MBR reviews Simple Serenity by Nancy Oelklaus

Reviewer’s Bookwatch: April 2022
Carolyn Wilhelm’s Bookshelf

I didn’t think I needed any more finding joy books, so started reading thinking it would be the same old. The author suggested writing, drawing, painting, or other activities to help process the book. Not just read it through? Well, it seems I changed my mind soon after beginning to read. This is not a “preachy” text as Oelklaus explains how her thoughts helped her to find peace. She discusses being “in love” as opposed to trying to fix other people. She explains how she stopped being a fixer of other people and says it is freeing to her to mind her own business.

Yes, some of the short writing pieces with questions at the end did seem quite easy. Some seemed to be great for writing group prompts, some seemed good for a reading group discussion warm-up, or even useful for art class. I think counselors might refer to some chapters for finding discussion topics. One of her ideas to solve feeling overwhelmed is explained in terms of her practical and step-by-step system. All in a very short chapter, which others could try although it is explained in terms of her own life. Her lesson from a ceiling fan recently happened to me after I found a telescoping and bending duster online, bought it, and was able to dust our ceiling fans. The vignettes are relatable. She asks:

“When have you felt as if you were being held hostage and your world was narrowing? How did you work your way out of it?”

A wardrobe can support the life you truly want to live, according to Oelklaus. She tells about buying three pieces of clothing and donating four. No piling all the clothes you own in one room, just thinking about the life you want.

She also discusses a “God box.” Any nagging thoughts can be put in such a box until you can see it clearly for what is really is about.

With poetry, stories from real life, and questions, this book offers a chance for a new view of life. Highly recommend.


Billy Had To Move: A Foster Care Story

SKU 978-1-932690-87-3
$19.95
In stock
1
Product Details
Child Protection Services have been involved with Billy and his mother for some
time now. He has been happily settled in a kinship placement with his grandmother
and enjoys his pet cat, interacting with neighbors and even taking piano
lessons. As the story unfolds, Billy's grandmother has unexpectedly passed away
and so the story of Billy Had To Move begins.


Unfortunately, Billy's mother cannot be located. Mr. Murphy, Billy's social
worker, places him in the foster home of Amy, Tim, and their baby "Colly." Billy
experiences great loss resulting not only from his grandmother's death, but also
the loss of the life he knew. Billy's inner journey therefore has also begun and with
the help of Ms. Woods, a Play Therapist, there is hope.


Therapists' Acclaim for Billy Had To Move


"This gem of a book gently frames the stages of a child's natural quest to make
sense of his story. Fraser has created more than a teaching story: she generously
offers a sacred space that compassionately holds and supports the multidimensional
realities of our foster children and their birth families, our social workers and
foster families, our teachers and child psychotherapists."

--Gisela Schubach De Domenico, PhD, MFT, R-PTS


"Billy Had To Move is a profound story about the complex issues children in foster
care often face. Fraser provides important lessons for caregivers. The book
gracefully introduces the sandtray and provides insight into how powerful the experience
can be when the child has an opportunity to explore their trauma in the
sandtray."
--Mark E. Hulbert, MA, LLP


"A wonderful addition to the bibliotherapy field. This is a much-needed book for
foster care children to help them in adjusting to a new caregiver and placement. It
offers a welcoming view of how children's worries and losses can be understood
by a caring Play Therapist, in a warm and inviting setting."

--Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, RPT-S; Director of Clinical Training,
The Astor Home for Children, Poughkeepsie, NY


"In this engaging, warm-hearted story, Billy grieving the loss of his grandmother,
finds a way to heal by expressing his thoughts and feelings in Play Therapy.
Highly recommended!"
--Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, RPT-S
Director Emeritus, The Association for Play Therapy


Learn More About This Book at www.TheresaFraser.com


From the Growing With Love series at Loving Healing Press www.LovingHealing.com


Juvenile Fiction : Family - Orphans & Foster Homes
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Simple Serenity: Finding Joy in Your Life
Nancy Oelklaus
http://nancyoelklaus.com
Loving Healing Press
https://www.lhpress.com
9781615996636, $16.95 Paperback, $28.95 Hardcover, $4.95 Kindle, 168p

Carolyn Wilhelm, Reviewer
Wise Owl Factory LLC

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Read the whole review at Midwest Book Review

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