Category: healing

Spiritual Resilience for Your Youth ~ Giveaway & More!

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Do you need help parenting? I know I did! I was a parent educator for many years and taught some of the best curriculums. And yet, when I had teenagers… I reached out for other perspectives! Sharla Goettl’s book, Spiritual Resilience, Leading our Youth to Go and Do, is a wonderful resource for any parent who is also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ ~ or who lives a Christ centered life.

Sharla’s book is a priceless resource written with all the passion parents feel for their children. But I don’t need to tell you about it. Listen to Sharla talk about her life and inspiration. Read an interesting interview with the author. After you listen—comeback and download a free gift and enter a Rafflecopter Giveaway sponsored by the author. Meet Sharla and hear her story:

Sharla Goettl has served as a youth leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints almost every year of her adult life. Doing so has taught her the faithful capacity of the youth and a respect for the parents who teach them. She currently serves as a stake Young Women president in Oregon. Sharla is a wife, mother, sister, confidant, instigator, and believer. She listens to the voices in her head, sings loudly out of tune, and dreams of faraway mountains. She feels pleasantly surprised when her kids beat her in board games, enthusiastic toward unexpected adventures, and overwhelmed by the generosity of God.

Free gift available: The Goal Maker is a guided questionnaire that will help parents determine what their next best step can be in developing spiritual resilience. This effort will help set a more powerful example through action, not just words. Makes a great companion to the book.

Fun facts: The book includes still shots from the Book of Mormon videos and a new painting of young Nephi entitled Nephi Unfinished. In the book and on my website, I tell poignant stories about my grandfather who did the work to change from bootlegger to spiritually resilient father. It is only through real-world actions that these principles can be taught.

Why did you want to write this book? I did not want to. I had no intention to write a book, but the Spirit told me there was helpful information that needed to be shared. As a stake Young Women president, I very much want to help the good families I know, and love feel successful as they teach their children the gospel of Jesus Christ. I very much want the youth I work with to get the answers they need to their repetitive questions so they can grow up fearlessly relying on a Savior that will never let them down.

What inspires you when you were writing? The parents I was working with were feeling overwhelmed about all they needed to do and all the counter influences affecting their children. We all have felt anxiety over a teenager who is losing their way. Yet I also know the younger generation will usher in the miracles of the future because of their faithful acts and greater commitment. I knew Christ must have a solution to these interconnected problems. So I went looking for the solution in the most likely place I would find it: the very beginning of the Book of Mormon. Where else would Christ put the solution to our most personal struggles?

What other authors have influenced your writing? In this instance, Nephi has been my most influential author. Afterall, the solutions I offer are not mine, but his. I just happen to be pointing them out. I love authors who back up their words with action. Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain, Sheri Dew and Nephi are some of my favorites.

What books are you reading right now? Hold Back the Dawn. It is an unpublished manuscript my grandmother wrote several decades ago. I’ve known it existed for a long time, but am just now reading it. It has been wonderful to experience a side of her I never knew through her perspective, word choice and storytelling.

My favorite book of all time? Runaway Bunny. The book only has two characters and I have played them both. As a child, I liked to push the limits and as a mother I am learning to support my children unconditionally no matter where their adventures may lead them.

How did you come up with your book s premise? I follow the sequence of Nephi’s learning process. In fact, I use his famous verse of 1 Nephi 3:7 to reverse engineer his testimony to better understand what he knew that made him willing to say, “I will go and go.”

What was the most difficult thing about writing the book? First was remembering to pray before I began to write. If I did not, I would inevitably get stuck and have to start over. Second was developing the cover. I went down so many rabbit holes trying to find an image to relay spiritual resilience. Finally, I went with what was real: my own family. I had to write based on my own real questions. I had to share my own real interactions with my daughters and the Spirit, so it feels fitting. Besides, my family has their fingers all over this book. A book about family would mean nothing without them.

What advice would you give someone who thinks they might want to write a book? Be prepared for a long process. Be willing to humbly share parts of yourself. Every time you hit delete to start over it marks a mini-step of progress, not defeat. It means you are learning and changing and getting better.

What is the next book you will begin writing? I am already working on an illustrated children’s book based on the same ideas discussed in Spiritual Resilience but for a much younger crowd. The book is based on how Nephi developed his testimony and is called “I Will Go and Do.”

