I truly hope I am not driving anyone crazy with it, because that is the last thing I want.
What I would like, is to tell you a bit more. The kind of backstory that I would share with you in my kitchen or sitting on my couch, so snuggle up dear friend, I have a story to tell you.
When my oldest was about 7, he had been having struggles in school, particularly with "friends" and being the very little guy, was just very down. I had been noticing this going on and wanted to help him, but didn't really have any ideas. After one really rough day, he came home so discouraged. That night, as is our tradition, I laid down next to his bed to tell him a story while he fell asleep. But this time I wanted the encouragement to come from the scriptures. So as I lay there I thought of the story in Matthew 17 where the tax collectors ask Peter about Jesus paying taxes and the Savior sends him fishing. I told him about this very unremarkable, very ordinary fish, very much like every other fish in the sea. Then I told him how this fish was part of an amazing miracle. There was a coin to pay the taxes for both of them.
He seemed to really like the story, so after he fell asleep I went down to work on writing it down the way I had told it to him.
Part of the story came. But then it stopped.
Then I researched fish to figure out how it could've gotten there, because that could truly happen, I mean really the miracle was that Jesus knew it would be there.
So for years, and I mean years, I would go back to this story and try to write it. And I could never get it to come out right!
Meanwhile we had a few other kids, the night time stories continued, but this one kept coming back to me.
I began praying about it. I knew there was a good message there. Why couldn't I get it to come out?
While in prayer one day, asking God about the story, I got a very clear impression.
"This story isn't about the fish. Cheryl, this story is about Peter and what he needed to know."
That's when the story came. It didn't take long to get it out. It did take months to get it better. And it took friends who were willing to read it and give input.
Then came the attempts for publishing. I sent it off several times and got really nice rejection letters and finally put it on the back burner. The market for Christian Children's books is pretty small.
I told the Lord, that if he would help me get it out, I would try to do good with it.
Because the realization also came that this wasn't my story. I wish it was, but it's not.
One night, I saw a commercial for Christian Faith Publishing and went with them. It is considered "self publishing" and as such I put money up to make it happen. But in so doing, I also got to choose my illustrator and we worked very closely to get what I envisioned the book to be, and frankly, I think she nailed it! Thanks Bethaney!
So after I make back what I have invested in publishing it, my portion of the royalties will go to Feed My Starving Children. It is a charity that I love. Should that one ever go away, I will choose another charity that seems appropriate.
So if you like the book and feel like you know someone who would benefit, please share. And please also know that you will be helping others!
At least, that is my fervent prayer!
Right now, it is available in hardback but will be available in soft cover and digitally soon.
If you get it and like it, please comment on Amazon, or wherever. It does bring it up more often so others will see it.