Hello from Davalynn Spencer! Transition. That’s what is happening now in colorful Colorado as the high-country plumage of summer flutters into the glorious gold of autumn. But transitions aren’t always as easy or lovely when it comes to people and relationships. Today I’m looking forward to author Lori Wildenberg’s take on it in her new book, The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections.
Welcome, Lori. Please give us a brief overview of your featured book.
The Messy Life of Parenting shows parents how small changes in their parenting can positively impact and influence family relationships, even when life gets messy. The reader will discover how to apply God’s design for interdependence in their family while developing resiliency, responsibility and leadership skills in their children.
What made you decide to write a book on such a, well—you said it—messy topic?
My passion is to help parents build relationships that last a lifetime. Most moms and dads want a relationship with their kids beyond the 18 years they live under our roof. We want to be in their lives as they become adults. The Messy Life of Parenting focuses on this lifetime relationship. Personally, as a mom of four, and professionally, as a parent coach and educator, I have come to realize many American parents raise their kids in a way that actually hurts a future relationship. We believe we are to parent for independence- but that really isn’t the outcome we want. We want a family that shares life together now and in the years to come.
An important point, Lori, that certainly needs more emphasis. Has God used the message of this book in your own life relationships?
My children are now in their mid to late twenties. One of my kids is now a parent. Because I believe so strongly in interdependence, I watch my grandbaby one day a week. Interdependence extends beyond our nuclear family and into the next generation.
Have you always sensed God’s call on your life to write, or did it grow as your children did?
God had called me to develop and teach a course on Christian parenting at my church. Participants in the class often mentioned the material I was presenting needed to be in book form. I was a bit resistant to the idea.
As a former “resistant” non-writer yourself, what is one thing about writing that you wish other non-writers knew?
I came into writing through the backdoor. My own parenting, speaking, parent coaching, and teaching ministry are the vehicles that gave me the experience and platform, but it is the parents (readers) who God uses as motivation for me to write. I’m a pretty private person so I can feel somewhat exposed as I open up my life to my readers. But I know God uses personal transparency and struggle to encourage others. I especially felt like this when I wrote Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home. Yet the Lord has blessed me beyond measure with many readers contacting me and telling me how impactful and hopeful the message in my book was.
Generally speaking, I had no idea of all the research, the documentation, and permissions that are needed to go into a completed book. There is a ton of work to do even before the writing process begins. I am constantly learning from other writers and honing my craft. Writing is a process more than a product. The process is only completed when the author and editor decide process is done.
What a great perspective, Lori, balancing process and product in that way. Are there any other ministries that you’re currently involved in?
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting is a ministry that exists to support parents and pastors. We serve as a resource for churches, schools, and parents. We serve parents and grandparents of children of all ages. 1C13P offers parent coaching, seminars, and conferences for all types of parents: married, single, step, adoptive, and foster parents.
I suspect that you enjoy reading as well as writing. What types of books do you read for pleasure?
I love to read mysteries but the books I am currently reading are both by Bob Goff: Love Does and Everybody Always.
Do you have pets? If so, do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
Toby, whose name means God is good, is my 5-month-old goldendoodle puppy. He inspires me to see the best in people and encourages me to never miss my daily w-a-l-k with him.
Toby sounds like a great partner, Lori. Thank you for joining us today. What can we look forward to for your next project?
I actually have two ideas spinning around in my head. In fact, today, I am speaking with my publisher to see which direction may be best. One book would be focused on the tween years and the other would address the young adult years. Stay tuned!
For more about Lori Wildenberg and her books, visit Lori’s website.
Thank you for stopping by and may all that you read be uplifting.