Instafreebie and Autism

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*  

A friend told me about a new site called Instafreebie. I am all over freebies so I’ve signed up and downloaded a few things. It hasn’t gone all that smoothly, compared to BookBub. There are more steps to be taken, there’s a bigger learning curve, and sometimes the authors require the reader to sign up for a newsletter first.

It’s unclear, at this point anyway, what the quality of the books will be, I expect the standard could be lower than usual for inclusion in the list and they may all be self published, which may or may not mean anything.

I think I will give it a whirl, to see if it’s worth the extra effort. Many of the books seem to be a little on the fringe, but that could just be my first impression. There could be some real gems in there……. I’ll let you know how it goes.


One of the books to come my way this week is on Austism and is written by a doctor as a story which helps demonstrate concepts she wants to get across. I don’t know enough about this subject to be a good judge of information being presented but this book  seemed to make sense to me. And since we need to spread all the knowledge possible on this subject I hope you will give this book a try. I think these concepts will give the general public a better understanding if they should happen to meet up with an autistic person; knowledge and understanding is always a good thing.

Books

Candyfloss Guitar  (The Reluctant Pilgrim book 1)Stephen Marriot…….. he describes this book as the story of a modern day pilgrim taking the first steps on a journey of discovery. Stephen Marriot is a British author inspired by travel and walking the roads less travelled. This was on Instafreebie, and I liked it a lot.

Two Tocks Before Midnight – Clay Boutwell ….. a historical mystery from Instafreebie, a unique and enjoyable mystery. A scholarly club of men with strict rules for their members, and a puzzle to solve.

Autism Goes to School – Book 1 of the School Daze Series – Dr. Sharon A Mitchell…... A single dad facing many challenges……not only is his five year old son an autistic child he has never met, he knows nothing about being a dad and is totally on his own with this, at first anyway.

A Discovery of Hope (A Coming Home Again Novel Book 3) – T. I. Lowe….. another fresh take on life, an engrossing story.

A Fresh Start – Trisha Grace……. Paige leaves everything she knows to get away from something threatening. The theme sounds very familiar but it didn’t feel like I was reading the same book, again. Enjoyed this story.

As always, look these books up on Amazon, or other sites you may know of, for a fuller description, to help give you inspiration. That’s how I get my mine.

Happy reading!

More books I am excited about.

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*

This has been a week of great books, if you are a fan of the kind of books I like, I hope you will browse my list and maybe check out Amazon for a fuller story description, one that will help inspire you to read them too. Most of these books were recommended by Bookbub, so we know they are good to begin with as I hear it’s difficult for an author to have books listed on Bookbub, at least until they have a proven track record. You may want to check their lists out as well, for your own favorite genres.

I’m am hoping you will read some of today’s books for yourself, so you can verify my claim they are good books. You may not have heard of many of these authors but don’t let that keep you from trying them out, I hadn’t heard of some of them either but I took a chance and discovered they are good at their craft. Finding good authors, and good books, makes me want to do my part and tell the whole world about them.

My definition of a good book? One that makes me lose sight of  the words on the page, the sense of the author to put them there, and the fact that these people are not real – it makes me feel like real life is playing out right before my eyes, and I have to know what happens. This is my definition of a good book.


 

Now the Books!

I have to tell you about the last two books in the list. The thing that impressed me most about them was the simplicity of the story line coupled with the epic length. Not many authors can achieve this, a long, simple, story able to hold the reader’s attention to the very end. I liked book 1 enough to buy book 2, this says a lot, because I have so many others waiting to be read I don’t move on to the second book very often.

After A Fashion (A Class of Their Own Book 1)  Jen Turano …..  another romance with lots of twists and turns, it captured my interest and kept me reading much longer than I should have been when there were places I was supposed to be.

Wild Montana Skies (Montana Rescue Book 1) – Susan May Warren …… romance and rescue, rolled into one.

Because of the Rain – Deborah Raney ……. in town because of her husband’s business trip, Anna, inadvertently finding herself in a dangerous place, is brutally beaten and raped. This is a gripping story about life after that moment.

When Mockingbirds Sing – Bill Coffey…. Leah is a child from Away, shunned by her peers because of her stutter, she draws prophetic pictures based on conversations with her unseen friend, Rainbow Man. I enjoyed this book, a great deal!

The Letters (The Inn at Eagle Hill book 1)  – Suzanne Woods Fischer …. an Amish romance.

