We would love to share the story of how we got to together to create our first children’s book.
Mari-Louise and I initially met at church in Sydney, Australia in 2011. Both being from South Africa and both married with two daughters who were similar in age, we had no shortage of conversation points and a rewarding friendship developed.
Several years later, having not seen each other in a few months, we were delighted to find ourselves on the same Purpose Discovery course, offered by John Beckett, the Founder of Seed (check out this amazing organisation at www.seed.org.au). One morning, we were asked to tell our story to a partner; including the people and life events that had shaped us, our passions and aspirations, the causes we feel strongly about and the gifts we believed God had given us. Mari-Louise and I sat on a couch surrounded by stained glass windows in that same church where they had first met, and we shared those things that we had not learned about each other before. My enjoyment of writing, Mari-Louise’s love for drawing and our mutual passion for sharing the love of Jesus with children, lead us to the exciting prospect: “We should totally create a book together!”.
We have all had those “wouldn’t it be great…” kind of conversations that seldom result in much more than a warm feeling and a momentary sparkle in our eye – but somehow, this felt like something that God may have put on our hearts.
A few weeks after the Purpose Discovery course had concluded, I was faced with the fun dilemma of deciding what I was going to read to the children at the annual Christmas concert at the Preschool where I work. Christmas is a big deal at the Preschool and in the weeks leading up to the end of year, the children had enjoyed every possible rendition of the Christmas story including the one that involves a wombat. I decided to write a story about God’s love as demonstrated by the vast array of fruit he created. I could make it extra special by using rhyme and fruit props. Sounds fun, right? I kept Mari-Louise updated on my progress by email and texts – we could turn this into a book. “Fruit are my favourite things to draw!” was Mari-Louise’s response. And, this was the foundation of our first book “He could have stopped at Apples”. In all things, we give glory to God.