About Me

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My journey as a writer began as a child. I wrote poems and short stories which were my way of dealing with various life changing events. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Follow me on Twitter @KIngallsAuthor www.facebook.com/KarenIngalls, and you can find my books at www.amazon.com. My first book is Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir which received two awards. All proceeds are donated to gynecologic cancer research. My second book is a novel Novy's Son, about one man's attempt to find love and acceptance from his father. This is an all too common problem in our society. My third book, Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is about the love affair between this great American sculptor and his model. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2017.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

SHELLS: FOR PROTECTING, LIVING, & GIVING



     One of my favorite memories growing up in Southern California is that of walking on the beach and collecting sea shells. I loved to try to catch the perfect one as it rolled in with an incoming wave; wash the extra sand off; and feel my pockets or pail grow heavier with each added treasure.

   
Courtesy of tssphoto

Sand-dollars are my favorites. They get their name from sea shell collectors of long ago who thought they resembled silver coins. They are not the easiest to find in good condition because they are very fragile. Sea urchins live in them and travel across the ocean floor by moving tiny little hairs (cilia) and spines. In South Africa they are called "pansy shells" and are known as "snapper biscuits" in New Zealand.



Many sea creatures need shells to protect them from their prey. Sometimes other forms of sea life attach themselves to the shells. Do others rely on you? Do you make a difference in the life of another person?

 Just like seashells we humans come in many different shapes, colors, and sizes. We also move through life in groups, alone, with the help of others, or as someone for others to depend upon. We use different "shells" to protect ourselves, to help us grow, or to just survive in. They might be shells of pride, power, anger, kindness, or peacemaker to name just a few. What are you doing with your life to help others?



When I was first diagnosed with cancer my shell initially was one of introspection; then I added determination; and now my shell includes gratitude. I move through each day thankful that I have another opportunity to share about ovarian cancer; to use my cancer experience to teach and support other women and their families; and to use God's gifts to me (the real me) to bring some peace and beauty to others.

What does your outer shell reflect about you? Are you growing? Are you moving forward? Does your inner beauty attract others? Is your shell like that of a mollusk, tough and big? Or are you more fragile like the sand dollar?

             From my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, I share the following:

      "I saw a young man walking up and down a beach after the tide had gone out.
        The young man would pick up a starfish, left behind by the tide, and would throw it as far as
        he could back into the ocean.
        'What are you trying to do?' I asked.
        'Make a difference,' he replied.
        'But the beach is covered with starfish! You can't possibly expect to make a difference for 
         them all!' I stated.
         As he picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean, he replied, 'I made a 
         difference for that one.'"
                             (Adapted from "The Star Thrower" by Loren Eiseley)





www.BeaversPondBooks.com
www.amazon.com
www.BarnesandNoble.com

All proceeds go to gynecological research.







Thursday, October 24, 2013

FAITH, HOPE AND HEALING


     "Faith, Hope and Healing: The Faith Doctor with Your Rx for Life!" is written by Pamela Christian, my guest blogger this week. She is an author, speaker, and media personality. Her words of compassionate encouragement come from a life riddled with various major losses and serious near losses. She shares her experiences to help others discover the same life-giving truth she has.




       Anyone who has ever suffered loss—health, financial, relational, material—loss of any kind, has most certainly had their faith challenged. For some the challenge is overwhelming and they find themselves wrestling with hopelessness. Is this you? Perhaps you are troubled by the loss that someone you love has been suffering. This can bring you to struggle with hopelessness too.

      At my lowest times, and there have been many, I’ve had to deliberately redirect my focus off my circumstances and onto my hope. Looking back I realize this was putting my faith into action. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen,” (Heb. 11:1 NKJ). Whatever we are enduring has only as much power over us as we are willing to give it, especially in light of the promises of God.

      The words of Alan Redpath have helped me to intentionally change my focus. He wrote, “There is nothing—no circumstance, no trouble, no testing—that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment. But as I refuse to panic, as I lift up my eyes to Him, and accept it as coming from the throne of God, for some great purpose of blessing to my heart, no sorrow will ever disarm, no circumstance will cause me to fret. For I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is.”

      Perhaps it strikes you as it did me that he wrote “I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is,” not who my Lord is.  Do you know what He is?  He is our Hope.




      Willfully meditating on the promises of God, choosing to look intently at the face of my Hope instead of my circumstances, more times than I can count, has brought me through otherwise overwhelming times, with much less pain than I would have suffered had I given into hopelessness. Even when the promises are excruciatingly slow in being manifest, just remaining focused on my Hope, knowing His character and will for my life, brings me peace and renews my strength.

   

       We demonstrate our faith when we stand on the promises of God. It’s then that our Hope is made sure. Imagine what life must be like for those who do not have faith in the God of the Bible. Dr. N. Jerome Stowell, was one such individual for many years of his life.

      As an atheistic nuclear scientist, Dr. Stowell shared in The Voice of Healing, that he had headed a team of doctors who used a delicate instrument they devised, to measure the wave-lengths of the brain. They checked the emanations from the brain of a woman near death. She was praying at the time and they could tell that something about her was reaching towards God. The meter registered 500 positive. This was 55 times the power registered by a 50,000 kilowatt radio broadcast station sending waves around the world. In the same hospital, they tried the meter on the brain of a man cursing God. The meter pegged 500 minus. These are the two extremes the team saw in their experiments. 


      Dr. Stowell is quoted, “We had established by instrumentation the positive power of God and the negative power of the adversary. We had found that beneficial truth is positive, and that non-beneficial things involving breaking God’s commandments, are negative in varying degrees. It is the presence of God in us that gives us power, of whose magnitude we have no conception! I am now a scientist who loves the Lord with all my heart.”

