Showing posts with label #non-fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #non-fiction. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Secret Tool to Losing 95 Pounds

One of my biggest secrets to maintaining my weight loss this time has been my daily prayer and meditation that includes reading inspirational books or pamphlets that address my compulsive overeating.

I read the same 20-25 books over and over. Four years ago, God woke me in the night and dictated fourteen devotions to me. I wrote as fast as my fingers could move on the keyboard.

I’m thinking God felt it was time to add a new book to my library because He continued to give me devotions over a 4 year period. Some months, I only wrote 1 or 2. Some months, I wrote 20. I thought God was giving them to help me with my healing.

When I had written 300, I decided I was aiming for 365, so that other people could benefit. I proposed the idea of a 365 devotion book for overeaters to Duke Pennell of Pen-L Publishing. He asked me to finish it and send the full manuscript. I did, and he offered me a contract.

The book released December, 2013. I find it beneficial to have my own copy in my prayer corner. I, like others, read one devotion each day. They’re short and easy and, hopefully, inspirational.

Though I gave my heart to God at age seven and attended church regularly, compulsive overeating almost ruined my life. I teetered on the brink of suicide and divorce for several years. Praise God, He gave me an emotional and spiritual healing in time. I lost 95 pounds and have now kept it off 18 years.
Food is merely a symptom of a problem. When I have trouble wanting to eat, I:
1)Get more into the Word and draw closer to my Lord.
2)Pray for God to examine my heart and let me know why I'm so tempted.
Saturday, we'll delve into some of the reasons that push us to overeat. See you then.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A New Book by Author, Jean Ann Williams

God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart will be released at my Love Truth blog in installments on March 16, 2015.

I’ll post three times per week on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. There are three parts to each chapter, the devotions, My Mother Memories, and a journal page for the reader.

Until the book comes out in print you could journal on your own, using the suggested headings as shown below:

  • ~Your Mother Memories~
  •  ~Your Prayer of Praise~
  •  ~A Scripture of Encouragement~

On March 16, 2015, it will be eleven years since my son left his family and friends with our grief, questions, and the memories of him.



“When our children die, we want their lives to have mattered. We long for the world to know they were here.”


—Jean Ann Williams


God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart is a devotional of two hundred and nineteen pages–30,000 words– and is intended for mothers who’ve lost children to suicide. This book is a friendly, approachable, inviting book that helps mothers feel welcome and at ease to allow them a peaceful time to reflect on their loss and the child they miss. Each chapter has three sections. The devotional begins with Scripture and where the author tells the story of her loss and then ends in a prayer. The second part is of the author’s anecdotes and memories of her son. They are short and sweet, with a dramatic style rather than a how-to. The author reenacts moments in her child’s life and recalls how she felt to see the different stages of growth and challenges he faced in life. The concluding part to each chapter is a journal page for the readers to write their memories of their child. It allows them space for both memories and grieving, a prayer of praise, and a Scripture of encouragement.


When a mother has lost a child, there are times when it’s hard to mingle with other people. Each God’s Mercies after Suicide chapter can be read and journaled in within the privacy of a mother’s home, giving her a bit of hope and rest for another day. The book is distinctive in that it combines coping with the pain of loss while encouraging mothers to search for their own blessings. The book reaches out from its pages and wraps mothers in the warmth and love of their heavenly Father.


It has been stated by sufferers of loss to suicide that the topic of suicide is taboo, and that the survivors feel they’ve been isolated from the normal hum of life. In truth, the ones left behind after the suicide do have a valid point. Included in the preface of the book is this paragraph: “I’ve written these devotions for those mothers who have shared the deep heartache of a child’s suicide. Through my writing, I believe God wants me to share from my heart to theirs, by encouraging them and giving them ways to cope. Mothers can have hope and a due measure of peace after a suicide. God has helped me, and He wants to help other mothers. The loss is horrific, but God is faithful. He brought me through this dark time, and He wants to do the same for all mothers.”


Mothers of loss from suicide face separate concerns—concerns that are not taught nor thought about when they become parents. No one wants to consider that they’ll give birth to a child who could die by suicide. The mothers who endure this type of pain need a resource that considers their exclusive struggles and offers honest help from one mother to another—not in a step-by-step format but in story form, which draws the reader into a world they may know all too well.





Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth,

do you not perceive it?

—Isaiah 43:18-19


I had a dream. I dreamed the nightmare never happened. Our son Joshua never passed on to the hereafter. He married and had children. Then I woke, and knew the dream was only that—a dream. We live with our reality.


I’ve written these devotions for those of you who have shared the deep heartache of a child’s suicide. Through my writing, I believe God wants me to share from my heart to yours, by encouraging you and giving you ways to cope. You can have hope and peace after a suicide. God has helped me and He wants to help you. The loss is horrific, but God is faithful. He brought me through this dark time, and He wants to do the same for you.


