I’m so excited to welcome Anita Klumpers back to my blog! Anita is such a delightful person. When I talk with her, I always end up smiling and giggling. She is one of this world’s “joy-bringers.” I feel VERY honored to call her not only a colleague, but also a dear friend!
Danele: Anita, I’m so glad that you are able to be with us today!
Anita: Thanks for having me back! It is starting to feel like home here!
Danele: Good! That makes me happy! I know that my readers are eager to learn more about you. Can you tell us about a time when you felt God’s peace?
Anita: That’s an interesting question. My life has been a constant pattern of worry, anxiety, and some difficulty followed by God reminding me that He is in control. And then I am fine for a time till I discover something else to add to my ‘Worry Box.’
Danele: Oh, Anita! You sound just like me. I constantly battle against worry. What do you think is the solution to our problem?
Anita: Sometimes joy and peace seem fleeting, but ultimately I think God is always telling me that I am possessed of TRUE joy and peace, and that I can’t rely on my fickle emotions as indicators of my true situation.
Danele: Wow!! That’s so true. Emotions are TREMENDOUSLY fickle! Something I keep hearing God whisper during my prayer time is that I’m not to allow the peace I feel in my heart to be stolen by the worry I feel in my brain. I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that peace is never gained just by wishing for it—it’s always gained through spiritual warfare. I suppose that’s why Paul instructs us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to take EVERY thought captive and to make it obedient to Christ. He also tells us to seek peace and actively pursue it. When I let my thoughts get out of control—that’s when my life spirals into worry.
Anita: That’s true.
Danele: I just love 2 Corinthians 10:5. Is there a Bible verse that you really love?
Anita: My favorite Bible verse changes all the time. Right now I am working through Romans. After Paul gives the bad news in Romans 3:23 that we all stink (for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God) he gives the best news in the next verse (and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.) I know I am incapable of obeying God, but I know that Christ did it for me and I am hidden in Him. His obedience and His victory are mine. What a relief!
Danele: I love the fact that God did all the hard work for us. We can never make ourselves “good enough” to earn salvation. We just need to accept God’s free gift. I love how God not only gives us salvation, but how He helps us with all of our heartaches too. Has God helped you overcome heartache?
Anita: Can I share a little anecdote here? After my dad died, I thought I was coping. Then I ran across his sweater at the bottom of my laundry hamper in the basement. I sat down on the floor, clutching it and sobbing.
Danele: Oh, Anita! I’m so sorry for your loss! What ended up happening?
Anita: At the top of the stairs my Westie, Polly, heard me crying. Now Polly was a little, elderly, purebred West Highland White Terrier. She had very short legs in proportion to her body, and getting down the steps involved a complicated process of wriggling and angling and calculating on each step. But when she heard me cry, she tumbled down those steps like a snowball rolling downhill so she could console me. God used a little scruffy white dog to comfort me that day. I will never forget her sacrificial love.
Danele: That’s so beautiful. God is so awesome. I love how He comforts us in so many ways. He also gives us joy. Can you share a time when God answered one of your prayers?
Anita: Well, on a recent Saturday, my husband and I prayed specifically for our church. Now understand, we often pray in generalities—maybe to make it easy for God to answer (Because, you know, He needs me to smooth the road for Him.)
Danele: Oh, Anita, you crack me up. I have to confess that I think that way too at times. But I’m interrupting you—tell us what happened.
Anita: Well, this time, in addition to asking for God to be glorified, our pastor be blessed in his preaching, and for us to be blessed in the hearing—we prayed that there would be sweet fellowship and obvious delight in the Word.
Danele: What a beautiful prayer.
Anita: Yes, but then we didn’t think about it anymore, and we headed to church the next day feeling out of sorts and a little sickish and a lot cranky-ish. We didn’t even want to GO to church that day.
Danele: Oh, you just made me laugh. I’ve felt that way myself at times. But I take it that God answered your prayer in spite of your mood?
Anita: He sure did. We sat in tears through a worship service filled with beauty and grace. We experienced the warmth of Christian fellowship during snack time. And we got to be part of a lively, inspiring and stimulating adult Sunday School. We headed home different people. God had answered our prayers in such an obvious way. We were walking on air!
Danele: I love how God blesses us in so many ways. Sometimes, though, life is incredibly hard. What would you like to tell people who are going through a difficult time?
Anita: I hope I would be like Job’s friends—before they opened their mouths. For days, they just sat with him in silence. Then, I hope I would let THEM talk. And finally, I would hope that in God’s timing, and in God’s wisdom, I could point them to the One who suffered, who understands their hurts, who can redeem the hurt and can comfort like no other.
Danele: That’s so beautiful. Sometimes people need someone to sit beside them in silent sympathy and acknowledge their pain. Life hurts. Life is confusing. Sometimes things just don’t make sense. When I was ill, my father told me that “life isn’t fair, but God is still good.” When I was in pain, I would murmur that phrase over and over. Sometimes people don’t need advice shoved down their throat, they just need a comforting touch and the reassurance that God is still in control even when the world seems upside down.
Anita: Yes, that’s true.
Danele: Now, Anita, I know you have some exciting news. I’d love for you to share it with us!
Anita: I have a new book out! It was published this past Friday. Are you good at timing, or what?
Danele: That is good timing! And what wonderful news! I really enjoyed your first book, Winter Watch. I can’t WAIT to read another book by you. Your writing is so much fun! Can you tell us some more about your new release and give us a link where we can find it?
Anita: Sure! My new book, Hounded, is the first in a series of Prism Book Group novellas called Love Is. The Love Is books are based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Hounded explores how love is patient, because Elise, the heroine, requires great amounts of patience. She’s just buried her second husband, the police seem very interested in the circumstances surrounding his death, and she and her dogs seem suddenly and unusually accident-prone. Or is there a more sinister explanation for the mishaps? Ultimately, though, the book isn’t about Elise’s need for patience, or how patient Russ—a pastor-friend—is with her. It is about God’s persistent patience in pursuing a rebel He loves. And Elise is definitely running from God. http://www.amazon.com/Hounded-Anita-Klumpers-ebook/dp/B01ACFCNFC
Danele: Hounded sounds like a wonderful book, Anita! I can’t wait to read it! Thank you so much for being on my blog today. It is always such a pleasure to talk with you!
Anita: You are the best friend a writer can have. Thank you for being such a generous sweetheart!
Friends, I don’t think you could ever hope to meet a nicer person than Anita Klumpers. She is simply terrific. If you’d like to learn more about her or her books, Winter Watch and Hounded, please follow the link below. I hope you have a wonderful day!