How God Led Me to the Heart of the Message in My New Picture Book, What Color is God’s Love?

I couldn’t deny that I was weary. The cross-country move proved to be harder than expected. I didn’t know how I could keep moving forward without a break . . . without breaking.

I inhaled deeply then exhaled. I’d just spent a year researching Bible verses to use for my book Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace. I knew that I could trust God in the wait. I preached the message with confidence, day in and day out. I believed what I said, what I read in the Bible. So, I didn’t understand why I was running on empty.

As my sweet pup licked away my tears, I looked out the window and noticed the rain had stopped. The sun broke through the dark gray clouds, shining on a white heron that had landed in the lush green foliage on the creek bank next to our front yard. When the bird spread its wings and took flight, I thanked God for the reminder of His unlimited power and His loving care over Creation and in the details of the lives of His children.

He led me to Psalm 33 as I began writing a free verse poem, a celebration of the God-designed colors I saw in my front yard creek.

Oh, Lord, why do I doubt You!

“The LORD looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do” (vv.13-15).

I began to thank God for the countless ways that He had proven that He had never lost sight of me. I praised Him for the times He carried me through when situations felt too hard, when the pain felt too overwhelming, when the losses felt too great to bear. In every situation, He had been right there providing for me, caring for those I loved, never failing me, and never letting me down.

“But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love” (v. 18).

I asked Him to help me that day, because I knew I didn’t have the strength to trust Him on my own. I prayed through over the verses and asked the Holy Spirit to help me believe.

“We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone” (vv. 20-22).

Then, I asked the Holy Spirit to give me the faith of a mustard seed. I asked for the faith of three men in a blazing furnace. I asked for the faith of a teenager facing a giant. I asked for the faith of Abram ̶ a man willing to leave everything to follow God without knowing where He was going, to take one step at a time and accept being redefined, to be willing to sacrifice what he thought was the fulfillment of his promise, to embrace loss and still trust God would come through, to know that God’s word was sufficient enough for him to believe.

I wrote the first draft of a free verse poem as a song of praise, but God had me tuck that poem away until after I released Waiting for God in August 2019 and my first picture book, Different Like Me, in August 2020.

In the meantime, God sent people to love me where He had sent me.

God loved me through Carmen Leal, who brought Callie into our lives through a kill-shelter. God loved me through my first church family, the staff at ReachOut Books and Solid Grounds Coffee Shoppe. God loved me through a dog-loving neighbor who ended up being one of my biggest supporters and Callie’s Grandma Jan.

God loved me through Jake and Amanda Guell and our Tails for Life Family, who trained Callie to be my service dog. God loved me through the readers who sponsored Callie’s training when my insurance wouldn’t pay for the medication that lessened my nerve pain in my upper thoracic back. God loved me through my praying doctor, who fought for me to get the only medication that has helped manage the pain in my upper thoracic back.

And God loved me through my husband, who cared for me every day . . . even when he was hurting and tired.

During that difficult season, God reminded me that He can use us to love others from our space of weakness even when we’re running on empty if we’re abiding in Him.

He transformed me and that manuscript over the next few years as I prayed and waited to hear from God. Finally, in November 2021, He blessed me with the opportunity to work with the talented Bunmi Ishola from WaterBrook. She helped me to be braver as I dug deeper into the Scriptures and allowed God to lead me to the messages He wanted me to share with each color.

You see, I knew What Color is God’s Love? was more than a book about colors. I wanted to give readers what I didn’t have as a child, a safe place to process their God-given emotions . . . in God’s loving presence.

I wanted the magnificent colors God created, even those that are often seen in a negative light ̶ like black or gray or brown ̶ to be seen as beautiful and to affirm an unchanging truth about God that is found in the infallible God-breathed words of Scripture.

That’s why I created the Breath Prayer Cards (download now or visit the What Color is God’s Love? book page on my website at your convenience). I want readers to open their Bibles, so they can get excited about getting to know God more!

I want What Color is God’s Love? to ignite readers’ imaginations, spark conversations, and inspire service motivated by love for Jesus and people! As readers explore God’s colorful creation, I pray they experience the power of His constant presence, engage with Him through the prayerful study of His Word, and enjoy loving God and their beautifully diverse neighbors every day.

I hope you’ll partner with me in ministry, by loving your neighbors and ordering an extra copy of What Color is God’s Love? to share as a gift today, donating a copy to your church, library, school, or Free Little Library, or by sharing the link with others and encouraging them to order copies of What Color is God’s Love? for their family and friends.

I can do nothing without God or your ongoing prayers and support. I thank God for you and am praying for you.

Thanks for making a difference in my life by connecting with me here, through Our Daily Bread Ministries and the God Hears Her blog, and on Instagram and Facebook.

I’m looking forward to growing closer God as we dig deeper into His Word in 2024. To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!


In What Color is God’s Love?, a little girl with an invisible disability and her service dog join their diverse family and friends through a whirlwind of adventures and celebrate the spectacular spectrum of colors God designed. Each color invites readers to explore their God-given emotions and becomes a reminder of God’s unchanging character as they experience God’s love flowing for them, in them, and through them.

To love your neighbors by ordering extra copies of What Color is God’s Love? to share as gifts, to donate to your library, to your church, your school, a Free Little Library, or an afterschool program, please use this special access link to your favorite retailers provided by WaterBrook.


However, if you’re local, please join us for this special event to help support Serendipity Bible House.

Alan and I believe in investing in small businesses in our community.

I’ve been shopping at Serendipity since 2001. I want to encourage people to order my books from Serendipity Bible House in Fairfield, California for this special event. While we are celebrating the release of What Color is God’s Love?, you can also order Waiting for God, Different Like Me, Diferente como yo. However, you’ll need to place your orders soon!

Please call Serendipity or visit the store for details regarding PRE-ORDER DEADLINES and TO PLACE YOUR PRE-ORDERS TODAY!

Thanks for making a difference by supporting small Christian businesses. These ministries can only make a difference in the Kingdom when we keep them in business by being intentional about shopping in their stores!

I’m looking forward to praising Jesus with you!


Choosing Love in the Brambles (After Callie the Service Dog Denied Public Access) AND Celebrating New Book Releases!

In November 2023, my husband and I invited our pastor and his wife to a fundraising event sponsored by an organization my husband was affiliated with at the time. They had recently moved from Texas so we were hoping to introduce them to people in our community.

However, on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, the president of that organization denied my service dog public access to that event, a Gala scheduled to be held at the Meritage Resort and Spa on Saturday, December 2nd in Napa, California.

I figured she must have made a mistake. Service dogs are considered medical equipment according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. So, I sent the president an email requesting a Zoom meeting and a copy of the “laws” she claimed gave her the right to deny my service dog access to the public event.

I hoped we could clear up the misunderstanding, so my husband and I could enjoy a wonderful night of fellowship with our pastor, his wife, and our community.

Nothing could have prepared me for the president’s emailed response, in which she copied multiple board members and used all caps and unprofessional language.

