Saturday, October 29, 2016

Do you have a Christmas card to spare? This prisoner needs one.

Today's serendipity. I stumbled across a Native American newsletter that had my name in it. Because my family roots are European, my curiosity was piqued so I decided to check it out. 

The newsletter came from the Quinault Nation, a small tribe situated on a southwestern beach of Washington state, and their November newsletter included my article on how to help the bereaved through the holidays. I was really touched! 

Years ago when I was an EMT, I responded to a medical call for a teenage boy inside a sweat lodge. The boy lived and I've long forgotten his name, but I've never forgotten my experience inside such a sacred building. It was incredible, and moved me deeply.

Moving forward, it’s been on my bucket list to include a book for prisoners in the Grief Diaries series. I believe that every baby is born with a good and innocent heart, and no child says they want to grow up to live in prison. So what happens in life that results in incarceration? Is it a childhood full of pain and loss, resulting in anger and hatred for others? Or is the prisoner paying the price for finding himself at the wrong place, at the wrong time? Or with the wrong people? 

Once the prisoner lands behind bars, what goes through his mind? More anger and hatred? Or fear and hopelessness? How do they survive a life without freedom? How does his family survive?

So here's the serendipity part of my story. 

Immediately above my article in the Quinault Nation's newsletter was a short letter titled "Seeking Family." Written by a man named Joe Northup, he had lost contact with his Quinault family members. His address was listed as Oregon State Penitentiary. Now he had my full attention! 

In his letter, Joe explained he was diagnosed with leukemia six months ago and now lives in the prison's infirmary. 

I’ve never written a letter to someone in prison, but on a whim, I wrote Joe a letter inviting him to answer questions for a book I want to add to the Grief Diaries series: Life Through the Eyes of Prison. Regardless of his answer to my invitation, I told him I will be praying for him. 

None of us can know the path of another, and although I have many flaws my children will happily divulge, one of my good qualities is that God gave me a heart full of compassion without judgement.

I'm sharing this with you because I have a favor to ask. 

I would like to invite you to send Joe a Christmas card. 

I don't know his circumstances or prognosis, but I believe that a simple Christmas card from a stranger would fill his heart with love. 

It might be the only love Joe has ever known. 

And his last Christmas. 

If you're moved to join my effort to lift the heart of a stranger in need of prayers, below is his address:

Joe Northup #3342821
O.S.P. Infirmary, Bk #3
2605 State Street
Salem, OR 97310-0505 

Warm regards,
Lynda XOXO

Friday, October 28, 2016

Thank you Women's Health Mag for featuring us again!

Women's Health Magazine has been very kind to us this week. Today they published an excerpt from "Grief Diaries: Living with an Eating Disorder" featuring Haddi Trebisovsky's journey through anorexia. This is the third article we've had in Women's Health magazine within the past week!

To read the excerpt in Women's Health Magazine, click here.

It's very, very hard and more than a little scary to spill our secrets for all the world to read. But like all the writers in Grief Diaries, Haddi does so with the hopes that it will help others who share her path. Go, Haddi!

About Haddi
Haddi Trebisovsky is a 29-year-old who earned her B.A. in Elementary Education at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She worked as a behavioral therapist for children with autism before leaving the workforce to be a stay-at-home mom to her two children. She enjoys writing and does so in the hope that it will bring encouragement and freedom to her readers. She is passionate about seeking the truth, and believes that the battles we face are more than just physical or mental, but also spiritual, and she brings this perspective forward in her experience with eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

About the book
Part of the ground-breaking 5-star Grief Diaries book series, Through the Eyes of an Eating Disorder takes readers inside the secret world of anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorders and shares the candid yet poignant journeys of 13 women seeking healing and hope through her own private journey.

Available at over 40,000 retail outlets around the world, a portion of retail profits from each book is donated to the National Eating Disorder Association.

Thank you, Haddi, for so bravely sharing your journey in Grief Diaries, and thank you Women's Health Magazine! #anorexia #eatingdisorder #womenshealthmag

Haddi Trebisovsky

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pregnant, Cancer, & the Power of Prayer

Today's good news is that it's my sister's birthday. For most, that isn't a huge deal but for our family it’s cause for big celebration. The fact that she's here to celebrate at all is nothing short of miraculous. 

Ten years ago at age 37 my sister Stacy was diagnosed with aggressive stage 4 breast cancer with bone mets. It was just before Thanksgiving, a festive time of year, and we were busy preparing for the family feast and annual gingerbread decorating contest. Suddenly we all found ourselves in shock, and in full-on panic mode: the big C had invaded our family.

