Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Why We Don't Have to Live Discouraged

This Monday marked the worst shooting in US history. Our hearts break as a church, community, and people of faith. As we learned about the event in disbelief, it’s hard to find our bearings. Sometimes it feels like tragedy just keeps unfolding on the wide-screen of our TV’s and in our very lives.

I remember hearing an encouragement to “look for the helpers” in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy. Mr. Rogers, the popular children's television icon, coined that phrase as a sign of active hope.  He said, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world."

As the country lit candles, sang songs, pledged dollars, and honored rescue workers this week, we have seen those helpers. Living in New York City during 9/11, I can testify that that show of solidarity indeed means something. But I believe as a people of faith, our job isn’t just to look for the helpers; our job is to be the helpers.

It is through the eyes of people who have suffered that we can see the suffering of others anew. We can work to bless others who are in pain. We can bind together what once was broken, and in our effort to mend fences, the holes in our hearts can heal too. The miraculous promises of our Savior are active in the world partially to the extent that we open ourselves up to be those "helpers" — in the broader communal sense and at home. Here are some ways we can do that:

·      Pray. This isn’t a trite, quick-fix solution; the Bible promises that it unlocks the power of God to move redemptively.
·      Give. We can send money, supplies, or handwritten letters to those who are hurting. Recently, my youngest son made teddy bears for children affected by Hurricane Irma at his school. He was so proud to help make a difference for another child.
·      Model. I love the quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Whether we’re modeling with our life or patiently teaching character-building to our children, we should never underestimate our power to plant positive seeds. These seeds can grow and become much more impactful than any tragedy, as they are not limited to a single event, but rather reflected over an entire lifetime.

This week and always, remember your God-given power to make a difference. Share your tears, open your palms, and shine your light.

It's good to be blogging again after a late summer/early fall break, though I wish it were not under these circumstances. My prayers continue for Las Vegas. If you'd like more encouragement, you can read my full Boston Marathon post here. Also, be sure you've signed up for my free devotional ebook and email updates here

This post was also shared with my church site

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Learning to Listen

I wrote this article in response to a writing teacher's challenge: Write about a humiliating moment (of hopefully redeeming value)! I hope it inspires you to listen — an important challenge and responsibility as we parent. 

I felt confident walking into the New Jersey post office that afternoon. I had set clear rules beforehand for my children. They knew to avoid the automatic door buttons. As tempting as the buttons were, an open door would land them right on Main Street with oncoming traffic while I was still in line.

In typical 2-year-old fashion, my younger son was not persuaded after our arrival. He wanted to push the door buttons. My left hand held his; the other was juggling two large, rather awkward packages of art that I was sending to his grandparents. What started as a gentle pull, a slight lean toward the door really, soon became a full-body pursuit.

“Mom, let me goooo! I want to push them!” he exclaimed. He threw himself to the floor, hoping the weight would cause me to drop his hand. But I knew that trick from raising his older brother. I held onto his hand tightly when I saw his attempt at a jump.

My son swung from my arm, a few inches off the ground until he stood back up. He started crying. Here comes a tantrum now that he knows I will not give in, I thought. Line, please hurry up! I made it to the front, quickly paid for the packages with embarrassment, and left with my two sons, one still screaming.

When we got to the car, he told me his arm hurt as I tried to strap him in. I was gentle with my movements but emotionally raw. I wanted to get home and get him down for his nap. I needed a quiet moment to compose myself. I tucked him in as soon as we got home. I told him he would feel better after his nap as he often did after boo-boos, real or imagined.

After about ten minutes of a quiet room, he started crying again as he had in the post office. It was the first time it clicked that something was wrong. I rushed into his room to see my son sitting up in his bed, telling me his arm hurt. It was lying motionless. He couldn’t move it. Panic ensued. What was going on? I rushed him to the ER.

After an X-ray, the doctor told me that nothing was broken, but my son had nursemaid’s elbow. I didn’t know what that was. Then he said these simple words: His elbow is dislocated. And it had happened when he swung from my arm.

While the doctor reassured me that this condition is common in young children, I was devastated. In an effort to protect my son, I had hurt him. Further, I hadn’t listened to him. He had told me that his arm hurt. He had been screaming at the post office, and I had misread the signs.

The latter particularly stung because I’m a minister who’d worked for two years as a hospital chaplain. It was my job to listen to people’s pain and accompany them through their healing process. I had learned the best chaplains erase their own agendas and become skilled at empathizing with patients. I had done this with countless cancer patients and high-risk pregnancy mothers. I had held hands with those who were dying. I had helped others, but not in this instance for my own vulnerable child, whom I adored.

