Posted by: pamrichardswatts | August 5, 2014

Writing Blog Tour

blog tour

 

I am very thankful to my dear friend and sister-in-the-faith Paige Brooks for tagging me in this Blog Tour. It’s been a sweet privilege to study God’s word both alongside and under her. Paige’s original work, Immeasurable Life: A Study of the Letter to the Ephesians was certainly an immeasurable blessing in my life!

Paige is a gifted writer who currently has several projects in the works, including a website for women who want to dig deeper into God’s Word, a children’s curriculum for new believers called Investig8, and her Bible study on Ephesians.

What are you working on?

I’m very excited to be working on my first book, When Jesus Takes the Field: Reclaiming Kids’ Activities (and Busy Families) for God’s Kingdom. Designed for active Christian families, the book offers a faith-based approach to extracurricular pursuits such as arts and athletics.

Family life today has been radically altered by children’s extracurricular activities. Families spend more hours in organized activities than ever, sacrificing precious leisure time to shuttle their offspring between ball fields, gymnasiums, and studios. Activities intended to enrich the lives of children threaten to bankrupt their parents. No longer “just for fun,” recreation has practically become its own religion.

As a “soccer mom” and veteran of many other kids’ activities, I address these challenges as I invite parents behind the scenes of today’s organized activities. We’ll explore the allure and potential idolatry of these pursuits, and then discover how to follow and serve God through every aspect of extracurricular life. We’ll learn how to partner with God as he equips our children for his purposes, using biblical truth to:

  • Create a winning game plan for family activities;
  • Become better stewards of resources such as time and money;
  • Withstand both “the thrill of victory” and “the agony of defeat” with dignity and grace;
  • Identify God’s expectations for team players and good sports; and
  • Grow beyond mere spectators to effective witnesses and disciples on (and off) the field.

If you’re interested in teaming up with other parents on this issue, please meet us at the field in our Facebook group!

I’ve also been privileged to be part of the launch team for an amazing new book, The Cure for the Perfect Life: 12 Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver. I’ll be continuing to post about my experiences as part of the Braver Living Rebellion here!

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

There just aren’t that many resources available to coach parents for success in the area of children’s extracurriculars, and those that do take a primarily secular approach. As active families rush the playing field in ever-growing numbers, I’ve witnessed a growing need for both practical and spiritual help. I pray that my book will help meet that need.

Why do you write what you do?

I’m convinced that we all have something important to say! God taught me a long time ago that it is because of Him that we have a story to tell—and it is for Him that we tell it.

As to why I write what I write—well, I tried to explain this to a pastor once, who concluded that my writing is a kind of “literary sanctification”—i.e., it is through writing that God grows and refines me. He has a way of pulling words out of me that provide such wisdom and encouragement I just want to share them with others.

Those would be the more “spiritual” answer, I guess—but to be honest, the reason I started writing at all is because it’s the only way I’ve found to silence the voices in my head. Sometimes it’s a joy—and sometimes it’s just an exorcism!

How does your writing process work?

My favorite description of the artistic process comes from the movie Amadeus. Mozart assures a patron that the opera is entirely finished—in his head. The rest, he promises, is just “bibbling and scribbling.”

In my head, I’m certain I have inspired masterpieces—until it all falls apart during the “bibbling and scribbling.” One technique that has helped tremendously is something I learned from Robin Stanley at CLASS Seminars. I’ll grab a stack of loose-leaf paper and my favorite “flowy” pen, and write without stopping, scratching out or editing in any way. Once that’s done, I can type, edit and polish it up until it’s fit to share. It’s just as they say, “the first draft is written with the heart, and the second draft with the head.” Works for me!

Next up:

Next week we will hear from:

Vanessa LeRow. I have been equally blessed to study God’s Word with and from Vanessa. She has a beautiful heart, a powerful story and an authentic way of sharing it all with her readers. In her own words, Vanessa confesses, “I’m a mess. Seriously, my nickname growing up was Messy Nessy. I believe that Jesus is the only One who can make beauty out of my messes and anyone else’s mess-if we let Him. He’s my only hope as I parent four kids, love my husband deeply, serve others with gratitude and humility, and write words that hopefully make sense. I’ve yet to accomplish any of that in one day. Just keepin’ it real…”

Jennifer Kampermann. Jennifer is an powerful advocate for children as well as a passionate writer, and I’ve had the privilege of speaking and serving alongside Jennifer in our school district. Jennifer understands that “as mothers, we face many challenges in raising our girls; and our girls face many challenges in learning how to maneuver in today’s world.” Her blog A Healthy Woman is committed to building strong women inside and out.

Soon I hope to introduce you to Holly Baxley. Holly is an incredibly talented writer, singer, composer and web designer, not to mention my dear friend and “travelin’ buddee.” Holly is the reason I started blogging in the first place, and she has cheered me on as a writer ever since!

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