Friday, March 29, 2013

Naming this Blog...A Few Hints

Thanks to everyone who has contributed ideas to re-name this blog. As I've looked over the suggestions, there are definitely some that resonate. So I thought I'd provide a few hints on what I'm looking for in the direction of this blog.

First, this is about relationships. But it's more than just love relationships, more than husband and wife. Relationships include friendship, fellowship, siblings, kids, parents, and co-workers. So, it's not just romantic love.

Second, I want this to be an interactive blog. It will be a place to share your stories, thoughts, ideas. Give me feedback, whether you agree or disagree with what I'm saying. Let me know if there's something you want to talk about more. We're all people and we all relate to others. Let's talk about the joys and frustrations involved with our various relationships.

So, something about "relating" or "connecting" might be good. Those who have suggested titles with "love" in it, well, those aren't resonating as much with me. But every suggestion is still under consideration as I really dig into the depths of this blog and its direction.

Or go in the direction of "Stories of Us" or "Our Stories."

I'll take suggestions through Monday at 12noon central time. I'd love to land on just the right name. The $10 Starbucks card or $10 Barnes & Noble card is still up for grabs.

As it's Easter weekend, I wish you all a wonderful and blessed Easter.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Going Deeper with Friendship

As we take this blog in a new direction by examining relationships, I find myself examining my own relationships. Comments from a couple of friends of mine have really stuck in my head. These people have mentioned offhandedly that I am too private, that I don't share with them my problems or my worries. I didn't share with them things I've done. One of my friends was surprised to learn that I had a speaking engagement in the months previous to this conversation. That's pretty minor, yet why wouldn't I share something like that? It's exciting!

So that got me thinking, why didn't I share that with her? Am I too guarded? Do I not open up enough with my friends?

I know I want to have deeper relationships. I think sometimes I hold back because I don't want to come across as the whiny friend, the desperate friend, the one who always needs something or is always complaining.

Unfortunately I have a friend like this. It got to the point where I dreaded the phone calls from this person because I knew it would be something negative. This is someone I've known since high school. But this was also one of my friends who told me that I never shared any problems I had or anything I was going through at the time. She took it as an offense that I wouldn't open up to her. That has stuck in my brain and really got to me. I don't consider myself someone who's not sharing and not open. But in a way, it's true, although I consider myself a very caring person.

In my small group at church were discussing ways to go deeper in our relationships with each other and how can we really make the group something special and dynamic. So I have an opportunity in front of me to go deeper yet I still feel myself holding back.

I can't figure out what holds me back from letting people in a little deeper. I have friends that I share things with, but they are few. My husband is my best friend, and he probably knows me better than anyone. But why won't I go deeper with my other friends, those I care about and want in my life?

Does my "fear" of being too whiny and needy outweigh me "going deeper" with my friends... trusting them? Do I fear rejection? Is the bigger question: am I missing out on more meaningful friendships by holding back?

What advice do you have? What experiences have you had in trusting your friends, and really confiding in them?

I look forward to hearing from you.

(Photo credit: Photos_by_Lis / / CC BY-NC-ND)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Name my blog... deadline extended!

Thank you to those who have provided suggestions for a new name for the new direction in this blog. I appreciate it. Now, I have so much to think about, so I'm extending the deadline to next Monday, April 1st...and that's no April Fools joke!

Here are the details about naming my blog:

Name this blog... Win a Prize!

With the re-launch of my blog, I've changed directions. The new direction for my blog is discussing relationships, which are all around us. But now I think it needs a new title.

No longer is this just my journey (as in "Rebecca's Journey"). I want everyone to be involved, as we all have relationships and hopefully at one point or another, there will be a topic that truly resonates.

So, let's start with step one of being involved: Name this blog. And the person who comes up with the title I choose will win a $10 Starbucks card or a $10 Barnes & Noble card (your choice). Okay, that's not much, but hopefully it's fun.

Let's have a little fun with this! Name my a prize!

Leave your suggestions in the comments. I'll announce the winning name on Monday, April 1st by 5:00pm central time.

Thank you for participating!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Name this blog... Win a Prize!

With the re-launch of my blog, I've changed directions. The new direction for my blog is discussing relationships, which are all around us. But now I think it needs a new title.

No longer is this just my journey (as in "Rebecca's Journey"). I want everyone to be involved, as we all have relationships and hopefully at one point or another, there will be a topic that truly resonates.

So, let's start with step one of being involved: Name this blog. And the person who comes up with the title I choose will win a $10 Starbucks card or a $10 Barnes & Noble card (your choice). Okay, that's not much, but hopefully it's fun.

