Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Interview on Race in America with ABC's Linsey Davis


The recent news on race in America has been heartbreaking, challenging, for many, awakening. I urge you to watch my new interview on race to find out how it can be transforming too! ABC's Linsey Davis covered the funeral for George Floyd, and she is the bestselling children's book author of two books. Linsey's newest book, One Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike Than Different, is on racial inclusion and has been a #1 bestseller on Amazon. Linsey shares a sneak peek of her book, her hope for America, and practical tips on how we can make a difference right now as parents, people of faith, and Americans in general.

Watch the interview here

Thank you to Zoom for making this interview possible during the pandemic. Exciting bonus! You can enter the giveaway here for a box set that includes both of Linsey's books and 10 art prints to frame, courtesy of the Christian publisher Zonderkidz! This is a find! One Big Heart was sold out on Amazon when we taped! This exclusive box set is only available for purchase at Barnes and Noble. The contest ends next Tuesday, and one winner will be chosen.


Did you know? My first book released this month! How to Live Your Life Purpose: The Six-Step Journey to God's Best is available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback. It's been a #1 New Release in each of its three categories and sold in the top five books in its categories this weekend! Thank you so much for your support!

Friday, June 19, 2020

8 Questions to Ask Yourself at the End of the Day

woman smiling sitting on couch with mug looking relaxed and peaceful
You’ve probably heard some version of the quote, “It’s not how you start that matters—it’s how you finish.” Indeed, the Bible confirms that we are all a work in progress; we are clay on the Potter’s wheel (Isaiah 64:8). As God continues to form us, each day is an important step along our journey. Each day grants us the gift of 86,400 seconds to use that we will never get back. To make the most of God’s gift of time, I wrote these questions as a benchmark to help us finish the day well.

1. What do I need to give over to God? 
For a good night’s sleep, we need to pray our concerns over to God. The Psalmist famously depicts how God guides him beside the still waters in Psalm 23. God offers each of us rest through refreshing stillness with him. Some things are too big for us to do, and some concerns are too heavy for us to manage alone. By entrusting our concerns to God, we acknowledge the ample power and tender mercies of our trustworthy Shepherd. Repeat these words before you sleep each night to affirm this truth: “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8, NKJV).

2. Did I do something outside of my comfort zone today?
That’s exactly what so many people in the Bible did. They weren’t perfect, but they were willing to step out in faith. While it may be easier to stay within our comfort zone, we squander a precious opportunity. God can use calculated risk, or the risk that he is calling us to take, to grow our faith and dependence on him, infuse our life with adventure, and further his plan for the world. One of my favorite Bible verses, Joshua 1:9, reminds us to be brave: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” If you’re interested in learning more about risk, see my new book on life purpose, which includes essential information on the risk worth taking and end-of-chapter Bible studies to help!

3. What remains to be done?
A to-do list often hits me at the end of the day—maybe it does for you too. Once the house is quiet and my children are asleep, my mind naturally takes inventory. I have learned to sleep with a pad of paper and pen beside my bed because of it. That way, I can write down any important items that I missed, and sleep with the confidence that I will not forget them tomorrow. If we do this, we’ll awake with focus while also remaining open to God’s lead. Proverbs 16:9 states, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

4. Is there one thing that I could personally improve upon for tomorrow?
Truth be told, there are probably many things that we could improve upon, for no one is a finished product. Those who often make the most progress in their life purpose, however, are those who choose to refine their signature strengths rather than focus upon their weaknesses. Along that vein, it can be helpful to choose one thing each day to improve upon. The New York Times bestselling author of Atomic Habits, James Clear, advises his readers to simply get 1% better every day. This bite-sized challenge can make a monumental difference in time. The Bible echoes the fruit of persistence in Galatians 6:9 by stating, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

To read questions #5-#8, click here to continue reading on iBelieve.com.

Exciting news! My new book, How to Live Your Life Purpose: The Six-Step Journey to God's Best is now available on Kindle and in paperback too! I hope you check it out! It was an Amazon bestseller in it's category for one morning last week thanks to your support!

Stay tuned next week for an important and *timely* interview on race in America! I sat down with Linsey Davis of ABC, who recently covered George Floyd's funeral, and we talked practical steps for change, her hope for America, and her newest children's book on inclusion!

Thursday, June 4, 2020

New Life Purpose Book/Study Available on Amazon!


This week marks two important milestones: My blog reached over 250,000 views recently, and I just published my first book for sale! (Confetti!) None of this would have been possible without YOU. My life purpose series struck such a chord on the blog that I was inspired to supplement it with curriculum, add more stories, and make it available to everyone!