Instant Daddy: Inspirational Romance Noah’s Crossing Book 1 – Carol Voss…. Jessie is raising her sister’s son as her own and loves him fiercely. Life becomes complicated when the unknown, but unmistakable father, crosses paths with them and is shocked to discover he has a son.

Of Stillness and Storm – Michele Phoenix ……. a story of the call to live a sacrificial and giving lifestyle, and the heart breaking cost to family life, written with raw honesty.

When I’m Weak: Epic-Novel The Grace Series Book 2 – Staci Stallings…..  Jaycee’s world comes crashing down when injury causes the loss of her basketball career. Like many of us she is crippled by this and other difficult circumstances of her life, especially relationships. I could tell you more but that would spoil the book for you. This was another book worth reading.

Mirror Mirror: Epic-Novel  The Grace Series Book 1  – Staci Stallings ….. the captivating story of a fractured family’s brokenness, a story that draws you in, letting you feel all of the hurt, pain, and love.  a solid Five Stars

Happy reading, I hope you feel inspired today!

Stretch you reading muscles…..

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*

One of the recent suggestions (in one of the many blogs I read, can’t remember which one) was to choose reading material from a variety of different genres, cultures, topics, or authors, in order to broaden our education and our reading experience.

More particularly, they said we should take suggestions from family and friends (young and old) and even strangers (of many different backgrounds), about books we would normally not even consider. We often stick with what we know and enjoy, while passing over books that would help broaden our understanding of our world.

While I’ve been trying be more conscious of this, when making my choices, I admit I still have a long way to go. It has been enlightening, though, to read some things I wouldn’t have chosen even a few months ago. Time, or lack of it, has also caused me to be more selective in my downloads. Between the time needed to write this blog  and the increased time needed by my day job, now that it has picked up again, there hasn’t been as much time left for reading as there had been. My book choices are more discerning now I think.

They also suggested we read things we don’t particularly enjoy, to help us gain a new perspective on the way others live and think. This world is made up of vastly different peoples, religions, and cultures, our uncomfortable reading selections could give us an appreciation for diversity in this world, and a greater understanding of a world broader than the one we live in. Out of all this would come tolerance, which would turn into love, and respect, for our fellow man. It will be like eating vegetables………good for us.

I’m not sure how well I will do at reading uncomfortable things, as I contemplate this thought, but I hope I will at least try. I also hope this discussion will start some wheels turning and maybe inspire others to try with me. Our world needs love to survive.


On to some books now.

I like reading books with a different slant on things, covering topics that are new to me, this week has been good for that. You will notice, it has also been a good week for some much needed, lighter, reading.

Shaded Light: The Case of the Tactless Trophy Wife (The Manziuk and Ryan Mysteries Book 1) – J A Menzies ………. This was written like one of those murder mystery weekends…. a group of people gather for a weekend house party, and someone dies… who was the murderer?? This book was well written and full of surprises and intrigue.  I liked it a lot.

Meet Me in Myrtle Beach (Hunt Family Book 1) – Brooke St James …… newly graduated from University, with doubts about her chosen profession, a chance encounter changes everything. I love it when clues are handed out along the way and it is impossible to see the end right from the beginning. Another well written very enjoyable, unpredictable, book.

The Templar’s Cross: A Medieval  Mystery (The Sir Law Kintour Mysteries Book 1) – J R Tomlin …….. a wounded Knight whose protector has died, must find a way to provide a living for himself; instead of a living, he finds himself accused of a murder he must solve to prevent being hanged. A well written book, thoroughly enjoyed.

Leaving Oxford (Southern Hearts Series Book 1) – Janet W Ferguson …… a young  woman moves home after a series of traumatic events, only to find herself a prisoner of panic attacks. Her prayers for healing only seem to result in an ugly puppy and an arrogant football coach. I couldn’t leave this book alone for too long either.

Sapphire Ice (Inspirational Romance) (The Jewel Series Book 1)  Hallee Bridgeman …..  a young woman, with a strong sense of responsibility toward her two younger sisters – coupled with a strong distrust of men- all due to an abusive childhood, meets a charming, successful, entrepreneur who brings out the worst in her.

A Trail of Crumbs – Susie Finkbeiner ……. the story of a young family in Depression Era Michigan, written in the voice of a young girl, so well done you forget to notice it isn’t written by a child.

(I confess, these last few books have so interesting they’ve kept me reading when I should have been working, now I feel guilty, the next one needs to be a book I don’t like very much, to make up for it.)

