Settling into school days again

Our days are shifting as we get settled back into the routine of school – a welcome change from the fullness that summer brought, with lots of traveling and the release of my first book.

Connor started school last week, a proud first grader who is already coming home excitedly telling me about getting to practice in his handwriting workbook and explaining the plot of the chapter book his class just started.

Today, I held Brenna’s hand as she entered her fourth semester of preschool, her last year in the PreK program before she heads off to Kindergarten next year. She told me “I don’t want to leave you!” when she woke up, but by the time we arrived, she was looking forward to walking in with her monkey backpack next to her brother.

There are a lot of new faces in Brenna’s class this year, and I pray for easy acceptance and understanding of her skin with these children who haven’t yet experienced being around her. I felt a bit teary as I finally forced myself to walk away from her room, noticing the concerned looks from her arriving classmates and even an audible gasp or two. I felt a bit teary realizing how difficult it is to see that as her mom, but trying to carry that burden for as long as possible so that she doesn’t have to.


Today, I’m full of hope for the new school year… hope that my kids don’t conform to fit in, but seek to stay true to themselves. Hope that they appreciate the strengths and differences and gifts that others have to offer. Hope that their classmates embrace what makes each of them beautiful. And hope that my two children always follow their heart and choose to be kind, to include, to live as examples of Christ’s love, and to celebrate the extraordinary of both the big and small pieces in this life.

My book, A Different Beautiful, is now available for order!

Interested in reading more with your kids about differences and being yourself? You can download a guide to the best children’s books on differences and disabilities when you subscribe to my monthly email newsletter!  Follow me on  Facebook and Instagram.

Give Your Child the World – through books! 

“When we make the world personal for our children, we make it easier for them to love it.”

The moment I read the description on the back cover of Jamie C. Martin’s new book, Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time, I was ready to pour through it.

Since Brenna’s birth 4.5 years ago, I have seen firsthand the tremendous positive effect of simply learning about each other – learning about the why, how, where and especially the who of the people around us. Not what we think we see when we look at someone, but looking closer – getting to know someone’s story, who they are, and why they are who they are.

Give Your Child the World is a unique book… a resource book for parents to assist us in helping our kids learn about the world around them outside of their own little piece of it.

As the author writes in the book: “…what we have in common with our worldwide neighbors far outweighs what separates us. As children make that connection, it naturally develop compassion for their brothers and sisters around the globe and around the corner – because we all have similar needs, hopes, and desires. Great stories build an empathic foundation that leads to a life of service and concern for others.”

In Give Your Child the World, Jamie offers well-researched lists of children’s book, categorized by age groups (4-6, 6-8, 8-10 and 10-12) and by areas of the world (Asia, South America, and so on) with helpful summaries of the books.

As I read through it, I went a little overboard with the library requests because I was just so excited about these suggestions. We’re at least a handful of books in, and Connor and Brenna are absolutely loving it. Connor has been intrigued by the books like One World, One Day, which explores the fact that at the same moment in time, kids around the world are doing everything from having lunch to sleeping to getting ready for school. And Brenna’s favorite – no surprise here – has been What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World 🙂

“Well-chosen words touch and transform our souls – making us want to be better than we are right now.”

Reading with our kids is a powerful act, and each new story expands a child’s world, giving them a broadened perspective and growing worldview – educating them that there is far more beyond their own small life. And then, that same story also has the power to immediately shrink that expanded worldview, helping a child to realize that despite vast differences in clothing, food, culture and work, the people in these faraway places are just that – people. People like me, people like you, people like your child.

What an incredible resource Give Your Child the World is – and what a gift to your kids, to offer them this worldview of other cultures, experiences, people.

And because I love this book so much, I’m giving away a copy today! Simply leave a quick comment, and I’ll choose a winner by Monday night, August 22!

Interested in reading more with your kids about differences and being yourself? You can download a guide to the best children’s books on differences and disabilities when you subscribe to my monthly email newsletter! My book, A Different Beautiful, is now available for order. Follow me on  Facebook and Instagram.