I wrestled with sorrow and anger as I read her disrespectful criticism about my caregiver, my husband of thirty years and her elected treasurer of the board. I grappled with grief and resentment over her dismissive comments about my service dog and her demeaning remarks regarding my disability.

I feared I couldn’t respond without disrespecting Jesus and ruining my witness for Christ, so I prayed and chose not to respond.

But I planned on attending the Gala with my service dog.

The president, however, persisted in demanding my husband confirm that we would leave my service dog in a kennel during the Gala. She gave us an ultimatum. If we didn’t confirm by noon on Friday, December 1, 2023, she would refund the money for all four of our tickets.

As soon as the clock struck noon on December 1st, she followed through on her threat.

I was on the phone with the ADA Specialist, who affirmed that the president of the chamber had violated my civil rights by invalidating my tickets. She encouraged me to file a complaint with the Department of Justice and seek legal counsel.

As I prayed, grief mingled with anger. I couldn’t figure out why I felt compassion for a woman who had clearly discriminated against me.

I fell asleep with a debilitating headache.

When I woke up, the Holy Spirit had given me a vision of brambles dripping with blood and the title for my next teaching series, “Choosing Love in the Brambles.”

Brambles are thorny plants, often used in medieval art to symbolize sorrow, bitterness, sin, death, and even the fallen state of mankind.

Unsure of why God gave me that image or that title at the time, I continued praying for clarity and asked my accountability partners to join me in praying for the president, the organization, and for me as I processed my mixed emotions.

By the power of the Holy Spirit and with the help of my accountability partners, I prayed for the president’s salvation. I asked God to help me forgive her . . . because Jesus had forgiven me . . . and to help me love her . . . because He loves me.

When Alan and I called our pastor and his wife so we could pray together on Saturday morning, I asked God to redeem our evening.

While we were being excluded from the chamber’s Gala event at Napa’s Meritage Resort and Spa (not by the hotel management but by one of its patrons), we enjoyed a wonderful meal at Morimoto, a restaurant in the same town.

The manager and staff welcomed all of us. We weren’t surprised. We’ve never had any issues with my service dog at any professional establishment or with any professional community leaders.

I told our kind waitress that we’d been denied public access across town, then offered her a copy of my book Different Like Me for her son.

She teared up and said she was sorry about what had happened to us. Then, she accepted my gift and shared that her son had asked to be baptized a few days before!

I wrote a prayer and a message of encouragement inside the front page when I gave her a copy of my devotional, Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace.

Even while the president was dancing in her fancy dress in a crowd of people who had no idea (except for the other chamber board members) that she had just discriminated against me and my service dog . . . even while justice was not being served.

God was being glorified because . . . Callie was doing her job as I served God in that Michelon Star restaurant WHILE being discriminated against by the woman who was sponsoring the Gala event across town!

That ministry moment right smack in the middle of my affliction was a hidden treasure in a secret place.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!

The Holy Spirit kept nudging me to stand up against the injustice as an advocate for myself and others.

So, on December 7, 2023, I filed a complaint with the Department of Justice. A week later, however, the DOJ informed me that they had too many complaints filed and not enough resources to follow up on every violation. They encouraged me to seek legal counsel.

After a month of prayer while seeking wise counsel, I saw no justice served while receiving no help from anyone I reached out to for help.

The injustice overwhelmed me.

As I was praying on a Saturday morning, the Holy Spirit nudged me to call the president of the organization and ask her to talk to me. I was shocked, but praised God, when she agreed to speak respectfully with me.

I prayed silently, asking the Holy Spirit to keep my voice calm, and shared honestly about the law and my hopes for healing and reconciliation so we could help our community learn more about disability awareness and access laws. Then, I invited her to speak.

She did not use a calm or respectful tone when she said she was “not sorry” and that she would not do anything differently.

After acknowledging Callie was a legitimate service dog, she said we were both welcome at all the chamber events throughout the year except the end of year Gala, which she felt was not an appropriate venue for “pets.”

This is how I discovered why people get away with discrimination against disabled people.

Some offenses can be avoided once people understand the laws.

However, there is no legal organization that will mediate between two parties to help them work out disagreements about the laws.

And when people don’t agree . . . the only way to move forward in peace without going to court is to agree to disagree.

When this woman refused to apologize and take responsibility for her actions, I knew I could not change her mind. I didn’t want to hurt the organization and the other businesses associated with it because of her poor leadership, so I chose Love, with a capital “L.”

I chose God ̶ who is Love (1 John 4:8) ̶ the only one who CAN transform hearts and minds.

I chose God’s way, the way of the peacemaker, in the face of injustice as I walked through the twisted and bloodied thorns of the brambles.

I told the president that I thought she was wrong regarding her interpretation of the law and her description of public events versus private events. She said she was fine with that.

I said I would be willing to agree to respect one another’s right to disagree so that we could move forward peace.

She said she was okay with that.

I also told her that I had forgiven her because Jesus had forgiven me, and that I would continue praying for her and the organization, only because I supported the purpose for which the organization was founded upon.

She didn’t even respond to that, but she did agree to support a training workshop to help our community learn more about service dogs and ADA Laws. She agreed it would be valuable to share our experience about disagreeing about the interpretation of the law.

Then, she said she was fine with me praying before we ended our conversation. I hung up the phone praising God and feeling a bit hopeful for our community.

So, I couldn’t explain why my heart felt heavy.

God soon revealed the reason behind my unsettled feeling.

Later, my husband received an email from the president informing him that she had removed him from his elected position as treasurer of the board, an act which went against the bylaws established by the organization. Since there is no governing board above her and the other board members are silent, there is no one holding her accountable for her abuse of power.

We no longer support this organization or any programs they sponsor.

Though on the surface it may look like injustice prevailed in these situations, in the end my husband and I know Christ prevails.

However, before I was able to move forward, the experience triggered a bout with situational depression that threw me into an identity crisis I had to work out with Jesus. I wrote an article about this on the God Hears Her blog entitled, “Remembering Who We Are.”

With the help of my doctor and my prayer partners, I used the resources and skills I’d learned over the years to work through my mixed feelings. As I picked through my raw emotions and struggled to choose love in the brambles, however, God led me to a passage in Lamentations 3.

I needed to lament, to release my grief . . . even though I couldn’t explain the depth of my heartache at that time. I needed to cry out to God . . . even when I didn’t understand my why I was feeling what I was feeling.

I needed to trust that God’s mercy was enough to carry me, while living in a fallen world where justice will not always be a part of the equation.

I needed to trust God to deal with injustice His way and in His time when the worldly systems failed me.

The prophet Jeremiah said, “I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease.” (Lamentations 3:20-22, NLT)

Jeremiah led God’s people to the truth they needed to hear: God’s unending love and mercy are enough to fuel life-giving hope.

The New International Version says: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:20-23).

God’s people are not destroyed by life’s turmoil, injustice, and grief because of His unending faithfulness.

God’s moment-by-moment acts of loving mercy give us enough to be enough for that moment when we aren’t sure how we can possibly take one more blow, one more step, one more breath.

