A house with Psalm 127:1 written over it, "Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain."

Psalm 127:1

Hi everyone!

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Book Blog.

It’s interesting how the Lord works, isn’t it?

I started this blog in 2014 after I published my first children’s book. I would share about my books and then started reaching out to other children’s authors and sharing their books.

My blog rose in the standings to being in the top 100 of children’s book blogs!

But, recently, I have felt a desire to move into a new genre of writing and publishing and that is Christian Fiction.

The change came about when I published what had been a story God gave me in a meditation that I had one day.

The book is called The Cloak and it’s about the Roman soldier who won Jesus’ cloak at the foot of the cross. He begins questioning himself about “who was this man that wore this cloak?” It takes him on a little journey where his questions are answered and he becomes a follower of Jesus himself.

I want to reach as many people as possible with the message of salvation and I believe God is calling me to share this message through Christian Fiction.

So, I’m pivoting.

What’s funny is that recently new children’s book authors have dried up. I used to could reach out to children’s authors and ask them if they wanted to share their book on my blog and almost every one of them said, “Yes!”

Until recently…they started questioning the number of people who follow me and even though, I think I have a decent following and with my blog posts going out to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, it’s even bigger. Plus, I have some dedicated followers who always share my blog to their blog which also goes out to their social media channels…it’s a substantial amount of exposure people would get. And even though, I told them them, they would decline.

I believe this is God’s will. The timing is impeccable. My desire to change genres with the drying up of children’s authors wanting to share on my blog.

It’s time to pivot away from writing my blog on children’s books and start writing it on Christian verses, reflections/insights, authors, and books.

Psalm 127:1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”

I hope you join me on this new adventure!

As always likes, comments, and shares are appreciated.

Summer is HERE!

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Blog!

Hi everyone,

I don’t know about you, but now that summer is here and school is out, I’m planning to do some traveling!

This past year, dealing with COVID, has been difficult, hasn’t it?

We have been in mandatory quarantine, the whole world, at one time! That was really crazy and also made the world seem much smaller, didn’t it?

We all reached out across social media to one another and shared our stories of being in ‘lockdown’ for our safety.

But, then, some states opened back up sooner than others. Some countries were hit harder than others. We all watched on as death tolls rose and prayed it wouldn’t be us or our family members.

Sadly, it was friends and family members for many of us.

Some had to work to help us, like doctors and nurses and first responders. We sang their praises for going to work day after day in the midst of what seemed like an unending and impossible task.

Some schools opened in the fall…some only partially, some online, and some a mixture. Our teachers were asked to teacher online and in person. That seemed like an insurmountable task too.

We wore masks, we put up plexiglass, we used hand sanitizer and stayed 6 feet away from each other, all while welcoming students back to school and trying to make them feel normal.

I’m a High School Guidance Counselor and I was part of a school that opened fully–5 days/week in-person.

To be honest, I was scared.

I wondered if I would live to see the end of the year.

I prayed daily and wore my mask religiously.

And I can tell you that this took its toll on me psychologically.

I was the most stressed I have ever been.

Now, I love my job. I love my school. I love the students. I love helping others.

But, I wanted more than anything to be at home in my house safe from the world.

But, I went to work and did my best to carry on as usual.

I prayed for God to bring us out of this pandemic.

And slowly, the tide has begun to turn away from so many cases of COVID and fewer deaths.

I’m so very thankful!

And on the last day of school, I was so happy to have the opportunity to say good-bye to the students and my co-workers and to look back on this year and say, “I lived! Praise God! I lived!”

I’m counting my blessings! God has seen us through a terrible year!

I hope the rest of you are feeling the same jubilation!

Now, some time for FUN!

I’m looking forward to traveling and re-connecting with family.

What are your plans for the summer?

Thank you for stopping by my blog today!

As always likes, shares, and comments are welcomed!

God bless all of you!

Memorial Day 2021

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Book Blog!

Yesterday was Memorial Day and while most of us celebrate with outdoor activities and enjoy eating our food picnic-style, Memorial Day is actually a day of remembrance for those who served in the military and lost their lives.

John 15:12-14 says, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you.”

I don’t know about you, but this commandment has always struck me as a difficult one.

Most of us aren’t running towards death, instead most of us are trying to avoid it at all cost.

Yet, there are those who feel called to a dangerous profession where the potential to lose their lives is incredibly high, whether it be the military or first responders such as the police or firemen and women.

I say “called” because I believe it is a calling. It’s not just a profession. The people I know that serve in these capacities take their jobs very seriously and feel a great need to protect others.

They are willing to give their lives for people they don’t even know and/or maybe don’t believe the way they believe or hold the political beliefs they hold, and well, that is a true hero.

They are following the commandment “to love one another, even as I have loved you.”

They are loving with the love Jesus has for all of us. Romans 5:8 says “But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

We weren’t friends of God, yet he sent his son, Jesus, to die for us so that we could become the friends of God. Amen and Hallejuah!

It is good to stop and say, “Thank you!” to Jesus for his sacrifice and to these brave men and women who sacrificed so much as well.

Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

So, THANK YOU to Jesus for salvation and to all the brave men and women who served and lost their lives defending our country.

May God Bless America!

In our hard times as well as our happy times

Wow! What a wonderful blog post! I feel compelled to share this with all of you because we all face times where we have lost hope and especially during this past year with COVID. Look up, there’s hope! Amen and that’s because God is with us. He promises to never leave us. Hallejuah!

Learning From God's Word

“I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor (trouble) a door of hope. There she will respond (sing) as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt” (Hosea 2:14-15).

Here, we read about “a door of hope.” In the wilderness, God is opening the door for his people. He’s leading them into his blessing. He’s saying to them, ‘The times of blessing will return to you.’ With the blessing of the Lord, there comes the spirit of praise. A door of hope: God is still showing his people that there is “a door of hope.” He’s saying to us, ‘Your troubles shall not prevail over you. They will not defeat you. I am with you. I will, always, be with you.’

A door…

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After High School: What Next?

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Book Blog!

Today, I have our favorite Child Psychologist, Dr. Valerie Allen, sharing with us some very timely information as we begin May, the month of graduation.

Here’s some excellent tips to help you teen as they graduate and contemplate next steps…

After High School: What Next?

There are five basic considerations after you graduate from high school. Number 1 to 5 which you think would be best as you move into the world of work. What are the benefits of your #1 choice?

___ Take a year off

  • Travel – enrichment, learning; costly, consider safety and welfare issues
  • Work – income, new skills; time consuming, restricted freedom; consider time and money management
  • Move – more freedom, new friends; consider cost , resources, and loneliness
  • Pursue a hobby – satisfaction, enjoyment; consider no or limited income, dependence on others

___Join the U.S. Military Armed Forces

  • Army:              This We’ll Defend; Founded 1775; Land warfare
  • Marines:          Always Faithful; Founded 1775; Amphibious and expeditionary warfare
  • Navy:               Always Courageous; Founded 1775; Naval warfare, power projection, nuclear                                    deterrence and sealift
  • Air Force:        Aim High, Fly-Fight-Win; Founded 1947; Aerial warfare
  • Coast Guard:   Always Ready; Founded 1790; Defense operations, maritime law enforcement,                                   search and rescue.
  • Space Force :  Always Above; Founded 2019; Space warfare and space operations

___Training and/or College

  • Vocational Certifications – short time frame, lower costs, qualifications for specific jobs
  • AA/AS – two year college degree opens doors to pursue various jobs, work situations, careers
  • BA/BS — four year university degree prepares for higher level jobs,

___Volunteer Opportunities

  • Peace Corps – To provide a better understanding of the American people to those in other countries. Provides trained volunteers to help social and economic development.
  • Americorps – Get things done for America with volunteers to improve lives and foster civic involvement for the benefit of local communities and nonprofits.
  • Salvation Army – Doing the Most Good by providing international volunteers via Christian churches to serve as a charitable organization.
  • Religious Missions – Organized work of a specific religious community to spread their beliefs and help those in need throughout the world.

___Employment

  • OJT – earn money, learn new skills, make new friends, prepare for a specific career
  • Family Business – job security, work with family, use skills, learn aspects  of running a business
  • Self Employment – freedom, creativity, satisfaction, operate your own business
  • Unskilled, semi skilled, professional – income based on abilities and training/education

# 1 Choice is: ____________________________Because: ___________________________________________________

 ~ ~ ~

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She has published two children’s chapter books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends ” a  picture book  for beginning readers, “The  Sun and The Moon” and a workbook for teens, “Go to the Guidance Office and Ask the Counselor About:  Career Choices.”  Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

Little Ewe, The Story of One Lost Sheep

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s children’s books blog!

I apologize for taking an unplanned hiatus from my blog.

I got very busy doing my Live at 5pm talks on Facebook every Sunday from January 11th until Easter. It was a Countdown to Easter series as I celebrated publishing in a new genre, Christian Fiction, and my newest book in that genre called The Cloak. It’s about the soldier who won Jesus’ cloak at the foot of the cross. It’s not a children’s book specifically, although I believe older children would enjoy it too.

Anyway, I’m back with a very special children’s picture book called Little Ewe, The Story of One Lost Sheep.

I won the book in a contest and was sent the hardcover in the mail which I just received.

I was impressed with the quality of the book…beautiful colors and wonderful quality glossy pages.

But, what made me fall in love with this book is multi-faceted. It has the cutest little sheep on the cover who just wants to explore and have fun, but eventually that gets her lost.

The story is told in expertly rhyming prose and includes numbers so the children can enjoy counting the items on each page.

But, most importantly, it tells the beloved Bible story of how our Savior, Jesus, will leave the 99 and come to find us.

That is a wonderful lesson to teach our children!

It’s available on Amazon at

www.amazon.com/dp/150646470X/ref=cm_sw_r_oth_api_glt_fabc_1WJX1TPCSGP3A28JH6C5

I highly recommend this book!

Thank you for joining me today!

As always…likes, shares, and comments are appreciated.

