Where did the idea of Mrs. Christian's Day Care originate?
I’ve carried this idea in my heart for a few years now. My grandmother owned a home based day care center and I absolutely loved when I would go visit with her and see her interact with the kids. She was so good with those kids and was big on teaching the bible along with everything else. She had a passion that I had never seen before, she was very interactive and energetic. When I thought about writing a children’s book she immediately came to mind.
What makes now the right time to release a new book?
I heard someone say that isolation brings revelation. That was a very true statement for me. Being in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, I was given a new perspective on many things and the quarantine gave me plenty of time to process my thoughts and put them into action. I have heard and seen some things that I want to unhear and unsee during my time in quarantine. God’s has truly opened my eyes and revealed to me things that are just heartbreaking when it comes to us as a society. We need this now more than ever. We need to learn how to love, support and respect each other. So why not now?
One of the main characters in your book is Mrs. Christian, is there anyone that you patterned this character after?
Yes, Mrs. Christian is a combination of three women in my life, that contributed to me being the woman that I am today, my mother and both of my grandmothers. I was raised up in the church and I am so happy that my mom introduced me to Christ at an early age and made sure that I formed a personal relationship with him. Knowing His Word and knowing how to speak His Word in the middle of tests and trials is what got me through those tough times. His Word also gives me comfort and peace and at times faith, patience and courage among many other things. The Bible covers it ALL! My paternal grandmother owned a home based daycare center and I was blessed to see her impart Christ into those kids lives. My maternal grandmother was one that loved the Lord and attended church but she was the one that was not going to sugar coat anything and had a sense of humor, good advice and words of wisdom like no other. These three women have imparted things into my life that I will be forever grateful for, including but not limited to, morals, ethics and self respect.
Why did you decide to focus on Faith based Children's books?
The bible tells us, in Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child( not an adult) in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. I’m not going to say its too late at the adult stage but it can be quite challenging to mold or shape an adult. IJS! I have observed the new generation and I clearly see that they are missing something and that something is the love of Christ. Perhaps if we start at an early age we can see a change in the crime rate, suicide rate, hate crimes, drug addictions etc. We have to get back to the basics of loving God, loving others and loving ourselves. For an example, at an early age we learned our ABC’s, 123’s, and colors, right? Are those things that we ever forget? No, it is not. We all actually use them daily. The same goes for the Word, there is no difference. Repetition is important, it allows us to recall things immediately when needed. Let me ask this question? How many of the kids today know the 23rd Psalm, The Lords’s Prayer, 10 commandments or the Beautitudes by heart? I was taught at an early age, Tiffiney if you ever get into trouble, needed some help or perhaps you are nervous before a test, speaking engagement etc, repeat the 23rd Psalm and it will remind you of God’s promises. I’m 46 years of age and I’m here to tell you it has not failed me yet! If we don’t know the 10 commandments then how are we NOT going to break them? We probably need to move on to the next question because I can stay here all day. LOL!
You are a black author, so why do you feel the need to carry diverse characters in your books?
Oh, that is simple, we are all equal, we all are one. We all bleed red blood. Christ died for us all point, blank and period. Diversity is what makes this world beautiful. If we all looked the same, did the same, thought the same, good Lord this world would be boring. We should learn how to accept the differences among each other, embrace it and keep it moving. Eventhough some of the things people do may not be acceptable to us we have got to learn that God is the ultimate judge. I am only held accountable for me! As my grandma would say, every tub has got to sit on it’s own bottom. I always wondered what that meant but now I know. Our more seasoned saints truly had a way with words!
Being a mother, did your daughter have anything to do with you making the decision to become a black author?
