11 Nov 2014

If Only All Christian Children’s Books Were Like This

So here’s the thing – my kids are feisty.


Like, they have BIG OPINIONS and they aren’t afraid to voice them. Out loud. Often in public.

This is not embarrassing for me AT ALL.

I have had children stand up in a crowded Panera and SING GRACE out loud and with an audience. I have had kids “help” me on a shopping trip and yell out excitedly every time they found a pair of jeans in my size. There’s nothing like having a child scream your post-baby jean size in ecstatic glee for the ENTIRE STORE to hear – I speak from recent, awkward experience.

And while Grandpa was in town this week he purchased gifts at the museum tours for both boys but was waiting for a chance to get something for Zoe that he knew she’d love more than the limited gift store selection. So when the boys each yelled out from the back seat of the minivan, “Thanks for that helmet, grandpa!” And, “Thanks for the space ship pen, Grandpa!” Zoe followed up with, “Thanks for NOTHING, Grandpa!”

Yea, feisty. And fearless. And LOUD.

Sometimes it’s harder when that passion explodes in a fit of fiery temper and bad language. Yea, we’re struggling with that with one of ours. {Any suggestions you have on how to help beat the bout of raging potty mouth we’re battling would be welcome in the comments.}

But even with its downside I never want to turn that passion off. I want to teach it. I want to shape it. I want it to burn so bright and fierce and fiery for good that it lights up the lives of everyone around them. It’s what I tell them even after I’ve had to discipline them for mis-using this gift.

Because man, I love this about them. I love all that heart and passion that comes bubbling over into everything and anything they’re interested in.

So when my friends Matthew and Jessica Turner came out with a book that’s all about the light that lives in our kids? It was the perfect reminder – for me as well as for them.

That God Made Light for us and in us and it shines wildly and unafraid through my feisty kids. And I LOVE that message.




I love how it’s like Dr. Seuss meets Genesis.

I love how the illustrations are bold and daring and big and colorful and show both boys and girls as active and engaged.

I love how the language isn’t timid or overly precious.

I love how kids can read it on their own but it’s also a fun parent read-aloud.

A fun and favorite, tongue-twisting delight of a read.

And I love how a night light as well as a floor puzzle are also available. {Micah to me: mom, that light is EXACTLY the same as the moon in the book – can you believe that?” Yes son. Yes it is.}




And you guys, I’m not getting compensated for sharing this with you apart from using my Amazon affiliate link – I’m just a lover of great books for kids – especially if they come with truly great use of words and language and rhyme and message. And with gift giving season just around the corner I had to mention this one.

God Made Light is a beauty. Truly. It’s one of those books you won’t mind reading a zillion times. (Maybe by two zillion, though, you’ll be tired of it.}

And the beautiful night light and puzzle have been big hits in our house. I don’t know about you but I still have a nine year old who would sleep in our bed every night if we let him. I’m praying that by college he will have grown out of this habit.

But until then, he has the God Made Light night light glowing bright every night in his room.

And there are these super cute free printables for kids to color over here. 

What makes this project even more special is that Matthew got turned down by ELEVEN DIFFERENT PUBLISHERS. But he and Jess believed in the project so much they self-published the book. That heart? That passion? That LIGHT? It’s special, man. And I’ve told my kids the story behind the story and it makes me so proud of friends who model for our kids what it looks like to boldly follow the paths God has called us onto. Even when it seems dark and scary.

For reals, God Made Light would be a beautiful Christmas gift during the season of light.

Pick up your copy here.

And go read the amazing story behind the story over here.

And then kindly tell me how to help my son guard his tongue when it comes to some words and phrases he’s picked up that are shocking the socks off us during pick up soccer matches and are NOT HORRIFYING TO HEAR OUT OF THE MOUTH OF A SIX YEAR OLD AT ALL. {Sarcasm font}.

Much thanks – from one mom in the thick of it to another.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Lisa-Jo, I have heard so many wonderful things about this book. I think it is time for me to go ahead and purchase it! I am always so encouraged here. Thank you! And one thing that has been effective with our kids–particularly one . . . because there always seems to be one who struggles more with this, in our house–is to raid my spice jars/vinegars/sauces and fill a tablespoon full of some weird and awful-tasting concoction of my creation. If bad language is used, having a tablespoon of something weird (and they never know what I might throw together) in their mouth for one minute, before drinking a glass of water, has been a way to have a quick and immediate consequence that gets them to think through the bad decision.

  2. 2

    Lisa-Jo the book sounds wonderful, though I must admit, Zoe’s comment made my day. Thanks for nothing, grandpa :-)

  3. 4

    Hi Lisa Jo,

    I’m a new reader here, just in occasionally, but I appreciated hearing about this book, and about their self-publishing journey. The book reminds me of the Jesus story book Bible, which outlines the whole plan of salvation throughout the Bible, always pointing to Jesus, in simple clear ways. So exciting.