Amidst pandemic crisis, which includes 20% of the labor market out of work, many are turning to God for hope and new direction. Perhaps a change has been on your heart too. Publishing on Kindle has allowed me to hyperlink the book to my shows and articles, making it a more visual and interactive six-week group or personal study that can help. Here is the book's official description:

Whether you’re early in life and entertaining what’s possible, in midlife and bored with the comfortable, or suddenly needing a new beginning at any age, this book will help you connect with your purpose. Living your life purpose is not a trivial pursuit. It’s living the life your heart beats for. It’s the comprehensive expression of the roles and goals destined for you by the Creator. While it might involve a career, work inside the home, or volunteerism, it will look different for every person. Using it as the orienting principle for your life will unlock some of the richest fulfillment you can find on Earth—that’s the power of living in sync with your Creator. 

Pastor and popular TV host Noelle Kirchner expertly synthesizes scripture, media, and personal story to keep you captivated. This book is designed as a six-week personal or group study. You will feel encouraged to tune into longing, take healthy risk, and persist through the rough seasons. Each chapter ends with cultivated clips to watch from Noelle’s show, HTTV’s "Chaos to Calm," and other resources that are hyperlinked in the Kindle version. You’ll hear valuable life purpose insights from her show guests—one New York Times bestselling Christian author, one Emmy Award-winning journalist, one trending company founder, and one spiritual director with internationally-recognized quote jars. 

Sadly, abuse and poverty preclude some from the right to follow their life purpose and taste the joy that God yearns to give all his beloved. There is joy in serving a God who rescues people, and because he works through ministries and people who give, twenty percent of the proceeds of this book will go to the Christian non-profit World Vision.

Here's how YOU can help too:

1. Read the book!
2. Please leave a review to help others—I hope you love it!
3. If you like it, give it as a gift to someone else! Amazon allows you to gift easily. Maybe there is a friend whom you know could use this book already.

How to Live Your Life Purpose: The Six-Step Journey to God's Best is available on Kindle and in paperback now.

**If you do not have a Kindle device, you can download the app for free on your smartphone or computer.**

Praise:

"Had such fun chatting with the kind, wise, talented Noelle Kirchner."
—Platinum Book Award-Winning Jesus Storybook Bible and New York Times Bestselling Author Sally Lloyd-Jones, after appearing on Noelle's show, Chaos to Calm

"As both a mom and ordained minister, Noelle Kirchner is the kind of writer who inspires me to dig deep and contemplate the important matters of life. Her thoughtful essays and lessons are a blessing to me both as a writer and Christian."  
—Bestselling Children's Book Author Laura Sassi of Goodnight, Ark and Love is Kind

"Dear Friend, Wise Confidante, Prayer Warrior, and Spiritual Mentor, Noelle has a knack for knowing just what to write to guide her readers to dive into scripture and apply its message to everyday life." 
—Courtney Reed, Active Bible Study Leader, Former Teacher, and Stay-at-Home Mom of Three

"I have been enjoying and sharing Noelle's writing and TV shows for years, and I'm delighted that she's produced this study by popular demand! I cannot wait to "dig in" and start exploring life purpose by using this as a small group resource. Thank you, Noelle!"  
—Rev. Dr. Deborah Huggins, Associate Pastor, Contributor to Growing in Grace & Gratitude, a Christian Youth and Disability Curriculum Series

"Noelle's work and writing proves her to be a gifted communicator who is passionate to share messages of hope, faith, and encouragement. She doesn't hesitate to speak what Christians need to hear as they face the daily challenges of faith."  
—Sarah Martin, Editor for iBelieve, Salem Web Network 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

5 Tips for Raising More Teachable Children (Even during Quarantine)

5 Tips for Raising More Teachable Children (Even during Quarantine)
If you’re like me, having teachable children sounds especially good right now. First, many of us are finding ourselves in the new position of being our children’s actual teacher for the first time. With schools closed because of COVID–19, I’m wearing more hats (sometimes awkwardly) as I homeschool my two older boys with a one-year-old too. Second, while this situation offers the silver lining of increased bonding time as a family, it also has its challenges. Tensions easily flare in confined environments right when working together peaceably has never felt more important. If we can arise from this trying chapter as better parents with happier, more ordered households, that’s a victory.

Here are 5 tips that can help. 
Read the tips here in my newest article! 

