Today my oldest son and daughter were baptized in our local stream (under the tree that Brew wrote on in The Book of Told)!
It was such a very special time, celebrated with close family and pastors/friends, on a warm autumn afternoon where the leaves have not yet turned to gold.
My son, Bradley (16),
and daughter, Ember (13), both shared their testimony and pledged their allegiance to our King and God. Their faces radiated their joy.
Stephen and I had the honor
of being asked to baptize them. This was a most treasured moment in my life!! The stream is spring fed. Like our Savior it never stops flowing even in times of drought. What a symbol of power that is for them.
As my father prayed over my children he teared up, and for some moments his gratefulness to God overwhelmed us all. I am writing with a full heart bursting with family pride.
The over-hanging tree from where the kids were baptized forms an important symbol in the prequel I am a third of the way into writing. The reader will learn how it grew and what it means as a minor theme. I cannot wait for the
full story to be down and out for the fight against human trafficking.
Here is the unedited intro and backcover
blurb. As yet I have not decided on the title. Perhaps The Book of Told: battlefield.
To Bradley, my oldest.
—because you wanted to know how to stop doing what we do that is not what we
should be doing, but we just keep doing it. I hear you. This is everyone’s battlefield. Perhaps with God’s breath over this story, the concept that words alone cannot explain may yet lead to deep understanding.
You are a warrior
and champion, a fighter and winner, a builder and finisher, a realist and decision-maker. God wants to use you for his glory.
He will prove bigger than all fears, and even our choice to bow to them.
APPROVAL IS OUR BIGGEST ADDICTION
I have an addictive nature. I only felt free to admit this a few years ago. Before then, I secretly hid my past from everyone but a select few.
had both eating disorders: anorexia and bulimia. For many years it consumed me as I dealt with some major issues in my then young life; life circumstances out of our control lead us into addictions. For me it was sexual abuse, a controlling and abusive relationship
as a late teen and unfair comparison to other women from strategic people in my life.
It did not stop with the eating disorders. I soon enough developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety. I was, for a time, suicidal.
Where I found freedom of mind––a mental make-over?—through a close supportive person who had the wisdom to say "most people grow out of this, and you have the personality to as well". This gave me hope. It triggered a new thought in me
that I believed, because I trusted the friend.
It made me realize I did not have to die from the turmoil inside. I did not have to starve myself, or throw up for the seventh time that day. I did not have to choose eating as my one area I could control
in a spiraling world. I could learn real-life coping mechanisms and accept the help offered. Back then I lived under fear.
What I know now is that we choose what to think about. There are good and bad thoughts. Our thoughts tell our brain how to respond,
and in turn our body reacts––it stays strong or gets sick.
Our mind tells our brain what to think; our brain tells our body how to react (i.e. surge of adrenaline when anxious, which leads to overactive immune system, resulting tiredness,
lowered defense to diseases triggering the expression of our negative genetic code); our body's resistance breaks down and health problems begin.
It is my understanding that top global neuroscientists discovered that our brains are designed for love;
the brain responds at its premium when it is in a state of positive thinking and gratefulness. We can learn to capture those bad thoughts and replace them with good ones.
This process is the same as the forming of a good habit––you have
to want to stick to the plan. This is cognitive behavioral therapy at its best.
It takes weeks for new proteins, which actual thoughts are made up from, to build and grow into new pathways. It takes the same time for the old bad thoughts to disintegrate––and
that is exactly what they do.
Thoughts are physical and dissolve, and they do not become the conscious pattern of thinking anymore. When these positive thoughts are repeated enough they sink into the subconscious and the mind's default response to a
situation is changed.
And the freedom is real.
The real truth is we all have addictive natures, and I had no need to feel ashamed or alone in my struggles. The real freedom, the lasting freedom, came from learning what was behind the addiction––the
same thing that is behind every addiction––and knowing how our brains worked.
The biggest addiction we all face is our compulsion to seek people's approval. This might seem minor in the face of the huge list of 'real' addictions we face
daily: coffee, chocolate, retail therapy, drugs/substances, pain relief/meds, success, money, fame, work, food, sex, adrenaline, games, Facebook, Instagram (Insecuritygram), people.
What is below the surface of why we need these addictions? Who has
made us feel not good enough?
Nobody wants to feel vulnerable. I AM VULNERABLE.
The desire to be approved of by people has been my biggest addiction of all time. Its power to render me useless is stronger than that of past eating disorders, depression,
PTSD or anxiety. I battle inwardly with this massive addiction every day.
What I choose to think of my future though, is that each time I feel that 'arrgh' feeling of wanting gratification, satisfaction, approval, comfort, distraction, or pain relief,
that the feeling is only a masking of my vulnerability. I want to see the word VULNERABLE in my mind every time I feel pulled into the way the world would have me live: 'look at me', 'selfie', 'am I good enough?'
Then I remember I have a choice to make
and a reason for living. I am here for a purpose, and I can choose to be passionate about that vision and draw the most complete satisfaction from it.
I can replace those bad thoughts with something positive and within weeks of this routine, I become
free of the fear. It takes three weeks for a new thought to be fully active and sink into the subconscious––and three weeks for a bad thought to disintegrate in the brain. It is worth the effort and takes less than five minutes a day to find freedom.
Now I capture each thought by habit, and replace the bad ones with their opposite. The mind is a powerful design and we can be our own neurosurgeons. We can all get to the bottom of our fears and find freedom.
As a registered nurse, the body has
always been a fascination––now I am just in plain awe!
It was this freedom that inspired me to learn how others were ‘enslaved’ in the mind, leading me, oddly, to the issue of human trafficking. I could not turn away from what
I was reading. The current numbers, 27-36 million modern-day slaves, is beyond any dark word I could use to describe the depravity of the minds behind this evil.
If our world were a great brain––we could with commitment and time replace
the toxic thoughts with good. As large social media sites (like CNN), organizations and individuals stand against slavery, create awareness with their talents, petition for tougher laws, educate their children and prosecute the perpetrators, we will re-empower
the victims and see the forming of a new global habit.
I am a 4th generation New Zealander (Middle Earth––land of the Hobbits). I have never left this country, but I can still fight! Emboldened by my new mental freedom,
and doubled-over in gratitude that my country suffers only an inkling of the slavery issue, I signed over the royalties to my first novel, The Book of Told: mere words, to A21 Campaign (Anti-slavery in the 21st century). The royalties to
this prequel have been signed over also. This US-based campaign was founded by Christine Caine, who I had the pleasure of hearing speak in Auckland 2011 on the issue of human trafficking. Her words stunned me. Words have that capability.
later at the same event, a new speaker, Dr. Caroline Leaf, spoke on choosing life through our thoughts. Her teaching forms some of the outline of this novel. Louie Giglio’s ‘giant’ series is also incorporated into the storyline, as it is
fears that must be replaced with the soundness, great life and power God so passionately wants us to live in.
I pray the readers of these words will come to know the true meaning and purpose we, as God’s Words in His story, were first written
for, to recognize our giants and remember they were killed at the cross. Their echoes cannot harm unless we let them.
Intimidated by the height of his fears, Habit battles the foulest words
in the history of language. But the final battle is situated in a place he can only imagine. And bad Habit’s must die.
His sin? He wanted to be TOLD.
In the Habitation there are those who work the soil, who live in tents and
raise livestock, play stringed instruments and pipes, and forge tools of bronze and iron—
-and then there was one who called on the name of the author.
The only thing more powerful than Words, is the Author who
What did he choose you for?
Prequel to The Book of Told: mere words, this is ACT ONE. Royalties owned by A21 Campaign to fight human trafficking. We are on duty. This is our watch.