What do your fans mean to you? I wrote the book for the many youth I have worked with over the years. They have shared parts of themselves with me which is sacred. But I believe our Heavenly Father would tell me there is nothing there is nothing more sacred than a relationship between a parent and a child. I truly just want to be helpful in strengthening that bond to be even more reliable, loving, and strong.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day? Covid has wrecked my daily schedule. I stay up way too late and wake up too late in the morning, so that is a question that hits home. The answer is easy of course. It is my kids. I want to be with them more than I want to be on my pillow.

When you are not writing, how do you spend your time? Like so many others, I wear many hats these days and not a single day Is the same. I help my kids on their heavy schoolwork, all are online and two are enrolled early in college. My church calling is time consuming in a wonderful way. My husband and I own a construction business. We are also currently renovating a personal property in Bend, Oregon. It is a place that has all my favorite things: mountains, rivers, hiking, biking, skiing, kayaking and food.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FOLLOW AND CHAT WITH THE AUTHOR!

Author’s website: www.sharlagoettl.com

Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/authorsharlagoettl

Instagram: @authorsharlagoettl

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/sharlagoettl

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Safe House~Free Reading & Fireside Chat!

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To read my latest newsletter and learn about O.U.R. and more~ Click here!


I love chatting with readers. Recently, a reader invited me to speak to their local congregation in Utah. Because of Covid-I am doing the next best thing. I am reading Safe House and sharing what I’ve learned about supporting survivors after each chapter. Here is a link to my YouTube Channel and Safe House Reading and Fireside Chat Playlist.

Do you know someone who has experienced intimate partner violence (domestic violence)? Do you work with survivors, have family or friends who are survivors? Are you a survivor and your connections don’t understand or support you? Have people given you unwelcome advice, like why don’t you just leave? Send me your questions and concerns. Let’s chat after each chapter.

Safe House by Shannon Symonds

Welcome to the free video reading of Safe House, published by Cedar Fort Publishers. I thought it would be fun to read my first book to you while sharing the beauty of the Pacific coast or the settings for Safe House, Finding Hope, and my upcoming novels.

After I read the chapters, I will tell you a little about what inspired them. Feel free to end the video before the chat. I know how busy life can be!

Special thanks to Cedar Fort Publishers–Safe House can be purchased at Cedar Fort & Amazon and is free on Kindle Unlimited.

Cedar Fort will be publishing my Cozy Mystery in May of 2021! That’s the wonderful news. But… it will take time…
More as it develops!

In the meantime…

Follow the launch of my newest cozy mystery series!

@Shannonsymonds7

https://www.facebook.com/shannon.symonds

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Today! Authors For Freedom!

TODAY! 85 AUTHORS FOR FREEDOM-have books for you!

Buy a book and all profits are donated to Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) to rescue children from child human trafficking.

Go to the Authors For Freedom Landing page AND

https://my.ourrescue.org/fundraisers/authors-for-freedom

Right click on the name and check out the lists of amazing books.

#authorsforfreedom #ourrescue
Romance:

Clarissa Kae

Read more

Safe House Chapter 3 & 4 and Free First Responder Reads

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Welcome to the free video reading of Safe House, published by Cedar Fort Publishers. I thought it would be fun to read my first book to you while sharing the beauty of the Pacific coast or the settings for Safe House, Finding Hope, and my upcoming novels. I also share what inspired the novel. I made this video two miles from my house on the Tillamook Head Trail my family hikes annually. It is six miles of Oregon Forest and ends in Ecola Park just outside Cannon Beach.

Today, I added a reading of chapters 3 & 4 of Safe House. I will add new chapters to to my Tuesday and Thursday newsletters.  I promise not to spam you!

After I read the chapters, I will tell you a little about what inspired them. Feel free to end the video before the chat. I know how busy life can be!

Safe House Chapter 1 & 2 by Shannon Symonds
Safe House Chapter 3 & 4 by Shannon Symonds

Here is another game! The 4th person to reply to this newsletter will receive a $5 Amazon gift card.
🙂 Shannon

Special thanks to Cedar Fort Publishers–Safe House can be purchased at Cedar Fort & Amazon.

