You already got to hear from her a few weeks ago in this post, but I’m so excited today to welcome Gina Butz to book club! Gina is the author of Making Peace with Change: Navigating Life’s Messy Transitions with Honesty and Grace. I think we can all resonate with the themes of change and transition, can’t we?
Gina, thanks so much for taking the time to hang out with us in book club! Please tell us a little bit more about yourself.
I’m originally a Minnesota girl who married an adventurer. After two years working at the University of Minnesota in campus ministry, we moved to East Asia, where I first heard about Velvet Ashes through other expat women who worked there. After five years, we moved to Singapore and spent five years there. Then it was back to East Asia for what we thought would be another five years (but only ended up being three) before we moved to Orlando, Florida, where we currently live. I was pregnant with our son when we moved to Asia. We moved back to the States when he was 12 and his sister was 10.
My husband and I work at Cru Headquarters here where I serve in Global Leadership Development. Our son is now a sophomore in college and our daughter is a senior in high school. When I’m not writing I love watching our daughter play soccer (where I’m usually behind a camera capturing it) and walking our imported Asian mutt around the neighborhood.
Tell us about Making Peace with Change. What prompted you to write this book?
I started blogging when we lived in Singapore just to keep the grandparents updated. Life overseas was always interesting, so I shared stories of our crazy life there. It was a cathartic outlet. When we moved back to the U.S., I didn’t know what to write about anymore—no one ever tries to sell me a turtle at a stoplight here, so what is there to talk about? But the transition back to the U.S. was incredibly difficult, so I started writing about that, and people responded. I realized that God had taught me a lot through our many transitions that was worth sharing with others, so I started writing my book.
What do you hope God will do in the hearts of people who read this book?
I wrote this book for anyone who has experienced or is experiencing a transition that is challenging. I want to give them permission to slow down and linger with what God is doing in those messy places, rather than trying to rush back to feeling “normal.” I hope they will feel the freedom to be truly honest about the impact of change on their souls and find the grace they need from God and others to be at peace with it. I hope they’ll learn to give themselves so much grace and compassion that it naturally overflows to others who are struggling. It’s the book I wish I’d had in every major transition in my life.
How has God used the process of writing this book in your own life?
Writing this book helped crystallize the lessons God has taught me in every transition He has brought us through, and since I was writing it in the midst of one of the biggest transitions we’ve experienced, He challenged me to live out my own words, especially with regard to the practices of worship and gratitude. I think it also made me more aware of how God was at work in this new season, bringing good in unexpected ways. As I interviewed other women about their experiences in transition, I was so blessed to see evidence of God’s personal attention to each of us and His faithfulness to us in change.
We can’t let you get away from this interview without asking about book recommendations- this is book club after all! Do you have any favorites to share with us?
Probably my all-time favorite non-fiction book is Strong Women, Soft Hearts, by Paula Reinhart (I quote her several times in my book!). I think I read it five times when we lived in Singapore. I’m currently reading books for a spiritual formation program with Ruth Haley Barton including Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson and Opening to God by David Benner.
Gina, thank you so much for sharing more about Making Peace with Change!
Do you have a question for Gina? Or does the topic of change and transition resonate with you? How has God sustained you and grown you in those seasons?
We are partnering with Our Daily Bread Publishing to give away FIVE copies of Making Peace with Change! To enter to win the giveaway, add a comment to this post before Saturday, March 7th at 9:00 PM EST. Winners will be contacted at the end of the giveaway.
What’s Coming Up:
Who’s ready for a little Jane Austen? In March, we will be reading Emma, and this delightfully charming matchmaker will hopefully amuse you with her imperfections. We will start discussing Emma on March 10th! Here’s the schedule:
March 10th: Chapters 1-14
March 17th: Chapters 15-29
March 24th: Chapters 30-43
March 31st: Chapters 44-55