Monday, April 24, 2017

10 Interview Questions About Messy Journey



Friends,
My book Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home will be released May 1! (The book can be pre-ordered on Amazon.) 
I have had the blessing of being interviewed about the book  and thought perhaps you might like to have the answers to these questions as well. So here are 10 of those questions.
With faith, hope, and love,
Lori

10 Interview Questions About the Writing of Messy Journey

1. How would you describe your writing in general to someone who hasn't read any of your books?

My books are written for moms and dads in the trenches of parenting. They are for parents who are looking for another way to raise kids other than simply behavior modification or natural consequences. If families seek to encourage grace, responsibility, and interdependence my parenting books will provide faith-based,  practical, and easily applicable help and support. My mission is to help families build connections that last a lifetime. My parenting philosophy is not only to encourage desirable behavior but to raise kids in a way that encourages character development and spiritual growth. It is best to work from the inside out rather than the outside in; grow the heart, adjust the behavior.

 2. What inspired you to write Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home?

Life doesn’t always go the way we expect. As parents, we can do everything “right” and still have a child who veers off the expected path. With my daughter’s permission and input, I share our journey— the struggles a prodigal child brings and how to live life in the middle of the mess.

3. How would you describe this book to someone in a 30 second blurb?

Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home is for parents walking the difficult road with a wayward child. This book is filled with stories from dozens of Christian parents and some prodigals. It includes my personal journey with my same-sex attracted daughter. The book is vulnerable and honest. No matter why a parent has a prodigal (or if you love someone who does) this book will bring comfort, help, and encouragement.  Practical grace- and truth-filled ways of navigating a relationship with a detoured child who is rejecting faith, dabbling in sin, or wholeheartedly embracing sinful behavior are given. There is hope.      

4. How did you research or plan your book?

Both personally and professionally I have experienced the messy journey.I have personally lived-out the journey and walked alongside many families who are heart broken and weary because their child has taken a detour. 

5.  Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

Messy Journey is for the wounded and weary parent and for those who love them. It is also a resource for counselors, pastors, and support group leaders.  This book offers biblical truth, helpful strategies, prayers, and hope for the hurting and often lonely parent.

 6. What sparked your interest in this topic?

This is a book I didn’t want to write. Having a child who has gone astray not only causes heartache it can be isolating and shaming. No one wants the hurt, the pain that a prodigal brings. But as only God can do, in my grief He tenderized me and moved me to reach out to bring comfort and encouragement to other families facing major struggles with their child.

7. What do you hope readers will gain from the book?

My prayer is that the moms and dads reading this book feel encouraged and less alone. My hope is that by reading the stories of others and implementing the suggestions presented they feel empowered to get through the day and to never give up.

 8. How did personal experience impact writing this book?

My personal experience provides the overarching feeling of connection from the reader to author. Even if the reader’s struggle looks different from mine there are common threads and truths when one is the parent of a prodigal.

 9. How much of your own life goes into your books?
This book isn’t only about my daughter and me, it is filled with many parents and their stories. The prodigals’ substance abuse, sexual sin, and/or rejection of faith are all topics that are addressed. As society normalizes sin, Christian parents feel as if they are constantly fighting the culture. But we have a God who always wins and never gives up!

10. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a teacher and a mom. I am thankful I have been able to wear both hats. I am passionate about helping parents be the moms and dads their kids need. I never considered becoming an author. In the first parenting course I developed and taught, a few of the participants told me I should put the information in a book. I told them I was too busy raising my four kids, they could take notes. Messy Journey is my fourth parenting book. God can do the impossible, even with a resistant and rebellious heart.






Lori Wildenberg is a  licensed parent and family
educator, co-founder of  1Corinthians13Parenting.com,
 Lori's newest book, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home (New Hope Publishers) can be ordered on Amazon or found at your favorite bookstoreIf you are a parent of a child who has strayed or know a family in this situation, this book will provide comfort, help, and hope.
Click here to  
 Contact Lori to speak at your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  MOMS Together community on Facebook. 




Head over to Amazon to get your copy of Raising Little Kids with Big Love  














Monday, April 17, 2017

A Post Easter Prayer and Poem




I hope you and your family had a Happy Easter. In keeping with my blog's tradition, I will be posting a poem by my dad, Robert Appel, his pen name was Rockman.

"Listen to me for I tell you the truth.
This very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times."
Matthew 26:34



Dear Jesus

In Joseph's lovely garden
I come to pray to Thee.
I come to beg Thy pardon
Oh Lamb of Calvary.

Afraid and cast about
three times I did deny thee.
Now my broken heart cries out
Oh God forgive me.

