“I’d love to spend an hour a day in Bible study and prayer, but life doesn’t always allow for that. On days when I’m going 90 miles an hour, everyone is clamoring for a piece of me, and I eat lunch standing up, I need something that’s quick and powerful.”
Lori is a busy woman. The editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine, part-time dental hygienist, women’s ministry speaker, freelance writer and editor, wife, and mother of two young adult daughters, she regularly struggles to make time for God.
She wrote her book, Hungry for God…Starving for Time, (due to release November 1, 2014) with women like herself in mind. “—the career woman, the stay-at-home mom, the student who desires a relationship with God but struggles to make room for it in her busy day.”
She likens her devotions to a spiritual power bar—just what a woman needs until she can sit down to a real “meal.” Even the layout of the book is intentional—a month’s worth of devotions in a volume small enough to fit in a purse, diaper bag, back pack, or briefcase. She hopes women will carry her book with them and pull it out whenever they have five minutes for quiet reflection.
Lori’s hunger for God began when she became a Christian the summer before her freshman year in college. She was eager to learn about God, but didn’t know how to go about it.
She remembers buying an old Billy Graham discipleship book at a thrift store. Every morning during breakfast she’d read a short section, look up a few Bible verses, and write her answers in the blanks. She’s sure she got many answers wrong, but her fledgling attempt helped her learn about God. Thirty-two years later, she still reads the Bible every morning. The five-minute devotions in her upcoming book, Hungry for God, Starving for Time, are the result of asking God questions and searching for answers as she reads his Word.
What was the hardest thing about writing Hungry for God?
“Being transparent,” Lori says. “I was tempted to write as though I had all the answers. Instead, I chose to tell on myself and share my struggles, doubts, and fears.” She also shares the truths from Scripture God revealed to her.
Each devotion in her book begins with a question she calls Facetime—something women would love to ask God face to face, maybe over a cup of coffee. Some questions are weighty such as God, this situation seems hopeless. Why even bother to pray? Others are lighter, like God, I’m having a bad hair day. How can I feel better about myself? Her questions offer a connecting point with God and feed her readers with his Truth. She hopes her questions will resonate with her readers and the answers she shares will help them know God better.
A Columbia resident, Lori hasn’t always lived in South Carolina. Born in Bristol, Rhode Island, she lived in New England for 15 years. Now she calls herself “a happy transplant.”
“As a teenager, I loved to sit on the rocky shores of Narragansett Bay composing long, melancholy poems,” Lori says. She fancied herself a poet.
The Blizzard of ’78 prompted the migration of ’79, and Lori’s family made another attempt at life in the South. They settled in West Columbia, and she completed her high school education there. She wrote for and later served as Editor in Chief of her high school newspaper and interned with a local paper.
It was there she fell in love with journalism and considered pursuing it as a career until a friend told her how hard it was to make a living as a writer. Lori saw the truth in that advice, and when she received a full tuition scholarship, she chose to major in Dental Hygiene. Six months after graduation, she married her husband, David. They had two daughters, now 21 and 25.
When the demands of work, home, marriage and parenting left little time for quiet introspection, Lori assumed her writing days were over. Homeschooling her children, however, resurrected her desire to write.She’d assign a writing prompt to one of her daughters and do the assignment with them, just for fun. As her daughters entered high school, the writing assignments became more complex. “I was being reeducated,” Lori says with a grin. “I finally understood why sentence structure and noun/verb agreement mattered.”
She began writing articles of encouragement for her homeschool support group newsletter. Reach Out, Columbia, the regional Christian magazine she now edits, also began to print her submissions. Before long its editor began assigning stories and profile pieces. In 2011, when the editor stepped down to pursue novel writing, she recommended that Lori serve as her replacement.
“It’s been a joy to work with ROC,” Lori says. “I love sharing stories of how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.”
In her three years as editor, she’s interviewed local South Carolinians as well as nationally known Christian authors, speakers, and leaders such as Anne Graham Lotz, family psychologist Dr. Gary Chapman, and singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman.
“Dr. Chapman was one of my favorites,” she confesses. “I brought homemade oatmeal cookies to the interview. His administrative assistant asked me for the recipe later, so I guess he liked them.”
A publisher at a writers’ conference challenged her to compile her homeschooling pieces into a book. With the help of Christian entrepreneur Mitch Smith, her first devotional, Joy in the Journey – Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms, was published in 2012.
She came home from a second writer’s conference and announced to her family, “I need a blog!” With a few clicks of the mouse, her college-aged daughter did a web search, plugged in some basic information, and her blog, Hungry for God . . . Starving for Time, was created. Today, Lori continues to post twice-weekly devotions to hundreds of subscribers. Positive feedback and comments from her readers prompted her to write her latest book, which carries the same name as her blog.
Her agent, Les Stobbe, an industry veteran from Tryon, North Carolina, helped her brainstorm the Facetime concept. “What if I could look God in the eye and ask him questions,” Lori pondered, “and what if he answered me through his Word?” This line of thinking became the genesis for the question and answer format of the devotional.
It’s been 32 years since this transplanted Yankee began to study the Bible and pencil answers into a thrift store devotional. She’s learned a lot, but realizes there’s still a lot she doesn’t know. “Some days all I have is five minutes,” she says, “but five minutes with God can change your life. I know it did mine.”
Lori’s new devotional book, Hungry for God . . . Starving for Time, will be released November 1. While you wait, why not subscribe to her blog and receive twice-weekly 5-minute devotions straight to your Inbox?
Lori's devotional for homeschooling moms, Joy in the Journey, Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms is available at Lulu and Amazon.
Lori is a popular teacher and women's ministry speaker. Encouraging and equipping, she challenges women to follow hard after God. With transparency and humor, Lori enjoys speaking at Ladies' Events and Women's Retreats. Lori relates well to women in all walks of life from her perspective as a devotional writer, healthcare professional, veteran homeschooling mother, and youth pastor's wife. You can reach her at loriahatcher (at) gmail.com.
Listen to Lori's testimony: