Today I have a first on my blog-- an author interview! I met Terri Groh about twenty years ago, when her husband, Dan, was a guest preacher at our church. Dan and Terri and their two sons, Nathan and Stephen, used to come to our house for dinner after church, whenever Dan preached for our church. We always enjoyed lively conversation with Dan and Terri, and our children enjoyed playing with their pleasant and well-behaved young boys. A couple of years later Emily was born, so their family, like ours, has two boys followed by a girl. Then Terri started homeschooling, which I was already doing, so we had even more in common. And in more recent years, Terri and I have both been writing for people in our churches and others.
Welcome to my blog, Terri!
Thank you for having me, Melissa. I appreciate you sharing your blog with me today.
I've had a chance to read most of your book, and I am finding it very encouraging and motivating for my faith. I'd like my readers to learn about your book and get to know you a bit.
How did you get started writing Words of Encouragement for a Discouraged World?
Five years ago, I started writing a once a week devotional to the ladies in my church. They basically were lessons or truths that the Lord was teaching me as I had my own personal quiet time with Him. After about a year or so, I also started posting them on my blog. I found that though I was sharing what I had learned from the Lord and the things I was wrestling with in my own private life, other women were also finding them helpful in their own lives. I started feeling led to compile them into a book form and with space to journal so that other women would also be encouraged.
For what audience is your book intended?
They really are for women of all ages and all walks of life. It doesn't matter if they work outside the home or are stay-at-home moms, if they have children at home or are empty-nesters. I think all women will find something that they can relate to in these devotionals.
You cover many real-life situations. How did you choose these particular topics?
Well, I wouldn't say that I chose them, but they chose me! :-) Again, they come straight from my heart and the things that I was struggling with and wrestling through at the time. As a pastor's wife, I never wanted the women in my church to feel like I was targeting them or sharing their problems. So I shared what *I* was finding in my own private life and study of God's word. And yet, so many could relate to those things because they were dealing with similar issues. As Christian women we often keep things bottled up and are afraid to let others know we are struggling with something. Yet, it is often as we share with each other and pray for one another, that we really grow as believers.
What do you find most helpful or important for your faith on a daily basis?
Spending time in God's word and prayer. I can always tell when I've been neglecting it because everything just feels off. If I don't tank up by spending time with the Lord each day, I usually run out of gas very quickly.
How long does it generally take you to write a week's selection?
Because I am generally writing about something I am working through and the Lord is teaching me, I find that I write them very quickly. Often, I write them the same day I post them but I've been mulling over the thoughts and praying about the issue throughout the week. I talk to my husband a lot about these different things and, as I articulate them to Dan, the thoughts begin to become cohesive.
What do you do to grow yourself as a writer?
I have found connecting with other writers very helpful. Being able to exchange ideas and read other writers' points of view about things has helped me to hone my own craft. Also, I do a lot of reading which definitely has helped too. Then I spend a lot of time just writing. I write a daily blog post. I often will send an email or card to someone to encourage them. I belong to a couple of online sites and message boards where I can share and write too.
What did you enjoy about writing this book?
The thing I enjoyed the most is seeing how the Lord has taken situations and struggles I have had and used them to bless others. That is the most thrilling thing to me. I am blessed to be able to take my love of writing and also use that in ministry to help others. God is good! He's given me the two desires of my heart.
I've enjoyed learning more about your book and your writing process, Terri. Thank you for writing Words of Encouragement for a Discouraged World, and for answering my questions here.
Thanks again for having me, Melissa! I've enjoyed myself.
I found Terri's book very helpful for taking a good, honest (but not always easy) look at my faith and life, and I'm sure any woman who is interested in growing spiritually would find it helpful. You can go to terrigroh.com to read more about Terri and to find a link to her daily blog, Hearts in Service.
You can get more information about Words of Encouragement for a Discouraged World on Terri's website and you can find it on amazon.com at Words of Encouragement for a Discouraged World