Liz Curtis Higgs is the author of more than thirty books, with 4.5 million copies in print since she began writing over twenty years ago. She spent a decade as an award-winning columnist for Today’s Christian Woman magazine, and her articles have appeared in Canadian, British, and Australian magazines.
A sought-after speaker, Liz’s messages are biblical, encouraging, down-to-earth, and profoundly funny. Her dedication to platform ministry won her the 1995 National Speakers Association Council of Peers Award of Excellence.
Liz and her husband, Bill, live in a nineteenth-century farmhouse in Louisville, Kentucky, and are the parents of two children, Matthew and Lillian.
Let’s talk about your new book, The Women of Christmas (WaterBrook Press, September 2013). Please tell us about it.
The Women of Christmas began as a five-week series on my Bible study blog last November. As soon as I started researching the stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, I knew I wanted to dig deeper into the biblical material and mine all the riches waiting there.
In the months that followed I created a study of God’s Word, wrapped in a lovely gift book, which walks us verse by verse through Luke 1:5-2:40. By carefully looking at each verse, each phrase, we enter into this breathtaking story of Christ come to earth as a babe in a manger, and see it through the eyes of three faith-filled women.
God often uses our writing to teach us something. What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?
Such a good question! Elizabeth’s patience, Mary’s obedience, and Anna’s devotion all spoke volumes to me. I love the Lord, but am often unwilling to wait for His leading. I study God’s Word, but chafe at some of the things He asks me to do. I delight in telling people about Jesus, as Anna did, but her disciplined life of fasting and praying intimidates me. So, clearly I needed to see up close what these godly qualities look like! How faithful is God, to prompt us to study what we most need to learn.
I’m with you on heaven sent, because God always has a plan, and His detours are very much part of our journey with Him. In fact, many of my thirty-one books have been a Divine Detour! No sooner have I mapped out my writing year than God intervenes, giving me a strong sense of urgency to pursue a different project first.
This has happened over and over in my writing ministry, which proves I have the most understanding publisher on the planet! WaterBrook Press kindly listens to what I have to say, and if they agree that a different book needs to be written before the scheduled one, that’s the direction we go.
The Women of Christmas was just such a book. I was already working on another writing project when this one bubbled up. Same story with my bestseller, Bad Girls of the Bible. What looks like a detour to us is all part of God’s divine plan for our lives.
Besides writing, you have a full speaking schedule. What’s the most fun for you, writing or speaking?
Oh, now that one is impossible to answer! I love both avenues of ministry. I was a speaker first, beginning with the Thanksgiving Eve service where I shared my testimony thirty-one years ago, leading up to today traveling and speaking with Women of Faith. It’s pure joy to open God’s Word with hundreds, even thousands of women in person, to see their faces light up with His truth, to laugh together, cry together, worship together, learn together.
Yet writing is a blessing too. Here in this quiet, second-floor study I surround myself with Bibles and commentaries, with music and poetry, with candles and hot tea, and immerse myself in God’s Word, seeking His leading. Writing is a sacred act for me. After all the joyful noise of the platform, I hear God’s still, small voice best in this book-lined sanctuary.
And in celebration of the holiday season…
What’s your favorite Christmas song?
Joy to the World. Just think: the people of God have been singing that song since Isaac Watts wrote it in 1719!
What’s your favorite Christmas comfort food?
My grandmother’s gingerbread cookies. Thick, soft, flavorful, and not too sweet. Mmmm.
What’s your favorite holiday tradition or memory?
One Christmas Eve as a child, I walked out of our beautiful, old church to find snow falling across the church square. I can see it still, can remember trying to catch the snowflakes, only to have them melt on my mittens. The heart never lets go of such memories.
Which best describes your perfect Christmas tree: a lush blue spruce decorated with the latest couture; a shaggy cedar covered in homemade ornaments and strung with popcorn; a vintage aluminum tree with shiny glass bulbs; or a palm tree adorned with pink flamingos?
Most years we have a Frazier fir, with short, not-too-prickly needles and sturdy branches. Twinkling white lights and lots of homemade ornaments from Christmases past is what you’ll find on our tree. I tried stringing popcorn one year and made a mess of it, but it would definitely suit our old farmhouse. It’s very much a country Christmas at the Higgs house!
I’m a dog lover. Are there any “pet” stockings hanging from the mantle at your house this year?
YES, our cat, Jack, has his own wee stocking!
Thank you, Liz! It’s an honor to have you as a guest at DivineDetour. Merry Christmas.
And a blessed Christmas to you, Kathy. Sure appreciate the warm welcome!
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