I Share Hope

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Story. Action. Hope.

Stories about hope and ways to share hope

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Robin Gunn

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“I think that hope is the teenage version of a wish, but then when it grows into faith, there’s something solid that becomes that sort of vehicle that takes you to whatever it is that God’s doing. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding and acknowledge him in all your ways. He will direct your path. You start saying no to the fear, in Jesus name, go away and then hold on to the hope and bravely and humbly take the next step forward and pretty much know that you’re going to hit obstacles. That’s the start, that’s the beginning, that’s where one step will lead to another. I’m Robin Jones Gunn, the author of the author of the Christy Miller series and I Share Hope.” — Robin Jones Gunn

Robin Jones Gunn is the best-selling Christian author of over 82 books, including several series aimed at teen girls as well as Christian fiction for older women and a few non-fiction books. Her books have sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide. She is best known for her debut, The Christy Miller Series, and its companion series, The Sierra Jensen Series, Christy and Todd: the College Years, and the ‘Katie Weldon’ Series.

In addition to the teen fiction, Robin is known for her women’s Christian romance series Glenbrooke and the ‘Sisterchicks (R)’ series. In 2007 she received the Christy Award for her novel Sisterchicks in Gondolas.

Over the past 25 years Robin has written 82 books with almost 4.5 million copies sold worldwide. To her great delight, Robin’s books are doing exactly what she always hoped to do – they are traveling around the world and telling people about God’s love. She is doing the same. Over the past ten years Robin has been invited to speak at events around the US and Canada as well as in South America, Africa, Europe and Australia. Robin and her husband have two grown children and have been married for 35 years. They live in Hawaii where she continues to write and speak in rhythm.



 

32: Robin Gunn – Bestselling Author of Hope – #isharehope

“I think that hope is the teenage version of a wish, but then when it grows into faith, there’s something solid that becomes that sort of vehicle that takes you to whatever it is that God’s doing. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding and acknowledge him in all your ways. He will direct your path. You start saying no to the fear, in Jesus name, go away and then hold on to the hope and bravely and humbly take the next step forward and pretty much know that you’re going to hit obstacles. That’s the start, that’s the beginning, that’s where one step will lead to another. I’m Robin Jones Gunn, the author of the author of the Christy Miller series and I Share Hope.”Robin Jones Gunn

Intro:

Welcome to I Share Hope! The podcast where world leaders share their real stories of hope and how you can use actionable hope to start changing your life today and now here’s your host, Chris Williams.

Chris Williams:

Robin, you’ve been just so instrumental in my girl’s life. Actually, the books, the Christy books, we have a copy here at our house that is signed by, I think, my wife, her sister and now two daughters of mine. I’m wondering if there’s an aunt or a mom in there somewhere as well. Anyway, these books have been passed down and now we have way more than they started with. You’ve just been so powerful in the way you’ve written stories to engage at least girls, I don’t know if you have stories for boys as well. I wasn’t reading that. I hardly read at all when I was kid. Not that kind of thing. I’m a really slow reader.

The stories have communicated so much. Good belief systems both from the Christian standpoint and from just pure moral activity in the way, I think, through life. It’s been great and I’m thrilled to talk to you today. So, Robin Jones Gunn is with us and wow! Tell us more about where you’re at, what you’re doing and then I’ll ask you our five questions of hope. I know your time is valuable.

Robin Gunn:

I’ve been looking forward to this as well because when you first told me that it was a multigenerational group of readers that had connected with these stories, I thought that has to be God. That’s just unique and that’s the sort of thing that any writer would hope that something would appeal and apply to different generations or that books would stay in print for 25 years. You can kind of hope for that, but there’s no way to figure out how to do that. That’s why I stand back with you in just saying I’m in awe with what God has done with the Christy Miller books. I can’t explain it, I couldn’t teach anyone how to do that because just God did that.

Chris Williams:

Wow. That’s great to hear and I think that makes a lot of sense. Everybody that I talk to tries to write a book and I’m not one of those who never tried and not sure I ever could, but they’re looking for the formula to do what you’ve done and I think what you’re saying makes a lot of sense. Sometimes there’s a formula for certain things, but this one I think God wanted to get those books in people’s hands.

