Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Experience Healing and Mending with Cynthia Ruchti’s New Book & Reclaimed Treasures Giveaway

Before my "complimentary per my honest review copy" of Cynthia Ruchti's new book Tattered and Mended arrived in the mail, my heart held one big desire: "Lord, please let me know if this book will be an appropriate one to buy for a precious friend." I hoped Tattered and Mended would reveal itself to be rooted in Scripture; a book filled with grace, tenderness, and a realistic view of restoration and healing.

Tattered and Mended did not disappoint my desires in any way. Page after page, I would think of another friend whose heart could use the intertwining of the Bible (both verses of encouragement and stories of those who experienced grief, pain, fear, betrayal or loss in the Old and New Testaments), the accounts of mending within Ruchti's own life, and the added stories and examples of others whose aches are laid bare for the reader to connect with as well. It is no coincidence that the day I read of a lady who had lost her husband was the very day a dear friend's terminal battle with cancer ended--leaving his wife and three children without him until they meet again in Heaven. The way Ruchti described her widowed friend are the words I cling to now as my own precious friend continues life's journey without her soulmate: "But she's functioning better. Not because time heals. It doesn't have that much clout. She's functioning better because what was excruciating is now tender" (p 36). May others move from the excruciating to the tender as God reconstructs their brokenness.

I read the book fully and completely, sometimes rereading, so I could gain a better view of God in my own life and also in the lives of family and friends. Ruchti put in so eloquently: "No tattered soul escapes God's notice." (p 127). Not Tamar, who was raped by her brother Amnon, had her brother Absalom convince her to keep it a secret, and her father, King David who "refused to punish his son Amnon because he loved him as his oldest child" (2 Samuel 13:21. Recorded in Tattered and Mended on page 126).

"God made sure [Tamar's] innocence would be recorded for all time in his word...Tamar's tattered soul did not escape God's notice" (p 127).
  • Recorded so my friend can witness Tamar's story, connect with her pain, and cling to that same innocence.
  • Recorded so my friend can see God does love and care, even in the midst of the most tragic betrayal.
  • Recorded so my friend can continually grasp ahold of the comfort of our Savior. Moment by moment, day by day, year by year, as she continues to see how God has been working within her and creating a mending, stronger tapestry.
Even as I read this book and held a new empathy, new prayer-focus for many friends, I felt a little guilty that my life hasn't held incredible tragedy, pain, or suffering. Could my words of comfort, or desire to be a quiet listener, bring comfort to friends when my story is nothing like theirs? Ruchti provided the answer to my concerns with this lovely truth: "We loan strength to one another" (p 120). Community brings comfort. And comfort is a salve onto our friends' raw wounds. We become part of their healing process as the bonds of friendship and trust deepen. Wherever we are along these varied paths--the faithful friend or the grieving soul--God allows us to work together and witness restoration. 

Whether you are the person who seeks out Tattered and Mended as an aid for your soul's healing process, or you are the comforting friend who is seeking out God's truth and wisdom, or the Biblical Counselor looking for a phenomenal resource, Tattered and Mended will not disappoint. As for me? I'll be purchasing a few copies for friends, and pray it brings hope to their brokenness.

*All quotes and page numbers I listed are taken directly from Tattered and Mended by Cynthia Ruchti. Abington Press. 2015

How can the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live be mended and healed? In Tattered and Mended, Cynthia Ruchti walks readers through a gallery of reclaimed and restored art as well as broken and restored lives of those who have gone before us. With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Cynthia shows how even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.

Celebrate the release of Tattered and Mended with Cynthia by entering to win her Reclaimed Treasures giveaway!


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 27th. The winner will be announced July 28th on Cynthia's blog.


Plus, now through mid-July, sign up for Cynthia's mailing list for a five-day virtual tour around Madeline Island for the chance to win a Hemmed in Hope prize pack. Each day begins with an email from Cynthia that introduces where you'll be “visiting” that day (all key places from As Waters Gone By) with various interactive elements, including“I wish you were here” postcards, trivia quizzes, and an ongoing Island scavenger hunt. The person who interacts the most will win a Hemmed in Hope prize pack (valued at more than $200).


That includes:
  • The letterpress block Hope sign from DaySpring
  • A set of 6 Hemmed in Hope notecards showing a hope-themed Bible verse
  • A leather “I can’t unravel, I’m hemmed in hope” journal
  • Signed copies of each of Cynthia’s books, fiction and non-fiction

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I {Just} Want to be my Teens' Best Mom

A few years ago, I had a very fun and unique job; assistant to author Brenda Garrison! And, while that sounds all fancy and official, it truly came down to me getting the chance to help a very down-to-earth and sweet lady stay organized and help her with social media. We had many mutual friends and had known each other for several years--but working alongside one another allowed us to build a neat friendship. One benefit was watching her parent her girls and navigate the transition of her youngest finishing high school and entering college, her middle daughter student teaching and then landing a job, and her oldest applying to and finally choosing a graduate school.