Happy reading!

The Truth is…..

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Photo courtesy of my caring brother

*There is a list of books at the bottom of every post* 

THE other morning, as I was trying work up enough motivation to take a  shower, I got to thinking, again, about my long held theory in regard to old people and showers….. and clean houses. My thinking has been, as has that of many others’, I’m sure, now that they are old, because of failing eyesight, they  no longer seem to notice these needs.

I am officially an old person now, and since at this stage of life it seems I am aware of my motivational failings, then the truth must be; failing eyesight and sense of smell  have nothing much to do with the neglect of self and home, at least not for  many,  otherwise healthy, old people. Obviously, there has to be another reason.

I know what the reason is for me, when I am honest with myself. And it probably is the same reason for many other older, still healthy, people who find themselves leading a life free of the multitude of obligations and responsibilities they once had – depression and loneliness is that reason for me.

Sometimes it takes a jolt for me to see the truth about myself. Like the jolt delivered by the accident pictured above, in a moment when only a quiet thought went through my mind as I tried my best to stop, before hitting some elk standing in the middle of the road,  I wondered if this crash would take my life. I guess I will soon find out – I thought. Or, like the one received when on returning home after an extended work related trip, several years later,  and finding myself in a state of over-the-top distress at coming home to an empty house. It has been empty for over a decade, what makes this time so different? On later reflection,  these responses appeared to be inappropriate to the situations,  and  reflection on that thought caused me to examine the depths of the depression and loneliness I seemed to be ignoring in myself.

I think a lot about all of this, in relation to aging. I can be classed as old by some  while others insist I am not THAT old yet, but even at this age, I know I am not yet to the greater stage of reduced activity my future holds, and I know for sure, if I keep breathing, I will be there one day. I think about older friends and family members and what their lives were like with the level of understanding we had back then. I hope our quality of life as seniors will be better if we have a greater understanding of depression and loneliness  and how it  affects the elderly.

Depression is a complex subject, affecting all ages, not just the elderly, and there are no easy answers, There are differences in our chemical makeup, life experiences, and personalities, to say nothing of genetics, and probably other factors too.

Admitting the truth to myself is a big first step for me. Paying attention, to those things  which noticeably help make life seem worth living, has worked for me too.

I haven’t happened upon any one thing that would cause depression and loneliness to leave me but this new venture in writing has been making a noticeable difference. There is a pressure release in expressing myself in print, probably because of having to find a way to say things so they make sense, this form of expression, demanding complete thoughts, helps cast a different light on things. For sure, it helps me understand certain aspects of my life better. Added insights are always good. Cecil Murphey in Unleash the Writer Within declares that he has saved many thousands of dollars in therapists fees by pouring himself out on paper. Saving money is good too!

This morning, after rereading my words from last night, I feel a renewed lightness, a sense of hope. I hope this spark of hope is catching, especially if you are needing a spark of hope too.


Now, on to books read since last post!

A number of the books recommended for me this week have again been about historical wars. Over the course of my reading life, there have been a large number of books relating to the many wars fought on this earth, most notably, the American civil war, World War 2 and Brock and Bodie Theone’s two series about the Jewish point of view, pre and during WWII, to name just a few. In spite of the many books written it appears  there are still many more stories to be told, and the books this week did lend a perspective new to me. Not all of the books this week were about war though.

Through The Barricades: Winner of the SCBWI Spark Award 2017 – Denise Deegan …. a story of bravery, and dual struggles that divide rather than unite. A story of Ireland and WWI.   Another Good book!

Daffodils (The Katherine Wheel Book 1) – Alex Martin …… A story of war, young love, and class distinctions that fade as men and women from both classes fight together in a horrific war, that became theirs whether they wanted it to or not. A good book!

Kidnapped: The Beginning – Book 0  – J. S. Donovan ……. a mystery surrounding a ???   can’t tell you, because the author gives out clues in layers, and if I told you what it is about, why, that would be a spoiler, and the author definitely asked for reviews with NO spoiler alerts. It does involve a kidnapping – I can tell you that much. And I enjoyed the book.

Thunder (Stone Braide Chronicles Book 1) – Bonnie S Calhoun ….. post WWIII, Landers are being tracked and sold as slaves. a young girl encounters a Lander, which sets of a series of unimaginable events. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the sequel one day.

Sanctuary Lost (WITSEC Town Series Book 1) – Lisa Phillips …. I’ve read book 2 as well, previously,  and enjoyed the mystery of them both. Small towns are not always what they seem, especially when peopled with those under witness protection.

