Friday, December 26, 2014

Wanda S. Maxey: One Powerful Eternal Kiss

Everyone's Story welcomes back Wanda S. Maxey, a strong, beautiful woman with a caring heart. Wanda writes non-fiction that grips the heart because it's straight from her own life experiences. Why? Because she doesn't want others to wade through similar agonies. Is Wanda's segment an unusual post-Christmas or end-of-year article to share? No. Not when, as Wanda says in the acknowledgment section of her new book, LONELY HEART MEETS CHARMING SOCIOPATH, "There is hope and healing in the Lord." Yes, indeed, there is! Please check out Wanda's new book, her Giveaway (and mine!), and her touching words she shares with us. We're both looking forward to hearing from you.
            May you each have a peaceful New Year.

Wanda is offering 1 e-version of LONELY HEART MEETS CHARMING SOCIOPATH to 1 randomly drawn commenter. PLUS a second chosen viewer will receive a printed copy of THE STORY, which includes my (Elaine's) FamilyFiction "People's Choice Award" short story IN HIS OWN TIME plus delightful stories by fifty amazing authors. The winner will be announced here on Friday, January 2nd between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment


Lonely, vulnerable, and looking for love, Wanda waded through the seemingly safe waters of Internet dating. An easy target, especially for a sociopath.

Lonely Heart Meets Charming Sociopath takes you on a riveting, true journey through the author's relationship with a verbal and emotional abuser. Nothing prepared her for the twisted turn of terror she'd endure after this “southern gentleman” clicked on her profile and entered her life. She discovered, all too late, that he was not the God-fearing man he claimed to be.

Predators prowl the Internet to gain easy access to victims. Appearing normal, but in reality they are ravaging wolves. Living and walking among us. Blending in so well.

This powerful, expose-all book offers freedom and peace of mind as you unlock the secret schemes of a dangerous impostor. Peek behind the mask. Learn through vivid details, the true-to-life signs of a trolling predator. If you think it can't happen to you—you could be dead wrong.

One Powerful Kiss by Wanda S. Maxey

The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, 
but its echo lasts a great deal longer.
                                                              Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I immediately reached out and touched my cheek. “Aw,” I said out loud. I turned around to find out who had kissed me. I wondered if I had been dreaming, but no, it was so real. I literally still felt the kiss on my cheek. Cheeks still wet with tears. My chest ached from crying. My heart was buried in a dead mans chest. My beloved husband of thirty-two years had passed away. How could I go on? I asked myself. What a silly question. My husband Buddy and I, after one of the most frightening times of our lives, had both met the Lord, and because He lives, I could face the future without fear. I knew we would see each other again one day, and God comforted my heart. But

I was so lonely and lost without the man who called me Angel Face. My daughter, Lynn, had been with us for the past six weeks. Whenever I needed her, she was there. Like the morning Buddy was so weak he couldn't stand. He fell out of bed trying to get up and make coffee. All I had to do was yell, “Lynn, help,” and she was there. When I was too tired and exhausted to cook, she was there. During the excruciating long, midnight hours. She was there. But she had a life of her own, back with her husband. I watched her little black Honda pull out the winding drive that morning and waved until her car disappeared.

Courtesy Google Images
Back in the house I forced my legs to carry me up the steps of our bi-level home. One step. Then another. I kept my eyes down, not wanting to look at the place where his hospital bed had been. The hustle and bustle of the hospice workers had ended. No more seeing the smiling face of my husband after the nurse had given him a bath and a fresh shave. No more watching the nurse massage his tired and frail body. I remembered when they asked him if he would like a massage. “Yeah,” he said, “but only if my wife can have one too.” The quiet and still of that large five-bedroom home on forty acres was deafening. Until the sound of my sobbing filled the empty rooms. Exhausted, and bone weary I sat down on the couch and fell asleep, which I needed. I woke up when someone leaned over from behind and kissed me on the cheek. I sat on a couch that was shoved tight against the wall. No one could have gotten back there. The door was locked. But...someone had kissed me. I turned around to see who was playing a trick on me. I faced an empty wall.

