Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer Eating

SUMMERTIME! What does that mean for you? Does it mean BALLGAMES? MEMORIAL DAY? WEDDINGS? REUNIONS? GARDENING? THE SWIMMING POOL? BBQs? ROAD TRIPS and VACATIONS? Now is the time to PLAN AHEAD for the upcoming summer season.


Savor the summer and make it last with healthy eating and wise choices while we focus on fun, not food.

If you are like me, you have a list of summer chores to do. I am excited to get going on several projects, but when I think of ALL the chores and projects I need to do, I get discouraged and want to procrastinate. There are also fun things I want to do this summer, so I shall look at those as rewards for doing what's necessary. I can work on tasks one day at a time, chunk them down, and reward myself (not with food) when each job gets done. I have some resting to do as well because that's all part of the summer refresh myself mentally and spiritually.  Summer offers many opportunities to move more. Think of your tasks as extra activity.


Where does watching what we eat fit with these busy months called summer?
1.     Set a goal for our weight by October.

2.     Break that into bite-size stops along the way.  (Pun intended).

3.       Reward ourselves with NON-FOOD rewards for our day-by-day accomplishments.

4.      Move more and eat more summer produce.

5.      Have fun.

6.      Enjoy summer.

Don’t use summer as an excuse to overeat. Don’t get the “vacation mentality.” Breaking your routine in work or school schedules doesn’t require a break from relying on God to lead us to healthy lifestyle choices. Wellness living enhances vacations and BBQs.

Summer is NOT the time to let our food-watching slide

Let's have the BEST summer ever...healthier...fitter...and journeying to our goals. Proclaim this the summer of God and me defeating this “vacation mentality” for good.


Pray for help….

Choose life….





Or walk, or jog, or bike, or climb a mountain….




Thursday, May 23, 2013


I’ve been tagged to take part in The Next Big Thing by fellow 4RV author, Melanie Robertson-King Find her at:

  I answer ten questions about my next book in progress, then pass the baton on to two more authors. It’s loads of fun and you never know what you might find out about an author’s book.
So here we go!
What is the working title of your next book?
A Ghost for Shelley
Where did the idea come from for the book?
After 4RV released Victoria and the Ghost last year, I was asked if there was a sequel coming. I decided there should be and started at work writing it. In Victoria and the Ghost, Shelley Halverson is the girl you love to hate, the country girl who gives city girl, Victoria, a rough time. I thought what if....? I find it fun to play that game. What if Shelley got moved to the city? What if the move made her feel ashamed of her actions toward Victoria? What if she fell for a rich city boy that had everything when she had nothing.
In what genre does your book fall?
Inspirational YA with paranormal elements
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Amy Adams as Shelley. Adam Senn as Colson, the hero.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A guilt-ridden country girl, forced to move to Dallas, confronts betrayal, arrest, and a loss of faith but meets a jet-set jock with a heart for God, and a ghost with a message just for her.
Who is publishing your book?
4RV Publishing (I hope). I submitted the first 3 chapters and synopsis and received a request for the full manuscript. I'm in the process of doing a final editing of it before I send it. I hope it's good enough since they published Victoria and the Ghost and this is a sequel.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I began Sept., 2012 and ended April, 2013 so seven months. However, I do many projects at the same time, so I wasn't always writing on this one. My non-fiction devotion book Divine Dining came out in Dec., 2012, so I also worked promotion on both of my books during this time.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Live on Hold  by Beverly Stowe McClure and the Laurel Shadrach series by Stephanie Perry Moore.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The what if question.
The first book explored a teen's view of a mother's rejection and a world with no friends because of being moved from city to country. A reverse viewpoint drew me to the sequel. Another thing that brought about this story is hearing of struggles with teen self-mutilation. I discussed the reasons and forms with our church youth pastor, and I sought to help the reader understand this progression in a teen.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
The proverbial opposites-attract love story. Colson hates being loved for his money and his family connections. Shelley hates being classified as a freak because she comes from the country.

