Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sharon Hinck Blog Tour

I had the privilege to read "The Secret Life of Becky Miller" a while back and wrote my thoughts here. It hit me at a weird time where I couldn't help but think "this woman is supposed to be a caricature and I'm worse than she is." So anyway, what I got out of it was more spiritual than, say, what most people got out: laughs.

Anyway, I asked author Sharon Hinck some silly questions about Becky that I don't think she'll mind that I share and there are a few at the end that have more info for ya.

And, okay, my cut and paste did something nasty with the paragraphs and my kids really, really want me, so I'm gonna leave it. Forgive me?

Why does she love Sundays? Sunday is about the most stressful day of the week for a Christian mother!

Yes, Sunday mornings are insane sometimes, but our family does "mellow Sundays" and so I love the long relaxing afternoons...and since I love them, I decided Becky Miller loved them, too.

What's up with fantasizing that she's on a deserted island WITH HER KIDS?

I must be totally weird. But I always thought Swiss Family Robinson had great appeal. No field trip forms from the school, no schedules of rehearsals for youth group plays, no vaccination forms, no school registrations to fill out.... No fighting over a computer games... Just kids fetching and carrying water and coconuts and building fires on the beach.

Becky escapes the pressure to be the Marvelous Mom and Wonderful Wife
through her vivid daydreams everything from fighting pirates to being an
Olympic gymnast. Which was your favorite to write, and why?

I loved writing those daydreams. The variety of scenarios was great fun. My
favorite episodes were definitely the secret agent scenes. Probably because
my career goal throughout grade school was to be a spy.

Becky goes through a lot of struggles. Her husband is laid off from his
job, her son needs a surgery they can't afford, she loses her volunteer
position at her church, her sister flaunts her successful career in Becky's
face, and other challenges face her that I don't want to give away. How do
these struggles affect her faith life?

At first, Becky works even harder to figure out God's plan and fix
everything in her own power. As she describes it, she's addicted to the
attempt of analyzing God's reasons for allowing each trial in her life.
Eventually she runs out of answers and comes to a deeper place of trust and
surrender in her life. She begins to see that God's grace is sufficient, and
even made perfect in our weakness.

One of the central themes in The Secret Life of Becky Miller is that she
is so busy trying to do Something Big for God that she can't see how her
ordinary life is making a difference. What are some of the reasons Christian
women today put this kind of pressure on themselves?

We live in a hyper-success-driven culture. Women try to measure up to crazy
unrealistic models of doing it all and doing it perfectly. We're also very
number obsessed and measure success by income, or degrees, or amount of
activities. We lose sight of God's upside-down measuring system‹how a cup of
cold water given in love is a precious act of ministry in God's eyes, and
how a widow's mite is treasured by Him.

What makes me sad is that as Christians we have God's grace available, but
we often drive ourselves and even ADD the pressure to save the world and
achieve spiritual greatness (however we define that) to our agenda. Becky
defines that as Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, or an award-winning Christian
singer. In her mind, anything less falls short.

How real is Becky Miller? How much is based on your own life, or the
lives of women you know?

Becky has a life of her own, but I have great empathy for her struggles. Her
qualities were definitely formed from the life experiences of my mom's Bible
study small group, and my own. I think some of those challenges are
universal. I love when a reader tells me that I must have had a hidden
camera in her home, because Becky's story is exactly like hers. I think most
women have a little of Becky Miller in them.

What do you hope readers will take away from spending a few hours in the
pages of The Secret Life of Becky Miller?

I hope readers will giggle as they recognize things about themselves in
Becky. I hope readers will get a glimpse of how their life looks from God's
loving perspective and push aside the other measuring rods we use to beat up
on ourselves.

And I hope Becky's adventures help us realize that it's not about us doing
Big Things for God. God can do amazing things through our flawed and
ordinary lives and the little daily choices we make. Each of our lives has
tremendous value to God not for what we accomplish but because He loves


the lizness said...

we all need a secret life to escape to make real life a little easier to bear.

Sharon Hinck said...

Tess, I agree with you so much. And often the secret life gives us flickers of creative solutions for our REAL life.

Jamie, thank you again for hosting me today. I've enjoyed visiting. I appreciate it so much! And I know what you mean about the book having a different effect depending on what you're going through at the moment. BECKY MILLER holds up quite a mirror to my life sometimes. In fact, my friends keep telling me I need to read it again. :-)

Camy Tang said...

Great interview! To be honest, I kind of liked Becky's sister. Is that twisted or what?

Sharon Hinck said...

Camy, we know you're twisted.

Jamie, thank you again SO much for letting me visit!!!