Friday, April 4, 2014

A to Z Challenge: D- Death, Devastation, Denial, Destruction

Today, I continue my personal journey of the A to Z Challenge with the letter D. For me the letter D represents death, devastation, denial, and destruction. Join me as I journey back to the beginning: from a fifteen year old girl where it started with the loss of my father to where it ends; a fifty-three year old mother who lost her child.

Before the Spring of 1976, I was a happy, carefree teenager until death knocked at my door. Soon devastation, denial, and destruction followed me wherever I went. My idyllic encased world was shattered and afterward my life would become a living Hell.

At fifteen, death came into my life with an unyielding force that would shape who I've become today. My father, the only person who loved me unconditionally died. I was devastated by this unwanted event.

My father had been sick for awhile, but I didn't grasp just how ill he was until he lay in the hospital dying. I watched as green poison oozed from his body. I watched my once strong father wither into nothing.

I couldn't cope and was in denial. All I could do was run and hide within myself. A once vibrant teenager became rebellious, out of control, uncaring, and hateful. I became a ticking time-bomb waiting to explode.

The time after my father's death was difficult, so my mother decided we needed a change. We packed our meager belongings into a beat-up Ford Pinto and traveled 3000 miles across the country into the unknown.

At this junction, I detested my mother. The hatred inside my soul seethed and the ticking time-bomb exploded. During this time, I fell in with the wrong crowd and once again my life would change. Death payed an unexpected visit.

It was late summer of 1977 that I became pregnant. As soon as my mother found out she abandoned me, my boyfriend was on drugs, so I became a ward of the State of Oregon.  I was sixteen, alone and scared. I didn't have any choices. I had no rights. Sadly, I was forced to terminate my pregnancy at nine weeks. My destructive lifestyle had snatched the life from my body. Death and devastation won. Denial quickly set in and as soon as I could, I left the horrible memories behind.

Eventually, I moved on with my life. I got married and had other children. It would be many years before death, devastation, denial, and destruction paid another visit to my happy existence. Twenty years had passed since I lost my father and finally lost my mother.

She and I never mended the rift between us. There was so much denial and destruction that I was actually relieved when she passed away. My mother wasn't an evil person, just a mean drunk which caused me a lot of pain for twenty years. I was devastated of course, but glad death had taken her.

The next 17 years, death stayed away from my life. There were times when destruction and devastation came knocking, but in 2013 death came back. It hit with a vengeance so powerful, I lost control.

I received the devastating news my youngest daughter was dying from AIDS. I went into my denial mode, but it was to no avail. I couldn't stop the inevitable. My youngest child was going to die. In April 2013 she came home to die. It was a painful process to watch my once beautiful child suffer. Before she passed away we had five memory filled weeks together. We had Mother's Day one last time. She died in my arms and waves of devastation and denial washed over me.

During the days that followed her death, I closed myself off from the world. I couldn't cope with or comprehend the reality of her loss. It was too painful to bare. Eventually, I slowly came back to reality. It hasn't been easy. Still, there are times when I want to hide deep inside myself.

For the last thirty-eight years, death, devastation, denial, and destruction have played a major part of who I've become. These tragedy's have actually made me stronger. At last, I finally understand why death took those I loved. It wasn't to punish me, but to help me understand life is filled with death, devastation, denial, and destruction.








Saturday, March 22, 2014

Blog Tour: The Husband Whisperer


Kevin Hinckley is proud to host a blog tour for his book, The Husband Whisperer from March 10–30.
Horse whisperers know that the best way to communicate in relationships is with a touch of gentleness. In The Husband Whisperer, Kevin Hinckley (MEd, LPC) shows women how to use their divine nature and to listen to the Spirit in order to help bring peace into their marriages.
Meet the Author:
Returning author Kevin Hinckley is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Private Practice. He received his master’s degree in Counseling from Brigham Young University, with an emphasis in Organizational Behavior. He has developed numerous therapeutic programs, including inpatient and day treatment programs for addiction and trauma recovery. He has worked closely with the LDS Addiction Recovery Program and is the author of The Naaman Project, a day treatment program for Pornography Addiction. A former bishop and institute teacher, Kevin has written three books, Promptings or Me,(our book) Parenting the Strong Willed Child and Burying Our Swords (published by Deseret Book). He is a regular presenter at Campus Education Weeks at BYU-Idaho and BYU.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Brighton's Mountain Books Shaking Behind the Microphone, Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking Review

Disclosure: I received a copy for review purposes. However, all opinions are my own.



