Dare to Laugh by Elizabeth Van Liere

Posted by on Apr 10, 2015 | 19 comments

Dare to Laugh by Elizabeth Van Liere

My guest this week is author Elizabeth Van Liere, a 91 year old writer who shares how “aging problems, large and small can be met with a smile.” So let’s get acquainted and dare to laugh! Leave a comment and enter the Rafflecopter contest for a chance to win one free book!



Fabulous Fridays

Welcome, Elizabeth! I am so happy to have you on my blog this week! Give us a little background about yourself and how you began writing.

My imagination has always run wild. In elementary school, I remember writing about the slave capture of a young girl in Africa. I drew her travels on maps in the back of my dictionary. My first story, “How the Rooster Lost His Voice,” was published in Child Life when I was in my thirties.

Tell us a little about your family.

My husband died in December of 1991. My daughter and her four young sons had moved in with us the previous summer and the two of us raised her boys, calling ourselves Eunice and Lois. All four boys are grown up now as are my other six grandkids. My oldest grandchild, Jennifer, is married and lives in Germany. The others and seventeen great grandchildren, live in various states in the U.S.

Beginning a writing career at any age can be a daunting task. Please share with us something about beginning to write later in life that might encourage others that it’s never too late to start.

One thing about writing—because the book stores are so filled with books I shook my head at joining those authors. Yet, God had a different plan. When I hunted for a devotional book for seniors they were few and far between. At age 85, I presented an idea to three editors at the Write His Answer conference in Estes Park. One said, “No.” The second said, “Send us a proposal.” The third one, Eddie Jones, said, “Go for it.” Two years later Dare to Live was published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Now, at age 91, Dare to Laugh is out, ready to be read… And here comes God’s humor: We never know what He has planned until He takes the steering wheel.

Dare to Laugh is your second book. Please tell us about your devotional books and the audience theyDare to Laugh are intended for.

Both books were written with seniors in mind—older, wiser seniors, not high schoolers. However, Dare to Live and Dare to Laugh will fit anyone who needs a touch of God’s love.

Just from reading the posts on your website, I can see a terrific sense of humor coming through. How does it help to keep your sense of humor about the challenges of growing older?

A sense of humor takes the bumps out of life’s ups and downs. Laughter is one of God’s gifts and if we realize God is the One in control we can relax about the small things and wait on Him. Of course, the death of a loved one, the hurt of a runaway son or daughter, the loss of a job or the pain of a serious illness cannot be laughed away. Yet, even so, knowing God is in it with us can bring a bittersweet smile. 

As a former orthopaedic nurse, my favorite patients were always the older ones. They had such a rich depth and strength of character. How do you want your books to encourage those who are growing older?

As an encouragement to others who are growing older, my hope is for the books to touch hearts for God. He can turn a frown upside down into a smile when we realize how much He loves us.

What events in your personal life have most impacted your writing, and how?

How can I say which events in my personal life have most impacted my writing? The accident to a grandson left him helpless; my husband’s heroic battle with bone cancer; the death of dear friends; the funny sayings of my children and grandchildren; seeing my children and grandchildren walk with the Lord; being surrounded by Christian friends; chocolate (knowing it can rule me if I let it).

What is one of your favorite Biblical passages (or books) to study through?

Perhaps my favorite Bible book is the gospel of John. I love poetry and John writes with a poet’s heart. He calls himself the disciple Jesus loved and he makes me want to be included in this love.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

New lessons from God? Watching humming birds returning to the feeder in the spring. Slowing down at a curve in the road because several deer lie in a wooded area and they make me smile. Once again seeing the miracle of a baby, great grandchild #17, change from a tiny helpless human to an almost twelve month old smiling little boy. Believing no matter how old I get I should do for God what I can as long as I can.

Do you have more books planned?

One thing I love to do is write. One thing I don’t enjoy doing is promoting the books. But if God wants me to push the books, then I will do so as well as I can. If He wants another book, it will fall in place.

Book Blurb:

When the joints creak and the eyes begin to squint Dare to Laugh. When your children are grown . . . really grown like, with children of their own and those with children too Dare to Laugh. In the midst of loss and pain, when your heart feels as though it will rupture from the sadness Dare to Laugh. When your life’s experiences become well-refined wisdom Dare to Laugh.

Challenge yourself to chuckle at the everyday problems that ail you. Laughter is healing power and these sweet, heartfelt devotions prove the ache in one s heart may remain, but when the tears are given to God, the realization He is in control becomes apparent. Joy comes and laughter returns to your life.

Dare to Laugh Devotions for Those Full of Years is not a joke book, rather it s a balm for the soul, slathered across the hardships and cooling the sting of life. Lean back. Relax. Dig into the life lessons and then. . .dare to laugh.

Would you share one of your favorite devotionals with us, please?

I Love You, Jesus

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love . . .” John 15:9 (NIV)

Twenty years ago my daughter’s marriage broke up. Soon after she and her four young sons moved in with us, my husband died. The children booted much of the sadness out the door and replaced it with laughter, but their energy also brought days when I longed for peace and quiet.

An envious friend said, “You are so lucky to have grandchildren nearby. I love spoiling mine and playing with them when they come on vacation.”

