Getting to Know Lisa Whelchel (Part 1 of 2)

By Jill Bartlett
Crosswalk.com Family Living Editor
Find out what Lisa Whelchel, of "Facts of Life," is now doing!

Crosswalk.com Family Living Channel -
Jill: Well, tell us a little bit about how you met and married your husband. I've heard it's a great story ...

Lisa: It is a great story! It's actually in my new book. We were friends for two years. One day, I really felt the Lord just say to me out of the blue in a worship service, "Would you ever consider marrying Steve Cauble?" and I immediately thought "No way!" because I thought I'd be attracted to the guy I was going to marry, and although I thought he was a great guy, I wasn't thinking of that kind of a relationship. So, through the course of some coincidences that weren't actually coincidences, I realized that the Lord was serious and that this was the man he had for me, and yet the feelings still hadn't come. It really came down to a real crisis of faith for me and how much I actually trusted my Heavenly Father. The chapter title in the book is called "the Arranged Marriage," because it really was arranged by my Father. I realized that I had to really just depend on the character of God. I knew He was loving and good and wise and that He knew better than I did. So, I agreed to marry Steve. Thankfully, before the wedding, the feelings came, too. And we had three children in three years so everything worked out just fine.

Jill: Wow. And you've been married how long?

Lisa: Thirteen years today.

Jill: Happy Anniversary! What has been the key to success in your marriage?

Lisa: I think just realizing that most everything that we would potentially argue over is not more important than the peace in our marriage. And it's not peace at all costs because my husband's very good at listening to me and what I'm feeling and my opinions. He's very good about that. But, for my marriage, I've learned to let most everything go, you know?

Jill: Why did you choose to leave Hollywood and marry a pastor and stay home with your children?

Lisa: It really wasn't even a choice that I made. Really, it was just a matter that the "Facts of Life" ended in March of 1988, and I was married in July of 1988, and then had three children three years in a row right after that. God has always been my Heavenly Father -- He's always orchestrated my life. It was obvious that He was not blessing my career anymore; instead, He was going to bless my home. Once I got the picture, I thought, "Well, forget it, I'm not going to pursue that anymore, I'll just stay home and be a wife and mother," and it's been fabulous.

Jill: Was that a tough adjustment at first?

Lisa: No, it really wasn't.

Jill: No? You were just ready?

Lisa: It's not even that I was ready, it's just as much that I love being a mom. So I'm thrilled to be able to be home with them.

Jill: Why are you so adamant about saying your kids and family are just "normal"?

Lisa: Well, when you write a parenting book you put yourself out on the line. And so, just in case anybody actually met my children, I needed to say up front -- they are not perfect kids. So, really it was just to cover my bases!

Jill: Famous doesn't necessarily equal perfect, huh?

Lisa: No, no. And doing all the right things doesn't necessarily mean they'll be perfect.

Jill: How do you juggle everything? How do you juggle the homeschooling, your ministry and your marriage?

Lisa: I've let a lot of balls drop ...

Jill: I loved what you said at the beginning of the book about how you just wanted to let people know that you're not superwoman -- your kids sometimes eat cereal for dinner, your spring cleaning never seems to be done ...

Lisa: That's true. As moms, I think we just have to realize that there are going to be some things that fall by the wayside and some things we're not very good at. You know, I'm not very good at cooking healthy meals, I'm not a very good housekeeper, I'm not a very good prayer warrior -- those are all really great things that I wish I was good at doing, but I'm not. So it's not that I give up and don't try, but I realize that it's OK -- we all have weaknesses. We can ask the Lord to be our strength in those places, but at the same time, you know to not beat yourself up for not being perfect, because nobody's perfect.

Jill: Right. Are you finding people expect perfection of you because you're famous?

Lisa: What I have found is that people expect physical perfection of me. I think it's also the character I played and being on television. And that's hard, because I'm 38, you know, and things change, things drop, things fall and they expand - they do all kinds of things as you get older! You know, that's been harder because people expect you to look the same way. Other than that, I don't think they expect me to be perfect as far as real life.

Jill: What's the greatest lesson your kids have taught you?

Lisa: To trust the Lord. You know, as much as I really give a hundred percent to raise and train them, ultimately I have to trust the Lord to work in their hearts. I desire so desperately for my children to find the blessings that come from obedience to the Lord. But that's really not anything you can control and so if you can't control it, the only other way to handle it is trust.

Jill: Who's the biggest prayer warrior in your life?

Lisa: I have a group of ladies I call my cyber prayer warriors. I send out e-mail to them whenever I'm about to speak at a church or writing a book or if I'm going through a hard time. I send it out to my cyber prayer warriors and they lift it up in prayer and lift me up in prayer.

Jill: How did you meet them?

Lisa: They're just friends that I've met. I have a group that meets in my home every week called "Mom Time" -- I'm actually putting that together right now to equip other moms to be able to host a group in their home. We just laugh and eat and play games and encourage one another. It's a time for moms to be women, not just moms, and have adult conversations, eat adult food, and develop those relationships. I've had that in my home for ten years and some of those ladies have been really good friends. Also, others would say, "How can I pray for you?" and I say "Can I add you to my list?"

Jill: That's really neat. What sites do you visit on the Internet?

Lisa: Screenit.com is one of my favorites. It's a great site for parents, you know, especially with movies -- you have to be careful with even the Disney movies. Anyway, they break down every off-colored word, every attitude, etc. -- they break it all down for you so you can make a really good, informed decision. And, you know, just because it says Rated G or PG doesn't mean that it's OK for your kids.

Jill: What's in your CD player right now? What do you like to listen to?

Lisa: Probably DC Talk because my son is in the car with me. But, when he's not in the car, I like Point of Grace and Steven Curtis Chapman. When we were driving to the airport, we listened to a new CD called "Revival in Belfast." It's a praise and worship tape from Belfast and it's awesome.

Go to Part 2


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