Category: Resources

Widows: A Problem or A Calling?


My friend Ferree, from, posted One Widows Story: Widowhood Is Not A Mere Problem To Solve an article written by Lynda, one of Ferree’s Facebook friends.

The article tells the story about Lynda reading The Undistracted Widow, Living For God After Losing Your Husband by Carol W. Cornish. The book shed new light on being a widow – it is not a problem, but a calling. 

Wow! I understand that Joe’s timeline ended and mine did not, however I would have never used the word “calling” to describe being a widow. Calling is what happens to men and women who become pastors.

I was intrigued by the concept, and used my Amazon gift card from last Christmas to order the book. (Yes, it is mid-April and I still have an Amazon gift card from last Christmas.)

Appendix 2

Once it arrived I looked at the table of contents and was intrigued by Appendix 2 – The Local Church and Its Widows. Ms. Cornish nails the topic and opened my eyes to a different way of seeing churches (more on that later).

I’ve since started reading from the beginning and a full review of The Undistracted Widow will be published once I finish it.

A Nun Named Maria

Are you a nun named Maria?

Me neither.

Then we are not a problems to be solved.

For some reason we were called to be widows, called for such a time as this. Now how are we going to glorify God in this season of our lives?

And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Esther 4:14





A Review: Social Media Explained by Mark W. Schaefer

I entered a contest through an email for a chance to win a copy of “Social Media Explained, Untangling the World’s Most Misunderstood Business Trend.”  Well I won, which means there is a little piece of hell freezing over because I don’t normally win contests.

I agreed to let Mark know what I thought of the book. After reading it, I got this post 3/4 done when life got in the way. I am sorry Mark for not finishing this sooner.

So without further adieu, here is my opinion of Mark Schaefer’s book.

“Social Media Explained”

Suffering from grief deciding if you should use Social Media?

Suffering from grief because of a social media plan gone bonkers?

Then Mark W. Schaefer’s book “Social Media Explained, Untangling the World’s Most Misunderstood Business Trend” is for you. 

At 133 pages, this book is a quick easy read and packed full of valuable information.

The book is divided into 3 sections:

  • The Five Most Important Things You Need to Know about Social Media Marketing.
  • The Five Most Difficult Questions You’ll Face.
  • A Social Media Primer.

In these three sections you will find everything you need to know about social media presented in a clear and concise manner. Schaefer covers why you should use social media, content being a revolution, the dreaded “Should and/or how do we measure social media?”, how to handle negative comments, and where to start with social media.

He also tells you what makes a good Community Manager, because larger companies will need this person.

I was so blown away by what I was learning that I emailed the owner of the marketing company I do freelance work for and told her to get this book since she trains her clients on social media.

The information in this book applies to large and small businesses and can be adapted to job search as well.  After all a job seeker is a business of one trying to sell his or her skills to a new client (employer).

Not only does Mark explain social media but he includes a story about how a business client used this information to reignite a stagnant relationship with a business client.

Whether you are a small, medium or large company, get this book before you dive into social media.  If you are already social, this book will help you improve your game.

Thanks Mark for writing a book about social media that anyone can understand and for selecting me a recipient of a copy.

For more information check out Mark’s other books “The Tao of Twitter” and “Return On Influence” and for my fellow bloggers “Born to Blog: Building Your Blog for Personal and Business Success One Post At A Time.”

Weekend Wisdom: “Empty” by Cherie Hill

I am reading “empty., Living Full of Faith When Life Drains you Dry” by Cherie Hill. (Kindle $2.99/Paperback $7.16 as of this writing.)  It is about the woman at the well‘s encounter with Jesus and how it applies to our lives when we are feeling empty.

Ms. Hill’s book is powerful and digs deep into the reason we:

  • struggle working our way through grief,
  • feel something is missing in our marriage,
  • despair over any other problems that engulf us.

I am only on Chapter 4 but felt I needed to get some quotes and scripture out to you in the form of “Weekend Wisdom.” There will be more posts about this book as soon as I am done reading it and have a chance to drink in Ms. Hills words.


