Please VOTE for Grandparenting Through Obstacles!

If you haven’t VOTED for our book yet, the deadline is approaching fast and Renee and I would sure appreciate your vote!
 
Grandparenting Through Obstacles been nominated for a “Book of the Year” at Christian Small Publishers Association! Renee and I need your vote if our book is going to win.Would you please click through right now and cast your vote for Grandparenting Through Obstacles? You can VOTE here: http://www.christianpublishers.net/13votes/ 

You’ll find our book in the “Family / Relationships” category which is the second category down. The book is on the right (third row of books down) with the blue cover.
If you want to check out the book further, read the reviews on Amazon or check out some pages on Amazon’s “Look Inside the Book” feature.After you vote you can snag a print or an e-copy of the book from Amazon for Kindle or BarnesandNoble.com for Nook.

You have the opportunity to vote for your favorite books in several categories. A Familiar Shore, in the fiction category, is published by the same publisher and I know Jennifer would appreciate your vote too.

It would help us out so much if you’d ask your friends to vote also. To vote, send them to: http://www.christianpublishers.net/13votes/  Let’s see how many votes we can gather up and see if we can’t blow the competition away!

Thank you so much for voting for our book and for all your support. As I’m sure you can imagine, winning “Book of the Year” is great publicity, lets readers know we’ve created a fine book, and would help get the word out about Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ so people who need it will hear about it. 

Authors featured on KRDO Radio in Colorado Springs September 2

We were privileged to have Cavin Harper, executive director of the Christian Grandparenting Network write the foreword for our book.

Cavin is also the author of Not On Our Watch!: Courageous Grandparenting in a Turbulent World, which is a call for “grandparents and parents to rise above the conventional view of grandparenting to embrace radically courageous life that stands apart from the politically correct crowd. It’s a call to intentionality—not settling for simply being good parents and grandparents, but choosing to stand in the gap and live as conduits of grace and truth for the next generations.”

Another hat Cavin wears is radio host of his own show on a mainstream over-the-air station in Colorado Springs. Cavin invited Renee and me to be his featured guests on his radio show called “Not on My Watch: A Call for Radical Grandparenting in Turbulent Times”  this week!  We will be talking with Cavin about our book, Grandparenting Through Obstacles.

Want to tune in? Here are the details:

  • KRDO News Radio
  • Tune in at 105.5 FM or 1240 AM
  • Show airs 7:30 AM Sunday morning
  • Renee and I will be on Sunday, September 2
  • The station is also live-streamed on the internet. Click Listen Live Online here.
  • If you can’t tune in, a podcast will be available a few days later.

Please tune in if you can, and invite your friends, family, and contacts to do so as well! Thanks! We’ll see you in Radio Land.

Thursday Interview: How It All Began

Renee here. Last week we heard from Dianne on how she got roped into–er, I mean, how she came about getting involved in the Grandparenting Through Obstacles project. This week, I’d like to share from my side of the fence of how the idea for this book began.

As I’ve mentioned before, like Dianne, I am not a grandparent; but unlike Dianne, I am a parent. My kids are still young, and all are still in school. During one of those many days when I feel as though I am literally living out of my car, driving kids to school, to the dance studio, from track practice, and so forth, I noticed–maybe for the first time–just how many grandparents–not parents–were doing the exact same thing as me!

But these grandparents were rather young–mostly in their 50s. After getting to know some of them, I began learning their stories. One was filling in for Mom because she was a working single parent. Another was stepping in temporarily while the family tried to recover from a divorce. Another had gained full custody of her grandchildren due to an abusive marital situation that her daughter was in.

And, although my kids attend a public charter school, a large majority of the families at the school and in my community at large are Christian. I discovered that aside from simply providing physical assistance, these grandparents desperately wanted to influence their grandkids for Christ. But many found themselves in situations where that just wasn’t possible.

The more I thought about all of these circumstances, the more I realized how prevalent these problems are in our society today. Combine that with the aging Baby Boomers, and the fact that 1/3 of all adults (and growing) are grandparents, and I realized there were a lot of people who needed some help and encouragement, especially those who are trying to make a spiritual impact in their grandkids’ lives.

I believe that God sowed a seed in my heart that day to try to reach these grandparents with His Words of hope–letting them know that He cares about them and their families–and that with His help, their dream of seeing their grandchildren come to know Him would be realized.

