Monday, November 11, 2013

Peace in the Family despite secrets

Book Summary
Korean War widow’s difficult mother dies before revealing the identity of her daughter’s father and his cultural heritage. As Dee sorts through what little her mother left, she unearths puzzling clues that raise more questions. The Sheep Walker’s Daughter pairs a colorful immigrant history of loss, survival, and tough choices with one woman’s search for spiritual identity and personal fulfillment. Dee’s journey will take her through the Northern and Central California valleys of the 1950s and reach across the world to the obscure Basque region of Spain. She will begin to discover who she is and why family history matters.

Making Peace

By Sydney Avey

My mother kept secrets. As she lay dying, eyes firmly closed, mouth set in stoic acceptance, my sister and I sat close by working a jigsaw puzzle at a table in her room.  Looking back now, I realize that Mom was a puzzle we had been working all our lives.
I wrote The Sheep Walker’s Daughter to explore the theme of why parents keep secrets from their children. Not guilty secrets that children have no need to know, but secrets about family heritage. Does knowing your ethnic identity and cultural background matter? 

My main character, Dee, benefits from the spiritual guidance of an Anglican priest, Father Mike. As I worked on the scenes that took place in Father Mike’s office, I found myself bringing some of my own concerns to this wise counselor, and getting answers!

When Dee tells Father Mike that Leora was not a good mother, he replies that she wasn’t a bad mother either. He tells her:

“Dee. You have a litany of grievances against your mother. You tick them off religiously as if you were saying the rosary, but it brings you no peace. Ask your question.”

     “What do you mean? What question?”

     “Just assume there is a God. What is the one question you would like to ask Him?

     “Why did my mother…”

He stops me right there. “Not a question about your mother, a question about you.”

     I think about that for a minute. What is it I really want to know?

Dee wants to know who she is. But only God can tell her that. In Ephesians 2:10 Paul explains “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

In His wisdom, God placed us in families. Sometimes (not always) our work is to make peace with our family members, living or dead.

Once Father Mike gets Dee refocused, her spiritual journey begins. As her heart softens, she becomes more receptive to the truth and willing to receive the blessing that God has planned for her.

Once I stopped fretting about why my mother hid her father’s Jewish heritage from her daughters, I was able to take that journey with Dee and make peace with my mother’s decision.

Are you puzzled by family secrets? Ask God to reveal what is good for you to know and to give you peace about what remains hidden.

Sydney Avey earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and did postgraduate work in mass communications at San Jose State University. She lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Yosemite, California, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, and has a lifetime of experience writing news for non profits and corporations.  She speaks on spiritual maturity at Christian Women’s Conferences and blogs at about the themes she explores in her writing: relationships, legacy, faith and wanderlust. 

The book is preorder 
The audiobook is on sale now

Both here:

Sydney blogs here