Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Giving Up

Someone recently asked me to share the most difficult thing in my life I had to overcome, with God’s help. I thought I'd share my answer. 

This last year I’ve been battling cancer. It’s been a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs, with trusting in God and doubting Him, with wanting to give up and wanting to fight. I’ve been an emotional mess.

After going through a stem cell transplant in May of 2011, then finding out in September that the cancer came back, and then going through radiation, I finally gave up.

Here’s what I mean. I had to give up two things: my children and my fight.

I have an idea of how Abraham and Hannah must have felt when they had to give up their children.

You see, my motivation to survive has been my children. Seeing their faces and knowing how much they need me made me fight that much harder. I wouldn’t let them go. But I finally had to realize that ultimately they’re not my children. They belong to God. Of course, I’ve always known that, but this time, I had to trust in that, trust in God to take care of them for me if it was His will for me to go home. So, mentally I had to literally hand each one of my children over to Him. I watched them in my mind, floating up to God and out of my hands and into God’s hands. That wasn’t easy, but once I did that, I knew they’d be fine because God would take care of them for me. After all, He loves them even more than I do!

Shortly after that (and radiation), I was exhausted and decided I was DONE. Done fighting, and just done. That’s when I prayed and told God I was finished fighting, and if He wanted me to survive on this earth, He was gonna have to do the fighting for me. When I let go of my fight against cancer, I can’t tell you how much relief I felt. The anxiety left. The fear diminished.

Everything was all in God’s hands, and what better hands could my children and my life be in?

I can’t say the fear was completely gone because I didn’t know what God wanted. Did He want to take me home, or did He want me to stay here longer? And if He wanted to take me home, would it be a slow and painful journey? So, I still had fear about those things.

Well, not long after that, I got a PET scan, which I scheduled to happen after Christmas (I didn’t want to ruin our Christmas with bad news; with all the pain I had in my back, we were sure it was covered in cancer).

I did the PET scan and two days later went in for the results. My sister came with me and my husband, and as we were in the waiting room, she shook out her hands and said her palms were sweating. She didn’t want to be there. Ha! I said, neither did I!

Anyway, I was finally called into the doctor’s office, and when the doc came in, she said they couldn’t find cancer anywhere in my body. The three of us just sat there in stunned disbelief. Before I could ask, she said the pain in my back was from a fractured rib due to the cancer and then the radiation. Then she pronounced me in remission!

Needless to say, we asked a lot of questions and left in shock. LOL I still have plans to go back to see my naturopathic doctor in AZ just to give this cancer one last major blast. Now we’re simply praying that it doesn’t come back.

So, that’s the most difficult thing I’ve had to face and overcome. Not necessarily overcoming “cancer,” but learning to let go and let God. And may God be praised  no matter what happens in this life.

Friday, January 13, 2012


This time it's for real! This friday and saturday THE MASTER'S WALL will be FREE on Kindle! Now is your chance to get it and tell your friends about it!

Here's the LINK.

Come one, come ALL!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Maybe that wasn't too funny for this blog since most of my posts recently have been about cancer. But I'm leaving the subject heading the way it is because I'm talking about my book WALKS ALONE! This is a historical romance that has gone live and is now available on Kindle! Wait a few weeks and it'll be available for the Nook as well!

I wrote this book eons ago (hmm, did I spell "eons" right? I don't have spell check) as my "practice novel." Anyway, it was supposed to be a "light" romance with all the fixings. But when I learned about the Cheyenne Native Americans, well things changed. It's not as "light" as I'd hoped, but it IS FUN! Why? Because I LOVE ROMANCE and I love these two characters!

And now you e-book owners can have a chance to fall in love with White Eagle and Anna too! BTW the paperback version will be available in June of this year!

Here's the awesome cover (front and back)! And if you click on it, it'll take you right to the Kindle version on Amazon. There you can read the book jacket copy and even take a peek inside! AND read the first amazing review I got!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dance of the Dandelion

I'm excited to get back to my promoting days! Please welcome a fellow writer and friend Dina Sleiman! That's a picture of her on the left. Isn't she fun? Makes me want to run out into the water with her!

Here's what she says about herself:

I am a debut novelist and a published poet, but I am also much more. Most of the time you will find me reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with my family, preferably at the beach. I love anything related to creativity. More importantly, though, I am a passionate follower of Christ who longs to serve him in all I do.

I'm excited to introduce you to Dina's debut novel DANCE OF THE DANDELION. If you like medieval Christian fiction, this is the book for you! There aren't very many medieval's out there, so it's nice that WhiteFire Publishing opened up their doors! 

Here's a bit about DANCE OF THE DANDELION

Love's quest leads her the world over.
Dandelion Dering was born a peasant in the English village of Arun, but her soul yearned for another life, another world. One filled with color and music, with adventure and passion . . . with more.
Haunted by childhood memories, Dandelion determines to find a better existence than the life every peasant in the village contents themselves with. Even if her sweetheart William s predictions prove true, and her journey leads straight to heartache.
From her sleepy hamlet to the intrigue of castle life, from the heart of London to the adventurous seas, Dandelion flees from the mistakes of her past, always seeking that something, that someone who will satisfy her longings.
Will Dandelion ever find the rhythm to her life's dance . . . or did she leave her chance for true love at home in Arun village?

