Showing posts with label #book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #book. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Cynthia Diamond Stevison Talks About Mental Health

Today I welcome author, Cynthia Diamond Stevison to Writing with God's Hope blog. Stevison and I met at the Oklahoma Writers Federated International conference in May, 2016.  Since the mental component involved with fighting addiction is of interest to me, I loved discussing this topic with Stevison. I asked her to tell us about it and to also tell us about her book. Since I met her, I have read her book. Scroll to the bottom for my review and disclaimer.

Take it away, Cynthia.


There is a mental health crisis in our country today.
Few people realize mental disorders can be treated and managed.
Recovery is possible.
The Tree of Happiness explores the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. This story offers encouragement and empowerment to those willing to accept it and climb into their true potential. This book converts decades of personal and professional healing strategies into a proven process that equips readers with the tools to create their own Tree of Happiness.
Readers will
  • Discover how to unveil the roots that bind them.
  • Find answers to help those that suffer from mental illness.
  • Experience comfort that they are not alone.
  • Discern how mental disorders can be managed. Unpack how recovery is possible.
My book offers personal stories. I hope it inspires others to find their purpose and expand their potential. This book highlights the fundamental strategies for a successful recovery.
The Tree of Happiness unites human spirit and the mental health crisis in our country today. It uncovers the secret that mental disorders can be treated, managed and recovery is possible.
The book examines the stigma and discrimination faced by many Americans today. This story offers hope and healing to those willing to accept it.
We can impact others by sharing our stories. Every day is an opportunity to share. You see everyone has a story. If you just take the time to listen, share, and be supportive.

One of my favorite quotes by Katrina Mayer:
“At the end of the day the only questions I ask myself
Did I love enough?
Did I laugh enough?
Did I make a difference?”

GettyImages-127637696

What is essentially the ‘correct’ mindset to combat the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness?
In my experience over the last 25 years there are several ways to reduce stigma and discrimination. First to combat the fears about mental illness is to accept that mental illness can’t be cured but can be managed with proper treatment. This treatment is up to the individual. This person is not broken and everyone’s success looks different. Many individuals want to end the stigma and open the door to opportunities for discussion.
What is offered in your book “The Tree of Happiness”?

“The Tree of Happiness” unites human spirit and the mental health crisis in our country today. It uncovers the secret that mental disorders can be treated, managed and recovery is possible. There are four phases to the book.
1. The Struggle
2. The Recovery Plan
3. The Healing
4. The Impact
 
In the book I open up my tool kit of and reveal the seven practical steps for educating, empowering and encouraging others with mental illness.
Who do you recommend this book for?
People with mental illness and their friends and family
NAMI Groups
Social Workers
Counselors
Department of Corrections
Suicide prevention centers
Alcohol and drug treatment providers
Grief Counselors, Trainers
Military Personnel PTSD
Law Enforcement
Department of Child and Family Services
Support Groups
Crisis intervention teams
Why mental illness called the invisible disease?
People don’t often look sick. Some individuals hide behind closed doors and use alcohol and drugs to medicate the disorder. Many individuals rather than seek help with their mental disorder, many hide, hoping that it will go away. They are unwilling to admit to their illness because they are frightened of society’s reaction. Those who most need support from others, aren’t able to find the support they need because of society’s view on their illness.
 
What is your advice?
My advice to caregivers is smile, sit and listen. Don’t pity the individual. Realize the person is trying on good days and bad days. I advise those that struggle with mental health to learn to ask for help. Remember, ninety percent of mental disorders are treatable.
How did you recover?
I want everyone to know things did not change overnight. It was a slow and steady pace. I have known my share of hardships and loss but here I stand continuously moving forward. I remember the days that made me strong. I asked for help and I never gave up on myself. I am now in control of my own destiny. I have a wellness plan and that I am faithful to.
Which is your coping strategy?
I have a wellness plan that involves medication, relaxation, yoga, supportive people, meditation, volunteering, journaling and creative writing.
Why read the book now?
• We can raise awareness for others that are still struggling.
• We could inspire hope, and help in others.
• We have to expose this invisible disease to others.
• Tell them we need to treat mental illness like every other chronic illness.
• We must invoke policies changes in our federal and local government.
• If we better understand ourselves and others, conflict will decrease.
• Healthier relationships inspire peace, forgiveness and new beginnings. They build value and worth.
• We must advocate for each other.
 
Message in three words or less.
NEVER GIVE UP.


