Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hop To It

My friend Gay Idle (Captive Heart), invited me to be a part of the fun "blog hop" going around my greater circle of blogging friends these past several months. I've actually already recently done this hop (I think of it sort of like a "chain letter" for bloggers, but rather than exchanging dish towels or post cards, we are exchanging blog introductions, new friendships) once over on my stroke blog but had so much fun I'm doing it again, updated answers, new friends to introduce. :) Gay and I met through (in)Courage (OK, technically, we still haven't "met" yet as in face-to-face) and become friends through Facebook. She is a sweet pastor's wife (interestingly, of a church launch project we helped sponsor several years ago!) who only lives about half an hour away from me. Her son is a stroke survivor.

So the 4 brief questions I've been asked to answer (and that I'm now asking my friends to answer within the next week, if possible are:
1) What am I writing or working on?
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3) Why do I write what I do?
4) How does my writing process look?


1) What am I writing or working on?
I believe most visitors here already know that my one "claim to fame" is the book Hannah's Hope: Seeking  God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage and Adoption Loss (book published by NavPress, 2005, ISBN-10: 1576836541; ISBN-13: 978-1576836545) . Hannah's Hope blog and Pintrest pages on infertilitymiscarriage / lossadoption. Facbook athttps://www.facebook.com/HannahsHopeBook

What you may not know is that I'm the registered owner of over 30 blogs, but some I don't keep current anymore, some I per-registered for names of probable future book projects, some are titles I know people to search for me by and just redirect to other active blogs, etc

You have already found your way here to InfertilityMom where I sporadically blog about daily life, motherhood after infertility and loss. My motherhood pin board probably best fits this audience. Homemaking too. :)

My current book project, closest to being ready to submit for publication, is a harvest-themed devotional study on the fruit of the Holy Spirit, especially in the face of trying times, working title Harvesting Hope from Heartache and the accompanyingHarvesting Hope blog and Harvesting Hopefruit of the Spirit , gardeningroses, and spiritual warfarePintrest pages. Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HarvestingHope


Stroke Of Grace, my unfolding stroke recovery journey blog, is my primary writing project these days. I hope to write an accompanying book if future years, next in the cue after Harvesting Hope. On Pintrest, there are several specifically related pages: stroke-related pictures and thoughts, why I'm homesick for Heaventherapy and exercise, my struggle to find purpose, thoughts on grace and glory and a great collection of brain images. Facbook athttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Stroke-of-Grace-by-Jennifer-Saake/339888582731687

A future book project, currently titled Given Me a Thorn,a study on the life of the Apostle Paul as comfort, encouragement and resources for living with chronic pain and/or illness, was originally the "next book" I had planned to work on after Hannah's Hope, but God has backburrner this project for several years, slipping more books into more urgent priority in my heart. I actually already have several large chunks of this mauscript already researched and written, so I st Pintrest pages at Natural Health and Chronic IllnessGluten FreeLatex Free, and Given Me a Thorn. Facbook athttps://www.facebook.com/GivenMeaThorn

A page I have let fall fallow since the strokes, I hope to revive again, InnerBeautyGirlz, tips and tricks (and even some give-aways) for outward beauty, but with an intentioaln focus on the heart and soul.  I have, however, really been building my Pintest page on this beauty this year, a reflection of my own struggles both physically and emotionally/mentally, to accept God's perspective on me in my brokenness. Facbook at https://www.facebook.com/innerbeautygirlz


2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My manuscript for Hannah's Hope was due to the publisher 10 years ago today! I had no idea then that I would even write another book at all, and once I realized that was God's call, never dreamed I would not have a second manuscript to a publisher yet. God's timing...


When I think of my current (pre-stroke) manuscripts in terms of the writing profession, it is taking SO LONG and I get really sad and discouraged. When I think of all I have accomplished in the past 2 1/2 years from the perspective of a brain stem stroke survivor who should not even be alive and what I do type is through very slow thought processing and single-handed typing, I'm honestly rather blown away by what God is working through me THIS FAST!

3) Why do I write what I do?

These are the issues, lessons, survival tools God has put in my own life. The circumstances could be totally different, but the God is faithful and unchanging. I "write what I know" but whatever the topic, the goal is to offer comfort and encouragement to others living through hard seasons of life, pointing them to the hope and help Christ has offered me!


