Starting this week, I will be posting my book, A CHiP on my Shoulder – How to Love Your Cop with Attitude. Yep, a couple of times a week, you’ll be able to start at the beginning and read through it, word for word.
Kind of an out of the box idea, I know. But here’s where I’m goin’ with this.
Back in late 2005 and early 2006, the California Highway Patrol lost a total of six officers over the holidays. It was AWFUL. We banded together as blue blood families do, and muddled through it. And some of their widows are now my friends. Chief often says that these ladies are real heroes, and I completely agree. But during that time, we were also losing officers to suicide. In the course of four years, 15 CHP officers took their own lives. During this rash of on duty deaths, the numbers seemed to increase in frequency.
Chief and I were about to turn in one evening, when he looked at his Blackberry one last time. Another suicide. I yelled to him across the room, “What are we DOING?!” I was talking about the CHP – what are THEY doing – but for some reason, I started asking myself the question. What am I doing? And soon thereafter, in a quiet moment with God, a title came to me: A CHiP on my Shoulder. I wouldn’t write it for another four years, but in that time I got involved. I started caring on purpose. I started listening. Joined the Family Panel. Listened some more. Did research. And finally I wrote – prayerfully and thoughtfully. And CHiP was born during the toughest season of marriage Chief and I have had to endure yet. Which actually made the book that much better.
A CHiP on my Shoulder became available this time last year. And only a small percentage of police spouses have read my book thus far. But the response has been almost overwhelming. I get lots of letters saying that CHiP has changed perspectives, brought more understanding, encouraged them, saved their marriage, and spurred much needed conversations with their officers. They laugh, they cry, they see themselves in what I wrote. And I’m thrilled.
But I’m just getting started. Because the response has been so positive, it’s given me the confidence to work even harder at getting the word out. Blogging my book is just one more step to that end. My hope is that more will hear what I have to offer – and that it will make a difference.
But I also would love it if you entered into a conversation with others (and me) about the book. Stories, positive comments, respectful disagreement, or other thoughts that are spurred by sections of the book are not only welcomed, but encouraged. I’m still listening to learn – and have plans for more resources. Talks, seminars, more books, Bible studies – these are what I’d eventually like to have available, and how much better will they be with the input of hundreds as compared with the 35 I listened to during the writing of CHiP!
The only thing I ask is that you keep it positive, and listen to learn with me. There is so much division in this world – we can’t possibly agree on everything! But we can respect each other in the process.
One last thing – subscribe and tell others, okay? If you find it helpful, maybe others will too. And we all need a little help from time to time. Especially in this crisis-driven field.
Thanks to those of you who have purchased my book, loaned it to others, and have sent me great letters. My hope is that many more will do this, and engage in the discussions. We need each other!