Just Show Up: the dance of walking through suffering together by Kara Tippetts & Jill Lynn Buteyn
About this book: (from the publisher) 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.
About the authors: The late Kara Tippetts was the author of The Hardest Peace and blogged faithfully at mundanefaithfulness.com. 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. Read Kara’s blog.
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. Connect with Jill: website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Genre: Non-fiction/Religion/Christian Life/Women’s Issues
Why this story matters to me: Because it’s about stepping out in faith and authenticity, within community. As the authors say: “living our stories together.”
Will especially appeal to: friends of women going through a season of suffering–illness, loss, or transition.
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My take: Oh, if only I could be with you right now, to press this book into your hands and say, “Here. Read this. And save it. It’s one for your keeper shelf.” It certainly is for mine, this handy little book that I anticipate referencing again and again as I walk through life with friends.
If you are a woman…if you are a friend…this book is for you.
Written with open authenticity by both authors, this book is about being there for our friends. Being present, always, but especially when a friend is walking through a dark valley. Honestly, I can’t think of a woman who wouldn’t be blessed by what she’ll read here. If you are a woman who does “hard” well, it will provide you strength and encouragement. If you don’t, it will provide sound, practical advice and hope for doing better tomorrow. If you fall somewhere in between–as probably most of us do–it is one of the most helpful, authentic books on friendship I’ve read.
But this isn’t solely for those who are walking alongside those who are suffering. It also has a wise word or two for the woman who is suffering. On how to ask, and receive. On covering the stumbles and missteps of well-intentioned friends with grace. Because that’s what authentic community requires. Being thrown together in suffering demands vulnerability on both sides if it’s to be done meaningfully, in a forever kind of way. With an all-in kind of attitude. And since none of us is perfect, all-in will mean an occasional gaffe. And that’s okay.
Two other things I especially appreciated about the authors’ story. One, the fact that they were not BFFs when Kara’s suffering began. They were friends, yes, but had known each other only six months when Kara was diagnosed. Prompting a deliberate choice on Jill’s part: Do I keep my distance during this difficult season (where it’s more comfortable), or do I make the harder choice to show up for my friend while she’s going through her hard? Jill chose the latter, and was challenged…and blessed. My takeaway? Few friendships are exempt from the invitation to just show up.
The second thing I appreciated was the addressing of the introvert issue. Reaching out…showing up…can sometimes be hard for us introverts. Especially in Christian circles, it seems we’re often expected to be extroverted. (Say: Sunday morning greeting time.) But there’s grace for us here too, as well as gentle encouragement to lean into Christ for the strength and courage we need to reach beyond ourselves.
I read this beautifully poignant book in two days flat. Just Show Up is a lovely portrait of community and faith, and I highly recommend it.
Thanks to Litfuse Publicity and David C. Cook for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
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After words: Can you think of a time when a friend particularly showed up for you? What did that look like? How did it make you feel?
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
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 23rd. The winner will be announced October 26th on Jill’s blog.
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.