Saturday, 22 October 2011

On a personal note......

Credit: Cendol
 My news is usually all things books and authors but I wanted to say something a little personal today.   Firstly, thanks to every one of you who stops by and uses some of their precious time to read my blog.  Whether you comment or not (love it when you do!) I appreciate each of you, more than you will ever know.  While reading, reviewing and blogging is a somewhat solitary and time consuming process (see my thoughts on this on Jody Hedlund's fantastic blog) it is something I consider a real joy and privilege and meets my need to be doing something I feel passionately about.

Secondly, an apology!  You may or may not have noticed but things have been a little quiet around here.   My family and I have been going through a very difficult time over the past few months, a time that is forcing change upon us and challenging our emotional and physical energy in a way we haven't experienced before.  God is calling us to make some hard decisions and I've been kicking and screaming a little over that call ;-)  On top of the huge emotional and spiritual impact this has had on us, the drain of this time has affected my reading in an unprecedented way and I have been unable to read much at all.  Given that reading is the way I debrief, take time out and recuperate from many of life's stressors, this has wearying.  I know most of my fellow readers will get that, even if it might seem a little strange to some!  The fact that this has consequently impacted on my ability to meet my obligations to some authors, publicists and publishers upsets me greatly and I appreciate their generous understanding.

A dear friend of mine (waving to you, Tracy!) reminded me that in years to come I will look back at this time and be grateful for what the Lord has taught me through the pain and heartache.  I know Tracy's words are so very true but I will be even more grateful when that time actually arrives - LOL!  I also know that God has placed into my life some amazing people to help me through this valley ~ my devoted husband, who surrounds me with love even though he has been jabbed by my prickliness numerous times, my gorgeous girls who are courageously trusting their parents to shepherd them through this time of upheaval and change, my loving parents, wonderful big sister, my caring in-laws and such giving friends in Tracy, S and J.  If that wasn't enough, God has spoken joy and encouragement into my life from the love and prayers of two of the dearest friends I am yet to meet in person, Ronie and Kelli, along with invaluable spiritual wisdom and care from Laura, Julie, Jeane and MaryLu.  My thanks to you all for willingly giving of yourselves in ways which brightened my life and blessed me immeasurably.

I'm hoping that life will return to normal, at least in my blogging world, soon!  Thanks for sticking with me :)

60 comments:

Lisa Tawn Bergren said...

Oh, sweetheart. I'm so sorry for your pain. But I'm so glad you have the love and support to make it through...and the knowledge that God's hand is clearly in it. May he lead you, step by step. Keep your hand in his.

Love,
Lisa

Richard Mabry said...

Rel, Your online family is supporting you with prayers and good wishes. Hang in there. Don't know what the valley is that you're going through, but I'll bet it's not a box canyon with a light at the end of it. Blessings.

Nora St. Laurent said...

Thanks for sharing your heart,being transparent and letting us know how to pray for you, Rel. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. You are an encouragement to many. I wanted you to know that you are not alone!

Praying

Nora St. Laurent
The Book Club Network

Annette said...

Thank you for sharing.
Even though we are apart of a bond of book blog reviewers, it is a solitary endeavor.
Thank you for your commitment to this blog.
Thank you for the professionalism that you bring to the world of book reviewing.
I'm praying for you and your family.

carla stewart said...

Rel, I'm so sorry. Life can throw us some mighty big curves sometimes. I'm praying that things get better soon. You are appreciated and loved.

Julie Lessman said...

Dear Rel,

Oh my, I SO agree with Tracy that you are going to come out on the other side of this SO much stronger and SO much more dependent upon HIM -- that strong and solid cleft in the Rock where the storms and gales in our life cannot whip us about. Yes, sometimes a little chilled and upon occasion, even damp, but ALWAYS anchored in His love and grace.

You already know you have my prayers, and soon -- if not already -- you will also know that God's got your back.

Hugs and more hugs,
Julie

Carol N Wong said...

We love you and support you. Sending you plenty of hugs and hope. I remember my worst times, my brother committed suicide, my father died of a stroke, my mother died of a heart attack, I went through a divorce. The best that I can tell you is what my uncle once told me,"These things will pass". So hang in there and know that we love you.

