Kara Tippetts’s story was not a story of disease, although she lost her battle with terminal cancer.
It was not a story of saying goodbye, although she was intentional in her time with her husband and four children. Kara’s story was one of seeing God in the hard and in the good. It was one of finding grace in the everyday. And it was one of knowing “God with us” through fierce and beautiful friendship.
In Just Show Up, Kara and her close friend, Jill Lynn Buteyn, write about what friendship looks like in the midst of changing life seasons, loads of laundry, and even cancer. Whether you are eager to be present to someone going through a difficult time or simply want inspiration for pursuing friends in a new way, this eloquent and practical book explores the gift of silence, the art of receiving, and what it means to just show up.
What I thought about the book
Just Show Up is easy to read, and it's hard to read. Easy, because it's conversationally written. Hard, because it deals with hard.
A year ago, I was supposed to read and review Kara Tippetts' book, The Hardest Peace, but was unable to, because we were in the midst of our own "hard" at the time.
Near the end of September, my dad went in to the hospital, with pancreatitis. A couple days later, my boys and I drove down, from Mississippi to Florida, to be with my mom (she doesn't drive anymore, so I went down to be her driver).--The beauty of homeschooling is, I was able to haul our "school" with us.
The first couple weeks, we attempted to get school work done first thing in the mornings, so then I could take my mom to see Dad, in ICU. Sometimes the boys and my daughter would go with us, but usually not. Sometimes my daughter would take my mom, so I could do something with the boys. Jen couldn't go every day, because she has a job.
Then my dad just gave up. (He has Type 2 diabetes; has had a couple heart attacks, and several stents) He began refusing his insulin, medications of any kind, and even refused to eat. His system literally began shutting down.
A year ago today (October 12), he was transferred to hospice. My brothers were called and told to come. My husband and oldest son also came. Those were some long, dark, grueling days.
Some friends who walked through it with us, who just "showed up," were my friend, Robin, and her youngest two children (my youngest two boys' best buds), and my husband's sister, Karen. My parents' pastor was also there, in a very caring way.
Robin lined up meals to be brought to us. She set up a schedule online. She made the arrangements for the meals to be brought to her, and she delivered them to us there at the hospice house, or to my mom's house. Robin also helped, by taking the boys with her, when she was able.
On our hardest day, Karen just showed up with a whole meal, and an assortment of beverages. And then she made sure everyone took time to actually sit down and eat. That was the day we told my dad is was okay to go...if that was what he really wanted...if that was what God really wanted. That was also the day, by the end of which my body was physically hurting so bad, I was so exhausted, I could not even lift my feet while I walked anymore.
One thing my brothers and I were amazed by, was the strength and stamina my mom seemed to have. You see, she has her own set of health issues. But God gave her super-human strength to make it through those days.
The night before my brothers planned to drive back to Texas, my younger brother asked my dad one more time: Is this what you really want? to just lie here and die? Or do you want to go back to the hospital? Finally, my dad said, "hospital." So he was transferred back to hospital, only a different one than before. By now his kidneys had shut down, so he had to have dialysis. And a whole lot of other stuff.
Now our drive was even further. It was a long, hard road yet for my dad. But improvements were made; he gradually grew stronger. Soon he was transferred to a rehab facility. We chose the one where my friend, Robin, works. Even though he was still in rehab, the boys and I were able to come home by Thanksgiving. It was a good thing, because by that time we were needing warmer clothes!
Dad was discharged from rehab on Botanist Boy's birthday, near the beginning of December. We are praising God for the miracles, for granting us more time with Dad. It appears God still has a work for Dad to do here on earth. And we realize, yet again, how precious each moment is with our loved ones.
I will be forever grateful for those who walked with us a year ago, because when the children and I went through another "hard" nearly 12 years ago, we were not as fortunate. (That link is the first of a four-part series, sharing about that dark, black hole we walked through)
If you want a book to help you know how to Just Show Up for a friend or loved one who is going through a hard time in life, this book will show you just that. I can relate to Jill so much, since I'm an introvert to the core.
Be sure to have a box of tissues nearby.
The late Kara Tippetts was the author of The Hardest Peace and blogged faithfully at Mundane Faithfulness. Cancer was only a part of Kara’s story. Her real fight was to truly live while facing a crushing reality. Since her death in March 2015, her husband, Jason, is parenting their four children and leading the church they founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Jill Lynn Buteyn is the author of Falling for Texas, an inspirational novel, and a recipient of the ACFW Genesis Award for her fiction work. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Bethel University. Jill lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children.
Learn more and purchase a copy.
What does friendship look like in the midst of changing life seasons, loads of laundry—and even cancer? Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn teamed up to write Just Show Up, a story of their close friendship and walk through Kara's battle with terminal cancer. Whether you are eager to be present to someone going through a difficult time or simply want inspiration for pursuing friends in a new way, this eloquent and practical book explores the gift of silence, the art of receiving, and what it means to just show up.
Celebrate the gift of friendship with a Tried & True Friendship giveaway—a prize for you and for a friend!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of Just Show Up
- Two Ombre Layer Necklaces—one for you and one for a friend
Is one of your friends going through a tough time—maybe you need some encouragement? Stop by Kara and Jill's author page, click on the reviews bar, and read through some bloggers' stories of how their friends got them through suffering.
Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity in order to give you my honest opinion.
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