Little Blessings

When you release a book into the world you never know what will come of it. My first book represented my personal story, my second the story of my town, and the one that releases tomorrow is the story of my faith.

When I hear stories of little girls who relate with “Eclectic Emily” it puts a smile on my face. When I am told that grandparents buy “Goodnight Covington” for their out of town grandchildren and use it as a map to show them around the city, my heart is warmed.

These are blessings I never expected when I started this publishing journey in 2020. But it’s part of the promise I made to you in those early days of this IG account to create good things to share with you here. Authoring and illustrating doesn’t pay much, but the blessings I get from the readers are priceless!

Tomorrow is launch day for “Adventure to Joy” so bear with me as I try to get the word out and share the blessing of another book with whoever would want to read it.

Joyfully,Emily

Children’s Devotional Picture Book Now Available!

“What is joy?” I asked my students. “Happiness!” one child said. “Smiling all of your life!” answered another. “Excitement!” exclaimed another. “My parents say joy is a deep happiness.” the last student declared.

“All good answers, but there’s one more thing about joy that makes it different than happiness.” I added. “What makes you happy and me happy may be different. Happiness is dependent on your circumstances. Joy, however, is shared. It overflows! A special kind of joy comes from the Lord when the Holy Spirit lives in our heart. Joy is the Fruit of the Spirit!” I shared.

“That’s what Psalm 119 is all about, the joy that comes from following the Lord and living in His Word. Jesus is the way to joy and when our eyes are on Him and He lives in our hearts we can’t keep that joy to ourselves!” I said.

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This theme is what inspired my latest children’s book, “Adventure to Joy: A Journey Through Psalm 119.” I wanted to share my love of God’s Word and this particular Psalm with children who love picture books.

ORDER HERE!

How to use my new book in the classroom, Sunday School, or at home with your children

  1. Read it to them like a traditional book.
  2. Use it like a children’s daily devotional, reading it a page or two at a time and discussing the meaning of each page.

Try to get them to read (or listen to you read), reflect on what was read, and rejoice in what they can be thankful. The dialogue I wrote at the beginning of this post is a great example of a back and forth conversation that could take place on page one of my book.

3. Scan the QR code in the back of the book to download additional object lessons, scripture memory cards, Bible art, and lesson plan ideas to help you disciple your children or students using this book.

Demonstrating soaking in God’s Word daily instead of just looking at it from time to time.

I pray that “Adventure to Joy” will be a great resource to those who read it or share it. May a love for God’s Word will grow from the seeds that are planted!

Joyfully,
Emily Cook

Redemption and Fixer Uppers

When I was growing up my mom and I drove around looking for fixer uppers for fun, not to buy, just to use our imagination.

She could always see the potential in a house that I couldn’t see. A little paint here, a new door there, clean up the landscaping and voila, “We could make a doll house out of that!” we’d proclaim! It became a game of spotting the ugliest houses and dreaming them pretty.

The other week in church we were singing the song that has the lyric “You make beauty from ashes” and it came back to me that redemption is similar to this story.

God sees our mess and makes a masterpiece, our mistakes and uses them for our good, and turns our misery into something beautiful.

When we allow Him to work in our lives, He can make a “doll house” out of our hardest situations.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3

Big Things Come from Small Changes

Years ago I saw an ad in the church bulletin for a discipleship group that was reading through the Bible in a year.

It was 2008, we were thinking about having children and I thought to myself, “I better learn the Bible before I become a mom!”

At that time I couldn’t tell you where most characters were in what book of the Bible much less the redemptive thread that ran from Genesis to Revelation.

Book dedicated to…

So, I bought the green Bible, showed up to class and that led to my daily Bible reading practice. The love I developed for God’s word changed the trajectory of my life from that point.

Big things come from small changes.

Learning and falling in love with the Bible would eventually lead to a career change and the writing/illustrating of a children’s book, but before that I just gained confidence to say “Yes!” to things God was calling me to that I wouldn’t have had the courage to do before.

I learned to hear His voice by reading scripture and gained courage from seeing how faithful He was throughout history.

I began writing a faith blog that led to a women’s and children’s ministry that led to homeschooling my preschoolers, to then teaching preschool at a church school, to teaching biblically based art full time and writing a book about Psalm 119, the Psalm about loving God’s word!

