Marie Duquette, a pastor, and Tracy Lawson, a tap dancer and choreographer, met three years ago through their teenaged children. Though they were living 650 miles apart at the time, Marie and Tracy formed an unlikely friendship, and through a series of unexpected events, their friendship deepened, a working relationship developed, and led them to write their first book, Given Moments.
Given Moments is about finding grace, hope, and humor in life’s unexpected moments. The entertaining and inspiring stories in this book were collected from people of different ages and backgrounds. Even the stories that begin with despair end with a message of hope. It is a book by 63 people, written for everyone. Chances are, you will find your story in it somewhere.
Early in her career as a pastor, Marie discovered that when someone is hurting, encouraging them to tell their story helps heal their heart and set them free. As Marie approached her fiftieth birthday, she was not where she imagined she should be at that point in her life. On a whim, she compiled a Life List—one noteworthy thing for each year she had been on the planet. That brief exercise, completed in about half an
hour, turned her thoughts from “how could I possibly be 50?” to “how could I have accomplished so much in a mere 50 years?”
Marie posted her Life List on her blog and invited her friends and readers to share their own lists. Candid, compelling lists from a widely diverse group of individuals flooded her inbox. Within two weeks, Marie and Tracy started to develop a lighthearted book based on the lists, but the project quickly morphed and changed into a book with a much deeper purpose. This anthology of moments form contributors’ Life Lists will make readers laugh, make them cry and inspire them to look for God’s presence even when things are going awry.
“Telling your story” is trendy. The Given Moments Life List, comprised of one item for each year of a person’s age, gives finite parameters to the project, but still allows each individual to reflect on significant moments in their lives.
Given Moments’ prevailing message is not to judge, but to embrace life, even when it doesn’t go as we expected. Given Moments encourages a much-needed paradigm shift in how people evaluate themselves.
Genre: non-fiction, inspirational
Buy Link: Amazon
About the Authors
The Reverend Marie Duquette received her Masters of Divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio in 2003. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Eastern Michigan University. Marie has served as pastor in two churches in the Southern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and has appeared as a guest pastor in many other churches in the area. She co-wrote, and performs in, a 45-minute show entitled “Two Gals and the Gospel” with The Reverend
Karen Asmus-Alsnauer. She is currently working on two books based on her experiences as pastor of a small-town congregation.
Tracy Lawson holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from Ohio University. Tracy teaches tap dancing and choreographs musical theater productions, and is currently on the faculty at BalletMet Dance Academy in Columbus, Ohio. Tracy has been a guest columnist in The Freeman Online. Her first book, Fips, Bots, Doggeries and More: Explorations of Henry Rogers’ 1838 Travel Journal, (McDonald & Woodward) was also released in 2012. In that book, Tracy supplemented the daily recollections of her great-great-great grandfather’s horse and wagon journey from Cincinnati to New York City with exhaustive research, going so far as to take her own trip along the exact route described in the journal. She is currently working on a novel.