I Was a Stranger to Beauty

Kindle Single*, ThinkPiece Publishing

*If you don’t have a Kindle, don’t worry! You can read Kindle books online with Amazon’s free Kindle Cloud Reader. It’s also available for Nook and iPad readers!

I Was a Stranger to Beauty is the a story of a family moving through a terribly difficult time, and arriving at a place of acceptance and love.

In a way, it’s all of our stories.

It’s the time you got back up … even though you didn’t think you had the strength to stand.

It’s the time you trusted … even though you’d been hurt in the past.

It’s the time you opened your heart … even though you were tired and wanted to go home.


We’ve all been strangers to the beauty in our own lives.
The question is, will we stay that way, or will we learn to open our eyes? Book Overview:

How can you keep loving someone who seems to be destroying your family? And how can you separate a beloved person from their terrible actions? I Was a Stranger to Beauty invites readers to walk the road of loving people as they are … a narrow, challenging road that leads to vistas of unimagined splendor.

Writer Caroline McGraw shares her arduous (yet joyous) journey toward acceptance of her only sibling, Willie. Willie, a young man on the autism spectrum, struggles with self-injurious and aggressive behavior. Caroline and her parents do their best to offer help and support, but Willie’s behavioral challenges continue. In the face of this seemingly-insurmountable difficulty, can they find a way to carry on as a family?

I Was a Stranger to Beauty follows Caroline as she makes an unexpected transition: from angry sibling of a young man with autism to full-time caregiver for adults with special needs. After graduating from top-ranked Vassar College, Caroline takes a detour from her plan to write professionally in order to become a live-in direct care worker at a L’Arche home.

L’Arche, a faith-based non-profit wherein people with and without intellectual disabilities share life together, is Caroline’s training ground for forgiveness.

 As she forges new relationships at L’Arche, Caroline finds herself at the threshold of a new  space  –  a space of simplicity, small wonders, and overarching peace. In her work as a caregiver, Caroline falls in love with people with special needs, and begins to see the kind of things that only they can show her … namely, how to love, and not fear, her brother.

Buy the book today! Kindle Single Price:  $1.99

5% of proceeds from the first month’s sales went to support L’Arche Washington DC.


Next, let’s talk free, from me to you.

When you receive A Wish Come Clear’s posts via email, you also receive free digital copies of the following books:

QuoteBookCoverI created Getting Real and Letting Go: A Collection of Quotes for Recovering Perfectionists (2014) because of what I learned from my friend Leo (not his real name). Once, when he was asked, “What does it mean to be human?” Leo responded, “To be humble.”

I thought that was a pretty profound answer, since human and humble have the same root, humus, from the earth. But the questioner followed up by asking Leo another question: “OK, but what does it mean to be humble?”

And Leo said, “Well…I don’t know. But I think it helps…not to be afraid of your faults.”

So do I … and that’s why I created this little book for you.

You see, a while back I started spontaneously compiling quotes on perfectionism, words of wisdom that empowered me to follow Leo’s advise. Whenever I felt tense and stressed, I’d open my file and read a quote or two.

This simple ritual made me laugh, helped me breathe, and reminded me to let go of perfection and embrace people instead. In short, these quotes have helped me to be less afraid of my faults … and I hope that they offer the same gift to you.

This book is free to those on the posts via email list, but Paypal donations are welcomed!


Your Creed of Care: How to Dig for Treasure in People (Without Getting Buried Alive) (2011) is a book about balancing the responsibilities of caring for another with caring for yourself. It’s a labor of love, containing 50+ pages of true stories and insights.

It’s about living a life grounded in self-respect. It’s about loving yourself, so that you can love others from a place of peace. This book is free to those on the posts via email list, but Paypal donations are welcomed!


 Fact: Caregiving relationships and personal growth are not mutually exclusive. (Getting sufficient sleep every night may be a different story.)

I’m on a mission to let you know that, in the midst of the medication refills and the hassle of hectic appointments, the love you give and receive each day is priceless.

Your work is of tremendous value in our world, but sometimes, it gets hard to see and believe that. That’s where I come in.

Because at the end of the day (when you’re spent and just wish you had someone to help you get ready for bed and brush your teeth), it’s difficult to see the bigger picture. At times like these, it’s tough to recall why you signed on for the challenges that come with caregiving.

But allow me to introduce you to a book that will remind you of the truth you already know, deep down: your choice to care means everything.

Love’s Subversive Stance: Ground Yourself & Grow In Relationship (2012) is a collection of stories centered on this question: how can we honor our passions and our caregiving relationships at the same time? In caring for others, how can we become more fully ourselves?

This book is NOT a quick-fix. Instead, it’s about telling true stories…the sort of stories that will allow you to become rooted and grow. It’s about examining the seemingly insignificant details of your day, and seeing what they say about you and your relationships.

The print book contains 90+ pages of stories for people who want to say YES to standing on the subversive soil of love. To learn more and hear what readers are saying, go to the Love’s Subversive Stance main page.

The digital version of this book is free to those on the posts via email list, but Paypal donations are welcomed!

Receive a free digital copy, or get the full-color print book ($20) via Love’s Subversive Stance at CreateSpace.

Product Description Disclaimer:

I aim to describe and display my books as accurately as possible. However, I cannot guarantee that certain features (such as varying print colors and sizes) will be completely accurate. Likewise, I cannot guarantee their uses for your particular circumstances and purposes. Please do not accept that the product descriptions contained on this website are entirely accurate, current, or error-free. Occasionally, I may correct errors in pricing and merchandise descriptions.