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A “Thank You for Reading My Words” Book Giveaway

A “Thank You for Reading My Words” Book Giveaway

Dee Dee Parker wrote a sweet children’s book when her daughter, Brooke, was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. All of the proceeds from the sale of Josie Jo’s Got to Know benefit Breast Cancer Research, Breast Cancer Awareness and Cancer Patient Expenses. Josie Jo’s Got to Know is available on Amazon, but Dee Dee kindly gave me a signed copy to give away here at Life Reconstructed. To thank you for reading my words, one of you will win this sweet, fun children’s book with fantastic illustrations.

Thank you for spending some of the precious minutes in your day reading what I have to say about breast reconstruction, boy momming and believing Jesus through it all.

Thank you for sending me messages of encouragement. Though I don’t write for praise, I’m not gonna tell you I dislike it when I learn that my words were meaningful to someone else.

Thank you for sharing this website with other people. Part of being a writer is promoting your own work (my least favorite part of my job:) )  So I greatly appreciate it when you share my posts or comment on my posts or encourage someone else to click my Facebook like box.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.Photo by Kim Harms

The following are three ways to get your name in the drawing.

1.     Leave a comment at the end of this post naming something you are thankful for.

2.     Like my page on Facebook if you haven’t done so already.

3.     Subscribe to receive my posts through your email.

The winner will be randomly selected on Wednesday, November 22.


Mary & Me Book Review and Giveaway

mary and me

Mary and Me, A Lasting Link Through Ink chronicles the lives of Mary Potter Kenyon and Mary Jedlicka Humston. The two have been pen-pals for more than three decades, and their friendship quite literally grew on pieces of paper.

Having had a few pen-pals when I was young, none of whom I have stayed in touch with as an adult, I am impressed that their relationship lasted and grew as they lived through phase after phase of life.

This is my first time reading anything by Humston, but I’ve read two of Kenyon’s other 3 books. She writes with such flow and ease, that as a reader, I easily enter into her world. Even when that world is somewhat foreign to me.

This is an easy-read kind of a book. Not really a stay-up-all-night-and-finish-it book, but one of those you pick up to read a bit of here and there. It kind of made me want to write my best friend a letter (but texting is more our gig – and we can put some deeply moving, deeply disturbing and deeply funny things in little bite-sized text pieces. In fact, I’ve often had the thought that if I died and someone went through my texts to Marti, they might wonder what in the world went on inside my pretty little head.)

But back to Mary and Me.

The book is split into topics with an essay by each of the Marys followed by a guest essay. I wasn’t a big fan of the guest essays and skimmed through many of them because they made the book feel a little disjointed to me.

Both Mary’s are good writers, and I wouldn’t hesitate to read more of their work.

If you’d like to win a copy of this book, leave me a message in the comment section and tell me if you’ve ever had a pen-pal and whether or not you still stay in touch.

If you are interested in reading more of Mary’s books check out the links below.


Check out my ChemoTherapist review here.

Coupon Crazy

Check out my Coupon Crazy Review.

Refined By Fire

I have yet to read this one.


Chemo Therapist Book Giveaway Reminder


Just a reminder if you are interested in a signed copy of Mary Potter Kenyon’s soon-to-be-released book, Chemo Therapist: How Cancer Saved a Marriage, leave a comment on my previous post.

One of my handsome children will be drawing a name on Thursday.


Chemo Therapist: How Cancer Saved A Marriage Book Review


“While we had developed an extraordinary relationship, we had never been extraordinary people. We were just two flawed humans, who eventually discovered what it was to put the other first.” – Mary Potter Kenyon, Chemo-Therapist, How Cancer Saved a Marriage.

Isn’t that what it’s all about? Discovering how to put the other first? Two flawed people committing their lives to each other and then hopping into life full-force, sometimes completely missing the planks in our own eyes while trying to dig the sawdust out of our mate’s. Anyone can have an ordinary-survival-mode type of marriage. It is only when we successfully grasp the idea of putting the other first that our relationship becomes extraordinary.

This 167-page book is a beautifully woven story of the move from ordinary to extraordinary.

