Little One Lost eBook

Little One Lost CoverLittle One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss is now available in Kindle format on Amazon.

I also learned that the paperback is available to Canadian readers at the goDutch bookstore.

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Two new books launched

DSCN4962What a fun Friday! A radio interview and book signing doubled the fun during my local launch of two new books. Between 10:15 and 10:45 yesterday (December 19), Patricia interviewed me on the local Christian radio station, KCWN 99.9. After that, I signed books during the station’s Christmas open house until 1:00. I want to thank General Manager, Bev De Vries, and DJ Patricia for their gracious hospitality. The station’s facility is decorated beautifully, and entering it feels like stepping into a welcoming home.

Patricia made the interview completely painless. In fact, it was a lot of fun. Growing up as the middle child in a pastor’s family, she felt a lot of affinity for my book-boy Matthew. Talking about him and the problems he faces in Matthew Muddles Through was a hoot. She shared her enthusiasm for the story with listeners.

Bev De Vries took this picture through the production room window while Patricia and I were on the air.
Bev De Vries took this picture through the production room window while Patricia and I were on the air.

We then discussed my other new release, Discovering Delight: 31 Meditations on Loving God’s Law. She described it as going “deep” and we talked about the writing style, which Aimee Byrd called “a commendable style of commentary meets personal devotion.” Patricia and I also spoke briefly about Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss and A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Loving God’s Law. Before I went off the air, I had the opportunity to share my excitement about my current memoir collaboration project with Uriah Courtney, who was recently exonerated after more than eight years of wrongful incarceration.

booksBook signings are always enjoyable. It’s great to meet new friends and experience the support of existing ones. The best kind of book signings are when a steady stream of people comes in and I have time to speak to each person individually. And this was one of those signings with wonderful opportunities to talk to individuals, including some people I hadn’t seen for years.

I’m thankful for the doors God opens and I grateful he equips me to walk through them. books-2

Little One Lost reviews

Little One Lost CoverTwo reviews of my book Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss are now available online. Both appear in publications of the OPC (Orthodox Presbyterian Church). Because I am not affiliated with this denomination, I’m a bit surprised but extremely grateful to the OPC pastors who picked up and reviewed the book.

A review by John Mahaffy appears in the March 2013 issue of New Horizons, which is available online here. This issue of New Horizons contains other great articles on infant loss and infertility.

I’d read Mahaffy’s review before, but today I read for the first time this review by Gordon H. Cook Jr. in the online version of Ordained Servant. His review captures the emotional impact of the book and brought tears to my eyes.

This book was the most difficult thing I’ve ever written. It was emotionally draining to immerse myself in the heartrending stories of the brave couples who shared their losses. During the editing process, I cried every time I read through the manuscript. And, yes, I still cry whenever I read the book.

God created us as full-orbed individuals with a strong emotional component. Our feelings help us comfort others as we become the hands and feet of Christ. We reflect our Savior when we incarnate Christ’s compassion.

That’s why Cook’s review bringing tears to my eyes was a good thing.

Marketing or ministry?

My friend, Yvonne Anderson, reflects today on the tension between marketing and writing. Having two books published this year has shown me how that tension increases exponentially. There seems to be a continual tug of war between these two priorities. But one thing I’m learning is that the lines blur between marketing and ministry.

Since last week Wednesday, I’ve had:

1) a radio interview broadcast,

2) a book signing,

3) a devotional engagement, and

4) a meeting with a support group for moms who have suffered loss.

All these events were related to my two books published this year. In June Reformed Fellowship published Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss (also available on Amazon), and in November Reformation Heritage Books released  A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God (which is also available on Amazon). 

Last week I posted about my radio interview and book signing, but until now I haven’t had an opportunity to write about my devotional opportunity or my meeting with a support group for moms.

Angela Dunston Johnson, Glenda Mathes, Susan R. Lawrence; aka as "The Three Forever Amigos"
Angela Dunston Johnson, Glenda Mathes, Susan R. Lawrence; aka as “The Three Forever Amigos”

On Sunday, I shared devotions on “Christmas Rest” with the women of Union Park Baptist Church at their Christmas Tea. My friend and story-teller extraordinaire, Susan Lawrence, had suggested my name to the organizers, who were kind enough to invite me. My longtime writing friend, Angela Dunston Johnson, broke from her busy schedule to attend. It was a blessing to spend time with old friends and meet new ones. I’m thankful to God for the opportunity. And I deeply appreciated the warm fellowship with the Union Park ladies during this delightful afternoon.

