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Q&A WITH WHITING
  • Q- What’s Your Story?
    A- I grew up in a family who loves God, family, and community! I was raised in an Assemblies of God (charismatic) church. My childhood was beautiful to say the least. Our family had so many wonderful memories together from camping to playing flashlight tag in the country to making mud pies to vacationing in Colorado to going to different states for Fine Arts National Competitions when my sister and I got older. I cherish these beautiful memories. I grew up in a hands-on-learning, visual children’s church, a discipling and passionate youth group, and a hands-on training Bible School through a Master’s Commission. I created and choreographed dramas and plays, and I helped teach sign language to my peers. I also competed in these categories and in Visual Art and Preaching through AG Fine Arts. Fine Arts was a huge part of our family’s life all through our teenage years, and we loved it. I was homeschooled with my older sister from halfway through the 5th grade to 12th grade. We helped with my mom’s day care and were involved in various outside curricular activities including helping my grandparents at their craft shows, getting a job at age fifteen as a Summer Recreational Director at a Community Center, working at a Sonic restaurant, and being on our church volleyball team and basketball team. I was in mixed martial arts from age 13–18 and received my black belt at age 18 and my second-degree black belt fifteen years later. I worked as a martial arts assistant coach for kids and volunteered at a food pantry my parents founded through the OKC Dream Center (iInner Ccity location). At age fifteen, I was called into the ministry, went on a missions trip to Honduras, and was able to give a sermon in front of my youth group. For college, during Masters Commission, I lived with a Pastor for the deaf and got to be around the deaf community again. I also led a team that went to a local nursing home where we sang worship songs for the residents. I graduated from Bible College in Pastoral Studies in 2008 and went on to be a Children’s Pastor in the KC Metro Area. After marrying the love of my life in the summer of 2009, we went on to pastor a church in the fall of 2009 with the Assemblies of God in Northern Missouri. We partnered with the public schools and began an after-school program. Later we served under some leaders who had a heart for Israel. We had our baby girl in 2014 and have had an amazing adventure filled with beauty and joy. I have had the honor of working with talented educators for several years, and I’ve learned so much from them, the children, and their beautiful families. We are currently building our 1 New Kid brand while writing books for all ages, creating multigenerational music, and designing curriculum for families and communities.
  • Q- Why did you choose to write Children’s Books?
    A- I was inspired in 2013 after praying for two weeks. I’d been asking God why He wanted us to give up being senior pastors and move to Kansas City to be under a ministry that has a heart for Israel. God woke me up and gave me three titles: “1 New Kid,” “What’s My Missing Piece?” and a third title for an adult book I’ll reveal in the future.” Since 2013, I’ve been on a beautiful journey of heartache, joy, and discovery, experiencing hands on how God feels for His “missing pieces.” The series “What’s My Missing Piece?” will continue to be available as a staple in families’ homes for generations! And more book series are being developed alongside our first series.
  • Q- What is your background with Children?
    A- I was raised in my mom’s home day care; I helped with meals, oversaw activities, and loved the many children that came in and out of our home. I coached my peers in Fine Arts in the categories of human videos and sign language. (One year we won state honors in Group Sign Language!) I volunteered in community events and was a camp recreational leader for a few years. Later I was a life coach for a mentally-disabled teenager, and during college I interned with my future husband as children’s pastors. I became a children’s pastor in 2008 where I had the time of my life. My pastors gave me every opportunity possible to get training at conferences, to get out in the community, and to have hands-on children’s church experience. I also served in their daycare where I was a chaplain, cook, and teacher floater. I have also been a children’s, youth, and adult speaker on several occasions. After my husband and I got married, we substitute taught Pre-K through 12th grade in two local school districts while we were AG senior pastors in the community. We partnered with the school to bus their kids to our after-school program. My husband and I later led worship and a team of children’s workers for two- and three-year-olds. I taught ages four and five with a start-up preschool and Montessori. I was a Fundraiser Coordinator for the KC Public Schools through Apex Fun Run. I was an 18–22 months teacher, floater and co-teacher at The Jewish Community Center of KC. I also became a teacher/curriculum developer at The Daniel Academy Daycare. I later had the wonderful opportunity to implement my curriculum at a messianic church’s children ministry. I’m currently helping our daughter write her family comic book series called, “The Case of The Missing Keys.”
  • Q- What Is Your History with Israel?
