Who are the people in your life that bring out the best in you?
I had the pleasure of reading a new book by Andy Andrews called The Noticer.
Andy Andrews is author to one of my favorite books The Traveler’s Gift. So I knew his new book would be one to count on. It did not disappoint.
The book finds everyday people in real-life, relatable dilemmas. People who feel hopeless, in conflict, or full of anxiety. Mysteriously an interesting character named Jones appears and somehow knows all about the person in trauma. He knows their name, their struggle and even the others involved.
Jones is well known in the town. Yet no one knows where he lives or where he came from. But what they do know – Jones offers perspective.
A few of my favorite Jones’ quotes:
“If you set your mind on loss, you are more likely to lose… But a grateful perspective brings happiness and abundance into a person’s life.”
“Many people who worry too much say that they cannot focus… Worry is focus! But it is focus on the wrong things… [instead] be grateful. After all, the seeds of depression cannot take root in a grateful heart.”
“there is no difference between a person who intends to do things differently and the one who never thinks about it in the first place. Have you ever considered how often we judge ourselves by our intentions while we judge others by their actions? Yet intention without action is an insult to those who expect the best from you.”
Lately I’ve been dealing with perspective issues myself. In researching the peace of God I came across some interesting insights that the Bible offers. Peace, a gift from above, can be cultivated in a thankful heart. (You can read more about that here: Practical Peace.) So I was thrilled to read Jones offering the same advice to others going through hard times.
Author, Andy Andrews, was a recipient of Jones’ perspective. And in Jones’ honor he began a worldwide campaign called The Noticer Project. He urges all of us to “notice” influential people in our lives. So, today, I want to point out 3 wonderful people…
- My husband – Sunday is his busiest day of the week. Yet, this Sunday, he told me to rest, as he could see I was struggling. He continues to support me when I’m down and when I’m up. He doesn’t give up me… even when I feel like I’ve already given up on myself.
- [&3] My Mom and Dad. Even though they live 300 miles away, they still are my rock of support. Their voice over the phone can calm me instantly. In addition, they have such a beautiful relationship with our 2 daughters. It’s such a pleasure to hear their conversations.
Now it’s your turn! Leave a comment with the name of someone who has influenced you. This post will be open through Thursday, April 30. On Friday, May 1st, one random commenter will receive a free copy of The Noticer!
A year ago I was in a dark place. It actually began months before, in the summer of ’07. During the summer months I started to feel as if my depression medication was not working anymore. My doctor reluctantly scaled down my meds and remarkably I began to feel like myself again.
After a few months, things changed. Day by day, week by week, then month by month my mood sank. I fought hard along the way. I tried herbs, foods, exercise, even accupunture. Slowly all hope was gone. Within days I was filled with anger and grief for being back in the pit of despair.
Here’s an excerpt from my journal at that time:
Lord, I am depressed. Rescue me. Help me out of my darkness. I feel trapped, like there is no way out. I don’t even know how to describe where I’m at…
It didn’t take long for my family (300 miles away) to see the changes. Toward the end of a Christmas visit my father sat me down and recommended I seek help. He knew I would need something different than the normal psychiatrist visit. (you know the kind… how are you feeling?… try this medication… call me in 2 weeks…)
I had shared with my family about a specialized neurologist in my area who advised me to undergo a series of tests. But it would cost money. Lots of money. Money we didn’t have.
My dad said he would write a check for whatever I needed. Just GO GET HELP.
Now, without you knowing my father, you can’t appreciate the gravity of this moment in my life. However, that conversation was a turning point for me. (Thanks Dad – I love you.)
When I made my appointment for my EEG and SPECK I had no idea what to expect.
For both tests I needed to be mildly sleep deprived. I’m a night owl – no problem!
The problem comes, however, at 7am, when I need to drive myself 20 miles to The Neuroscience Center in a snow storm! (remember, I’m sleep deprived!)
The first test, an EEG, I sat in an office chair in the middle of a room. The doctor began to hook my head up to wires connected to a recording device. It looked something like this picture. The test started and I didn’t feel a thing. Within minutes I was asleep and that’s when the real work happened. I woke up to the doctor turning on the lights and removing wires stuck on my head with sticky gel.
The other test completed at The Neuroscience Center was a brain SPECK. Click on the link if you’d like to read more about the test. Quite honestly, I don’t have the medical background to give it the appropriate description! What I can tell you is it felt very similar to a MRI (which I also had as part of this battery of testing).
The SPECK test provided pictures of blood flow in my brain - where the brain works correctly and where it doesn’t. The EEG provided pictures of the electronic activity in my brain.
After all tests were completed (along with MRI and tons of blood work) my doctor informed me I had abnormal brain functioning. My response? ”Thank God!” Finally, something showed I wasn’t going crazy! These incredible tests were able to pinpoint the areas in the brain that needed specific help. Therefore my doctor knew exactly what kind of medication would work for me. Amazing!
Do you know that psychiatry is the ONLY profession that doesn’t perform tests on the in-operating part of the body to diagnose the problem? Think about it. Come up with ANY medical issue… there’s a medical test or some kind of diagnostic tool to help measure what is going wrong. Not with the traditional psychiatry. And most of us “consumers” in this field are frustrated.
