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BLOGWORDS – 15 May 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – CARRIE SCHMIDT

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – CARRIE SCHMIDT

 

Mother’s Day has come and gone now.

And if you’re like me, the day is always a little bittersweet.

 

On the one hand, I love the chance to celebrate my Mom because a) she’s awesome and b) we’re great friends as well as being mother and daughter. This year, we attended a high tea just for something girly and fun!

On the other hand, I’ve been married for nearly 17 years and have no children. Given my age and my health issues, it is almost a certainty that no one will ever call me “Mom”. Except my dog Zuzu, of course, but she doesn’t really count 😉

I adore my nieces and nephews (a total of almost 10 now between my husband’s side of the family and my own) and I have fully embraced the “cool aunt” title, promising to always have gum. (To date, none of them have asked me for a piece of gum. But when they do, by golly, I’ll be ready!)

Still … being called “Aunt” doesn’t quite complete the heart like “Mom”, does it? And so Mother’s Day for me is always a bit painful in spite of the sweet. Maybe it’s the same for you. Or maybe your children are grown and gone and never with you on Mother’s Day. The ache is still there, either way, isn’t it?

 

Maybe what makes Mother’s Day bittersweet for you is instead the loss of your mother. Whether too soon or after a life long-lived, I’m told that ache never quite goes away either. Especially on days where everyone is treating their moms to special dinners and flowers and hugs. You would give anything to give (and receive) one more hug from your own mother, and so – while you enjoy the accolades from your children on Mother’s Day – you feel like something is missing. Like someone is missing.

 

If at least one of these scenarios applies to you, then today you may still be feeling the sting of the bittersweet. The emptiness of wanting to belong – to a mother or to a child – and having no one to belong to. Our hearts were created to never say goodbye (to people or to dreams), so it’s no wonder they break with every cruel reminder of this broken world.

 

May I encourage you, my sweet girlfriends?

God sees. And He cares. He loves you so tenderly.

You already belong to Someone.

Did you see those last few words? “You are mine.”

 

I can hear you though. The words forming right now on your lips. “Yeah, that’s great and all… but belonging to God isn’t the same as having my mother back. Belonging to God isn’t the same as having a child of my own.”

I know. I get it. I do.

 

But Isaiah wants you to know that God knew you would be missing your mother, missing her hugs, wanting the kind of relationship other daughters have with their mothers.

And He wants to draw you close and whisper these words to you –

He has not left you alone, my sweet friend. He longs to bless you beyond your imagination.  He takes great delight in you.

 

And Isaiah wants you to know that God knew you would be longing for a baby, for a child to call you “mom”, for a prodigal son or daughter to return home.

 

Listen, dear kindred heart. He is whispering words of purpose to you –

You may not have children that are physically or legally your own. But He longs to fill your heart – and your arms – to overflowing all the same.

And sometimes… in His great graciousness … He brings together someone who needs a mother’s hug with someone who longs to be a mom. As empty arms slip around empty hearts, both become curiously full.

A portrait of grace. A reminder of belonging. A glimpse of heaven.

A promise that one day all the sad things will come untrue.

And all hearts will be full forever.

 

 

Carrie Schmidt is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. Carrie lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric and their quirky dog Zuzu and is a co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers’ Retreat. She blogs at http://readingismysuperpower.org

 

https://www.facebook.com/meezcarriereads

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#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Carrie Schmidt, Zuzu, Cool Aunt, Mother’s Day, You are Mine, Portrait of Grace

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BLOGWORDS – Thursday 4 May 2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – REVIEWER INTERVIEW – CARRIE BOOTH SCHMIDT

CHAT THURSDAY – REVIEWER INTERVIEW – CARRIE BOOTH SCHMIDT

“The highlight of blogging for me is when I am able to introduce you to your next favorite read or a new-to-you author!”

 

“Considering that my first word was “book”, it was pretty much a given that I would be a voracious reader.”

