I’m thrilled to introduce you to Amy Julia Becker as we round out our month’s discussion on trust. Amy Julia’s book A Good and Perfect Gift was praised as one of the top 10 religion books in 2011 by Publisher’s Weekly and she’s recently been on the national scene discussing her family’s story (Time, New York Times Motherlode blog, the Huffington Post, Parents magazine, to name a few!). Keep reading — and share this post with friends who may find encouragement in Amy Julia’s words.
Amy Julia, thanks for stopping by! Tell my readers a bit about yourself.
Thanks for having me! I am a mother: Penny is 6 and has Down syndrome, William is 3, and Marilee just turned one. I’m also a writer, and as a result of my kids, I mostly write about faith, family, and disability.
This month on my blog we’re talking about trust and what it means to intentionally trust God in our everyday life. Your book A Good and Perfect Gift explores trust on a variety of levels. So before we get into the topic of trust, can you tell my readers a bit about your book?
A Good and Perfect Gift is a memoir about the first two years of our daughter Penny’s life, from the initial moments of shock and sadness that she had been diagnosed with Down syndrome to the love and joy we experienced as we got to know her. It’s really a spiritual journey of how I came to receive Penny as a good gift from God.
When you first stepped into the journey of having a newborn daughter with Down Syndrome, you write about how you were faced with the reality that your daughter may not ever meet some of the expectations or hopes you’d originally had for her. Can you share a bit about that? And for any of us in each of our own situations, do you think trust means surrendering expectations? Continue reading
Posted in Cultivating a Vibrant Faith, Interviews & Conversations, Nurturing a Thriving Family, Resources & Links
Tagged acceptance, disability, disappointment, discouragement, Down syndrome, expectations, gratitude, honesty, joy, meet my friend . . ., parenting, prayer, trust
If you’ve been following my blog, you may remember Caryn from an e-interview last year about silence and solitude. Caryn Rivadeneira is a writer, speaker, founding partner of the Redbud Writers Guild, and married mom of three who lives in Chicago-land. Caryn is the author, most recently, of Grumble Hallelujah: Learning to Love Your Life Even When It Lets You Down — a fantastic book about acceptance, thankfulness, letting go, worship, courage, and so much more. I’m so glad Caryn joined us today to be part of our conversation about gratitude.
Are you ready, Caryn? Give me your first reaction to this question: What are ten things you’re thankful for? (No cheating: share the first 10 that come to mind.)
Opportunities to write. My kids. My friends. My home. Food. My family’s health. My computer. Facebook. My husband. My dog. (Let’s hope my husband doesn’t see this list! Poor guy eeked in just above the dog. At least he knows how much I love that dog.)
Grumble Hallelujah begins with a description of a low, stressed-out moment for you when you muttered to your husband “I hate my life!” And you also write about the importance of actually grieving the loss of dreams or of ways we might have once hoped our life would turn out. So not to start out too negative here, but why must we come to terms with what we may “hate” about our lives? Why is grieving an important starting place?
I think grieving the losses is important because it means we’ve actually taken the time to acknowledge the losses and that we’ve determined that the loss was significant enough to grieve. Often times when we’re in the dumps because of junky finances or unfulfilling relationships or just not being where we thought we’d be, we tend to scold ourselves. “How dare I complain about money when so many are so worse off….” “Well, at least I have other friends…..” That sort of thing.
But—as a therapist told me years ago—pain is pain. And it does no good to deny it. So, that’s why I think we need to grieve our hurts and losses and disappointments. Instead of letting the hurt fester down deep and ultimately become bitter, grief allows us to “process” it—to use a therapy-y term—and move forward. Continue reading