Ragged Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

Ragged Hope by Cynthia Ruchti is the latest book I’ve received from Litfuse for reviewing.

The book is a great resource book, and good just for general reading as well. Each chapter has a real life story of someone’s struggles, then follows with practical help on how to change your perspective if needed if you relate to similar struggles, and how best to relate to someone else who is currently going through those struggles.

It’s very hands on and practical.. none of the pat answers and “in a perfect world” answers that books of this sort sometimes get filled with.

Book Info
About Ragged Hope: “What a beautiful book ! So readable, the pages practically turned themselves.  Ragged Hope is filled with stories; written for those who are weary, worn and wounded. It offers each of us exactly that-hope that God can do a mighty work even with those of us who carry the ugliest of scars.”
 — Debbie Macomber, #1 NYT bestselling author
Where do we find hope when it’s clouded by the ashes of other people’s choices? 
What do you do when your life is affected by someone else’s choices? Where is God when you are doing everything right yet, because of someone else, everything is wrong? This insightful and hope-giving guide will comfort, support, and encourage you through whatever situation you must face.
Cynthia Ruchti, who has walked this road herself and has spoken to hundreds of people through her radio show, assures readers that God is ever present and offers unwavering love. There is hope, grace, and a future in every situation-even (and especially) those we did not cause but now live. Vetted by professional counselors and caregivers, this is the one guide you need to thrive no matter what you are facing.
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/mQcEU
Meet Cynthia: Cynthia Ruchti has more than three decades of radio broadcast experience with “Heartbeat of the Home” radio and currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers.
Find Cynthia on the Web at www.cynthiaruchti.com.

 

Blog tour Landing page: 

http://litfusegroup.com/author/cruchti

 

Cynthia Ruchti  is celebrating the release of Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices (Abingdon Press) with a $200 Visa Cash Card “Hope” Giveaway and Facebook Party!

RHBlogButton

One winner will receive:

  • A $200 Visa Cash Card
  • Ragged Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 31st.

Winner will be announced at the Ragged Hope Author Chat Part on August 1st. Connect with Cynthia for an evening of encouragement, laughter, and more! Cynthia will also share an exclusive look at her next project and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

 

So grab your copy of Ragged Hope and join Cynthia on the evening of August 1st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayHope to see you on the 1st!

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Having enough

I’m realizing how long it has been since I have been able to walk into a grocery store, buy what I need, and walk out without having to stop and think at all about whether or not I have enough in my account, or whether I can really justify each item, or whether I can skimp here or there and get by.

It is such a different feeling to know that I have enough.

The other day, I filled up my gas tank all the way. I didn’t stop and look at my schedule to try and guess how much gas I was going to critically need before the next paycheck. And I didn’t check my balance beforehand.

Do you know how freeing that feels?

And yet, I still felt sort of guilty buying socks. Yes, socks.

I needed socks. Have needed them for some time. But I could make do, and had tried to budget for them, and it just wasn’t ever a high enough priority to make it to the top of the list.

But I bought the socks.

And underwear, and new khakis, and a new pair of black pants. Because I needed two pairs of pants for work as we can’t wear jeans, and have been making due.

And even though they have been very much needed but pushed back to the want list out of the tight circumstances, it’s still hard for me to convince myself that it’s ok. That the money is there, and will be there.

It’s sort of a weird mix of freedom and self-imposed guilt.

I’m in the clear, but I can’t let myself be in the clear.

And I can’t help but notice the spiritual parallels.

I’m forgiven… but I can’t let go of the need to be good enough.

I’m trying to make myself learn on both counts…. but both of them are areas where I’m fighting against a well-worn mentality.

The sudden realization

So, my new job is mostly doing hotel reservations. The callers have called a reservations number for either a particular hotel, or for one of the brands.

About 3 weeks into our month of training, we go over how to send a message to the hotel to have them contact the person back about something. Pretty normal stuff.

But then we are told that although the hotel usually calls them back within 12 hours, we have to tell them “within 48 to 72 hours”. Because for some departments that aren’t there on weekends, it can take that long on certain days.

And suddenly I got hit with a ton of bricks.

Remember way back when…. 5 years ago…. July of 2008….

When at bedtime, my daughter realized that she didn’t have her bear that she’d slept with since birth… and we were 7 hours drive away from the hotel we’d stayed at the night before….

