Dang! This is really good!

Last week when I had my ridiculous scare with the health exam (see the post dated 10/4) I turned – as I often do when I’m ascared or troubled – to my Christian Science literature for inspiration, and… well… I ended up reading my own Madcap Christian Science triology.  I hadn’t read these books for a really long time. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever read them one after the other before. There have been books I’ve written that, when I re-read them again later, I did not like so much – but last week when I finished reading the first book in the trilogy, Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist, I found myself saying out loud – with some surprise – “Dang! This is really good!”

I wrote the first book back in 2005, as a response to other books I’d read about being raised in Christian Science. I’ve never discounted other people’s experiences with Christian Science – but I felt impelled to share my own story – which seemed to be much different from the stories other people had shared. My experience being raised by a Christian Scientist mother wasn’t scary or gloomy or depressing. I wasn’t neglected. Sickness wasn’t ignored. My childhood was full of joy and light and love and happy adventures. My mountain-climbing father got me into the Great Outdoors, and my Christian Scientist mom introduced me to the healing power of Love. I was blessed, and my book was a means of expressing gratitude for those blessings.

The second book, The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book, was about my experience dealing with massive depression during My Year of Insanity. I included messages from my friends, David Allen and Kathi Petersen, that inspired me then, and inspired me again when I read them last week. As I read the book anew, I gave thanks once again for the wonderful community of friends and neighbors who helped me survive that year.

The final book in the trilogy, The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things Newchronicles my adventures as I transitioned out of my work as a public school teacher into work teaching at a non-profit alternative high school. As I read it last week, I remembered, again, that year of change and all that I learned, and all the wonderful new students and colleagues I met.

It was cool to be able to go back to those books – to remember the things I’ve learned and the progress I’ve made – and then use all that to help me through the challenges of last week. When I wrote those books I was hoping that they might help others get through challenging times. It never occurred to me that someday they might help ME get through a challenging time. 🙂

 

 

Waiting for the Christmas Spirit

Waiting for the Christmas Spirit

The kitsch and spangles and baubles and bangles,
And department store Santa, just really can’ta
Seem to bring me the spirit of Christmas.

And I’ve been waiting to feel it –
the real Christmas spirit
Hoping it’d come by now.
The stockings are stuffed,
the tree is all buffed,
The cookies are baked and frosted and fluffed
But there’s still something missing –
a feeling, a tingling
that’s supposed to come every Christmas.

Except…
Maybe that Christmas feeling,
that energy and tingling
Is something I can have every day –
It doesn’t depend on spangles, or jingly-bell jangles
Or jolly men dressed all in red.
It comes in the sharing
of laughter and caring
And the comfort in words with love said:
To all – Peace! Joy! Hope! Every moment of every day.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell, from The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book

http://www.amazon.com/Madcap-Christian-Scientists-Christmas-Book/dp/1500855154/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

The_Madcap_Christian_Cover_for_Kindle (6)

Introduction for The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book

Introduction to The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book: Further Adventures in Christian Science

“But this is one of his clouded times and He’ll out of ‘em enough to shake the tree Of life itself and bring down fruit unheard of…” – Edwin Arlington Robinson

My son and I recently talked about my previous book, Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist. I told him that book was true for the person I was then, and I’m glad I wrote it, but I couldn’t write the same book now. Andrew told me I should write another book then, for this time in my life. I told him that my recent life experience has been kind of dark. He said I should write about that then, and he started talking about trilogies – how almost every life story has three parts – the first book is usually happy and innocent, the second one is dark and challenging, and the last book is the triumph book. Andrew said it was time for me to write “the middle book.” He assures me the book about the golden years will come, but he says that book can’t come until the middle book gets written.

So what you see here is me sucking it up and writing The Middle Book.

I need to write The Middle Book quickly, though, because I already see the golden years glimmering just beyond each word I type, and I can see the dark rapidly being replaced by the dawn. I’m sitting here, shaking my head in faux exasperation. This is just so typical. I never seem to be able to hold off my happy endings for any great length of time. I can see now that, even if I was determined to stay in The Middle Book, Life wouldn’t let me. As Mary Baker Eddy says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “… progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfill.”

My hope is that by sharing my own Middle Book story, those who are just now entering their Middle Book will be relieved to discover they’re not alone, and before long they’ll see the dawn begin to lift the darkness, too. We’re all in this together…

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

http://www.amazon.com/Madcap-Christian-Scientists-Middle-Book/dp/1477442456/ref=asap_B0044P90RQ_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415835816&sr=1-3

A Call for Book Excerpts

Okay, here’s a challenge for my fellow writers – find a sample paragraph from each of your books that you think best represents those  books, and share with us… 🙂

Here are mine:

From Blessings: Adventures of a Madcap Christian Scientist:

“Let’s get one thing clear from the start: I am not the best example of a Christian Scientist. I’m not as disciplined as I could be. I have fears and worries and doubts. I’m a little neurotic. I am the Lucy Ricardo of Christian Scientists.”

From The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Middle Book:

“Four years ago I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to today. Think back on the last four years of your life, my friend – become aware of all the things you would have missed if you’d given up on life four years ago: the new friends you would never have known; the sunsets and sunrises you wouldn’t have seen; the lessons you wouldn’t have learned; the changes you wouldn’t have been able to make; the pictures never painted; the photos never taken; the songs never sung; all the love and laughter that you would have denied yourself.”

From The Madcap Christian Scientist: All Things New:

“You know that old saying about quitters never succeeding? I am here to tell you that sometimes having the courage to quit the course you’re on and head off into a different direction is the absolutely best thing you can do for yourself.”

And from The Madcap Christian Scientist’s Christmas Book:

“I love Snow Days.  I love waking up to a world bedazzled in sparkling white. I love the laughter of rosy-cheeked children building snowmen, and the sound of the teapot whistling on the range. I relish the cozy contrast between the warmth of the dancing fire in our woodstove, and the cold of the snow falling softly outside our windows. I love school closures, and cancelled appointments, and the chance to slow down and take a break from the hurry and rush. I love the peace.”

Madcap collage for four books

Photos and photo cover designs by Karen Molenaar Terrell.