Jeremiah proclaimed, “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:24-26, NIV)

God is all-knowing (1 John 3:20). He has ordained every step we take (Psalm 37:23-24). He plans all our days before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16).

So, I am certain that He knew Callie and I would be denied public access a few months before What Color is God’s Love? would be released.

I’m grateful that He had me spend time researching Bible verses about His character for a year prior to this incident. He knew I would need the truth statements I used for each color when I was recovering from the blow of being told I wasn’t allowed to share the same space as other human beings because of my disability.

God knew that I would struggle to choose Love in the brambles.

God also knew that I would need to know I was loved completely by Him, so that I could choose love instead of hate, forgiveness instead of resentment and bitterness.

He knew I would need to be secure in His great love, so I would not be consumed or utterly destroyed by my sin or anyone else’s sins against me.


Because God’s compassions never fail!


God is so good! And He has already been redeeming my experience ̶ being denied public access with my service dog ̶ by blessing me with hidden treasures in secret places, ministry opportunities in unexpected spaces AND ministry expansion.

As I prepare for the release of What Color is God’s Love? in March, I’ve also been blessed to serve as one of the contributing writers for Tyndale’s Go Bible for Kids, which releases in September. Hallelujah!

By God’s incredible grace, WaterBrook is also releasing my third picture book earlier than expected. Wonderfully, Marvelously Brown is available for pre-order NOW and will be in readers’ hands in October!

Our Daily Bread Publishing is refreshing the cover of Waiting for God and giving me a new subtitle, just in time for the release of my second ODBM devotional in early 2025. I can’t share details about my second ODBM devotional title yet, but I can hardly wait to share what God did during that journey. The testimonies of the people I interviewed made me want to know God more, love God more, and serve God more!

But I know I can do nothing without Him or YOUR HELP!

So I am asking you to partner with me in ministry today. How?

  1. Pray for Callie the Service Dog and me at least once a week or once a month, as I trust God to send me more opportunities to serve Him as a writer and speaker.
  2. Love your neighbors by pre-ordering extra copies of What Color is God’s Love? to share as gifts today, using the exclusive access link (below)!
  3. Share the exclusive access link (below) with your family members and friends and ask them to pre-order What Color is Love? today, too!
  4. After you receive your copy of What Color is God’s Love?, write a review on Amazon and any other review platforms you enjoy. Please try to write your review within the first week after receiving your book. Reviews help me reach new readers. My goal is to have 500 reviews in the first 3 months after the release of What Color is God’s Love? and I can’t do this without your prayers or your help! To God be the glory!
  5. Share FUN and COLORFUL pictures of you enjoying your copy of What Color is God’s Love? on Facebook and Instagram and tag me @xochitl.e.dixon so I can celebrate with you!
  6. Keep connecting with me here and on social media, because God has more surprises in store for us! He’s got more ministry opportunities He’s sending my way. I received two calls last week from editors asking me to pray about potential projects. To God ALONE be the glory, the honor, and the praise!

Thanks for making a difference in my life and for serving Jesus with me in these special ways.

I’m excited to see what hidden treasures in secret places He has in store for us as we continue sharing His truth and love wherever He sends us!



Scroll down for YOUR EXCLUSIVE ACCESS LINK for What Color is God’s Love? so you can pre-order your copies today!

What are readers saying about What Color is God’s Love? in their reviews?

In September 2023, Publishers Weekly said: “Xochitl Dixon writes a rhyming tale of the rainbow as a way to explore the full spectrum of God in What Color is God’s Love? (WaterBrook, Mar. 2024)”

In What Color is God’s Love?, a little girl and her service dog join their diverse friends as they celebrate the spectacular spectrum of colors God designed. Each color invites readers to explore their God-given emotions, becomes a reminder of God’s unchanging character, and empowers children, with and without disabilities, to play, work, and serve God together, by simply letting the colors of His love shine in and through them.

Love your neighbors by pre-ordering extra copies of What Color is God’s Love? as gifts today using this exclusive link sponsored by WaterBrook and Multnomah Kids Publishing:


And . . . drumroll, please . . . help me celebrate God’s abounding love as I rejoice in how He brought about my third picture book, Wonderfully, Marvelously Brown, which will release in October 2024.

Wonderfully, Marvelously Brown is a love-offering inspired by my struggles with hating my light complexion because I was teased for being so light as a kid, and a conversation with one of my granddaughters who was struggling after being teased for her beautiful darker brown complexion.

I explained melanin to her by saying, “God chose one color when He made skin for His image-bearers ̶ BROWN ̶ but He chose to make us beautifully different shades of brown, from very light to very dark! So, we are all wonderfully, marvelously brown!”

Then, I told her I would write a book about this truth and dedicate it to her.

You can love your neighbors by pre-ordering extra copies of Wonderfully, Marvelously Brown today, by using this exclusive access link:

Please share that link with others, too!


Thanks for all you’ve done to help us place Different Like Me into the hands of readers around the world!

Different Like Me has been helping readers celebrate our differences and our sameness as God’s beautifully diverse and purposefully connected image-bearers.

Published by Our Daily Bread Ministries in 2020, Different Like Me was nominated as the 2021 ECPA Christian Book Award Children’s Book Finalist and translated into Simplified Chinese and Dutch. In 2022, I helped translate Different Like Me into Diferente como yo!

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!

Translating rhyme into Spanish was way harder than I expected and a task I couldn’t do without lots of help, especially since I am not as proficient in Spanish as I would like to be. As of January 2024, Different Like Me is now available in Hong Kong! Hallelujah!

These translations, as well as the ministry work done through Our Daily Bread each month, are answers to prayers I first let drop as tears into my Bible in 2001. He is using my words to allow me to serve as a missionary! Hallelujah!

Please join me in this amazing armchair missionary outreach!

If you don’t know a child you can bless with a copy of Different Like Me or Diferente como yo, you can donate copies to your local library, school, or afterschool program, on behalf of Callie the Service Dog.

Love your neighbors and Different Like Me or Diferente como yo by clicking HERE!


Pause for Prayer is BACK! Hallelujah!

This month, I had the privilege of interviewing Sara Chinakwe and Chioma, the most adorable guest I’ve ever had on Pause for Prayer.

Sara Chinakwe is a wife, mother, teacher, and children’s ministry leader. She encourages women and children to pursue God’s purpose and embrace their God-given identity. Sara’s deep love for teaching and decade’s long career in education was shaped in California State University Stanislaus.

In this interview, Sara shares how God helped her through a personal journey of discovering her own ancestry as she wrote You Come from Greatness, a celebration of Black History and an invitation to rejoice in being made in the image of Christ!

To watch my Pause for Prayer Interview with Sara Chinakwe and Chioma, please click here.


Here are a few of my favorite Black children’s book authors who are creating beautiful Christian books, resources, and programs.

Please pray for and support Natasha Tripplett, Dorena Williamson, Trillia Newbell, Dr. Lucretia Berry (founder of Brownicity), and Sara Chinakwe.

