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“Not your typical celebrity wife book at all, but an honest, down-to-earth account of one family's struggles in the midst of tragedy--and more. I loved Mary Beth Chapman from the moment she admitted that one night early in their marriage when Steven reminded her that they shouldn't "let the sun...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Mary Beth Chapman is the wife of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman. The book begins with her marriage at 19 to 21-year-old Steven and continues through the early years of their marriage--the beginning of Steven's career as a singer and the ultimate birth of three children. Mary Beth also frankly discusses her problems with depression, especially during Steven's early tours, and the fact that she takes anti-depressants. I found that brave because many Christians can be judgmental about mental health issues. At some point Mary Beth and her eldest daughter take a Compassion International trip to Haiti, where Emily's heart is turned toward the plight of orphans. She begins to urge her parents to adopt a child. Ultimately they do decide to adopt a baby girl from China. They are so touched by the situation of the orphans that they urge their friends and others to adopt as well, and several in their circle of friends and family do. The Chapmans go on to adopt two more daughters from China, completing their family with six children. Then one day tragedy strikes when their son Will Franklin hits their 5-year-old daughter Maria with his car in their driveway (NOT a spoiler since this is on the dust jacket). The remainder, and point, of the book is the family, especially Mary Beth, dealing with the grief caused by Maria's death. Mary Beth frankly deals with the fact that in the depth of her sorrow she has questions about why God would allow such a tragedy to happen, but continues to choose to SEE that she has a future with Maria in heaven, that there is a purpose and plan that can't be comprehended, and that while she won't get over the tragedy, she and her family will get through it. She also has to deal not only with the death of her daughter, but also her concern over her son and his guilt, and the fact that the oldest adopted daughter witnessed the accident. The Chapmans have a strong faith that holds them together, and friends and family who share that faith and pull together. They also wisely seek counseling for everyone. The aftermath takes the family members in different directions, but they channel their grief into projects that benefit others and allow them to share their faith.
I enjoyed this book because Mary Beth doesn't hesitate to voice her doubts and questions to God. She doesn't pretend that all is well because she believes in an eternal future with her lost child. She spends day in tears and despair. And yet despite her agony, that doesn't really abate, she is able to hang on to her faith and choose to SEE what God can do and how he meets her needs from day to day. This book was heartbreaking, but inspirational.”
“I love to read inspirational stories from people who have lived out their faith in the trenches. Mary Beth Chapman's story is a heart-wrenching story of how her family coped with unspeakable tragedy and how they lived out their faith through the questions, the doubts, and the tears. It was truly touching to sense the depths of her pain and to see her choose to SEE the good. The story is also part of a larger story of her life, and it was so encouraging to read the testimony of her & her husband's commitment to marriage, to walk side by side through the good and the bad.”Erin wrote this review Monday, February 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I laughed out loud and sobbed, in intervals, through this heart wrenching and also heart warming true story. Testimony really. I know God isn't finished writing this family's story yet. So many of Steven's songs take on new meanings now. Good book. Will stretch you. Make sure to have tissues handy. ”Eva L wrote this review Sunday, December 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I remember when the terribly tragic accident occurred that took the Chapman's young daughter. This book discusses that loss, but it also tells the story of the lives of the Chapman family before and after the accident. The theme of adoption is woven throughout the book because it is such a vital component of the Chapman's lives. A great non-fiction read.”Jeanna McKee wrote this review Friday, November 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I cried my way through the whole last part of this book. What a life lesson I will take from Maria's precious life - TO SEE. I was very inspired by Steven Curtis Chapman at a Woman of Faith event. He was one of those that continued to fan the flame for us to say "Yes" to adoption. The Chapman's organization Show Hope also gave us a generous grant to help fund our adoption. Thank you Chapman family for choosing to SEE and planting the seeds in the lives of others. ”TessFull wrote this review Friday, September 14, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a book that will make you laugh and cry (and cry and cry!) It is a book of hope and horror. Ultimately though, it is the story of grace. The Chapman family are heroes of the faith. They have faced horror. Not only that, because Steven Curtis Chapman is a famous Christian music artist, they had to do it publicly. Mary Beth Chapman shares the pain, the struggle and the redemption that grace offered. GREAT read! ”Linda K wrote this review Tuesday, June 12, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Wow. Never read a book so moving. I don't cry easily. I needed a box of tissues nearby. I love Steven Curtis Chapman's music, so this book meant even more to me, having been written by his wife. I have a LONG waiting list of friends who want to borrow it...waiting in line. My friend Shelly, who has it now, is just as moved as I was, if not more. I told her she's going to need therapy after this one! lol Like I said, I have NEVER read a book like this! Totally recommend this to all. She is real about her faith - and questions that are raised, and that she may still have about God. I love that. Genuine. ”Pennie Bixler wrote this review Sunday, May 27, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I've looked forward to reading this and the Easter Bunny was nice enough to bring it:)”Miss Hays wrote this review Thursday, April 19, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“There were some great parts of this book, times where you could see God's hand in the lives of the Chapman family. I loved reading about the adoption. But overall, it was a "meh" I skipped huge exerts from her blog, which I felt was really redundant. ”Jaime wrote this review Tuesday, April 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Mary Beth Chapman has written a beautiful, heartfelt memoir. I feel like I know her even though I cannot imagine the pain she suffered with the loss of her beautiful Maria. I cried along with her when they lost Maria, I prayed for Will along with her, I was in the "audience" when Emily and then Caleb married. While the focus of the memoir was the death of Maria and how Mary Beth dealt with that lost, there were moments of humor and lots of laughter. What shone the most throughout this memoir was the faith and love of this family. A wonderful read!
This book was from my personal collection. ”