Still, the kiss warmed my cheek. The sweetest, most pure and powerful kiss of my entire life. Was the kiss from my late husband? No, because the Bible says the dead have no power. From the Holy Spirit? From an angel? From Jesus? 

I don't know who kissed me, but I knew, in that precise moment, that God used the kiss to comfort my shattered and aching soul. The sadness that had gripped my heart seemed to evaporate like the water in my geranium pots on a hot day. I jumped up from the couch and walked to the window. There was a lightness in my step. One huge, Heavenly-Blue Morning Glory bloomed in the planter Buddy and I had built together. The first bloom from a season of nothing but abundant green leaves. The tears stopped for a while. I felt joy and a renewed strength. A whole new world to explore. That was one powerful kiss.

Visit Wanda's previous Everyone's Story segment: Correcting A Once Dream Turn Terror

Wanda's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Wanda S. Maxey @photosue shares about her 1 powerful kiss & it’s not what you think! (Tweet This)

#BookGiveaway: LONELY HEART MEETS CHARIMING SOCIOPATH by Wanda S. Maxey @photosue (Tweet This)

#BookGiveaway: FamilyFiction’s THE STORY: 2014 Anthology (Tweet This)

Everyone has a story: author Wanda S. Maxey @photosue shares horrors of Internet Dating. (Tweet This)

Author's Bio:
Wanda is a Christian, a Writer, and an Author who lives in Michigan.

Her passion is trying to help others who have been through abuse, no one has to go through it alone.

She was widowed in 2005 after 32 years of marriage to a wonderful man. Two years later, being lonely and desperate, she found a new love on the Internet. After a whirlwind courtship they were married. She soon discovered she had married a sociopath. Her books were written in the hopes of helping others learn about the signs to look for, so as to not be “Hooked,” by one of these predators.

Places To Connect With Wanda:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Lorna Faith: Surrendering All Of Who You Are

Everyone's Story welcomes back with much affection the amazing Lorna Faith. Ever since I've started this blog three and a half years ago my aim has been to uplift and encourage others, especially rejoicing in God's love for all of us. That's why I'm glad Lorna is once again appearing here and at the end of the year when, sure, we're facing the joys of Christmas but what follows is the New Year. At this time many of us tend to look back and wonder if there's a lesson to learn as we advance into the young days of the new year, not wanting to make the same mistakes or stay in a rut. If you can relate to this, then you will also appreciate Lorna's words. Also, check out her BookGiveaway--for 2 lucky winners. Both Lorna and I look forward to hearing from you.

May you each have a joyous Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Lorna is offering 1 e-version of her novel ANSWERING ANNAVETA to 2 randomly drawn commenters. The winner will be announced here on Friday, December 26th between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment

How The Impossible Becomes Possible by Lorna Faith

I bought into the myth of perfection for too many years. In other words, I put unrealistic expectations on myself, got stressed out and basically did all I could do to show myself as perfect to the world. That’s how anyone wins in life.

As a result I ended up with what life coach and author Christine Hassler calls “Expectation Hangover.” She defines it as “...when our reality does not match the expectations we are so attached to, we experience a crash - similar to a hangover from too much alcohol.”

Somewhere along the way we’ve all had expectations either handed down to us or we have created expectations. You know the usual ones: be successful, make a lot of money, get married, have children, look good, make a difference and many more. This is where the pressure comes in—to get it right. Or else we feel like we fail at life. I went for a few years like this—living in this pressure zone and constantly feeling like I was failing. It was this past year, where I finally had an epiphany that this was what I was doing to myself. 

Sadly, it took getting so stressed out my hands started shaking and my mind felt like it was closing in on itself from burn out, before I finally got the hint that something needed to change. I realized that somewhere along the way, I had exchanged my original childhood innocence of trusting God and feeling like I was whole and complete and living a life of love , to living everyday full of fear and distrust. 

