. As they welcome us, they also introduce us to the men in their lives. The men play supporting roles, adding color and zest to the lives of the Cover Girls.

Bishop Jakes knows the struggles real women encounter and the losses that make it difficult to face the future. He brings compassionate insight and deep wisdom to this novel and proves that he is not only a gifted preacher, but a born storyteller.

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Currently, I’m into a lighter read. It’s not fluffy by any means, just lighter by comparison.

Run With My Heart: Sweet, Christian Christmas Romance: (A Texas Tornadoes Single Author Sports Romance book 2) (Texas Tornados) 

A football player who’s lost. A woman in danger of losing all she loves. Could he be the Christmas Miracle she’s been praying for?

Pro football player Tucker Jackson has a chip on his shoulder. His mother died when he was young, his father threw himself into his work, and the team he now plays for is in danger of losing their season.

His anger drives him to a bar where an ensuing fight earns him service at a community center. Can he find a way to tame his ire before it destroys his dreams forever?

Shelby Doll has a heart for kids, but the community center she runs is short on funds. Tucker Jackson is her last hope to keep the doors open, but will he leave her in a lurch when it matters the most?

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Happy Reading!

One thing led to another and here we are.

Podcasts. They have captured my attention and it would be safe to say I have been binge-watching often lately. Tonight was no exception and this is where the one-thing-lead-to-another comes in. And, in the end it led to books. I think that is quite awesome.

It’s no secret that there is abuse in my background. I’ve talked about it sparingly along the way and by the looks of it, will be sharing again.

As is often the case, the interviewee on the podcast has recently come out with a new book. Out of the six excellent videos watched tonight, the one to capture my interest the most was a story similar to mine. The ending in relation to her marriage was better than mine, aside from that though, the content was definitely helpful. Spoiler alert… the issue in the marriage was pornography, highly addictive and destructive. At the end of this post I’ll share the link for the podcast. Here is the book…

Choosing a Way Out: When the Bottom Isn’t the Bottom

Amazon quote:

Was it all a lie?

When the author heard her husband’s confession, it took her breath away. Looking back she realized her husband’s sin exposed the deception in her own life. This uninvited crisis proved to be the impetus for her ultimate healing.

Kirsten writes that for most of her adult life she believed:

• She wasn’t good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough, or rich enough, or talented enough, or whatever enough.

She wasn’t a good person. She was too stubborn, opinionated, and direct.

She was a failure because she’d tried something bold and audacious and didn’t succeed like planned.

• She was invisible and forgettable.

In these pages, you’ll experience raw honesty and a clear path through the pain. You’ll realize that no depression is too dark and no lie too strong. Discover a powerful process where you exchange isolation for accountability and deception for deliverance. Today you can experience a way out, even in the bleakest of circumstances where the bottom doesn’t feel like the bottom. The truth is that God is greater than your pain.

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There’s more.

In the suggestion strip at the bottom of the screen there was a book that appears to apply to me. The longer I looked at it, the more familiar it felt. I checked. I have two copies of it, gifted years ago by a concerned friend. I have read it and taken copious notes, it was that helpful. I have it but will tell you about it again anyway.

The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Amazon quote:

For those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and those who love and care for them, The Wounded Heart offers a tender, compassionate window into the psychological effects of abuse and the theological foundations for healing.

Thirty years ago, with great courage and vision, Dan Allender brought Christians to the table to acknowledge, understand, and help victims heal from their experience of the evil of sexual abuse. His work continues to help victims and those who love them to honestly acknowledge their abuse, understand the unique challenge of repentance for victims of abuse, and learn to love boldly in defiance of their trauma. Ultimately Dan offers the bold assurance to sexual abuse victims that even they can find their way to joy and hope in the comforting embrace of a good God.

The Wounded Heart has sold over 400,000 copies and has been the first book family, friends, counselors, pastors, and victims have turned to in search of Christian answers to the calamity of sexual abuse. With a new introduction reflecting on the ongoing importance of the book, and a companion workbook for personal and group recovery, The Wounded Heart continues to offer an urgently needed word of grace in a world ravaged by sexual abuse.

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So, further investigation led me to a newer book that I think is an updated version of The Wounded Heart. I think I need to read this one too.