Now, to select one more person to take part who will post their next big thing on May 23  TODAY.
Susan Meyers

Now, to select one more person to take part who will post their next big thing on May 30.
  Eileen Rife @


Tuesday, May 21, 2013


And the winner is: Cheryl Rahkonen.

Yesterday, we drew the name from the comments to pick the one who won a copy of Victoria and the Ghost.. I'll be sending her the free book today.

Thank you all who commented for a chance to win. I hope you all won a free book on another site. I appreciate all the involvement in the Children's Book Week giveaway blog hop. We'll do it again. It was fun.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

BEAUTY FOR ASHES by Lillian Duncan

I want to welcome Lillian Duncan to Writing With God's Hope blog today. I pray her sweet article reminds you that we find our sufficiency and our restoration only in God.  Take it away, Lillian.
Beauty for ashes! 

This phrase comes up several times in my soon-to be released book, BETRAYED. In fact, I would even go out on a limb and say it’s one of the themes of the story. It’s not a secret so I can tell you, my main characters—Maria and her daughter—are in the witness protection program because Maria was betrayed by her husband in the most horrible of ways. (you’ll have to read the story to find out the details!)

Betrayals hurt! I know—I’ve lived through a few. They were ugly and painful and nothing I would ever want to live through again. Unfortunately, even years later a word, a picture, a smell, or a song can trigger the memory and for a moment the pain still crashes in on me.

That’s when I remind myself of this verse.  Beauty for ashes.  

In fact, if you choose to let them, betrayals can ruin your life.  If you choose to let them, but you don’t have to make that choice. You can choose to understand when someone betrays you that is about their character, not you and your worthiness as a person.

Or you can get stuck in the past!  Stay angry and bitter and pitiful!  Not a fun place to visit, let alone live there!  Go ahead, feel the pain and the anger and all those other powerful negative emotions, but then let God heal you.

He will!

In my own life, God definitely kept his promise of beauty for ashes. He has given me the desires of my heart. I now have a godly, loving husband and I’m a published writer. God restored my life and gave me beauty for ashes.

 He will do the same for you.

Witness Protection Program claims they can keep anyone safe if only they follow the rules so Maria follows the rules--every rule. She's given up everything--her friends, her family, her past, even her name to ensure her daughter has a future.

Reborn as Veronica Minor in the sleepy little town of Sunberry, Ohio, she struggles to rebuild their life amid the beauty of her flower shop. A life where her daughter can have a happy normal childhood. A life where her daughter will never know that her father was a monster.

When a child disappears, Veronica prays it has nothing to do with her past, but what if she's wrong? Not knowing who to trust, she trusts no one...and that's her first mistake

Lillian Duncan…Stories of faith mingled… with murder & mayhem.

Lillian is a multi-published writer who writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit:  She also has a devotional blog at:  as well as her personal blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at

 Thank you, Lillian. That sounds like a wonderful story.
Check out both of Lillian's blogs. I've found them interesting and stimulating.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop

Check below for other links to win free books

Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop

May 13th – 19th

Hosted by 

& I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

I'm very tech-challenged, so if that link to sign into the host blog doesn't come through, here is the URL link. Maybe, it will.

Personally, I believe every week should be children's book week.
                                                               Kathy Vossler, youth department head
                                                                 Wichita Falls, Texas Public Library
I agree, Kathy.

I hope my viewers will allow me to give a few personal insights. My ten-year-old grandson brightened my day yesterday. This was the kid who hated reading. My daughter and son-in-law worked with him hours on end. Besides their own involvement, they brought in a tutor to get him excited over reading.

Yesterday, he detailed the plot of the book he just read, gave me the title, and the author's name. He found the action story fascinating. I soaked in his words with the pride that a grandma can't help but feel.

 Friday, this same boy won a multi-school contest for the poem he wrote. It will soon be published. His dad is a teacher/coach and has published motivational articles in magazines and newsletters. Along with me, that makes three published authors in the family.

