Greetings from beautiful and moving-toward-summer Mount Dora, Florida! I’m newly returned from the beautiful state of Colorado and a time of service and teaching at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. And guess what? Lori Wildenberg, the lovely subject of today’s interview, also served on faculty there. I’m delighted to have this opportunity to share her work and wisdom with you.
Welcome, Lori! Please tell us about your most recent book.
Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home is for parents with a wayward child. My daughter and I, along with other parents and prodigals, share our stories. The book offers practical grace- and truth-filled ways of navigating life with a detoured child.
I love the title. And what inspired you to write this book?
This is a book I didn’t want to write. Having a child who has gone astray not only causes heartache, but it can be isolating and shaming. No one wants the hurt, the pain that a prodigal brings. But as only God can do, in my grief He tenderized me and moved me to reach out to bring comfort and encouragement to other families facing major struggles with their child. So I guess my inspiration is my daughter, our journey, and the hope that others will be encouraged.
How beautiful that God allowed you to use your pain as a vehicle to bless and encourage others. So what would you say is your book’s primary focus?
The primary focus of my book is to encourage the relationship between the prodigal, the parent, and God. I hope to provide some peace and direction to the parents who are wounded by the way in which their child is living. It’s tough to navigate life when belief and behavior collide. When one is the parent of a prodigal, living in the tension of grace and truth while holding fast to convictions is a challenging task.
I love your voice of experience. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I pray that the moms and dads reading this book feel encouraged and less alone. My hope is that by reading the stories of others and implementing the suggestions presented, they will feel empowered to get through the day and to never give up.
Lori, I know you’ve been writing for a while. Would you tell us about your funniest moment with a reader?
One reader, a mom with little ones, mentioned to me she keeps my first book: EMPOWERED PARENTS: Putting Faith First in her bathroom, “So I can multitask.” One afternoon, her little one, who was being potty-trained, wanted to do a science experiment and tossed the book into the toilet and gave it a flush. Needless to say, I gave her a new book!
I guess you can say you have some very young readers in your audience! Now, please tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.
Messy Journey moves people, some to tears, and touches their hearts. These readers will often express this to me. I feel blessed because I know God is using my messy journey to help them through theirs. These individuals know they’re not alone. One mom told me I gave words to feelings she had never articulated. Now I was the one moved to tears.
Lori, let’s learn a bit more about you. What ministries are you involved in and why?
The ministries I’m involved in revolve around faith, family, and mentoring. My heart is to help families build relationships that last a lifetime. You can find me mentoring at MOMS Together (www.facebook.com/momstogether), supporting and relating to parents over at 1Corinthians13Parenting.com, and ministering to moms and dads via my blog loriwildenberg.blogpsot.com . I love speaking to various parent groups, women’s groups, and mom groups on the topics of parenting and mothering.
Fantastic. And what are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
We live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Just out our back door are trails that stretch for miles. A perfect day in my world is time spent hiking with my husband, four kids (plus one daughter-in-love), and Murphy (the family labradoodle).
Anytime in or near the Rockies sounds wonderful to me, too. What can you tell us about your next project?
My upcoming project is in its infancy stage. I will be focusing on how to create a relationship between family members that lasts a lifetime.
That sounds like one that will meet a definite need. Thanks so much for taking time to share your life and your work with us, Lori. I know our readers will appreciate your thoughtful encouragement.
For His glory,