Hannah Farver and Lindsey Wagstaffe are two teenage ladies who are passionate about reclaiming and promoting the robust, biblical vision of true womanhood. In 2005, they founded a website for young women called Beauty from the Heart. The site quickly became a go-to spot for young women interested in recovering God’s design for feminine attractiveness. Being nationally ranked public speakers, their ministry soon extended to a string of conferences on themes such as purity, modesty, and femininity.
Over the next two weeks, I’ll post an introductory interview that I did with them awhile back. Today I’ll post my interaction with Hannah. Next week I’ll post Lindsey’s answers to the same questions.
1. First of all, do you mind if I ask your age, how many siblings you have, and where you are in your schooling (what year?)?
I’m nineteen, the oldest of four, and I’m taking CLEP courses right now. You could call me a college freshman, I guess.
2. How has your family been instrumental in the formation and cultivation of your faith in Christ?
It’s tough to begin to describe their influence on me, because it’s hard to know where their influence starts and ends. My Mom led me to Christ when I was nine. My Dad leads our family in worship on Sunday. When I was a little kid, they pushed me to memorize the Bible (pushed me, because I didn’t understand then why it was so important.) They taught me that receiving good, challenging biblical teaching is vital if you want to grow as a Christian.
And, you could say my siblings help by promoting my sanctification. (Wink, wink.) Truly, daily interaction with them helps me see my own faults through how I relate to them.
3. What sort of disciplines did your family implement that have been most influential for you?
For as long as I can remember, there has been a big emphasis on Bible reading in our family. I took this for granted growing up. I didn’t realize that some people can view daily Bible studies as a form of legalism—like reading God’s Word is only something done to feel more moral than the next guy—and therefore don’t read it much at all.
I’m blessed because my parents never felt the need to caution me about that. Their conviction was, “Read it every day, even when you don’t feel like it,” because only by reading and knowing the truth in the Bible can we ever be free from such sin as legalism, dependence on ourselves, rebellion, etc. So the Bible was seen as part of the solution, not part of the problem, and I’m grateful for that perspective.
4. What books have been particularly meaningful to you?
Oi vay. As a bibliophile, this question’s a toughie. Recently, Tim Keller’s The Prodigal God and Francis Chan’s Crazy Love have helped pull my mind from the self-righteous and/or self-condemning ruts and put my identity into a more biblical perspective.
Another very meaningful book to me is, oddly, The Great Gatsby. I fell in love with that book when I first read it—not because it was of great spiritual comfort to me—but because of how poignantly it described the human condition. It wasn’t a book on sanitary, perfect people. It was a book about the unhappy rich and famous and how—like Augustine said—our hearts are restless until (and unless) we find our rest in God.
5. When did you take up speaking and writing?
I started to write stories before I learned to spell…which means my early writing was very difficult to read. I had this really basic, circa 1992, low tech software called “Storybook Weaver” for putting together stories and I spent hours doing that as a little kid. The blog-writing part didn’t come until 2004, though.
As for speaking…I didn’t like the idea of speaking in public at all. At all, at all, at all. But Mom put me in a speech class when I was fifteen, and by sixteen I’d discovered a new love. It’s gotten easier with time, and if you love to write, I think speaking flows naturally out of that. Once you get over (or at least, learn to ignore) a fear of public speaking, the communication part is just like writing…it involves the same skills.
6. What are your current projects?
Well, besides school, trying to keep up the Beauty from the Heart blog and get one book published, I’m also working on a novel.
7. How can readers pray for you?
Wisdom would be great—and trust in God for the future.
UPDATE: My interview with Lindsey Wagstaffe has now been posted.