Oh, friends: you are in for a TREAT. It’s author week here on the ol’ blog – I’ve got SEVEN authors (or co-authors) for you over the next SEVEN days, with SEVEN opportunities for you to win copies of their books. I can’t wait to introduce you to these women and their projects, so be sure to pay us a visit everyday this week and get to know these phenomenal authors. Spread the word!
We’ve got Lee Wolfe Blum, author of Brave is the New Beautiful. She’s become a friend and a cheerleader to me, AND …wait for it, wait for it… I’M HONORED TO BE IN THIS BOOK! No joke. So, Lee, I’m so glad you’re here with us today! Tell us a bit about yourself, will you? Hi! I am Lee, a writer of books and a speaker of hope. I have realized on this journey of life, through my work as a Mental Health Practitioner in the field of eating disorders and addictions, this dichotomy: “Everyone wants to be perfect but no one wants to be around perfect.”
I spent most of my life trying to be the “perfect” person the world told me I should be, while destroying my body, mind and relationships in the process.
A deep depression and life-threatening eating disorder led me to dark nights of my soul. But only by God’s grace was I able to begin the brave journey to choose a different life. One where I ditch perfect for being brave, strong, and broken all at once. Where I strive to be the woman God designed me to be. Mess and all. I tell the beginning of this story in my first book, Table in the Darkness: A Healing Journey Through an Eating Disorder.
I thought I would only write one book. But, then I met all of you and I couldn’t not write.
But really, I just want you to know that when I write, I try and share what God is teaching me so that hopefully it will encourage and inspire you! My second book Brave Is The New Beautiful: Courage to be the Real You was born out of meeting you, you brave and beautiful women.
You are in these pages too.
Maybe you don’t feel like you are, but I hope you will see yourself there. Bravery isn’t how skinny you can be. Beauty isn’t how pretty you look. It’s so much deeper and so awesome to behold. In the moment it can feel like horrible fear. But you are not alone. We need each other. We need to cheer each other on.
So this is my mission, to encourage and inspire women to stop the comparison game and live our lives (together) without fear and shame as we each embrace who God calls us to be.
You are brave. You are Beautiful.
Let’s go live that out together.
Let’s talk about your book: what, in a nutshell, is your book about anyway? It is about the battles we all fight. I was tired of hearing people say that Christians don’t struggle with this or that. That Christian’s shouldn’t have those problems. I wanted to share two truths with the world:
- That everyone IS fighting a battle you don’t know about, even when you think they have it all together.
- When we finally accept our brains, baggage and bodies for what they are, and tell the truth about our stories, we encourage and inspire others. I want women to know they aren’t alone and that everyone has a different brave. We need each other. We need to stop the “comparison game” and begin to really be honest about our struggles (in community) and encourage and cheer each other on. All that being said, in a nutshell the book is about how brave we all are.
Do tell, what was the inspiration behind it? I kept seeing these brave women with really challenging situations continuing to step out in faith. And I was tired of people feeling like they had to hide their pain, wear a mask, put on a happy face, (self included). We live in this world where we compare our behind the scenes to people’s highlight reels and I wanted to help knock that off. I was so inspired by the faith and hope these women offered me with telling their stories, I want others to be encouraged and inspired too!
How do you hope readers will be changed by reading your words? I hope this book encourages readers to be brave enough to be who they really are and the beloved that God knows they are. To step out in that confidence of God’s adoration for them and choose bravery over fear. I hope it inspires women to be the unique person God calls them to be.
I don’t have to strive to be enough. Because of God’s great love, I am enough. And so are you, brave, beautiful woman. You are seen. You are known
Lest we forget to ask, how have YOU been changed by writing the book? I have been so challenged by this book because I know I can’t ask people to do what I am challenging them to do unless I do it too! I have struggled my entire life with really being the person I am called to be due to abusive messages I grew up with. I think I wrote the book as a letter to not only women everywhere, but to myself. I can’t ask others to be brave unless I step out in my own bravery. I can’t ask women to be the “real you” if I am not also doing this. So I am on this journey too. I hope others will join me.
Finally, a lot of my blog readers are also writers; since you just finished writing (and publishing!) a book, what encouragement or tips would you offer those who are just dipping their toes into the water, so to speak? Find your own “why”. Figure out “why” you write and stick to that. Then read everything possible on writing. It took me 8 years to get my first book contract. It is a discouraging process, but if you know your own “why” you will have something to hold on to. And what helped me the most was writing a TON all the time and reading ALL the time. I also think it is important to get in a writers group and community of writers for support. Writing for me has become a time with God, a special time together so I really cherish it now. But, early on it is simple…butt in chair.
I now help other writers with their writing for manuscript review. I do charge a small fee, but I did this with another author and it really helped shape my book. So feel free to reach out for more info!
Yup. It’s as good as it sounds. Head over to Lee’s website and cheer her on – otherwise, go straight to your favorite bookseller and pick up a copy of Brave is the New Beautiful. Otherwise, leave a comment telling us how your bravery makes you beautiful! Winner will be drawn on Wednesday, March 15th.
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