The James L Rubart Collection: Rooms, Book of Days, and The Chair ….. these books are written in a  style similar to author Frank Peretti. There is a huge spiritual dimension to these books…. rooms in a mansion that weren’t there yesterday but are today: a book that is being pursued by many but no one knows for sure if it is real or just legend: a chair with healing properties, passed down through generations, fought for by the power hungry.

Happy reading and, hopefully, writing too!

 

 

 

 

A welcoming bunch of ladies

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*

Several more finished books to tell you about, finished reading that is, as opposed to writing – not that you were getting the wrong idea here, but you never know. Lots of books started, for one reason or another, but still unfinished as there were too many distracting things happening over the last couple of weeks. I’m not complaining, mind you, it is a treat to have a bit of a life again for a change.

I was invited to the regular meeting of the Winnipeg chapter of Manitoba Christian Writers Association on Saturday. It was a worthwhile and interesting time, I am glad I went and I plan to go again, on a regular basis if I can. The ladies were friendly and welcoming, to both of us newbies, which made the afternoon that much more of a treat.  It was also an unexpected and pleasant surprise not to be the only new one.

The meeting was held in a heritage house built in 1875, now used primarily for seniors activities. The house looks to have been left pretty much the way it was originally, which is good to see, it’s nice to try to visualize what life looked like for people back then. There wasn’t much time to look around, because of all the time spent visiting, but I’m hoping  there will be a chance to take a better look next time. It appears to have been one of the nicer homes back in 1875 so it will be fun to check it out a bit more.

 The main part of the meeting was spent listening to, and then critiquing, either poems or stories. They were very interesting, there are some good writers in this group. I am hoping a couple of them will post their readings on their blogs so I could have the chance to share them here too, I think you would enjoy them as much as I did. A couple of them were pretty funny. I’ll ask about it at the next meeting, if I remember.


So… here are the books referred to at the beginning of this piece….

Remembering Dresden (Jack Turner Suspense Series Book 2) – Dan Walsh …. Dresden was heavily bombed during World War 2, with 3,900 tons of high explosive bombs and incendiary devices, delivered by 722 British heavy bombers and 527 US bombers.

Following a local family’s struggle through the middle of the heavy bombing sets the stage for the move into present day with the lone survivor, looking for revenge.        There is much controversy around the justification of such heavy bombing on a non military city and this story  takes the perspective that it was a war crime. I found it interesting (aside from the fact it was well written)  because I wasn’t aware of this tragedy. How many other tragic things are out there that most of us don’t know about? This story tells me we should never take anything for granted.

Lion 0f Babylon (a Marc Royce mystery/thriller) – Davis Bunn ….       one of my favorite authors, his books are always good.                           

Strait of Hormuz  (a Marc Royce mystery/thriller) – Davis Bunn …. Marc is no longer an agent, having been fired for taking personal time for a sick and dying wife, but is pressed back into service for under desperate circumstances.

Happy reading!!.. and maybe a little writing too!!

Is this really such an important question? – “Why do you want to write?”

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*

I have been chewing on this question all week, trying to figure out why it seems to be so important.

There was a one day writer’s seminar here in town last weekend. I was there at the urging of a writer friend who knew I would find it helpful. I’ve attended seminars before but never one with writing as the purpose. I admit to feeling a little out of place, especially identifying more as a reader than a writer. I say a little bit, rather than a big bit, because they gave me a warm welcome and didn’t seem to be too bothered by my rather minor writing aspirations or the fact that I was a stranger to them all.

The topic of the keynote address was authentic writing. I was looking forward to this  because it was lining up with my thoughts about the style of writing I should be using and I was sure it would be helpful, which it was.  Meeting with this group of ladies was a positive experience I hope to repeat in the future.

My chewing on the question of motive came after the fact, you know how it goes, it’s all over and now you go back and take more time to think about those things that stood out through the course of the day.

This question – why do you want to write? –  was asked at the beginning and the end of the day. And, to make matters worse, it was asked again on the first page of the book I won as a door prize. On reading this page, suddenly, all my deliberations were coloured by  the appearance of my many insecurities.

Several days ago, looking for resolution to all this negative self talk, I decided to reread the first page of the book, to see if maybe I had gotten off track somewhere. This time I read it with a more positive, open frame of mind and found, I was off track. Now I am looking at this question in a more positive light and  want to read the whole book to see what all he has to say after asking such a question.  The book, in case you are interested, is  – Unleash the Writer Within by Cecil Murphey.

