April McGowan

Author Interview with Emma Broch Stuart

WendyI just finished reading a new book by author Emma Broch Stuart called Broken Umbrellas. This book really touched my heart and brought about a healing in my life. I know it will touch you, too. Emma wants to share this book with as many people as possible and is giving away an autographed copy this week on my blog. I’ll be doing a drawing next Wednesday from the pool of comments below–so don’t forget to hop down there and say hello or ask her a question. She’ll love getting to know you, too!

Please join me in welcoming author Emma Broch Stuart to my blog.

Welcome, Emma!

Thank you, April, for having me on your blog! This is truly an honor for me.

Your book really touched my heart. I’ve also struggled with broken relationships. I think that’s a topic just about everyone has more experience with than they want! Tell us a bit about your latest book. What was your inspiration?

Well, April, once upon a time, brokenness claimed so many areas of my life, and every one of those areas were relational in nature: bitterness and shame from past intimate relationships; wounds and scars from abuse; insecurities from relating with women I felt had it together when I did not; feelings of failure as a mother. It was all relationship stuff. When I realized that humanity tries to relate with one another in spite of their brokenness, God asked me to write about my own personal struggle with broken areas of my life. And voilà! Broken Umbrellas was born.

What was my inspiration? Let me just say, I feel most people are really bad at one thing or another in life like sports, or math, or sewing. For me it was relationships. Even becoming a Christian didn’t save me from a broken marriage. And I kept asking myself, “Why can’t I get this right?” And God showed me that when we have unhealthy hearts, we have unhealthy relationships. (That goes for friendship relationships, too.) Then he took me on an incredible 13-month journey that healed me in the most radical way. I wrote Broken Umbrellas because I don’t believe I’m the only one who has struggled with relationships.

What inspired you to start writing in the first place?

God gets all the credit here. He says write, and I obey! And I’m always blessed when I do.

Where do you get your ideas?

One way God speaks to me is through the pages of his Word, and I have incorporated that into my children’s series. Of course, my past brokenness and journey to healing prompted Broken Umbrellas, so a lot of “life research” went into that one. And I really enjoyed coming up with ideas for chapter titles. I loved your titles, too!

Broken Umbrellas

Do you write fiction, nonfiction, or both?

For now, I write nonfiction and children’s books. I don’t know where God will lead in the future, but my plate is pretty full with these genres.
I’m working with WhiteFire Publishing on a fun and inspiring piece called Barn Doors. Barn Doors is a collection of short stories about everyday life and how God speaks to me . . . and how I hear him. It releases next spring.

I also have a children’s series with DeWard Publishing called The Keeper Series. The Windkeeper is the first in the series and looks to be ready for this fall. An illustrator has it as we speak, bringing my words to colorful life. The Starkeeper will follow, and The Rainkeeper will complete the series.

I find it fascinating to learn about other author’s writing styles. Do you use an outline, or do you prefer to write by the seat of your pants?

There is no rhyme or reason to how I write. For example, with Broken Umbrellas I wrote the beginning to the middle and then took a few days to process all of that. Lots of tears as I relived those old wounds. Lots of grateful prayers for how far I’ve come. When I was ready to start where I left off, I felt led to write from the end and meet up in the middle. No outline, just wrote what leapt out of my heart and organized as I went along, which goes against my OCD for organizing, list making, and “going in order.” I can totally get behind that! Outlines kill stories for me!

What are your interests/hobbies (outside of writing!)?

April, I’m a crafty kind of person and always have a project out on the craft table. I also like to visit my son and his family in France. And it may surprise you to know that I love to read! But then again, I don’t know many writers who don’t love to read.

I’m so glad you stopped by to visit with us. Before you go, let me ask one last question. You’ve mentioned God’s Word as inspiring your writing. Would you share a Bible verse with us you find especially meaningful–and why it’s so meaningful to you?

It seems my favorite passage changes as often as the rising of the sun. But let me share my favorite passage THIS week. Psalm 103:14 says “[God] remembers that we are dust.” That is so powerful to me, and very humbling. And it has helped me extend grace more easily when I ponder this verse in relation to people who are difficult to love. Oh, I love that!

Where can readers find you on the web?

Blog/website: http://emmabrochstuart.com/

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/emmabrochstuart

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmmaBrochStuart

Email: emmabrochstuart@gmail.com

To order her book from your favorite online site in paperback or ebook form:

Amazon HERE

Barnes & Noble HERE

Thanks so much for stopping by, Emma!

My pleasure! Thanks again for inviting me.

Don’t forget to comment below for your chance to win an autographed copy of her new release, Broken Umbrellas!

Broken UmbrellasMy review of Broken Umbrellas:

“Oh, but when we are covered with Gods umbrella, we are accepted and safe. We have but to step under, and His protection shelters us.” Broken Umbrellas is a refreshingly transparent and heart touching re-telling of one woman’s facing divorce–in marriage, in spirituality, in friendships, and family. Emma Brock Stuart walks us through her steps of healing and points the reader to the path of The Healer for the ultimate restoration. Highly recommended–MUST READ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Ocean and God’s Sovereignty

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The Ocean and God’s Sovereignty

The ocean is my place. I grew up on it. As long as the day was clear, I could see the gray-blue expanse from my town. The bay resided only a fifteen minute bike ride away. I would often drive to the rockier beaches and spend the day hiking with my dog. I always felt closest to God at the beach. His character is embedded in the power, the depth, the provision and beauty. Even now that we live 1 1/2 hours from the coast, I can still feel the pull. Once in a while, on a blustery day, I imagine the oceanic aromas blowing in from the coast and up through our Oregon valley. I’m often homesick for it, so when a dear friend gave me the gift of a day at the ocean, I felt doubly blessed. There are moments we can experience that directly point to the Lord. I had one such experience that day.

The day held hope. I don’t know another way to say it. It was supposed to rain, but it didn’t. It should have been very cold; it was breezy but tolerable. I hadn’t been feeling well, but felt pretty good that morning. After we arrived and set up our things on the sand and took in the sights, I went for a walk. I wanted to sojourn with God at my place. I headed down the shore, walking alongside the crashing surf, and soaking up the sounds of the lovely white hushing noise of multiple waves breaking upon one another.

This was it. My time. I began to pray. As I listed my joys and sorrows, a side-rolling wave came toward me and I avoided it, moving higher. Then another. So beautiful was His handiwork! I moved further up and continued to praise God. Then another wave came at me, inexplicably, from the front and the side at the same time, forcing me on a different path once again. And just like that, I was praising the Father who created this expanse and simultaneously grumbling at being forced from the course I’d started out on.

My conflicting thoughts brought me up short. If I claimed God’s sovereignty in all things–and I most certainly do–then who am I to complain when His wave cuts me off and ushers me, my hopes, my family, even my illness in a new direction? Tears of conviction filled my eyes. From that point on, in my humbled state, I began looking for the shift of those waves and enjoying the path, wondering where it’d take me rather than fighting it.

How’s your week? Have the waves cut you off from where you’d intended to be? I’m praying that the Lord reveals His new path for you soon.

Until next time, many blessings.

April

Psalm 95: 3-5 For the Lord is a great God,and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. (read more here)

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