Saturday, October 26, 2013

Leave a Comment! Win a Free Book!

1. As promised several weeks ago, I have a review (just posted on Amazon) of my dear friend Kimberlee Conway Ireton's new book, Cracking Up: A Postpartum Faith Crisis:

This was a tough book for me to read. I lived with depression long before my two children were placed on the autism spectrum, so I still struggle to reconcile my Christian faith with the suffering of my family. So many times, I have longed for "God to show up with power and might, to raise His victorious right hand and for all to be well" (19). 

What I love most about "Cracking Up" is the eloquence and emotion with which Kimberlee describes the same darkness I have known in my own life, desperately praying and holding on to my faith with my fingernails, uncertain about my next breath because I am certain I am going to drown in my present circumstances. She has described the story of one year of her life so exquisitely that I can now point my family and friends to this book and saw, "This is how I live. This is how I feel. If you want to understand my brokenness, read this."

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to Kimberlee for describing a life in Christ while suffering anguish over children you dearly love. I am a longtime fan of her writing because it encourages me to remember that even when parenting seems an impossible task, it is still a worthwhile endeavor that God honors.

2. Let me share some of my favorite quotes:

But in this dark season, I do not want a God who humbly meets me in brokenness. I want a God who exercises enemy-annihilating power.... I want God to obliterate the cancer that is eating Michaela's bone marrow. I want God to eradicate my pregnancy-induced queasiness--both the physical and the emotional kind. I want God to make an agent love my novel as much as I do, to make a publisher love it, and readers, too. I want God to show up with power and might, to raise His victorious right hand and for all to be well. (19)

'[J]oy sounds to our postmodern ears like an emotion, something you feel, whereas celebration is something you do. And since you can't change how or what you feel--it's not like you can force yourself to feel joy--it might be better to focus on what you do, on how you're actually living, rather than what you're feeling or not feeling.' (60)

How do I hold those things in tension? The goodness of my life, the many gifts I have, and the fact that I still find my life so difficult? And the more sobering fact that it could easily be so much harder? And the horrible reality that even if my life is good, others' lives aren't good in the same way? (194)

3. To encourage my legion of blog readers (ha!) to read Kimberlee's new book, I will give away one copy of Cracking Up to a randomly selected person who leaves a comment at the end of this post between now and Saturday night, November 2. It will arrive on your doorstep from Amazon as soon as possible after that time.

4. I am also grateful to Kimberlee for explaining to me how a writer thinks and how much writers love their works. As you may well remember, my mother is also a writer who talks animatedly about her characters and titles and plot points and I now realize that the reason I can't seem to match her enthusiasm is because I'm not a writer. Kimberlee understands you perfectly, Mom.

Then there's my husband and his Volkswagens, but that's a different story for a different time.

5. My emotions have been rather roller coaster-y lately and I realized this week that because Alex's anxiety is (relatively) stable and has been for a few weeks, I can emotionally start processing all the grief and pain I stuffed away for  the previous 9 months plus. Alex was one minute away from exploding, all day, every day, for all of those months, which wears on a person. Last summer, I described it to Marshall that it was as if we were living in perpetual agony, not waiting for the other shoe to drop, but for it to explode. It would also explain why my blog updates were few and far between.

So I've been taking naps, walking in the autumn wind, and reading lots of books. Mary Balogh has three different series that I working my way through simultaneously; I read 4 of her novels yesterday. Some people drink wine to relax, or watch reality television. I read romance novels.

6. I've been staring at my DVR listings lately and finally gave up on a couple of series that have been sitting there for months or years and I've never watched one single episode. Good-bye Continuum, Defiance, Copper and Perception. If I really want to watch them later, I can always see them on DVD. Or not.

7. Next week is Miranda's birthday (Wednesday) and Halloween (Thursday). Alex doesn't understand why he has to wait another 3 weeks until the family party. I keep explaining we have to wait for my parents to return from points West. Miranda doesn't understand why she can't have every friend she's ever had at the party. Someone please tell me she will eventually realize the universe does not revolve around her.

Here's Cari, who's standing in for Jen this week.


Sybil@PeaceitallTogether said...

"So many times, I have longed for 'God to show up with power and might, to raise His victorious right hand and for all to be well' (19)." Me too! Thanks for sharing this book :)

Kimberlee Conway Ireton said...

Thanks for this shout-out, Sarah! (But please don't enter me in the giveaway. I already have a copy or two...)

Omar said...

I would be interested in reading that book. But then again, I have lots of other books on my shelves waiting to be read . . . so maybe you should give this one to someone else. Also, I still have your copy of "The Tipping Point." I should have brought that back when I was in town a few months ago.