It’s Just a Book. Or Maybe Much More.
I feel like I’m in the twilight zone. All very surreal. And I will do my best to capture those emotions today and then ENJOY and CELEBRATE appropriately on Tuesday, launch day, with some really fun gifts for you.
I find it ironic and really cool – there is a similar tension happening right now around two big things. First, a tension about my hopes for this book: lighten up, yet get serious. Secondly, there’s a similar tension about this moment for me as an author: it’s just a book – yet has great potential.
Read ahead. I think you’ll understand.
Let’s Lighten Up and Get Serious.
I’m convinced we can let loose and enjoy our family even as we’re teaching profound principles for life. This love-and-laughter approach to spiritual growth is a lot like how we encourage healthy physical growth. We want our kids to choose exercise and healthy foods, but if we constantly lecture them about the benefits of a healthy diet and yell at them for eating junk food, odds are they won’t be excited about following our suggestions.
Let’s apply this to faith. What if, just as we encourage a toddler to try a new flavor, we invited our kids to taste and see that God is good? That serving Him is actually fun? Instead of telling them to be more generous, let’s help them experience for themselves that giving to others feels good and it honors God. Once our kids’ perspective turns from “we have to do this” to “we want to do this,” they begin making their faith their own. It becomes who they are, not what they do. A choice over a mandate.
So, on one hand, let’s have fun and lighten up and get out the silly string and air guitars. Let’s be intentional about creating an environment of affection and joy in our home. Let’s close up our computers and ride bikes more often. And at the same time, let’s not waste a single opportunity to teach our kids to live out the virtues that can shape their hearts. They live in our homes for only a brief moment, but the lessons they learn and the love they experience will travel with them all their lives. So let’s lighten up and get serious. Both. And.
Those paragraphs are taken from the first chapter of In This House, We Will Giggle. I believe in both – lighten up and get serious. The AND is so important – that’s why there are 12 virtues AND 12 family fun activities.
It’s Just a Book. Yet He’s a Big God.
I wrestle back and forth with this moment in time. It’s just a book. There are thousands launched every year and I am just one of those authors throwing themselves out there with a message. However, I serve a big God that has placed some pretty big dreams on my heart.
This book isn’t a handbook or a recipe book that you should follow perfectly and expect perfect results – it’s a conversation starter. I desperately want you to take your Bible, this book and your family – and do it your way. Let Him guide it.
I have no idea (and that’s exciting) what God is going to do with this little book. Same with your gifts, your job, your kids and your talents. Just say yes and walk forward in faith, Despite your mistakes, despite your fears, despite your imperfect kids and bad days and typos. He’s BIG enough to take your dreams and meet needs of families.
So, I’m going to share what I’m dreaming and you better not laugh.
- What if one mom decided to try church again because of something she encountered in this book?
- What if one dad played the air guitar one night and realized he really did love being a dad?
- What if one family started the Heritage of Faith journal and it got passed on for generations?
- What if a group of moms implemented these ideas and changed the face of their community?
- What if God saved some marriages?
- What if a few kids or thousands didn’t run away from their faith in high school instead caught the bug of his goodness?
- What if 100 moms realized they are more capable than they ever realized?
- What if there were fewer lectures and more laughter in homes?
- What if parents enjoyed more days of the journey?
- What if we invited our kids into the game and left room for God to move in their lives?
- What if we moms drop-kicked pressure and performance and expectations and let God guide the plan?
- What if a few moms felt more empowered and prepared for the journey?
I’m dreaming big. And I’m hoping one page or chapter of my book is a part of His plan for your families.
Consider reading it and sharing with a family you love. I spent many hours at a table in Panera Bread thinking of your families and your kids and generations to come. I prayed for your families. I worked my fingers off to make it as easy and practical as possible. We don’t need another parenting book. We need one that makes it easier. Doable. We need encouragement. We need Jesus.
12 virtues. 12 family fun actives. More laughter, less lectures.
Available Tuesday, October 7.
Here are the online links where you can find them. The in-store stock will vary. I know that Family Christian has picked up the book for all 200 stores! Some other stores might have 1 or none. Doesn’t hurt to ask and they might order more if we are asking.
- Barnes & Noble
- Book Passage
- Family Christian Stores
- Parable Christian Stores
- The Tattered Cover
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. You can see the trailer video, endorsements and more details on the book RIGHT HERE.
If you are in Orlando, swing by on Thursday at Barnes & Noble at 7 pm!
STOP BY Rachel Wojo‘s blog on Monday – she’s sharing about the book in this wonderful post!
Looks encouraging! Will you have an audio book as well?
Jan – I don’t know yet. Isn’t that a lovely answer? I hope so. I am sure the publisher will see how the sales go – and if there is a demand for it. I’ll tell them one person asked! Yes! 😉
OMGOSH so excited!!! Father, God, bless the mess out of this book and Courtney’s decision to follow your promptings. Its so tough to put yourself out there not knowing how it will all be received. But my Jesus did it. And he KNEW it wouldn’t be received by most. But he did it anyway. We don’t need to fear failure, Lord, because you don’t depend on us to work your goodness. So thankful for that! Our job is to obey and everything else is yours. Yours is the praise. Yours is the stories of incredible encouragement to families. We love you and praise you for this book! High five Courtney this week and calm her nerves. Its going to be amazing!
Thank you sweet Paige. xoxo
What if a group of moms implemented these ideas and changed the face of their community?
You can check this one off your list! I’m not sure how many years ago I ran across your Light ’em Up acts on Pinterest. It proved to me that it doesn’t have to be big acts to make a difference. Get your kiddos out there – making a difference IS making a difference. Keep up the great work and thanks so much for the encouragement along the way.
Good luck with everything – God’s got this!
Holly – how encouraging. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Hey, thanks so much for linking over and best wishes on a happy, happy launch day!! xo
Just a book…or maybe much more…try DEFINITELY much more. So proud of you, friend. Praying that tomorrow is a day that you never forget. Thankful for your faithfulness to God’s call on your life. Can’t wait to see how He uses this book to change families for the better. Celebrating you!
My sweet sister, you have been faithful to all that God has asked. Now you can rest in His awesome faithfulness. He will glorify himself!!! So excited for you.
just finally had a moment to read the post you sent out sunday. saw today’s come thru but thought, wait – i gotta go back and read sunday first! let me just say it put me in such a better state of mind. when i looked at all i had packed into this week i was more than a litte overwhelmed. but your constant reminder that our god is bigger than all of our problems, conerns, fears and issues is just what i needed today. to reset and regroup – i feel at peace right now and am walking in great expectancy for you and all this amazing book is going to do for you and for others. like you mention, if it moves or changes just 1……what a powerful move of God it will be. thank you for being you and for sharing your light. it brought me out of the shade today! 🙂