Living Now Book Awards Presents Gold Medal for Best Relationships/Marriage Book to Sacred Spaces: My Journey to the Heart of Military Marriage by Corie Weathers
(St. Paul, MN)— Award-winning independent publisher Elva Resa Publishing is pleased to announce that Sacred Spaces: My Journey to the Heart of Military Marriage by Corie Weathers has been awarded the Gold Medal for Best Relationships/Marriage Book in the Living Now Book Awards.
Presented by Jenkins Group, the Living Now Book Awards honor the year’s best books that help readers attain healthier, more fulfilling, and productive lives.
Like many military couples, Corie and her husband, Matt, an Army chaplain, accumulated significant unshared moments during Matt’s deployments. Matt lost friends and fellow soldiers to combat in Afghanistan. On the home front, Corie supported fellow military families and walked through dark days with new widows as a friend and professional counselor. When Matt returned home, he and Corie began using the term “sacred spaces” for these and other significant moments they had experienced independently. After multiple deployments, sacred spaces were taking up a lot of emotional room in their relationship.
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter invited Corie, as Military Spouse of the Year, to join his team on a one-week overseas holiday trip in December 2015. Corie didn’t choose the timing or circumstances of her trip—Christmastime, in the midst of her family’s second cross-state move in six months—but it seemed the perfect opportunity for Corie and Matt to gain a better understanding of each other’s perspectives.
Matt experienced life on the home front with new eyes as he moved their household belongings, prepared for the holidays, and settled their two young sons into their new school.
Corie visited deployed troops and military families stationed overseas at US military installations in Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf. Then, she landed in the very place that had changed the trajectory of her life.
As Corie sat in the belly of a C-17, where her husband had said goodbye to the remains of friends and fellow soldiers, as she touched with her own hands the memorial at FOB Fenty that displayed the names of soldiers Matt served as chaplain, and as she reflected on her grief as a care team member following the battle of COP Keating, Corie realized this journey was about much more than the push-pull of duty away from loved ones.
This was a journey to the heart of her marriage, a place where she would have to leave behind her resentment in exchange for ground she and her husband had surrendered to hurt, misunderstanding, loss—and to Afghanistan.
Corie set out on her trip hoping to gain a better understanding of her husband and his deployment experience, but along the way, she discovered a whole new perspective of herself and her military marriage. By sharing her story, Corie hopes to help other military couples strengthen their marriages.
“This journey helped me realize it’s not about having fewer sacred spaces,” says Corie. “I hope sharing our vulnerable story will encourage other military couples to start a dialogue about pursuing a stronger relationship, try to understand one another’s separate experiences, and commit to creating more opportunities for shared sacred spaces.”
First released in paperback in August 2016, Sacred Spaces: My Journey to the Heart of Military Marriage was previously named a finalist in the ForeWord INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards and a finalist in the Midwest Book Awards, and was featured on the TODAY Show as Kathie Lee’s “favorite thing.”
About the Author:
Corie Weathers is a military wife and licensed professional counselor (LPC). Certified to work with post-traumatic stress from the Center for Deployment Psychology, she has a passion for serving military and first responder families.
Corie was awarded the 2015 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year (MSOY) by Military Spouse magazine. As MSOY, she advocated for mental health issues and served as a media correspondent on topics such as PTSD, grief, marriage, and military family culture.
Corie and her husband Matthew cohost marriage retreats and offer a free online marriage program designed to improve intimacy and connection.
ELVA RESA PUBLISHING LLC is an independent publisher based in St. Paul, Minnesota, whose mission is to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Its primary imprint specializes in books for and about military families. ElvaResa.com, MilitaryFamilyBooks.com
Lead editor for Sacred Spaces was Terri Barnes, special projects editor for Elva Resa. Terri is also the author of the multiple-award-winning book Spouse Calls: Messages From a Military Life.