I’ve worked Dorena, Dr. Berry and Sara closely for years. Natasha is a fellow Redbud Writers Guild Sister, who lives in the Bay Area so I’ll be getting to know soon! And Trillia Newbell is one of my favorite Bible teachers and children’s book authors, who I have learned from (from afar) and would love to meet!

I thank God for the work these phenomenal women of God are doing to ensure my grandbabies see themselves represented in children’s books and resources.

However, I am even more grateful for the work they do that draws readers closer to Jesus!

Thanks for helping me celebrate Black History Month in a tangible way by showing support for Black Children’s Book Authors.


I hope you know how much I need and thank God for your ongoing partnership in ministry!

I am committed to fulfilling the Great Commission while living out the Greatest Commandment, celebrating God’s beautifully diverse image-bearers and advocating for disability awareness around the world.

But I can’t do anything without God or your ongoing prayers and practical help.

Thanks for making a difference in my life and for making a Kingdom impact as you serve alongside me in this special way.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!



Books for Maui – I Need Your Help

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16, ESV)

As I prayed for the residents of Hawaii, especially the Native Hawaiians, I asked God to show me how I could help in a practical way. I found out about Books for Maui on Instagram. I signed up right away and shared the opportunity with other authors. However, as soon as I posted the invitation for authors to donate books and services, I received notification that the auction had to close its call for donations early.

They had over 900 authors signed up for the program!

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!

I praised God for allowing me to participate.

I’m inviting you to help in one of two ways.

  1. Bid on the auction site between Monday, August 21, 2023 and Friday, August 25, 2023 at midnight Hawaii Standard Time. (link below).
  2. If you aren’t interested in bidding, donate to the reputable organizations on my list (links below).

I donated two packages that you can bid on for yourself or for a friend as a gift.

My Book Bundle Package includes signed copies of Different Like Me, Diferente como yo, and Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace. This package also includes an Author Visit via Zoom.

The Author Visit can be used on 1 of 3 different ways.

  1. You can invite me to read Different Like Me for a school classroom, for a children’s ministry event or Sunday morning class, a MOPS group meeting, or any group event that includes readers who would enjoy an engaging reading of Different Like Me.
  2. If you are an aspiring children’s book writer, you can also use the Author Visit as a one-on-one meeting to discuss your writing. You would have the opportunity to share a sample of your work with me (1,000 words or less) for general feedback via a live Zoom chat.
  3. If you are interested in reading Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace, the Author Visit can be used for a Bible Study Group, a book club, or any group of readers who enjoy the devotions I write for Our Daily Bread.

My Manuscript Critique Package includes a signed copy of Different Like Me, a critique of one manuscript for children, and a one-on-one Zoom meeting to discuss my feedback and your writing journey. Though I have decades of experience and publishing credits in prose, my specialty for children’s books is writing in rhyme.

What is the Books for Maui Auction? 

On Tuesday, August 8, 2023, a wildfire swept through Lāhainā on the island of Maui. It quickly consumed hundreds of structures and destroyed families.

Although seen by some as a tourist destination, Lāhainā has deep ties to Native Hawaiians as the former capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom and a place of great political power, history, and cultural significance. It is home to a vast number of Native Hawaiians, who are currently in great need and are leading much of the disaster relief efforts.

Due to gentrification of Lāhainā, there are clear disparities between residents and we want to support those with familial connections to this `āina (land).

This auction is designed to raise money for Maui relief efforts.

If you want to bid, please use this link to visit the Auction Site for Book for Maui:


If you do not want to bid on any of the over 900 books or services BUT WOULD LIKE TO DONATE to help the Native Hawaiian people through this relief efforts, please use the following links and donate directly to these reputable organizations.

Hawaii Community Foundation – Maui Strong:

Kamehameha – Ho’ōla Maui:

Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement Kāko’o Maui

Maui Food Bank:


Please join me in praying for the Books for Maui team as they serve in this unique way and continue praying for those who have been effected by the fires in Hawaii, especially the Native Hawaiians who are leading much of the relief efforts.

Thanks for helping me make a difference as we love our neighbors in Hawaii.


Can I walk by faith when I’m running on fumes? (Great News & Special Event)

Suggested Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:1-18

Some of you noticed I’ve been MIA (Missing in Action) ever since I posted “Can I Be Sad and Still Have Strong Faith?” on March 2, 2022. Thanks to those who reached out to check on me.

I’m back! Praise the Lord! I can hardly wait to share all that God has been doing in what looked like my stillness or absence. Hallelujah!

Over the last seven months, God blessed me with nine incredible ministry opportunities that have kept me busy, along with my monthly contributions to Our Daily Bread.

  1. I was invited to join a diverse team contributing to a brand-new The Message Devotional Bible for women.
  2. My first children’s picture book, the 2021 ECPA Children’s Book Finalist Different Like Me, is now available in Spanish, Dutch, and Simplified Chinese.
  3. In 2024, WaterBrook & Multnomah Kids will be releasing TWO of my children’s picture books that, like Different Like Me, celebrate diversity and inclusion through representation.
  4. I’ll be hosting a new series and sharing interviews with some of my favorite Christian authors on my Pause for Prayer YouTube channel, starting Sunday, November 13, 2022. Subscribe to my blog and order your copies of Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace.
  5. I’ve been invited to join the diverse group of women contributing to the God Hears Her Blog and have devotions included in God Hears Her (2017), God Sees Her (2020 ), and God Loves Her (2022).
  6. I signed the contract with Our Daily Bread Publishing for my second devotional, which will release in 2024. No spoilers!
  7. I’ve been invited to write a few extra articles for Our Daily Bread special editions, including a book on Ecclesiastes for women.

8 & 9 are secret projects that God entrusted to me. I’m still working, praising God, and praying for readers as He leads me on these incredible adventures. To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!

If you’re connected with me on Instagram or Facebook, you may know that I’ve had a few health setbacks that have limited my mobility more and increased my chronic pain and fatigue.

My husband, who serves as my caregiver, has also had a few unexpected health issues. And Callie the Service Dog has had two operations. By God’s grace, her tests came back cancer free.

Our transition from Wisconsin back to California in September 2020 has been difficult, but we’ve seen God working in amazing ways through the trials on this side of eternity. Hallelujah!

We’re in our new home, a miracle story I’ll be sharing in an upcoming devotional. Oh, I hope you’re ready to praise God!

Our son Xavier got married and had a beautiful baby boy this year! My stepson, AJ, is engaged to a young lady with three lovely girls. They had a son together. So, that means I’m a grandma to five! My grandbabies call me Lolli and my husband Pops.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise, praise, praise!

With all of this going on, I’ve kept on writing and making deadlines through the power of the Holy Spirit.

My awesome editors extended grace when needed, too. But over the last week, I’ve been struggling. I knew I had work to do, but I couldn’t get up from the sofa. I didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to do anything. I felt . . . empty.

