A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I had started reading Mary Beth Chapman's book, Choosing to See. I have now finished the book and can say that I'd highly recommend it. It's not just a book about grief. It tells Mary Beth's story. The story of how she has repeatedly had to let go of her own agenda to let God do his great work in her life. And what a work it has been!
She writes with wonderful humor. I'm not a person that typically laughs out loud while reading - or even watching movies, for that matter - but Mary Beth shares her stories so descriptively that the giggles just bubbled up out of me. And it left me very thankful that I don't have nearly as many embarassing stories as she does!
Mary Beth also candidly shares about the pain of losing a child. The last several chapters are all blog and journal entries from the year and half following Maria's death. I was surprised at how fresh the grief was even after a year or more. But that's why this book is so important! For someone who has not faced such intense grief, it's so helpful to know that others may still be severely struggling long after their loved one has passed. So as a friend, I need to show compassion, provide a listening ear, and practice patience a I hold someone's hand through their long-term grief.
I have a few favorite quotes from the book, but since I may incorporate them into a talk for our upcoming women's retreat, I'll wait to share them.
What's next on my reading list?
First, a book that has inspired my pre-teen: Do Hard Things by Brett and Alex Harris. These two young men are calling teens to do more than society expects of them and have started a Rebelution. We asked our son to read this recently and then had him write a book report on it. Let me tell you, that was the best book report I've ever read! If you have a teen or work with teens, I'd highly recommend the book.
And next in my que: Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski. Mike and a friend set out to live the life of the homeless in six cities across the U.S. for over five months. I have heard him interviewed and am captivated by his story and what he learned. I can't wait to delve into this one!