Lisa Welchel’s roles

‘The Facts of Life’ actress will speak in South Florida in November as part of Women of Faith’s ‘A Grand New Day’ tour

With families across the nation facing economic hard times and foreclosures up more than 80 percent, there is more stress on women than ever before.

So there’s no better time to get together with your girlfriends for a weekend of hope and inspiration when Women of Faith’s 2009 tour, “A Grand New Day,” comes to the BankAtlantic Center, Nov. 20–21.

A fresh face that was added to this year’s line-up of speakers is a familiar face to television viewers: Former actress Lisa Welchel. For nine years we followed her adventures as “Blair” on NBC’s hit show “The Facts of Life,” and you may even remember her from her days as a Mouseketeer on “The New Mickey Mouse Club.”

After a successful acting career, Lisa got married, had children and began her greatest – and most challenging role – as a wife and mother.

When she found herself feeling “isolated and alone” with three children in diapers, Lisa started MomTime Ministries with the goal of refreshing and equipping other mothers. She’s also the author of several books on homeschooling, scrapbooking and parenting.

Welchel’s book, “Taking Care of the Me in Mommy” is one of her most popular.

“Sadly, we have to convince women to take care of themselves,” Lisa said in a phone interview from her home in Texas. “If you’re taking care of yourself, it spills over to the kids. If you’re tired, you get cranky, and that affects the children. We have to be intentional about taking care of ourselves.”

As a continuation of the helpful concepts presented in her book, Welchel established a “Personal Mom Coaching” feature on her Web site for moms who are overwhelmed.

“You can pick one of several areas of your personal life such as marriage, friendships, parenting or spiritual life, and each day you get encouraging messages that give you things to work on for 21 days,” she explains.

“Hopefully you’ll be creating new habits after 21 days by focusing on one area of your life, rather than being overwhelmed with the many aspects of a mom’s life.”

“It’s like having an online friend for the journey,” Welchel says of the free service.

Spiritually speaking

Welchel doesn’t like to speak to Christian women about “memorizing” Scripture.

“Just the word ‘memorize’ makes me feel like that’s just one more thing I have to put on my to-do list,” she says. “But reading a Scripture and focusing on it really helps.”

Welchel sometimes takes one Scripture and tapes it to her refrigerator, bathroom mirror or car visor.

“Automatically, as you read it out loud, you’ll find you are memorizing it, and soon it’s planted in your heart,” she says.

Welchel says busy moms are too hard on themselves if they don’t spend a significant time in Bible study each day.

“There are different seasons in our lives as moms,” she says. “Don’t worry about the quantity of Bible reading you are doing, think more about the quality. Sometimes just looking at one verse and focusing on it all day, can impact our lives [more] than trying to rush through a bunch of chapters so that you don’t feel guilty for not reading.”

Kids and their Creator
When asked, “What’s a mom to do when the kids are acting out?” Welchel responds with a smile in her voice.

“Well first of all, we have to remember they are kids,” she says gently. “We tend to want them to be little adults. Sometimes, we need to take a minute, set the dishes down and sit our child on our laps and give them a minute of attention. After all, they are more important than anything you are doing any way.”

At one time Welchel felt desperate for parenting help while raising three little ones.

“After reading several parenting books, I cried out to the Lord and learned that each child is different based on the way the Creator created them,” she recalls.

“I learned about Creative Correction – meaning depending on the Creator to show you the way [to parent] based on the way He’s created [your kids] … meaning being sensitive to the uniqueness of our kids,” she explains.

Welchel says she has learned something about the verse that says, “Train up a child the way he should go and he will not depart from it,” that has helped her with child rearing.

“There is room in the interpretation that can mean train up the children the way they are created, the way they are bent. Some children need firmness, others need to be treated gently,” she says.

Getting connected
During a recent Women of Faith weekend event in California, veteran Women of Faith speaker Sheila Walsh commented on Facebook, “I love Lisa Welchel’s vulnerability on stage.”

Welchel says she’s been speaking in a transparent way as a Life speaker over the years, yet the Women of Faith team has helped her to not only to be transparent, but vulnerable – a hallmark for Women of Faith speakers.

“I’ll be talking about my personal discovery of the importance of connecting with other people. As a child actress, I was on my own and had to learn what it means to need people,” she shares.

Joining some of the nation’s top speakers and performers at the two-day conference will be Grammy award winner Steve Curtis Chapman and acclaimed music artists Sandi Patty and Nicole C. Mullen.

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