By Chris Caputo
My wife, Rebecca Caputo, recently received a text from her dear friend, Pam. Pam was overflowing with joy while getting on a plane flying from Michigan back to Kansas City. She was returning from the “Awaken: A Living Books Conference” event designed for home educators and living books libraries. She was especially motivated and encouraged after spending these two days with her dear friends and library ‘mentors.’ We both exhaled, sighed and shed tears of joy.
As you’re probably thinking “huh?” or “so what?”, allow me to explain.
A few years ago, Rebecca, Pam plus their friend, Jeanette, embarked on a relational discipleship journey through a Hesed community. Partnering with Jesus, they committed to learning how to securely attach and to living fully alive from the heart Jesus gave each of them. As part of this process, one of their intentional practices was to discover each other’s “shalom story”.
A shalom story is something Jesus had already authored and written into each of their hearts that brings fullness of life, joy and peace. Each person is encouraged to practice curiosity and discover this story more fully within a small Hesed community. Upon deeper discovery, time is spent both building deeper friendships while being intentional to encourage one another to see THESE STORIES come to pass over time.
Early on, Pam was struggling with some difficult emotions over the path in front of her. She was battling through confusion and overwhelm with decisions related to her passions and callings. During her sharing some of these painful emotions, Rebecca asked the question “Pam, what are you most passionate about?“
“MY LIBRARY! The homeschool lending library that I know I’m called to, but can’t seem to find the time to make it happen!”
Rebecca described Pam going from distress to almost floating up out of her chair, nearly in tears from joy in just stating the shalom story of her heart.
Rebecca offered support and encouragement to Pam in the months and years to follow and was glad to be with her along the way. After many months knowing what God placed on Pam’s heart, Rebecca simply offered some help to Pam by helping her get books library ready that were collecting dust in her basement.
Little by slowly, one box, one shelf, one book and one year at a time, Pam finally did it!
A few weeks ago, twenty-two people gathered in Pam’s basement to celebrate the soft-launch opening of “Redeemed Reads Family Library.” The joy and life emanating from Pam that night was impossible to miss!
Though the Living Books Conference 2022 has ended, Pam will continue experiencing more shalom, living from the heart Jesus gave her.