This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers by K.J. Ramsey
This Too Shall Last, by therapist and writer K.J. Ramsey, combines personal stories and insightful research to reveal the surprising joy available in suffering.
This book is not a before-and-after story.
Our culture treats suffering like a problem to fix, a blight to hide, or the sad start of a transformation story. We silently, secretly wither under the pressure of living as though suffering is a predicament we can avoid or annihilate by working hard enough or having enough faith. When your prayers for healing haven't been answered, the fog of depression isn't lifting, your marriage is ending in divorce, or grief won't go away, it's easy to feel you've failed God and, worse, he's failed you. If God loves us, why does he allow us to hurt?
Over a decade ago chronic illness plunged therapist and writer K.J. Ramsey straight into this paradox. Before her illness, faith made sense. But when pain came and never left, K.J. had to find a way across the widening canyon that seemed to separate God's goodness from her excruciating circumstances.
She wanted to conquer suffering. Instead, she encountered the God who chose it. She wanted to make pain past-tense. Instead, God invited her into a bigger story.
This Too Shall Last offers an antidote to our cultural idolatry of effort and ease. Through personal story and insights from neuroscience and theology, Ramsey invites us to let our tears become lenses of the wonder that before God ever rescues us, he stands in solidarity with us. We are all mid-story in circumstances we did not choose, wondering when our hard things will end and where grace will come if they don’t. We don't need to make suffering a before-and-after story. Together we can encounter the grace that enters the middle of our stories, where living with suffering that lingers means receiving God's presence that lasts.
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Paperback: 224 pages
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.0 ounces
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
K.J. Ramsey (MA, Denver Seminary) is a therapist, writer, and recovering idealist who believes sorrow and joy are necessary friends. Her writings have appeared in Christianity Today, RELEVANT, The Huffington Post, Health Central, Fathom Magazine, The Mighty, and Introvert, Dear. She and her husband live in Denver, Colorado. Follow K.J.'s writing at kjramsey.com and across social media at @kjramseywrites.
"Christians dealing with pain will appreciate Ramsey's comforting, candid memoir."
— Publishers Weekly
"Highly recommended for readers grappling with whether God allows pain to happen in our lives."
— Library Journal
Raising a Rare Girl: A Memoir by Heather Lanier
Award-winning writer Heather Lanier’s memoir, Raising a Rare Girl, about raising a child with a rare syndrome, defying the tyranny of normal, and embracing parenthood as a spiritual practice that breaks us open in the best of ways.
Like many women of her generation, Heather Lanier did everything by the book when she was expecting her first child. She ate organic foods, recited affirmations, and drew up a birth plan for an unmedicated labor in the hopes that she could create a SuperBaby, an ultra-healthy human destined for a high-achieving future.
But her daughter Fiona challenged all of Lanier’s preconceptions. Born with an ultra-rare syndrome known as Wolf-Hirschhorn, Fiona received a daunting prognosis: she would experience significant developmental delays and might not reach her second birthday. Not only had Lanier failed to produce a SuperBaby, she now fiercely loved a child that the world would sometimes reject. The diagnosis obliterated Lanier’s perfectionist tendencies, along with her most closely held beliefs about certainty, vulnerability, God, and love.
With tiny bits of mozzarella cheese, a walker rolled to library story time, a talking iPad app, and a whole lot of pop and reggae, mother and daughter spend their days doing whatever it takes to give Fiona nourishment, movement, and language. They also confront society’s attitudes toward disability and the often cruel assumptions made about Fiona’s worth. Lanier realizes the biggest question is not, Will my daughter walk or talk? but, How can I best love my girl, just as she is?
Loving Fiona opens Lanier up to new understandings of what it means to be human, what it takes to be a mother, and above all, the aching joy and wonder that come from embracing the unique life of her rare girl.
Hardcover: 320 pages
Dimensions: 6.3 x 9.3 x 1.0 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather Lanier is an essayist, memoirist, and poet. She’s the author of two award-winning poetry chapbooks: Heart-Shaped Bed in Hiroshima and The Story You Tell Yourself, winner of the Wick Poetry Open Chapbook Competition. Her nonfiction has appeared in Salon, The Southern Review, The Threepenny Review, Fourth Genre, Brevity, Vela, and elsewhere. She has received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and a Vermont Creation Grant. A graduate of Ohio State University’s MFA program, she’s now an Assistant Professor of Creative Nonfiction at Rowan University. Her TED talk, “‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Are Incomplete Stories We Tell Ourselves,” has been viewed over two million times.
“Lanier’s memoir is now on the short list of books I’ll give, when the time comes, to my own pregnant daughters. It’s not just because a wise woman ought, in this as in all else, to be prepared for disaster even as she hopes for delight. It’s not even because Lanier’s writing is clean and beautiful. . . Lanier shines a clear light on what we sign up for when we allow a human soul to come through us and into the world, in whatever ‘interesting and beautiful package’ that soul might find. . . [She] teases out the glory, charm and humor of these moments, letting us adore her child with her.”
— Kate Braestrup, New York Times Book Review
“Raising a Rare Girl, a memoir by Heather Kirn Lanier, is a remarkable book…I found myself thinking that all expectant and new parents should read it. Lanier’s thoughtful, complex, loving account of raising her daughter Fiona—now 8—who was born with an extremely rare genetic deletion that results in a syndrome called Wolf-Hirschhorn, is a beautiful and hopeful book that is also unflinching about the day-to-day challenges of her family’s life. While every family’s experience of raising a child with disabilities will come with its own specific challenges, Lanier’s ultimate realization that the question to ask herself was not Will my daughter ever walk or talk? but How can I best love her, just as she is?”
— Michelle Herman, Slate
“This is an intensely reflective and honest account….Readers share moments of anguish, terror, laughter, and triumph, as feisty Fiona grows and conquers milestones in her own unique ways. The book ends as Fiona enters Kindergarten, confident, quirky, and rare, indeed.”
“Moving and insightful . . . Lanier struggles with the attitudes of physicians and others who regard her daughter as ‘damaged’ and beautifully details her own acceptance. . . This intimate, powerful memoir will resonate with parents, whether of ‘superbabies’ or not.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Lanier writes with powerful humanity as she charts her course. . . Her abiding love for Fiona is clear throughout, and it’s heartening to watch her learn to reject the idea that disability is deficit. . . A book of pluck, spirit, and great emotion with an appealing perspective on the value of each human life.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Heather Lanier has written an exquisite narrative that is full of joy, honesty, and pain, as she details the unexpected change in her life as a new mother when her daughter is born with a rare syndrome. In Raising a Rare Girl, Lanier writes with passion in each line, infusing wisdom in her stunning prose as she shares the most intimate moments of new motherhood. Lanier has created a book that could only be written by someone with the skill of poet and heart of an optimist. And at a time when mothers are expected to be perfect as parents, advocates, professionals, and partners, Lanier redefines the word perfect, and in doing so, teaches us all to find beauty in the necessary imperfections of our lives.”
— Elizabeth L Silver, author of The Tincture of Time
“This gem of a memoir reminds us that when we become parents, we are signing up for the precarious vulnerability of being human. Gorgeously written, and simultaneously as warm and intimate as a conversation with your wisest friend, Raising a Rare Girl is a moving testament to the transcendence of unconditional love.”
— Liane Kupferberg Carter, author of Ketchup is My Favorite Vegetable
“Heather Lanier has written a brave and beautiful memoir on her journey in early pregnancy as she hoped to create a SuperBaby, and then as she coped with the shocking news that her newborn daughter had been born with a rare syndrome that would require ongoing interventions for walking and talking. Lanier’s prose is dazzling, and her honesty is crushing. In Raising a Rare Girl, she demonstrates the depths of maternal love—and, in our historically perfectionistic society, the true meaning of triumph.”
— Gabrielle Glaser, author of American Baby
“Heather Lanier’s Raising a Rare Girl is that rare soaring book: a gripping read that delivers spiritual reflection and serious cultural analysis on disability and parenthood. These sentences are sheer poetry, and in the service of dissecting the ableism in our culture, they are also piercing and necessary.”
— Sonya Huber, author of Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System
“Heather Lanier has crafted a provocative examination of the difference between who we think we are and our being. Raising a Rare Girl is, at turns, heartbreaking and heart-soaring. It’s a hard-earned, generous, and insightful investigation of our bodies and our souls, grief and joy, holding on tight and letting go, as well as the worlds that take shape around us and the worlds we create from within.”
— Julianna Baggott, author of Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders
“Raising a Rare Girl is not just a memoir about Heather Lanier’s first few years as a mother, nor is it only about the challenges of raising a child with a rare syndrome in a world that does not welcome differences. It’s a tender and powerful book that asks us to look honestly at what we expect of our children, each other, and ourselves, and explores the unexpected joy that comes when we release those expectations. Lanier had no choice but to let go of her expectations of motherhood, herself, and her baby when Fiona came into this world, and we are the lucky recipients of the loving wisdom she gained in doing so.”