This article went live last week, and I did a video backstory for it on Facebook. Have you seen it? It's been viewed over 13K times! I'd love for you to watch. Visit my Facebook page!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

New Devotion: 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Feel Intimidated to Pray


I was blessed in college to live with a friend who was passionate about the Bible. I was premed at the time, which meant a lot of nights studying. I can still remember tiptoeing into our dorm room and seeing her screensaver. The room was dark except for the colored, creeping words that floated across her computer screen: “Pray without ceasing…”

Continued prayer is an important reminder. As a pastor, however, I’m struck by the fact that so many people have told me that they feel intimidated to pray. Whether they’re at a hospital bedside looking to encourage a loved one who is sick, gathered around a table with family and friends awaiting mealtime, or confiding in someone about a problem and looking for prayer, they feel reticent. What if I say the wrong words? Will my prayer sound stupid? Can’t someone else do it better? 

While it’s natural to have different comfort levels with prayer, particularly when it’s in front of someone else, the Bible makes it clear that God wants to hear from you. There is power in the words we say and our testimony. As a pastor, I can pray with you, and I’m happy to do so. But it can be far more impactful for your loved one, child, or friend to hear the words coming from you. That act of faith can open the door for God to act in ways that you might never have imagined. 

The Bible extends an open, gentle invitation to each of us to consider stepping out in faith through prayer. The following are five reasons why you should never feel intimidated to do so: 

1. Prayer is an open conversation with God. 

The best way to alleviate the fear of saying the wrong thing is to consider prayer as a casual conversation with God. The Bible says to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). If we really did this, we would be talking with God throughout the day. Prayer is an invitation to draw closer to God through conversation like you would a friend. 

2. The best prayers are honest prayers. 

Rather than presenting God with perfect words, God wants to know your heart. When we use prayer as a vehicle to be honest with God, our intimacy with him increases. There have been times when I have wept on my knees to God. Afterward, I knew that he had heard me—I felt his peace and sometimes a conviction that God would grant my petition. Honesty in prayer gets God’s attention (Psalm 145:18).


For three more reasons not to feel intimidated, 
continue reading on Crosswalk.com.

Last week was the National Day of Prayer, so this devotion is timely. Prayer is always just a conversation with God away!

Friday, May 8, 2020

15 Things You Know as a Mom of Little Boys

In honor of Mother's Day weekend, here is an old favorite that's now featured on a new spot! Join me in checking out Red Tricycle, which features a trove of parenting resources that are especially invaluable now. Happy Mother's Day!

Fighting Darth Vader in Orlando

We have hunkered down over spring break due to the coronavirus, which meant lots of family movie watching. One of the first flicks we were sure to catch was the last in the Star Wars series, The Rise of Skywalker. It brought me back to this article that I penned four years ago and still holds true. I added a new point to the list as well. Moms of boys, I hope this makes you smile…

My boys, ages four and six, watched the Star Wars trilogy for the first time this winter. They couldn’t wait to reenact the scenes. They became proud owners of matching lightsabers, courtesy of their grandparents.

The sabers glow red and make a sound upon impact. One afternoon after jostling, my older son ran to me in amazement. Apparently, they had just fought with their eyes closed and their lightsabers still met. He proudly announced that they now knew the ways of the Force.

While I knew they needed an outlet for their energy, especially when it was too cold to go outside, I worried the sabers would miss their intended target and leave a welt on someone’s cheek. As I laid down the respective ground rules before their next jostle, like keeping their eyes OPEN, my older son said proudly, “Mommy, you don’t have to worry. We have training.” And there was no doubt in his mind that this was the case.

This experience, among many, has matriculated in the following list. Moms of little boys know the adventure of raising them is often one with distinct markings. Along the path of wanting to raise gentlemen, I’ve had to be an observer of a world that’s very different from my own. I balance every day the desire to mold them and let go, being respectful of their boyishness. Here is what I’ve learned while maneuvering their dynamic, yet endearing world:

1. What’s cool has nothing to do with conversation or pampering—it’s watching Star Wars and memorizing every line.

2. Sword fighting requires no rules or training, at least in the way that you view training. Yoda, can you help here please?

3. Boys often bond through sports and wrestling. Sometimes they remind you of puppies. In a cute way.

4. Hugs and playful punches express equal endearment.

5. The only drama they know is playing until someone gets hurt.

For the remaining 10 points, visit me on 
Red Tricycle—it's a fun site!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

New Devotion: Run Your Race

I wrote the following devotion this past fall, and it was featured last month. I hope it encourages you now as we navigate COVID–19, for its topic is timely. 


