I am so honored to welcome Claudia Loopstra back to the blog! Today, she’s here to talk about her book Redemptive Love: Living with an alcoholic father. As my own uncle died from alcoholism two weeks ago, this is a subject very close to my heart right now.
As well as being co-author of As the Ink Flows and author of Redemptive Love: Living with an Alcoholic Father, Claudia’s short stories and poems have been published in three books of anthologies. She has given various topical seminars and for ten years co-facilitated bereavement groups. Claudia is a wife, mother and grandmother. She lives in King, Ontario with her husband.
You can connect with Claudia at her website.
Her book, Redemptive Love, released in September 2015 from Joshua Press.
As a twelve-year-old girl, Claudia witnesses the detrimental effects of her father’s alcoholism. Redemptive Love traces Claudia’s life as she deals with the shame, confusion and pain of growing up surrounded by secrets. She manages day to day by quietly internalizing her home life; her mother and brothers find other ways to cope.
Through a life-changing experience when Claudia is a young mother, she is given inner strength to pursue a relationship with her father and work through some of the confusion and hurts of the past. As Claudia finds peace through forgiveness, she comes to know the grace and magnitude of a heavenly Father’s love.
Hi Claudia! Welcome back to the blog! As you know, I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Claudia: TCBY yoghurt ice cream. I can’t eat most desserts because of allergy-related issues, and this yogurt dessert tops most desserts, anyway!
Carrie: mmm i love froyo 🙂
Claudia: Lilacs remind me of my paternal grandmother. I inhale their fragrance, and wonderful memories of Grandma come to life.
Carrie: Where I grew up in Northern Illinois, lilacs were everywhere! I haven’t seen many here in central Kentucky. I miss them!
Claudia: Christmas (for the obvious reason) but also it’s a time when I see my immediate family and our extended families plus throughout the month, it’s a time when I come together with special friends. It’s the ‘hap-happiest time of the year’ as the song goes.
Carrie: I completely agree!
Claudia: The Shadow of Your Smile sung by Tony Bennett. I love anything that Tony Bennett sings, but this one in particular for the meaningful lyrics and tempo of the music.
Carrie: I don’t think I’ve heard that one … looking up…
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Claudia: It would have to be writing for me!!
Carrie: That’s a splendid superpower to have 🙂
What is one of your most cherished books?
Claudia: Tess of the D’ubervilles –I love the quality of writing in Thomas Hardy’s books.
Carrie: This is a book I know I should have read by now… but *hangs head in shame* lol.
Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Claudia: My husband constructed an office for me in an extra clothes closet that we have in the house. It keeps me focused!
In Redemptive Love, you recount the way your father’s alcoholism affected your life and your family’s life. What would you say to other twelve-year-olds who are living with the same family secret?
Claudia: My suggestion would be to share this knowledge with an adult who is trusted. Perhaps a family member not too close to the situation. Personally, I needed to have someone to talk to about Dad’s alcoholism because I believe I conjured up a mountain of resentment toward him thinking he was a bad person through and through.
Carrie: Having someone to talk to – even a counselor – is key.
Why did you decide to pursue a relationship with your father as an adult?
Claudia: I became a committed Christian at the age of forty-one. It was then that I realized if Christ died for me on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins, I needed to forgive my father for the pain he inflicted. Also, I came to realize that as a sinner, my flaws were different from his but I was still flawed, nonetheless. His sins happened to be more visible than mine. Recognizing this, made forgiving him and eventually loving him so very easy once I became committed to Christ. Forgiveness unlocked the door and released all hatred that I once had for dad and that hatred turned to love.
Carrie: Jesus’ teachings are not easy, are they? But so freeing!
What do you most want readers to take away from Redemptive Love?
Claudia: Nothing is wasted in God’s economy including a destructive relationship. We don’t know what God has planned for us through our experience with pain. People are in our life for a reason and God can turn any situation into a positive when we give our life to Christ. True forgiveness is found in Christ alone.
Carrie: Amen! All my yeses to this!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me, Claudia! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Claudia: I’m currently speaking for Christian Women’s Connection as well as for other ministries. It is one of my passions. Also, I am in the process of writing another book with the working title of Growing Old Gratefully. Yes, ‘gratefully’. As a senior I can look back on my life and see God’s love and grace throughout. I look forward to what is ahead and I find that I’m grateful for what has happened in my life—both good and bad. I’m constantly learning and growing in my walk with God.
Carrie: What a great title!
Claudia Loopstra is offering a copy of Redemptive Love to one of my readers! (US/CAN only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? Claudia said, “God can turn any situation into a positive when we give our life to Christ.” What’s a situation that God has turned into a positive in your life?