That is why I am extremely happy to introduce you to this book: This is Your Brain on Joy. The beauty of this book is that it combines the newest research in brain science, holistic practices, as well as spiritual health. Dr. Henslin is a Christian and actually devotes a whole chapter to the apostle Paul. Throughout the book Dr. Henslin writes in a friendly tone, and explains complex medical terms in every-day language.
Want more? Leave me a comment and I’ll give you more information on the specific area you are interested in.
For now, my brain is joyful (not that I don’t still have issues… I do). Happy Friday!
Welcome! I am thrilled to have Darlene here sharing her thoughts on writing, motherhood, and answering your questions! Also, she is offering a FREE book to one of our commenters, which will be picked randomly, and posted Friday, October 24th. So, don’t forgot to leave your comments on this interview!
Tea With Tiffany asked: And as a writer, I’d be interested in reading about her writing journey. [How did you get started?]
I started online. Unless I consider the countless coil notebooks I’ve filled over the years with jots of my thoughts, but let’s not.
It started with a blog called “What Would Jesus Blog?” about four years ago, where I found myself primarily writing humor. My family and friends were a huge encouragement, which I think was the boost I needed to seriously pursue this dream.
I had wanted to write for several years already, but up to that point my writing had been rather dry–it was more technical, and matter of fact, than it was creative.
Once I had a few stories written there, I started to approach small publishers such as our local newspapers, and Christian websites. Through online friends I discovered writing opportunities, through which two articles were published by Thomas Nelson and Tyndale Publishing.
I polished and compiled the stories I had written on my blog, which is what I now have published in my own book “The Mom Complex.”
Over the past few years, I have veered off from humor writing somewhat, but I do enjoy the relaxed style I gleaned from that, and that is something I still carry in my writing at Christian Women Online. I like to have fun!
Most recently I have been hanging my hat over at Live Well, which is a monthly column I carry at Christian Women Online. Live Well takes readers on a Christ-centered journey through weight-loss to freedom. It’s been going so well, that I’ve teamed up with actress Candace Cameron Bure to write a book on the Live Well premise. Our agent is currently seeking a publisher for us, so I’m excited about that one!
Mama Zen asked: I’d like to learn more about the online magazine. [Why did you start the magazine? How does it get "published"? Who is your target audience? What types of articles are included? How many people subscribe?]
While still writing at WWJB? I decided to venture out and get some of my humorous articles published, and so I started approaching small publications including websites. While doing so, I heard a voice telling me, “You can do this yourself. Why not just start your own site?” That voice was my husbands, who has always been the biggest supporter of Christian Women Online.
When I get an idea, I move quickly, and so within about six hours I had a small team of writers gathered and I was working on a design. I had really only expected us to have a little writing site-a team blog sort of thing-but the gears started turning and I figured, why not put in the extra time and design it like a magazine? I didn’t know that online magazines already existed, in fact I was a little shy about calling it a magazine since the technical name is ezine, but when it’s your baby, you can call it what you want, right?
My goal has always been about content first-traffic last. I like diversity, and most of all-I like truth. I need the articles to be spiritual. Even if we’re only discussing Grilled Cheese sandwiches, I want Jesus to be in the kitchen with us.
The blogroll was quite an interesting endeavor. I needed about six bloggers to start, and ever dreamed I’d even have a hundred members, but the blogrollhas been one of the biggest parts of who we are as a website. After all, it’s a great way of uniting women of faith.
We have something like 4,000 blogroll members, maybe more now. And we have 2,600 regular subscribers.
I think that the site has had the greatest appeal to stay-at-home moms since so many of them connect through blogging.
[Can you tell us more about your book?]
The book is a collection of humorous stories that stem from my childhood through to my life as a mom. It’s about finding God’s hand through the chaos of life-the joys amidst the toys.
I think that many moms are so frazzled with life as it is today, that they are always looking to the next destination in hopes of relief. What I hope the book will show them is that peace and joy are right beneath our feet, we just need to dust off the path to see it. If only we could all enjoy the bumpy ride while it lasts!
Elaine asked: Can you tell us more about the self-publishing world?
I’ll start by saying that I don’t believe that an author sells a book as much as a book sells an author! Having a book in hand is a great way to promote yourself as a writer. It opens so many doors that may not have been opened before.
There are two main ways of publishing in the self-publishing world. One is print-on-demand, and the other is what our company does “short-run publishing.”
Some print-on-demand companies will offer to print your book for free, so customers order the book (at a hefty price) and it’s printed and sent out directly to them. That’s okay for someone who isn’t a serious author, but if you want to promote your writing, you need books on hand.
With short-run publishing, you can order anywhere from 50-200 books (or more) and because you pay a low price you make a profit on each. Authors use the 200 books for book signing parties, online book tours, speaking engagements, giveaways, self-promotion, local bookstores, listings on Amazon, etc. That’s where the book sells them!
The other difference is that with print-on-demand, you get what you send. If you send a book in for print and it doesn’t have a bar code, or the cover your nephew designed doesn’t fit quite right, it comes off the press that way. Whereas a company like http://www.artbookbindery.com (our company) works alongside the author through the process and aids in the layout and design. This ensures that the books are print perfect.
You can read more about writing and self-publishing at my Writing Fundamentals website: www.writingfundamentals.com
My monthly column: http://www.christianwomenonline.net/live_well.html
Thanks Darlene! Also, thank you for the free book to one of our commenters. Please leave your thoughts or follow-up questions for Darlene in order to enter the drawing for her inspiring book. The winner will be posted on Friday, October 24th.