I have the privilege of welcoming Liz Carter to my blog. Liz is a writer and poet from Shropshire, UK. She is the author of Catching Contentment, Treasure in Dark Places and Valuable.
Valuable, Liz’s latest book, has just been released (read to the bottom of this page to see how you can win a copy!).
Isn’t the cover gorgeous?!
I asked Liz a few questions to find out more about Valuable, and to discover a bit more about its author.
EO: Welcome, Liz. Thank you for agreeing to be quizzed by me, very brave of you!
LC: My pleasure
EO: Let’s start with some quick-fire questions:
EO: Purple or yellow?
EO: Cats or Dogs?
EO: Mountains or beaches?
LC: Beaches, but it’s a close one!
EO: Chocolate or Cheese?
LC: Chocolate, but only Cadbury’s as it’s in my blood 🙂
EO: Physical book or eBook?
LC: Physical book for daytime, ebook for reading in bed!
EO: Thanks, Liz, it’s lovely getting to know a bit more about you. I’d find mountains/beaches a close call, too!
Having read both Catching Contentment and Treasure in Dark Places, I know how important your faith is in your life. Let me ask you a couple of questions about the Bible. Don’t panic, I’m not going to ask you to recite the book of Ezekiel from memory….
EO: If you could have dinner with a character from the Bible, who would you choose?
LC: This was such a hard one to answer because there are so many! Paul to chat all things theology, John for his insight on friendship with Jesus, Mary for courage in a cruel world, Rahab for her revelation of God. Today I’m thinking I’d like to hang out with Phoebe, ‘a deacon at the church in Cenchreae’ who Paul trusted to take his letter to the Romans to the church in Rome. It is very possible she would have also expounded some of his theology from the letter to the church there. I’d love to talk to her because it would have been difficult to carry out these tasks as a woman in her culture, and it was highly unusual for a man to commend a woman in such glowing terms in a letter like this.
EO: A favourite Bible passage, and why?
LC: I go back again and again to Psalm 42, because it echoes my own experience of living with pain and feeling as though I am looking back on better times. The psalmist is broken, out in the wilderness and recalling what it was like when he was ‘worshipping with the multitude’. He writes of how his soul has grown weary and restless and how he so thirsts for God, who seems absent. But despite his pain, he chooses to hope and chooses to ‘yet praise’. It’s a psalm of lament, it’s honest and beautiful and it speaks to my soul.
EO: Yes, ‘yet’ in that context is so important, isn’t it. I’ve just looked up Psalm 42, and it really is beautiful, thank you for reminding me of it.
Now let’s turn to your new book, Valuable. Congratulations, it’s a wonderful book!
EO: Tell me about something of yours that has great sentimental value.
LC: I have one letter from my Grandma, Ethel, who died when I was thirteen. We had an incredible bond and I wish we’d had more time together. I treasure her letter to me which is full of chatty news about her church and her bridge club and how she missed me. That old, tatty piece of paper is more valuable to me than any expensive thing I own.
EO: How would you define the word ‘valuable’ using three words or fewer?
LC: Beloved and precious.
EO: Who did you write Valuable for?
LC: I wanted to speak to Christians who are grappling with their identity in Christ and in the world. They might feel that they are not useful enough to God, or that they are found wanting in comparison to others. People who live with illness or disability, or under the burden of poor mental health, long-term grief or emotional pain, or struggling with endless busyness and expectations put upon them, often feel they are not good enough to others and to God, and may fear that their weakness in body, soul or mind makes them lesser. Many Christians are weary with the message that healing and wholeness are vital for their worth in the world.
EO: What did you find to be the most challenging / encouraging thing about writing Valuable?
LC: I suffer with lifelong degenerative lung disease, and I’ve been very ill during the writing and launch of this book, especially the past 12 months since I caught Covid, and it did further damage to my lungs. I found it very physically challenging to write and finish this book, and it was difficult spiritually, too. I am finding its launch challenging because I am still very weak – but that’s exactly where the message of the book is important: God works in us and through us within our weakness. God doesn’t want us to earn his favour by doing things for him – he loves us without measure for who we are, not what we do.
While it’s been a challenge, it’s also been incredibly encouraging. As I wrote, I found God speaking to me about my own worth and value, something I’ve often struggled with throughout a life of pain. I’m also encouraged by the beautiful cover designed by my publishers, The Good Book Company. It is an image of Kintsugi, the ancient Japanese art of mending broken pottery with gold to emphasise the imperfection and to celebrate it. I think it sums up the core message of the book: we are messy, we are broken, but we are valuable. We are written with seams of golden glory.
EO: A favourite part of Valuable, for me, is where you write about the Torn Curtain. Do you have a favourite section in the book?
LC: Thank you – I really enjoyed writing that part of it! I also enjoyed writing the chapter named ‘God is not a User’ which explores the language that is so prevalent in Christian circles of God ‘using’ people and how that is in fact not biblical and can be destructive. I loved thinking about new ways to explore how God works in us, and being set free from the idea that we must be useful and used.
EO: What do you hope readers take away from Valuable?
LC: I would love readers to come away more certain of their worth and value to God, having burrowed deep into truth found in Scripture. I would love people to be liberated from the burden of having to be useful to God and also to feel assured that God is with them in the storms of life, and that whatever their circumstances, God works in and through them with great delight.
EO: What is your prayer for Valuable?
LC: I pray that the book will touch people’s lives and that they will be set free from prisons of self-doubt and the pressure all around to keep ‘being better’.
EO: How can we pray for you?
LC: Thank you! Please pray for strength and healing as the book launches. With most Christian books, the authors need to be going around lots of places, speaking to different churches and events, but I cannot due to my health constraints, so I would love prayer that God will get the book out there anyway – in the upside-down way he so loves to do.
EO: Thank you for talking to me, Liz. It’s been a real pleasure.
Thank You for Liz, and for Your gifting in her.
Thank You for her faithfulness in writing Valuable.
Thank you that Liz, and each reader, is valued by You.
Please help this book to spread and reach out to hearts that need it.
Liz Carter is a writer and poet from Shropshire, UK. She is the author of Catching Contentment, Treasure in Dark Places and Valuable. You can find her on Twitter @LizCarterWriter, on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok @greatadventureliz, or at her website, https://www.greatadventure.carterclan.me.uk/
I have two copies of Valuable to give away. The giveaway is worldwide. All you have to do to enter is subscribe to my (infrequent!) newsletter: https://emily-owen.us20.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=db61bdda1ce3b144efd81315a&id=7004a76347
I’ll randomly choose two subscribers – on 10 June – and soon after, the book should be with you.
‘…you are precious and honoured in my sight, and I love you….’ (Isaiah 43:4)