Monday, August 30, 2010

Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman (with Ellen Vaughn)

I can still remember the day my husband and I read online the news about Maria Sue Chapman. We were stunned, and heartbroken for this family we felt we'd known for years through Steven's music. To be able to share this book with you is a privilege I do not take lightly.

"Choosing To SEE" is far more than the story of Maria Sue, Will Franklin and that tragic day. Mary Beth truly bares her soul for us, letting us get to know her intimately and deeply. She's just my kind of soul sister! I'd LOVE coffee with her one day, either here or in eternity!

The book opens with the events of May 21, 2008, sharing more information than was gathered through the media. Have tissues handy! Only by God's grace and mercy was she able to re-live these events once again, for the purpose of sharing with all of us.

Mary Beth goes on to explain that it was never her plan to write this book, and how God orchestrated events to bring the book to life. She then demonstrates how her perfectly orderly life was disrupted by her God time and time again, and how she adjusted (sometimes willingly, sometimes otherwise) to His divine plan.

It was fun to see how Mary Beth and Steven began just like you and I love, broke, and with dreams that seemed impossible. To see them work and strive to make ends meet, and how sometime the ends would move on them just as they do on us.

Celebrity is a myth. These are real, flesh and blood people, who may have a bit more, but still hurt, bleed, and suffer...and are desperate for Jesus. Watching Steven's career take off brought back memories...we've been fans from day one! I remember a cover on CCM Magazine with Steven, Margaret Becker, BeBe and CeCe Winans and one or two other artists, just beginning their careers.

The story of the Chapman family continues on, with Mary Beth very openly sharing her struggles with emotions, disagreements (he's Tigger, she's Eeyore--hey, reminds me of me and Dave!)...the journeys to adoption, and the beginnings of their non-profit foundation.

Then, that nightmarish day. The emotions. The testimonies. The help from friends, family and fans world-wide. And the aftermath.


This is a gorgeously written book, filled with truth, pain and hope in the only Hope we have...Jesus Christ. This is a book written by a woman who's wrestled with God and acknowledged that He always wins. And this is a book that reminds us to keep praying for the Chapman family...and to look forward to meeting Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman in Heaven!

I loved every page, even the difficult ones. I had to read it slowly or I would get overwhelmed with emotion--it's a powerful book. And I'm giving "Choosing To SEE" the Golden Bookmark for Inspirational Memoir, and adding a gorgeous butterfly as a charm.

My thanks to Donna Hauser at Revell for trusting me with this book. I'm honored. "Choosing to SEE" is available at bookstores everywhere, published by Revell.

Happy Reading!



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Amanda said...

I've been looking forward to this one for awhile. Must go buy it!

Krystal Celeste said...

Great review! I too remember hearing the news about Maria and my heart just broke for their family. I'm really looking forward to reading this book. I admire the fact that Mary Beth is sharing her heart so openly and honestly. I really believe that God is going to use their pain to speak hope into other people's lives.