Struggling with life after death the crushing truth

Struggling with life after death

“Hold her till she dies,” the nurse said, but she didn’t tell me about struggling with life after death. I drank in my babies features trying to brand them on my mind before the nurse took her away for the autopsy. My beautiful perfectly formed baby breathed her last, the oxygen alien to her undeveloped lungs. A cry from the depths of my wounded heart filled the air. Such a short life tortured my mind. I ought to be preparing her Moses basket not a putting her in a coffin.

Struggling with life after death sucks, it cuts you up and takes away the normal. I wiped away the tears as I read Waiting for Butterflies by Karen Sargent. This family’s loss was not for a baby but the mum. How would the father cope with being a single dad with two girls to bring up? Read on for my review.

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

My book review of Waiting for Butterflies by Karen Sargent

Book title: Waiting for Butterflies

Author: Karen Sargent

Release date: April 4, 2017

Genre: Christian Women’s Fiction 

When tragedy strikes, Maggie discovers a mother’s love never ends—not even when her life does. Longing for her family after her death, she returns home where she helplessly witnesses her family’s downward spiral in the aftermath of her passing.

Her husband is haunted by past mistakes and struggles to redeem himself. Her teenage daughter silently drowns in her own guilt, secretly believing she is responsible for her mother’s death. Only her five-year-old, full of innocence, can sense her presence.

Although limited by her family’s grief and lack of faith, Maggie is determined to keep a sacred promise and salvage her family before her second chance runs out.

A tender portrait of a mother whose love reaches beyond possible, Waiting for Butterflies will embrace your heart and not let go.

My Penny’s worth That moment of anger when you rage uncontrollably

Immediately the Blake family consisting of Sam, the father, Rachel and Olivia, his daughters, became real as I turned the pages. The sudden death of Maggie traumatises the family, and four-year-old Olivia starts to hear her mum’s voice in all the turmoil. With Maggie becoming a lingering spirit the story takes on the form of a beautiful script. I had no problem with this imagery as God plants thoughts into our mind when we are open to His murmurings that can lead us to health and healing.

What I liked

Each character is robust and believable. Sam tries to cope with the death of his wife, but it is tough. His grief immobilises him and takes him out of his comfort zone. He knows how to be a cop, but a dad trying to take on both roles?  Sam makes mistakes not surprising in his state of bereavement.

Rachel, the oldest daughter, deals with her loss with messy choices and I get her angle especially as she has a secret that eats away at her heart. I just wanted to wrap my arms around her.

Dear Olivia the wisest of all, young but dealing with her loss in the way she knows how. She holds the key to the struggles. The insights she has, come from Maggie, although I suspect an intuitive young person capable of such words are entirely plausible having worked with young children and heard their remarkable sayings.

What I disliked

There appeared to be no reason why Sam disliked the pastor, or perhaps I missed it. Maybe someone can fill me in on this point.

Would I recommend Waiting for Butterflies?

Karen Sargent paints a realistic portrait of grief and spins a beautiful story around the Blake family. Her characters have to find their new normal, as they work through their grief. This book was a page-turner for me, and the crushing truth is that it takes courage and time to adapt when you lose a loved member of the family, especially when you have not been able to say “goodbye”. This family certainly depicted the struggling of life after death. The verdict – yes I would recommend Waiting for Butterflies.

Thank you, Karen Sargent, for writing such a poignant book.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

About the Author

K. Sargent Pic

Karen Sargent creates characters whose imperfect faith collides with real-life conflicts, taking readers on a journey through grace and redemption to discover enduring hope. A romantic element is woven within each story. In addition to writing inspirational novels, she blogs at The MOM Journey…where moms aren’t perfect and that’s perfectly okay. Her writing has been featured in Guidepost’s Angels on Earth magazine and on ForEveryMom.com. When she is not writing, she teaches high school and college English in the beautiful Arcadia Valley where she resides with her husband and two daughters. Visit her at KarenSargentBooks.com.

Guest Post from Karen Sargent

Waiting for Butterflies: The Accidental Controversy

I didn’t intend to write myself into controversy when I wrote Waiting for Butterflies. Yes, it is Christian fiction. Yes, the main character is a “lingering spirit.” And no, ghosts aren’t biblical. Thus the controversy.

As the story idea began to stir my imagination after my mother-in-law’s unexpected death, I wondered how ghosts fit into the Christian view of the afterlife, especially since I too believe our souls go to Heaven once we die. So I asked my pastor. He referred to Hebrews 11, the “Faith Hall of Fame” that lists Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and many spiritual giants who lived by faith. That list is followed by Hebrews 12:1 which states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” My pastor explained witnesses is translated by some to mean spectators. So maybe, maybe, this suggests those who have died can somehow still be present—emphasis on maybe.

