LM Preston is an author, an engineer, a professor, a mother and a wife. Her passion for writing and helping others to see their potential through her stories and encouragement has been her life’s greatest adventures.
FROM ASHES OF PITY INTO BEAUTY OF PURPOSE
by Debra Gray-Elliott
Genre: Non-fiction Christian Self-help/Inspirational
From Ashes of Pity into Beauty of Purpose takes women who have had an abortion from hurting to healing through many journeys of self-discovery, showing them how God delights in them, how they can achieve their purpose, and learn to live again.
Struggling to rise from the ashes of pity takes many journeys. A woman who has had an abortion goes through many of journeys of self-discovery. She must learn to heal, forgive, give herself value, respect herself, have confidence, and be content in who she is.
Going through each journey helps a hurting woman discover nine ways God delights in them. From Ashes of Pity into Beauty of Purpose shows a hurting woman how to become a woman of faith, knowledge, encouragement, compassion, strength, wisdom, hope, character, and purpose in order to get through the ashes into the beauty.
Discovering how God delights in them helps a hurting woman find her purpose. From the Ashes of Pity into the Beauty of Purpose directs women toward the beauty of purpose with healing the broken, helping the hurting, and harboring the lost so they can live again by rejoicing in everything, renewing their mind, reviving their spirit, rejuvenating their soul, and reminding themselves of their beauty.
Rising from the ashes of pity is difficult. From Ashes of Pity into Beauty of Purpose is designed to make the journey easier.
THE JOURNEY OF SELF-HEALING
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Psalm 46:1-3 KJV
The years have slowly tick-tocked away and I still have not found the solace needed throughout my journey of self-healing. I constantly find myself (as I am sure other women who have suffered and survived through an abortion; planned or unplanned) pondering the reality of what happened to me, to my body over forty years ago.
In my personal journey of self-healing, I have dealt with that reality in many ways to block the memories. I wanted to forget those painful memories forever seared in my mind, burned into my soul. I turned to drugs (one of the most common areas that many young women who have experienced an abortion do too often) tuning out the pain, the memories.
Drugs are a quick fix and only temporarily block the pain and the reality. Drugs aren’t the answer, nor should be a solution to a woman’s journey of self-healing. I also turned to unprotected sex as a way of forgetting the pain I had pent up inside my hollowed-out body, a shell of my soul. I knew unprotected sex was wrong. I knew I could get pregnant again. In the months following my abortion, I became confused as to who I was. I became reckless and irrational in my behavior. I didn’t care what I did or who I had sex with, I just wanted to forget. I couldn’t face myself. The bitterness and shame grew deep within my soul like the roots of a mighty oak tree.
My heart and mind were being strangled with guilt and shame. I could not let myself heal. It took years for me to come out of my dazed stupor and realize unprotected sex wasn’t the answer for my healing process. It took years to realize I was never alone.
Throughout the years of my most painful, personal journey I have learned to express my feelings in writing. I have found that writing is a good release of all the pent up emotional baggage a woman stores inside herself after an abortion. As a Christian woman who has experienced an abortion, the most meaningful part of my journey of self-healing has been the bible.
The Word of God has brought comfort to my hurt. I learned to replace drugs and unprotected sex with God’s love. Psalm 46:1-3 tells us that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. When our heart and soul are troubled, we should turn to God. We heal through His strength and very presence in our lives. Let the Word of God heal you. Let it be your strength, your solace, and your comfort in your journey of self-healing.
Debra Ann Gray-Elliott is a Christian speaker and author who shares the Lord’s message of hope and love in everyday life
Her works includes two poetry collections, as well as inclusion in several Christian anthologies.
Debra’s recent works include her personal stories of dealing with the loss of her daughter Ashley in 2013 in the anthologies Grief Diaries: Poetry & Prose and More and Grief Diaries: Will We Survive.
Debra’s first non-fiction Christian inspirational book From Ashes of Pity into Beauty of Purpose brings emotionally charred women who have had an abortion out of the pits of fire, through the ashes into the beauty of purpose. With the direction of God, hurting women weather through the painful journeys, become women of spiritual beauty, find God’s purpose, and learn to live again.
Debra is currently working on a new devotional to honor her daughter Ashley who passed away in 2013. Dancing through the Storms 365 Day Devotional: Surviving the Loss of a Child takes grieving parents on a daily journey of healing and hope.
