Spend It Offering Light: Week 2 & Giveaway

Our current series, “Spend It Offering Light” (#OfferLight) continues today with a beautiful story from Liane Kupferberg Carter and a giveaway too!

In fact, from here on out, each post in the series will include a giveaway. First time reading? Learn the story behind our series here. “Spend It Offering Light” features real people turning their fears into something that helps others, into light. Please welcome Liane!

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You Help Me Get Over Myself: The ThinkPiece Interview

Siblings, 2013. A touch blurry, but I do believe that Willie’s smile makes up for that.

Dear readers,

Happy Monday! I have some fun news to share, so let’s dive right in.

First up is an interview I did with ThinkPiece Publishing’s founder, Adam Wahlberg. As you may recall, ThinkPiece (“singular voices on social issues”) published my Kindle Single, I Was a Stranger to Beauty, and I could not have asked for a better publishing experience.

As such, it’s my pleasure to share The ThinkPiece interview with you. It’s a distillation of an hour-plus conversation, with snippets on family, writing, vocation, and more.

My favorite line — spoken in the context of showing up and publishing here each week — is, “It helps you get over yourself a little bit.” Writing for you, showing up and sharing stories with you, really DOES help. It helps me step out of self-consciousness and insecurity and fear and step into love instead. Thank you.

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Next, I’m booking new copywriting projects for 2014, and available slots are filling up fast. If you sense that your website, social media pages, and online presence could use a boost, never fear! You can take my new, free quiz and start moving forward.

Stay or Click Away? Put Your Website to the Test is specifically designed to help you assess where you’re at with your online work, and where you might grow the new year. Consider it a little holiday gift from me to you!

Also, my apologies — I announced my sparkling-new Speaking Kit and Full Media Kit in last week’s post, but the links were entered incorrectly, and have been revised. Be sure to check out the kits and contact me if you’re seeking a speaker for a 2014 event.

So far, I’ll be heading to California to present at the Kern Autism Network’s annual conference March 13-14, and then to Illinois to keynote at the Arc of Illinois’ 2014 convention April 23-24. I’d love to see you there!

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Finally, posts at A Wish Come Clear will be intermittent in the weeks ahead — I’ll be spending some quality time with family and friends, and living new stories to share with you. Until next time … Happy Thanksgiving!

Yours,
Caroline

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Announcing: A New Documentary (Hula Skirts Ahead)

Dear friends,

It’s Tuesday afternoon, and I’m camped out in the guest room of my dear friends’ home. I’ve been traveling for two weeks, from an Alabama lake house to a Pittsburgh conference center and everywhere in between. There are plenty of stories to be told, but today, I’d like to share a short documentary with you.

Longtime A Wish Come Clear readers may recall a mention or two of this film; it’s been in process for two years. In 2011, Edwin Mah — an American University professor and independent filmmaker — wrote to me and asked if I’d be willing to share stories on screen. Saying yes was a leap of faith. (Isn’t it always?)

Longtime readers may recall my 2012 post about the filming process. In that post, I wrote that being filmed for a documentary is a peculiar exercise … and as I’ve learned, watching a documentary featuring oneself and one’s family is even more surreal. (On that note: I’m so thankful to Edwin for his excellent work, and to my family for their willingness to participate in this project.)

My hope is that you — fellow siblings and families — will see something of yourselves here. My hope is that you will be encouraged to show up for one another, to show up for your life.

The film is entitled My Brother. It’s just over 14 minutes long, and it’s about the process of finding meaning and beauty within challenging relationships. If that’s not sufficient motivation: I sport several completely embarrassing outfits and hairstyles along the way. There really are hula skirts. Enough said.

Enjoy!

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What did you think of the film? Join the conversation in the comments!

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To See Beauty First: A Video

Hello and Happy Monday!

Since I’m traveling this week, I’d like to share a video with you in lieu of the usual post. It’s a 10 minute talk I gave as part of the Faith Inclusion Network’s March 2013 “That All May Worship” conference. (I thank Karen Jackson for her wonderful work in organizing the event, and for sending me the recording as well.)

A Wish Come Clear readers who receive posts via email may recall the story I sent out about my experience speaking at the conference two months ago; it’s reprinted below.

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Please pardon the at-times-loud background noise in the recording (but if you’ve read the story, you’ll have a good idea why that’s happening). Enjoy!

This past weekend, I traveled to Norfolk, Virginia for the Faith Inclusion Network’s biannual, “That All May Worship” conference. I was honored to be a guest speaker at the opening banquet, and to lead a breakout session on L’Arche* as well.

At the Thursday night banquet, I was the first speaker to take the stage. The usual shivers ran through my stomach; the usual adrenaline pumped through my veins. But once I started speaking, everything else fell away, and I was able to lose myself in the stories.

That is, until I heard a masculine voice coming from the foyer. It was loud, yelling something I couldn’t distinguish. I thought it sounded angry, but I couldn’t be sure.

I kept on speaking without pause, but inside, I wondered, Who could it be? Are they supposed to be here? What’s going on? I couldn’t see the person, but for a moment, I was afraid. Visions of violence moved through my mind; was it some kind of radical protester, intent on harm? I didn’t dare turn my head to look.

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But then, as the man and his companions moved toward the center of the room, I realized: here was a man with special needs, coming in late, just making some noise. No big deal. I felt my shoulders relax, and a smile spread across my face. Thank God! It wasn’t any of the terrible things I’d feared. It was going to be all right.

In fact, I actually felt more comfortable giving my talk after that young man came in. Why? He reminded me of my friends at L’Arche (some of whom are wont to purr and shout phrases in Spanish during Catholic Mass). With his arrival, I felt as though I was among family.

Oftentimes I think we get so afraid of what might happen that we are blind to what is happening. We get all worked up about something we perceive as terrible, when in reality, we’re just frightened by our own thoughts, our own imaginings.

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I wish I’d had the chance to meet that man after I spoke; if I had, I would have thanked him. I wish I could have told him how he helped me, how glad I was that he had come to the event.

As Amy Julia Becker wrote in her recent post, Missing Out on Beautiful, “I feel as though I have been let in on a cosmic secret because when I look at Penny, I see her beauty before I see anything else.” (Amy Julia’s daughter, Penny, has Down syndrome.)

When I read those lines today, I couldn’t help but think of the stranger, the man from the conference last weekend. It’s clear to me now: he was beautiful because he reminded me of those I love.

And love is what gives us the ability to see beauty first.

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How do you ‘see beauty first’? Join the conversation in the comments!

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*L’Arche (French for ‘The Ark’) is a faith-based non-profit that creates homes where people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together.