    Thanks for this book idea. I laughed at your stories of your feisty confident young girl. :) I can relate.

    Jennifer Dougan

    • 5

      Hey there Jennifer – yea we have the Jesus Storybook Bible too – and my boys are BIG fans of the Action Bible :) Thanks for saying hey.

  4. 6

    Regarding the potty mouth–I read this in a parenting book a while back and it stuck with me, and has worked for us. When our then-five- now-six-year-old daughter started occasionally experimenting with inappropriate language (repetitively, trying to get a reaction), we explained to her that those words can hurt people’s feelings, so if she wanted to say them she was welcome to do so–in the bathroom, with the door closed, so that she could not hurt others with that language. So, at first, she’d want to try out a word (some were actual curse words she’d overheard somewhere, some we just words we prefer not to say in our family, like “shut up”), we’d remind her of that and off she’d go to the bathroom to say it as much as her little heart desired. But, you know, sitting in the bathroom talking to yourself isn’t that much fun, it turns out–so after a week or two, she stopped–and stopped the language. Now if we hear her use an inappropriate word, we let her know that it belongs in the bathroom category and she has the choice of whether to go say it there or not say it–and generally she just doesn’t say it. Now, she may want to know what a word means and why we don’t say it, which is a whole ‘nother discussion, but that’s okay. A friend of mine had a group of kids at her house experimenting with cursing, and used the same rule, and after the first kid or two to go in the bathroom, all that talk stopped, because what kid wants to sit in the bathroom alone while his friends are all standing right outside the door?

    Hope this helps. And remember that, as with all parenting issues, this too shall pass. :)

  5. 7

    LJ, I just stinkin’ love you and your honesty. I’ve got no tips bc you’re second born is so much like mine. It’s just try something different everytime til you find the one thing that works on that strong will that people remind me I will be SO GRATEFUL for when she’s older. Yeah, I try yo remember that everytime she’s outlasting me in an argument about shoes in Rack Room at closing on Sunday when we still haven’t had dinner and are an hour from home. Sigh.

  6. 8

    What a beautiful idea for a book!

    Zoe’s comment made me chuckle aloud.

  7. 9

    Going to add the book to my Christmas list. Thanks for the recommendation. I have two boys and a little girl. Ages 11, 8, and 3. We have struggled with the potty mouth problem. The best solution that has worked for our family is after explaining what the word is and why it is not appropriate at the table we set a consequence for using the word. In our house bathroom words can be used in the bathroom only. If a bathroom word is said inappropriately then the child gets to clean part of the bathroom. Scrubbing a toilet makes the word not so funny anymore. It has worked wonders for us and after one or two cleaning trips the obsession with the potty word really stops. Any I have one less to do item on my list.

  8. 10

    BAHAHAHAHA, thanks for nothing, Grandpa!

    I don’t have any tried and true tips for the language issue, but I once heard Dan Allender give a talk that included a segment on contempt that I think might (might) work for your situation too. His take on it: contempt is a weapon meant to destroy the person it us used on. It has no place in a loving relationship. So when one of you senses contempt from the other, call a timeout. Stop the conversation. Make it clear that the other’s actions are purely hurtful, and then draw away for a time. Kids don’t like rejection any more than they like getting squirted with a water gun (which might work as well…or might make it worse). Plus it will make clear to them that the issue isn’t a power struggle; it’s deeply important to their relationships that they learn that words can be like knives, and the reaction they get might hurt people deeper than they can see.

  9. 11

    Just ordered the book, and can’t wait to give it to my daughters for Christmas. I have a feisty one over here too :).

  10. 12

    “But even with its downside I never want to turn that passion off. I want to teach it. I want to shape it. I want it to burn so bright and fierce and fiery for good that it lights up the lives of everyone around them.” I love this, and your honesty, SO much. I have loud and fiery children who love God and life and adventure and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To top that off, I have just published my own book called “Light Rising” for teens, and truly, not wanting to plug my book just trying to say WOW! I can relate to their journey and their passion!! Thank you for this post. My children will love this book, especially my three year old who can’t get enough puzzles in her life.


  1. […] Light in the Christian blogosphere. “I love how it’s like Dr. Seuss meets Genesis,” says this reviewer. Wonder if the publishers who turned it down have […]

  2. […] children’s book is meaningful and fun to read. I can’t describe it any better than Lisa Jo Baker, who said it’s “like Dr. Seuss meets Genesis.” Gift alert: Dayspring has a […]

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