27 October 2013

Elizabeth Byler Younts Interview by Carrie Fancett Pagels: Overcoming Post-Partum Depression With God's Help

Elizabeth Byler Younts

Elizabeth Byler Younts is the author of Promise to Return, the first book in the new Amish Historical series The Promise of Sunrise.

Elizabeth, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 
Thank you so much for having me. What an amazing journey it has been to get to this point with book 1 releasing. God has been so faithful in providing wisdom and strength and I pray that this series blesses many lives. 
Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God's help? (transparency appreciated!)
I don’t often talk about it on a public forum such as this, but I struggled greatly with Post Partum Depression after my second child was born. When my baby was about three months old I starting noticing the overall darkness I was feeling. My personality isn’t the kind of where I ignore a problem, so I acted fast and got my midwife on board to help direct me. I took some supplements and vitamins and lots of wonderful sunlight. I also decided to talk to a therapist for several months.
That time in my life was extremely difficult but rewarding. I thought dealing with infertility was difficult, but, in a different way, this was by far more of a struggle. I guess that’s why I haven’t talked much about it publicly. I think it boiled down to finding that my strength could not get me through this, only God’s. The old phrase often used in Christian circles “God won’t give you more than you can handle”…I realized, it’s just not true. He does give us more than we can handle…He doesn’t give us more than HE can handle! Trust Him in all ways. 
(CFP: Post-Partum Depression is a fairly common condition and many women suffer with it. You did the right thing by not ignoring the symptoms. Thank you for sharing, Elizabeth.)
Promise to Return

Disability friendliness: Is Promise to Return available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? Do your e-books have audio capability? Do you have any in large print? 
At this point I don’t believe it’s releasing in audio, but I sure hope it will in the future! What a joy that would be for so many readers and for myself. With my own busy-ness I often listen to books.
Seasons does have the text-to-speech capability. I do not see that Promise to Return is enabled, but I will check with my publisher.
I do not have large print in paperback at this time. I’m sorry! However, if you read on an e-reader you should be able to adjust the text size. 
Does this novel have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
Promise to Return specifically deals with depending on the Lord when everything else seems to be falling apart when the man she loves is in the midst of war-torn Europe during WW2. Miriam has always stood on the laurels of her church standards and suddenly that doesn’t seem to be enough to comfort her wounded heart. She must seek the wisdom from God through His whispers in her life.
As a military wife I come in contact with so many women who deal with deployment after deployment, not to mention, just the rigors of military life. This can breed a sense of “I must be everything to everyone” or “I must do it all” in so many beautiful, unselfish women as they support their husbands. No one can do it all or be it all to everyone…we must depend on His wisdom and strength. Miriam must travel a difficult journey to learn this…I hope her journey touches many readers.
Thank you, Elizabeth, for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!

Bio:
Elizabeth Byler Younts is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. She is an Air Force officer’s wife and a homeschooling mom with two young daughters. She makes her home wherever her family is stationed. Elizabeth was Amish as a child and after her parents left the church she still grew up among her Amish family and continues to speak Pennsylvania Dutch.

Social Media: Elizabeth is has a Facebook Author Page and is on Twitter and Pinterest!

Seasons by Elizabeth Byler Younts

Giveaways: This week Elizabeth will give away a SIGNED copy of her new book (love that--thanks, Elizabeth!) and we at OWG are giving away ebook or paperback of either of her books, choice by winner. (Note: International readers ebook only.) Question: Have you or a loved one suffered from post-partum depression and how did you cope?


69 comments:

  1. ELIZABETH, thank you so much for being with us this week on OWG and for sharing your touching testimony. I have not been through this myself, but had several friends who experienced post-partum depression. Ditto to what Carrie said...I'm so glad you sought help instead of just having the attitude that it would simply go away on its own.

    I have heard nothing but good things about your new book and was not aware that you had written another book previously. Surprise on me! ;)

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    1. Aren't surprises fun! ;-) I hope you enjoyed the interview! Thanks so much for stopping by & good luck with the drawing!