“although difficult to imagine, physical pain can sometimes be easier to endure than the ongoing anguish of loneliness, rejection, loss, and failures.”  (Chapter 1)

“We’re empty because we’re more concerned about “feeling” better than finding God.” (Chapter 1)

“Emptiness is not the end, it’s the beginning. (Chapter 1)

“We fail, miserably, to grasp the fact that only God can supply what our soul most deeply desires.” (Chapter 3)

“We, just like the woman at the well, don’t realize that what we’re really yearning or is an encounter with God.” (Chapter 3)


“…or God gives the Spirit without limit.” – John 3:34 (NIV)

“Whoever believes in  me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” – John 7:38 (NIV)

“The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them.  People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT  (Chapter 3)

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”  Romans 8:6 NIV (Chapter 3)

For Widows Only?

This book is appropriate for widows, or anyone experiencing any of life’s nasty events.

Call To Action

Don’t wait for my review – go buy this book now!  Have a pen, notebook, and hi-lighter handy as you will need them when you read it.

Closing Thought

“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis (Chapter 3)

3 Books Michele Reads Daily (Well Almost)

There are 3 books that I read daily (sometimes I run a day or two behind). Now these books are great for everyone not just widows. So whether you are grieving or tackling one of life’s other nasty events, pick up one or all 3 and dive in. These books bring me comfort and encouragement and help maintain a positive outlook.

May you find comfort and encouragement as well.

The 2nd Time Around

Positive Living Day By Day – Norman Vincent Peale (Guideposts – New York, New York)

I used this daily devotional last year and am using it again this year.  Each day has Scripture followed by a devotion by Dr. Peale. I dare you to be discouraged after spending a year reading and meditating on each devotion. Dr. Peale’s writing is authentic and practical and will be for years to come.

It is one of those books filled with pen, hi-liter and sticky notes. Not only do I have it in paperback but it is also on my Kindle, so whenever I am in need of encouragement, this book is there.

The 1st Time

Positive Thinking Every Day – Norman Vincent Peale, Designed by Hyun Joo Kim, (Simon and Schuster)

I added this book this year since I loved Dr. Peale’s other book. You read one page per day containing 1 or 2 sentences which will give you inspiration for your day or give you a quick pick up at lunch. This book would be perfect for someone in their first year of grief, since each day’s thought is short and sweet. During the first year you do not need anything that requires a lot of thought.

This book is also on my Kindle and will be used every year.

Time For Joy

Choosing Joy, A 52-Week Devotional for Discovering True Happiness – Angela Thomas (Howard Books)

I started this book around April or May of this year. It is grounded in scripture. There is a devotion for Monday – Thursday and then 1 for the weekend (Friday – Sunday). Angela’s writing is also very positive and uplifting. I am enjoying this book and combined with Dr Peale’s books, these 3 are a great way to start each day. This one is not on my Kindle – at least not yet.

Bonus Book

NIV New International Version Holy Bible (Zondervan)

I do not have a particular reading plan but refer to it when I want to read the context surrounding a verse from “Positive Living Day By Day.”  Plus I will read the scripture that our pastor is using for his weekly sermon.  Although I soon may start reading the book of Ephesians. Yes, this too is on my Kindle.

I Hope

I hope you will make at least one of these books a part of your daily reading.

May God bless you with a joy filled day.

(Coming next Tuesday – How Michele Gets A Good Night’s Sleep)

(Disclaimer: I did not nor do I receive any compensation for any links in my posts.)

“Searching For Unicorns” – A Review of “Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs”

 “Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs” 

“The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It”

By Peter Cappelli

Mr. Peter Cappelli makes explains why good people can’t get jobs in 6 chapters covering just 89 pages, with the information being well researched.

Since Peter Cappelli is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources, people take what he says seriously but when those in transition say it, they are called whiners.

“Your Never Gonna See No Unicorns”

In his book, he mentions what job seekers have known for a long time.  Employers are

“searching for unicorns – “perfect” fits for what are often imperfectly described and listed jobs.

(page 79) 

Several jobs are often combined into one with the applicant expecting to know software required to do all the jobs.  Even if there is only one vacancy, companies include all the necessary expertise into the job description making it harder for any applicant to be a perfect fit.


There are numerous myths busted in his book, including the “skills gap” and the “not enough college graduates” myths.  He also examines the hiring process and all its flaws including applicant tracking systems.


Not only does Mr. Cappelli explain the problems, he also provides solutions. However the solutions require cooperation from corporate America.

The question is will corporate America listen and act upon Mr. Cappelli’s suggestions?  