Healing the Wounded Heart: The Heartache of Sexual Abuse and the Hope of Transformation 

Amazon quote:

First published in 1989, Dan Allender’s The Wounded Heart has helped hundreds of thousands of people come to terms with sexual abuse in their past. Now, more than twenty-five years later, Allender has written a brand-new book on the subject that takes into account recent discoveries about the lasting physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual ramifications of sexual abuse.

With great compassion Allender offers hope for victims of rape, date rape, incest, molestation, sexting, sexual bullying, unwanted advances, pornography, and more, exposing the raw wounds that are left behind and clearing the path toward wholeness and healing. Never minimizing victims’ pain or offering pat spiritual answers that don’t truly address the problem, he instead calls evil evil and lights the way to renewed joy.

Counselors, pastors, and friends of those who have suffered sexual harm will find in this book the deep spiritual guidance they need to effectively minister to the sexually broken around them. Victims themselves will find here a sympathetic friend to walk alongside them on the road to healing.

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One more for me from the suggestion strip.

For years I have been working on telling my story, looking for ways to express it more effectively. It’s important for several reasons. It’s therapeutic for me and affirming to those who hear it.

The percentages listed for those suffering as victims of abuse is high.

It looks like the numbers involved in addictions is even higher. Addicts leave victims, adding even more to the number of casualties. The importance of sharing our story is even greater now than it was when I started on this healing journey many years ago.

To Be Told: Know Your Story, Shape Your Future

Amazon quote:

God wants to reveal himself through your story. Discover how he has written your life so far, and how he is leading you into the rest of your story.

“This is a book worth reading. To make sense of your life. To discover the role God is giving you in his story.”—John Eldredge, bestselling author of Wild at Heart and Get Your Life Back

Everyone wants clearer guidance from God on what to do with their future. In this insightful book, therapist and professor Dan Allender shows you how to listen to the stories of your life and identify the themes that God has written there. As you begin to understand both the hope and the heartache, you will gain a clearer sense of the meaning that God has written into every detail of who you are. You’ll also see how he invites you to join him in coauthoring the rest of your story. God is your Author, and he is showing you how to follow him into the future.

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In the above blurb the book Wild at Heart is mentioned. Excellent book. I have read my copy and highly recommend it. It’s written for men but gives helpful insight to the women in their lives.

Wild at Heart Expanded Edition: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul

Amazon quote:

God did not create men to be nice boys. He created us to live a life of passion, freedom and adventure. To be dangerous men living in a really big story.

God designed men to be powerful. Simply look at the dreams and desires written in the heart of every boy: to be a hero, a warrior, to love a beauty, to live a life of adventure.

But sometime between boyhood and the struggles of yesterday, most men lose heart. All those passions, dreams, and desires get buried under deadlines, pressures, and disappointments. Christianity feels irrelevant to the recovery of their heart. No wonder most men leads lives of quiet resignation, meanwhile looking for a little “life” on the side. In this provocative book, Eldredge invites men to wholeheartedness by

  • recovering their true masculine hearts;
  • healing the wounds and trauma in their stories; and
  • delighting in the strength and wildness they were created to offer the world.

In this updated and expanded edition of the timeless, bestselling classic, John Eldredge calls men—and the women who love them—to discover the true secret of a man’s soul and embrace the danger, passion, and freedom God intended for every man.

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I didn’t plan for this post to go so long but it’s all good stuff.

As promised, here is the link for the podcast that started this ball rolling for me. The interview was in two parts and it was the second that impacted me the most. They were both good though.

It would probably be a good idea to watch part one first to give you context. Due to the length of this post I won’t include the link but it will show up for you when this one is opened.

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I hope this will be as helpful to you on your journey as it has been to me on mine.

All the best to you,

a fellow traveler.

Free and bargain books March 15, 2021

LPC Books has some FREE suggestions for us. I can tell without looking that both of these authors are new to me.

I peeked in case my memory is a little faulty. For a change I was right. Definitely new to me.

Thicker than Blood by Don Brobst

Amazon quote:

Blood is thicker.
But is blood enough?

The murder of one old friend and the revelation of a secret life by another leads Dr. Bailey Pogue to risk his life by going undercover for the CIA. But when he exposes a plot by an international crime syndicate that threatens to upset the balance of power in the Middle East, the revelation comes at a price: the syndicate has kidnapped his daughter. Now he must stop the trafficking of young girls and rescue his daughter while remaining undercover.

