Friday, May 12, 2017

An Author Interview with Lori Wildenberg {Author Interview}

Last week I did a review of Messy Journey by Lori Wildenberg.  This week I invited Lori over to our blog for a brief interview for her to share more about this wonderful book she has written.  Messy Journey is a book that truly speaks volumes to all who have been blessed to read it, including myself.

Messy Journey deals with the sticky situations we as Christians sometimes find ourselves facing and although this book was written to be a guide for Parents, I found it helpful for my own life.  As I mentioned in our review of Messy Journey, as a person who has lived in Sinful situations for many years of my life, I've often felt judged for my choices by other Sinners even though today's world if filled with constant sin. I've often wished there was a book that explained to me how to ask Forgiveness and to forgive myself with God's help despite my sins and the judgments against me.  Messy Journey provides that.

You can find our review of Messy Journey here.

Reading Lori's responses to these questions, I found that we have a lot in common.  Lori always wanted to be a teacher and a Mom, just like me and through God's plan for her life, and mine as well, we both are blessed to be doing these things in our lives.

Lori has also struggled with the unexpected in her life but she's been able to overcome these struggles with God by her side, just as I have.  We are nothing without God's guidance in our lives.  Lori shows this daily in her outreach to others, both through her books and through her presence online and in person.

Now onto the interview, you've so patiently been waiting for:

1. How would you describe your writing in general to someone who hasn't read any of your books?
My books are written for moms and dads in the trenches of parenting. They are for parents who are looking for another way to raise kids other than simply behavior modification or natural consequences. If families seek to encourage grace, responsibility, and interdependence my parenting books will provide faith-based, practical, and easily applicable help and support. My mission is to help families build connections that last a lifetime. My parenting philosophy is not only to encourage desirable behavior but to raise kids in a way that encourages character development and spiritual growth. It is best to work from the inside out rather than the outside in; grow the heart, adjust the behavior.

 2. What inspired you to write Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home?
Life doesn’t always go the way we expect. As parents, we can do everything “right” and still have a child who veers off the expected path. With my daughter’s permission and input, I share our journey— the struggles a prodigal child brings and how to live life in the middle of the mess.

3. How would you describe this book to someone in a 30 second blurb?
Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home is for parents walking the difficult road with a wayward child. This book is filled with stories from dozens of Christian parents and some prodigals. It includes my personal journey with my same-sex attracted daughter. The book is vulnerable and honest. No matter why a parent has a prodigal (or if you love someone who does) this book will bring comfort, help, and encouragement.  Practical grace- and truth-filled ways of navigating a relationship with a detoured child who is rejecting faith, dabbling in sin, or wholeheartedly embracing sinful behavior are given. There is hope.    

4. How did you research or plan your book?
Both personally and professionally I have experienced the messy journey. I have personally lived-out the journey and walked alongside many families who are heart broken and weary because their child has taken a detour.

5.  Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book? 
Messy Journey is for the wounded and weary parent and for those who love them. It is also a resource for counselors, pastors, and support group leaders.  This book offers biblical truth, helpful strategies, prayers, and hope for the hurting and often lonely parent.

 6. What sparked your interest in this topic?
This is a book I didn’t want to write. Having a child who has gone astray not only causes heartache it can be isolating and shaming. No one wants the hurt, the pain that a prodigal brings. But as only God can do, in my grief He tenderized me and moved me to reach out to bring comfort and encouragement to other families facing major struggles with their child.

7. What do you hope readers will gain from the book?
My prayer is that the moms and dads reading this book feel encouraged and less alone. My hope is that by reading the stories of others and implementing the suggestions presented they feel empowered to get through the day and to never give up.

 8. How did personal experience impact writing this book?
My personal experience provides the overarching feeling of connection from the reader to author. Even if the reader’s struggle looks different from mine there are common threads and truths when one is the parent of a prodigal.

 9. How much of your own life goes into your books?
This book isn’t only about my daughter and me, it is filled with many parents and their stories. The prodigals’ substance abuse, sexual sin, and/or rejection of faith are all topics that are addressed. As society normalizes sin, Christian parents feel as if they are constantly fighting the culture. But we have a God who always wins and never gives up!

10. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a teacher and a mom. I am thankful I have been able to wear both hats. I am passionate about helping parents be the moms and dads their kids need. I never considered becoming an author. In the first parenting course I developed and taught, a few of the participants told me I should put the information in a book. I told them I was too busy raising my four kids, they could take notes. Messy Journey is my fourth parenting book. God can do the impossible, even with a resistant and rebellious heart.

I truly hope you enjoyed this interview with Lori Wildenberg and that Messy Journey blesses you as it has me.  We are none perfect and are all walking in this imperfect journey together.  Messy Journey aims to make that struggle a little easier to get through and understand, showing that we are not alone and that Forgiveness is what matters most.

Messy Journey is available for purchase on Amazon for $13.48 in Paperback or $9.99 on Kindle.

A Little More About Lori Wildenberg:

Lori Wildenberg is passionate about helping families build connections that last a life time. She is a licensed parent-family educator and co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting. She has written 4 parenting books with Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home published by New Hope as her most recent. She is a parent consultant, national speaker, and lead Mentor Mom over at the Moms Together Facebook Community Page. Lori is a contributor to a number of on-line magazines. Every Monday you can find her blogging about faith and family at . Mostly, Lori is wife to Tom and mom of four. The Wildenberg's home is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A perfect day in Lori's world is a hike with her hubby, four kids plus a daughter-in-love, and Murphy the family labradoodle.

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