Guideposts Video: Inspiring True Stories
Hi Guideposts! My name is Linsey Davis. I’m a correspondent for ABC News, and I cover just about everything. A wide variety of story topics, from natural disasters to man-made disasters. International stories, from the earthquake in Haiti, to the mall massacre in Nairobi. Most recently, I’ve been doing a lot of the #MeToo movement, as well as race relations in our country. And I’m also a mom and a wife.
I have a son who’s now four years old, and his name is Ayden. And he actually inspired me to write a children’s book. He really planted the seed, and gave me the idea. One day we were in the car, and he was just over two years old, and he asked me, “Mommy, does God open up the flowers?” And I was so impressed by two things, really. One—his curiosity about God. And two—his ability to make this connection between God and nature.
And so I decided, let me try and answer that question for him and other children. And really, have this book that parents can go to who want to give their children just a subtle, yet meaningful introduction to who God is, through the world around them. And so I created this book, and it’s called The World is Awake, A Celebration of Everyday Blessings.
Basically, I wanted to be able to answer his question, and answer it for other toddlers. And have a way for parents to be able to give a gentle introduction of who God is to their children through nature. Because kids are still so excited about God’s creations that quite often, as adults, we forget about. We don’t necessarily have so much awe when we look at a rainbow every time, or a sunrise, or a sunset, or that bunny rabbit hopping along.
But for my son, he’s seeing this with new eyes, and often for the first time. And so he’s thrilled, and that kind of enthusiasm and excitement is really contagious. So for me, now, I’m saying, “Oh Ayden! Look at the bunny rabbit! Look at the rainbow!” And I’m excited for him. And it’s a reminder for me to not take for granted all of God’s everyday blessings. And that’s really what the book is about—to celebrate the blessings that are around us every day.
We have a lot of books at home with scripture, as far as Jonah and the whale, and Daniel in the lion’s den. David and Goliath is one of my son’s favorites. But I think that at that age, when they’re really young and toddlers, the idea of God’s Hand in those stories is a little bit too complex for them. And so this is a way to say, yes, God did create that. God opens up the flowers.
Quite often, children look for books for self-affirmation. And what I was realizing is, having a son who’s African-American, is that there were not a lot of books with kids who look like him. And so that became part of what I wanted to do in the book, was make sure that the illustrations reflected my son, so that he would be able to relate to the characters.
There’s this essay that puts it so well, and it’s about windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors. And the idea is that every children’s book needs a mirror so the children can see themselves, their images, reflected in the book. And they need to have a window so they can peer into a world that’s outside and unfamiliar to their everyday. And if that window is to become fairly effective, then it’s able to be a sliding glass door, to transport them into that new world.
So it’s so important for children of all different races to see variation in the children that they’re seeing around them. Because children do see color. Quite often people say, oh, children don’t see color. They do. They just don’t assign a value to it. And so at this age, if we introduce kids and get them familiar with kids that look like them and don’t look like them, then that is what we need more of in our world today.