Saturday, November 1, 2014

God Doesn't Love Us All The Same Guest Post with Nina Guilbeau

I'm thrilled to welcome Nina Guilbeau to my blog today with her guest post. First we'll introduce her book, and then let her carry on with her post which she has entitled Keeping Family Connections Strong. Welcome, Nina.

God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same
By Nina Guilbeau
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Juania Books LLC
Publishing Date May 5, 2014


God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same is the touching story about Janine Harris who never really thought about homeless people. She barely even notices them as she passes them by on her way to work in downtown Washington D.C. All Janine can focus on is the shambles of her own young life, afraid that she will never be able to get past the painful mistakes she has made. However, all of that changes on a snowy evening in December when Janine unexpectedly finds herself alone with Vera, an old, homeless woman who seems to need her help. Now Janie wants to know what could have possibly happened to Vera to leave her so broken and alone.

As Vera shares her life story with Janine, the two women form an unusual bond and begin a journey that changes both of their lives forever. Reluctantly, they each confront their own past and, in the process, discover the true meaning of sacrifice, family and love. Although to truly move forward in their lives, they must fast the most difficult challenge of all – forgiving themselves.

Book Links

Keeping Family Connections Strong

In the novel God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same, Vera, the main character, saw the woman in the role of her mother and nurturer change a few times. Finally, when Vera became a mother herself, it’s clear that she had absorbed the basic and perhaps instinctually lesson that motherhood requires real sacrifice. Although this was a fictional narrative, the intense need to protect a child is the reality of mothers everywhere. Mothers are many times the anchor that keeps families centered. My mother was always the point of contact for us and we knew, no matter how far we drifted, going back home kept us connected. Unfortunately, when my mother died, she left an unexpected void in how we related to each other and it was one that we didn’t know how to fix. However, we did learn that staying connected as a family is something that takes work. It’s something that comes from creating habit forming behaviors in families – the earlier the better. Here are some ways to help make that happen.

 Make meals an event. – Although family meals should be a time to relax and share with each other, there are a lot of distractions to overcome such as television and cell phones. When the kids are young, emphasizing the importance of family mealtime is more a matter of consistency on the part of the parents, than anything else. On the other hand, breaking habits to start this tradition once the kids reach the “tween” years takes a lot more focus. Remain firm in the stand that the family dinner is not to be missed, but try to balance that with flexibility. Anyone (including parents) who cannot make it needs to make his or her apologies to the other family members. The lesson here is that the dinner with family is the norm, not the exception. Parents need to set the example.

If a parent keeps unconventional hours or perhaps works two jobs, then try getting up early to have breakfast together. The idea is to treat daily family meals like a special event.  

Monthly “dates” with kids – having family nights with young kids is a great routine, but often teens are more elusive and disinterested.  So, changing family activities and personalizing them becomes important. Take an afternoon to do things that are of interest to your teens such as going shopping with your daughter or to a car show with your son. Also, check the local newspaper for other interesting outings like theatre productions and live band performances.

 Face time – Set a “no tech zone” for mealtime and family outings. Looking down to play video games, text and use social media during these times is becoming an acceptable behavior when it’s actually a little rude. Family members should be reminded that unless it’s an emergency, communicating with people who are in the room should take precedence over those who are not.

Voice time – It’s hard to imagine that we actually lived and functioned without the ability to text. Although to be fair, for many teens, “tech talk” was always around. However, rules of conduct may be a little fuzzy. So, setting family rules as early as possible, adhering to them and setting a good example is required to teach proper communication skills. Teach them that some conversations, like breaking the news of a family tragedy, should never be held via text.  

Tech zone – Yes, there is a time for that! Online private family albums allow everyone, especially extended family, to stay in touch. Other ways to connect online are: use Snap Chat for fun, quick messages; talk face to face on Skype; use Glide for visual/vocal texting; download and print digital pictures to add to physical family albums.

Create keepsakes – Write letters, send post cards and mail birthday cards rather than always resorting to email and e-cards. The old fashioned way makes for great keepsakes.

Reach out – Don’t forget to write or call parents, aunts and uncles in nursing home; attend birthday parties for nieces, nephews and cousins; help plan/organize extended family reunions and in town family mixers . 

About the Author:

Nina Guilbeau is the Siblings Editor for BellaOnline The Voice of Women and writes weekly family articles for online magazines. Her e-book, Birth Order and Parenting, is a popular pick with students studying the Alfred Adler birth order theory.
She is a member of the Florida Writer's Association and the author of women's fiction novels Too Many Sisters and Too Many Secrets. A winner of the Royal Palm Literary Award for her God Doesn't Love Us All the Same manuscript, Nina's work has been published in the short story anthologies From Our Family to Yours and Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters. An excerpt from upcoming novel Being Non-Famous was published in the Orlando Sentinel as a Father's Day tribute.

Author Links
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  1. So is your title a controversy click-bait? Or do you actually believe that God doesn't love us all the same, and if so, how would you back that statement up?

    1. I saw that on my Facebook post. I don't even know how it got there because that is not the title of my post. I believe that He does love us all equally, though WE may feel he does not love us the same because of the circumstances we find ourselves in.