A Love-Stretched Life: Stories on Wrangling Hope, Embracing the Unexpected, and Discovering the Meaning of Family
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A Love-Stretched Life: Stories on Wrangling Hope, Embracing the Unexpected, and Discovering the Meaning of Family  -     By: Jillana Goble

A Love-Stretched Life: Stories on Wrangling Hope, Embracing the Unexpected, and Discovering the Meaning of Family

Tyndale House / 2022 / Paperback

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Title: A Love-Stretched Life: Stories on Wrangling Hope, Embracing the Unexpected, and Discovering the Meaning of Family
By: Jillana Goble
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2022
Weight: 12 ounces
ISBN: 1496453409
ISBN-13: 9781496453402
Stock No: WW453408

Publisher's Description

“With forthrightness and a sense of humor, the author crafts a poignant portrait of motherhood, replete with hard-earned wisdom. . . . This uplifting memoir exemplifies the power of faith, hope, and steadfast love.” —Publisher’s Weekly

This life is real and complicated, messy, colorful, good, exhausting, and exhilarating—often simultaneously.
It’s easy to feel overburdened by life’s demands. Looking out into the world as well as under the roof of our home may cause us to question, “How did we get here? And how will we get through?”

Jillana Goble has been there. With honesty, faith, and a dose of humor, her debut memoir, A Love-Stretched Life, chronicles what she's continually learning on the suspension bridge between reality and hope. A mom via foster care, birth, and adoption—in that order—for nearly two decades, Jillana has experienced life’s curveballs. Her come-as-you-are posture amidst a daily reality far different than she ever imagined reassures you that you’re not alone if your life isn’t tidily wrapped in a bow.

These stories will stay with you as you strive to love and to love well, even when—and especially when—it’s hard. Whether you are widening your family circle or just trying to get through the day, Jillana welcomes you to her table, offering you an anchor of hope to hang on to as you navigate your own love-stretched life.

Endorsements

The terrifying choice, someone once warned me, is between a comfortable life or an abundant one. Time and again, Jillana Goble voted with her heart. She tells the truth about the consequences, writing with unnerving grace. - Steve Duin, columnist, The Oregonian

In a world of hot takes and sound bites, Jillana Goble has written a rich, complicated memoir of what happens when we open up our lives to radical hospitality—both as receivers and givers. Heartbreaking and eye-opening, it is a call for mutual aid in our communities and neighborhoods. There is love written into every line; there are grief and joy too, just like how life is. We will be stretched if we allow ourselves to pay attention to the stories in this book. - D. L. Mayfield, author and activist

Sometimes a memoir is written to highlight a special grace given to a person in power opr with fame. Jillana’s story, found in A Love-Stretched Life, is filled with a special grace of a different sort. Her story is powerful because it highlights the beauty and danger of what happens when we live a self-sacrificing, others-centered life. This is what the world needs now. Jillana lives in a way that will challenge the reader to ask the question Can I live this way too? The answer is yes! - Ben Sand, CEO, The Contingent and author of A Kids Book about White Privilege

From the moment I first met Jillana and heard her story, I was struck by her authentic and relentless commitment to ensuring that children and families impacted by the child welfare system are seen and feel loved. In A Love-Stretched Life she challenges decades of practice and presumption that for children and families facing the greatest challenges of trauma and adversity, short-term, transactional interventions just don’t work. Jillana is someone who not only talks about the power of love and unconditional relationship, she lives it. For anyone desiring to change the world for children and families encountering significant obstacles, this book will inspire you to love more deeply. - Erinn Kelley-Siel, chief officer of Expansion and Policy for Friends of the Children and former director of the Oregon Department of Human Services

In a culture where unrelenting voices of fear, judgment, and even hatred seem to be louder than any others, Jillana’s gentle voice in A Love-Stretched Life is a salve of humility, compassion, and love that our battered spirits so desperately need. Her story is a beautiful illustration of consistently offering what one can in the oft-paralyzing battle against injustice. Readers will close these pages with opened eyes, challenged minds, and love-stretched hearts of their own. - Kimberlee Cooper, founder and executive director of The Family Room, Portland, Oregon

It’s easy to buy into the idea of a perfectly curated life, one that is neatly tied up in a bow. With raw authenticity and genuine warmth, Jillana Goble instead gives readers of A Love-Stretched Life permission to enter into the complications of a real, messy life—a life that accepts pain, clings to hope, and believes in a faith, hope, and love bigger than anything else.  - Cara Meredith, author of The Color of Life

