Thursday Interview: Dianne’s Journey to Grandparenting Through Obstacles

Dianne E. Butts

Dianne E. Butts, co-author of Grandparenting Through Obstacles

I remember well that phone call almost three years ago when my writing friend, Renee Gray-Wilburn, called me to talk about the idea she had for a book. She had done the research. There was precious little in the way of books and resources for Christian grandparents. Yes, there were a few books for grandparents, but not many. Especially for Christians. She wanted to write a book. And she wanted me to co-author it with her.

She had e-mailed me her ideas earlier. I was delighted that she wanted me to be her co-author, I told her. But I had a couple of concerns with the book idea. Let’s talk about it, I said. So here we were on the phone talking about it.

You realize I’m not a grandparent, right? I asked. Yes, she did. She isn’t either, she said.

Well, you realize I’m not even a parent, right? Yes, she said. She is at least that.

Okay, well as long as that’s clear. It was, she said.

I thought of the book I currently had in process at the time. That book is published now. It’s Deliver Me: Hope, Help, & Healing through True Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy. I’d put that book together even though I’ve never been pregnant. I wasn’t writing out of my own experiences for that book. I was helping others tell their stories–stories that needed to be told and shared, because they could help others.

There is great power in true stories.

How are we going to market this book? I asked. It’s not like either one of us has a great platform to reach grandparents. Nearly one-third of all adults in the United States are grandparents, Renee told me. That’s nearly 70 million.

Wow. Really?

The average age of grandparents in this country is 48. No kidding? 43% became grandparents in their fifties, 37% in their forties. (Gransparents.com)

Wow again. Okay.

Many of our friends and peers are already grandparents, and many of them are Christians who want to reach their grandchildren with the good news of faith in Jesus Christ. Renee and I decided we could reach them if we had a resource that could help them.

Renee had a friend who was facing great obstacles to reach her grandchildren for Jesus. They were living in another country. They weren’t getting the Christian influence in their lives that her friend longed for them to have. The idea was sparked. We would gather true stories of real grandparents who were facing obstacles in influencing their own grandchildren for Jesus Christ, but who were trying and were seeing fruit from those efforts. We would help them share their stories. We could add resources, ideas, Bible stories, and…perhaps most importantly, prayer. Renee insisted this book be full of prayer.

Yeah! We could do this. I knew it. Renee knew it. And so we put the word out to our writer friends, and word spread. We started gathering stories, and we were on our way.

We had publishers show interest in late 2010. We wrote the manuscript in 2011. The opportunities with those first publishers didn’t pan out, but we then had a complete manuscript and it wasn’t long before we found Pix-N-Pens Publishing. We were thrilled when editor Tracy Ruckman called. She was very interested in our project. She offered a contract, we signed, and now the book is due out this month!

And we couldn’t be more exited! Here is what some people are already saying about Grandparenting Through Obstacles:

For Renee and me, our prayer is that this  book will help you, Christian grandparents, overcome any obstacles you face to reach your grandchildren (and children, if need be) to see them come to faith in Jesus Christ. Through that, we pray this book will bear eternal fruit for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and that therefore His Kingdom will be filled to capacity, because together, we made a difference here.

The book releases August 17th, only a few weeks away! You can find it on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and most online outlets. Your local bookstore can order it for you if you request it. We hope you’ll get it, enjoy it, and perhaps get an extra copy for your favorite grandparenting friend.

May God richly bless you as you bear the burden to reach your grandchildren for Jesus Christ.

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2 thoughts on “Thursday Interview: Dianne’s Journey to Grandparenting Through Obstacles

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