Interview & Book Review: A Voice Becoming by Beth Bruno

Book Review Faith Family Grace

Are you raising a young woman and overwhelmed with how quickly they become susceptible to outside forces trying to hijack their mind, heart, and soul? In A Voice Becoming, Beth Bruno offers her readers a journey in which she and her teenage daughter take on a year of Becoming.

“There is too much heartache in the world for her voice to not be heard and too much glory in her soul to not be unleashed.” – Beth Bruno, A Voice Becoming

Most of us have Quinceañeras, Sweet 16’s, or a celebration to present to the world that we have become women. At the root of these celebrations was the chance to tell the culture that we were “ready” to be women and all that this brings with it. I’m so grateful to Bruno and her authentic voice and challenge to bring a year of Becoming to the forefront by challenging purity culture, and dismantling the church hurts which have enslaved our teenager girls.

“Too many rites of passage models recreate the cages from which girls have already been freed. Honestly, I have no desire to create a model at all. I want to create a conversation, a way of thinking, a new paradigm of being rather than another prescription for Christian parent to follow.” – Beth Bruno, A Voice Becoming

Bruno will challenge your perception of raising a teenage girl in our current culture. Unlike other Christian books that instruct women on how to raise a teenage girl, A Voice Becoming guides mothers alongside their daughters with a biblical and realistic approach. I’m so grateful I own this book.

I dare you to become an advocate for your daughter. Pick up A Voice Becoming today!

Enjoy the below interview with Beth Bruno.

Why did you decide to write this book?

I did not set out to write a book like this. While my husband researched and designed the year that became the Man Maker Project: Boys are Born, Men are Made, I did my own research. Even less had been written about rites of passage for girls. And what I found felt insufficient given current culture and the realities youth face. My girls did not fit the archetype described in many existing books and I knew I would miss their heart if I employed those models. That, paired with the enormous expectations they had after my son’s “man year,” meant creation of our own journey was inevitable.

Tell us a little bit about you and your girls. What is your relationship like?

We are some pretty independent women! Once we got over the initial toddler Sunday school tears, my girls marched confidently away from me toward every new adventure. The youngest started overnight camp at age 7 (which I still can’t believe we did!) I’d say we’re close, but not intertwined. As in, I never struggled with being a helicopter mom. We share the passion gene and get fired up about strong women doing cool things. They play along with my quirky interests, but the older they get, the fiercer their sarcasm and teasing gets. I give them a lot of fodder, but down deep, I sense they love it.

How did your daughter feel about the year during the year? After?

Ella ate up my intention toward her. Honestly, it made me realize how much she needed my attention. She understood it was a big deal to “become a woman” and knew to take serious each thing we did together. I even think she was proud to tell her English teacher the books she brought to class were “assigned” by me. Since completing the year, I’ve noticed a beautiful, albeit difficult, by product: She is more mature than peers. Recently, she articulated this by saying “I’m going to run for President and make it mandatory that all girls have a Becoming year.”

How does your work to prevent human trafficking intersect with raising strong girls?

I spend most of my time addressing two different types of girls: “at-risk” and overly active. With community service providers, I am working on intervention models with vulnerable kids, response protocols, and prevention tools for those most at risk of being exploited. In high schools, I speak to the whole student body, but it is often the overly involved, good students who want to take on leadership. These two groups have something in common however: girls who live small stories are often more vulnerable to traffickers. It doesn’t matter if she comes from a chaotic home or a church-going family, if a girl has a gaping hole in her heart and she fills it with whatever feels good at the time, she is easier to manipulate. My passion to cast a vision for a bigger story, to lift girls’ eyes out of the daily obsession with bodies, boys, and besties, to a life of purpose and passion is my antidote to exploitation and ultimately, human trafficking.

You write a lot about story. Why has that become so important to you?

My husband and I have taken to calling ourselves story ninjas. There is something sacred that occurs when you’re in conversation with someone and they pause, or their voice falters, or they look askance and you know, right there, in that moment, story is present. Sometimes, we say, “whoa! Go back. What was that?” and if they want to play along, beauty unfolds. We have found that naming the story-moments has helped our marriage and parenting to be more dimensional, more whole-hearted. Just recently, a hurtful episode happened among the siblings. When we processed it, Ella named her story of feeling chronically excluded by friends so that when her own brother and sister did the same thing, she felt especially sad. It wasn’t just a thoughtless act on their part, it was salt on a wound and it triggered much more in her soul. Understanding story has helped us understand ourselves and our people in more meaningful ways.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BETH BRUNO traded the Blue Ridge for the Rocky Mountains after two decades in mega cities. Upon graduating from Northwestern University in Chicago, she and her husband moved to an even larger city, Istanbul, where they led campus teams with Cru. Ten years later they moved to Seattle where Beth received an MA in International Community Development and launched a nonprofit aimed at preventing domestic minor sex trafficking. Beth regularly speaks and trains around the topic of trafficked youth, including interviews with local radio stations and lots of coffee with the FBI, Homeland Security, and local law enforcement.

 

 

Cover photo credit: Photo by Sagar Rana on Unsplash

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