I’m sure there are times when speakers and other writers ask this question with the wrong motive in their mind, we are all human after all. I think, in this case though, rather than trying to discourage us from writing, the question was meant to encourage us to take a more realistic look at our motives and expectations. I can see that it would be difficult to do a good job of writing if our reasons for writing spent more time in the clouds that they did on the ground.

Maybe a good analogy, from another part of life, would be, the view people have of love and marriage – some people love the idea of marriage, some people love the person they are about to marry. Successful marriages are those where the person, not the idea, is loved.

Maybe it needs to be the same way with writing. We need to love being a writer, rather than loving the idea of being a writer, because, like marriage, writing is a lot of hard work and just loving an idea won’t work out all the well for us.

My mind is still going round and round about all this and the subject has not been exhausted yet. That’s okay, there is still lots to learn.

Maybe I am so worked up about this subject because I know everyone has a story that needs to be told, even if they are not writers by the normal definition of the word. The writer benefits by telling her/his story, and even if there is only one, or maybe no, other person in this world who reads their story and benefits, then the writing has still been worth it.

OK, time to quit because my day job is calling, loudly, and this subject is not finished by any means. I feel like I am just getting started! 🙂


I will only mention one book this time since I am out of time

The Elusive Miss Ellison (Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace) – Carolyn Miller…. this book is written in a similar style to Pride and Prejudice. I quite enjoyed it.


Happy reading!…… and think about writing your story! Someone in your family may thank you one day, even if you are not around to hear them say it.

 

 

 

Have your ever tried to figure out why you didn’t like that book?

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*   

I have been thinking about this subject a lot over the last few days and have come to the conclusion that; even if I were to think about why, there is much that I don’t know and would need to learn first, in order to figure things out.

Every week I attempt to read a few books I thought I would like but didn’t. I close the book, or remove it from my e-reader, mid stream, with superficial consideration, and move on to the next book to catch my eye.

Sometimes, as I think about it, I have a general idea about why I am abandoning a book,  too much over the top detail, too much re-sharing of background details, a weak plot with a predictable end, and a few other reasons.  Rarely have I looked deeper before moving on.

A comment in a review recently is what started me thinking about some of the deeper issues.   One of the reasons given for not liking the particular book under discussion was weak character development. I’ve never really thought about character development all that much. However, now I’m thinking, maybe I should be, thinking about such things, it could be a good thing, to be able to verbalize my reasons for not liking a book, right?

It may have even helped with one of the books on my list this week. The book had an interesting story line but the reading of it was frustrating and I had no real idea why.  Looks like there is some digging and learning to be done to answer that question.

I consider myself to be a reader not a writer, since I don’t have any stories floating around in my mind just itching to get out, but I’m thinking that even a reader could benefit by knowing what makes a good story a good story. It might even relieve a little of the frustration if the reasons for the frustration could be identified……hmmmmm…………or then again, maybe not. Maybe knowing more things could make the frustration worse instead of better? I’ll keep an open mind, dig a little, and see what happens.

Do you think about any of these kinds of things when you read a book you don’t like much? Do you abandon books you don’t really like all that much? I hope you do, abandon them I mean. I’ve heard it said that there is no law that says you must finish a book once you start it. I have to say, it feels good to close a book I don’t enjoy and try another one. If you haven’t tried it, I hope you will.


A few more books to mention…. read and enjoyed….

When Crickets Cry – Charles Martin …. Emma and Reese, elementary school best friends, he is her protector as she deals with a major heart defect and a need for a transplant.    Also…. previously read by this author but not yet mentioned here, Water From My Heart and Down Where My Love Lives. Reading these books is to experience the rawness of life in a way that changes your heart. 5 stars

Write Me Home  (Home in You book 1) – Crystal Walton …….. He comes back to town to help his grandmother…she comes back to sell her inheritance (youth camp), and get back to her job in the city.  Two people thrown together by circumstances. Not everyone in town is happy to have one of them back. A good book.

Healer (The Brides of Alba Series)  – Linda Winsor …. historical romance set in the time of King Arthur, a family feud sees parents murdered and a child in hiding. Will the feud ever be settled? Can the daughter safely come out of hiding?