Carol

Dani Pettrey said...

God bless you, Rel. My family was going through a really rough period a few months ago and I know what a difference prayers can make. I will be keeping you and your family deep in prayer.

Diana Flowers said...

Rel, I have been going through the same thing, except perhaps different circumstances. I want to read more books for our blog, but have been limited physically at times, and am going through major stuff at home as well, having to help support some family members and having them move in, has been difficult. So I just have to read when I can and am sooo behind!

Prayers and blessings!~Diana

Cheri said...

You are so likable via your writing and you live up to your handle--Relz. Life is tough, but we count our blessings and keep going. There is a destination. There is an end to the journey. That gives me comfort when I'm tired and discouraged. David encouraged himself in the Lord--an awesome place to find renewed strength. God bless you! Cyber hugs.

Linda said...

My heart and prayers go out to you, Rel. May God's everlasting arms uphold you through your battles, whatever they be. God's blessings on you!

Penny said...

Rel, take care of yourself and your family during this time and we will be praying but we also will be here waiting to see what God has planned when you get through this trial. Looking forward to your return. I enjoy your blog so much.

Casey said...

When I read your post, my heart went out to you, because I know similiar situations and we want to do so much, but sometimes can only do so little. But it's NOT too little. Every little bit we do helps someone somewhere and for the record, whether you post once a week or every day, I think you and your blog are fantastic. Just look at all these comments! You are WELL loved here, Rel!

Nicole said...

We'll always be here for ya, Rel. Press on in the direction God has anointed for you.

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Rel girl you do an AMAZING job with your blog and I'm sure you're amazing in your day to day life too so keep your head up and know that you are so loved!

XOXOXOXOXOX
Renee C.

Rachel Hauck said...

Rel, you're doing the right thing. Leaning into Jesus and letting friends and family love on you! Praying for you, dear one!!

Rahel

Amber S. said...

Thank you for all you do - your blog has been bringing me smiles for years now! :) Praying for you and your family during this difficult time. Your are loved!

~Amber

Ann Shorey said...

Rel, my heart goes out to you during this difficult time. Thank you for sharing your heart. You will be in my prayers. I know how hard it is to read (or write) when life situations are overwhelming. God knows, and He's there for you day and night.
Blessings,
Ann

Julie J. said...

Rel, I love talking to you and hearing from you. Please know that I'm praying for the situation(s) you are dealing with at this time. I have always enjoyed reading your blog and will not stop! :)

Take care of you and yours first, the rest will come into place at the right time.

Julie

Tracy said...

You know how much I appreciate our friendship and consider yours a precious gift in my life. The tough times are never easy, but God gifts us special people to help us through them. He did that for me during that tough period in my life and it's such a privilege to be one of those people, sharing your trials. You know my prayers are with you, and for you, constantly.

Love and hugs xoxo

Lyn B said...

These journeys that He allows us to travel are extraordinarily painful but can bring wonderful changes to you, your life & those sharing with you. I have held on to Ronans 8.28 and we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to His purpose. Keep trusting and hold on to all who love you!
My prayers & love
Lyn B

Tina said...

Rel- I will be adding you to my prayers...;)Hope things get better soon.

Keli Gwyn said...

Rel, I'm so sorry things have been rough for you. My heart goes out to you--along with my prayers.

MaryLu Tyndall said...

I'm so sorry for whatever you are going through, Rel!! It breaks my heart to think you are suffering. But as we all know.. only through suffering can we grow and move forward into whatever God has for us next. And He always has good things!! I'll continue to pour out prayers for you and your family. Let me know if there's anything else I can do. Wish you weren't so far away! You are loved! May God strengthen you and protect you. May He shine His hope and glory and love and light upon you.. Hugs

Rel said...

Oh my! Your kind words, prayers and care are so very precious and touching to me ~ thank you :) Each one of you has blessed me today.

Rel said...

Lisa ~ thank you for your reminder that God is leading us in all of this. I so appreciate your words and prayers.

Rel said...

Doc ~ you are a true encourager and I'm so glad to know you - thanks :)

Rel said...