4) How does my writing process look?
You will usually find me writing with a cup of tea (warm if it is chilly, otherwise, iced, no sugar, yes lemon) on the side table next to me. Here are several pictures from around my home to mentally picture the process.



Please allow me to introduce you to some friends now!

I have know Ruth J Leamy the longest. We have only met in person once (thanks to God allowing her car to break down near my hometown, so we had opportunity to meet for dinner), but have known each other online for well over ten years. My oldest is 14 1/2 and I actually think maybe we met before I ever got pregnant with him, but I know for sure it was at least by the time our 11 1/2 year old was a baby! She's a huge life and especially writing encouragement buddy and I'm so blessed God put this woman, who writes beautiful Bible studies every year, into my life. Please check her out at Read, Hear, See, Feel.

Amanda Francis Holland has only come into my life within the past few months through a precious sisterhood on Facebook, and already is such a blessing! When I asked her if she was interested in being featured for this blog hop, I learned she was about to post her own answers to these same four questions over at Grace In Our Moments and was still looking for her own third introduction, so we both decided to introduce each other this week. :) How fun. How perfect!

Looking for other bloggers interested in participating (this hop has been going for a while and most of my friends have already participated), I just was delighted to meet Debbie Templin Williams this week and discover her beautiful blog over at Blogger Loves The King, When I asked her to tell me about tell me a bit about herself, she shared, " I am retired from the government after 43 years and 11 months. I started online Bible studies with Proverbs 31 shortly after retirement and am a team leader for small groups. I will celebrate my 45th wedding anniversary this Saturday to my high-school sweetheart. I have two grown children and one grandson with another grandchild on the way. Our grandson turned one this week. He was born last August with a horrible disease called EB, but is doing well thanks to prayers all over the world and seems to have a lighter case. His mom and dad carry a gene so can't have more children and our daughter was experiencing infertility so we had given up hope of more grandchildren - God did a mighty work and that grandbaby is due in January 2015."

These are my three "official" blog hoppers that will be sharing their own writing thoughts with you soon, but just like my first time around, I have a few "honorable mentions" that I would like to share with you! Joesette Morris Huffman will delight you with her posts at both S.A.H.M. I Am! and Learning Curve. And two strokie friends who have no idea they will even be mentioned here (and are free to join the hop, or not, whatever they find least stressful) are Joanne Heim of The Simple Wife and Denise of The Lighthouse of Prayer and Just Me, Being Me. These ladies have no idea how much I love them!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Birds of a Feather

I'm super honored and excited to have an article featured (on the front page even!) over at The Laundry Moms today. Please check it out and read a little more about Our Flock!

http://www.thelaundrymoms.com/gods-lessons-to-me/
I'm super honored and excited to have an article featured (on the front page even!) over at The Laundry Moms today. Please check it out and read a little more about Our Flock!

http://www.thelaundrymoms.com/gods-lessons-to-me/
I'm super honored and excited to have an article featured (on the front page even!) over at The Laundry Moms today. Please check it out and read a little more about Our Flock!

http://www.thelaundrymoms.com/gods-lessons-to-me/

Monday, May 19, 2014

Please, Won't You Join Us?



My sweet friend, Shelly, and I are co-hosting another season of the (in)Courager email / Facebook group for women with chronic illnesses. If this describes you, we would so love to have you join us this semester at (in)Hope. But if you are not looking for a small chronic illness community, please check out any of the 70 other, free, safe, amazing, women-only communities over at (in)Courage, only accepting new member this week, and asking for a participation commitment just until July 4. It is so wonderful to exchange messages and ideas and love with a small group of ladies who really "get it" about the unique challenges of your life. there is a special group just quivering with joy to welcome you into their "family" this week. Won't you please, join us! #incouragers #inHope #inCourage

I talk about my week and our daughter more at http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2014/05/my-week.html :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Movie Review - Heaven is For Real

We went to see Heaven is for Real yesterday. We rarely ever go to a theater, but I really wanted to see this one and not wait. I wasn't sure how I would handle it due to my own near-death experience - http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_9.html , but the movie really left me kind of deflated, thinking, "This little boy experienced the greatest thing ever and that's all they have to say about it!"

