Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer Provision


The end of the school year is no joke. I’ve heard parents describe it as a busier time than Christmas! With the end of the year productions, teacher gifts, and goodbye parties, that might very well be true. It’s a scramble to fit in everything that’s important.
That’s why I added one more thing to the calendar a couple of weeks ago. Yes, you read it right, I ADDED something. And that something was cooking a meal for the homeless with my children for Family Promise.
In case you’re wondering, Family Promise is a national nonprofit that serves homeless and low-income families. My church, Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, occasionally hosts some of its families. Most of them are employed; they just cannot afford New Jersey’s high rent.
Equally saddening was the news I heard recently that approximately 40 percent of the children at a nearby school, Jefferson Elementary, are food insecure. That makes snow days, holidays, and summer break precarious times in which some children could go hungry in my community and perhaps in yours.
As we turn to summer and think about the wonderful memories that are hopefully in store, I want to also consider the fear that some might be feeling as well. As farmers’ markets burst with abundance, let’s take the time to share some of our provision to make our community stronger, our children wiser, and our hearts just a little bit softer.
Are you local and interested in helping? Contact Amanda Parish Block (nokidhungryin07901@gmail) of GRACE. She’s looking for surplus produce! GRACE stands for Giving and Receiving Assistance for Our Community’s Essentials. To learn more about it, click here to read an article from a New Jersey paper. 
This post was also shared with Central Church on the staff blog.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Season Finale: Watch HERE!


I am delighted to pass along the on demand link to watch the season finale of my parenting TV series, Chaos to Calm with Noelle Kirchner! In this episode, entitled "The Calm of Connection," I explore the many benefits to a church connection. People often think of the church as simply a provider of religious education. This episode will explore how it is SO much more - largely, how it can be a valuable partner for parents in the character building of their children. I'll explore transformative moments through mission, racial reconciliation, key components to resiliency in children, and more! Meaningful connection is essential to help us all move from chaos to calm! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Sermon Sunday and Show Tuesday!

I am excited to pass along some important end of the school year news! 

For those of you who are local, I will be preaching for the last time this school year on Sunday at 5 pm. The service is Central Presbyterian Church in Summit's contemporary service called WAVE, which will be held this week in the sanctuary. We've been covering the beatitudes from Jesus' first sermon, and I'll be exploring: "Blessed are the pure at heart, for they will see God." How can we have a pure heart? What does it mean to see God? I'd love to see you there!

Also, the season finale of Chaos to Calm will air this Tuesday night! You can watch "The Calm of Connection" on Verizon (channel 33) or Comcast (channel 36) if you're local, or via live streaming here if you're not at 9 PM EST. In this episode, I sat down with other church leaders to explore the many benefits of a church connection, which span well beyond simple religious training. Find out how the church can partner with parents for important character development, foster healing in our communities through reconciliation, and empower the voice of your child. Meaningful connection is essential to help us all move from chaos to calm! I can't wait for you to see it! 

On set for the finale with two of my guests!

Friday, May 12, 2017

​9 Reasons Why I’m Celebrating Mother’s Day

This post is in honor of the "I'm a Great Mom Because..." challenge for the TODAY Show Parenting Team. Like it? Laugh at it? Click here to VOTE UP and spread the word! It's also over at the HuffPost. Happy Mother's Day!

  1. I try hard to ignore the mess when I trip over Legos as my child explores. The small ones really hurt, however, and warrant a guilt-free glass of wine.
  2. I kiss boo-boo’s and am an expert stasher for emergencies. Just check my purse or car for anything you need … seriously.
  3. I choose to care more about how my children feel at the end of the day rather than what my internal mom says about the dirty dishes in the sink.
  4. I delight in the cuddles, even if I’m disturbed by the icing-covered faces (and fill in the blank) on my new clothes … Keep them coming.
  5. I am my child’s best advocate. In fact, although the quote “A worried mother does better research than the FBI,” makes me giggle, it’s probably true.
  6. I know that “mommy brain” is a fallacy. If ever I am forgetful, that’s because I am juggling more than the average person … times X number of kids. 
  7. I can drive safely with loud carpools, be a pinch kickball player in work clothes, and magically find missing, needed items (like homework) around the house. In fact, hand me my superhero cape, please.
  8. I am an expert in teaching hygiene lessons, potty training, and germ prevention … just don’t ask me the last time I got to shower (without company knocking especially).
  9. I’ve learned firsthand that my heart can beat outside of my body and in another as I send my children off to school each day. 

TODAY Video Clip