A Moment to Breathe: A Book Giveaway

***This giveaway in now CLOSED. Congrats to our winners, Sandra and Sierra!***

….

“Inside, I’m dying with fear,” he said. “I think we all are.”

I read these words in a recent NY Times article, spoken by a seventeen year old boy living in a tumultuous political climate, and I felt them bore deep into my body. Every time I read the news or turn to twitter or scroll through my Facebook feed, my bones melt under the flame of fear. I struggle to stand beneath the weight of all the hard news, the horror, and the helplessness I feel in the face of it.

Inside, I am dying with fear. Fear that I know too much to be silent. Fear that I don’t. Fear that hand wringing and pearl clutching will become my permanent posture. Fear that I’ve given up hope. Fear that this is my children’s inheritance–a broken world of cracked images. Fear that if we no longer recognize the Imago Dei, how will they?

Frederick Buechner wrote “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” and I cling to these words as if they came straight from the mouth of God himself. Perhaps they resonate because this is the essence of the message we discover in God’s love letter to us. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. But, Jesus. The Christ. Redemption. Don’t be afraid.

When the cares of the world of the world feel like too much, I take solace in scripture. I find myself most often in the Psalms, where I reach across centuries and cultures to knit my soul to those experiencing every emotion from lament and anguish, to joy and triumph. I know we need action and real solutions, but this is the place where my heart releases the posture of wrung out hands and embraces a posture of possibility.

I need the words of the Psalmists of the past to speak into my present and remind me that there is nothing new under the sun.  Beautiful and terrible things have happened and will continue to do so. How will I be a part of creating beauty? How will I seek redemption for God’s kingdom here and now, while holding onto hope for the not yet?

I believe my place is to speak peace to the rising fear. It is to speak Jesus to the terror and horror of the news cycle. And not only to speak to the larger-than-life fears, but to speak to the small fears that blister our souls with their heat. I want to speak peace and hope to the fear that we are not enough, we are unlovable, we can’t change, we aren’t a good friend, mother, daughter, wife, Christian. These too are the fears that melt our bones, and keep us from becoming warriors for shalom in our own homes.

I recently had the pleasure of contributing to a beautiful devotional called “A Moment to Breathe: 365 devotions that meet you in your everyday mess.” curated by the (in)courage community. It releases today, and I’d love to give two copies away to readers. Eighty women contributed their words to create this devotional as a means of reaching across the divide. Just as the Psalmists are my companions, the writers of “A Moment to Breathe” would like to become your everyday companions too. We may not have the divine inspiration or the poetic cadence of the Psalms, but we have our hearts, handed to you across the page.

If you’re in need of a moment to catch your breath between news cycles and outrage and dishes and deadlines, please leave a comment below to enter your name for the book giveaway. If you prefer to get on with it, you can purchase a copy for yourself (and perhaps a sister/co-worker/friend?) wherever books are sold.

I will choose two winners to receive one book each by the completely unscientific method of pulling your names out of a hat. Or, more likely, a salad bowl. Giveaway closes on Tuesday, October 10th. Leave a comment below telling me how you combat fear in an age hell-bent on inflaming it.

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  • Kelly Haas

    What a beautiful devotional book that I would absolutely love to read and share with friends, coworkers, and family! I try to combat fear by getting quiet, taking a walk around the pond, and talking with God along the way.

    • Stillness is so important for the health of my soul, especially when outside circumstances court anxiety and fear. Thanks so much for stopping by, Kelly!

    • Stillness is so important for the health of my soul, especially when outside circumstances court anxiety and fear. Thanks so much for stopping by, Kelly!

  • Sandra Piazza

    That’s one of my favorite Buechner quotes. I would love to spend a few hours talking with him…such a complicated character; such wisdom.

    • I haven’t read much of his work, but I think I need to! Thanks so much for reading, Sandi.

    • I haven’t read much of his work, but I think I need to! Thanks so much for reading, Sandi.

  • marian vischer

    I keep making the dinner and talking with my kids and loving the people God has given me right here.

    Such good and timely words! I’m gonna share your giveaway over on IG. : )

    • Faithfulness in our everyday lives is the perfect antidote to fear. Thanks so much for sharing:)

    • Faithfulness in our everyday lives is the perfect antidote to fear. Thanks so much for sharing:)

  • I combat fear by putting on my Courage necklace (thank you, Marian!) and counting my gifts. 🙂

    • I love the idea of wearing courage around one’s neck. Thanks for stopping by, Kindel!

    • I love the idea of wearing courage around one’s neck. Thanks for stopping by, Kindel!

  • Sierra Morris

    I have silent alarms set on my phone that go off throughout the day. The alarms remind me to stop what I’m doing and count my blessings, which are typically thankfulness for clean water, safety, and life. It’s so easy for us to take those for granted.

    • What a simple, purposeful reminder! I make practices of mindfulness and gratitude harder than they need to be. Set an alarm, stop, and count my blessings. Brilliant.

  • Jess

    When I’m worried and fearful,
    I often fidget with my rings, so I wear a ring in the shape of a wave to remind me of my favorite line of a song that says “let go my soul and trust in him, the wind and waves still know his name”…

    • What a gorgeous reminder. I like the idea of something physical–a touchstone of sorts. Thanks for sharing.

  • Glenna

    I might be too late for the giveaway, but I thought I’d pipe in anyway. I love that Buechner quote so much. For me, I combat fear with prayer and Scripture, but I usually end up journaling to help me process what I’m feeling. That helps me to sift and separate truth from lies.