I couldn’t deny my physical, emotional, or mental weakness. As I asked God what He wanted me to share, besides giving an update to explain where I’ve been since March, He led me to the following verse:

“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” 2 Corinthians 4:1

As the pain and fatigue increased, God nudged me deeper into His Word to consider what came before and after that “Therefore” in verse 1.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17). Amid that freedom, the Holy Spirit transforms us to reflect the image of Christ (v. 18). God expects us to fulfill the great commission and greatest commandment in different ways, using the variety of gifts He’s entrusted to each of us. However, God has never said we need to be strong enough on our own.

True freedom and strength requires submission to the Holy Spirit, who is always working to make us more like Jesus.

After we’ve “renounced,” or confessed, our “secret and shameful ways,” aka our sins (v. 2), we can stand firm in the freedom of Christ that is only possible when we build on God’s infallible truth and live in surrender to His Holy Spirit.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7, NIV, emphasis mine).

The treasure, the light of the gospel, is the Good News that we’re commissioned to share to the ends of the earth, the message of Jesus that changes lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Yes, the Holy Spirit dwells in us so we can shine for Jesus! So why would Paul compare our earthly bodies to jars of clay that were common, of minimal value, and easily broken into useless pieces? Because he is affirming where we derive our strength. In our self-centered pride and fear, we often hinder the Holy Spirit from working by claiming we just need a little help from Him instead of admitting we can do nothing without Him.

God knows we’ll be stretched to our limits and acknowledges the sufficiency of His presence and power.

We will be “hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (vv. 8-9). The tension of surrendering and accepting God’s grace never ceases (vv. 10-14).

All this if for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” (v. 15).

It’s all about Jesus and sharing His Good News as we love God and each other! Hallelujah!

“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (v. 16).

Our weakness doesn’t surprise God or make us ineffective in His Kingdom.

Rather, when we embrace that weakness, we’re ready to admit we need God to be our everything. When we can’t get up, when we can’t handle one more thing, when we can’t even imagine taking one more step . . . that moment is when we can experience the promised freedom of surrender to the Holy Spirit.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (vv. 17-18).

Even the strongest believer is limited by human frailty.

Before we’re running on fumes, God invites us to place our trust in Him alone.

We can’t, BUT by God’s mercy and faithful goodness He continually affirms that He can, He always could, He always has and He always will.

“Therefore, in order to keep me from being conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10, NIV, emphasis mine)


Holy Spirit, please empower us to surrender to You so that we can experience the freedom of total reliance on You today and every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.



I’ll be joining over 40 authors at the Bridgeway Church Pop-Up Book Fair on November 18, 2022 at 5-9 pm at Bridgeway Christian Church, 8150 Industrial Blvd., Roseville, CA 95678. For more information, please click here.

I’ll be selling and signing copies of Different Like Me, Diferente como yo, and Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace.

I’ll be doing a special reading with Callie the Service Dog and will have lots of exclusive giveaways at my table. I look forward to seeing you there! To check out my Special Event Author Page with details about prices and giveaways, please click here.




My Dream of Being a Smuggler (Big News, Invitation, and Mega Diverse Book Giveaway)

Suggested Reading: Acts 1:1-11

Have you ever had to release your grip on a dream?

When I first surrendered my life to Christ in 2001, I wanted to share His truth and love to the ends of the earth. I dreamed of serving the Lord through mission trips. My husband said mission trips were not for him, so I decided to wait until our sons grew up. I secretly prayed our sons would have missionary hearts and join me in international ministry.

After watching a video showing a group of people in China receiving Bibles smuggled into the country in suitcases and weeping as they savored the God-breathed words of Scripture, I dreamed of becoming a Bible smuggler.

In 2011, I attended a Christian writers conference and spoke with a well-known agent about using writing as a tool for ministry. He asked me if I wanted to use writing for ministry or if I wanted my name on a book.

I said, “I want to share God’s truth and love to the ends of the earth and I don’t care how.”

He said, “Don’t forget the ministry of magazine writing.”

God used that conversation to lead me into a mission field I never considered possible.

But in September 2012, when I turned to pick up a paper from my desk, I ended up writhing in pain on the floor. My overcompensation to ease the pain from my 1992 upper thoracic back injury caused damage in my shoulders and neck. I had my first back procedure and shoulder surgery before the end of the year.

In January 2014, after numerous back procedures and two months before my second shoulder surgery, my mom fell while walking through a parking lot. When doctors reviewed her blood samples in preparation for her procedure, they diagnosed her with Leukemia. They placed her on bone marrow transplant list and sent her to Seattle for treatment in June, just a few weeks before our youngest son graduated from high school.

As we celebrated his achievement, I prepared to move out-of-state to serve as my mom’s live-in caregiver.

I wouldn’t be traveling to China that year.

A few of my aunts visited us in Seattle in September. They helped me celebrate my birthday by paying for me to attend a Christian writers conference the following year, to celebrate my mom’s remission.

After my aunts left, my mom encouraged me to continue using writing to encourage others and point to Jesus. She believed in me and didn’t laugh at me when I shared about my dream to become a Bible smuggler.

I started to dream again and repeated my 2001 prayer.

Lord, I want to share Your truth and love to the ends of the earth and I don’t care how!

My mom danced into the arms of Jesus in October 2014.

I went to that Christian writers conference, still tender with grief, and heard Robin Jones Gunn share about how she had dreamed of being a missionary.

She shared how God kept closing doors when she took the steps enter the mission field and how, years after allowing that dream to die, a young girl from the middle east sent her a letter. The reader thanked Robin for sharing Scriptures in her teen novels. She said she would never be allowed to read the Bible and asked Robin to add more Scripture into her novels.

Then, this young girl said she had prayed to receive Christ as her personal Lord and Savior with the character in the story Robin penned.

God allowed Robin to become a missionary as He sent her words to this young reader.

Weeping, I wrote these words in my notebook: Lord, please use the words I write to share Your truth and love to the ends of the earth . . . and I don’t care how!

During that conference, I received an email informing me that I’d been accepted to serve as a contributing writer for Our Daily Bread Ministries. I found that same agent and shared my news with him.

I would be smuggling Bible verses into China!

God is still allowing me to serve as a missionary, sharing His truth and love to the ends of the earth in ways I never dared to dream possible.

On July 22, 2021, two years after China banned online sales of Bibles, Our Daily Bread Publishing informed me that Different Like Me, which includes Genesis 1:27 and Psalm 139:13-14, is being published in Simplified Chinese.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise, praise, praise!

In Acts 1:1-13, moments before His ascension, Jesus establishes the disciples’ purpose and their Power Source.

“He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:7-8, emphasis mine)

Jesus is coming again.

Until He does, we have the pleasure and privilege of sharing His truth and love to the ends of the earth . . . however and whenever He gives us the opportunities.

AND when we work together, we can reach more people for Jesus.





The Lord has blessed me with another wonderful ministry opportunity.

Alan, Xavier, and I are excited to announce the launch of our new family ministry.

Worship Expressed offers Christian apparel and accessories that I design.

