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Positive Thinker: Kristin Chenoweth, Actress, Singer, Author - Guideposts
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Positive Thinker: Kristin Chenoweth, Actress, Singer, Author

The award-winning actress and singer shares her favorite Bible verse, the best advice she’s ever received, and what inspired her to write her new book.

Kristin Chenoweth; photo by Larsen&Talbert
Credit: Larsen&Talbert 2021
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The best advice you’ve ever gotten

Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s from my dad. When I was little, I thought, What is he talking about? But now I get it. It’s easy in this life, especially for perfectionists, to get caught up in minor details that really don’t change your life. You can get mired in all that stuff and forget the important stuff. So don’t sweat the small stuff.

The hardest thing you’ve ever done

Forgive someone who hurt me very, very badly. I think forgiveness is usually kind of easy because it’s really for me. But when someone really gets you and you don’t know what to do and you hold on to that pain for so long, it really brings you down. It boggles you, not the other person. They’ve moved on. I’m thinking of one instance in particular, but once I let that go, a lot of things started releasing for me. And I was happier.

Real-life hero

A lot of entertainers have definitely made an impact on me. Carol Burnett and Dolly Parton are two of them. But my real-life hero is my mom. She’s fought cancer three times. I’ve watched her fight for this life that she has. I see her help when people are sick or hurting—that’s really her strong suit. She is so amazing! I love how she has close family and close friends and how important her relationship to God is. That’s who has influenced me my whole life. So I’m very lucky.

What you do for your spiritual well-being

I like to read the Jesus Calling app on my phone. And it can be wherever I am. I can be in an airport, on a plane, in a car, backstage, before I go to bed, when I wake up. It depends on the day, but it’s always there. Of course, I like to read out of the book, but there are times when you just simply can’t travel with it.

And also just pray. Again, that can be at various times of the day for me. Growing up, I always heard it was good to do your quiet time in the morning. I can see the plus to that. But for some people, it has to be kind of whenever they can. I’m one of those people. And that’s the thing that my fiancé and I like to do together.

Go-to place to pray

I think I answered that [laughs].

Favorite Bible verse

I always go to John 3:16. There are so many verses that I love. First of all, I’m just a big fan overall of the book of Ephesians. But I always go back to “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son….” Especially that first sentence, that he gave his son to die for our sins. That is the basis of my belief. It’s the meaning of being a Christian. And it’s a verse that, when I’m struggling, or I’m out and about, or nobody knows I’m having a moment, I remember.

Occupation you would pursue if not your current one

There are two choices here. If I weren’t an actress, I would probably be in forensic science. I would love to investigate how people are hurt or even taken from this world against their will. I would love to know what makes some people do that to another person. I would probably be studying those kinds of people to understand their brain so we can help ourselves find other people who have that problem. It has always been fascinating to me.

Another thing I would like to do is be an aesthetician. I love to do brows.

Early riser or night owl?

Night owl, 100 percent. To all the night owls out there, I understand you.

Favorite comfort food

Triscuits with some Swiss cheese and a side of ranch for dipping.

Song at the top of your playlist

This always changes. Right now it’s “Why,” by Nichole Nordeman. I love her arrangement of this song. I love her voice on this song. It’s a spiritual song. Oh, I love it so much!

A surprising detail about you

I really like to be at home. I used to be a little bit more of social animal, but not so much anymore. I love a night at the theater. I love time with my fiancé.  My life is so full, and I love that life, but when I’m just hanging out, I like to be at home. I’m kind of a homebody.

What inspired you to write your new book, I’m No Philosopher, But I Got Thoughts?

When Covid hit, I was in shock, because I’d go at 99 miles per hour. And I just started writing. I didn’t plan to write this book. Then crazily enough, my literary agent called and said, “What do you think about writing a book? And what kind would you like it to be?” I was like, “Inspirational. Silly fun anecdotes that I think about that I think others might relate to.” And that’s how the book came about. Then I really dug in. Many nights were spent writing.

Find out more about Kristin Chenoweth’s new book, I’m No Philosopher, But I Got Thoughts: Mini-Meditations for Saints, Sinners and the Rest of Us, and her other projects at officialkristinchenoweth.com.

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