    A- When my husband and I relocated to be under leaders who had a heart for Israel, I set some time aside and really went after answers to solidify my next season in life. After two weeks of earnestly seeking God, He woke me up with three titles that all were associated with Israel. Within that same timeframe, I remember turning on the TV and watching a rabbi pray; my eyes and heart filled with tears. For years I prayed to know God’s heart; this was just the beginning of the next chapter in my life. I began looking for a local community of Jewish people to know God’s continued and generations-past heart for His people. I found myself in an Israeli dance class where I cried again watching how beautiful this community is. I joined a local Hebrew Language and Culture Club taught by an Israeli. We’ve hosted a Chanukah Celebration at our home and made lasting friendships with people in The Jewish Community in KC.
  • Q- What is your History with Arabs?
    A- During my first chapel class in college, the guest speaker was a worship pastor’s wife. While I was listening to her speak, I heard the voice of God say, “Go tell her I think she is strong.” Umm... okay… After she was done, I approached her and told her what I thought God wanted her to know. She replied, “God really thinks I’m strong?” It looked like God really touched her that day. She asked me if I wanted to be a part of her prayer team to pray for her; she was going to an Arab country to minister and bring suitcases of Bibles to them. I agreed to set aside every Friday at lunch to fast and pray for six months for the Arab and Muslim people. God showed me so many beautiful things about these people that He dearly loves. One thing that really stuck out is their devotion to pray consistently several times a day. God sees you! Later, I worked and became good friends with a Muslim who played beautiful flamenco music on his guitar. I’ve been around Arab children and families, and I adore them. My pastor at IHOPKC had been sharing God’s heart in Isaiah 19 about how God promised to build a highway for Arab countries, Egypt, and Israel. I was able to watch a zoom call with Highway 19 Ministries to understand more of God’s heart and plan for these nations and God’s people. President Donald J. Trump signed “The Abraham Accord,” and I’m so thankful for all that God has in store for Arab people. I chose a book formatter—who just so happens to live in Pakistan—and she’s a delight and such a gift. I’ve also had the honor of being a children’s speaker through zoom for an orphanage in Pakistan. God has beautiful plans for this nation from Abraham’s family!
  • Q- What is your family background?
    A- I grew up in a wonderful faith-filled home. My family loved God, had great faith in His Word and promises, and had a passion to serve and give their lives to their community. My dad loved people and knew no stranger. I remember him visiting his neighbors, giving groceries to people, and listening to their stories. He was continually sharing how good God is in his life. He would often tear up like my PaPaw did when He talked about the Lord. His smile, laughter, and light in his eyes were as big as the Grand Canyon. He recently went to be with the Lord in August of 2019. My mom gushes with God’s love, joy, and confidence throughout every area of her life. She grew up in a country wooded wonderland that I was able to enjoy with my sister and cousins growing up. She had a Home daycare for more than twenty years so she could stay at home and raise us. She went to Oral Roberts University to be a missionary. God showed her that she was supposed to be a missionary to her family. She has fulfilled that mission and continues to on multiple levels. She showed me how to hear God’s voice and modeled how to walk with God in communion with Him all throughout her day. Her genuine spirit and ornery personality communicate laughter and warmth to everyone. She is one of my heroes! Our family went on camping trips to my grandparents’ cabin or on adventures in their camper to the lake or park sites. I grew up with big celebrations and seeing firsthand that family is our bedrock and community is vital for growth.
  • Q- Where do you get your ideas from?
    A- My inspiration has come from God and others. God gave me the initial titles of my projects, and He guides me day by day with fresh revelations of what to write or how to draw or create something. I also love learning through talented professionals, mentors, and friends who have paved the way ahead of me. I’m so thankful to be on this journey with so many amazing creators. “No One Wants to Play Alone.”
  • Q- Who are your favorite writers or creators?
    A- Stan, Jan, and Mike Berenstain; Dr. Suess; Veggie Tales; Elijah List; Hank and Brenda Kunneman; Eric Metaxas; John Ramirez; John and Lisa Bevere; Joyce Meyer; Jentezen Franklin; Benny Hinn; Leonard Ravenhill; First Fruits of Zion; Tommy Tenney; “Teaching Kids Authentic Worship” with Kathleen Chapman; Debbie Milam; PJ Library; and so many more!
  • Q- What do you do for fun?
    A- I like resting and being still in God’s presence. I love talking with God throughout the day and seeing His love expressed in so many avenues and treasures. I like to read while drinking coffee and listening to the rain—whether it be a colorfully fun children’s story or an inspiring adult book, I enjoy diving into a good adventure! I also like exploring different community parks with my family. I enjoy singing to God with my family and with children of all ages. I enjoy staging and decorating spaces and homes. I like creating almost anything! Researching and challenging myself to learn something new is very enjoyable for me. I enjoy Israeli dancing and food too. Recently I’ve found much joy in helping our daughter with her family comic book series, “The Case of The Missing Keys.” I love laughing and just being around friends, having play dates, engaging in deep conversations, or just enjoying the same space with others and saying nothing.
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