I pray for those who will be joining me to worship God through our attitudes, words, actions, and the apparel and accessories we choose to use and wear every day.

Worship Expressed currently offers T-shirts, totes, mugs, steel water bottles, and journals in a variety of styles and colors

I’m currently designing sweatshirts and a few home décor items.

A percentage of all profits from Worship Expressed will be donated to Our Daily Bread Ministries and Compassion International.

Worship Expressed will also host periodic fundraisers to raise awareness for Muscular Dystrophy, childhood cancer, autism, and other ministries that serve children with special needs.


Would you like to partner with me in ministry as the Lord continues to allow me to share His truth and love to the ends of the earth?

I need Praying-Peeps and Patron Planters.

Praying-Peeps commit to praying as God opens doors for me to serve Him.

Patron Planters join me in planting seeds of God’s truth in the hearts of readers by:

  1. Loving your neighbors by ordering Worship Expressed items and extra copies of Waiting for God and Different Like Me to share as gifts.
  2. Sharing photos of you with your Worship Expressed items and with copies of Waiting for God and Different Like Me on social media.
  3. Host an Author Reading or invite me to share a message at your next event.
  4. Order Worship Expressed items or contact me to inquire about designing custom items for:

* Church Events

* Bible Study Group

* Pastor Appreciation Day

* Church Staff Appreciation

* Ministry Leader Appreciation

* Family Reunions

* Ministry Teams

* Writers Groups

* Writers Conferences

* Fundraisers

* And MORE!

  1. Donate Waiting for God and Different Like Me to public libraries, school classrooms and libraries, free little libraries, church libraries, ministry leaders, and community programs that serve children and adults in need.

I thank God for your partnership in sharing His truth and love to the ends of the earth!




I hope you enjoyed the “Representation Matters” blog series.

That special announcement I told you about is actually a MEGA BOOK GIVEAWAY, which includes signed and personalized copies of the following 4 books:

1. Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young

2. Different Like Me by Xochitl Dixon

3. Breakfast with Jesus by Tina M. Cho

4. The Celebration Place by Dorena Williamson


How do you qualify to be considered for this Mega Book Giveaway?

Follow ALL FOUR authors on Instagram by clicking on the links below:





This giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram. All ages can win the giveaway if they have an Instagram account.


One winner will be chosen at random and announced on Instagram by noon PT/3 pm CT on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. Prizes will be shipped to one winner at a U.S. address only.

If you received this message in your email inbox, click here to join the conversation by making a comment under the original article on my blog.

I look forward to connecting and growing with you!


Representation Gives Readers a Glimpse of Heaven

I still remember the expression on my mom’s face when she caught me holding the scissors and black Sharpie.

Her eyes widened as she looked at the blonde Barbie dolls splayed on the floor in front of me and then stared at me. “Why?”

Picking up one of the dolls, I stroked her freshly cut and dyed Sharpie-black hair. “I wanted them to look like me.”

My mother, a few shades darker than me, pressed her lips together and sighed. She remained silent as she gathered my dolls and confiscated my cosmetology supplies.

At that time, I didn’t understand why she hugged me so tight.

I didn’t understand when or why I started thinking I was ugly.

I didn’t understand why I felt caught between two worlds that didn’t want me. I wasn’t “really Mexican.” I wasn’t “Mexican enough.” And I was “light but not white.”

I didn’t understand why I avoided speaking my native tongue after a woman told me to stop speaking “dirty Spanish” because she didn’t approve of my accent or occasional dips into Spanglish.

I still don’t understand why I have to endure the repeated punch-in-the-gut question: What are you?

And I still don’t understand why I wanted to assimilate into a world that rejected me and lacked positive representation of people who were different like me . . . until I became a mom.

As a first-generation Mexican American married to a Black man, I didn’t want my sons to share my struggle with identity or to begin hating their reflection.

I packed our personal library with books that celebrated Black and Mexican history, though we had limited selections. I explained negative stereotypes and exposed our sons to BIPOC inventors, scientists, activists, and other great leaders. Almost every nationality was represented in our friend circle.

Determined to empower our youngest son with a strong sense of identity, I convinced my husband that we had to enroll him in a Dual Immersion Kindergarten.

Through the pilot program, designed to integrate Spanish and English speakers, Xavier would learn about the culture I didn’t have a chance to embrace. He would study the culture I couldn’t find when I surfed channels on television or scoured shelves in the library.

My son would have a chance to become fluent in the “proper dialect” of the language I had been convinced I should only speak when absolutely necessary and definitely not with confidence.

That same year, in 2001, I surrendered my life to Jesus.

I began a journey to discover my true identity as God’s child ̶ an identity that included and celebrated the culture that my parents’ well-intentioned desires for assimilation erased.

Old scars became fresh wounds when my kindergartener told me a fellow student called him a racial slur.

How could I teach my sons to respond to racism with confidence in their value as God’s image-bearers when I still struggled with insecurities?

How could I teach them to respect others who were different from them and rejoice in the ways we were the same?

As I continued learning and teaching them about our identities in Christ, I negated the lies and the images that screamed they weren’t worth enough to be seen or known.

Then, one day as I was praying for my sons, I wrote my first picture book.

Different Like Me celebrates our differences and our sameness as God’s beautifully diverse and purposefully connected people, a message I was still learning to live out with bold faith.

Eighteen years later, God placed Different Like Me into the hands of editors at Our Daily Bread Publishing. Two years after that, He began using the message to empower readers internationally.

The lack of BIPOC representation and rejection stunted my confidence as a child. Deep-rooted insecurities distorted my view of myself and others, twisting my thinking with lies that followed me into adulthood.

As readers continue responding to the message in Different Like Me, a 2021 ECPA Christian Book Award Finalist, I’m beginning to understand I’m not alone in my struggles.

Growing more secure in my identity as a child of God increased my desire to empower others with God’s truth and love.

What am I?

I am a Child of God, fearfully and marvelously made, purposed to fulfill the Greatest Commandment and the Great Commission ̶ to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19, emphasis mine).

But I couldn’t love God with all my heart and soul and mind (Matthew 22:37) until I could see the face of Jesus, get to know Him in His Word illuminated by His Spirit.

The more I fell in love with God, the more my love for people grew, and the more I wanted to obey His command to love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:39).

The journey proved to be a bit more difficult than I thought it should be.

I couldn’t truly love myself or anyone else until I saw myself, my true identity in Christ and my reflection in the world around me.

Children who see themselves represented in positive ways in the world around them are affirmed as a whole person who is worth knowing and loving.

Accurate representation that destroys negative stereotypes honors God and gives readers a glimpse of heaven.

The apostle John wrote: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9, emphasis mine).

 I pray all my children’s books can paint this beautiful image of God’s intentional diversity and unifying love in the hearts and minds of His image-bearers.

As I continue to advocate for diversity and inclusion, I want to share this message with Spirit-empowered courage and confidence:

God made everyone different and special . . . like me.