On Monday evening, I spent an emotional evening with women who have lost little ones. They asked insightful questions about my book on early infant loss and my personal experience. Listening to their moving stories, my heart broke.

These events of my past week all fall under the broad category of what writers call “promotion” or “marketing.” But when does marketing become ministry?

The answer to that may depend primarily on the heart’s motivation. If my desire is for self-promotion, I feel that my efforts can only be defined as “marketing.” But if my desire is for Christ-promotion, perhaps God permits my efforts to expand into “ministry.”

My prayer is that I will always be sensitive to the differences and aware of the motivation of my heart.

Connected Kingdom podcast

Last week David Murray and Tim Challies interviewed me about my book, Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss, for their Connected Kingdom podcast. That interview is now up on Tim’s  Challies.com, David’s Head Heart Hand blog, and the Connected Kingdom podcast site.

Signing books today!

Me and Bethany at my book signing in July. That’s my son-in-law, Nick, holding my grandson, Layton, in the background. It was 105 degrees on July 5, but it’s 31 degrees now with a forecast high of only 53!

This morning I’ll be signing copies of my book, Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss, at The Sanctuary coffeehouse and Christian bookstore on the south side of the square in Pella. My daughter, Bethany, and I will be there from 10:00 until noon. Stop in for a free bookmark. I’ll also be giving Hugs and Kisses, mostly those of the Hershey’s variety.

Do you grieve the loss of a little one? Do you wish you could help someone who does? Reasonably priced at only $10, Little One Lost is the kind of book you’ll want to have on hand so you can give it to someone who needs to read its biblical comfort.

My prayer is that today God will send into The Sanctuary those who need to read Little One Lost. If you can’t join me in person, will you join me in praying for God to do that? May he receive all the glory!

Little One Lost is written in accessible language and short chapters so it can be easily digested by people lost in grief’s fog.

Here’s a summary of the book’s content:

Published by Reformed Fellowship in Grand Rapids, the volume contains a preface that explains why I wrote the book, an appendix defining medical terms often used in related discussions, and six primary parts.

The first chapter in Part One, Acknowledging Our Loss, relates my own story, “The Hole in My Heart,” which appeared in the March April issue of The Outlook and is found online here. Other chapters in this initial part are Society’s Paradox, Knit Together, and Common Occurrence.

In Part Two, Losing a Child, several families relate personal stories of their various experiences: Repeated Loss, Medical Dilemmas, Hopeless Labor, Father’s Love, and Delivery Distress.

In Part Three, Bearing Infertility’s Loss, three families share their different perspectives on living with infertility: Empty Womb, Childless Marriage, and Supernatural Children.

Part Four focuses on Finding Our Comfort in these chapters: Not Lost, Biblical Comfort, Covenantal Comfort, Confessional Comfort, and Only Comfort.

Part Five, Grieving with Hope, deals with a variety of aspects related to grief, including guilt: Hopeful Grief, Guilty Grief, Being Forgiven, Forgiving Others, and Family Grief.

Part Six explores Healing Our Pain through Prayerful Work, Graceful Acceptance, Remembering Life, Compassionate Care, and The Hope in My Heart.

 

Radio prayer time

Today’s a Wonderful Wednesday because the link to my July 5 prayer time/interview regarding Little One Lost is finally up on the KCWN website! Click here and scroll down, then click on the hyperlink under my name.

I really appreciated this prayer time with Evelyn, which seemed like a more God-directed approach than a regular interview emphasizing self-promotion.

In communicating with someone about a totally unrelated matter, I learned that Rev. Jason Tuinstra recommended my book in the introduction to his sermon, “God’s Generational Claim,” at Bethel United Reformed Church in Jenison, MI, on a recent Sunday evening (you can listen by clicking on the sermon title’s hyperlink).

Just a reminder, you can purchase Little One Lost: Living with Early Infant Loss directly from Reformed Fellowship, by visiting their online store, or from Amazon.