Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Power of a Story by Eileen Rife




Reader holding Laughing with LilyShe stood against the wall, waiting. For a moment our eyes locked, and then I shifted my attention back to the woman talking with me. When she left, the wallflower approached.


“I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your book, Laughing with Lily,” she said, the fluorescent light casting a sheen on the top of her gray head.


I drew upon my trained response. “What stood out to you in the story?” I’m always eager to know what strikes to the heart of individuals in various seasons and walks of life.


Her gaze flit to the ceiling then rested on me. “The part about the nurse rescuing the baby.”


She definitely had my interest, and I leaned in to listen closely.


“You see, thirty-five years ago, while working as a surgical nurse, the doctor informed the team that he’d be performing a routine hysterectomy. To my shock, when he opened the woman, he lifted out a baby and placed the little one in a metal pan.” Tears rimmed her eyes, but she pressed on. “One nurse reached out to touch the body, but the doctor said, ‘No! Don’t touch that!’”


My heart hurt for this dear woman who in the sharing was reliving this tragic episode in her medical profession, a profession she’d obviously entered to save lives, not take them.


“I watched the baby take a shallow breath,” she continued, “and then the child was gone.” She sighed. “I’ve thought about that day many times since. The baby was about two pounds; he might have survived with the proper care.”


What could I say to this dear reader? My story had obviously reopened old wounds that had never quite healed.


When I opened my mouth to offer a word of comfort, she said, “Thank you for writing Laughing with Lily.” Then she walked away, leaving me to wonder about her healing journey.


Had God placed my book in her hands for such a time as this? Even thirty-five years after the horrible scene she’d witnessed?


In God’s sovereign order of things, I believe so. Prayerfully, my words struck a chord in her soul, and like the one leper out of the ten healed, she returned to say, “Thank you.”


Has God used you to offer clarity, conviction, or comfort in another’s life? If so, did anyone ever come back to say, “Thank you?” What did that feel like? Were you able to offer more words of encouragement or direct the person in a certain way? Share about your experience. Let us encourage each other, AND you’ll be entered into the drawing for our lovely gift-basket give-away filled with:


Laughing With Lily and Second Chance by Eileen Rife;Unconditional by Tanya Eavenson;  In the Shadow of Sinai by Carole Towriss; Yesterday’s Promise, Jewels of the Kingdom and A Cowboy’s Christmas and two beautiful jewelry pieces by Deliah Latham Sweet Freedom With a Slice of Peach Cobbler by numerous authors, Heaven’s Prey by Janet Sketchley; and Enemy in the RoomTen Lies, Ten TruthsOn the Edge, andThe President by Parker Hudson.

Why I Wrote Laughing with Lily


 


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmkRZQEEkko]

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Eileen Rife, author of Laughing with Lily, speaks to women’s groups, encouraging them to discover who they are in Christ and what part they play in His amazing story! www.eileenrife.com, www.eileen-rife.blogspot.com, www.guardyourmarriage.com.


 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It's Not About You... Except When it is

Jen here. Being friends with a writer can be scary. Getting on their bad side... You may have heard the following:

furiouslytypingrevenge"Don't make a writer mad. They might put you in their book then slowly kill you."

Friends, don't think you're safe just because I don't write suspense. ;) Know you're safe because I'm a believer in Christ who'd rather love and unite than plot revenge.

But that doesn't mean I won't place you in a story, at least, a part of you. Similarly, just because you can deeply relate to a character doesn't mean I wrote about you.

Unless you're Mrs. Eldridge, Ainsley Meadows' mentor (from my debut  novel) and my former third grade teacher. Then yes, I created this character in honor of you and the impact you had on my life.

It's funny, it's been three decades since I've seen this woman, and honestly, I don't remember a word she said. I don't remember the lessons she taught or the homework assigned. But I do remember her gentle smiles and the love she showed me, day in and day out. She left a lasting impression, enough of an impression that her influence extended well beyond my life and into Ainsley's.

I thought of Mrs. Eldridge this morning, as I read Genesis 15. After a long and frightening journey (Gen. 12-14), Abram arrived in Canaan and pitched his tent. Now that Abram's there in the land God promised, God reassures him of His protection and blessing.

How does Abram respond?

"But Abram replied, 'O Sovereign Lord, what good are all Your blessings when I don't even have a son? Since You've given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherent all my wealth'" (Genesis 15:2 NLT).

Leaving a legacy, passing on your belongings to one who would continue your family line and carry on your name, was very important in biblical times. Because somehow, the patriarchs understood how temporal material things truly are. They worked too hard to see their earnings fritter away once they died.

They wanted to make a lasting impact, one that would continue for generations.

Isn't that what we all long for? But how do we do that? How do we become part of something bigger than ourselves? How do we make a positive, lasting impact, like the one Mrs. Eldridge had on me. And Ainsley?

