Today, I launch my author spotlight posts with Leigh Ann Thomas, whose book, Smack Dab in the Midlife Zone, launched June 6. Don't forget to comment on this blog for a chance to win a copy of the book.
Welcome, Leigh Ann! Let’s start with a description of the book.
The infamous middle years:
- Children move through school, fly the coop, and return home bringing more children
- “Natural” highlights are—in reality—gray hairs
- Clothes-shopping in Juniors brings guilt and undergarments get sturdier
- Children need us less, parents need us more
- Questions abound: Who is that woman in the mirror? What is my purpose? Where do I fit in? What now, Lord?
Over 40? No problem. With joy and transparency, Smack-Dab in the Midlife Zone uses scripture, prayer, and the power of story to show women in midlife how being smack-dab in the middle of God’s plans and purposes is the best place to be. With the Lord’s guidance, this packed-with-transition life season can be infused with growth, discovery, and edge-of-your-seat adventure!
Sounds great! So what incident in your life spurred you into writing this book?
I emerged from my thought-it-would-last-forever mom-fog and noticed my girls were nearly grown. My babies now approached high school, college, and this thing called marriage. I felt the ground shifting beneath my feet and panic ensued. As I fought the inevitable changes, my thought-life became a chaotic mess. Lord, wait. Where do I fit in? What happens now?
With grace-filled patience and tenderness, God taught me that in spite of what my senses were telling me, this was a beautiful, magnificent beginning. I needed to lay my angst at His feet and to simply trust Him.
I love your dedication to your grandmother. What impact did she have on your writing? How do you think your life in “mid-life” differs from hers?
My sweet Granny impacted my writing through her powerful influence on my faith. In addition to my parents, she and my Gramps modeled lives of genuine, sacrificial devotion to God, family, and others. I have treasured memories of snuggling next to her as she studied her Bible and of walking with her to church—my hand in hers—and chatting about anything and everything. When my family moved several states away from my grandparents, I do remember that Granny and I exchanged handwritten letters. She saved (under a clear coat of varnish) one I wrote as a nine-year-old, and I have the letter in my office today.
As far as midlife, I don’t remember Granny worrying about her appearance, changing roles, or where she fit in (of course, I may have been too young to pick up on those things). I just remember her laughter and her warmth. She exuded life and joy.
In what way does your faith encourage your writing?
I want my work to be an overflow from my relationship with Jesus Christ. Because of this, I don’t see my faith so much as an influence as an integral part of fulfilling my goals and purpose.
Why would Smack-Dab in the Midlife Zone make the perfect summer reading book?
Ah, these balmy days are the perfect time to immerse our souls in nature and to discover beautiful places of solitude—a woodland trail, the front porch, a shell-dotted beach, a secluded park bench—to still and quiet our inner selves, and to seek God’s heart. Smack-Dab in the Midlife Zone encourages women to reach for everything a life with Christ offers: depth of purpose, vision, and confidence.
This life-season involves myriad change, but our God doesn’t change, and He calls us to take the next steps in this faith adventure. There is no age exclusion on vibrant, passionate living, and when we lay our midlife fears and uncertainties at His feet, He will guide us to walk in joy and to glorify Him in our moments.
What’s your next book?
I’m praying over several scribble-filled notebooks and listening for the Lord’s gentle whispers of direction. Each potential manuscript is a way to encourage women in Christ—to inspire lives of vision and passion. The process is such an adventure!
Where can readers find you online?
Amazon author page: https://amzn.to/2rNxrrB
And where can we buy the book?
Elk Lake Publishing Inc. https://www.elklakepublishinginc.com/leigh-ann-thomas/
Barnes and Noble https://bit.ly/2wPeFoz
Leigh Ann Thomas is passionate about encouraging women to seek God’s best. She has penned four books and is a contributing author in 12 compilations. A staff writer for the parenting sites, InTheQuiver.com and Just18Summers.com, Leigh Ann has also contributed to Southern Writers Magazine, Power for Living, Charisma Magazine, and others.
She is married to her best friend, Roy, and they are thankful for the gifts of three daughters, two sons-in-law, three amazing grandsons and a grand-princess.