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Podcast Spotlight: What is a Newborn Promise?

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Enjoy this Excerpt from the Newborn Promise Podcast, Episode 1:

The Newborn Promise Project helps husband and wife spiritually assess and plan for the exciting new season of building their family, and spiritually parenting their baby and child.  Meet the authors Callie Grant, Audra Haney, and Charissa Kolar, with special guest host Rusty Shelton.

RUSTY:   Welcome to the Newborn Promise Podcast our inaugural episode to explore how the Newborn Promise Project can prepare couples for their best parenting experience possible in the challenging and miraculous days ahead.

My name is Rusty Shelton and I am glad to be here today with Charissa Kolar, Audra Haney, and Callie Grant, co-authors of Your Newborn Promise Project: A Pre-Parenting Primer for Christian Husband and Wife and the Newborn Promise Group Study published by Graham Blanchard. We’re in three different time zones, so it’s great to have you all together at once!

CALLIE: Hi Rusty!

AUDRA: Hey Rusty! Thanks so much for having us.

CHARISSA: Hi Rusty!

RUSTY: So the Newborn Promise Project isn’t just one book, but really several resources that all work together for the benefit of couples in the early years of family life. In your book you say that when couples get married, most will admit it was a big transition to go from single life to married life. But, when couples go from married life alone to becoming parents, it was a much greater life change.  I have 2 children myself and I can agree with that.

CALLIE: Yes Rusty, that was our situation exactly. I can still remember vividly when my husband and I brought Anna home for the first time and just getting from the hospital to her bedroom, just two miles away, was a major ordeal. We were nervous as cats and we went into her room, and cozied her in her crib. She was quiet after crying all the way there and we both looked at each other like, “Now what do we do?” so we prayed over her and said, “Please God don’t let us harm her.” That was really the starting point for our book and I think a lot of parents feel that way when they first get home. They look at each other and they say “Now what?”

RUSTY:  So you wrote the Newborn Promise Project really to encourage new parents to see how parenthood can benefit from a relationship with God?

CALLIE: Yes, that relationship is a lifeline because one of the first things that new parents discover is how little control they have and God is literally the best hope we have for survival as new parents. After new parents weather the first few months of an infant’s life they usually say out loud, “Wow! We could have never prepared ourselves for that.” But the truth is there are actually a lot of ways you can prepare yourself for it, but it has never been available.

You know, most churches offer and even require pre-marital counseling and there is a reason because it really helps. It gives you solid guidance when you need it in the trenches, when you can remember: “Ah, they told me it would be like this, and this is what we need to do.”

Well, once we recognized a similar need for expecting and new parents we saw that there was nothing like the Newborn Promise Project to meet it. Because so much is already written and taught about the physical side and rearing a child but really nothing on preparing spiritually for this time. So, pastors, parents, and everyone agreed that there was a need. For the past two years, we have worked on a study for expecting and new parents to permit God to use this time in the most beneficial and healing way for mom, dad, and baby. All three have the promise of a Spirit-led new life. It is really the opportunity of a lifetime.

RUSTY: Callie, For all the listeners who are getting ready for that stage of parenting how can they expect to benefit from the Newborn Promise Project? Take us a little bit about the book.

CALLIE: The last thing that we wanted to do was to create a burdensome process or layer of complexity or mystery about all of this because it is a really busy time in life. You know, Jesus’ teaching was so sublimely simple and so we followed his lead closely and looked at what he had to say and we found over and over again certain urgings and injunctions in the Bible that we use our basic spiritual abilities to love, remember, seek, question, and persevere. And so, these Bible basics are really lifelines for new parents and their children and they are the foundation for the resources in the Newborn Promise Project.

RUSTY:  Charissa, let’s turn to you.  Now that we have this introduction to what is in the Newborn Promise Project Primer it sounds like a great resource for a couple to buy and read together.  What about a small group setting, can you tell us about that?

CHARISSA: So, in the Newborn Promise Project, we have a class and study to help foster the formation of small group community. Our class is basically for the same audience as the primer book, couples who are anticipating being parents one day, couples who are already expecting, or couples who are in the adoption process or even those who already have small children. The class starts out with a video. It is called True Stories and then we would break into small groups and follow along with our Study Guide. Our Study Guide has some questions that are designed for group discussion and help you go a little deeper with the material. This has been an important piece of my Christian journey as well.

When my husband and I had been married a couple of years, we joined a small group at our church and our small group grew with more and more young couples. And in the first two or three years, everyone started having children or adopting for the first time and we started going through this similar journey in life and our small group became the place where we could talk about our marriages, and our children and our struggles. It was just sort of different than talking about it with your family or friends at work.

RUSTY: So we have talked with Callie and Charissa about how the Newborn Promise Project primer, the Study Guide and class can really prepare parents like nothing else out there.  So Audra, after a couple buys the book or takes the class, what is the next resource that keeps parents going?

AUDRA: Yes, so one of my favorite things about the Newborn Promise Project is that is just such a well-rounded resource. You have the primer to dig in with your spouse and do some deep reflecting, the study guide and group guide which helps build community as Charissa covered so well, but we’ve also got our Newborn Promise Project App which links to our blog and some great articles and the podcast which we are so excited about. You know, the heart behind expanding on the primer is that we see the need to get all the reminders and resources into the hands of new parents as possible because we know we just need different types of things on different days.

And I’m just so grateful for this and I can really see its value first hand. I’m currently, I’m a mom of a three year old and a 5 month old. You know, in the middle of working on this project my husband and I moved to a different city, we sold and bought houses, and he started a new job. It’s been so crazy. But I think the beautiful thing is that God has just given me a fresh immense compassion for moms and dads in the thick of it.

To hear the entire podcast episode, visit this Web page, the Apple and Goole app stores, or download the Newborn Promise Project App here. Join Newborn Promise co-author Audra Haney and friends there each week to plan for and navigate your family’s spiritual journey.

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