Stay safe

Let’s Get Physical: Fun and Fitness With Kids

Let’s Get Physical: Fun and Fitness

by

Dr. Valerie Allen

Hello everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Book Blog. Today, I’m bringing back a previous post that I think brings us some great information as the weather provides opportunities for more of us to get outside and get physical.

Dr. Valerie Allen, take it away…

Back in the day, kids ran home from school, grabbed their bikes, and hit the street looking to play with other kids. The excitement of skipping a stone across a puddle, watching a worm inch its way across the sidewalk, and chasing butterflies were part of the big adventures of childhood. Today, it’s hard to find children playing or walking outside. Various factors are involved in this, including safety concerns, planned school, church, and community activities, electronic devices, and time constraints of working parents, to name a few. The importance of physical activity and communing with nature cannot be understated. Here is how some of these activities can be reclaimed in this new age.

Fine motor skills develop eye-hand coordination and is used in tasks such as handwriting, working with hand tools, art, and threading a needle.

  • Outdoor activities to enhance these skills include: ball games, Frisbee toss, golf, and tennis.
  • Indoor activities include jigsaw puzzles, dot-to-dot, mazes, shuffling and dealing cards, checkers, chess, drawing, painting, jacks, pick-up-sticks, ping-pong, sewing cards, knitting, and arts and craft activities.
  • Chores can include help preparing meals by mixing ingredients and cracking eggs. Children can fold the laundry, wash dishes and pots and pans, set the table, clean pet areas, dust furniture, and water the lawn or garden.

Gross motor skills include the use of large muscles which improve balance and build strength.

  • Outdoor activities include, swimming, running, walking, bike riding, skating, jump rope, hopping, skipping, hop-scotch,  follow the leader, Pogo sticks, Hula-hoops, skate boards, and scooters.
  • Indoor activities include using the stairs, stretching, toe touching, marching in place, and bending from the waist.  
  • Chores also can be incorporated such as washing the car or house windows,  sweeping the sidewalk, pulling weeds, and walking and washing the dog, washing the floor, collecting and taking out the trash.

The wonders of nature include an awareness of the beauty and serenity in the natural world. It is important for children to understand the cycle of life in its many forms and the symbiotic relationship of man and the environment.

  • Outside activities include a quiet stroll observing natural things in the environment as opposed to man-make objects. Identifying plants and animals. Watching the habits of birds and small game and listening to their vocalizations. Seeing the color, shape, and height of grasses and flowers. Noticing the different smells in various areas. Feeling the change in temperature while in the sun and in shade, and with the change of time.
  • Inside activities can include planting a windowsill garden, having a fish tank, having and caring for a pet.
  •  Chores can include planting, weeding, watering, and mowing grassy areas. Tending to lawns and gardens with fertilizer and insecticides. Safeguarding animals with shelter, building a bird house, and providing food and water.

There are many simple ways of encouraging your child to be fit and have fun whether inside, outside, or with daily chores!

~ ~ ~

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She  has published two children’s chapter books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends”   and  a  picture book  for beginning readers, “The  Sun and The Moon.”  Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

Janie Burk’s Children’s Books With Positive Messages

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Book Blog!

Today, I’d like to introduce you to another wonderful author, Janie Burk, whose written some lovely books with positive messages.

Here she is to tell us more…

I love kids. I love their joy, their innate goodness, their innocence, their willingness to learn, and their ability to reason. In the spirit of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ I want to contribute to the goodness of the future leaders of the world. Through my stories, I share with our sweet kiddos happy lessons that will help them. My hope is that my stories instill the desire to do good, to be creative and to live happily.

I have always made up rhymes, jingles and stories to keep me grounded as I juggled my career as a physician, my marriage, and — best and busiest of all — raising my two sons. Since my grandchildren have come I have been inspired to share my rhymes, jingles, and stories with them. And I share them in books too.  My heart’s desire is that my books invite my grandchildren – and kids everywhere! — to feel joy, goodness and wonder in our world. This, I hope, is a gift worth giving.    

I have written and published two books, with the third on its way, and half a dozen on the drawing board that I’d like to share:                                                                                                                               

1) A Bear Called Henry (4-8 year old level), the story of a loveable bear who takes a journey to find out how special he is.

2) Two Houses for Wilbur (4-8 year old level), the story of a puppy who does not want to stay in the house and soon learns that a big challenge of being outdoors is inclement weather;

3)  Henry and the Hurricane (4-8 year old level), another story in the Henry series, which tells the adventure of Henry the Bear and his friend, 7 year old Rebekah, as they rescue zoo animals during a hurricane in Mexico(to be published this July 2021).

Please visit me at janieburk.com, janieburkauthor(facebook), Instagram, or email at janie@janieburk.com. I’d love to hear from you!

My books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Abe Books to name a few.

Thanks for spending time with me.     Janie

And thank you, Janie, for being a guest on my blog today! I look forward to your next book!!

Thank you to the blogging community for stopping by my blog today!

As always, likes, comments, and shares are much appreciated.

Stay safe