....CELEBRATING LIFE IN THE MIDST OF THE LONG GOOD-BYE
I must admit that I didn't open the pages of this book with delight. I knew that 'And it was Beautiful' was a collection of Kara Tippett's words published posthumously, and I held back. I guess that all of us would avoid heartache and illness and pain if we can, even if it's only in reading it. Too many times we've lived beneath its shadow.
Personally, I've lived a big chunk of my life as carer to my husband- early onset of Parkinson's Disease. His diagnosis was not a death sentence, but certainly a life sentence. So I know how illness affects life and families and relationships... and yes, children.
But Kara's writing does not drip with despair. She notes, "If you live long enough with an illness, you can begin to be defined by it. I have cancer, but it's only a part of who I am." Indeed, her words are real and full of life, filled with the joy of the mundane but beautiful moments in life.
It was in those moments that Kara spoke of her children and her desire for each child to experience life, adventure and an ongoing growth in their faith... but without her, that broke me. Yet Kara acknowledges the grace of God seen in so many moments throughout the journey. And through her words, she holds out her hands filled with wisdom earned through pain and heartache: about God's love and grace, of people and relationships, of families under pressure, of caring for those living with illness. Above all, Kara shares her perspective of life from the vantage point of one who knows intimately the precious life of 'today.'
As you read, you can hear her heart, her longing for everyone to see the grace of God revealed in the sunshine after a storm, the view from the mountaintop or a movie that moves you as well as in the big moments in life.
'The big moments matter, and they do await you, but the brilliant part of your story is awaiting you on the boring mundane days sitting beside a fire on a rainy day. Jesus will be there for all of it. He brings the big graces as well as the little ones. And what cancer has taught me is that the small graces today as well as the big ones tomorrow are the essence of living in faith.'
Should you read this book? Only you can answer, but sharing Kara's journey will provide a bridge to a new way of understanding, of thankfulness and of living each moment to the full. And yes, there'll be tears. But at the end, you'll know and understand Kara's prayer:
"I'm praying that Jesus would give you eyes to see the very best of life that will meet you in grace. Grace in the small beautiful moments."
I would like to thank David C. Cook for providing me with the opportunity to read and review, and learn and grow, through this book.
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I've decided to accept the 31Day blogging challenge with my own focus for the month: falling in love with small moments.