Is saving those you love worth committing treason?

God
Family
Country

Will Pogue’s loyalties prove too high a price to pay?

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This one is YA, and it’s also FREE

One Degree of Freedom by Taryn R. Hutchison

Amazon quote:

Fifteen-year-old Adriana Nicu lives in the sheltered world of Bucharest, Romania, in the year 1987. Under the rule of Communist president Nicolae Ceaușescu, citizens of Bucharest live with the eyes and ears of the government ever present. Adriana’s future, which will involve becoming an engineer, is locked in against her will.

During a visit to her aunt’s apartment, Adriana walks through a wardrobe into a hidden room filled with stacks of forbidden novels. Stories bring light into the darkest of circumstances as her family begins to unravel and her life strangely parallels those of her novels’ heroines. Adriana’s childhood loyalties and her belief that God doesn’t exist are called into question as her circumstances force her to rethink things she once believed were certain.

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This next one I’ve read and it is a FREE suggestion from BookBub

Celebrating Tina: A Sweet Romantic Suspense (Stryker Security Force Book 3)

Amazon quote:

A K-9 handler determined to prove she belongs. A detective with an unwavering plan. Can they overcome their painful pasts and accept the gift of love?

Tina West has spent her life feeling like she stood on the outside, but since taking a job at Stryker Security, life seems to be turning for the better.

Tina never imagined when she took a job as a nanny she’d end up training for search and rescue. Yet, when her boss shows up with a retired military dog and the opportunity to train with him, Tina snatches up the chance to help those who are lost. If she saves enough people, maybe she could find meaning in a life that left her with nothing but a bruised heart and a tarnished picture of family. As holiday festivities loom before her, she wonders if she’ll ever shuck the regrets that haunt her dreams and keep her from connecting with others.

Milo Bishop’s every move has been to take care of his mom and younger brother.

Since his father’s murder, Milo has worked hard to make sure his mom and brother were provided for. He joined the police force straight out of high school, took night classes so he could move up to investigator, and put his life on hold until his brother graduated from college. But when he is rescued on Thanksgiving Day by Tina West, his well-laid plans take a sharp detour.

When a series of kidnappings threaten to ruin the holidays, can Tina and Milo put aside their doubts and find the abducted children before it’s too late?

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It looks like the titles in this series I’ve been reading keep changing, which is very confusing.

Anyway, I’ve read and enjoyed the first two books and I’m about to start book three.

Still With You (Baxter Boys Book 3) Sweet Contemporary is the way it comes up in Amazon today but the cover on the left below is what it looked like three weeks ago. Before that it had another name. It looks like each change of title and cover could be an update to fit the times.

I double checked by reading the first page and they are definitely the same book. I’d say check it out to see if I’m not right but the cover I have disappeared and won’t be coming up for you anytime soon. No checking possible but if by some fluke it does appear…

Harris Winsted opened the heavy library door, shifted the massive bulk of papers and books in her arms,

Amazon quote:

She doesn’t laugh. He can’t be serious. How will they ever work together?

County librarian Harris Winsted can’t believe she lost her leading man. No. What she really can’t believe is that her friends think Harris’s childhood nemesis, Turbo Baxter, might be able to play the part. Even if it is just a small production to raise money for a hospital library, Turbo’s class-clown personality makes him a disastrous choice.

However opening night is three short weeks away. Left with Turbo as her only option, she can only hope he suddenly develops a brain, decorum and a big boil on his handsome face, because when the guy decides to be charming, he is irresistible. But the attraction stops there. She could never be with a man who professes his hatred of libraries and laughs about never reading a book.

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So far, I did enjoy this current series in spite of the confusion. I’m thinking today’s new selections will be intense by comparison but I’m looking forward to them anyway.

Hopefully, you are experiencing some interesting reads well.

Happy Reading anyway, whatever the case.

This resonates with me

A short interview on a timely topic, for me anyway. It feels to me like this should be shared.

Coffee break is awesome today. This video is part of an interview series I’ve been following and this man is very wise. The series is based on a book he’s written, so there you go, we still have books to think about.

This resonates with me because past buried, horrendous, memories still plague me in the form of triggers. I’ve come a long way in the last decade but there is still more to be done and I appreciate any resource crossing my path.

I share because it touches me but also because someone else may need to hear this as well.

Wishing you the very best in your healing journey.