      No one can fathom the literal pull a Christian exerts when he/she is in personal contact with God—it far beyond the comprehensions of mortality. With Dr. Stowell’s team having effectively measured it, we can’t deny its reality. The world little realizes the impact of believing prayer. It is a moving of the resources of the Infinite.

      When you are faced with a particularly difficult situation, determine to demonstrate your faith through prayer and meditation on scripture promises. This will renew your Hope, allowing you to experience a healing in your soul and spirit uniquely available to those who revere God.

Pamela Christian's newest book, the first in a three-series, endorsed by Josh McDowell, Dr. Craig Hazen and Dan Story, among other is, Examine Your Faith! Finding Truth in  a World of Lies. Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Deeper Shopping and other retailers.  


Visit Pam's web site to learn about the book launch contest with weekly prizes and give aways through mid November. No purchase necessary. Subscribe to her free blog or bi-monthly ENewsletter to be eligible to win. To get the best price for her book, through mid November only, order direct from her store. Bundle discounts encourage giving the book away - what better gift than the gift of truth?


Thursday, October 17, 2013

MERRY-GO-ROUNDS: GRAB THE BRASS RING


     Last week I wrote about how life is like a ferris wheel with its ups and downs. The merry-go-round, represents how life is cyclic; it does have its own rhythm; there is music; and bright colorful lights. Yet when the merry-go-round is closed it is like life has come to such a standstill that we cannot hear or sense the beauty of life all around us.
             


One of my favorite memories as a child was riding a horse that went up and down on the merry-go-round at the San Diego Zoo. I always chose one on the outer ring and so I could reach out to grab the silver or brass ring at the end of each revolution. If I got the silver ring I threw it into the pictured clown's mouth just a few yards away; but if I grabbed the brass ring I would give it to the attendant for a free ride!



     The silver ring symbolizes the second, third, or however many chances we need to learn a life lesson, or reach a goal. We have to "pay" with our time, talent, or money as we continue riding the merry-go-round of life.


                  Do you ever feel like you are just going in circles?
                           Do opportunities feel like they are just out of reach?

    If you are just going in circles...perhaps it means you need to stretch yourself, look for the brass ring, and reach out more to grab it. Timing and where you are can be everything. Are you on a horse that is in the inner circle so you cannot see or reach for your goal? Don't close your eyes and live in a dream; don't let your attention be distracted by negativity, fear, and poor advice; and don't be afraid to move onto another horse by doing a different action or facing a new challenge. So often the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.

   Believe in yourself. The brass ring symbolizes when we have learned a life lesson or attained our goal. The carousel of life does not end; there are always more dreams, goals and lessons.

                  "You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream." 
                                                  (C.S. Lewis)
      "When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably."
                                                  (Walt Disney)
  • I won the brass ring of life when I gained the confidence to publish my first book.
  • I am trying to grab that brass ring again by learning to not worry about things of which I have no control.
  • Share about a time when you achieved the brass ring. What did you learn?
  • Share how you might be trying to reach a certain goal; a life lesson you are trying to learn.

September was National Ovarian Cancer Month. My thanks to all of you for your support, encouragement, and generosity when I was able to give away or sell more books; do more presentations; and be with other thrivers/survivors of any gynecologic cancer. We are together in our fight against any cancer.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

FERRIS WHEEL: LIFE'S UPS & DOWNS



                   LIFE CAN, AND WILL, HAVE ITS UPS AND DOWNS.



     When you are experiencing events and people that are joyous, healthy, and positive the world always seems to be a much more beautiful place. Like in the movies, you hear the birds, music, and laughter. Life is good!



     
     Sometimes sad, maddening, or tragic events befall us. It can be the unexpected death of a loved one,  a serious illness, financial concerns, divorce, or many other such unhappy times. Days can appear to be interminably long; the skies more grey; and there does not seem to be anything about which to laugh or smile.



        There are valleys, but without them there would be no mountains!

                   I learned this quote or phrase from my grandmother so very many years ago. 
                                     It is so true and the imagery is helpful to me. 


What can we do when the ferris wheel of life is pulling us downward?
  1. As difficult as it might be, find the positive in the situation.
  2. Try to learn something of benefit to you and others.
  3. There are rainbows after rainstorms...did you see it?
  4. Know that there are people to support and help you.
  5. And, I believe with all my heart, that God is with each of us.




(Courtesy of Patrick Emerson)
When we are lifted up; when we are soaring; when we can touch the rainbow; or when the ferris wheel is at its peak:
  1. Live and share about the positives from the challenging times.
  2. Remember the lessons you learned while in the valley.
  3. Enjoy the rainbow and guide or teach others about it.
  4. Be the helper and supporter to others.
  5. And, be grateful that God never left your side, and you are not going to leave His.

      Some of my guest bloggers (Lynette Sheppard, Shirley Corder, Madhavi Sood, Elaine Stock, and Cecilia Crandall) to name a few, have given me inspiration as they shared their ferris wheel rides of life's ups and downs. They faced cancer, near-death experiences, menopause, and the death of a child. My deepest thanks to each of them for writing about these different challenges.


 

 From my book Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir I share about the ferris wheel of cancer, which I still am on despite being in remission for 5 years. I am fortunate that I am able to enjoy more upward lifts, and fewer downward swings with the cancer.

     

 
   ****I was honored to have an article published in Oncology Times. Here is the link for you:
http://journals.lww.com/oncologytimes/Fulltext/2013/10101/PERSPECTIVE__Ovarian_Cancer_from_the_Other_Side.6.aspx