And I called the hotel… and they told me that it would be 2-3 days before someone would call me back. And I was very much annoyed with that answer.

Suddenly, I remembered.

And though I’d tried to think back and remember when I’d started training, at that time I could only remember staying in one of the brands that we work with…. suddenly I now remembered that I’d stayed in another of the brands, but only once.

The one where the bear was lost…. and after three phone calls and a letter I was still not convinced that anyone had ever even looked for him.

The one that I hadn’t actually intentionally decided to stay there, but that I’d moved to after the power was out at my chosen hotel… and so I’d resorted to that brand only because I could see the large sign on that hotel on the other side of the highway, and knew it had power or the sign wouldn’t be lit.

And then I remembered that because it was already late, after dark, that evening…. the website wouldn’t let me book the room online, and I’d been given a number to call to make the same day reservation.

The reservations line…. but it was a local number, not a toll free number… so I’d assumed it went directly to the hotel desk.

It’s only now… 5 years later…. that I suddenly realize that I was talking to a call center. Probably the one in texas, but hours away from us.

And…

With thinking I was talking to the hotel when i’d called that number to reserve the room…. I’m almost sure that I just would have hit that number in my cell’s history to call it again about the bear.

And again the next morning.

Granted, the hotel never did call me back from the messages… or respond to my letter… but its sort of odd to suddenly realize that I’m now almost positive I never actually spoke with anyone directly onsite about it during my upset phone calls.

People preferences

I am not a people person much. I tend to be an introvert unless/until I have at least a couple people around me who have earned my trust.

But, I’m also very easy to get along with. It takes a lot to get me mad, or offended, or even to a higher level of annoyed.

But, with being tired and low on sleep, that’s being tested more and more this week.

There are several people who are seriously getting on my nerves… which is an unusual thing for me. So it’s something I’ve been sort of analyzing a bit the past day or so.

The one obvious one that is driving me nuts is Miss Dramatic Extrovert. Unfortunately, she’s been sat next to me way too much. She’s the type that seems to have constant drama going on, and makes it where it doesn’t seem to exist. Is there a polite way to tell someone that you think they they are full of it when they claim someone stole something trivial from them, in a monitored room, with only our 30 person class in the building right now? Nobody is going to risk their job over $3.

But the biggest problem I’ve been having with her is the fact that my introvertedness seems to be driving her nuts. She gets mad because when they put us together as partners to work, I actually want to get through with the task, where she wants to chat.

This then escalated into what felt like pretty much a personal attack… asking me why I don’t talk… asking me about my relationship status… asking me if I thought I was better than her… etc etc.

Seriously? Just go away.

Which she did later. Because I’d pointed out to her that the back side of the sheet was part B of a role play, not a second one we had to do, so she got in a tissy and turned to another team and asked them if she could join them instead because her partner didn’t want to do them.

Sigh. Whatever.

I’ve considered asking our trainer to please not sit me near her again or pair me up with her, but I don’t particularly want to be labeled as a problem. But this girl is driving me nuts.

The second one… is a typical miss know it all. Which I can deal with… given that I tend to hang with nerds, that doesn’t bug me. However, she’s also always wrong, and inserts herself into conversations that don’t involve her.

The highlight? I was talking to someone else, and mentioned that I was going to take my daughter to the drive in, but it was supposed to rain. Miss nosey-know-all jumped in, spinning her chair around and telling me that oh no, it wasn’t supposed to rain until the middle of next week. We walked outside less than 2 hours later, and it was already raining.

It’s getting seriously hard not to roll my eyes in just about every conversation that she jumps into.

Theres a couple more too.

But the interesting thing… is that the one person that I’ve heard multiple people complain about being bugged by… doesn’t bug me at all. He’s a bit flaky and eccentric, but harmless enough… and he does actually settle down into a serious conversation if you start one with him.

I guess each person has their own preferences in personalities though.

God’s toaster

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about personal gifts, and the
differences between talents and skills.

A lot of the things that would be considered my strengths aren’t
talents, they are skills.

They aren’t things that I really believe are natural abilities… they
are learned ones. Ones learned by years of dealing with certain
circumstances.

Had the circumstances been different, I really don’t believe they
would have ever been things that would have developed on their own.

