All My Tears by Kathy McKinsey ~ an author interview

 

Five women search for God’s hope through sorrow and deep troubles.

All My Tears

Meet five women who struggle with life’s deep sorrows. Beth fights to recover from alcoholism and to mend her relationships with her family. Ann doesn’t believe God will forgive her. Kathleen wrestles with a years-old fear and with saving her marriage. Cassie needs to learn to deal with chronic depression. Martie finds herself the single parent of the eight-year-old niece she barely knows when the child’s parents die in a car wreck.

See how god gives them the gifts of hope, healing, and love.

Flower, rose bud

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

Nike:  What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

Kathy:  God is our loving Father, and when we stumble and walk away, he waits and watches for us, so that he can see us as soon as we start to return and run to greet us and take us back.

Nike:  Why this genre is important to you, personally?

Kathy:  I write what I enjoy reading. I like books about women, reading how they deal with family and marriage issues; jobs, their work and job setting; and different kinds of relationships—dating, parents, siblings, neighbors, best friends.

Nike:  Does writing energize or exhaust you?

KathyMaking myself start to write exhausts me. When I finally settle into working on a story, I become excited, even after a long session of writing.

THREE FUN BULLET QUESTIONS:

What is your fav vacay spot?  Visiting my mother and daughters in Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?  A writer

Describe yourself in three words.  Goofy home body

BIOGRAPHY:Kathy McKinsey 2

Kathy McKinsey grew up on a pig farm in Missouri, and although she’s lived in cities for nearly 40 years, she still considers herself a farm girl. She’s been married to Murray for 31 years, and they have five adult children. She’s had two careers before writing—being a stay-at-home-Mom and working as a rehabilitation teacher of the blind.

Now she lives in Lakewood, Ohio with her husband and two of her children. Besides writing, she enjoys activities with her church, editing for other writers, braille transcribing, crocheting, knitting, and playing with the cat and dogs.

Contact Kathy at:  Kathy.mckinsey@gmail.com

Visit her at:  http://kathymckinseyauthor.blogspot.com/

 

College Courses on How to Date? ~ so, gals, why is that necessary? Should it be?

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Several colleges are now offering courses on “how to date.”  A few of these schools fall into the category of prestigious institutions of higher education. Some students enrolling in these classes might be registering thinking they’ll find someone to date there. In my day (and I’m truly not that ancient), girls and young women learned about the opposite sex and dating from their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, older sisters, cousins, and such.

In all honesty, our mothers usually didn’t open up too much about their romantic lives, and though we were curious, maybe that was a good thing. But, aunts could be a surprisingly good source of information. Oh, yes. I recall (as a pre-teen), nearly holding my breath so I wouldn’t be noticed and sent away, as my aunts discussed a situation in town where it was suspected a particular husband had been unfaithful. I think my little ears grew as large as Dumbo’s as the convo got salacious (to my young mind). Trust me, my aunts were not happy with that husband. What made the most impression was how awful they felt for the wife. One generation of women was passing on to me, on a total experiential level (emotional, conscience, societal norms) when I was a little gal that you don’t do that to another woman. It was so intense, I still have near total recall of the situation.

But you had to be there. This life lesson couldn’t be experienced so profoundly online, or via texting. Sometimes I get the feeling that Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z/Centennials don’t feel Baby Boomers have anything of value to contribute to their lives and they run from deep interaction with us. These younger generations don’t want to let in any info they’re uncomfortable with. They forcefully block it out.

In many cases young women block out the extremely valuable information they can only get through a relationship with an older woman. Without a doubt that older woman will hold different viewpoints on many things from the younger woman. The very act of fleeing from a differing viewpoint disallows for a skill needed in dating and relating to a potential spouse. Yes, it takes a skill-set.

Dating is messy, and it might be frightening in the era of apps where individuals get what they want in a clean-cut way and it’s immediate. That’s not dating.

So, what is dating? And what’s it for? In days gone by, it used to be a ritualistic way to find out if the other person was in the running to become ones eventual spouse. Way back in the ice-age, it was called “courting.” That isn’t the function of dating today, not even for Christian singles who do see marriage as the eventual outcome of a serious relationship.

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? ~ Ecclesiastes 4: 8-11 [New American Standard Bible, NASB]

If a young woman googles “dating”, she’ll find thousands of links, many aimed at Christians. There are online dating sites, matchmakers, speed dating, and more. You’d think with all this online help, dating would be easy. It’s not, and many women are left depressed and bitter by the negative experience.

