When my friend and fellow Redbud Writers Guild member Beth Bruno asked if I would be interested in being part of the launch team for her new book, A Voice Becoming: A Yearlong Mother-Daughter Journey into Passionate, Purposed Living, I initially said no simply because I don’t have daughters. But the more quotes I read, the more interested I became. After Beth posted the meme below, I thought, OK, if that’s what it’s about, I’m in.
While reading the book, I had one recurring thought: If only.
If only my mother had this kind of vision for bringing up her three daughters; if only someone had told me when I was 12 that I could be part of a bigger story, with eternal implications; if only someone had provided me with a way to break out from culture’s narrow understanding of what it means to be a teenage girl, it would have spared me a great deal of anguish and pain.
Many other cultures around the world are much more thoughtful than Americans about celebrating rites of passages with their sons and daughters. My husband and I attempted to bring intentionality to our boys’ transition from gawky middle schooler to confident teenager but we did not have the kind of vision or sustained creativity that Bruno writes about. What struck me is that rather than doing a simple, one-size-fits-all event, Beth crafted an entire year of personal, unique activities that served as a bridge for her daughter Ella. A Voice Becoming is not meant to be a fixed template for us to imitate but rather an idea meant to spark our own imagination. It is unabashedly and appropriately spiritual in nature.
You can learn more about the book by watching this short trailer.
When asked about how her daughter felt about the rite of passage, Bruno writes, “Ella ate up my intention toward her. Honestly, it made me realize how much she needed my attention. She understood it was a big deal to become a woman and knew to take each thing we did together seriously. I even think she was proud to tell her English teacher the books she brought to class were assigned by me. Since completing the year, I’ve noticed a beautiful, albeit difficult, by product: She is more mature than peers. Recently, she articulated this by saying “I’m going to run for President and make it mandatory that all girls have a Becoming year.”
“An intensely intimate look into a mother’s fight for her daughter’s soul and purpose. The challenges of modern life and influences are no match for this intelligent and creative resource. Pulling from memoir, Biblical examples, literature, and real-life relationships, A VOICE BECOMING is decisively the resource for creating a life-changing rite of passage for your coming-of-age daughter.” Shayne Moore, author and founder of Redbud Writers Guild
You can find more of Beth’s work on her site (bethbruno.org) or by following her on social media (http://facebook.com/beth.p.bruno, or on twitter @bethhbruno). Here’s the link to buy A Voice Becoming. And by the way, this book is not only for moms with teenage daughters. It’s for youth leaders, teachers, therapists, or anyone who works with or has authority in the lives of young girls. I think you’ll find it super encouraging and inspirational.