Introducing Shaking Behind the Microphone. Fear of Speaking in Public is Equal to Falling Into a Pit Full of Snakes

Three out of four people suffer from brain freeze, a quivering voice, and a racing heart, which are signs of glossophobia. In her anthology, Shaking Behind the Microphone, Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking, author Jill Ammon Vanderwood tells her story about going skydiving to overcome her fear of public speaking.

My review:

FDR said it best:  "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" . This famous, often quoted phrase is something I have stuck in the back of my mind everytime I have to do something that includes the unknown. The only thing I fear worse than fear itself is public speaking.  I suffer from glossophobia. I detest public speaking, but now that I'm in college one of my courses involves public speaking. The nerves quicken, the palms begin to sweat, and the throat constricts. What am I suppose to do? 

Is there a solution to glossophobia? YES! Author Jill Ammon Vanderwood has the perfect book for people like me who are afraid of public speaking.

Shaking Behind the Microphone, Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking shares her story along with others who feared public speaking. This wonderful book not only gives you insights, but helps you overcome your fears. 

I start my first public speaking class in May and I tell you, I don't think I would have been able to get through it without Jill's book. If you struggle with glossophobia pick up a copy of Shaking Behind the Microphone, Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking.

About the Author:

Jill Ammon Vanderwood is the author of six books, including the Mom’s Choice Award winning book 
Drugs Make You Un-Smarter and the Indie Excellence Award winning book What’s It Like, Living Green
Kids Teaching Kids, by the Way They Live. She lives with her family in Utah, where she speaks at schools, 
Boys and Girls Clubs, church groups, Girl Scout Troops, Kiwanis Camp, and drug rehabs. Jill teaches 
writers workshops for the League of Utah Writers. She is involved with fundraising events for literacy, The 
Wheelchair Foundation, Soles for Souls and Toys for Tots.

Shaking Behind the Microphone: Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking
ISBN 978-1490941219
Brighton’s Mountain Books
Printed through Create Space
156 page paperback
Nonfiction Adult Anthology
$12.99 Suggested Retail Price
This book is available through Amazon.com , AmazonKindle, Barnes and Noble.com and can be ordered through Baker and Taylor or Ingram’s or through your local retailer
To contact the author or to receive a review copy, contact Jill Ammon Vanderwood
brightonsbooks(at)gmail(dot)com
Contact Information
Jill Vanderwood
Brighton’s Mountain Books
http://www.jillvanderwood.com

Sunday, March 2, 2014

It's Your Lucky Day Hop- 3/3 – 3/17


Welcome to the It's Your Lucky Day Giveaway Hop!

Hosted By: MPM Network Bloggers
MPM Blogging Network has joined together to make your day a lucky one! Each participating blog below is hosting their very own unique gift card giveaway. So make sure to stop by them all and enter to win including the Grand Prize: $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway - open worldwide.
The It's Your Lucky Day Hop ends 3/17 at 11:59pm. So don't let your luck slip float away!
Thanks to Jill Vanderwood author of Brighton's Mountain Books Shaking Behind the Microphone, Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking one lucky reader will win a $25 B&N gift card. All you have to do is enter on the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Review-The Power of a Half Hour by Tommy Barnett

Disclosure: "I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."

We all wish we could have a power-packed half hour! In today's society were everything is rushed, thirty minutes is sometimes hard to find, let alone be filled with power.

In Tommy Barnett's book The Power of a Half Hour, you get that power back. You get that thirty minutes back!

The Power of a Half Hour breaks down a half hour into production steps and keys. Tommy Barnett gives you the power to take back thirty minutes and make it productive.

One of my favorite sections is 'Half-Hour Power Principles'. This all inspiring book will turn thirty minutes into a power punch. After reading The Power of a Half Hour, I no longer take any thirty minutes for granted. I make the most of my half-hours and so should you!

Learn more about The Power of a Half Hour and Tommy Barnett on these sites:

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode-Book Review #review

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Description:
In Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, you'll find both practical ideas and big-picture perspective that will inspire you to live life on purpose. As a wife, mother of three, and founder of the wildly successful blog MoneySavingMom.com, Crystal Paine has walked the road from barely surviving to living with intention. With the warmth and candor of a dear friend, she shares what she's learned along the way, helping you:
  • feel healthier and more energetic by setting priorities and boundaries
  • eliminate stress with savvy management of your time, money, and home
  • get more done by setting realistic goals and embracing discipline
  • rediscover your passions—and the confidence to pursue them
I have to admit, I fell guilty that although I've been blogging for some time and have connections with a lot of great blogger, I'd never heard of Crystal Paine or her website. But, I'm so glad I found her and her book  Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life at this junction in my life. 
Crystal is honest and bare-bones, which I needed. I'm always trying to be Super Woman and never can so no. I tend to be a people pleaser and it has become my downfall.