Personally, I thought the book was better. The movie was pretty good, in as far as it went, but left me feeling really sad that anyone who goes to it seeking real answers will leave with an "I'm OK, you are OK" type message without any true hope. Praying that God might use this topic as a springboard to open doors so we can share true Hope, but the movie itself doesn't give real answers AT ALL. :( As a friend said, "Hollywood had it grip on it in a few sections and one could leave there thinking the gates to Heaven are not narrow - that everyone gets through..which is very sad." As the little boy said of Heaven, my favorite line of the movie and oh so true, "It is just MORE!"

 
As one reviewer wrote on their Facebook page, "It was a great movie!! Loved every bit of it! Although they left out the most important thing...how to get to Heaven! Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." With that being said it is by faith we get to heaven not by good works...think they could have went into more detail of how to get to Heaven because that is the most important! Accepting Jesus Christ into your life is the only way to get to Heaven!"

The reason I am putting my review on this page is because the theme of miscarriage is woven throughout the whole movie. As you may know, I no longer really miss my miscarried babies very often at all now (something I never thought I would dream of saying!) but actually am rather jealous of them now. (http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2013/10/impressions.html offers  more of my personal thoughts on Heaven including input from a few of our HP sisters, and the topic of miscarriage is addressed.) Still, while I am really peaceful now about Noel, Joel and Hannah, it was hard to relive the raw emotions of actual loss experiences through this movie.

 

--- Specific plotline spoilers below ----







One of the early scenes of the movie involves the mom pulling a pink and blue box out of her bottom drawer of her dresser, opening it and sadly, lovingly looking at a little pink dress and little blue knit outfit. There are no words to tell you what's happening, but it is fairly clear she is grieving.

Later, there is a new baby girl born into their church and she gives that little girl her daughter's dress. The other mother does not know the backstory, but the evident of the emotional cost to Mrs. Burpe is evident.

There are at least two more scenes that specifically refer back to the dress later in the movie.

During one scene from Heaven, a little girl who looks remarkable like his living sister, only a little younger, walks up and embraces our main character.

A few scenes later, the little boy (it is driving me crazy that I can't remember his name right now!) is folding socks with his mom and tells her, in great detail, all about his second sister who died in her tummy (they had never known sex nor told the children about her miscarriage which had happened even before his conception).

He made a statement that she didn't have a name because they had never given her one, a fact that his parents confirmed as they had not known the sex of the child she lost. This disturbed me a bit as I believe that God will give us each a new name in Heaven anyway, so not naming a child here on earth wouldn't leave our children nameless. Then I thought about the fact that God was communicating to this 4-year-old in terms he could comprehend and his parents would grasp, so from the earthly perspective, yes it is true that she had no name.

It was at this point in the movie where the mother, who had been skeptical and thought it all a thinking her son's imagination is just over-active, is rendered to tears and really starts taking her son's account seriously.

In true Hollywood form, the closing seen of the movie is a sickly sweet pregnancy announcement where the wife takes the miscarriage memorial blue outfit and gives it to her husband, telling him they will be needing it in a few months. *gag* And yes, they did have another living son who is now a pre-teen. Very happy for them with the joy of their rainbow baby in real life, just could have done without the Hollywood spin!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

AGAIN???

I shared about our Easter weekend over on my stroke blog. I'll let you catch up with the details there. In other news, it has already been an eventful Resurrection Week in our home...
 


Yesterday afternoon I posted to Facebook:
I'm just home from the emergency room. Our daughter, already in a cast and on crutches for a broken foot, fell at school first thing this morning. She landed on her wrist and either sprained in badly and/or broke it. All the medical staff to examine her today indicated their belief it was broken, but x-rays came back with no obvious break, so she is in a cast-like splint, sling, and in a wheel chair since she still can't put weight on her broken foot and can no longer manage crutches with her wrist! This is a big testing week at school but she can't even hold a pencil right now! We have another round of x-rays in a week! (I promise, I'm not that good (or crazy!) of a fiction writer, so this is real!!!)

Just since my strokes, she has had 2 confirmed breaks (feet, both times, though she has previously broken each arm and had a couple of really bad sprains as well), her foot in a walking boot for another near-break, bad sprain, and now whatever this turns out to be! *sigh* Pictures coming if I can figure out how to get them off my phone. Tomorrow will hopefully be spent caring for emergency testing intervention with the school as she only has 10 more days to make up this week's testing!