As I pray here
grief stricken in thy earthly garden.
I feel thy presence ever near
Oh Son now risen.

After three days darkness
the Light of heaven did shine
Healing my heart with Thy forgiveness
Oh perfect Light divine.

Amen

******
......Rockman
Easter 2005




  Pops, Thank you for leaving me a legacy of faith.
 I miss you.
Lor






Lori Wildenberg is a  licensed parent and family
educator, co-founder of  1Corinthians13Parenting.com,
 Lori's newest book, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home (New Hope Publishers) can be pre-ordered on Amazon (available May 1st) If you are a parent of a child who has strayed or know a family in this situation, this book will provide comfort, help, and hope.
Click here to  
 Contact Lori to speak at your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  MOMS Together community on Facebook. 





Monday, April 10, 2017

3 Ways to Dial Down Your Own Drama



Meet Cindi McMenamin an author friend and colleague of mine. You will love her real and common sense approach to family living. She presents 3 ways to avoid letting drama and worry be a part of your life. Her ideas work because they are based on wisdom from the Father of us all. She has just released a new book and is offering you an opportunity to win one. See below for details. Blessings, Lori


3 Ways to Dial Down Your Own Drama   
By Cindi McMenamin

Is there a little too much drama in your life?
If you’re like me, you’ve often said – or thought – I don’t do drama.

Yet, as much as you and I would like to shut the chaos, confusion, and cattiness out of our lives and convince ourselves we don’t do drama, it has a way of creeping into our lives anyway.

Drama happens when unexpected circumstances hit and we are unprepared to handle them. And drama happens when we react emotionally, rather than respond maturely, to whatever comes our way.  
I’d like to think I’m never the cause of anyone else’s drama. But in reality, I can play into unnecessary drama at times without even realizing it.

Whether our drama is the petty stuff (like being gossiped about or having a bad day) or the truly painful stuff that catches us off guard (like a cancer diagnosis, the ending of a friendship, or suddenly losing someone we love), how we respond makes all the difference – or all the drama – in the world. 

You and I can learn how to maturely respond – rather than emotionally react – to what life brings us so that we can dial down the drama, diffuse it, or eliminate it altogether.
Here are three steps to help keep yourself in check and dial down the drama so your emotions don’t get the best of you:

1.      Consider the bigger picture. Life – and therefore every circumstance you encounter – is meant to conform you to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29). Once you consider this, you can relax and realize God knows what He’s doing in the circumstances He’s allowing. He’s often showing you something about yourself and your relationship with Him. Be teachable by considering what He wants to teach you in the moment. When you consider the bigger picture you can focus on passing the test, rather than failing it through unnecessary drama.

  1. Capture your thoughts. In 2 Corinthians 10:5  we are instructed to take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ because we are in a spiritual war in which the enemy will do his best to run rampant through our thought life, creating doubt, fear,  and confusion.
To take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ means capturing or binding them with the truth of God’s Word. Instead of entertaining a loose thought like “I can’t get through this situation” capture that thought with the truth of God’s Word:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Or, instead of entertaining the thought “I’m alone in this” capture that thought with the truth that Christ has said He’ll never leave you nor desert you (Hebrews 13:5). The more we know of God’s Word, the better we will be able to  tame our reckless, wild thoughts.

  1. Correct Your Thinking. When you begin to feel overwhelmed by life and start to freak out, ask yourself: “What am I believing about God that isn’t true?” In other words, focus on the facts, not your feelings. What are the facts about God when your feelings are telling you otherwise? When our feelings lead us down a dark tunnel of despair, we need to switch on the facts of what we know about God to direct us back out. When we know Who God is and what He is capable of, our worries, fears, and freak-outs can be stilled.






Would you like to win a free copy of Cindi’s newest book, Drama Free? Comment below with one or two words that cause or represent drama in your life and then go to her website and sign up for her monthly e-newsletter and weekly blog. You’ll be entered into a drawing for a free, signed copy of the book. The winner will be announced here next week. (U.S. mailing addresses only please.)


Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and author who helps women and couples strengthen their
relationship with God and others. For more on balancing your emotions and being the best woman, wife, and mom you can be, see her new book, Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You, now available at her website  www.StrengthForTheSoul.com or anywhere you buy books. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Share this Easter Miracle Found in Nature with Your Kids




One leaf makes the difference between life and death of the mangrove tree.You could miss the few yellow leaves scattered among all the green leaves in the grove. But our captain made certain to point them out.

My daughter, Courtney, and I went on an EcoCruise while on a family vacation in the Florida Keys.  We saw lots of different birds, plants, and a few crabs. But the thing that made the biggest impact was the smallest thing we saw.

