book giveaway

Books + Stories
Win a Copy of Mystics and Misfits!
June 8, 2018 at 6:59 am 0

I'm giving away a copy of Christiana Peterson's

Mystics and Misfits: Meeting God through St. Francis and Other Unlikely Saints!

    Christiana is a friend and a gorgeous writer. You don't want to miss her book -- the writing style, the vulnerability, what you'll learn and what you'll experience. She writes about Francis of Assisi, Dorothy Day, and Simone Weil and what life in an intentional community looks like. TO WIN a FREE COPY:  a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway ends June 13, 2018.  

I want to leave you with an original post by Christiana Peterson here on this blog so you can get a sampling of her lovely writing.

  Mid-way between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, an ice storm knocks out our power. With an unseasonably warm season, this blast of icy weather has reminded me that we live in the Midwest and it is indeed winter. Our apartment, in a building we share with two other families on a farm, sits only yards from our pigs, chickens, cows, and a large community garden. The well that supplies our drinking and flushing water and the water for all the animals depends on electricity to run. As I get cozy with my three children on the couch, we have no idea that we are only at the beginning of two and a half days without water, heat, a stove, or, gasp, the internet. My two older children and I make a fun afternoon of it, reading and swapping books. When evening comes and the power is still out, my husband grabs his camping stove from the basement. We have a dinner of reheated turkey soup by candlelight and headlamp. As we enjoy the momentary romance of a simpler evening, our parent-child conversations are predictable. Did you know that when my grandparents grew up on a farm, they didn't have any electricity? They didn't even have indoor toilets. Or washing machines. Or movies! They had to make their own music. Won’t we be thankful when the power comes on tomorrow? But the next morning, the lights are still off. The house is 50 degrees. The unflushed toilet has begun to stink. The downstairs wood floors are cold. There is no internet for the kids to watch movies, and I can’t wash the mounting piles of dishes or work on my dead laptop. The lesson-learning on this, Day 2 without power, feels cliché. But oddly enough, I’m not thinking about how thankful I will be when the lights come back. I’m not thinking about how grateful I am to have modern conveniences. I am thinking about St. Francis. Before my fascination with the Saints began, I believed that Catholics prayed to and venerated the Saints because they were holier versions of us. But I’m learning that the wisdom of studying the Saints is because of their humanness. The Saints give us examples, which though exemplary, are still fully fleshly attempts to follow Christ. I need those human examples. When the lights go out and the lessons we teach our children don't seem to change anything, I need to hear what the Saints have to teach about following a different way, a way that took them out of the clutches of their homes, possessions, and the things that made them feel secure. What the Saints, and St. Francis in particular, repeatedly live out is that abundance comes from a smaller life, not a larger one. The less wealth, material possessions and success there are to depend on, the wider a heart can become. When the lights finally come on again, I am having tea with an older woman with whom I haven’t visited in over a year. We are talking about the way things were when she was a child. We are having the same conversations I had with my children. But somehow they take on more meaning when they come from her. Just as St. Francis’ story moves me, so her story, her truth, her life shapes and encourages my faith. I clean up the mess of my thawed and stagnant house. I make no big changes in my lifestyle because of our break from electricity. But I read Richard Rohr’s words as a call to something terribly small but also immeasurably large: “You can now let Francis and Clare show you how to die into your one and only life, the life that you must learn to love.” I long to love my life. To die into it. To be fully present in it. To not wish for more power. I long for the courage to stay with the discomforts, living into the freedom of the duties of life. Accepting that living in a small, old, house on a farm means we will lose our power sometimes. Accepting that being in community will be joyful and painful. Accepting that difficult relationships will bring out the worst in me, and therefore allow God to shine through my brokenness. Maybe dying into my life and loving it are the same. I cannot be a Saint, but I will be a mother, a wife, a writer, a woman. And my efforts in every small human moment will add up to life, death, and love all at once.

