I was a shy kid who didn’t always muster the courage to talk to people I knew when I saw them in the grocery store. It was painful, really. But I have these two kids who talk – a lot. They still sometimes surprise with their banter and detailed stories.
But I’m glad they’re not shy like me.
I try to remember that when I crave a quiet moment.
Their words are honest and real. Sometimes they even use the wrong words. But their thoughts are often compassionate and authentic – characteristics that can be rare these days. Their stories make me laugh and bring me back to what’s important. Their jokes aren’t funny yet, but I have hope they will be one day.
In my ebook, “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family,” I talk about how nothing has been more sanctifying in my life than motherhood. Much of the spiritual growth that has happened in my life can be directly traced back to my kids’ words. They may be just 5 and 7 years old, but they’ve helped me learn what Jesus meant in Matthew 18:3 ::
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Reading “Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most” by Amy Julia Becker was so good for my momma soul. With so many other things I could have been doing, I wanted to read her stories – the real-life, ordinary moments she shared with her kids that prompted her to gain eternal perspective.
Yes, she shared about her relationships with each other three children have become deeper by discussion life – and all the changes and people that come with it. But she also uses conversations and moments with her children to reflect on what God is doing around her.
I’ve long been a fan of memoirs, but “Small Talk” gave me a chance to pause in the middle of my own chaos and remember how God shows up among all those words my own kids speak.
And I know it will do that for other people – regardless of how old their kids are or whether they have kids of their own. In fact, I already bought it for a friend as a gift because I figured texting her all my favorite parts really wasn’t an option.
ABOUT THE BOOK :: Almost every day, one of Amy Julie Becker’s children says something that prompts her to think about life in a new way. “Mom, does Santa love me?” William asks, after his mother explains the meaning of Christmas…In a chat with her dad about the children who died in the Sandy Hook shootings, Penny asks, “Did they go to heaven?” …”You was a jerk, Mommy?” asks Marilee one morning in the car. These conversations refine her own understanding of what she believes, why she believes it, and what she hopes to pass along to the next generation.
“Small Talk” is a narrative based upon these conversations. It is not a parenting guide. It does not offer prescriptive lessons about how to talk with children. Rather, it tells stories based upon the questions and statements Amy Julia’s children have made about the things that make life good (such as love, kindness, beauty, laughter, and friendship), the things that make life hard (such as death, failure, and tragedy), and what we believe (such as prayer, God, and miracles).
Amy Julia moves in rough chronological order through the basic questions her kids asked when they were very young to the intellectual and then spiritual questions of later childhood. It invites other parents into these same conversations, with their children, with God, and with themselves. Moving from humorous exchanges to profound questions to heart-wrenching moments, Amy Julia encourages parents to ask themselves— and to talk with their children about— what matters most. It’s a 230-page soft cover book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR :: Amy Julia Becker writes about faith, family, and disability for Parents.com, the New York Times Motherlode blog, TheAtlantic.com, The Huffington Post parents page, Christianity Today, The Christian century, and numerous other publications. Her first book, “A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny,” was named one of the Top Ten Religion Books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly. Amy Julia lives in western Connecticut with her husband and three children.
AND THE GIVEAWAY :: I’m so glad one of you will win a copy of this book. Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win. A winner will be randomly selected on Tuesday, Dec. 2.
Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing a copy of “Small Talk for this giveaway as well as a copy for me to review in exchange for this post. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. Amazon affiliate links included in this post.
Want more stories? “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family” is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin’, or subscribe to receive “Insights in Your Inbox.”