A Guest Post by Michael Lynes There is a Reaper…Creation Almost four years ago now I first sat down in front of my computer in my office, driven to somehow find a way to honor the memory and life of my son Christopher Aaron. I thought I would write a few words, something to try and capture some of the memories, some of his spirit, before they became too far removed from memory and distorted by time. I sat there, really just lost, and unable to find a way to begin. Touching back into those memories was like opening a long shut door, reentering a place of fear and failure and pain that I was not sure I would be able to handle. I typed a few words and discarded them. And then I typed a few more, with the same result. I realized that, in order to tell this story I would have to face my fear, and my failure. … click here to read the full article.
A Guest Post by Connie Stephany Normal (Adjective): usual or standard What does that word really mean? I think everyone’s definition is likely quite different. For me, normal was growing up having my shoulder come out of socket in a swim meet and then being able to only swim with one arm. I was sick constantly, missing school and picking up every single illness possible. Later in my life, normal meant taking longer than “usual” to recover from c-sections and having no explanation why. It was having constant body aches and headaches. It was having me cry or scream when someone touched me the wrong way. How do you explain to your 3-year-old that it hurts to have them sit on your lap? I suffered in silence. I thought everyone dealt with those things. Right? Wrong. It wasn’t until a couple years ago when I found out that what was happening to me was anything but normal. … click here to read the full article.
A Guest Post by Robin Helm Never say never. Nearly eight years ago, after seventeen years at that particular Christian school, I lost my teaching job. I had been teaching for twenty-seven years. It was as if I had lost my identity – comparable to dealing with the death of a loved one. I mourned for two years. I promised myself I’d never teach in school again. However, I couldn’t just crawl into a hole and shut myself away. We needed my income, so I had to find a job. During my college years as a music major, I taught piano lessons and played for voice lessons to make extra money. I was young and impatient, so teaching piano wasn’t much fun. I told myself that I wasn’t cut out to be a piano teacher. The first full-time job I had after I finished college was as a bank teller. … click here to read the full article.
A Guest Post by Earl Chinnici Cathy and I had known each other approximately seven years, yet never met in person. Now this was the week of her birthday and since I had little money, I decided to give my dear friend a glimpse into “my world” through the lens of a built-in camera on a miniature laptop computer. I was clueless at the time, but my world was about to drastically change. I phoned Cathy mid-morning and wished her a happy birthday. She seemed genuinely delighted as I told her of my intended gift and shared the information that she’d need to connect. When she started receiving the first images from the camera, her voice echoed her excitement even more. I gave her a tour of my home and yard. We were having so much fun. In fact, we enjoyed nearly an hour together before our schedules demanded that … click here to read the full article.
A Guest Post by Melissa Miles From the first moment I saw a baby in the Neonatal ICU, I knew that I wanted to be a nurse. Taking care of children who were fragile and needed special care was a calling for me. Though challenging at times, I spent five years working in neonatal and pediatric intensive care before taking some time off to have children. Nothing in my career taking care of other people’s children prepared me for the day that we learned our four-year old little boy was on the Autism spectrum. He was attending a special preschool at the time for children with developmental delays. We had made the assumption that his delays were all physical ones–motor skill delays. He teacher recognized the symptoms of autism and suggested with see a psychologist. Now I found myself in a completely new and terrifying role. I was no longer … click here to read the full article.
A Guest Post by Alex McGilvery Over the years I’ve dealt with being fired, poor, homeless, not to mention some time as a single parent after my wife’s accident left her unable to parent for the better part of a year. There have been some real highlights too, the resurrection of our marriage, the continuing joy of being a parent and now a grandparent. Through all that and more I have been an author and reviewer. None of it stopped me from writing though some caused more turmoil for my characters. The first thing to slow the flow of words is the literal pain in the neck, which I carry around as a daily challenge. Think of a mild migraine headache which started some five years ago and hasn’t let up since. If I listed all the things I’ve tried in that time I would double the word count for … click here to read the full article.
A Guest Post by Katy Huth Jones In 2004 I was insanely busy, getting a “buzz” from all the activity: I made a small but regular income from book sales and magazine articles, taught private flute and sectionals at the local high school and middle schools, and taught classes to other homeschoolers, along with my fourteen-year-old son: band, science, creative writing, and Shakespeare. I also helped my husband with our son’s Boy Scout troop. Being around teenagers all the time stimulated my creativity in exciting ways, and I didn’t think life could get any better. Then I developed a bad sinus infection that required antibiotics, but once the infection was gone, the lymph nodes in my neck remained enlarged, and I had extreme tiredness and night sweats. I did some research and realized I had every symptom of lymphoma (except the one I wouldn’t have minded having—weight loss). I went … click here to read the full article.
A Guest Post by Frances Hoelsema When everyone in high school has to take the dreaded (or perhaps anticipated) sex ed class, topics generally range from STDs to sexual organs, reproductive functions and of course, pregnancy. Don’t want to get pregnant? Then abstain from sex or, at the very least, use protection. Never ever do you hear about the struggle that some couples face to get pregnant. Pregnancy is one of those things that everyone just assumes will happen at the drop of a hat. Me deal with infertility? No way! Unfortunately for my husband and me, we did have to struggle with this. In March of 2006, the love of my life and long-time friend got married and knew we would live happily ever after. Then in June we decided we wanted to have a baby to share the love that we had. When we were sure that we … click here to read the full article.
by David Njoku Judge a book by its cover. Always. Believe me, it’s the only way to stay sane. Think about it. In the past year, 500,000 new books were self-published. And no, I didn’t fall asleep on the 0 key, I really do mean half a million books. And I don’t know about you, but I haven’t finished reading all of 2014’s books, or 2013’s. I work as a computer programmer; maybe if I was an author, I’d paint you a nice picture swimming in similes and alive with metaphors, but I’m a computer programmer, so forgive me if I get a little jargony here. We’ve got a thing called an analytic function that takes all the information available and gives you a result; and whenever it comes across new information, it reviews its result and updates it. And that’s what you should do with books. When all you … click here to read the full article.