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Local author highlights women’s extraordinary influence

(ROCKWALL/HEATH, TX – Sept. 23, 2016) She’s a homeschooling mom of four with plenty of other roles, including: wife, soccer mom, symphony violinist, and writer. The latter title allows her readers to see how women can sift through the mundane and sometimes inglorious stuff of life to discover opportunities of influence.

Lea Ann Garfias, of Rowlett, moved to Texas with her husband and children ten years ago and resumed the struggle to find meaning in her roles. “Women with monotonous lives who want to make an impact need encouragement,” she says. Her own need provided the theme for her first book.

Rocking Ordinary: Holding It Together with Extraordinary Grace (New Leaf Press, 2016) speaks to the influence women have through loving those close to them. Garfias says, “No matter how ordinary, we have an extraordinary impact we can’t see at the time.” She hopes the book will open women’s eyes to ways they can bless others while facing mounds of dirty dishes and unrelenting runny noses.

Garfias gained writing experience as a columnist for a homeschool magazine. She also joined the Rockwall Christian Writer’s Group, where I read some of her book material and noted her successful journey to traditional publication.

Rocking Ordinary is relevant for women of faith, and especially to mothers with children still at home. It’s humorous reading too, though Garfias insists she is not funny: “My husband and children have a sense of humor, so I’ve learned to take myself less seriously.”

Though the author relied on rock-solid biblical principles, she says her book is not the end-all for advice. She hopes readers will take away God’s grace, love, and forgiveness as the way to make a positive influence.

Garfias chose to be transparent in writing about the realities of relationships, including her marriage. She mentioned having a big marital spat even as she worked on the related chapter. She views the scriptural admonition of Ephesians 5:21 as vital to Christian relationships and especially in marriage: “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

The book’s chapter on friendship speaks to women’s need for encouragement outside of home. Garfias admits, “I’m to-do-list oriented. It’s hard for me to even fit in my husband and kids.” She warns that women can turn around and find no one there to help, adding, “We need friends, and they need us.”

Garfias encourages grace-based parenting and confesses her failures, especially in her early years of adulthood, when she demanded apologies from a strong-willed son. “I neglected to apologize when I did things wrong, like snapping at him,” she says. “I needed to demonstrate humility and to admit my need to grow.”

Such honesty will likely help her readers to grow as well.

[Find Rocking Ordinary: Holding It Together with Extraordinary Grace (192 pp., $12.99) at online book sellers or at New Leaf Press, http://www.nlpg.com, which offers a companion Small Group DVD and Leader’s Guide].

By Blue Ribbon News faith columnist Patti Richter of Heath. 

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