 

rem:  Hullo!!!  Hullo!!!  Hullo Meez Carrie! Welcome to my little nest! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

CARRIE:  I was born in East Tennessee, raised in northern Illinois, and we moved to central Kentucky when I was a freshman in high school. That was (muffled) years ago and I’m still here! Love my state!

rem:  It’s good to love your home, wherever you may be. Tell us three things about yourself.

CARRIE:  1. I love to read (duh) 2. I tend to collect book boyfriends 3. I love being a “cool aunt”!

rem:  So you read? Really?? huh, who’d’a thunk it…. And kudos for “cool aunt.” You have an unusual blogging companion, Zuzu. Tell us about her.

CARRIE: Zuzu is the quirkiest dog in all the land! We adopted her when she was a year old and we’ve had her for almost ten years. I’m trying not to think about how old that makes her (sniffle). Zuzu is a Vizsla-Boxer mix and takes her duties as “Velcro dog” very seriously. Must be near one of her humans at all times. She loves to sleep but she also loves to play and go on walks and in many ways she still has a lot of puppy energy. And she has the softest ears EVER.

rem:  What a precious, sweet face. ❤  I understand Zuzu hosts her own interviews. Here is today’s interview, something of a prank perpetrated on her poor self.

http://wp.me/p7effm-5Qb

Jasper with his sister and assistant, Juniper

 

What is your favourite quotation and why?

CARRIE:  One of my very favorite quotes is from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, while Mr. Beaver is talking about Aslan. He says, “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe.  But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” I love what that says about Jesus. He never called us to be safe … and He never promised us safety per se. But He is so very good, and because of His goodness we can dare to change the definition of ‘safe’!

rem:  One of my favorite stories, book and movie! And wonderful quote, so much truth and so much meaning. What’s your all-time favorite movie? Favorite TV show?

CARRIE:  My all-time favorite movie is While You Were Sleeping. Oh be still my heart, I adore that movie! I’ve practically got it memorized 😊 I don’t know that I have a favorite TV show. I hardly ever watch TV.

rem:  Also a favorite movie—Bill Pullman, super swoon!! Also love Sandra Bullock (but no swoon  😉 ) Your movie snack of choice?

CARRIE:  Popcorn with lots of butter!!! Or… homemade Chex mix. It’s my Kryptonite.

rem:  Of course, must have butter. Do you use sarcasm?

CARRIE:  Noooo never. 😉

rem:  Nah, me either. Ever. Favorite season? Why?

CARRIE:  Fall or winter. I’m one of those people who thrives on being cool or outright cold. Also, I love snow. And that’s hard to find in summer 😉 Plus… Thanksgiving and Christmas. Need I say more?

rem:  Love the snow and Christmas, cold not so much… Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

CARRIE:  Yes! Psalm 73:26 from the New Living Translation – “My health may fail and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” I have a health issue that causes a great deal of pain, day in and day out. There are days when I’m so discouraged. But this verse reminds me that the strength of my heart, my spirit, does not depend on my circumstances. Instead, God remains the strength of my heart! And how encouraging it is to know that He is mine FOREVER!!

rem:  Thank you for the reminder, Carrie. He is indeed our strength. I, too, have health struggles, and the only way I can thrive at all is by the Word of God. What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

CARRIE:  Life is messy. Anybody can write about the mess. But as Christians, we have hope in the middle of our mess. We have a Savior who loves us so much He got down in the mess with us and helps us up. Christian fiction is so important because it includes the hope.

rem:  Such a lovely and poetic way to say it, Carrie, and so true. I’ve long known that we, as Christians, must also get messy at times in order to bring His hope where it is most needed.

When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?

CARRIE:  Well, bad writing breaks it really quickly. If the dialogue feels like narrative “disguised” as conversation, that’s another deal breaker. (That’s probably my biggest fiction pet peeve, too, by the way rem: ditto ) What makes a story for me?? It hits me in the feels (whether it be laughter or tears or swooning) and it paints a picture of redemption, even in general market fiction.

rem:  Yeah, I’ve read some that read as if a twelve-year-old wrote it and I soon lost interest. And yes, I can read redemption into stories that probably never meant it to be there. Which is more important: plot or characters?

