Category Archives: family relationships

Review of Joan’s Elder Care Guide published by 4RV Publishing

thumbnail_Joan Y. Edwards smaller web AE9Z7443 I just finished reading my friend Joan Edward’s excellent book on elder care. Joan lovingly cared for her mother for many years and the book reads as if it is a friend telling you how to get through this difficult time of helping our parents in their last days.

I consider myself in the “sandwich generation” at this time of my life. I need to help my parents more and more, yet I am also needed to babysit for my grandson and his soon to be born little brother. Joan’s book is an excellent guide to help us.

She really did her homework in researching all that is needed in caring for the elderly. There are over 170 footnotes in the book. After telling us about her care-giving experience, she helps the reader to explore whether they can indeed be the one to care for their loved one by asking many pertinent questions.

Step by step, Joan covers every needed base, including chapters on gathering important papers, making a “care-giver tool kit,” dealing with insurance, types of assisted living facilities, how to deal with your elder’s doctors and what to ask if they have to undergo a procedure of some type. She gives advice even on how to work with the billing department when a medical procedure’s cost is sky high.

One piece of great advice I found on page 88. When you have taken your elder out on the road for more than 2 hours you should provide them with water and a snack before trying to get them out of the car upon your return home. That is something perhaps I would have forgotten during the stress of a road trip with Mom.

Joan has done the hard part: pulling together all the needed information someone would need when taking on the difficult job of care-giving. Included in the back are checklists so one can evaluate what specific needs their elder has, and what they are still able to do for themselves. Also are charts to list where important information is located, a 12 week walking log, and a chart to keep track of bills that need paid, among others. She gives great advice on conflict resolution, and most importantly she tells her readers that they must take care of themselves first in order to be able to care for their loved one.

As a non-fiction writer myself, I can really appreciate the time and effort Joan took to provide such a thorough guide for care-givers. Providing her list of references for each footnote itself is a treasure trove of information.You will also find plenty of websites listed throughout for enhanced learning.

I am happy that I have this book on hand. It is available both in hardback and paperback.  I know it will truly be like having a friend to help me as I care for my Mom and Dad. I am sure that Joan’s warmth and caring reflected through Joan’s Elder Care Guide will help many others also.

Publishing information:

People can email Joan at joanyedwards1@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under care-giving, family relationships, grandmothers, honoring your parents, money-saving, parenting, Uncategorized

Interview with Joan Y. Edwards, Author of Joan’s Elder Care Guide Published by 4RV Publishing

thumbnail_DSCN7704thumbnail_Joan Y. Edwards smaller web AE9Z7443

 

I am so happy for my friend Joan Y. Edwards. Not only did she help me in my own road to publication, but her first traditionally published book has just hit the market. I cannot wait to read it myself, and will be putting a review out just as soon as I can.

But today I want to interview Joan, and share some of her good tips on writing and her path to publication of Joan’s Elder Care Guide. Joan is the kind of person who always makes you feel encouraged, so I hope this interview will inspire you, whether you are a writer, a caregiver, a nurse, or just happened to stumble upon my blog.

 

1)      Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I taught elementary school for 35 years. I love seeing the light bulb light up when children learn new things.

2)      What led you to write Joan’s Elder Care Guide?

While taking care of Mother, I learned that I needed to leave detailed plans for her care. When I left detailed plans with Mother’s schedule and telling what she could and couldn’t do, certified nursing assistants from home health care agencies told me that they wished other people would leave the schedule and plans, too. That’s when I thought, “Perhaps I should write a book to share what worked for me in an effort to help others caring for their elders.”

3)  How long did it take you to write this book from first idea to finished product?

It took me two years to write this book. I started writing the book in October 2008. I completed the manuscript and proposal in 2010. I submitted it to several publishers.

 I signed a contract with 4RV Publishing on April 9, 2011. 4RV Publishing sent the manuscript to the printer, Ingram’s Lightning Source on April 15, 2016. Five years and one week from the date I signed the contract.