 
As a fun side note, I found 2 hats within the past couple weeks, including one on an after-Easter Target clearance today, and spent a total of $2.50 for both of them! :D


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Q and A


My friend Kendra (I don't remember if I ever knew you lived in the Philippines. Seems like new information to me! I lived there from 18 months to 3 years and I don't remember much, but is my very first memory too!) gave me a blogger award with these rules:
 
    1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and answer the questions they presented.
    2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
    3. Copy & paste the pink Liebster Award logo to your blog.
    4. Nominate 5 blogs to receive the award who have less than 3,000 followers. Create a new list of 11 questions for them.
    5. Inform them of their nomination.
    So here goes.
     The questions I answered:
     
    1- If you were a food, what would you be? - probably fajitas, maybe chow mein or cinnamon rolls
     
    2- What breed of dog do you love most, if at all? - cat person here ;)
     
    3- When pressed, what is your go-to meal? - grilled chicken
     
    4- What was the last book you read? - currently reading "Queen Esther's Secrets to Womanhood" by Ginger Garrett, last finished book, Amish novel "The Promise Box" by Tricia Goyer
     
    5- Have you ever "put a sock" on your dominant hand and tried to live a day using only your non dominant hand? - no sock, since my non-dominate hand is my primarily stroked one, so I would be totally helpless if I "socked" my "good" hand too!
     
    6- If you could take a dream vacation, where would it be? - Probably Ireland (just with hubby) or Disneyworld (with family), but I would love to make it to Israel someday too!
     
    7- What is your favorite tv show? - Was Home Makeover
     
    8- What do you think of eating Moose!? - Bet it taste good, I think the closest I've ever come is Elk
     
    9- Have you ever been to Disneyworld? - nope, Land yes, World no
     
    10- Who is your favorite cartoon character? Pooh Bear, Dorie the fish, minions
     
    11- Coffee or Tea? tea, please!
Now onto the steps, nominations and new questions:

-2 Thank you, Kendra! Her blog is http://queenofbrusselsprouts.blogspot.com/ and I just love her to pieces (and know you will love her fantastic food ideas too).
 
3-

4- 5
 
My nominations are:
Lynn at Let All Creation Sing
Andrea from Persist Without Exception (neat interview about the author here)
(Denise, you were originally on my list too, but I guess Kendra beat me to you!)
 
My questions for these ladies:
1 Favorite book (and why)?
2 Any pets?
3 Biggest blessing? Biggest challenge?
4 Favorite desert?
5 Most interesting travels?
6 Greatest dream?
7 Favorite color and why?
8 What would you change about where you live? (i.e., more mountains, closer to the beach, more rural, etc.)
9 Are you a keeper/collector/clutter gal, or is simple sweeter?
10 Favorite Bible verse(s) and why?
11 Besides Jesus, who, living or dead, that you don't usually spend time with, would you like to spend an hour talking to (and why)?
 
-----------------------
I've been pretty dizzy this week, but tonight is the last dose of the medication I think is responsible, so hopefully soon I'll become more functional again!

Last night was a rough night for the family, homework wise. Rick was at a meeting and I'm at about 2nd grade level, academically, so there at least half a dozen different times when I had a child in tears. We ended sending everyone to bed around 10 PM, two still without having finished today's assignments. For the most part, this charter school thing has really been the best option for our family this year, but days like these I feel my losses and deficits so very profoundly!

A few more current updates are at Stroke Of Grace if you care to read more news. :) 
 
 
 
One more question I have? What exactly IS a Liebster award? I'm guessing maybe it was started by a woman named Libby??? Anyone know?
(Edited to add that Lynn researched for me. This is all that was found. Basically it just sounds like a fun way to let your readers know of other great blogs you read.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

give-away time!

 
So yes, I really am asking for shares! (OK, I'll take lots of hugs too, if you insist.) If you could please pass around my Stroke Of Grace blog and help people find me, I'm really working hard to expand my audience before I start presenting book proposals to publishes again, so it would help me a ton if you click on the blue "Join This Site" button (Google Friend Connect) on the right side bar, of that page. Thanks! You might even win these earrings (pictured below) if you join my membership drive contest this week. :)
 
http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2014/02/28-month-giveaway.html