Loving God, thanks for creating each of us intentionally and purposefully. Thanks for choosing to make each person different and special. Please help us to love You and one another, as we serve You together. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


During the month of August, I will be teaming up with three of my favorite Christian picture book authors for a MEGA BOOK GIVEAWAY.

Join us as we celebrate diversity and explore why representation gives us a glimpse of heaven and makes a difference on this side of eternity.

The MEGA BOOK GIVEAWAY will include one copy of each of the following books:

Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young

Cora loves being in the kitchen, but she always gets stuck doing the kid jobs like licking the spoon. One day, however, when her older sisters and brother head out, Cora finally gets the chance to be Mama’s assistant chef. Cora and Mama work together to cook up pancit for the family in this celebration of Filipino heritage and foods.

My Breakfast with Jesus by Tina Cho

For more than 2,000 years, people have started their day with a delicious meal in their bellies and the love of Jesus in their hearts. From bacon and eggs in the heart of North America to fresh baked bread in Antarctica, believers from each continent gather in the morning to share good food and conversation, giving thanks to God for all the wonderful things He’s done.

The Celebration Place by Dorena Williamson

The Celebration Place shows children that church is not just a building; it’s a place where we come together to celebrate God with our different expressions of worship. Coming October 26, 2021.

Different Like Me by Xochitl Dixon

Take a fanciful, colorful journey with a diverse group of children as they collectively work to bring a large fish balloon toward a surprising conclusion in Different Like Me. While encountering the differences that could divide them, they also discover how God designed them to be better together.

I’m looking forward to introducing you to these talented authors and their beautiful books throughout the month of August.

Check back HERE on my BLOG and keep in touch with me on Instagram for details about the MEGA BOOK GIVEAWAY at the end of this series.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise!


Callie’s Birthday Book Giveaway

Thanks to my blog family members who left comments and birthday wishes for Callie.
Congratulations, Roxanne Baker from Keewatin, MN (Waiting for God) and Barb Dawson from Smithville, OH (Different Like Me). I’ll be contacting you via email.
Original Blog Article with Giveaway Details from June 12, 2021 is Posted Below
BOOK GIVEAWAY: To celebrate Callie the Service Dog’s birthday, I’m giving away one signed copy of Different Like Me and one signed copy of Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace.
To enter for your chance to receive one of the signed giveaway books, please share your city, your state, and what title you want to read in the comment section.
If you already have a copy of both of these books, thanks for your support. You can STILL ENTER and, if you’re chosen to receive a signed copy, donate the book to your local library, an afterschool program, a classroom, a Sunday School teacher, or your neighborhood Little Free Library.
Recipients must live in the continental United States to be eligible for this giveaway.
Different Like Me celebrates our differences and our sameness as God’s beautifully diverse image-bearers. My first children’s picture book is a 2021 ECPA Christian Book Award Finalist, the 3rd place winner in the 2021 Selah Awards’ children’s book category, and has been placed into the hands of over 4,300 readers between August 2021 and March 2021.
Waiting for God empowers readers with hope and an eternal perspective. Each chapter invites readers to inhale God’s Word, exhale prayers and praises, and rest in God’s love while He works in and through life’s inevitable waiting seasons. My first full-length devotional won 2nd place in the 2020 Selah Awards’ devotional category, was a 2020 Cascade Awards Finalist, and has been placed into the hands of over 25,200 readers between August 2020 and March 2021.
To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise, praise, praise!
Do you enjoy fun dog photos and videos?
Are you interested in learning more about life with a service dog?
For exclusive updates on events, special giveaways, and lots of fun photos of Callie the Service Dog in action, please join us on Facebook and on Instagram.
I look forward to connecting with you on Callie the Service Dog’s social media pages.
Thanks for celebrating Callie’s birthday with us!

I’m Praising God and Thanking You!

Different Like Me (Our Daily Bread Publishing, August 2020) is a 2021 ECPA Christian Book Award® Finalist in the Children’s book category.

To God be the glory, the honor, and the praise, praise, praise!

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association is an “international non-profit trade organization comprised of member companies that are involved in the publishing and distribution of Christian content worldwide. Since 1974, ECPA has strengthened Christian publishing by building networking, information, and advocacy opportunities within the industry and throughout multiple channels so that our members can more effectively produce and deliver transformational Christian content.”

“The Christian Book Award® program recognizes the highest quality in Christian books and Bibles and is among the oldest and most prestigious awards program in the religious publishing industry. Presented annually to the finest in Christian publishing since 1978, the Christian Book Award® program honors the best of the year in twelve categories.”

Different Like Me is one of the five children’s book finalists. Hallelujah!

I would like to thank all of the ECPA and Christian Book Award members who organized and participated in the selection process, as well as those who are faithfully serving in various roles within these organizations each year.

I’m excited to announce that my mentor and friend Crystal Bowman, the author of I Love You to the Stars: When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers, is also a finalist in this category.

Praise the Lord!

Crystal wrote a beautiful endorsement for Different Like Me and has offered me wise counsel, encouragement, and prayers as I continue following God’s leading through the wonderful world of children’s book writing.

I’m thanking the Lord for every person who helped me prepare Different Like Me to be placed into the hands of readers.

Special thanks to Bonnie Lui, the amazing illustrator who put the heartbeat in Different Like Me, to my Our Daily Bread Publishing family, and to my Credo family.

I’m grateful for every book reviewer, bookstore, public and church library, teacher, children’s ministry leader, nursery leader, little free library steward, and patron of the arts.

Thanks for helping me spread the word about Different Like Me on your social media pages, for writing reviews on Amazon and any other platforms you enjoy, and for loving your neighbors by ordering extra copies of Different Like Me to share with God’s little image-bearers.

Please continue helping me spread the word about Different Like Me by sharing photos on your social media pages, writing reviews, letting people know what you enjoyed about the book, and considering Different Like Me whenever you need a gift for a little one.

Every review makes a difference and helps place Different Like Me in front of potential readers.

The Children’s Book Award® ceremony will be hosted by Max Lucado on May 6, 2021 at 1 pm Central (11 am Pacific).

I’ll share an update on my blog and on social media as soon as I receive the results.

No matter what happens, I’m grateful to be included on a list alongside so many respected partners in ministry.

I am especially excited to share this honor with some of my personal friends who I have learned from and served alongside over the years.

Congratulations, Crystal Bowman (I Love You to the Stars), Michelle Medlock Adams (They Call Me Mom: 52 Devotions for Every MOMent), Pam Farrel (Discovering Jesus in the Old Testament), and the beautifully diverse writers of the (in)courage ministry (Take Heart: 100 Devotions to Seeing God When Life’s Not Okay).

Please join me in praying for every author and publisher on this list and for those who are not on this list but are faithfully sharing God’s truth and love through Christian publishing. It is a pleasure and privilege to serve with you all!

You can pray over the complete list by clicking here.

I thank the Lord for you, Blog Family!

I can do nothing without God or without your ongoing support, encouragement, prayers. I thank God for the opportunities He gives us to be rooted in His Word while growing with His people.


