I met Michelle Lazurek at the West Branch Christian Writer’s Conference a few years back and her seminar on character development was so fun! Recently, I was a beta reader for her new book, An Invitation to the Table, and now she has two wonderful new children’s books coming out about being beautiful and strong. She is certainly a disciple for Christ and I am honored to know her and learn from her.
Here are a few questions (perfect for the “Q” of our A to Z Challenge!) she answered for me so you can get to know her a bit better too! Be sure to check out all her books on her website (link below!) PLUS, if you’re in my neck of the woods, be sure to come check out Michelle and her books at our Book Fest tomorrow!
Michelle, tell me a little about yourself.
I am a writer, speaker, pastor’s wife and mother. I’ve been in ministry for over fifteen years. I’m married to my wonderful husband Joe for fifteen years and have two children, Caleb and Leah.
How did you become a writer?
I’ve often said that I didn’t choose writing; writing chose me. In 2009, while attending a women’s retreat, I felt God impress upon my heart to write a book. I had never written anything before in my life. I was terrified! I prayed and asked God what he wanted me to write about, and I began to notice in the gospel of John how many times John referred to himself as “the disciple ‘Whom Jesus loved.'” As I researched, I found no one had written anything about that topic. That’s when my first book “Becoming the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved” was born. I’ve been writing ever since.
What kind of difficulties have you experienced as a pastor’s wife, and how did you handle those difficulties?
When you are in a position of power, there will always be people who try to take advantage of that power. It’s especially tough when you are in a place of spiritual power. The enemy will always seek to knock you own, using the same people who praise with you on a Sunday morning. Besides loneliness, that’s the hardest part about being a pastor’s wife- those within your congregation who don’t treat you with the same level of mutual respect because they believe things should be handled or organized differently.
You have two new children’s books that are being released in early October. Tell me what they are about.
When my daughter was four years old, she would spend hours parading in front of my husband, twirling around in her princess dresses and asking “Daddy, Am I Beautiful?” I realized in that moment that is the cry of every young girl’s heart—to be told by her father she is beautiful. My book explores the concept of self-esteem from a young girl’s perspective and teaches them that it is not what’s on the outside that makes you beautiful, but what’s on the inside. Mommy Am I Strong? is written for boys and explores the concept of their self-esteem. Boys want to be seen as strong and use their strength to prove their worth. This book teaches that true strength comes from the inside, not on the outside.
What lesson would you like young girls and boys take away from your children’s books?
Society is tough to raise Christian men and women in, especially for women. In this overly sexualized world, we tend to teach girls that their value in life comes from exploiting their bodies for others’ pleasure. I want girls to feel they are more than that. I want them to come away with the confidence that their worth does not come from their body type, but from God’s approval of them just as they are. With the increasing popularity of superheroes, boys are taught early that their worth comes from their strength. I want young boys to believe that even someone with a disability can be strong because of their ability to display humility and grace in the face of trials.
What are some upcoming projects?
I have a non-fiction book on hospitality titled An Invitation to the Table: Embracing the Gift of Hospitality that releases in spring of 2016.
Michelle S. Lazurek is a pastor’s wife, a mother, an author, and a speaker. A member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, she has been published in numerous places such as Charisma Magazine and Movieguide Magazine. Her newest book An Invitation to the Table explores hospitality and discipleship. For more information, Please visit her website at www.michellelazurek.com.