Oh, friends: you are in for a TREAT. It’s author week here on the ol’ blog – I’ve got SEVEN authors (or co-authors) for you over the next SEVEN days, with SEVEN opportunities for you to win copies of their books. I can’t wait to introduce you to these women and their projects, so be sure to pay us a visit everyday this week and get to know these phenomenal authors. Spread the word!
First, we’ve got Dorothy Greco, a dear friend of mine and author of Making Marriage Beautiful. Dorothy, I’m so glad you’re here with us today! Tell us a bit about yourself, will you? I am a past-the-middle-of-life woman who is happiest when kayaking with my husband, eating dark chocolate—preferably while reading a good book, or talking theology. I spend my days making photographs for various clients and writing about how following Jesus changes everything. I have been married for 25 years and am the mother of three awesome sons, ages 23, 21, and 17.
Let’s talk about your book: what, in a nutshell, is your book about anyway? How can we capitalize on the reality that marriage changes us so that we can create and sustain a beautiful marriage? Making a commitment to follow Jesus and making a commitment to marry someone are perhaps two of the life choices that will most deeply impact or change us. We can go kicking and screaming or we can choose to be malleable and perhaps even intentional about how we change so that we become more like Jesus and ultimately learn how to love better. Marriage changes us. We have to decide what we want that change to look like.
Do tell, what was the inspiration behind it? There were personal and pastoral reasons that compelled me to write Making Marriage Beautiful. On a personal level, my husband Christopher and I found ourselves in a very difficult season. Not because of any marital issues, but because multiple tragedies and disappointments converged in the same season, leading both of us to withdraw and go into survival mode.
As we struggled to make sense of what was happening, it became clear to me that I needed to be super intentional about how I was loving and supporting my husband because my default is to shut down when things are overwhelming. This prompted me to write several articles (because that’s how I process everything) and those articles then eventually became the genesis of the book.
The second motivating factor is that Christopher and I have spent more than 20 years on the ground level with other couples mostly in church based contexts. We’re very much aware of the issues and challenges that married couples face. In our experience, there are too many marriages just coasting or even teetering on the brink of collapse. We wanted to help folks realize that it’s possible for them to have dynamic, joy-filled marriages.
How do you hope readers will be changed by reading your words? Making Marriage Beautiful is vulnerable, funny, and hopeful. Because diversity is an important value for me, I interviewed eight other couples from diverse backgrounds. My husband Christopher also weighs in throughout the book. Readers will surely find bits of their story in the text and therefore not feel so alone in their struggles. My sense is that we often settle for far less than what’s available to us. As C. S. Lewis wrote, we’re happy to settle for mud-pies in the slums when the offer of sandcastles at the beach awaits us. I want readers to hope and work for the more that’s available to them.
Lest we forget to ask, how have YOU been changed by writing the book? Writing is vulnerable. Writing a marriage book or memoir perhaps even more so as our lives are out there for everyone to see. This is also true when I teach but because a book is so permanent, I have felt this vulnerability very acutely. I also wanted to make sure that I had/have the integrity to write a book on having a great marriage. As such, I’ve become a better wife during the past two years. (Something my husband appreciates tremendously!)
Finally, a lot of my blog readers are also writers; since you just finished writing (and publishing!) a book, what encouragement or tips would you offer those who are just dipping their toes into the water, so to speak?
Ask for help.
Learn how to balance realistic goals with your dreams.
(And make sure you work exercise into your daily routine!)
Yup. It’s as good as it sounds. Head over to Dorothy’s website and cheer her on – otherwise, go straight to your favorite bookseller and pick up a copy of Making Marriage Beautiful. Otherwise, leave a comment answering how YOU’VE seen marriage made beautiful. Winner will be drawn on Wednesday, March 15th.
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