For Love Alone (Secrets of Savannah book 4) – Belle Calhoune …. Six best friends have inherited a large historical bed and breakfast and have come back together to manage it. Each book in the series is from the perspective of one of the girls

From Russia with Love (The Heirs of Anton Book 1) – Susan May Warren and Susan K Downs …..  Contemporary Inspirational Romantic Adventure set in Russia. Interesting  novel with historical considerations. Lots of danger as she tries to find her roots.

Lulu’s Café – T I Lowe ……. Gabrielle is running for her life, Lulu sees a hurting heart, stopping in town for a night, and decides to help. Small towns can be suspicious but supportive too. A good book

At Bluebonnet Lake (Texas Crossroads book 1) – Amanda Cabot …… a nostalgic trip with her grandmother to a resort from life years gone by, a bucket list wish; a nostalgic getaway for him alone as he contemplates his future after selling his successful software company.

Where Love Begins (Where there is Love Book 1) – Donna Fletcher Crow ….. a historical novel set in the time of Charles Wesley. An eye opener about those who paved the way for all of us.

Murder at The Courthouse ( The Hidden Springs Mystery book 1) – A H Gabhart ….. A body mysteriously appears one morning on the courthouse steps, everyone knows everyone in town and no one knows who this is.  A cozy mystery.

Happy reading.

 

Everyone has a story…..

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post* 

We all have a story…. most of us with hurt in our lives are reluctant to tell it… sometimes we are even reluctant to tell it to ourselves.

Much of the time we are unaware of this reluctance. Hiding behind repressed memories is a way of survival for many of us. Our minds take on the self protection task of supressing painful memories and  our hearts are grateful. The last thing we want to do is come out of hiding to think about, or talk about, any of it.

Here’s what the mind is capable of – as a preteen, my brothers and I went to stay with our grandparents while mom went back to the hospital for further cancer treatments, life was now like a whole new world for us, absolutely everything changed, for the better. With this change a switch was quietly flipped in my mind; that’s who I was – this is who I am now. My mind, without my conscious permission, literally amputated (and buried, deeper than deep) the painful memories of my first 12 years and then created a new and sanitized version of me. Dad was still in and out of our lives so there was no denying what his life was all about but there was a huge denying of what my life was like while with him. Forgetting the past, looking to the future, was the theme of my life.

The years went by, decades even, and I still lived life as the new sanitized me. Occasionally I thought about my early life, especially during  those times when inner healing surfaced as something important to be pursued, definitely a worthwhile exercise for me, but in limited measure.

Even with these new examinations of my life, denial was still a big issue and basically my story was still a secret. Well, maybe not so much a secret as just something rarely mentioned to people close to me, and never mentioned to anyone else.

I don’t think I would have ever bothered changing anything about this view of myself except that life has a way of catching up with you and changing your perspective.

As a society we have long held to the position – what is in the past should stay in the past, stop dwelling on it and move on. What can be gained by dredging up all that old stuff?

It turns out, actually, quite a lot can be gained by facing the past and much can be lost by ignoring it. It turns out that emotional injuries affect the rest of our lives, much like physical injuries do, except that they affect the very core of our being rather than just a single body part, and as a result have a great impact on the whole of our life rather than just a small segment.

Could my life have been different if I had faced all of this stuff earlier? No, I don’t think so,  I wasn’t in a place where I could have successfully faced it earlier, and, because my story wasn’t the only story affecting my life, the timing was not right. God knew my mind couldn’t handle facing reality any sooner, so, later was his perfect timing.

Has everything been faced now? Not by a long shot. Have I received healing despite only facing part of my past? Absolutely!

The truth shall set you free has proven true in my life. The telling of my story has had a huge role in my freeing process. Peace has been the reward. Through it all I have been careful about where to share my story and careful about which opinion to listen to after the sharing of my story. And, I’ve learned through all of this, my heart is worth protecting.

If you have never told your story, be sure to look for a safe place to land before sharing your story but do share it. Denial and self protection are jailers that will keep us in bondage behind protective walls. Breaking down the walls can add a new dimension to our relationships and bring peace to our hurting hearts. Telling our story won’t remove the difficult places from our lives but it will bring a measure of relief and start us on a healing journey. The road to healing and peace is not an easy road to travel but it is definitely worth it.

Books have always been a very important part of  my healing  process and one very helpful book at the beginning of this current 12 year journey  was a book called “Love is a Choice -Recovery for codependant relationships”  in the Minirth-Meier Clinic Series. It was special to me because it helped me begin to see many important things, including the difference between normal and abusive. We accept familiar as normal because it’s all we know. The truth about what we have accepted as normal can be stunning and life changing.

