What inspired you to write the book “Precious in His Sight?”
I believe it’s vitally important that women find their true authenticity and live in it. By that I mean, thinking and acting independent of what others may think, or assume about us, and being comfortable with ourselves, even when we go against the grain or don’t buy into what’s popular, It is a challenging concept I’ve personally struggled with, and I believe many others do too.
Introduce us to your main character, Sugar Brennan.
In today’s image-conscious, social media-focused society, it’s tough to filter out all the external influences that can drive our motivations and our actions. Sugar Brennan has been bombarded with messages her whole life about what it means to be an upstanding southern Christian woman. She’s invested a tremendous amount of energy into fulfilling that image. I wanted to explore how she might react when faced with a devastating moral crisis. Many, many times while writing the early drafts, I would lie awake at night wondering how I would handle her situation, and how God could turn something that awful into something beautiful. Sugar inspired me to dig deeper into my relationship with God. I hope she inspires my readers to do that as well.
The main character makes some life choices that may shock readers. Why did you have her make those decisions?
As a married woman myself, I wrestled with Sugar’s choices. The wrestling led me to the conclusion that regardless of the difficult circumstances I might find myself in, there is always hope. And there is grace, even when we fight against the pain. It’s often our futile attempts to avoid pain that wind up causing us even greater calamity. Without pain, we don’t get to the bottom of ourselves. And unless we get to the bottom of ourselves, we can’t experience the power and peace that come from complete surrender. I wanted Sugar to run, and wrestle, and squirm, and ache to find that “peace that passes all understanding.” I wanted her to experience the freedom of letting go.
What do you hope readers will learn from the main character's plight?
I hope readers are inspired by Sugar’s tenacity, her deep love of family, and her determination. But more than that, I hope readers connect with her frailties, and her yearning to be real and open and authentic. I hope that Sugar’s journey encourages readers to seek God and cling to Him in the dark times of life, and to trust Him when circumstances don’t work out the way they hope. I hope readers learn that they have the choice and the power to be become women of joy, and strength, and serenity, no matter what life throws at them.
What are you involved in besides writing?
My husband and I have four daughters, one granddaughter, and another grandchild on the way, so we invest quite a bit of time creating opportunities for our busy family to be together. We take the whole brood skiing in the winter and to the lake in the summer, and we enjoy holidays and special events throughout the year. I’ve always been a big cook, and I love entertaining and getting people together, so a few years ago I combined my two loves into a monthly event called “Girls Dine In.” Each month I create a themed menu, write the recipes, put together table décor and music to go with the theme, and host an all-out cooking frenzy in my kitchen. The women love learning new techniques and inventive ways of serving and presenting a dinner party. And they have a chance to do something just for fun that doesn’t involve the kids or the job or anything. I also like taking walks in the woods, binge-watching Netflix, and painting furniture.
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