In 2017, Emily Stimpson Chapman began writing a book about her home renovation. Except another project came up, and then another. Then 2020 happened. Chapman found herself locked down with the rest of the world, and with that time she began writing. Except she did not write the book she had originally planned. Instead, she began writing her younger self letters of encouragement during a year of deep division. She wrote about relationships, forgiveness, social media, and new motherhood. She wrote about how her Faith helped her navigate all of those things.
Letters for Her, Letters for Us
Over time the book became something bigger, they became letters of wisdom that other people could use. Words of comfort, words that challenge, and words that are written with humor and warmth. Reading Letters to Myself from the End of the World is like chatting with a friend over a cup of coffee.
Best read slowly over time, this book is one that you can pick up and read when you need encouragement. The letters connect to one another, but one can read them out of order if there is a particular topic that they would like to read on. For excerpts of the letters, you can check out Chapman’s Instagram.
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Providing Points of Connection
Why is a book like this needed at this time? Why is a book talking about daily tasks, marriage, and friendship needed when there are so many complicated issues occurring right now? Emily’s words put it best:
“When the world is falling apart, it’s tempting to think that showing pictures of cute babies, organized mudrooms, and pretty dresses is a waste of time, that we should be doing the far more important work of arguing about politics or sharing news about injustice. But more often than you can imagine, the most important thing we can share on social media is video of a baby laughing or a father dancing with his little girl. Now, more than ever, we need points of connection. We need signposts of our shared humanity. We need reminders that we are brothers and sisters who all want to love and be loved, who dance with our children and weep with exhaustion and rejoice over a good meal or a freshly made bed or fat baby cheeks.
Those little, mundane, seemingly inconsequential things are actually of inestimable importance. They’re the moments that make up life, moments where grace quietly works in our hearts, transforming us, making us new. We all have them. We all live them. They connect us, binding us together across cultural and ideological divides. They humanize the Internet, depoliticizing it, bringing us back to the simple truth of who we are: men and women made in the image of God.”
Chapman will resonate with you, and she will also point out areas of growth. Her book speaks to women of all ages and stages, and is both inspiring and uplifting to read.
Have you read this book yet? What did you think?!
Christie L. writes about all things faith, motherhood, and wellness. She spoke most recently at the National Virtual Catholic Women’s Conference 2021. Christie is a monthly contributor to CatholicMom.com and has been featured on Spoken Bride, The Young Catholic Woman, and the Blessed is She blog. You can find out more about her here.
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