Conversation: Lisa Whelchel
Lisa Whelchel — of 1980s Facts of Life fame — walked away from a successful Hollywood career almost 20 years ago to be a ministerÕs wife and stay-at-home mom. She and her husband, David Cauble, have three children: Tucker, 16, Haven, 14, and Clancy, 13.
Whelchel was out of the public eye for years, but she has re-emerged as a bestselling author and spokeswoman for Christian moms. Her books include Creative Correction, The Facts of Life and other Lessons My Father Taught Me, So YouÕre Thinking About Homeschooling, The ADVENTure of Christmas, The Busy MomÕs Guide to Prayer, The Busy MomÕs Guide to Wisdom and Speaking Mom-ese.
This year Whelchel launched lisawhelchel.com, an interactive Web site for moms, in addition to releasing several new books, including Taking Care of the ÒMeÓ in Mommy and The Busy GrandmaÕs Guide to Prayer.
She spoke recently with Assistant Editor Ashli OÕConnell.
tpe: In talking with moms through your traveling and ministry, what are some issues you encounter?
WHELCHEL: Moms seem to have a collective sense of failure. I hear over and over that women feel they are not measuring up as moms, that their kids are not measuring up the way they want them to be. I have felt the same way too, so I just went to the Lord and asked why. ÒLord, why — when I know we really are trying to do our best in following You and raising our children — why do we feel like such failures?Ó
And I felt like the Lord said, ÒBecause thatÕs exactly where I want you to be. Because when you realize you canÕt do it in your own strength, that is when you cry out to Me on behalf of your children and then I can reach their hearts from the inside out.Ó
That made so much sense to me. My desire is to express to moms that when you get to feeling guilty and overwhelmed and burdened — instead of being weighed down by it, realize this is a signal, a reminder that you will fail in your own strength. Let your burdens be a signal that you need to call out to God to pick up where your strength leaves off.
tpe: Talk about the inspiration behind your Busy MomÕs Guide series.
WHELCHEL: It is a passion of mine to relieve moms from guilt, and it threads through everything that I write and speak on. I assume my readers know what they are supposed to be doing — they want to serve their families and God to the best of their ability. But they need someone to show them how. So these are very practical guides that show moms how to follow through on their desire for more prayer, Bible study, worship, etc.
tpe: You are also an advocate for moms taking care of themselves. Why is that important to you?
WHELCHEL: Moms give and give and give. But if you donÕt take time to receive, youÕre gonna burn out. There are a lot of burned-out moms losing the joy of being a parent because they feel guilty about taking the time to receive. Moms feel like they are supposed to sacrifice everything for their families, and I understand that point of view. But, at the same time, if youÕre not taking time to receive — body, soul and spirit — eventually you wonÕt have anything more to give.
tpe: When your children tell your grandchildren about you, what do you hope they say?
WHELCHEL: I would hope they say, ÒMy mother loved the Lord more than anything and He was her Heavenly Father, her Best Friend, her goal, her reason. Everything revolved around Him, and she lived that out in everything she said and did.Ó