So Robin, you do a lot of things professionally. Give me a little bit of a background of what you’re doing. You obviously have written a lot. You speak all over the place. So, tell me what you’re doing right now professionally and how you’re getting your message out continually.

Robin Gunn:

Right now, the fun surprise was that I started writing more about these characters, Christy and Todd in their married years and it was last year that the first Married Years book came out and I’m working on the third one right now. That will be out in August of 2015. Again, that felt like a really fun surprise. The opportunity was there and I jumped back in with these characters and found out that I really missed them. It was so great to be back with them like a reunion, so it’s really, really been fun to write.

There’s another fun project that’s just begun and that is a book that my grown daughter who’s married and lives just down the street from us, but she and I are starting to work together on a book for mothers and daughters. That’s just because of all of the opportunities she and I have been having lately to speak together and to be called upon to say how did you do this when your daughter was this age? So, that’s in the early works, but that’s a mother-daughter book that Rachel and I are working. This is probably the funnest and most unexpected thing. It’s just last week my agent called and some Christmas novelas that I wrote, Finding Father Christmas is the first one that Hallmark has put them into production for a movie in 2016 at Christmas time.

Chris Williams:

No way.

Robin Gunn:

I probably even shouldn’t say anything yet because it’s still in the works and I know you’re supposed to wait until it’s actually in the can and they have an air date set, but it’s all so far along in motion that it really looks like God’s doing – it’s going to happen.

Chris Williams:

That’s amazing. Wow.

Robin Gunn:

Yes and it’s been fun and the best call was with the producer two days ago when she said, well the plan right now is to film in England and we would you like you to come on set for three days so you’ll have England. Oh, okay!

Chris Williams:

I think I can work that out.

Robin Gunn:

It’s all just happening and that’s really an answered prayer in so many ways because the interest of the readers over the years in writing and saying “Why aren’t your books in movies? I’m going to pray that something happens. We need more movies like this.” You can have, as I have, many conversations with producers and directors and film companies, but unless the Lord opens the door, it’s just a kind of knocking here and knocking there and not getting anywhere.

This was out of the blue and I didn’t expect it so it feels like it’s going to be a ride, it’s going to be a roller coaster ride, so we’ll see what happens.

Chris Williams:

I love that. I love that it’s the one you weren’t going after, you know? That happens in my life too. The things that I’m tracing and tracking and following and figuring out how to do that, they seem to be the hardest things to do and the ones that just fall in your lap are the ones that work the best.

Robin Gunn:

Exactly.

Chris Williams:

Cool. Well Robin Jones Gunn, I can’t wait to hear the answers to these five questions we ask every guest. So, we’re interviewing 1000 people around the globe that are representing world populations. So, every 8 million people in theory would have one person speaking for them. Now, that’s really hard to do through everybody gets a voice. Nonetheless, we’re being very careful to try to do our best to pick that group of people that represents the world population. So, I’m thrilled you’re here

Question 1: What is your definition of hope or your favorite quote about hope?

Robin Gunn:

I’m still there thinking about all the people I’m representing and hope I speak well on their behalf. But for hope, that word has been very special over the years because it carries the weight of faith with it. Hope begins – sometimes there’s just a dream or a wish, but that next step then is just sinking your faith into what is God doing and what is he asking me to do right now so that hope is turned from just being this wispy it would be great if this would all come to be to trusting in God and having faith in his plan.

And so, I think that hope is that grown-up version of a wish, but then maybe it’s like a teenage version of a wish, but then when it grows into faith there’s something solid that becomes that sort of vehicle that takes you into whatever it is that God’s doing.

Chris Williams:

That’s a really interesting progression. I’ve never heard somebody say that. So, if a wish is the most child-like version of this, then hope could be the teenage version and faith the grown-up version. Wow.

Robin Gunn:

I’ve never thought that until this minute, but I think the reason it resonates is because the teenage version, there’s so many ups and downs but there’s also so much pure joy and all the possibilities because of that usefulness that’s locked into that season of light so that hope is infused with a whole lot more determination and energy than just a wish. But then to get it to the deadline, it grows into faith.

Chris Williams:

Wow you’re right. I’ve never thought of it that way. That’s so true though. There is a difference between a teenager and an adult in so many ways that we look and dream and think ahead. It seems like the pressures of the world as we grow up knock a little bit of that out and it really does take more faith and more determination and more solidness to that hope to carry it through.

