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While your heart might be in the right place, it is not unusual to feel uncomfortable or insecure when you're around loved ones who are in the midst of a trial. The temptation to back away can be strong; after all, couldn't they use some space? You don't want to be a burden. Is that ever the right choice though? Is there something both of you can gain from friendship in the midst of suffering?
Bestselling author Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn answer those questions in the new book Just Show Up: the Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together. With grace and practical advice, the friends wrote about what relationships look like in the midst of changing life seasons, loads of laundry and even Tippetts' battle with cancer, which she tragically lost on March 22, 2015.
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2015
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)|
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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.
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 bachelors degree in communications from Bethel University. Jill lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children. Connect with her on social media and at Jill-Lynn.com.
An interview with Co-author, Jill Lynn Buteyn▼▲
Q: You wrote Just Show Up with your late friend Kara Tippetts. Can you tell us about Kara and the circumstances that led you to write this book together?
Kara Tippetts was a grace-filled mother and pastor's wife who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36. While fighting cancer, she shared her story with thousands of readers on her blog, Mundane Faithfulness. She also wrote the book The Hardest Peace about her journey and co-authored Just Show Up with me before passing away at the age of 38.
While Kara was blogging, I was writing fiction. We often talked about collaborating on a book. We settled on the subject of walking through suffering together because we could write from both of our perspectives. I learned a lot from watching Kara's community rally around her, from seeing her friends in action. Of course, as the one suffering, Kara had firsthand knowledge of what works well and what doesn't. We both hoped the book would take some of the mystery out of showing up for each other and allow people to engage more confidently in community, even during really hard times.
Q: Do you think it's easier to be someone's friend when times are good?
Certainly there's a simplicity to friendship when things are good, but at the same time, when is "good"? We all have hard times, and we're often dealing with tough stuff in different areas of life at the same time. But there's also beauty that comes in doing the really hard stuff together. When I look back on my time with Kara, on the way she let me and so many others in when she was suffering so much, I see a lot of tears, prayers and pain, but I also see grace and even peace. I see really great friendships formed in a short amount of time. It was beautiful to walk with her, even though it hurt so much. It still hurts. But I would choose her all over again.
Q: You write in Just Show Up that being there for a friend can be as simple as literally just showing up. Why is presence so important during suffering?
Presence is so important in suffering because sometimes that's really all we have to offer. We don't have the right words, or there isn't anything we can do to help. Sometimes it is just about being there. There's peace and support in being with each other - from both sides. Often it was a comfort for us to be with Kara, even if she was sleeping, and I think she felt that same thing. One time I sat at the hospital with her while she slept. I brought my laptop and just wrote, sitting in the chair. I remember wanting to have something to do so she would feel free to sleep and rest. She opened her eyes and said something about how it gave her comfort that I was there. I could have easily second-guessed offering to sit with her - it wasn't really necessary. But just being present with each other meant something to both of us.
Q: Could you offer some advice for others on how to move past moments of awkwardness?
Pray, then step out in faith. God will meet you there. Be honest. You could even say to a friend, "I want to help. I don't want to be the person who disappears because this is awkward or uncomfortable. How can I be there for you? Will you help me by telling me if I'm doing something offensive or don't have a clue?" I think friendships can grow from this kind of honesty.
Q: Sometimes it's easy to struggle with self-doubt and wonder if your efforts to help will be a nuisance. How did you work through some of those concerns?
I prayed a lot about decisions regarding how to help. I also had a few friends I could hash out my doubts with who were willing to process with me. Sometimes we just need someone to speak truth into our doubts. And at times, I did things and still didn't know after if they were a help. Sometimes it's just about doing. We may never know exactly how our help impacted someone else for the better.
Q: When offering help to someone, why is it important to be very specific about how you would like to help them?
It's far easier for people to accept help when we offer something specific. I used to say to people, "Let me know if you need anything." And I meant it. But rarely, if ever, did anyone ask me for anything or admit what might help them. However, when I offer a specific, "Hey, I'm at the store, can I pick anything up for you?" or, "I'd love to come by and do a couple loads of laundry this week. What day works?" it easier for the suffering people to decide if and when they need that specific help or how they can tweak it to meet their needs.
The other bonus to offering a specific help is that it gives us the freedom to serve within our gifting. If I'm a kid person, and someone asks me to paint their guest room, that probably won't bring me the same joy as watching kids. We can find so much joy in helping others, and I think part of that is in doing the things we're gifted in - not that we don't ever step beyond that. It's just a good place to start. I love what I learned about being specific in helping others. It was a light-bulb moment for me. It just makes sense, and yet, I'd never really thought about it before. It's important because it makes things easier and more comfortable for both sides and takes away the guess work.