The editing process took from August, 2013 until April 15, 2016…two and a half years. I had two different editors. The editing process was a very humbling experience.

 I appreciate 4RV Publishing’s staff for believing in me and helping me make Joan’s Elder Care Guide a reality.

4)  What was your most difficult thing to tackle writing the book?

It was difficult to put things in strict categories. Things seemed to overlap.

 

5)  What part did you enjoy writing the most?

I enjoyed discovering different ways for caregivers to meet their needs and those of their elders. It made me feel helpful to share things that worked for me. It was fun researching other ideas that might make things easier for caregivers and elders.

 

6)  Do you have any advice for those who want to traditionally publish their first book? Keep on submitting to publishers that you respect who publish the genre you’ve written. Study the craft of writing. Believe in yourself and your writing. Never Give Up.

(My Note: That is clever that you say Never Give Up as that is the title of one of your blogs!)

7)  As a middle aged grandmother who has two elderly parents herself, I ask what would you say would be the topmost priority in being a successful caregiver?

To be a successful caregiver, take care of your needs. Plan time away from care-giving duties. Use family and friends or pay a professional so you can take time away. It’s vitally important.

 

8) What is your happiest memory from your care-giving experience with your mother?

I enjoyed taking Mother to her favorite restaurant to meet up with her friends. She was used to going every day. I didn’t do that but I made it a priority to take her as many times as I could. I especially enjoyed the times that Mother, my husband, and I spent with my daughters and their families at the beach.

9) Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

Sometimes you may not know the right questions to ask. When you have questions, keep asking until you get an answer.

 

10) How can people obtain your book and/or contact you?

Information is given below on purchase information, the story of the artist’s cover and Joan’s other works and blogs.

Thank you Joan, for being a guest today on my blog and allowing me the privilege of interviewing you today and best wishes with the sales of Joan’s Elder Care Guide.

 History of the Cover, designed by Aidana WillowRaven and her review

http://aidana.willowravenblog.com/2016/04/joans-elder-care-guide-cover-art-and.html

Review: Author appreciates all reviews.

 

Official Video Trailer for Joan’s Elder Care Guide

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvMauKAqqQ4


 Joan’s Elder Care Guide: 

PURCHASE ONLINE NOW

Prices are subject to change by the vendors.

People can email me at joanyedwards1@gmail.com.

Joan Y. Edwards is an author, illustrator, and retired teacher in North Carolina. Joan’s Elder Care Guide: Empowering You and Your Elder to Survive is published by 4RV Publishing. She wrote and illustrated picture book, Flip Flap Floodle, and self-published it with BookSurge in 2004. She is currently working on illustrations for her chapter book, Larry, the Terrifying Turkey.

Her Never Give Up blog, http://www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com has over 340,000 views and 350 subscribers. She encourages writers, illustrators, and others to never to give up. Her website, http://www.joanyedwards.com has a multitude of Gospel-based devotionals, puzzles, and skits.

Joan is a member of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her article, “Find Your Creative Edge,” appeared in the July-August 2011 SCBWI Bulletin.

Edwards thrives on spending time with her family and friends. She presents interactive writing and motivational talks and workshops for children and adults for schools, writing groups, and conferences. She reads humorous and self-help books. For inspiration and self-acceptance, she heeds the wise teachings of Robert Schuller, Joel Osteen, Maxwell Maltz, and Tony Robbins.

Facebook Page Joan Y. Edwards, Author https://www.facebook.com/Joan-Y-Edwards-Author-111310278911077/

Twitter @joanyedwards

 

 

 

 

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Filed under family relationships, grandmothers, honoring your parents, mothers, Uncategorized

Review of Under the Same Sky by Joseph Kim

 

I read this sad story after reading its review in World Magazine. A young man keeps on walking one day, a celebration day in North Korea, a day when the guards are not paying close attention. He walks so far that to go any further will lead him into China. His remaining family has been torn apart by the famine in North Korea, so he has no motivation to stay. But when he gets to China, the people who live in “rich homes” slam the door in his face. He only finds help after he listens to the advice to go to a building that has a cross on the top.

