Anita Klumpers & Winter Watch

anita's picture

Dear Friends,

Today, I’m happy to welcome Anita Klumpers back to my blog. Anita is a wonderful person and a precious friend.  I conducted my first interview with her on September 28, 2015, and I’m delighted to have her back for an encore.

Danele: Anita, I’m glad to have the chance to talk with you again!

Anita: I know! Me too! One of these days I’d love to show up on your doorstep and talk face to face. I’ll make sure to leave my perfume home.

Danele: Oh, you just made me laugh! I would love to see you in person! Well, let’s jump right into things. The last time we talked, you shared so beautifully how God helped you through difficult situations. This time, can you describe how God reveals Himself to you?

Anita: Hmmmm. I believe God reveals Himself every time I read His Word. I’m just so dull of sense that I don’t usually catch it. But once, when I was praying fervently over a really horrible situation that didn’t have an apparent solution, I begged God, “Just so you are glorified, Lord!” And I could almost hear Him say, “I will be glorified.”

Danele: Wow! That’s so cool! I love how God speaks to us. I’ve had people ask me how I hear the Lord, and I always tell them that it’s just like He drops a small sentence in my head that keeps echoing.  When I focus on it, I feel a deep peace enveloping my soul. I really crave that peace. I don’t think I could live without it. I’ve gotten into the habit of curling up in a big, brown chair, sitting there quietly, and letting God’s presence surround me.  Is there a certain place where you feel the presence of God the most?

Anita: Well, I cry the most during sermons, when my pastor once again explains just how amazing grace really is. And I cry when I really set aside time to pray (which isn’t nearly often enough). I guess I cry because I am sitting still and letting myself feed on His presence.

Danele: That’s the way it is for me too.  There’s nothing like the presence of God.  It has a way of washing away all of my fears and heartache. Sometimes when I have a problem that doesn’t seem to have a solution, I will sit in my big, brown chair and read Psalms 27:14: “Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and He will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes wait and He will help you.” Waiting seems silly sometimes, but I’ve found that it can be incredibly powerful.  Is there a special verse that speaks to you?

Anita: My favorite verse will vary depending on my age, the situations I am in, and what I need to hold on to. The world seems like such a mess right now. I would despair because it looks so dark, but I keep coming back to the verse in I Samuel 12:16 that says, “Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes.” God has never relinquished control, especially not with me. He will do a great thing.

Danele: That’s so true—and I love the part of your verse that says stand still. For me, standing still is MUCH harder than acting.  I’m the type of person who likes to make lists and tackle problems with a 3-step plan for guaranteed success. Waiting on God’s timing is incredibly hard. But when I do, I’ve found that it releases such power! God can do awesome things when I step out of His way and let Him! Now, Anita, here’s a fun question for you, what’s the first thing you want to do when you get to heaven?

Anita: I think I will be so overwhelmed to finally understand the reality of God’s love, and Christ’s sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit’s comfort, that I’ll want to cast my crown at the feet of the Triune God. I don’t say that because I am so pious now—the earthly me will want to dash around finding my folks and my dogs, Troubles and Polly. But those scales will be off my eyes when I get to heaven, and I’ll realize that I love my Redeemer even more than my parents and dogs.

Danele: I think that’s so true. I think when we get to heaven we’ll be so overwhelmed by God’s awesome presence that all we’ll be able to do for a while is just worship Him. In Revelation chapter 4, there’s description God on His throne and the saints falling down in worship. I can’t begin to imagine what it’s going to be like to actually see God. I know that every beautiful thing I’ve ever known will seem ugly in comparison. I also know that heaven is going to be a place of overwhelming joy and laughter. I think that we can’t even begin to realize how happy we are going to be on that wonderful day! Now, before I let you go, is there anything else that God is speaking to your heart that you would like to share?

Anita: Yes, I want people to know that if you are God’s child, NOTHING will separate you from His love. Not even your own sin. He will, however, help you to hate the sin so much you’ll want to fight it with every fiber of your being. God will love you forever, and He will be glorified, and those two truths are inextricably linked.

Danele: That’s so true! I love the fact that we can never run so far away that God can’t find us.  When I became ill, I got SO angry at God that I tried to push Him out of my life. I’m so glad that God loves us enough to never forsake us. When I decided to come back to God, I was afraid He would be angry at the way I had pushed Him away, but He was waiting for me with open arms. God is so wonderful! I’ll never get over just how much He loves us!

Anita: What a great testimony you have. Your honesty about your struggles is going to bless so many people. I love your last line, because we have the promise that we never have to get over that love of God. We’ll have the opportunity to appreciate it forever.

Danele: Wow! Isn’t that an AWESOME thought? We’re going to be with God forever! Anita, I really love talking with you. Thank you so much for being with us again.

Anita: I was glad to be here again, and I appreciate your grace with a chatterbox! 

