(1) What is your favorite book?
Laurie: When you asked that, I immediately thought: fiction or non-fiction? Because I’ve got one of each! Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive by John Eldredge (non-fiction) and Watching the Tree Limbs by Mary DeMuth (fiction).
I’ve read Waking the Dead three times through, and some sections are so marked up and dog-eared you can barely read it anymore. The premise is this: we’re part of an epic story―God’s story―and it’s time we wake up and embrace the adventure. Eldredge challenges us to open our eyes to the spiritual battle all around us and to open our hearts authentically to the people all around us. It’s Scriptural admonition wrapped in inspiration and great stories, and I find myself falling back on it when life’s wearing on me.
Mary DeMuth’s Watching the Tree Limbs is refreshing because it’s raw and real. DeMuth’s book takes us through a year or so in the life of elementary-aged Mara, who first heard God’s whisper in the midst of horrifying circumstances. The story grapples with themes like rape, poverty, family dysfunction and race issues, while maintaining a quiet thread of the truth that nothing is too hard for God to heal. It’s a story of hope, redemption, and coming of age. . . three themes I’ve always loved in a good fiction read.
(2) If you could walk into any book, what literary character would you want to be?
Laurie: Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series, hands down. Yes, she’s quirky, a bookworm, and a teenager (who would ever want to go back to that age??) but she’s also confident, smart, brave, and creative. I like how she grows into herself throughout the series, and that she’s willing to admit when she’s wrong. I also love that she’s got a bit of a handicap in that her family’s not from the upperclass of magicals, so she has to work for her credibility. No matter what situation she encounters, she just doesn’t let it get her stuck. I love that sense of positive stubbornness!
(3) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Laurie: I’d go back to Tuscany. Years ago, when I was traveling all over the place, I visited my aunt and uncle there. They lived in the small town of Cennina for many years and I loved that they weren’t tourists, but members of the community. I enjoyed walking through town with them, sitting in cafes and people watching, and listening to stories most tourists would never hear. I’d want to take a sabbatical for six months to a year, pack up my family and live in a community like they did, or in a farm co-op where we could work, cook, and experience cultural immersion together.
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Laurie Wallin is a Christian speaker and certified Life Coach who uses humor, encouragement, and kick-in-the-pants support to help women thrive despite life’s challenges. A former science teacher and researcher, she loves studying the world and people, and using what she learns to inspire others. Over the past several years, she’s helped hundreds of clients worldwide regain joy and confidence by letting go of energy drainers and using their God-inspired strengths. Her first book, Why Your Weirdness Is Wonderful (Abingdon Press), releases March 18th. Laurie, her husband and their four daughters make their home in San Diego.
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