Need a place with a heavy dose of real? Gillian Marchenko is a friend and a colleague, and her book Still Life is starkly honest about life grappling with depression as a wife and mom. Seriously, I love this woman and her writing so stinking much, y'all.
Starting Monday, I’m teaming up with Gillian to lead a book study of Still Life over the course of 8 weeks. We’ll have weekly assigned reading (no more than a few short chapters!). And I've intentionally chosen shorter readings for the first couple of weeks, knowing some folks might not have the book in hand on day one!
(And if you already know you want to join without reading the rest of the post, here's the link for that!)
The first week we'll ease in, but here's the plan for the next seven weeks. Every Monday and Tuesday, I’ll post some reflection questions from that week’s text. On Thursday, I’ll post one or two more personal questions related to that week’s reading, not to force vulnerability but rather to provide opportunities to examine ourselves (so it’s fine to just answer for yourself to yourself instead of answering in the comments) and to – when answers are shared with the group – provide opportunities for “me too” moments. And on Saturday, we’ll look at self care and self compassion, both in examples from the text and in some challenges for our lives.
To be clear, I'm facilitating the study and posing the questions, but I'm not posing as anyone's therapist. I'm in the thick of life and struggles like anyone else, so I'd make a crummy guide for this journey. But I can be a companion, processing through the book alongside everyone else.
Gillian won’t be a full participant in the group, but she’ll pop in from time to time for some planned interactions with us. As her friend, I can say she's a total gem. You'll love getting to know her better, not only through the pages of her book but through the group itself.
Everyone is welcome to participate as much or as little as they’ll like. If your time or comfort level means you don’t chime in for a question, that’s okay! When life happens, I don't expect this group to be your top priority. If you skip a day or a week, you can jump back in with no judgment. I’m not grading anyone, except on a scale of grace. We’re all grown ups, so we can make the best decisions for ourselves.
Interested? Here's the link to request membership. At some point - probably after the first week - we'll close down adds, as I expect it will throw off the dynamic of the group to have more people jumping in midway through. (But y'all know I also work for Key Ministry, and we're entertaining the idea of having this become a regular thing with different books related to mental illness or disability. This group, not officially affiliated with Key Ministry, is serving as a test run, so I'll keep you posted!)
If you have any questions, shoot me a message or leave a comment. Hope you can join us!