A yearning to write this story came five years into my journey of loss. I sensed a dawn of courage within myself, but I haven’t come this far in a blink, nor on my own. Although I knew I’d lose my nerve, only to gain it back time and again before I completed my story, I also knew I’d have the help from Lord God, and the folks He sends my way.


Am I full of courage? Yes! Yes, I shout, with God’s hand upon me.


God, when I falter, I pray You will renew my strength. In Jesus’s name. Amen.


Jean Ann Williams lives in Southern Oregon with her husband Jim. Although one of their children has passed on to the Great Beyond, their two remaining children have blessed them with thirteen grandchildren, their Baker’s Dozen. To learn more about Jean Ann Williams visit her on Face Book, Twitter, and her blogs Love Truth and Jean Ann Williams: Author.


Janet - I have nothing to add except thank you, Jean, for speaking from your heart. I know you are ministering through your words and through your life. God bless you.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stories for Stepmoms with Shawn Simon

An interesting new author named Shawn Simon has become an online friend of mine. 4RV Publishing Co. recently offered her a contract for her debut book, so first of all, I wish to congratulate Shawn. She offers inspiration and help for the new or soon-to-be stepmoms in Stepping into a New Role, Stories from Stepmoms.

I would suspect this would be a difficult transition. This author gives hope.

Shawn, can you tell us your personal story of how this book came to be?

After moving in with my husband and his children,

my goal was to be the best stepmom ever. I never

wanted to hear, “You’re not my mom! You can’t tell me what to do! “


So, I started asking friends for advice and

suggestions, and I logged online to find step-parenting advice books. There wasn’t much, except for self-help books; I prefer reading stories. But, being desperate, Idecided I’d buy a few.


My husband found me upstairs and asked what I was doing. I told him I was buying

books to help me as a stepmom. He looked at the

computer and my “shopping cart” and exclaimed, “You

need six books?” I argued, “Well, I want to be the best

stepmom I can be!” He said he understood, but

suggested starting with two.

Later, a friend and fellow stepmom told me about a

book by Sally Bjornson that became my “bible”. It is

funny and heartfelt, about her journey. One part

especially resonated and became a catalyst for writing

my book. To paraphrase, she said, “When a woman gets

married, she is given a wedding shower, when she gets

pregnant, she is given a baby shower, but when she

marries a man with kids, she is given a bottle of wine

and told, ‘Good luck!’” This is so true! No one tells you

what you are in for. No one has sage, helpful advice. In

fact, no one really talks about this mysterious role of

stepmom. This is odd to me as more than half of all

families are “blended”. The traditional family barely

exists anymore, yet the topic of step-parenting is taboo.

Over my stepmom years, I gathered stories of my

experiences, and every week at the salon, I shared a

story. One day, my manicurist said, "You should write a

book. You tell great stories.” At lunch with a friend, I

shared a story about my stepdaughter, and she said,

"You should write a book. I think your experiences

would be inspirational." On another occasion, a

stepmom friend and I were at lunch sharing our trying

experiences, when we decided that I should write a

book including other stepmoms’ experiences as well as

my own. Well, my belief is that when we hear something

several times, there must be something to it. So, I

decided to write a book.

Those moments led me to this point, with a book

that is a compilation of stories from real life stepmoms'

adventures. It was a therapeutic experience, hearing

these women tell their stories: some are stepmoms with

no kids of their own, some have blended families, and

some started as stepmoms and then added to their

families. Hearing their stories was akin to being in a

stepmom support group.

My goal is to eradicate the idea of the “evil

stepmother”. That fairytale is ridiculously old, yet, sadly,

nothing has come along to replace it, even though there

are thousands of blended families. I am not an “evil

stepmom”. I love my step-kids. It took time, of course,

but over the years that love has grown. I joke saying,

“Why should I have kids of my own? I couldn’t love

Jessie more if I’d given birth to her, and Aiden and I are

so much alike, I might as well have given birth to him.”

My hope is that this book of real stories from

stepmoms will lessen the fear of this taboo subject and

will start us talking about the struggles and successes of

stepmoms everywhere.

10 years ago, Shawn Simon met her husband, who came
with two kids. As an educational therapist teaching children,
Shawn thought becoming a stepmom would be easy. She was
wrong. However, as someone who was born with only one
arm, she has learned to overcome obstacles. Therefore, success
in this chapter of her life would happen, too. From learning to
navigate her way in a world designed for two hands, she knew
she would navigate her way as a stepmom.
When Shawn discovered there was no support for stepmoms,
she decided to write her book, Stepping into a New Role,
Stories from Stepmoms. Shawn is thrilled to have her book
published by 4RV Publishing. Currently, she is working on
her second book, Stories from Stepdads. Shawn lives in
California with her husband, step-children, her dogs and cat.
Shawn's book should be out next year. Until then, find her at:

Facebook: Shawn Simon
Twitter: @shawnsimon44

Thank you, Shawn, for telling us your story. I know there will be many ladies eager to purchase your book. Be sure to return to Writing with God's Hope blog when the book releases.