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. —Hebrews 12:1

My oldest son started Cross Country this fall at school. He did not perform as he had hoped at his first meet. The course was flooded with children who were older and unknown to him. The distance was double what he had been running. He didn’t know the trail. When his body started aching after his initial sprint, he decided to walk the course with friends. He finished the race frustrated with his placement.

As a mom who used to run Cross Country competitively, I encouraged him to stick to his sport choice because it would get better. The fall is a magical time to run outside as the leaves crunch under your feet, I said. Running is great cross training for other sports and promotes life fitness. Further, it releases natural endorphins that make you feel good. Despite these attractive reasons, he reminded me that there was still the pain.

Cross Country holds true to the motto, “No pain, no gain.” It’s difficult to build endurance. I remember pushing through painful cramps in my side, lungs that hurt from breathing cold air, spit that felt like Saran Wrap in my mouth, and legs that were so gassed that they wobbled. It would have been easier to walk, and some runners on race day make that choice.

That’s why Paul’s metaphor of running a race in our passage is so powerful. He encourages his readers to “run with perseverance the race marked out” for them. Living a life of faith will require perservance, sometimes right when we want to give up or walk...

Continue reading about how running teaches us to 
persevere by faith here


Author's note: While Hebrews is traditionally attributed to Paul, as reflected in my devotion, its official authorship has been debated by Bible scholars.
Also, if you need a laugh as you persevere, I hope you watch Christian artist Matthew West's hilarious new single, "Quarantine Life!" Stay safe, everyone!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Prayer for When Your Efforts Are Feeling Wasted

I wrote this prayer before the COVID–19 crisis, but its sentiment is perhaps even more applicable today. I pray this meets you where you need it most, whether it's concerning a job, struggle at home, or personal issue. 

A Prayer for When Your Efforts Are Feeling Wasted

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come before You in weariness. I have been pressing forward with the best of intentions only to come up dry. I know that You are a God of abundance. I call upon that promise in prayer through the power of the Holy Spirit.

It’s difficult to be doing the right thing and see the wrong things happening. It’s exhausting to work so hard and experience little progress. It’s deflating to remain hopeful when there are continually reasons to doubt.

I understand what the Bible means when it encourages believers to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). Sometimes it feels like faith requires that kind of persistence. Encourage me through your word.

I remember the psalmist who had many enemies and felt mercilessly pushed to his limits. As he recorded his anger and laments, he also praised Your deliverance repeatedly. He observed how You fought for him and drew him close in relationship (Psalm 91). I call upon that same support now.

I remember Joseph in the Book of Genesis whose life was riddled with setbacks and delays. He was forcibly separated from his family and wrongfully imprisoned for years. You used those experiences to uniquely catapult him into a high position, however. Help me to remain faithful and believe that all things will work for my good too (Romans 8:28).

Continue in prayer with me. 
Plus, you'll find 11 affirmations to build your faith!


P.S. Did you catch Hope Rising this weekend? My family watched this Christian concert together. We laughed. We cried. We felt the arms of Jesus. THIS is resurrection power at work. Watch a concert replay on demand on Facebook! Let God inspire you with his HOPE.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

7 Affirmations to Live By in the COVID-19 Crisis

A rainbow picture from our front window right now

I wrote this article because I needed seven "mantras" to live by to help guide me. I want to return to these, which are biblically grounded, instead of the worry and fear that can sometimes swirl in my head and on the news. I hope you find them meaningful too. They're featured as a slideshow on iBelieve, allowing for each affirmation to be its own thought.

I marvel at the fact that although this time is challenging, somehow I am also achieving a better balance in many respects. I am cooking more by necessity, spending more time on the floor with the baby, and enjoying virtual yoga. Other things require juggling, however, like keeping the house clean and finding space to write in a louder house while growing into my new role of homeschool teacher.

As we as a family mediate the stress of the new, wrestle through pandemic fear, and negotiate boundaries while under one roof, it occurs to me that my children in particular are learning valuable life skills. In addition, practicing gratitude has never been more important. It's a powerful grounding force that can help us lock onto the good that's occurring right now and equip us to weather future storms.

I mention gratitude and other topics in my affirmations article here. Stay safe, everyone!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Holy Week Inspiration: An Easter Prayer and Devotion


If we're not careful, we can surround ourselves with a lot of negative voices right now. We might have the best of intentions. We turn on the news to stay informed. We empathize with people who are struggling. We observe how things are very different—even scary—from our unique perches in the world. This active discovery is only part one, however. Part two is God's answer of hope. 

