Brilliant. Obviously, it won a Pulitzer. But its not high brow in the way you tilt your head and wonder why it won an award. This book is lovely. It's sit and ponder, soak into your soul, write the words on your heart kind of lovely.
"Love is holy because it is like grace 0 the worthiness of its object is never really what matters".
Have you read it? What's your favorite quotation?
Gah! Christmas can be a stressful, breathless, list driven and exhausting time. Or. You can purposefully slow down, reflect and embrace the joy.
Louise Richards’ book A Christmas Story A Day is a thoughtful tool to choose joy this season. This clever book provides a story a day to read through each day in December. It’s a fiction lovers advent!
I was drawn in to this treasure trove of believable characters and stories. Each story calls the reader to ponder the meaning of Christmas. Available on amazon for Kindle or print copy this is a fun way to slow down this Christmas season.
The best part is I have a copy to give away! And the winner is Reta H. You win!
One of my favorite parts of our whirlwind trip to Nashville was meeting so many talented authors. Jolina Petersheim was a lovely, kind and gentle soul. I was so impressed with her warm smile and matching spirit. Read below for our interview and pick up a of one of her books today.
I loved the concept you used to intersect two major genres; namely the Amish/Mennonite fiction with Dystopian literature. Do you plan on a sequel or more mashups?
Unless I see some writing in the sky, The Divide is the conclusion to The Alliance series. I know it doesn’t provide all the answers, and yet I wanted my main characters, Moses and Leora, to find peace even though their future remained uncertain. Peace despite uncertainty is something I’ve personally had to learn. And, if we’re honest with ourselves, all our lives remain uncertain. But trust in our Creator and loving each other deeply—perhaps at an even deeper level because of that uncertainty—is a beautiful way to pass our days.
As for more mashups: I’ve been toying around with a new idea for a couple of years, but it’s a little over my head, so I’m giving it time to ruminate. 😊
Your major character faced a crisis of faith. I don’t want to give away the ending – but has your personal faith been through anything similar?
God has a way of deepening our faith through trails. In December 2014, my husband had emergency brain surgery for a rare, benign brain tumor. We were living in Wisconsin at the time—on a grid-tie solar-powered farm with a woodstove as our main heat source. We had a two-and-a-half-year-old and a four-month-old. Looking back, I’m honestly kind of floored that we made it, but we had friends and family who helped lessen our burdens by babysitting, bringing loads of firewood and food. I was in the middle of editing The Alliance, and Tyndale (my publisher) gave me time to allow our family to heal. Going through that crisis made me really question God’s plan for our lives. So much of my security—my stability—was stripped away. My husband is such a dependable, larger-than-life individual, and I hadn’t realized how much I relied on his strength until I suddenly became the one he had to rely on. One night—the most pivotal of my spiritual walk thus far—I stared out at the snowy darkness after everyone else had gone to bed. I looked out the window, like I was staring into the face of God, and I said, “You must meet us here; You must meet us here.” It was both plea and command. He did. He met us there. Despite having sick babies, and a sick husband, we all slept through the night for the first time since the surgery, and it was what we needed to get back on our feet.
In July of this year, an MRI showed some residual tumor in my husband’s brain. And yet, because I’ve experienced God’s faithfulness, I continue clinging to Him—beseeching Him like I had that winter night in our farmhouse: “You must meet us here; You must meet us here.”
And the beauty lies in the fact that I know He will.
Where does grace fit in your fiction – and your real life?
My characters are such broken people—Rachel, Tobias; Beth, Rhoda; Leora, Moses—because I believe that we’re all broken in one way or another since we live in a world rife with the fallibility of man. I love to take my characters on a journey (or sometimes they take me), and the grace lies in the fact that they usually find healing for their brokenness by The End. God is faithful to take me on a journey along with my characters. Each story I write explores a certain facet of my own grace-filled, stumbling walk.
Another area I’ve found grace is in motherhood. I’ve only been a mother for six years, and yet I am fiercely in love with this calling, which I believe is one of the greatest of my life. Three precious souls that I get to lead closer to God as they witness my own walk! It’s an incredibly humbling and challenging experience.
John Piper is the sort of man equally comfortable in the middle of a graduate theology debate or a giggle group of preschoolers. His approach to faith is thoughtful, inspiring and memorable. Never boring. I've read lots of Piper and I think of him often. If you are ready to take your faith more seriously and still keep laughing this is the book for you.
Have you read other Piper works? Which ones?
Liz Curtis Higgs is a bright and honest soul. Her smile shines through the pages of her books. The newest one - 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path has this same quality. Joy overflowing from a commitment to truth.
My small group is spending the year with 31 Proverbs. The book includes discussion questions which are gently forcing us to face tough issues. Gossip, hate, forgiveness, wisdom. Growth isn't easy. Painful process. But worth it. This book is calling us to leave behind the junk and cling to the truth. In classic fashion, Liz Curtis Higgs shares her own growth through the verses. Its like having a big sister take your hand, laugh heartily and bid you to the deep end of the pool. If you want to really break free from the shallow end and swim into all God has for your life - buy a copy of this book.
This is the story of a woman who loved well. She was a wife, mother, friend and faithful soul. Her story wandered through the valley of cancer and ended in heartbreak. But there were mighty lessons learned and love prevailed. If you wonder about the impact one person can make or if you've dealt with cancer in your family tree this is a beautiful book for you. Keep some Kleenex handy.
What are other valuable tear jerkers you've read ?
You know how everyone says half of all marriages end in divorce? Turns out that's not true. It's one of those things that has been repeated so often people think it's true. This is a smart, encouraging, hopeful book. Plus Andy Stanley wrote the forward so it has to be good.
What other urban myths have you believed? What's your favorite one to debunk?
I loved Charles Martin before Hollywood did. I am the kind of fan who owns, reads, loans, and pre-orders all his books. The Mountain Between Us is gorgeous. The movie adaption is opening today. I want to go see it.
I bet the book is better.
Have you read any of Charles Martin's other books? (Yes...yes I have). Which is your favorite?
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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