Q&A with Melanie Shankle (aka Big Mama)

We all know and love her from her wildly popular blog, Big Mama. She also rocks the stage (along with Boo Mama) as one of the emcees for LifeWay’s dotMOM events. Now, come February, her first book will hit the shelves and you will not want to miss it!

Today, Melanie answers some of the questions that our readers have been dying to ask. melanie shankle-0357a (2)


Question 1 from Kristina in Franklin, TN: What is the most challenging part of motherhood for you?

I think the most challenging part of motherhood is almost everything.  But if I had to narrow it down I think it’s adjusting to each new stage.  I always feel like just when I have figured out how to handle a situation or deal with a certain issue then it all changes and I’m faced with a whole new problem.

And I also think it’s a challenge to remember I’m not raising a miniature version of myself. I can’t expect her to act like me or respond like me to everything.  She has her own thoughts and dreams and fears.

Question 2 from Sarah in Charleston, SC: What has been your biggest fashion faux pas?

I once wore a leopard print body suit (think snaps like a baby’s onesie) with denim shorts to the zoo.

I don’t think any further explanation is necessary.  Just say no to theme dressing.

Question 3 from @TalesofaPeanut: What is the best advice you have given or received on parenting pre-school/elementary age kids? 

Well, I rarely give advice unless you count when I tell Caroline not to lick the bottom of her shoe or to touch gum that’s under a table at a restaurant.

But the best advice I’ve ever been given is to pick your battles.  As moms we have to say no so often that it’s important to focus on the things we can say yes to and not make our kids feel like they’re losing every battle.  That’s why Caroline hasn’t brushed her hair since noon yesterday.  In the whole scheme of life it just doesn’t matter.

Unless it’s a Sunday morning and we’re going to church.

Question 4 from Sophie in Birmingham, AL: Assume Jackie Sherrill & Kevin Sumlin both want to go hunting for the weekend with your family. You can only pick one. Who wins?

This is like choosing if I’d prefer to have my eyes or my legs.  I have a deep and abiding love for both Jackie Sherrill and Kevin Sumlin.  But I think I’d have to go with Kevin Sumlin.  He is the future of Aggie football and what he has done with our program in one year is nothing short of amazing.

Plus, he appears to have charisma for days.  I bet he knows how to make a good S’more too, which is an essential hunting weekend item.

Question 5 from Kristina in Franklin, TN: Caramel,cheese or regular popcorn?

None of the above.  I am a kettle corn kind of girl.  And I make it on my stove with a ¼ cup of sugar and some kosher salt sprinkled on it.  DELICIOUS.

It just doesn’t feel natural for popcorn to taste like cheese.

Question 6: When is your new book going to be released and will you go on a book tour?

Sparkly Green Earrings comes out on February 8.  It still doesn’t seem real.Sparkly Green Earrings (2)

And, sadly, there will be no official book tour unless you count the twos of places I’ll be signing books which will be in Houston and San Antonio.  Oh, and I’ll also be signing books at Dot Mom in Dallas on February 22-23.

Question 7: What kind of dates do you go on with your husband?

We usually just go out for dinner somewhere.  This works for us because we both enjoy eating and we rarely agree on what constitutes a good movie.  So we enjoy a nice dinner and catch up on life and discuss our thoughts and dreams and whether or not we need a new mattress or hot water heater.

It’s very glamorous.  I hope you’re not jealous.


Don’t forget to leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win two tickets to the dotMOM event in February and see Melanie in person!!


Stacy Edwards is a trucker’s daughter and a pastor’s wife. She is a freelance writer and a mom to four fabulous little girls. Stacy blogs at Servant’s Life where she uses her words to point others to the hope and encouragement found in Christ.

CLOSED: Q&A with Margaret Feinberg (and a Giveaway!)

Update: Congratulations to our winner, Mindy Stewart Morgan! We will email you this afternoon!
Today, on the blog, we are so excited to have Margaret Feinberg. Margaret (www.margaretfeinberg.com) is author of Scouting the Divine: My Search for God in Wine, Wool, & Wild Honey and Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God—both of which have accompanying DVD Bible studies from Lifeway. You can follow her on Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter @mafeinberg. feinberg

This morning, she is answering some reader submitted questions. If you have a question, feel free to leave a comment! Let’s begin!


Question 1 from Melanie in Atlanta: When I’m in the Word, I feel that wonder. But, what are your tips for retaining that wonder throughout the daily grind of life?

Indeed, the wonders of God abound in Scripture. But the Word is meant to be a foundational, grounding point for experiencing God’s wonder throughout your every day. It’s meant to open your eyes to the reality that God is at work all around you—in creation, in friendships, in forgiveness, in the fullness of life He wants to give each and everyone one of us. That’s what Wonderstruck is all about—living the reality of a God whose name is “Wonderful.” The best tip I can give is to do the 30-Day Wonderstruck Challenge at the end of the book—those daily activities and disciplines will help you experience wonder in your every day.

Question 2 from Kelly in Nashville: I love your writing so much! Do you have another book in the works? :)

I do have another book and Bible study in the works—and while the details are still being developed, let’s just say the book will challenge us to walk in the fullness of joy and abundance and life God has designed for each of us.

Question 3 from Sandy in Virginia: When you aren’t writing…what are you reading? Who are your favorite authors?

I love reading magazines ranging from Harvard Business Review to Popular Science to the The New Yorker. When I’m not writing, I tend to watch a ton of movies and television shows and become immersed in the stories. So my favorite writers tend to be screenwriters and producers like the brilliant Aaron Sorkin.

Question 4 from Mary Ann in Tennessee: Did you ever think you would be such an influential woman in the evangelical world?

Growing up near Cape Canaveral Florida with a father in the surf industry, I thought I might grow up and be an astronaut or a surfer, but never a writer or speaker or Bible teacher—demonstrating once again that God always has big surprises up His sleeve! Though I still want to enroll in surf camp one of these days.

Want to win a copy of Margaret’s newest Bible study Wonderstruck? Enter below!

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