Today, young people are getting career skills, going to college, creating a resume and may be putting marriage off a few years. If these younger women are waiting until they’re more secure financially, one of the things an older woman will tell them is, “Don’t wait too long, the odds are you’ll never be totally financially secure.” The older woman will probably give a good hard laugh when she says that, and the laugh will travel up and fill her eyes with mirth.

Dating means taking a risk. When you “meet a guy online”, you haven’t actually met him. Even if he’s been totally honest online from his point of view, when you meet him face-to-face, you might be surprised. If he isn’t what you thought he’d be and you know a relationship is impossible, the mature route is to be gracious. Get through the date (and it should be a coffee-date) and tell him briefly why you don’t see a future connection. “It’s too bad you’re allergic to dogs. I have three.” Or…”Did I tell you I’m planning a one year mission trip to Ecuador? How are you on long distance dating?” Then don’t count it all a waste of time, another loss. No! Consider it spending a couple of hours with a pretty decent human being, rather than sitting home alone for two hours. How he takes it is his responsibility.

Likewise, if you’ve met a guy within the confines of a larger group of friends, you haven’t met him one-on-one and don’t know him as a potential partner. Again, you have to take a risk and “meet him” outside of the safety of the group, or the classroom, or the church group, or the work environment. In this type of scenario, my best advice is don’t rush it. No matter how cute he is, no matter how much you seem to have in common when you’re both in the group…take it slow. Go for coffee and take a walk in the park, or around the mall. Make that first “date” a very low key, casual “non-date.” That way, if you immediately know this guy is not for you, you can keep it light and return to the safety of the group without having gone through an apocalyptic event that destroys the former “friends/colleagues” relationship.

If you want to find a long-term relationship, a life-mate, and from my Christian perspective that means marriage, you’re going to have to do some plain old fashioned courtship type things. You are going to have to get past how cute he is, how witty. Are you going to be able to live with this guy and respect and honor him? If you can’t, that doesn’t necessarily make him a bad-guy, but you still have to move on.

You might have to further refine your search criteria. You might have to find a better pool of men to choose from…better for you.

As far as taking a college course in dating, I’d rather you order pizza and have a good-long, no-holds-barred talk with your aunt or older sister.

Pray for This Dear Lady ~ prayer for the sick

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L to R: Betty Lee and Moi, New Year’s Eve 2017

 

Betty Lee, a wonderful and dear 92-year-old southern belle is going for a procedure to lessen (hopefully to eliminate) the pain in her lower spine. In the last two months, the pain has increased tremendously. Please pray for her full recovery.

 

Betty has cried out in extreme pain.

19) Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. 20) He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. ~ Psalm 107: 19-20 [New American Standard Bible]

 

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L to R: author Dalyn Woods and Betty Lee, New Year’s Eve 2017

 

Lord, I know that all healing is in You and comes from You. Please touch Betty Lee’s doctors and all staff involved in her procedure.  Please guide and use them in Betty Lee’s healing. Lord, I thank you that You love Betty Lee and have her best interests in Your heart. I am so thankful You are a lover and a healer. In fact, Lord, You are Love. I pray for Betty Lee in Jesus name. Amen.

A New Year! Are You Enough Without Him? ~ widowhood

2017-2018, femaleI recently had to decide whether to purchase an extended warranty for my husband’s car, which I now drive. I called an umpteen number of people asking their advice on extended warranties. I stressed and called a few more people. I prayed about it and stressed some more. In the end, I had to make the decision alone. Just me.

Disclaimer: Widows aren’t the only women who have to make important life decisions alone. Divorced women do and so do single women.

Disclaimer #2: Not all widows have ultra-loving feelings toward their deceased husbands. Some husbands were serial lotharios, abusive, gamblers, alcoholic or drug addicted. In many cases it’s complicated. He was overbearing, but a good provider. He wasn’t romantic or complimentary but was an excellent father.

My friend Carol, who moved to the west coast, adored Richard, her second husband. However, when he got extremely ill, he became difficult. As his physicality worsened, so did his mental capacity and he said mean things to her. Ten years older than me, and having lived in NYC most of her life where she took public transportation, she didn’t drive. Living near Seattle at that time, she called a taxi and went to the hospital almost every day to be with him. When she returned home, she usually phoned me. Being a blunt Brooklynite, she’d often shout something like this: “I’m gonna kill him if he doesn’t die first.” When Richard passed, the stress of his illness was forgotten. As far as she was concerned he was the best man who had ever walked the earth. She is also gone now, and I miss her terribly.

Whether the marriage was a dream come true, or something much more complex, when he dies, the wife is alone. She may find she’s now a fifth wheel when in the company of other couples they had socialized with. The company of other widows and single women can be a blessing. Within a posse of women without men, you can more comfortably say krazy-widow things and confess to having freaky-widow feelings.