 

winter watch

Friends, Anita Klumpers is such a delight! Her book, Winter Watch, can be purchased through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Here’s the back cover blurb: “What’s worse than being stranded in a small town in northern Wisconsin? Being stranded during the worst winter in recent memory.  Claudia Alexander’s problems are piling up faster than the snow on Lake Superior’s shore.  Her noble mission to find the owner of an old pocket watch is complicated by incessant snowstorms, a mysterious vandal, and the appearance of an old flame. The local dogcatcher, a blind street preacher, and an arthritic bloodhound come to Claudia’s aid.  A promising romance warms up even as the temperatures drop.  But something evil is at work in Barley.  As another blizzard approaches, so does a killer.  Claudia must choose between her mission and saving the lives of the people she has come to love. Even if it means losing her own.”

Before I knew Anita, I was told by a friend that I had to read Winter Watch. I was told that it was one of the best examples of how an author could bring characters to life. I read the book and found that it was absolutely true! Anita’s characters don’t just live and breathe, they jump right off the page and shake your hand. By the time I finished Winter Watch, I not only knew the main characters, I was extremely acquainted with the minor ones as well. The whole town of Barley came to life for me, and I wanted nothing more than to book a room at the local bed & breakfast and stay a while. The way Anita brings her characters to life is simply amazing! I can’t wait to read her new book, The Shade of His Hand, which is going to be released in February of 2016.

If you would like to get more acquainted with Anita, 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

Winter Watch:  http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Watch-Anita-Klumpers/dp/1940099463

 

 

Advertisements

Brushing Fire: Soul Poetry–Book Review

Brushing fire

Dear Friends,

Today I want to share one of my favorite books of Christian poetry with you.  Brushing Fire: Soul Poetry was written by Anna Marie Kittrell, and it’s available for purchase through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Oh, friends, I dearly love this book! Some of the poems are deeply moving, and others are extremely funny. All of them are thought-provoking. When I first started reading Anna’s poems, I decided to color my favorite lines yellow and put colored tabs by the poems I enjoyed. By the time I finished the book, I had gone through TWO colored pencils and TWO huge stacks of sticky tabs. You should see my book now—it’s a riot of colored tabs and highlighted lines. Some of the poems are so good that I’ve started memorizing them. Reading this book one time through hasn’t been nearly good enough, some of the poems I’ve read over and over—savoring them—thinking about them—rolling them around in my mind. I’m excited to report that I’ve received permission from Anna Kittrell to give you a few excerpts of her writing. Without further ado, here’s an exclusive sneak peak at what you will find in Brushing Fire!

Fearless (Brushing Fire, Anna Kittrell, page 97)

Fear is smoke and mirrors; Illusion at its best; An overestimated trick; Designed to cause unrest. Though fear seeks to harm me; It will not steal my peace; When outwardly I tremble; My soul will rest at ease. I may shake for a moment; I may break down and cry; But fear is temporary; My tears will soon be dry. The peace I’ve found in Jesus; Is not the worldly kind; Transcending understanding; It guards my heart and mind.

Live and Learn (Brushing Fire, Anna Kittrell, page 73)

Call me names, I’ll shed a tear; You’ll laugh and tell a friend; I’ll learn how sharp a tongue can be; As my hurt feelings mend. Our differences are many; I’m sure you will agree; I will extract compassion; From the pain you’ve given me. I will not change my ways for you; God loves me, flaws and all; And if I see you stumble; I will try and break your fall. I thank you for the chance to feel; How deeply words can burn; I’ll be a better comforter; To someone in return.

Lost (Brushing Fire, Anna Kittrell, page 16)

. . .Let me be lost; From myself without care; Apart from this costume; Of flesh that I wear. Lost like a raindrop; Blown free by the wind; A drink for dry land; To go where you send. Help me get lost; From this world that I’m in; To be pleaser of God; Not a pleaser of men. Lost in a crowd; With my mind upon You; To lose myself, Lord; Is the least I can do.

Sweet Dreams (Brushing Fire, Anna Kittrell, page 64)

When much needed sleep eludes you; As you rest your weary head; In place of counting sheep tonight; Count blessings found instead.  Remember all the miracles; When God supplied your grace; You’ll soon be dreaming peacefully; A smile upon your face.  Meditate upon His Word; He’ll plant it in your heart; And then whenever darkness comes; Your faith won’t fall apart.  So when daylight turns to nightfall; And you find it hard to sleep; Don’t forget to count your blessings; God will keep track of the sheep.

Friends, I could recite poem after poem for you! They’re all terrific, and choosing just a few to post has been extremely difficult. Anna’s writing has struck a chord with me, and Brushing Fire is a book that I will treasure for years to come! If you’re interested in learning more about Anna Kittrell, Brushing Fire, or any of Anna’s other books, please feel free to follow the links I have provided. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Anna Kittrell’s Amazon Author Page/Books http://alturl.com/bchbw

Anna Kittrell’s Books on Barnes and Noble http://alturl.com/f4qb8

Anna Kittrell’s Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AKittrell

Anna Kittrell’s Prism ‘Shine’ Inventory http://prismbookgroup.com/shine.html

Anna Kittrell’s Email: kittrellbooks@gmail.com