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    2. I'm the Sr reviewer on OWG, Elizabeth, so they won't let me enter! Can you imagine that!? lol So wonderful to have you with us, sweetie!

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  2. I believe that I suffered a little from the depression! Not from the same extent as she did but my daughter was born 6 1/2 weeks early and was in the hospital for a month so even though we bonded it is harder when you don't get to take her home right away! I think that was a big reason that I had it but I have to admit I was a little depressed! a_stonecipher@yahoo.com

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    1. I think if we talked more openly about it more women would realize that they may have dealt with it also...I just hope that more women talk about it and realize that it's nothing to be ashamed of. Talking about it with trusted people actually really helps! ;-) Thanks so much for stopping by.

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    2. I can understand how you felt with leaving your precious daughter at the hospital. My first son was 6 weeks early too. It was awful to leave him in the hospital when I was released. Thankfully he only had to stay in the hospital for two weeks once his weight went up to 5 pounds.
      Blessings, Tina

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  3. Yes, and it was hard to know what to do to help. For this person I knew it was best to be the best friend I could be, but sometimes it was enough. Sometimes medical help is needed to intervene. But the best intervention is what our Heavenly Father provides if we rely on him.

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    1. Good for you for being her best friend and intervening through prayer!!! I was very blessed to handle it all naturally and very blessed that I had a very supportive husband and family. They prayed me through it.

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  4. Hi, Elizabeth!

    I really appreciate your sharing your post-partum depression experience with us! Thank you SO much!

    Depression - of one form, or another - affects so many people, but some are reluctant to discuss it, not realizing that it is a disease, like many other illnesses, & can have devastating affects on, not only the patient, but the family, & friends, etc.. My father has struggled with severe depression his entire life, & his mother before him. One of my childhood memories, is going with my mother to take my grandmother for shock treatments. I don't think enough attention is given to this illness.

    Elizabeth, I was wondering if there were consequences, or adjustments, that had to be made when your family left the Amish church. I've read, & seen on TV shows, that there are, & was wondering how accurate the info is.

    My brother is retired air force (flew during Vietnam War), & my nephew is currently a chaplain in the army (& has served in Iraq), so I am aware of the many adjustments made by their families during deployments. I would love to read Promise to Return - thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. thank you so much for dropping by. Your comments about depression are accurate. Whether it's PPD or general depression so many people suffer in silence. The best we can do is pray for those people and pray that they seek help.

      Yes, there are great adjustments when leaving the Amish. As it happened we lived across the street from my grandparents (mom's side) so that relationship was immediately stilted. God has worked so faithfully in our families (both sides) and we have really wonderful relationships with our Amish family. What you see on TV usually are extreme cases if they are true at all. I wouldn't believe anything on the Amish Mafia.

      Salute to your brother and nephew for serving.

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  5. Thanks for sharing your post-partum depression , i too was in depression when my 25 year old son passed away, i dont know if theres a difference, i would love to win this book thank you
    Shirley B jcisforme@aol.com

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    1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Shirley. I pray God continues to bring peace to your heart. He is the ultimate "therapist" for all who grieve. Best of luck on the drawing!

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  6. Hi Carrie and welcome Elizabeth Byler. I used to be somewhat iffy when I'd here these stories of mothers not really wanting anything to do with their babies and not being able to bond with them I just didn't see how this could happen.
    But a special niece off mine whom I had for about 3 years had her baby, and later found out she was haaving this problem. Her husband said he had to do most everything. She tended her when she had too and never mentioned wanting to hurt April, but just didn't seem interested in the baby. They lived far from me in another state, so i'm not sure if she had counseling or not, but after a period of time she seemed to come out of it. I would love to win one of Elizabeth's books. Hoping to win now that I can get a paperback. Please put my name in Carrie. Say hello to the OWG gals for me. GOD bless all. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot) PS: Was so glad to see that I won one of the Deer Run series books. Waiting for it.

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    1. Hi Maxie, We love you here at OWG! That was my fault because I told Elaine the wrong book and we got that straghtened out this week so you should see it soon! HUGS!