With Brenda at the 2012 National Hearts@Home Convention

I had three kids in elementary school during that time. And while Brenda was always very honest with me in how navigating older kids isn't always the smoothest road, the time for that mattering in my life seemed very far away.

Until now. Now, when I am getting ready to send my oldest to high school. And I'm struggling a little. It's not so much that Kaitlin is getting older, but that life is no longer falling easily into "black and white". The phrase, Will this matter in five years? is great when it relates to your kid wearing stripes with plaids or having a strong desire to play in the street. Truth is, it's getting harder and harder for me to look at the various opportunities, desires, activities and friendships and decide how it will (or won't) affect Kaitlin's life in five years.

Fear is creeping into my parenting. Many people enter this phase with their newborns, or toddlers, or sending their kids to kindergarten...but not me. I took those years in stride, with a calm attitude and a peaceful heart. And this new feeling--this fear--is not a pleasant experience. The biggest thing I  realize I need to overcome is my desire for Kaitlin to get everything right the first time. The right boy. The right friends. The right classes. The right choices. It's not so easy to let go of my selfishness--my disappointment that the "right" boy liked her, she liked him, and then she changed her mind. So then I go back to the 'rule' that she's too young to like a boy anyway. This parenting gig is tricky!

I want to be the best mom for all of my kids, and am feeling the new weight of being a high schooler's mom. When I began working for Brenda, her plan was to have a quiet year; I was helping her so she could focus on her Master's Degree. But immediately after I began working for her, a BIG thing happened...publishing company Thomas Nelson picked up her book idea! It was a collaboration between Brenda and her daughter Katie, and I watched as the book developed, was poured over, into, prayed for and published. And I found it a wonderful privilege to get one of the Advance Reader's Copies. I read it, double checked the uncorrected proof, and was very excited for Brenda.

Today, I'm sitting down to read Love No Matter What in a whole new way. I'm not merely a mom of young kids thinking, "Oh, this is a nice read!", but I'm reading it with a huge desire to both guide my daughter along a godly path while realizing I have to observe as she navigates bumps along the journey. The most unique part of the book (and some painful parts that hit close to home) is the fact that Brenda's daughter Katie also shares her emotions and what she was experiencing during the difficult years--and it's the part I'm really taking to heart as I strive to validate my own daughter's personality and desires. Interviews with other young adults & their parents also give a more rounded perspective of my proper role and obligations as a mom and helps reveal Kaitlin's responsibilities and ownership of her actions as a daughter.

Love No Matter What: When Your Kids Make Decisions You Don't Agree With isn't a "fix it" book or a "how-to"manual, because that's not realistic parenting. But my biggest prayer--my biggest desire--is to step away from my fears and pour into Kaitlin in a way that allows us to have a solid relationship as she moves from high school, to college, and finally to adulthood. Through prayers, God's grace, and a book written by a friend, I am making it a daily choice to step away from fear and allow God to work in my life as I surrender my daughter to Him.
Rocky Mountain National Park July 2015 

You can find more insight and wisdom regarding all stages of parenting on Brenda's website , through her Facebook Page, & her Twitter Account. Her books, including Queen Mom, Princess Unaware, He's Not A Mind Reader and Love No Matter What: When Your Kids Make decisions You Don't Agree With are available on Amazon.

copyright 2015 LeAnne Klopfenstein

Thursday, July 2, 2015

What are the Chances? {Crash!}

So, what are the chances that on day four of your vacation, 30 minutes away from your final destination, that you'll~

Get rear ended. On the highway. And find out 2 days later that, although the gal's insurance card showed she had coverage, it had lapsed due to lack of payment. Therefore, her final day of being insured was June 27.

She crashed into you June 28.

Now, instead of going through your insurance and getting all reimbursements from her insurance, you get to pay your deductible yourself.

And buy new car seats. Lots of car seats.
Suddenly it becomes so easy to get wrapped up in one 'blip' of your trip. All the fun, all the blessings, and all the memories can get sucked right down the drain.

It is in those moments, the times I'm starting to swirl with anger, frustration, disbelief and heavy sighs, that I have to CHOOSE to see all the good. 

While sore initially, none of us were injured.

We have insurance. And an amazing agent. He is doing all he can to try to recover our deductible and to see if any part of our policy would cover the car seats.

The damage to the van was such that we can wait to have it looked at when we get home.

We've had an amazing trip trekking across the country. With kids ranging in age from 14 years to 10 months, I know these special times are very, very precious.

And finally, after seeing the good, I can go after the laughter, and the whole tone changes.

Her insurance ended June 27.
She crashed into us June 28.

What are the chances?

copyright 2015 LeAnne Klopfenstein