LINK TO FREE EBOOKS

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Safe House by Shannon Symonds ~ Chapter 1 & 2

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Hello from the beach!

Welcome to the first free video reading of Safe House, published by Cedar Fort Publishers. I thought it would be fun to read my first book to you while sharing the beauty of the Pacific coast or the settings for Safe House, Finding Hope, and my upcoming novels. I made this video down the street from my home.

I will add a few chapters to my Tuesday and Thursday newsletters.  I promise not to spam you!

After I read the chapters, I will tell you a little about what inspired them. Feel free to end the video before the chat. I know how busy life can be!

Safe House Chapter 1 & 2 by Shannon Symonds

Special thanks to Cedar Fort Publishers–Safe House can be purchased at Cedar Fort & Amazon.
Safe House-Paperback Edition

National Domestic Violence Hotline Phone Number

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Weather the Storm~ Pandemic Blessings shared by Readers

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In 2017, a beloved friend and I created a series of photos you can copy, print or share from this link.  Special thanks to Haley Miller of Captures photography.

This photo, “Sometimes He answers prayers with a storm,” has been on my mind lately.

We are in a storm. Within the storm, our world and lives are changing.

I chose these words because this has been my experience. After publishing a few poems and having five children, my entire life changed in a day. It was the storm of storms. At the time I could not imagine the end from the beginning. All I knew was the list of things I was losing in a day. I lost a marriage, a new home, a father for my children, income, everything in a one day life-altering storm of events.

Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, all I could do was hang on while the world spun around us.

When the storm began, I sat on the side of the road in a VW Van with my babies and turned it all over to my Heaven Father.

When the storm was over, I found myself living by the sea near my childhood home, just as I had always wanted. I had the love of my life and he had adopted my children. We had a sixth child who survived a life threatening illness, All was well (messy and chaotic but happy). We were safe in a place that became a haven for us and for our extended family. My prayers were answered.

God’s plans for me are always better than my own. But Sometimes while he was rearranging my life to make space for more blessings, the unknown was challenging. It took all of my faith for me to wait patiently, like a child waiting for Christmas morning. Patience is a virtue on my “To Do” list.

Two things bring me peace when storms are raging. 

Faith: 
We may not always understand why we have the challenges we do or why some prayers seem to go unanswered, but the scriptures tell us:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
New Testament, Romans 8:28

#HearHim
We can pray and to ask the Lord for comfort and to help us understand what is happening to us or for help with decision. He is waiting to talk to us, even if it is just a feeling, a thought, or warmth in our heart. (Learn how to Hear Him here)

We are not alone in the storm. Hang on. I believe you can find your personal growth and happy ending even if the middle is messy.

Last week I asked how you were doing and what was on your Pandemic Blessing Card. Here are some of the beautiful things you shared with me.

Wessel shared: 
“I firmly believe God has a purpose for all of us and equip us with talents and resources throughout our lives we need to fulfil that purpose. I’m not saying that in vain because I was born with a born defect that means I am bound to a wheelchair for life. It would be easy to blame whatever but why would I survive for nearly 50 years if doctors bluntly told my mom there was no medical way for me to survive past 48 hours. So whenever circumstances threaten to overwhelm me (as it does with all humans) I try and remember that I have an undisclosed purpose.”

Kathy said:

“…I have spent the last 4 months in a rehab facility following a really bad fall.  With this quarantine I have not been able to see my family and I truly miss the hugs from my son…I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful for even midst this horrible time. I had forgotten. But not now. Thank you!

  • My leg will heal.
  • I will walk normally again.
  • I will give my son the biggest and best hug ever.
  • I have made many new friends.
  • I have been able to read as much as I like.
  • I have been shown once more that God always opens a window when he closes a door.
  • I realize that others are so much worse off than I am.
  • And so much more.
  • My faith has been restored.”

Kim said: 
“Some of us were able to travel to see friends who have a lodge away from internet and WiFi and cell service. We ate good food, went hiking and enjoyed nature.”

I would love to hear how you find faith or if it is a struggle. I would also love to hear ways you, #HearHim during our storm.

