I have been seeking God in the midst of my son Joel’s disability for over twenty-nine years. Meditating on and writing about this journey has grown into my life’s work. This walk with Joel’s disability has led me to my own spiritual director, and to becoming a spiritual director myself. It is my greatest hope, in the pages of my new book, to walk alongside you as you live the questions that are rising up in your heart, and to help you pay attention to God’s presence in your life. I will give you some questions to ponder, and some reflections to which you can respond, so that the words on the page will become three-dimensional, turning into lived experience. The pages of this book are also filled with stories from other parents who have walked similar paths with a child’s disability or chronic illness, and have encountered God along the way. Best of all, there is a treasure chest full of ancient traditions, the spiritual disciplines, for us to explore together. Traditions that have been a part of the Judeo-Christian experience for thousands of years. Traditions that draw us ever closer to God; traditions that heighten compassion for our fellow travelers, fill us to overflowing with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and, amazingly, lower stress at the same time. Could you use a little less stress in your life? I thought so! (Excerpted from the Introduction to The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities) If you are looking for a spiritual director to meet with you (in person, via phone or Skype, I would love to journey alongside you. You can contact me at katebolduc@gmail.com

The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities
NOW AVAILABLE! The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities
Parenting a child with a disability requires vast stores of energy, creativity, patience and wisdom. There are days when we feel like Humpty Dumpty, surrounded by the broken pieces of life as we once knew it. Where do we go when we feel as if reconstruction is impossible? When we’re too tired for one more meltdown, IEP meeting or sleepless night? When we’re full of questions for God; struggling with anxiety, depression, or anger; when we’re wondering if our marriage will make it through, intact?

The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities uses the mosaic as a metaphor for putting the pieces of life back together again, and the spiritual disciplines as a framework for daily works of healing and restoration. It offers bite-sized pieces of poetry, scripture, personal narrative and teaching on the grief process, the upside–down nature of the Kingdom of God, and the spiritual disciplines. Each chapter concludes with a reflection exercise to gently lead the reader into a deeper conversation with God.

"Kathleen Deyer Bolduc’s latest book, The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities, is addressed to parents, but does not give parenting advice. Instead, Bolduc invites readers to join her on a spiritual journey that begins with the shattering pain of asking questions that cannot be answered and continues toward new creation and new community. She and her husband Wally have three children, including Joel who has autism, anxiety, and has manic episodes.

"Bolduc pictures the art of parenting as the creation of a mosaic. The work of art begins with broken fragments. ‘Everything I valued in my life before Joel’s birth had to be rethought and revalued—intelligence, efficiency, logic, self-control … I came to understand that Jesus turns the cultural belief—that brokenness is to be avoided at all costs–upside down. Christ challenged me to face and embrace my brokenness, as well as Joel’s brokenness, so that God’s power might be released within both of us.’ (pp. 2,3)

"She encourages readers to embrace their brokenness and look for ways that God is making a new creation. Her own journey led her to search for connection with God in a world that frequently brought difficulty, struggle, pain, and frustration. Along that journey she discovered spiritual disciplines and practices including meditation, lectio divina, and being guided by a spiritual director. In the process, Bolduc became a spiritual director herself.

"If you are the parent of a child with disabilities and you don’t know where to go with your faith or wonder whether you even have faith in God anymore, I highly recommend The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities."

Mark Stephenson — Christian Reformed Church, Disability Concerns Network
The photograph of Joel and Kathy is courtesy of The Cincinnati Enquirer.