After doing some preliminary research through various government agencies and places like Barna Research, I felt confident that this book could potentially touch–and change–many lives. I truly felt it was a God idea!

I didn’t want to tackle the project alone, so I enlisted the help of my writer friend, Dianne Butts. After an initial conversation about my vision for the project, we both spent some time praying about it, and we soon both decided it was meant to be.

And the rest, as they say, is history! Seeing this book go through its various stages then finally grow and materialize into what it has become with the help of Pix N Pens Publishing, has been a very exciting process. I only hope that it will bless others as much as it has blessed me and Dianne just being a part of it.

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.

Keeping in Touch with Grandkids

Greetings! Renee here.

For the past two Thursdays we’ve spoken with Peggy Cunningham, one of the contributors to Grandparenting through Obstacles, and allowed her to share her challenges and solutions to keeping in touch with her grandkids. Peggy is a missionary in Bolivia and had to find creative ways to stay in her grandchildren’s lives–not just across the miles but across continents! In Part 1 and Part 2 of our interview we learned that God gave Peggy the great idea of writing Christian children’s stories using the animals present in South America.

Not everyone will be able to share in such a creative way, through writing or the arts, but there are many ideas out there for how to connect with grandkids–whether you’re across town or across the world.

Reading Peggy’s story reminded me a little of my own childhood. When I was in early elementary, my entire family–parents and older brother–lived with my grandparents because my parents couldn’t afford their own home. When we finally did move away, we moved far away–from Ohio to Florida! We sent plenty of cards and letters back and forth, but we all longed to hear the voices of those we moved away from.

Phone calls were getting expensive. This was way before cell phones, and you were charged by how long you talked on the phone. And the farther away you called, the more it cost! Our alternative was to make cassette tape recordings. My brother and I would take turns talking about everything that was going on in our lives, then my parents would add whatever they wanted to say. We’d mail the tape off, and in a couple of weeks, we’d get a return one from my grandparents. To this day I remember how excited I was to see the small but bulky envelope in the mail!

My, how technology has changed the way we communicate today! Think of all the amazing options we now have for keeping in touch–social media, video conferencing like Skype, email, unlimited texts and voice minutes on cell phones. It’s still not quite the same as being there, and it means that grandparents have to work a little harder to compete for their grandkids’ attention by those very same forms of technology, but it can be done–and much easier than when I was a kid.

As Dianne and I continue to share contributor interviews, you’ll see how others met the challenge of their long-distance relationships, and hopefully they will give you some ideas for your own situation.

In the meantime, we’d absolutely love to hear from you. What has worked in your situation for keeping you connected over the miles? What did you think would work but didn’t? What tips or ideas do you have to share with others? Please send us a comment to share your thoughts.

Grandparenting through Obstacles Blog Site

Welcome to our very first Grandparenting through Obstacles blog post. We hope our site will become the center point for discussion about the experiences, challenges, and victories of Christian grandparenting. This blog is created by Renee Gray-Wilburn and Dianne E. Butts, co-authors of Grandparenting through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ.

It is our mission through this blog to encourage Christian grandparents in their journey of imparting biblical values and principles to their grandchildren while hopefully helping grandparents to overcome the obstacles they may encounter along the way.

Our book, which is to be released just in time for Grandparents’ Day, 2012, by Pix-n-Pens Publishing, discusses the various challenges that Christian grandparents find themselves facing today. Challenges such as trying to grandparent across the miles, attempting to reach their grandkids with their faith when the grandchildren’s parents are not believers, taking on a more significant role as a result of divorce or other family situations, and just trying to maintain healthy boundaries while working in partnership with their grandkids’ parents.

On our blog, we will be talking through all of these issues and hope you will join in our discussion. What struggles are you facing as a Christian grandparent? What advice do you have for others who are facing these or similar challenges? As a community of believers, we can all learn from each other, encourage each other, and grow as grandparents.

You’ll also meet our book’s contributors who have opened their hearts in their personal stories in order to help others who may be going through similar situations. We’ll talk to them about their stories, their lives, and how God has been working in their families.

To learn more about Renee or Dianne, visit us at our blogs (A Way With Words Writing for Renee, and Deliver Me Book Blog for Dianne). You can also “Like” our book’s Facebook page (Grandparenting through Obstacles) or follow us on Twitter (@GParentObstacle) where we’ll keep the discussion going!