Chocolate For A Woman's Heart: 77 Stories Of Love Kindness And Compassion To Nourish Your Soul And Sweeten Yo

Overview

Love, like chocolate, comes to us in many varieties — pure and simple, rich and complicated, sweet and bittersweet, and always memorable. Now the creator of the bestselling Chocolate for a Woman's Soul serves up 77 delectable new "chocolate stories," real-life tales that celebrate the many ways we express our love. You'll find strength in stories that honor the power of unconditional love, and learn a lesson in courage as you read about women facing their ultimate moments of truth. You'll take delight in a ...

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Chocolate For A Woman's Heart: 77 Stories Of Love Kindness And Compassion To Nour

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Overview

Love, like chocolate, comes to us in many varieties — pure and simple, rich and complicated, sweet and bittersweet, and always memorable. Now the creator of the bestselling Chocolate for a Woman's Soul serves up 77 delectable new "chocolate stories," real-life tales that celebrate the many ways we express our love. You'll find strength in stories that honor the power of unconditional love, and learn a lesson in courage as you read about women facing their ultimate moments of truth. You'll take delight in a reflection on the ever-elusive perfect relationship, and find comfort in stories about the generosity of the human spirit. Like the finest chocolate, these inspiring tales will boost your spirits, lift your heart, and soothe your soul.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Debra Waterhouse, MPH, RD Author of Why Women Need Chocolate Every woman should treat herself to such pleasure and inspiration — the results could change your life forever.

Jack Canfield Coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Soul I couldn't put it down....Men love chocolate too....Do yourself the favor of reading this book!

Ondrea and Stephen Levine Authors of Embracing the Beloved Every time the heart beats, it makes an echo in the greater body. We are the greater body. This book is that clear, honest healing echo.

School Library Journal
YA-This collection of inspirational vignettes from a variety of contributors will appeal to young adults who have a fondness for happy endings and stories of hope. Written in the pattern of Jack Canfield's Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Hearts and Rekindle the Spirits of Women (Health Communications, 1996), the book is divided into sections such as "Acts of Kindness," "Moments of Truth," "Growth Spurts," "Seriously Funny," and "Animal Connection." This book has much to offer teens in search of female role models or an inspirational book about the many kinds of love.-Catherine Charvat, Kings Park Public Library, Burke, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684848969
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 5/6/1998
  • Series: Chocolate Ser.
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 0.62 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Kay Allenbaugh, creator of the Chocolate series, is a writer and speaker who is known as "The Caretaker of Stories for Women of the World." She lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Contributors to the Chocolate series include bestselling authors, motivational speakers, newspaper columnists, radio hosts, spiritual leaders, psychotherapists, businesswomen, and teenagers from all over the world.

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Read an Excerpt

A Wise Man, a Mentor, or an Angel?

My hands rushed to my face, and I sobbed with joy. After five attempts, I had finally won the title of Miss Hawaii. Flashbulbs flickered like little lightning bolts, congratulations echoed from the crowd. After the festivities had wound down, I headed to my dressing room, alone. I saw him then. A man in his forties with a quiet, kind face, dressed in bland colors and smoking a pipe. He was portly, with gentle brown eyes framed by eyeglasses and wispy hair combed straight back The aroma of his cherry pipe tobacco was instantly comforting.

"Congratulations! You deserved to win," he said.

How did he know that? "Who are you?"

"My name is George." His smile disappeared, and his eyes turned serious. "We need to talk, Donna. Ten o'clock tomorrow at the coffee shop."

I was tempted to laugh at first, but my curiosity won out. He wasn't menacing, just sure of himself. I nodded yes.

"I sensed your hesitation, and I do intend to justify my actions by passing on a message to you."

"OK — let's hear it."

"To fulfill your destiny, Donna, you must leave the Hawaiian Islands next year."

This time I couldn't help laughing. "I love it here."

George sighed. "All right, then, you leave me no choice but to predict three incidents that will occur before we have breakfast tomorrow."

Now what? I thought, and opened my mouth to speak, but George put up his hand.

"Your car will be towed, your kitchen's leaky pipes will burst, and the noiseless third step in your apartment will begin to creak."

By the next morning, everything George predicted had happened. My car wouldn't start, my roommate was in tears because the kitchen pipes were leaking badly, and as I climbed the stairs to my room, I heard a creaking sound, which came from the third step. Over breakfast, I asked how he knew so much about me.

I thought I detected a squint in one eye as he smiled. "We rarely listen to our intuition — our inner voice that tells us what to do. For instance, I know I'm supposed to be in your life, to watch over you and be around when you need me. You must now search for your own truth."