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    2. Hi Maxie, I have heard that many mothers do feel that way with PPD. Mine didn't happen just like that...there are many avenues that PPD can take. Praying for new mothers is so important! Best of luck on the drawing!

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  7. I've been lucky enough that myself or anyone I know hasn't had to go through it. I am excited about this book. Thanks for the amazing chance to win it!
    makeighleekyleigh at yahoo dot com

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    1. Yes, count yourself very blessed!!! ...but pray for young and new mothers...it plagues so many and most stay silent. Best of luck on the drawing!

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  8. Carrie, Thank you for Elizabeth's interview. I had 5 children in the late 60's & 70's, I don't think they did much about post partum depression back then. Looking back I don't think I suffered from it enough to affect me at that time.
    I struggle with depression since my husband of 46 years passed away last year. I know it can be an uphill battle, But I try to lean into God to help me through it. I am very grateful medical help is available to anyone who needs it. Thank you for sharing this article. Will be adding her book on my read list as it looks like a great read.
    mcnuttjem0(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I'm so very sorry for your loss, Jackie. Wow, 46 years. What a testimony of God's blessing and a legacy for your children. You are doing the right think by leaning into God's peace and love. He will carry you. Knowing when we need "outside" help is also so important. I'm glad it sounds as if you are getting the help you need. Best of luck with the drawing!

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  9. OWG - Elizabeth, thank you for sharing your story. I nor any loved ones have ever suffered from this kind of depression. I've heard and read about it. To me, as I read everyone's story, it gives me more information if I should ever have any love one's or friends go through this depression. Thank you for the giveaway.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Absolutely. There are so many women who suffer silently with PPD. There is such a "super-mom" mentality these days it's difficult to admit that we aren't perfect and don't have it all together...and we need help. I want to be even more vigilant about being open about my PPD history when is necessary so that maybe it can help another woman.

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  10. Thank you Elizabeth for sharing this. My sister suffered a couple times after her children were born , but got help and is a momma to three and grandmamma to 4. I can't say I have suffered from it myself, I seem to be pretty upbeat after having babies, its the misscarriages that got to me. I would so love to read your book as you are a new author to me and Carrie thank you for bringing her to us.
    Love and Blessings
    Linda Marie Finn
    Faithful Acres Books
    http://www.faithfulacresbooks.wordpress.com
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com

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    1. I'm so glad you haven't suffered from PPD. I'm glad your sister was able to get help and it sounds like she has a busy and happy life with her family. ;-) I would say that there are moms out there who are as upbeat and smiley as ever and still suffer...that was me. No one but someone who knew me very well would ever have noticed I wasn't myself. Praying for new mothers is so important.

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  11. No, I nor any of my family have suffered from PPD, we have all been very fortunate!

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Yes, you are very blessed!!! I'm very glad for you. I'm so glad you stopped by. Best of luck on the drawing!

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  12. Welcome to OWG, Elizabeth We are SO happy to have you with us! I had PPD that started within days of my daughter's birth. I was a psychologist and the nurse was really sweet--she goes, "you know what this is don't you?" and I nodded. It stank but yes, I knew what those hormones could do so some people--like you and me!

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    1. Oh, Carrie! Yes, they can throw us in for a tailspin! But God is greater! Your friendship is just so special to me and I am overjoyed to be hosted on here by you!!! You bless me in so many ways.

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  13. I didn't suffer to the extent that you did but after my second child was born he cried all the time and i had a 2 year old to take care of and my hubby was a truck driver and not home much and I had no family close to help me. So i had to get treated for depression. I would love to win your book. Sharma Darby

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    1. Hi Sharma, I'm glad you were able to get help. I rarely cried actually but much of the other details sound the same for me. I had a 3 y/o to care for & my husband was constantly working in court at the time (he's a JAG for the military)...no family either. I think all of those things weighed very heavy on me...my baby, on the other hand, was EASY as pie to care for...PTL! Ultimately God brought me to a place of just more dependance on Him. A lesson I am still learning!

