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RECLAIMING JOY coverReclaiming Joy goes on sale in 45 days! After so many years of writing, I find it hard to believe that it’s actually happening. With big events scheduled in Waco and Corpus Christi and media attention beginning to trickle in (one media interview this week and two more in a couple of weeks), several friends have asked when and if I would be available to speak at their church.

The short answer is, “I welcome all speaking opportunities.” But there’s a bigger question: When is the message of Reclaiming Joy most timely for your group?

I am thrilled that the book is coming out right after Labor Day, because that is when I embraced “giving thanks with a grateful heart” to offset the panic that set in when I started thinking about my first Thanksgiving and Christmas without Lev. It was only through those daily “Thank you, God…”s that I made it, and that’s really where my story starts. My reaction of panic is apparently the norm, and fall is about the only time the media run a lot of stories on a spouse’s grief, the empty chair, etc.

Churches acknowledge it in those special Christmas services, such as Blue Christmas, for those who grieve; and it’s been the subject of my Advent blogs the last couple of years. That’s when a survival guide really matters! Since my approach is to plan ahead to make the Holidays as good as possible, the period leading up to Thanksgiving is ideal for a program—spiritual or secular—and I have limited availability.

However, winter is when we look back on the previous year and think about ways to make the new year better. That’s when self-help books sell well, and the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, which is the inspiration and outline of my book, is a roadmap to joy for all who are discouraged. Resolved: To Reclaim Joy in 2019 is a worthwhile topic for discussion.

I look forward to having that discussion at Wilshire Baptist Church, Dallas, and at All Saints Episcopal Church, Fort Worth, in January.

To learn more about Reclaiming Joy or to contact me for a speaking engagement, please visit my author page.

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Reclaiming Joy: A Primer for Widows will be published by 1845 Books, an imprint of the Baylor University Press.