Blended With Grit and Grace
Just Keep Livin' When Life is Unexpected
by Jessica Ronne
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Pub Date 15 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 11 Apr 2022
Abilene Christian University Press & Leafwood Publishers, Leafwood Publishers
Ryan and Jess blended their families after losing their spouses to cancer in 2010. This has led to an unexpected and often hilarious journey. Blended with Grit & Grace invites you to walk alongside them and learn what it’s like to have eight kids under one roof.
With wit and wisdom, Jess offers fresh perspectives on managing different parenting styles, developing family traditions, and meeting the special needs of your family. Jess, with frequent asides from Ryan, also probes deeper marital and family concerns that are often experienced but not talked about like grief, breakdowns in communication, finances, and insecurities. Filled with gentle advice, Blended with Grit & Grace transports readers into the Ronne’s kitchen so you can ponder the detours that have come up in your own life.
“Jess Ronne’s book is the recipe for everything real life because she has lived through so much. Her authentic yet stark honesty is encouraging for not only blended families but for all families who need a compass for walking out of hardship and into a life of imperfect beauty. Each chapter is filled with perspectives for both husbands and wives, along with talking points and recipes that make you feel like you’re in the Ronne household. This is a book you’ll pass on to others who need a lifeline in family life.”
—Brenda L. Yoder, LMHC, counselor, author of Fledge: Launching Your Kids without Losing Your Mind
“An inspirational story infused with faith, family values, and true appreciation for the simple things in life—like quality time. The author offers practical wisdom, humor, honesty, and grace to herself and all of us—particularly when life throws us unexpected curveballs. Blended with Grit and Grace is a beautiful testament to how powerful the right perspective can be in the midst of devastation, loss, and the daily challenges of being a parent and devoted spouse. Jessica provides the reader with the incredible reminder that we all have a choice to identify the silver linings, deepen our faith, and just keep livin’ come what may!’”
—Laurie Hellmann, author of Welcome to My Life: A Personal Parenting Journey through Autism, host of Living the Sky Life podcast
“At first glance, the Ronne family could be mistaken for The Brady Bunch, but once you spend time in the pages of Jessica Ronne’s honest and uplifting memoir, you’ll find there’s more to this blended family than love and laughter. Jess and her husband Ryan fling open the door of their Tennessee home to share the nit and grit of their day-to-day lives. From the trials of step-parenting to the challenges of raising a teenager with special needs to figuring out what foods everyone will eat, Jess and Ryan don’t mince words, but they do give one another and God credit for making it all work. Bonus: Jess generously shares a few household tips along with some tasty tried-and-true recipes. The Ronne family’s story will leave you with hope that you, too, can find reasons to celebrate the extraordinary in your own ordinary life.”
—Ingrid Lochamire, blogger, speaker, author of One Man’s Work
“Blended with Grit and Grace is part memoir, part roadmap for spouses with blended families, part caregiving manual, and part cookbook. Jessica Ronne combines all the parts into a glorious and delicious romp through her family’s unexpected and poignant adventure. Filled with humor and sprinkled with grief, this book describes the challenges and joys of creating a blended family, from how to organize bathroom caddies to finding time to pray with a spouse while raising eight kids. Prepare to laugh out loud while you read but have a tissue handy for when you’re moved to tears.”
—Jolene Philo, national speaker, coauthor with Dr. Gary Chapman of Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities
“This book is pure encouragement for the darkest days. If you’re walking through a dark time or are just afraid of what’s next, Blended with Grit and Grace is the book for you. This is a personal story with practical advice. It will resonate with your own experiences and needs, and you will feel like Jess Ronne is a friend walking beside you.”
—Jessie Clemence, author
“Reading this memoir is like being hugged by a warm blanket. A tattered and torn blanket, for sure—it has been through a lot—but that’s what gives it the kind of life wisdom and comfort you’re looking for. Sit down by the fire with your friend Jessica and wrap yourself in this book. It will encourage you, challenge you, and give you strength for your blended-family journey.”
—Ron Deal, blended family speaker, therapist, best-selling author of Building Love Together in Blended Families (with Gary Chapman) and The Smart Stepfamily
“A brave telling of the beautiful reality lived out by blended families, Jessica Ronne shares her story of real grief blended with real grace, real hardship, and real hope. The words she writes of overcoming trauma and tension are an invitation to every family—blended or not—to just keep living for and through love, even in the midst of loss.”
—Rachel Kang, author, Founder of Indelible Ink Writers
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 9 members
Jessica Ronne doesn’t know me, and probably never will. I feel like she’s one of my friends though. I have a blended family through divorce/remarriage. My story is vastly different than hers, yet I found myself taking notes and telling my husband, “we really need to do this”. I appreciated all the different viewpoints her husband added in at times, and the recipes she included will very likely be attempted in my kitchen soon. This was an excellent book, and very well written!
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