If you’ve been following along with The First Ever Div Sense Twitterview this week, you’ve already gotten to know Sarah Cunningham. (and if not, read on! transcript to follow.) It’s pleasure to join many other wonderful bloggers as a host on Sarah’s blog tour in support of her new book Picking Dandelions.
You might say Sarah Cunningham is a jack-of-all-trades, a wearer of many hats. Or you might think of something a little less cliche to say. But with this mom/teacher/author/speaker’s newest book Picking Dandelions, Sarah takes us on a journey through her own life with a series of anecdotes tied together with a simple, but dangerous proposition: “Humans can’t afford the luxury of unchanged living.”
Sarah writes with candor, quirky humor, and warmth in a way that recalls writers like Anne Lamott. Though her first book Dear Church focused on a generation’s response to Christianity and a people’s need for change, her second book instead looks inward, confessing to stagnant faith and poking around the dusty corners of a life in need of change. Her stories take the reader from a Midwest preacher’s kid childhood, to the rubble of Ground Zero, to a new life as a wife, mother, and teacher.
This book is split into distinct parts, but her anecdotes all relate to a greater story, pulled together with section headers that relate her experience to the life of the dandelion. There were thought-provoking, tender, and laugh out loud moments, but most of all, I found myself thinking of my own life, wondering if I have the courage to seek out change too. She kindly tells us that it is possible, that faith is a process and that God’s love never stops working on us.
It’s a refreshing read that’s light in style but deep in character, in the tradition of the best spiritual memoirs. Her relatable stories, humor, and insight make Sarah Cunningham an author worth getting to know.
Visit Sarah’s website for more info, excerpts, and her blog, and order Picking Dandelions on Amazon. Review copy of this book provided by Zondervan.
All this week Sarah and I have been chatting via Twitter about the book, writing, and other miscellany things. The Twitterview was a grand experiment… and a lot of fun! She’s a really cool person to follow, and we’ve had good conversation with a few other readers as well.
So much fun and conversation, that it’s a little long for this already-large blog post. So, here’s Part 1 of the Twitterview Transcript. All of the following tweets are in mostly chronological order… I shifted a few questions around to keep it on topic, but you get the idea.
Part 1: On the Author and Picking Dandelions
@sarahcunning: Twitter-view it is. The more cheesy, the betta. :) I’m a nerd in any universe, including the twitter one. :):):)
@jen_rose: Haha! Okay, good. Hey, nerds rule anyway. And maybe you need just a little nerdiness to be on Twitter. :) So for those just joining us… in 140 characters or less, who is Sarah Cunningham?
@sarahcunning: 1stly, a follower of God. an imperfect person. fatal idealist. wife, chief diaper changer, teacher, writer, sister to all.
@jen_rose: Wow! You wear many hats. And Chief Diaper Changer is a pretty impressive title! :)
@sarahcunning: Yep. As you may know we call him the Emperor. He guest posted on my blog yesterday. :)
@jen_rose: That’s awesome. He might be the youngest guest blogger ever!
@amrhodes: what prompted you to write Picking Dandelions?
@sarahcunning: my own stagnant spiritual life. was in a stage where i wasn’t open to God continuing to change me and needed to face it.
@jen_rose: How would you say Picking Dandelions is different from your first book Dear Church?
@sarahcunning: PD is a memoir, a collection of stories and life observations about how people can’t afford not to change. Dear Church is a series of essays that capture some of the emotions 20-somethings experience in church interactions.
@JanetOber: Hi Sarah – did you pick the title for your book and if so, how?
@sarahcunning: Yep. Well, I originally called it Picking Weds: A Search for Faith Among Life’s Weeds and we tweaked it from there.
@jen_rose: After writing about experiences of 20-somethings in general, was it strange or hard to put your own life story out there? Because I think we can all relate to needing or wanting to change… but I don’t think we necessarily want to admit it!
@sarahcunning: Its definitely easier in some ways to write generically about a whole group of people rather than open your own life. I am a naturally transparent person, so it wasn’t a huge stretch to put my life out there on a larger platform than usual. In some ways, it deepens my character because I am then being held accountable–at some level–by the masses. :) Scary.
@jen_rose: Scary, yes… but transparency is good! I think there’s a tendency in our culture (and in Christian circles) to keep those things to ourselves, and hope it works out. What do you hope readers will learn from your story about change?
@sarahcunning: i want people to think about how avoiding change may seem like the easy route but its more costly. how we as people of faith can’t afford to live unchanged lives.
@jen_rose: And what do you think is the cost of avoiding change?
@sarahcunning: the cost is huge.maybe not immediately but as it plays out over time. the cost is you live a life that is less than what God wants for you.
Come back Friday for Parts 2 and 3 on writing, teaching, and a whole bunch of random stuff. :)