Odd(ly) Enough... Q&A with Carolanne Miljavac
Described as humorous, authentic, and relatable, Carolanne Miljavac speaks refreshing truth and has fun doing so. Her debut book, Odd(ly) Enough from Shiloh Run Press, is written from that place of authenticity and snarky wit that has made her so popular on social media - and it too resonates with readers. If you’ve ever felt overlooked, awkward, or like you just don’t fit in, Odd(ly) Enough is written to encourage you to embrace the ‘you’ God created you to be!
Carolanne Miljavac is a southern raised, Jesus saved, barely sane author, speaker, social media goofball, wife, and mom of 3 daughters. With a bachelor’s degree in English, CA has earned an Olympic bronze medal in waitressing, 2 silvers in door-to-door sales, a gold in virtual health/life coaching, and 10s across the board in the art of sarcasm.
Impressive, she knows.
But it was the crushing loss of her seven-year-old niece to cancer that finally humbled her enough to listen to God when He said to her, as she crumbled in her car, “Give it up.” Without the chains of fear and insecurity, she followed her spirit’s instruction to speak. She now has over 100 million video views and over 500,000 social media followers. She pulls heartstrings while tapping funny bones with a message of freedom and revelation. Her purpose in life is to spread love and joy without sacrificing honesty and truth. She believes we all have a story needing to be told. Grief taught her gratitude, pain gave her purpose, and loss revealed true love. With faith, she found audacity, and her mission is to give you the guts to be you too.
Hope For Women’s book editor recently got to chat with Carolanne about Beanboozled jelly beans, living life with laughter, and how God has made beauty from ashes in her own life.
Q: Just for fun: Between these three modern day torture devices- sports bras, back-to-school shopping lists, or Beanboozled jelly beans- which one could you live with forever if you knew you could banish only the other two?
CM: Beanboozled should be illegal. I don’t even want to know how they get a bean to taste like actual vomit. School shopping lists have been the source of many parental panic attacks at Wal-mart. But these days you can get it done with the click of a button online. As exhausting as removing a sports bra can be, it’s better than underwire and push up pads any day. So I could live with the bra.
HFW: I think I’d go with school shopping lists… says the lady with no kids haha! But the Beanboozleds for sure need to go.
Q: You are known for sarcastic hilarity and authenticity. How do you find the humor in motherhood and marriage? And, why is it so important to live life with laughter?
CM: Life will always have ups and downs. Things go wrong, kids make messes, husbands drive you crazy. If you can’t loosen up and laugh, the only other option is to flip chairs and punch your decorative pillows. That’s not health. All it takes is a good giggle to help you get through a rough moment, relax, and remember that everything will be ok.
HFW: So very true! Laughter really is the best medicine.
Q: With such a large following on social media, how do you balance authenticity with privacy?
CM: I am very much an open book when it comes to sharing what needs to be heard about myself in order to relate and deliver the bigger message. However, I respect the privacy of other people so I am careful when it comes to stories involving my loved ones.
HFW: A wise balance :)
Q: What can readers expect from your new book, Odd(ly) Enough? What is your favorite aspect of the book?
CM: Readers will relate on so many levels. They will cry one moment, and laugh another. It’s an emotional journey of rejuvenated faith triggered by loss, and the realization that everything we think makes us unworthy is what makes us “oddly enough” for a calling only we could ever have. My favorite aspect of the book is the journey of faith and laughter after tremendous loss. Everyone has lost someone, and I truly feel many hurts will be healed by the words within these pages.
HFW: Everyone at some point feels unworthy, too, I think. Which is why this understanding that we are ‘oddly enough’ for our calling is so important!
Q: How has God made beauty from ashes in your life?
CM: There isn’t a single thing I’ve been through in life that didn’t shape a piece of my character into the person I needed to be for a God’s greater purpose on my life. Bad things are going to happen no matter what. But if we allow Him to, he can take the most tragic of our experiences and use them for the good of others. It’s our stories. Someone out there needs to know they aren’t alone. They need to know what you’ve gotten through, so they have hope and assurance. This book, and any restoration it brings, is the beautiful thing that grew out of all my ashes.
HFW: Amen. And I’m also humming the Crystal Lewis song now… just sayin ;)
Q: Where have you found hope lately?
CM: Hope for me is always found in the gift of laughter. Have you ever had the worst day, stumbled on a silly video, and laughed until you cried? It releases stress and negativity. As long as you have an ability to laugh, there’s hope for joy, and peace through problems. I have three daughters. If I can pass that on to them, I know they’ll navigate the ups and downs of life with a much lighter spirit.