This is me shouting. YEAH!

Since July, 2012 when my YA novel, Victoria and the Ghost, debuted, I've visited with several librarians and communicated with many who write and read teen fiction. I love the people that share my enjoyment of books and a special thanks to those who cherish and share children's and YA books for our young people.

People ask "why do you write for teens?"

My best answer is "it's fun." Teens act with abandon and far less intimidation or people-pleasing fear than adults. I love being a teen again and find my way to solutions with insights from only living in the world 15-16 years. Try that on for size.

I assure my grandchildren and often friend's kids that their actions or words might end up in my books. Who else might I study?

This week I celebrate Children's Book Week with this giveaway. I will draw from the names of all who comment to this post. The name I draw will receive a copy of Victoria and the Ghost. Be sure to leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win. Also, check in with the host site for further ways to win during this week. Help us celebrate children's and YA books. Below is a list of 132 more links where you can sign up for free children's and YA books. Check out them all.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Little Is Much

But me, I have little to offer
Though I follow the Lord's command
But even little can be much
When put into Jesus' hand.    

Jesus changes things. In His hands, small insignificant seeds of obedience flourish and a small amount of bread feeds thousands.    

God magnifies little changes in anything we do. When I viewed my two-hundred-fifty pound body, losing enough weight seemed like a colossal feat.

I reached the point where I admitted my powerlessness and turned the problem to the Lord. In His hands, it's amazing what can be accompished. Change what you can, and wait for God to move.

God is the author of growing small things into big and big things into small. Look at the seeds we plant that become mighty crops. God points out the smallest seed of all as His example.

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain. Remove hinder to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
                           Matthew 17:19-20

    My positive thinking (believing I can do it) is as a mustard seed in the hands of the Lord.
Thought to remember:

Food is not the cure for your pain.

Freedom, not bondage, is what we seek.
I asked my Divine Dining class this week what changes they'd made since we started the class to help them live a healthier life. Here's a few of the answers.
    1. I start my day with prayer.
    2. I've stopped eating after dinner except for maybe a fruit.
    3. I'm eating smaller portions and more vegetables.
    4. I think I'm more conscious of how important it is to God.
WHave you made small changes? What others can you start? Has God helped you accomplish something big? Let me hear from you.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Ten Minutes after Joshua's Suicide

This is a sampling from the book, God's Mercies After Suicide: Blessings Woven Through a Mother's Heart by my writing friend, Jean Ann Williams.  I hope it ministers to you today.

“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”
                                                                                          —Psalm 91:11 ESV

“No, no, no!” I slammed my fists on the headrest of our sofa.

            “Jeannie, stop, you’ve got to stop,” my neighbor, Lupe said, trying to hold me.

            I fell to my knees, yelling, “Joshua’s dead, Joshua’s dead. How can this be?”

            I threw myself on the floor, wailing. When Lupe could not pull me up, she began to pray in a loud voice. “Father, I rebuke Satan from Jeannie. I rebuke him now, in the name of Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

            My son Joshua had shot himself minutes before. I just walked away from the doorway of his room where my husband held our dead child, rocking him. With that image in my mind, terror gripped my heart and now I could not stop screaming.

Then—Lupe prayed. When she said the name of Jesus, I sensed a whoosh of calm cover me and the hysteria left my spirit.

            With tears streaming down my cheeks, I struggled to stand on weakened knees. I wanted to obey the spiritual command and hide in the safe protection of Jesus. Lupe grabbed hold of my arm and pulled me to her where my face nestled against her shoulder.

I sobbed. She smoothed the hair from my face and whispered comforting words, words I no longer remember those long nine years ago. It does not matter what she said after the prayer. What mattered at that moment was Lupe came to my aid and she talked to God on my behalf. His Holy Spirit came to me and stopped my fit and I got up and sobbed the natural tears of the loss of a child by suicide. Harsh as it felt, that calm stayed with me and held me up on that day.

