Wow, Marybeth Whalen is stopping in today to chat with us. Can you believe it? I can't imagine how this busy woman holds it all together. Yes I can. She does it with the Lord leading her. Again it is an honor to have another guest and woman stop in to chat to give us laughter, inspiration and wisdom from her heart. Marybeth is one of those ladies who just simply stands out. I love the work she does with Proverbs 31 Ministries and I just finished her new book, "The Mailbox". It is one you need for your summer list indeed. I love it when I am able to pick a book up and from that first page all the way to last it just inspires me to believe and hope, leaving us with thoughts to ponder. And that is exactly what "The Mailbox" does. Here is my chat with Marybeth..
(Robin) Marybeth, tell me a little about yourself..
(Marybeth) I have been married for 19 years this August and we have 6 children ranging in age from 18 to 5. Additionally, I serve with Proverbs 31 Ministries in several capacities, including running their Christian fiction division called She Reads, writing for their daily devotions, and speaking. Most recently I became a novelist with the publication of my first novel, The Mailbox.
(Robin) Since you have walked with the Lord has there been a time you struggled in your faith? If so, would you please share?
(Marybeth) Most recently I had struggles when my husband was laid off from his job in December. We were without regular income (I am a stay at home mom) for 6 months. For the most part it was a faith-building experience but I would be lying if I said that there weren't moments of wondering why this happened and how we were going to make it. God showed Himself to be the powerful shield and provider He claims to be in His Word. And we learned to take things one day at a time and trust Him even when things seem hopeless and the news all around us is bad.
(Robin) Has there been an "aha" moment in your life that has changed your perspective?
(Marybeth) Every time I read God's word I have an aha moment. The Bible is the ultimate perspective changer, which is why I make it a priority to read it before I do anything else in the mornings.
(Robin) Do you have a favorite bible story, verse, song or hymn that gives encouragement when struggles come?
(Marybeth) There are so many different directions I could take that question! So many favorites!! I love the Psalms and Isaiah. I have to say when we were in our long journey of paying off debt, one of the verses that I clung to is "I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread." (Ps. 37:25) When things looked uncertain, I just recited that verse out loud, reminding myself of God's promise to take care of His own.
(Robin) What is one thing you look for in a close friend and what is one quality you hope others see in you?
(Marybeth) Sense of humor-- I love people that make me laugh and who will laugh with me. I hope that people see me as reliable-- that I am a friend who hangs in there for the long haul.
(Robin) What are a few of your favorite books you have in your collection you would share with a friend?
(Marybeth) Any of the books we recommend at She Reads-- we choose them because they are well written with a unique premise that point women to God. Those are the books I want my friends to read.
(Robin) When life seems to go crazy, what is one thing you do to bring comfort and peace?
(Marybeth) Go to the Bible-- I know that might sound trite and like a Sunday school answer, but it's so true. God's Word supplies the answers we seek-- we just have to remember to turn to it and not to friends or habits or the world's answers.
(Robin) What is one thing about yourself you admire?
(Marybeth) My self-discipline. I am good about doing what needs to be done and holding myself to a higher standard, always raising the bar on myself. Sometimes that can also drive me crazy too!
(Robin) What are a few of the things you love surrounding you?
(Marybeth) My kids-- they are always near it seems and, while I like to complain about it at times, I wouldn't have it any other way and I know some day I will miss their proximity.
(Robin) What are your deepest passions?
(Marybeth) Great fiction-- telling others about it, discussing it, reading it. The Word of God-- and the answers it provides. Encouraging other women to rise above whatever they are dealing with. My family.
(Robin) What is the best advice ever given to you?
(Marybeth) Write the book you want to read. That one piece of advice is what caused me to write The Mailbox, and I am so glad I did.
(Robin) In the legacy you leave, what is one thing you hope out shines before all others?
(Marybeth) I hope people see me as a woman who was crazy about her family and the Lord, and that I lived out those priorities at all costs.
(Robin) What are you currently working on?
(Marybeth) I just turned in my second novel which will be out in June of 11 and am asking myself what my next one will be-- a fun time of planning and wondering.
(Robin) How do you define success?
(Marybeth) I will use Jacqueline Kennedy's quote, "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." That's the standard I use when considering my own success.
Marybeth, thank you for taking the time to stop by my Nest and share your thoughts with us. I am honored to have you visit. What encouraging words for us to hold on to. I love when you say to write a book you would read. That is great advice for this girl who is deeply passionate about writing. It was a blessing to get to know you better. Isn't she just the sweetest? Blessings to you Marybeth. I can't wait for your next book to come out. It will be one I add to my collection for sure! If you haven't been to She Reads or Proberbs 31 Ministries you don't know what you are missing. Truly inspiring and encouraging devotionals daily to set us on the right path. Amazing love flows through this group of ladies serving the Lord along with Marybeth, reaching women across the world, teaching them to walk closer with the Lord.
If you would like to see all that Marybeth is doing and follow her blog take a look at these links below.