Do y’all know Deidra Riggs?  You should!  She’s brilliant and funny and accessible and the author of “Every Little Thing” and if that’s not enough, she’s the visonary behind the Jumping Tandem retreat in Nebraska.

I got to know Deidra last spring when signed up to help organize the retreat, I didn’t get a chance to go because, moving to LA!  But, she’s one of those women who you meet in real life and she exudes the same wisdom and grace as her words.

I’ve been following her blog for a while now and just last week she announced that she’s hosting a book club on her site on my all time favorite book, “The Yada Yada Prayer Group” by Neta Jackson.  Y’all.  I can’t say enough about this book and series.  It’s delightful yet honest about the complexities of doing life with women who are very different from you. Every character is well-rounded and by the end of the book you want to go out and find your own prayer group of diverse women.

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From the Amazon description:

What do an ex-con, a former drug addict, a real estate broker, a college student and a married mother of two have in common?

Nothing, or so I thought. Who would have imagined that God would make a prayer group as mismatched as ours the closest of friends? I almost didn’t even go to the Chicago Women’s Conference―after all, being thrown together with five hundred strangers wasn’t exactly my “comfort zone.” But something happened that weekend to make us realize we had to hang together, and the Yada Yada Prayer Group” was born! When I faced the biggest crisis of my life, God used my newfound Sisters to show me what it means to be just a sinner saved by grace.

I loved this series so much, that I used a profound moment of racial reconciliation from book two for my contribution for Rachel Held Evan’s collaboration of black voices in my response to the overwhelming support of Phil Roberston after he made some misguided comments about slavery, blacks, and gays.

Neta Jackson, a committed reconciler with years of experience, crafted a book that’s both entertaining and practical.  I felt like after reading the first book, I could explore building relationships with women in different socio-economic classes and ethnicities than me with confidence and grace.

I can’t wait to process it here with you my sweet Shalom Sistas! Shalom is at the heart of racial reconciliation and I’m so thankful that Deidra is taking the lead in a book club that “goes there” with race conversations.  I have so much to learn from her, so I can’t wait for January 15th to read her first contribution to the “FORWARD: A book club to help move the conversation…forward” link up on chapter one of the Yada Yada Prayer Group.  

I just bought my copy (I have it on audiobook too, but I wanted to have it in paperback to write my notes for my link up contribution in the margins) as I’m planning on linking up every week with the book club with my thoughts about each chapter.  Will you join me?

I hope so.

Shalom and Good Books,