Lisa Chavers taps into love of relationships for first book
TOPICS: “The Rhythm of Relationships” by Dr. Lisa Chavers
Posted By: David Dupont July 3, 2016
By DAVID DUPONT
BG Independent News
Dr. Lisa Chavers holds on to friendships. She’s still is in touch with Ingrid, her best friend from first grade.
Ms. Madelon, her 87-year-old mother says that Chavers, who turns 57 on July 4th, is “the most relational” person that she knows!
That’s not just because Chavers keeps in touch with people, but also because she thinks deeply about those relationships, what sustains them, and how they shift over time, and sometimes how to “let them go” if necessary.
The retired Bowling Green State University administrator has put those thoughts into a book entitled, “The Rhythm of Relationships.” She’ll have a book signing on Saturday, July 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green.
“Over time, relationships can develop their own rhythm, pace, cadence, and unique sound,” she writes early in the book. Throughout its 105 pages, she explores how this relational rhythm happens. It’s told through the lens of her own life, growing up in Cleveland, both in the city and often visiting extended family in rural Twinsburg. A major aspect of her life is being a devoted Christian. That’s how she was raised. “I know what I am and what I was trained to be from my youth, a God-fearing young lady,” she said. Her acceptance of Jesus Christ as her Savior in 1978 is so crucial, it is in the first sentence within her introduction. She cites the Bible, but, she said, the Bible is a book, the Lord is a living presence!
Still as much as she draws sustenance from her faith, Chavers aims to enlighten those who don’t share it regarding the importance of relationships and how they change, and how such change needs to be addressed.
As much as the book is the work of a lifetime, she traces its origin back to a class in mission work at her church in Maumee. She wrote a paper on her experience in Jamaica. Atop the paper, the teacher, whom Chavers held in high esteemed, wrote in red ink: “You should write a book!”
The fact that “somebody of that caliber saw something in my writing, she actually saw potential, kind of tipped me over,” Chavers said. Then, she began writing. Penning her thoughts proved to be difficult. Other friends also told her that she should write a book. Later, quite a few persons asked her how the book was coming along.
“I began to see that you can’t talk forever about writing a book and not put some action to it,” Chavers said.
About four and half years ago, she started in earnest with two sentences. Someone (Dr. Lorraine Niboro) advised her to just start writing as if she were placing entries into a journal.
Chavers was hung up on her perceived need for a title to bring what she had to express into focus.
About this time, tragedy struck for her Indian friend, Eva. First her husband died, and then not long after, Eva’s oldest daughter was murdered by her husband, who then committed suicide in front of two of their three children.
The close relationship between Chavers and Eva was dramatically affected by the tragedy. “Our laughing, our talking, our taking road trips, our saying ‘I read this. I read that,’ subsided. Everything changed,” Chavers said.
But, Chavers and Eva remained in contact. Now “she’s unthawing even more,” Chavers said of Eva. “She’s starting to call more, to reach out more. Little by little, she’s moving about and is reaching out beyond her family members. Family tends to understand and becomes a type of safe place.” Recently Eva visited Chavers and her family in the Cleveland area, and “she laughed and teased again,” something Chavers had thought was too painful, difficult, and nearly impossible” several months ago.
The author’s experience with her friend through this very unusual season of grief helped bring the subject of relationships into focus. The encounters with Eva highlighted the theme, that relationships have rhythms. “These relationships,” Chavers said, “are always zigging and zagging.”
“The other thing that kicked me into gear in order to bring closure to the writing, was knowing that my mother was turning 87 this June,” Chavers said. “I wanted her to be able to read this book. I wanted her to be able to hold my book.”
“I have watched my mother’s phenomenal life evolve over the decades,” she said. “So today the way I relate to my mother’s changes is an acknowledgement of one of life’s rhythms.” Now, my mom wears a hearing aid and has trouble walking. Chavers and her mother still travel together, “but, I have to think about how many steps there are to climb at our vacation location,” Chavers said. “Mom’s love, compassion, humor, and counsel is still as strong as ever. Her wisdom is sharper than ever. Yet, the rhythm of the relationship between us has changed.”
On Mother’s Day, Chavers presented her mother with a copy of her book.
Retiring in October, 2014 from the BGSU Graduate College, where she was an Assistant Dean and recruiter who focused on multi-cultural students, also gave her more time, not just for writing but for other activities. She co-leads “life groups” at Cornerstone Church. She’s a substitute teacher in the Bowling Green School District. She’s also an election poll official.
Daily, she works on marketing “The Rhythm of Relationships.” Chavers launched the book through Instant Publisher. Now, she wants to create an e-book version to sell online, as well as an audio book, “using my own voice.”
This first-time author knows that she has more books “in” her, including a book of poetry and a collection of her favorite Psalms.
Chavers said that as she meets people through events such as the Grounds for Thought book signing, she expects to hear relevant stories from those in the audience. Perhaps there’ll be a second part to “The Rhythm of Relationships.”
Posted by: David Dupont on July 3, 2016. Edited by: Dr. Lisa C. Chavers on July 6, 2016