Let's have a little fun with this! Name my a prize!

Leave your suggestions in the comments. I'll announce a winner on Monday, March 25th, 11:00am central time.

And thank you for participating!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A New Direction

If you’ve looked at my blog recently you can see clearly see that I haven't posted regularly. It's time to change that.

What’s been on my mind recently is the topic of relationships. Everyone has relationships in one form or another. We have relationships with our spouses, our children, siblings, parents, extended families, co-workers, church friends, school friends, even people we see casually, like the grocery store clerk, the person bagging our groceries, and people at the gym.

We even have a relationship with ourselves and sometimes that’s the trickiest one of all. Lately I’ve been examining my relationships including the one I have with myself. The previous theme of this blog was about cancer and life after cancer. But I don’t want to focus on cancer any longer. There’s much more to my life than cancer. But I have to acknowledge how cancer changed me. I don’t think you can go through an experience like that, especially twice, and not somehow be changed.

What having cancer has done spurred me to take better care of myself and of course live life to the fullest. But that meant changing everything about my life. Since 2012 I’ve lost over 70 pounds, I go to the gym regularly, and have completely changed the way I eat. This was difficult but it's more than worth it.

I have a whole new attitude that has definitely changed how I feel about myself. Obviously it’s fun to buy clothes, and I find myself choosing more interesting and colorful clothes to wear. Recently I bought tennis shoes and while my inclination would have been to by black or boring, I actually bought silver shoes highlighted with neon pink and green, which is so different for me. (See photo with old tennis shoes in the background).

But I guess I have a new spirit of fun and celebration for this life. Last summer, my daughter gave me a pair of red and cream wingtip shoes. Never would I have bought these on my own, but they are now my favorite shoes! And they go great with the RED jeans I bought. Me... in red jeans... what a difference 74 pounds makes! (When I get really brave, I'll add a photo of me in red jeans!)

As excited as I am I don't want to turn into one of these people that has to tell everyone else how I've done this. Too many of my friends struggle with weight loss and other issues. While I want to be an encourager, I don't want to be annoying about it! Everyone has to find their own path.

We all want to have those relationships where we can share and celebrate the good things in our life, and still be compassionate and encouraging to those going through the tough times. The ups and downs of life are something we all have in common.

So as I go forward with confidence and some introspection, I think examining the relationships in my world and in yours will be a good exercise in trying to live life to its fullest and to appreciate life and the people we have in our lives.

I hope you’ll join me and share your own stories about the relationships in your life.

Let's start with how we treat ourselves. What’s your relationship like with yourself? Do you beat up on yourself? Have you gone through a recent change? Or are you still grappling with "can I do this?"

Maybe if we share with each other, then we can lift each other up and today can be a better day.

Friday, March 1, 2013

ACFW New Releases: March 2013

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Catching Her Heart by Carolyne Aarsen -- When they fell in love that summer, Jess Schroder never knew the secret Naomi Deacon carried away with her. Eight years later, she's back in Hartley Creek - a nurse's aide devoted to healing others. As she gets to know the good, caring man Jess has become, Naomi realizes they both deserve a second chance. Is Jess ready to let Naomi past his defenses? (Romance from Love Inspired).

Moonlight Masquerade, A Regency by Ruth Axtell -- Lady Celine Wexham seems the model British subject. French by birth but enjoying life in 1813 as a widowed English countess, she is in the unique position of being able to help those in need-or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. When Rees Phillips of the British Foreign Office is sent to pose as the countess's butler and discover where her true loyalties lie, he is confident he will uncover the truth. But the longer he is with her, the more his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to waver. (Historical Romance from Revell).

Rekindled Romance by Lorraine Beatty -- Back home again to regain her health, Shelby Russell finds herself babysitting for Matt Durrant's adorable kids, but the trouble is, Matt's the man she jilted for her career years ago. (Romance from Love Inspired).

The Hidden Son by Dianna T. Benson -- When U.S. DEA Special Agent Lelisa Desmond refuses to follow an order to bury evidence in a high profile case, her superior inexplicably hires a hit man to kill her. Lelisa barely survives the first attempt on her life, but someone close to her is mistakenly murdered in her place. Lelisa sets off on a daring mission to bring down the man who ordered her execution. A man with powerful friends who will stop at nothing to protect his son. Can she take him down, before he sends someone else to silence her forever? (Suspense/Police Procedural from Ellechor Publishing House).

