Today, I continue my ongoing series of conversations with published authors as I’m joined by my dear friend Danielle Bean, author of the beautiful new book Whisper: Finding God in the Everyday. An inspirational addition to her body of work, Whisper is classic Danielle – encouraging, honest, authentic, and full of insight. I hope you enjoy this visit with one of my favorite authors, podcasters, and people! LMH
Danielle, congratulations on the release of your beautiful new book Whisper: Finding God in the Everyday. Would you please briefly introduce yourself and your family to our readers?
Hello and thank you! I always tell people I’m a wife and a mom and those are my most important jobs! My husband Dan and I have been married for 27 years and we have 8 kids. We live in New Hampshire.
This new book continues to build on a legacy of work you’ve created that’s aimed at uplifting and supporting women. Why Whisper at this point in your personal life and your writing career?
It feels like the right time for me to write a book about finding peace and slowing down, doing less, and being more. With my youngest now 14, I am at a stage in my family life where I have a little more time for peace and quiet, and for being still. In that newfound peace and stillness, I have been surprised to find that God is truly present, even in the small moments of my everyday life. Of course, I knew that was true even years ago when we were drowning in toddlers, but I feel like I can know it now in a new way. I am just now learning how to stop striving so hard to “find God” and instead letting God find me and love me, right here where I am.
Maybe after all these years and all these words, I might finally have something to say.Danielle Bean, Whisper
I have the benefit of a “real-life” friendship with you. And so of course when I read this book, I “hear” it in your voice! You know I LOVE that you include so many personal stories here. Why did you decide to write from this perspective? And why is personal storytelling so impactful both for the reader and for the author?
Well, stories are just the way I tend to communicate with people, especially about things as personal and meaningful as our relationship with God. I try to tell my own stories and share the details of my life in a way that will encourage others to begin to look at their own lives and their own stories. It is my great hope that my sharing of these small things will help others to see that God is truly present in their small things as well.
Would you please abridge a few of the most important points you’re trying to emphasize in this work? How does the benefit of age afford you such loving authority to the message you want to share with other women?
In the introduction, I write “Maybe after all these years and all these words, I might finally have something to say,” and I really feel that. Not that I’m such a genius or anything like that, but life experience has a way of forming you and teaching you about the things that truly matter. I think one of the greatest benefits of growing older is that we do gain some perspective and some knowledge. I hope to pass that along to others. The main points of the book that I hope readers will take away are that God is truly present and speaking to you. He loves you in a deeply personal and intimate way and he is longing for a deeper relationship with you. And also that our relationship with God is more about “being” than “doing.” We are never going to impress God with our eloquent words in prayer or with our mighty deeds, and our spiritual lives are not something we can accomplish and get a grade on at the end of the day. You are worthy and you are beloved because you ARE. If we know that, if we can believe that and accept in our hearts, that is everything we ever need to know.Join @LisaHendey in Conversation with @DanielleBean as they discuss Danielle's latest @AscensionPress project Whisper #godwhispers #everydaymystic Click To Tweet
If you could hand the book to a younger version of yourself and tell her to read one chapter of the book, which would it be and why?
I would tell myself to read Chapter 5, Slowing Down: Seeking God in Stillness. I have been very busy at different stages of my life, and being busy is not necessarily a bad thing. But it’s not necessarily a GOOD thing either. I think we sometimes are tempted to believe we can “earn our status” with God by doing all the good things. But we lose so much when we fill our lives with distraction and noise. The good stuff in life requires us to be still sometimes, to rest, and to listen in silence. That is a very countercultural idea, but it is an important one. We ignore our need for stillness at the expense of our own happiness. We are made for a deep connection with Our Creator, and that doesn’t happen in noisy, fast-paced ways.
I have to commend you on the helpful back matter of the book, including “Everyday Prayers” and “Everyday Scriptures”. How did you decide what content to include there and why?
The collection of prayers is truly a collection of my favorites, old and new. Some are traditional Catholic prayers from the Church, and some are from the saints. I wanted a collection to cover a lot of the different ways we pray, and so I hope it is helpful to someone who has just a bit of time to spend in prayer. Choose an old favorite, or learn a new one!