I knew bits and pieces of Mary’s story before picking up this book. I knew that she watched her mother die too young of cancer. I knew that she herself has struggled with many physical ailments. I knew she buried her precious grandson Jacob at the tender age of eight. And I knew that she lost her husband.

I don’t intend to ruin the book by sharing David’s death (in fact I think she shares that pretty early on.) I share it because it shaped the way I read this book and I think may be the reason that I had to keep kleenex close by as I read.  David didn’t die of cancer. In fact, he lived cancer free for 5 years before complications after a heart attack took him from Mary.

But as I read their struggle and their beautiful story of finding a renewed love in the midst of the ugliness of oral cancer, I kept thinking, “Why was he taken from her? Why, after they made it through so much, did their time get cut short?” But I know that God’s ways are not man’s ways, and sometimes you have to trust him even when your this-world-focused mind thinks he might have made a mistake.

Never having been intimately involved in a cancer journey, I don’t know if I can give a completely accurate assessment of how this book can be helpful to someone going down that road. But I can say Mary does not shy away from showing a true picture of what goes on behind closed doors in a home where cancer lives, and if my family was forced to go through similar circumstances, I would want someone like Mary to be real with me.

She was not only forthright with daily life during that time period, but also with physical intimacy. A couple times I thought “TMI, Mary. TMI.” 😉 But then again, wouldn’t I want to know how cancer can affect the libido, if cancer were to hit home?

One of the things I most appreciated in this book was the little instances of God’s provision and how Mary recognized them as such. Over and over, this financially strapped family of 10 (yes 10, that’s not a typo) was blessed in some small way (and sometimes big way) that allowed them to get through something they were not capable of getting through on their own.

Lastly, I found my breath caught in my throat as I read Mary’s struggle with prayer.

“I couldn’t even pray. What would I pray for?…I felt awful not being able to do something as simple as praying…”

Having just studied Romans chapter eight where Paul speaks of the Spirit interceding for us in our weakness, I thought, “this is a picture of that.” Mary felt inadequate for not being able to pray, but I am confident that in her weakness, the Spirit was doing what she couldn’t.

So there you have it. I could say more. Or maybe I should have said less 😉 But this is an excellent book. It’s a cancer story. It’s a love story. It’s a struggling-to-get-by story. But what I saw weaved through every piece is that overwhelmingly it is a God story. One well worth getting comfortable in your favorite chair and reading over a cup of coffee (probably with a box of kleenex).

This book will be available for purchase on April 8, but I have a signed copy to give away before you can buy it. Just leave a comment, and you’ll be in the drawing. It can be as short as “hey, I’d like that book.” In the past, not a lot of people have signed up for my book giveaways, so your odds of winning are probably very good 🙂

If you are not yet convinced to read this book, check out the trailer on youtube.

Chemo Therapist: How Cancer Saved a Marriage

If you don’t win it, you can head on over to Amazon and pre-order it.

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Coupon Crazy Book Winner


Rachel is the winner of Mary Potter Kenyon’s Coupon Crazy. Congrats Rachel!  I will get the book shipped out to you soon.

Watch for another review and book giveaway when Mary’s second book Chemo-Therapist comes out in the Spring of 2014.

Coupon Crazy is available for purchase on Amazon.



It’s a “Yay! I’m in a Book” Chicken Soup for the Soul Book Giveaway

css book

How fitting that while we were on the Superior Hiking Trail for our first ever family overnight backpacking trip, this arrived in the mail.

A box of Chicken Soup for the Soul:  Devotional Stories for Women  books with a devotional story I wrote based on my first ever backpacking trip with Corey, which also happened to be on the Superior Hiking Trail.

I abandoned my comfort zone for that first trip and took part in one of Corey’s adventures.  And I enjoyed it enough that I’ve since gone on three more similar trips.

What out-of-your-comfort-zone thing have you done for someone you love? Gone sky diving? Tried some exotic food? Allowed your child to get a pet snake?…

Let me know in the comments, or tell me something you would never be willing to leave your comfort zone to do. I’ll randomly pick one commenter to receive a free copy of the book.

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