I hope you’re having an awesome Valentine’s Day – and that, more than anything, you have felt God’s love wrap around you today ♥ KissingBooks are great, but we can’t let them replace the real-life romance God has knit together for us! That’s what today’s guest is here to talk about!
Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman. With more than 20 years of experience as a pastor’s wife, mom, mentor, author, and speaker, Rhonda uses humor and honest communication to help women build No Regrets Lives. She and her husband live their real-life romance in northern California, and have four grown children and eight grandchildren.
Her new book, Real-Life Romance, released February 6, 2018 from Harvest House!
Do you believe in true love?
In a world of broken relationships and hurting people, it can seem like all we ever see is heartache—that marriages are doomed from the start and romance isn’t worth the risk.
But heart-fluttering, long-lasting love is all around us…we just have to look for it!
This collection of beautiful, real-life accounts will bring laughter and tears as you enjoy each story of ordinary people who found extraordinary love. Page after page, you will find inspiration to
—rekindle the romance in your love story
—trust in God’s providence and timing
—faithfully hope for your own happily-ever-after
—celebrate true romance
—believe in life-long love
Don’t let the world define romance for you! See how God is at work in the hearts of His people—knitting together hearts in a love that forever endures.
Hi Rhonda! Welcome to the blog!
Rhonda: Apples because they’re delicious dipped in caramel sauce!
Carrie: YUM! yes, they so are…now i want some. LOL.
Rhonda: Winter because I love gray skies and rain. And I love being at home on our ranch in front of our wood burning stove (which is our only form of heat).
Carrie: oh my goodness! I want a wood burning stove!
Rhonda: Dogs because they’re just awesome and great companions. I live in the mountains and spend a lot of late nights home alone when my pastor/husband is at work. Having our HUGE English Mastiff dog sitting at my feet makes me feel safe. He’s my buddy – all 200 pounds and 7 feet long of him.
Carrie: I love that. Yes ♥
Rhonda: Coffee because it’s delicious with cream – no sweetener. And because EVERY morning my husband and I share a whole pot of coffee together. Mornings together over coffee is our “date time.” For 36 years, mornings over coffee is where we connect and just enjoy being together. So coffee and time with my love go together and make me happy.
Carrie: What a great way to spend quality time together!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Rhonda: My superpower is bargain shopping! I have a super power to find really great deals on the clearance rack and am known to put together an entire new outfit for $20!
Carrie: I need to go shopping with you then!
Q: Books are kind-of a big deal around here. When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Rhonda: Christian Biographies. I absolutely LOVE reading biographies of people who God used greatly in their generation. Their stories are inspiring and encouraging. Their resolve to do whatever it takes to accomplish what God put in their hearts for His Kingdom and His glory causes me to long to live with the same resolve.
Carrie: I love those too! So inspiring (and often convicting lol)
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Rhonda: My favorite place to write is in my grandmother’s rocking chair in front of our wood burning stove. I love the feeling I get sitting in my grandmother’s chair (she died many years ago). Sitting in her chair regularly reminds me of how short our time is on this earth. Thinking about the many women I have been able to mentor through the pages of the books I write motivates me to continue writing.
Carrie: As a gal whose grandmother was one of her best friends, I love this so much!
Q: Why write about real-life romance? Why is it important to you?
Rhonda: Real Life Romance is about ordinary people who found extraordinary love. It is not a marriage self-help book. Since there are many great marriage advice books on the market, I wanted to write a book that was a breath of fresh air. We are all drawn to a good love story. Look at the movies and romance novel industry. People are riveted as they follow the story of a couple who ends up falling in love and living happily ever after.
However, those love stories don’t always honor Christ. As believers, we tolerate when the couple in the story is involved in intimacy outside of marriage because we really want to see the ending where they fall happily in love. I wrote Real Life Romance to share love stories that are testimonies of God’s faithfulness of drawing two ordinary people together to find extraordinary lifelong love that honors Christ.
Carrie: So true! And that’s one reason I love Christian fiction so much – being able to see fictional love stories that are focused on a relationship built on Christ.
Q: What is something that surprised you the most while researching Real-Life Romance?
Rhonda: At first I thought I was writing this book for married people — to inspire them to rekindle the passion in their own relationship as they recall God’s providence in their own love story. However, as I researched love stories for the book, it became apparent this book is also for single people (from teens to adults) who not only love a good love story but are also waiting for God to guide them to their own happily-ever-after. And to help them entrust their romance to the obedience of Christ and wait on Him to guide their steps—rather than push ahead to try and find love on their own.
Also, most of the couples in the book have agreed to video themselves telling their story so readers can watch them online. I have been surprised how many of the couples get the giggles, lean into each other for support, and finish each other’s sentences as they try to recall their love story.
For fun, here’s a link to mine and Steve’s attempt to recall the events that happened 40 years ago leading up to our real-life romance: https://youtu.be/bV3F97BQAUg
Carrie: Oh! How fun!! What a great thing to be surprised by!
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Real-Life Romance?
Rhonda: When our son Tony was in the ROTC at Texas A&M University, he was the head of his unit. One woman under his command had a hard time keeping up with the men when they ran a great distance. When they arrived at their destination without her, they were chastised and required to do push-ups until she arrived. As commander, Tony needed to be sure she kept up the pace with the rest of the unit, so he ran in back alongside her. With both of their eyes focused on their destination, Tony would place his hand in the small of her back, and she would keep up the pace. When he removed his hand, she lagged behind.
I tell this story to show a wonderful word picture. The Bible says that as Christ followers we’re running a race He has set before us. Whether we are married or hoping to marry, He calls us to keep our eyes fixed on Him, the author and finisher of our faith, and to shake off whatever easily besets us in our pursuit to finish well.
When your love story involves running together the race God sets before you God will use your Christ honoring love for one another to shine brightly His love to a world desperate to believe a relationship with Jesus really is the answer to Real Life Romance.
Carrie: What a beautiful picture, Rhonda!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Rhonda: Thank you for taking time to chat. I am super excited about all the fun stuff ahead of us this year. We are expecting our 9th grandchild (I’m kind of obsessed with our grandkids).
My husband, Steve, and I have an interview with Focus on the Family in February, so that’s exciting! And our new book, The Marriage Mentor, will publish with Harvest House in June 2018.
Imagine if you and your spouse could hang out with an older couple to help you build a no regrets marriage. That’s what The Marriage Mentor will be. We are super excited about this resource and can’t wait for it to publish. Everywhere we speak we are saddened to hear young couples say they have no godly mentors in their life, so we’ve written this book in a real, easy to read, fun, interactive format complete with free video links to watch too.
Carrie: What an important resource!
Whether you’re single and looking for a reason to believe in love or a parent watching your own child fall in love, Real-Life Romance by Rhonda Stoppe will inspire you to believe in life-long love. This collection of beautiful, real-life accounts will bring laughter and tears as you enjoy each story of ordinary people who found extraordinary love. Don’t let the world define romance for you! See how God is at work in the hearts of His people—knitting together hearts in a love that forever endures.
Join Rhonda and other real-life romancers on March 6 for a Facebook Live party, plus enter to win the Make Your Own Real-Life Romance prize pack!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- One copy of Real-Life Romance
- A $50 restaurant gift card
- A $25 movie gift card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 6. The winner will be announced at Rhonda’s Facebook Live Party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Rhonda and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!
RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and Facebook Live party via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 6th!
What about you? What’s your real-life romance story?