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Authentic Book Motivation and Approach

In response to a world constantly berating people to acquire false selves, (purchase more, do more, earn more--strive, perform, outdo, mask, manage your image) a movement toward simpler living began about a decade ago; people are overwhelmed with the volume of information they have, the pressures of modern living, and there is an overall identity crisis globally as a result of the pollution of noise and the fog of fervor. People are tired of it and will begin seeking simpler more truthful ways of being after years of information overload. While much of the recent discussion toward remedying such problems has been toward minimalistic living and choosing quality over quantity, or meditation and eastern philosophies to achieve inner peace, we have directed our discussion toward matters of the heart. We present Biblical solutions, anecdotal support from our own lives, and psychological research in order to get back to basic truths of identity and living as God has created and intended us to live-- with a heart open to Him and others, and why it is important considering the quality of one’s life in Christ, and one’s legacy in this life and always.


Our Message



What is the book about?

“Vulnerability and truth meet grace and that is where we get transformation.” 

Jean S. Barnes (85) and Jessica Wrasman (34) team up in this soulful work where narrative meets psychology meets theology in exploring and answering the hot topic of what it means to be authentic. The intergenerational pairing of co-authors, who met at a Community Bible Study group in 2017 and became fast friends, ask readers in Authentic to identify and become aware of the false selves acquired throughout life as well as beckon a return to the Biblical story of man’s original authenticity. Returning to Genesis as the model of the “original authentic self and the original false self,” readers are urged gently onward out of this understanding into an epic journey of self discovery, finding help in the honesty of Jean’s and Jessica’s own testimonies -- their very human failures and very real triumphs. As such, the reader takes part in this collective journey (it’s all rather a similar journey, no matter the time, place, or history of the sojourner) toward a life full of rich connections and experiences on the ever continuing growth process that is becoming the true self, which is ongoing this side of heaven and will be realized upon seeing God face to face. 


About Us- Jean S. Barnes

Jean is an extroverted octogenarian who loves solitude, kids, meaningful conversations, and a glass of chardonnay at the end of the day. A former teacher, counselor, school psychologist, and family therapist, Jean is now retired after fifty years of service in these fields. 

Having endured the pain and process of inner healing and knowing God over the past six decades, she now has the freedom to fully live out who God created her to be.  Every morning, wearing a sweatshirt over her PJ’s with latte in hand, Jean heads for her backyard to have a quiet time with Jesus. As the sun rises over the Saddleback Mountains, she savors the time praying, meditating, reading the Bible, and soaking in His love and grace for the day.  

Jean enjoys attending water aerobics classes, taking long walks, playing bridge, shopping for designer clothes at discount, attending Community Bible Study, reading historical fiction, and serving in the counseling ministry at her church. Often you will hear peals of laughter coming from her terrace as friends converse over a glass of wine and gourmet nibbles. Most of all, Jean loves time with her family. 

What wisdom does she have to share? It’s simple: God is right; It’s all about love - loving God and each other.      


Jessica Wrasman

Jess is a right- brained romantic who likes gaudy-gold framed art, textures, gourmet food, bodies of water, a thought-provoking book, and a glass of red wine. An ex-misanthrope, recovering people-pleaser, and former educator and editor, Jess now spends her days keeping two kiddos healthy and happy with lots of nose wiping and occasional book reading in between. 

Jess loves Jesus, her husband, her kids’ faces, deep conversation, and a good, big-mouthed laugh. 

She often finds herself stuck between the desire to make a mess and the need to clean up. What most frustrates her is superficial conversation, a lack of consideration, and the propriety of having to share the same opinion. 

When Jess isn’t wrangling children, eating Asian cuisine, or being presentable in society, she can be found looking homeless in sweatpants at home without makeup, scribbling something out in her mind or on the computer.

In a few years, she hopes to get back to gardening, because there is something to be gained by digging in the earth and hoping for it to spring forth life.