CARRIE:  Yes. LOL. Honestly, they are both equally important in my mind.

rem:  I must agree. J What would you do if you weren’t reading and reviewing?

CARRIE:  I’m not sure I understand that question. 😉

rem:  And I’m glad you don’t… What are you reading right now?

CARRIE:  A Season to Dance by Patricia Beal

rem:  Can’t wait for your review, I haven’t read her yet. What do you munch on while you read?

CARRIE:  Healthy popcorn (aka, no butter lol)

rem:  What?!?!?  No butter??? How long have you been reading? When did you start reviewing?

CARRIE:  I have been reading since I was three years old. One day I just started reading the newspaper and the 2nd chapter of Philippians to my parents who, needless to say, were quite surprised! Lol. I started reviewing in April 2015 😊

rem:  That’s quite impressive! Where do you read: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

CARRIE:  Anywhere and everywhere, but I prefer to read in bed 😊

rem:  That’s how I “tuck” myself in every night. What gets your attention in a new story? Where do you find / look for new books to read and review?

CARRIE:  What gets my attention? A great turn of a phrase. And someone tackling a subject or a character-type or a trope that doesn’t get a lot of attention. I find new books for the TBR galaxy (it upgraded from a tiny pile) from a variety of sources – publishers send them to me, authors email me, and I stalk Amazon and Netgalley and Goodreads.

rem:  Yeah, “pile” is long gone notion of future reading material. And I dare say, authors stalk you, too… jus’ sayin’ Have you ever read a book you couldn’t finish? Why?

CARRIE:  Yes. The writing was stilted and the events (and reactions to the events) were just so unbelievable. I just couldn’t …

rem:  I hear ya! Artificial conversation in the name of informing the reader is perhaps, my biggest pet peeve in reading! Without naming names, what’s the worst story you’ve ever [tried to] read?

CARRIE:  Probably the one I mentioned above, though there are a couple of others I could mention.

rem:  Without naming names, what’s the best story you’ve ever read?

CARRIE:  Oh gosh, Robin! That’s an impossible question. Can I plead the fifth here?? lol

rem:  I’d chastise you but I’m in the same boat! If you could be a character in a book you’ve read, who would you be and why?

CARRIE:  I would want to be Emma from Jane Austen’s novel because she gets Mr. Knightley 😊

rem:  I think I hear a swoon in that… Do you ever read a book twice?

CARRIE:  YES! Not as much now that I’m reviewing books (just no time) but I have a couple from my plain old reading days that I’ve practically memorized I’ve read them so often.

rem:  How many books have you read?

CARRIE:  total??? Thousands. Last year? 378, I think.

rem:  Sheesh, superpower indeed! I’m doing good to read one in a week! What’s the last book you read and reviewed? Tell us a little about the story and give us the first line.

CARRIE:  Ok, well, I didn’t review this one yet but it’s a new fave – Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. I can’t believe it took me so long to read it but oh it’s such a great story!! It’s all told in letters from Samantha Moore to her mysterious anonymous benefactor who calls himself Mr. Knightley. Ahhhhh!!! I love this book so much!! (Yes, Sarah Monzon, you can say ‘I told you so’ 😉 ) The first line is: “Dear Sir, It has been a year since I turned down your generous offer.”

rem:  Oh goodness! She’s definitely on my radar! Anything you’d like to add?

CARRIE:  Thanks so much for having me on your blog, my friend!!

rem:  And thank you so much for being here!

 

http://readingismysuperpower.org/

https://www.facebook.com/meezcarriereads

https://twitter.com/MeezCarrie

https://www.pinterest.com/meezcarrie/

https://www.instagram.com/meezcarrie/

https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/reading-is-my-superpower-14763699

 

 

“Avid Reader. Book Reviewer. Story Addict. KissingBooks Fan. Book Boyfriend Collector. ESOL Teacher. Cool Aunt. I love Jesus and THE Story a whole lot.”

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Reviewer Interview, Carrie Booth Schmidt, Zuzu

 

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