After the doctor had manipulated his elbow back into place, I looked at my now pain-free son. I recognized that sometimes listening was easier at hospital bedsides. There, it was typically a conversation between two adults. With my children, I was used to knowing better and instructing them. They often depended on me for that.

I’d spent the afternoon talking nervously on my cell phone with my husband, keeping him informed. When he got home from work that night, our 2-year-old bounded toward him with his arms flung wide for a hug. My husband picked him up gingerly and let out a quiet sigh as he held him close; meanwhile, our son chattered about the events of the day. He seemed unfazed. I, on the other hand, was different.

Parenting is one of God’s best character crucibles. Even the best parents have imperfect moments. I learned that day that good parenting doesn’t just involve sincere attempts to keep my children safe. It doesn’t just involve imparting necessary care and guidance. It also involves pushing aside my preconceptions and agenda, getting down on my children’s level, and saying, “I want to listen.” I still needed to learn something.

If you resonated with this article, please give it some love here! It's been published by my writer's guild in their monthly RedBud Post. Discover their other parenting-themed articles here.

Monday, June 26, 2017

How to Receive My First Free E-Book

"The first step to living a soul-filled life is to make time for what feeds your soul."

I am delighted to offer YOU my first e-book. It's one that I hope will impact your life as I've written it with you in mind. 

Are you looking to move from chaos to calm? For parents, this is a daily journey ... and this devotional can help! Every day for one month, read a different meditation complete with Scripture and a challenge to think about that day. Your parenting, personal development, and connection to God will grow as you experience this resource and its professionally-edited, color-illustrated pages!

Going on a monthlong journey together is intentional. You'll get to know me better as I honestly convey my thoughts, aspirations, and struggles in an effort to encourage us all ... Parenting is no easy gig, and we're in this together!

This e-book is yours for FREE when you sign up for my mailing list and follow the prompts. Those of you who are already on my mailing list got the download link this morning. YOU can join hundreds of others and sign up by clicking this link. Please note that you will not be spammed. This service is simply for weekly blog updates and occasional newsletters. My hope is to give you an exclusive sneak peek into my new book on life purpose through the newsletter, for instance.

Thank you for reading and being a part of this community. I am grateful for you. Please let me know what you think of my e-book. I can't wait for you to read it!

Want to keep the momentum going? This resource is named after my TV series. Don't miss its episodes, which are available on demand. Watch here.

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. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

First Book Deal!

I have been SO excited to share the news with you! My denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), has just contracted me to write a book for their best-selling Being Reformed workbook series. The book will be an interactive discernment tool to help people live more fully into God’s plan for their lives. It will be forthcoming in 2018.

Life purpose has been a topic that I've been exploring a lot this year. In addition to watching my recent episode on fulfillment, I hope you didn't miss my article for on three steps to discerning life purpose. The article includes insights I preached about at my church as part of its New Year, New You series.

You won't have to wait until 2018 to read a book from me, however, as I am also writing my first e-book! It is a short 31-day devotional journey for parents looking to move from chaos to calm, in honor of my TV series. It will be forthcoming later this year. My hope is to offer it for free to all subscribers to my blog!

Speaking of Chaos to Calm, this season's final episode will air later this month. I'll be exploring the virtues of a church connection for families - and believe me, we'll go far beyond simple formal religious education! Stay tuned for more details. Are you already a blog subscriber? If not, subscribe here to have the episode sent right to your inbox!

And for those of you who are local, I will be preaching for the last time this school year at the WAVE service on May 21st at Central Presbyterian Church in Summit. I will be exploring one of Jesus’ beatitudes, his basic teachings from the Sermon on the Mount. WAVE services are kid-friendly and begin at 5 pm. Hope to see you there!

Thank you all for your support!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Episode WINNERS!


Thank you to everyone who registered to win a Jar of Joy from the recent episode of Chaos to Calm! The three lucky winners, who will be receiving a month's worth of inspiration, are: Anita K. of Florida, Debbie Y. of Wyoming, and Becca Z. of Florida. Our winners took advantage of bonus entry options, which helped their chances!

Winners from this blog have now hailed from New Jersey, California, Connecticut, Maine, Texas, Indiana, Kansas, Illinois, South Carolina, Florida, Wyoming, and Arizona! We've had registrants from many, many more states. Stay tuned for your next opportunity to win!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Watch "The Chaos of Unfulfillment" On Demand NOW!

What is a life wheel, and how can it help you reach important life goals?

How can emotions point you toward greater fulfillment?

