a memoir of loss and discovery
by Linda A. Marshall, M.Div.
Praise from Advanced Readers:
“A Long Awakening to Grace shows the transformative power of an open heart and questing spirit. Faith buoys Linda Marshall through decades of family pain and tragedy caused by a mysterious genetic condition. Over the course of this inspiring journey, love opens the way for profound healing.” ~Susan J. Tweit, author of Walking Nature Home: A Life’s Journey.
“One of my physician colleagues, when asked how he dealt with ‘such depressing neuromuscular diseases’ replied, ‘I have the greatest job in the world because I get to work with heroes every day.’ This remarkable memoir chronicles one such hero’s quest to find an answer to a riddle that had severely impacted her family for decades. The story is moving, meaningful, and inspiring, and reading it has made me a better doctor. It is a tremendous resource for other families in similar situations.” ~John T. Kissel, M.D.; Chair, Department of Neurology; Director, Division of Neuromuscular Medicine; Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
“Linda’s memoir is more than just a retelling of her life story. This work of nonfiction functions on so many levels. In addition to being a brilliant insightful spiritual exploration and narrative about a rare genetic disorder, it’s the quintessential story of the American woman born in the 1940s, growing up in the 1950s, and dealing with stifling gender roles imposed on American women of that era.” ~April Wilson, M.A. in English, M.S. in Education, author of five novels, and college educator.
“A Long Awakening to Grace serves as an important record of a generation, a time, and a way of thinking about women’s roles, parenting, and the education of special-needs children that was prevalent for a long time.” ~Judy Plazyk, Story Circle Network Sister
“I couldn’t put your book down, even though I didn’t feel well during most of the time I was reading it. I had to find out what would happen next. You did an excellent job creating suspense. A Long Awakening to Grace is well-written and will be an important book and a valuable resource.” ~Alice H.
“It keeps your interest.” ~Amy S.
“I have to say, I’m very impressed with your writing! You are an extremely talented writer, with a gift for language and introspection. It’s a very engrossing tale.” ~April B.
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Sophia’s Table: Women’s Wisdom in Five Voices
Kathy Zamonski, Linda A. Marshall, Dodi Matheny Wozniak, Marty Davis Cottrill, Karen Ander Francis
In the account from the Book of Proverbs, Wisdom sets a table.
“Come eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity and live, walk in the way of insight.” ~Proverbs 9:5-6 NRSV
Sophia is the Greek word for wisdom, and is a feminine noun.
It is clear in the Proverbs passage that Wisdom is a woman who set a table and asked guests to join her. The table is an age-old gathering place where women traditionally have nourished and refreshed family and friends. It is often where we sit to share stories and solve problems over a cup of coffee or tea.
Sophia’s Table: Women’s Wisdom in Five Voices is a collaboration among five women participating in a contemplative writing group. We are five ordinary women with lives that hold the myriad joys and challenges comprising the human experience. All of us find writing to be central to leading healthy, balanced lives; to gaining fresh perspective; and to finding meaning and purpose. Each of us has a distinct voice, pitched and toned by her unique life experience.
Sophia invites people from the desert into the cool shade of her home…a metaphor for the soul–a numinous, refreshing place shaded from the glaring light and heat of the sun. At her table, we balance the exterior life of the mind with an interior life of the soul–stepping out of the bright heat of reason into the cool shade of intuition.
Like mellow wine, insight ferments in quiet reflection on our life experiences and emerges from profound knowing and trusting what we know. Insight is drawn from the deep well of inner stillness where we meet the Divine within us, the Source and Font of Life and Love, the very essence of who we are. Sophia bids us to discover and trust our own innate wisdom.
Praise for Sophia’s Table:
“Reading Sophia’s Table, you feel as if you’re talking with an old friend. Such deep sharing. Warm and insightful. It triggered some thinking for me, and made me look at my own life differently.” ~Cynthia R.
“I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the quality of the writing in Sophia’s Table. Your writing is well up to professional standards.” ~D.B.
“Kudos to all of you. Sophia’s Table is awesome! It is truly remarkable the way you captured the human experience–as a daughter, a wife, a mother, an aunt, a survivor, a woman. I laughed. I cried. It moved me.” ~Deanna H.
Praise for Linda’s contribution to Sophia’s Table:
“I just spent a delightful early Sunday morning with you via Sophia’s Table. I’m touched by the vulnerability, the risk you take ‘in letting others into’ the hidden recesses. Thank you for your lifetime of unfolding.” ~Diana S.
“I’m in awe of how you’ve taken your experiences of personal growth and translated them into ways of relating to family and working with others.” ~Martha C.
“You are incredibly open and honest. I think so many mothers could relate to what you wrote but wouldn’t dare say it. I think as mothers we all have things we regret and just have to live with. I know I do. You are an inspiration to just own what is real.” ~Barb K.