Nora ~ you are always there with a word of care and encouragement. Thank you for taking the time to share with me today :)

Rel said...

Annette ~ what lovely words you had to say :) I appreciate them and you!

Rel said...

Carla ~ thank you :) I value your prayers and your words have once again touched my heart.

Rel said...

Julie ~ you know that the Julie I mentioned is you, right?! Thanks for once again lifting my spirits with your wisdom, insight and prayers xo

Rel said...

Carol ~ you have had your share of pain and a bit more, I think. Thanks for sharing your wisdom (and your uncle's!) with me. I so appreciate it :)

Rel said...

Dani ~ thank you so MUCH! For taking the time to encourage me and for your prayers - you are a blessing!

Rel said...

Diana ~ it always helps to know we aren't alone, doesn't it? I'm sorry you are having a difficult time too, but your encouragement has so helped me today - thanks :)

Rel said...

Cheri ~ thanks for your sage advice and wise counsel! Appreciate you sharing with me :)

Rel said...

Linda ~ I so appreciate your prayers. Thank you so very much.

Rel said...

Penny ~ your prayers and encouragement made me smile - thank you!

Rel said...

Casey ~ thanks for taking the time to encourage a new friend! You have been a blessing to me :)

Laetitia :-) said...

I so hear you on the theme of not being able to read much - my vision is still dodgy after my op such that I can't do any one thing for very long (most I can manage on the computer might be 2 hours at a stretch) so I'm still working on the last two books I won...how long is that, now?

Rel said...

Nicole ~ you have been one of my greatest encouragers, often with a timely comment on my blog :) Thanks so much!

Rel said...

Renee ~ you are a sweetheart! Thanks for your kind words and yes, I feel your love :)

Rel said...

Rach ~ to know such a prayer warrior as yourself is talking to God on behalf is such a blessing! Thank you, my friend xo

Rel said...

Ann ~ I love it when you visit! Thank you for your wise words and caring heart :) I appreciate you.

Rel said...

Julie ~ thank you, dear friend :) Your encouragement here and on Twitter is so precious!

Rel said...

Tracy ~ could not have managed this time at all without you, my dear friend :) You have been a rock and comfort, as you too, have lived through some of the same pain. Here's to many more years supporting and encouraging each other! xo

Rel said...

Lyn ~ you know pain and suffering, I know, and the difficulty of choices you have had to make and have been forced on you. Thanks for your understanding and encouragement :)

Rel said...

Tina ~ thank you, friend :)

Rel said...

Keli ~ what a kind heart you have! Your prayers are so appreciated :)

Rel said...

MaryLu ~ your sweet words humble me and your heart encourages me. Thank you for your kindness and prayers, dear friend xo

Rel said...

Laetitia ~ I'm so pleased that your operation was a success but I can only imagine the recovery is bit by bit. Praying you are back to full strength soon :)

Ellie said...

Thank you to all of our daughter’s blogging friends for your kind words of love and encouragement. You care and prayers are precious in God’s sight. Love always, M&D

Joy Tamsin David said...

Praying for you Rel!

I've had a hard time balancing my family life with reviews and blogging lately too.

ctimoti said...

Rel - I'm so sorry to hear things have been tough for you lately. Will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, and hope things will get better for you soon. Take care and God bless.

Regina Jennings said...

Rel - I'm sorry for your difficulties and I pray that they lead to a deeper joy. I'm glad you are surrounded by people who love you and can give you those hugs that we can't

I'm praying Psalm 112 for you - that there arises light in the darkness, that the righteous will not be afraid of evil tidings, but your heart will be established, trusting in the Lord.

Peace to you, sister.

James L. Rubart said...

Thanks for letting us know, Rel.

Praying for you.

Jim

Rel said...

Hey Mum :) Thanks for dropping by ~ love you xo xo

Rel said...

Joy ~ it's tough, isn't it?! Glad I'm not alone :)

Rel said...

Ctimoti ~ thanks so much :) I appreciate your care and prayers!

Rel said...

Regina ~ thanks for those lovely words from Psalms - so very appreciated :)

Rel said...

Jim ~ hey, so value your prayers :) Thank you!

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