Because I haven't had the pleasure yet of reading Dina's lovely novel (been a bit distracted with fighting cancer), I'll include a review here below.

Review by Michelle Sutton, author of over a dozen inspirational novels

 Best Medieval fiction I have ever read, and a favorite this year!
I have finally found the perfect novel. Seriously! This is the best book I have read in a very long time and I've read over 200 books in the last two years. 

In the acknowledgements at the end of the book the author credits Donald Maas for teaching her how to develop at decent plot into a stellar one. She far exceeded stellar and I dare say this book for me was more of a mindblowing romance and spiritual love story similar to Redeeming Love, a best-selling novel by Francine Rivers. Over the years I have read a ton of books set during this time period and none of them came close to being as exhilarating for me as this one. It not only inspired me, but reading this novel was downright addicting. I had to have my fix daily until I finished the book. When I reached the end I felt and ovewhelming sense of satisfaction at having experience the highs and lows of Dandelion's journey as well as bonding so closely to the characters that I felt as if I had also experienced the same boundless joy by the end of the book. The resolution was stellar, and beyond satisfying. 

I can't say enough good things about this book. I feel like my words will be inadequate, but I'll try to explain why this book will forever remain in my heart as a favorite read right up there with Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. For one thing, the author had so many insights into not only the physical and emotional realm of Dandelion's existence, but she nailed her spiritual journey as well. We have all asked ourselves the same questions and have at times felt the same longing for more than we have. We have all sought that joy that can only come from knowing God. The Bible says if you seek God with your whole heart (like Dandelion did) you will find Him. Unfortunately many of us trip and fall many times along the way. Some of us make terrible choices with devastating consequences and others make better ones, but we all make choices every day. We are all capable of being led astray, and often childhood pain drives our desire for whatever it is we seek. This story showed that in a way that made sense, and it was so well-written. The prose was beautiful and sigh-worthy, for sure. 

For me the most emotional and touching part of the story had to do with Dandelion's fear of her own passion. God made her that way and she knew that deep inside. When she tried to squelch it, the effect never lasted. She longed for love and a better life, but her passion was misdirected so many times. She thought maybe choosing someone who was stable and secure was what she needed to control that passion that frightened her so many times, but that didn't work. Often women are drawn to men who have self-serving and selfish desires because they are so charming and passionate as well, but not in a way that shows love. That initial bond quickly shatters when the true colors of the person doing the abusing comes out and then the woman is trapped. Dandelion was strong in so many ways, but at the same time she was so very human. I loved her dearly as if she were a real person. Dance of the Dandelion inspired me in a place deep inside my heart that books rarely touch. I highly recommend this story for anyone who has looked for love and satisfaction in the wrong places and thus made poor choices in this life. The book illustrates through well-written characterization how you can experience the freedom to worship God with passion and fulfill that desire to know Him more. That's what Dandelion's story did for me.

Here's where you can find Dina's book!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A letter written by my hubby from all of us

Dear friends –

We have been anxious to let you know what God has accomplished through you. We have often stood with tears in our eyes from the outpouring of love: your prayers, expressions of concern, listening ears, meals, visits, cleaning, rides to and from the hospital, babysitting, picking up kids from school, radon remediation, fundraisers, movie tickets, replacing car engine, Christmas presents, and more. When traditional treatments seemed to have failed, you made it possible for Sandi to seek alternative treatment, which we believe has been effective and has helped her grow stronger.

Last week Wednesday, December 28, 2011, we received PET scan results showing the tumors in Sandi’s back are in remission. And no new tumors are visible. We are very happy with this news! At the same time we are cautiously optimistic, because we know this is no guaranty that the cancer is gone. One of the sites still light up, believed to be due to inflammation related to a fractured rib as a result of weakening of the bone. But this too is circumstantially good news, as it explains that Sandi’s pain is not due to new cancer activity. We continue to support Sandi’s health with God’s good nutrition and it looks like she will be able to go down to Phoenix for one more round of treatments by her naturopathic doctor.

It has not been easy to accept help and support. We didn’t want to be a burden, we didn’t want to feel indebted, we felt others would be a better purpose for your support. But people insisted on helping: family, the church, even brothers and sisters in the Netherlands and Belgium, Karsten’s colleagues, people from Sandi’s writing community, and many individuals throughout the world. All have shown us understanding, love, and care beyond anything we could have imagined. Through you we have seen God’s understanding, love and care.

We want you to know that you have carried us through these difficult times and that we recognize God’s goodness in you. Never before in our lives have we seen God in action like this. But the greatest good that has been accomplished in all of this is that we have grown closer to God and have grown closer to one another.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and support.

The Rogs