Courtesy Google Images
I had moved into a fear zone for a few reasons: someone criticized me; I only was appreciated for what I did well; I got yelled at or slapped for simple mistakes; my heart was broken; I was told that my dreams were impossible; I felt incredible pressure to succeed; I got rejected; I made a mistake and judged myself as a failure; I compared myself to others and in someway believed they were better than I was. If you can relate to even one of these disappointments, you might also have moved into a place of fear in some area of your life.

I realized that when fear grips a person, they experience a sense of disconnection and emptiness. Other people’s voices become much louder than our own and we find it almost impossible to hear the Spirit’s voice in our lives.

This is what happened to me. It was time for me to stop obeying the voices of fear and uncertainty that was crowding my mind, and to have faith.
Yet living with faith, means conflict. You can’t get away from it. Faith is that invisible essence that drops it’s weapons of mass destruction and leaves craters in our soul, as we struggle to become what we hear on the inside of us.

My big aha moment was that all those fears and uncertainties had lulled me into a comatose state where I was afraid of the wrong things. I realized that the greater fear was to have lived and died and not found out who I really was... than to put my head in the sand worried about everything else. It was time to give all my wrestling to God and surrender to grace. To let go of all those hurts and painful moments from my past... from things that I had lost.

In my heart I feel like God is saying something like this to all of us: Now I’m going to let you do what you couldn’t do before. What you failed at and could never get to happen, will happen now. You were angry with Me because I didn’t let it happen before. You thought I said ‘no’ but I really said ‘later.’

Most of all surrender all of who you are to God and let His grace and love envelop you. You’ll be amazed by what happens in your life. Suddenly, like Mary experienced, grace will make the impossible, possible.

Visit Lorna on previous Everyone's Story segment: What To Do With Life Changing Moments

Lorna's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Everyone has a story: Learn why author & #SocialMedia guide @lornafaith wants to help others (Tweet This)

Check out Lorna Faith’s @lornafaith exciting #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

Lorna Faith: do you obey the voice of fear or faith? (Tweet This)

Author's Bio and places to connect with Lorna:
Lorna Faith loves all things romantic, historical and filled with adventure. A graduate of the University of Lethbridge with a degree in Music, she teaches students by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. Lorna enjoys helping others tell the stories they love on social media. She and her husband have 2 College age children and 2 teenagers and live in Southern Alberta near the Rocky Mountains. Answering Annaveta is her 1st novel... with Book #2 coming in May 2015. You can chat with her at one of her two blogs, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Because I'm grateful!

Praise God, He is good, always. I am sharing 2 anthologies that I have been blessed to be part of and to be published:

CHRISTMAS TREASURES: A COLLECTION OF CHRISTMAS STORIES has been released in both a printed and Kindle version. It has placed in Amazon's Top 20 in Kindle Inspiration. Purchase information is on Amazon here.

The FamilyFiction 2014 Short Story Contests's People's Choice Award for my story IN HIS OWN TIME  is published in a printed anthology collection from Salem Publishing.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Shea Lowery: Lives Being Restored

Everyone's Story is honored and thrilled to host Shea Lowery this week, a woman fueled with a mission to spread God's awesomeness. Shea is the Executive Director of Lives Being Restored. The ministry's goal is to "share with children, teenagers, and adults the love of Jesus Christ, His powerful gospel story, and His desire to restore wounded and broken lives," traveling to schools, drug and alcohol rehab centers, homeless shelters and churches. This is why when Shea contacted me to query about appearing on this blog I did not hesitate. Please extend a warm welcome and encouragement to Shea. Both Shea and I look forward to hearing from you.

What I Need To Share With Others by Shea Lowery

For many years I had a heart for reaching people for Christ. But not until a few years ago did I experience a true heart change. After many years of going back and forth in my walk with Christ, I rededicated my life to Him and He began an amazing work. He stepped on the scene of my life and began to strip things from me that needed to go. Light has three functions, one of which is to reveal what is there. God turned on His light switch in my heart and revealed its true condition. He then began His work.

