Ewe R Blessed

Welcome to Karen Allen, a cancer survivor who uses her experience to encourage others. Karen’s book cover features lavender rather than pink to encompass all types of cancer, and she’s giving away a copy of her book to someone who leaves a comment.

Sixteen years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer while working in a cancer research laboratory at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. God was gracious in that the diagnosis stemmed from an enlarged lymph node deep in my armpit. Surgery was followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Over the next nine months the Lord dealt with me in some incredible ways turning my cancer journey into a faith journey. Indeed, my prayer a month before my diagnosis had been to increase my faith! So wah-lah . . . 

Not only did God answer my prayer but He did “exceedingly, abundantly” by expanding my experience to help others turn their cancer journey into something positive. Throughout my ordeal I wrote periodic updates and emailed them to friends and family, many out of state. (Blogs were not the norm at the time.) I learned my emails were being distributed literally all over the world! Turns out, they were a source of inspiration and hope. I considered writing about my journey and approached my pastor. We felt a book would be useful but that a cancer Bible study would be even more useful. I liked the idea.

After several years and lots of setbacks, Confronting Cancer with Faith is now available as a 6-week Bible study (5 lessons per week) written to bring encouragement, comfort, and hope through the trials of cancer or any chronic illness. Confronting Cancer with Faith focuses on God, His promises and attributes. I use my experiences as anecdotes, lessons, and stories to highlight God’s work and personal touch.

The book is perfect for a small study group or cancer support group but also adapts as an independent or friend-to-friend study. Cancer survivors, co-survivors, clergy, caregivers, or anyone wanting to learn more about what a cancer patient goes through will be enlightened, encouraged, and informed by this study. Topics include fear, brokenness, death, hair loss, effect upon family members, acceptance, treatments, side-effects, relationships, perspective, wearing the survivor label, and finding contentment in the aftermath of cancer.

The book is published through Ewe R Blessed Ministries and can be ordered from Amazon. It has received international attention and won the Christian Choice Book Award for Bible studies. A quality CD entitled “The Comfort of His Holiness” produced by me and my husband can be purchased separately if desired. Both the book and CD have garnered positive feedback. 

You may reach Karen at:



karen@confrontingcancerwithfaith.com  http://ewerblessed.com/blog/.

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

I’m so delighted to welcome Lyn Vande Brake, whom I’ve known for several years. She’s a spunky gal with a boatload of energy and ideas. I’m looking forward to the release of her non-fiction book about how women can carve out our own little spaces in this busy world. She lives just off I-35 with her husband and a sweet array of the cutest animals. She’s graciously giving us a peek…

I am often asked, how do you write a book? The answer is, the same way you eat an elephant; one bite at a time, or in this case, one word at a time. Words turn into sentences which make paragraphs that become chapters and before you know it 40,000 words in 18 chapters are sitting in a Word Document.

The golden rule is ‘write what you know.’ Ask yourself, what’s happening in your life; significant or not, happy or sad, life altering or mundane. Life shows up every day for everyone, and over time is always a mix of all of these. It’s amazing what one  might consider as trivial that can turn into best-seller material.

I think of award-winning humor writer Erma Bombeck, the All-America housewife of yesteryear who raised three kids with her typewriter sitting on an ironing board so she could find time to write. Bombeck would become a household word back in the 1970’s  and ’80’s, making appearances on Johnny Carson and ABC’s Good Morning America. Nine of her twelve books, all about the joys of doing laundry, house-training a new puppy, and attending PTA meetings, appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List. Bombeck, when interviewed on how she got her start, said the first piece of real fiction she wrote was the weather forecast for the Dayton Herald News, a small hometown newspaper, where her most substantial contribution was as the obituary writer.

A couple years back, I was in desperate need of an escape place that would enable me to  run away from a husband whom I dearly loved but with his retirement, was driving me nuts. I found and purchased a little one-room Amish-built shed. Upon its delivery, I placed it in the center of my pony pasture and created sacred space in the shape of a she-shed where I reveled in quiet solitude.

A friend said, “You need to write a story about this.” And so I did. Then the same friend said, “This story needs to be a book.” 

Twenty-four chapters and a book proposal later, I have The Shaping of a She-Shedsitting at a publisher’s under spec.

How did I do this? One bite at a time.

Lyn Vandebrake is a published writer with her work appearing inFocus on the Family, Homelife, Baptist Press, Positive Living, Mountain Living, Alive, Living the Country Life, Christian Womanhood, The Summit and others. Visit her website at     www.lynvandebrake.com


Another note: Lyn, Carol Hedberg and I will be hosting a day-long WRITING FROM THE HEART workshop in Story City on November 19. If you need a creative getaway, check out our FB pages for more information.