Order Tree of Happiness on Amazon








Cynthia Stevison is a midwest writer, advocate, blogger, traveler and entreprneur. She is a great storyteller. 
Cynthia earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Cynthia resides in the state of Oklahoma with her family.





Thank you for visiting us, Cynthia.


 My Review and Disclaimer

The Tree of Happiness supplies a wonderful resource for those who have ever dealt with mental illness through family or close friends, or in themselves. This author has experienced both things. Her brother is bi-polar. Written in the form of creative non-fiction, Stevison gives her brother's account as through his eyes. Her own story is a memoir or journal entry of her experiences during her stay in a mental hospital as well as struggling though years of recovery. Often, people shun those ill mentally unlike those with physical ailments. I found Stevison's steps for recovery not unlike much of my findings written in my book, Divine Dining. The Tree of Happiness asks questions, giving space to provide answers, utilizing thought processes that a mentally ill person can work through by themselves or in a support group. The book offers much common sense wisdom. Stevison believes in 12 step programs, as do I. She calls on help from her Higher Power, a mixture of God, as preached in churches, and humanism or spiritualism whereas my Higher Power comes from Jehovah God of the Bible, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, three in one.

****Disclaimer: Though this book can definitely help the mentally ill, and those dealing with one who is mentally ill,  be aware, first of all, that the journals give realistic language including a little cursing or crude words. This doesn't happen a lot, and is mostly at the beginning. Second, Stevison promotes a lifestyle that the Bible preaches against. Because of this, anyone reading this must be strong in their Christian beliefs, so as not to be influenced in the wrong way. As a believer in Christ, I love Cynthia Stevison. I applaud her recovery success. She's doing much good with her life. What a blessing that is. I do not advocate her sin, merely the wisdom she brings to the mental health issue.

Thank you, Cynthia Diamond Stevison for introducing us to this resource. I pray for your continued recovery and writing.



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Be True To Yourself

      During spring break, we enjoyed time with our two grandsons. The oldest is a senior in high school and plans on beginning college in the fall. We pray for the many decisions he will need to make in the next few years.


 
My husband told our grandson. “When you go off to college, be true to yourself.”

Though our grandson is a Christian, he will attend a secular college. His values, even his worth, will be tested. Many of us fight these issues. The devil is the prince of this world.

In the early church, they struggled with feeling some were more important than others. We know this to be true because of what Paul wrote to his mentees.
 

 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.  And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.  How strange a body would be if it had only one part!  Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”                                      1 Corinthians 12:14-21 NLT


Young people must find their part in the kingdom of God. When they launch out into this world for their first attempt to face adulthood, everything will be challenged. Our churches help us on Sunday, but most of us deal with non-Christians on our job, at our school, and in our neighborhoods.

My grandson isn't the only one who might need this reminder. At times, I need to be told, "be true to yourself." Perhaps, you do, also. We shouldn’t try to be something we’re not. God created us special. He planned our lives while we grew in our mother’s wombs.

I recently read a story about being the person God created us to be. I wanted to share it.

 

Don't forget to sign in to follow my blog before the end of St. Patrick's Day to win a free book!


Traveling together, a horse with a shiny coat and a fancy saddle trotted beside a mule with a heavy load and a matted coat.
 

“Oh, how I wish I could be as beautiful and graceful as you,” the mule told the horse. “I wish, too, that I was unburdened and carefree.”

A few days later, a great war broke out, and the horse went to battle, while the mule carried supplies. During a skirmish, the horse was wounded and lay dying. The mule plodded to the front carrying guns and medicine. His burden helped save the horse’s life. It was then that the mule realized that in being himself, he fulfilled his purpose and kept them both safe.
 

I minister to many who deal with low self esteem, often resulting in weight gain. I hope this story reminds you to walk as God directs. Follow your gifts. Be secure in who you are. Give thanks to the Lord, for making you uniquely you.

 

Today, I appreciate who I am and what I have.

Thank you, Jesus.
 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Chicken Again and a Giveaway

Does it seem as if you always eat chicken? But, you're trying to keep down your weight, you say.

So what? Are you doomed to days of chicken again and again? Did you ever feel like writing a book of 1000 ways to cook chicken?



A rooster at the Sauer-Beckham Living History Farm on LBJ Ranch in
Johnson City, TX.