What is a practical meditation that you can use anytime to ground you in the present moment?

To find out the answers to these questions, tune into this month's Chaos to Calm! I interview both a spiritual director and a time management coach who will help us curb the chaos of unfulfillment in our lives. Thank you to Pam Roberson and Lisa Allen for their insights respectively! You can watch on demand above or by clicking here.

This episode is not only one that I hope you will find quite helpful, but it also includes a GIVEAWAY! Register to win a free Jar of Joy by scrolling down on my homepage to the entry form or simply register here. The contest will run for one week, and THREE lucky winners will win one jar with a month's worth of inspirational quotes to start their days! Friends, these jars have gone viral. Find out more about them and how they can help you by tuning in!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Watch Chaos to Calm LIVE Tonight!

Me with Spiritual Director and Co-Founder of Meredith's Jars of Joy, Pam Robertson

Do you yearn for practical tips to help you enrich family time and foster greater peace within?

Do you feel empty and dissatisfied as you parent, like you've lost yourself along the way?

Do you long to live with a deeper sense of purpose and personal fulfillment?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, than I especially hope you will catch the sixth episode of Chaos to Calm, which airs tonight! I will be interviewing both a spiritual director and a time management coach who will help us make the most of our fleeting moments both for ourselves and our families. Thank you to Pam Roberson and Lisa Allen for their insights respectively!

You can watch this episode, entitled "The Chaos of Unfulfillment," two ways at 9 PM EST. If you are local to Summit, NJ or the surrounding area, tune into HomeTowne TV (channel 33 on Verizon and 36 on Comcast). If you are not local, you can watch the episode stream live at 9 PM EST by clicking here. Please note that a You Tube link for on demand viewing will follow after tonight too!

This episode is not only one that I hope you will find quite helpful, but it also includes a GIVEAWAY! Register to win a free Jar of Joy by scrolling down on the homepage to the entry form or simply register here. The contest will run for one week, and THREE lucky winners will win one jar with a month's worth of inspirational quotes to start their days! Friends, these jars have gone viral. You can learn more about them here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How to Know Your Life Purpose

New article! What are the three steps to knowing your life purpose? Step #1 is the opposite of most self-help literature today! Find out why faith can drive richer fulfillment. I was delighted to write this article for To read it, click here.

Don't forget a new episode of Chaos to Calm airs next week! It will premiere on Tuesday night, April 25th at 9 PM EST. The topic is "The Chaos of Unfulfillment!" If you’ve been feeling frustrated or unfulfilled, then this show is for you! Learn how to set a new, focused course for your life as you juggle parenting’s demands with a hunger to live a fully. Be sure you have subscribed to the blog to get the episode link sent right to your inbox for on demand viewing!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Minute for Reflection: Easter

As we join with Christians throughout the world celebrating the resurrection today, take a moment to make the message personal. He is risen! He is risen, dear friend, for you. And Jesus meets you especially in the places where you just don't think new life is possible. In fact, that's his specialty. You have an insurmountable, unstoppable hope that yearns to speak to your very spirit this day...and shower you with love.

Mark your calendars for the next episode of Chaos to Calm - it will premiere Tuesday night, April 25 at 9 PM EST. The topic is "The Chaos of Unfulfillment!" If you’ve been feeling frustrated or unfulfilled, then this show is for you! Learn how to set a new, focused course for your life as you juggle parenting’s demands with a hunger to live a fully. Be sure you have subscribed to the blog to get the episode link sent right to your inbox for on demand viewing!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Minute for Reflection: Good Friday

On Good Friday, Jesus dies. We begin three days of darkness. What in your life feels dark today? Enter the tomb with Jesus. Acknowledge a God who understands your broken heart and the forsaken places. Offer your pain, lonliness, and sorrow to Jesus today. Only then can he really redeem it. Remember, the finality of the tomb was not the end of God's story, and it won't be in yours.

Stay tuned for further Holy Week minutes of reflection on the blog. You can follow the picture series on Facebook too.

Mark your calendars for the next episode of Chaos to Calm - it will premiere Tuesday night, April 25 at 9 PM EST. The topic is "The Chaos of Unfulfillment!" If you’ve been feeling frustrated or unfulfilled, then this show is for you! Learn how to set a new, focused course for your life as you juggle parenting’s demands with a hunger to live a fully. Be sure you have subscribed to the blog to get the episode link sent right to your inbox for on demand viewing!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Minute for Reflection: Holy Thursday

Today is Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday. Today we remember Jesus' last supper with his disciples. Before the meal, he bent down low to wash their feet. His model of service is powerful, not only as we consider all that he was about to do for us, but also because he calls us into that same service too. Lord, help us to take a moment to consider how we can serve others with humility, in our families and beyond. Help us to remember:

Stay tuned for further Holy Week minutes of reflection on the blog. You can follow the picture series on Facebook too!

