Today, I’d like to introduce you to Anita Klumpers—the extraordinary woman in this photo. Anita is not only a terrific Christian author (her book Winter Watch is one of my favorites), but she’s also a terrific person. Over the last year, I’ve gotten to know Anita, and she’s one of the kindest, sweetest, funniest people I’ve ever met. She has a twinkle of humor that makes our conversations a pure delight. Anita has a genuine heart for the Lord, and it shines through in everything she says and does. I feel honored to be interviewing her today.
Danele: Hello, Anita! I’m so happy to have you on my blog!
Anita: Thanks, Danele! Isn’t cyberspace fabulous? The chances that we would bump into each other at a grocery store, talk, and become good friends are infinitesimal—especially since we live several hundred of miles apart. But we meet on social media, and you are now on my list of favorite people. I even get to visit you here–in the virtual sense of the word.
Danele: Anita, you always make me smile! You’re on my list of favorite people too! Well, let’s jump right in to things. I’m sure my readers would like to learn more about you. Can you tell us when you gave your heart to Christ?
Anita: Truly, I never remember not belonging to Christ. My parents raised me to love and honor God. They taught me to understand the depth of His love, and to know that it would provide salvation and eternal life by the willing sacrifice of His Son. I’m so thankful that I’ve seen God’s hand on my life since birth. Since then, He has affirmed His love and protection every day, and I’ve increasingly appreciated and adored Him—because how could I not? He is my everything.
Danele: That’s so beautiful! I grew up in a Christian home too, and I’m glad my parents taught me about God. When I look back on my life, I can see that I learned the importance of trusting God when I became ill. Have you encountered a difficult situation when you needed to totally rely on God?
Anita: Oh boy. Several. The one on my mind now (because it happened around this time of year) was the fall of 2006 when my middle son was arrested. He had just dropped his girlfriend home after a church event, drove too fast, and tried to evade the police officer (who subsequently smashed up his squad car and required hospitalization). My just-turned-18 son was kept in jail for three nights, and we were unable to visit him. And then we spent $10,000 on an attorney to keep him from being sent to prison. In the middle of this, my mom needed emergency surgery. She was in the hospital for two months before she died. We sobbed into the heart of God daily. He sometimes gave peace—and even moments of joy. And sometimes, He just told us to trust. Before Mom died, she said God had given her peace about my son. She knew he would be fine. And he is. He is an amazing son, husband, and daddy. He’s a solid Christian small business owner, and he’s dedicated to his church and his God. We learned that trust doesn’t always mean we’ll feel happy or content—or even that we’ll feel trusting. But we know God is true, and He always, always keeps His promises.
Danele: That’s so true, but it’s a hard lesson to learn. When I was younger, I HATED the book of Job. I didn’t like the idea that a person could be in the will of God and still have problems. Truthfully, I was hoping that if I was a “good girl” God would keep me from having hardships. Naturally, it didn’t work out that way. But my illness taught me the truth of what you just said—that trust doesn’t mean we’ll always feel happy, but it does mean that we can count on God to keep His promises. Even though I faced a serious illness, I learned that when you put yourself completely in God’s hands, there’s an unexplainable peace that envelops your heart.
Anita: That’s true. I went through pretty severe depression after the birth of my youngest son. It got so bad that one day when I felt a weird pain in my left arm while I was driving, I thought, “Oh, that’s a symptom of a heart attack. Well, if I die at least the sadness will be over.” My only comfort was that I didn’t have my babies in the car with me, so they couldn’t be hurt. God did deliver me from depression, but He chose to do it over the course of five years. One day I realized the sun was a little brighter, and music a bit prettier, and the depression was gone. But the fascinating part was looking back at those five years and realizing how close I had felt to God. He taught me the meaning of “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
Danele: God is so amazing! And He reveals himself in so many ways. Sometimes when I was ill, I felt His presence so strongly—like a whirlwind of fire that took my breath away. Other times, His presence was soft and gentle—like a whisper of peace in my soul. I think that God likes to show Himself in a variety of ways. Just when I think I have Him figured out, He surprises me. Sometimes, He reveals Himself in humorous ways. Has that ever happened to you?
Anita: It sure has! Remember the story about my son getting thrown in jail? About a week earlier we were heading back from his grandparents’ house on a dark country road when my son asked to drive. While my husband and other two sons slept in the back, I stayed wide awake in the front because, of course, that would mean we wouldn’t get in a crash. My son was driving too fast, and when I told him to slow down he said, “Mom, you don’t understand that I have this vehicle under complete control.” I knew he was being an idiot, so I prayed, “God, please let my son get a ticket, so he slows down before he gets hurt.” And God said that He would take care of it. I just didn’t realize God would take care of it with a $10,000 bill, jail time, and community service! But now my son is one of the safest drivers I know!
Danele: Oh, Anita, you just made me chuckle! You’re such a delight! Now, before I let you go, can you tell us a little about your book?
Anita: Sure! Winter Watch was my first novel. I wrote it as a challenge to myself, to see if I could develop a plot and write a full-length novel. Astonishingly, and through a series of extraordinary events, it was published. I still pinch myself.
Danele: I know that feeling! I can’t wait until January when my book, Time Tsunami, comes out! Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a dream. I wrote my books while I was in quarantine. I used them as vehicles to experience the outside world. What inspired you?
Anita: I grew up loving the suspense novels of Elizabeth Peters, Mary Stewart, and M.M. Kaye—books with a strong sense of place and an appealing romance. Winter Watch and my second book, The Shade of His Hand, (due for release in February, 2016) are both contemporary romantic suspense that were inspired by my favorite authors, but with a Christian worldview.
Danele: Wait a minute! Hold the phone!!! Did I hear you right? You have another book coming out?? THAT’S AWESOME!!! I’m going to nab your new book the first chance I get! I really loved Winter Watch. Before I met you, I was told by several people that I HAD to read your book. They told me that Winter Watch was a beautiful example of how a writer could make her characters come alive—and what they said was true! Even your minor characters lived and breathed. By the end of your book, I felt totally acquainted with the town of Barley. I’m so glad to hear that you have another book coming out!
Anita: Thank you! Me too!
Danele: Anita, you’re so much fun! Thank you for visiting my blog today. I’ve had such a blast talking with you!
Anita: I can’t think of anyone I would rather set a spell with. You are sweet, and encouraging, and altogether wonderful–and you’d better print all that even if it makes you blush. God bless you. I’m so thankful He brought our worlds together.
Danele: I’m glad too!
Friends, Anita Klumpers is such a delight! If you would like to get more acquainted with her, or if you’d like to learn more about her books, you can follow the links below. I hope you have a wonderful day!
Anita’s Blog: The Tuesday Prude (http://thetuesdayprude.com/)
Anita’s Twitter: @AnitaKlumpers
The Shade of His Hand: Release date February 2016