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  14. Thank you for sharing your story of PPD and this most difficult time in your life, Elizabeth. I am so thankful you received the help and support you needed! It is my hope and prayer that other mothers will seek and find help when it is needed as well.

    Promise to Return sounds like a very special book and is one that I look forward to reading! Thank you so much for the opportunity to win a signed copy!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words. I pray also that other moms will see that there IS help out there and it's attainable and it should not be shameful. I wish you best of luck on the drawing!

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  15. I do not know of anyone that suffered from PPD, nor have I, which I am thankful.

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. What a blessing! Thank you so much for stopping by and I wish you luck in the drawing!

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  16. I've never suffered from Post-Partum Depression. I don't know anyone who has either. It's very good that you recognized the need for help though.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Thank you! I am glad that God brought it to my attention quickly. Thanks for stopping by & best of luck on the drawing!

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  17. Hi Elizabeth, welcome to OWG! I'm a reviewer on OWG so I'm just here to say G'day (I'm from Australia, lol) and also want to say a big THANKS for sharing your story here. I pray your words and the discussions here educate and encourage those who need it. I have suffered with depression but didn't have PPD with any of my 3 children. I can see how terribly hard it would be on the family though and pray for those suffering from it right now that they find the help and release they need.
    God bless you!

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    1. I feel so blessed that you've hosted me! Thank you! Yes, it can be very difficult for families. Educating and Encourage. I love the way you put that. I know your situation is wrapped in God's grace and goodness...thanks again!

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  18. Hello Ladies, thanks for sharing, I have been so lucky as others in family too-don't know of anyone that has had this but have read how devastating it can be. I would like to read your book.
    thanks for sharing
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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    1. I'm glad you have not had PPD. Please pray for new moms as you see them around town and at the grocery store. It doesn't occur to me enough but talking openly about it like this has reminded me that praying for new moms is important. ;-) Best of luck on the drawing!

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  19. Yes both myself years ago and my daughter. In my situation of course everyone told me to seek counseling which just made things worse, in my opinion. I finally asked God to please help me cope. Many things seemed to occur and I over came my depression. My daughter then had a miscarriage and I noticed her sinking into depression. At that time she lived 18hrs away, but being a Mom off I go and spent 2 weeks with her and took care of my grand daughter while we talked and prayed. God will never give you the answer as to why he wanted a little one, but we know someday she will see that little one presented to her by Gods loving hands.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that you both suffered with PPD. I am also sorry to hear of your daughter's miscarriage...but what a blessed daughter she is that you went to help her. That must have comforted her so much. Thanks for stopping by & best of luck on the drawing!

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    2. Susan, what a wonderful Mommy you were to do that. Praying that your daughter will be blessed by a healthy baby. I applaud you for taking action in the situation--many moms wouldn't have.

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  20. Wonderful interview. Thank you for sharing with us! I am so happy God has helped you through your PPD. I have seen a few relatives struggle with it. I agree with what you said - God does give us more than we can handle - how else could we grow in Him? He doesn't give us more than HE can handle. :) Amen! Thank you again for reminding us to keep on leaning on Him during all times!
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

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    1. It is a good reminder for me also! And so true. It's a true testimony to God if we can live in a way that proves His strength. Best of luck in the drawing!

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  21. I have to say that no, I didn't suffer from that. How blessed I was, I realize that.
    Any book by Elizabeth, I would enjoy. :) Blessings

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you get the chance to read one (or both) of my books with much enjoyment! ;-)

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  22. Thanks for sharing about this difficult time in your life, Elizabeth! It's good to get to know you a bit better. As you know I loved your book and I look forward to your next book!

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    1. thank you so much, Marian! I appreciate you and this blog more than you understand!!!!

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  23. ELIZABETH!! SOOOO good to see you here, my friend, and WOW, I sooo relate to your story!! I was brought low by both infertility and post partum, both huge emotional struggles in my life, so I'm sorry to hear you got hit with both too.

