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A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny

Baker Books / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

Things don't always go as planned--especially when it comes to our children. When her first baby, Penny, is given a frightening diagnosis, Amy Julia's world comes crashing down. Could she continue to trust God's goodness through what felt like personal tragedy? But challenging surprises often lead to unforeseen joy, and disappointments can turn into blessings. This wise and beautiful book is more than a courageous story of raising a child against the odds--it is a journey through the unexpected ups and downs of life and the discoveries that come along the way.

Selected as one of the top 10 best religion books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 237
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764209175
ISBN-13: 9780764209178
Availability: Expected to ship on or about 09/23/16.
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Publisher's Description

An Honest, Hopeful Look at Unexpected Challenges

Challenging surprises often lead to unexpected joy. Amy Julia opens eyes and softens hearts as she brings readers into her own story of disappointment turned to blessing. This is a journey of discovering strength through weakness, and the author learns to embrace the face that we are all dependent on God and one another. This books will inspire readers who appreciate beautiful writing coupled with deep insights about life and faith.

"Amy Julia Becker has the courage and grace to tell the truth. Whether you are a parent or not, whether the children in your life are 'typical' or not, this story will shake you, change you, and encourage you."--Andy Crouch, author, Culture Making

Author Bio

Amy Julia Becker is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, which critic Andy Crouch included in his list of the best books of 2009. She graduated from Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, and writes regularly for Motherlode, the parenting blog of The New York Times. Her essays have appeared in First Things, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Christian Century, ChristianityToday.com, Bloom, and other venues. Amy Julia lives in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, with her husband and three children.

Publisher's Weekly

Becker (Penelope Ayers: A Memoir), a Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary graduate, knows how to grab a reader's heartstrings as she writes about her journey as a new mom to Penny, her first child, who has Down syndrome. The author keeps a journal in her early days as a mother, a time when her faith, her expectations, and her fears ran a gamut. Becker tells how impressed she has always been with intelligence, and now her little girl will lack this gift so important to Becker. Or would she? This beautifully written text explores how Becker and her husband deal with the news of having a child with a disability and the transformation they undergo as time passes. Each journal entry opens a new chapter of Penny's growth, and with every change in Penny comes a corresponding response of grateful joy in everyone else. Becker's work is introspective and theologically inquisitive, leading readers to ask the same questions this mother asks herself as her world tilted off its axis. (Sept.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

4.9 Stars Out Of 5
4.9 out of 5
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Displaying items 1-5 of 8
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  1. Hartselle, AL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Very encouraging!
    February 21, 2013
    So Mommy
    Hartselle, AL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I love reading stories about parents who were forever changed (for the positive) by their children. It amazes me how much we can learn from such tiny beings! I really enjoyed Amy Julia's story about her daughter Penny. Shortly after giving birth to her daughter, the doctors told her that they thought Penny had Down syndrome. Amy Julia talks openly about her feelings and questions, her concerns and frustrations. They learn to trust that God will always be there. While reading this book, there were times where I would wonder how I would feel if I had been faced with this situation or any similar situation. I think I would have gone through many of the same questions and emotions that Amy Julia Becker talks about in this book. I especially loved the last paragraph in the book.

    "We weren't a perfect family, and we never would be, at least not by the standards I would have set out for us years earlier. But we were coming closer to our telos, our true perfection, because we were learning what it meant to be human, what it meant to be whole."
  2. Fallon, NV
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Wonderfully inspiring story
    June 29, 2012
    seabe
    Fallon, NV
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is a powerful story of sorrow, joy, anger, grief, love and acceptance of a little girl for who she is and not just her diagnosis of Down's syndrome. It is a wonderful story for everyone to read and will remind us to accept people for who they are and to not focus on their disabilities or differences

    I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for writing a review. 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
  3. midwest
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    wonderful inspiring book
    December 29, 2011
    shannon
    midwest
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Wow this book is a real tear jerker, page turner stay with you long after your done book. I really enjoyed this book and read it super fast. While I finished it many weeks ago I remember it like it was just a few minutes. Amy really does such a great job at making you feel like you are walking this journey with her. You feel all her emotions, doubts, prayers and hopeless feelings. You feel all her joys, happiness and her love for Penny. I can see why this one top 10 best religion books in 2011 it was amazing and inspiring book to read

    thank you Bethany House for sending me a review copy
  4. NY
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent read!
    December 17, 2011
    melz
    NY
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A Good and Perfect Gift written by Amy Julia Becker, tells of her and her husband's journey with their daughter, Penny, who was diagnosed with Down's syndrome at birth. This is an incredible and emotional read as Mrs. Becker takes you through her journey of acceptance step by step. The honesty she portrays is heartfelt. The questions that she asks of herself and of God are so reflective of how we as God followers struggle to understand His ways as well as the struggle we can go through in having continuous faith in Him.

    The Beckers' story shows faith, love, and courage. I recommend this book highly to everyone.

    Note: I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review.
  5. Washoe Valley, NV
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A MUST READ FOR MOM'S AND TEACHER'S
    December 16, 2011
    Joyful Books
    Washoe Valley, NV
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny

    By Amy Julia Becker

    As the "NEW" list of books for review from Bethany House Publishers opened up on my computer screen, the cover and title of "A Good and Perfect Gift" caught my eye.

    The verse James 1:17 "Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." came to my mind. I thought about James 1:17. Every good and every perfect gift is from God. I took some time to read the back cover of the book, but already knew this would be the book selection I would choose.

    "Things don't always go as planned -especially when it comes to our children. When her first baby, Penny, is given a frightening diagnosis, Amy Juilia's world comes crashing down. Could she continue to trust God's goodness through what felt like personal tragedy? But challenging surprises often lead to unforeseen joy, and disappointments can turn to blessings."

    I am a Christian, Mother, Teacher and Teacher of children with Special Needs. I have always been called to work with children, but now I am older I am in a different season of my life.

    Amy and her husband Peter had a daughter born with Down syndrome. This was not something that was planned for during the pregnancy, but came as news upon delivery.

    Could she continue to trust God's goodness through what felt like personal tragedy?

    From a Christian perspective, Amy struggled with many of the same fears and testing of her faith that many believers go through during times of what seems, "personal tragedy." Although, I am not in agreement with Amy's Presbyterian perspectives of walking the labyrinth to pray, or infant baptism, when it comes down to the question of, "Did she learn to continue to trust in God's goodness?" The answer is a most definite, "YES!"

    As a mother, Amy worried about the development of her daughter Penny along with how Penny compared with other children. She worried about Penny at present along with Penny's future. After having raised my own children who are now grown, I know as a mother, we always worry about our children. Motherhood is one of the most difficult blessing we will ever be given in our lives. God makes no mistakes. "Every good and every perfect gift is from above"

    As a teacher in both general education and special education I loved my students! Each student had unique strengths they brought with them. As I read the book "A Good and Perfect Gift", I am encouraged to see a mother truly seeking to understand her daughter, a family understanding the value of early intervention. I can't wait to share this book with other women to encourage them to read Amy's book. To see another mom who is going through similar struggles and looking in her daughter's eyes.

    It would be wrong to leave out the underlying support of family and friends that knit Amy Julia and Penny together. Peter, Amy's husband, Amy's parents and sisters as well as friends, therapists and physicians; God does not leave us or forsake us. He provides strength when we are week. It says in Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

    I highly recommend reading, "A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny." You will not be disappointed.

    I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers
Displaying items 1-5 of 8
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