 
Yes, eat some lean protein every day
 
 
if you're losing weight
 
 
if you want to build muscle
 
 
if you're over 50
 
 
 
Lean protein includes chicken but doesn't exclude other options, and there are many other ways to get in your lean protein. Here's my suggestions:
 


1.     pork tenderloin
                        
2.     lean ham
                          
                            3.     turkey
                        
                            4.     eggs
                            5.     tuna
                        
                            6.   shrimp
7.     round steak
  8.     sirloin steak
9.     rump roast
   10.   salmon cakes
              11. 93% fat free ground beef
    12. low fat cheese
 
                                13. ground turkey
            14. Jimmy Dean has a lighter pork sausage
                 15. Hillshire Farms has a light smoked sausage
                     16.     fat-free franks
 
                     17. pinto beans (also a carb)
 
                     18. eggbeaters
 
 
18 suggestions and none of them chicken.
 
Of course, you may count the ways to cook chicken.
 
Here's my top five:
 
 
Grilled on grill
Baked in oven with veggies in foil
Stewed in pan on top of stove and make dumplings
Mix in casserole such as chicken spaghetti
Stuffed in tortillas and cooked like enchiladas

 
 
Don't tell me lean protein while you're losing weight is boring. Don't complain to me that all you eat is chicken, chicken, chicken. Don't grumble over no variety.
 
Can you think of some other low fat options to get in your lean protein? I'm always looking for suggestions.


I will draw a name from all those who comment below with another option or a new way to cook chicken before April ends. The winner will receive their choice of a free book out of the 3 listed on the right side of this blog post. Be sure to sign in with your e-mail or leave your e-mail, so I can contact you if you're the winner.
 
 
 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

An Interview with Author, Bonnie Lanthripe

I met Bonnie Lanthripe in Edmond, Oklahoma when she stopped by the university where I was doing a booksigning. She purchased my Divine Dining  and Victoria and the Ghost. How could an author like me not like someone like that? She became a cherished friend and one of my sweetest encouragers.

Since then, Pen-L Publishing Co. has released Bonnie's debut novel, and it's very good. I'm not just saying that because she's my friend, but because I have a twelve-year-old grandson that the hero of her middle grade book  The Ringleader reminds me of.

 
 


A middle-grade adventure novel. Fourteen year-old Patrick Morrison makes a bizarre unexplainable discovery while exploring a drainage culvert with his friends. Obsessed with identifying what it is and how it got there, his search turns up some surprising clues as they race from one adventure to another. A series of unusual twists uncovers all the pieces of the puzzle, bringing a stunning resolution to the riddle.


 
 
I asked Bonnie to stop by Writing with God's Hope blog today and answer some questions.
 
 
1.  Bonnie, tell us a little about yourself.
      I am originally from Arkansas, lived many years in California where I met my husband and raised our family. We have four children, six grandchildren and two great-grandbabies. I love spending time and traveling with them all.

2.  Tell us about your writing journey.
      I basically have been writing for as long as I can remember--- just not on paper. I grew up on a farm in Arkansas and when I was alone, in the field, in the barn loft, I made up stories, even supplying the dialogue and sound effects. I wrote very detailed letters to my friends back home when my family traveled during my teens.
        It wasn't until after our youngest child was in college that I got an opportunity to go back to school to finish my degree. When I began creative writing classes, I felt as if God had presented me with a huge gift; a great big box tied up with a red ribbon; something I'd always wanted, but didn't know it. I've been writing ever since, but it was only two years ago when I got up the nerve to attempt to get published. What a thrill when I held my book in my hand!

3.  Did you ever feel like giving up? And how did you press through this?
     I let life get in my way. It is sometimes difficult for me to discipline myself to a steady routine.  Busy-ness of everyday life sometime overwhelm me and I think maybe it would be better to just stop. Then I remember that God gave me this awesome gift and I plow through the daily "stuff" and come back to the keyboard.

4.  What gave you the idea for this book? What is the book about?
      My 14 year-old grandson told me about an experience he and his friends had. I thought it was hilarious the way he told it, and that it would make a great story.
      The book is about Patrick Morrison and his friends who like to adventure. Instead of hanging around inside, they  get out and explore their neighborhood, the nearby open fields, the surrounding community. Check things out.  They make up wild stories and shoot videos of them.
     One day, while exploring a drainage culvert, Patrick sees something he can't explain, something that really spooks him, but he is determined to find out what it is and how it got into the culvert. His search for the answer leads the boys into some sometimes humorous, sometimes risky, situations but their adventure ends in solving the mystery.

5.  How do you feel this book will encourage people in their walk with Christ, or did you have something in mind when you wrote it?
     "The Ringleader" is not classified a Christian novel, however, when I first began writing courses, I made a commitment to write responsibly. My purpose is to present characters who are respectful, responsible, with integrity. They accept accountability for their actions and learn valuable lessons through their experiences. Isn't that how a Christian is supposed to act?