— Kerry Egan, author of On Living
“What does it mean to be a ‘good’ parent in an age of over-parenting? And why do so many of us assume if we just do everything ‘right,’ we can make the ‘perfect,’ baby? With immense tenderness, intelligence, and humor, Heather Lanier explores these questions in her memoir about raising a rare girl. The result is an arresting and beautiful book about the transformative power of unconditional love. Everyone should read it.”
— Kim Brooks, author of Small Animals
“With Raising a Rare Girl, Heather Lanier has written a luminous memoir about disability, life, and ardor. There is wholeheartedness and passion in this tale of parental joy and wisdom.”
— Stephen Kuusisto, author of Have Dog, Will Travel
The Book of Waking Up: Experiencing the Divine Love That Reorders a Life by Seth Haines
We all have our habits to "help" when life gets hard. Yet there's only one force that can offer us true healing from life's pain. Join award-winning writer Seth Haines in The Book of Waking Up for a guided experience into the Divine Love of God that transforms a life.
The inevitable pain of life gives us many reasons to check out--and many ways to do it. Alcohol, entertainment, pills, shopping, porn, chasing success, cashing checks, and collecting social media "likes"--these and so many other things anesthetize us from the wounds of everyday living. As Seth Haines wrote in his award-winning book, Coming Clean, "We're all drunk on something."
In his compelling follow-up, The Book of Waking Up, Seth invites you into the story of healing. He invites you to see your coping mechanisms for what they are--lesser lovers, which cannot bring the peace, freedom, and wholeness you crave. Through guided reflections, sustainable soul practices, and stories from Seth's life and others, The Book of Waking Up invites you to wake to your coping mechanisms, find the why behind your pain, and walk into the Divine Love of God.
As Seth writes, "Addiction is misplaced adoration." Now, join him on a journey toward the only Love worth adoring, the only Love that cures a soul. Join him on the journey to waking up.
Paperback: 224 pages
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.4 x 0.55 inches
Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Seth Haines has experienced the grace that comes from a God who lives in mystery, who works through both joy and pain. Seth’s first book Coming Clean: A Story of Faith received a Christianity Today Award of Merit in the publication’s 2016 book awards. Seth’s poetry and prose has been featured in various publications, including In Touch Magazine, Fathom Magazine, Tweetspeak Poetry, and at SethHaines.com. He makes his home in the Ozarks with his wife, Amber Haines, and their four sons.
"Seth has lived these words, fought for them, wrestled lies to the ground, and found love on the other side. May we slow down, pay attention, and wake up to the freedom we've been craving all along."
— Rebekah Lyons, bestselling author, Rhythms of Renewal and You Are Free
"The Book of Waking Up truly is for all of us. In these pages you will not find the dreaded alarm clock, no. This is a glorious song of joy, of honesty, and of wonder-working power. These lyrical, honest, humble words will open eyes, unclench fists, and cause souls to rise up in love."
— Sarah Bessey, author, Miracles and Other Reasonable Things and Jesus Feminist
"Seth cheerfully challenges the lies all addicts tell themselves to get them through the night, because he knows, by experience, that the truth will set you free. Whether or not you think you're an addict, read this book and learn."
— Bishop Greg Brewer, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida
"Sobriety is complicated. No one has it all figured out, but no one writes toward it and speaks toward it and leads me toward it like Seth Haines. His writing is a map and a comfort. A lamp and a warm hearth. I trust his words in my joy and in my pain."
— Annie F. Downs, bestselling author, 100 Days to Brave and Remember God
"Combining prose with poetry, theology with biography, and rapture born of rupture, Seth paves the way for those of us who, having grown tired of our wandering and wavering affections, are trying to figure out how to get back home. I can't recommend this book to you highly enough."
— Scott Sauls, senior pastor, Christ Presbyterian Church; author, Jesus Outside the Lines and Irresistible Faith
"Years ago, Gerald May's theologically rich and psychologically trustworthy Addiction and Grace became my go-to resource. Today it's The Book of Waking Up. I'm so grateful to Seth for his wisdom and vulnerability in it."
— Chuck Degroat, professor of pastoral care and Christian spirituality, Western Theological Seminary
"Seth Haines does two things in this book: he awakens us to our addictions and reveals himself as a thoughtful, incisive, and skilled writer. This book invites us to dive deep into the condition of our hearts, and offers guidance, hope, and direction for a better way."
— Mike Cosper, author, Recapturing the Wonder and Rhythms of Grace; founder, Harbor Media
"This book encourages us not merely to wake up from addiction but also to wake up to adoration of the God who loves us and promises to be faithful to us forever. It is most effective when read slowly, reflecting on the challenges offered and allowing God to transform us."