LINK TO CHRISTIAN FICTION

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Our Pandemic Bingo Card & Blessing Card~Free Read by Kierstin Marquet

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Hello from the beach!
I hope you and everyone you care about is well. I’ve finished the first two books in my new series. Book three is underway. We are still sheltering in due to Covid-19. Books (writing and reading) are our only form of escape.

I am excited to share Kierstin Marquet’s book, Shattered Lives. Read on, get your free copy, and meet an author I am learning to love.

LINK TO FREE COPY

On January 1st, 2020, I chose one goal. I was going to go into this year with fearless faith and hope.

You might be laughing right now. My extended  (huge) family has laughed about winning Pandemic Bingo. So far we have experienced:

  • Job loss
  • Major illness diagnosed in our immediate family
  • Earthquake
  • A kidney patient in complete quarantine
  • A tree falling on two vehicles and the roof
  • The great chicken massacre of 2020
  • Business closed
  • Protests and riots about issues we really care about and impacting people we love
  • Murder hornets in the neighborhood
  • Homeschool chaos
  • First responders still at work in health care and law enforcement
  • Sewing hundreds of masks for first responders and family
  • Babies born during a pandemic
  • All travel canceled
  • Feeling like we are personally supporting Costco by hoarding food, Lysol, and toilet paper
  • Cutting–no–butchering our own hair
  • But so far, we are well and grateful to God for that blessing. All the experiences on our Pandemic Bingo cards have
  • only brought us closer together. We met each fresh challenge on our knees.

When my future was as clear as mud, time, and time again, I went forward with fearless faith. Either I should be careful for what I pray for–or grateful the Lord inspired and prepared me.

On those big days—those life-altering moments–I recited a scripture my sister taught me after she learned she was dying of cancer.

I am guessing you have your own bingo card. But, do you have a blessings card? Through it all, we have experienced so many blessings.

  • Financial miracles allowing me to write a new series of books
  • Staying close to family than ever before through video chat
  • Watching my adult children support each other because our family is all we have
  • Home church with extended family
  • After praying for years, we received direct answers and blessings
  • Feeling closer to God and grateful for the good things
  • Daily tender mercies from Heaven

I would love to hear how you are doing. I read every comment.

🙂 Shannon

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Cedar Fort Publisher’s Podcast! ~ Shannon Symonds

Listen to Valerie Loveless interview me about both of my books, Safe House & Finding Hope, on Cedar Fort's Behind the Scenes Podcast!

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Answers in the Storm

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Have you ever wearied the Lord in prayer and wondered when he would answer your prayer, or if he would answer? Have those answers come in unexpected ways? I know I have. I have wanted more time for family and writing. I think I have my answer and it will mean more time to write.

I love to write stories about characters that have deep needs, face insurmountable odds, are tried during the storms of life, face destruction, and still find their happy ending. I write about unexpected heroes and heroines, who after the storm is over, realize the hand of God was at work the entire time. And the events they thought would annihilate them were actually the best thing that ever happened to them.

Why do I love to write stories about people who face impossible odds? Because that is the ongoing story in my life, and I would bet a few of you have been caught in the rain before. But I believe in miracles and I believe in happy endings, so here we go! New job and more writing.

Today, I found one more survivor. This afternoon, the sun was out, and I worked in the garden. I weeded and pulled out the plants that hadn’t made it through the wild coastal winter months. We have had snow, fierce winds, and record rainfalls. I opened the gate to put my tools away in the backyard and look what I found. While everything else turned brown and withered, this beautiful little plant flowered through the dark winter months on the north side of the house. It blossomed against all odds, just like the heroines of my stories.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to speak on Hope in church, while I was praying and working on making more space for family and writing. It was a great opportunity to explore one of my favorite words-hope.

More on hope later-for now, here is one of my favorite quotes:

 

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The Seaside Signal – Features Finding Hope & Tells the Real Story

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Eve Marx of the Seaside Signal not only featured my newest novel, Finding Hope, she investigated trafficking in our small town and researched what it might look like in yours. Do you wonder if your kids are at risk? Do you want to know what to look for?

Link: Eve’s article, “Finding Hope” Amidst Alarming Trafficking Numbers

Do you want to learn to recognize trafficking? Have you ever thought about volunteering from your own home town?

Take Operation Underground Railroad’s Free Online Volunteer Training to learn to recognize signs of trafficking.

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