Sunday, June 12, 2011

with Teena Stewart

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Teena!
We'd love to get to know you some. Tell us about your family.

I have three grown children. The eldest, Rachel, lives in Centennial Co along with her husband and our two grandchildren. Gaby and Jordan live in the San Francisco Bay Area. My husband, Jeff, is an ordained ministry and we presently manage a market-place ministry—Java Journey Coffee Shop—in Hickory, North Carolina. I work full-time at Safe Harbor Rescue Mission and have recently moved from being their office manager and volunteer coordinator to being manager of their new ReSource Warehouse and Gallery which is a creative reuse arts and crafts related business which reuses items that would typically go into a landfill while providing job skills for the women and income for the ministry.

Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing.
When I was growing up I would write fiction stories and poetry. I always did well in school with creative writing. I think I became more serious after my Dad died and I inherited a small amount of money. I took a course from the Children’s Writing Institute (not sure that’s the correct title). After graduating the program I submitted a non-fiction story to our denomination’s women’s publication. The story was based on an experience in Appalachia Virginia while we were on internship. They printed it and I was bitten.

What prompted you to write this book?
At the time this book was conceived I was on staff at Northgate Christian Fellowship Church in the San Francisco Bay area. I saw the needs of the hurting and broken as they came in or called in and how they were handled. I also helped organize a special event where we coordinated multiple opportunities for our church members to get involved in area charities and service projects. I learned volumes.

People often want to help the needy or local charities but do not know who to help, or how to go about it in a healthy way. Individuals might give money to someone in need in order to cleanse their conscience but without thought to whether it will truly help them or not. I am a natural encourager and equipper and I wanted to share my knowledge regarding how individuals and churches could have a positive impact on helping hurting people.

Was there anything you discovered or learned while working on this book that surprised you?
I learned a lot from conducting the interviews about creative ways people were helping people, the value of establishing healthy boundaries and how important it is to give back.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I work full time, help manage our startup coffee shop ministry, plus am an artist on the side. My writing time has to be pretty structured. So, I get up an hour early in the morning and writer for an hour and a half (on a good day). When I come home, if I have energy, I may work on editing or other writing-related matters, but usually I try to leave the morning hours for the creative process because that’s when I have the most energy and drive for it.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Because I am an artist, I tend to rescue things that might end up in the trash. I often incorporate it into my work or fix it up. I love turning trash into treasure. I guess the weirdest thing I have had a hand in making lately would be picking up a wooden crate looking thing at Goodwill for $6.00 and then after my husband researched it we learned it was a chicken coop. We put legs on it and glass and now have it for a coffee table.

What would a perfect day for you look like?
Hanging out at beach house at Ocean Isle Beach, doing some sketching or writing or nothing at all, and, of course, frequenting its local thrift stores and craft galleries.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading.
Fiction, especially historical romances with an element of mystery. Favorite books include Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Dickens, Patricia Wynn’s Blue Satan series…

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
It has to be chocolate or have some chocolate in it. I like the kind of trail mix with cashews and m & m’s

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
I am working to launch this new creative venture for Safe Harbor Rescue Mission. It means working with a lot of different personalities. Trying to work through differences in perception, personalities, and management styles is stretching me.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father

We are a precious and valuable treasure to God who wants to bring us to our fullest potential through a deep, personal relationship with his son, Jesus Christ. Many women, even outwardly self-assured ones, wrestle with feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. Though we want to believe we have value, we are daily bombarded with messages that tell us that if we don’t look a certain way, dress a certain way, drive a certain car, weigh a certain weight, work in the right career…we are not worth very much.

God’s message of love—rich, and deep—is twofold. It depicts us, His children, as something lost yet very valuable. It also shows us a relationship with Jesus, our loving Father’s only son, as a great treasure to be had. The Treasure Seeker is a book of discovery—a sort of treasure hunt—that helps us recognize these truths. The Treasure Seeker is filled with intriguing treasure stories, scripture and illustrations to help readers grow and mature in their relationship with Christ.

Purchase at CBD

Purchase Benevolence: Ministry to the Poor and Needy at CBD.

Teena is giving away a copy of Benevolence. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Meredith said...

I love that cover. I know it's simple, but it's very nice!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

ann said...

LOL I to like to turn trash into treasurable
things. This would be a book I would read and pass on to my sister-in-law.

Anonymous said...

Good interview!
I'd like to win
this book.

Charlotte Kay said...

Great interview!
Thanks for considering me for the giveaway!
I'm grateful!

Charlotte Kay
charlovesmark at gmail dot com

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