Mom Next Door: Christy Wilson Beam / Author of Miracles from Heaven
Whirlwind doesn’t begin to describe the year Christy Wilson Beam has had. While her memoir, Miracles from Heaven: A Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of Healing, was in the process of being published last spring, Hollywood came knocking, pitching a full-length movie. (They wrote the script while Beam finished the manuscript.) “It’s really crazy and really chaotic,” says the mom of three, who lives just outside Burleson. “But I’m so grateful to be able to share our story, and that it’s resonating with so many people.”
The movie documents her daughter Annabel’s miraculous recovery from a rare digestive disorder following a three-story, headfirst fall into a hollow tree (and her trip to Heaven in the interim). Since its release, the Beams — her husband Kevin, a veterinarian, and the couple’s three girls: Abbie, 16, Annabel, 13, and Adelynn, 11 — have been thrust into the national spotlight.
During production, Beam could often be found on set as a resource to Jennifer Garner, the actress who played her. Her days following the movie’s release in March of this year have been a carefully orchestrated series of book signings, press junkets and public appearances. The wave of attention might go to the heads of some, but Beam, 43, takes it all in stride. “[Our family isn’t] perfect, and I don’t ever want to feel like I need to be,” she says. “We still march to the beat of our own drum. I just hope people accept us for who we are.”
Describe a typical day in your life.
I made up this silly wake-up song that I sing to the girls, and they don’t get out of bed until I sing this song. So I sing and then we get up and do the crazy get-ready-for-school dash. I come back and sort through emails and do calls. I’ll meet with my assistant, Laura, and take care of some things. I try to get everything wrapped up by the time I leave to pick them up from school so that I can spend time with them. Off they go to bed, and I try to spend some time with Kevin. Then we start over!
What has it been like to be put under a microscope?
I don’t feel like we’re any different, but we joke that when we go somewhere, there’s going to be a tabloid out that says “Meet the real Beam family” if the sisters are fussing in a restaurant or something silly.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I go straight to the coffee pot. But my sweet assistant currently has me on a cleanse, so I’m grudgingly going to tea.
What is something that you always keep by your bed?
My phone charger. Isn’t that terrible? It should be the Bible.
If your life were a song, what song would it be?
“Amazing Grace” because I feel like it’s only because of God’s amazing grace that we are where we are.
Three things always in your purse besides your cellphone and wallet
There’s always lipstick, powder and lipliner. That sounds very superficial.
One word to describe being a mom to three girls
I can’t pick one word. Wonderful, let’s pick wonderful.
One thing you can’t live without
Again, I feel like such a loser, but I’m going to say my cellphone because it’s my lifeline to the girls.
Any plans to write another book
Yes, my heart is set on writing a children’s version of Miracles from Heaven. And I would like Annabel to help me, so I think we’re going to head out on that journey next.
Three words to describe yourself
Loving, busy — I’m a busy little bee — and caring.
How would your friends describe you?
They’d probably say that I’m loyal, loving and fun.
Your favorite way to spend “you” time
Shopping. I love to go look for stuff for me or the girls or stuff on sale.
Favorite place to shop around town
There’s a place in Burleson called the Tin Rose Boutique that’s so much fun.
The first thing you notice about other people when you meet them
Whether they’re a person who wants you to get close to them or they’re guarded. I evaluate their openness.
Your most recent proud-mom moment
Abbie’s University Interscholastic League (UIL) one-act play competed for district and they won. I’m so proud of her and her entire cast.
How do you manage to keep everything balanced?
I’ve learned how to organize my day so that I’m not always on the phone doing book and movie stuff — prioritizing my time.
What is your No. 1 rule the girls aren’t allowed to break?
Being kind to one another and having grace with each other. I always tell them that words are like toothpaste: Once you get it out of the tube, you can’t get it back.
One of the greatest things about being a mom
It’s so much fun watching them become who they are.
Most challenging part of being a mom
Watching your kids get hurt. No matter how badly, I want to jump in front of the bullet. [But] they have to go through hard times to be grateful of the good times.
Favorite meal to cook for the family
If you could invite anyone over for dinner, who would it be?
Beth Moore [the author and founder of Living Proof Ministries, a Bible-based organization for women in Houston]. I think having a conversation with her would be unbelievable.
Favorite spot for date night
We grab lunch at Mooyah when he’s off work — so romantic.
Good habit that you’d like to pass on to the girls
Being organized and clean. If everything around you is chaotic, then your life is chaotic.
Bad habit you hope they don’t pick up
I am such a sugar addict. It’s ridiculous.
Last gift that you gave somebody
My sister tragically lost her husband in November, so I took all of his T-shirts and had them made into a quilt for her.
Most treasured gift you’ve ever received
My grandmother’s ring. Originally, it was her wedding ring.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I wish I had the superpower to push an Easy button. Sometimes things get really difficult.