Title: Coins in the Fountain
Author: Judith Works
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Innocents Abroad collide with La Dolce Vita when the author and her husband arrive in the ancient city of Rome fresh from the depths of Oregon. While the author endeavored to learn the folkways of the United Nations, her husband tangled with unfamiliar vege weddings, enjoyed a close-up with the pope, tried their hands at grape harvesting, and savored country weekends where the ancient Etruscans still seemed to be lurking. Along the way they made many unforgettable friends including the countess with a butt-reducing machine and a count who served as a model for naked statues of horsemen in his youth.
But not everything was wine and wonders. Dogs in the doctor’s exam room, neighbors in the apartment in the middle of the nights, an auto accident with the military police, a dangerous fall in the subway, too many interactions with an excitable landlord, snakes and unexploded bombs on a golf course, and a sinking sailboat, all added more seasoning to the spaghetti sauce of their life.
Their story begins with a month trying to sleep on a cold marble floor wondering why they came to Rome. It ends with a hopeful toss of coins in the Trevi Fountain to ensure their return to the Eternal City for visits. Ten years of pasta, vino, and the sweet life weren’t enough.
Part memoir, part travelogue, Coins in the Fountain will amuse and intrigue you with the stories of food, friends, and the adventures of a couple who ran away to join the circus (the Circus Maximus, that is).
Life was routine until the author decided to get a law degree. Then a chance meeting led her to run away to the Circus (Maximus) – actually to the United Nations office next door – where she worked as an attorney in the HR department and entered the world of expat life in Rome. After four years she and her husband returned to the U.S. – this time to Washington, D.C. But they missed life in Italy with its great food and wine, endless history, and the many friends we made. The gods smiled and another opportunity came along. Six more years in Rome, again working for the UN, followed. The many happy and sometimes fraught experiences are the subject of her memoir, Coins in the Fountain. She is also the author of a novel about expats in Rome, City of Illusions, and flash fiction has been published in literary reviews. She continues to travel in her spare time, having visited over 100 countries. And when she is in Rome, she always tosses a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure another visit.
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Cover by Charlene Raddon of Cover-Ops
This book is a biography of a woman I have loved and admired for the whole of my life.
In December 1944 a German family of seven were captured and convicted of war crimes for harbouring Jews.
I have known this story for most of my life. In the twilight of her years, this lady has decided that it is time for her story to be told, so it will be recorded for future generations.
The woman and her sister were interned in Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp until Liberation on 13 April 1945.
This is a true account of her experience.
Hanover, Lower Saxony
The house looked the same as every other dwelling in the street. Two story, attached, weathered stone. There were three bedrooms and a bathroom with indoor plumbing upstairs. An attic, where family treasures were hidden, could only be accessed through a removable panel in the ceiling of the main bedroom closet. Downstairs was a small but adequate dine in kitchen, a sitting room and a storeroom. Inside the storeroom was a staircase which led down to a basement.
The house sat opposite the banks of the Leine River. It was home to Inga Albine and her family. She had one older sister, two older brothers and one younger brother. They loved summer when they could swim and play in the water.
Inga’s father, Adaulfo, was a well-known and successful Banker. An unusual occupation for an Aryan as most Bankers were Jewish.
Inga’s mother, Alisz, was a talented seamstress but with her husband being more than capable of providing for the family, sewing was a hobby rather than a chore. Although sewing gave her a great deal of joy, her first love was her family. She adored being with her children.
Being only children, both Alisz and Adaulfo had always dreamed of having a large family. Their dream had come true. They had five healthy children, blonde haired, blue eyed. Perfect Aryans in Adolf Hitler’s eyes. Klaus, 18, Manfred 17, Elke 15, Inga 13 and Oskar 8. The girls and Oskar attended private school while the two older boys studied Engineering. They all played the violin and with the exception of Oskar, they played very well. Neighbours often praised Adaulfo and Alisz on how polite and well-mannered all five children were.
The family were prominent in the local community. They never hesitated to help people who were less fortunate than themselves.
That was to be their downfall…..
Non-Fiction, Historical, True Life
Laura is a middle aged lady who was born in England.
She has a compassionate nature, a great sense of humor and is a loyal friend. She also has an insatiable love of history.
Growing up, Laura would spend hours with a member of her family who she loved dearly. Over the years she was told the story of how this amazing
lady had suffered at the hands of the Gestapo and German SS.
Laura had always had a strong desire to write. She felt a responsibility to record the story as a part of her family history.