Hello and Welcome Friends, Readers, and New Visitors
What is this blog all about?
I will share my story, my new book, interact, and engage with you about Down Syndrome. With now 6,000 babies diagnosed each year in the US, raising awareness & sharing hope to other parents is one of my life missions. Now I have started a personal blog to share how my book is helping others, giving kids a voice, and most importantly engaging with many who share the same experiences with their children. I hope to connect with other bloggers and parents by sharing their stories, as I share my story. Also this is a place to share about me my new book titled, ‘Failing At Fatherhood’, A book for the Imperfect Father. . . Available on Amazon
Now I would like to introduce the big reason behind my book. Please meet my daughter, Marley Barr, who is my sweet vibrant little girl. My book is about my first reaction to the news about her diagnosis. Even with faith, I was not prepared to hear that my daughter would be different.
Here is a little more about my book and my family…
About Family Life:
Jack and Jana Barr are missionaries in Bangkok, Thailand. Before their first date, they both knew God was calling them to serve overseas. After completing their undergraduate degrees at Johnson University, and their graduate degrees (Jack M.Ed. Regent University, M.Sc. Canisius College/ Jana M.A. Lee University) they flew to Bangkok for the first time. For the past nine years they have served God by teaching at the International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand.
“Jana and I wanted to be self-supportive and earning our graduate degrees provided us with that opportunity. But beyond that, the graduate degrees we earned prepared us to teach and live cross culturally. Our college courses forced us to step outside our comfortable environment of teaching first language learners and embrace second language teaching. Most importantly, our professors prepared us for a chaotic life of change that accompanies living overseas.”
Our story has been featured on CNN, CNN Mexico, Life Action News, and The Insight Channel. I also wrote my first published book, Failing at Fatherhood, which has won a Silver Award by The Mom’s Choice Awards for adult book, and has been endorsed by Bob Russell, S.A. Bodeen, and Woodroll Kroll. Jack & Jana had a simple plan for their future, but God has forced them to trust in HIS plan.
About My New Book:
“Why do I fear her so much? Marley is my own flesh and blood, yet I lie here silently as a new father wondering if I will be here in the morning.” When Jack Barr and his wife, Jana, had their first child, they were overcome with joy and excitement. Three days later, as they prepared to leave the hospital, two doctors entered their room debating whether newborn baby Marley, had Down syndrome. Mixed in with the confusion of whether or not their daughter was chromosomally different, Jack and Jana knew their lives would be changed forever.
Failing at Fatherhood embraces Jack’s honest struggles as a father, after receiving his child’s diagnosis of Down syndrome three weeks after her birth. He excavates the past, examines the present, and explores his future life in a sincere attempt to understand his personal failures as a father during his first year of parenthood. Throughout the book, Jack wrestles with the decision of divorce, suicide, and the existence of God. However, with His ultimate direction, Jack is able to understand the significance of fathers being committed to their children.
In closing I would like to share our most recent newsletter and current campaign. We started the “If They Had A Voice” awareness campaign which is dedicated to unborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome. You can view the initial video here http://www.iftheyhadavoice.org/ …
Jack, Marley, Martha, & Mary
Last week during lunch, Jana and I were discussing our holiday travel plans. The conversation was centered on cost, travel schedule, and the overall inconvenience of bouncing around the US during Christmas. About halfway through the conversation Marley said, “plane, plane, me, me.” Jana told Marley that “yes”; we were flying on a plane in the next few weeks to visit family for Christmas.
The remainder of the day involved Marley reminding us that she was going to be flying on a plane and we were going home for Christmas.
For the past week, every time Marley has seen a plane in the sky she has started yelling “plane, plane, me, me”. Regardless of what she is doing, she stops and her excitement spills over at the thought of flying home for Christmas. Of course every time she yells “plane”, I think about BKK to SFO to LAS to DFW to OKC to CLT to GSO to EWR to SFO to BKK in three weeks. (Amazing how these acronyms are a constant in my life now) But, Marley does not care about the cost, travel, or the headache of sleeping in various houses. She only cares about flying home to see Pappy, Grammy, Ma Ma, Ray Ray, RF, and numerous other people she loves. Last week as I was sharing at church about the Christmas story, I realized I was already embracing the Christmas holidays with a Martha approach.
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” 41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Things have to get done. There are always certain details in life that must be prepared before something can be accomplished. I do not believe Jesus is telling us to completely ignore those preparations. The main point I see Him making is to take time for what is important. Every year during the holidays, I become obsessed with my “to do” list. Is everything in place, is the schedule set, do we have enough money, which parties are we attending, and we must remember to read the Christmas story on Christmas Eve. Even the religious rituals I honor at Christmas are more about attending the event, instead of focusing on the one thing worth our attention.
We love living in Bangkok, but there is always something special about spending the holidays in the States with family. This Christmas break I am going to try to take the Marley approach. Instead of worrying about the holiday schedule, cost, or headaches, I am going to focus on spending time with my family, loving my wife and child, and truly taking time to reflect on the birth of Christ.
When flights are delayed, schedules are thrown off, and we spend too much money; I am going to stop and enjoy the moment. Life will always move forward with needed preparations, but for this season in my life, I am going to peacefully sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to Him. . .
Silver Award Adult Book ~ Mom’s Choice Award Winner for Failing At Fatherhood.
I hope you have enjoyed visiting our new blog and consider purchasing a copy of my new book through one of these outlets. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Apple ibook.
Author Bio: http://about.me/jack_barr Come connect with us on Twitter @jackjanamarley Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JackBarrAuthor.FailingFatherhood/ GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8843797.Jack_Barr
Follow my blog with Bloglovin