Robin Gunn:

Yes. It does.

Chris Williams:

Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you?

Robin Gunn:

The person that has shared the most hope with me would have to be my husband. The interesting thing about that, we’ve been married 38 years and what Ross has done is equivalent to putting wheels on that hope in that when I thought I can’t do this, I don’t’ know what I’m doing, he has always been the one to propel me further, to move me on. A lot of times I didn’t like it. In the very beginning, he saw that I needed to go to a writer’s conference to learn all the steps involved in becoming a writer and I was content to just write poems in my journal and just leave it at that.

So, when he set it up for me to go to a writer’s conference and just pressed and pressed I was really angry. It’s out of my comfort zone and I felt like, why are you pushing me so hard? But, it’s because of that sense of the depth of his love for me to move me forward, to have that involvement, I’m so grateful now. I’m so grateful now, so yes, definitely he is the one. He did it.

Chris Williams:

You know, I’m hearing you say that and I’m thinking – my wife’s name is Jill. I’m thinking, how in the world – if she’s an aspiring writer or a novice and getting into it, how in the world would I approach the subject? “So babe, I think, uh, maybe we need to get you to a conference?”

Robin Gunn:

Absolutely. That was really the most propelling experience because I was in that community of writers where I met real life editors and publishers and other writers and I could just sit at the meals and absorb all of their input of how they were figuring out what was next to them. That was a lot more valuable, the real life face to face conversations than any how-to book or maybe even a blog or something that we have now. Back then, we didn’t have those things. I just had a few books to read on how to write or how to get published, but it’s so different when it’s life upon life instead of just concept upon dream.

So, yes you need to get Jill to a conference.

Chris Williams:

She’s not a writer currently. I was just trying to think how do you work the subject with your spouse to say, you know, you need help. It’s a really brave thing and I’m going a second step with that. It’s a brave thing to do that and it wasn’t an addiction or a big set of choices in life that was leading you down a dark path and yet, you know, something to learn there for people who are trying to grow. Sometimes the bravest thing to do is to step in there and help them do something or take the next step. If it’s a hard thing you have to mention, sometimes that’s the best thing you can do.

Like your husband did, he stepped into something that could have been a hard conversation with you feeling like he didn’t like your writing or whatever, but it really was awesome. There’s a lot of people who do that with people who maybe going through an addiction or something. You have to say you need to go get some help and even if you’re going to get mad at me, I want to walk through it with you.

Robin Gunn:

That’s a really interesting comparison because it’s true. We usually are so more compelled to help when we see something negative, but then it’s odd when we see something positive in another person. What I think Ross recognized was there was something there that needed to be developed, that I was too fearful and intimidated to take the next step on my own. Like I said, same kind of reaction, why are you pushing me to do this? This is…wait until I feel confident and this is something I’m going to do. That season of life, Ross was a youth pastor for 25 years and so the first maybe five, eight years of marriage being so involved in his ministry, he continued to see how I was sitting down with the girls and just telling them stories and giving them example and that always being that storyteller wasn’t going to go away. It was something that just needed to be sanctified and it needed to be dedicated to the Lord and it needed to be directed.

So, it was this latent sort of gift that he saw there’s something you need to be responsible to do for that. Of course now, looking back that I’ve been writing for 30 years that in living in Hawaii, we have a word here that makes so much sense and it’s “kuleana”. It’s such a beautiful word, kuleana. It simply means your responsibility based on how you’re gifted. That’s what I think Ross saw that without even knowing the Hawaiian word, that that was my kuleana. Like with my life, this is not going to go away. This is a gift and so I need to be – how can I step forward and be responsible to develop that gift? Nobody else can do this the way that I can do this, so I need to be embracing what God has done and be responsible to take the next steps for it.