I needed a good swift kick in the rear to get me back on track of my life. I needed Crystal's book!  Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life opened the door to a new life. 

The book is filled with great reminders but the keys you need to unlock the door to saying goodbye to survival mode. There are ten chapters, each filled with strategies and ways to stop yourself from self-destruction.  Crystal begins with  a goal and strategy. She includes snippets of her own personal life as well as a place to write down what you need to do. She ends each chapter with a "Get Practical" section.

Reading  Say Goodbye to Survival Mode has changed the way I look at myself and how I realized it's okay to say NO. I don't have to please everyone. I've learned where my priorities lie.

I don't have a favorite chapter, because every one is filled with practical everyday advice you will use over and over again!

You can buy the book at Thomas Nelson for only $22.99. Also, be sure to stop by  MoneySavingMom.com  and sign up for Crystals Take the FREE 7-Day Challenge and Say Goodbye to Survival Mode today! I signed up and get wonderful advice and challenges in my mailbox.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Six Days by Ken Ham

Disclosure: This book was sent to me free in exchange for my honest review from Master Books and New Leaf Publishing Group.


It’s the book you’ve been waiting for! Six Days by Ken Ham is here..
Today, most Bible colleges, seminaries, K-12 Christian schools, and now even parts of the homeschool movement do not accept the first eleven chapters of Genesis as literal history. They try to fit the supposed billions of years into Genesis, and some teach evolution as fact. Our churches are largely following suit.
  • Discover how many evangelical leaders, willingly or unwittingly, are undermining the authority of God’s Word by compromising the Bible in Genesis
  • Learn how allowing for an old/universe of billions of years unlocks a door of compromise
  • Heed the wake-up call to the Church to return to the authority of God’s Word, beginning in Genesis.
Ken Ham, international speaker and author on biblical authority, examines how compromise starting in Genesis, particularly in regard to the six days of creation and the earth’s age, have filtered down from the Bible colleges and seminaries to pastors—and finally to parents and their children.
This book is published by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group. Purchase  your copy here and see what others are saying.
My personal view:
I'm a Christian or I thought I was until I started reading Six Days by Ken Ham. His book hit home and opened my eyes to the "real" truth of today's Christianity. Have you often wondered why so many are leaving the church or why churches are teaching different messages? I know I have! Once you read Six Days you'll have a clear understanding to what is really going on in today's churches.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Living Victoriously In Christ Book Review

Disclosure: the publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book through BookCrash.

Are you looking for a great 30- day devotional to get you through life? I know I was and when I discovered Living Victoriously In Christ Growing in Christ A 30-Day Devotional by Cindy Cross & Lisa Vanderbilt, I couldn't wait to get started. I have a lot of devotionals, but this devotional is different. Every page, every word hit home with me. 

Living Victoriously In Christ gives you a sense of purpose and direction for 30 days. Each chapter is faith-filled with words to stir your spirit and give you hope. Another plus I really love is the questions to ponder section at the end of each chapter. These questions make you ponder your life and give your spiritual direction. Also, you'll find at the end of each chapter God's Word to You and Daily Prayer.

If you only have one 30-day devotional then this is the one you need. Although, I've completed my 30-day devotional journey, I still find myself going back when my spirit is sinking.  This is by far one of the best 30-day devotionals out there!

About the book:
Are you tired of living the status quo life? God’s Word comes alive as you walk through every devotional. These powerfully inspired words will help you to live victoriously and grow closer to God as you transform into a new creation in Christ. This is not a devotional that preaches, but a book that is written from life’s experiences. You will see honesty, real life, and the discovery of how God touches your life to change you into the image of Christ. It is refreshing, realistic and believable.

You can pick up a copy of Living Victoriously in Christ: Growing in Christ for only $10.68.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The People Factor by Van Moody Book Review

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® 


I have to admit, I'm not a people person. Ever since I was a child I've always either shyed away from people or never really fit in. As I grew older I tended to gravitate toward the wrong kind of people and my life tuned upside down. The People Factor: How Building Great Relationships and Ending Bad Ones Unlocks Your God-Given Purpose, by Van Moody is the one book I wish I had during those years. However, I can say since reading his insightful book now as an adult in my fifties, I know where and went wrong and how to change it.

