Just Show Up

Renee Ann Smith —  October 19, 2015 — 13 Comments

“Hi, my name is Kara Tippetts, and I may not be alive when you read this book. I hope so, but I don’t know. That decision is in the hands of the Author of life—His name is Jesus. I trust Him with every ounce of who I am. The reality is I am dying, and some of that story is told in my book The Hardest Peace.” ~from Just Show Up by Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn~

Kara Tippetts Just Show UP

Kara Tippetts was a boisterous believer, an author, a wife, and a mother of young kids, when she died of cancer on March 22, 2015. She gathered around herself a large and loving community, both in her local Colorado Springs area and online.

She began writing her story on her blog, continued it in her book The Hardest Peace, and finished it in the book Just Show Up.

Here’s a bit of the story of Kara’s last days in her own words from the book Just Show Up . . . “The long good-bye. Cancer has afforded me that, and I have tried to live faithfully in light of that dark gift. Never, at the age of thirty-eight, did I expect to be living under such fearsome blow after fearsome blow with each new diagnosis flattening us out. It is hard to recover to intentional living after each painful remind of the limit on my days.”

“The kids will one day see it as the long good-bye that it is. But right now they are simply the receivers of all the big love I have to give. Each day I fight the limitations this disease has placed upon me to love my children. It should not have taken cancer to cause me to abound in more and more love, but that is what Jesus chose to use to prompt my heart to extend the borders of me to love my people with more love than I could have otherwise known.”

“Big love. It’s one of my favorite phrases. It’s really the only way I know how to love. And it’s certainly become more focused since my initial diagnosis. Like Jill said, my time is limited. So I’m trying to squeeze every drop of life out of every day, because like that movie tries to tell us every year at Christmas, it really is a wonderful life. I don’t know how much more time I have. But the truth is, none of us do.” ~Kara~

I was one of the many touched by Kara’s faith journey—I think especially because her life and words sparked sweet reminders of my own best friend, who died of breast cancer several years back.

Breast Cancer suffering

Like Kara, my friend Nancy celebrated community as both a joyous boon and vital base of her faith journey.

She opened her heart to others in all her living, and it was no different in her dying.

I was privileged to walk by my friend’s side during her vicious battle against cancer. Those last months of our twenty year friendship changed me forever.

So I’m a witness to the power of just showing up in a suffering friend’s life and how that step of faith brings blessing after blessing.

My friend would’ve agreed with Kara’s view of Christian community . . .

Kara writes: “Friends. Community. It is the only way to know and be known.

It’s where we see our own humanity and frailty, our gifts and our weaknesses.

When we show up for one another, we invade each other in love and become witnesses to the truth that trials and sickness and pain are not the whole story.

There’s more, so much more.

We can remind one another that our lives are not a mistake. And, most importantly, that we are loved with an everlasting love.” ~Kara~
breast cancer suffering

The book Just Show Up shares Kara’s journey of suffering from two perspectives: Kara’s and her friend Jill’s.

Jill details how showing up for Kara changed and challenged her, along with some practical advice for those who find themselves faced with a similar privilege.

Just Show Up urges us to follow Kara Tippett’s legacy. May we abound in big love and be ever grateful for beautiful, messy life.

Let’s keep looking for glimpses of glory today! Blessings, friends!

***Follow this link to purchase one of Kara’s books.

***Follow this link to read more reviews of Just Show Up.

About the Authors:

Kara and Jill

The late Kara Tippetts was the author of The Hardest Peace and blogged faithfully at mundanefaithfulness.com. Cancer was only a part of Tippett’s story. Her real fight was to truly live while facing a crushing reality. Since her death in March 2015, her husband, Jason, is parenting their four children and leading the church they founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Learn more about the life of Kara Tippetts at www.mundanefaithfulness.com or follow the site on Facebook.

Jill Lynn Buteyn is the author of Falling for Texas, an inspirational novel, and a recipient of the ACFW Genesis Award for her fiction work. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Bethel University. Buteyn lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children. Learn more about Jill Lynn Buteyne and Just Show Up at www.jill-lynn.com and on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter .


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Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

13 responses to Just Show Up

  1. Beautiful review, Renee. I think it was very hard not to be impacted by Kara’s story. May we offer “big love” because we have been the recipients of His big love! So glad to have stopped here from Sharing His Beauty. Blessings!

  2. Having lost my sister-in-law to breast cancer, “big love” is a good term for what we can do to continue a mother’s love for her children in her absence until we meet again. Thank you for sharing this important aspect of Kara’s story.

  3. Renee, what a beautiful review of Just Show Up. I loved this book too. I looked at it more from Jill’s side. I haven’t walked with a close friend through a cancer journey. When my mom had it, I lived a couple states away. There are ways to show up even in that situation.

    What a difficult privilege you had to walk with your best friend through that journey. I’m so sorry you lost her.

    Stopping by from RaRaLinkup. 🙂

  4. Thank you for this beautiful review, Renee. From what I’ve read about Kara, she was an awesome witness of God’s grace. I’m so sorry you lost your friend to cancer. That must be hard to witness those last days and then lose her. I’m so glad you showed up for her.

  5. Thank you for this review. I think our mortality is something we needed to be reminded of often. Kara sounds like a beautiful woman.

  6. Wow, what a powerful post that really speaks to the heart of one with terminal illness, as well as those who are there for our friends and family members in those shoes. I had heard of Just Show Up but your review made it so much more personal. I write a blog for people who are chronically ill (primarily those with RA and other autoimmune disorders) and it is so true that oftentimes, it’s just showing someone you care that makes the difference. Blessings to you and yours.

  7. This is a beautiful review of the book and a powerful reminder of how God works even in the most awful circumstances. I agree that just showing up for a friend who is suffering has a huge impact on us too- I’ve never had a close friend who has cancer but I have been supporting a friend with severe depression and mental health issues and I have been changed and challenged a lot through that experience. Visiting from Tell His Story.

  8. I didn’t know that was the title of her book. Interesting to me because it’s the phrase I’ve been living with the past 3 years–just show up. It’s made such a difference in my life to know that all God wants from me is to show up—once I get myself “there” (wherever there is), he’ll take over. It’s eliminated a lot of anxiety from my life. Thanks for sharing this, Renee. What a beautiful life she lived and your friend too!

  9. Oh, yes. This is so beautiful, and I’m in tears. A dear friend, Kelly, lost her short battle with cancer two years ago. I, too, followed Kara Tippett’s story, and adored her words, her inspiration, and her beautiful lessons for life. May we continue to celebrate their lives in such a way. Praying for you and your friend’s family. Blessings! #livefreeThursday

  10. So beautiful – thank you so much for sharing this. Truly inspiring.

  11. Just show up! Love this, Renee! What a great word. When we don’t know what else to do, we can just show up!

    Sounds like you have been a great friend who has walked through pain with your sisters. What a gift you are to them!

    I found your post on Grace and Truth.
    Hope you have a blessed day today~

  12. While I didn’t know Kara personally, I felt as if I got to know her when the blogging community mourned her death and celebrated her life back in March. Thanks for refreshing that experience in my heart– What a beautiful review and beautiful life she lived! (And cheers that she is now dancing with Jesus!)

  13. Thanks for sharing this, Renee! I haven’t yet made it through a review of one of Kara’s books or one of her blog posts without crying, so I know I’ll have to take out stock in Kleenex before I attempt one of her books! She was such an inspiring woman, and I look forward to meeting her (and your friend) in heaven someday soon. I am sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!

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