Mark your calendars for the next episode of Chaos to Calm - it will premiere Tuesday night, April 25 at 9 PM EST. The topic is "The Chaos of Unfulfillment!" If you’ve been feeling frustrated or unfulfilled, then this show is for you! Learn how to set a new, focused course for your life as you juggle parenting’s demands with a hunger to live a fully. Be sure you have subscribed to the blog to get the episode link sent right to your inbox for on demand viewing!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

How to Wait with Expectancy

Is there a blessing you've been waiting for? Is there something God has put on your heart, and there have been several roadblocks and disappointments along the way? Just ask a toddler if waiting is any fun. The frustration and whining of the "terrible two's" really doesn't get any easier; the struggle just becomes more internal as we age.

That's when scripture reminds us of important promises:

"I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!" Psalm 27:13-14

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning." Psalm 130:5-6

While we understand the frustration of waiting from an early age, the things we want as we get older usually take a bit more arranging. In other words, a dream come true takes more than a flick of magical wand or a cookie from our parent's hand. It's often a compilation of years of striving, faithfulness, and even heart-break until we taste the sweet fruit of satisfaction. But the Lord promises, someway, somehow, that fruit will come.

The other day I was walking, feeling the weight of unfulfilled promises, and I happened upon a pinecone. That's when the Lord reached into my heart and urged me to pay attention.

Notice that a pinecone is one object, yet it's made up of many "leaves" called scales. Each scale must grow individually to produce the ovular shape we know as the pinecone. In other words, its formation is a multi-step process.

I've often heard the wisdom that to uncover God's faithfulness in big ways, we need to continually be faithful in little ways. We need to allow each scale to form along the path toward the completion of our God-given dream. Every decision matters. Frustration cannot lead to giving in or giving up while our formation is still in process.

Again, scripture concurs:

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act." Psalm 37:4-5

"So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

The faithful have waited throughout the centuries and over the course of each lifetime. The Bible resounds with God's faithfulness all the same. Time and time again, there is witness to prove it. Wherever you are hurting today, wherever you are weary and ready to give up, let this post fill you with the promises of a faithful God. Like the pinecone, you are forming. Commit your ways to the Lord, and stay tuned to witness the full expression of God's artistry...You're going to see something beautiful.


We hit a milestone on the blog this week, as we reached over 100,000 views! Thank you for your readership. Please continue to help spread the word! Trending lately has been my post, The Power of a Praying Mom. Have you read it yet? 

Luckily, my family recovered from the flu and enjoyed a memorable spring break. Stay tuned for the next episode of Chaos to Calm, coming in April!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

From Frustration to Fulfillment

What does living our purpose look like? The answer runs deeper than just accomplishing our to-do's. It's a question of fulfillment in our everyday life. If we're feeling frustrated, depleted, and unfulfilled, that's a sign we need to explore this principle. In my recent sermons on life purpose, I offered the following metaphor to help us enter into this exploration:

I like to think that the invitation to find our purpose is like God offering us a hand to pull us out of rough water. Sure, we can keep treading. But the reality is that we’re not really going anywhere, and it takes an awful lot of work to stay where we are. God wants to bring us ashore. We belong on the solid ground of God’s principles. And instead of swimming, we can start running. Running has direction. We can reach somewhere new, somewhere exciting. And just like running releases endorphins, we’ll experience a new kind of fulfillment. We’ll discover the race we were meant to run – and better yet, we’ll come to better know God, who wants to condition us by doing what we love.


The upcoming episode of Chaos to Calm will focus on "The Chaos of Unfulfillment." How can we artfully use our fleeting moments for personal fulfillment? Also, how can we enrich the time we spend with our families for maximum impact? The key is to not only be present with our children and ourselves, but also with God. The God who created us has a plan for our lives that includes parenting yet also stretches beyond it; God wants to orient our entire life so that it's in tune with his purpose.

Tune in next month to discover tips to unlock what God has in store for you! The current air date is April 25th - mark your calendars! (There will not be a March episode due to the chaos of the flu and spring break!) Also, are you local? I'll be preaching the Easter message at Central Presbyterian Church's WAVE service on April 2nd at 5 pm. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Upcoming Services!

