*Karen’s offering a book to someone who comments, so join in, and you might win!*
**Congratulations to Ruth Trippy, winner of the drawing for one of Karen’s books!**
Karen Sweeney-Ryall Before Writing
My father was an alcoholic and the problems we went through led me to help others so I became a social worker.
Several Hats for Karen
I volunteered – supporting new breastfeeding moms, at school, at church, and teaching adults to read. I later worked part-time in direct sales and as a realtor.
In 2000 I felt led to go back into social service. I worked 6 years for the Alzheimer’s Association providing education and support to families and caregiver staff. I also served as a consultant training volunteers for Faith in Action and now have worked 8 years in hospice as a bereavement coordinator.
Love and Loss for Karen Sweeney-Ryall
I married my high school sweetheart the week after college graduation and I worked full time while he attended dental school. I became pregnant with my daughter the first month we decided to have a baby. We had our next daughter 2 ½ years later.
When my girls were 6 and 9 years old, my husband died in a car accident.
I didn’t plan to remarry but a few years later I met my second husband who is a contractor. We married and had a son and daughter and also miscarried 3 babies. I found blending a family to be one of the most challenging things in life, but we made it through.
Karen Sweeney-Ryall, the Writer
I have been an avid reader all my life. Reading was a childhood escape from the chaos in my home. (Click to Tweet!) I believe God used that to bless me because it helped me do very well in school and college where there is so much required reading. It also planted a desire in my heart to write a book one day.
My book, Revealing Your Treasures Hidden in Darkness, was birthed out of my recovery from one of the darkest seasons of my life. Eventually, hope returned, and I began to believe in a new future, I was strongly impressed to share my journey and the lessons learned to encourage other women.
I know God was in it because I found so much favor along the way. My church paid the registration to attend the She Speaks conference where I learned so much about writing, blogging and the publishing process. A former editor friend offered to edit my book for free as her contribution. Fifteen women freely shared their testimonies of how they made it through various difficulties of life. And other amazing benefits surprised me.
Some Lessons Learned
Writing a book was more complicated than I imagined. And it required more work, but the desire to share propelled me along. I wrote mostly on weekends while working a full time job in hospice and collecting the various testimonies for my year of writing.
I advise those who think about writing a book to be sure they feel the urge to write. Writing a book requires hard work and persistence. Determine your purpose and surround yourself with those who support you.
What’s Next for Karen Sweeney-Ryall?
Now, blessed by some wonderful feedback, I’m now focusing on the next 2 books in this Finding Joy for Your Life Journey series, speaking to groups and leading retreats. I hope to retire in the next year to have more time for speaking, writing and travel.
Where to Find Karen Sweeney-Ryall
Lord, only You can take tragedy and turn it into a masterpiece. We praise You for doing just that with Karen’s and her daughters’ sorrow. You’ve used it to Your glory, and for that we approach you in awe and thanksgiving. What a servant Karen is, and even as she writes, she serves. Thank you for her craftsmanship and we pray You’ll bless every word Karen writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake