Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving, and WINNER!

Congratulations to L. White from California for winning Glenys Nellist's new book, Little Mole's Christmas Gift! We had registrants from across the country!

Though our 2020 Thanksgiving celebrations might look different this year, there's always reason to be thankful. In fact, gratitude is one of our most important spiritual muscles. I invite you to read one of my favorite articles on the power of gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving! Stay tuned for an exciting line up of new feature books in December—perfect stocking stuffers to build your family's faith!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Guest Post: Christmas Book Sneak Peak and Giveaway!

I am delighted to welcome back fellow author Glenys Nellist! Glenys has written popular posts for this blog like this one and a second Little Mole book for children, Little Mole's Christmas Gift. You might remember her first Little Mole book, which was geared to helping children process sadness and find hope. In honor of her new one's Christmas focus, I asked her the following questions. Since she's a mother, grandmother, and Christian Educator, she has a rich prospective to share:

What is your favorite Christmas memory from when your children were little?

My favorite Christmas memory with my children stems from a tradition that was passed down in my family. I am one of eight, and on Christmas morning we would all race downstairs and line up outside the living room door, anxious to see if Santa (or Father Christmas, as we called him) had been. None of us could enter the room until all eight of us were ready, and we lined up in order of age, with my youngest brother the first to go in. I was fifth in line, and it was always a magical moment to burst through the door and see the room full of shining gifts. This tradition, then, was carried over when our four children were born. My excitement watching my four little ones line up outside the living room door on Christmas morning was equal to that magical feeling I had as a child.

If you had to do it again, is there something you would tweak looking back on your Christmas celebrations?

Two things... Firstly, I might try to be more organized! Even though I tried, I always ended up wrapping presents late on Christmas Eve, which made it stressful. Secondly, I wish I had taken the time to celebrate Advent with my children, beyond the daily opening of the windows in their Advent calendars. There are so many good resources now that I wish had been available to me all those years ago.

Is there any activity that you would encourage families to consider integrating into their own holiday traditions?

Following on from the last question, I would encourage families to celebrate the whole Advent season together, especially since this year will be so challenging and different for all of us. Any resources or activities that will encourage families to bond during the whole month of December are to be welcomed. I love this interactive Advent Calendar from Beaming Books, and the recently released Faithful Families for Advent and Christmas from Traci Smith is just wonderful!

What inspired you to write Little Mole's Christmas Gift, and what do you hope will be the takeaway from your newest treasure?

In a world that so often encourages lavish spending and the buying of large gifts at Christmas, I really wanted to explore how the smallest of gifts, or those that can't even be wrapped, can somehow be the greatest. I remember several years ago when my daughter was a church custodian. It was Mother’s Day, and she couldn’t afford to buy me a gift. So instead, she sat in the sanctuary after everyone else had gone home and sang my favorite hymn as she thought about me. I’ve never forgotten that gift. It meant the world to me. In Little Mole’s Christmas Gift, Little Mole discovers that his kindness is the best, most wonderful gift his mama could ever receive—just like my daughter’s little gift was precious to me. This then is what I hope readers will take from the book...that kindness and generosity can be the greatest gifts of all. 

Thank you, Glenys, for sharing your thoughts with us. You made my eyes tear with your last response! Want to win a free copy of Glenys' book to share with your family? You might get an early Christmas gift if you:

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Why Jesus' Plan for Your Child Is So Much Better

little girl looking up happy, why god's plan for your kids is so much better

"I can think of no better parenting outcome than seeing my children as established difference-makers who are happy and secure. I want my boys to love, be loved, and thrive as men of faith. The reality is that gifting our children with the ability to pursue their purpose is the best possible determining factor toward that goal."

This is an except from my newest article for iBelieve. Join me in dreaming big for our children!

Read the full article here

Thursday, October 22, 2020

6 Ways to Make This Election Day Less Divisive

Election Day is around the corner, and millions of Americans have already cast their vote. The divisiveness of the country makes 2020 even harder. What can we as Christians do to lower the nation's temperature and help mend the country? I wrote this article for Crosswalk with that goal in mind—not to endorse any particular candidate. 

Our nation is wrestling with issues far deeper than any elected official. We have lost the ability to have constructive conversation and reach actionable compromise when the stakes have never been higher. When discourse is halted for fear of retaliation or is censored by social media or news outlets, it's concerning. We as a nation can do better.

Please join me in exploring the opportunity of this moment to model the change we want to see, compassion for our neighbors, and the light of Christ—it's never been more needed.

Read here

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

New On-Demand Episode: 'Cuties,' COVID, and Tween Faith

What are the signs of tween depression, and what strategies help fight it?

How can parents best support their children as school is impacted by COVID-19?

What messages does your daughter need to hear from you concerning body image and social media?

I was honored to connect with Proverbs 31 Ministries' Lynn Cowell, who is a speaker and author, and Michelle Nietert, who runs a counseling center out of Dallas, Texas. Both women are co-authors of a new devotional for tween girls and are passionate about tween issues and faith. They answer the questions above along with many others, including: How is parenting like packing a suitcase? (Thanks, Lynn!)

I hope you will tune in by watching here. Also, check out my latest article on tween issues that mentions the episode and is being re-featured on Crosswalk this week.

One more thing! Lynn and Michelle are giving away one copy of their new devotional, Loved and Cherished, to a girl in foster care for every copy sold. I love that! Want to win a free copy? REGISTER HERE by Sunday, 10/18/20 at 10 PM EST. I will choose one lucky winner! Happy watching (and registering)!

To watch other Chaos to Calm episodes on-demand, click here!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Living Fully within the Storm

"Storms in life don’t have to be literal to be devastating."

This week, I'm sharing a piece I wrote for the October edition of my writer's guild publication, The Redbud Post. Join me in finding hope, choosing faith, and benefiting from God's peace in all of life's storms. I write:

"As the country braced for Hurricane Laura’s ensuing destruction, I followed the storm’s formation. I saw white, mammoth clouds spinning and churning through satellite images. There were purple flashes of lightning within the cyclone. Yet the center, the eye of the hurricane was different. It was a place of peace, a dark hole of rest visible all the way out in space as well. It made me wonder: How can we as Christians live in the eye of the storm, in a place of peace regardless of what is swirling around us?"

Find the article and continue reading here

Stay tuned next week for a new fall episode of HTTV's "Chaos to Calm with Noelle Kirchner," which will be available to watch on-demand here! I talk COVID-19 and back-to-school issues, rising tween anxiety, faith and sexuality, and more with a ministry and psychologist duo.

Also, I started a Bible study with fellow women at my church based upon my new book this past weekend. Check out their sweet faces on Instagram! 

TODAY Video Clip