I meet the nicest people at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference! One of the many lovely ladies I met this year is Marlene Anderson—author, inspirational speaker, counselor, life coach, and retreat leader. Marlene graciously agreed to be a guest blogger for me. Thanks, Marlene!
While at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference last month, I met many wonderful people who were ready to assist and help us become better writers. They shared their talent and expertise with those of us who were still novices.
One of those people was Kathy Ide. So when she extended the invitation to anyone who might be willing to write a review of her latest book in a series of Fiction Lover’s Devotionals, I was eager to do it. Kathy has used the genre of fiction to gather wonderful narratives about mothers.
21 Days of Joy is a compilation of stories written by different authors around the theme of “Celebrating Moms.” At the end of each story are defining ways of application to our lives. Each story is a snapshot of life’s challenges for moms and ways we can reflect and apply God’s Word to similar situations in our own lives.
The stories were so real and masterfully crafted, I thought at first I was actually reading true stories of people. The ideas were taken from real-life situations that you or someone you know may have or is currently experiencing. Because they reflect the working out of God’s love, redemption, and strength, they are applicable to all of us.
How do you handle betrayal, jealousy, or being a step-mom desperately trying to be a mother to your husband’s children? When you have raised an adopted child as your own who now wants to reconnect with her biological mother, what do you do with the feelings that say, “Will she love that mother more than me?” How do you connect with a mom who walked out of your life when you were a kid, and who has returned, asking for forgiveness and wanting a second chance? How do you deal with the complexities of an elderly mom in the stages of dementia, leaving you to be the parent?
Kathy Ide’s own story of the challenges of adolescence, becoming a parent herself, and now connecting with her mother as friend is a fitting end to this wonderful devotional. It is a book about relationships, and as most of us know, relationships with those we love can be strained, difficult, and challenging. But when we include God in the journey, even those things become blessings.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day. But you can still celebrate moms by giving this great gift to your mother, or a mother figure in your life, or to yourself.
Marlene Anderson is a licensed therapist, life coach, author, and inspirational speaker and has worked in clinical, educational, and church settings. She has developed and delivered course material for classes, workshops, and retreats. She is the author of A Love so Great, A Grief so Deep and Use Stress to Meet your Goals and is a contributing author to It’s a God Thing and Heaven Reaching Earth. Her latest book, From Winter to Spring, is being edited for publication.
Marlene blogs each week on relationships, sharing her training, love of God, and life strategies. She is a member of the NWCW Association, their Speakers Bureau, and Hwy 20 Writers. She lives in the beautiful, little town of La Conner, WA.