I don’t do “fluff”. I’m not a girly girl. By fluff I mean cutesy stuff, too frilly things, and a lot of silliness. That’s not to say I’m not feminine—if you saw the cool boots I got for Christmas at my specific request, you’d know I’m all female!
So when it comes to spiritual things: I DON’T DO FLUFF. Women’s retreats are a refuge for many, healing for some, purely necessary for R & R for others, and good ones offer a fountain of godly teaching and prayer. It’s the silly stuff that drives me nuts.
Being a Christian is serious business to me. The absolute fun of it lies in watching how God answers prayer, how He works out impossible situations in people’s lives, how He heals, how He initiates contact with the lost, how He speaks to us as individuals as well as corporately in the small things and the huge things, and how He gives us power through His Spirit. I love that He is my best friend, that I can talk to Him about anything without His condemnation, that He forgives me for my sins—where would I be without Him?
Don’t misunderstand either. I love to laugh. Till my stomach hurts and my nose snorts as the tears pour out of my eyes. Laughing is wonderful. Therapeutic even. The value of a good laugh, or even some authentic short giggles is worth all the time it takes to happen. (Proverbs 15:13)
All that to say this: phony, nicey-nice, shallow, syrupy “Christianity” doesn’t get it for me. God is way too immense to waste time skimming the surface of salvation. If you want to go deep, you will be filled up and refilled and refueled and reimbursed for all the time it takes to invest in our Savior. He takes the time you need to minister to you, but be prepared for what He has to give because He doesn’t mince words if you’re just goofing around. He wants followers not fakers.
Now the odd thing about all this . . . is I write romance novels. Most everyone thinks romance novels are fluff, especially our male counterparts. However, almost no one thinks falling in love and the relationships that ensue are fluff. Love is also serious business. And the various ways we pollute godly love and fail to have it defined for us so that it even seems real or attainable or, for that matter, valuable are innumerable. The contrast between the worldview of love and God’s beautiful desire for a man and a woman to experience are astronomically far apart and certifiably stark. That is what I write about: the contrast. In hopes that those who’ve never experienced divine love can find a foundation to build upon and for those who’ve tried the worldview’s way and come up broken, lacking, and discouraged . . . in hopes that writing stories about all kinds of characters from both sides of the experience can resound with readers and produce a remedy, a desire, a hope that there really can be something worth working toward, worth pursuing, worth all the effort it takes to make a relationship unique, once they understand God’s perspective.
I have been on both sides. I will always be striving to perfect relationship. I am inadequate without the Spirit of God making the way for me. As are all of us. But I have learned so much from my failures, and from the loving hand of my Father who has not condemned me but instead has continued to teach me and mold me and has allowed me to write fiction to demonstrate the way He loves, to make those contrasts and comparisons in the lives of made up people to comprise those who have been hurt, who have been disobedient, and those who have no clue what love was intended to be.
If you’re a fan of romance, you’ll love my novels. C’mon. I know you will. Granted, most of them are long, meandering like the pace of life, filled with characters who wander in and out of the lives within its pages, spiritual conflicts, sinners and saints, some hardcore (not graphic) situations, pain, laughter, and absolutely beautiful romance.
But, keep in mind: I don’t do fluff.
Father, thank you for the privilege of writing. Thank you for the love, kindness, forgiveness, and patience you have shown me. Thank you for the characters you’ve given me, the stories you’ve created, the theme that rings throughout them all. Your love and how you designed it to be for your people is so far beyond what the world has to offer—if only people knew! So, thank you for revealing that godly love to me after all my failures and allowing me to share it in novel form. I ask that somehow you would increase the audience for these books you’ve given me to write. Your will, not mine be done, O Lord. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.