One of the chief reasons I wrote “Painful Blessing” is to give hope and encouragement to caregivers, survivors, and generally those who are struggling. Our story happens to be about stroke but there are many common threads with a variety of challenges.
We have observed that hospitals do not carry books of hope and inspiration in their gift shops. This doesn’t make sense to me. Honestly, I can’t think of a place where more people are struggling than in a hospital. There are cookbooks, comic books, best sellers, classic literature and even a few “bodice rippers,” but no Bibles or books of inspiration.
That was Jill. Truly amazing! I hate to gush…but I will. It is Sunday night. Your probably preparing for your Monday as you read this.
I head this speech a lot…but this time it was different. As she addressed the group, I could “FEEL” each slide. Does that make sense? Her presentation was spot on. Her annunciation….her pauses…. her timing….her jokes….were perfect. I can’t praise Jill enough.
Jill’s presentation is about MY recovery…from HER perspective…not MY perspective. In her speech, she covers:
How bad I really was
Risk of raising our 2 children
Long, long road of recovery
My crazy path of recovery and all the different stages
Changes she faced
What she learned as a result of the experience
How she is different now
Jill completes her talk with:
I am ok with my weakness! I am a better person for it. I am wiser and more compassionate. I try to live with gratitude and a cheerful heart. Reaching this place of peace in my life has been a Painful Blessing, but a blessing all the same.
Recently, I was walking through the hospital where Gordon spent his first few weeks post-stroke. As I walked through those familiar halls, I noticed that the hospital’s gift shops offered many books for sale, none of which dealt with recovery, hope, or encouragement. I was shocked!
Gordon and I immediately decided to pursue getting “Painful Blessing” into a hospital gift shop. After all, we cannot be the only people who need encouraging words and hope to get through those awful, early days.
As of this week, “Painful Blessing” is available in the gift shop at OHSU! I pray copies of the book get into the hands of people who need it, whoever they may be. I pray that they will be encouraged to face their challenges and to hope for the blessings that God has for them.
In March at the recommendation of our friend David, I entered my book (at that time, still unpublished) in the Oregon Christian Writers Contest. Last week, I received notice that I am a finalist in the competition! The winners in all categories will be announced August 6. I am honored to be considered and excited to see where all this will lead us.
In the meantime, I am constantly encouraged by people who have read Painful Blessing. It is important to me that the book be meaningful to anyone who reads it, not just those affected by stroke. It is a wonderful experience to listen to people’s reactions and feelings and then to hear their stories.
It was during lunch and I must say, it was extremely successful. Jill spoke for 10 minutes and then people asked questions for over an hour. WOW. They asked everything! A few people even decided to ask me a question.
The first person asked me a question. For the first time, I didn’t understand what he meant. I thought about it, but was uncertain how to answer. Luckily, Jill answered. Then, someone else asked a question. Again, I didn’t quite know what he meant. Normally, I understand everything…I just can’t get the words out. I never had this issue before of not understanding the question. I will have to see if this continues.
We showed up at AM Northwest, and completed the interview. Then we went to our first Painful Blessing presentation: Courtyard at Mt. Tabor. The group was fantastic and they gave us lots of tips. Jill listened to many all of them.
The second one was two days later at Durham & Bates. I was a little nervous and I don’t know why! I arrived early so I could hook up the system. The projector was mounted on the ceiling and I found the remote to turn it on. I felt good at that point (a mistake) and just had to the right input. I couldn’t do it. Their IT person showed up and HE couldn’t do it either! He asked me if I had it on a USB drive so he can put it in his computer. I didn’t. We were running on MAC and I didn’t think it was necessary. Jill was going to have to give her presentation… without any slides. Can she do this? It’s only her second time. Won’t that mess her up?
When I deliver my speech, I can’t do it without having my presentation! My presentation has still photos and video clips thoughout which tie the whole thing together. Plus, I get thirsty; I have time to drink during the presentation while the video played. How can I help her with this terrible situation?
She didn’t need any help. Effortlessly, she delivered her speech, with NO presentation… flawlessly. She was absolutely amazing!
And yes, when I got home I put Jill’s presentation on a USB so we will be prepared next time.
Gordon and I had the pleasure of being on AM Northwest yesterday. The hosts, Helen and Dave, were delightful and, in my opinion, asked all the right questions. We always look for ways to share our story and bring hope and encouragement to those who are struggling. I hope this appearance broadened our reach! Click on the image and watch the segment.
I have been a Published Author for a week now and we have already received beautiful letters from people who read “Painful Blessing.” It is a wonderful and humbling experience to know that my words are meaningful, entertaining, thought provoking, and inspiring to others.
Of course, people write books hoping to sell the books. I now know that the real hope is that people READ the book. I hope many more people read Painful Blessing and that we receive many more letters.