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.
“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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How to use my new book in the classroom, Sunday School, or at home with your children…
Read it to them like a traditional book.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.