Michele Howe, author of numerous books including
Prayers to Nourish a Woman's Heart.
Prayers of Comfort and Strength,
Prayers for New and Expecting Moms
Prayers for Homeschool Moms, thank you for your
time and participation in this Book Spotlight interview. Please take a
few moments to tell our readers a bit about yourself and your family.
A. My husband and I are the parents of four
teenagers. We have three daughters and one son. Our family lives in
LaSalle, Michigan near the shores of Lake Erie. My husband, Jim, is a
public high school teacher and we have homeschooled all our children
through the eighth grade when they begin traveling with their dad to
school each day. He has been both their mathematics instructor and their
track coach...so dad wears several hats...just as I have during our
homeschooling years as mom and teacher.
Q: You are a prolific writer. How does a busy,
homeschooling mom of four make time to write?
A. When our children were smaller, the only time I
had to write was early in the morning immediately after my husband left
for work. During those physically demanding early parenting years, I had a
goal to write for thirty minutes per day...it is amazing how much can be
accomplished during that slim time spot. As our children grew and became
more independent academically, I was able to slip in another late
afternoon slot of maybe an hour to write after school was completed and
before dinner preps. Now, with one college-age daughter, two high
schoolers, and one junior high age son, my life is just as busy...if not
more so, but it is also more flexible. I've always looked for holes in my
day and took full advantage of them to either read or write.
Q: Your recent books emphasize the nurturing
comfort provided by prayer. For those who have not yet read your books,
please describe the format you use in the books. Where do the stories you
share come from?
A. All four of these books of prayer contain the
same format, yet they target women in different places of life or in
differing situations. Each book contains 52 stories of real women facing
real challenges. These short narratives are followed by a Scripture verse,
then by an honest, transparent prayer, and a short quote. Almost all of my
stories are based on women I know, in the few instances that I don't
personally enjoy a friendship with a particular woman whose story I am
telling, I learned of these remarkable ladies through word of mouth. I
feel strongly that women learn through the experiences of other
women....and a camaraderie is developed when women share honestly. What
better place to find comfort then at the feet of Christ through prayer?
Q: Most moms I know honestly want to include
prayer and devotion as a part of their day, but feel they fall short in
this area. How can we, as wives and mothers with so many demands on our
times, make time to pray?
A. I recently heard a phrase that made a huge impact
on me. Women of faith should view their prayer time as a "crusade" for the
well-being of those within their sphere of influence and without. This hit
me....I wondered, if I took prayer seriously enough, then I could envision
myself as a participant in a military campaign of sorts....interceding for
the souls of individuals throughout our world. I think that before we can
discipline ourselves to commit to daily prayer breaks, we need to ask God
to give us the vision and the burden for it. Without God's grace and His
love for the lost, we'll experience far too many starts and stops. As in
every area of life, women make time for that which is important to them. I
have to ask myself every morning, what matters most to me? Checking off my
to-do list or settling in with God and His word and making myself quiet
before His throne?
Q: What message do you hope to send with your
A. My desire is that women find hope and help and
sustaining vision for their lives as they enter into a holy place with the
Lord. I pray that every woman is equipped to not only survive her
challenges...but thrive in the midst of them. There is hope with God...He
promises to make a way where there is no way. He promises strength, and
grace, and the courage to face life and death...and every possible
scenario in between. Would that every one of us believe these promises and
set them in the forefront of our mind's eye every day.
Q: For women looking to establish or strengthen
their daily prayer ritual, how would you suggest your books be used as a
compliment to other prayer and devotional resources?
A. I would suggest finding a good, "read through the
Bible in a year", study Bible and use it daily. Then, read one story
selection per week, re-visiting the Scripture verse and the prayer every
day for the remainder of that week. In this way, the truth of God's
promises is solidified and cemented into our minds....and by rereading the
prayers....our focus for the week is consistent on developing a specific
Q: What do you do when you find yourself in a
prayer "dry spell"?
A. I read from the classics. I look through my
library and find others who are heartfelt pray-ers...and I let them speak
for me....I find that reading the prayers of others such as; Richard
Foster, Oswald Chambers, C.S. Lewis, John MacArthur, and Elizabeth
Elliot....invigorate me to keep on persisting through any dry periods.
Q: All moms need love and support, but especially
new moms or "moms to be"! What advice would you give to those
anticipating the joy of motherhood or those with new infants?
A. Spend time looking up and then meditating upon
those verses that speak of mothering and childrearing....and by daily
asking God for the "mind of Christ" for every situation. Let faith, not
fear, rule in the heart!
Q: Michele Howe, thank you again for sharing your
time and the gift of your writing. Are there any closing thoughts you'd
like to share with our readers?
A. Thank you for allowing me to share my heart for
women with your readers. I am so grateful to have the privilege of
telling the experiences of courageous women from across our country, one
story at a time, one prayer at a time.
For more information on Michele Howe’s books visit
CatholicMom.com Book Club
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