I just talked to – just one more thought Chris, is that I feel like there’s so many people that they cannot see the gift because it’s right there and it feels natural to them. So, especially in my case, of course I tell stories and that’s all I do and as a matter in fact as I grew up, I got in trouble for telling stories. I was talking too much or embellishing too much. It was a lying thing. I could really make up a story and go somewhere and it was not viewed in the family I grew up in as strength. But then when I was married, he saw the gift that was hidden in that. So, how can that be dedicated to the Lord and purified and sanctified and then used to further his kingdom? And that’s what happened…

Chris Williams:

Wow. So, I learn something from every one of these interviews. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world sometimes because people like you are willing to spend 30 minutes with me. You know, listening to podcasts, I love listening to everybody else’s podcasts too and there’s so much we learn from real life stories. I’m pulling two pages out of these two books, the Ross book and then the Robin book and one is being brave and making sure that if somebody around me that I love and respect is needing a prod forward or a push forward for whatever reason, you know, I don’t want to get in there being somebody nosy, but it’s appropriate there may be a way to bless someone else by saying “you got this, take the next step, you can do this”.

I mean I’m hearing you, I’m listening and thinking through my own life and honestly there’s a decision that I’ve been thinking through that I know is a direction my heart wants to go and I’m gifted in and honestly I’m just scared to death to do it and to pursue that goal. You’re pushing me down the road a little farther.

Robin Gunn:

Because it’s your kuleana Chris, don’t be afraid because nobody can do it the way you can. Take that first step. Again the faith, go from being a teenager with all that hope and just step into maturity and be in that adult realm with that dream so that it can be fully dedicated to the Lord, sanctified and used to further his kingdom. That’s what we’re created to do.

I think when we let fear start making all the decisions for us, that we fall into this trap that all the other decisions are already taken care of because we made this one big decision of no because we’re too afraid of it. Then there’s other little things that come our way and it’s easy to go “oh no” and no to that and no to that and no to that… But, God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear but power and love and discipline or sound mind. That step in going, okay I’m afraid, where did that come from? Did that come from God? No. Okay, what did come from him? This growing wish that’s become a hope. Now, how’s it going to turn from that dreamy state into a walk of faith? That’s your kuleana, that’s where you move. I’m excited for you because it’s terrifying and then it becomes just so invigorating because you see what God is doing and you go “I could’ve never done that, I could never open that door”. That’s the life, that’s the abundant life right there.

Chris Williams:

All right. You’re doing well leading into question three because the thing is I am scared. That’s the honest truth and you’re not running ahead, but I’m scared because there’s been a lot of other thing that had gone on back there that have taken the hope away or at least made me where I’m pretty skittish to hope.

Question 3: Tell us a time and kind of paint the picture in the story around what happened in your life one time when you really lost a lot of hope or really had to pull through something that was crazy hard and it challenged your belief in where you thought you could go? Not just as a writer, but whatever example you want to give in life. How did you get through that? What happened? How did you get through it?

Robin Gunn:

The reason that’s such a great question is because this is so typical of anyone that I’ve ever talked to. The beauty of getting older, you look back and say how did you get to where you are? But this same thing that you’re setting up here has happened in every single person I talked to that you think you know what it is that you are going to accomplish or what you’re going to be about or how God is leading you. You start that way and the door’s closed.

You feel the sense of defeat that comes with failure and that’s where a lot of people get stuck. Then, when it’s taking that next step in trusting God in a new way and following the path and the doors that he opens, then it’s this whole other form of the original dream.

I guess the best way to give an example is that when I was in high school and I had given my life to Christ when I was 12 at summer camp and we had a really great bible church and I loved hearing missionary stories. I knew when I was 16 that I wanted to be a missionary. I could not think of any other way to serve the Lord. I went on mission trips to Mexico, when I was in college I went to Europe and I smuggled bible behind the iron curtain. This was my dream to get God’s word to people who would not otherwise hear about his love. And so, I applied to stay on with the mission in Europe and I was rejected. I had gone to a bible college and I got engaged to a man that I loved there and he broke the engagement and rejected me. I went to Urbana, this great mission’s conference and in all of these kind of shattered dream mode of how can I become a missionary? What do I need to do? I have to get to this conference so I can find out how to be a missionary.

What I did was fill out the form ahead of time as they asked me to do and list all my gifts and abilities and education and interest. I haven’t finished college yet, so it was just a scramble of pieces. They put all that into the computer to match up my abilities with opening through missions around the world. I arrived at Urbana just expecting this is – I’m going to find out God’s will for my life, how I can be a missionary and the printer paper was handed to me from the brave computer that figured out what I should do and here was the answer, I was to be a laundry supervisor in Nairobi, Kenya.