Entering a new year can be difficult for women who are alone. Hanging a new calendar on the wall or opening a new datebook only reminds them how forlorn they sometimes feel. Those feelings of desolation are much worse for a widow than for a divorced woman whose husband is still running around (pun intended). No matter how wonderful or ignoble her husband was, he is no more. She can’t hold him, hug him, laugh with him, or argue with him, as the case may be.

Still, it is a new year and getting through it will be much easier with gal-pals. I feel more than blessed to have found a group of Christian women friends who are joyous. Laughing is the norm in our get-togethers. Upon learning Logan’s Steakhouse had power after Hurrican Irma knocked out electric for three days, Lynn, Charlotte, her daughter and I cracked sweaty-body jokes and laughed so hard other diners stared at us. We were so grateful just to get a cooked meal. Okay, they’re not simply joyous, they’re as nutty as I am. Let me tell you, when you’re a widow, zany friends are good, very good. Laughter breaks through the solitude and there’s lots of solitude. So, widows, get yourselves some fun-loving, single women friends. It’ll do you good.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. ~ Proverbs 17:22 [KJV]

 

 

Kicking Back in Kissimmee ~ a writers’ getaway

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The resort train which Dalyn and I rode to get to the miniature golf course on the grounds

Florida Christian fiction writer Dalyn Woods and I took off to relax for a week in central Florida. It was my first vacation since my husband passed away, nearly one year ago. We had a terrific time, yet it felt strange being there without Joseph. Daylyn and I stayed at Westgate Town Center and Resort in Kissimmee. [Disclaimer: this is a time share resort and I know they are somewhat controversial, but my husband purchased and paid for a time share thinking he and I would use it.]

 

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Moi in front of the glof course

 

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Dalyn put-putting on the golf course

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Westgate Waterpark Then it was off to the on-site waterpark where we floated in the lazy-river, had lunch, then lazed in lounge chairs watching children playing in the water.

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Moi at the kiddie pool

The resort is affiliated with Disney. While we were there we watched at no charge (in their little theatre) two Star Wars movies and Alice Through the Looking Glass.

 

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Sophie the wonder-dog travels with moi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A word about FOOD…

 

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Drafts is a sports bar on the resort and the food is great. Here I had a turkey club on multi-grain bread. Dalyn had a Philly cheesesteak
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Dalyn’s Philly cheesesteak. The beer-batter fries were to die for.

We also went off campus to eat at Giordanos for Italian and the Wildside Barbeque and Steakhouse. I took photos at Giordanos but we were so hungry when we went to the Wildside we just dove in and I didn’t get any shots. The food was real good in both places. BTW, we got coupons from the resort for both.

 

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Cheesy garlic bread. Each slab has four slices. You dip them into the sauce (which is e frin scratch)

 

 

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I got the spaghettie with meat sauce. As you can see, they’re generous with the meat.

 

 

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Dalyn had Linguine with Alfredo sauce, which she said was yummy.

 

 

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6 Car Sounds NOT To Ignore ~ women listen up!

woman driving

Girl, with warmer weather here, if you’re hearing strange sounds coming from you car there’s something wrong. Period.

1. Hissing under your hood

If this happens wile driving, or after turning the engine off, the odds are this is NOT snakes trying to get out from under the hood, venomous or otherwise. Your car could be overheating. Do not pop the hood and try to take the cap off the radiator. It could pop like a hot champagne cork. Don’t do that. If you have roadside assistance, make the call. Another cause could be damaged vacuum hoses and leaks. Over time hoses wear out and must be replaced. Bring the car in and get it taken care of.

2. Metallic scraping, squeaking, squealing, grinding or growling

If you hear a squeaking or squealing noise, or a high-pitched grinding, your brake pads or shoes might be at the end of their life and must be replaced. And you didn’t know your brakes had shoes. Stilettos? If they’re whining, grinding or growling (sounds like something you hear at the dinner table, doesn’t it), get your brakes checked out immediately. It could be a sign the pads are so worn that metal is grinding on metal—a problem not to be ignored. It could lessen braking efficiency. This is dangerous.

 3. A sound like a quarter, or a dollar in coin in a clothes dryer

Women know this sound. If you hear that sound rattling around inside a wheel at low speeds (and then not so much, or not at all as you drive faster) it could be a loose lug nut inside a hub cap. That might mean your wheel wasn’t tightened properly the last time it was removed and replaced. Woman! Take your car to a mechanic ASAP!