We need to bathe ourselves in light. Just like closing our eyes and tilting our face toward the sun until our eyelids warm, we need to flood our soul with the warmth of God's presence. He has an answer to our confusion, worry, and pain. "Don't stay there," he invites us. Holy Week is a timely reminder of the always-present, never-stopping hope we have in Jesus. Here are two ways to drink in God's hope this Easter—the latter includes a sweet poem to share with your kids!

An Easter Meal Prayer to Pray with Your Family 
(Read the prayer here)
"You hear us when we think no one is listening, You act when we think there is nothing more than can be done, and you shower grace upon us when we feel most unworthy. These examples communicate your unconditional love and are proof that you are alive and active today..."

Devotion: High-Flying Easter Hope
(I penned this back in January—read the devotion here)
"I like using a swing to illustrate what resurrection power looks like to my children. A swing may go low, but inevitably it comes back up. That’s the power of faith. God promises that he will never leave us in our lows, including death—we have the firm hope of coming back up. Pumping our legs is equivalent to exercising our faith muscle. We get to participate in Christ’s mystery by believing and experiencing the exhilaration of the high he offers—life in the present and life eternal..."

Stay tuned next week for more inspiration! In the meantime, watch my recent show or read inspiration to stay strong amidst the pandemic.

Monday, April 6, 2020

WINNER!

I hope you had a lovely Palm Sunday yesterday! My family and I read together from the Jesus Storybook Bible for my children's Sunday school. It's been such a treasure to read from Sally's classic during this time at home, as adults love it too!

I chose the winner for Glenys Nellist's precious and *timely* new release, Little Mole Finds Hope, this morning. Congratulations to K. Culp of Montana! It gives me such joy to see all of the states represented by our registrants—thank you for taking the time to register, and for your loyal patronage and bonus entries! I like to keep a running list of winning states, so now they are: Montanta, Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, Texas, Indiana, Kansas, Illinois, South Carolina, Arizona, Utah, and California. Several states have had repeat winners too!

Stay tuned on Wednesday here for special Holy Week inspiration. I'll be sharing my blessing to pray around your Easter table and Holy Week devotion, both through iBelieve.com. I can't wait for you to read them!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Guest Post: Glenys Nellist on Tips to Help a Child Who's Feeling Sad

Last week I aired an interview with bestselling children's book author Sally Lloyd-Jones, and this week I am delighted to welcome another bestselling author to my blog. Glenys Nellist is guest posting here again! She's back to blog about a timely topic as she launches her newest book, Little Mole Finds Hope. At the end of this post, you'll be able to register for a free copy of her book, which I will give away this week! Glenys writes:


When I picked up the pen over two years ago to write Little Mole Finds Hope, I never imagined how timely its message would be. In a world that just turned upside down for so many, we need signs of hope.

When Little Mole is feeling sad in his deep underground burrow, his wise mama knows that he needs signs of hope too. Together, they venture out, up towards the light. On the way, Mama shows Little Mole a daffodil bulb lying squashed and lifeless in the dark soil, bare branches looming above that have no signs of life, and a shriveled chrysalis hanging inside of a flowerpot. Each time when Little Mole insists that “It’s dead, Mama,” Mama invites her son to close his eyes and imagine the yellow daffodil, the leafy trees, and the beautiful butterfly that will one day emerge.

The central message of this spring-themed picture book is that hope can be found even in the darkest place. During this anxious time in our world, when our little ones might be feeling afraid or sad, you, the parent, are their primary hope-giver. Here are a few tips to help a child who is feeling sad:
  • Acknowledge how your child is feeling.
  • Ask him or her to talk about or draw his/her feelings. Listen and empathize.
  • Reassure your child that his/her sadness will not last forever.
  • Hug your child. Don’t stop until your child lets go.
  • Spend time together doing something enjoyable.
  • Teach your child gratitude. Find a way to record "things that made me smile today." Use a journal or "gratitude jar" containing slips of paper.
  • Adequate sleep, good nutrition and regular exercise all contribute towards your child’s emotional health and well-being.
Please download this free Activity Pack to accompany my book for more book-themed activities. Stay safe, be well, and look for HOPE!

—Glenys Nellist, Children’s Author

Register here for your free copy of Glenys' book. All entrants must have a US street address, no PO Boxes, for shipping purposes please. I will announce the winner on Sunday! P.S. Watch on social media this week to see how my children are spreading hope to others during this difficult time! Stay safe, everyone!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sally Lloyd-Jones Winners Announced!

Thank you to everyone who registered to win a Sally Lloyd-Jones book bundle! There were registrants from coast to coast! The two lucky winners courtesy of the Christian publisher Zonderkidz are: L. Black of Palo Alto, CA, and A. Aguilar of North Little Rock, AR. Winners, I will be contacting you.

