The Hopeful Family: A Book for Lent and Beyond

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During the pandemic, I have been wondering about the relationship between resilience and resurrection hope, noting, “There’s something about neuroplasticity, growing through adversity, and God’s healing power.” 

I was delighted to learn that Amelia Richardson Dress, author of my favorite Easter picture book, was writing a book on this very topic. Having read a preview copy from Church Publishing, I am excited to recommend The Hopeful Family: Raising Resilient Children in Uncertain Times.”

To see the publisher’s preview, please click here.

To purchase through my Bookshop Affiliate link, click here.

Each of the nine chapters succinctly explores a spiritual practice accompanied by the most relevant science and psychology. In addition to the approachable length of the book, I appreciate the author’s perspective that sacred reading, forgiveness, sabbath, sharing the table, gratitude, hospitality, generosity, silence and blessing are all practices. She gives parents permission to start small, if needed, and to pick and choose among the practices that work for the place your family finds itself now. 

Richardson Dress writes from a deep love and appreciation for children’s spirituality and the realities of parenthood. With wonder and warmth she invites families to explore new and familiar practices, bless one another, and reflect.

The Hopeful Family will help households journey together in “vibrant, loving faith.” Avoiding rigid and formulaic approaches, the author equips children (and parents) “with practices that will be their anchor when life is hard, or when God seems far away… Of course, the benefit of this is that we’ll also be building their spiritual resiliency right now.”

As Lent is a season of intentional spiritual practice, this book would be an excellent resource for group or individual study. I’ve included it in my Bookshop list of Lent and Easter books and created a sample reading plan that might guide your Lenten journey (click here for a downloadable version on Canva or use the .png below):

  • February 14: The Sunday before Lent – Introduction: Parenting with Hope
  • February 17: Ash Wednesday – Forgiveness: Letting Go to Move Forward
  • February 21: First Sunday in Lent – Sacred Reading: The Stories We Tell
  • February 28: Second Sunday in Lent  – Sabbath: Finding Presence
  • March 7: Third Sunday in Lent – Gratitude: The Joy of Enough
  • March 14: Fourth Sunday in Lent – Generosity: Choosing Abundance
  • March 21: Fifth Sunday in Lent – Blessing: Healing the World with Love
  • March 28: Palm Sunday – Hospitality: Welcoming What Comes
  • April 1: Maundy Thursday – Sharing the Table: Nurturing Connection
  • April 2: Good Friday – Silence: Experiencing Peace
  • April 4: Easter Sunday – Conclusion: Practicing Hope

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