Dec 082011
 

Roma Downey is best known for her role as Monica, on PAX-TV’s long-running series, Touched By An Angel. For almost a decade, Roma gained a devoted following with her heartfelt portrayal of an angel assigned to bring guidance from God to people facing a crossroads in their lives. Since the series ended in 2003, Roma has continued to touch lives through her work with international children’s medical charity, Operation Smile, a mobilized force of medical professionals and caring hearts who provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery for children born with facial deformities, such as cleft lip and cleft palate.

Roma was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, and her enchanting Irish lilt has contributed to the popularity of her spoken word CD, Healing Angel, and she’s also the author of a children’s book, Love is a Family. Through her production company, Lightworkers Media, she is the executive producer of a DVD series for children called Little Angels, written by Adventures in Odyssey author, Phil Lollar. This animated series was created exclusively for preschool children, to teach practical learning skills – such as ABCs and 1-2-3’s – and to introduce the spiritual, moral, and ethical principles of the Bible. The main characters, 4-year-old twins Alex and Zoe, have eight Little Angels painted on the ceiling of their nursery. The angels watch over them, and come to life when the children need them most, helping to encourage and guide them through the challenges of their young lives.

I recently had the opportunity to conduct a telephone interview with Roma about Little Angels. Unfortunately, on the day our interview was scheduled, I had two children home sick with a tummy bug, and I’d been up with them many times the night before. I was nervous about talking to a celebrity, but when Roma sweetly expressed empathy for me, and concern for my children, (she said that she would keep my “little wee ones” in her prayers), I felt immediately at ease. Roma Downey is a celebrity, but she’s also a devoted mother, a compassionate humanitarian, and a woman of faith. Her love and reverence for God and family are evident when she shares the central inspiration for the Little Angels series – a nightly prayer said by her father when she was growing up. “I was raised as a Christian in Ireland, and my Dad every night would say this little prayer, ‘God in heaven, my Savior dear, watch over my children and draw Thou near.  Send your little angels to be at their side, to light and to guard, to love and to guide.'”

One of the goals of the Little Angels series is to partner with parents and grandparents to uphold traditional family values, and to support the teachings that are already happening in the home. “At this age, children learn so much – they’re like little sponges, soaking up information – and Little Angels combines a pleasurable viewing experience with learning opportunities, and a way to introduce children to beloved Bible stories,” said Roma. “The angels are the messengers, and the message is God’s love.”

The angels painted on the ceiling serve as a comforting reminder to the children in the series – and those watching at home – that God is always present and watching over us. Roma hopes that children will be reassured by this message of faith, and that parents will embrace the opportunity to talk with their children about God. “When I was creating the series, I knew that it would be a great opportunity to trigger a discussion about faith,” she said. “I would love to imagine families watching Little Angels, and having that conversation.”

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), an organization devoted to meeting the needs of mothers of young children, has awarded a seal of approval to Little Angels – a first in the organization’s history. As a busy, working mother herself, Roma understands how difficult it can be for Moms to find balance, to carve out time for what’s most important, and to nurture their relationship with God. To keep her family close and connected, family meals are an important tradition in her home. “We’ve always been a family who doesn’t have TV on during meals. It’s really our time together,” Roma said. “As a family, we’ve always taken time to pray, and we start each meal with a prayer to give thanks for the day, and our children take turns offering the prayer. It’s a great anchor for us in our busy lives.”

Roma feels that prayer is important because it encourages children to stay focused on God, and to have thankful hearts. “Gratitude opens our hearts, and it’s so important to always appreciate the fullness of what we have – not the lack of what we don’t. There are many people out there who are hurting right now because of the recession, and it’s very hard, but if you can keep your focus on God, and give thanks for what you have, it can really, really help.”

Roma believes that when prayer becomes a daily habit, “we start to see God everywhere,” and to help parents and children take advantage of little moments for prayer throughout the day, the Little Angels app development team is working on a Daily Prayer App. You can start each day with a simple and heartfelt prayer – read by Roma– and illustrated with imagery from the Little Angels series.  Additional apps, coming soon, include Uri’s Paintbox – a color and paint app – a matching game, and Little Angels ABCs, which will introduce the alphabet with an interactive tracing tool so children can practice letter formation. There are also plans for a Cooking With Mommy game, as well as number and animal apps (visit Little Angels Apps to learn more).