And search I did. I went on to compete in the Miss USA pageant in Miami and lost. The next year I moved to Los Angeles, and I struggled for seven years to become an actress. Meanwhile, George and I talked frequently on the phone or met when he came to L.A. Trying to stay thin and beautiful, I became bulimic and hooked on diet pills. I was alone and miserable, and contemplating suicide, when the phone rang, It was George. He said, "You've got a lot of work to do. Don't you dare think about checking out."

"How did you know?" I asked, dumbfounded.

"I'm leaving Oklahoma. I'll be in L.A. this afternoon, and then we'll talk."

That day, George convinced me to believe in myself again. "Your life will change at thirty. Hang in there for a few more years."

Age thirty sailed in, and I still wanted off this earth. I had hit rock bottom — emotionally, financially, spiritually, and mentally. On March 1, 1978, 1 boarded a DC-10 from Los Angeles to Hawaii, to emcee a Miss Hawaii pageant. The plane exploded on takeoff, and I was the last to escape the rear section of the flaming aircraft. Transported to a medical triage, I asked where the nearest phone was. This time I called George.

He said, "It has changed, Donna. You can finally see the big picture. It's time to get out of your own way — time to help others."

I didn't understand completely, but I ended up waiving my right to sue the airline and became an envoy for the dead and burned passengers. I fought for better safety regulations and was grilled in court for hours by the big guns representing the airline. After it was over, I stepped down from the witness stand, drained and again alone. When I reached the courthouse parking lot, George was leaning against my car, smoking his pipe.

"I just got to town," he said. "Let's get an ice cream and walk on the sand."

Watching the sun set over Santa Monica Beach, I babbled countless questions and George patiently answered every one. I felt restored by his philosophy, insight, and truth.

"Understand," he said, "we all have fears, but our destiny is to conquer them." I knew at that moment that I would go on to teach survival skills.

"George, please tell me," I begged, "will I marry, have children, and be happy?"

He looked out over the sea and spoke in measured words. "You'll have a daughter late in life, and oh, yeah, she'll be a pistol. She'll have your energy and will be a leader. The bonding between you and your daughter will be miraculous." A smile fit up his face. "And, Donna, she'll come to you."

"What exactly do you mean by that?" I asked.

"The truth is inside you. Trust yourself. Pursue your destiny with power."

It was later that I learned I was not destined to give birth. I put in for an adoption, only to be overlooked by the birth mothers year after year. I worried that single moms over forty were not on their agenda.

George passed away suddenly, from cancer. I was devastated. I never got to say good-bye. The last time I spoke to him, George had said, "Your daughter is coming — and I'll be there."

Three more years passed before I got a call from Las Vegas. My prayers had been answered. I was ecstatic. A birth mother and father chose me. I had six short weeks to deal with the mounds of paperwork required for the adoption.

I named my baby Mariah. Seventy-two hours after her birth, the final papers were ready to sign. The birth mother was pushing Mariah in her bassinet down the brightly lit hospital corridor, and she said indignantly, "I smell pipe smoke. Can you imagine that — and in a baby nursery?" My heart flip-flopped and I was frozen to the spot as I watched her dart from room to room, searching for the offender. When she returned, she said, "That's odd — there's no one here. I know I smelled cherry tobacco. Did you?"

Tears welled up in my eyes and streamed down my cheeks. "Yes."

"Donna, what's wrong?" she asked.

"I don't know if you believe in the spiritual world, but there was a man named George who was always there for me in my times of great need. He told me years ago, just before he died, I would have a daughter and he'd be here when that happened. George smoked cherry tobacco in his pipe."

My birth mother stared at me wide-eyed and said, "I chose you because I feel this child is going to become a leader and I can't give her what she needs, but you can."

She bent over the bassinet and lifted the baby up to me. I smiled down at Mariah and murmured to her, "What do you think, darling? Was George a wise man, a mentor, or an angel?"

Donna Hartley

Copyright © 1998 by Kay Allenbaugh

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Introduction 17

I
DIVINE INTERVENTION
Back-Seat Driver Anamae Elledge 21
A Dream Come True Ursula Bacon 23
Small Miracles Jill and Candis Fancher 26
A Wise Man, a Mentor, or an Angel? Donna Hartley 28
Turning Point Rev. Deborah Olive 32
Divine Assistance Rev. Mary Omwake 34
Earth Angel Ann Albers 36
Our Teachers Come in Many Forms Kay Allenbaugh 39

II
GROWTH SPURTS
Angel of the Lord Arline Crawford Burton 45
Just a Hair More Love 0.C. O'Connell 47
Soulmating Catherine Lanigan 49
Moving the Moon Sarah Jordan 52
Healing with Love Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey 54
The Miracle of Self-Love Jill Goodwin 57