    And your statement, "The old phrase often used in Christian circles “God won’t give you more than you can handle”…I realized, it’s just not true. He does give us more than we can handle…He doesn’t give us more than HE can handle! Trust Him in all ways," is soooooo true and beautifully said!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Oh, my dear Julie!!!! I'm so glad to chat with you here. You are a blessing to me. I'm so sorry that you've been "hit" with these areas of "growth" also...I know we go through these struggles for a reason and when we talk about it we know we aren't alone. Of course, God is always with us, too!!!

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  24. Thank you both for sharing. I have never heard of anyone close to me having gone through post-partum depression. It would be a most difficult time for the whole family.
    I am so glad to also hear of a new author - you, Elizabeth, and hopefully win your paperback book, Promise to Return. I hope God will bless your life and your family. Thanks Carrie, also, for this wonderful review. Sincerely, Mary Lou K
    flowersmarylou85(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I'm so glad you stopped by and I believe you found my fan page on FB. Glad to connect with you. I hope you enjoy Promise to Return immensely!

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    2. Sister Mary Lou, So glad you enjoyed this. Elizabeth really comes from an Amish background so I think you'd enjoy the authenticity in her stories!

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  25. Hi Elizabeth. I enjoyed your interview very much and would like to read your book. Thank you for sharing with us.

    I have not personally dealt with PPD but family members have. Also many in my family have depression and struggle with it for many years, It is hard to see them going through so much and I pray for them.
    Blessings, Tina

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    1. The best thing to do is to be available to listen and to pray. It is hard on families but, in my case, it brought us closer together b/c we are all Christians. So thankful for my praying family. Glad you stopped by!!!!

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  26. I did with my first two....with my first, I had an emergency c-sec after a day full of labor and cried a great deal for weeks. I was very anxious after my second. I suffer from a major depressive disorder now and have been in recovery since age 32 and I will be 52 in December. I could not do it without God and my supportive family and friends!!! Thank you for sharing. It is not easy and some people just don't understand. Blessings and I would love to read your book! rhonda_nash_hall (AT) comcast (DOT) net

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    1. I am so glad that you have such support...and that you love the Lord!!!! Blessings to you!

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    2. Rhonda, PTL that God has delivered you. Those emergency C-sections are to hard on women but PTL these days we survive such an experience and end up with sweet babies! Hugs!

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  27. OWG Enjoyed your interview. I have never suffered from PPD but I do suffer with depression. Would love to win a copy of your signed book.angelachesnut246(at)gmail(dot) com My name is Angela

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    1. I'm sorry that you have to deal with depression. There is hope in the Lord. I am sure you know that. ;-) Blessings to you.

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    2. Angela, depression is a toughie. Praying for you today, dear one!

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  28. This is a new author for me, and I would love to win Elizabeth's book to read and review! Thanks ladies!
    http://www.theswordandspirit.blogspot.com/2013/10/roaring-miceand-give-away-by.html

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  29. I would love to win a copy of your new book---just love Amish books and authors! jynhoffman@yahoo.com

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  30. What a great interview! I love good books and this one sounds like a winner. I would love to be a winner too! Thank you for the chance.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  31. I'm probably too late for the giveaway--tried from my iPad but it just threw away my comment. :-( Anyway, my comment said that I have not, nor have I known anyone who experienced Postpartum Depression, but I'm sure it would be difficult to deal with. I'm sure many might poo-poo the diagnosis, but I'm sure it is real and I hope that by your sharing this, it will help to convince someone experiencing it at this very moment to seek help--and if so, it would be worth it to have shared your story if only 1 person were helped. May God bless you and your ministry, and your writing! May He also bless your family! If the giveaway is not over, I would love the chance to wn this book. Thanks OWG for the many opportunities you share with us.
    Vicki
    vmarney at hot mail...

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  32. Hmm...I tried to make a comment here a couple days ago on my iPad, & just now tried again on my laptop, with no success--so I'm going to try posting this short c omment to see if it posts.

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    1. Sorry--I now see the previous post...ignore this last one. ;-)

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