I have also learned not to make comparisons between my story and others and then write mine off as unimportant. We are all different and there are as many responses to injuries as there are people. The important consideration is this – did it hurt you?

The sharing of your story will help you discover the truth about hurts, remembered and suppressed,  and how much weight should be given to those hurts. It will turn out, sometimes, that the hurt really was bigger in our memory than it needed to be, and sometimes, it was smaller than it needed to be. Telling our story helps to bring things into right perspective. Perspective is highly under rated.

Are you feeling encouraged to tell your story and break out of prison? If you are, like many of us, having a hard time with this thought, take your time, there is no rush, move at a speed you are comfortable with. The important thing is to move, baby steps. Take any healthy opportunities that come your way to address this need in your life. For me, it was a neighbour friend with a gift for helping people like me, and through her, connection with a support group.

As your first step toward telling another person your story, see if you can identify a possible someone in the circle of your life, someone with a healthy heart to hear your story. That’s very important. If we share our stories with someone in the same boat, it will turn into a vicious circle rather than a healing journey. You may have to step outside of your comfort zone to find this person or persons but it will be worth it. Most importantly, if you trust God, he will help you recognize the right opportunities. Help is always a welcome thing.

Peace that passes all understanding is the goal!

In this age of instant gratification we may be dismayed to find that one telling of our story won’t be the fix we were hoping for. Your story will need to be told many, many, times over before you reach the end of the healing journey. The beautiful thing is, everytime you tell your story (even if only to yourself) it will change, some things will be added and other things will drop off, as your perspective changes so will the telling of your story. Some things will cease to be part of the narrative because healing has taken place and now they have lost their place of importance in your heart, cause for celebration! New things will be added because there is a new measure of understanding, also cause for celebration!

The truth about this journey; it is not for the faint of heart….. but it is more than worth it.

If you also really trust God on this journey, he will be with you every step of the way, and when you need it most, you will feel his arms holding you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This has been a good week for books

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*  

This has been a good week! Lots of interesting books for download, a nice stack of books from the library-already half gone, and lots of interesting new (to me) blogs to read and digest. A good week.

It was encouraging to come across blogs sharing the same thoughts I have about the need to encourage reading. If signs of the times are to be believed, there isn’t the same interest in reading as there used to be, we need to help change that if we can. People who read become thinkers and it seems to me that given the days we live in – we need thinkers, we all need to be thinkers.

The thing that excites me most about the books showing up on free sites these days is the great number of excellent little known authors and the large number of really good, well written books. I love that there is an opportunity to take a chance on books I wouldn’t even get to know about in any of the traditional ways of discovering new books. Another bonus,  sometimes there are so may good books showing up  that it is overwhelming trying to imagine how to get them all read. Books that are deep enough to require thinking even. I want to inspire you to tap in to all this wealth too, and make your own great discoveries. Is it working? There really is something for everyone these days!

BookBub and Amazon are my favorite places for new discoveries.

All of the books I’m going to mention have deeper layers so it’s not a frivolous read for any of them, I hope that encourages you too.

The Perfect Life – Robin Lee Hatcher  romance

Whispers From Yesterday – Robin Lee Hatcher   romance

A Vote of Confidence  book 1,        Fit To Be Tied book 2,       A Matter of Character book 3: The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs – Robin Lee Hatcher   romance

When a Heart Stops book 2,       When a Secret Kills book 3:                                              Deadly Reunions – Lynette Eason  mystery

Dead of Night book 3,          Web of Lies book 4:                                                                   Hidden Faces Series – Brandilyn Collins  mystery

The Midwife’s Tale: At Home in Trinity Book 2 – Delia Parr   romance

Purple Like the West: Colors of Faith book 2 – Virginia Carmichael and Mary Jane Hathaway    romance

Happy reading!

 

There is always a deeper reason….

*there is a list of books at the bottom of every post*   

It’s true, my current reason for this blog was to share a love of books and to inspire you to love them too. The original blog goal, a decade or so ago, was to target a smaller more specialized group of women and to talk about deeper issues. It was still going to be about books just not the same kind of books. My vision for the blog  then was to share resources and  give encouragement to hurting broken women like me. That blog never did get off the ground. I thought the vision for today’s version of the blog seemed to be broader in scope and not nearly so intense. A few weeks ago in a moment of inspiration I even spent a couple of hours writing down all of the blog topics that popped into my head, three pages worth, and none of them were personal or intense. Now I am not so sure.