The list of states with winners from this blog has grown! It now includes Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia, Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, Texas, Indiana, Kansas, Illinois, South Carolina, Arizona, and California. Thank you all for your support!

I hope you will still consider purchasing these finds yourself! I just sent several titles to my niece and nephew in Minnesota. Books are a wonderful way to make the faith invitation—they plant a seed, just like Sally mentions in our interview!

Welcome to my new readers through the giveaway, and thank you to my loyal ones. Everyone please stay tuned for a guest post from bestselling author Glenys Nellist, who will be writing tips for helping a child who is feeling sad. What timely advice given the news! Her post is tied to her newest children's book release, Little Mole Finds Hope. You'll have another chance to win as I give away a free copy of her book this coming week!

Monday, March 23, 2020

New episode! Interview with Sally Lloyd-Jones


Pinch me! In honor of Easter, I recently had the privilege of sitting down with New York Times bestselling author Sally-Lloyd Jones! Sally has written the best children's Bible on the market, the Jesus Storybook Bible, that's sold over 3 million copies and been translated into 44 languages and counting. 


In this interview, you'll hear her talk about:

* Her personal story, which begins in Africa
* The unexpected road to her success
* How her life as a little girl informs what she does today (including touring with Amy Grant!)
* Tips for connecting with children
* How to dispel coronavirus fears

Plus, this episode includes TWO special treats:

* Sally reads an excerpt of her Jesus Storybook Bible (Gather your children!)
* I announce a giveaway of five of Sally's books for two lucky viewers, courtesy of the Christian publisher Zonderkidz! See the books up for grabs below—one is a set of two books. 

You can register here or through the form on my website for the giveaway. I will announce the two winners on Sunday on my website and through social media. Don't forget to take advantage of the bonus entries! All entrants must be US residents with a street address, no PO boxes, for shipping purposes please.



Also, next week I have another special treat! I will be hosting bestselling author Glenys Nellist as she introduces her newest treasure, Little Mole Finds Hope! She will share expert tips on helping a child who is feeling sad with us. This is a timely topic from a repeat guest on my blog!

Want to watch more? Check out my episodes with other New York Times bestselling parenting authors: I interview Dr. Leonard Sax on modern parenting issues and boys' school and social problems, and Jessica Lahey on the importance of allowing our children to fail.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

What Is the Christian Response to the Coronavirus?

What Is the Christian Response to the Coronavirus? 

The news is swirling with accounts concerning the coronavirus. So many are sick, some have died, and all are impacted by the resultant events in their local communities. God promises to be a safe refuge for us in times of trouble. Psalm 46 begins, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” The Lord is our strength who will never abandon us. We may not understand why things happen, but we can always trust that God will sustain us. The following are seven ways that we can respond to the coronavirus with confidence:

1. Don’t Be Afraid

It’s no mistake that Jesus says this phrase and its derivatives more than anything else in all of scripture (Mark 4:39–40, for instance). We as Christians are not to live in fear, regardless of our circumstances. The coronavirus reminds us that there are indeed some things beyond our control. It’s an invitation to remember that our times are in God’s hands—that hasn’t changed. Further, when we respond with fear and panic, the quality of our decision-making suffers right when we need clear-headedness the most.

2. Take Preventative Measures

It can be tempting to totally ignore a problem before it flares on the one hand, or become completely paralyzed with worry once it does on the other hand. Faith provides us with a third option, however: To actively approach a challenge by responsibly doing all that we can while confidently leaving the rest to God. The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14–30) reminds us to mine the resources that God has given us, which includes a sound mind in times of trouble. We can remain proactive by staying informedplanning ahead, and acting wisely.

3. Be a Leader

Curbing the spread to protect those who are more vulnerable in the population will involve some self-sacrifice. It demonstrates patience to postpone non-necessary travel or planned mass gatherings until the risk of infection has passed. It takes courage to get tested if you think you are sick. It shows responsibility to self-quarantine if you are positive. When we put others first, we reflect the love of Jesus in a world that is trembling (John 15:12). 

Click here to read the conclusion of the article. 
Point #4 is my favorite!

Make sure that you didn't miss my prayer for the coronavirus earlier this week! Also, stay tuned for an episode of my show to watch on demand. I sat down with New York Times bestselling author Sally Lloyd–Jones and we talked children, her Jesus Storybook Bible, and even the coronavirus! A giveaway of a bundle of books for TWO lucky viewers will accompany the show release. I can't wait for you to watch!

