An Honest Conversation with Lauren H. Brandenburg
The wonderful Lauren H. Brandenburg wrote a beautifully honest and vulnerable post called Finding My Magic which I so loved reading so I’m really pleased to be able to share an honest conversation with her. I so love the opportunity to get to know people through conversation even when they live the other side of the world! I hope you enjoy reading Lauren’s answers as much I did.
Tell me about you!
I’m short – definitely below the average height for a forty-three-year-old mom. I’ve always dreamed of being a professor at a university (I really don’t know why this keeps popping up in my mind), but for now I am perfectly content being a wife and mother to a seventeen-year-old girl and fourteen-year-old boy. I really do love being a mom and spent ten years homeschooling my kiddos and teaching creative writing in our homeschool community just south of Nashville, TN! And chocolate. Every day. All the time. And… I read a lot. And I write. And I do really love Jesus – probably should have put that first as it kind of makes all the rest of it work.
Why do you write?
The Bible tells us in Philippians to dwell on that which is lovely. I just don’t think there are enough lovely places for grown-ups to dwell. So, I wanted to create that place in my writing – a place of loveliness, adventure, curiosity, and peace. A place just as whimsical as any children’s story but with the truths of adult reality woven throughout.
I love that! What is one thing you love about parenthood?
Just one thing??? I love so much about being a mom! To be super spiritual for a moment, I sometimes feel that parenting gives me a unique glimpse of the Father – how he sees his children, how he provides for us, how he watches us make mistakes but wants us to grow from them, and how he lets us go to make decisions but is right there with us ready to help us along when we ask. And… I love watching my children grow and change as they begin to morph into grown-ups. It’s fascinating and beautiful – I am so truly thankful to have been given this blessing.
What is one thing you find difficult about parenthood?
Stepping back. I want to know everything! And I have a tendency to ask my kiddos a lot of questions. They’ve promised to tell me if anything is wrong, if something is bothering them, or if they need me. Most likely I will continue to ask but only every once in a while… (I really was asking a lot). Either way, I’m going to do a lot more listening and a lot less asking.
What does faith mean to you?
Faith is my belief in the promises of God – his peace that passes all understanding, his unconditional presence in my days, his love and his forgiveness, his salvation through Jesus Christ, and his truths laid out in the Bible that serve as a guide for how best to live my life.
What are you most passionate about?
This is an easy one. My marriage. I believe in marriage and am so thankful that after twenty years I can still call Jamie Brandenburg mine. And I’m absolutely passionate about us being together for another eighty more. We agree that the key to a strong marriage is not being selfish. So, I’m willing to sacrifice some of my selfhood every once in a while – for instance, it’s so hard to admit when I’m wrong. But, I’m working on it… for us.
What is something you love about you? What a fun question! I’ve recently learned to love the person I was created to be after years of longing (and sometimes finding myself pretending) to be someone else. It’s the side of me that’s a bit quirky, prefers hot cocoa in the mornings to coffee, and delights in Roald Dahl and movies like Paddington. It’s the side that helped me to find my voice as an author. I love my whimsical nature and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What in your life is bringing you joy right now?
This season of my life is definitely bringing me joy – going to my son’s cross country meets, my daughter’s volleyball games, and hanging out with the other school mom’s in my Bible study. I love all the time we have together as a family, knowing that in a few short years my girlie will be heading off to college – but there is even joy watching her in this season preparing for her next. And even though the world may seem a bit upside down right now, my home is right-side up. That is joy.
What makes you feel the most nervous?
Being around new people! It’s really hard for me at first and I feel like I become a bumbling mess until I settle into the scene. And if it’s the tiniest bit noisy, I can’t hear what people are saying! Then I’m standing there nodding like I can hear what they are saying and smiling awkwardly. Just the thought is making me anxious!
When did you last cry?
About a month ago I learned I had won the American Christian Fiction Writer’s award for Contemporary Fiction. I was not expecting to win at all! But when I think about it, there is so much thankfulness and unbelief that I just start up all over again. (And here I go again…)
What one thing do you wish people would talk about more?
Victories, happiness, lovely thoughts, dreams, wishes… Anything other than politics and views on how the government should, should have, shouldn’t have handled the situation. So much division, so much frustration, but I think we could all find a common place if we would take a moment every now and then and talk about the things that make us happy.
P.S. Lauren’s new book The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson is out TODAY! Get yourself a copy – I received an early one and loved it!