Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor’s Story

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BOOK TITLE

A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor’s Story

AUTHOR

Patricia E. Day

MY REVIEW

by Carley Cooper

A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor’s Story is about a woman struggling throughout her life to get past a childhood of living in an abusive home with an alcoholic father.  I fell in love with Eleanor almost instantly because right from the beginning I could relate to so much of what she felt and struggled with. 

The story takes us through how damaging childhood abuse can be even well into adulthood.  Eleanor found it difficult to make friends or have healthy relationships.  Her psyche was so badly hurt that she didn’t really know right from wrong, or have a true concept of boundaries between people.  Her ability to trust was destroyed and she wanted to run to protect herself when people got to close.  She believed that she wasn’t good enough.  She always felt like an outsider, and very inadequate in most of her relationships; and would lash out if she felt she wasn’t being treated fairly.  She had an intense need to stay hidden from the world in darkness where no one could see her.  Other people saw her as being anti-social, when inside she was longing to step out and be a part of events and relationships around her.  She was reserved and ‘on-guard’ all the time. 

Later in her life, she re-committed herself to God.  As she got close to Him, she started to heal, and began to give her pain to Him.  She started to like the new woman she was becoming instead of wondering who she was.  Even the people around her began to notice the growth and maturity within her as she let go of all the pain that she carried for so long. 

She realized the bible is the manual for a good and happy life.  It helped her emotional problems come to the surface where they could be dealt with and healed.  She was also very much aware that she still had more healing left to do.  She learned to walk in a new direction with the help of new people that God brought into her life.  She found an inner peace that she knew came from God and being obedient to Him.

"Until that point of welcoming Jesus into her life, her self-respect and confidence levels were practically non-existent.  God heard her cries and He sent angels, in the form of friends, to help her move from being bewildered, to being amazed  It was in that state that she began to grow spiritually and emotionally." ~pg. 184

She learned to turn to Him when she needed support, ask for His help, and trust His judgement.  If only she knew years sooner. As she looked back, she could see that He had been with her, her entire life. 

Even though my own abuse story is much different than Eleanor’s, so much of her story is my story.  Therefore I know that so much of her story is that of other abuse survivors as well.  A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor’s Story is a book that will let survivors know they are not alone, and those who want to understand what it is like living in that world will indeed get a good look inside.  This in turn will help heal hearts, mend relationships, and dismantle some stigma around the issue of abuse. 

Starts Strip 5-stars

My Over-all Rating

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Patricia E. Day

Patricia loves spending time with family and friends.  Past-times include gardening, reading, photography, walking and listening to good music.

She is married to an awesome Christian man, who has shown her that true love is enduring, kind, forgiving and supportive. She is a mother to two wonderful sons, of whom she is extremely proud, as well, step-Mom to a pretty neat son and daughter.  They have all blessed her with the incredible title of Nana or Nana Pat, ten times.

Her devotionals and other ramblings can be seen at: http://patriciaeday.wordpress.com

She also contributes to Under the Cover of Prayer devotionals
Guest blog on http://www.febc.org. and http://www.presbycan.org

Ebook version of of A Stolen Childhood - Eleanor's Story is available at: 
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/308936
http://www.amazon.com/STOLEN-CHILDHOOD-Eleanors-Story-ebook/dp/B00CHQI39U
Print Edition available.  $20.  Shipping extra.

Patricia always appreciates your comments.  So feel free to give her your opinions or any prayer requests.  Of course, it goes without saying that your review would be appreciated, after you read my book. 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

WM:  What inspired you to write A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story?

PED:  Friends told me ‘I could do it’.  They enjoyed my devotionals and said I needed to share more.

WM:  Is there any part of A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story that is based on our own life (that you're comfortable sharing)?

PED:  The children and grandchildren are based on my own.  My children have always believed in my ability to be more, to do more.  Their inclusion is my tribute to each of them, so they know how very important they are to me.

WM:  What was your favourite part of A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story?

PED:  The end.  Oh, not because it was finished – although it was a huge relief; but because the end evolved into a lead-in to the story of character, Priscilla – for another book.  It happened quite unexpectedly, and so I know it is for a purpose. 

WM:  What was the hardest part to write in A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story?

PED:  The beginning.  What to write.  How to begin.  It was easy to be encouraged to write, and I appreciated everyone who told me to get started……..but word for word – day by day, year after year, I thought I would never accomplish it.  A contest gave me the kick start needed.  NANOWRIMO 2011 catapulted me into writing with the challenge to write 50,000 words in one month.  I committed to it, not truly believing I would reach that goal, but I did.  In fact I wrote over 52,000 words and got a certificate of achievement.  I have to thank my friend and mentor, author – Brenda Wood (http://heartfeltdevotionals.com) for daring me to do it.  

WM:  Is there anything you wish was different about A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story?

PED:  Not really.  It is proof that I could do more than I had believed I could do. 

WM:  Do you have any favourite authors or favourite books?  What is it that really strikes you about their work?