III
FEEDING FEEDING A WOMAN'S HEART HEART
Snapshots of the Heart Linda Dunivin 61
The Pajama Connection Ellen Urbani Hiltebrand 64
Pairs and Spares Liz Curtis Higgs 68
The Lucky Photo Lorri Vaughter Allen 71
Mercy Street Holly Fitzhardinge 73
Love Is Not for the Faint of Heart Chassidy A.F. Persons 77
Marriage Encounter Christine D. Marek 80

IV
MAXIMUM EXPOSURE
Soap Box Derby Marci Madsen Fuller 85
The Miracle Bus Jill Lynne 88
The Power of Love Michelle Cohen 90
The Virtues of Mr. Wrong! Jennifer Brown Banks 94
Ginny's Excellent Adventure Bailey Allard 96
My Trucker Constance Conace 99

V
PATHFINDERS
Pray to God and Read the Paper Susan LaMaire 105
Flight of Destiny Robin Ryan 107
Fern Cave Sharon Kinder 110
Letter to Tim T.J. Banks 113
And Baby Makes Three Donna Hartley 117
It's About Time Nancy Kiernan 119

VI
FREE AT LAST
A Walk on the Wild Side Judith Morton Fraser 125
The Warm Fuzzy Hostile Group Jody Stevenson 129
Create Your Own Heaven Today Christine Harvey 132
You Are My Brother Kathi J. Kemper 134
The Journey Home Marie Hegeman 136
Me, Myself, and I Stephanie Lauridsen 140
Modeling for Life Joeann Fossland 142

VII
MOMENTS OF TRUTH
We Are All Connected Jean Wenzel 147
The "Write" Match Alice Stern Weiser 149
Leading from the Heart Holly Esparza 151
My Sailor Man Linda Ross Swanson 154
Feedback Is a Gift Diane Ripstein 157
Rhymes and Reasons Antionette Vigliaturo Ishmael 160
It's All in the Frijoles Yolanda Nava 162
Something to Chew On Rita Davenport 165

VIII
THE ANIMAL CONNECTION
One Soul, Two Halves Ellen Urbani Hiltebrand 171
Keeping the High Watch Eileen Davis 176
Dazy Joy Cindy Potter 178
Oscar Cindy Hanson 180
Look-Alike Lucys Susan Miles 182
A Flutter of Butterfly Wings Lon My Lam 184
A Gift of Love Debb Janes 186

IX
ACTS OF KINDNESS
The Memory Jar Mary Lo Verde 191
Road Warriors Ann Benson 193
For the Love of Students Emory Austin 196
Love Notes Debra Ayers Brown 198
Surrogate Dreamer Marlene L. King 201
Special Delivery Lisa Juscik 204
Rituals That Touch the Heart Kay Allenbaugh 206
Lesson for a Lifetime Sheila S. Hudson 208

X
A A DEEPER REFLECTION
Four Weddings and a Miracle Kate McKern Verigin 213
Does the Breast Have a Soul? Lynne Massie 217
All That Glitters Mary Carroll-Hackett 220
A New Deal Burky Achilles 222
Entrances and Exits Linda G. Engel 225
For Betty Tammy Kling 228
United States of Motherhood Joanna Slan 230

XI
SERIOUSLY FUNNY
A Streak of Love Carole Bellacera 235
Venus Rising Carmen D'Amico 237
When Will I Be Thin? Maureen Gorsuch 239
The Great Zucchini Caper Karyn Buxman 240
Warranty X Ann E. Weeks 245
The Purple People Jennifer Howard 246
A Christmas Surprise Indeed! Roberta B. Jacobson 248

More Chocolate Stories? 249
Contributors 251
Acknowledgments 269
Permissions Acknowledgments 270

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First Chapter

A Wise Man, a Mentor, or an Angel?

My hands rushed to my face, and I sobbed with joy. After five attempts, I had finally won the title of Miss Hawaii. Flashbulbs flickered like little lightning bolts, congratulations echoed from the crowd. After the festivities had wound down, I headed to my dressing room, alone. I saw him then. A man in his forties with a quiet, kind face, dressed in bland colors and smoking a pipe. He was portly, with gentle brown eyes framed by eyeglasses and wispy hair combed straight back The aroma of his cherry pipe tobacco was instantly comforting.

"Congratulations! You deserved to win," he said.

How did he know that? "Who are you?"

"My name is George." His smile disappeared, and his eyes turned serious. "We need to talk, Donna. Ten o'clock tomorrow at the coffee shop."

I was tempted to laugh at first, but my curiosity won out. He wasn't menacing, just sure of himself. I nodded yes.

"I sensed your hesitation, and I do intend to justify my actions by passing on a message to you."

"OK -- let's hear it."

"To fulfill your destiny, Donna, you must leave the Hawaiian Islands next year."

This time I couldn't help laughing. "I love it here."

