You’re so young. Why did you have a stroke?
Though my husband, Bret, and I did not know it at the time, stroke can strike anyone at any time. Hundreds of pediatric
patients are having the surgery to close up a PFO—hole in
the heart—like I had. This undetected birth defect led to a massive stroke for me when I was one month away from 40.
I encourage you to read my entire stroke story for information
When is your first book coming out?
I have one book on the market already: A Scrapbook Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday. This Leafwood Publishers 2008 release was co-authored with five fellow newspaper columnists from around the country. Our second book in the series, A Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts: Stories to Celebrate and Wisdom to Bless Moms is due out for Mother’s Day of 2012. You may pre-order it at Amazon.com.
I have a few books available for download on this site:
- The Real Mom’s Guide to Child Acting and Modeling
- Coffee Talk: A Grown-up Girl’s Guide to Distinctive Discussions, Useful Yammering, and Marvelously Meritorious Chit Chat
- Real Kids, Real Choices: 52 Challenges & God’s Solutions
As far as other solo projects go, I have little (read: no) control over that process, so I simply keep thinking of new ideas and writing new books. My lovely literary agent, Rachelle Gardner with WordServe Literary, is shopping a brand-new project for me. It’s good to be in the game, however, and, if you sign up for my monthly newsletter, I’ll let you know when something will be coming out. I promise.
When did you know God was calling you into full-time speaking and writing?
This is sort of like trying to tell someone when you knew God wanted you to be a mom. On a certain level, I’ve always known. God has been preparing me for this ministry my whole life. He has brought people and circumstances into my life that have shaped me into the person I am today. His mercy and grace (instead of justice) has shown me that I don’t have to be perfect at anything; he already took care of that. Instead, I can go forth, in my wildly flawed state and love on people and share with them what God has done for me. On another level I knew God had called me to write and speak when He gave me my first jobs: a speech at my home church and a novel that He sent my way in a dream. I knew I would be disobedient if I said “No” to either one.
Do you ever worry that people will be critical of your life because of the topics you speak on?
Of course. I definitely have the tendency to worry that people will notice when I mess up or when my children don’t behave as they should. However, it’s no different than a pastor or other person in a position of leadership. If people are looking for an excuse not to be a part of a church or a certain ministry, they can find flaws or sin in those who lead it–giving them their “out.” I prefer to spend time with other sinners, saved by grace, who are focused on doing what God has called them to do. When I find myself beginning to have doubts or fears, I ask God to remove it and replace it with his strength and wisdom about the situation. 2 Timothy 1:7 is my favorite verse: “For God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” I kind of feel like adding, “So there!” onto the end of it.
How do you come up with your ideas for speaking and writing?
Like many authors, I am constantly watching the people and things and situations around me. Our world is full of beauty and ugliness, pleasure and pain, treasures and sorrows. As writers we are blessed to comment on them all. Over the period of four or five years, I have developed numerous speaking topics. God has given me these based on my personal experience, my observations, and the needs of my audience–usually young moms at home with children. I often find new material when I’m reading, whether it be Scripture, a novel or the newspaper. The problem has never been a shortage of ideas; it’s having the time to write them all down!