Not exactly what I expected, but all right. Off to Africa I go and I was teaching Sunday school class for teenage girls at the time, came back from Urbana and I told them “Oh girls, pray for me. I am going to Africa. I’m going to get a big basket and put it on my head. I’m going to walk down the river. I’m going to wash clothes for Jesus.” They just said “why”? Why don’t you stay here and just keep teaching us about women in the bible and just keep telling us stories? I just thought that was a waste of a life and so I waited for the letter and it came from the mission and I was rejected again. No, we don’t see you as being a good fit for this position. That was such a humbling and lovely and that’s where all the fear starts to brew, doesn’t it? It starts to really just bubble in you in those times of I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do. It’s been in my heart for years. This dream keeps dying and dying and dying and all the rejection which really helps us to relate to our savior. The depth of humility that comes from that is very important in the sanctification process I think.

So then, I ended up marrying Ross which was the best thing ever and loved doing youth ministries. Because he was a youth pastor, that just seemed like okay, I can’t be a missionary, at least I can motivate some of these teenagers to go be missionaries or I can be a good wife and a good mother because that’s a real high calling. When I adjusted that way, it really, really humbled out – it was during a camping trip with those teenage girls in our youth group that this prodding to start writing down stories started to grow. Those girls were relentless. “We want you to write books for us. We’ll tell you what to write. Let’s meet every week. Tell us your stories.” They wanted a romance story, they wanted it about a surfer boy and an average girl and that’s how the very first Christy Miller book came to be with those teenage girls on my heels.

It took two years to write the first book with all of their critique and input and that book, the first one was rejected 10 times, but it was those girls that just kept going and were just so insistent. After that first book came out finally, it was published by Focus On The Family originally in 1988. One of their first book that they published when they started their publishing division. I had no idea that that was all along God’s purpose. That’s what he created me to do. When that first letter came from a girl who said “As a result of reading your book, I’ve given my life to Christ” I saw this little glimmer of hope again. Right there, that hope, that roller coaster hope that I was being a missionary. It wasn’t that I was going around the world, but then it was these stories that were going to go around the world.

Fast forward 26 years later, these books are translated into other languages. There’s millions of copies sold. As a result, I’ve been invited to speak in public high schools in Brazil and in Finland. I have been able to go around the world and the sweetest thing that God did was three years ago, this opportunity came for me to speak in Nairobi, Kenya. So, I went to Nairobi and talked at a conference and taught writers from around the world how to write stories that would be applicable to their generation and their culture. It’s just a huge full circle and I just get so choked up because there had been hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of letters from around the world who have come to know Christ. I met some at that conference in Kenya. After the conference, I went with one of these young women from Africa and she took me on this trip and we were going down the road and there were women by the river washing clothes. It was that full circle moment of that’s not what I was created to do.

It was the stories. It was that being obedient to the next step to define those, refine those stories. Anyways, there it is in a nutshell.

Chris Williams:

Wonderful. That’s a great story.

Robin Gunn:

You don’t see it as what it is.

Chris Williams:

It is. It’s honest. There’s so many cycles there of hoping and then having circumstances or someone or something in your head tell you no and slap your hand and you pull back and do it again and slap your hand and you pull back. That process beats us down and says you can’t and I love how your wishing has turned to hope and your hoping has turned to faith and your progression there. You’ve grown up. I mean obviously you’ve grown up as an author for sure. You’re beloved all over the world, but that you’ve grown up in the strength and the stamina of your hope through the hard times. Without those you wouldn’t have that strength, you know?

Robin Gunn:

Yes. So exactly what you’re feeling right now with the fear of whatever it is next, the funny thing is whatever that picture that you have in your mind of okay, this is where I’m headed, this is the end-result, this is the goal I’m going after, you will find that by taking the next step toward that, you will hit obstacles. You will be rejected, you’ll be downtrodden, but all of those are re-calibrating events to put you on this windy path where you will get to that goal that you can see. When you turn around and look back, you’ll think whoa, I never thought I’d get there this way.