6.  Anything  more you'd like to add?
      Maybe that I never thought about writing a book for middle-grade or Young Adult. Only when I began writing this one did I realize how fun I was having. I'm having the same good time with the sequel.

7.  What's a little known fact about you?
      I am a socially functioning introvert. Go figure that one out.

 Oh, I love that, Bonnie. I think that describes me, too. Must be why we like each other.  
 
8. Where can your readers find you?
       Bonnie.Lanthripe.com/  From here readers can connect to my author's page, blog and web page.
       Also, Pen-L Publishing, Amazon.com, Kindle, Barnes and Noble and wherever books are sold.


 
 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A New Release for Judy P. Davis

 I met Judy P. Davis on the loop for Christian Writers Fellowship Intl. Her new book Happy New You is now available.  I feel blessed to tell the Writing with God's Hope followers about her and her latest book because I know you'll see her heart. 


Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post. Davis is offering a chance to win the book.



Judy, tell us something about your writing journey.

 I started writing over 25 years ago in 1985 when I felt the calling of God.  I was reading my Bible and prayed, "God you have been so good to me, what can I do for you?"  I turned to the Scripture in Jeremiah 30:2 "Write every word I have spoken to you in a book."  I had never written anything but a few letters and felt like Moses.  Who me? 

The journey began as doors opened for me.  I started writing a column in the local newspaper, attending the Florida Christian Writer's Conference each year for almost 20 years, went to college while working full time for the government.  Later, in 1995, I earned an Associate Degree in Theology.  I retired from my Civil Service career in 2004.  God equips those He calls.  I have never looked at Christian writing as a career but as a ministry.

Is this your first book?

 No,  this was my 11th book.  Some of them are on
http://www.amazon.com/Happy-New-You-Reading-Through/dp/1462408680/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394810106&sr=1-1&keywords=Happy+New+You+by+Judy+P.+Davis


http://judypdavis.wordpress.com.

What caused you to want to write this book?
 Last Jan 2013, I prayed for the new year and in my prayer, I asked God, "What would be a good devotional to read this year?"  And the words came into my heart and spirit, "Why not write your own devotional, a 365-day devotional?" I started writing that day and continued writing almost each day for a year.  Happy New You Reading the Bible Through will soon be released from the publisher.

I can sure identify with that since I wrote my 365 day devotion book, Divine Dining. God does give the words. Do you have another book in the works?

 No, not at this time.

Where is your favorite writing place?

In my office.  My husband bought a new computer for me for Christmas.  I also enjoy writing on my laptop.

If a song could describe you, what would that song be?
  I can't think of a song but my life verse is "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on
your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight."  Proverbs 3: 5,6


Oh, I love that verse, too. Good to remember. Can you tell us something about your new book?

Here's an excerpt from the forward that my pastor wrote for the book.

In this book, “Happy New You”, Judy Davis takes you through a journey in the
Scripture that allows you to read, reflect, experience, and interact with God. 
In this quest for “something more”, as you allow your heart to brush up against
eternal truth, there will be subtle, yet powerful, changes in your life.  When
the liberating power of this truth begins to work its way into the essence of
your soul and spirit, the experience of reading the Scripture will transform
from a task to a highlight of your day.

As a pastor, I am always giving counsel to believers on resources that will
strengthen their walk with Christ.  I can say, without hesitation, that this
resource will serve that purpose in a uniquely practical way!  Pastor Merrill


Judy, tell us more about yourself.
Davis has written newspaper columns, articles and devotions for Pentecostal Evangel, Pathways to Go, Woman’s World, Evangel, The Upper Room, Christian Pulse online, and many other publications. Her books include: Faithful Women of the Bible, Living Abundantly Spiritually, Financially, and  Physically, Women of the Bible, and many others. She uses her vast writing knowledge to judge Writer’s Digest self-published book awards.
She and her husband, Colin, have been married for 47 years.  They have 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter.  They love to travel since retiring from their careers in 2004.

How can people find you online?

http://judypdavis.wordpress.com
http://inspirationalthoughtsthatmatter.blogspot.com
http://facebook.com/judypdavis?ref=tn_tnmn

Thank you for giving us some insight into who Judy P. Davis is.

Now for Davis' offer for a giveaway for a kindle version of her book. All you must do to be in the drawing is leave a comment and don't forget to give your e-mail.  The winner's name will be drawn on the evening of March 14.