Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Choices that Lead to Light

I’ve been working with a homeless addict this past few weeks. She was kicked out of a half-way house for recovering addicts. It was everybody else’s fault that she had to leave the house. She never owned responsibility for her part in the break-up.

 She was an interesting person to talk to. She told detail after detail about how great her family was and the amazing things she’d accomplished. The things she talked about didn’t match with the place she was in life.

The choices she’s made had led her to fear, anxiety, and the need to escape into her addiction.

Another girl from the house is graduating this week. Despite an anxiety disorder, she’s finished her 12-step program, found a job and has a place to live. She is working closely with her sponsor and has a plan to keep herself clean.

She’s so excited because she can see her two-year-old son again. Her life is full of light and home.

There’s no point in working with the addict. You can’t reason with addiction.

None of us are either all good or all bad. I can see parts of myself in both women. There are times when I feel inadequate and want to hide behind past accomplishments. Much of the time, though, I love the feeling of worth that comes from completing the tasks I have before me. My life becomes full of light and joy.

How do we stay on the path toward light?

1.     Own responsibility for our mistakes.
2.     Learn from them
3.     Connect with others on a feeling level.
4.     Listen to their stories—don’t brag about yourself.
5.     Set goals and work each day to reach them.
6.     Be responsible for your daily life skills.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Finding Peace in Times of Tragedy

Finding Peace in Times of Tragedy is finally out. I enjoyed writing this book so very much because, in essence, it’s the story of my life.
When I was six, my father died in a car accident at the hands of an angry teenager who ran a stop sign. My dad was my best friend, and I loved watching out the window for his car to pull in the driveway each evening. Every night he snuggled me into bed and read stories until I fell asleep.
The night after the accident I still watched out the window for his car lights. I didn’t understand. My grandfather tucked me into bed and turned out the light, but a desperate lonely feeling engulfed me. Tragedy had struck my life. How was I to deal with it?
We all have the capacity to heal. With the help of our higher power, caring family, and internal insight our wounds become less.
The scars tragedy leaves are badges of wisdom. They propel us toward peace and joy.
This book is not only my story, but the story of others who experienced devastating life changes. It is our path toward healing and strength. It is the understanding we garnered along the way. All of us have known trials. Join us and follow the path to wellbeing.
Other stories include:
·       A 911 survivor
·       A mother whose son was mangled in a roadside bomb in Afghanistan
·       Parents who had two children die of similar brain tumors
·       A young adult whose father committed suicide
·       A rape survivor
Praise for the book:
"As a therapist who specializes in helping children through trauma, I've found this book a powerful new tool in helping my clients heal." Nefily Ledezma, LMFT
"Learning about how trauma impacts your body and mind and how to release it, as taught in Finding Peace in Times of Tragedy, is a prescription for freedom and happiness as you move forward in life." David Clark, MA, MFT, Mountain Interval
"This powerful book explores one of the most crucial topics in our society. Finding Peace in Times of Tragedy is a moving and compassionate portrayal of what people and communities are searching for in a world filled with chaos, tragedy, and uncertainty. Anyone who is looking for answers to almost seemingly unanswerable questions should read this." Dennis J. Carradin Jr. LPCMH, NCC, BCETS, Founder and CEO, The Trauma Survivors Foundation
Links to buy the book
If you purchase the book from The Trauma Survivors Foundation, the profits will go to the foundation as a donation.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Prospector and the Widow

My dear friend Carolyn Frank has a new book out. The Prospector and the Widow.

It is no secret that infamous gold miner, Cass Hite hates the Mormons. When he nearly dies while passing through a remote Mormon settlement, the kind-hearted widow, Sarah Hansen takes him in and nurses him back to health. She has the room and the time to take care of this prospector that everyone else in town shuns. She’s known loneliness since a young age, when her parents died and she became the third wife of a polygamist. And again when her husband died and her two children moved away. She doesn’t expect that Cass will be sweet and kind to her, or soothe her loneliness. Yet he does, and for the first time ever, Sarah is falling in love. As wonderful as it would be to marry him, she doesn’t want to live the life of a prospector’s wife in the rough, all-male town of Hite. Will she ever find a place to fit in? More importantly, will she ever be able to forgive herself for the decisions she makes?

Loosely based on true events, The Prospector and the Widow is a story of love and compassion, forgiveness and redemption; a story that makes one wonder how their love for
each other can possibly survive.

Link to buy the book:


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Inventors Who Changed the World

Just reviewed a new book, Inventors Who Changed the World by Heidi Poelman

This is a great book about inventors who helped to change the world. She has included both men and women. She included some inventors we know about, but also wrote about others that we know little about. She has included little bits of information that will be memorable to children.
The book is easy for children to understand and very informative as well. The pictures are vibrant and bold. I highly recommend this book as part of your children's library. It would be a great gift for  parents and grandparents to give children for a special occasion.

Heidi received her degrees in communication from Brigham Young University (BA) and Wake Forest University (MA).  She wanted to know why something as simple as a tone of voice, a type of greeting, a sincere compliment, or a phone call could so greatly impact the feelings between two partners. This curiosity moved her to write The Two-Minute Marriage Project: Simple Secrets for Staying in Love, in which she was able to more fully explore the significance of seemingly simple thoughts, words, and deeds. Heidi lives in Utah with her husband, with whom she has three children. - 
Kyle Kershner has loved drawing since he was a tot. He graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in sequential art. He spends his days doing what he loves most, illustrating children s books and making kid-friendly art. Kyle resides in Northeast Ohio with his wife and son. -

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Disastrous events continue to plague our world, and finding peace in times of trauma can be an overwhelming challenge. Personal shock after a death or tragedy can devastate a family for generations to come. 
This book discusses:
  •  how tragedy physically changes the brain and the body
  • explains the healing techniques of mindfulness
  • outlines skills for recovery from trauma. 

Personal accounts of tragedy in the lives of people include:
  •  a 911 survivor
  • a mother whose son was mangled in a roadside bomb in Afghanistan
  • parents who had two children die of similar brain tumors
  • a young adult whose father committed suicide
  • a rape victim.
Endorsed by the Trauma Survivors Foundation

This is a great read to help each of us face the personal tragedies that come to all of us. Each chapter has a to-do list at the end to help set goals and outline techniques to aid us in finding peace in our lives--even with personal and world disasters that surround us daily.

Buy the book on Amazon

Buy the book at Familius