Welcome to The Shaun Tabatt Show! Today I speak with Esther Emery about her recent book What Falls from the Sky: How I Disconnected from the Internet and Reconnected with the God Who Made the Clouds (Zondervan, 2016).
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Here’s what you’ll learn in today’s interview:
- The Esther Emery origin story. (01:25 – 02:48)
- How a phone call led to an impulse idea to spend a year off the internet and write a book about the experience. (02:49 – 05:06)
- Identity crisis and withdrawal symptoms that quickly emerged after disconnecting from the web. (05:07 – 07:56)
- New experiences and routines that began to fill in the gaps that were previously consumed by time online?(07:57 – 10:07)
- Shifts in Esther’s marriage during this season. (10:08 – 13:16)
- Changes in motherhood and parenting. (13:17 – 15:09)
- Rediscovering God and a “surprise” missions trip to Nicaragua. (15:10 – 18:24)
- The importance of seasons in the year-long journey without internet. (18:25 – 20:37)
- What Esther would like to see every reader do after finishing the book. (20:38 – 22:22)
- Esther is back on the web these days, but she’ll never go back to how she was before. (22:23 – 24:31)
- Moving from Boston back to Idaho and how her family ended up living in a yurt. (24:32 – 26:03)
- Unique challenges and surprises living off the grid in a yurt. (26:04 – 28:29)
- What has it been like to essentially live out your mother’s dream and vision for the back to the land movement? (28:30 – 31:00)
- Where to connect with Esther and find her book online. (31:01 – 31:42)
About the Book: Esther Emery was a successful playwright and theater director, wife and mother, and loving it all – until, suddenly, she wasn’t. When a personal and professional crisis of spectacular extent leaves her reeling, Esther is left empty, alone in her marriage, and grasping for identity that does not define itself by busyness and a breakneck pace of life. Something had to be done.
What Falls from the Sky is Esther’s fiercely honest, piercingly poetic account of a year without Internet – 365 days away from the good, the bad, and the ugly of our digital lives – in one woman’s desperate attempt at a reset. Esther faces her addiction to electronica, her illusion of self-importance, and her longing to return to simpler days, but then the unexpected happens. Her experiment in analog is hijacked by a spiritual awakening, and Esther finds herself suddenly, inexplicably drawn to the faith she had rejected for so long.
Ultimately, Esther’s unplugged pilgrimage brings her to a place where she finally finds the peace – and the God who created it – she has been searching for all along.
What Falls from the Sky offers a path for you to do the same. For all the ways the Internet makes you feel enriched and depleted, genuinely connected and wildly insufficient, What Falls from the Sky reveals a new way to look up from your screens and live with palms wide open in a world brimming with the good gifts of God.
About the Author: Esther Emery used to direct stage plays in Southern California. But that was a long time ago. Now she lives with her husband and three children off the grid in a yurt, tending to three acres in the foothills of Idaho’s Rocky Mountains. She writes about faith and trying to live a fearless, free life at www.estheremery.com.
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