Sharla is a speaker, singer, freelance writer, and pastor’s wife, who earned her master’s degree in music, home schooled her two children, and now enjoys spending time with her two grandsons.
Her new book, Divine Design: 40 Days of Spiritual Makeover (Concordia Publishing House, July 2010) is divided into 40 lessons—eight weeks with five days of study in each week.
What inspired you to write Divine Design?
I love the television show, What Not to Wear, where participants receive a fashion makeover. As I watched women go from frumpy to stylish, I thought of how God can completely transform our hearts. The Holy Spirit is able to change our attitudes and character, totally renovating our spirits. I began to use this idea with a speech called, “What Not to Wear,” using clothing as analogies for the attitudes God wants us to throw out of our spiritual closets. Later I turned the concept into a book.
Is there a specific age group of women who would most benefit from the book and/or the companion DVD set?
The book is targeted for women ages 30-55, but I know of groups of older women who have used the study and enjoyed it. I also heard of a group of moms and daughters who are using the study. I think most women love clothing and can relate to the fashion analogies.
In Divine Design I encourage women to get rid of attitudes like the Prom Dress of Pride, the Field Marshal Uniform of Control, and anything the color of Envy Green.
I also include one “accessory” that most women seem to struggle with—the Handbag of Worry. I think worry is a lot like a macramé purse—it’s full of knots and we tend to carry it around with us wherever we go, piling more and more anxiety into it. But God wants us to relinquish this bag of worry. He invites us to hand over all of our concerns. He is more than willing to carry them for us. Instead we can learn to use the new accessories of trusting Him, living one day at a time, and retraining our mind.
Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
Definitely! I talk about a big “detour” in the Field Marshal chapter of my book. I had to learn to let God take control of my life, and one area that I struggled with was with the education of my children. One day when my daughter was in kindergarten my husband came home from work and announced that he thought we should start homeschooling. What he didn’t know was that I had already told God that I would NEVER home school my children. However, I told my husband that I would research it, thinking that then I could honestly tell him that, after investigating all the options, homeschooling wasn’t right for us. The more I researched, however, the more God convinced me that it was the best choice for our family. We told ourselves we would try it for a year, but ended up doing it for 15 years and loving it!
Have you always wanted to write? What’s next for you as a writer?
Yes, I have always enjoyed writing. A few months ago I found a story I wrote in second grade about a talking apple, peach, and pear! Actually writing for me, is a method to think clearly. When I am studying the Bible, trying to make a decision or formulate a plan, having a pen in my hand simply seems to make my brain work better.
I am currently working on an idea for another makeover-themed book focusing on our words. The Bible has a lot to say about the impact we can have with our lips. I am exploring the idea right now on my blog with a “Makeover My Mouth Project” at http://sharlafritz.blogspot.com/. But if the “Makeover My Mouth” book doesn’t come about, maybe I can sell my story about talking fruit!
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
I love red ripe strawberries dipped in dark chocolate fondue. What could be better than chocolate and strawberries!
What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I read a lot of Christian non-fiction—the kind of book that will strengthen my faith and help me grow closer to God. I also love fiction that makes me think and explore my feelings.
This website features both music and literary guests. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
Actually my “day job” is piano teaching. I am also director of music at our church. On the teaching DVD for Divine Design I recorded two songs. The first one, Make Me New, I wrote specifically for the book/DVD, and it talks about not wanting to stay the same, but desiring God to make me over. The second song, Mirror, was written by a friend of mine and expresses the desire to reflect Jesus.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
I hope I would be a ballad that touches hearts.
Are you a major or a minor chord?
I try to be a major chord, bringing happiness and joy into people’s lives.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I think I am the girl next door—just an ordinary woman who is trying to follow God.
I’m a dog lover. Do you have pets?
Nope, no pets.
Thanks, Sharla! It’s a pleasure to have you at DivineDetour!
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