Friends, I have the honor and the privilege of sharing two beautiful books with you today. Both of the authors have boundless hearts and serve in hospitals as Child Life Specialists, where they pour their efforts and energy into caring for precious children and their families. They are skilled at their work as they assist patients and families through their traumatic journey of illness or injury. These are the women who are the unsung heroes of the medical field. It is through their tireless involvement and insightful wisdom, that they touch the lives of countless people in the medical facilities they are employed. These are the people that are invested in exploring ways to further the progress and potential of each child in their care.
I am inspired by their brave and intentional steps to make a difference in the lives of the hurting. I want to share with you their mission, and purpose through their unique voice and I pray their words and their gift blesses you too.
And I find great joy in knowing God’s hands and feet are everywhere living among us in this world.
The first book is titled, “Stars in the Sand: Finding the Light of the Lord In Unexpected Places”, by Leigh Snyder.
This book is a beautifully written memoir of the experiences of Leigh’s work with the sick and injured children in her care. Her work in a Children’s hospital is full of hardships and distress because of the trauma or illness or injury children are facing. She is called to serve her patients and their families as she navigates around such difficult obstacles to instill comfort and hope to those weary and worn from enduring such a difficult season of suffering. The Child Life Specialist has a significant role in the treatment plan, and Leigh discovers over and over again, the human spirit and it’s strength and brokenness through each case she has.
In this precious piece of literature, you will be guided through stories of hope and healing, of pain and grief, and as she shares the poignant parts of her journey, she threads God’s Word and Grace hidden beneath and above it all. Her detailed account of difficult cases and her insight and raw emotion will deeply touch you and stretch your perspective. There is a world of need out there, and Leigh is in the trenches sharing her light and love with the broken and wounded and lost. She is a witness to humanity at it’s lowest and highest level.
As Leigh shares her own journey of working alongside the lives she observes , she offers such precious moments for the reader to truly embrace. Through each case and experience, she opens a new perspective on the inter-workings of such places as the ER or NICU or inpatient long-term medical hospital stays. As I began to understand her work and the environment more, I was moved by her powerful stories of children and families and caregivers that play such a pivotal role in her faith journey as well as her personal growth. It’s amazing what lessons can be learned if we look hard enough, and go deep enough to find them.
Leigh discovers treasures through her profession, and takes them out for us all to witness and bask in the glow of God’s miraculous ways and message. I love how she threads it all together, with the flow of both wisdom and intention. Her work is wondrous and worthy of attention…
Because it’s everywhere.
Hidden in the trenches of this world are the unsung heroes sacrificing much to serve and give what they can to help the hurting children and their beloved families. Leigh is one voice of many to carry this call… and I am blessed to share her journey and her mission with you.
“The presence of the stars in the sky and stars in the sand remind me of God’s blessings. Some shine brightly and are apparent. Others are hidden away, out of sight until they become revealed. Like digging in the sand, sometimes these blessings require some work or effort before they can be discovered and appreciated. Like lights in the sand, often I have found the light of the Lord in unexpected places. One of those places is in the hospital. From triage to trauma in the emergency department to the still of the night in a hospital room, I have witnessed the light and the comfort of the Lord.”
Oh, how I love that.
You will truly be blessed by Leigh’s words, her passionate message and profound stories of hardship and hope, devastation and deliverance, longing and love. It will inspire you, move you, and open a new part of your heart for the wounded and those that serve them.
The next author I want to introduce to you is Shani Thornton, who is also a child life specialist as she too, works in the hospital environment offering her service and heart to those experiencing trauma, injury and illness. In her years of experience and well-practiced skill in working with patients and families in the medical world, she has created a resource that can assist others in forging the medical journey with less anxiety and more assurance to make the experience more comfortable and productive.
Her book, “It’s Time For Your Checkup” has its own purpose that is so very important, as it speaks to the parents and their children, guiding them in preparing for doctor visits and check ups, with the wisdom and insight she has gained through her experience in the field and as a mother.
She categorizes the book in the following chapters:
It’s Time for Your Checkup
Steps to a Vaccination
Steps to a Blood Test
Note to Parents
Coping Strategies for Different Age Groups
Typical Components of a Routine Wellness Checkup
This book is such a valuable tool that equips families who are beginning their parenting journey with little children, as the information and wisdom Shani shares helps both the parent and the child prepare for future doctor or hospital visits ahead. I remember being a first time mom and fearfully forging through these appointments, not feeling prepared in what to expect and therefore I couldn’t help my own children either. This book walks you through routine visits with real life photos that offer both advice and education that will inform and encourage you and your child.
I love how Shani explains her book…
“This book is intended to prepare children and families for what to expect when going to a doctor visit. Children can often have anxiety and be scared of going for a checkup. It is important for parents to be honest about what will occur, using simple language. Children often feel a loss of control and may behave differently because of these feelings. When we explain what they will experience using their five senses (touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing) and offer realistic choices, it can help them feel more comfortable.”
Oh what a valuable resource this would be for any new parent!
I know these books would be a blessing for any family, and I know both Leigh and Shani want to share their gift with others who are in need of the nourishment and wisdom they can provide through each of their books.
Do you have little ones scared to go to the doctor?
Perhaps you feel ill equipped to help your child through doctor visits and medical procedures?
Have you experienced illness or trauma or injury with one of your beloved children?
Are you in search of hope and inspiration through the eyes of a caregiver?
Perhaps you know someone who would be blessed by these books as a gift.
Share your response in the comments, and be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest to enter our little gift-giving mission. (Buttons to follow are up top!)
What joy it brings me to have connected with such loving souls who spend their days helping those who hurt, carrying those who are burdened, and giving tirelessly to those in need. These are the people that extend themselves above and beyond their call and oftentimes go unnoticed. I believe their purpose is far greater than looking for honor. Their mission is much bigger than that.
These are two women her serve in the trenches of pain, and I for one want to honor them and their work.