— Glenn R. Kreider, professor of theological studies, Dallas Theological Seminary; editor-in-chief, Bibliotheca Sacra
"Poet Haines, who wrote about his alcoholism and recovery in Coming Clean, addresses the importance of waking up from a life of addiction to a life of delighting in God in this thoughtful memoir."
— Publishers Weekly
Handle with Care: How Jesus Redeems the Power of Touch in Life and Ministry by Lore Ferguson Wilbert
Handle with Care reclaims the God-given ministry of pure and healthy touch. Whether it’s fearful side hugs on one side or sexual abuse on the other, both the culture and the church aren’t doing very well with touch. Singles are staying single longer, dating is wrought with angst over purity, and marriages struggle to not interpret all forms of touch as sexual. Even the Bible seems to have endless rules about not touching things. There is simply no place where touch doesn’t seem threatened or threatening.
But a curious thing happens when Jesus comes into His ministry: He touches. Jesus touches the sick and the outcast, the bleeding and the unclean.
What could it mean for families, singles, marriages, churches, communities, and the world to have healthy, pure, faithful, ministering touch? Somewhere in the mess of our assumptions and fears about touch, there is something beautiful and good and God-given. As Jesus can show us, there is ministry in touching.
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Hardcover: 264 pages
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lore Ferguson Wilbert has lived all over the United States but will always be most at home in the Northeast. She holds a degree in English from Lee University. She has been published by Christianity Today, Fathom Magazine, LifeWay Leaders, LifeWay Voices, The Gospel Coalition, Revive Our Hearts, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and more, on spiritual formation, faith, culture, and theology in life. She also teaches writing and edits on the side. She and her husband live with their Wheaten, their books, their gardens, and a stocked tea box at all times. You can read more of her work at sayable.net, on Twitter @lorewilbert or Instagram @lorewilbert.
"A fresh, singular voice that is as muscular and grounded as it is exquisite. A rare, authentic wonder in a world of words. What Lore writes, I need to read."
— Ann Voskamp
"Here is a brave, redemptive, fierce, God-honoring book... A helpful book on a crucial subject for an isolated generation."
— Russ Ramsey
"This is Lore at her finest—asking taboo questions without flinching, yet somehow also answering with grace, clarity, depth, and honesty. She sees us at our most vulnerable—needy for contact—and refuses to shame us for our need."
— Steve Bezner
"As biblical and practical, as warm and wise as I’ve come to expect all her words to be... the church will love better by reading this timely book."
— Jen Pollock Michel
Faith with a Twist: A 30-Day Journey into Christian Yoga by Hillary D. Raining and Amy Nobles Dolan
Faith with a Twist: A 30-Day Journey into Christian Yoga blends the ancient church’s wisdom and the spiritual practice of yoga. This book has a different meditation, prayer, or practice to go along with readers’ yoga practice for each day of a month-long journey, inviting participants to grow in their love of God. In addition to the core material, there will be a series of postures (with helpful modifications that could be done while seated) as well as suggestions on how this series could be used to complement different seasons in the church year.
All too often attempts to blend yoga and Christianity have failed to do justice to both traditions—often sacrificing the wisdom of one tradition for the other. Faith with a Twist connects the traditional eight limbs of yoga with the church’s understanding and emphasis on living a holy life. This approach creates a unique blend of spiritual practices and religious wisdom that are perfect for the yoga novice and the experienced practitioner alike.
Additional resources and videos:
- FREE yoga video: This 20-minute practice is excellent both for the beginner or for an experienced yogi on a busy day
- 1+ hour yoga class, taught by Amy ($5)
- Becoming You: A Guided Study of Self Through Yoga’s Wisdom
- Free Lenten resource: Faith with a Twist: The Season of Lent
Paperback: 127 pages
Dimensions: 8.0 x 10.0 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Amy Nobles Dolan is founder of Yoga With Spirit and leads classes and retreats on the power of yoga to reconnect and deepen faith. She lives with her husband and three children in Wayne, Pennsylvania, and is an author and editor of books and essays about yoga.
Hillary D. Raining is the rector of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. She holds a bachelor's degree with honors in religion and psychology from Moravian College, a master of divinity from Yale University and the Institute of Sacred Music, an Anglican certificate from Berkeley Seminary, and a doctorate in ministry from Drew University. In addition to her parish ministry, she has served on several diocesan and church-wide ministries as well as in ecumenical and interfaith efforts. She is a yoga instructor and musician and has many varied hobbies, including skiing, hiking, gardening, and beekeeping. She is married to Ken Raining, a librarian, and they have a daughter, Delia.