Click here to write a review or order your copies of Different Like Me today!


What’s NEW?

Join Me for a New Pause for Prayer Video Available on My YouTube Channel!


In “How Fear Can Lead to Faith” (Matthew 10:26-31, CSB), I shared how God used His definition of fear and the reputation of the sparrow to help me understand the extent of His love for His children.


If you haven’t already, please take a moment to subscribe to my YouTube channel.



Thanks for being a member of my blog family.


Why I Wrote Different Like Me and Blog Tour Mega Giveaway

What are you?

That question used to trigger anger, frustration, and sadness, especially when people responded in disbelief because my answer didn’t fit the stereotypes they’d accepted as truth. My insecurities deepened, causing me to hate my own light-but-not-white reflection.

Years later, when I became a mom of two black sons, I didn’t want them to suffer similar insecurities. I didn’t want them to think their worth as people could be determined by the opinions, expectations, or biases of others.

I wanted my sons to love God, to love the way God created them, and to love all the people God created.

But my desires and best-intentions couldn’t protect them the ignorance and hate so prevalent in our fallen world.

One day, during a trip to an ice cream shop, an adult male glared at my five-year-old son and said, “What are you?”

The sting of his words ripped the scar off the wound on my heart that I thought had healed.

Asking God to help me forgive, I sought ways to help my sons rejoice in their uniqueness and God’s creativity in designing all of His people. While studying my Bible, I began learning how to embrace my identity in Christ.

The more I learned about God’s love for me, the more I began to accept I worth loving and the more I began to love others.

I wrote Different Like Me in 2001, shortly after receiving Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Originally, I had planned to use the poem to teach my sons how to celebrate our differences and our sameness as God’s beautifully diverse and purposefully connected people. But the Lord kept nudging me to share the story with others.

God didn’t roll out His plans at the pace I’d expected.

In 2016, my agent and an editor read Different Like Me, loved it, but couldn’t move forward with publication.

The following year, I signed a contract for my first full-length devotional, Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace.

I set Different Like Me aside as I worked on the other projects the Lord had entrusted to me.

In 2018, shortly after submitting Waiting for God to my editor at Our Daily Bread Publishing, my agent and the editor who had loved Different Like Me in 2016 requested a complete proposal for the manuscript.

I scrambled to prepare my first children’s picture book proposal with the help of my friend and prolific children’s book author, Crystal Bowman. I submitted the proposal to several editors before prayerfully deciding to accept a contract from Our Daily Bread Publishing.

Then, I began praying for an illustrator who would avoid stereotypes and include children with special needs as heroes, not sideline characters.

Bonnie Lui (pronounced Louie) did a fabulous job. She weaved her own beautiful story into the gorgeous illustrations that breathe life into the whimsical rhyming text I’d written almost two decades earlier.

Bonnie even created a character inspired by my service dog, Callie, a Border Collie/Hound mix we rescued in 2018 from a kill-shelter and trained through Tails for Life after God moved us from California to Wisconsin.

Earlier this year, as I prepared for the August 2020 release of Different Like Me, tragedy divided our world.

I truly believe God delayed my path to publication so that He could prepare hearts to receive the message of love, unity, peace, and hope that He has brought to life through each page of Different Like Me.

This week, Celebrate Lit is going to be hosting an exciting blog tour with a mega giveaway!

The Different Like Me Celebrate Lit Blog Tour Mega Giveaway includes: a signed copy of Different Like Me with a bookmark and sticker, an exclusive coloring page signed by the illustrator, Bonnie Lui, a Different Like Me full-color 8 ½ x 11 poster, one box of Crayola’s Colors of the Word crayons (24-pack), a 4-pack of crayons, a Different Like Me fish shaped key chain, a fish-out-of-water finger puppet and lollipop, Swedish Fish, a colorful fish book bag, a custom made Different Like Me cup, and a $25.00 Amazon gift card to encourage readers to build up their collection children’s picture books that celebrate diversity.

Be sure to comment on the blog stops (posted below) for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Inklings and notions, September 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Texas Book-aholic, September 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 17

Splashes of Joy, September 18

deb’s Book Review, September 18

For Him and My Family, September 19

A Reader’s Brain, September 20

Simple Harvest Reads, September 21 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Mary Hake, September 21

Book Love, September 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 24

Artistic Nobody, September 25

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 26

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 27


I’m looking forward to interacting with you in the comment sections of each blog post!



Join Me On the Award-Winning Timothy Hodge Show on Blog Talk Radio! (Book Giveaway)

(Book Giveaway: Details in this post.)

God blessed me with a wonderful opportunity to chat with Mr. Timothy Hodge from The Timothy Hodge Show on Blog Talk Radio.

The Timothy Hodge Show started in August 2008 and was announced as the winner of the prestigious Hal Jackson Radio Award from the National Radio Alliance in Las Vegas on June 20, 2020.

This American talk radio show hosted by DJ Timothy Hodge shares live music, celebrity interviews, current events, entertainment news, live media events and much more. You can listen to the show on Power 93.4 FM and on the Blogtalk Radio Network, a subscription based internet radio service.

The Timothy Hodge Show is one of the highest rated syndicated radio shows on the B.T.R Network and has featured a variety of guests, including but not limited to: Montell Jordon, Keith Murray, Yolanda Adams, Jesse McCartney, Gloria Gaynor, Brandy, Regina Belle, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Winans, Mario Winans, Jasmine Guy, Nia Long, Oleta Adams, Evelyn “Champange” King , Stephanie Mills, Cissy Houston, and Regina King.

I enjoyed a great conversation with Mr. Hodge, who happens to be a fellow dog lover!

We discussed my children’s picture book, Different Like Me, our shared love for dogs, working to change the perception of people with special needs, and advocating for mental health awareness.

We also talked about how to stay encouraged and make a positive impact as we navigate through the pandemic and continue standing against racism, discrimination, and injustice.

Join me on The Timothy Hodge Show by clicking here.

Please leave comments on the show’s page and under this post.

I’ll be giving away one free signed copy of Different Like Me on Sunday, September 13, 2020, at 8 pm Central.

To be entered for your chance to receive that signed copy of Different Like Me, please listen to my interview on The Timothy Hodge Show then return to my website and let me know what you thought about our discussion (in the comment section below).

I look forward to hearing from you!

PRAISE: As of today, Different Like Me is still the #1 New Release on Amazon’s Christian Children’s Social Issues Category and the #1 New Release on Amazon’s Children’s Special Needs Category. Different Like Me has held that spot numerous times since its August 4, 2020 release date.

You can order your copy of Different Like Me or love your neighbors by ordering extra copies to share as gifts on Amazon today.

If you enjoy Different Like Me, please write a short review on Amazon and any other review platforms you enjoy. Every review makes a difference and can to help place God’s message of love and unity into the hands of more readers around the world.

I thank God for your prayers, your encouragement, and your help spreading the word about Different Like Me so that more children will learn to celebrate our differences and our sameness as God’s beautifully diverse and purposefully connected people!

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