George sighed. "All right, then, you leave me no choice but to predict three incidents that will occur before we have breakfast tomorrow."

Now what? I thought, and opened my mouth to speak, but George put up his hand.

"Your car will be towed, your kitchen's leaky pipes will burst, and the noiseless third step in your apartment will begin to creak."

By the next morning, everything George predicted had happened. My car wouldn't start, my roommate was in tears because the kitchen pipes were leaking badly, and as I climbed the stairs to my room, I heard a creaking sound, which came from the third step. Over breakfast, I asked how he knew so much about me.

I thought I detected a squint in one eye as he smiled. "We rarely listen to our intuition -- our inner voice that tells us what to do. For instance, I know I'm supposed to be in your life, to watch over you and be around when you need me. You must now search for your own truth."

And search I did. I went on to compete in the Miss USA pageant in Miami and lost. The next year I moved to Los Angeles, and I struggled for seven years to become an actress. Meanwhile, George and I talked frequently on the phone or met when he came to L.A. Trying to stay thin and beautiful, I became bulimic and hooked on diet pills. I was alone and miserable, and contemplating suicide, when the phone rang, It was George. He said, "You've got a lot of work to do. Don't you dare think about checking out."

"How did you know?" I asked, dumbfounded.

"I'm leaving Oklahoma. I'll be in L.A. this afternoon, and then we'll talk."

That day, George convinced me to believe in myself again. "Your life will change at thirty. Hang in there for a few more years."

Age thirty sailed in, and I still wanted off this earth. I had hit rock bottom -- emotionally, financially, spiritually, and mentally. On March 1, 1978, 1 boarded a DC-10 from Los Angeles to Hawaii, to emcee a Miss Hawaii pageant. The plane exploded on takeoff, and I was the last to escape the rear section of the flaming aircraft. Transported to a medical triage, I asked where the nearest phone was. This time I called George.

He said, "It has changed, Donna. You can finally see the big picture. It's time to get out of your own way -- time to help others."

I didn't understand completely, but I ended up waiving my right to sue the airline and became an envoy for the dead and burned passengers. I fought for better safety regulations and was grilled in court for hours by the big guns representing the airline. After it was over, I stepped down from the witness stand, drained and again alone. When I reached the courthouse parking lot, George was leaning against my car, smoking his pipe.

"I just got to town," he said. "Let's get an ice cream and walk on the sand."

Watching the sun set over Santa Monica Beach, I babbled countless questions and George patiently answered every one. I felt restored by his philosophy, insight, and truth.

"Understand," he said, "we all have fears, but our destiny is to conquer them." I knew at that moment that I would go on to teach survival skills.

"George, please tell me," I begged, "will I marry, have children, and be happy?"

He looked out over the sea and spoke in measured words. "You'll have a daughter late in life, and oh, yeah, she'll be a pistol. She'll have your energy and will be a leader. The bonding between you and your daughter will be miraculous." A smile fit up his face. "And, Donna, she'll come to you."

"What exactly do you mean by that?" I asked.

"The truth is inside you. Trust yourself. Pursue your destiny with power."

It was later that I learned I was not destined to give birth. I put in for an adoption, only to be overlooked by the birth mothers year after year. I worried that single moms over forty were not on their agenda.

George passed away suddenly, from cancer. I was devastated. I never got to say good-bye. The last time I spoke to him, George had said, "Your daughter is coming -- and I'll be there."

Three more years passed before I got a call from Las Vegas. My prayers had been answered. I was ecstatic. A birth mother and father chose me. I had six short weeks to deal with the mounds of paperwork required for the adoption.

I named my baby Mariah. Seventy-two hours after her birth, the final papers were ready to sign. The birth mother was pushing Mariah in her bassinet down the brightly lit hospital corridor, and she said indignantly, "I smell pipe smoke. Can you imagine that -- and in a baby nursery?" My heart flip-flopped and I was frozen to the spot as I watched her dart from room to room, searching for the offender. When she returned, she said, "That's odd -- there's no one here. I know I smelled cherry tobacco. Did you?"

Tears welled up in my eyes and streamed down my cheeks. "Yes."

"Donna, what's wrong?" she asked.

"I don't know if you believe in the spiritual world, but there was a man named George who was always there for me in my times of great need. He told me years ago, just before he died, I would have a daughter and he'd be here when that happened. George smoked cherry tobacco in his pipe."

My birth mother stared at me wide-eyed and said, "I chose you because I feel this child is going to become a leader and I can't give her what she needs, but you can."

She bent over the bassinet and lifted the baby up to me. I smiled down at Mariah and murmured to her, "What do you think, darling? Was George a wise man, a mentor, or an angel?"

Donna Hartley

Copyright © 1998 by Kay Allenbaugh

Read More Show Less

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