Local friends, this post is your you! I'm frequently asked what my service schedule is, and I wanted to make a note of my involvement for the rest of the school year so that busy parents can plan ahead! All opportunities listed below are at Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, NJ, where I serve as Parish Associate.

Wednesday, March 1st 
I will be co-officiating an Ash Wednesday service at 9 am tomorrow with the Reverend Deborah Huggins. It is right after the church's preschool drop off. All are welcome at this brief service of introspection and the imposition of ashes. There will be donut holes and coloring sheets for attending children.

Preaching Schedule at WAVE
Children worship alongside parents at these family-friendly services. There are crafts for children and food for all attendees. WAVE services include contemporary music; the music leader, Adam Gilbert, is incredibly talented and has his own Pandora station. These services occur at 5 pm on Sunday evenings. I will be preaching:

This Sunday, March 5th (My sermon is entitled The Gift of Failure)
April 2nd (This will be the WAVE Easter service)
May 21st

I'd love to see you!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Featured Post: The One Journey I Can't Do Without

"I’ve often heard the admonition to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. While this is poignant advice in life and travel, I’m learning it applies to parenthood too." 

How has travel changed for you since having children? I wrote this essay when my children were little and discovered myself marveling despite the mayhem. My essay is now being featured by the TODAY Show Parenting Team...Please click over and VOTE UP! 

Click, read, and VOTE here! (And don't forget your Kleenexes.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Watch "The Chaos of Childhood Failure" Featuring a NYT's Best-Selling Author NOW!

I am delighted to pass along February's show of Chaos to Calm, in which I sat down with Jessica Lahey. Jessica is a New York Times columnist and the best-selling author of The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed. A frequent lecturer, she has also taught for over a decade and is the mother of two children. Friends, I have found there is simply SO MUCH to learn from this woman! If you're interested in practical parenting tips that can set your children up for future success, don't miss this episode - and pass it along to your friends!

Note: If the embedded video link does not work, you can click here to view.

Monday, February 20, 2017

New Episode on Failure Airs TOMORROW NIGHT!


My parenting series, Chaos to Calm, will welcome its first New York Times best-selling author on the show TOMORROW NIGHT! I was delighted to sit down with Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure, to explore why experiencing failure is so important to our children's development. Her research and experience as a teacher and mother runs contrary to what some deem the "helicopter parenting" tendency of this generation. Learn why Jessica turns this logic on its head while offering practical suggestions to employ RIGHT NOW to set your children up for future success.

To watch, simply tune into HomeTowne TV (Channel 33/Verizon and Channel 36/Comcast) in NJ at 9 PM EST TOMORROW NIGHT or stream the show live at air time here:   

Following the show's initial air date, I will pass along a link for on demand viewing via YouTube on Wednesday. This is a guest AND topic you won't want to miss! Pass it along to your friends, and snuggle down for some essential wisdom!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Author Laura Sassi

I am delighted to report the two winners of the faith-building packages for children. I announced the giveaways on the recent episode of my parenting series, Chaos to Calm. Congratulations to K. McPherson of New Jersey, who took advantage of a bonus entry and won the teen package! Congratulations to O. Elochukwu of California, who won the package for young children! She is the first winner from California on the blog! We actually had several entrants register from that state and from across the country! In addition to New Jersey and now California, previous prize states have also included Connecticut, Maine, Texas, Indiana, Kansas, Illinois, South Carolina, and Arizona. 

I will reach out to both winners over email - be sure to get back to me as soon as possible to receive your package from the publisher. Thank you to Zonderkidz and their author Laura Sassi for making my recent episode and these giveaways possible!

Did you miss the show? Watch here. It's had almost 3,000 views!

On Thursday, I am taping February's episode with the NYT's best-selling author Jessica Lahey! It will air on February 21, so mark your calendars! Also, make sure you're subscribed via email to my blog to get episodes and posts delivered right to your inbox! (See the upper right hand corner of my blog to submit your email and follow the prompts.) 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Watch "The Calm of Building Faith Foundations" and WIN!

Hear popular children's book author and educator Laura Sassi share her inspiring personal story, the insights behind her books, and tested faith-starters for children. Plus, discover over ten faith-building resources for young children and teens that you could win courtesy of Zonderkidz! You can watch this episode above or by clicking here.

To register for the giveaways, scroll to find the entry forms on my homepage or use the following links. Here is the entry form for young children. Here is the entry form for teens. The teen package requires that you specify the gender of your child so that the publisher knows which options to send!

The contest ends at NOON EST on Tuesday, January 31, 2017. You can register for one or both giveaways! Good luck!

TODAY Video Clip