Monday, March 16, 2020

A Prayer for the Coronavirus to Pray with Your Family


Dear Heavenly Father,

We come before you seeking your comfort, guidance, and protection. The news is swirling with accounts that are scary concerning the coronavirus. So many are sick, some have died, and all are impacted by the resultant events in their local communities.

For those who are feeling afraid, we call upon the strong name of Jesus. More than any other command in all of scripture, you instructed us to not be afraid. Our times are in your hands, and we trust in you. You can use even the brokenness of creation to bring you glory; we ask that your resurrection power be at work in this situation and equip us with your hope.

For the individuals who are hospitalized, we ask that your protective care and healing be upon them. We know that your unconditional love continues to pull us near, even when others around us might be tentative or afraid. Be a felt presence with those who are fighting—help them to know the depth of your love anew.

For those who are tending to people who are sick, we ask for an extra measure of your grace. Give them the wisdom they need to effectively administer care while safeguarding themselves and others. You are our Healer; we give thanks for all who serve as instruments of healing. Be with their hands and feet as they serve as yours.

For the families who have lost loved ones, we pray for your peace. Welcome those who have passed on into the joy of your eternal home, a home where there is no more sickness nor pain. May they delight in your presence as we receive the comfort of that promise.

Father, we hate that we have seen these deaths, and we ask that you put an end to this virus. Strengthen our immune systems in fighting it. May the seasonal turn to warmer weather eliminate it. Be with those who are working toward preventative measures.

In the meantime, Lord, help us to make smart decisions. Guide us to do what we can to protect ourselves and our families, and then leave the rest to you. We offer our praise that we worship a God whose eye is on the sparrow. We know you are ever mindful of us and our wellbeing—that hasn’t changed. 

As we as individuals pull closer to you, we ask that we as citizens of the world soften towards each other. The virus has impacted our common humanity, demonstrating that what unites us is stronger than what divides us. Help us to make inroads of connection with one another that will sow seeds of future blessing for all.

Your hope—like your love—is unflappable, always giving us reason to offer you thanks. We pray these words collectively in the victorious name of your Son, confident that you have heard us, Amen.

Want more inspiration? Read about the scriptural promises you can claim with confidence, or read this encouragement for scary seasons.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Want to Raise a Grateful Child? Do These 5 Things Regularly

Want to Raise a Grateful Child? Do These 5 Things Regularly

According to Harvard Health Publishing of the Harvard Medical School, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” The benefits to giving thanks are proven and sweeping. Researchers have found that people who give thanks feel better, are more optimistic, exercise more, and have fewer trips to the doctor. One study found that a special thank you letter increased the happiness of the writer for an entire month.

In an age when the anxiety level, depression rate, and demands upon our youth are concerning, nurturing gratitude can produce timely—and healing—results. Children are grateful when they are aware of their blessings. Helping to ground them, informing their lens of the world, and encouraging their recognition of God and others are essential to building that awareness. Accordingly, here are five lessons that you can use to grow a grateful heart in your child:

1. Encourage Children to Help around the House

The sighs are audible in our house when I ask my children to help fold the laundry, even though they produce the most of it! Regardless, my husband and I encourage household chores as a function of living in our home—everyone contributes and everyone makes a difference. Doing chores gives children a sense of accomplishment, prepares them for the future, and helps them appreciate the work that goes into family life. That appreciation, in turn, promotes gratitude.

Do you feel like you are running yourself ragged in exhaustion while your children are increasing their requests? Asking children to help in age-appropriate ways will free you up for more while keeping them busy. Braun Research found that 82 percent of adults did chores as children while only 28 percent of children do them today. Giving children a free pass squanders a precious learning opportunity. By teaching them responsibility, we cultivate gratitude in the home, their primary place of teaching.

For the other four lessons, continue reading here

Monday, March 2, 2020

New Devotion: Come to the Well

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” —John 4:13-14

“Mom, it’s our first science test of the year. Will you help me review?” I sat down to help my oldest son study. His tests are getting harder, and a quick review always helps.

For this test, he had to remember the chemical formula for photosynthesis. We talked about how water and carbon dioxide come together with light energy to produce sugar and oxygen. I taught him what it means to have a balanced equation; there are the same number of atoms on both sides of it. That’s a good way to check your work, I said.

We know life isn’t possible without water, but the formula for photosynthesis makes it clear. My son traced how water’s atoms can be found in both products of the equation. The formula illustrates how plants become producers in the food chain. It allows them to serve as the base of the energy pyramid of life.