Joseph Kim is a strong survivor of an almost unbelievable tale. Little things that we take for granted here: namely food and freedom, are in high demand in the repressive regime that he defected from. Don’t read this book if you don’t want to know what the poor people of this world face daily while we live as kings and queens here in America, by comparison.

The subtitle is: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America and on the front cover is a bowl with only few grains of rice outside it. Most of the book involves Joseph’s upbringing in North Korea. He started off with a secure family and ended up a filthy migrant (called Kkotjebi) who stole in order to survive. We all know that it is wrong to steal, but maybe we would do the same thing if we were in his shoes? It is something I don’t really like to think about. The saddest part of the story for me is when he talks about his sister, Bong Sook. I hope he finds her and that she can come to America one day.

When Kim left North Korea, he was in culture shock. By the time he came to America, even more was he astonished at the comparison between our two countries. He suffered a time of depression after leaving everything he knew for a strange land where he lives alone, but has since recovered. Joseph Kim is a bright and hard working young man and a college student in New York City.

This book is not a happy read, but it gives a dose of reality into what it was like to grow up during the time of famine in North Korea. I hope  God uses Joseph Kim’s story to enlighten others as to the plight of those who live in the “Hermit Kingdom,” where lack is suffered daily and to be a Christian is to be a criminal worthy of death.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, copyright 2015

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Filed under awareness of the poor, Bible, family relationships, honoring your parents, memoir, non fiction

Review of Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

Talk100_1293  about living in anxious times! Finding this wonderful book by this trusted Christian author was a real treat for me the other day. Many years ago, when I was a new wife and mother to be, a lady at our Bible Baptist church stood up at our young mother’s class and give a book review of another book by Linda Dillow. (That one was called Creative Counterpart,and it was my first taste of the concept of the wife’s role of godly submission to her husband.) Since then, I have been blessed to know other godly ladies who have helped teach me my Biblical role as wife and mother, and I view Mrs. Dillow as one of the pioneers of the movement.

Linda Dillow is a mother, a grandmother, the wife of a theologian (Dr. Jody Dillow- Grace School of Theology) and missionary who spent time behind the Iron Curtain with her husband and family when Communism was still the mode of government in Poland and Romania. She and her family risked their lives to teach people who had so little by American standards. But in many ways they were richer than us, because they knew that all they needed was Jesus.

I am guessing Linda Dillow wrote this book because she knew of our tendency as women to worry. If you know me, one of my biggest challenges in life is overcoming my tendency to worry and become anxious about things. The one thing about worry is that once you give in to one thing it seems to give way to five more things to worry and fret about. It can debilitate your entire life. It has mine at times in the past. That is why I am so glad that Scripture tells us in Philippians 4 that we don’t have to worry about even one thing. But the only way we can do that is if we get to know our God and how trustworthy and reliable He is, and bring every worry and concern to Him constantly.

This book gives practical encouragement from her own life and how God got her through many dangerous and tremendous trials with her children and facing dangers as a missionary, tests with misunderstandings with others, staying underground from the Communist government while ministering in Eastern Europe, etc. As I read the book, I felt like she was a friend chatting with me from her heart to mine. The book includes practical suggestions for dealing with “what if” thoughts and “if only” thoughts. Those are just the kind of thoughts that get me caught in the worry game.

My copy was originally published in 1998 but updated in 2007. There are 12 chapters in the book and at the end is a study guide that could be used for a small group of women. One thing I really liked about each chapter: at the conclusion of each she gave a character sketch of different women she met while ministering through the years. Some of these women’s testimonies were amazing.

