Kathy, please tell us about your book, 30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents.
No one prepared us for this? Yet, here we are, struggling to navigate the parent/child role reversal. 30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents combines Scripture, biblical insight, personal experience, reflection questions, and prayer prompts to provide spiritual and practical encouragement to those caring for aging or ill parents.
What inspired you to write this book?
This book flowed right from my own life experiences. My father-in-law lived with my husband and me for five years before he passed away. We juggled a host of serious health issues that required an ongoing combination of surgeries, hospital care, inpatient rehab, and at-home physical and occupational therapy.
At the same time, my own parents’ condition began to deteriorate. Mom’s dementia grew worse and Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. After almost a year of hospital visits, continued decline in their situation, and me regularly making the 8-hour round trip to their home, they finally agreed to move close to my brother.
I knew we weren’t alone in this experience. At some point, the majority of adult children will care for a parent at some level. I wrote this devotional because I wanted to help other caregivers find the same spiritual encouragement from God’s Word that I experienced.
Such a great need for this! What is the primary focus of your book?
Caregivers face daily challenges, so they need daily encouragement. That’s the main focus of this devotional book – spiritual encouragement for the caregiver. This devotional provides caregivers with daily reminders of God’s faithfulness, strength, and grace. Whether the adult child cares for their parent full-time, part-time, or shares the responsibility with another family member, they need the regular intake of the truth of God’s Word.
How has God used the message of your book in your own life?
God used the study, research, and writing of the devotions to not only encourage me, but to also bring healing to areas of my heart and mind I didn’t even realize needed His touch. As I immersed myself in His Word and sought to apply His truths to the needs of caregivers, God lovingly applied them to my own life. For instance, He helped me forgive my mother for very hurtful words and actions.
When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
I’ve loved writing all my life. When I was a girl I wrote short stories for fun. I even studied journalism in college for a short time. Then other things caught my attention and I ended up working in advertising after college graduation. However, God still had writing plans in store for me. Years later, He brought together my passion for teaching the Bible and my old desire to write. When a need arose at our church for solid Bible study curriculum for adults who had never studied the Bible before, God dropped the task in my lap. I taught the class and wrote the curriculum. That study was my first. Now I have eight published Bible studies and devotional books.
Why do you write Bible studies and devotionals?
My primary call from God is to be a Bible teacher. I love studying God’s Word and I love teaching it. I love to see women think about God’s truth, to see the Holy Spirit give them understanding, and to help them see how they can apply these truths to their lives. The process of witnessing this spiritual learning thrills me. God has opened the door to expand my Bible teaching in various ways. I teach regularly at my own church through Sunday school and women’s Bible study. I teach through my blog and through a large Facebook group. I teach at other churches’ women’s conferences and retreats. And I have the joy of teaching through published Bible studies. I feel so blessed and humbled that God takes my written teaching and takes it to groups, churches, and individual women that I will never meet in person.
Tell us about your funniest moment with a reader.
This funny moment was also humbling. A LifeWay store in my city hosted a book signing for one of my new Bible studies. The signing table was right inside the front door. A large poster with my face and the book cover graced the table top. I stood among several tall stacks of my new book. A woman entered the store, walked up to the table, and smiled. I greeted her warmly. I assumed she wanted me to sign one of my new Bible studies. As I reached for a copy, the woman politely asked me, “Where can I find the new Beth Moore study?” Yes, humbling indeed!
We can all relate! Do you have pets and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
My husband and I have three dogs at our house, but only one “on purpose.” The large yellow lab is my husband’s dog. The blind chihuahua belonged to my father-in-law. Pappaw loved Cooper and asked us to take care of him when he couldn’t, so we do it with love. The third dog is a mixed-breed rescue that belonged to our son. Mark couldn’t take Remi when he first went off to college. Then when Mark got in a housing situation where he could have a dog, we wouldn’t let Remi go! We love our dogs and they’ve inspired some funny illustrations for writing. However, they also have needs that sometimes interfere when I’m trying to get some work done – minor things like meals and potty breaks!
I just got up to give my yellow lab a bully stick, so she’ll let me write. Other than dogs…what are your hobbies or activities or passions?
My husband and I love to travel. However, the dogs do put a damper on that! We also enjoy camping, hiking, and fishing together. I love to read. My Kindle is never far away. And I enjoy audio books while I’m cleaning, cooking, or driving. But my real passion is spending time with the grandkids!
How wonderful! Kathy, please tell us about your next project.
I am working on several new Bible studies. One will be my first project with a partner!
That should be a fun project! Thank you for sharing with us today.
Writing for Him,