Science reminds me of the intricacy of creation. The more I studied it in school, the more I saw the intentional hands of a Creator. The Bible teaches us about the Creator, but interestingly, Jesus takes up the metaphor of water to describe himself here.

In our passage today, Jesus offers the Samaritan woman water. This water has a double meaning, especially since they are beside a well. “Living water” could mean fresh, running water or life-giving water. As readers who know who Jesus is, we know it’s the latter. But the woman assumes the former and is perplexed by Jesus’ lack of a bucket...
Continue reading here.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Infant Loss Support


This week I'm at the TODAY Show Parenting Team sharing six tips on dealing with infant loss. How do you support a friend or loved one who has lost a baby? What do you say—and what should you definitely avoid saying? I initially wrote this article over five years ago based upon my work as a chaplain who served high-risk pregnancy mothers. Miscarriage has since touched my own life too. The article insights still hold true, so I hope you will read, share, "vote up," and mine the other heart-felt stories at TODAY.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

First Radio Show!

From the left: Kathleen, Kerry, and me the night we spoke

Are you wrestling with risk? Perhaps you are wanting to take that first step and looking for inspiration. Maybe you are in the thick of it and needing some encouragement to stay the course. In this radio show, I share personal insights and spiritual inspiration that can help! LISTEN BELOW!

I was delighted to be a guest on "Morphmom Moments" at the invitation of Morphmom Founder, Kathleen Butler-Smith. Kathleen is an attorney who left law to be home with her children. She later "morphed" into what she is doing now, which is inspiring women to think creatively about their time and passions!

Kerry Barrett, Emmy Award-Winning TV Anchor and now consulting company CEO, joined the conversation. After these two women were guests on my show, Chaos to Calm, we felt the need to keep talking about risk! Find out why Kerry was so afraid to risk and do public speaking...you'll hear her story about bullying, which she wrestles with to this day.

After taping, Kathleen said that this was her best radio show yet! You can listen via this link: https://www.cityworldradio.com/morphmom-moments/

Click on the "Spreaker" show marked 1–30–20 on City World Radio. Please note that the show cuts out for a brief moment at the beginning, but I promise that it gets better and you won't want to miss it! (We spoke outside of the NYC studio because of my nursing schedule—I was morphmoming it even then!) A podcast for iTunes will be coming soon too!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

New Year's Resolution


It's a snow day today as I write. I had to take a deep sigh and release the appointments and plans I had made this morning. My children were home and excited to get outside. No school today meant an opportunity, and I'm glad I took advantage of it. We went sledding, threw snow balls, made snow angels, and ended the morning with hot cocoa. I remember my Mom making it for me on cold winter days. It's incredible to think I'm providing my children with the same memories with every stir of their hot drinks.

Looking around at the newly fallen snow got me thinking. Everything changes with it on the ground. Not only do schedules sometimes change, but have you ever noticed how much quieter the world gets under a blanket of snow? It's almost as if God is beckoning us to slow down and pay attention.  

The snow makes everything glisten. Even though it's covered in only white, it's far from monotonous. In fact, I love how Christmas lights burn brighter on green bushes under the snowflakes. The same scenery somehow takes on a totally different appearance. There is a purity to newly fallen snow on a field without footprints. There is a playfulness to the fluff as it collects on wispy branches. And there is the wintry reminder that it's a special time of year.

In winter we celebrate the hope of Christmas and the New Year. The New Year in particular offers a calendar reminder of new beginnings. There is power in new beginnings, as symbolized by the making of New Year's resolutions. We seek to take advantage of the opportunity it brings.

As Christians, we know about new beginnings too. A new beginning is offered when we pledge our lives to Christ and become his disciples. One is offered every time we pray for forgiveness. In truth, our souls become as clean as newly fallen snow through the power of the cross. For Isaiah 1:18 reads, "'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow...'"

As much as the calendar serves as a reminder, a true new beginning is only offered through the cross. Only Christ can make our hearts as light and free as children dancing in the snowflakes. Only God can love our souls enough to clean them with his own Son's blood so they are as white as snow. Only the Holy Spirit can allow us to harness that power as we go forth into our lives as new creations.

Allow the New Year to remind you of what we have in Christ. New beginnings are always possible through him. Let's not just read the promises of scripture, but let's make it our New Year's resolution to write them across our hearts and live them! 

This is a repost from my 2014 entry, "New Snow and a New Year." Stay tuned for an upcoming podcast, in which I will be a guest on MorphMom Moments! More devotions for iBelieve and Crosswalk will be forthcoming too. Happy New Year!

TODAY Video Clip