This week’s interview features Kate Bortell, writer of Serious Thoughts Taken Not So Seriously.
The name of your blog really is a giveaway of the charm and humor in your writing. If not that, then moments like these are: “Man does not live on bread alone. But on every word that comes from the mouth of God. And pasta.” Or, when you praise your daughter for becoming a vegetarian at an early age, now nearly 10 years ago; then you write, “…it has been a royal pain in the neck.” Are you as laidback and playful as your writing suggests?
It depends on who you ask. But since you’re asking me, I would have to say yes, of course. Okay, I’ll admit to the laidback portion of the question causing me some discomfort—but playful? Heck yeah!
People who read your blog get to know some things about you quickly: your proud Irish heritage; your love for family; and your love for Target, bargain books, and Barry’s Gold Blend tea, the only kind allowed in your house. What other brand loyalties and personal taste choices can you share with us?
Well I’m a big Starbucks fan. And I only like to patronize Barnes and Noble when it comes to large chain bookstores. Oh—regarding personal taste choices, I love several of the English police dramas on Netflix. My favorite is Midsomer Murders.
You are a devout Catholic and deeply spiritual. What does God mean to you?
God means everything to me. My relationship with him is the most important one in my life. And to set the record straight, I am a Catholic and I love many of the Catholic traditions; but I also question some of their teachings.
What are your opinions of Pope Francis?
I think Pope Francis is a wonderful person and will do great things for the Catholic religion. In a perfect world I’d love to see him bring Catholics closer to the Bible.
Kate, how does one raise kids who appreciate God, or should they be allowed to decide for themselves on religion?
The best thing you can do is lead by example when it comes to loving God and desiring your children to do the same. It can be quite a challenge. They have minds of their own. You wish nurture to that in other areas, so forcing them to believe anything can become a struggle. When they are very young, I think they should be taught about Jesus Christ; when they get older, they may choose their own beliefs. We just need to trust that the truth will become apparent to them eventually.
You have a nice readership. Have you ever considered becoming a professional Christian blogger?
You can do that?
What is your writing process?
When I get home from work, I put on my pajamas, relax on the couch, and yell to whoever is around—“What should I blog about today?” It’s very scientific.
Of the posts you’ve written, which is the most meaningful to you and why?
I would have to say the post about my father is the most meaningful to me…the things I wish I had said to him. (“Things I Wish I Had Said to My Father”) I honestly felt like I was writing to him as I wrote it. Anything that may have gone unsaid just melted away. I cried when I reread it. I miss my dad.
If you were jailed for the rest of your days for your faith, what one book that you’ve read would have to be in your possession and why?
Well I’d absolutely want it to be the Bible, but I haven’t read that in its entirety. So, sticking to the rules, I’d have to say Fearless by Max Lucado. He discusses all different avenues where we experience fear and how to combat it. It would probably come in handy in prison, am I right?
What are two things readers would be surprised to know about you?
I played a viola solo in a quartet in elementary school. And, my 17 year-old daughter and I have a little made-up song we sing together every night when she goes to bed that we’ve been singing since she was six. ♦
What questions do you have for Kate?
Read more by Kate at Serious Thoughts Taken Not So Seriously.