Have you ever opened a book and felt like you were sitting across the kitchen table from a best friend sharing their heart with you? When I read Hope for the Weary Mom, that happened. I knew when I closed that book, I wanted to know the authors better. When one of those dear women, Stacey Thacker, started writing her second book, Fresh Out of Amazing, I was thrilled with the opportunity to get to know her better. I’m so excited to have her answering some interview questions here about her new book and the vital part God’s Word plays in her daily life.
- How would you summarize your journey to the spot where you felt “fresh out of amazing”?
I think I’ve spent years weaving in and out of feeling fresh out of amazing. I have felt it deeply at different times in my life. I jokingly tell people I’m practically a professional at feeling this way! That being said, when God began the journey of writing through this all too common feeling in my life there were a few specific things that marked my journey.The first time I wrote the actual words on my blog I was buried in every way as a weary mom. My youngest daughter at the age of two had not been a good sleeper and my older girls were needing me to help them with very important school projects. My husband was also traveling and we had a hurricane on the way. My heart finally broke wide open on the floor in the middle of a 2-3 loads of clean laundry. I told the Lord I felt like I needed to be amazing and I was fresh out of amazing. At this point, after we had a nice tearful chat, the Lord prompted me to write about it. I wasn’t sure that was a good idea, but I did it anyway. From that blog post God has birthed ”Hope for the Weary Mom” and also Fresh Out of Amazing.
When I started working through the specific message of this particular book, it was right after my dad passed away suddenly. So part of my story, and you definitely can read about it in the book, is walking with Christ through grief and loss.
- What motivated you to write this particular book, especially after writing Hope for the Weary Mom, also about depending on Jesus?
Fresh Out of Amazing and Hope for the Weary Mom are different books, but I like to think of them as friends. The work God began in my life through “Hope” was necessary and I will always be grateful for what God did in my heart. I still preach HOPE over my life daily. The new book is a continued, deeper work for me. I like to compare it to buying a fixer upper house. Sometimes you can see work right away that needs to be completed. You need to add a new roof and paint the exterior of a falling down house. But once you get inside and tear down a few walls you see the foundation needs to be repoured and the electrical is out of sorts. The Hope work was obvious—I was a weary mom who needed hope. Fresh Out of Amazing was the part of the story I was still trying to hide. And God called me out and said, “You’ve come to the end of yourself. It is time for you to see me big in your life.” Even today I tear up thinking about that moment. He has been so faithful.
- As I was reading Fresh Out of Amazing, I loved how you retold Bible stories in such a fresh, relevant way. How did you choose which stories to include? Were they ones that had previously impacted you?
The different Bible stories really came as a result of my interactions with my readers. They were so great to share with me their journeys as well. I had asked them, “What is going on in your life when you feel fresh out of amazing?” They identified five key ways: Burdened and Busy, Comparison, Death of Dreams, Believing Lies, and Loss and Grief. As I sat down to pray and think through these real women who were struggling just like me, I asked God to take me to examples in His Word that would speak to their hearts. God gave me the the first four (Martha, Leah and Rachel, Hannah, and the woman at the well). My editor, Kathleen, suggested adding Naomi for the chapter on grief. I found my passion in writing through their stories. Of course, I could visualize the flannel graphs from years of Sunday School as a child, that probably helped too!
- What keeps you coming back to God’s Word, even on days it’s harder to make the time to do it?
God’s Word is living and active—truly it is. It is the only thing in my life that can cut through fear, grief, lies, and the busyness of my days. I have realized it is the tool God will consistently use to resurrect and revive my heart. I don’t have time every day to dig as deep as I’d like, sometimes I just have five minutes while I drink my first cup of coffee. Still, it is the one place I can be sure of God will meet me and the truth is I need that more than I need sleep these days. I keep coming back to it because I need instruction, I need truth, I need my hope stirred up, and I need to receive that living water that he pours out as I draw near to him in the pages of his Word.
You can find Stacey’s book wherever books are sold. I picked mine up at Amazon. I ordered five copies because I knew I would be sticking one in the church library and handing the others out to friends. I’m already re-reading it. Thanks, Stacey, for sharing with us today.