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About the Author

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Her full name fills a mouth - Elizabeth Helen Rose Niemoczynski Schaarschmidt. Hence the pruned name for publishing. Elizabeth is a bi-lingual, born of Polish refugee Nazi and Gulag labor camp survivors in 1948. She grew up in the Polish section of South Bronx, attending St. Adalbert’s Catholic School till 5th grade. When the family of 8 moved to Oxford, NJ, she went to White Township Elementary and Phillipsburg Catholic High School. After commencement, in 1966, she returned to New York, graduated from Mary Byers Executive Secretarial program and worked for John Blair & Company in Manhattan.

In 1967 she met the love of her life on a blind date -- then Corporal Allen Schaarschmidt,  just back from Vietnam, a USMC double-purple heart almost-amputee who walked with a cane. They married, had two beautiful daughters and a personal experience with God. After Allen graduated from United Wesleyan College, in theology, they founded Blessed Hope Church of the Nazarene in Phillipsburg NJ where Allen became the pastor. The year was 1980. Elizabeth went on to study voice and piano at United Wesleyan College and became the church’s Music Director. Years later, in 1995 when she could no longer play the piano, due to the paralysis of Brachial Plexopathy setting in, she accepted her husband’s invitation to be Ministry Director.

Elizabeth is a devoted Pastor’s wife, loving mother and grandmother. She is a dedicated and much-loved ministry, youth and worship leader. Her Sunday morning meditations, spiritual lessons taken from everyday life, stir up both laughter and tears. In 2020 she published her first book CONVERSATIONS OF THE SOUL, and in 2019 became an accomplished, YouTube-taught, artist. She currently has 52 completed works of art.

Her life scripture is Psalm 84:5-7 “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka [tears], they make it a place of springs…They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.”

To her pain, her daily companion, she says, "thank you." She often drinks cold coffee because she’s too busy prattling about, dictating thoughts into her laptop or painting on canvas, shoving pain out of the way.

 

About the book

On the worst day of her life, in May of 1997, the author’s arms hung paralyzed at her sides. She howled like a wild animal because of the nerve pain; she couldn’t lift her arms to wipe her hair-and-mucus-plastered face. She begged God to give her a job, to give her purpose. She was only 47. Around her, life went on – family graduations, weddings, funerals… She tried her best to keep up with social traffic, and with her husband’s help, she looked presentable to the public. She didn’t know it then, but her pain was giving birth. The writer in her, being squeezed and pushed, was slowly coming through the birth canal of authorhood.

Born from hellish pain and the paralysis of Brachial Plexopathy, this poignant collection of poetry will make you cry and chuckle. Sometimes, you’ll scratch your head. The author speaks to her pain and her feelings - like anger, fear and surrender. She lays bare her frailty and shares her suffering and her victories. She prays. She cries. She stomps her feet. Then she puts one foot in front of the other. And moves forward. The poems challenge sufferers to offer their pain to God. The miracle He produces from your surrendered pain will shock you.

This debut collection consists of (She has to count twice because she can’t believe how many.) 61 thoughts and feelings that she memorized on her nature-trail prayer walks, and later dictated into a cassette recorder. (She couldn’t hold a pencil.) The work spans a 13-year period of the sufferer’s life who searched for a cure, visited many doctors, agonized through various modalities of physical therapy, and eventually agreed to try surgery with a 13% chance of recovery. She ended up one of the fortunate 13% and thanks God for the painful journey and for resurrecting her dead arms.

The author created the artwork in CONVERSATIONS OF THE SOUL from personal and family photographs enhanced with the software of Microsoft Picture It™, Adobe Photoshop™ and Photo Lab™.

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WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Laurel Wenson

Author

“A MUST READ FOR ANYONE WHO STRUGGLES WITH CHRONIC PAIN--Through beautiful imagery, the author takes us on her daily journey that every person with chronic pain will recognize, regardless of the affliction. 

 

From the deepest valleys of despair, her words will inspire the reader to persevere through the downs of life and to rely on the strength that God provides to confront and conquer every obstacle in the way. 

                                                 

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