Q: What are some words we can use to offer comfort? Are there any words that can hurt more than help?
I don't think there are perfect words. I guess that's why showing up for others can be confusing and scary. But maybe recognizing this - that there isn't anything perfect to be done or said - will make it easier for people to dive in with each other. Say things that are comforting, listening phrases. "I'm so sorry. That's hard." Comforting is also about what not to say. Don't try to solve your friend. Listen and love them in their hard.
Q: What do you think holds people back from pursuing deep connections with others even during the good times?
Hurt. We're all a bunch of sinners, and relationships can be scary. We do stupid things and say stupid things, even in good times. I know I have regrets in this area. Plus, relationships are hard work. It's hard to open yourself up to others, to let people in to the not-so-great sides of ourselves.
taralynee5 Stars Out Of 5a book EVERYONE needs to readDecember 6, 2015taralyneeQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0What a truly beautiful book.
Everyone goes through suffering of some kind at some point. Its part of life. There are many types of suffering, but we all have some share in it.
This book by Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn was such a timely read for me. I had heard about Kara here and there but really came in contact with her story around this time last year. Just about the time I received my own scary diagnosis and discovered that I was entering my own hard. Over this past year, Ive been through a lot. And when I began to hear about this new book, I knew it was one I had to read.. sooner rather than later.
Living our stories together, as the back of the book says. Thats what this is all about. Although this book tells the story of Karas cancer, thats not the focus. The focus is Jesus and praising Him through our everyday lives by showing up for each other. By loving each other.
Showing up can take on many forms bringing meals, sending cards and texts, phone calls, flowers, listening, organizing paperwork or calling bill people, transportation to and from treatments.. the list is endless. Sometimes showing up means just simply being available. Just being silently present.
As I read this story of community, God constantly brought to my mind different people who have shown up in one way or another for me over this past year. I prayed for these much-loved people as I thought of each one who has been a blessing in my life. I so related to the beauty that is this book.. the beauty of the community of dear friends that these ladies have written about.
I should warn you.. its not an easy, light-hearted read. There is much discussion difficult situations. But its beautiful just the same because of their honesty and transparency and even smiles in the hard. Its beautiful because I could relate, and Im pretty sure that if were honest, we all can relate to an extent. And anyone who cant.. well, then you need to read this book so you CAN relate. Because being available and just showing up for people who are hurting is something we all need to be able to do.
This book gives insights and ideas if you dont know how to show up for someone, and it describes how to be kind and sensitive and respectful with words.. while at the same time stressing that there just no perfect words and nothing you say is going to fix it. And.. when we let God lead us, He will surely use us in the lives of others, using our specific gifts and strengths to be just exactly what they need.
It reiterates that suffering doesnt mean that God isnt good. We have to learn and choose to believe that He is still always good. Even when the world says otherwise.
Please read this book. No matter who you are. Whether youre suffering or know someone who is, or if suffering and hard times are the furthest thing from your mind. Trust me, you need to read this book.
Ive been considering what food I would liken this book to I cant go with one specific food on this one though. Rather, I have to say that this book is like a meal brought over by a friend. Made or purchased with love, whatever best fits the personality and life of the friend doing the giving. It just fits. You should read the book, and then youll know why.
Britt98Grand Prairie, TXAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A "Must Read"November 23, 2015Britt98Grand Prairie, TXAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I enjoyed reading Just Show Up, which feels like a strange thing to type considering that the book is full of hard truths and painful situations. The two authors succeeded in writing a narrative on how to be there for someone who is going through a hard, as they liked to put it. In this case, the hard was Kara fighting a cancer battle that was not to be won here on earth.
Although Just Show Up deals with the sadness of knowing that Kara wont be long for the world, I actually found the book to be very uplifting. It is full of practical advice for how to actually be there and be a true friend to those around us. There are also plenty of amusing anecdotes to keep the reading flowing along and lighten the heavier moments.
I appreciated the direct way both authors wrote about the importance of being someone who actually shows up and jumps in to help, as opposed to saying, Let me know if there is any way I can help. Their advice is so sound.
I think this book is really a must read. We all need to know how to be there to help those we call friends during hard and painful times in their lives. Just Show Up is an excellent guide to encourage us to do just that.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
richard r blakeBridgman, MIAge: Over 65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Parallel Stories of Friendship throughout a Difficulty Journey of Suffering and UncertainityOctober 31, 2015richard r blakeBridgman, MIAge: Over 65Gender: maleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0Parallel Stories of Friendship throughout a Difficult Journey of Suffering and Uncertainty
Just Show Up the Dance of Walking through Suffering Together is packed with concrete, suggestions, supportive ideas, and meaningful information for reciprocal friendship during hard times and suffering. Authors Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn team up to share their story of a deep meaningful friendship throughout Karens life and death battle with cancer.
