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This story was in my heart for many years–& I had written it down, but that was long before I had learned what I now know about picture book structure & pacing. I’m a late bloomer with picture books, but I keep thinking, I am so glad each book has come out when it has. Each needed to ripen in its own way.
Isaiah & the Worry Pack grew out of my years of seeking God intensely, partly because I just wanted a more experiential faith, & partly because my marriage was failing & I was in deep pain. I delved into practices of contemplative & charismatic prayer, & God drew near. Of course God had never left, but now I was learning how to listen & to see with the eyes of the heart.
I will write more about the experiences of those years in other posts; for now I just want to say that my own spiritual search nurtured my children’s spiritual lives too. One night my son, aged 10, & I had a meditative prayer experience together very like what the mom & son experience in Isaiah & the Worry Pack. It didn’t preserve him from all anxiety thereafter, but the guided-imagery prayer became a tool for him to use on his own when he was struggling to sleep.
In the story, Isaiah & his sister & mother are living far away from his father, just as we were. Kids in single-parent households are not doomed to become disconnected from God because of the trauma of separation or divorce. I feel pretty strongly about this!
I haven’t seen a picture book like Isaiah & the Worry Pack out in the world! I hope you will get copies for the young ones in your life, & I hope it deepens their own life of faith.