Roma agrees with the message of Want What You Have – that contentment can only be found when you appreciate your blessings, instead of always wishing for more. “I live in Hollywood, and here, the people who have more have a lot,” she said. “The imbalance of the world is very great sometimes, and even out here, people are always looking over the fence, worrying,’Their swimming pool is bigger than my swimming pool!’ It’s crazy, it never stops! If you live your life that way it will never stop because there will always be somebody with more, someone prettier, or richer. We have to look inside ourselves, look to our faith. One of the biggest keys to happiness is to keep our hearts centered on gratitude.”

When her own children were young, Roma taught them about thankfulness with a very firm rule. “If you didn’t say please, you didn’t get it. If you didn’t say thank you, it was taken back…and you didn’t get it back.” A lesson about gratitude is also taught in an episode of Little Angels, where the children travel back in time to witness Jesus healing the 10 lepers (Luke 17:11-19). The men are so excited to be healed that they run away to tell their families – and only one stops to say thank you to the Lord. When the children get back to the nursery, the Little Angels use this story to teach Alex and Zoe about the importance of showing appreciation for others, and being grateful for your gifts and blessings.

My children love the characters, the gentle humor, and the upbeat music in this series, and we watch our DVDs several times a week. For us as Christian parents, Little Angels provides safe, positive, educational entertainment for our own little angels, and we’re fortunate to have such a valuable resource.

“I’m so excited to bring Little Angels to market, and I can’t help but wish that I’d had these DVDs when I was raising my own children!” said Roma.

To celebrate the release of the Little Angels DVD series, Grace Hill Media, a company that promotes quality entertainment for faith-based audiences, has graciously provided six DVDs to be given away to Want What You Have readers.

To enter, please leave a comment on this post. Contest ends Tuesday, December 13th at noon (CST).

To learn more about Little Angels, please visit the Little Angels web site, or the Little Angels Facebook fan page. You can also follow Roma on Twitter @realromadowney.

Note: I received free copies of these DVDs for review. DVD giveaways are provided by Grace Hill Media. Postage to ship to winners will be provided by me. I was not compensated in any other way for this promotion.

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  59 Responses to “My Interview With Roma Downey (Little Angels DVD Giveaway!)”

  1. I have been following your blog for a few weeks now.  I find your blog to be inspirational and interesting.  I think it is exciting that you had the opportunity to interview Roma Downey!

  2. How neat that you got to interview Roma! I think the DVDs look like a really neat idea for teaching kids!

  3. Oh My Goodness Heather that was an amazing experience. She has always been one of my favorite actress’. The DVD’s sound awesome, I am always trying to remind our girls to be thankful for the lttle things!! Thank you for offering this gift to one of your readers, even If I dont win I think I will get the DVD’s!

    • Jamie, she is a lovely person. I very much enjoyed talking to her, even though I was under a bit of time pressure (I only had 15 minutes). She told me about her favorite episode of Touched By An Angel – it was the one with Wynonna Judd. Do you remember that one?

  4. These DVDs sound fantastic! Thank you for sharing your interview and hosting this giveaway!

  5. How exciting!  I love Roma Downey.  I was a huge fan of Touched by An Angel and love that someone in Hollywood would see the need to “keep it simple”.  Thanks for your blog.  I am really enjoying it.

  6. That is so exciting that you got to interview Roma Downey! I LOVE her! I used to watch Touch By An Angel with my Grandma every weekend that I spent with her. Nice memories… 

  7. I have been following your blog for awhile now, and I love it!  I also think these DVDs look like an awesome way to teach the little ones to be thankful, which is great now around the holidays (and always!)

  8. These look like great dvd’s. I’ve never commented on your site before, but as a stay at home mom with six children, I have loved reading it and have found many useful things.

  9. Those sound wonderful–thanks for the giveaway! 😀

  10. Sounds like a great product. Thanks for sharing :). Would be great for my little ones.

  11. I love Roma Downey! Thanks for the giveaway, my kids would love this!

  12. I actually have the Touched by an Angel soundtrack. I can think of several friends who could be potential gift recipients of a DVD.

  13. What a sweet give-away.  Thanks for the interview (especially with kids at home!!!).  

  14. I have a severe mentally handicapped little boy.  We are always trying to find ways to explain how heaven, Jesus, and angels play in our lives.  He would LOVE this!!  What an awesome idea!!

  15. I like any resource like this that instills basic Christian virtues!  Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  16. This sounds like a wonderful series and how exciting to talk to Roma! 🙂

  17. What an inspirational interview!  Roma sounds wonderful!  I am definitely going to look into those DVD’s they sound great!  Thanks for telling us about them!  🙂

  18. These dvds sound fantastic! It’s not often I see a recommendation for Christian resources for my little ones. I very much appreciate it!

    I’m going to try what she shared about when children don’t say please and thank you. Maybe I won’t have to always remind the kiddos if they don’t get what they want!

