Michael and Gina Spehn are co-authors of The Color of Rain, a New York Times Bestselling memoir, currently being adapted for the screen by Hallmark (and will air May 31, 2014). Joined together by the loss of their spouses, Michael and Gina co-founded the New Day Foundation for Families, which provides financial and emotional resources for families who have been affected by cancer.
They have been featured on The Today Show, FoxNews, Huckabee, ABC World News, and several other national and local media outlets. They are privileged to share their story as national speakers and as hosts of a weekly talk radio show in Detroit called Your Family Matters. Michael and Gina, along with their five children make their home in Michigan.
Dear friends, thank you for coming here to learn more about who we are. Michael and I consider ourselves unlikely messengers. Imperfect people trying to love the Lord and love others well. Thankfully, when I fall short (every day) I'm surrounded by people who love and forgive me. I'm a wife and mom of five kids. My life is pretty messy most days… physically, logistically and emotionally too (I have hormones after all). My husband, Michael, lifts me up and honors me as a woman and a wife, even though I'm completely undeserving. I'm humbled by the way he lives the Fruit of the Spirit. He's a wonderful example for our children and makes me want to be a better person.My life's journey has been one adventure after another. Some daunting; others exhilarating; all hand in hand with the Lord by my side. My parents have been married 48 years and taught me the value of commitment, perseverance, hard work and finding peace.
I'm a proud Michigan State Spartan. It's the place I met my first husband, Matt Kell. Our sons, Drew and Sam, were 6 and 4 respectively before their dad was called home to the Lord on Christmas Day 2005. Being widowed at age 36 changed me profoundly. The journey through grief with two children changed me at my core, as well as every relationship in my life…all for the better. I believe if we don't emerge from our losses transformed for good, we miss an opportunity to walk with the Lord and find His purpose for us.
I have a group of women I call my sisters. One is my bestie. I met Colleen in college and have adored her ever since. We have walked side by side through our individual struggles (her son, Tommy, was born with a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. He had a heart transplant in 2009 at age 9). She is my rock and the person who knows me best. I have one sister by birth and two sisters-in-law… these women have taught me the value of family and unconditional love. I also have eleven sister girlfriends... these women are the most hilarious, faithful, hard working, loving group of people I have ever known. What we have is not normal and we like it that way!
I'm beyond blessed in relationships. I'm notoriously tough on people I love most. I have much to learn and more to do, but thankfully, I know who I work for and where I'm going when my work is done. Aside from all that, I love great food, and I enjoy cooking it, most days. Maybe someday we'll break bread together and you can tell me all about you! xo
For the last 8 or so years, as I have grown closer to the Word of God, I have been encouraged to live a more invitational life. So here are some invitations I offer to you...
I invite you to visit the city of my birth, Chicago. If you do, I invite you to arrive hungry. They like to eat in that town. My favorites are Giordano's for pizza, Ann Sather's for breakfast, Geja's for romance (and fondue), anywhere on Taylor Street for Italian (but go to Rosebud), and Weiner's Circle for food after 3AM. Mostly though, you will be impressed with the people. They are fiercely proud of their town and you will be too.
I invite you to play with your kids. If you don't have kids, borrow some from someone you love. Get on the floor and play with them. Play trucks, Barbies, army men... anything they want to. It's something I learned from my father, watched my oldest brother do with his boys and discovered what a true joy it was when it was my turn with my five kids.
I invite you to take a few chances. Live out a couple of dreams. I've been so blessed to be able to live a few of mine: Performed on stage at Second City in Chicago, coached high school basketball for more than a decade, wrote a bestselling book, and now am developing scripts for motion pictures.
I invite you to find a way to be in service to others. I don't do that enough but when I do, I feel transformed. Our non-profit foundation offers me that opportunity, and if you're looking for a place to serve, I invite you to contact us.
I invite you to get to know Gina. She's the lady at my side, in life as well as on this page. A firecracker Italian with a a quick smile and deeply rooted faith, Gina quite simply saves my life every day. She runs our house, our foundation and our lives, and still finds time to have a nearly-gourmet meal on the table every night. She is an extraordinary woman living a truly extraordinary life. And I am blessed to be at her side.
I invite you to learn more about Jesus. I know... But seriously, give it a try when you're ready. You will be shocked by what you learn when you open your mind and heart to what He has (present tense intended) to say.