Available Hope: Parenting, Faith, and a Terrifying World
Perfection is a myth, and hope is a choice. Our own brokenness as parents actually makes us better able to prepare our kids to really live. Our best teachers are our children. And despite daily fear and discouragement, hope is within reach. Grab ahold of it.
Julie E. Richardson invites you to examine your own life and discover your struggles actually make you stronger—and a better parent. Find courage and live out your beliefs and values as you speak up on behalf of those who have no voice. Realize your own transformative relationships can help build a better tomorrow, together, with your children.
"[Available Hope] moves the reader along breathlessly, each page crackling with honesty and spiritual insight. ... I loved this book."—Rev. Dr. R. Scott Colglazier, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church of Los Angeles
"The most universal truths are almost always the most personal ones. With disarming vulnerability, Julie Richardson invites us into the tenderness of a world at the same time ruthlessly painful and filled with unexplainable grace. Available Hope breathes with the authenticity of a life lived with eyes wide open."―Mark DeVries, recovering youth pastor, founder of Ministry Architects, and permissionary at Ministry Incubators
“Maddy’s mom – whether being talked through paralyzing fear on a high ropes course or sheltering her daughter from the driving storm on a deserted island – chooses hope, love, relationship – gifts to and from her daughter. Gifts to the reader, as well. In Available Hope – with the authenticity and authority of lived experience – Richardson reminds us, along with Maddy, that God loves us – no matter what – and that we do not face life alone. In our own complicated, sometimes broken, lives, we, too, can choose hope, and the world is better for it.” ―Sharon E. Watkins, general minister and president of Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and author, Whole: a Call to Unity in our Fragmented World
"Julie E. Richardson understands that the spiritual life is ultimately forged, not in theological abstractions, but in the daily experiences of life, including talking to a precocious daughter about the joys and challenges of living in the 21st century. Her prose moves the reader along breathlessly, each page crackling with honesty and spiritual insight. She reminds us again that the most sacred thing we can ever do is to tell our story. I loved this book."—Rev. Dr. R. Scott Colglazier, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church of Los Angeles
"Available Hope gathers the lessons that Julie Richardson has learned as a minister and mother navigating the shifting landscape of society. In these ten essays, the topics of which range from prejudice to divorce, Richardson layers personal narrative, biblical stories, and metaphor to convey both the complexity of our world and the hope that can light our path. Richardson’s conversational tone and candor about her own failings make Available Hope intimate and thought-provoking, as well as a gentle call to action."—Kelly Martineau, Seattle-based writer and teacher
"In her new book, Available Hope, Julie Richardson reminds us that although we are so often afraid as we walk through this difficult and terrifying world, still, this world belongs to God. Still the world is full of grace and rough beauty. Still, the world belongs to our children, who can teach us how to live with hope into the future that lies ahead. Walking with Richardson and her daughter, Maddy, gives me hope in the midst of so much terrible fear in the world today. Through chapters that speak with candor to our most present fears -- racial injustice, terrorism, cancer -- and to particular events like Hurricane Katrina, September 11, and the Syrian refugee crisis, we find hope is available to us -- in one another and in God’s love and promises. ―Heidi Haverkamp, Vicar,Episcopal Church of St. Benedict, Bolingbrook, IL, and author, Advent in Narnia