4. A rhythmic squeak that speeds up as you accelerate

If you have rear-wheel or four-wheel drive (read your manual if you don’t know, seriously) and hear this sound, the culprit could be one of the universal joints or both (U-joints), which are found in pairs and are components of the driveshaft. Get it checked by a mechanic IMMEDIATELY. I’ll bet many women know the universal joint is important. It sounds important, doesn’t it?

5.  Shrieking, howling, whining or even “singing”

If it’s howling, we know this is bad, but why? It’s usually a sign your bearings (tiny metal balls that help parts rotate smoothly) aren’t working right. If you have front-wheel drive (again, check your manual if you don’t know), and the sound changes as you turn from side-to-side and back again, it could be your front-wheel bearings. A gradually growing, but steady howl might mean rear-wheel bearings. If you have rear-wheel drive and the whine gets louder as you accelerate, it’s likely to be your differential, which allows your wheels to spin at different rates when needed. Yup, could be your differential’s leaking fluid. That pesky differential. Get it fixed immediately. Squealing under the hood could come from loose or worn or accessory belts that drive things like your power steering pump, air conditioner compressor, and alternator. In newer model cars, it could point to the serpentine belt, which drives multiple accessories at once, and is relatively easy and cheap to fix. Okay, if you DON’T GET all that, just take the car in if it starts shrieking and howling at you. Got it?

6. Rhythmic clunking, tapping or banging from under the hood

There could be a serious problem with valves, connecting rods or pistons. Get to a mechanic ASAP. Don’t wait for it to get to clunking. If you didn’t change your oil when you were supposed to, pull over and DO NOT DRIVE. Your engine could seize up and that will be the end of your car, unless you replace the engine. If you changed the oil, take it in when it’s just tapping. It’s not likely to get better with time. The sound will only get louder and your engine could seize up. Ladies, that’s bad, real bad. If you have roadside assistance, the best thing to is is call them immediately.

Tips: 1) Pay close attention to changing your oil. You mechanic will have placed a sticker at the top of the windshield with the mileage when it needs to be changed. 2) As stated above repeatedly, read your car’s manual. Seriously! That’s why the manufacturer provided it.

 

 

For a Christian Woman Over 50 ~ things profitable

woman, of the worldI hope, as a seasoned Christian woman over fifty, I’m at peace with myself and others. From time-to-time in my pondering moments, I’ve wondered what are a few benchmarks, standards, norms a Christian woman over fifty should have attained, or be shooting for in her life. Below is a list I’ve compiled, and it’s by no means exhaustive.

1. Have a healthy, intimate relationship with God. ~ Knowing the Lord can’t be tamed, managed, or manipulated, we should be willing to intentionally follow His direction on the faith-journey He is laying out before us. We should we willing to hear the personal “word” He has for us.

2. Be in possession of a good Bible, not only a preWWI family heirloom you can’t write in, except to record births and deaths, and one you’re almost afraid to open lest a page tears. Make sure your daily-use Bible is in a translation that speaks to you.  And don’t be afraid to write personal notes in the margins. According to a recent survey, the King James Version (KJV) is still the most popular Bible and the most used by Christians. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is a more literal translation from the ancient texts. The Living Bible (TLB) is making its way into many homes because although it’s not a word-for-word translation, it tries to say exactly what was meant by the ancient texts.

3. Don’t lead a cloistered life. As the Bible tells us we are not to forsake the assembly of the saints. Also become part of the community at large. We should shine our lights, bring peace to situations in our neighborhoods, at work, where we recreate.

4. Have a pretty good idea what our emotional baggage is and where it came from. But instead of picking lint out of our navels and analyzing it to death, we should invite the Holy Spirit into the mess so He can heal it. After all, Jesus is the healer.

5. Forgive everyone we can think of who has done us wrong. And when our fleshly-self starts murmuring about them again, unleashes bitterness and resentment aimed at them, once again, determine to forgive on purpose…and we’re free. Also, don’t forget to forgive ourselves. Jesus died so that we would be forgiven. So, it’s important and biblical to forgive ourselves…and go free.

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Christmas Eve in my family has traditionally meant a meatless meal.

6. Have at least one tantalizing recipe, you’re known for, to hand down to your kids, your friends, or offer to your church cookbook. Better still if if came from your mom, and she got it from hers. All these little things are a part of a positive legacy women can create.

7. Have a few things in your home that document and/or attest to memories. Photos, shots or video of an abfab church activity, conference or a vacation. Curios, knickknacks, or a fine piece of furniture picked up on that awesome vacay. Women say having these things around the house makes them feel happy when they take a small trip down memory lane.

8. It’s really important to keep dreaming and to have a few dreams so big it will take God to bring them to fruition.

 

 

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