For example, Mrs. Dillow described a woman named Eva from Communist Poland. This Christian woman was used to living practically as a gypsy with nothing wandering from place to place for years. She even washed her baby daughter’s diapers by hand. One day, she came to visit the missionary at her apartment and refused to use her modern conveniences when she did so. Eva said that Western women have “so many things that they don’t need God.” (page 84, Calm My Anxious Heart)

I felt deeply convicted after reading that. How easy to forget Him when we have everything. But through the trials we go through, He draws us back to Himself. This book offers wise counsel from an older woman to a younger woman (as in the verses in Titus 2:3-5) on how to grow close to God when situations come that tempt our hearts and minds to become anxious.

I highly recommend this book for women of all ages.

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Filed under awareness of the poor, Bible, Bible instruction, family relationships, grandmothers, missionaries, mothers, overcoming worry, Titus 2:3-5

A Review of Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller

I found out about this wonderful book through a Kindle offer but ended up checking it out of my local library. I like to read memoirs and this one did not disappoint.

I have great respect for the author, Kimberly Rae Miller, as she told the poignant tale of growing up with two parents who had a compulsive hoarding problem. It was not just a case of a cluttered house, but filth and shame as she tried to keep others from knowing her secret. The thing about it is that her love for her parents shines the whole way through the book. Miller adhered to a Biblical principle, “honor thy father and mother,” and her outcome was blessed because she did so.

Kim grew up in the New York City area as an only child. Her mother was Jewish and her Dad was Catholic. Trauma in his own childhood with alcoholic parents led her Dad into an insatiable need to hang onto all kinds of papers. He loved to gather information as well and constantly listened to NPR. Though the papers were mostly not going to be used or needed, nevertheless he felt a compunction to hang onto them, along with all kinds of other junk. Her mother did not have a happy childhood either, and ended up cut off by her mother, who always favored her sister. In spite of her anger over her husband’s hoarding, Kim’s Mom comforted her pain by ordering lots and lots of things online. It grew to the point that her mother only had just a tiny space for where she slept on her mattress each night.

Kim told of how they got burned out of one house and ended up moving from one apartment to another as she grew up, running from chaos and filth. She made some great friends in school in spite of it. These friends helped and did not abandon her when her “secret” got out. In spite of the mess and confusion, Kim was a go-getter and pushed herself to make it to prestigious Emerson College in New England. After her freshman year, she lost her financial aid package through a technicality and became desperate. During Kim’s own lowest point, her Mom sacrificed in helping her find a way to continue there.

Once she left her parents’ home, Kim was overcome by the horror of what she had gone through as a child. But she never abandoned her parents. Instead, she came time and time again to help them clean out, and try to make a fresh start. Each time she did it drained her, but she pushed through it anyway. Her mother suffered severe health problems and nearly died, but Kim let her mother know that she must keep on fighting to get well because she needed her. Her mother needed a clean place to come home to recuperate. Kim realized her parents needed help, and in compassion she shelved her pride and secret to even more people in asking help from them to clean her parents home.

The hoarding lifestyle she was surrounded by gave Miller an almost obsessive need to keep her own home neat and tidy. Part of her own therapy was writing down her story, and it was one which her parents fully supported. When her Dad read the manuscript, he tearfully apologized for all she suffered growing up in utter chaos. The best part of this memoir is that she still loves and supports her parents. At the end, they made tremendous strides in cleaning up their act. Kim found happiness also, but I won’t say more on that.

