Monday, August 30, 2010

Choosing to SEE - A Special Book

Choosing to SEE
Mary Beth Chapman
with Ellen Vaughn
Revell Books
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1991-3
September, 2010/Hardback/288 pages/$21.99

From the beginning, Mary Beth Chapman's life was not how she planned. All she wanted was a calm, peaceful life of stability and control. Instead, God gave her an award-winning singer/songwriter husband, crazy schedules, and a houseful of creatively rambunctious children. Most difficult of all, God's plans for her also included tragedy.

In Choosing to SEE, Mary Beth unveils her struggle to allow God to write the story of her life, both the happy chapters and the tragic ones. And as the story unfolds, she's been forced to wrestle with some of life's biggest questions: Where is God when things fall apart? Why does God allow terrible things to happen? How can I survive hard times?

No matter where you find yourself in your own life story, you will treasure the way Mary Beth shows that even in the hard times, there is hope if you choose to SEE.

Mary Beth Chapman is the wife of Grammy and Dove Award winning recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman. Together they began Show Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to caring for the world's most vulnerable children by providing financial assistance to families wishing to adopt, as well as increasing awareness of the orphan crisis and funneling resources to orphans domestically and internationally. Mary Beth serves as president of Show Hope and is a speaker for Women of Faith 2010 with her husband. She is also coauthor with Steven of the Shaoey and Dot series of children's picture books. Mary Beth and Steven have six children: Emily, Caleb, Will Franklin, and adopted daughters Shaohannah Hope, Stevey Joy, and Maria Sue, who is now with Jesus. The Chapmans live in Tennessee. Visit her website

Ellen Vaughn is a bestselling author and inspirational speaker. Her recent books include It's All About Him with Denise Jackson (wife of Alan Jackson), which debuted at #1 on the New York Times nonfiction list. She is also coauthor with Chuck Colson of Being the Body. In addition to her nonfiction work, Vaughn is an award-winning novelist. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband, Lee.

Available September 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I don't even know how to put into words how special this book is. I knew it would be, and yet it has even exceeded my expectations. Mary Beth Chapman has spilled her heart out onto the pages and given us a wee glimpse into her journey with God through the years, both before and since Maria's tragic death, although that is obviously a huge part of her story. As she says in chapter two,
What do I do with God? In the midst of such heartbreak, do I really believe that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose?

The answer to that question has come at a great cost. It has been agonizing to choose to see God at work through the tears of losing my daughter. I have, however, experienced the kindness, sweetness, faithfulness, and redemptive heart of God. I believe none of my tears have been wasted.

But I need to be clear. This book isn't just about the spring day when Steven and I lost our precious Maria Sue in a terrible accident. It's about a story . . . a story God is writing. All along the way, He has changed my story in ways I didn't like. I've had whole chapters added and deleted and strange plot twists that I never saw coming....What I've found is that it's in the most unlikely times and places of hurt and chaos that God gives us a profound sense of His presence and the real light of His hope in the dark places.

So this book isn't so much about me and Steven, as broken and crazy as we are. It's about God . . . and how He can comfort, carry, and change us on our journey, no matter how hard it is.
(Excerpted from pp 23-25)

This book will cause you to both mourn and rejoice: mourn over the unimaginable heartbreak experienced by the Chapman family beginning on May 21, 2008, and rejoice that God is still God and is bigger than their pain.
In the midst of it all, God really is with us and for us. I have found that even during those times when the path is darkest, He leaves little bits of evidence all along the way--bread crumbs of grace--that can give me what I need to take the next step. But I can only find them if I choose to SEE. (p. 26)

Don't miss this incredible book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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quilly said...

I chose not to read this book because I was so afraid my heart would break. I pick up other people's pain and wear it for weeks. It is often exhausting.

Diana Ferguson said...

I know this is going to be a great "tug-at-the-heart story!!

Kim said...

I'm about half-way through...and it is indeed incredible!

A bit convicting too, if I'm honest!


Lisa Spence said...

What hope we have in Christ! I am thankful for the Chapman's testimony of the faithfulness of God in the midst of unimaginable heartbreak. I haven't read the book but I'm certain it would be convicting and heartbreaking and encouraging. Thanks for your review!

My ADHD Me said...

For some reason, this title reminds me of the time I couldn't hear God until I realized that I needed to "Shut-Up and Listen"

Sounds like a difficult but important read.

Cathy said...

Sounds like something I should probably read.

sara said...

I am looking forward to reading this book and am glad to hear that it was even better than you expected!