Friday, October 5, 2012

"Wrapped Up" with Teresa Tomeo and Cheryl Dickow

I recently had the honor and pleasure of speaking with syndicated radio host, speaker and Catholic author, Teresa Tomeo (www.teresatomeo.comand author and President of Bezalel Books ( Dickow. These two talented Catholic authors put their hearts and minds together to co-author the new Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Women with Servant Books.

First, a description of the book and then our interview. "Wrapped Up: God's Ten Gifts for Women offers a healthy alternative to the false messages women hear today. Each chapter focuses on a different gift a woman is meant to discover and unwrap, ultimately leading to peace and fulfillment. Cheryl draws from her extensive knowledge of Old Testament women to unveil life lessons found in the rich history of our faith, and Teresa uses her media expertise to reveal how to counter the cultural messages that inundate women today. Together, the authors provide a timeless and timely look at God's life-giving gifts."

DONNA-MARIE: Teresa and Cheryl, your book appears to be the perfect gift (no pun intended) for women today! Would you mind sharing with us about your inspiration to write this lovely book?

Teresa Tomeo

TERESA: I noticed that many women who had purchased some of the books in the All Things Girl series were telling me they were getting a great deal of comfort and help from learning how women are truly daughters of the King.  This idea of being totally loved or wrapped in the arms of Christ kept coming up and that's how the book idea came into being.

CHERYL: In retrospect I see this as a very Holy Spirit guided book. I am not sure I can identify at what point Teresa and I knew it was “meant to be” but feel that it evolved from our own experiences with women, our personal journeys, and our desire to serve God. Once the discussions about it began, the whole book truly unfolded in a very inspirational way.

 I was recently asked if it was difficult to determine just ten gifts (Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Women) but have to say that it wasn’t really that difficult at all. We began with love which is certainly what is at the basis of every good thing that comes from God and each gift after that just made sense. From accepting God’s love we knew women needed to accept His forgiveness; from there we knew how imperative it is for women to allow God to be God, then accepting the gift of a joyful attitude and so on to the tenth gift which we knew had to be to each reader “the gift of you!”
Cheryl Dickow

DONNA-MARIE: Are you hearing from the readers? What have they been saying about the book? 

CHERYL: We’ve been hearing many blessed comments about the book—which has blessed us as well. In particular women have said that reading the book feels as if they are having a conversation with each of us. I’ve also heard many times that the content has revealed things that women hadn’t previously considered or discovered. As an author, that is incredibly rewarding to hear.

TERESA: What's really encouraging are the comments from Protestant sisters.  Of course the book stresses the doctrines of the Church with an emphasis on the Sacraments and the Church teachings on women but the message of being again "wrapped" in God's love is resonating very strongly across denominational lines.  So to me that is really a testimony to the message of the book.

DONNA-MARIE: Would you care to share any of your writing process with us?

TERESA: The chapters were written separately and sent to the amazing Claudia Volkman who served as the editor.  Everything flowed together and each section was based on a different gift for women.  My interests are always toward giving women and other believers a deeper understanding of the truth of Jesus and the Church as born out or shown through the natural law.  I love drawing upon secular research to back up what the Church says.  And that combined with personal experience helps to make the points about the reality and beauty of faith.

CHERYL: Writing this book was a very anointed experience. Once the outline was in place, each gift we tackled (and we each approached the gifts from very different perspectives with Teresa focusing on current or “timely” ways the gift is given whereas I focused on Scripture or “timeless” ways in which the gift is known) seemed to play out in our lives. For instance, I would have some sort of experience and say to myself, “Oh, that is for me to share in the chapter on the gift of letting go.” Then I would instinctively know which Old or New Testament woman best embodied that gift and share something of her life as well. The Holy Spirit was very much active in the process and that seems to be evident in the responses we are getting. We are finding that women are experiencing wonderful connections to the book when they read it and see how it flows between my “Timeless Truths” and Teresa’s “Timely Truths.”

DONNA-MARIE: Is there anything else would you like to share with our readers?

CHERYL:I want the readers to know that I prayed for each one as I wrote and that I invited the Holy Spirit to guide the book so that it would be a blessing to each reader in whatever way she may be needing or seeking . Without a doubt it has been my privilege to be part of this and to serve God by serving my sisters in Christ.
TERESA: I just hope this gets into as many hands as possible.  Women need to know they are a gift to themselves and to the world and are so loved by Jesus.

DONNA-MARIE: Finally, where can we get this beautiful book?

TERESA: The book can be ordered through the publisher, Servant/Franciscan Media as well as Amazon and can be found on my home page at 

CHERYL:We’d love to direct the readers to the book’s landing page: 

DONNA-MARIE: I love that there is also a Wrapped Up Companion Journal available. The publisher, Servant Books describes it: "The perfect companion to Wrapped Up by Teresa Tomeo and Cheryl Dickow, this journal is designed for individuals and groups to use. Each chapter of the journal will correspond to a chapter in the book. Full of Scripture and Catechism references, excerpts from Wrapped Up, additional commentary from the authors, discussion questions, and room for personal takeaways this is a valuable resource for those wanting to go deeper into the gifts God longs to give."

Thank you very much for your time for this interview and for all you do for the Church, Teresa and Cheryl. I hope and pray that your book moves hearts far and wide! May God bless you both and all who read your book.

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