Just when we thought the news couldn’t get any worse, it did. They discovered my sister was pregnant, and the cancer was fueled by her womb’s hormones. Her prognosis was past grim—she needed to abort the baby immediately. It was her only hope to buy time. But she refused.

I won't give you the spoiler here; you'll have to read the national article I wrote nearly two years ago to find out the rest of the story. But one of the miracles for me personally is that my sister is my poster child for courage and faith. When we lost our daughter three years later, despite a body full of cancer, my sister knelt on hard concrete to put warm socks on my feet as I sat in shock. Two years later when my dear sweet hubby suffered a terrible stroke, my sister was directing nursing staff to put my hubby in a private hospital bed (she succeeded). 
Stacy with newborn Jazzy in 2007

She's not there just for me—she's a prayer warrior and is there for every one of us in our time of need. And she does it all without a single complaint about her own fate.

So October 24 is a time when my family reflects on the miracle that my sister is here to see another birthday. It's also a day for us to silently thank the thousands around the world who took time to pray for a stranger whose very life, and that of her 3 girls, was at stake.

Praying for a friend or stranger is the ultimate gift of love. If my sister's story doesn't convince you in the power of prayer—well, it doesn't matter. Because she'll pray for you anyway.

Happy birthday, sis! I love you!! XOXO
Jazzy with her mom in 2011

P.S. At the end of the article is a short video you don't want to miss!

#FindingHope #GoodNews #NewsAntidote

Stacy with her girls in 2015

Stacy's girls 2015

My sisters and I at my niece's wedding June 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

World Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Every year millions of women face the loss of a pregnancy and thousands more face the loss of an infant. In recognition of World Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day on Saturday, October 15, Grief Diaries is hosting THREE different Amazon Giveaways for the books listed below.

Simply click on the link to enter. It's free and no purchase necessary. Win one for yourself, or give it to someone you know.

Part of the 5-star Grief Diaries book series, each book shares the journeys of mothers seeking to find hope and healing in the aftermath, and is a comforting reminder that banding together helps us all feel less alone. Learn more at

Amazon Giveaway #1
Grief Diaries: Surviving Loss of a Pregnancy

Amazon Giveaway #2
Grief Diaries: Surviving Loss of an Infant

Amazon Giveaway #3
Grief Diaries: Surviving Loss of a Child

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Is there an antidote, please?

Life can be really tough, and sometimes current world headlines can add to our woes. Is there an antidote to the endless articles about Donald and Hillary, scam artists, world terrorists and economic uncertainty? Is there a way to shift the paradigm of what news should be? Yes!

There IS good news (or at least a good laugh) going on in the world. Today's curated news for those looking for a dose of heartwarming happiness can be found in the 3-minute video below. My favorite clip is the second one, but baby #3's minion laugh is a close second. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Power of Storytelling

Amelia Earhart had a passion for stamp collecting. Mozart had a passion for card tricks. John Quincy Adams had a passion for skinny dipping and ancient coins. Not a fan of stamps, coins, or swimming in the buff, I'm a little bit different: I have a passion for helping people tell their story. Some might think that's strange, but it's true: I'm absolutely mesmerized by people's stories.
Sometimes the stories are too hard for mainstream America . . . unless its part of a fictional movie. Sometimes the stories are uplifting and full of hope. I believe that every story is actually a combination of both, for without grief there would be no need for hope. And heartfelt stories about life's hardships are full of love. Which is why they touch me so deeply.

Cover Funeral Director FRONT

Sometimes it's about raising awareness.

Take Grief Diaries: Through the Eyes of a Funeral Director as an example. What leads a funeral director to choose that line of work? Do they have some kind of morbid fascination? The answers will surprise you. They did me. Who knew that funeral directors are caregivers at heart? They have spouses and kids, and love what they do (and they're gifted writers too!). I'm excited to help funeral directors share their side of the story (coming December!).

What other titles are we working on?

So glad you asked! But before you browse just a few of our 20 titles in progress below, check out the events coming up in October. Do you have an upcoming event? Tell us about it so we can help share it!
Finally, looking for a good read? Check out the 16 books already published in the Grief Diaries series, true stories featuring ordinary people surviving extraordinary journeys.
Warm regards,
Lynda Cheldelin Fell

Upcoming Events

OCT. 7 - 8, 2016
Featuring: Mitch Carmody, Angela Miller, Mary Potter Kenyon, Cathy Corkery, Julia Theisen, Steve Potter
OCT. 15, 2016
Coordinated by Nancy Harvey Vekved
OCT. 18, 2016
Featuring: Samantha Evans

Titles in Progress

Below are just a few of the 20 books in progress. Click on any cover below to learn more.
Click on the photo to see all titles in progress

Click on the photo to see all titles in progress
Click on the photo to see all titles in progress



Finding Hope
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