Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Daddy, Am I Beautiful? Mommy, Am I Strong?

I'm proud to share with you two new children's books authored by my friend and colleague, Michelle S. Lazurek. 

Daddy, Am I Beautiful? is a delightful new book which addresses every little girl's deepest desire - to know she is beautiful. Through colorful, whimsical illustrations, this book teaches girls that beauty is God-given and comes from within. They will discover not only their own inner beauty, but learn to recognize the inner beauty in others through acts of kindness, love and concrete biblical examples.
Little girls will easily identify with Lovely Leah through her ordinary playfulness and inquisitiveness as shown through the extraordinary collaboration between author and illustrator.
:) :) :) :) :)
Pauline Books & Media, October 2015
ISBN 978-0-8198-1905-5 (paperback)
SRP $12.95
Ages 4-7
Written by Michelle S. Lazurek
Illustrated by Apryl Stott
Mommy, Am I Strong? is the companion book to Daddy, Am I Beautiful? and addresses every boy's universal need - to know he is strong.
Loving to play superheroes, Courageous Caleb and his cousin Daring David learn that true strength isn't measured by how high they can leap or how heavy an object they might lift. Rather, they learn that real strength comes from within - asking for God's help to do the right thing, especially when it's difficult.
Little boys will love the colorful illustrations and identify with these adventurous superheroes.
:) :) :) :) :)
Pauline Books & Media, October 2015
ISBN 978-0-8198-4948-9 (paperback)
SRP $12.95
Ages 4-7
Written by Michelle S. Lazurek
Illustrated by Scott Spinks

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Love Me

"Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens." Psalm 89:2 NLT

"I need someone to love me!" she shouts impatiently from her princess toddler bed.

"I'll be right there," Mama reassures her, "as soon as I lay your baby brother down."

Oh isn't that the cry of everyone's heart? Toddler princess or not, we selfishly desire love -an all-knowing, unfailing, soul-deep love. We crave attention, reassurance that our existence matters; that who we are in this great big world makes a difference to someone

Mama finally arrives and kneels beside her bed.

"My heart is so full of love, Mama, so I need to love you," the toddler princess explains. "And, I need someone to love me."

Isn't that the way unfailing love cycles? Love fills and spills and fills again - without fail - without fear. Perfect love never fails.

{Click on over to {re}fresh for the rest of the story, won't you?}

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

One Author's Journey: Interview with Michelle S. Lazurek

Michelle and I met at her children's preschool in 2009, where I was substitute teaching.
Michelle S. Lazurek
Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher
Introducing herself as one of the students' parents we quickly became friends when I discovered her passion to follow God's lead toward a writing career. Being a newbie to the business myself, we encouraged one another in our writing and I'm proud to introduce her to you today;  a student who now far surpasses the teacher. 

1. For my readers who don't know you, will you tell them a little about yourself? 
I am a writer, speaker, pastor's wife and mother. I've been in ministry for over fifteen years. I'm married to my wonderful husband Joe for fifteen years and have two children, Caleb and Leah.

2. How did you become a writer?
I've often said that I didn't choose writing; writing chose me. In 2009, while attending a women's retreat, I felt God impress upon my heart to write a book. I had never written anything before in my life. I was terrified! I prayed and asked God what he wanted me to write about, and I began to notice in the gospel of John how many times John referred to himself as "the disciple ‘Whom Jesus loved." As I researched, I found no one had written anything about that topic. That’s when my first book "Becoming the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved" was born. I've been writing ever since.

3. What difficulties have you experienced as a pastor’s wife, and how did you handle those difficulties?
When you are in a position of power, there will always be people who try to take advantage of that power. It’s especially tough when you are in a place of spiritual power. The enemy will always seek to knock you down, using the same people who praise with you on a Sunday morning. Besides loneliness—that’s the hardest part about being a pastor’s wife—those within your congregation who don’t treat you with the same level of mutual respect because they believe things should be handled or organized differently. 

4. You have two new children’s books that have just been released. Tell me what they are about.
When my daughter was four years old, she would spend hours parading in front of my husband, twirling around in her princess dresses and asking “Daddy, Am I Beautiful?” I realized in that moment that is the cry of every young girl’s heart—to be told by her father she is beautiful. My book explores the concept of self-esteem from a young girl’s perspective and teaches them that it is not what’s on the outside that makes you beautiful, but what’s on the inside. Mommy Am I Strong? is written for boys and explores the concept of their self-esteem. Boys want to be seen as strong and use their strength to prove their worth. This book teaches that true strength comes from the inside, not on the outside. 

5. What lesson would you like young girls and boys take away from your children’s books?
Society is tough to raise Christian men and women in, especially for women. In this overly sexualized world, we tend to teach girls that their value in life comes from exploiting their bodies for others’ pleasure. I want girls to feel they are more than that. I want them to come away with the confidence that their worth does not come from their body type, but from God’s approval of them just as they are. With the increasing popularity of superheroes, boys are taught early that their worth comes from their strength I want young boys to believe that even someone with a disability can be strong because of their ability to display humility and grace in the face of trials. 

6. What are some upcoming projects? 
I have a non-fiction book on hospitality titled An Invitation to the Table: Embracing the Gift of Hospitality that releases in spring of 2016.

Michelle S. Lazurek is a pastor’s wife, a mother, an author, and a speaker. A member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, she has been published in numerous places such as Charisma Magazine and Movieguide Magazine. Her newest book An Invitation to the Table explores hospitality and discipleship. For more information, Please visit her website at