Mainly, because they aren’t things that I enjoy, at all. Mostly, they
are things that I hate doing.

For example, conflict resolution. Am I good at it, after years of
dealing with it? Yes. And I get that some people do thrive off of
making peace in tense situations, and have a feeling of satisfaction
when they are able to help things defuse and resolve. But I am very
much not one of those people. Even when things turn out well, I’m more
likely to be in tears and stressed. I do not like it at all.

But, I’m good at it.

So it makes for an odd feeling when someone calls it “a gift”.

Because it feels like if it’s a gift, it’s about the equivalent of God
giving a toaster.

Yes, its something that makes life easier. But, no, its not something
anyone would ask for, or even really want.

Something used only when they really need to, and not particularly
with enjoyment when they do, but instead barely even noticing how much
it is a benefit.

And I know this falls under the idea that God wouldn’t give a rock
when asked for bread… that what he gives is what was needed… but I
guess sometimes the bread still feels like a rock.

Meanwhile, the areas that I do have more interest and enthusiasm…
are usually the areas I seem to have neither talent nor skill. I enjoy
doing them… I just suck at them. Sometimes a lack of natural talent
can be made up for by learned skills and practice, but sometimes it
just can’t. (Art for example.)

Kind of frustrating.

Miss me?

This last spell of my life has not been the greatest on friendships.

Relationships are sort of hard to maintain when you are stressed and crazy busy and brain-fried half the time.

But this spell appears that it’s actually going to be worse… because of the second shift thing.

A couple of friendships.. and one closer one in particular… I’m unfortunately discovering to have been a ton more fickle than I thought.. and completely disinterested in connecting if it’s at all inconvenient to them.

And right now… it pretty much has to be. I know that weekends tend to be family times… and I know mornings tend to be busy… and I know they aren’t awake when I get home at midnight.

But that’s all I’ve got to offer right now.

Most of the time I understand that because I tend to keep a close circle of friends rather than a larger one, that friendships are often going to be more of a thing to me than they are to the other person.

I mean, to this particular friend who tends to have no problems making new ones… I’m honestly probably 1 out of 100 in her circle, and easily filled in when lost.

But in my circle… with much fewer people the slices are much much bigger… and it’s a big gap. Especially because she’s one of very few that are in person.

Plus, it addition to the few that I’m feeling second shift issues with… I’m beginning to realize that school is a lot like work, in that even if the person was your best friend while you worked together… it’s really really hard to keep a connection when you no longer have that common glue.

So I’m feeling a bit abandoned there as well… and just as powerless to be able to do much to change the cause.

It’s already pretty crummy to feel sort of discarded when things change… but it feels even worse when you feel like you aren’t even really missed in their lives, while you are really missing them in yours.

Spells

Life seems to go in spells.

One spell seems to be all about this aspect of life, and another spell completely different.

And I’ve realized that I’ve walked into a new spell.

Last spell was tough. Tough financially, tough mentally, and tough on relationships. But not a spell with a lot of feeling like I had control over anything… it was a spell of endurance.

This feels to be a spell of “ant”. As in grasshopper vs ant.

It’s very very very busy.

Suddenly the drama over favoritism with hours on job 1 has come into the light, and suddenly they are trying to pretend that the hour cutting didn’t happen… and so now they are trying to shovel hours off of one person to cover tracks.

This has meant that suddenly, they are wanting me to work 2 full days and 2 half days per week. Where recently, I had zero hours per week. And since January, I’ve only had half a day a week. Last fall, I only had a day and a half.

So now they want me lots… right as I’m starting full time on second shift.

Meaning that two days a week, I’m working from 9:45am until 12 midnight with only a half an hour off between jobs to fly across town. Oh yeah, and those are the two days that I have physical therapy at 8am.

Two other days, I work from 9am until 1, then have 2 1/2 hours off, then work until midnight.

And one sane day of the week, I only work an 8 hour shift. Only. LOL

It’s been crazy crazy on timing. But so awesome to finally feel like I have some control on ability to take care of financial things instead of just relying on miracles and prayer to somehow make it through each month.

But, it’s also sort of been a bit of a relaxing spell. Because it hasn’t been anywhere near as mentally tough as the last spell has been… plus the financial stress off…

How can I work more than 60 hours a week and call it relaxing? LOL