Sharing God’s Big Love With Little Lives by Jean Thomason
I met Jean Thomason (“Miss Patty Cake“) at the Kidmin Nation Mega-Con. She was delightful and exuberant, even when she wasn’t in character! Honestly, I didn’t know who Miss Patty Cake was before we chatted at Jean’s exhibit booth, but her love for people and children is immediately easy to see. Jean gave me a copy of her book, Sharing God’s Big Love With Little Lives. I read it and you should as well!
“A Can-Do Guide for Parents and Caregivers”
That’s the subtitle of the book. And it’s accurate. “Miss Patty Cake” may be best known for her persona with children through her performances and videos, but in this book Jean Thomason speaks to adults with insight and authority. It’s not a long book, but it’s filled with wisdom, encouragement, and practical advice for parents, grandparents, caregivers, and anyone else investing in the lives of kids.
The best part of this “Can-Do Guide” is that it’s fun! This laughter-filled aspect of the book reflects Jean’s happy personality and the joy she gains and shares from working with children. I feel as though I’m one of the most blessed people around, but I found myself thinking, “Jean is truly one of the richest people in the world!” I envy her. Her years of experiences with “little lives” have filled her own life like a treasure chest of jewels. And she reminds us that such treasures await anyone willing to give themselves to children.
Jean uses PRAISE! as an acronym to communicate seven challenging truths…
- P – We are Placed and Privileged to Parent.
- R – We have a Rare window of opportunity.
- A – Through prayer, we have an All-Access pass to God’s riches.
- I – The Infancy of our kids calls us to start early.
- S – Seven ways to practice praise.
- E – Approach the kids under our care with Enthusiastic Enjoyment!
- ! – Accept the Imperative of the exclamation mark and Do It!
I won’t spoil it for you by giving detail from each chapter. Each is short, to the point, and substantive. It’s a good read. I will tell you, however, that I was challenged in the best possible way more than once. Consider this quote… “As you work this field, planting seed in little lives, take heart! This is the high calling of God. It is His gift. It is an upgrade… You have been placed and privileged to parent.” That’s a good reminder that the time we invest in children is time BEST spent!
For busy and tired parents, she asks this perspective-changing question… “Are you convinced God cares about your life? Your answer is likely yes. But I actually mean your whole life—the daily stuff, the everyday cleaning, shopping, cooking, working, eating, drinking, dressing, playing, walking around, have-to-get-it-done life. Have you embraced the idea that God wants to live all of that life with you and give you joy in this journey?” It’s a powerful question. This book can help you transform the “daily” challenges of parenting into a joy-filled “journey.”
Just One “Giggle”
Each chapter ends with a Giggle Break. Here’s just one of MANY moments of laughter… “Steven (age three) hugged and kissed his mom good night. ‘I love you so much that when you die I’m going to bury you outside my bedroom window.’”
Such is the life-giving shift that occurs when we let Jesus transform a burial into a belly laugh. That’s what Jesus does. Jean gets it and Sharing God’s Big Love With Little Lives gives us real tools to help us get it, too!
Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher
See a list of other articles by Rick Edwards.