Because Every Woman’s Work is Sacred…(an interview with author Susan DiMickele)

Recently, I had the chance to catch up with my friend Susan DiMickele, mom, lawyer-extraordinaire, author, and all around superwoman :). You can read her words at her blog or in her newest book–hot off the press: Working Women of the Bible.

(Q): For those who aren’t familiar with your work, can you tell us a little about  yourself?  

(SD): Like most women today, I wear many hats.  I’m the youngest child of five daughters, a wife of 20 years, and a mother to three growing children (ages 7, 9, and 12).  I’m also a lawyer, author, friend, cook, runner, and lover of dark chocolate.  I write because it’s when I feel most connected to people and to God. 
(Q): How many books have you written?

I’ve written two books.  My first book, Chasing Superwoman:  A Working Mom’s Adventures In Life And Faith(2010 Cook) is a personal memoir. Yet after I wrote my own story—the story of a too-busy mom, wife, and lawyer trying to do it all—I knew I wasn’t finished.  I next turned to the women of the Bible, and I quickly became passionate about the untold stories of some amazing women.  My second book, Working Women of the Bible:  Timeless Mentors for Modern Womenreleased in March 2013.

(Q): What is the hardest thing about writing?

Like so many authors, I can’t find enough time to write. Most of us have a “day” job, family responsibilities, and the everyday distractions of a full life.  While I wouldn’t trade my life or the multiple hats I wear for anything, some days I wish I could just sit and write on a mountain top. Uninterrupted!

(Q): What is your newest book about?

Working Women of the Bibletakes a close look at the work of 12 women of the Bible.  You may be thinking, Great, but aren’t there hundreds of books about the women of the Bible? Yes, but for centuries we’ve missed something.  Their work.  And in the 21st century where work is a central and necessary part of the lives of most women, we need to bridge the gap.  Working Women of the Bible focuses on women who worked outside the home or held positions of spiritual or political influence. In addition to Eve, we study Rahab, Jezebel, the widow in debt, Huldah, Deborah, the Proverbs 31 woman, Ruth, Esther, Mary the mother of Jesus, Martha, Lydia, and Priscilla. All of these women—faults and all—give us insight and inspiration. All of these women speak to us as working women who live in two worlds: the spiritual world and the secular world. 
(Q): What inspired you to write this book?

I have always loved the stories of biblical heroines.  Yet until recently, I never viewed these women as modern mentors.  I made the mistake of thinking my mentors had to live next door. That they had to live in my neighborhood, have my job, and have my educational and family background.  Yet God has a way of providing answers where I least expect it. As I read about the women of the Bible, I realized the mentors I have longed for were right under my nose. Too often, we forget that the women of the Bible worked. And they worked hard. They made mistakes, and they didn’t give in. In many ways, their stories are our stories. 

(Q): Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?
 

Yes, more than anything, I want my readers to see that God has been redeeming the work of women for centuries – one life at a time.  Like many of us today, the women of the Bible were trying to do it all: providing for their families, caring for the elderly, exercising spiritual leadership. Trying to be strong. Trying to figure out whether God can still use our work, despite our mistakes. Even trying to be Superwoman. It all sounds too familiar. Yet too many modern women believe that the Bible is a book for that time and that place.  And most of us are wondering how it really relates to me.  I want to challenge that thinking.

(Q): Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Just do it.  There will never be a good time to write.  If your soul is burning with a desire to say something, you probably have something important to say.  And if you have something important to say, someone will probably listen.  But even if no one listens, you must follow your heart and take a chance.  Otherwise, you’ll always wonder “what if?”

(Q): Which do you enjoy more – reading or writing?

In my world, reading and writing can’t be separated.  The more I read, the more I long to write.  Reading also humbles me – and shows me how far I have to go in my own craft.  In fact, I can always tell when my writing is stale and lifeless.  It’s usually because I haven’t been reading.  And the more I write, the greater desire I have to read.  

(Q): What is your favourite Scripture verse and why?

One of my favorite verses is Colossians 3:23:  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”  My college roommate framed this verse for me over 20 years ago, and it sits in my law office today.  Whatever I do — whether I’m in the courtroom, writing an article, or on carpool duty – I want to know that my work matters to God.  Otherwise, I’m living my life without purpose – even in vain. I constantly struggle to live out Colossians 3:23 in practice, but I’m convinced more than ever that God cares deeply about each and every aspect of our work. Which is why I keep writing about it.

Comments

  1. pastordt says

    This is fabulous. Can I just say that reading this tonight was EXACTLY what I needed after this past week? I have just wanted to pick up my words and go home this week – petty, I know. But I think it’s exhaustion of a very deep kind. Exhaustion from feeling like I’ve stepped into a vast time warp in these two years of blogging, finding thinking that I truly thought the church had let go of, long ago. So to see this wonderful interview, to know there is a great book on the topic of strong, godly women (who I’m sure still managed to be servants as well as leaders) – well, you just made my week. I thank you both so much.

  2. says

    A rich conversation about an interesting topic. Even though I’m a man, there are lots of women in my workplace and i think it’s helpful for us to understand the conflicts and challenges.

  3. SimplyDarlene says

    about that reading or writing question … iLike how miss Susan answered it!

    great interview, ladies.

    blessings.

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