“Easy for you to say,” I told her. “Spoil them? Play with them? I’m back to the days when my children were young. I love the boys, but I’m the boss when my daughter is at work. I cannot spoil them, am too busy. ‘Why do I hafta’ clip the grass after I mow?’… ‘There’s nothing to do!’… ‘Gran’ma. You don’t understand’…”

As the days rolled on, “Mother Knows Best” (substituting Gran’ma for Mother) and “Because I say so,” found their way back into my vocabulary.

Bloody battles were fought, the kind boys love—I had to break them up. Often I shrugged my weary shoulders and said, “Just wait ’til your mother comes home. I’ll let her deal with you.”

Except for a question now and then, homework always brought some of those desired moments of peace and quiet. One day Luke, the eleven-year-old spoke up. “Gran’ma.”

“Yes, Luke?”

“I love you, Gran’ma.”

Had Luke said what I thought he said? Without being prompted?

“Wow, Luke. You made my day.” I walked to where he sat figuring his math problems and hugged him. “I love you, too, honey.”

“Aw, Gran’ma,” he said and ducked down under my arm.

A bell rang in my heart. Luke’s “I love you, Gran’ma,” made the moment sparkle, a precious gift to warm my heart.

I hummed as I began preparing dinner until suddenly, some of my words echoed back to me: “God, why is my world so torn up? It would be nice to fly to a beach in Florida and lie in the sun. But, God. You don’t understand.”

You’re just like the boys. Worse—when was the last time I said, “I love You, God. I love you, Jesus.”

God’s love fills our lives. Let’s tell Him, “God, I love you.”


Heavenly Father, I love You. Jesus, my Savior, I love You. Holy Spirit, thank you for

bringing my love to heaven, Amen.

A Step Further

The name, Jesus, means love.

Moving On

Love is an action verb. Use it.


How do you feel when someone says, “I love you.”

About the author:

Elizabeth van LiereElizabeth Van Liere’s articles, poems, children’s stories and devotions have been published in various magazines for some sixty years. At age 87, her first book, Dare to Live, for those “full of years,” was published. Elizabeth believes God has given her the gift of laughter and at age 91, in her second book, Dare to Laugh, she shares her thoughts with senior citizens. She shows how aging problems, large and small, can be met with a smile.

Connect with Elizabeth:

Website: http://viewfromthehilltop.me/

Amazon author: http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Van-Liere/e/B00J498MOE/

Book links:

Dare to Live: Devotions for Those Over The Hill, Not Under It! (Volume 1)http://www.amazon.com/Dare-Live-Devotions-Those-Under/dp/098331960X/

Dare to Laugh – Devotions for Those Full of Yearshttp://www.amazon.com/Dare-Laugh-Devotions-Those-Years/dp/1941103812/Dare to Live

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas bookstore:

Dare to Laughhttp://store.lpcbooks.com/?s=Dare+to+Laugh&x=0&y=0

Dare to Livehttp://store.lpcbooks.com/?s=Dare+to+Live&x=0&y=0

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  1. Thanks for sharing this inspiring interview. “We never know what God has planned until He takes the steering wheel” – so profound!

  2. You’re welcome, Sandy! It is exciting to see how God can use us no matter what our age.

  3. Sandy, I’m glad you joined the interview. I’m not sure about being profound, but I know for sure God led me to writing–years ago. I have learned a lot and expect to continue learning after I leave home here for my home “there”.

  4. Norma, what a nice thing to do, holding interviews. I appreciate your having one for me. Thank you. Elizabeth

    • You are so welcome, Betty! It’s my pleasure and a little way to pay back LPC for all they’ve done for me!

  5. Corporate America tends to relegate people to the retirement pasture far too soon in many cases. I loved this interview and seeing a woman so willing to be used by God no matter her age. Very encouraging!

    • It’s exciting, isn’t it! My mom was so excited about someone Betty’s age writing books that she asked me to order them for her. I told it they could be her Mother’s Day present!

  6. Trina, sometimes we are pushed into being used. God does those things. I am glad He is letting me do this because it sure keeps me from hibernating.

  7. So wonderful and inspiring! “It’s never too late” is clearly the message I need to hear, after all, I’m only 49! I can still write that book. And the story about Luke just made me smile inside 🙂

    • So glad you enjoyed it! You are not too old! My first was published when I was 59! Go for it.

    • ginabad, trying to figure out the words in your address. Fun! As to the story about Luke, it is so nice for me to remember because he is now a grown-up man of 29, soon to be 30! As to writing a book at 49, I never wanted to write one. Always happy to send short articles and stories and see them published. The Lord had other plans. So who knows what He has in store for you. Thanks again for your kind words. Elizabeth

  8. What a great interview. Can’t wait to get your next book, you make me smile and think and then respond in prayer and action. Love ya Betty, Kathy Wilber

    • Betty has been a delight to work with on this interview! I hope I can learn from her terrific attitude!

  9. Kathy, thank you. You are a special friend. (I hope by next book you meant Dare to Laugh, because I don;’t think I have the energy for another one. Just re-read the two over and over…. Smiles. Love you, too, Betty

  10. Norma, YOU’ve done all the work!

    • I have enjoyed our email conversations. By the way, my mom’s copies of your books came today. She is really excited to read them.

  11. I have been watching and waiting for this book. I belong to a consilium of women in that season of life.

    • Thanks for commenting, Debra. I just got it for my mom!

  12. Thanks, Debra. Hope it says all you are hoping for. Elziabeth

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