I would have never guessed in 1,000 years when I opened that green Bible it would lead to my life taking all of those turns, but that’s what God’s word can do!

Has learning the truth been transformational for you, too! It’s something wonderful to reflect on for sure.

That’s why I want to read it, share it, and hope you’ll fall in love with it, too, and do the same.

I wrote “Adventure to Joy” one morning after reading my Bible. It was so powerful to me I wanted a yard sign so everyone could read it! I googled and my search came up empty. Then I began searching for a children’s book about the Psalm and there were not many appealing choices.

I decided I should write and illustrate one. I hope that this book will spark a love for God’s word in the hearts of your children. It releases widely on 9/20, but if you want a signed copy, pre-order before 9/6.

Pre-Order your signed copy by clicking here.

Psalm 119 for Kids

I’ve been busy working on free resources to go along with “Adventure to Joy!” I just completed six lesson plans (for Sunday school or biblical integrated lessons) and a printable of 10 fun facts about Psalm 119 that can springboard spiritual conversations or additional lesson ideas. Scripture memory verse cards that you can cut out are also included with these lessons.

The hardcover proof of the book arrived today and it looks great! The official release date is September 20, but to receive a signed copy, pre-orders are due before Sept. 6. You can order your copy below.

As I’ve been writing this book and studying the text in depth, I’ve realized that the Psalmist isn’t so much trying to persuade us to love God’s word but instead he can’t keep quiet about telling us how much he’s come to love it. His enthusiasm is contagious! I heard a preacher say last week that God has done so much for us we shouldn’t be able to stay quiet. An authentic sharing of our faith comes from the overflow of a life of loving Him.

I hope and pray that this book will give kids an age appropriate understanding of Psalm 119 and the illustrations will remind them that God’s way is the best way.

Robby Gallaty spoke at church last night and gave a great message and I loved this quote.

And I’ll add a calling is how you live out the specific word God has given you.

Nehemiah 8:8 was a verse God used in my life to set me on a new path when I turned 30. After that point when God opened doors for me to serve in that context I walked confidently through.

My calling is currently lived out by applying scripture with my children, teaching 5th grade at Sunday School, teaching Art to Pre-K through High School students every day, and writing to point people to Jesus.

Where God has me today started with a standard in my late 20’s to read His word daily, a conviction to live out what I read, and a chapter in the Bible that popped off the page and burned a calling in my heart. Only God could do that in a life.

📚 “Adventure to Joy: A Journey Through Psalm 119”


Do you want to be joyful? Psalm 119 shows us the way!

In Emily Cook’s vibrantly illustrated children’s picture book, Adventure to Joy!, readers are led on a path to find the Source of true joy, Jesus!

Emily encourages readers to practice reading, reflecting, and rejoicing in God’s word and shares the tools to inspire them to dig into the Bible on their own!

“I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word.” Psalm 119:15-16

Book Trailer

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Adventure to Joy Coloring Sheet

coloringsheet

Steadfast

Yet as a believer no sooner than I remember this reality of living in a fallen world, the Lord begins to speak something into my life, usually as He’s blessing me with rest, a word will be spoken over me or a song lyric sung in my heart.

This week He’s been comforting me with the word “steadfast.” I knew He was pointing me to a verse so I quoted back to Him, “Steadfast…immovable” and that led to a bible hub search. Here are the verses I found surrounding those words.

“For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”

1 Corinthians 15:53-58

This is the power in the life of the believer, not taken from trouble here on earth, but taken through it with the hand of God on us and God with us. Do you think He was trying to communicate something with me?

God is real. Jesus, His Son, is Savior. His Word is true and a strong and sure foundation.

I pray this encourages you today.
Emily

Grandmother

My Grandmother’s life on earth ended Saturday. I’ve been thinking a lot about her this week and jotted a few words off of the top of my head that reminded me of her.

I carry so much of her with me in my heart, in my home, in my smile, in some of the things I do (“on 1, 2, 3” 📸 She first taught me how to use a camera).

I know she’ll always be a part of me and her legacy carries on in my family, but there will always be a void at the dining room table longing for the Grandmother with the big laugh and even bigger heart.