Isis Perez-Gonzalez’s excitement is contagious. An attractive blonde with a dazzling smile, she enjoys talking about her book, Practical Grace: Through the Eyes of a Believer. A professional with an MS in Counseling and a BA in Communications, plus a busy schedule, she made the time to pursue her goal of writing this book. Perez-Gonzalez, a devout Christian, has been a mental health counselor for over 17 years. She held her first book signing at The Christian Family Bookstore on April 5th, in Kendall.
In Practical Grace: Through the Eyes of a Believer, Perez-Gonzalez uses her extensive knowledge of the bible to teach how to find peace within her nuggets of wisdom, affirmations. She ignites the spirit of believers in each page. She explains the process during this interview.
RS: Isis, what motivated you to write Perfect Grace: Through the Eyes of a Believer?
IPG: I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in communications but fate took a turn and I found myself spending more time helping children than writing. My first experience was leading an Ala-teen group. It was so healing and inspirational that I went back to school and got my Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling. I have been a school guidance counselor for the last 15 years and have found the profession to be extremely rewarding. I love being a child advocate and helping kids discern their feelings. I feel children need to have a voice.
The passion for writing just recently awoke in me again. I listened to that internal voice and followed where it lead. In the book I applied the same skills that I use with my students. I tried to find the easiest way to explain a complex subject in the most practical approach possible hence the name Practical Grace: Through the Eyes of a Believer.
As I look back at my life, I think that being practical has always been my motto. I would always look for ways to apply whatever I learned to my everyday life. I think that is why geometry was never my forte and health was. I was always the girl that others would go to for advice. I was the problem solver and the secret keeper and that still describes who I am today.
I have another side which is daring and adventurous. I save this side for my family. My husband and our daughter enjoy the outdoor life. We recently took a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon which was amazing and my daughter and I went sky-diving last weekend. Talk about letting go and letting God. The experience was like falling into the arms of Jesus and being placed gently on the ground. It doesn’t get much better than that.
RS: Your book, Practical Grace – Through the Eyes of a Believer, is written beautifully. You explain everything in a step–by-step, easy manner that everyone can understand. Was it difficult for you to write out the full process?
IPG: Rosa, I have to admit that the book was written through me but not necessarily by me. I found myself being awakened in the middle of the night with revelations on Biblical passages that once baffled me. I would sit for hours at the computer writing and then read what I had written and be surprised myself. I know God was working through me to get a message out and I am really grateful that he used me as the vessel.
RS: When was the first time the inspiration of writing Practical Grace – Through the Eyes of a Believer come to you?
IPG: I began going to Bible study the summer of 2011 and as I share in the book it transformed my life. A year later I had felt a calling to write about what I had learned and my pastor said to me, “If God has put a yearning in your heart, you must do it and He will show you how to do it.” I began to pray to be led and the book started to come together.
RS: What is the most important message you want to convey with Practical Grace – Through the Eyes of a Believer?
IPG: The message can be said in one phrase – “Embrace the Son –light.” I want Christians to know the true meaning of Grace and to really embrace the gift that Jesus gave them. I want that love of Christ to really fill the hearts of people everywhere. Unfortunately, many people have a misconception of what being a Christian is and I want to spread the word that the true foundation of Christianity is unconditional love.
RS: You are very thorough on the scriptures. How long have you been studying them?
IPG: Only two years, but I immersed myself in the Word. There is so much to learn and so many blessings that are in those pages and it was such a validation for me that what I believed was backed up by Biblical references. It was an awakening and I wanted to know more and more. I find passion in reading and understanding the Word. It truly has become my bread of life.
IPG: Isis, notice I ask how long, not with whom.
RS: Your husband, Marco Gonzalez and you have a very successful marriage, Twenty-eight years strong. What percentage would you attribute to your beliefs expressed in Practical Grace?
IPG: When I did my Emmaus Retreat in 1991 like I share in the book Jesus revealed to me what I needed to do to have a blessed marriage. Marco and I were two souls drifting that were touched by the love of Jesus and we were able to rekindle our love by first finding God’s love and then finding ourselves. Our marriage was then set on an impenetrable foundation. We were blessed with our daughter’s birth in 1994 and truly every year our love grows stronger for each other, for our child and for our Lord.
RS: What are your projects within this year? Keep us posted of your future book events, so the readers can be informed.
IPG: Right now the plans are to get this book into the hands of those who will benefit from it. The next book is in the brain storming and prayer stage. I know that I will be Divinely guided to write what others need to read. There are many plans in the working and I will definitely keep you posted.