So Much

It was hard trying to figure out what to put in this post.  There is so much valuable information I could write blog posts for at least a week and quite possibly longer.

Please get this book and when done reading it, pass it on.  People need to understand why good people are unable to get jobs.

Thank You

Thank you Peter Cappelli for giving credibility to what us job-seekers have known all along but were never taken seriously.

Hopefully what you have said will not fall on deaf ears. 

Bob’s 28 Day Challenge

Bob  is a Career Development Specialist – until Friday when he retires and starts a new chapter in life.

During Monday’s “Coffee Talk” at the local library, he spoke about the things he learned along the way.  It was a fascinating speech filled with wonderful lessons.

Some of the items mentioned in his speech that job seekers need to do are:

  • Stand Out
  • Take Risk
  • Get through the grief of losing your job
  • Write a well thought out thank you note after sending a thank you email to your interviewer.

However, it was his 28 day challenge that resonated the most with me and I decided to share it with you.

Bob’s 28 Day Challenge

This challenge will work whether you are grieving the loss of  your job, your spouse or your self-esteem is shot because of various other reasons.

  • Get a notebook and keep it along with a pen beside your bed.
  • When you get up in the morning, pick 2 POSITIVE traits about you and write each one in your journal 5 times.
  • Repeat just before going to bed.
  • The next day pick 2 different positives about you and write those 5 times in your notebook. (you can pick the same traits as the day before if you want.)
  • Repeat this process for 28 days.

His Offer

When speaking to job seekers he offers to buy anyone lunch if this process does not help them after 28 days.

He has never had to buy anyone lunch either because:

  • They were afraid to admit they did not do the challenge.
  • Because it worked.

Get Ready

Today is the 26th, so you have the rest of today and 4 more days to get your notebook and pen ready for October 1st.

Do it for 28 days and see how your self-esteem improves and how your joy returns.

A  Thank You Note

Thank you Bob for helping those in transition.

All God’s best to you and your family. 

Enjoy your ride into the sunrise of the next chapter of life. 

Author Week: “Lemonade Stand Selling” – Diane Helbig

Lemonade Stand Selling: Accelerate Your Small Business Growth 

Diane Helbig

(Author’s Note:  Diane is a local author I met at a networking event and earlier this year I attended a workshop where she was a presenter.)

“You will realize as you read through this book, sales is simple.  As simple as having a lemonade stand and selling your lemonade.”

Diane Helbig

That is the premise behind “Lemonade Stand Selling.”  Diane breaks down the sales process using easy to understand language with a conversational tone.

Now you are probably thinking “I am not a traveling salesperson selling copiers or widgets, so why should I get this book?”  Well if you are in career transition – you are selling yourself.  If you are employed – you must sell yourself everyday to keep your job.


Diane’s goal in writing the book is:

“… to leave you with the ability to put these ideas into practice and create a strategy that works for you.”

(pg xviii)

She accomplishes her goal by simplifying the sales process and using down to earth language.

Beginning The Process

There is one crucial thing you must have to be successful in sales:

“…a belief in yourself and your product or service.”

(pg xix)

This applies no matter what product or service you are selling and whether it is a company you own or the company where you are employed.  Without this belief you will never succeed in selling anything.

In transition you are selling yourself as the solution to a potential employer’s problem.  If you do not believe in yourself and what you can bring to the company, you will not get hired.

Topics Covered

Diane starts with a chapter on identity, Clarity, and Value and walks you all the way through the process, including chapters on Marketing and Networking, and ends with chapter 11 “Review” in which she hits highlights from the sales process.

Helpful Quotes

Here are two more of my favorite quotes:

“Action cures a lot of things – fear, anxiety, inertia, etc.  So give yourself a nudge, a push – however slight.”

(page 78)

“There is an overriding topic throughout this book, and it is that sales is about relationships.  It’s about the relationship you have with your company, your clients, your prospects, and your network.” 

(pg 86)

Final Thoughts

The book is helpful whether you are a beginner or experienced sales person.  It is well written and belongs in everyone’s library.

Thank you Diane for taking what is a scary subject for most people and making it easy and simple to put into action.

So let your action, your nudge or push be to buy this book.  It is available on Amazon.  You can find out more about Diane and her business coaching products and services at Seize This Day Coaching. 

(Disclaimer:    The above links are  not affiliate links.  I have not received any compensation in exchange for this review.)