When and why did you begin writing?
I was a very shy child so the only way that I could express myself was with a pen. I excelled in classes that were graded based on writing skills. I had a vivid imagination and would create elaborate stories. I promised myself that one day I would write them all. Over the years, I have written many stories but Growing into Greatness with God: 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons & Daughters is the one that I had to give birth to before I could publish the others. It was inspired by my experiences growing up in a small, relatively poor town in St. Thomas, Jamaica. This book is a “thank you” to God; it is an acknowledgment of how he blessed and sustained me in good and bad times, and a testimony to other children that he can do the same for them.
What was the inspiration for your book, Growing into Greatness with God?
In the book, Growing into Greatness with God, the words of wisdom that accompany the stories are inspired by all the advice given to me by my mothers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and all the “old souls” that entered my early years. I grew up in a house where family, faith, good food and hard work were celebrated. A two bedroom house was home to three generations. It wasn’t unusual for an 11 year old to walk 1/2 mile to fetch water before school, walk home, get ready for school, walk at least 1/2 mile to school, be respectful and attentive, participate in field day, take the long walk home with friends (not forgetting to stop and say hello to all the neighbors), pick fruit or dig yams for dinner, complete homework assignments, and end the day by having dinner and fellowship with family. That was my daily life growing up in Jamaica. I didn’t fully appreciate it back then, but I certainly do now. I want children to have confidence in the fact that they are unique, amazing, born with greatness and can overcome any obstacle.
What is your spiritual background?
I gained my confidence in a little church in St. Thomas, Jamaica, called the Hampton Court Seventh Day Adventist church. That church was the cornerstone of the community and it was where I learned and recited bible scriptures, sung gospel songs and recited poetry. It is where I made some of my best childhood friends, picked cherries from the best cherry tree in town and listened to the sermons that inspired me to keep God the center of my life. Love the Lord God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself is my guiding principle in life. My family currently worships at a beautiful Episcopal church in Florida.
Your book is titled, Growing into Greatness with God. How do you define greatness?
We are all unique beings, so greatness will mean something different to each person. I think greatness is finding your natural talent, fueling it with passion, planting it in well nourished soil, and toiling in the garden until it breaks through the earth and reaches for the stars. You must then use everything that you have achieved to serve others. Service is the heart of greatness; for me, there is no greatness without service.
Every child is created in the image of God, and every child carries this amazing gift of greatness inside himself or herself. But children hear mixed messages on a daily basis—about life, about the world, and about themselves.
In Growing into Greatness with God: Seven Paths to Greatness for Our Sons and Daughters, author and mother of three boys Janet Autherine encourages kids to see themselves as unique and amazing—already blessed with what they need to succeed in life and achieve their dreams.
Readers learn how to grow in love, faith, courage, leadership, happiness, gratitude, and confidence through the inspiring stories of Bible heroes such as Abraham, Sarah, David, and Ruth. Each chapter includes a brief summary of two Bible stories, with reflections on each, and concludes with three action-oriented suggestions on how to put the lesson into practice. The book ends with a letter that will inspire and empower readers, and questions for study and self-reflection that can be used by parents and teachers to help their children continue on their journey to greatness.
Dreams are essential to life, and kids need to be inspired and encouraged to live life to the fullest. Growing into Greatness with God offers biblical examples of how people have nurtured what God has planted in them and teaches kids how to do the same in their own lives.
Reader Reviews on Amazon
“Growing Into Greatness with God is a very inspirational and motivational read.” -Gladis G.
“The book weaves the stories of the Bible into practical advice for our children.” -Joseph R.
“This a beautiful sweet book that provides an opportunity for all to have a discussion with their children of any age about spirituality and the importance of developing a sense of greatness within!” -Sarah S.
Janet Autherine is the author of Growing Into Greatness with God, 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons and Daughters. She was born in a small town in Jamaica and moved to Philadelphia at age 12. Thanks to God’s grace and a hardworking mother, she weathered many storms to follow her dreams and works to inspire others to do the same.
Her book, Growing into Greatness with God: 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons & Daughters, teaches kids to recognize the greatness they were born with and to grow in love, faith, courage, leadership, happiness, gratitude, and confidence. It shares the message that “Every child matters. Every child is unique. Every child is born with greatness.”
Janet is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Boston College Law School and Georgetown University School of Law. She is the proud mother of 3 wonderful boys who provide daily inspiration for her writing.
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