But…this gave me just enough permission to play with the idea of a mother’s love being so strong that she could remain after her death until she was certain her family would heal. I was writing fiction after all.

When my manuscript was complete and I began submitting to agents, the response was mixed. Some replied with a simple, “This story isn’t for me.” Some warned, “This will be a hard sell to Christian publishers.” Yet others were more encouraging. Finally, my story made it to the desk of an acquisition editor who emailed, “This is the one.” Waiting for Butterflies found a publishing home.

Now that my book is in the hands of readers, most are surprised to hear my topic is controversial. Like me, many believers haven’t really considered ghosts in a biblical context. But a few are adamant that the storyline contradicts their beliefs.

I know my story—just like every story—will not appeal to everyone. But I certainly didn’t set out to offend my fellow believers, and I sincerely apologize if anyone finds it offensive. However, I appreciate this perspective one sceptical reader shared in her review:

“While I was initially put off by the idea that a spirit can remain and interact, in a sense, with those still living, the author handled it with sensitivity and grace. We all have ideas about the unknown, but it is just that, unknown, and I could relate strongly to the thought of wanting to continue to influence and connect with loved ones after death in order to help them.”

I appreciate that in spite of the controversy, this reader gave Waiting for Butterflies a chance—and five stars.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid ReaderSeptember 21

Avid Reader Book ReviewsSeptember 21

Blogging With Carol, September 22

The Power of Words, September 22

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 23

Carpe DiemSeptember 23

A Baker’s Perspective, September 24

Christian Bookaholic, September 24

Reading Is My SuperPowerSeptember 25

Smiling Book Reviews, September 25

BigreadersiteSeptember 26

Cultivating Us, September 27

The Fizzy Pop CollectionSeptember 28

Pause for TalesSeptember 29

RemebrancySeptember 30

Janices book reviews, October 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 1

Margaret Kazmierczak, October 2

Reader’s cozy corner, October 2

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 3

A Readers BrainOctober 3

His Grace is Sufficient, October 4

Cafinated Reads, October 4

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away a grand prize that includes a few of Karen’s favorite things – one of which is a Hobby Lobby gift card!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Congratulations to the winner.

I can’t stop eating chocolate Best ultimate advice

My slimming journal - Warning My confessions - chocolate makes me madMy mouth drools at the sight and smell of chocolate and cake. Starting a diet that excludes my favourite foods or radically curtails their consumption is going to be a nightmare. I can see tantrums on the horizon especially if someone tells me to eat a pickled onion instead!  How can a pickled onion give me that same warm, sensational hug that I desire? Give me a break!

My advice for those who can’t stop eating chocolate -share then you only eat half as much!

To be or not to be weighed

As some of you know, I am now attending Slimming World. Today that allMy slimming journal - Warning My confessions - chocolate makes me mad important weigh in after a two-week gap due to celebrating my Silver Wedding Anniversary. Did I lose anything apart from my shoes? You will have to scroll down to the bottom of the post to find out. If you scoot to the end, you will miss an entertaining post – even if I do say so myself!

 

Continue reading “I can’t stop eating chocolate Best ultimate advice”

Why laughter is the key to a happy family.

Laughter 😄

The other day I heard audible shrieks of laughter coming from the bedroom. A couple of hours later an exhausted dad descended the stairs, what on earth was going on? 

I did not dare to ask.  
Margaret Kazmierczak on laughter and a happy family

Will you guess?


The anticipation

Later that day, an excited teenager burst into the sitting room with an “I’ve got something to show you” look on her face. With bright eyes and a wide grin, she hunkered down next to me. Quizzically I asked. “What are we watching?” “You’ll see,” came the reply.


Don’t take yourself too seriously


Expecting a film or an excerpt from a programme my daughter often raved about, I did not anticipate a homemade video.  The result, however, left me giggling loudly and the sound of laughter roused the other family members to trek in and see what had prompted my outburst. 

Now I understood the reason for my hubby’s exhaustion. Our daughter had got him to rehearse many times before she was satisfied with the result. 

Family thrives on laughter.


He, however, would have preferred to do a video on trains!

Being bias I believe she did a credible job for her first attempt especially in convincing her dad to participate in an activity that did not involve trains. 









Laughter a family’s best friend 

When family laugh together tensions of everyday life that come from close proximity can provide healing. Laughing together is a wonderful way to share. 

Without further ado, please be upstanding for…. 

Dad guesses the prices of girly items.


Job 8:21King James Version (KJV)

 Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.


Join me, Margaret Kazmierczak on my Facebook Author page or on my website.





Amazing inside information – Karen Ingalls interviews Margaret Kazmierczak Author

Behind the scenes – How to Make Victoria Sponge – the book.


Powerful, eye-opening and life changing.


“I am honoured to have Margaret Kazmierczak as my guest this week. In this interview, you will learn about how she came to write her book and why she loves to write.” 