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Books + Stories
Parenting is Hard. Win a copy of parenting book: First Ask Why!
April 19, 2018 at 12:40 pm 0
  Friends, I'm so excited to introduce you to my friend Shelly Wildman. She's the mom of three adult daughters and she's written a parenting book not because she has it all together, but because she's asked some good questions. It's called First Ask Why: Raising Kids to Love God through Intentional DiscipleshipAs a mother to four young kids, I've already learned a ton from Shelly's book and I want you to have your very own copy!

Shelly Wildman is a former writing instructor and author of  First Ask Why (Kregel). Shelly holds degrees from Wheaton College (BA) and University of Illinois at Chicago (MA), but her most important life’s work has been raising her three adult daughters. She and her husband, Brian have been married for 32 years and live in Wheaton, IL. Shelly speaks to women’s groups in the Chicago area and spends much of her free time mentoring young women. When she has time, she loves to cook, read, and travel. Connect with Shelly at her website or on Instagram and Facebook. You can still preorder First Ask Why at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and since it comes out on April 24th.

Read more below to find out about the book and how to win!


Instead of managing our children's behavior, Shelly Wildman says we need to first ask why.

To enter to win a copy of her book -- which is perfect for parents of children who are tweens and younger -- all you need to do is subscribe below. (If you're already subscribed, comment on this post instead.)


Shelly was so kind to answer a few questions. Read on to find out more about the book!

    Writing about parenting can be a powder keg—people have pretty strong opinions about raising kids. Why did you choose to write a parenting book? I kind of feel like I didn’t choose to write a parenting book, but that the book chose me. (Sounds like a scene from Harry Potter, doesn’t it?) I fought writing it for a long time because I knew I wasn’t a perfect parent—I had messed up so many times that I didn’t feel qualified to write this book. I still don’t. But the idea kept nagging at me for so long that I finally felt like God might have been pushing me to do it.   What makes your book different from other parenting books? So many parenting books are “how-to” books. They seem to say, “Just follow these ten steps and here’s what you’ll get in the end.” But I don’t believe we can parent by formula. I think we have to look at our unique family and ask why.
  • Why are we doing what we’re doing as a family?
  • Why are we emphasizing these spiritual values? And are there others we should consider?
  • Why are we even here as a family? What’s our purpose for being put together in this unique combination of individuals?
Asking why gets to the heart of the matter; it exposes our motivations and desires for our family. Asking why leads to intentionality. And asking why helps give our children a sense of purpose as we lead them.       What was your lowest parenting moment? You mean besides that time I locked my one-month-old in the car? (True story!) I think my lowest moments were the times I let my daughters down. When I betrayed their trust by sharing too much with others. Or when I didn’t fulfill a promise I had made. Parents can feel their kids’ disappointment, which hurts so much. But more than that, too many disappointments lead to mistrust or a lack of respect, and I never wanted that to happen. That said, parents are human. We do mess up. We do let our kids down. And those are the times we have to humble ourselves with our kids and apologize, sincerely. We need to let our kids know that we don’t always do things perfectly or say the right things or even parent correctly. But that we need grace and the help of God as much as they do.   Who do you hope will read this book and what do you hope they will gain? I hope parents with kids of all ages will read this book, but especially parents of younger children. I hope grandparents will read this book. And I hope it sparks lots of discussion between husbands and wives, moms groups, or even small groups in churches. My hope is that parents will come away from reading this book with a stronger sense of their purpose as parents and that they might gain a couple of new ideas that they can implement in their own family. I also hope people will read the last chapter very carefully and prayerfully. The last chapter of the book is on letting go, and it’s a concept that I think is becoming lost a little bit today. It’s so hard, but it’s so important, even when your children are young, to start thinking about letting go. We’ve got to be parents who demonstrate faith in God’s sovereign work in the lives of our children.  

Is your appetite whetted for a book that will help you ask all the good and hard questions so you can intentionally disciple your children?

To win the book, all you need to do is enter your email (or comment). 


Giveaway will end on April 24, 2018.

Share with all your friends who could use some love on their parenting journey.

If you can't wait you can order First Ask Why right now!