Kara and Jill explore the concepts of the long good-bye, the ministry of silence, and the gift of presence. They express them from two viewpoints, that of the giver and that of the receiver. Theirs is a story of nurturing friendship through pain and tiredness, insecurity and doubt, of unfathomly hard days, and the beauty and of being surprised by joy on a good day.
Careful consideration of the discussion prompts, are included for opening honest dialog in a group setting or for individual contemplation and will add to the personal impact and value of the book for individual readers; and immense help for anyone experiencing the process of anticipatory grief.
Anyone who had or is going through the suffering of a friend or loved one will find solace, comfort and support throughout the pages of Just Show Up the Dance of Walking through Suffering Together.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.
Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Conversation at the DoorOctober 27, 2015Michele MorinWarren, MaineAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5
Some of our most important and profound words are said in doorways. Because someone is leaving, words spoken at the door are often more consequential, more weighty. Time is short and must not be frittered away. An entire evening may pass filled with light conversation and meandering stories until its time to say goodbye, and suddenly the flow of words gushes into the streambed of relevance.
In Just Show Up, Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn are standing in the door together, and this record of their words is raw and real. Kara, author of The Hardest Peace, writes from the perspective of a cancer patient in her final days. (Kara passed away in March 2015 shortly after the books completion.) Jill speaks as a close friend who has offered her hands and her heart in service to Kara and her family. What emerges from their shared writing is a chronicle of the painful, long good-by called cancer, many reassuring and sometimes humorous stories about the agony and the awkwardness of a friendship in which cancer is the unwanted third wheel, the helplessness of watching a dear friend suffer, and the need for both parties to put all pretense aside and fall into the rhythm of Gods choreography.
This pouring out of words about friendship and suffering would be enough if that was all that lived between the covers of Just Show Up but its not, for in the way of showing up, Jill and Kara learned valuable and practical lessons about loving and saying goodbye:
The uncomfortable dance of giving and receiving help can be relieved somewhat by clear communication. Being specific is key. For example, rather than vague call-me-if-you-need-anything statements, offer to grocery shop, to provide transportation to appointments, to assist children with school projects.
When you provide a meal, use disposable dishes. Suggest that the family place a cooler on the front steps so that meals can be dropped off unobtrusively without impacting family time. Ask for guidelines on family food preferences and allergies.
Dont visit when you are sick!
Put your giftedness at the familys disposal. If you are a skilled photographer, offer to take pictures of the family. Put your organizational skills to work managing their mail or other details.
Dont become overwhelmed or neglect your own family responsibilities. If you add a caring role to your life, subtract something else to make room for it.
Mourn the loss of your relationship as it used to be, but then find a new normal.
Jill and Kara drew from the wisdom offered in an LA Times article called How Not to Say the Wrong Thing, which described a series of concentric circles with the name of the person who is suffering in the center. From there, place the names of family and friends with this in mind: the closer one is to the person who is suffering, the closer their name goes to the center ring. Using that as a guide, the key is this: Comfort in. Dump out. For example, Jill did not complain to Karas family at all (about anything), but Karas husband was free to be honest with Jill about his struggles and observations regarding Karas decline. As a general rule, if in doubt, err on the side of comforting instead of dumping.
In a way, what we have here is a devastatingly practical book on the theology of suffering and the sovereignty of God. With tears, protesting the suffering, and mourning the brevity of Karas life, both Kara and Jill assert the truth that suffering is not the absence of Gods goodness. Karas suffering and the process of dying were the cause for mourning, but also the occasion for finding the smallest good and expand[ing] on it. Kara made the choice to be transparent about her suffering and to live her final days in a community that wrapped her in love and that continues to support and to love her family. Just Show Up is the story of suffering being redeemed, of God showing up in the midst of community here on earth.
This book was provided by David C. Cook in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
CherylB19875 Stars Out Of 5Emotionally moving!October 23, 2015CherylB1987Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I was so moved and touched emotionally by this book Just Show Up. What a story that shows someone that is so concerned about those who care for her and her family. Not wanting to be a burden to anyone. She wants to help in any way that she can. Making sure that people take care of their own needs also. To have such a emotional drive to do what she can for others. Her faith remains strong through this difficult time. She touches lives in so many different ways. Helping family and friends deal with what is to come. Living her life the best that she can. I was moved to tears reading this book. It is such a touching and powerful story. Be sure to get your copy today! 5 stars!