I had this nice, straight path figured and I was getting forded along the way. So, the full circle – I mean even the hurts, rejections, just last month I was speaking at a writer’s conference and someone came up afterwards and said “I’m so glad that you shared that little bit about how you were in college and engaged in you thought you were seeking God’s will and then he broke up with you and said he didn’t love you”. She just talked about that rejection piece because it was similar to what she had just gone through. She said when I read your Christy Miller books, I knew that you understood the depth of that. It was just that moment of “thank you” for letting me experience that in real life so that as I wrote, it would just be part of what came out naturally.

That’s what’s happening to you too Chris, that there’s things that are just so frustrating right now, but that’s building in you this deeper empathy and it will come out later in whatever that faith journey becomes. You’re more real along the way. It’s kind of a mystery. It’s kind of amazing how it happens.

Chris Williams:

It is. I like real too. We always connect to that better. Wow, you’re doing amazingly well here. I wish I had like three hours because we get a lot of good stuff.

Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?

I don’t just mean going to the conference and being a public speaker and an author and a movie set coming up and all these things. More of what do you do in your community, in your neighborhood, the ones that you can personally reach out to and touch. How do you share hope on a daily basis?

Robin Gunn:

Where my strength is, with young women, it’s having these small gatherings so we can open up and talk and be real and I think that there’s been the most hope-sharing opportunities. When I’ve met with these different groups of girls, I’m starting up another group this summer and this group is going to be women in their 20s, all of them single and we’re going to go through a book that I wrote with Tricia Goyer called Praying for your Future Husband. There is some hope like this is what we’re going to do. Let’s go through this book and just be deliberate about praying about your future husband. They will find, as they go through the book that the process is really to prepare their heart for whatever it is that God has for them because by surrendering in that whole area of their future area of romance and love that they become more receptive to what it is that God has for them.

The hope that’s shared in these small groups is the kind of input that can happen in a much deeper way than just passing out a book, here go home and read this book. It’s let’s talk about this book. Let’s talk about how you feel about the stage of life that you’re in in relation to these verses and the words of this page. I guess I’d have to say that the ways, over the years especially right now, that there are opportunities to give hope – it’s in those smaller groups. It’s different than like standing on a stage and casting a vision, but it’s just life upon life and listening to all the ups and downs and praying together and being in that community. I don’t know any other way for it to be – as you said real is good. We like real, but there’s no other way for it to be real unless take the time to really relate to another person’s life. That’s when the fellowship really take you to the next step.

Chris Williams:

You’re onto the next question which is a perfect tie-in.

Question 5: How can I and the people listening with me, how can we take steps to grow as a person of hope or share more hope? Either way you want to go there. Just the 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C kind of steps. Super simple, what’s next? What do we start with?

Robin Gunn:

I think it is saying, fear you have to go away. You can’t be part of this journey because fear and hope in the same room, it’s cat fight always. Who’s going to win? It’s the one that you be the most right? If you just keep feeding those fears, but if you feed the hope and you trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding and acknowledge him in all your ways, he will direct your path.

Proverbs 3:5-6, he promises us that. So, there’s that place where you get brave and say I’m not going to give in to the fear. I’m going to take a step of faith, that’s what we call it I guess, that’s where you move in from that teenage hope season into I’m going to grow up now and take this step of faith and be intentional about what it is that is just rumbling around in you and won’t go away so that it becomes something. I’m trying to make it general to whatever that hope is and that wish, that dream, how it grows up. It becomes something that really has the strength to go on. I guess I should back up and just say it seems that if you start saying no to the fear, in Jesus name go away and then hold on to the hope and then bravely and humbly take the next step forward and pretty much know that you’re going to hit obstacles, that’s the start. That’s the beginning. That’s where one step will lead to another.

Chris Williams:

That’s good. That is great. So, really feeding the hope more than the fear and figuring out which is which in pursuing the hope and then the determination to grow forward even though, you know, we’re all grownups here or some of us listening and even the kids know we have our hard days and you can still move forward. Know it’s going to be difficult sometimes but continue pursuing, continue feeding the hope, continue getting back on your feet, dusting yourself off and getting back with it.

Robin Gunn:

Yes. That’s where as you were saying, maybe you need to get to a writer’s conference. That’s where hope is going to grow. If you pack fear in your suitcase and you bring it along, then you might end up in your room crying most of the time. It’s just a lot of growing up for all of us because that means we’re going to be brave and we’re going to try new things and not be so concerned, oh what if I fail? Well, what if you fail? Go figure it out. Go make your own disasters.

