"I Love You to God and Back" is not just a book, it is the words my daughter first said to me in kindergarten to describe the depth of her feelings.
For her, God lives in heaven, which is as far as any place her little mind can imagine.
Today, this book hits store shelves. And, while it is my sixth book, it is by far the most personal book I have written to date. I spent a year taping my six-year-old's prayers and then wrote about them. The result: A year-long parenting and spiritual journey.
At first, I hadn't planned on publishing this book. It was meant to be a keepsake for my daughter as she grew. But as the year unfolded, I realized that my daughter was challenging my own ideas about faith in a way that I felt other people could relate to. Her questions forced me to re-examine my own spiritual beliefs and to, in many instances, redefine them.
While some people are born with blue eyes or blond hair, others are born with a spiritual core. That is my daughter. Her strong faith and her kindness and compassion for the world around her are helping me to become a better person. And she does it all with her trademark sense of humor.
"Mommy, if it is a cloudy day, just smile at the sunny spot in the clouds and God will let it shine through," she said to me on a gloomy day at the beach.
A lifeguard fell in step with us, and I followed. Soon, the three of us were giving God's peeking sun our best smiles. Just when I was about to give up, the light pushed through the clouds revealing a bright blue sky and bathing the sand in
"See, Mommy. I told you. You just have to believe," she said, talking out of the side of her mouth still holding her now-squinting gaze firmly on the sun.
Please join me at an upcoming book discussion and allow me to share more of her wisdom. For details, go to www.alambauthor.com.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books, including three on motherhood. You can usually find her here on Mondays.