Through love, my friend. Engaged, involved, consistent, intentional, and focused love.

Engaged. May we take truly listen when others speak.

Involved. May we carve time from our busy schedule to form and build relationships.

Consistent. May we persevere, even when things get hard or progress isn't seen.

Intentional. May we prayerful ask for God's guidance.

GrandmaandAshFocused. Reaching out to the masses is great, but I believe real change occurs through close and ever-growing relationships.

Let's talk about this! What can you do today to create a legacy of love, to leave a lasting impact? Join the conversation! I guarantee, someone will be encouraged by your journey, AND you'll be entered into the drawing for our lovely gift-basket give-away filled with:

Laughing With Lilly and Second Chance by Eileen Rife;Unconditional by Tanya Eavenson;  In the Shadow of Sinai by Carole Towriss; Yesterday’s Promise, Jewels of the Kingdom and A Cowboy’s Christmas and two beautiful jewelry pieces by Deliah Latham Sweet Freedom With a Slice of Peach Cobbler by numerous authors, Heaven’s Prey by Janet Sketchley; and Enemy in the RoomTen Lies, Ten TruthsOn the Edge, andThe President by Parker Hudson.

Engage regularly and receive multiple entries, one for each comment. :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Meet-n-Greet and Chance to Win

YourInvitedWelcome to Faith-filled Friends, a place to talk about life, love, and storyworld! We're a group of authors passionate about Christ and pursuing the call He's placed on our lives: to craft engaging stories that point others to Him. When we're not writing or reading, we're sipping on lattes with friends, snuggling up with our real-life heroes, or creating memories with our children and grandchildren.

On this blog, we'll share some of the stories behind our stories, some of the hidden motivations of our characters, what we've learned from them, and what we wish they'd learn from us! We'll also chat about setting locations, fun excursions, and, of course, all those other things, like ginormous amounts of flavored coffee and chocolate, that keep us typing well into the wee-hours of the morning.

Now, to give you a glimpse into who we are:

Jennifer Slattery loves all types of books, from rhyming early readers ATriptoBaumanRareBooksthat remind her of the hours she spent reading to her princess to antique Bibles with ornately crafted borders. When not reading or writing, she enjoys taking long, leisurely walks with her handsome railroader, mall-hopping with her fashion barista daughter, and listening to praise music on her Pandora. Her favorite song is Oceans by Hillsong (listen to it here) for it reminds her God's abundant life is found in a faith that knows no borders.

Tanya Eavenson’s favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. One thing for sure, she loves the journey of being an author, and is looking forward to sharing her adventures with you, her Faith-filled friends!

Carole Towriss would rather be at the beach most of the time, but kids beachunfortunately she only gets there about two weeks a year. So instead she spends her time finding new places to eat Mexican food with her husband, laughing with her college student daughter, convincing her three teenagers to finish their homework, and searching for chocolate.

EileenandhubbyEileen Rife jumps on the trampoline with her six grandchildren, dances with hubby through midlife, and rides horses whenever she gets a few extra bucks in her pocket. One of her chief delights is helping women discover who they are in Christ and what part they play in His amazing story!

Delia Latham writes sweet romance, the kind that makes you want to grab delialaughingyour hubby and hold him close.

If I were to describe Delia in one word it'd be joyful, for she always seems to have a smile on her face and laughter in her heart.

And her novels, able to bring the reader from heart-stirring tears to deep-chested laughter, reflect her radiant love for life.

Diana Prusik has a talent for all things art-related, it seems. Those of you who've connected with her on Facebook are probably familiar with "Art Bite" and her frequent art photo postings. You may have also seen some of her paintings, from wall murals to canvas. Did you know she's also a gifted photographer? We're so excited to know she'll be sharing some of her photography with us, here on Faith-filled Friends. :)

But most of all, we're super excited to get to know and connect with you!  We hope you'll stop by often and join the conversation. In celebration of this new faith, friends, and fun-filled journey, we're hosting a launch give-away for the month of January. (Please note, the following is applicable to readers living in the continental US only. If a selected winner lives outside the continental US, they will receive ebooks, when available. Books that do not have e-versions will be placed back in the "gift-pot" to be sent to a randomly chosen runner up living in the continental US.)

One randomly chosen winner, selected from the comments left on all posts during the month of January, will recieve a copy of the following (some in print others in ebook form.)

Laughing With Lilly and Second Chance by Eileen Rife;Unconditional by Tanya Eavenson;  In the Shadow of Sinai by Carole Towriss; Yesterday's Promise, Jewels of the Kingdom and A Cowboy's Christmas and two beautiful jewelry pieces by Deliah Latham Sweet Freedom With a Slice of Peach Cobbler by numerous authors, Heaven's Prey by Janet Sketchley; and Enemy in the Room, Ten Lies, Ten Truths, On the Edge, and The President by Parker Hudson.

Engage regularly and receive multiple entries, one for each comment. :)