Later, after the emergency workers took my son’s body away, I collapsed a second time. In that weakened state of shock and disbelief, a covering enveloped me and God loved me. I sensed His presence within my sorrowing.

Father God, You cover me with Your Holy Spirit. You sent a human angel to pray over my shattering heart, a blessing in a horrifying moment. In Jesus’ name, I thank You. Amen.

Jean Ann Williams lost her twenty-five year old son Joshua to suicide nine years ago. That one horrific moment of loss, defined Jean's life from then on. She once wrote and published stories and articles for children, and now, also, reaches out to parents of suicide loss with her writing. Jean is currently working on a book of devotions for mothers who are on their own loss journey because of suicide. Jean and her husband of 42 years have two remaining children and are blessed with thirteen grandchildren. The couple lives in Southern Oregon on a tiny farm with goats, chickens and a golden dog named Chloe-Dean.

                                                                   A Mother’s Memories

“This dog is a wild animal, Son, are you sure you want him?”

            Joshua nodded his head. “Yes, Dad, he’s huge, I’ll take him.”

            My husband tugged on the leashed Rottweiler, and the dog leaped from the back of the pickup. Thirteen-year-old Joshua backed away, and said, “Wow!” His eyes danced in his excitement to own such a magnificent animal with mahogany and black markings.

            Joshua’s dad showed him how to begin training the dog, which later became registered as Harloe Schwarzkopf, a full-blood German Rottweiler. At first, Joshua had to use caution toward Harloe, because the dog had flunked the police academy for not obeying the calling off commands in training. Harloe, so hyperactive, his teeth chattered when Joshua reached out his hand as though to touch the dog.

            At first, Joshua could not move too close to Harloe, but talked to him in soothing tones. In the next step to calm and befriend Harloe, Joshua slept on the ground a few yards from the dog for several nights in a row. With his dad’s guidance, Joshua leash walked Harloe and in a few weeks, was able to pet and even hug Harloe.

            When Harloe died ten years later, Joshua buried his dog and mourned the loss of the best dog he ever loved.

Other chapter devotions include: 

~Your Mother Memories--

~Your Prayer of Praise--

     ~A Scripture of Encouragement~

Here's the one page sale sheet for  Jean Ann's upcoming book:

Christian Devotional, 40,000 words

God’s Mercies

After Suicide:

Blessings Woven Through

a Mother’s Heart

"If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,

think on these things."

~Philippians 4:8

Through my personal stories, with thematic scriptures and prayers, and a reader’s journal page, my devotional offers comfort, hope, and the courage a mother needs following the loss of a child to suicide.

With transparency, I beckon mothers to follow along and read how God’s mercies reached me in my most bitter hours and ultimately increased my faith.

On the journal pages, the reader may write memories about her child for future generations, and also include her prayers of praise and scriptures of encouragement.

There is a definite lack of, and a strong need for, devotional books to help the mothers who have lost children to suicide. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for persons aged 15-24 years, 2nd among those aged 25-34. In 2010 there were 38,364 suicides in the U.S.—an average of 105 each day.
Here's how to contact Jean Ann Williams for more help.

Ministering to mothers who’ve lost children to suicide

My hope-filled articles on suicide loss have appeared in e-zines such as Open to Hope,

Inspire a Fire, Ruby for Women,
and The Nugget E-zine with one article in an e-book compilation by Open to Hope. I’ve also multi-published nonfiction and fiction

in children’s magazines and wrote a healthy eating column for Listen magazine.

My middle grade novel earned a Letter of Merit through the SCBWI.

Within the last two years, my true stories have been featured in three book anthologies, including
Love Is a Verb Devotional, by Gary Chapman. I am a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Writers Fellowship International list serve,

Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and Ruby for Women.  Blog:

 I can only say, "wow." I read these words and remember the pain from losing our granddaughter when she was 8 days old. God is good through the sorrow. The memories linger through the years as a way of healing.

Thank you for sharing, Jean Ann.

#suicide #books #ghost #writing #Chriist #healing