I love interviewing authors for the Woman Alive Book Club. Here’s an interview with American writer Holley Gerth from last year. She says she “would love to have a cup of coffee or tea with you so she could listen to you share your heart and encourage you. She loves words, chocolate, and most of all, Jesus.”
You’re Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect came out of connecting with thousands of women and hearing this over and over: “I’m so tired.” I could relate and began to look into why so many women are weary – even when they have a strong faith. What I discovered is that so many of us believe lies that tell us we have to try harder and do more or we won’t be loved. I wanted to share the truth our hearts need to hear so that we can be set free from striving and live in grace.
My grandparents owned a Christian bookstore when I was growing up and I always dreamed of being a writer. God grew that desire within me as a I went on to work for DaySpring [a Christian gift and card company], become a counsellor and life coach and then set out on my own to write books. All along the way, I found myself encouraging women – whether it was one at a time or in front of a crowd of thousands. What makes me happier than anything else is to see a woman take hold of who she really is and how much she’s truly loved.
The authors who have influenced me most are the women of incourage.me, a site I cofounded about six years ago. There are about thirty contributing writers and most have released wonderful books. They share in ways that are brave and real – which helps me do the same. Two of my other favorite books are If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg and In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson. Both have given me courage and helped me move forward on God’s path for my life.
My husband and I have been married over fifteen years and we try to read Scripture and pray together each morning. I’m not good at maintaining things or keeping a routine. For example, I’ve killed every plant I’ve ever owned! So it helps a lot to have someone keep me accountable. It also helps Mark and I stay on the same page as we do life, ministry and business together.
I’ve tackled the new challenge of creating a workbook to go with my first book, You’re Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All You’re Created to Be. I’m really excited about having material for groups to use. It is interactive and creative so it’s fun to think about all the things that can be included in it.
I love hearing from readers. One woman told me she had walked away from God because she felt like he could never forgive her because of mistakes she’s made. She didn’t want to go to church or talk to “religious” people. But someone gave her my book and it helped her see that God really does love and accept her. She told me she had reconnected with God and wanted to grow in her relationship with him.