Thursday, April 2, 2015

One of Everything - Book Review

There's a passage somewhere in the Bible that says sometimes you go through bad stuff so that after you come out of it, you can help others when they go through the bad stuff, too.

Donna Carol Voss' memoir One of Everything is just one way that Donna is coming back around to help others.

You name it, Donna experienced it: troubled childhood, alcoholic mother, lesbianism, bisexuality, drug use, divorce, death threats. Each new thing is an attempt by Donna to discover who she really is. But she never really finds her true self or what makes her truly happy.

Luckily, each of her life experiences bring her one step closer to where she needs to be, even if it takes 30+ years to get there. The path forward isn't always easy, but God never promised that it would be.

Donna Carol Voss is really an exceptional writer. Her prose is so poetic, and girl knows her way around a metaphor.

But there was one part of the book I took issue with. Donna is talking to her husband about having kids, and when he scoffs at her suggestion of having six kids and tells her he was thinking of having just one kid, Donna says, "One isn't a family . . . it's an only child" (p.216).

Well, Donna, you're right. One child is an only child, and I would know because I am an only child. But I was also part of a family. I'm sorry, but it makes me mad when people act like you don't have a family if you don't have any kids or if you don't have a certain number of kids. You don't know other people's circumstances. Maybe they could only have one kid. Maybe they can't have any. But family has a wide definition.

Before I get off my soapbox, I implore you all to read this article from Christian magazine Relevant: Does God Require Me to Be a Parent? I've highlighted a particularly poignant passage below:

However, my real issue with “we’re starting a family” isn’t the idea that you’re basically telling us that you’ve decided to have worry-free unprotected sex, but that somehow you aren’t a family without children. This is just not true. 
You were a family the moment you stood on the alter and made a covenant bond from “this day forward.” You weren’t incomplete, waiting for someone else to finish the puzzle, you were a wonderful, married, creation. The problem is, something has morphed in the sphere of Christendom. As a body of believers, we’ve taken what the Bible says about reproduction and used it to make you (and countless others) believe that starting a family is the be-all, end-all. I think we’ve gotten this one wrong.
Okay. We now return to our regularly scheduled book review. I really do think you should read this book! If you're going through tough times, this book would be inspiring. If you think you're going through tough times, reading this book might make you realize that you've got nothin' on Donna!!

Donna is also available for speaking engagements, and I think she'd be a really interesting person to hear speak. Look her up if she's coming to your area!

One of Everything is published by Vantages Books and comes out May 1, 2015. I received a free review copy for my honest review.

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