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Prayer is an ancient and simple way to prepare yourself for grace, or love, and to learn to recognize it when it comes. Even the briefest "grace" spoken before dinner offers its time-honored wisdom. Yet in spite of hundreds of traditions and teachings and books about prayer, millions of Americans have become ambivalent about it. They are unsure how, when, where, and even why they might pray, afraid they'll do it wrong, or worried that they won't be heard. Writing in the beautiful, funny, honest narrative style that moved and inspired readers of her first book, Here If You Need Me, Kate Braestrup explains what prayer is and the many ways we can pray. With an approach that is both personal and inclusive, Beginner's Grace is a new kind of prayer book. Even if you don't pray and don't consider yourself religious, there's room in this book for you. In these pages, Braestrup explains how and why the practice of prayer can open a space in our busy lives for mindfulness, gratitude, contentment, and a wider compassion toward others. Inspired by her work as a chaplain, Braestrup includes many examples of prayers to draw from--beginning with grace, a brief prayer of thanks. She provides clear models and practical suggestions for making your own and your family's prayers meaningful and satisfying, and offers prayers for situations in which words might fail: times of anxiety, helplessness, or grief. And she invites you to explore forms of prayer that extend into the wider community, including prayer with and for people we don't like or with whom we disagree. A welcoming modern guide to the simplest, most effective way to satisfy a universal spiritual hunger, Beginner's Grace is for the religious and nonreligious and even irreligious in its generous, good-humored approach to spirituality. With its insight and warmth, Beginner's Grace is sure to become a spiritual touchstone for people of all faiths
Ten years ago, Kate Braestrup and her husband Drew were enjoying the life they shared together. They had four young children, and Drew, a Maine state trooper, would soon begin training to become a minister as well. Then early one morning Drew left for work and everything changed. On the very roads that he protected every day, an oncoming driver lost control, and Kate lost her husband. Stunned and grieving, Kate decided to continue her husband's dream and became a minister herself. And in that capacity she found a most unusual mission: serving as the minister on search and rescue missions in the Maine woods, giving comfort to people whose loved ones are missing, and to the wardens who sometimes have to deal with awful outcomes. Whether she is with the parents of a 6-year-old girl who had wandered into the woods, with wardens as they search for a snowmobile rider trapped under the ice, or assisting a man whose sister left an infant seat and a suicide note in her car by the side of the road, Braestrup provides solace, understanding, and spiritual guidance when it's needed most. HERE IF YOU NEED ME is the story of Kate Braestrup's remarkable journey from grief to faith to happiness. It is dramatic, funny, deeply moving, and simply unforgettable, an uplifting account about finding God through helping others, and the tale of the small miracles that occur every day when life and love are restored.
In her award-winning memoir Here If You Need Me, Kate Braestrup won the hearts of readers across the country with her deeply moving and deftly humorous stories of faith, hope and family. Now, with her inimitable voice and generous spirit, she turns her attention to the subjects of love and commitment in MARRIAGE AND OTHER ACTS OF CHARITY. As a minister, Kate Braestrup regularly performs weddings. She has also, at 44, been married twice and widowed once, and accordingly has much to say about life after the ceremony. From helping a newlywed couple make amends after their first fight to preparing herself for her second marriage, Braestrup offers her insights and experiences on what it truly means to share your life with someone, from the first kiss to the last straw, for better or for worse. Part memoir, part observation of modern marriage, and part meditation on the roles of God and love in our everyday lives, MARRIAGE AND OTHER ACTS OF CHARITY is a unique and unforgettable look into why, and how, we love each other, and proves yet again why Kate Braestrup's writing is "inspirational in the best sense" (New York Daily News).