Leave a comment or question at the end of the interview (on the site below) for a chance to win a copy of her book in ebook fashion.


Read all about it at




Interview with Margaret Kazmierczak author of How to Make Victoria Sponge



“Thank Heaven for Little Girls” – Daddy’s girl

 “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” – Daddy’s girl.



Maurhamburg1ice Chevalier sang a song called “Thank Heaven for Little Girls”. It released the year I was born and adopted by my father as our song. I was definitely a daddy’s girl. I felt safe and loved in his arms.



Scarred for life : At two years old my dad discovered a lump above my tummy button, and a trip to the doctors consequently resulted in a diagnoses of an umbilical hernia. However, he decided it did not need to be operated on straight away. My dad, frightened for me, knew that the operation would leave a scar. His ‘little girl’ would be scarred for life. The lump grew and became very unsightly. My father could barely look at it. At last, at the age of four, I had my operation.
Our Song : The evening before I went into hospital, my father held me in his arms and put on the radio. ‘Our song’ was being played. Dad danced, holding me close as he would a partner and sang along:
Each time I see a little girl
Of five or six or seven
I can’t resist a joyous urge
margaret-as-a-baby
To smile and say
Thank heaven for little girls
For little girls get
Bigger every day
Thank heaven for little girls
They grow up in
The most delightful way.
Those little eyes
So helpless and appealing
When they were flashing
Send you crashing
Through the ceiling
Thank heaven for little girls
Thank heaven for them all
No matter where,
No matter who
Without them
What would little boys do
Thank heaven
Thank heaven
Thank heaven for little girls.
An intimate moment : Finally, as the song ended, I wiped his tears away then brushed my hand through his Brylcreem hair; the stickiness made me express my distaste for this product. Seeing dad’s distress, I hugged him hard and kissed him many times. “Don’t worry. I will be alright, Daddy.” To my delight, the dance continued around the kitchen table long after the song finished on the radio.
Margaret Kazmierczak shares a memory of long ago. Thank Heaven for Little Girls the song, and about being her Daddy's girl at HeartWingsBlog.


Cherished memory : Consequently, this memory has always been my most vivid. Hence, this intimate moment with my dad has had to last me a lifetime. Two years later, he left my life via my parent’s divorce. As a result, God had to step into the breach. He became my daddy, and I, His ‘Daddy’s girl’. He would now sing to me “Thank Heaven for Little Girls.”  And in time, He put a new song on my heart:
father-and-daughter
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)  “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”



Do you have a vivid memory that has not dimmed over time or one that God has replaced to heal the previous one?

Christian book review Celebrate Lit blog stop 7


Christian book review blog stop 7






A book can provoke all sorts of reactions from the reader. It may enthuse, annoy, not be their thing or cause them to think and question the contents. I love it when I see someone enthuse about a book in one review and then another is uncomfortable with the contents. Both are good reactions for the author. Today I had one of those interesting reviews where the book was not quite to the reader’s taste. 
The reviewer of this blog stop states she had difficulty with the book. It was not her style and out of her comfort zone. However she read the book anyway. Her conclusion though was that God had something to teach her through this book. 
I would say that that acknowledgement by the reader, is in itself, a good revelation. Perhaps not a bad reflection of the book. It caused a realization that there is a need to look deeper into ones life, to reveal what state we are in, in relation to God. The book therefore has done its work. 

It may have only rated 3*’s in the mind of the reviewer, but maybe God has a 5* plan for this reviewer. 


MY REVIEW:
I really had no idea what a book entitled “How to Make Victoria Sponge” might be about – maybe a woman who bakes? Not exactly. Written in the form of a journal, this story is about an ordinary mother of four and what happens when she wakes each morning and responds “Yes” to whatever the Lord has planned for her day. Actually Victoria is pretty extraordinary in the way she relates each and every thing that happens throughout her day to God.
In many ways, I had difficulty with this book. First of all, the style is not my usual cup of tea. I am one who enjoys a good dialogue between characters. There were times that I just couldn’t relate to the character because her thought process was so different than my own. But…”How to Make Victoria Sponge” did make me think…especially about my own shortcomings and how just maybe I need to be more open to the Lord’s leading myself. And sometimes, maybe the Lord has me read a book that is out of my comfort zone because He has something to teach me through it.
Victoria was a unique character and so inclined to one disaster after another. Written in a different style, some of her exploits would have been pure slapstick. But at the end of the day, no matter what had happened, Victoria knew she had done her best in the sight of her Lord. And that is exactly what we all should aspire to.


A copy of this book was provided for review by Celebrate Lit in exchange for a fair and honest review. 



Margaret Kazmierczak​’s How to Make Victoria Sponge available on Amazon for just $2.99 or free for Kindle Unlimited! 

http://amzn.to/2dnbTyd