Strand of Deception by Robin Caroll -- Strand of Deception offers romance, suspense, and a lively debate about the impact of DNA testing, for better or worse, on the United States justice system. (Romantic Suspense from B&H Publishing).

Swept Away by Mary Connealy -- Ruthy MacNeil is rescued from a flood by Luke Stone...who is on his way to fight the man who killed his unfortunately, there are more chances to die in Ruthy's immediate future. (Historical Romance from Realms - Charisma Media).

Scorned Justice by Margaret Daley -- Texas Ranger Brody Calhoun realizes the attack on his high school sweetheart's brother is more than it seems. Judge Rebecca Morgan is in the midst of a trial involving the Russian Mafia and suddenly her life is in danger. (Romantic Suspense from Abingdon Press).

When Truth Whispers by Dora Hiers -- After a humiliating breakup, best-selling romance author Teal Benning flees to Promise Lake to complete her current novel, minus paparazzi and flashing cameras. Suffering from writer's block and a broken heart, Teal accepts the offer of help from neighbor, Hunter Miciver. Hunter longs to be more than the friend who picks up the shattered pieces of Teal's heart, but when Teal finds out his secret, will she see him for the man he is? (Contemporary Romance Novella from White Prose Publishing (Pelican).

Journey's Embrace by Dora Hiers -- After an injury forces Deputy U.S. Marshal Sage Michaelson off duty, he heads to his hometown with two things on his mind: recuperating and reevaluating, but Sage can't refuse his best friend's plea to keep a protective eye on his little sister after someone ransacks her house. Flight Medic Delaney Hunt has loved Sage forever. But, he's all about control while she takes risks. She doesn't need Sage looking over her shoulder. But when things go wrong and she finds herself hanging by her fingertips, who does she call to rescue her? (Contemporary Romance from White Rose Publishing (Pelican).

Angel Falls by Connie Mann -- A fiercely protective Brazilian orphanage director and a burned-out Army Ranger are forced together in a deadly race to save one helpless baby. (Romantic Suspense from Abingdon Press).

Love Will Find a Way by Pamela S. Meyers -- When April Love opens her new eatery and catering business in an old Victorian in the village of Canoga Lake, Wisconsin, trouble is afoot. During renovations, she discovers evidence that the home had once been the hideout of a famous gangster. When several break-ins and an attempted arson fire threaten the grand opening, April and handsome fiancé Marc Thorne wonder if the gangsters still around? (Cozy Mystery from OakTara Publishers).

The Survivor by DiAnn Mills -- Kariss helps a woman involved with a 23 year old cold case and steps into a viper's pit of danger. (Romantic Suspense from Zondervan).

When Memories Fade (Victory Gospel Series 2) by Tyora Moody -- Angel Roberts has embraced her new faith, but past memories remain fresh. After her beloved grandmother suffers a stroke, Angel sets out to investigate a mystery that has lingered since she was five years old. What happened to her mother? She teams up with investigative reporter, Wes Cade, a man obsessed with his Alzheimer stricken grandfather's remaining memories. As Angel lets her guard down with Wes, his determination to get the story could push her to the edge. Is his interest in her or the story? (Romantic Suspense from Urban Christian).

Love for the Right Reasons by Donna L. Rich -- Beverly Lahmeyer falls in love with her new boss, but devastating news brings their relationship to a halt. (Contemporary Romance from Heartsong Presents).

Mountain Homecoming by Sandra Robbins -- In the second book in the Smoky Mountain Dreams series, the Martin family realizes their way of life is changing as the lumber companies begin to invade their remote valley deep in the Smoky Mountains. (Romance from Harvest House).

The Tempted Soul by Adina Senft -- A childless Amish woman is tempted by medical technology to betray her beliefs. (Contemporary Women's Fiction from Faith Words (Hachette).

Antique Dreams by Amber Stockton -- Fulfilling a deathbed promise, Aaron Stone encourages Lillian Bradenton to bring life back to a boarded-up bookstore, but before he can make good on his promise, he is called away to settle a family emergency, leaving Lillian to wonder if she's lost him forever. (Historical Romance from Heartsong Presents).

Forsaken Dreams by Mary Lu Tyndall -- Forsaken Dreams launches readers on a romantic adventure as Colonel Blake Wallace leaves the war-torn South behind to build a utopian society in Brazil. But will unexpected dangers on the ship and the secret of one captivating lady keep him from beginning anew? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing).

Ring of Secrets by Roseanna M. White -- Love has no place in a world of spies. (Historical Romance from Harvest House).