Do we make too much of our day-to-day problems? In the big scheme of things how important can they be? Award-winning storyteller Valerie Schultz answers these questions through deeply touching—and sometimes provocative—personal accounts of family, career, addiction, alienation, romance, aging, and loss. With compassion and honesty Schultz retraces the passages of ordinary life, finding grace and the presence of God in those she loves and those she struggles to love.
Valerie Schultz is the author of two previous books: Overdue: A Dewey Decimal System of Grace and Closer: Musings on Intimacy, Marriage, and God. Her work has also appeared in Give Us This Day, America magazine, and in her regular column for The Bakersfield Californian. She and her husband Randy have four children and three grands.
"Valerie Schultz wants us to know that praying for the small things is not silly but sacred. With humility and humor, she reminds us that God’s love and mercy surround us at every moment, whether we are coping with an ancient dog or facing the searing devastation of a child’s addiction. In sharing her struggle to get through a year of teaching, Schultz teaches us to see our failures as journeys and to have the eyes to recognize each other as companions along the way. Through the veil of her own pains and joys, Schultz encourages us to hold up a mirror to our own lives and see where we might ask God for grace and mercy."
Michelle Francl-Donnay is the author of Prayer: Biblical Wisdom for Seeking God. Her website is michellefrancldonnay.com
"In A Hill of Beans: The Grace of Everyday Troubles, Valerie Schultz offers a rich feast of hard-earned insights born from an honest, searching life of faith. Along the way, she invites readers to discover how God’s grace is found both within and beyond the sacramental life of the church: in the joys and struggles of ever-changing family dynamics, in lean times of recession and career detours, in empty nesting and church disaffiliation, in caring for a loved one with addiction, and even in experiences of tragic suffering. With an uncanny ability to look at and write about life unblinkingly, Schultz inspires us to look at the whole of our own lives with her same openness. It’s a calling to become 'the saints of the everyday,' and that’s a calling our church, and our world, is desperate to hear."
Michael J. Sanem, is the author of Your Church Wants to Hear from You: What Is the Synod on Synodality? and writes regularly at incarnationiseverywhere.com