Van Moody happens to be from my home town, in fact his church isn't far from where I live, but I've never seen him speak but so glad to have been able to read this wonderful book he has written.

The People Factor: How Building Great Relationships and Ending Bad Ones Unlocks Your God-Given Purpose is filled with many Biblical principles to get your on the right relationship track. It moves you forward from the negative people in your live to the positives. Van Moody is straight forward  in getting the right people in your life at the right time. 

If you're struggling with the people factor and need to make a "relationship" change then Van Moody's The People Factor is the one book you must have. It will make a positive impact in your life!

Description:

The relationships in your life will make the difference between happiness and misery.
The right relationship will launch you to the heights of achievement; the wrong one will tether you to mediocrity. Your relationships will be your sources of greatest joy and your venues of greatest pain. Van Moody says, “When people show you who they are, pay attention.” 
We need to undertake the important task of evaluating our relationships intelligently. We need to recognize the people with whom God has called us to walk in mutually beneficial relationships and to identify those who will derail our destinies or hinder His purposes for our lives. It is high time we cultivate our Relational IQs, understanding not only how to build great relationships but also how to avoid or skillfully exit bad ones. 
Van Moody saw this need every day of his pastoral life, but he could not find a concise, practical resource for people who need to become more relationally savvy. He needed a beyond-the-basics study guide for Relational IQ. The People Factor is his solution.
God works in our lives through our relationships. Yet, all too often, we get our relationship advice from the most toxic sources we can find. The People Factor is based on the most effective, trustworthy relationship book of all time: the Bible.
If you hunger for a richer, more fulfilling life, your Relational IQ is the place to start. If you put The People Factor principles to work, you will become stronger, happier, and healthier in all your relationships. You will be a better spouse, a better friend, a better boss, a better parent, and a better person.

You can pick up your copy for only $16.99 at Thomas Nelson.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Book Review: The Brandful Workforce

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


For almost 36 years I've been involved in the workforce. I've either been an employee or employer and to tell the truth I haven't cared much for either position until I discovered Julia Gometz and her book The Brandful Workforce. 

Her book opened my eyes to a whole new world when it comes to work. I thought wherever I worked I was stuck in limbo or a rut. I didn't care about "branding" but after reading The Brandful Workforce it doesn't matter where I work, I'm part of a brandful workforce. 

It doesn't matter if you are a cashier or telemarketer(like I currently am) or a manager with 1 or 100 employees, you are part of the brandful workforce. As an employee it's your job to sell the brand and as an employer it's your job to make sure your employees sell your brand.

Julia has broken everything down into five easy sections that anyone in the workforce can understand: How to Build a Brandful Workplace in Your Organization, How to Build a Business Employees Want to Promote, How to Involve Employees in Your Brand, How to Hire Brandful Employees, and How to Become Individually.

Every section and chapter breaks everything down for you step by step. If you are looking to become a better employee or employer then The Brandful Workforce is a must have resource for you or your company. Julia's book helped me realize no matter what my job title, I have to promote the brand and be part of the Brandful Workforce.

About the Author:
Julia Gometz is a former Wall Street mediator and human resources executive at JetBlue Airways. She has collaborated with colleagues at Fortune 500 companies, government entities, and nonprofit organizations. Gometz is multilingual and an accomplished international speaker. She received an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Emory University and a master’s degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University.

About the Book: 
A Brandful Workforce is a workforce that works FOR your brand, not against it. This book is a practical “How-to” guide for organizations who genuinely want an authentic brand, both inside and out. Companies need to engage more than their customers in evolving their brands. The workforce is the missing link to, not just -successful branding – but success period.
 
Even if you have a brandful workforce, this book can show how to keep it that way. In addition, find out how to attract brandful employees and how you and your employees can become brandful. It’s a win-win for everyone.
 
The Brandful Workforce is not your ordinary business book. This may be the first interactive business book that’s packed with links to videos and ongoing discussions.  You can also purchase an online version so you can get the most out of this book. Join the discussion at www.brandfulworkforce.com/book.

Audience: 
The Brandful Workforce is for every kind of organization — private, public, nonprofit, large or small — in every industry. This is a “must-read” for CEOs and leaders in marketing, branding, advertising, corporate communications, social media, strategy, innovation, digital, corporate social responsibility, and human resources. It’s also relevant to any employee who wants a meaningful work experience.




You can learn more about The Brandful Workforce on the website. You can also find more on FB and twitter. You can also connect on Linkedin.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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