The molding and shaping process was difficult yet so rewarding. For the next several years, God would work in my life in amazing ways. He would teach me the importance of forgiveness, the value of waiting rooms, the importance of prayer and many other wonderful lessons. But there were a few gray areas I lived in, gray areas I deemed small and insignificant. It would be months later that I would learn just how dangerous those gray areas really were.

Because true surrender under God’s authority had never taken place, I would soon find myself wandering from my Father once again. I quickly found myself on a road, heading toward an exit I did not need to take.

God was warning me to get off this particular road but I rationalized that it would be okay. In fact, I told God, "I have got this,” and continued down the same path. Yet God’s persistence of showing red flags and convicting my heart continued even as I ignored the Spirit’s heeding.

It is of great importance to note that when God sees danger in our lives, He will caution us in many different ways. He reached out in every way possible to stop me from the hurt that was down the road but I thought I knew best. Just like the prodigal son who decided to take a journey apart from his father’s leading, I too took a journey that brought much hurt and pain to so many people.

I took the exit that God had been warning me was coming. And from that decision came one of the biggest times of brokenness ever in my life. I remember falling into my bed one night saying, “Lord, You won’t forgive me this time.” Yet too my amazement, He poured so much love into my heart and held me close through a very broken time in my life. I had broken His heart with my sin, but His love for me never changed.

As time went by, great consequences came because of my sin. I lost the respect of others as well as a ministry I loved. The discipline of being broken and the resulting sadness was almost more than I thought I could bear. I remember thinking, “I may not make it through.” But God's hands picked me up from out of a pit and showed me His love, mercy, and grace. From a time of repentance and brokenness came His forgiveness and restoration.

The time came when God called me to share my story. He took me by the hand and led me through open doors to share His story for His glory. As I shared my testimony with others, I began to see God’s hand at work in other people’s lives.

I have moved forward with the Lord as He has continued to bring restoration to my life. If I am going to experience all that God has for me, then I must continue to move forward with Him. Paul said it best in Philippians 3:13, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.”

So many people today are hurting in this world. They need to hear, “There is hope.” And when we share our stories of God’s redemption and restoration, people will find hope. I am so thankful for what Jesus has done, and continues to do, in my life. I want to share with this world the love and restoration story of Jesus Christ.

My theme verse is Acts 20:24. It states, “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” And this is what life is all about — sharing with others the Gospel message.

I believe there are many who feel God doesn't love them because of their past. They are living every day in defeat and in sadness. I want to share with them God's love for them and His desire to restore their lives. He is in the business of “Lives Being Restored.” I know this first hand because I am a person He redeemed, rescued and restored. I know my God today in a way I have never known before and I will never be the same again.

Shea's Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Everyone has a story: Meet Shea Lowery @shea_lowery founder of Lives Being Restored (Tweet This)

Shea Lowery: How does God act when He sees danger in our lives? (Tweet This)

Shea Lowery @shea_lowery shares how God wants to restore your life. (Tweet This)

Author's Bio:
Shea Lowery is a passionate speaker, writer, and daughter of Christ. The main theme of her story is a life restored. Shea has personally walked this journey and has a strong desire to share with others the hope and restoration that Christ longs to bestow upon all of His beloved children.

She places no limitations on God and allows Him to freely lead her to the places that He chooses to send her to share. You can find Shea at various speaking engagements not limited to conference centers, homeless shelters, churches, rehabilitation centers and football fields. Her simple, deep desire is to reach ladies and youth with the love of Christ, no matter their walk of life, and she’s willing to go and do whatever it takes in order to reach them.

Shea loves being a mother to her two children and a nana to her two grand boys. She loves being surrounded by her family and cherishes the many special times they spend together.

Shea earned a Christian ministry degree from Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Miss. and is currently working on a master's degree in Biblical counseling at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She also is writing her first women's Bible study on restoration and will be teaching it at her church in Texas in the fall of 2015.

Connect with Shea at:

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