I 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.
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!
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?
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/emmabrochstuart
To order her book from your favorite online site in paperback or ebook form:
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!
“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.
Jasmine works with young women, giving them a plan not just for survival, but hope for a rewarding future. You see, she knows how important that is—because she was one of those girls once. She had nowhere to turn, so she ran. And things went from bad to worse. While my novel, Jasmine, is a fictional tale, it’s based on some pretty horrible facts.
Take a minute to imagine with me. You’re a twelve year old girl with a neglectful family. Your parents fight—even beat you. Your mom’s addicted to alcohol, and your dad’s always angry. The refrigerator doesn’t have much food in it. School’s tough. You feel like an outcast because you can’t connect with anyone. Every instinct in you tells you to stay where you are, because home is the only place you’ve ever known—even if bad things happen there, at least you know what to expect. And then comes along this guy. A wonderful, attentive guy that dotes on you and listens to you. He’s a little older than you, too. Suddenly, you feel appreciated—even adored. He buys you nice gifts and tells you how pretty you are. It’s the first time anyone has shown you true concern and affection. You feel special. So when he asks you to run away with him, you don’t have to think about it long. This is it and he’s Mr. Wonderful, your very own Prince Charming. You go.
And that is where the fantasy stops. Before you know it, this guy has given you over to another guy. He’s not kind or adoring. He’s demanding and cruel. There’s no getting away. If you did get away, you’d have nowhere to go. Your parents don’t want you (or so this man keeps telling you)—and now you’re damaged goods. You’re more alone than you’ve ever been. Plus, that cruel guy, your pimp, is now controlling your every move—he’d probably kill you.
Such is the plight of many runaways. Some meet Mr. Wonderful in their own home towns, or at the mall. Some meet him after they’ve ended up on the streets. Either way, the result is the same. It’s all a huge lie, and now they’re trapped in a life they don’t feel they can escape. They need help.
Most of us don’t know what to do with that kind of information. How do you help someone like this? But there are places that know just what to do. Door to Grace is such a ministry. They’ve built a wonderful network to reach out to exploited children and give them a safe place to live while recovering. And they lead them to the Savior that can heal the hurts—the ones deep down that no one else can see.
Please take some time to check out their web page (click here) and donate. Help get a girl off the streets, give her back a secure life—let her know there are real people who thinks she is special and worth saving. Thanks.Read More
Comparisons happen in our minds all day long. How much more caffeine is in that 24 oz latte than the 16 oz? Is that spider bigger than the one I saw yesterday, or is that one of its many babies? If I use that super extensive homeschool curricula, will I churn out a gifted student poised to take on the world? (Can you tell we’re getting ready for our first year of homeschooling through high school?).
Comparisons are natural—it’s something our brain does without thinking about it. And that’s where the danger lies. Our eyes. I might see a house that is larger than my own and think about all that extra space I could use and become discontent. Or, see that super in-shape person on TV and be tempted to feel badly about my body. In our subconscious state, comparisons can turn to coveting before we can blink.
When I first entered this flare-up of CVID last year, I had well meaning people say, “It could always be worse.” Or, “You could be as sick as this other person, be grateful you’re not them.” I realized right then, that’s not a good scenario. Because in comparing myself to others, ill or well, rich or poor, gifted or normal, I’m going to be tempted to do one of two things: I’ll either gloat and feel self-righteous, or I’ll wallow and start to feel sorry for myself. Both are sinful.
It’s not an easy thing to do, to walk through this life and keep my eyes on God’s plan and off of what is happening in other people’s lives—to be objective. But, it’s something worth striving for. God’s got a different road for everyone to travel. It does Him a disservice if I’m always wishing I was someone else.
If you’ve been walking (reading) alongside me this past 18 months, you’ll know I’ve been awfully sick. The good news this week is that I’ve been administering immunoglobulin replacement therapy for 6 months now, and I’m about 60% better than I was last year at this time. That is HUGE. I’m so grateful to God for treatment for my illness.
If you’re suffering and are waiting for healing, please know that God hears your prayers—and He’s got a plan for you. It might involve miraculous healing. It might involve being healed through modern medicine (for which I’m very grateful, because I’d be long dead from any number of things by now). But, whatever happens, whatever the path, He’s on it with you. He promises that to His children. Keep your eyes on Him.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Would you do me a favor? If you like what I’ve written, please share it with someone else 🙂 And I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts!Read More