The whole idea of a blog sort of came to a head recently. Many things had come to mind as I worked through issues  over the last decade or two, and at times it felt like I should share them with people but had no way to do that without a blog. Recently, in one of my conversations with God, I was talking to him about this wish and promised that if he would provide a platform then I would be sure to say some of those things now. It looks like God must have taken me at my word and thought I was finally ready because in a very short space of time it all came together.

Because God is a big part of what I am doing; before each post I take time to ask him what he would like me to say and how he would like me to say it. I know God sees our hearts and he knows  what our hearts need to hear. I want to do my part to have words that someone needs to hear so I ask him to let me know what needs to be said.

After praying much about this post, I think I am supposed to share some of my story and that surprised me. I am nervous about sharing but the courage is coming from somewhere.

My love affair with books started in 6th grade with a school field trip to the public library. I was in heaven. Saturdays I would walk to the library ( a couple of miles or more) for a fresh supply of books, books with an impact that is still felt even after all these years. Empowerment was the takeaway from one of my favorite characters, she had her own sailing sloop and could take the lead and have adventures, I loved that.

This fascination with the public library lasted for three or four years, until I realized there were no more books in my age group section that I wanted to read. I tried out the adult section but decided it was too soon for that. The disappointment about this discovery had to have been huge because it is still one of my most vivid memories. Happily though, that was just the beginning, it turned out there were to be many more great books in my future.

Discovering the library turned out to be a blessing, not that I consciously recognized it as such at the time. The road that is our life is often filled with potholes, potholes that range from very small and inconsequential to crater size, from far apart to close together. There were some crater sized potholes in my road of life the year I was twelve. I’m pretty sure my new friendship with books made the journey through the potholes a  little easier. They must have because I remember books more clearly that I remember some other things in my life at that time. My dad was an alcoholic and life was often chaotic at our house, mom had cancer, school was never hard for me but I failed  6th grade, on my 13th birthday my brothers and I went to stay with my grandparents (mom’s side) because mom had to go back to the hospital,  and then that move turned out to be a permanent arrangement even after mom came home from hospital. On the plus side, it was a positive and possibly life saving  move for my brothers and I.

The next few decades were smooth sailing and crater free by comparison. But the road of life didn’t stay that way.

Getting back to the blog- about twelve years ago, after a marriage breakup, I joined a twelve step program directed toward women affected by the addictions of people (past and present) in their lives.  I was working on the results of some of the craters in my life and at the urging of one of my neighbors, who turned out to be a good friend and mentor, I started attending the meetings. It was a year or so into the program that I had the desire to start a blog as a way to share resources and encouragement with the other women in the group. My mentor thought it was a great idea and totally encouraged me to go ahead with it. I did get as far as registering a domain name and paying for a package at a web hosting site. I kept that active for two years then decided not to continue as I hadn’t gotten it off the ground. I think the big hurdle was, and has always been, the fear of putting myself out there. It was difficult to share my story even with people I knew well never mind with the world at large. Six or so years ago I tried to start a blog again, twice, this time with free Word Press, but it still wasn’t coming together for me. This year when I felt inspired to try again, it worked! I was so excited.

For some reason the process of writing has given me a sense of fulfilment and purpose. I am very excited about this new step and so glad to finally be in a place where it’s out of the old and into the new. I am not sure where all of this blogging/writing will take me, and I’m not sure how much sharing of my story will be required but I am excited for the journey. Fulfillment for me will be having something to say that someone’s heart needs to hear.

I have been reading books through all of this but won’t share them this time. Except to say, there was a book I read in 1992 about  how Joseph of Arimathea and band of new believers travelled to Britain after Jesus death to escape the persecution of the Romans. It covers the  time from 4 BC or so, up to 1640 or so. The book is called Glastonbury: The Novel of Christian England by Donna Fletcher Crow. It is a long book, over 800 pages, but a fascinating read. I loved it and wanted to read it again but, sadly, had loaned it out.  On an outside chance, the other day when I was thinking about it  I checked Amazon and there it was,  it has been reissued as an ebook. You know what I will be reading for the next while. If you are interested in historical fiction check it out. The legends come to life. One of my takeaways from this book was that the Irish and Scots are cousins who can’t get a long. Who knew! Although it does make sense when you think about it.

Happy reading and, hopefully, encouraged hearts!