Marti Pieper here! Welcome to up-and-down Mount Dora, Florida (where the temperatures bounce almost every day), and an author interview with the lovely Becky Harling. I first met Becky at a conference three years ago in nearby Orlando, although we’ve been cyber-friends much longer than that. At the time, Becky had broken her ankle and was having lots of adventures driving a motorized cart for the first time. I had an adventure of my own when I returned the cart to the rental counter for her (no lives were lost).
Let’s hear from Becky about her books and her life—both of which are filled with exciting adventures.
Welcome, Becky! We’re so excited to have you here on the CAN blog. Please tell us about your book.
The secret to great relationships is learning to listen attentively to others. Most of us know how to talk but few of us really know how to listen well. How To Listen So People Will Talk gives readers practical tips to help them become listeners who make others feel valued and loved. When you learn to listen well, your marriage will grow stronger, your parenting will flourish, your friendships will thrive and your influence at work will increase. It’s a win-win for everyone!
That sounds so valuable. What inspired you to write How To Listen So People Will Talk?
When one of my daughters was a teenager, I asked her a simple question, “How well do you think I listen?” Honestly, I was expecting rave reviews, but instead, Bethany told me she felt I was distracted a lot, I interrupted often, I dove in with my own story frequently and regularly gave her unsolicited advice. I realized after that conversation that I had a lot of work to do in the listening realm. Since I’ve become a more aware listener, I’ve noticed others need to work on their listening skills as well.
I love that: turning conviction into a helpful message for yourself and others. What is the primary focus of your book?
Its primary focus is to teach the reader how to listen so that those they value feel loved and heard.
And what do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope they will strengthen every relationship in their life by learning to listen well.
That would help all of us, I know. How has God used the message of your book in your own life?
Since I’ve learned to listen, every single relationship in my life has improved. In addition, God has opened amazing doors for me to share His love with total strangers by simply listening.
That’s a wonderful testimony. How has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
Writing has drawn me into deeper dependence on the Lord. Often I will hit a wall—in the creative realm—and then I hit my knees and begin praying. It has been such a joy to see how the Holy Spirit fills my mind with ideas as I am on my knees.
What would be your ideal writing place? And … what’s your actual writing place like?
My ideal writing place would be in a cottage by the ocean with big picture windows so that I would be able to watch the waves come in. My actual writing place is most often my kitchen table overlooking the mountains in Colorado.
As someone who lives closer to the ocean than you do, I will add that those Colorado mountains are beautiful, too! Why do you love writing?
I love writing because I am able to get the message of God’s love out to thousands and millions while just sitting at my kitchen table! It’s amazing!
When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
I’ve always loved to read, but I remember in college being inspired by writers like Jill Briscoe and Elizabeth Elliot and feeling like God was saying, “Someday, Becky, I will use you to write books to inspire women into a deeper relationship with me.” And, God has done just that.
He has indeed. What ministries are you involved in, and why?
In addition to writing, speaking and coaching, I am very involved in Reach Beyond—a mission organization seeking to reach the unreached by being the voice and hands of Jesus around the world. My husband, Steve Harling, is the CEO. Together, we get to travel around the world doing spiritual life retreats for our missionaries and partners. I love seeing what God is doing around the world. It’s amazing!
What do you read for pleasure? What are you reading right now?
I have learned that I need a novel to relax with on long plane rides. I’ve just finished Come Rain or Shine by Jan Karon. It was delightful! Now I’m reading The Power of Praying Through Fear by Stormie Omartian.
Now, please tell us about your next project.
I have a Bible Study coming out with Moody in early March called, Who Do You Say That I Am? This study considers the questions Jesus asked and correlates them with the answers Jesus gives in His I Am statements. It’s a study to deepen faith even during times of crisis.
I look forward to reading those and the latest Becky Harling books. Thanks so much for sharing with our readers, today, and blessings on you and your writing and speaking.
For His Glory,