  19. Your interview, and review of the Little Angels series was awesome!  I’m sure it feels so good to have finished and met your deadline. 

    I really like the sound of this series and the fact that I don’t have to worry about what my children are watching. It sounds as though these videos are teaching real christian values.

  20. I grew up watching Touched by an Angel and fell in love with Roma and her character’s “God loves you” messages.  As the mother of 2 little girls I’m excited for the chance to win a copy of this exciting series.  I’m off to the website to learn more.

    What a great interview and contest, thanks Heather!!

  21. So glad to read about the interview!  Maybe I’ll be a winner; if so, I’ll pass the DVD along to my granddaughters!

  22. What a nice interview:) The DVD sounds great for children

  23. the videos sound wonderful!

  24. These would be great for my little guys!  Also, while reading your interview it sounded just like Roma talking in my head in that fabulous accent. 🙂  I really appreciate your writing style, Heather.  I am always happy when there is a new post.

  25. Great interview! I know my son would love to watch these videos!

  26. Would love to share these with my son and soon to be newborn. Frogkb@hotmail.com

  27. Sounds like these would be great for my daughter! We are always looking for things to help us teach christian values to our children.

  28. I bet these are really awesome.  I will have to go check them out.  Winning would be fun too! :0)
    miskelljodifunk at aol dot com

  29. These sound great.  I would love to have my children watch these. 

  30. these look wonderful! 🙂  i would love to have them in my DVD library for my girls! 🙂  thanks for the opportunity! 🙂  <3

  31. I loved Touched by an Angel!  This would be a precious gift for the grandbabies!  Thanks for sharing.

  32. It is truly refreshing to see so many people moving back toward traditional family values and God.  Her father’s prayer made me teary but in a good way.  Thank you for giving us all the opportunity to win the DVDs as well!

  33. I really need some help getting my boys to be more grateful and content! This sounds great!

  34. I have a little one and this would be great! Thanks for the giveaway!

  35. Dec. 14 is my birthday. What a wonderful present for me to give to my family to enjoy!

  36. I miss touched by an angel, it was such a great show!

  37. Kudos for a great interview… with two sick kiddos!  I would love to check out her new project.  Thanks!

  38. This series is just what I have been hoping for. Roma sounds like our kind of mom (moms like all those who have left comments here) — it’s hard to imagine how she can stay so grounded living in Hollywood.  Thanks for sharing her story and this giveaway with us.  By the way, well done on the interview! 

  39. That DVD would be a very welcome help for me while raising my little boy! 🙂 Thanks for this, it is a great giveaway!

  40. I’m not normally a big “commenter” but am an “every day” reader; your blog has been such a blessing to me and my family, you just don’t know!  I would love to share these with my four year old daughter!  Thanks for all you do!

  41. She sounds delightful Heather!
    I’ve just noticed you almost have 1000 followers ~ smile~ I’m so excited for you my friend :)Have a wonderful weekend
    Blessings
    Renata:)

  42. I would love to share this with my kids!

  43. Love your posts…thanks for making us aware of these dvds.  The dvds sound wonderful and I would love to share them with my daughters.

  44. Heather, thank you for such a wonderful post and interview! I would love to share this series with my 4 yr old daughter as I’ve been trying to talk to her about and answer her questions on God and Jesus. 

  45. What a nice interview! Roma sounds like a lovely person. I would have been trying not to freak out the night before, up all night with sick kiddos! You did a great job!

  46. WOW, Heather, what a great oportunity to talk with someone special like Roma, I know her work in Touch by an Angel but didn’t know about the Little Angels work, what a great thing!!

  47. I love the teaching stories and moments these dvds have.

  48. Thanks for another great giveaway.  This looks like a wonderful series for little ones.  Have an good weekend.

  49. How fun! I hadn’t heard of this product. I’d love to win!

  50. Sounds like a really good series. I’d love to have it for my three little ones at home!!

  51. Oh this product looks amazing! I would love to bring that kinds of media into my home and show my children. It’s awfully hard to find products that support religion and learning. And what a wonderful opportunity to interview Roma Downey. 

  52. I love following your blog and have been reading for probably over a year–Keep up the good work!

  53. I’d love to have some of those dvds for my almost 3 year old and 1 year old! 🙂

  54. I would love to win a copy of those for my daughter! They sound wonderful!

  55. Great interview…very informative!  The dvds sound great!

  56. these look like good niece and nephew gifts.

  57. These are awesome DVDs. I had the opportunity to listen to Roma speak at my church last month and really enjoyed the message of the lessons. I can’t wait to use them with my daughter.

  58. I would love one of these DVD’s!

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