And make sure to visit Maria’s blog. Her “Life Lessons” always give me something to think about and encourage me to draw closer to God.
1 Book or movie and why?
2 Real book or e-book?
3 Funniest thing you’ve done in the last 5 years.
4 How would your best friend describe you?
5 Do you put yourself into the books you read/write or the movies you watch?
In January of 2010, I learned a dear friend had brain cancer. This was hard news to take, and I went through a myriad of emotions. It also led to a great deal of learning. She and I spent a great deal of time talking about some very deep theological issues, and she raised questions I had no answers for. Questions I believe there weren’t always answers for.
During this time I was writing a series for Christ to the World on Joseph. Fitting, right? Although Joseph never suffered from a terminal illness, he experienced great pain and, I imagine, moments of hopelessness. He could’ve died in the cistern had his brothers decided not to pull him out. He could have died crossing the desert from his home to Egypt. He could’ve died, forgotten, in the Egyptian prison.
Our programs broadcast in areas of Christians persecution–areas of deep sorrow, fear, uncertainty. Areas where pat answers won’t fix things, and for some, things may not turn to good this side of heaven. I believe God used the emotions I experienced and lessons I learned through my friend’s diagnosis to enable me to write for these precious Christians. He also used my friend’s experience to give me an increased urgency and focus on eternal concerns.
I will add, my friend’s still fighting, so if you feel led to pray for her, please do!
6 Favorite kind of car and why?
7 Would your choice of party be a catered meal or barbecue out back?
8 What’s your favorite season and why?
In Missouri, I’d say spring and fall. I love the sounds of birds chirping, of seeing eggs in nests. I love the sight and smell of blossoming trees, and my daughter often picks me bouquets.
I also love the reds, yellows, and golds of fall!
9 What specific lesson have you learned – spiritual, educational, occupational?
I’ve learned invaluable truths from each one I’ve spoken to, but a statement made by Casey Bradford penetrated the deepest. Individuals with Cystic Fibrosis are at an increased risk for illnesses and lung infections. Some infections can be fatal. When I asked him about this, he said, “I refuse to live in a bubble.”
This really impacted me. If you’ve followed this blog long enough, you know I tend to be fearful, and yet, I really have nothing to fearful of. And here was Casey, someone facing legitimate concerns, who refused to allow fears of tomorrow hold him back today. That’s faith and courage–throwing off ALL that hinders to run with perseverance the race mapped out for him.
10 Besides writing, what’s your favorite thing to do when you get some extra time?
11 What’s one place you can be found at least one time every week?
Wow, that’s a lot of info! 1300 words worth. hahaha. How about you? Leave your answer to any one of the questions in the comment section! In addition, I’m tagging a large handful of other bloggers and Facebook friends (can I do that?) to join in the fun and answer all 11 questions (if you’re unable to participate, I totally understand!): (To my tagged Facebook friends, you can answer in the comments or create a Facebook note.)
Elaine Stock, my dear prayer partner who seeks to honor Christ in all she does
Diana Prusik, my spiritual mentor, critique partner, and living example of what it means to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.
Fay Lamb, also a spiritual mentor (Only she doesn’t know this, but I’ve learned sooo much from her).
Henry McLaughlin, another critique partner who devotes a great deal of time encouraging and equipping other writers to hone their craft
Margaret Daley, a woman who continually mentors and helps other writers
Laura Poole, another crit partner who I’ve just started to get to know and would LOVE to get to know better
Kathleen Freeman, another crit partner (I have five, but that’s because I write fast and therefore, have multiple novels in need of feedback. 🙂 )
Cynthia Simmons, another critique partner who is also a dear friend
Eileen Rife, crit partner number five, a wonderful writer, friend, and constant encourager
Mary Thompson, a friend from church who consistently demonstrates what it means to be a godly mom and wife
Michael Ehret, a friend and my editor at the ACFW Journal who has really helped me in my career by offering me new writing opportunities like writing for the Journal. He also radiates Christ in everything he does and is a brilliant writer and editor.
Ami Koelliker, an amazing woman of God who daily demonstrates what it means to offer your life as a living offering to God. Whether she’s in the Operating Room preparing organs for a recipient, praying with a donor family, or serving at her local church, she radiates Christ’s love and truth. (She’s also the one that motivated my current novel, and she’s spent countless hours sharing her stories and knowledge with me.)
And finally, Casey Bradford, a man I’ve come to greatly admire who demonstrates what it means to “make the most of every moment.”
Woohoo! I’m glad you’re reading To Dance Once More!! Thank you!
Love the romantic, elegant feel! And the interesting historical tidbits.
Jennifer, you really know how to make a sneezy-achy person feel so much better!
Am I supposed to reply here? Here it goes:
1. I think I was born with a book in my hand 🙂 I’m constantly reading, though sad to say, with my day job consuming too many of my hours (though I’m grateful to have the income), I have very little “fun” reading time these days & it seems as if it takes forever to read one book for pleasure. I also love to treat myself to DVD viewing on weekend nights, especially movie musicals.
2. Real books. Always. I still don’t have an e-reader yet, though am thinking about getting one for the convenience of researching non-fiction for my writing fiction. One of these days (and extra cash).
3. Wow–there’s 2 of us whose facial expressions betray us Also, sometimes–and always at the oddest of times–I speak dyslexically (anyone going to the Cape Canal Cod instead of Cape Cod Canal).
4. As a nice, serious person with a sneaky sense of humor.
5. As I write I try to feel what my characters feel, and to think how they’d think, but no, I really don’t write about me. I recently put aside a story with a character who has a similar day job as I do, for a host of reason, but I think she bored me. LOL. I like exploring different lives when I create a story. And, I just did whisper a prayer for your friend with brain cancer. I lost my BFF 5 years ago after her 13-year fight with breast cancer, and I still wish I could have done more for her.
6. I’m not into cars either. Although I love my new-used KIA, there’s something about the Subaru Outback that catches my call for excitement.
7. Catered meal. Definitely. I’ve worked too many years in the food biz not to be pampered.
8. Love the fall–just wish it was longer. Love the colors, the crispness. And the bulky sweaters, sipping hot drinks, making soup.
9. I think God is really trying to teach me this year all about not giving up hope. He is so big; I am so small. I need to keep my eyes on Him, removing them from my earthly neediness. Not easy.
10. I love to take long walks/hikes, travel & play tourist, meet a friend for lunch or coffee.
11. I live at work (visit home), church/Sunday school adult classes, grocery store, fuel pump (ugh).
hahaha! I hope you feel better soon! But I’m glad you were computer bound today as it allowed me to get to know you even better. 🙂
The one movie musical I really love is Fiddler on the Roof. 🙂
Funny about the oral dyslexia! I imagine that leads to some comical conversations. 🙂
Regarding the spiritual truth God is teaching you–Amen!
Have a blessed day, my friend!