“You’re just so irritating and… and likeable!” – Annabelle Bransford, “Maverick”
One thing I admire about many of my friends who are parents is their knack for creating with and for their children. They can take everyday challenges – picky eaters, messy rooms, monsters under the bed – and turn them into songs or stories that not only help solve the problem, but that also become beloved family traditions.
That brand of creativity does not come easily to me, so I’m always amazed when I see it in my friends. And also a little irritated. I mean, quit hogging all the talent, you know?
I’m excited to introduce you to one such irritating friend of mine today. Melissa Cutrera, who also happens to be exceedingly likeable, has been lurking in the Story Warren readership almost since its genesis. I met Melissa at church about seven years ago and watched her talents infiltrate many areas of ministry – talents for writing plays, directing video productions, ministering to teenagers, parenting creatively, and even memorizing Scripture.
Now Melissa can add “writing children’s books” to that list. A few months ago she published her first children’s book, God’s Great Plan. It began – as wonderful things often do – as a mother simply trying to meet her child’s need:
“I originally set out to write God’s Great Plan as a book just for my son. In anticipation of his birth, I had found so many story Bibles, but nothing that focused solely on the gospel for young children. I wanted to be able to share the gospel with my children from birth.
Since I had declared in kindergarten that I was going to be an author when I grew up, I decided maybe now I was finally grown up and could start by writing a book for my own son. I wrote the first seven couplets of God’s Great Plan on the back of an envelope one day while I was rocking Rilian. For the next year, I would think through one rhyming couplet at a time, often while pushing Rilian in his stroller.”
A year and a half later, what had begun as one mother’s poem for her little boy became a beautifully illustrated hardback book, finding its way into the homes of boys and girls across the country.
I love this book for lots of reasons: It’s the Gospel, start to finish. It rhymes! It is full of lovely paintings by Matthew Sample II (one of which is displayed in cropped form at the top of this post). It was written by my irritatingly awesome friend.
But I especially love that this book grew out of a mother’s willingness to solve a problem in a creative way. And because she did it with care and excellence, she is adding to the beauty in my home and many others.
You can preview and purchase God’s Great Plan here. (Go Melissa!)
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Featured image by Matthew Sample II
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