The stories Jillana shares in A Love-Stretched Life are raw and real. You won’t want to put this book down as you read time after time of heartbreak and struggle. But the stories are not only hard, they are beautiful too. They are about choosing to “love against the grain.” For anyone who has considered stepping into the story of a vulnerable child, this book is for you. - Ryan and Kayla North, cofounders of One Big Happy Home

In A Love-Stretched Life, Jillana shows us how to walk in an “all in” kind of faith that is authentic and real. Jillana puts flesh on what it means to walk by faith for the sake of others; and the result is a holy, messy, beautiful picture of heaven breaking into earth and souls being transformed. You will find a friend in Jillana as you walk this uncommon path; we believe that these pages will show you the grace of knowing you are not alone. - Rick and Jeanne McKinley, founders of Imago Dei Community in Portland, Oregon; parents and full-time caregivers of a child impacted by disability

What an outpouring of heart and soul! With humility and grace, Jillana Goble invites you into the intimacy of her family for an eye-opening glimpse into the rigors of foster care and adoption. Despite the ever-present shadows of grief and loss, not once does she falter in her ability to shine light where it’s most needed. You will not want to say goodbye to this labor of love. - Kendra Morris-Jacobson, director of Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center

A Love-Stretched Life is Jillana’s story of faith and hope alongside the reality of the heartache and struggles that come with choosing to love vulnerable children (and their families) with your whole heart. From our very first conversation with Jillana when we heard her desire to uplift the children, families, and staff impacted by the foster care system, we knew we wanted to be part of it. It’s been amazing to watch as Every Child has become a statewide movement, born out of Jillana’s heart to come alongside, embrace, and be part of the solution. - Marc and Susan Estes, pastors of Mannahouse and adoptive parents of two children with disabilities from the foster care system

In this book, Jillana shares an honest portrayal of a life stretched by love. Her story is one of struggle, faith, hope, and connection—but most of all, love. As an adoptive and special needs mom, I felt like I was reading a letter from a dear friend. Her wisdom and insight will be an encouragement to the reader. - Amy J Brown, writer and cohost of Take Heart podcast for special needs moms

In A Love-Stretched Life, Jillana and Jennifer, “two imperfect moms [who] walk toward one another for the sake of loving the same child” draw you in to rescript the assumption of family and create room for those who need a home. If we all lived like this, the world would truly be a very different place. - Diann R. Takens, founder and executive director of Peace of the City, Buffalo, New York

This raw and gritty story depicts a life that hasn’t chosen the easy road. A Love-Stretched Life cuts to the heart of getting to know others’ stories before jumping to judgment. It’s made me pause and reflect on the relationships in my own life. This evolving story doesn’t have a neat and tidy ending but in the stretching, there is love.  - Allie Roth, president and founder of With Love

If parenting is in your heart, this memoir will captivate you. Jillana’s journey of childhood to adulthood, becoming a teacher, parent, neighbor, and friend, gave me a broader, more beautiful definition of family. She reminded me of the wild capacity I have been given to love. You will be inspired. - Joy Eggerichs Reed, author of Get to the Publishing Punchline: A Fun (and Slightly Aggressive) 30 Day Guide to Get Your Book Ready for the World

Editorial Reviews

Goble shares guidance from her life as a “foster, biological, and adoptive mom (in that order)” in her bittersweet debut. “Difficult and worthy are not mutually exclusive—they are often intertwined,” Goble notes, recounting the sleepless nights, innumerable court dates, and pleasant surprises that came along with raising five children. Goble . . . discusses how navigating the foster care system taught her to celebrate small victories, and how the challenges of adopting a son with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder helped her realize that one can thrive without having everything figured out. . . . With forthrightness and a sense of humor, the author crafts a poignant portrait of motherhood, replete with hard-earned wisdom (“Avoiding pain is not the ultimate prize of a life well lived”). This uplifting memoir exemplifies the power of faith, hope, and steadfast love.
A moment of clarity in author Goble’s late teens eventually inspired her and her husband to complete training to become foster parents. Their first fostering experience, with two brothers who had experienced trauma at the hands of their biological mother, gave Goble, a dedicated teacher, even more desire to help kids outside the classroom. As her family grew, she learned that life was full of disappointments, heartache, and unforeseen consequences. Goble decided that “a love-stretched life” was better than an easy life that is un-stretched. In this memoir, Goble includes her experiences as a teacher, a foster parent, a biological parent, an adoptive parent, and a wife who contributed to her decision to fill and stretch her life even as it sometimes breaks her heart and soul. Goble’s honesty about the triumphs and tears of inviting kids and their biological families into her own family is refreshing and offers insights into caring for others and finding your own way to a fulfilling life.

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