It was like a breath of fresh air to find someone who was not willing to jump on the wagon to blame someone else for their problems, to find someone who actually was grateful for their parents even if her parents were not perfect people. I commend the author for her bravery in telling this story in a way that could make the reader feel good about honoring and respecting their parents. I really enjoyed this book and maybe now you will also. You can find out more about Kimberly Rae Miller at her blog: http://thekimchallenge.com/

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Review of Take Me with You, Kindle Edition, by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Just finished this satisfying story which I read on my Kindle, based on the life of a recovering alcoholic and his “chance” encounter with two sons of an alcoholic mechanic. August Shroeder, a divorced high school science teacher who lost his only child, is on his way west in his RV when it breaks down. He stops at a mechanic’s shop, and finds that the mechanic also has a problem. The owner of the auto repair shop is facing jail time for DUI’s and has nowhere for his two sons (Seth and Henry) to go, except foster care. He strikes up a conversation with August and told him that he had a question that August would think he was crazy for asking.

The mechanic believes, and rightly so, that August is a good guy, and asks him to take his boys with him on his trip out West. Henry has not talked since he came from foster care the last time his Dad was in jail. Seth is a caretaker, typical of children of alcoholics. The rest of the story details their trip and the years that subsequently follow.

I don’t want to give the ending away but will just say I wish it had ended a bit differently. I was happy for August but wasn’t completely satisfied that it ended the way it should have. But that being said, it was a sweet story, clean, and it taught lessons about “being in the moment,” and coming to reconcile with the events that happen in our lives. I felt myself really pulling especially for Henry, who was an underdog in the story. I also liked reading about August’s pet dog Woody and his immediate affection for the boys when the RV broke down.

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of 27 published and forthcoming books, and she is highly rated in her Amazon reviews. I would give this book 4 stars. In the future, I probably will read another one of her books, most likely “When I Found You” which has a 4 1/2 star rating overall. I got the book on a special rate from Kindle, but it is only $4.99 now to download.

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A Review of The Veritas Conflict by Shaunti Feldhahn

100_0963 Did you ever wonder about the behind the scenes struggle that causes us to think what we think, say what we say, and do what we do? The Apostle Paul said that our battles in this world are not with flesh and blood, that is, other people, but with principalities and powers in Ephesians 6:12. Principalities and powers are high-ranking demons who surround the air on planet earth. That is why our enemy is known as the prince of the power of the air. The air surrounding planet earth is his domain, and he uses it to stir the battle between his fallen angels and Christ and His followers. In Psalm 2:1 we read that the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing. In verse 2 it says that mankind plots against the Lord and His Annointed. Why? Our enemy still thinks he will win although his doom was sealed when Christ rose up from the grave victorious (see John 19:30).

What does that have to with this book The Veritas Conflict? Well, in this fictional work we behold a battle raging for the souls of men and women right on college campuses. In particular, this book is about one of the historic Christian colleges in America: Harvard. In the prologue, we see the Christian foundations of the college assaulted right from its beginning and carry on all the way through the book.

The story is told through the life of key characters: a smart young freshman named Claire Rivers. Her believing parents worry for her well-being on the liberal campus. Also are many other characters, some Christian and some evil that conspire to cause great harm to the Christian cause. There is a secret conspiracy as old as the school itself, and Claire finds herself right in the middle of it all. But also given names are principalities and powers that are influencing Claire and her room-mate, professors and board members. The story portrays the influence that these beings have over the people and the disastrous results of their lies.

I checked this book out from my local library because I wanted to read more about spiritual warfare. The author wrote from experience, having experienced the spiritual climate at Harvard when she earned her master’s there. Though some parts of the plot seemed a bit contrived, I was drawn right into the story. It held my attention through this long work of 457 pages. This book was published by Multnomah Press in 2000. One thing I took away from this story was the power of prayer, our only offensive weapon against the enemy (Ephesians 6:18). God desires us to pray for our children out on their own for the first time. For insight into the battle that rages especially in the minds of our young people on campuses across this country, I highly recommend this book. Also, to see how great the battle is just to have an honest debate between evolution and creation,and for a professor to even mention “Intelligent Design.” the documentary “Expelled” by Ben Stein is also highly recommended.

There is a spiritual battle that is raging all around us, and this book will open your eyes to just that.

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Filed under Bible, family relationships, spiritual warfare, teen reading, Uncategorized