PED:  I read a lot.  Books by many authors and of various genres.  My greatest respect is for the writers who have not yet receive world-acclaim.  They have bravely gone where others have not dared to go.  Writing from their hearts, reaching out with their talents, despite the critics and their own self-doubt.

WM:  Tell us your latest news?

PED:  I continue to write.  I have a children’s book in the development stage, I submit devotionals, as well as update my blog, and am working on my second full-length book.  I am learning the art of being bold.  This is hard for a private person, but marketing a book calls for audacious behavior.  I still have a long way to go.

WM:  What book(s) are you reading now?

PED:  1.  My guide:How to write a novel by Rebecca Richmond and Claire Pickering.

         2.  25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband by Jennifer Flanders.

         I feel there is always more to learn about anything, no matter what your age or status.  It keeps life work living and current. 

WM:  Did you learn anything from writing A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story and what was it?

PED:  Reaching out for help is easier said than done.  While I write about it, I understand it is difficult to take that first step.  It brings into the light of day that you have a need you cannot handle alone.  It is often something you would prefer to keep under wraps, but if your health is suffering and you do not feel safe, you absolutely need to seek help.

Once done, I have heard time and again, ‘If only I had done it sooner.  I could have saved myself, and loved ones, so much anguish.’

WM:  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

PED:  If you have someone in your life, who is holding you back; hurting you or destroying your hopes and dreams – get professional help.  Numerous agencies are established to give support.  No cost.  No judgement.  What you will find is a caring ear and another human being who understands your fear, and access to resources the general public is not aware of.

WM:  Where can people buy A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story?

PED:  The author.  Me.  Cost $20 plus shipping, but if ordered through referral from www.BreakingTheWindow.com you pay $15 plus shipping.

Contact me: pattersday@gmail.com

Monday, April 07, 2014

Are You Searching for God too?

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) says “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”


by Carley CooperClick to download this pic on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was chatting, the other day, with a lady at church.  She was telling me a story about how she went to visit the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada).  She went to see the exhibition called The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China's Emperors.  She said it’s a fascinating display.  Maybe her reaction to it came from the fact that she is a Christian, but she came away from it being amazed at how obvious it is that mankind has always been searching for God.

Oh Lord, Where are You?

Later, I have to say the more I thought about her comments, the more I realized how right she is.  Mankind was separated from God with the first sin by Adam, and we’ve been lost and searching for Him ever since.  We were never meant to live away from God.  We were made to exist with Him to love and be loved.  Life just isn’t going to function properly without that relationship. 

You Can Find Him

Thankfully, because of the sacrifice Christ did for us on the cross, that separation is temporary.  We are able to have that missing relationship with Him after all.  The problem lies with the fact that even though God assures us that He’s with us all the time, we haven’t stopped searching because we are not with Him physically anymore like Adam and Eve were in the garden. 

We need to ask God to help us realize that He is indeed with us.  He will never leave us and He will never change.  The fact is that it’s not God who is doing the withdrawing.  It is us.  We are trying to run our own lives under the mistaken idea that God is not there anymore.  We wander through the long winding roads and paths of life that are leading us on an unnecessary journey through valleys and over mountains.  We are trusting our own feelings and emotions when we should be looking to God for guidance. 

Lay It At the Foot of the Cross

So what do we do to get closer to God?  We have to spend more time communicating with Him through prayer and time studying His Word.  A true relationship with Jesus is vital.  We have to lay our burdens at the foot of the cross.  As we grow closer to Jesus, our relationship with Him will grow stronger, our faith will grow, and we will rejoice in His awesome grace and mercy.  The closer you get to Him, the more He will indeed reveal Himself to you. 

Why don’t you talk to Him today.  Get out your Bible and read just one chapter every day.  It will help you a great deal, I assure you.  Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) says “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Here’s a Psalm that I often read when I’m feeling far from God.  I’m sure it will help you too.

Psalm 139 (NIV)

1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

Let’s Pray

Dear God ~~ Wonderful, loving Father, even though it’s hard for us to see sometimes You are always there with us.  You know us better than we know ourselves.  You know what’s best for us.  Thank You for never leaving me or giving up on me.  Please help me see myself the way you see me.  I pray in Jesus name, AMEN

Now It’s Your Turn

Thoughts?  Questions?  Want to share your story?  Ask for prayer? Please share in the comments section.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Who am I?

by Carley CooperClick to download this pic on FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Since I started going to the church I attend 4.5 yeas ago, I have learned, for the first time, exactly who I am.  Since then I have come to understand that I am royalty.  I am a daughter of the King; a child of the living God who created the universe.  See, according to God's Word, I am:

    What about you?  Do you know for sure who you are?

Let’s Pray

Dear God ~~ Wonderful, loving Father, even though it’s hard for us to see sometimes You created us to be Your royal children.  Please help me see myself the way you see me.  I pray in Jesus name, AMEN

Now It’s Your Turn

Thoughts?  Questions?  Want to share your story?  Ask for prayer? Please share in the comments section.

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