The yellow leaf. 

According to the guide, the leaf soaks up all the salt water the plant's roots take in. In doing so the rest of the tree can survive- even thrive. But ... the result is the yellow leaf itself, dies.

The leaf's sole purpose  is to die so the rest of the tree can live.

Its name: The Sacrificial Leaf.

(You know where I'm heading with this!) Today, I am thanking God for the sacrifice His Son made for me while he hung on a tree. He sucked up all my salty sin and gave me living water. He gave his life so I could survive- no...thrive. He did it for me, for my family, and for you.

His name: Jesus.

Since that first Easter Morning- every day that follows-is a resurrection day. I am grateful. Because he died for me,  I will live for Him.

He is risen! He is risen indeed.

Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 
John 1:29





Lori Wildenberg is a  licensed parent and family
Click here to get to Amazon
educator, co-founder of  1Corinthians13Parenting.com,
 Lori's newest book, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home (New Hope Publishers) can be pre-ordered on Amazon (available May 1st) . If you are a parent of a child who has strayed or know a family in this situation, this book will provide comfort, help, and hope.
Click here to  
 Contact Lori to speak at your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  MOMS Together community on Facebook. 





Monday, March 27, 2017

How to Create a Faith and Fun Filled Easter Basket



The night before Easter, my husband and I were determined to foil our children by hiding their baskets in unexpected locations. Our four kids had become quite adept at finding their baskets in no time flat. As I opened the oven door and slid the pink basket onto the rack I thought, “She’ll never find it here.”

Before my kids awoke Easter morning, I quietly slipped into the kitchen.  While on auto-pilot I preheated the oven for the egg bake and our traditional sour cream coffee cake.

My attempt to be stealthy failed. Downstairs they came ready to find their basket. My daughter’s fine-tuned sleuthing skills and keen sense of smell lead her to the oven. She discovered a steaming hot basket filled with melted candy and a mushy chocolate bunny.

Making memories, even out of mishaps, will draw a family together. Easter traditions that include basket hiding and finding are fun (and usually safe) for all. Basket filling presents a unique opportunity for parents to bring Jesus into the resurrection celebration.

Create a faith-focused and faith building Easter basket for your kids.Include all or some of these 25 items with the corresponding scripture reference in the basket.  Each one represents a biblical story, gives a truth, or provides a promise of God. 

Use numbered gift tags with twine and attach the verse provided to each gift.  As your kids unpack their baskets, save the gift tags. For the next 25 Sundays your family can read and discuss the bible passages in numerical order. All the verses are about Jesus’ life, teaching, death, or resurrection.  

  1. Trail Mix:  Deuteronomy 6:6-7
  2. Magnifying Glass:  Luke 1:1-4
  3. Flip Flops : Luke 3:15-16 
  4. Squirt Gun:  Matthew 3:13-17 
  5. Bible: Luke 4:14-21 
  6. Legos Luke 6:46-49 
  7. Kleenex Luke 7:11-17 
  8. Eraser Luke 7:36-50 
  9. Seeds Luke 8:11-15 
  10. Flashlight Luke 8:16-18
  11. Sunglasses:  Matthew 17:1-8
  12. Family Activity Coupons: Luke 10:38-42 
  13. Hairbrush or comb: Luke 12:6-7 
  14. Coloring book with crayons:  Luke 12:27 
  15. Band-Aids: Luke 17:11-19
  16. Juice box: Luke 22:7-23
  17. Scented lotion or cologne: Luke 23:55-24:12
  18. Red, white, purple, black, orange, green, yellow, pink jelly beans: Respectively   Romans 5:9, Isaiah 1:18, John 19:19, Romans 3:23 and 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9, Matthew 28:5-6,  Rev 21:21,  Romans 15:13 
  19. Gardening tools : John 20:1-18
  20. Goldfish crackers:  John 21:1-4
  21. Chocolate lamb: John 21:15-17
  22. 40 Pennies:  Acts 1:1-6 
  23. Bubbles:  Acts 1: 7-11
  24. Worship music CD: Acts 16:16-40
  25. Journal with a pen: John 21:24-25 

Parents can encourage their kids to remember Easter every day by creating a basket that can be enjoyed beyond Easter Sunday.


One final note: the oven is meant for baking not for hiding. 

He is risen. He is risen indeed!




Lori Wildenberg
Licensed parent and family educator, co-founder of 1Corinthians13Parenting.com co-author of 3 parenting books (with her 1st solo endeavor to be published in May 2017 Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home),  mom of four (plus one daughter-in-love), wife to Tom,  Contact Lori for your next event. She is also available for parent consulting and parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at  MOMS Together community on Facebook.