Absolutely! Being a mother is one of the hardest things that I have had to do in my life. Parenting is challenging. My daughter is a precious gift from God to me and it has always been my desire to be a good steward over everything and anything God gives me. I’m not a perfect mom and she is not a perfect daughter but we are perfect for each other. We have been stretched in ways that I can’t even put into words but that stretching has helped to build our character and relationship. I have done my absolute best to be an example for her, whether it’s at home as a wife and mom, at church where we serve on the greeter team together or at the homeless shelter where we serve together once a month. The greatest gift I can give her is the introduction to Christ. Christ and His Word is the only thing that is constant in this lifetime and when the good Lord see’s fit to call me home, I will feel confident in knowing that she has the firm foundation needed to make it through life leaning, depending and trusting in His Word.
What is the significance of the treasure chest in each of the stories told?
In each story after the child memorizes and recites a scripture, Mrs. Christian allows the child to retrieve a reward from the treasure chest. The treasure chest is used for motivation and encouragement. We can all use that from time to time for that EXTRA boost that we may need! There is a scripture in Hebrews 11:6 that tells us that God is a rewarder of those that deligently seek Him. As we seek a relationship with Christ, we learn His Word and as we obey His Word He will unlock blessings upon our lives. Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and ALL this things shall be added unto you. God has blessings on blessings, on top of blessings for us we just have to learn how to access them. So, the sole purpose of the treasure chest is to let the children know that when they do good they will be rewarded.
How many books have you written?
I currently have 10 unpublished works that have been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. I released my first book, Ask, Seek and Knock in December 2020. The second book, I Can Do All Things will be released in the first quarter of 2021. These faith based books are sure to help your kids learn the meaning of bible scriptures in the simplest way possible. I’m nowhere near finished. I have so many thoughts and ideas in my head, noted in my cell phone, jotted down on sticky notes, it’s like my brain never turns off. It’s literally mind blowing, but that’s how my God works, He will blow your mind, if you let him!
How did you come up with the branding of Teaching Parables?
Now that is an interesting story. I had been brainstorming with my husband and had been verbally saying to him I just want the kids to understand the stories. I need for it to be plain and simple. In a number of the stories that I had previously written I had the kids gathered on the floor in a semi-circle or gathered around while Mrs. Christian would teach. So one Sunday morning we were literally sitting in front of the tv watching a virtual service, with one of my local favorite pastors and he said, does anyone know what a Parable is? All I could do was scream, “My God that is it, Mac!” ( BTW Mac is my husband) Now, I knew what a Parable was but it just had not come to mind. I put in a google search right quick and ask me what what the first image I saw? Go ahead ask me? After I read the definition-a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels. I got superexcited because this is my mission. Then I went to the top of that Google search and hit that image button. Well my Lord, what did I see. I saw people gathered around a man trying to hear what he was saying! Ya’ll try it and tell me what you get. I got a confirmation and that was all I needed! Check, that’s done, so what’s next.
What does the Acronym P.A.R.A.B.L.E.S stand for?
Teaching Parables is simply parents beginning to teach their children at home. We are their first teachers, whether it is their first word, first steps etc. It is our responsibilty to give our kids the tools necessary to maneuver through life. The church and schools were never meant to be the primary source, they are here to support and enhance the learning experience. So the teaching is because we are to designed to be TEACHING PARENTS! P.A.R.A.B.L.E.S is Parents Applying Realistic Amazing Biblical Lessons Establishing Success.
What has given you the courage to step outside of your comfort zone and become an author?
Years ago I was speaking to a family member, who is a minister, and he said to me you have the gift of exhortation. At the time I did not think much of it. I looked at the definiton and was like oh ok. Fast forward about 12 years or so and my husband and I took a spiritual gift assessment at church and it revealed that my spirtual gift is the gift of exhortation. At this time in my life, I was asking God to use me in his Kingdom and I was truly presenting myself as an empty vessel before a full fountain. As I began to research the gift of exhortation and all that it encompasses, I realized that I had been operating in the gift all of my life, but I just did not know name of the gift. For years I have encouraged and uplifited family, friends, co workers and even strangers but this year God gave me that Prayer of Jabez type of request. Lord, enlarge my territory and bless me indeed, I’m ready for something new, an increase and expansion. I simply decided to take the limits off!