Chris Williams:

That’s a good point. All right Robin Jones Gunn, how can we find and follow you? A lot of people would love to find out more of what you’re doing, find your books, follow you on social media, what do you have out there?

Robin Gunn:

Come to my website robinngunn.com and then on the website you’ll find all the links for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, all that. So get there and there’s a blog on the website as well, so plenty of info.

Chris Williams:

Great. We’ll do it. We’ll put that on the show notes as well at isharehope.com and a few pictures of you and links to just all of the great stuff you’ve got. I’m just so amazed. Well, thank you so much for your time. You’ve been truly a blessing to me and a blessing to my wife and my girls and obviously millions of others just like them. So, thanks for your time, thanks for the extra more than 30 minutes you’ve given us today. It’s been wonderful and I am challenged and I have a little bit of work to do now that I’ve talked to you and I don’t know if I should thank you or not, but I think I should.

Robin Gunn:

Yes. Well, go get them. Go trust God in a new way and be amazed. Just be amazed at what he does. It will turn out different than you ever thought, but you’ll be surprised it’s exactly what you hoped.

Chris Williams:

Great. Ms. Robin Gunn, right at the very end here this is not for the audio. Will you tell Jill, Allie, Kat and Caroline hello? They would love to hear from you.

Robin Gunn:

Jill, Allie, Kat, Caroline, Hello! No, no, no, Aloha!

Chris Williams:

Wonderful. You’re a blessing. You’re just great. Thanks for your time Robin. Enjoy Hawaii and have a beautiful sunny day over there.

Robin Gunn:

Thanks Chris, God bless you.

Chris Williams:

Same to you. Bye bye.

Robin Gunn:

Bye.

You’ve just listened to I Share Hope. If you’re ready to make a change, head to our website at isharehope.com and claim your free copy of the Top Ten Actions of Hope from World Leaders to use hope in your own life. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next time.

Chris Williams:

Robin, you’re in Hawaii and have you lived there a long time and do you surf since you wrote about a surfer boy?

Robin Gunn:

We have lived here permanently for five years. Before that, we came over every chance we had because my in-laws had a place here and we actually lived here 20 years ago for a year. I have done all kinds of water things like paddle board and I’ve sat on a surfboard and I’ve had fun with boogie board, but I have not yet mastered surfing. For me, that’s the next thing. Maybe that’s a little adventure waiting to happen. I love just going in the water and I have a special place I like to go to with my daughter. We set up this rhythm of going on Saturdays and getting there early and just talking, talking, talking and jumping in the water. It’s really sweet season of life, a sweet opportunity to be able to do that.

Chris Williams:

All right, so you are a master storyteller and you’re telling stories to people reading around the world and you’re still writing more stories that people are reading around the world even to the point where they’re potentially going to be in movies. That’s amazing. So, as a master storyteller, who do you like to read? Who tells a good story that captures your attention? Any genre.

Robin Gunn:

Okay, this will surprise you because my favorite books to read are Hawaiian history and it’s been that way for over 20 years. I’m just fascinated with the way that the early missionaries came into this island and all the stories of what happened and ancient Hawaiian traditions. I have a bookshelf that is just filled and filled and filled with books on Hawaiian history. A lot of the books are out of print, sort of this treasure hunt to go find another book here and there. So, I think it’s because of the love that we have for this place and the desire to understand the culture and see where they’d come from, but also that fascinating time in history, 160 years ago when the missionaries sailed from New England and brought the gospel here. It’s just unparalleled within the other little pocket in the world, but before that when I was maybe high school, I was not much of a reader because I would start a novel and I’d come up with my idea of how I thought the book was going to end. I’d read the last chapter and then I wouldn’t be interested to find out. It was like I was always so involved in the storytelling process. It was difficult to just sit and enjoy the journey. There’s some books that I really loved, but that’s where I didn’t become much of a reader in high school.

In college, just opening up this world of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien and some of the books that I had to read for classes, that’s remained and a deep love for poetry and real keen interest in some of the Christian classics. So, I have a lot of those books on my shelf too. Just finding all of the great classic Christian writers and having those books and then reading little snippets of them in quiet times. Just something to meditate on and absorb a little bit.

About Chris

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